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Lambeth faces Chicago test: CEN 11.21.08 p 1. November 21, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Ecclesiology, GAFCON.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

The leaders of the Common Cause Partnership (CCP) are set to endorse a draft constitution to govern the loose coalition of breakaway dioceses, congregations and Anglican jurisdictions in the United States.

In a statement released on Nov 17 by the American Anglican Council on behalf of the CCP, AAC spokesman Robert Lundy said the “the draft constitution of an emerging Anglican Church in North America” will be released on Dec 3. The leaders of the CCP will “formally subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) and affirm the Gafcon Statement on the Global Anglican Future.”

The Dec 3 ceremony will not launch a new province, CCP moderator Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh said, but will be an “an important concrete step toward the goal of a biblical, missionary and united Anglican Church in North America.”

Speaking in Boston on Nov 15 in a sermon broadcast by Anglican.TV, Bishop Duncan said the CCP leaders will “receive and god-willing commend a draft constitution” for the “Anglican Church in North America.”

We want to “bring Jerusalem to American” and “claim our place as members of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans,” he said.

A final draft of the CCP constitution was completed on Oct 31 following meetings in Northern Virginia. The CCP Council is scheduled to meet Dec 1-3 in Wheaton, Illinois at the Billy Graham Center and is expected to ratify the constitution and governing documents of the coalition of American and Canadian Anglican churches that draw over 100,000 worshippers every Sunday. Statistics released by the national offices of the Episcopal Church state that in 2007, the average Sunday attendance for the Episcopal Church was 727,822.

Once the CCP constitution is ratified, it will then be forwarded to the Gafcon primates’ council comprising Archbishops Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Henry Orombi of Uganda, Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Justice Akrofi of West Africa, Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, and the group’s secretary, Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney.

[Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Tanzania is also a member of the Gafcon primates’ council and his name was inadvertently omitted from this list in the print edition.  GC]

The primates are expected to formally accept the CCP proposals and begin the process of creating a Third Province in North America for the Anglican Communion. Meetings have been tentatively scheduled with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams before the Jan 31 to Feb 5 primates meeting in Alexandria.

However, Dr. Williams’ approval is not a prerequisite for creating a new Province for the Anglican Communion. Article 3 of the Constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council vests this authority with the primates: “With the assent of two-thirds of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, the council may alter or add to the schedule” of members.

The Gafcon primates are expected to bring the matter of the Third Province to the Alexandria meeting in February, where a majority already exists sympathetic to the aspirations of Bishop Duncan and the CCP. Should the primates endorse the request, it will then be forwarded to the ACC’s May meeting in Jamaica for implementation.

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