Magazine article Anglican Journal

Questions Stall Naming of National Native Bishop

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Questions Stall Naming of National Native Bishop

Article excerpt

Progress toward naming the Anglican Church of Canada's first national native bishop slowed over the summer as candidates for the position and a national committee, the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), struggled to define the job's terms and mandate.

"We are still in a selection process and there's nothing definite to disclose. We'll likely make a selection at ACIP's meeting in October," said Archdeacon Sidney Black, ACIP co-chair, in a voicemail message to the Anglican Journal.

After the concept of a national indigenous Anglican bishop was approved at a native gathering in August, 2005 called the Sacred Circle, a target date for the first appointment was June, 2006. Several candidates, whose names have not been disclosed, were interviewed by committee members. Bishops in the Canadian church are normally elected by members of a diocese. A process for choosing the native bishop remains to be developed, but the primate, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, agreed to appoint the initial candidate, whose name would be proposed by ACIP.

"There are still some unanswered questions to be worked out and some discerning needs to be done. AC1P tried to reach a consensus (on a candidate) with a couple of conference calls, but it's probably better that they meet face-to-face (in the fall)," said Ellie Johnson, director of the national church's partnerships department, which includes indigenous ministry.

Archbishop Hutchison, noting that he remained "hugely" supportive of the idea of a national native bishop, said the church needs to move "gently and carefully." In the meantime, to avoid lengthy changes to church canons, or laws, Archbishop Hutchison last year said the appointment should be an individual who is already a bishop.

"My hope is that the appointment will be made by the time of General Synod (in June of) next year. …

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