The Canadian delegates to the 14th Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting echoed sentiments expressed by other attendees of hope and optimism, albeit tempered by the reality that outstanding issues related to clashing views about human sexuality remain very much on the table.
“I came to this meeting quite burdened, quite worried. I have come home with evidence, not just hope, that the (Anglican) Communion will last and that we will be a part of it,” said Suzanne Lawson, lay delegate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The diocesan bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Sue Moxley, bishop delegate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said she came to the meeting “hopeful” because she saw how the 2008 Lambeth Conference of bishops “turned around” under the leadership of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the meeting managers. “I thought the same thing would happen. My expectations were met; this was light years better than the horrible experience we had at Nottingham,” she said. At that ACC meeting in 2005, the Canadian and American delegates sat on the sidelines after their churches were censured for their more liberal views on human sexuality.
Bishop-elect Stephen Andrews of the diocese of Algoma described the meeting as “a wonderful experience of just enlarging my vision of the nature of the church and the challenges that the church faces.” He said that, while he was “hopeful,” he was also taking back “the serious challenge that’s before us, particularly in terms of the covenant, because I do think that the communion is in a very precarious position.”
Both Bishop-elect Andrews and Bishop Moxley underscored the importance and urgency of the work that lies before a still-to-be appointed body tasked to look at possible changes to the covenant, and the standing committee that will give the final stamp before it’s sent out to member churches for approval.
Bishop Moxley said things need to happen soon, otherwise “everybody will start to get cranky.”