Join the Journey, Converse Honestly, and get on with Mission
The representatives from the Provinces of the Anglican Communion sent out one message loud and clear during the last session of the ACC – They said The Anglican Communion works.
They said that our relationships with one another are all important and that, although it takes a long time to agree on anything, we have a commitment to evangelism and justice that is empowering.
Representatives from both Global South and Global North said Continuing Indaba was the headline they were taking to their Province.
We received requests for Continuing Indaba to guide new ways of guiding process in provincial meetings, inter-diocesan links and by one delegate, for all pan-Anglican meetings.
The Anglican Church of Kenya is one Province that has direct experience of using Indaba methodology. Using the Kiswahili word Baraza, the Bishops met not only to resolve issues, but to enable action to oppose ethnic violence that has blighted national elections. Bishop Samson Mwalouda was disappointed that his call for Indaba to be used as process for all pan-Anglican gatherings was pleased to welcome the Resolution proposed by Archbishop Thabo that was passed unanimously that laid out the parameters of Continuing Indaba.
The Anglican Communion is on a journey. In his Presidential Address, Archbishop Rowan recognised that ‘every attempt we’ve made to pin down exactly how reactive or corrective authority works in our Anglican family has run into the sand in one way or another.’ He called on the Communion to embrace another form of gospel authority – ‘enabling authority’ – the kind of authority Jesus demonstrated in acts of spectacular liberation.
The Archbishop called on the Communion to recognise that ‘a healthy and a holy future lies in developing more and more face to face relationship, worshipping community to worshipping community; not written paragraph to written paragraph, statement to statement, but family of God to family of God. Working at our relations as between communities of people whose faces are turned first to our common Lord and then to their brothers and sisters.’
This is the foundation of Continuing Indaba.
As the Primus of Scotland articulated ‘it’s about the relationships, always about the relationships.’
But the alternative to corrective authority is not anarchy. A journey requires direction. For Westerners that is a road map. For Africans it is the people you meet on the way. In the modern world it is Sat Nav. In whatever form it comes, it is a guide to keep you on the right path.
This is what Continuing Indaba offered to the ACC. The product of theological hubs, Pilot Conversations and excellent evaluation is the potential for a guide to enable the journey, to ensure honest conversation results in a resolution that results in acts of spectacular liberation.
This is an offer to you; to your church where you are.
Conflict in the Anglican Communion is an expression of divisions in all of our churches, in our provinces, dioceses, deaneries and even in our own local church. Conflict is a sign of life. The only conflict free church is a dead church, but conflict that is not transformed leads to death.
The ACC asked us to draw upon the theology developed in our hubs, the experience of the Pilot Conversations, both by the participants and the facilitators, and with the evaluation team, to develop a toolkit. A model you can adapt in your context as you join the journey, engage in honest conversation and change the world through extravagant acts of liberation.
The beginnings of the toolkit can be found in the What is Indaba section of this website. We need your feedback to ensure that this is useable and to develop it further.
We are Anglicans we in the words of Archbishop Rowan are in search of ‘a truly enabling authority, an authority that sets free, an authority that brings light and life, an authority that astonishes and changes: The authority to become the children of God.’
The ACC understood Continuing 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.’