"The Global South Anglican group will recapture its initial vision as a gathering of Anglicans from countries whose political, economic and social systems are in serious flux and development, a gathering for the purpose of mutual mission strategy."
This week Dr Michael Poon of Singapore, theologian working with the Global South group wrote a detailed history of the rise of the group and made a plea for its return to its initial vision. Read it HERE.
About GAFCON (The Global Anglican Future Conference) he had this to say:
"GAFCON holds before the Communion a new and unfamiliar utopia that is post-modern to its core. Webmasters and web bloggers render synodical processes irrelevant. They preside over web blogs in the virtual worlds of their own fabrication. Its power in shaping public opinion on ecclesiastical authorities simply cannot be ignored. A communion that is no longer dependent on patient face-to-face encounters and governed by geographical proximity: it is a Gnostic gospel that renders the Cross in vain."
His essay requires a careful read.
Then there was this prediction from my blog:
"By virtue of hard work by a number of progressives there will be further work on a theology of Grace in creation that will contribute to an understanding of full participation of all baptized persons in all vocations to holy living for the healing of the world, a Gospel agenda."
A group of theologians and writers have just finished work at St. Deiniol's Library in England on a major new work on issues to be titled, Rebuilding Communion.
In task is described as follows:
"No one can deny that homosexuality is a key issue in contemporary Anglicanism; it is one of the causes of the present fracture in the worldwide Communion. St Deiniol’s has a tradition of providing a space for the discussion of issues confronting church and society. On one level, that is all we are doing. I hope we can approach the issue in new ways. For instance, the final section of the book looks at the issue from the perspective of human rights legislation, the African concept of ubuntu, conflict resolution in Bosnia and pastoral need in Canada.All the contributors to the book are committed Anglicans, not all of us are gay. We all want to see Anglicanism renewed and revived - we are passionate about this.
Most of us are Anglicans because we are attracted to its inclusive nature and its careful sifting of scripture, tradition and reason. For many of us, the ‘untidiness’ of the Anglican Communion is part of its attraction. We know that the health of our planet depends on the maintenance of our biodiversity. The same may well be true of Anglicanism. Our tradition is one of expressing faith through the cultures of our people. Consequently, our theology and ethics have often been shaped by pastoral care and concern. In a worldwide Communion, this is bound to lead to diversity and to suppress this diversity is to inflict a high cost on the freedom of the human spirit."
Then I wrote a series of predictions that have all been lumped together in the finality of the non-invitation of Bishop Robinson to Lambeth. It turns out that the inability of Lambeth to reconsider plays into several observations I made.
Let me say at the outset that Bishop Robinson's statement at the House of Bishops stands as a profoundly spiritual response to a very difficult situation. Read it in full HERE.
For the moment, however, I look back to my predictions:
"Bishop Gene Robinson will be at Lambeth whether or not he is physically present inside the walls. Not to invite him in is absurd." It turns out he will indeed be there, but in no way compromised by the degrading proposal that he set up camp in the Marketplace (an area set aside for the buying and selling of religious garb, ideas, books and so on). He will no doubt visit the Marketplace and speak in various venues. He says,
"I think I will go to Lambeth thinking about gay and lesbian people around the world who will be watching what happens there. I will go to Lambeth remembering the 100 or so twenty-something's I met in Hong Kong this fall, who meet every Sunday afternoon to worship and sing God's praise in a secret catacomb of safety - because they can't be gay AND Christian in their own churches. I will be taking them to Lambeth with me. They told me that the Episcopal Church was their hope for a different, welcoming church. They told me they were counting on us. Yes, the things we do in the Episcopal Church have ramifications far, far away - and sometimes those ramifications are good."
I observed, "not to invite him is absurd." That's no prediction. That's a fact.
Later I said,
"The Archbishop of Canterbury will not stop believing that the Windsor Report is an item in the Anglican portfolio that has continuing merit. He will be wrong." It turns out the Archbishop is bound to the Windsor Report with all the tenacity of a true believer. Hospitality takes second place to the call of the WR to exclude Bishop Robinson.
I also said,
"The icon of solidarity in the Anglican Communion (Canterbury focus) will be the Anglican Covenant, at least during the tenure of the incumbent Archbishop of Canterbury." The Anglican Covenant, now in its third draft is still the door that opens into international Anglican canons. That way lies the worse of Rome, where forgiveness of wrong decisions can take four hundred years. But for sure the Archbishop is stuck.
And then I predicted that,
So it's off to Lambeth. There the bishops will meet their greatest hopes and worse fears. It will turn out that Bishop Robinson is among the great hopes. That's a fact, not a prediction.