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Anglican Communion Issues

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official9478
Date
2007 November 16-18
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 20-11-07
Date
2007 November 16-18
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 20-11-07
Prologue
The Report of the Joint Standing Committee #015-02-07-11
The Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan presented 'The Report of the Joint Standing Committee to the Archbishop of Canterbury' (Doc. #015-02-07-11) and invited table groups to discuss the report and respond to questions:
- What can you affirm ?
- What is challenging ?
- What gives you hope ?
The Primate noted that a similar exercise had been conducted at the meeting of the House of Bishops. Both results will be taken into account when drafting the response.
Response to the Covenant #015-01-07-11
The Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan presented 'A Preliminary Response to the Draft Covenant by the Anglican Church of Canada'. Council offered its comments and concerns and asked Archdeacon Harry Huskins and Canon Robert Falby to revise the draft response.
Council achieved consensus on revisions to the preliminary response proposed by the Anglican Communion Working Group and proposed:
Text
That this Council of General Synod forward “A Preliminary Response to the Draft Covenant by the Anglican Church of Canada” to the Covenant Design Group of the Anglican Communion. APPROVED BY CONSENSUS #20-11-07
Notes
The document, 'A Preliminary Response to the Draft Covenant by the Anglican Church of Canada', is attached as Appendix D.
APPENDIX D
A Preliminary Response to the Draft Covenant
by the Anglican Church of Canada
1. The Anglican Church of Canada takes very seriously its mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Body of Christ, and specifically its participation in the life of the Anglican Communion. We welcome the invitation to covenant if it means that the mission of the church is being strengthened as we partner together. To that end, our church has diligently participated in various processes and responded to various documents which have sought to deepen and enhance the Communion and give expression to our common life.
2. In particular we highlight the responses of our Province to:
- a. ‘Belonging Together’ (response in 1992)
- b. 'The Virginia Report' (response in 2001)
- c. 'The Windsor Report' (response in 2005 and 2007)
3. In addition we have responded to ecumenical documents in which Anglicans have been involved: agreed statements with Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Orthodox, and World Council of Churches’ documents such as 'Baptism Eucharist and Ministry'.
4. In the process of developing such responses, we have consulted widely with parishes, dioceses, and our internal provinces, and have tested the responses through our constitutional processes.
5. We are now being asked to respond to 'An Anglican Covenant: A Draft for Discussion'. At the General Synod of 2007 we committed ourselves to ‘the development and possible adoption of an Anglican covenant’. However, the timeframe proposed is impossibly short for us to engage in the adequate process of discernment and affirmation that our polity requires. The Covenant is an extremely important proposal, with longterm implications for all Anglicans, and we will need to take more time to prepare a response that truly speaks for the Anglican Church of Canada. Thus all we can do at this point is to repeat affirmations we have previously made and concerns we have raised, to offer some comment about the shape of the proposed draft covenant, and to ask some critical questions of the text in the light of those affirmations and concerns.
6. General Synod in 2007 endorsed a response to the 'Windsor Report'. We commend the whole document for consideration by the Covenant Design Group and the instruments of communion, and wish to emphasize especially in this context paragraphs 30 & 31:
- 30. We affirm the idea of developing an Anglican Covenant, noting the call of Windsor that it be developed through a “long-term process, in an educative context, be considered for real debate and agreement on its adoption as a solemn witness to communion.” (118) We are committed to such a long-term process and would hope that such a covenant would promote mutual responsibility and interdependence within the Communion. We have reservations about the constitutional tone of the example provided in the Windsor Report. We find that example too detailed in its proposals and we are concerned that such a model might foster the development of a complex bureaucratic structure which might stifle change and growth in mission and ministry. We would prefer a shortened and simplified covenant, perhaps based on the model of the baptismal covenant, or ecumenical covenants such as the Waterloo Declaration between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, or the covenant proposed by the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism. We value the Ten Principles of Partnership cited in Appendix 3 of Windsor and would hope that they inform the drafting of a covenant. We affirm that any group given the responsibility of developing an Anglican Covenant needs to be broadly representative of the membership of the Church, including men and women, clergy and lay people, a variety of geographical regions and theological emphases.
- 31. The Covenant process could provide a place where the evolving structures of the Communion can be discussed and agreed upon. The current practice seems to be the development of ad hoc agreements or actions based on reports which have not yet been received by the whole Communion. We affirm that “we do not favour the accumulation of formal power by the Instruments of Unity, or the establishment of any kind of central ‘curia’ for the Communion.” (105) In responding to the Virginia Report in 2001, many Canadians felt that the present structures serve well when used fully and creatively. “The personal and relational life of the Church is always prior to the structural. … Right structuring and right ordering provide channels by which, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ is discerned, the right conduct of the Church encouraged and the gifts of the many are drawn upon in the service and mission of the Church.” ('Virginia Report', 5.4) We would be wary of the over-development of structures which would make it difficult for the Church to respond quickly and easily to fulfill its mission in its local context. We are distrustful of the development of structural changes driven primarily by issues and in the midst of acute crisis.
7. The report of the Covenant drafting Group requests from Provinces an initial response to the fundamental shape of the covenant. We have experience in Canada of two previous covenants. The ‘New Covenant’ of 1994 is an invitation from indigenous peoples for the rest of the church to walk with them in partnership in a particular way. The ‘Waterloo Declaration’ of 2001 is also a relational covenant. In that Declaration, Anglicans and Lutherans in Canada declared themselves to be in full communion on the basis of a shared history and an affirmation of shared convictions. As churches in full communion we then made commitments to one another to ensure the closest possible collaboration and consultation to further our common mission in Christ. We believe that this shape of telling our common story, making common affirmations, and making commitments that arise from these is a helpful model.
8. Thus in this case, our approach was to analyze the motivation for the current draft; to assess the strategy employed to achieve that motivation and to examine the broad outline of how well that strategy has been achieved. With that in mind, we believe that there appears to be an overall consistency in both intent and presentation in the shape of the Covenant Design Group draft but the text itself could obviously be improved by careful editing. As already indicated, we are not able at this time to express an appropriate measure of consent to this text, as requested in the report of the Covenant Design Group, but study is continuing throughout our church.
9. We appreciate the emphasis on mission in the preamble to the document. We believe that the call to common mission could effectively become the central organizing principle of the covenant, and that this would be a faithful expression of the Anglican Communion’s vocation to proclaim the good news afresh in every generation. It would, however, require a shift in emphasis and ordering of the remaining sections of the document.
10. We also understand that our common mission originates in and returns to the eucharistic fellowship which is established by God the Holy Trinity. Only at the table of the Lord can we discern our common calling and be fed by common food for the journey.
11. We recognize that the community falls into disputes, and may need to have agreed upon means of resolving those conflicts as we stay at the table. However, we are troubled by Sections 5 & 6. Section 6 is an attempt to describe those means, but these sections have aspects which are non-synodical and raise serious concerns that will require broad consultation both in the Anglican Church of Canada and throughout the Communion. We are particularly concerned about 6.6. and the potential role and power of the Primates’ Meeting. We stress, as noted in para 31 of our response to Windsor, that this process needs to unfold over a much longer period of time, lest we create structures only in response to a particular crisis.
12. We thank the Covenant Design Group for their careful work on behalf of the Anglican Communion which we all love.
Adopted by the Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada November 19, 2007
Subjects
Anglican Church of Canada - Relations - Anglican Communion
Anglican Covenant
Covenants - Religious aspects - Anglican Communion
Conflict management - Religious aspects - Anglican Communion
Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican Communion Working Group
Anglican Communion. Covenant Design Group
Less detail

