Healing relations through Bishops’ dialogueBy: Marites N.
Two primates and 18 bishops from Africa and North America will meet in Dar es Salaam this month to continue a process of dialogue that they hope will contribute toward “healing relations” in the Anglican Communion.
Since 2007, there have been initiatives to bring together Anglican bishops from Canada, the United States and some provinces of Africa, to help bridge a divide resulting from deep disagreements over the issue of human sexuality.
Discussions have not been focused on sexuality, however, but on a whole range of issues that churches face today.
This year’s meeting, from Feb. 24 to 28, will consist of four “interweaving” components: Testimony, Theology, Liturgy and Mission.
Testimony will include stories from some participants about their experiences around dialogue.
Theology will include reflections “linking the stories and testimonies to a wider theoretical and theological framework”; the reflections are aimed at helping participants gain a “deeper understanding of [their] conversations in the wider context of the Anglican Communion,” according to an overview document prepared for the meeting.
Liturgy will include worship intended to engage the group in “celebrating the stories shared and giving thanks for [its] capacity to do good.”
Mission will include discussion in response to the question, “What may God be calling you to do or to say as you conclude the consultation?”
The Anglican provinces involved in the discussion are Canada, Tanzania, Kenya, Central Africa, South Africa, West Africa, England and the United States.
The consultation is sponsored by the Anglican Church of Canada, Fellowship of the Maple Leaf, The Episcopal Church in the U.S., Diocese of Dar es Salaam, the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Foundation, and Trinity Wall Street.
The participants are: Bishop John Chapman (diocese of Ottawa), Bishop Michael Bird (diocese of Niagara), Bishop Michael Ingham (diocese of New Westminster), Bishop George Bruce (diocese of Ontario), Archbishop Colin Johnson (diocese of Toronto), Bishop Terry Dance (diocese of Huron), Bishop Mdimi Mhogolo (diocese of Central Tanganyika), Bishop Garth Counsell (diocese of Cape Town), Bishop Trevor Musonda-Mwamba (diocese of Botswana), Bishop James Tengatenga (diocese of Southern Malawi), Bishop Daniel Sarfo (diocese of Kumasi), Bishop Shannon S. Johnston (diocese of Virginia), Bishop Julius K. Kalu (diocese of Mombasa), Bishop Anthony Poggo (diocese of Kajo Keji), Bishop Sadock Makaya (diocese of Western Tanganyika), Bishop Gerard Mpango (ret.; diocese of Western Tanganyika), Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves (diocese of El Camino Real), Bishop Michael F. Perham (diocese of Gloucester), Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi (primate, Anglican Church of Burundi) and Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa (primate, Anglican Church of Tanzania