The Rt. Rev. J. Mark Dyer - Virginia Theological Seminary professor of theology and retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania -- is one of the 18 members of the Lambeth Commission that prepared the Windsor Report released today (see roster below for full membership of the commission). Long active in Anglican Communion affairs, Dyer has today issued the following statement:
"As a member of the Lambeth Commission that has served the Anglican Communion over the past year, I would like to say that I am grateful to have been able to participate in this process with colleagues from all over the world and to have prayerfully considered ways in which members of the Anglican Communion can move forward in unity to serve the mission of the Church.
"I am also proud of the document, the Windsor Report, that was released today. The Commission worked diligently over the past year to consider all sides of the issues and to present a fair response to all parties involved. Steeped in Anglican prayer and liturgy, we sought to find a way through the presenting crises to seek the truth of Anglican identity.
"From its roots in the early church to current practices of the Anglican Instruments of Unity and Communion, the commission based its work on sound biblical authority, theological principles and pastoral concern for God' s Church and God's people. The report comes from a diverse group of people who are dedicated to the Anglican Church and who in the end unanimously agreed on the contents of the Report.
"Prior to the release of the Report, there was much speculation about what the report would and would not contain. There has been a great deal of misinformation in reports in the press. Those who take time to read the full Report will find it to be a comprehensive statement concerning the issues that came before the commission. It treats those on all sides of the issues who have helped to create this division fairly, and asks the provinces and dioceses to cease the actions that are furthering the divisiveness in the church today. Our mission is to seek to serve God and the ministry of Jesus Christ in the world, a task which we can do much better together in unity than we can bitterly divided.
"In the coming weeks, I will be talking with many groups of clergy and lay people throughout the United States about the Windsor Report. It is my hope and that of the Commission that all members of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion will take time to study this document and understand what it says, so that we may renew our understanding of what it means to be an Anglican and to share in the mission of the Church. I encourage all provinces, dioceses and parishes to take this opportunity to "read, mark, and inwardly digest" what it means to be an Anglican in today's world. Through the Windsor Report, we have a way to move forward with God's work in the world. In his letter to the Corinthians, who are bitterly divided over similar issues, the Apostle Paul reminds them of their gifted life in Jesus Christ and that they are sanctified and called to be saints. Paul was not willing to break communion with the troubled Corinthians. Let us use his model for seeking unity among ourselves."
The Rt. Rev. Dr. J. Mark Dyer
VII Bishop of Bethlehem (Retired)
Professor of Theology, Virginia Theological Seminary
Member of the Lambeth Commission, The Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, The Eames Commission I, and Co-Chair of the International Anglican/Eastern Orthodox Theological Dialogue
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Roster of Members of the Lambeth Commission on Communion
The members of the Commission are:
- Archbishop Robin Eames , Primate of All Ireland , Chairman,
- The Revd Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan , Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry, the Anglican Church of Canada ,
- Bishop David Beetge , Dean of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa ,
- Professor Norman Doe , Director of the Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University , Wales ,
- Bishop Mark Dyer , Director of Spiritual Formation, Virginia Theological Seminary, USA ,
- Archbishop Drexel Gomez , Primate of the West Indies ,
- Archbishop Josiah Iduwo-Fearon , Archbishop of Kaduna , the Anglican Church of Nigeria ,
- The Revd Dorothy Lau , Director of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council,
- Ms Anne McGavin , Advocate, formerly Legal Adviser to the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church,
- Archbishop Bernard Malango , Primate of Central Africa ,
- Dr Esther Mombo , Academic Dean of St Paul 's United Theological Seminary, Limuru , Kenya ,
- Archbishop Barry Morgan , Primate of Wales ,
- Chancellor Rubie Nottage , Chancellor of the West Indies ,
- Bishop John Paterson , Primate of Aotearoa , New Zealand and Polynesia , and Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council,
- Dr Jenny Te Paa , Principal of College of Saint John the Evangelist, Auckland , New Zealand ,
- Bishop James Terom , Moderator, the Church of North India ,
- Bishop N Thomas Wright , Bishop of Durham , the Church of England .
- The Revd Canon John Rees , Legal Adviser to the Anglican Consultative Council, will act as Legal Consultant to the Commission.
The Revd Canon Gregory Cameron , Director of Ecumenical Affairs and Studies, Anglican Communion Office, has acted as Secretary to the Commission. For more information, visit http://www.anglicancommunion.org/.