ACIP refines idea of indigenous bishop

Published December 1, 2005

The Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), at its regular fall meeting, took several steps toward developing and supporting an office for a national indigenous bishop. Meeting in Toronto from Oct. 26-29, the group began to plan the implementation of a decision made in August at the national native Sacred Circle gathering in Pinawa, Man.The council formed three working groups, according to the director of the national church’s partnerships department, Ellie Johnson, who attended the meeting as a guest. ACIP co-chairs and staff were not available for comment. One group, chaired by Archdeacon Eileen Apetagon of the diocese of Keewatin, will suggest candidates for a selection committee, devise a selection process, and develop terms of reference and a job description. At the Sacred Circle meeting, the primate, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, said he was committed to appointing a national indigenous bishop within one year and said he wanted the broadest consultation among native communities as to potential candidates for the post.A second ACIP working group, chaired by Rev. Andrew Wesley of Toronto, will develop a five-year plan for the bishop’s position, including location of a secretariat, financing and logistics. It is intended that the bishop be an elected position, but since the only episcopal electoral process currently takes place within diocesan synods, a new process must be devised. A third group, chaired by Rev. Hannah Alexie of the Arctic, will work on communications and consultations with native communities and with the wider church, Ms. Johnson said.


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