An international task group established by the Archbishop of Canterbury to restore relationships in the Anglican Communion is proposing a Season of Prayer and Repentance.
The remit of the Archbishop’s Task Group, formed after the Primates’ Meeting in January 2016, is to “restore relationships, rebuild mutual trust and responsibility, heal the legacy of hurt, and explore deeper relationships.”
The task group proposes calling the Anglican Communion to a week of prayer and repentance during the fifth week of Lent in 2020 (March 29-April 5). Group member Archbishop Moon Hing of South East Asia has written a prayer to be used during that week. The task group will make other resources available to help churches across the Communion participate.
Task group members stress that they are not pointing fingers at any part of the Anglican Communion.
“We’ve been very clear when we first proposed a season of repentance that this is about the biblical admonition that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that every one of us has areas in our lives individually, and corporately that require repentance,” said Bishop Linda Nicholls of the Diocese of Huron, who led the last meeting.
Bishop Nicholls said the task group chose chosen the fifth week of Lent because “that leads us into the power of the cross, the victory of the cross, and the reality that all of us stand under its judgement and its grace. This is not pointing the finger at anyone except oneself.”
Nicholls said the way the task group works is a model for how the Anglican Communion can work in a united way despite deep differences.
“We come from all parts of the Communion — north, south, east, west,” she said. “We come from very different places on some of the current issues that are concerning the Communion, and early on we spent some time talking about those issues and being frank and honest with one another.
“… We believe we have some ways that we can commend to the primates in advance of Lambeth 2020, in the hopes that the bishops will have some further conversation and continue to be willing to stay with what can be a painful time, knowing that simple solutions or quick solutions are not going to be the best solutions.”
The task group meets again in September.
Adapted from ACNS