News for Week Ending 9/1/2008
Archbishop of Canterbury writes bishops on LambethArchbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams wrote to Anglican bishops last week offering his personal views on the recently concluded Lambeth Conference. The letter, is consistent with earlier statements. Williams expressed satisfaction with the outcome of Lambeth, which, he pointed out, was not intended to resolve all the conflicts in the Anglican Communion ommunion. Church Times reported on the letter and reprinted it here.
Primates’ Council meets, issues communiquéThe Primates’ Council established at the June Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) met for the first time in London between August 20 and August 22. (See Pittsburgh Update story on the conclusion of GAFCON here.) A communiqué from the meeting was released only last week, however. The statement appeared over the names of the Anglican primates of Nigeria, Southern Cone, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. The statement expressed a certain appreciation of the work of the Lambeth Conference while expressing great pessimism that the moratoria, covenant, and Pastoral Forum promoted by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will do much to satisfy the constituency of the writers.
The communiqué mentions a letter sent to Nigerian primate Peter Akinola just before the Council meeting by bishops serving in the U.S. and Canada under primates outside North America. That letter strongly rejects the course being pursued by Williams.
Stories on the Primates’ Council statement have been published by, among others, The Living Church, the Guardian, and the Telegraph.
New Westminster seeks to regain control of parishesThe Diocese of New Westminster of the Anglican Church of Canada announced on August 26, 2008, that it is invoking a canon to return control of two parishes, St. Matthew’s, Abbotsford, and St. Matthias and St. Luke, Vancouver, to the diocese. Four clergy at these parishes have voluntarily left the ordained ministry of the Canadian church and claim to be serving in their parishes under a bishop of the Southern Cone. According to a diocesan press release, all officials at the two parishes have been dismissed, new wardens have been appointed, and new priests will be appointed “in due course.” More information is available on the diocesan Web site here. A Canadian news story on the latest development in New Westminster can be found here.
The New Westminster synod voted in 2002 to ask Bishop Michael Ingham to allow the blessing of same-sex unions. The bishop issued a right of blessing in 2003. More details are available here.
San Joaquin ordains deacon, gains access to funds, and moves forwardEpiscopal New Service reported on various events in the reorganized Diocese of San Joaquin in a story published August 29. On August 24, the diocese saw its first ordination of a deacon since the December 2007 vote promoted by then bishop John-David Schofield to leave The Episcopal Church. On August 25, a California Superior Court judge approved a stipulation ensuring that Bishop Lamb must agree to any expenditures made from diocesan funds claimed by Bishop Schofield and allowed access to certain disputed funds to continue the operation of the Evergreen Conference Center of Oakhurst. (See Pittsburgh Update story on the San Joaquin litigation here.)
San Joaquin’s upcoming October diocesan convention, has been dubbed “Episcofest 2008.” The four-day event has a single two-hour business session scheduled and is described as “Celebrating Community, Family, Fellowship.” Episcofest 2008 includes workshops, cookouts, and worship.