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Statements

From the 1969 statement on the admission of children to communion through the 2010 Convent Station Statement, the agreed statements of the APLM Council have proven effective at concisely stating the theological rationale behind the centrality of baptism as the foundation for Christian ministry, the primacy of the Eucharist in Christian worship and parish life, the restoration of the catechumenate, the place of the distinctive diaconate in ordained ministry, and the use of expansive language in worship.

Below you will find the full text of these statements from the most recent Convent Station Statement on the changing ethos of the Anglican Communion reflected in the Archbishop of Canterbury's 2010 Pentecost letter to the earliest statements of the group:

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The Convent Station Statement on the changing ethos of the Anglican Communion
Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Council of The Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission (APLM), meeting in New Jersey, expresses its grave concern at the distressing news of the dismissal of the Episcopal Church´s members of Anglican international ecumenical dialogues on the basis of the Archbishop of Canterbury´s Pentecost letter. Our alarm, however, goes much deeper than the presenting issues.

It should now be clear to all that the result of the proposed “Covenant” is not only to control those Churches that ordain openly gay and lesbian persons.  Rather, the Archbishop has finally come out about the ramifications of the proposed “Covenant:” reshaping the structure of the Anglican Communion into a hierarchically-centralized Communion.

As an association historically dedicated to renewing the liturgy and mission of the Church, APLM is amazed by the Archbishop´s lack of respect for the Constitution and worship of the Episcopal Church, a duly constituted member province of the Communion.  Other member Churches should take note.

The Episcopal Church’s Constitution and Book of Common Prayer (which is itself part of the Constitution) are founded upon a baptismal theology of the Church more Orthodox than Roman and certainly more Anglican than the vision of the Church which seems to guide the Archbishop.  For we understand ourselves as a community of the baptized, governing ourselves by the consent of the governed not by the will of any hierarch. The punitive actions referenced are more to be expected from a Church with unitary hierarchical control, such as the Church of Rome.

Additionally we lament this disregard for the tradition of English law, penalizing persons who are not the perpetrators of the alleged offense and scapegoating the innocent.  The dismissal has also betrayed our shared tradition of equal protection under the law by targeting the Episcopal Church first, without punishing simultaneously those member Churches of the Communion which have failed to engage in the promised listening process and have further fractured the Communion. 

We applaud the response of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and join her in decrying this latest assault upon its polity and the Baptismal theology of the Book of Common Prayer.

Convent Station, NJ, June 13 2010

 

COMMUNION IN CHRIST - An executive summary of the liturgical -theological reflection. -May 2007 

In reflecting on the proposed Anglican Covenant, the Associated Parish for Liturgy and Mission (APLM) Council grounded its response in Paul’s words to the Corinthians, “Just as the body is one and has many members and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of the one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).

Our Basis for Unity—The Church is already one because it is one with the Lord, belonging to Christ and participating in Christ’s ministry and mission in the world. So, our communion does not depend upon either juridical structures or doctrinal agreements. These, at best, may reflect our unity in Christ, but they do not effect it. In Baptism and Eucharist God both brings about and reveals our participation in Christ. The intimate connection between Baptism, Eucharist and the ordination of bishops, deacons and priests has revealed that baptized divorced persons, gay men and lesbians as well as women may not be excluded as a class from any of the sacraments of the church, for they are full members of Christ. We are concerned that misplaced anxiety about unity may drive us to forced uniformity, as though we had to fear communion in diversity. We appeal to our church to address our present divisions drawing on the charisms that have shaped who we are including the Anglican comprehensiveness expressed in the Elizabethan Settlement; the authority of scripture, tradition and reason; the integrity of each diocese and province; and finding our unity in work for justice so that mission, rather than doctrine gives outward expression to the unity found in Christ.

The Proposed Covenant—We believe that the proposed covenant is deeply flawed, as it attempts to bring about Church unity through enforced conformity. The unity of the church cannot be enforced, as unity is already given in Jesus Christ. It is one of the marks of the Church and an article of faith. We do not believe that the church should be one, but that it is one. The Covenant places certain persons in the role of being ultimate arbiters of what is and is not Anglican. Theologically speaking, the sources of church unity have traditionally been understood as:

  • The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • The two dominical sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist
  • Ongoing participation Christ by these sacraments constituting our communion with a bishop who is in turn in communion with the see of Canterbury.
  • A common liturgical source tradition (see International Anglican Liturgical Consultation Prague Statement)

The doctrinal expression of our unity is contained in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, inasmuch as it describes the essential points of agreement for union with other churches.

