(Information below will help to understand the upcoming Primates Meeting. What is not stated here is that there will be a preliminary session involving the lady Primate and three ECUSA bishops in order for the Primates to get a sense of where is the ECUSA and what are is real intentions.)
[ENS] The Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) (http://www.anglican.or.tz), under the leadership of the Most Rev. Donald Leo Mtetemela, will host the 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion for their February 14-19 meeting at the White Sands Hotel in Jangwani Beach near Dar es Salaam -- Arabic for "Abode of Peace."
International concerns facing the Primates will include discussion of a report focusing on the response of the Episcopal Church's 75th General Convention to the Windsor Report (http://www.anglicancommunion.org/windsor2004); a presentation on the Millennium Development Goals (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_77743_ENG_HTM.htm) and the work of the Poverty and Trade Task Team, introduced by Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, and Hellen Wangusa, recently appointed Anglican Observer at the United Nations; and conversations about the future of the Church in China and its relationship with the Anglican Communion.
Sessions will also be devoted to reports on the Panel of Reference (http://www.aco.org/commission/reference/index.cfm), which considers situations where congregations are in serious dispute with their bishop and unwilling to accept his or her episcopal ministry; an Anglican Covenant (http://www.aco.org/commission/covenant/index.cfm), proposed in order to give explicit articulation and recognition to the principles of co-operation and interdependence which hold the Anglican Communion together; the Listening Process(http://www.aco.org/listening/index.cfm), which strives to honor the process of mutual listening, particular to the experience of homosexual persons; a proposal for an in-depth worldwide study of the way Anglicans interpret the Bible; and theological education.
On Sunday, February 18, the Primates will travel by boat to Zanzibar for a Solemn Eucharist in the Anglican Cathedral -- where the altar is built over an old slave trading post – as the people of Zanzibar commemorate the 100th anniversary of the last slave sold on the island and the 200th anniversary of the end of slavery in the British Empire.
In a recent statement (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_81880_ENG_HTM.htm), Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori underscored her commitment to the collaborative work of the Primates' Meeting.
Full story: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_82218_ENG_HTM.htm
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Anglican Primates: nearly one third are new to meeting
By Matthew Davies
[ENS] Twelve of the 38 Anglican Primates will be new when the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) hosts the February 14-19 Primates Meeting at the White Sands Hotel in Jangwani Beach near Dar es Salaam.
Since the Primates last met in Northern Ireland in February 2005, new ones have been elected in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia; Australia; Brazil; Burundi; Hong Kong; Indian Ocean; Ireland; Japan; Korea; Scotland; Southeast Asia and the United States.
The Primates' Meeting is one of the three instruments of communion in the Anglican Communion, the other two being the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), the Anglican Communion's main decision-making body. The Archbishop of Canterbury, as primus inter pares, or "first among equals," is recognized as the focus of unity for the Anglican Communion, as resolved by the ACC at its June 2005 meeting in Nottingham, England.
Each province relates to other provinces within the Anglican Communion by being in full communion with the See of Canterbury. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, calls the Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of Primates, and is president of the ACC. The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, serves as secretary. In Tanzania, the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, will attend the Primates' Meeting for the first time in his capacity as Primate of England. Williams, as chief pastor of the Church of England, is Primate of All England.
The term "primate" means senior archbishop or presiding bishop of a province in the Anglican Communion. In some provinces the primate is also called Archbishop and/or Metropolitan, while in others the term Presiding Bishop -- or as in Scotland, Primus -- is preferred. In some provinces the term is translated to the local language, such as Obispo Primado in the Province of the Southern Cone (South America).
In the United Churches of South Asia, the Moderators of the churches are invited to the Primates' Meetings by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Since 1979, the Primates of the autonomous Churches of the Anglican Communion have met regularly in consultation on theological, social, and international issues. Meeting locations include Ely, England in 1979; Washington, USA in 1981; Limuru, Kenya in 1983; Toronto, Canada in 1986; Cyprus in 1989; Ireland in 1991; Cape Town, Southern Africa in 1993; Windsor, England in 1995; Jerusalem in 1997; Oporto, Portugal in 2000; Kanuga, USA in 2001; Canterbury, England in 2002; Brazil, May in 2003; London, England in October 2003; and Newry, Northern Ireland in February 2005.
The Provinces and Primates of the Anglican Communion, as well as biographical information, is available at http://www.anglicancommunion.org/primates/biog/index.cfm.
The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon MA., D.Phil (Oxford)