Episcopal Diocese of Albany, NY
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The Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church

by George J. Marshall, Editor of The Albany Episcopalian

On October 18th, 2004, The Lambeth Commission on Communion, commonly referred to as The Eames Commission, published its 93-page findings in a report named "The Windsor Report 2004."

The unenviable task of the Lambeth Commission was to consider ways in which "communion and understanding could be enhanced where serious differences threatened the life of a diverse 78 million worldwide Anglican Communion." The Episcopal Church of the United States has a 2.3 million membership in the larger Anglican Communion.

The commission was established in October 2003 by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the request of the Anglican Primates. Their request came as a direct result of the consent to the election of Bishop V. Gene Robinson to the Diocese of New Hampshire by the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and authorizing a public Rite of Blessing for same sex unions in the Anglican Church of Canada. The Eames Report notes that these actions created "talk of crisis, schism and realignment." Archbishop Robin Eames led the 17 member team in performing the arduous task.

Divisions in the Anglican Communion have been growing for some time. Sexuality issues in the Provinces of the Anglican Communion, dioceses, clergy and laity have been on-going since the 1970's. Many questions have been raised about authority within the worldwide church, "inter-relationship of the traditional Instruments of Unity, the autonomy of Anglican provinces, and Holy Scripture as interpreted by Anglicans." (See the joint statement by Bishop Herzog and Bishop Bena dated October 20, 2004 titled Windsor Report" on the following page.)

The complex report calls for "healing and restoration." It also states that "it is part of a process…and part of a pilgrimage towards healing and reconciliation." A quick resolve is not to be expected. We can only wait for the results of the next meeting of the Anglican Primates, scheduled for February, 2005. In the meantime, please keep our church and parishes of the Diocese in your prayers over this Christmas season. May we pray also to fulfill the vision of what God wishes for His church and all His people. Amen.

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