Conclusion—We are called to the risk of bringing all of humanity into the Reign of God—especially those who are most unlike ourselves. To try to effect an artificial unity of the Body of Christ through doctrinal enforcement will only lead to yet another scandalous division in the Body of the Lord. It is also idolatrous, substituting a written agreement for the saving work of Christ on the cross and the living, catholic call of the Gospel to incarnate Christ’s ministry in all places and in all times. In Baptism and Eucharist we will find unity—beyond any enforced conformity—which is the real basis for our Communion and our common life in Christ.

Full Statement

 

Baptism as Full Initiation - July 2006

The Council of The Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, meeting at the DaySpring Conference Center in Ellenton, Florida, receives with gratitude the report of the Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as well as resolutions on Baptism as Full Initiation, passed unanimously by the conventions of the dioceses of Northern Michigan, Connecticut and California. We concur with the Special Commission’s acknowledgement that baptism forms the foundation for all Christian unity, including that within our Anglican Communion, as previously noted in the widely adopted language of Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry:

“Through baptism, Christians are brought into union with Christ, with each other and with the Church of every time and place. Our common baptism, which unites us to Christ in faith, is thus a basic bond of unity. We are one people and are called to confess and serve one Lord in each place in all the world. The union with Christ which we share through baptism has important implications for Christian unity. ‘There is…one baptism, one God and Father of us all…’ (Eph. 4:4-6). When baptismal unity is realized in one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church, a genuine Christian witness can be made to the healing and reconciling love of God. Therefore, our one baptism into Christ constitutes a call to the churches to overcome their divisions and visibly manifest their fellowship.”[1]

We underscore the Book of Common Prayer’s assertion that “The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.”[2] Additionally, the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation meeting in Toronto adds:

"Through baptism with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Christ unites us with himself in his death and
resurrection, seals us with the Holy Spirit, and incorporates us into his
body the church...Baptism is the sacrament of once-for-all admission into
membership in the catholic church, a particular expression of which is the
local eucharistic community…"[3]

Given the broad acceptance of these statements within both the Anglican Communion and the Church catholic, we call attention to the fact that Baptism into our one Lord, and the regular renewal of that covenant in Holy Communion, form the basis for all communion within the Body of Christ. Thus “bonds of affection” are properly understood as the fruit of this very real unity, rather than the essential sign of, or basis for communion among Anglicans.[4] Baptism is the sole basis for communion among Anglicans.

Actions Recommended to the 75th General Convention

Grounded in this conviction, we commend the passage of C020, the “Baptism as Full Initiation” resolutions of the above named dioceses.

We further urge the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church to adopt A167 “Full and Equal Claim” for all the Baptized. The Special Commission did well in connecting the statements of three previous General Conventions meeting over the past 30 years which noted that “our baptism into Jesus Christ is inseparable from our communion with one another.” In light of this we offer the following recommendations to the convention on the remaining resolutions proposed by the Special Commission.

ADOPT—A163 Pastoral Care and Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight

ADOPT—A168 Human Rights for Homosexual Persons

ADOPT—A164 Continued Attention to the Millennium Development Goals

ADOPT—A160 Expression of Regret

We recommend the adoption of this resolution in support of the “Covenant Statement” made by the House of Bishops, only as the Covenant Statement applied to the time period leading up to the 75th General Convention. We urge both houses to work together in creating a new statement which will give the mind of the Episcopal Church with regard to the Windsor Report.

ADOPT WITH AMENDMENT—

A159 Commitment to Interdependence in the Anglican Communion

This resolution is impractical, and further in the Anglican Consultative Council, we have adequate expression of our mutual governance.  We can support the first two resolves and call for the deletion of the third and fourth resolves, unless reciprocal provisions are made for similar participation by members of the Episcopal Church in the synodical bodies of other provinces.

ADOPT WITH AMENDMENT—

A162 Public Rites of Blessing for Same-Sex Unions

We recommend the deletion of the words “private” and “individual” within the first resolve as keeping that language could lead to the creation of private rites and a culture of secrecy. We further advocate the deletion of the remaining resolves.

