We’re ‘back on track’ after ACC-15 meeting

(L to R) Dean Peter Elliott and Suzanne Lawson brief Council of General Synod members about the 15th Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Auckland. Photo: Marites Sison
(L to R) Dean Peter Elliott and Suzanne Lawson brief Council of General Synod members about the 15th Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Auckland. Photo: Marites Sison
Published November 21, 2012

The legacy of the 15th Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting will be its “peaceful tone,” according to the representatives of the Anglican Church of Canada at the gathering held Oct. 27 to Nov 7 in Auckland.

ACC-15 was “a journey of light years,” said Suzanne Lawson and Dean Peter Elliott, who gave a report to the fall meeting of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) held Nov. 15-18 in Mississauga, Ont. They recalled the discord that characterized the 2005 ACC meeting in Nottingham, England. At that meeting, Canadian and American members sat on the sidelines, barred from active participation because of their churches’ more-liberal stand on homosexuality.

“We’re back on track, respecting differences,” said Lawson. The proposed Anglican Covenant was received as “a work in progress” and “there was no divisiveness around it,” she said. All 38 member provinces of the 77-million strong Communion have been asked to report on progress made in response to the covenant, which has been recommended as a way of healing divisions triggered by debates over the issue of sexuality.

Lawson and Elliott also:

· Reported that the Canadian church’s proposal to add a sixth Mark of Mission relating to peace, conflict transformation and reconciliation has now been appended to the fourth Mark of Mission. It will now read that the Communion’s mission is “to seek to transform unjust structures, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.”

· Urged Anglicans to join the various Communion networks, a number of which are led by Canadian Anglicans. Networks connect Anglicans with the same passion in such areas as the environment, health, relief and development and education.

· Spoke about the three cultural traditions that make up the Anglican Church in Aoteaora, New Zealand and Polynesia: Tikanga Maori, Tikanga Pakeha (non-Maori), and Tikanga Pasefika (Pacific Islanders). “There’s tension but it’s still a beautiful thing,” said Elliott. He noted how no theological student can graduate without one course in Maori; he or she is also expected to be able to speak to a congregation in Maori.

· Said that the Bible in the Life of the Church Project, which was presented to ACC-15, “puts to rest any concern that Anglicans aren’t fascinated by, or involved in the study of the Bible.”

· ACC-15 passed several resolutions addressing the issue of gender violence, among them urging member churches to get involved in the White Ribbon campaign, which raises awareness about domestic violence.

· ACC-15 addressed the issue of safety in churches by calling for the adoption by member churches of a charter for the safety of people within the church.

· Discussions around environmental concerns focused on their impact on food, energy and water. Many Pacific Islanders spoke about the potential extinction of their lands because of rising water levels.




  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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