October 18, 2004
This is a day of high expectations and frankly I'm relieved that it has arrived. The recommendations of the Windsor (or "Lambeth", or "Eames") Commission required over 90 pages of print, and I need more time to read it in its entirety, and to digest it. Obviously, I shall do so promptly and with extraordinary interest-its content and implications will affect all of us.
Therefore, at this point in time much of what I know about the report is through a summary compiled by a news service-which means that there is a filter between the report itself and my knowledge of specifics. However, my initial impression is that the recommendations, many expressed as "invitations", are intended to call the entire Anglican Communion into compliance with long-held principles of Christian faith, practice, community-and appropriate relationships between provinces. For all provinces within the Communion, this will require difficult, if not painful, introspection, self-examination, and a strong commitment to reconciliation between provinces and to unity for the mission of all Anglicans: to proclaim the Good News of God in Christ.
Surely this document will be the subject of much prayer, study and dialogue by every Episcopalian. It comes at a propitious time for us, because our annual diocesan convention will be held this very weekend in Greenville. Delegates from the 64 congregations which comprise the Diocese of Upper South Carolina will want an opportunity to discuss initial impressions, thoughts and responses. That opportunity will be provided on Friday during an open forum at the Palmetto Expo Center at 7:15 P.M., and on later occasions. In the meantime, we are praying for the Primates of the Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the members of the Anglican Consultative Council-all of whom have the responsibility of considering over the next several months if and how the recommendations shall be implemented.
After completing my study of all of the report's contents, I shall prepare another, more comprehensive statement.
The Rt. Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson, Jr.,
Bishop of Upper South Carolina