Report Number: 006 document 1

A Report from FWM on its discussion of issues facing the ACC with some recommendations

SECTION III: DOCUMENTS

Documents Accompanying the Report of the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee

Document 1

A Report from FWM on its discussion of issues facing the ACC
with some recommendations

During the course of the last few days, our discussion of issues facing the ACC has been helpfully facilitated by the use of the sacred circle. We are grateful that the seriousness of the issues we have discussed combined with the frankness and vulnerability of those who have shared their convictions and experiences has brought out new insights and valuable gifts within our members. We have heard expressions of pain, confusion, anger, and we have felt the temptations to accuse, dismiss, and personalise. But, we believe in the power of prayer, and our conversation has enriched our experience of worship, just as our worship has nourished us. We write not out of a sense that we have resolved the issues which divide us, but in the recognition that we all share some vital things in common, including:

In our attempt to discern the leading of the Spirit at this time,

We reaffirm our commitment to seek healing and reconciliation with indigenous peoples as our main priority, while we attempt to bring the lessons we learn in this process to bear on the other issues we face in our church.

Secondly, we commend the 'Final report from the International Conversations on Human Sexuality' for wide distribution and discussion. Out of our own experience, we would underline the report's stated conviction that face-to-face communication is important and that meaningful and productive dialogue takes time. We would also urge those endeavouring to discuss contentious issues to adopt the report's 'covenant' as the basis of respectful dialogue.

Finally, we commend the use of the attached questions as potentially helpful in exploring contentious issues.

Purity and Boundaries Who is too fearful, disgusting and sinful to be acceptable to God? How can a boundary-less community exist?

 

 

Power and Authority Who can make other people do things… Make other people behave differently? Make other people be doctrinally correct? What sort of power do priests have over parishes? Bishops over priests?

 

 

Apologetics and Credibility How is our teaching and behaviour making the mission of the church credible in the world in which we live?

 

Society and Stability When and how does he church ally itself with particular social structures and norms?

 

 

 

 

Betrayal and Trust How do we live with those with whom we disagree deeply? How do we live with those who are hurting us terribly? Can we? Must we?

 

Community Commitments When I feel deeply divided from my community do I any longer have any obligations to it? What are the limits of obedience? What are the limits of disobedience?

 

 

Questions people are asking

 

Human Wholeness How do we come to know ourselves as God's image, individually and communally?

 

First and Third World Who and where is the money and resources coming from that is controlling and influencing theological conversations and decisions? What questions are being kept off the table by this question being on the table?

 

 

 

 

Mission and Ecclesiology

What and where is the mission of the church and how do we determine and order it together? Who has the right to make decisions that affect the life of the church?

 

 

Perception of Reality

How honestly are we seeking to describe our past history and our present reality?

 

Core Doctrine

What is the heart of the church's teaching and how do we honour and protect it? How plain is the meaning of scripture—and how do we measure 'plainness'?

 

Unity and Uniformity

Is it possible to walk together? Is it ever OK to walk apart? Can we live with limping like Jacob?