ADOPT WITH AMENDMENT—

A166 Anglican Covenant Development Process

The covenant we Anglicans share is the covenant of our baptism. We recommend amendment of the first resolve to replace the words after “support” with, “the process of living more deeply into the covenant of our baptism, the source of our unity in faith, order and common life in the service of God’s mission; and be it further”

We further recommend replacing “an Anglican Covenant” in the second resolve with “living into the covenant of our baptism” and in the third resolve, substitute “The Anglican Covenant Development Process” with “the process of living into the covenant of our baptism.” Finally, we recommend the addition of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation to the list of bodies named.

DEFEAT—A161 Election of Bishops

We acknowledge the challenges that actions of the General Convention have created for members of some provinces within the Anglican Communion. But as the starting point for all Christian unity is baptism, it would be inconsistent to apply the standards of this resolution to the Episcopacy only. Consistency and faithfulness to our baptismal theology would call for refraining from baptizing, communing, confirming, receiving, licensing as Title III ministers, as well as ordaining to the diaconate, priesthood and episcopacy “any person living openly in a same-gender union,” or anyone “whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church.” While this would be logically consistent, it would be counter to resolution A167 and the previous actions of General Conventions over the past 30 years. Therefore, we urge defeat of A161.

DEFEAT—A169 Amend Canon III.1: Quadrilateral and Exercise of Ministry

We readily affirm the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral as a historical document which has proved fruitful in ecumenical dialogues. However, this resolution is a novelty within Anglican polity and offers no means for adjudicating which “theological opinions” are appropriate. We urge defeat of this resolution.

[1] Taken from section B6. in Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (Faith and Order Paper No. 111), World Council of Churches, 1982.

[2] The Book of Common Prayer (1979), p. 298.

[3] “Walk in Newness of Life: The Findings of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation Toronto 1991,” Section One, #1, Anglican Consultative Council, 1991.

[4] This relationship of baptism as foundational and peace as the desired fruit is the one we find in Ephesians 4, as Paul relates “bonds of peace” in verse 3 is something we “make every effort to maintain” knowing the deeper reality that there is “one Lord, one Faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.”

 

APLM Council issues Statement on Impaired Fellowship - April 2005

"The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, meeting in special session on Wednesday, April 13, agreed to the request of the Primates of the Anglican Communion to voluntarily withdraw its representation to the triennial meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in June. They also accepted the Primates' invitation to present the theological reasoning behind the decision of the Episcopal Church to ordain Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, and to allow the blessing of same-sex unions.

The Council of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission (APLM), at its annual meeting in Estes Park, Colorado, April 6-11, issued a statement addressing “The Scandal of Impaired Fellowship in the Anglican Communion.” The statement was sent to the special meeting of the Executive Council as a resource to assist the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada in their respective presentations to the Anglican Consultative Council in June."

 

Sorrento Statement - April 2002

The Council of Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, meeting in Sorrento, British Columbia, in April, 2002, reaffirmed the Christian mission of embodying God’s reconciling love for the world. As Christians, our identity is rooted in Christ, who died on the cross rather than repay violence with violence, thus breaking the power of evil to reproduce itself and opening a new way to live.

We met in British Columbia to witness and learn from the struggle for reconciliation between Native and non-Native peoples in the Anglican Church of Canada. We arrived in anguish over the escalation of conflict between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. We shared our own experiences of acts of terror on this continent on September 11, 2001, and the responses in church, nation, and world.

In all of this we are amazed at the ways in which God brings good out of evil, for example, the acts of heroism and compassion on September 11; the enduring efforts of peacemakers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and the repentance of the Anglican Church of Canada, its repudiation of the ongoing victimization of Native peoples, and its commitment to reconciliation and healing.

Reflecting on the violence we are witnessing, we recognize and confess a tendency to dehumanize and even demonize others. This failure to recognize and honor the image of God in others is a sacrilege. Such dehumanization is a locus of evil which breeds violence and creates a license to kill.

