Requesting the Archbishop of Canterbury to remind the upcoming G8 Summit of its responsibility to eradicate poverty, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) opened its June 27 business sessions advocating for the unification of Korea, where fears of war are escalating.
Resolutions filled the business day for the council, which is meeting through June 28 at the University of Nottingham in England. ACC is the principal consultative body within the Anglican Communion and its 77 million people in 164 nations.
Other key discussions focused on ecumenical and mission work.
Recognizing that the G8 conference "is right around the corner," the Rev. Canon Mwita Akiri of Tanzania presented "a resolution of solidarity, shared responsibility and hope.
"It's about the issues that are in the (UN) Millennium Development Goals so that the leaders of G8 states do hear from this council," he said.
The resolution adopted by ACC "requests the Archbishop of Canterbury, in his capacity as President of the Council, to convey to the leaders of the G8 states prior to their meeting in July 2005, a reminder of their responsibility towards the eradication of poverty in the world and the promotion of fair terms of international trade."
"Since the Korean War in the 1950s, North Korea announced it has produced the nuclear bomb," the Rev. Abraham Kim of the Anglican Church of Korea told the ACC. "What might happen on the Korean peninsula is what happened in Iraq."
"Tension in the Korean peninsula is a grave concern for Japan too," Bishop Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu of Japan said during the discussion. "The separation of two states in that peninsula was in some ways a result of Japanese colonistic policy to invade Korea before World War II. Therefore we are obliged to support the peaceful unification in Korea. If a conflict takes place on the Korean peninsula, it will be inevitable that Japan will be involved."
Through a unanimously approved resolution, the ACC "expresses its profound concern about the deepening crisis in the Korean peninsula, consequent upon the announcements by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) that it is developing nuclear weapons and by the USA that it is contemplating the use of military force against DPRK in order to prevent this; believes that for the sake of peace in North East Asia and the world, armed conflict in the Korean peninsula must be prevented, and to that end the DPRK and the USA should renounce the acquisition of nuclear weapons and the use of military force respectfully and endeavor to resolve the present crisis through dialogue and negotiation; recognize that the origin of the present crisis threatening peace in the Korean peninsula and North East Asia lies in the division of the Korean peninsula into two states, and therefore supports and encourages the Anglican Church in Korea in its work for reunification of the two Koreas."
Father Wietse van der Velde from the Churches of the Union of Utrecht presented the day's ecumenical greeting on behalf of the Archbishop of Utrecht.
"The Anglican and the Old Catholic Churches are not only partners," the archbishop wrote to ACC. "Both churches faced modern developments since the age of enlightenment. Both have opened themselves to the challenge of secularization. One of the most important characteristics, we both are bridge churches. Our churches build bridges between the great Christian traditions. We Old Catholics want to express our gratitude to the ACC by all the work done by it to building bridges."
Noting that 2006 will be the 75th anniversary of communion between Anglican and Old Catholic churches, he observed: "Anglicans and Old Catholics have important work to do on the European continent. We thank you for the opportunities for collaboration."
In the last of three presentations on ecumenical affairs, ACC approved a series of resolutions focusing on the breadth of the Anglican ecumenical affairs, presented by the Rev. Canon Gregory Cameron, ACC deputy secretary general and director of ecumenical affairs.
The first encouraged the establishment of the All African Anglican-Lutheran Commission, an initiative outlined by Bishop Sebastian Bakare of the Diocese of Manicaland in Zimbabwe. "At all these meetings we found a very interesting common language, seeking ways to become closer."
A second resolution welcomed closer relations between Anglican and Methodist churches across the world.
A third concerned Anglican-Old Catholic relations, as relayed in the earlier ecumenical greeting, and gave thanks for 75 years of "shared life in communion with the Churches of the Union of Utrecht."
A fourth resolution seeks to restart the dialogue of Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Relations,
A fifth measure encouraged dialogue with the Anglican Orthodox relations to "move towards the publication of their agreed statements." Before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Williams worked in this area, and contributed to a forthcoming study on the ordination of women.
In regional developments, the next resolution: welcomed the establishment of the Communion of Churches in India and cooperation between the United Churches of North and South India and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar; welcomed the covenant commitment between the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, the Roman Catholic Church in New Guinea and the New Guinea Evangelical Lutheran Church; and welcomed the covenant between the Church of the Province of South Africa and the Ethiopian Episcopal Church. The Rev. Janet Trisk of Southern Africa pointed out the Ethiopian Episcopal Church "has nothing to do with the country of Ethiopia."
Another resolution requested the World Council of Churches to find ways for the Anglican Communion to enhance its participation and affirms the work of Global Christian Forum.
In the last resolution, ACC accepted the work of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations and the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission.
Mission and evangelism
The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism (IASCOME) provided an overview of its five-year work culminating in the Covenant for Communion in Mission.
Co-chair Bishop Sebastian Bakare spoke of the meetings held in South Africa, Scotland, Jamaica and Cyprus. "Every time we met we were so much privileged to visit the local congregation where we listened and were exposed to the way the church in each of these places was doing mission."
He added that members of the commission were willing to translate the IASCOME report into Spanish, Portuguese and French. A request was made to include Swahili in the translated documents.
The Rev. Tim Dakin, secretary general of the Church Mission Society (CMS), said, "The exciting thing about this Covenant for Communion in Mission is its nature. It's not a question of setting a boundary but in finding a center."
In support of the IASCOME, ACC received the report, and will forward Covenant for Communion in Mission to those bodies of the Anglican Communion tasked to consider an Anglican Covenant as commented by the Windsor Report and the February 2005 Primates Meeting.
Fair trade products
In another resolution, the ACC agreed at all future meetings, "where possible and practical, to serve only fairly traded beverages, fruit and other produces, and to provide drinking water only from suppliers offering financial support for water-supply and irrigation projects in the developing world."
"If we are asking governments to do this, we should be doing these things ourselves," said Kate Turner of Ireland.
ACC also voted to assist the Extra-Provincial Diocese of Cuba in its missionary work by making available to it resource materials on the history of Anglicanism, theological education and Anglican liturgy; calls on provinces of the Communion to contribute, as their resources allow, to the development of Anglicanism in Cuba.
"I believe that as Cuba's closest neighbor -- and the diocese that can assist greatly the council which can help the implement this resolution -- I support and welcome Cuba's presence at this council," noted Bishop Robert Thompson from the West Indies.
In other resolutions ACC:
- acknowledged and thanked the Compass Rose Society for "its generous financial support:
- Expressed gratitude to Archdeacon Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatagaloa-Matalavea for her four dedicated years as Anglican Observer to the United Nations and set out steps for defining a job description, the roles of the Observer and the Advisory Council and budget for the next observer for a term not to exceed five years.
Among items that ACC will revisit June 28 is a resolution focusing on corruption in government. Although no one disputed that there are instances of corruption, much debate surrounding the resolution, originally submitted by the African nations, dealt with wording, what should (and should not) be included.
Meanwhile, resolutions approved previously concerning the Anglican Observer to the United Nations were withdrawn for further review and will be reconsidered tomorrow.