The August 28 Lambeth Conference issue of The Living Church is available online to registered subscribers. Unsurprisingly, the 650 bishops from 165 countries who gathered after 14 years found reasons to disagree, but some formed bonds across differences.
Our cover story is an extended wrapup of the 12-day gathering, by Mark Michael reporting from Canterbury, and Kirk Petersen. Partisans on each side of the conflict over human sexuality maneuvered for global endorsement of their views. There is no evidence any minds were changed, but each faction found a way to claim a partial victory, or at least proclaimed reason for hope.
The focus of debate was Resolution I.10 from the 1998 Lambeth Conference, which calls for “rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby avoided an explicit vote on reaffirming the resolution, and said it retains “validity” while acknowledging that some parts of the Anglican Communion reject it. A TLC editorial celebrates Lambeth “for its principled and strategic employing of an ecumenical lexicon for Anglican life together.”
The conflict overshadowed the environmental issues that organizers intended as the primary focus of the conference. A global tree-planting initiative was launched, and consciousness was raised about the effects climate change already is having in the Global South.
As the conference was beginning, Kirk reports that the Church Pension Group in the United States found that one out of every four recently ordained priests and deacons who responded to a survey identify as LGBTQ.
Christopher Wells, executive director of The Living Church Foundation since 2009, accepted a job offer during the conference. He will become director of unity, faith, and order for the Anglican Communion Office, serving as the lead representative of the Communion in ecumenical relations.
In non-Lambeth news, the first of several South Carolina churches changed hands as a result of a court order. Kirk describes a refreshing lack of acrimony as a displaced Anglican Church in North America parish held its first service at a nearby middle school, and joyousness without triumphalism in the new Episcopal congregation planted at St. John’s on Johns Island, originally founded in 1734.
The Church of England voted before Lambeth to give the broader Communion more say in selecting the next Archbishop of Canterbury, and Rosie Dawson has the story. Melissa Williams-Sambrano describes the Anglican response to a Pentecostal boom in Latin America.
Jordan Hylden traces the history of religious thinking on abortion, and says “We do not have to agree on Dobbs to agree that we are called now to support those mothers and children” who are born under difficult circumstances.
All this plus more news, book and music reviews, People & Places, and Sunday’s Readings, from an independent voice serving the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion since 1878. Consider subscribing today.
- LAMBETH CONFERENCE:
Bishops Accept Holding Pattern on Sexuality Debate
By Mark Michael and Kirk Petersen
- TLC’s Christopher Wells to Join Anglican Communion Office
- Planting a New Parish at a Very Old Church
By Kirk Petersen
- Choosing Life Together, After Dobbs
By Jordan Hylden
- Anglicans Stay Focused Amid Latin America’s Pentecostal Boom
By Melissa Williams-Sambrano
- Ecumenical Anglicanism for the Coming Decade
- High Baroque Passion | Review by Christopher Hoh
- Making Italy Anglican | Review by Shaun Blanchard
- People & Places
- Sunday’s Readings