Friday, May 23, 2014

Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue meets in England

The fifth meeting of the Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue takes place in Coventry, England from May 22 to 25, 2014. The Consultation brings together Anglican bishops from Africa and North America in hopes of building common understanding and respect.

Beginning in 2010, a rotating group of approximately two-dozen bishops from Canada, the United States, and a number of African countries, have met annually at locales around the world. Their gatherings facilitate learning about each other’s contexts and finding pathways for healing and reconciliation. Their time together in Coventry focuses specifically on “Reconciliation in the Anglican Communion.”

This intentional dialogue was developed in response to theological controversies that strained relationships across the Anglican Communion in the early 2000s. These included issues relating to human sexuality and the blessing of same-sex marriages. In the face of pain and division arising from these controversies, Archbishop Colin Johnson of the Diocese of Toronto and the Rev. Canon Dr. Isaac Kawuki Mukasa, now Africa Relations Coordinator, spearheaded this important dialogue.

The bishops report this time together as one of powerful transformation and reconciliation. Kawuki Mukasa says that many at the table have grown tired of the tone of past discourse and that there is sincere interest in carving a new, respectful way forward. “There’s growing appetite for conciliatory voices in the Anglican Communion,” he says. There is also deepening appreciation that all who form this unique group carry out their lives and ministries as faithfully as they can in their contexts.

At the close of their last meeting, Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director of Reconciliation, invited the bishops to Coventry for their fifth face-to-face gathering. The setting in Coventry is especially fitting for the theme of the 2014 meeting given the city’s growing reputation as a hub for peace and reconciliation work. This includes strong Anglican contributions. The leadership and community at Coventry Cathedral responded to the World War II destruction of their building with forgiveness and commitment to reconciliation. This commitment is now lived out through a number of ministries addressing reconciliation around the world.

The members of the Anglican Church of Canada are asked to pray for the leadership and staff gathered in Coventry this week as they seek to listen to and learn from each other.

To learn more about the Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue, please visit the Anglican Church of Canada website.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

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