Tuesday, November 6, 2012

News from New Zealand - 10

Tuesday 6 November – The weather shifted from blue clear and warm sky, to wind and now showers. I could not stay to the end of today’s agenda, for an informative session this evening on witnessing in a multi faith context, as too much sneezing and a runny nose compelled me to go back to the hotel.

I am grateful for the dinner hosted on Monday night by tikanga Pakeha (the European ‘thread’ of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia). We enjoyed beautiful music by the diocesan school for girls’ choir. This morning we continued with our daily rhythm of worship, fellowship and work. Our business included discussion of the Continuing Indaba project. You can read more about it at http://continuingindaba.com/, and my own words about what the concept and practice of indaba might mean for the Communion, at http://continuingindaba.com/2012/06/15/indaba-and-scripture/. (There is also a link there to the longer address, from which these comments are taken, which I gave in 2010 to the annual conference of the USPG – now known as US.) The presentation and draft resolution raised a lively debate. This is exactly the approach Anglicans should take! Indaba does not remove robustness but instead aims to ensure a context in which we can trust one another and so allow ourselves to speak with this freedom and honesty, knowing that we all value each one’s opinion as we together seek the mind of Christ. As a result of this frank discussion, we agreed that the programme should continue.

We then heard a report on the Communion’s Communication work, and passed a resolution on this as well as another on the work of NIFCON (our inter-faith network). We also had some thorough discussions of the Instruments of Communion, and talked about the Anglican Covenant. Another task was to choose the ACC’s representatives to the Communion’s Standing Committee – we offer our congratulations to the six who were elected, who represent a good balance of laity and clergy, gender and geography. I am delighted that our own Louisa Mojela, attending her first ACC meeting, is among them. Louisa is a businesswoman, and a parishioner in the Diocese of Johannesburg. We wish her well, and assure her, and the others who were elected, of our prayers as they serve our global Communion at this highest level.

Tomorrow is our last day, and we will have the closing Eucharist and then begin our journey home. I will end my blogging tonight. Thank you for reading and for your feedback. I will incorporate tomorrow’s closing reflections into my monthly ‘To the Laos’ letter, in which I also aim to include comment on the resolutions agreed at ACC, and provide links to where you can find further information about our meeting, what we decided, and how we hope to take these decisions forward for the benefit of the whole Communion and each of its member Churches.

Till we meet again, may the road rise up to meet you, and may God hold you in the hollow of the palm of his hand and assure you of his love and protection on all your journeys. To all Kiwis, let me say a huge Thank You for your generosity and care of us all. May you continue to be a blessing to all.