Observers Give Bird's-Eye View of Synod Meeting: Members Listen to Voices of the Wider Church

Article excerpt

Winnipeg

International and local observers at General Synod not only brought greetings from their churches and organizations but most also commented to the gathering on the issue of human sexuality that has divided Anglicans in Canada and around the world.

In his remarks, Archbishop of York and primate of England John Sentamu urged delegates to exercise "gracious magnanimity" when dealing with the divisive issue of whether homosexual unions should be blessed by the church.

Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, urged Canadian Anglicans to "take time to stand back from the Anglican Communion" where the focus has been about schism over the issue of human sexuality. Instead, he urged them to "rejoice in the wonderful family of which we are all a part and to celebrate the wonderful ministry that is being done in many parts of the world."

Canon Kearon, who has visited the Anglican Church of Canada on past occasions, said he was interested in General Synod's discussion on the Windsor Report. That report, produced in 2004 by an international Anglican commission, outlined ways of healing rifts within the Anglican Communion over human sexuality. Among its recommendations was a moratorium on public rites of same-sex blessings and the election of homosexuals to the episcopate, as well as the adoption of a common Anglican Covenant. (Please see related story, Windsor, p. GS4)

Canon Kearon said one of the effects of the Windsor Report has been "to push us all to ask the questions, 'what does being a member of the Anglican Communion mean to each one of us? Why do we think it should be valuable?" He noted that, "for some, membership in the Anglican Communion has become a frustrating encumbrance, but for others, especially those of you who have experienced other parts of the communion, it's a wonderful gift of fellowship. …

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