ANGLICAN COMMUNION WORKING GROUP #015-02-11-11

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official9877
Date
2011 November 18-20
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 13-11-11
Date
2011 November 18-20
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 13-11-11
Mover
Bishop James Cowan
Seconder
Major the Rev. Canon Michelle Staples
Prologue
Bishop George Bruce, Chair of the Anglican Communion Working Group, presented the report which outlined the Group's work and the proposed timeline for a decision on the Covenant.
Text
That the Council of General Synod thank the Anglican Communion Working Group and the Governance Working Group for their work and commend the Covenant for study and response to and from the dioceses and regions of the Anglican Church of Canada.
ADOPTED #13-11-11
Subjects
Anglican Covenant
Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican Communion Working Group
Anglican Church of Canada. Governance Working Group
Less detail

ANGLICAN COMMUNION WORKING GROUP PROPOSAL TO THE COUNCIL OF GENERAL SYNOD #015-07 & #015-08-08-11

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official9555
Date
2008 November 14-16
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 11-11-08
Date
2008 November 14-16
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 11-11-08
Prologue
Bishop Colin Johnson presented the report of the Anglican Communion Working Group. It was proposed:
Text
That the Council of General Synod give approval in principle to the Covenant process without committing to any specifics of text. APPROVED BY CONSENSUS #11-11-08
Notes
[Document] 015-08-08-11
ANGLICAN COMMUNION WORKING GROUP PROPOSAL TO THE COUNCIL OF GENERAL SYNOD
Summary of Proposal
This proposal responds to questions posed by the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and Anglican Consultative Council to National Provinces and suggests responses to those questions, and offers a further response to the St. Andrew's Draft of the Covenant. The ACWG recommend to the Council that they:
A give approval in principal [to] the Covenant process without committing to any specifics of text;
B advise the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the ACC of the synodical process by which a final draft of any covenant would be adopted by the Anglican Church of Canada; and,
C that the attached report of the ACWG (Appendix 1) be forwarded to the Covenant Design Group as a further response from the Anglican Church of Canada to the St. Andrew's Draft
Background
In May 2008, the ACWG presented a report for consideration by the Council which Council received and commended to the House of Bishops, and forwarding [sic] to the Covenant Design Group. Since then the ACWG met on 26-27 October to address the following:
1 Considered questions received from the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and Anglican Consultative Council; and
2 Examined "A Lambeth Commentary" a document produced by the Covenant Design Group after their review of the responses to the St. Andrew's Draft from the bishops attending the Lambeth Conference, and prepared a further response to the St. Andrew's Draft of a Covenant for the Anglican Communion (attached as Appendix 1 to this proposal) for consideration by the Council at its November 2008 meeting.
Rationale
Approval of this proposal continues the commitment made by General Synod 2007 to participate in the Covenant Drafting Process. It has implications for the participation of both the Primate in the Primates meeting of February 2009 and the Canadian delegates to the 14th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in May 2009.
Consultation
The ACWG has requested that the Chancellor of General Synod advise the Council with respect to question 2 from the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the ACC concerning the synodical process for approval of any final draft of the Covenant.
Financial Implications
The ACWG is pleased to report there are no significant financial implications beyond the necessity for a Conference Call in April 2009 after the final draft of the Covenant is issued to provide advice and guidance to delegates to ACC 14.
The Rt. Rev. George Bruce
Chairperson ACWG
Subjects
Anglican Covenant
Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican Communion Working Group
Less detail

