Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ACNA Provincial Council turns focus on the canons

Canons are here:

The legislative session begins and there has been a motion to table a motion to adopt the canons by acclamation.

There are amendments that are being entertained. They are going through the amendments. And now have turned to Title One.

Diocese of Pittsburgh - on Title One on Canon 10, section 2.8 - concerning the duties of the laity. He's focusing on his concern on the language of the "duties" - would like it sent back for reconsideration. It's about the duties of the laity:
Section 2 - Concerning Duties of the Laity
It shall be the duty of every member of the Church:
1. To worship God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, every Lord’s Day in a Church
unless reasonably prevented;
2. To engage regularly in the reading and study of Holy Scripture and the Doctrine of the
Church as found in Article I of the Constitution of this Church;
3. To observe their baptismal vows, to lead an upright and sober life, and not give scandal to the
4. To present their children and those they have led to the Lord for baptism and confirmation;
5. To give regular financial support to the Church, with the biblical tithe as the minimum
standard of giving;
6. To practice forgiveness daily according to our Lord’s teaching;
7. To receive worthily the Sacrament of Holy Communion as often as reasonable;
8. To observe the feasts and fasts of the Church set forth in the Anglican formularies;
9. To continue his or her instruction in the Faith so as to remain an effective minister for the
Lord Jesus Christ;
10. To devote themselves to the ministry of Christ among those who do not know Him, utilizing
the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives them, for the effective extension of Christ’s Kingdom.
So the people are coming up to the mic to discuss the roles and duties of the laity. Now a member of the Governance Task Force is defending why the spelled out the duties of the laity to call them out in mission.

Ohio- a call is made to take it canon by canon as was done with the Constitution instead of jumping all around. A very good point, I am having a deje vu all over again after ACC in Jamaica. We're not going canon by canon but are suddenly talking about the laity in Canon 10. Bishop Duncan is not chairing this session either.

Bishop Ackerman is now at the podium opposing sending this section back to the committee.

Neil Lebhar speaks in favor of sending it back to the committee and the other alternative is to amend it, but it would be better to send it back to committee for clarifying the formularity. It is unclear.

Bishop Bill is at the podium and is asking for a friendly amendment that will send the Canon back to the committee to clarify the feasts and fasts.

Someone - a clergy - has just stood up where he was and now he's running up to the to the mic - there is a lack of clarity, and said this is a different order, a different category - a different nature than they others.

Another clergy is at the podium saying that it's the clergy who should be encouraging the laity and help clarify this title. He is from AMiA.

Another clergyman has taken the mic and is saying he opposes sending it back. Anglican formularities are vague because there are so many jurisdictions coming together with different formularities and so the language is vague. The point is to observe Feasts and Fasts and claim that laity are obligated to observe as clergy are.

Where are the laity -

Another bishop has taken the podium, one from Canada, is saying that they need to get back to the process or this will just go on, either take it as is or send it back.

The person at the mic is talking about what should be left to the diocese should be left there as a princple of subsidarity. The chair just says it's time to go to a vote. A minority voted to send it back and the vast majority voted to retain it.

The chair is now saying he will go canon by canon.

Point of order. Bill Thompson, asked whether they need to take the whole section out and improve it. The chair is saying that they will go canon by canon.

A motion and ready to vote on Title One. It has passed.

Title Two - a bishop takes the podium to introduces Title Two. Seconded. He's now asking if there are any questions on each canons. Neil Lebhar stands up to Canon 2 about authorizing 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Then another lay person asked about the Book of Common Prayer as well.

Canon 2
Of the Standard Book of Common Prayer
Section 1 -
The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the
Ordinal attached to the same, are received as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline,
and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.
Until such time as a Book of Common Prayer for use in this Province has been adopted, all
authorized Books of Common Prayer of the originating jurisdictions shall be permitted for use in
this Church.
Section 2 -
It is understood that there is a diversity of uses in the Province. In order to use these rich liturgies
most advantageously, it is the responsibility of the Bishop with jurisdiction to ensure that the
forms used in Public Worship and the Administration of the Sacraments be in accordance with
Anglican Faith and Order and that nothing be established that is contrary to the Word of God as
revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

They are discussing a common Book of Common Prayer, but in the meantime they recognize there are several. They continue to go Canon by Canon - and now up to Canon 4 on the Adminstration of the Sacraments and a request to send it back regarding the standards of receiving the sacraments, i.e. like the Diocese of Ft. Worth (which has a lot more restrictions than just to be baptized and welcomed in your own church, as we have at Truro). The Diocese of Ft. Worth has many more stipulations that communicants must observe before they take communion and is concerned about lessoning the requirements and would like it sent back to include repentant of sins as in the early prayer books. It has been moved and seconded.

Canon 4.3:5 - Discussion is now requested. But there seeems to be no one (Bob Duncan has now entered the room). A person has gone to the Mic and is reading that this is in fact is observed. Another minority voted in favor and the great majority voted no.

No questions on 5, 6, 7 - and a question on Canon 8:

Recommend to send Sections 2 and 3 back to committee. There is a motion but no second. Title Two is received with no opposition. Bob Duncan is now on the platform and is being briefed and asked if he would like to take over, to much laughter. The current chair is now briefing Bob Duncan again on what has all ready transpired. He is recalling that the motion was table to just acclaim the canons and that it would be reconsidered at 30 minutes into the process.

Bob Duncan is now asking if the Assembly would like to accept all the canons by acclamation. Wick Stevens said there are technical problems because there are amendments that have not yet come before the body. A bishop says that they should tackle the 30 minutes postponement - Reformed Episcopal Church rules are being followed, rather than Roberts Rules.

Bob Duncan now asks that a motion is before the assembly to take each canon at a time.