The crisis in the Canadian church and the events of September 11 arose out of this very dynamic. Faced with acts of terror on September 11, the United States and its allies, including Canada, had the opportunity to respond by initiating nonviolent alternatives; instead we chose to continue the futile cycle of vengeance and violence. So also during the nineteenth century the Church of England in Canada encountered the First Nations and had the opportunity to enter a cultural and religious dialogue that shared the Gospel and honored the First Nations peoples. Instead, despite the intent to share the Gospel, in reality we chose the path of cooperation with the policy of assimilation of the government of Canada. In both situations our churches, acting out of our historical Anglican legacy as established churches, have collaborated with our governments in this sacrilege of dehumanization and demonization.

But as Christians we have another legacy: the Paschal mystery. In the crucifixion an innocent victim was put to death by the state, with the collaboration of religious authorities and the complicity of his own disciples. Yet this innocent victim refused to participate in the cycle of violence and instead healed and reversed its consequences. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus healed his arresting officer of the wound inflicted by one of his own disciples. On the cross, Jesus forgave his executioners. In his resurrection appearances, Jesus greets the despairing disciples with love and restores table fellowship with them. Jesus is risen in them and in us as we become a new humanity, peacemakers in the world.

As a grateful part of this new humanity the Council of Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission calls our churches to reclaim our Paschal legacy. We recognize such reclamation in the hard work of reconciliation between Native and non-Native peoples in the Anglican Church of Canada. Learning from their experience, we call upon all faithful people to make the daily and difficult choice for nonviolent and peacemaking action rather than revenge and violence. In the face of the United States government’s reaction to the events of September 11 – including the resort to counter-violence, the sweeping and generalized interrogation of Muslims and Arabs, and the suppression of free debate – we call upon our churches to be advocates and agents of justice, respecting the dignity of every human being.

We further call upon our churches to end our unreflective collaboration with governments – for example, the designation in laws of church and state of the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Washington, D.C., as the National Cathedral, leading to the appropriation of that pulpit by the government of the United States to proclaim United States policy. We also call upon our churches to reclaim our Paschal vocation of creative tension with and witness to governments. We call upon all Christians to eschew “holy war,” and we invite peacemakers everywhere to join this disavowal. Only when we confess our sin and work to change the systems of hatred and violence will we truly honor all victims of violence. This work shows forth the reign of God in our midst.

Our liturgies are to be effective signs of the reign of God. In the waters of baptism we are given our Paschal identity as agents of reconciliation. We strengthen our Paschal identity by proclaiming the sacred story in Word and at Table. We love our enemies by praying for them. We are a community of reconciliation by sharing the Body and Blood of the crucified and risen One. We are sent forth to be Christ’s Body in the world.

Sorrento, British Columbia

 

Santa Fé Statement - April 2001

The Council of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, meeting in Santa Fé, New Mexico, in April 2001, calls upon the Church to rethink completely its practice and understanding of mission

Our hearts burned within us as our Canadian members shared the story of how the Anglican Church of Canada embraced and implemented the government’s policy of assimilation of indigenous peoples as an opportunity to further its mission. Children were taken out of their homes and removed to distant residential schools, run by the churches. Grave injustices were committed by the Anglican and other churches, with dire consequences to the peoples and ultimately to the churches themselves. (Go toCanada for details).

As a Council dedicated to the renewal of liturgy and mission, we asked ourselves how the Church could have come to be an agent of the kind of “mission” revealed in this story. It prompts us to acknowledge our own inherent racism, past collusion, and present complicity in such policies. Evangelism predicated upon the conversion of individual hearts to a relationship with Jesus is insufficient to prevent such evils as the deprivation of culture, and may serve as little more than a means for achieving assimilation. The Gospel is not a possession of the Church; nor a one-way gift; nor an instrument of the power of state or culture.

Accordingly, we urge the Episcopal Church to approach with caution the proposals of the U.S. Government for “faith-based initiatives,” to avoid the future occurrence of tragedies similar to those in Canada about which we heard. We further urge both churches to engage in the formation of faithful communities as signs of healing and reconciliation. We therefore call upon the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., the Anglican Church of Canada, and our brothers and sisters in other denominations, to reconsider their foundational understanding of mission, always beginning with God’s purpose for creation and the reign of justice on earth.