ANGLICAN COMMUNION WORKING GROUP PROPOSAL TO THE COUNCIL OF GENERAL SYNOD #015-07 & #015-08-08-11

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official9556
Date
2008 November 14-16
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 12-11-08
Date
2008 November 14-16
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 12-11-08
Prologue
It was proposed that:
Text
The Council of General Synod direct that the attached report of the Anglican Communion Working Group (Appendix 1) be forwarded to the Covenant Design Group as a further response from the Anglican Church of Canada to the St Andrew’s Draft. APPROVED BY CONSENSUS #12-11-08
Notes
The proposal was tabled.
The Primate commended Ms. Eileen Scully, Coordinator for Ministry and Worship, for her work on the Covenant Design Group, saying she had carried faithfully the concerns of the Canadian Church.
015-07-08-11
Anglican Communion Working Group
Report to the Council of General Synod
The Anglican Communion Working Group met at Queen of the Apostles Retreat Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, on October 26th and 27th, 2008. The following were present for the meeting:
The Rev. George Bruce, Faith Worship and Ministry (Chair); the Rev. Maureen Crerar, Faith Worship and Ministry; Ms. Caroline Chum, Partners in Mission and Ecojustice; the Ven. Peter Fenty, Partners in Mission and Ecojustice; the Rt. Rev. James Cowan, House of Bishops; the Rt. Rev. Colin Johnson, House of Bishops; the Rev. Dr. Stephen Andrews, member of the Anglican Consultative Council; the Rt. Rev. Sue Moxley, member of the Anglican Consultative Council; Ms. Suzanne Lawson, member of the Anglican Consultative Council.
The Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Staff.
Regrets were received from the Ven. Iain Luke, Faith Worship and Ministry, who sent written comments.
PURPOSE
The Anglican Communion Working Group met to:
A review "A Lambeth Commentary" on bishops' responses to the St. Andrew's Draft of the Covenant for the Anglican Communion and to prepare a further response to this draft for forwarding to the Covenant Design Group; and.
B advise the Council of General Synod on an appropriate response to the questions posed to the Provinces of the Anglican Communion by the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council.
Task A
The Joint Standing committee of the Primates and the ACC referred the St. Andrew's Draft for an Anglican Covenant to Provinces for further comment and requested responses to the following questions.
- 1 Is the Province able to give an "in principle" commitment to the Covenant process at this time (without committing itself to the details of any text) ?
- 2 Is it possible to give some indication of any synodical process which would have to be undertaken in order to adopt the Covenant in the fullness of time ?
-3 In considering the St. Andrew's Draft for an Anglican Covenant, are there any elements which would need extensive change in order to make the process of synodical adoption viable ?
In response to question 1, the ACWG recommends that the Council of General Synod respond in the affirmative.
In response to question 2, the ACWG has asked the Chancellor of General Synod to advise the Council of General Synod on the necessary synodical process required for approval.
In response to question 3, the ACWG commends the following comments on the St. Andrew's Draft for an Anglican Covenant as an appropriate response from the Anglican Church of Canada.
COMMENTS
It continues to remain unclear whether the purpose of the document has been adequately explained in the draft text. We continue to believe that the inclusion of the "Introduction" into the body of the Covenant would go a long way to providing clarification. Nevertheless, as it is currently presented the document seems to have two conflicting purposes: one, which describes the nature of the Communion and our commitment to it, and another, (found mainly in the draft Appendix) which, delineates a process for resolving disputes where it is suggested that one or more Provinces are deemed to have breached the spirit of the document. The Lambeth Commentary affirms a covenantal focus which is relational, and opens a Pandora's box of potential complaints. We are able to affirm the statement of the CDG [Covenant Design Group] in "A Lambeth Commentary", pages 7 and 8, that the language of the draft covenant "can sound juridical", and that "the CDG will look again at the language used in the St. Andrew's Draft in order to find an idiom which reflects more adequately the relational intent of the Covenant".
AFFIRMATIONS
We congratulate the Covenant Design Group for their most recent efforts and believe that the text of the St. Andrew's Draft is a great improvement upon its predecessor. We are glad to note that many of the concerns raised by the Anglican Church of Canada have been addressed in whole or in part in the St. Andrew's Draft. As a result, we take heart from the responsiveness of the Covenant design process, in particular the responsiveness indicated in the document "A Lambeth Commentary".
We note particularly the following areas:
a. The changes incorporated into the St. Andrew's Draft indicate a serious effort on the part of the CDG to listen to the concerns expressed by the Provinces and are indicative of a desire for conversation and dialogue which form a valuable part of the listening process proposed by Lambeth 98. In both the Communique and the Commentary, there is clear recognition that this will be a slow and careful process and we are especially heartened by the work done by the CDG since the meeting of the Lambeth Conference.
b. We believe that the St. Andrew's Draft has taken into account concerns expressed about the role of the Primates Meeting. "A Lambeth Commentary" confirms the Canadian response to the Nassau Draft, and may indeed indicate the need for a further reduction in the international role of Primates.
c. The St. Andrew's Draft provides a much clearer recognition of the role of laity and of synodical decision-making processes in the dioceses and Provinces throughout the Communion. Efforts have been made to clarify understanding of autonomy and interdependence, though this may be being nuanced in the document "A Lambeth Commentary." (Question 9, page 10)
d. Fears expressed in some quarters that the Covenant could assume the form of a narrow confessional document have been significantly allayed in this draft. The intention of the CDG to include an amending formula to the covenant increases the unlikelihood of the document becoming a narrow confessional document.
e. The St. Andrew's Draft makes a serious effort to address the central role of worship and prayer as key in holding us together. While we affirm this, we note that the central role for both the Communion, and Anglican identity of worship and prayer, with emphasis on the Eucharist as the sacrament of unity in the body of Christ, is given inadequate expression in the Lambeth Commentary and should be enhanced in the Covenant document itself, not relegated to the Appendix alone.
