Thursday, January 10, 2008

Common Cause Bishops Receive Invitations to Jerusalem

There will be some who will be excited to read the text below and find that the Common Cause Bishops are being invited, by Bishop Duncan TEC Bishop of Pittsburgh, with their spouses to the week-long Conference in Jerusalem in June 08, a month in advance of The Lambeth Conference in Canterbury.

In contrast, there are those who are filled with dismay at this news. It seems to them as though the movement, centered in Africa (East and West) and supported by Sydney and the Southern Cone, not to attend The Lambeth Conference and to provide an alternative get-together for “the orthodox” in Jerusalem, is like a runaway truck on a hill.

All sense of the uniqueness of communion with the See of Canterbury, of the moral duty of Anglican bishops to attend the once-every-ten-years Conference, and of the exercise of godly patience (why not a Conference AFTER Lambeth?) seem to have been cast overboard from this truck going down the hill.

Bishop’s Duncan’s invitation (see below) is yet another significant step in the dismantling of the Global Anglican Communion. He and others will find that it is easier to tear down than to build up, and that to put Humpty Dumpty together again when shattered is impossible.

All very sad indeed.

Read on!

January 9th, 2008 Posted in Global Anglican Future Conference
Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Common Cause Partnership, a federation of Anglican jurisdictions in North America, has invited members of the Common Cause College of Bishops to join him and other Anglican archbishops, bishops, clergy and laity from around the world in Jerusalem June 14-22.

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), as the June conference is known, is being organized by a worldwide team of Anglican archbishops and bi shops. GAFCON’s primary goal is to move forward with the work of Christian mission and ministry among Anglicans, not to replace the Anglican Communion’s Lambeth Conference of Bishops slated for July and August of 2008. “This is an extraordinary development in our life together,” wrote Bishop Duncan.
“In the land where our Lord Himself came among us, the planners of the Global Anglican Future Conference (of which I am one) hope that we, as Anglican leaders, can re-commit ourselves to our apostolic call, under the Word, as we examine the emerging outlines of a missionary and post-colonial Global Anglicanism for the 21st Century,” he continued.

The full text of Bishop Duncan’s letter follows:

6th January, A.D. 2008 Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ

A worldwide gathering of bishops, their spouses and other key Anglican leaders will take place from June 15th to June 22nd at Jerusalem. With the unanimous support of the Global Anglican Future Conference leadership team, I am writing to invite all members of the College of Bishops of the Common Cause Partnership and their wives to participate. This is an extraordinary development in our unfolding life together.The Global Anglican Future Conference will bring together orthodox Anglican bishops from all over the world, especially gathering those who for reasons of conscience are unable to accept their invitation to this year’s Lambeth Conference, as well as some who believe it crucially important to attend both conferences. It will also gather some bishops and wives, especially true of the Common Cause College of Bishops, who were not invited to Lambeth.

The Primate or Moderator of each Province is responsible for providing the list of invitees to the leadership team (see below). Please signify to me your intention to attend. Having heard from you I will then send the central office (Oxford, UK) your contact information so that details of travel, registration, accommodation, conference and cost can be sent directly to you.

Each bishop will be responsible for his own expenses, and that of his wife, for travel, accommodation, meals and conference fees. I know that few among us will be prepared for this expense (except those who had originally been planning on Lambeth), but I hope that each one of us can find some way to make this extraordinary opportunity a reality.

In the land where our Lord Himself came among us, the planners of the Global Anglican Future Conference (of which I am one) hope that we, as Anglican leaders, can re-commit ourselves to our apostolic call, under the Word, as we examine the emerging outlines of a missionary and post-colonial Global Anglicanism for the 21st Century.

In addition to bishops and wives from every part of the Anglican Communion, it is our intent that a number of clergy and lay leaders, including young leaders, from every continent will be a part of the Global Anglican Future Conference. These places will be balanced according to provincial strength and will be allocated after bishops have registered. A conference maximum of 1000 is the present constraint.

When our Common Cause Partnership College of Bishops first met at Pittsburgh this past September, the hope was that the College of Bishops might meet twice during this next year. The Lead Bishops Roundtable, aware of the GAFCON invitation, has recommended that we take this extended international meeting as our 2008 opportunity to be together. I am sure you will see the wisdom in this.

The Common Cause Partnership Leadership Council met in the week before Christmas at Orlando. We had an exceptionally productive meeting. Details are available at our new website: I was elected CCP Moderator. Charlie Masters of Canada was elected General Secretary, and Patience Oruh of CANA was elected Treasurer. These officers, together with the members of the Lead Bishops Roundtable, were given charge to serve as the CCP’s executive committee. Please pray earnestly for the formative work this leadership team is now called to engage, including appointment of various committees and task forces to serve us all.Again, please respond to me - and as quickly as possible - with your initial response about desire or inability to attend GAFCON.

May God bless you, your clergy and people, the Global Anglican Future Conference, and the Common Cause Partnership in this New Year of Grace 2008.

Faithfully in Christ,+Bob Pittsburgh
Moderator of the Common Cause Partnership

Invitation issued on behalf of Archbishops Peter Akinola (Nigeria), Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda), Donald Mtetemela (Tanzania), Benjamin Nzimbi (Kenya), Henry Orombi (Uganda), and Greg Venables (Southern Cone), and Archbishops Peter Jensen (Sydney) and Nicholas Okoh (Nigeria), Bishops Bob Duncan (Common Cause North America), Martyn Minns (CANA), Don Harvey (Canada), Bill Atwood (Kenya), Michael Nazir-Ali (England) and Wallace Benn (England) Canons Vinay Samuel (India) and Chris Sugden (England)

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