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Uganda synod gives backing to US traditionalists: CEN 10.10.08 p 8 October 9, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Ecclesiology.
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The general synod of the Church of Uganda has backed the call for the creation of a second Anglican province in the United States and Canada for traditionalists.

Meeting from Aug 26-28 at Uganda Christian University in Mukono, clergy and lay delegates to the 19th Provincial Assembly overwhelmingly endorsed Archbishop Henry Orombi’s participation in the Gafcon primates’ council, affirmed the Jerusalem Declaration, and pledged to support the Common Cause Partnership in North America’s transition into the 39th province of the Anglican Communion.

The synod also took up Archbishop Orombi’s call for a “Decade of Mission,” while approving in principle proposed changes to the church’s Anglican ecclesiology—making shared doctrine rather than communion with Canterbury, the defining relationship of the church.

In his charge to the province, Archbishop Orombi noted the Anglican Communion’s Decade of Evangelism from 1990 to 2000 produced mixed results. “While America and Canada debated homosexuality and watched their churches decline, we in Africa took the challenge of evangelism seriously. The Church in Nigeria grew dramatically, chiefly through planting churches and creating new missionary dioceses in northern Nigeria.”

The Church of Uganda grew through a “strong emphasis on evangelism.” While “we continue to grow numerically each year,” he noted, “our percentage of the population is stagnant.”

Archbishop Orombi proposed a five-fold mission programme that would focus on personal regeneration, revitalization of the churches and community, transformation of the nation, and the reform and renewal of the Anglican Communion.

While the social and economic needs of Africa and the world were staggering, they could not be productively addressed until there had been a personal transformation of the individual—beginning with the “work ethic.”

“Your work is sacred. It should be done to the glory of God,” he said. While Uganda was 85 percent Christian, it had “one of the highest levels of corruption in the world. I have come to the conclusion that the word ‘corruption’ is too polite a word. Brothers and sisters, we need to call corruption what it is…it is theft. It is stealing. It is seeking first my own kingdom, and not seeking first the Kingdom of God.”

To transform the church and world, Archbishop Orombi said a Christian must first allow God to transform his sinful heart. “We need a massive commitment on the part of all Christians to agree together to seek first, not our own kingdom, but God’s Kingdom and His righteousness. If we are faithful in this, then God will be faithful to add unto us everything we need,” he said.

The call to faithfulness also applied to the controversies dividing the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Orombi said. “Many of the churches in the Western world seem to be unrepentant in their promotion of unbiblical faith and practice,” he said, singling out the Anglican Churches in America, Canada, England and Scotland for “permitting the blessing of same-sex unions.”

The 2008 Lambeth Conference failed to address these issues and the Anglican Communion “may be in a worse place now than before Lambeth.” However, the Gafcon movement, he argued, “will help us return to our Biblical roots.”

Delegates to the synod also continued work on the revision of the provincial constitution, with an eye towards redefining the Church of Uganda’s ecclesial ties of communion in terms of a shared “adherence to doctrine and upholding the Bible,” and ending the Nineteenth century tie of communion through the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Synod affirmed the broad principles behind the changes to the Church of Uganda’s ecclesiology, backing Archbishop Orombi’s position “that as a Church we declare that ‘we are in full communion with all Churches, Dioceses and Provinces of the Anglican Communion throughout the world that receive, hold, and maintain the Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the Word of God written and the ultimate rule and standard of faith given by inspiration of God, and containing all things necessary for salvation’.”

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1. Anglican Mainstream » Blog Archive » Uganda synod gives backing to US traditionalists - October 11, 2008

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