f. Almost all Canadian resources expressed concern over the way "formularies" were addressed in Nassau Draft. We believe that the St. Andrew's Draft has made great strides in alleviating these concerns and we affirm the expressed intent of the CDG in "A Lambeth Commentary" to do even further work in this area.
g. The St. Michael Report (produced by the Canadian Primate's Theological Commission) recognized that doctrinal developments occur over time. The St. Andrew's Draft appears now to contain a similar recognition and while "A Lambeth Commentary" does not explicitly address this question, consideration to the inclusion of a reflection on the development of doctrine is needed.
h. We are pleased to see an addition to the preamble which recognizes the diversity to be found throughout the Communion.
i. We are pleased to see the reworking of the sections dealing with the "Instruments of Communion" as they are now placed in a more coherent and chronological fashion and are particularly glad to see the redefinition of the role of the Primates' Meeting as a gathering representing representatives of the Provinces and not as a quasi "curia".
j. We are also pleased that the CDG undertook redrafting of the paragraphs relating to the use of, and interpretation of, scripture. The new draft is much clearer particularly as it relates to the interpretation of scripture. We affirm the direction of the CDG as contained in "A Lambeth Commentary" in this area.
AREAS OF LACK OF CLARITY
There are still a number of areas where greater clarity is required. "A Lambeth Commentary" takes us an observation of our earlier report that there needs to be clarity around terms that are commonly used in the Communion but are received locally in very different ways. These differences in perception can be the source of some difficulty when coming to agreement. To assist the CDG in their efforts we offer the following understanding of those terms from a Canadian perspective, as was requested.
'episcopally led and synodically governed'
Canada was not established as a national Province with the subsequent development of dioceses, but the other way round. Our history mirrors civil federal and provincial structures (established in the same time period). This means that our national Province does not have the same degree of authority as some other national Provinces do in their jurisdictions. Governance of the episcopate occurs within the jurisdiction of the internal ecclesiastical provinces (we have four) and not the national Province. This may be unique to Canada and rather complicates the matter of jurisdiction and authority. Even here, we are aware that governance structures in Canadian society are coming under close scrutiny and that the days of autocratic leadership are largely over. Apart from the chairing of General Synod and the executive oversight of the General Synod Office, the Primate has no ordinary jurisdiction in any Canadian diocese. The Primate has no national authority apart from the power of suasion.
'the role of bishops'
Indeed the balance of power even for diocesan bishops exists in their ability to foster a spirit of collegiality amongst both clergy and lay people. Anglicans in Canada do not share a deference for episcopal authority that they once held or similar to that which is held in other parts of the Communion, but rather respond to an articulation of the gospel that finds resonance with the values and priorities of the people of the diocese. In Canada, bishops are elected by diocesan clergy and laity and are not appointed. Their election must receive concurrence from the bishops of the internal ecclesiastical province. Moreover, the Canadian House of Bishops has no canonical status apart from General Synod, a meeting in which they represent one of three orders; otherwise their role is only advisory.
'common mind'
In out particular context this means "a range of acceptable positions". These positions are not reached arbitrarily, but through consultation, prayer and testing with clergy and laity. Because of the need to engage the whole people of God in this discernment, we are critical of the assumption that the Primates are uniquely responsible for articulating a 'common mind' for the Communion.
'common standards of faith'
Again, this covers a range of practices that fall within the broadest standards of belief as articulated by the Lambeth Quadrilateral.
'relinquishment'
There are different views of relinquishment even within the Canadian Province. If the Covenant is primarily relational rather than juridical, then we do not see this as a disciplinary act by one party about another. One perspective is to define relinquishment as a knowing departure and a 'freely-willed decision' to opt out.
An alternative view holds that there may be circumstances where relinquishment would have to be seen as a secondary and indirect effect of some other decision. In the case of the United Church of South India, for example, they did not intend to leave the Anglican Communion, but that was seen by others as a necessary (though temporary) consequence of their determination to deal in a new way with the historic episcopate. A Province contemplating a step of similar magnitude might well believe that their actions should not lead to any loosening of relationships, but that decision is not solely up to the initiating Province.
The CDG comments in the current document seem to suggest that the decision to maintain or relinquish relationships will be up to the Provinces, severally, given that there is not agreement on empowering a central body to make that decision, and more importantly that the tenor of the Covenant needs to be relational through and through. If a Province were to take a step which resulted in all or nearly all the other Provinces curtailing their relationships, that would amount to relinquishment from this perspective.
Relinquishment may need to be understood not simply as a "choice to walk apart" made by one party, but rather as a consequence of certain other potential choices that the web of relationship, expressed in a covenant, is unable to bear. And this may be so even when the Province making such a choice does not directly will or desire the consequence; though it is given effect not be a regulatory body, but by the responses of the other signatories, acting severally. The difference (and distance) between these two views needs some further clarity and conversations within the Communion.
'essential concerns'
