That the NEC ask the Administration & Finance Committee to ensure that all disbursements from undesignated bequests of either interest or capital be channelled through the Assessment or Apportionment Budgets, and
that requests for special projects or needs be considered only after referral to the Program Committee for review along with existing priorities.
That the above motion be referred to the Administration & Finance Committee for study and response at the March 1992 NEC meeting. CARRIED #74-11-91
Archdeacon Jim Boyles was asked to forward further information to the Administration and Finance Committee to assist in its deliberations.
That the following clause be added to the second paragraph of the Terms of References of the Audit Committee:
and shall recommend from time to time to the Council accounting policies, and changes in such policies, for approval. CARRIED #85-11-91
This paragraph now reads:
The Audit Committee shall advise the Council on all matters related to the annual financial statements of all divisions and organizations and shall recommend from time to time to the Council accounting policies, and changes in such policies, for approval.
Archdeacon Pynn reminded NEC members that the response to this declaration, which originated at the Lambeth Conference in 1988 and was circulated by the Anglican Consultative Council, was now required.
That this Statement be accepted by the National Executive Council as our Statement and be forwarded to the Anglican Consultative Council. CARRIED #56-11-90
[The accepted Statement is attached to these minutes as Appendix H.]
[N.B. Please note that the attached is the NEC Response to the Draft Common Declaration and NOT the text of the Draft Common Declaration itself.]
THE DRAFT COMMON DECLARATION
A Statement by the National Executive Council of the Anglican Church of Canada
This statement is issued by the Anglican Church of Canada, through its National Executive Council, after consultation with the House of Bishops, the Doctrine and Worship Committee, and several Canadian theologians.
We note that the "Draft Common Declaration" before us appears to differ in only one word from the text which appears in "Instruments of Communion and Decision-Making: the Development of the Consultative Process in the Anglican Communion", a discussion paper prepared before Lambeth 1988. Our bishops recall a very low level of interest in this particular proposal at the Lambeth Conference, although it was acknowledged that the possibility of the usefulness of such a declaration should be explored.
Is it necessary ?
We wonder why the Draft Common Declaration is needed and for what purposes it would be used. Paragraph 129 of the Report on Dogmatic and Pastoral Concerns in the 1998 Lambeth Report suggests that the declaration might be used "at major events in the life of the Churches of the Communion". We ask, what kinds of events ?
If the proposed Declaration is primarily intended to reflect Anglican identity back to Anglicans, then it needs to be both sharpened and broadened. If it is meant to help resolve difficulties and strengthen bonds between provinces within the Communion, it needs refinement and amplification. If it means to function as a position statement or policy directive for ecumenical dialogue, then there is a need to clarify what it means at several points of ecumenical tension, not least amongst these being the meaning of "in communion" and "historic episcopal order".
Problems with the document
Specifically, the document appears to us to be unsuitable in a number of areas:
1. Its understanding of Anglican cohesiveness is limited (note be contrast, the report of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission document "For the Sake of the Kingdom.").
2. It does not take account of the current ecumenical dialogues, third world issues and cultural diversity, and emerging feminist perspectives.
3. It looks back to one particular strand of Anglican traditions which would not be shared by all contemporary Anglicans.
4. It is a rigid document which freezes rather than being open to possible growth.
Comments and questions
We recognize the need for a unifying instrument, but want to avoid premature closure of debate on unsettled issues. We look forward to a time when it would be possible to have a more comprehensive declaration, but meanwhile we reaffirm the Lambeth Quadrilateral in its 1920 form as an adequate instrument of communion and decision-making, because it has tested historical authority, international acceptance, and is both more flexible and ecumenically generous.
The ecumenical context has made us more willing than we were a few years ago to give credit to the ministry and sacraments of other denominations, and recent studies of ministry and sacraments have made us less willing to maintain a dogmatic position on a single, dominically ordained form of either.
Feminist theology is pushing us to take a new look at classical definitions which describe God in male terms excluding half or more of the church. Such thinking is also impelling us to criticize the patriarchal authoritarianism implicit in hierarchical order.
