The report on the final full day of the Anglican Consultative Council is in, and the verdict is positive, writes Rebecca Wilson for DeputyNews.org.
Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut, who was on the Standing Committee and the Resolutions Committee for this meeting, found that the final day of business was “pivotal” for the Anglican Communion.
“We’ll look back on today and see that the door could have closed or opened,” he said. “It opened.” …
Withdrawing a resolution that would have reopened the subject of the primates’ communiqué and its call for consequences against the Episcopal Church kept the meeting on track, according to Douglas.
“Rather than focus on the primates’ communiqué narrowly, we focused instead on what the primates’ commitment to walking together meant for our life together as the ACC here in Lusaka. We listened to the [Archbishop of Canterbury’s] report on the primates gathering, considered its impact on our lives, and then decided accordingly as to our work as the ACC,” Douglas said.
While there was some frustration about the design of the meeting, which pushed all voting and resolution debates into the last full day, the business was productive and the report describes the Episcopal delegation as leaving with a sense of hope and purpose. Rosalie Simmonds Ballentine welcomed three resolutions on safe church practices, and noted,
“It is one of the reasons that we really need to stay engaged, because we’ve done a lot in that area in our church, and I think we have a lot to offer the Communion.”
The Revd Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, applauded the diversity of the church represented in elections at the meeting, and the broad scope of resolutions, especially those focused on the place of women and young people around the world.
“There were an amazing number of resolutions about issues that are of common concern, and frankly are desperate situations in many places,” she said. “I was really struck by the fact that gender justice and gender-based violence cuts across every province, and bringing more young people and women into those conversations is essential.”
To Douglas’ point about an opened door,
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, clergy member from the Episcopal Church, believes that the standing committee election and the resolutions passed should reassure Episcopalians about their membership in the Anglican Communion.
Read the full article here. The meeting closes today with a final Eucharist at which Bishop James Tengatenga, retiring Chair of the ACC, will preach, and the Archbishop of Canterbury preside.
Featured image: all smiles at the ACC-16 Opening Eucharist, via ACNS