A summary of Anglican Consultative Council resolutions

[Episcopal News Service – Lusaka, Zambia] In a marathon legislative day April 18, the Anglican Consultative Council passed 44 resolutions. The resolutions, which will eventually be numbered in order of passage, are due to be posted here soon. Below, grouped by topic, are summaries of each.

Anglican Communion relations

Resolution 16.xx: Walking Together receives the formal report of the Archbishop of Canterbury to ACC-16 on the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting of January 2016; affirms commitment of the primates of the Anglican Communion to walk together; commits to continue to seek appropriate ways for the provinces of the Anglican Communion to walk together with each other and with the primates and other Instruments of Communion.

Resolution 16.xx: Ensuring both continuity and turnover of the leadership of the Anglican Consultative Council recognizes the importance of both continuity and renewal in the membership of the Standing Committee and its chair and vice chair; urges the Standing Committee, in consultation with its legal adviser, to consider amendments to the Constitution in order to ensure that the terms of the chair and vice chair are staggered (so that both officers are not elected for the same term at the same plenary session), that the other elected members of the Standing Committee can serve for specific staggered terms (so that both continuity and renewal can be achieved at relevant plenary sessions); requests that these proposed amendments to the Constitution be presented to the members for approval at ACC-17.

Resolution 16.xx: Resourcing the ACO and Lambeth Conference reaffirms Resolution 12.33 which urges each province to identify an Anglican Communion Sunday, for the purpose of raising awareness of the communion and for providing financial resources for the Inter-Anglican budget; invites provinces to stipulate the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury (May 26) as Anglican Communion Sunday; requests each diocese of the communion to budget for their participation in the forthcoming Lambeth Conference; reaffirms Resolutions 10.27 and 15.22 and calls upon all provinces of the Anglican Communion to contribute financially to the budget of the Anglican Consultative Council; urges the Standing Committee to consider a reduction in days of ACC-17 as a cost-saving measure.

Resolution 16.xx: Anglican Congress believes that an Anglican Congress emphasizing the participation of laity, young people and women would foster the relational nature of our life together in the Anglican Communion and support intentional discipleship in a world of differences; reiterates four previous ACC resolutions calling for a congress; urges the President and Secretary General to pursue the feasibility of holding a global congress by the end of 2025; requests the Standing Committee to address progress on the planning of such a congress at each of its annual meetings and report directly to ACC members about the planning.

Resolution 16.xx: Strategic Planning for the Anglican Consultative Council acknowledges work being done by the Standing Committee in a strategic planning process; encourages the Standing Committee to continue to develop this work by consulting with the members of the ACC and their provinces, as well as the communion’s networks and commissions; urge that the strategic plan be completed by May 1, 2017; welcomes the support of the Compass Rose Society in accomplishing this work.

Resolution 16.xx: Continuing Indaba commends the use of the learning from the Continuing Indaba process to strengthen relationships in local churches around the communion, enhance capacity to transform conflicts involving deeply held differences, support engagement between provinces to encourage new approaches to renewing relationships and commitment to shared life and witness, communicate how Anglicans understand and practice reconciliation; requests the Standing Committee to review the current resourcing of this work through the Anglican Communion Office.

Resolution 16.xx: Communications recognizes the vital role of communications in a digital age; encourages the Standing Committee to support the communications department in seeking new ways to tell our story to the world.

Resolution 16.xx Translation reaffirms Resolution 15.30 as regards to the translation of key documents; requests the Secretary General to explore the development of an efficient and cost-effective translation service for documents and other media deemed important for all Anglicans into the following languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili; report to the next meeting of the Standing Committee.

Ecumenical and interreligious relations (including Unity, Faith and Order)

Resolution 16.xx: Anglican-Methodist relations welcomes and commends for study, action and response the report of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity and MissionInto All the World: Being and Becoming Apostolic Churches; requests the World Methodist Council and the Anglican Consultative Council to invite those churches which are considering moving into a relationship of communion to study and learn from the examples and precedents noted in Section 10 of Into All the World, and to invite all churches to make use of the suggestions in its toolkits; requests two councils to establish an Anglican-Methodist International Coordinating Committee.

Resolution 16.xx: Anglican-Oriental Orthodox relations rejoice in work of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission in producing an Agreed Statement on Christology; recognizes it as a significant step of reconciliation across ancient divides; commends the statement to the churches of the communion “as a means to deepen faith in our Incarnate Lord, and as an opportunity to reflect on this faith together with members of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and with other Christians, as part of an ongoing process of reception.”

