Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some Words from the Global Center: Comunicado de la Conferencia de las Iglesias Anglicanas de América Acerca de su Mutua Responsibilidad en la Misión

Bishop Murray called me last night upon his return from Costa Rica. He said the conference was wonderful. Five primates were present (but not the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone. However, two Bishops from the Southern Cone attended) and the discussions were fruitful. He asked that I post this communiqué.

Communiqué of the Conference of the Anglican Churches of the Americas in Mutual Responsibility and Mission
February 22-27, 2009

Delegations from the Provinces of the Anglican Church of Brazil, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of the Central Region of America (IARCA), the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Mexico, the dioceses of Uruguay, Peru and Cuba met in San José, Costa Rica from February 22 to 27, 2009. Present with the clergy and laity at the conference were the Most Rev. Mauricio Andrade, the Most Rev. Martin Barahona, the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Most Rev. Carlos Touche Porter.

For this historic conference, we invited all provinces in the Americas and the Caribbean to discuss our mutual responsibility in mission, to discover a sense of amazement in being together in the Body of Christ through prayer, reflection and return to action, to reaffirm the unity of the Church, to make communion real and tangible, and to reaffirm our need for each other. During these days together we rejoiced in the love of God.

We send greetings to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, to all provinces of the Anglican Communion, Primates and Moderators, to all our sisters and brothers in Christ in the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are grateful that the primates of the provinces of the Southern Cone and the West Indies gave us their permission to invite their individual dioceses to meet with us.

Present at the conference as the keynote speaker was the Rev. John K. Kafwanka, Research and Project Officer for Mission and Evangelism in the Anglican Communion, who challenged all present to evangelize in effective and creative ways.

During our time together we shared the Eucharist, engaged in Bible study, presented the work in our provinces, dioceses and local churches, focusing on the Five Marks of Mission. We committed to support each other in advocating with the poor for a world that more closely reflects the Kingdom of God.

We also reflected on possibilities for future mission within the contexts of:

* the relationships and efforts toward unity fostered during the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Bishops,
* the need to act ecumenically,
* the political and economic realities in the world impacting our ability to live out our mission,
* the growing urbanization of the world,
* the desire to conserve and preserve our environment,
* the Communion´s role in promoting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and
* the emerging and growing role of Indigenous peoples in the Church.

We spoke about our hopes and dreams, and shared a vision of our future together as Churches in the Americas and Caribbean. We acknowledge that there are tensions within our beloved Anglican Communion, yet we know that there is much more that we have in common. Our unity begins with our baptism which makes us ministers of God´s grace in the world.

We share a world, but know that God´s mission has no borders. Our communities are challenged by the world´s economic crisis, the degradation of creation, the alienation of our youth, and the growing disparity between rich and poor. In the midst of these challenges, God calls us to proclaim in both word and deed the Good News of the Kingdom to all whom we encounter.

As we face this critical time in the Americas and the Caribbean, we are guided by the spiritual wisdom that comes from the stories and teachings of the first Christian missionaries in the Book of Acts that we studied during our time together. “But Peter said, ´I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, stand up and walk.´” Acts 3:6. We are challenged by the message of Acts to proclaim that “another world is necessary and possible,” but also to act urgently to promote the fullness of life that God intends for each of us.

God has given each of our provinces many gifts, and calls us to share them with our brothers and sisters. We must all learn how to receive those gifts, as well as give them. God has made us all mutually responsible for His mission of reconciling the world and our interdependence in Christ makes this possible.

In the context of our dialogue, we call on the Anglican Consultative Council to accept a proposal it is due to consider during its meeting in Kingston, Jamaica in May 2009 to add a sixth Mark of Mission: peace, conflict transformation and reconciliation.

We thank all who made this conference possible, including the Design Team, Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America, and our hosts in the Diocese of Costa Rica. We pledge to maintain and deepen the relationships we have made during our time here. We pledge to work together for God´s mission in this part of the world and we pray that we will meet again.

I see that Caminante scooped me on this! ¡Felicidades, hermana mía!

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