From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Message to Primates of Anglican Communion and Anglican
06 May 1996 06:10:33
ANGLICAN COMMUNION NEWS SERVICE
Canon James M. Rosenthal, Director of Communications
Anglican Communion News Service
157 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UT, England
Tel. 44 0171 620-1110 email@example.com
Fax 44 0171 620-1071
MESSAGE TO THE PRIMATES OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION
AND THE MEMBERS OF THE ANGLICAN CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL
9 September 1995
^From the delegates of the Communion gathered to undertake the mid-
point review of the Decade of Evangelism at Kanuga, North Carolina,
USA, 4 - 9 September 1995.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We send you our joyful greetings in the name of our risen Lord. We
praise God for you and for the leadership you provide for us. We
have prayed for you.
As you requested at the Primates'/ACC Joint Meeting at Cape Town in
1993 we have met for the last five days to review the Decade of
Evangelism in the Anglican Communion, and to look to the future.
Our discussions have been set in a context of vibrant worship which
has blended songs, liturgies, prayers, music and dance from many
parts of the Communion and which has inspired us. It has also shown
us how rich is our heritage in the Communion and what the
possibilities of worship can be. It has been backed by a team of
We have been especially encouraged by the presence of the Archbishop
of Canterbury here and his addresses to and dialogue with us. His
presence signalled to us and to the whole Communion his commitment
to mission and evangelism. We appreciated his wish to see four gifts
of God in the Communion - the ability to say sorry; the humility to
receive from others; the capacity to give and receive; the gift of
risking failure, for that is when God steps in.
We find it hard to overstate the impact of this Conference on us as
delegates, not only because of the breadth of representation and
experience, but also because of the challenge to repentance,
reconciliation and closer working together that we have received. We
hope there will be further opportunities for members of our
Communion to engage in consultations of this nature.
Our hearts have been encouraged as we have heard and discussed many
stories from all Provinces of the grace of God at work in evangelism
and mission. In and through these He is speaking to His Church.
We have been challenged as we have heard of the witness of
Christians caught up with their peoples in war, poverty and the
effects of global inequality. We recognise too the challenges of
witness among peoples of other faiths and the struggles of Churches
facing decline in Europe, North America and Australasia.
We give thanks to God for many reports of growth in numbers of
Christians, for development of Christian spirituality, and, as part
of the witness of faith, of Christians taking seriously their
engagement with the social needs and the cultures of the societies
in which they are set.
When the decade began the idea of evangelism was threatening to many
Anglicans. There are still tensions and differences of understanding
and approach among us. We believe, however, that the four principles
of the Lambeth Quadrilateral provide a sufficient basis to hold
those tensions together.
^From all the reports we have heard we believe that there is clear
evidence of a growing commitment to fulfil Resolutions 43 and 44 of
the last Lambeth Conference.
Because of your call for the Decade, evangelism is taking a more
central and accepted place in the life of our Churches.
We are particularly concerned both to release the ministry of
evangelism throughout the Church and to challenge many aspects of
our Church's life that are indifferent to evangelism.
We attach great importance to the role of lay people in evangelism,
particularly women, from whom we heard a special presentation. We
call for attention to be given to evangelism among children and
We have asked the Conference Planning Committee to prepare a full
report of our consultations. MISSIO, the Communion's Mission
Commission, will make recommendations from it.
We look to you as leaders of our Church in evangelism to receive
these reports and reflect on the lessons we have learned and the
proposals we make.
We call on you to lead us forward in a renewed commitment to
evangelism in the second half of this Decade and into the next
millennium. We need your leadership now.
We recognise that this will involve risks and ventures of faith, but
as a Church we are called to walk by faith and trust in a God who so
loved the world that he risked His Son to reconcile all things to
Your sisters and brothers in Christ,
The delegates gathered at Kanuga.
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