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International Anglican Liturgical Consultation concludes meeting in Montreal

International Anglican Liturgical Consultation concludes meeting in Montreal

The International Anglican Liturgical Consultation has just finished its most recent meeting in Montreal with representatives from churches in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Scotland, the Solomon Islands, Southern Africa, the United States of America, Uruguay and Wales.

The group reaffirmed their desire to promote the deepening of communion between the Churches of the Anglican Communion by renewing its life of liturgy and prayer as integral to the mission of the Church by being a resource to Provinces and the Instruments of Communion on questions of liturgy and common prayer.  Noting that many provinces are contemplating revisions to prayer books, hymnals and other liturgical texts, the Consultation feels their work of sharing of knowledge, resources and processes is especially important in the life of the Communion at this time.

The previous meeting was held in Dublin in 2013, where there was focused attention on rites of healing and reconciliation.  This meeting continued that work.  Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of Canada, Bishop Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop of Canada, and Fr. Michael Lapsley SSM, Director of the Institute for the Healing of Memories were the primary speakers.  Archbishop Fred and Bishop Mark explored the journey toward reconciliation being taken by the Anglican Church of Canada with the Indigenous peoples in the wake of that church’s role in the Canadian Indian Residential Schools. Fr. Michael Lapsley spoke both of his own journey towards healing and reconciliation in South Africa and of the wider work of the Institute and its workshops. The three speakers spoke from their experience and different perspectives, and the common ground was recognition of the power of deep-rooted institutional political oppression, which dehumanized and traumatized peoples. It was clear from all three presentations that the journey towards reconciliation requires space, time and patience and should include ritual moments and symbolic enactments.  The issues presented by the three speakers were reflected on and translated into a liturgical framework through work in small groups. The outcome of the discussion has been a commitment to produce guidelines and resources for rites to support corporate reconciliation.  On-going task groups will be exploring the areas of the relevant Biblical texts in contexts; theology of reconciliation and baptismal identity; and the frameworks for developing rites of corporate reconciliation.

The meeting also took note of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Consultation on Peace and Conflict Prevention and seeks to work in partnership with this initiative.

Those in attendance were:

Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia ; Tricia Carter; Anglican Church of Australia; Dane Courtney, Elizabeth Smith; Anglican Church of Canada; Terry Brown, John Hill, Jay Koyle, Lizette Larson-Miller Edward Simonton, Eileen Scully, Gregor Sneddon; Anglican Church of Southern Africa; Cynthia Botha, Keith Griffiths; Anglican Communion in Japan; Shintaro Ichihara, Saya Ojiri; Anglican Church of Korea; Nak-Hyon Joseph Joo; Anglican Church of South America (Uruguay); Enrique Illarze; Anglican Church of Melanesia (Solomon Islands); Anderson Saefoa; Anglican Church in Wales; Catherine Haynes; Church of England; Anne Dawtry, Alec George, Harvey Howlett, Christopher Irvine, Bridget Nichols, Phillip Tovey; Church of Ireland; Gerald Field, Alan Rufli; Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui; Chun-wai Lam; Episcopal Church In The Philippines; Tomas Maddela; Scottish Episcopal Church; Douglas Kornahrens; The Episcopal Church, Barrington Bates, Robert Brooks, Walter Knowles, William H. Petersen; ACC Office; John Gibaut


image from ACNS


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Steve White

A lot of gray hair in this group. Are they listening to the younger people in the Communion?

Geoff McLarney

I (clocking in at 27) was present as an observer.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Thank you, Rod Gillis. Harper is a disgrace and has done much to destroy the image of Canada. Calling an eleven-week election, the longest since 1872, is one more disgrace. But the other two parties are divided, so the Conservatives may still win, alas!

Gary Paul Gilbert

Rod Gillis

A running analysis of all opinion polls carried by Canada’s public broadcaster (CBC) on line has all three political parties in a dead heat at the moment, but if the election were to be held today, New Democrats, based on seat projections, could win a minority government–but it is very early days. Harper engineered the most lengthy campaign in modern times so that his well funded party could starve opponents of campaign advertising cash. Harper has optimized the advantage of incumbency with election rule changes, voter i.d. requirements, tax payer funded advertising, election pork, tax breaks to the wealthy, to great advantage.

The visa issue fits in well with the Harper government’s xenophobic pandering and wedge politics, and religion has been a part of that. In this regard, lessons learned from the American Tea Party have not been lost on Harper.

The Harper government took an entourage of fundamentalists on tour to Israel last year, while cutting out main line churches, like The Anglicans Church, that actually have connections with Palestinian Anglicans. Making it easier for Anglicans from Africa to obtain visas to attend an inter Anglican conference in Canada was likely not a priority. The creation of a so called “office of religion freedom” is a sop to right wing evangelicals while abandoning the issue of religious persecution under the more macro envelope of human rights.

All that said, financial resources coupled with the politics of The Communion may also be at play with regard to the Montreal gathering. Be interesting to ask someone from Africa, or someone from The Communion office for comment.

David Bailey

For a global Communion that is heavily African, I would have expected to see more African faces in the meeting.

Rod Gillis

The 12th Lutheran World Federation Assembly and 500th anniversary of the reformation will be held in Namibia, Africa in 2017.

As for the gathering in Montreal, as the article suggests, Canada’s stringent and sometimes controversial visa requirements were likely an issue. Most of the countries with reps listed in the article are on a list of only 51 countries for which a visa to enter Canada is not required ( Examples include U.S.A., Australia, Japan, E.U. countries, Hong Kong). Very few of the reps are from countries from which visitors to Canada are required to have a visa, including Philippines and South Africa. You cannot visit Canada without a visa if you are from any African country.

One of the ongoing aggravations between Canada and Mexico has been the Canadian requirement for a Visa.

Welcome to Harperland, eh!

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