So: away for a brief time with family in Amsterdam and Bucharest and what happens? Things go to pot.
The Global South Steering Committee (GSSC), which by the way does not represent either the Global South or necessarily the actual church decision makers in their several provinces, but primarily themselves as Primates of the Anglican Communion, decides with their latest message, titled This is a Critical TIme to try to trump the following:
The September 30th so called "deadline" of the Dar Es Salaam Communiqué
The meeting between the Archbishop of Canterbury and some (but not all) members of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the ACC with the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church (mid September).
The work on an Anglican Covenant, reactions to a draft of which are expected by the end of the year.
The Lambeth Conference itself.
The role of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
While they give lip service to the September 30th deadline idea, they have already jumped the gun assuming that no acceptable assurances from The Episcopal Church will be forthcoming, and that the matter of "consequences must be taken up immediately by a called for meeting of the Primates. They believe the ABC/HoB meeting in September is a sham, and "undermines the integrity of the Dar es Salaam Communiqué." They kiss the idea of an Anglican Covenant, but then suppose that perhaps there will be a "new ecclesiastical structure" in the US to respond positively to such a Covenant. They are not willing to attend Lambeth unless there is change in the invitation list and the content of the meeting. "It is impossible for us to see how, without discipline in the Communion and without the reconciliation that we urge, we can participate in the proposed conference; to be present but unable to participate in sacramental fellowship would all the more painfully demonstrate our brokenness. The polarization surrounding the Lambeth meeting has been exacerbated because we are also unable to take part in an event from which a number of our own bishops have been arbitrarily excluded while those whose actions have precipitated our current crisis are included." They make no mention of the ACC, except to note its engagement in the September HoB meeting. They threaten new interventions in Canada. They present an alternative to Lambeth that excludes a large part of the Anglican Communion, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, who after all is not from the Global South nor from a church that is orthodox.
The body of men pulling this off this latest effort at an overthrow of the Anglican Communion is comprised of the following: (From the Global South webpages)
"President: Most Rev'd Peter J. Akinola, Nigeria
General Secretary: Most Rev'd John Chew, Southeast Asia
Treasurer: Most Rev'd Mouneer Anis, Jerusalem and the Middle East.
Most Rev'd Emmanuel Kolini, Rwanda
Most Rev'd Drexel Gomez, West Indies
Most Rev'd Bernard Malango, Central Africa
Most Rev'd Gregory Venables, Southern Cone
Assoc Secretary: Bishop Martyn Minns
Asst Secretaries: Canon Wong Tak Meng, Canon Terry Wong
Other Global South Primates do participate in some of the meetings as and when the need arises. The Most Revd Henry Orombi (Uganda) participated in the recent meeting in London."
Of the persons present at the London meeting the six Primates who are regular members include three whose Provinces have intervened in the jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church explicitly against the wishes of dioceses in whose jurisdictions the interventions took place. The other invited Primate (Orombi of Uganda) has done so and will do so again in ordaining US clergy for mission in the US as part of the Church of Uganda. The Associate Secretary Bishop Martyn Minns is, of course, a bishop in the Church of Nigeria resident in the US as a missionary.
So this statement comes from a group more than half of which have already written off various urgings of the Windsor Report, putting the lie to what they state in the statement, "We in the Global South remain committed to the underlying principles and recommendations of the Windsor Report…"
They are now clear in their write off of most of the Anglican Communion processes and decision making mechanisms in place. Having decided that this is a critical time, they are not about to miss the possibilities of the moment.
So expect the following to happen, most of which the Statement of the GSSC suggests, some of which we can make conjectures: The upcoming ordinations of bishops for the US and possibly one or several for the Anglican Church of Canada; the Common Cause Partnership move to form a council of bishops who will indeed begin the process of forming a new church that will give its input to an Anglican Covenant based on the existing draft but with some interesting "evangelical" overlays; the dismissal of any actions by the ABC/HoB as too late and too little; the pull back from the Lambeth Conference unless the will of the Archbishop of Canterbury completely collapses; a Fourth Meeting of the Global South "orthodox" and the claim that that is the first meeting of a new and improved Anglican Communion of the high growth, high energy, Gospel oriented REAL Anglicans. The stars will be out and they will include Minns in the ascendant, Duncan in the descendant, and Orombe claiming higher ground still.
My sense is that the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America are backwater, as are churches related to the Province of the Southern Cone and Egypt. South East Asia is a bit out of the running these days and Archbishop Gomez is moving on to retirement and the gentleman's role of keeper of the flame of reasonableness. The various churches in the Anglican Communion Network are biding their time until this "new ecclesiastical structure" emerges and the law suits give them a read on their futures. But at the moment there is profound silence for some and a move to the middle by others in the Network.
That leaves some of the Churches in Africa, or more specifically some of the leaders of some of the churches in Africa. This move to purify the Anglican Communion is finally an attempt by some Anglican church leaders in Africa, with the help of evangelicals in England and the US, to apply on a world-wide level the experience and results of the East Africa Revival. It will involve an attempt to form an entity in North America in which there is an Episcopal Church with evangelical roots cut loose from the "Englishness" of the past and open to revival in the moment and in the future; in doing so there will be the attempt to create a new Anglican Communion.
This mess is more of the same: they say, "we decry, we lament, we are saddened"… what they mean is "we are ready to take over." The GSSC has shown their true feelings: This is a critical time. But what they will get is not the Anglican Communion. They will get something else, maybe better, maybe worse.
But at the core is this: These folk are not interested in the Anglican Communion. They are interested in something else. Fine. But don't spit in the soup we eat. Sup from your own bowls.