A return to the parish model would involve training seminarians and young clergy to create core groups of lay people who live into their baptismal promises, having the courage to be missionaries in the territorial parish, caring for the sick, relieving poverty, providing young people with tools to live for Jesus in a secular world.
The organizers of Lambeth 2020 have many difficult matters to tackle. But the gross disparity between the number of worshipers in the different dioceses is a question that needs to be faced. As things stand, the net result is continuing to privilege the voices of small numbers of white Westerners while side-lining swaths of the most missional and poorest Christians in the Anglican Communion.
It could be argued that if we had all gone home after voting on these affirmations, much of the pain that resulted from General Synod’s other decisions could have been avoided and we may have been the better for it. But as it happened, we proceeded to the debate and vote on the marriage canon amendment, the failure of which unleashed an avalanche of protest, accusation, and ill will that in many ways will form the lasting characterization of General Synod 2019 for many of those who were present.
Why can’t Lambeth become a synod? Whatever our answers to this question, we must recognize that the historical case against synodality for Lambeth rests upon a rather unattractive nationalism, and is simply untenable.
In partnership with Lambeth Palace and Westminster Abbey, the Living Church Institute is delighted to help host what promises to be a serious and invigorating exploration of Anglican ecumenical commitments and the future of the Anglican Communion.
ARCIC III is convinced that, just as a return to the sources of tradition in Scripture, liturgy, and the Patristic and Scholastic periods (ressourcement) has been renewing both Anglican and Roman Catholic theology since the middle of the last century, so critical self-examination through the prism of ecumenical dialogue and receptive learning can deepen the renewal and participation of the Church in the Trinitarian communion of God.
No matter how General Synod turns out, the question that all Anglicans face is how to move forward in their own vocations as Christians, especially if they believe their bishops to be undermining the words of Jesus.
The vote on the marriage canon amendment is well known, but we will also be considering resolutions on indigenous self-determination and the stewardship of God’s creation. They are all connected.