The person at the mic says that part of the Reformed Episcopal Church rules says that the motions include prayer - and Bob Duncan asks the clergyman at the mic to lead the assembly in prayer.

The prayer comes at a very good time, it's been a bit confusing. But now there is an opportunity for clarity. "Reform us first before you reform the church," the clergyman prays.

Bishop Duncan asks that they consider each of the remain titles in order. Bob Duncan says there are eccumenical guests and missioners who want to speak to the Assembly. He's encouraging the Assembly to move on rather than to spend the entire time on the canons.

Mr. Murphy rises and removes his motion from the floor.

We are now moving to Title III.

Of Ministers, Their Recruitment, Preparation, Ordination, Office, Practice, and Transfer. But before that happens we are hearing about a missionary in Cambodia.

A great presentation from a woman heading to Cambodia as a missionary. Now we're hearing from a bishop, a representative of the Church in Uganda.

Now Bob Duncan turns to Title III with an amendment. Section 8:4 regarding the Election of Bishops. Adding the words "present and voting" - more specifically was needed for a quorum and the change comes out of a recent meeting of the college of bishops and the election of news bishops.

"A quorum shall be a majority of the active members of the College" is added to define a quorum.

Bishop Duncan asks if anyone wishes to speak and a layman from the Reformed Episcopal Church. Canon 6:1 Asks about the intention about allowing local jurisdiction is able to refuse an ordained woman who is transferred there. The answer is yes. The bishop can refuse the letters of anyone as he deems appropriate.

Another question - 8.6:4 on the change - the canon allows the consent process rather than being present in a meeting. Present doesn't mean that they must be physically present. They can also do it by correspondence.

Bob Duncan calls for the ratification of Title III. It passes.

Another mission minute.

Bob Duncan recognizes today as the 46th anniversary of Bishop Schofield's ordination which is followed by a standing ovation.

Bishop Duncan now calls on from the official guest from Alexandria, Egypt representing Mouneer Anis, who says that he is indeed "going back to Egypt." He is also studying at Trinity School for Ministry. He now reads a letter from Mouneer Anis extending his greetings. Bishop Anis congratulates the new province and how much he wishes he could be here.

Bob Duncan now calls to proceed to Title IV: Ecclesiastical Discipline. No amendments have been added. Wick Stephens introduces the the Title from the podium. Asks if there are any questions.

One layman goes forward, again from the Reformed Episcopal Church. Canon5:7 on "Concerning Procedures" which covers the provincial tribunal. They are now talking about the disputes between dioceses. "In all courts of original jurisdiction, the standard of proof shall be by clear and convincing evidence." The delegates asks that this language be stricken and sent back. A bishop stands and opposes the strike, saying that there will be no standard of proof.

Bishop Duncan asks if there are any more questions. And now calls for a vote. All vote aye.

Bishop Iker takes the podium on the platform. He is introducing the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ft. Worth who is present.

Chris Sugden has taken the podium to bring greetings from bishops and leaders in the Church of England.

Now Bishop Duncan says he knows that when he turns to Title V it will be hard to hold the room after it has passed. He calls on William Beasley on "Christ's Awakening."

Scott Ward now takes the podium for the final title, Title V: Enactment, Amendment and Repeal of Canons. Bob Duncan asks if there are any questions. No questions are asked. Bishop Duncan asks for vote and it's unanimous. The canons are passed.

John Guernsey announces: The Anglican Church of Uganda has just voted to recognize the Anglican Church in North America.


Robin_G_Jordan said...

Sounds like Bishop Duncan is pushing for the acceptance of the canons by acclamation, trying to keep the Assembly from too closely looking at the canons and hearing the concerns of those who have problems with them. Too bad no one brought the concerns that I had documented on the Heritage Anglican Network with them to Bedford. If today's and yesterday's proceedings are a foretaste of how the Provincial Assembly will be be conducted in the foreseeable future, my claim that the Assembly will little more than a rubberstamp of the Provincial Council and the Archbishop will be vindicated. Foreign dignatories can wait. The rules by which the ACNA will be operating and the doctrines its clergy and members will be required to hold and teach are more important.

BabyBlue said...

Bishop Duncan has favored going canon by canon to take questions and vote, but he has made it clear that it was his hope that all the canons would be dealt with in this session and not be put off for tomorrow.


Robin_G_Jordan said...

Baby Blue

Thanks for clarifying that for me. It did sound like he was becoming impatient with how slow the Assembly was moving.Interrupting such important work with speakers is really questionable in my mind since it diverts the delegates attention from the canons and is likely to encourage the less patient of them to opt for acceptance by acclamation. I have studied the canons and I do not think a one day session is enough time to adequately deal with them. This is one of the reasons why I have advocated a moratorium on their acceptance and ratification. They need much more work.

Do you know what specific alterations were made in the constitution? I am putting together an article for an overseas readership as well as North Americans. Alert me please if the adopted amended constitution is posted on the Internet.

Wilf said...

Thanks for this BB ! I'm gonna read it carefully tomorrow. Great having a good picture of what's happening.

A friend there asked me in twitter to facebook message him the 39 articles, without saying why. How surreal - dude from Chicago, goes to Bedford, somehow needs a fb message with the 39 articles - I suppose because it works better that way on his mobile device - so sends a tweet to a guy in Belgium to send them to him in Facebook.

How strange things work these days. But I'm so glad I could help in some way

1662 BCP said...

Stranger that he's at such an assembly and doesn't have a Prayer Book handy which contains the Articles of Religion.

Jill C. said...

No shortage of prayer books at St. Vincents!

Wilf said...

Yes, very odd, I can't imagine what he needed it for, but very strange things have been happening lately. Technology does cause people to act in unexpected ways and have unexpected needs.