The Anglican Communion Network site has been in its sleepy August quiet for the past two weeks. Yesterday, August 21st, it posted this welcome news: "Anglicans in Peru helping earthquake victims." It tells of the good work of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) in providing assistance to the Diocese of Peru and to its Bishop, William Godfrey. It does not say how much has been given, but provides directions about how monies can be forwarded for this specific work through the Diocese of Peru by way of ARDF. As will all such efforts to be of assistance in time of need, we ought to give thanks for this work.
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), an Episcopal Church agency, announced on August 20th that they have provided assistance to the Diocese of Peru and to Bishop Godfrey. Again, no specific money amount was given and readers were give directions as to how monies can be forwarded through ERD. Again, as with all such efforts to be of assistance in time of need, we ought to give thanks for this work.
I find it odd that there needs to be two agencies. ERD is a wonderful agency of long standing and offers a way to respond to almost every sort of emergency need. ARDF exists in part so that people in the ACN group can keep themselves clean from all taint of sin, I suppose, and give to people who are equally unwilling to have anything to do with the Episcopal Church.
Still, by whatever method, the need is great and the funds raised will be put to good use.
Two things of note: Bishop Godfrey and the Diocese of Peru have determined that they will receive funds from both agencies for the work they are doing with the victims of the earthquake. I think this is totally appropriate. But it does mean that they have taken a different stance from that of bishops and primates from other parts of the world who have refused to accept monies from any agency identified with The Episcopal Church in an official way. Good for them.
The second thing to note is that the press announcements of the ERD and ARDF efforts have one significant difference in tone:
ERD simply reports the effort, states the need, quotes the bishop and the ERD regional officer and tells how to make a donation. ARDF ends its announcement with this:
"The ARDF was created by the Anglican Communion Network in 2004 to be the strong hands of Christ reaching out in true partnership with brothers and sisters in the Global South. The ARDF is committed to helping its partners achieve real results on problems like those highlighted by the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals. ARDF supports solid, proven solutions, true to the living Gospel that feeds body and soul so that all may seek eternal life in Jesus Christ, and enjoy the abundant life He brings."
ARDF claims "true partnership," one supposes in distinction to the sorts of partnerships of other agencies (for example ERD?).
ARDF works with "The Global South." I would hope that this does not preclude working with , say the Province of Brazil, which is not part of the GS group, or with the diocese of Ohio if there was a need there.
I am glad to see that ARDF references the MDGs.
ARDF "supports solid, proven solutions, true to the living Gospel that feeds body and soul so that all may seek eternal life in Jesus Christ, and enjoy the abundant life He brings." Again there is the sense that they do, and others don't.
Be all of this as it may, I am not sure that the recipients of this assistance are particularly concerned about the differences between ERD and ARDF, but only in the care shown by Christians in contributing to their needs.
It strikes me that ERD and ARDF sound like the barkings of two dogs - and none of us ought be too concerned over the difference in sound, so long as the dog is running into the burning building to find us.
Please pray and give for the relief of the victims. Everything else will work out.