At one point in the recent history of the Communion it was said that the only way to leave the Communion was to disavow the Lambeth Quadrilateral. We have some sympathy with this understanding of what is an essential feature of our common life, but we also recognize that what the Church regards an 'essential' changes from generation to generation. We are not sure how such definitions can be determined in our context without reference to the Anglican formularies and broad engagement with the Church.
'wide consultation'
This is not a question so much of what 'wide' means, but what does 'consultation' entail ? Does this mean simply the sharing of information or does it imply the reaching of some consensus before any action is taken ? There is a third option demonstrated in the process involved in the consultation and revision of the Covenant. This has been beneficial since it is apparent that the results of consultation have influenced the modification of the proposed Covenant.
'development of doctrine'
Faith is dynamic; common standards of faith should always be provisional; the Spirit is at work continually transforming us. But we do acknowledge that the goal of our transformation is the unchanging Christ. We need to understand how discernment has happened in the past where doctrinal development has occurred. What is held in common at all times, however, is the conviction that this is a faithful development of the tradition; a development 'for this time' or 'for this body' (not necessarily universal).
'prophetic voice' (our addition to the list)
We note that this phrase, which is used in a compelling way in many parts of the Church, can be claimed by parties that hold apparently contradictory points of view. We do not deny that the Spirit is always urging us onwards and that the gift of prophecy is an important charism, but we are also mindful that there may be false prophets and prophecies. The question is how we distinguish between them.
AREAS OF OUTSTANDING CONCERN
The St. Andrew's Draft (Section 2) acknowledges the mission of the Anglican Communion as being part of the mission of the Christian church as a whole; however, it remains unclear in the text whether or how the Covenant will affect ongoing bilateral and communion wide dialogue with the Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches nor does it address in particular those churches with whom we are in full communion. For example the ACC/ELCIC [Anglican Church of Canada / Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada]; the IFI [Iglesia Filipina Independiente i.e. Philippine Independent Church]; The Porvoo churches; the Old Catholics and the United Churches of India and Pakistan. In Canada, we treasure our full communion relationship with the ELCIC as well as the relationships we have with other Christian denominations. This is also true for other Provinces of the Communion. Thus any further revision of the St. Andrew's Draft needs to take this into account.
We also note that there is no reference to the impact of the Covenant in interfaith contexts especially in parts of the world where Christians are in a minority.
We are pleased to note that the Covenant Design Group in its next revision of the text will address the methodology for amending the Covenant if and as it is required. However, is as is suggested in 'A Lambeth Commentary' (page 14), the Covenant addresses ways in which our present reality calls us to intensify our relationships within the Body of Christ, then what it says will be significant but not exhaustive for future generations. Thus the need for amendment would likely only apply to the processes or procedures for implementation which may change as a result of experience. This should reduce the complexity of any task of amending.
We continue to have great concerns around the content and tone of the Appendix as it was originally proposed and are pleased to note that the bishops at Lambeth affirm that same concern. The suggestion by the CDG of deleting the appendix and replacing it with a new Section 4 may be of some benefit although, we note, that in our context if the procedures for administering the Covenant were in an appendix, which seems to be the suggested contents of section 4, they would be easier to amend. In most Canadian dioceses regulations to Canons, for example, can be amended by a Diocesan Executive Council or similar body, without requiring a full Synod to approve.
We can support the suggestions for topics to be included in section 4 but we have great reservations about the hurried timeline that will be given for review of the revised St. Andrew's Draft as a final version of the Covenant text, particularly if the ACC [Anglican Consultative Council] meeting is to consider approving the text for distribution to Provinces to begin their approval process. It must be understood that in some Provinces the synodical decision making processes are different from others and providing a revised St. Andrew's Draft barely weeks prior to the ACC meeting in May 2009 will not provide sufficient time for consultation and advice. Finally, we suggest that if the procedures were included in a an Appendix it could be designated as a working document, for a period of perhaps a decade and then reviewed as to its effectiveness.
As noted earlier, we continue to believe that the Introduction to the St. Andrew's Draft must be an integral part of the Covenant document and find the argument contained in "A Lambeth Commentary" for not doing so to be unconvincing. We concur with the CDG in that the Covenant needs to be grounded in theological understandings of covenant and find the conclusion that the Introduction does not carry the weight of the remainder of the document to be baffling.
With respect to the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant Commission, we have many many questions. What is its composition ? What would its duties be ? What does "administering the Covenant" mean ? What is the relationship with the Pastoral Forum proposed at Lambeth and the Council of Advice suggested by the Windsor Report ? Where do the funds for this body come from ? And finally, why do we need it ? It seems to us that the task of administering the Covenant would fit well within the Anglican Consultative Council and its bodies.
CONCLUSION
We are appreciative of the open and transparent functioning of the CDG and have trust that comments from Provinces are being heard. We, along with the Bishops as noted in "A Lambeth Commentary", are satisfied that sections 1, 2 and most of section 3 are satisfactory to the Anglican Church of Canada. We acknowledge that some minor amendment to those sections may be required to provide greater clarity, but would have great concern if these sections underwent any significant amendment. We would have great concern if the existing appendix or proposed section 4 did not undergo substantial amendment and with a significant period of consultation.
Subjects
Anglican Covenant
Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican Communion Working Group
Scully, J. Eileen (Jennifer Eileen), 1964-
Less detail

