Monday, June 22, 2009

ACNA Assembly, First Session UPDATED

Bishop Duncan began the session with prayer at 2:45 then read the very appropriate Gospel from yesterday, Mark 4:35-41.

+Duncan made a number of introductions including ++Rowan’s Pastoral Visitor, the Rt. Rev'd Santosh Marray, retired bishop of the Seychelles (2005-2008).

+Duncan, who is the chair, is proceeding rather slowly. I hope that doesn’t result in problems later. The Assembly does have a Constitution to debate and decide on, after all.

Now, there is a “mission minute.” I question how appropriate that is at this moment. If saying that makes me sound hard-hearted, then so be it. There is rather important business at hand. Again, I hope my concerns prove unfounded.

Almost as soon as I posted my concern, +Duncan turned to the subject of the Constitution. I’m glad to see that. He is now urging the delegates to avoid “the patterns of Egypt” after leaving Egypt, e. g. not do things as the Episcopal Church does. He wants most of the work done beforehand by smaller groups, then ratified or rejected by the Assembly. He said waiting another year is fine, but that trying to perfect the Constitution in assembly ala TEC General Convention is not the way to go.

The Preamble is now under consideration. Christopher Cantrell urges striking the “grieved” clause. A delegate, I think from Pittsburgh, agrees, says we should look to the future. A delegate from the American Anglican Council urges the clause stays in.

It appears there may be some “perfecting” whether +Duncan wants it or not. And now a delegate urges we go back to adopting, section by section (i.e. not clause by clause). Things getting more complicated already.

+Duncan notes no one has objected to “In the Name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit“ evoking great mirth.

Preamble, apart from disputed paragraphs, just approved without objection. (Duncan suggested doing that first.) Now those paragraphs are under discussion. But +Duncan asks for a preliminary show of hands, and clearly most approve keeping the paragraphs. And those are passed overwhelmingly by voice vote.

+Duncan did a good job of moving that along, while being fair to delegates.

On to Article I . . .

And Article I is adopted with little discussion. Article II adopted faster than I can type. +Duncan is not rushing. There is just very little, if any opposition. Encouraging so far.

Article III adopted with a quick and friendly amendment.

Article IV adopted with no opposition. Yes, this speed is surprising me. I thought that if even the Preamble evokes some discussion, then the Articles certainly would. We’ll see what happens with the rest of the articles.

Article V adopted with no opposition. +Duncan remarks, “I’m not used to this!”

Article VI ditto.

Article VII, with a friendly simplification from committee, adopted without opposition.

Article VIII, adopted with no opposition.

Article IX, with a friendly amendment from committee, adopted with no opposition.

Now, remarks from visitors. +Frank Lyons of Bolivia first, then +Calvancante of Reclife (a hero of mine).

Article X: There’s a friendly amendment. Then +Harvey of Canada asks some clarification on who determines an active bishop. +Duncan answers to his satisfaction. X approved with no opposition.

Article XI adopted with no opposition

Article XII. When +Duncan mentions it’s on “ownership of property”, there is chuckling. It is adopted with a loud and rousing voice vote and with no opposition, to much applause.

Article XIII and XIV adopted with no opposition. Seriously, these are getting passed faster than I can type. There is far, far less opposition than I expected. (And, yes, my earlier concerns are looking sillier by the minute. Mea culpa!)

Article XV now adopted with little opposition after a discussion about a possible inconsistency.

+Duncan: “We have done the work, brothers and sisters. We have constituted the Anglican Church in North America.” There is a long standing ovation of joy and the doxology. Thanks be to God!

Now recessed.


James Manley said...

Thank you, Mark.

Anonymous said...

Another thank you. I look forward to your next report!

Robin_G_Jordan said...


Can you post a copy of the constititution with whatever simplifications or other changes that were made? I am interested in examining it especially the changes.