Santa Fé, New Mexico

 

Honey Creek Statement - May 1993

The Council of Associated Parishes, meeting at Honey Creek in the Diocese of Georgia, wrestled with the following issues: environment, the daily office, celebration of a new ministry, non-verbal culture and print culture of the church.

Though these issues might first seem unrelated, we find they all are rooted in the church's renewed understanding of the centrality of holy baptism.

This understanding leads to a fresh awareness of the nature of the church as the priesthood of all the baptized, whose baptismal vocation is to offer to God through Christ the whole of creation.

We understand that this vocation calls us to treasure the environment and to strive for justice.

We further understand that this restored meaning of baptism challenges the practice of ranking one form of ministry over another and gives to the whole church a royal priesthood shared by each Christian.

Therefore, we are led to reassess in our rites of ordination and celebrations of new ministry those elements that are contradictory to this renewed appreciated of baptism.

Many may mourn the loss of old certainties and familiar liturgical forms. Yet even in bereavement, we affirm the power of the Holy Spirit, moving over and through chaos, to transform our lives and way of being the church.

Waverly, Georgia

 

Toronto Statement - May 1992

In baptism all Christians share in the eternal priesthood of Christ. In ordination the church calls a few of its members to several distinct offices, as focal points and sacraments of Christ in particular ministries of leadership.

Acting on this principle, the church in the early centuries ordained baptized persons directly to the diaconate, presbyterate, and episcopate, without requiring them to pass through another order. Gradually, however, culminating in the middle ages, the church introduced a discipline of ordaining persons through a sequence of orders.

We ask the church to return to the early tradition of ordaining persons directly to the order to which they have been called. The only sacramental prerequisite for ordaining a bishop, priest, or deacon is baptism. All members of the church should be eligible for ordination directly to any of the three orders.

Toronto, Ontario

 

Supplemental Liturgical Materials  - April 1991

The Council of Associated Parishes, meeting in Rochester, New York, in April 1991, has considered the proposals of the Standing Liturgical Commission for the continuing study, development, and evaluation of liturgical materials for use within some of the rites in the Book of Common Prayer.

The Council commends the commission for its careful review of more than five thousand responses to the Supplemental Liturgical Texts (Prayer Book Studies 30) authorized for use in the triennium now concluding, and for the extensive use of these comments in drafting Supplemental Liturgical Materials (1991).

We believe that the exposure of the church to the broader range of scriptural imagery and metaphor has helped move the church forward in the search for alternative texts which are faithful to a fuller expression of the nature of God and the diversity of God's people. The council expresses its appreciation for the volunteer work of the many persons who contributed to the drafting, editing, and explanation of the supplemental texts.

The texts now offered continue the process of making use of a richer variety of scripturally based language, as was recommended by this council in the Lone Mountain Statement of 1986. We commend the intention of the Standing Liturgical Commission to continue the consultative process and urge the authorization by the 70th General Convention of the new Supplemental Liturgical Materials and their subsequent use by the church in the coming triennium.

Rochester, New York

 

Statement on Decade of Evangelism  - April 1990

We are alarmed by the call to a "Decade of Evangelism." We recognize that evangelization is a biblical imperative. We also recognize that there are contradictory understandings of what the word "evangelism" implies. But the term "evangelism," as currently used and heard, leads to confusion, misunderstanding, and anxiety.

We see evangelization in terms of unselfish spiritual awakening in which we proclaim the good news of God's love in Christ to a world greatly in need of reconciliation.

This call to evangelization is a frightening challenge for a church preoccupied with its own internal affairs. It will be less frightening if we can divest ourselves of false notions of what it means to be the church, and renounce the temptation to use the "Decade of Evangelism" simply to increase our numbers and income.

If we are to answer the call to evangelization, we need to become a people of humility and love, confident in our own standing in God's grace. This can happen if we become the church which the liturgy proclaims us to be: the people of the baptismal covenant, formed by word and sacrament.

We begin to evangelize when we listen in love to the stories of individual people and to the stories of the world. Only then can we discover how to proclaim the good news in ways that can be heard. We continue to evangelize as we proclaim Christ's death and rising in our worship together.

Our first calling is not to proselytize. Our first calling is to proclaim the reign of God in the world, seeking and serving Christ in all persons, and respecting the dignity of every human being, reading to give an account of the hope that is in us.