Council of General Synod: Also going to Ottawa

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/article38380
Author
Sison, Marites N.
Record Type
Journal Article
Journal
Anglican Journal
Date
2013 May
Author
Sison, Marites N.
Record Type
Journal Article
Journal
Anglican Journal
Date
2013 May
Volume
139
Issue
5
Page
7
Notes
"In other news, CoGS [Council of General Synod]: agreed to recommend that General Synod ask the Anglican Communion Working Group (ACWG) to 'monitor continued developments' around the proposed Anglican Covenant. It requested that the ACWG render a report to the spring 2016 meeting of CoGS, and directed CoGS 'to bring a recommendation regarding the adoption of the Covenant' to the next General Synod in 2016". "General Synod will also be asked to act on various motions dealing with church governance, including a new proposal for deciding clerical and lay membership that could reduce the size of the governing body. The proposed formula will calculate General Synod membership that dioceses are entitled to, based on average attendance at four liturgical celebrations -- Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and the second Sunday in September -- over two years. The motion also stated that minimum diocesan representation should be one clergy and one lay member, in addition to the youth member and bishop, rather than two of each".
Subjects
Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican Communion Working Group
Anglican Covenant - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod - Membership
Church attendance - Anglican Church of Canada
Less detail

Draft covenant improves

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/article39431
Author
Sison, Marites N.
Record Type
Journal Article
Journal
Anglican Journal
Date
2008 September
Author
Sison, Marites N.
Record Type
Journal Article
Journal
Anglican Journal
Date
2008 September
Volume
134
Issue
7
Page
7
Notes
"The second draft of the proposed international Anglican covenant [called the St. Andrew's draft] shows 'a significant improvement' from the previous one although there are still some areas that require 'greater clarity', the Anglican Communion Working Groups told member of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) at its May [2008] meeting". The Working Group, chaired by Bishop George Bruce, said "its 'greatest area of concern' was with the 'unnecessarily legalistic' and 'unnecessarily antagonistic' tone of the appendix, which could open 'a Pandora's box of potential complaints'." "CoGS, by consensus, voted to receive the working group's report and to have it forwarded to the Covenant Design Group as a preliminary response to the St. Andrew's draft. It was also forwarded to the Canadian bishops 'for their use both before and during the Lambeth Conference'."
Subjects
Anglican Covenant
St. Andrew's Draft (2008)
Anglican Covenant - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican Communion Working Group
Anglican Communion. Covenant Design Group
Less detail

Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee : Windsor Response Group Report #022-05-07-03 : Resolution for General Synod

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official9356
Date
2007 March 8-11
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 21-03-07
Date
2007 March 8-11
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 21-03-07
Mover
Bishop Michael Ingham
Seconder
Rev. Edward Keeping
Prologue
Moved by: Dean Peter Wall
Seconded by: Mrs. Barbara Burrows
That this General Synod endorse the report of the Windsor Report Response Group, as adopted by the Council of General Synod (March 2007), and that the following be forwarded, along with the report, to the Anglican Communion Office and the Provinces of the Anglican Communion.
The Anglican Church of Canada:
- 1. reaffirms its commitment to full membership and participation in the life, witness and structures of the Anglican Communion;
- 2. reaffirms its commitment to the Lambeth Quadrilateral, as received by our church in 1893;
- 3. expresses its desire and readiness to continue our participation in the ongoing life of the Communion through partnerships and visits, theological and biblical study, in order to foster Communion relationships, including the listening process and the development and possible adoption of an Anglican covenant;
- 4. reaffirms its mutual responsibility and interdependence with our Anglican sisters and brothers in furthering the mission of the church;
- 5. notes that, in response to the Windsor Report, the Diocese of New Westminster expressed regret, and the House of Bishops effected a moratorium on the blessing of same-sex unions;
- 6. calls upon those archbishops and other bishops who believe that it is their conscientious duty to intervene in Provinces, dioceses and parishes other than their own to implement paragraph 155 of the Windsor Report and to seek an accommodation with the bishops of the dioceses whose parishes they have taken into their own care; and
-7. commits itself to participation in the Listening Process and to share with member churches of the Communion the study of human sexuality which continues to take place, in the light of Scripture, tradition and reason.
Resolution Regarding the Covenant #022-05-07-03 Revised
That this Council of General Synod:
a) Commend the document 'An Anglican Covenant Draft prepared by the Covenant Design Group, January 2007" for study by the dioceses of The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), responses to be delivered to the Director of FWM by September 14, 2007.
b) Authorize establishment of an Anglican Communion Working Group, following GS 2007, (similar in structure to the WRRG), in order to draft a Canadian response to the draft covenant for discussion at Fall 2007 meetings of the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee, the Partners in Mission and Eco-Justice Committee, the House of Bishops, and the Council of General Synod, and
c) Ask the Anglican Communion Working Group to monitor ongoing conversations on the Covenant within the communion, noting in particular any changes suggested by Lambeth Conference 2008 and decisions made by ACC-14, and report both to CoGS and to General Synod 2010.
Text
That the words “September 14, 2007” be deleted from the first paragraph and replaced with the words “January 15, 2008”. CARRIED
Friendly Amendment
That the word “Commend” be deleted from the first paragraph and replaced with the word “Refer”
That the words “Fall 2007” be deleted from the second paragraph.
The motion as revised now reads:
That this Council of General Synod:
- a) Refer the document ‘An Anglican Covenant Draft prepared by the Covenant Design Group, January 2007” for study by the dioceses of The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), responses to be delivered to the Director of FWM by January 15, 2008.
- b) Authorize establishment of an Anglican Communion Working Group, following GS 2007, (similar in structure to the WRRG), in order to draft a Canadian response to the draft covenant for discussion at Fall 2007 meetings of the Faith Worship and Ministry Committee, the Partners in Mission and Eco-Justice Committee, the House of Bishops, and the Council of General Synod, and
- c) Ask the Anglican Communion Working Group to monitor ongoing conversations on the Covenant within the communion, noting in particular any changes suggested by Lambeth Conference 2008 and decisions made by ACC-14, and report both to CoGS and to General Synod 2010. CARRIED 21-03-07
Subjects
Windsor Report
Anglican Church of Canada. Windsor Report Response Group
Anglican Covenant
Anglican Church of Canada - Relations - Anglican Communion
Homosexuality - Religious aspects - Anglican Communion
Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican Communion Working Group
Less detail

