Saturday, September 16, 2006

Continuers, Covenant and Co-operation

A proposal from two editors – Auburn Traycik of The Christian Challenge and Peter Toon of The Mandate – addressed to orthodox, continuing Anglicans in North America.

We sent this message primarily to those whom we know as the real Continuing Anglicans, who trace their origins via the St Louis Gathering in 1977 to the orthodox Anglican Way, as that had been known in the Anglican Church of Canada and in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA. However, we hope that others who have left these two Churches also to become Continuing Anglicans will prayerfully consider what we suggest.

On September 16, 2006, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, sent out a pastoral letter to the Archbishops and Presiding Bishops of the Anglican Communion of Churches. In it he stated that, as request by the Primates themselves, he had asked Archbishop Drexel Gomez of The Bahamas to chair a committee to draft a Covenant. The purpose of the Covenant is to bring together in basic doctrine, liturgy, morals and polity those Provinces, which will be, in the future, members of the “renewed” Anglican Communion ( and which may or may not be the same as those 38 Provinces which are the current members). [For the origins of the need for a Covenant see The Windsor Report of 2004.]

We believe that in the process of creating this Covenant, there is a unique opportunity for the genuine, orthodox Continuing Anglicans to make a solid and serious contribution to debate and dialogue within the Anglican Family worldwide and also in the present Anglican Communion (some of whose provinces and dioceses still confess the Anglican Way in the same traditional style as do the Continuing Anglicans).

Our suggestion is simple but we believe profound:

• that each of the several jurisdictions, which traces its ancestry back to the exodus of 1977 via St Louis, nominate a couple of persons, one clergy one laity;

• that the two from each jurisdiction join together to form a working party to draft a Covenant for submission to the committee headed by Archbishop Gomez;

• that the initial meeting be under the good auspices of The Christian Challenge in Washington D.C., where a chairman and secretary can be appointed and the work begin;

• that in order to get this started that each jurisdiction contact Auburn Traycik at Christian Challenge ( and that she uses her knowledge of Washington,the Continuing Churches and persons therein to facilitate the first meeting.

• That Peter Toon be used as a contact person to advise what kind of shape, style and size of document [not content!] is required, and is likely to gain the best reading/hearing.

We see this suggestion as in the providence of God achieving good ends – e.g., the provision on The Table at the centre of the Anglican Family of a fully orthodox, traditional Anglican statement of what truly is the basis, content and genius of the Anglican Way; greater cooperation between orthodox groups that have, through varied circumstances, walked apart in recent decades; and a renewal of mind and purpose for those who engage in this enterprise and which they can share with others in their churches. We cannot see anything negative arising from this way forward; rather, we believe, it is an open door being provided for Continuing Anglicans to share what God has given them with others around the globe.

To discuss this further, please call Mrs Traycik at the Office of Christian Challenge in Washington, DC.

Also, please commend this proposal to the Lord in prayer for his guidance.

Auburn Traycik and Peter Toon September 17, 2006


albion said...

I commend you on your proposal and have posted it on The Continuum.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Toon,

How would you respond to the Cont. churches that will not unite because of the female clergy issue? Is female clergy sufficient for the cont. church to not be "in communion" with Canterbury?