Resolution 16.xx: Anglican-Orthodox relations welcomes the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue’s, In the Image and Likeness of God: A Hope-Filled Anthropology; gives thanks for this “profound exploration of what it means that God has become human not only that we may share in the divine life, but also that we may become fully human;” commends to communion provinces for study, reflection and reception.

Resolution 16.xx: 500th anniversary of the Reformation recognizes the anniversary’s significance, which will be marked in 2017; encourages Anglicans to be part of the commemorations by joining in shared services, studying with Lutherans and other ecumenical partners, engaging with them in mission activities; recommends that Anglicans engage with the Lutheran World Federation’s focus: Liberated by God’s Grace.

Resolution 16.xx:  Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification welcomes and affirms the substance of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, signed by Lutherans and Roman Catholics in 1999; recognizes that Anglicans have explored the doctrine of justification with both Lutherans and Roman Catholics; recognizes that Anglicans and Lutherans share a common understanding of God’s justifying; recognizes that in 1986 the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission produced Salvation and the Church, which observed that the two churches agree on the essential aspects of the doctrine of salvation and the church’s role within it.

Resolution 16.xx: Anglican-Lutheran relations recognizes relationships that already exist between Anglicans and Lutherans globally; commends steps being taken by North American, British and Irish Anglican churches to bring the three regional agreements of communion into relationship; encourages Anglican churches in other regions to explore deepening relationships with churches of the Lutheran World Federation in a formal theological way following the guidelines offered in the 2012 Anglican-Lutheran International Commission report To Love and Serve the Lord.

Resolution 16.xx: Receiving One Another’s Ordained Ministry receives Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order’s (IASCUFO) report (beginning at page 20 here) as a resource in recognizing and receiving ordained ministry in their relationships with ecumenical partners; commends the report for study and action.

Resolution 16.xx: A Mission-Shaped Communion receives IASCUFO’s report (beginning at page 28 here) and commends for study as a resource to help communion churches and all Instruments of Communion “appreciate deeply the gift and responsibility of the communion.”

Resolution 16.xx: Instruments of Communion: Gifts, Signs, and Stewardship receives IASCUFO’s report (beginning at page 33 here) as a way to assist communion provinces “in recognizing and receiving the four Instruments of Communion as gifts”; commends the report to all who exercise leadership within the communion with particular attention to the Instruments of Communion.

 Resolution 16:xx: Exploration of dialogues with Evangelical and Pentecostal Churches appreciates work done by IASCUFO in deepening ecumenical relationships; notes growth of evangelical and Pentecostal churches globally; notes formation of the Global Christian Forum; directs Department for Unity, Faith and Order to explore the potential for dialogues with those churches.

Resolution 16.xx: Out of the Depths: Hope in Times of Suffering expresses appreciation of the Anglican Inter-Faith Network’s draft report, Out of the Depths: Hope in Times of Suffering; requests it be published by the Anglican Communion Office (including in Urdu and Arabic), depending on financial and staff resources; commends it to provinces for study.

Resolution 16.xx: Anglican interfaith engagement requests the Secretary General to work with the Standing Committee, and in liaison with the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to establish an inter-Anglican commission on interreligious relations, once necessary funds have been secured, to reflect on and coordinate experiences across the communion of encounter and dialogue with major world faiths, including but not limited to Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and Sikhism; commission’s continuation to be reviewed at ACC-18.

Resolution 16.xx: Translations and versions of the Bible notes proliferation of Bible versions in use for translation into local vernaculars, which are not based on the original biblical languages; invites provinces to consult as needed with IASCUFO as to its recommendations regarding which biblical versions to use for translation purposes.

