Monday 18 April 2016

Wrapping up ACC-16 in Lusaka

Archbishop Thabo wraps up his thoughts on the 16th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, which ends in Lusaka on Tuesday:

After burning the “midnight oil” in the ACC-16 resolutions committee last night, the resolutions were passed today, except one calling for the fifth mark of mission, concerning the integrity of creation, to be included as the fifth instrument of communion. The presentations were short and well-researched. 

I am a bit sleepy today and dozed off from time to time. After the resolutions were completed, and following evening prayers I attended my first meeting of the standing committee (which comprises seven members elected by the ACC and five who are members of the Primates' standing committee). We have a young team with a good geographic spread. We proposed that some of our meetings, including evaluating this ACC, will be convened electronically. I am delighted about this—given the nature of our vocation, one less meeting is a blessing.

Today is the anniversary of Zimbabwe's liberation. We congratulated our small group member, Arthur from Zimbabwe. The media headlines here in Lusaka so far have covered the church and politics extensively, the church here being much more in the news than at home. Election fever is in the air as various parties and individuals engage in politicking ahead of the polls in August.

I will soon return to our campaigning climate in South Africa, leading the Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission (ECCOC) as I often do in election season. My former high school teacher and later my tutor at Wits, a cabinet member, once warned me, “Arch, at election time, stay out of way, otherwise the power of the Oshkosh engine will  crush you.” She meant my actions and positions should be that of eagles' wings, carrying the country and everyone contesting the election as belonging to one family and rebuking each fairly.
Bishop Tengatenga (Photo: ACNS)

 After supper this evening, I sat with Bishop James Tengatenga, originally from Malawi, the outgoing chair of the ACC, who has just finished 14 years in the ACC. We shared deeply, his story being in the nature of a debriefing after his 14 years of service on the ACC. I thanked God for all he offered in service to this Communion. 
We end ACC tomorrow and travel home on Wednesday, so this is my last note. I pray that we will continue to hold each other under our wings as we work together in service to God in the world.  God be with you till we meet again.

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