Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Way Forward Conference, Ottawa, September 30th

[Friends, This provides a clear statement of the aims and objectives of the Way Forward Conference due in Canada on August 30th. Happily, it clearly states an intention to abide by the classic Anglican Formularies, something which The Network in ECUSA is yet to do! Perhaps the word "orthodox[y]" is over-used. Let us hope that the public worship of the Meeting is not below the level required by the Formularies but rather dynamically and reverently uses the services of the classic BCP! It will be a great loss to orthodox intentions if the "BAS" is the primary means of worship! Peter Toon ]

The Way Forward Conference, Ottawa, September 30th
Dear Friends
August 30 – September 1, 2004: Orthodox Canadian
Anglicans from across the country, bishops, clergy and laity, have gathered here
in Ottawa for an historic conference boldly called THE WAY FORWARD. At this
conference, we are hoping that all traditional Anglican constituencies from
across our country will unite to affirm, before the world, three things.
First, a renewed Canadian Anglican orthodoxy that aims to recover the
principles of our heritage.
Second, a mutual determination to support and
expand orthodox Anglican ministry in this country through faithful witness to
the truth of the Gospel.
Third, our unity with faithful, orthodox believers
within the worldwide Anglican Communion.
It is our hope that as we now come
together, we will be bound in common cause by our allegiance to the principles
that have traditionally bound all Anglicans together: The complete canon of Holy
Scriptures as the foundational principle of our faith, the Solemn Declaration of
1893, the Book of Common Prayer as the Standard of doctrine and worship, and the
39 Articles of Religion.
At this conference, speakers and forums will deal
with questions regarding the way in which Christians are required to remain
faithful within a church struggling with excessive diversity, fundamental error
and, in the opinion of most “conservatives”, an apostasy which has infiltrated
its very core. They will here and now consider how Anglicans may repudiate
institutional decisions that contradict the clear teaching of Scripture while
remaining faithful members of the Body of Christ, His Holy Church, against
which, as He assured us, the gates of hell shall not prevail (Matt 16:18).
are excited to announce that the Conference’s keynote speakers will include
Archbishop Greg Venables (Primate of the Southern Cone), Bishop Bob Duncan
(Moderator, Anglican Communion Network), Bishop Wallace Benn (Steering
Committee, Anglican Mainstream UK), Dr. Bill Atwood (General Secretary,
Ekklesia), Reverend George Sinclair (Chairman, Essentials Council), Reverend
Charlie Masters (National Director, Essentials Council) and others.
As the
official sponsors and organizers of THE WAY FORWARD, the Essentials Council has
as its goal, the objective of providing a forum for the establishment of a new
national federation of orthodox Anglican constituencies. Such a Federation will
be a partnership of all Canadian Anglicans committed to the recovery and renewal
of the orthodox heritage of our tradition, a partnership that will enable us to
plan, act, respond and speak in national unity through genuine
Proposals for formal structures of representation on “The
Federation” will be considered and acted upon at this Conference. As a critical
first step, we anticipate that this Conference will establish an interim
steering/executive committee comprising representatives of bishops, clergy, and
laity from across the country, assisted by the Essentials Council executive, to
enact whatever formal elective and/or representational structure the Conference
endorses for the new Federation.
Many delegates will be anxious to see the
commissioning of a second body, currently being referred to by our planning
group as “The Network”. This body would be charged specifically with the task of
formulating and creating new provisions of adequate oversight for traditional
Anglicans who find themselves, either now, or in the future, caught in
situations of impaired or broken communion.
In order to gather the widest
possible representation, we have invited every Canadian Anglican, who shares a
deep concern for the recovery of those principles that the founders of our
Canadian church so clearly expressed in their Solemn Declaration, to come to
this conference. We have especially urged the leaders of every traditional
Anglican organization, network, constituency or group to be present, here in
Ottawa, with us today. We want your views to be represented in this historic
discussion. We want your voices to be heard and honoured by all those attending
this conference.
While we recognize that the representative body formed
during this conference will be an interim solution pending an elective process,
we are committed to “putting a stake in the ground” by September 1st and thus
taking the first step toward a long-term orthodox solution in Canada. In the
next few days there will arise many vital questions surrounding the future of
traditional Anglicanism. We can all benefit from the shared thinking of
like-minded Anglicans and from the faithful teaching of our orthodox Bishops as
we gather here in Ottawa and begin the work of instituting a new orthodox
Anglican Federation in this country.

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