The Anglican Communion saves lives through its humanitarian ministries, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said during a 20th-anniversary celebration of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies.

“I am here, and you are here, and this Communion exists, regardless of the historical circumstances that gave rise to it,” Bishop Curry said. “I know all about the British Empire, and it had nothing to do with religion. Regardless of the historical circumstances that human beings had in mind, God had something else in mind. This Communion exists and we are here and this Church exists because we believe that Jesus of Nazareth has shown us a way beyond the chaos to community. He has shown us the way.

“We need worldwide Anglicanism because lives are at stake,” he said.

“This Anglican Communion is one of the largest human service delivery systems in the world, just behind the Roman Catholic Church,” he said. “There are hospitals that would not happen without it. There are schools that would not happen without it. There are medical programs and programs that save people’s lives. People might die without it.

“This is not a recreational cruise ship. This Communion is about the life of the world, the life of the children of God: all of us. And it matters.”

He added: “I’ve been with our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church in Ghana and I have seen where Christian Anglicans and Muslims are working together and training local clergy and imams in local communities so that they can engage gender-based violence, where women are subject to extreme violence and cruelty; and where local clergy can both intervene, provide safe means, and do the kind of education with men and with women to bring the scourge of violence against women to an end.

“I have seen it. And it happens because of the Anglican Communion.

“Do you really think that the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church in Ghana would really be paying attention to each other if we were not family?”

Adapted from ACNS