THE GLOBAL SOUTH STATEMENT FROM CAIRO EGYPT – SEVEN TAKEAWAYS
By the Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, President & CEO of the American Anglican Council
With everything still fresh in mind, I'd like to point out seven take-aways from the Global South Communiqué which you can find in its entirety at:
1. The Anglican Church in North America is fully recognized and in communion with the largest ecclesial body of Anglicans within the Anglican Communion.
The Primates and other delegates gathered from across the Global South recited their history as an official “ecclesial body” of the Anglican Communion since 1994. They celebrated the 2015 decision of the Global South Primates to welcome the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as “a partner Province” of the Global South, which includes all of the GAFCON Provinces, representing the vast, numerical majority of Anglicans within the Communion. They elected “ Archbishop Foley Beach ( North America )” to the Global South Primates Steering Committee.
What this means is that the ACNA doesn't need to worry about recognition from Canterbury or other “ecclesial bodies” like the Anglican Consultative Counsel for its Anglican “bona-fides.” The majority of Anglicans in the world today recognize our Anglcan identity and our status as the Province of North America, they have entered into communion with us and welcomed us into the councils of their Churches.
This Communique is unrelenting in its focus upon the person and work of Jesus Christ! The fundamental need of the world is for the bread of life, “Jesus Christ himself.”
As Christians, we can't do this in our own strength. Instead, we confess our own brokenness before God and rest in the peace of Christ who “opens our eyes and inflames our hearts with love so that we can interpret life in the light of His holy word [the Bible].” Mission is all about Jesus, repentance before Him, resting in His finished work on the Cross, and looking at the world through His eyes and the lens of Holy Scripture!
One cannot understate paragraph 21 of the Communique, which reaffirms the confessional and doctrinal identity of Amglicanism: a faith “uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures…and set forth in the catholic creeds,” and in the teaching of the Ancient Fathers, the Councils of the Church and the historic Anglican Formularies (the Thirty-Nine Articles, the BCP 1662 and the Ordinal) that are agreeable to the Scriptures.
Likewise, one cannot underestimate the clarity of the statement in paragraphs 24-25 condemning those Anglican Churches who have “departed from the historic faith and order of God's people” by (1) authorizing liturgies and making pastoral provisions for blessing of civil unions of same-sex couples, (2) authorizing liturgies for the blessing or solemnizing of marriage of same sex couples, and (3) the consecration of bishops, ordination of priests and making of deacons who live in same sex unions. “Churches that condone these practices are severing themselves from their own spiritual roots…undermin[ing] their moral witness to their own societies and causing huge confusion among the Anglican faithful in our Churches.”
For the millionth time, it's not about sex. That's merely the tip of the iceberg. The historic faith and order of the Church itself, the very nature of the Gospel, is at stake-and Global South and GAFCON Anglicans recognize this.
There s a wonderful note of humility and repentance in this Communique: “We recognize that division and dislocation among orthodox Anglicans have arisen during the disputes on human sexuality.” I wish to add my own personal observation and experience at this conference that there was such humility, graciousness, and repentance among Global South and GAFCON Anglicans who have sometimes differed on strategies and approaches. In Cairo , I experienced a loving and gracious commitment by all to work together “in guarding and propagating the good deposit of faith that we have received.”
This Global South communiqué does not mince words. It bluntly convicts the existing Communion Instruments (the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference of Bishops, The Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates Meetings) as having lapsed into incoherence.
Note how paragraph 28 specifies six ways in which the Communion Instruments have failed: (1) failure to discern truth and error; (2) failure to take binding ecclesiastical action; (3) failure to discipline Anglican church leaders who have abandoned the biblical and historic faith; (4) failure to halt the marginalization of faithful Anglicans in herterodox Provinces; (5) failure to prevent the deposition of faithful Anglican leaders and, in some cases, even sanctioning them, and (6) sending conflicting signals on issues of discipline which confuse Anglicans worldwide and weaken confidence in the Instruments.
The citation from Jeremiah 2:13 is a poignant lament on the failure of the Communion Instruments to draw from the fountain of historic and biblical faith, and to substitute structures that are incapable of holding any authority at all. And so the Communique draws the only, inevitable conclusion: “The Instruments are therefore unable to sustain the common life and unity of the Anglican Churches worldwide…”.
One lament leads to another: the Provinces of Scotland, Canada and Wales have further deepened the crisis by recently moving to change their Canon teaching and practice in relation to same-sex union, in willful and defiant disregard of the Primates gathering Communique of 16th January 2016.
But then the Communique turns its attention to the Mother Church itself, the Church of England (COE). In the context of just condemning those Provinces so closely linked, geographically and historically, to England , the communiqué goes on the say “We are deeply concerned that there appears to be a potential move towards the acceptance of blessing of same sex union by COE. And then it concludes with a not-so-subtle warning: the acceptance of the blessing of same sex union by COE “would have serious implication for us should it occur.”
So, what's the punchline? It's in paragraphs, 32 & 33:
32. The present and potentially escalating crisis poses challenges to the Global South in the shepherding of her people. We recognize the need for our enhanced ecclesial responsibility. We need to strengthen our doctrinal teaching, our ecclesiastical ordering of our collective life as a global fellowship and the flourishing of our gifts in the one another-ness of our mission.
33. The Global South Primates will therefore form a task force to recommend how these needs can be effectively addressed.
Several Archbishops and Bishops present at this Global South Conference shared their reflections on the meaning of this Global South Communique. Among them, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria, said:
“It expresses our collective frustration, hope, and counsel to the Anglican Communion leadership on the state of our communion. It shows our faith, determination, and effort to restore this communion to wholeness. And it shows we are getting ready for the possibility of further deterioration, that we should be able to speak and act decisively.”
The Global South has spoken. The Global South and GAFCON together are watching to see what the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Mother Church of England will do next.
Steve Spencer, 59, son of Elaine Spencer, passed away Sept. 28, 2016. Our prayers are with Elaine, Steve's brothers, Bryan, Greg, and Phil, along with the entire family.
Nicholas Chibuikem Okpara, son of Uche & Chin Okpara, was baptized on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 during the Service of Holy Communion. The service ending in Thanksgiving for their son, Cole, was followed by a beautiful reception and luncheon in the Parish Hall. Our prayers are with Uche, Chin and baby Cole.
Thank you to Cheryl and George Yapp and Tutu Balogun for being at the LOVE INC Pie Fundraiser Sat., October 1, 2016, and congratulations to Cheryl Yapp for winning 2 nd place in the pie contest.
Appreciation goes to all who were at the Work Day, Sat., Oct. 22 nd , 2016 and helped clean and do other chores around the church.
We were blessed with much food at the 5 th Sunday Pot Luck meal on Oct. 30 th . Thank you to all who fixed food.
Please give to family and friends.
We are collecting adult coats for the ministry of LOVE INC. A box is provided in the narthex.
of the Tinley Park/Orland Hills Ministerial Association
Nov. 20, 2016 at 5 p.m. at Faith United Presbyterian Church, 6200 W. 167th St ., Tinley Park , IL
ST. ANDREW the APOSTLE Day Wed., Nov. 30, 2016
Feast of St. Andrew at 6:30 p.m.
Holy Communion Service at 7:30 p.m.
NEXT YOUTH MEETING
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016
MISSIONARIES OF THE MONTH
Please pray for the Rev. Canon Bill and Diane Jerdan. Bill is the Executive Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions, and he and Diane travel to oversee our mission outreaches abroad.
HAVE A BLESSED THANKSGIVING