Environment

Resolution 16.xx: Response to Global Climate Change receives and commends for study The World Is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice statement from 17 Anglican archbishops and bishops meeting in Volmoed, South Africa, February 2015; notes dire consequences of climate change for future generations and for all of God’s creation; recognizes global urgency of the crisis of climate change and its impact on the wellbeing of all people, especially the most vulnerable in societies; encourages Anglicans to join in pastoral, priestly and prophetic action, praying and fasting, including special fasts on the first day of each month and a Lenten “carbon fast”; designing and taking strategic actions toward sustainability and resilience in dioceses, communities and congregations; making changes to church investments to ensure visible support of a move towards a low-carbon economy; making energy efficiency and access to renewable energy a priority in all church operations; teaching the Fifth Mark of Mission in theological and church-sponsored educational bodies; urging political, economic, social and religious leaders to address climate change crisis as the most pressing moral issue of our day consistent with the United Nations’ 21st Climate Change Conference, Paris 2015; recognizing and supporting indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent in decisions concerning the environment and the wellbeing of communities; advocating for sustainable water, food and agricultural practices; requests provinces to consider appointing a contact person to the Anglican Communion Environmental Network to report to the network so that a full report may be made to the next ACC meeting.

Resolution 16.xx: Reducing ACC Carbon Footprint notes high carbon footprint occasioned by travel related to meetings of the Anglican Communion; appreciates current use of electronic meetings and commits itself to reducing its carbon footprint by further utilizing electronic meetings whenever possible; urges Finance Committee to direct monies saved by such meetings to the Anglican Alliance in their efforts address the world refugee crisis and human suffering as a result of conflict and drought.

Resolution 16.xx: Intentional Discipleship acknowledges with gratitude the work of the Anglican Witness Core Group accomplished in the last six years and particularly the work of advancing discipleship; asks all Anglican communities to adopt a clear focus on discipleship and produce resources for the work; commends report Intentional Discipleship and Disciple-Making: An Anglican Guide for Christian Life and Formation; requests Standing Committee to work with the Secretary General and Mission Department to effect a Season of Intentional Discipleship for a period covering ACCs 16, 17 and 18; and report to ACC-17 on progress.

Resolution 16.xx: Anglican Alliance affirms the work of the Anglican Alliance in promoting a Christian paradigm of relief and development that responds to God’s holistic mission in the world and upholds a vision of human dignity, flourishing, interdependence and self-reliance, strengthening the connectivity and sharing of prayer, capacity, skills and resources for development, relief and advocacy through the Anglican/Episcopal family of churches, agencies and networks as part of their intentional discipleship; encourages participation of all provinces (and ACC members acting as a link, focal point and ambassador) in the activities of the Anglican Alliance, reaching the most remote and marginalized, by promoting two-way communication (through a variety of media and technology) of good news stories and models of good practice from around the communion.

Safe Church

Resolution 16.xx: Safe Church Commission requests Secretary General to establish a Safe Church Commission, once necessary funds have been secured, upon the terms set out in the report of the Anglican Communion Safe Church Network (beginning on page 20 here).

Resolution 16.xx: Anglican Communion Safe Church Charter reaffirms commitment in Resolution 15.09 to promoting physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all people, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults through the Charter for the Safety of People within the Churches of the Anglican Communionrecognizes charter as a practical expression of walking together in the service of God in the world; requests provinces to report to ACC-17 on steps taken to adopt and implement charter.

Resolution 16.xx: Protocol for the disclosure of ministry-suitability information welcomes the protocol for disclosure of such information between communion churches of the Anglican Communion set out in the report (beginning on page 18 here) of the Anglican Communion Safe Church Network; requests Secretary General to provide template of forms for the provinces to enable implementation; requests each province consider implementing the protocol, and report to the next ACC meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.

Resolution 16.xx: Safe Church and the 2020 Lambeth Conference requests Archbishop of Canterbury to consider including a session on the Anglican Communion Safe Church Charter for the Lambeth Conference in 2020.

Solidarity

Resolution 16.xx: Solidarity with Burundi expresses solidarity and support for the Anglican Church of Burundi as it continues to strive for justice, peace and reconciliation for all God’s people in its region; expresses thanksgiving for leadership of the Anglican primate of Burundi and other Christian leaders; calls upon people to work for unity, peace and stability; supports a truth and reconciliation commission; draws attention to the ongoing humanitarian needs of refugees and internally displaced persons; expresses sympathy to those families who have lost loved ones; asks all parties to end violence.

Resolution 16.xx: Support for South Sudan prays for peace and reconciliation in South Sudan; and prays for Bishop Gwynne College.

Resolution 16.xx: Support of the Anglican Province of Southern Africa expresses solidarity and support for Anglican Province of Southern Africa as they continue in the struggle for equality of opportunity for all God’s people in their region with particular thanksgiving for the leadership of the primate of Southern Africa and other Christian leaders.

