Continuing Indaba – a Miracle of Grace
Continuing Indaba is miracle of grace that is not a program or a project but a way of being God’s church, a way of open conversation leading to mission that takes seriously the local context.
So said The Primate of Scotland, Bishop David Chillingworth, during the presentation of Continuing Indaba to the Anglican Consultative Council in Auckland last week.
The presentation gave a summary of the work of the last 3 years and talked of the hope and potential for the future.
The presentation opened with Archbishop Thabo Makgoba talking about how he introduced the concept of Indaba into the Anglican Communion in the hope that it might “help us reconnect with more gospel-shaped approaches that better reflect theologies around the work of the Spirit, and the body of Christ.”
Canon Phil Groves demonstrated how the core values of Continuing Indaba had been developed by theologians from across the Communion responding to Archbishop Thabo’s call to baptise the concept. The value of the Resource Hubs could not be overstated.
From the Kenyan Hub he cited John Mark Oduor who understood Indaba to be about summoning the community to meet under the cross of Christ, “for the healing, reconciliation and unity of the community and the world” The core values he identified are:
- The priority of Relationship
- The need for Conversation
- The significance of A Place of Meeting
- The Appreciation of our Uniqueness within a whole community
- Forgiveness and healing
Rev Canon Dr Dickson Chilongani from Tanzania spoke of the Resource hub work in Tanzania and delighted in the local ownership of process and content.
Other ACC members spoke of their active participation, including Ms Suzanne Lawson who was the Toronto team link person. She shared about the changes that she experienced because of the experience and of the potential in her diocese and the Communion.
Canon Janet Trisk raised issues of Indaba and power in the paper she wrote for the Grahamstown hub. She refereed to the work of the Evaluation Team and reported to the Council that these issues had been taken seriously so that all voices were heard.
Members of the ACC were asked to reflect around their tables on the potential for Indaba in their dioceses, provinces and in the Anglican Communion.
When they reconvened Archbishop Paul Kong from Hong Kong enthused about the role of Continuing Indaba in our Communion at times of tension and real or potential division. He stressed Indaba’s emphasis on “mutual and intense listening to deeply held opinions and a willingness to dig deeper in order to find the shared values that lie at the root of our common faith.” Bishop David then concluded the presentation emphasizing that Indaba created the right relationships that enable the difficult questions to be addressed.
A second motion was brought on the final day by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Southern Africa in which he noted the adoption of the resolution of ACC 15-21 on Continuing Indaba and “Understands Indaba to be a process of honest conversation that seeks to build community energize mission and provide a context in which conflict can be resolved”.