Is the Draft Common Declaration a "Confessional" statement, like the Augsburg and Westminster Confessions ? If so, would acceptance of it run counter to the Anglican claim to be rooted not on a new confession but within the historic tradition of the Catholic faith ? Is the Draft Common Declaration a test of orthodoxy ? If so, is it meant to exclude those who do not agree with it ? Anglicans have traditionally resisted tests of orthodoxy, preferring to set broad limits on either side which allow for latitude of interpretation.
The Draft Common Declaration gives the impression that the Anglican position is a static one. It should be rephrased to make clear that our faith is one which is continually developing and is open to new insights and to enrichment by the Holy Spirit (for instance, the decision to ordain women and the changes in theology and practice entailed in the recognition of the equal rights of women, which is a great insight of our generation).
The emergence of strong, rapidly growing churches in the developing world has made us realize that statements and concepts that we once thought of as universal actually come out of a context limited to the European world. The Draft Common Declaration is overwhelmingly classical and European in its terminology and conceptualization.
The Draft Common Declaration implies that the "commonly called sacraments" are of divine institution. It would be better to say that a province "celebrates the divinely instituted sacraments of baptism and holy communion, as expressing for all the corporate life of the whole fellowship in and with Christ".
Is continuity expressed only by means of historic episcopal order ? What about the continuity of doctrinal teaching, which both Lutherans and Roman Catholics insist upon ? The historic episcopal order is only one of the ways the church expresses continuity with the apostolic church. Why should episcopal order rather than fidelity to scripture or to the apostolic mission be singled out as the key element in continuity ? Does the historic episcopal order included the Roman papacy ?
The Draft Common Declaration seems too narrowly episcopal. Its acceptance would make us a confessional church which confesses, above all, episcopacy. The Draft Common Declaration evinces a bias for a structural ecclesiology rather than a communion of dynamic ecclesiology.
We believe that we should point out to other member churches of the Anglican Communion that this declaration might be too flimsy or too problematic to achieve the unifying effect that is desired.
It would not satisfy use as fairly representing our Canadian Anglican commitment to Christ, to the Kingdom, to mission and service in and to the world, to the full participation of the whole people of God in the light of their baptismal ministry, and to a prayerful pursuit of Christian unity and reconciliation.
That up to $75,000 be made available in 1992 from the Henry James Bancroft bequest for the production and broadcast of daily highlights of the 1992 General Synod and for the subsequent production and distribution of a video synopsis of the Synod; and that future such productions and broadcasts be provided for in the General Synod meeting budget. CARRIED #35-05-91
That, if proposals in Recommendations 7, 12, and 17 of the Structure Report are approved, all committees be advised that they must report anticipated costs of meetings and proposed sources of funds when permission is sought from NEC for the appointment of sub-committees, units and task forces. CARRIED #32-05-91
That this General Synod encourages NEC to build upon the NEC MOTION #53-05-91 REFERRED TO THE OFFICERS and requests all Standing Committees, Councils and Boards to follow the example of NEC and actively explore new ways of working using the consensual models of Aboriginal decision-making which would foster new life through new ways of meeting. CARRIED Act 60
The above motion was read to General Synod in both Cree and Inuktitut.
The Reverend Bryan Bjerring expressed the hope that, in order to assist Standing Committees in shaping this work over the next triennium, the Council for Native Ministries would initiate and provide materials.
Bishop Caleb Lawrence urged members to involve the native representatives on the Standing Committees and Mr. Andrew Wesley added that NEC members would also be willing to assist whenever possible.
The National Executive Council had referred motion #53-05-91 to the Officers of General Synod for consideration. This motion reads as follows:
That this NEC ask the Agenda Committee, in consultation with the Council for Native Ministries, to enable us to experience parts of our agenda in the style of a Native Council.
That National Executive Council publicize to the whole Church the fact of increasing financial self-reliance on the part of the dioceses of the Council of the North: from $4.5 million in local funding for personnel costs in 1990 to $5.4 million in 1992. CARRIED #57-11-91
That National Executive Council approve an annual provision in the General Synod Assessment Budget, beginning in 1993, to permit the spouses of all bishops to attend the educational and training event at the meeting of the House immediately prior to each session of General Synod. CARRIED #58-11-91