The Proposed Covenant of the Anglican Communion

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official10367
Date
2013 July 3-7
Source
General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Act 24
Date
2013 July 3-7
Source
General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Act 24
Mover
Chancellor David P. Jones
Seconder
The Ven. Dr. Harry Huskins
Text
That this General Synod:
1. request the conversation in the Anglican Church of Canada about the proposed Covenant for the Anglican Communion continue during the next triennium
2. request the Anglican Communion Working Group monitor continued developments about the proposed Covenant for the Anglican Communion, and report to the Spring 2016 meeting of the Council of General Synod; and
3. direct the Council of General Synod to bring a recommendation regarding the adoption of the Covenant to General Synod 2016.
Committee of the Whole
Moved by: The Very Rev. Louise Peters
Seconded by: The Rt. Rev. Michael Bird
That this General Synod move into an informal session for the consideration of this motion. CARRIED
Seconded by: The Ven. Dr. Harry Huskins
That this General Synod move out of informal session. CARRIED
The resolution was put and CARRIED Act 24
Subjects
Anglican Covenant - Anglican Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican Communion Working Group
Less detail

REPORT OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION WORKING GROUP #015-05-08-05

http://archives.anglican.ca/en/permalink/official9529
Date
2008 May 22-25
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 12-05-08
Date
2008 May 22-25
Source
Council of General Synod. Minutes
Record Type
Resolution 12-05-08
Prologue
The Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan introduced Bishop George Bruce, Chair of the Anglican Communion Working Group, who gave a presentation on the working group’s detailed examination of the text of the St. Andrews Draft, the Covenant Design Group’s second draft of the Anglican Covenant (Document #015-06-08-05). Bishop Bruce said that a third draft is anticipated following the Lambeth Conference and that the working group would meet again to review it.
Text
It was proposed
That this Council of General Synod receive the report of the Anglican Communion Working Group and direct that it be forwarded to the Covenant Design Group as a preliminary response to the St. Andrew’s Draft Covenant (Draft 2) and forward it to the bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada for their use both before and during the Lambeth Conference.
APPROVED BY CONSENSUS #12-05-08
Notes
015-05-08-05
Anglican Communion Working Group
Report to the Council of General Synod
For Action
That this Council of General Synod receive the report of the Anglican Communion Working Group and ask that it be forwarded to the Covenant Design Group as a preliminary response to the St. Andrew's Draft Covenant (Draft 2) and commend it to the bishops for their use both before and during the Lambeth Conference.
Moved by Colin Johnson, seconded by
For Information: The Report
The Anglican Communion Working Group met at the Aulneau Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on February 7th and 8th 2008. The following were present for this meeting:
George Bruce - Faith Worship and Ministry (Chair)
Maureen Crerar - Faith Worship and Ministry
Iain Luke - Faith Worship and Ministry
Caroline Chum - Partners in Mission and Eco-justice
Peter Fenty - Partners in Mission and Eco-justice
Allen Box - Anglican Consultative Council
Jim Cowan - House of Bishops
Colin Johnson - House of Bishops
Alyson Barnett-Cowan - Staff
Eileen Scully - Staff (as member of the Covenant Design Group)
Regrets were received from Sue Moxley and Suzanne Lawson (Anglican Consultative Council)
PURPOSE
The Anglican Communion Working Group (ACWG) met to review the responses to the Nassau Draft of by [sic] the Covenant Design Group (CDG) "An Anglican Covenant" (Draft 1), which had been received from Canadian Dioceses and individuals in order to prepare a detailed response to that document. However, in light of the issuance on February 6th, of the St. Andrew's Draft (Draft 2), the focus of the working group switched to a detailed examination of that text to determine whether its contents reflected the concerns which had been expressed by the Anglican Church of Canada. Responses were received from nine dioceses (Algoma, Athabasca, British Columbia, Calgary, Kootenay, New Westminster, Ontario and Toronto) and a total of five responses were received from individuals or small groups.
COMMENTS
It continues to remain unclear to the majority of the working group whether the purpose of the document has been adequately explained in the new Covenant text. We believe that inclusion of the new "Introduction" into the body of the Covenant would go a long way to providing this clarification. Nevertheless, as it us currently presented the document seems to have two conflicting purposes. One, which describes the nature of the Communion and our commitment to belonging to it, and another, (found mainly in the draft Appendix) which, delineates a process for resolving disputes where it is suggested that one or more Provinces are deemed to have breached the spirit of the document. We believe that further work is required to clarify this disparity because responses to Draft 2 and subsequent drafts will vary dependent upon which purpose has primacy. We also suggest that the addition of a glossary of terms might help overcome the differing understandings of some terminology used throughout the Communion and in the document e.g. the meaning of episcopacy and what is mean by episcopal authority.
AFFIRMATIONS
The working group congratulates the Covenant Design Group for their most recent efforts and believes that the text of this draft is a great improvement upon its predecessor. We are glad to report that many of the concerns raised by Canadian dioceses have been addressed, in whole or in part, in this revision. As a result, we take heart from the responsiveness of the Covenant Design process.
We note particularly the following areas:
