Mission Center: The Episcopal Church: Partnerships

Are there specific covenant agreements that have not yet been met by the EC?
We have fallen short in almost all cases to look beyond specific financial agreements to ensure continuing mutuality in mission – bringing our dioceses, parishes and people together, as companions, to carry out God’s mission through evangelism, stewardship, social action, education and in other ways. 3  The written covenant has too often become an historical document rather than a blueprint for mutual mission - an entirely new relationship of interdependence within the Body of Christ.

In addition, we have failed to address specific aspirations for capital fund raising in the Philippines, Liberia and Brazil, as well as an adequate pension plan for the Philippines.

Footnote 3

George McGonigle, a member of the Mexico Covenant Committee, adds the following two comments: “I do not think the Episcopal Church has failed completely in these areas [specific covenant agreements] but I do think we have not worked energetically with our IAM [Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico] partner to effect mutual responsibility and interdependence. As a relatively new Province of the Anglican Communion, the IAM has a mixture of Roman Catholic experience, under a government that has known little else as ‘church’ for 400 years, coupled with a desire to achieve a truly Anglican way in Mexico but without a clear vision of how this is to be accomplished. In this environment of struggle to achieve an Anglican identity unique to Mexico while dealing with all the perils of a somewhat hostile environment, the IAM needs all the assistance it can get from all its partners in the Anglican Communion, especially from The Episcopal Church. Mexico is a country that makes a virtue of its Mestizo culture – a blending of Native and Spanish heritages. Because of the strong overlay of Spanish Roman Catholicism in Mexico, the IAM has a difficult job in defining its catholicity and its Reformation roots. The Episcopal Church has much to contribute to IAM but we must first learn from them about how we can be of most help. Money is part of the answer and we are honor bound to provide agreed upon amounts on schedule. But sending money without helping create the structures and institutions which can channel these funds so as to further the Church’s mission cannot be sanctioned. Recent financial troubles bear testimony to this need for clear structures of relationship and accountability.

“My second point is that ECUSA must rethink how it will relate to IAM on a regular, ongoing basis. The covenant committee can provide some measure of monitoring and support but the barriers of language, culture and infrequent meetings keep it from being the most effective way to achieve true mutuality and interdependence. The Executive Council is in arrears in addressing this gap, in my opinion. It is time to develop a new way of relating to our covenant partner in Mexico so that there is a whole new measure of continuity and focus on mission with true mutual accountability within the relationship.

 “I have not presumed to speak for other covenant relationships but I suspect the points I have raised may have more general application.”


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