Resolution 16.xx: Solidarity with Pakistan reaffirms Resolution 15.28 on religious minorities in Pakistan; expresses solidarity with all persecuted churches in Pakistan.

Resolution 16.xx: The Church of Ceylon notes the resolution of the General Assembly of the Church of Ceylon and its aspiration to regulate its own affairs and govern itself independent of the metropolitical authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury; welcomes the formation of a commission by the Church of Ceylon to consult widely and further this work; affirms its support for the Church of Ceylon as it makes this journey; requests the Standing Committee in considering any future request to take into account the unique situation of this national church which is passionately engaged in the work of reconciliation especially as it emerges from a long period of civil war.

Resolution 16.xx: Asia Bibi stands in solidarity and prayer with Asia Bibi, convicted under the Pakistani blasphemy law 295c, who remains in prison; urges that her case be re-investigated and that she be honorably acquitted; stands in solidarity and prayer with other victims of law 295c and d.

Women, Men and Families

Resolution 16.xx: Women and Men in Church and Society urges provinces to continue to work on empowering girls and boys, women and men to live and work in relationships that reflect Christian values of love, dignity and justice by fostering awareness of harmful gender norms, cultural practices and unjust power relations; encouraging and supporting church leaders to take responsibility for modeling just relationships, promoting gender equality and for leading their people in challenging and ending gender-based violence; transforming structures that prevent women and girls from offering their gifts and talents in the church and in their communities; fully involving men and boys as well as women and girls in exploring and redefining just and equal gender relationships; exploring how liturgies, contextual Bible study and existing ministries such as preparation for baptism, confirmation and marriage can serve in the promotion of right relationship and intergenerational teaching about the God-given dignity and status of all persons.

Resolution 16.xx: International Anglican Family Network Resolution welcomes the work done by the International Anglican Family Network as it networks across the communion to celebrate the God-given potential of the family as a source of thriving relationships, identity, belonging, discipleship and reconciliation; calls on provinces to support IAFN in its efforts to safeguard children’s identity, dignity and security through practical means such as birth registration and in responding to the abuse of trafficking and other forms of exploitation, strengthen the family as a foundation for human flourishing and to build up resilience and work for reconciliation and justice in the home and the community.

Resolution 16.xx: Gender Equality and Justice recommits itself to resolutions ACC13.31 and ACC14.33 calling for equal representation of women in decision-making bodies; to ACC15.07 concerning the elimination of all forms of gender-based and domestic violence; and to ACC15.10 concerning the ending and preventing of the trafficking of persons; upholds just relationships between women and men as a reflection of our Christian belief that women and men are equally made in the divine image; celebrates the encouraging progress made across the Anglican Communion to address key challenges to gender justice; supports U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and empowerment; welcomes the Message to Our Church Leaders and the Anglican Consultative Council from the International Anglican Women’s Network and commends it to all Anglican provinces for consideration and action; requests provinces to adopt the above resolutions, cooperate with the International Anglican Women’s Network by nominating a provincial link to the network, and offering financial support where possible; report to ACC-17 on progress.

Resolution 16.xx: Statements from Anglican delegations to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women receives and commends to the provinces the statements from the Anglican delegations who participated in the 59th session (March 2015) and 60th session (March 2016) of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Youth

Resolution 16xx: Anglican Youth Network celebrates the importance of young people in God’s mission and their witness to the Gospel in a world marked by deep divisions; acknowledges their energy, creativity and determination in evangelism and in their baptismal commitment for service in the world; challenges provinces to include young people in the decision making; commits to finding ways to include more young people in ACC’s life and work; urges provinces to support the renewal of an Anglican Youth Network by providing spiritual, financial and structural efforts for this purpose; requests Secretary General to consult with youth members of ACC-16 to effect this resolution.

Resolution 16.xx: Youth Representation on the Anglican Consultative Council requests that the Standing Committee consider changes to the constitution to allow for youth membership of the council, consisting of one youth member from each of the five regions as reflected in the current regional representation of the Primates’ Meeting Standing Committee.

Other resolutions

Resolution 16.xx: Anglican Lusophone Network celebrates and recognizes emergence of the Anglican Lusophone Network of Portuguese-speaking Anglicans.

Resolution 16.xx: Representation at the United Nations in Geneva and New York acknowledges importance of ACC representation to U.N. institutions in Geneva and New York; recognizes ACC’s engagement with the many and different programs of the U.N.; encourages the provinces to engage with and support this work.

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