Thursday, 6 March 2008

Joint Standing Committee discusses Lambeth Conference, Windsor Process

The Lambeth Conference and issues relating to the Windsor Process were the primary concerns addressed at the February 29-March 4 meeting of the Primates/Anglican Consultative Council Joint Standing Committee which was held in private at the London-based Anglican Communion Office.

While much of the conversation focused on process and the respective roles of the Joint Standing Committee, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was elected to the Primates Standing Committee in February 2007, said it had been "enlightening, not only to get to know people and to build some relationships, but to hear more about the different contexts in which people function and the ongoing frustration with how much time we spend talking about conflict rather than mission."

The committee registered its appreciation for the work of the Lambeth Conference Design Group, but noted that particular details of the meeting are still being worked out and that fundraising is a continuing need for the once-a-decade gathering of the Anglican Communion's bishops. More than 800 bishops have been invited to attend the July 16-August 3 conference in Canterbury. A separate conference for the bishops' spouses will run concurrently.

The committee acknowledged that five primates have said their bishops will not be attending the Lambeth Conference, "but recognized that some bishops from those provinces are expected to attend," Jefferts Schori said. "The hope is that more will certainly decide to attend."

The bishops are invited to Lambeth on an individual basis and not on behalf of or through their primates, Sue Parks, Lambeth Conference manager, told ENS.

Jefferts Schori said the Joint Standing Committee occasionally acknowledged differences of language and understanding language. "We functioned in English but that does not mean we are still speaking the same language," she said. "It's not just American and British English, but also its usage around the Communion, and I wonder if that might not be a source of difficulty in our conversation, certainly in some of the responses the Joint Standing Committee has had to address from particular provinces around the Communion."

Those conversations about understanding language are particularly relevant to interpreting the Windsor Report, the Presiding Bishop said, especially since "there has been an assumption that in some parts of the Communion it means x and the faithful interpretation in other parts of the Communion that it means y or z." Read more
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1 comment:

Revd John P Richardson said...

And this is precisely why the Joint Standing Committee ought not to be allowed, as is currently proposed in the Anglican Covenant, to have the final say, in certain cases, about disputes in the Communion.