A presentation by the Anglican Church of Canada to the Anglican Consultative Council today, stresses that the church is still “in the midst of a conversation” on the issue of blessing same-sex unions and affirms that the church is committed to maintaining its membership in the Anglican Communion.
“We experience in our province many of the deep divisions that the Communion experiences, and believe that it is only possible to grow in our mutual understanding where our disagreement has not broken our communion with one another,” says a document that will be distributed to ACC members at the meeting in Nottingham, Eng.
The “key messages” that a group of four Canadian presenters are giving the ACC are part of an extensive kit of information which provides background documents to the Canadian church’s evolving position around the controversial issue of same-sex blessings. They are contained in a document entitled The Conversation in the Canadian Church.
The contents of the kit can be found here.
Canadian members of the ACC are attending the meeting, which began Sunday, as observers only, in response to a request by the Primates of the Anglican Communion that the Canadian and U.S. churches “voluntarily withdraw” their members from this meeting. However, the Primates also invited the two North American churches to make presentations to the council describing where the churches are in relations to same-sex blessings and the ordination of an openly gay bishop and the thinking and processes that have brought them here.
Other key messages which the Canadian presenters will share include a segment on how the Canadian church is led and governed, a description of diversity in the Canadian church and in society, the importance and influence of the Baptismal Covenant, and a segment on the importance of biblical authority and interpretation in the debate.
The kit also includes a letter from Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, the Canadian Primate, in which he expresses regret that Canadian actions have led to problems in the Communion.
“We have not always consulted with our brothers and sisters around the Anglican Communion and we deeply regret that the bonds of our mutual affection have been strained,” the Canadian Primate writes.
The Canadian presenters to the ACC, selected by Archbishop Hutchison in consultation with the officers of General Synod, are Dean Peter Elliott, Prolocutor of General Synod and Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in the Diocese of New Westminster, Maria Jane Highway, an aboriginal member of the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee, Robert Falby, Chancellor of the Diocese of Toronto, and Rev. Dr. Stephen Andrews, President of Thorneloe University and a member of the Primate’s Theological Commission.
The Canadian presentation is scheduled to follow a similar presentation by representatives of the Episcopal Church in the United States.
Vianney (Sam) Carriere is the director of communications for the Anglican Church of Canada.
- Kit contents
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