The Anglican communion is about to split.
Or so says yesterday’s Guardian newspaper. It says that African bishops will walk out of the Primates Meeting in Canterbury next week over the issue of gay rights.
It yet another example of the press giving out speculation as news, the meeting does not start until Monday. Not only that, but the homosexuality issue is not that high on the agenda. The meeting is about how best to proclaim the Gospel.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, called the meeting to:
“It must also be a way forward, guided by the absolute imperative for the church to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, to make disciples and to worship and live in holiness, and recognising that the way in which proclamation happens and the pressures on us vary greatly between Provinces. We each live in a different context.
“The difference between our societies and cultures, as well as the speed of cultural change in much of the global north, tempts us to divide as Christians: when the command of scripture, the prayer of Jesus, the tradition of the church and our theological understanding urges unity.”
This is the job of the church. To do what Jesus told us to do in the Bible and to follow his leading now. This includes:
- Proclaiming Jesus to all people
- Supporting each other
- Listening and learning from each other
- Helping those in need
We can do this by:
- Telling our stories of God working, which encourages others.
- Tell stories of our needs, which allows others to pray for us.
- Do not try to hide, but confess our mistakes.
- Forgive one another for their mistakes
- Agreeing to disagree.
I pray for this to be included in the way forward. And so I look forward to hearing more of the challenges and successes of serving God in the Anglican communion in other countries.
As for the Guardian. Their prophesies of the death of Anglicanism have been seen to be wrong in the past.
Even if there is a split, remember there have been splits in the past, like when the Methodists left, it isn’t such a big deal.
Not an exhaustive list
[update, links fixed]