Monday, May 5, 2008

Covenant and Communion

Where is the process of making an Anglican Covenant heading? Two versions (Nassau and St Andrews) have been made. The latter improving the former in certain ways; each offering slightly different takes on the meaning of communion, covenant, councils, and consequences. We are told there will be five in all, and the process will be completed in 2015. Too long? Possibly, but maybe time allows for cool heads and wise thinking to prevail! Lambeth this year is bound to kick the process in some way (forward or backwards or into touch)! Before that our Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia has its General Synod and a decent period of time planned for discussion of the covenant.

All members could do worse than read this piece of erudition from a TEC theologian Philip Turner.

I remain in favour of the covenant. I remained concerned that some seem to misunderstand the role of the covenant: primarily it is to define the theology of the Anglican Communion as a worldwide church, not to tell individual member churches what to do. Necessarily the theology of the Anglican Communion should shape the theology of individual member churches but it is unlikely that this theology will be detailed to the point of (say) telling our church that it cannot pursue its particular tikanga (cultural stream) arrangements.

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