Members of TC3, The Toronto Children’s Concert Choir, perform during an evening of prayer, music and dance among Afro-Anglican youths during the Afro-Anglicanism conference in Toronto.
Delegates to the third Afro-Anglicanism Conference held in Toronto last July criticized the Anglican Consultative Council, urged greater participation by youth and called for adoption of the United Nations’ international development goals.
“We have wrestled with deep sincerity with the complex issues of human sexuality. We have sought to explore very faithfully all the moral and spiritual imperatives which are before us as Christians. The vast differences of approach have been evident in our dialogue,” delegates said in a communiqu© released at the end of the conference. “Nevertheless, we have not departed from the sacred truths of our common humanity. We have all been created in God’s image.”
The conference, which drew over 250 participants from Africa, the Caribbean, Britain, Canada and the United States, also passed a resolution asking the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) to restore the full participation of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) in the council. The resolution expressed regret that both North American churches were, at the request of primates of the Anglican Communion, “excluded from full participation” in the recent meeting of the ACC in Nottingham.
The ACC is “too important an instrument of unity – reflective as it is of all orders of ministry in the church – to be hampered in its work of sustaining unity and total dialogue in the Communion,” said the resolution. “We therefore decry this act of marginalization and request that the provinces have access and participation in this forum.” The conference also expressed its support for the call of the Lambeth Commission for bishops not to interfere in the internal affairs of provinces and to “respect the territorial borders of such provinces, dioceses and parishes.”
The conference, held every 10 years, also called on Anglican churches around the world to:
- adopt the Millennium Development Goals issued by the United Nations to, among others, end poverty and hunger, and combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases;
- use their influence to “bring peace with justice in the troubled areas of the world” like Zimbabwe, the Darfur region of the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Northern Uganda, and Haiti.
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, welcomed conference attendees, noting that Canada includes “a variety of indigenous languages and cultures” and has been “enriched by Afro-Anglicans with their distinct spirituality.”
He also said he felt he needed to apologize that some delegates from Uganda were not able to come to Canada due to problems with the federal immigration department.