a The changes incorporated into Draft 2 indicate a serious effort on the part of the CDG to listen to the concerns expressed by the Provinces and are indicative of a desire for conversation and dialogue which form a valuable part of the listening process proposed by Lambeth 98. In both the Communiqué and the commentary, there is clear recognition that this will be a slow and careful process and we are heartened to see that the CDG will meet again following Lambeth to produce a third draft.
b We believe that Draft 2 has taken into account concerns expressed about the role of the primates meeting and provides a much clearer recognition of the role of laity and of the synodical decision making processes in dioceses and provinces throughout the communion. Efforts have also been made to clarify understanding of autonomy and interdependence.
c fears expressed in some quarters that the covenant could assume the form of a narrow confessional document have been significantly allayed in this draft.
d Draft 2 makes a serious effort to address the central role of worship and prayer as key in holding us together.
e Almost all Canadian responses expressed concern over the way "formularies" were addressed in Draft 1. We believe that Draft 2 has made great strides in alleviating these concerns.
f The St. Michael's Report recognized that doctrinal developments occur over time. Draft 2 appears to contain a similar recognition.
g We are pleased to see an addition to the preamble which recognizes the diversity to be found throughout the Communion.
h We are pleased to see the reworking of the sections dealing with the "Instruments of Communion" as they are now placed in a more coherent fashion and particularly are glad to see the redefinition of the role of Primates' meeting as a gathering representing representatives of the provinces and not as a self styled "curia".
i The working group was also pleased that the CDG undertook redrafting of the paragraphs relating to the use of, and interpretation of, scripture. The new draft is much clearer particularly as it relates to the interpretation of scripture.
AREAS OF LACK OF CLARITY
There are still a number of areas where greater clarity is required particularly in the discussion of achieving a "Common Mind". Further elaboration on how this occurs is required. We are glad to see the redrafting of the paragraph relating to the "prophetic voice", but believe this area needs more expansion to address the role the prophetic voice plays in developing doctrine.
The working group also believes that there is a need for further clarification of what in the language of the Covenant is meant by the word "Church". An effort is made in the Commentary to clarify this but it remains unclear whether individual churches, dioceses or provinces are referred to. While this is an ecclesiological question it needs to be answered so that all readers understand the same thing. It also may have impact on who approves the Covenant.
AREAS OF OUTSTANDING CONCERN
The working group discussed possible problems that the covenant Draft 2 may cause for interfaith and ecumenical relations and dialogues. Although the draft acknowledges the mission of the Anglican Communion as being part of the Mission of the Christian church as a whole, it not clear how the Covenant will affect ongoing bilateral and communion wide dialogue with the Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Similar concerns were expressed with respect to inter-faith dialogues.
The working group also noted the absence of any formula for amending the covenant at a future date. Since in our opinion there is some provisionality in the nature and role of the Instruments of communion, this is an important issue.
Our greatest area of concern was reserved for the appendix. This is a document of great significance and the working group noted that there was a distinct change in tone in the language of the appendix and that while the tentative and provisional nature of the procedures outlined in the appendix is highlighted in both the Communique and the Commentary its presence as the only possible option for conflict resolution gives it greater significance than we believe is either intended or warranted. While it is scripturally based (Matthew 18) its tone is unnecessarily legalistic and offers little sense of reconciliation. Since the appendix is an expansion of paragraph 3.2.5.b "according to such procedures as are appended to this covenant", the working group believe that to respond adequately to it, a better understanding of the range of options which might be offered is required. In one Canadian Diocesan response, for example, a proposal was made for a Commission of Reconciliation. In these discussions, as in ecumenical conversations, starting from the point of what separates us is usually unhelpful. Any alternative model to that contained in the appendix needs to begin with an explicit recognition of what causes us to rejoice in each other acknowledging that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ (Philippians 4).
Beyond the unnecessarily antagonistic and legalistic tone of the appendix, we believe that it also opens a Pandora's box of potential complaints. It is is to continue in its present form there needs to be clear limits on what kinds of matters can be dealt with and which bodies can bring them forward. We are also concerned that the appendix casts the Archbishop of Canterbury in a quasi-judicial role and wonder whether there have been consultations with the Church of England as to their view on the imposition on the archbishop of these extra duties ?
CONCLUSION
The working Group commends Draft 2 of the Covenant to both COGS and the House of Bishops and offers the following resolution
Moved by
Seconded by
Respectfully submitted
The Rt. Rev. George Bruce
Chair, Anglican Communion Working Group
Subjects
Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican Communion Working Group
Anglican Communion. Covenant Design Group
Anglican Covenant
St. Andrew's Draft
Less detail

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