New Orleans, Louisiana

 

Gold Bar Statement - April 1989

The Council of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission met on April 26 through May 1, 1989, at the conference center of the Diocese of Olympia in Gold Bar, Washington, a place where the majesty of Gods creation is revealed in the splendor of the Cascade Mountains. We have worshipped in this beauty and reflected on it. Anglican tradition has long encouraged worship in the beauty of holiness. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer and the Canadian Book of Alternative Services offer worshippers the opportunity to continue in this tradition.

Appropriate art and architecture are powerful factors in the creating and nurturing of the community of faith. In planning new churches and remodeling old ones, every effort should be made to create spaces which invite the assembly to focus on and become open to the principal symbols of the faith-bread and wine, water, the Word, and most important, the gathered people. In doing so, such spaces convey both the immanence and the transcendence of God.

Spaces for worship should be open and uncluttered. The symbols which inform the lives of the people should be experienced in their fullness. Specifically, we urge that bread should smell, look, and taste like bread, and that water for baptism be copious.

The furnishings, objects, and vestments used in worship should be appropriate to their use, of good quality, and of honest materials. Specifically, we urge that altars look like tables and be completely free-standing, and that fonts provide for immersion or total affusion.

As we renew the spaces in which we worship, we renew the church and its mission and service in the world. This is especially important as the Anglican Communion prepares for a Decade of Evangelism.

Gold Bar, Washington

 

Cuernavaca Statement - April 1988

The Council of Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, meeting in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on 20-25 April 1988, has begun to experience an Anglican church foreign to most Episcopalians. In Latin America the Anglican churches are developing their own identity. Several of them are moving toward self-determination. This movement stands firmly within Anglican tradition, which includes the right of national churches to develop their own liturgies, pastoral styles, and methods of theological reflection.

We rejoice in the search of the Mexican and other Latin American churches for indigenous models of liturgy and mission.

We urge the Episcopal Church to support authentically Latin American forms of Anglicanism, faithful to the Christian heritage and rooted in their own cultures.

We also encourage all Anglicans to appreciate ethnic diversity in their own churches.

Cuernavaca, Mexico

 

Lone Mountain Statement - April 1986

The Council of Associated Parishes, meeting at the Lone Mountain campus of the University of San Francisco, notes with approval the charge given by General Convention to the Standing Liturgical Commission to prepare inclusive language liturgies.

In view of our own history of interest and participation in the renewal of the liturgy, we offer these points for the consideration of the commission in fulfilling its mandate, and to the church at large.

1. The need to employ feminine as well as masculine symbols and images for God in our liturgy, rather than "depersonalizing" God, in the attempt to avoid imagery perceived as exclusively masculine.

Indeed, our present liturgy not only fails to employ feminine imagery for God in any adequate way, but also fails to draw on the rich variety of images from nature, which are found in the scriptures.

2. Wherever language is used which is applicable to human beings without regard to gender, the terminology needs to be so adjusted that it indisputably refers to human beings, rather than to males or females.

3. We believe that the first consideration must be given to scriptural passages appointed in the three-year lectionary. It is essential to examine the Greek and Hebrew received texts in order to eliminate masculine terminology unwarrantedly introduced into English translations.

Such changes ought, we think, to give rise to rewriting in the same spirit of collects, eucharistic prayers, and other liturgical formularies.

Furthermore, although this falls outside the mandate given to the Standing Liturgical Commission, we also urge some reconsideration of the selection of pericopes, in order to increase the number of passages which employ feminine imagery for God, and passages which recall our female ancestors in the faith.

4. Since the covenant relationship into which Christians are baptized is a relationship with one God in Gods incarnate Word and through Gods eternal Spirit, the churchs traditional confession and praise of God as Trinity in unity must be maintained and respected, as must its traditional expression in the formula "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," especially in the baptismal rite.

In the search for alternative formulas to the masculine imagery, other formulas are acceptable as long as they do not confuse the divine persons with operations that belong to the one God (and which may therefore be attributed to all three persons) as does the formula "Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier."

5. Attention will have to be given to the ICET texts. For our part, we would call particular attention to four phrases in the translation of the Nicene Creed. The phrase "and was made man" might be rendered as "became human" or "became a human being." In the phrase "for us and for our salvation," the word "us" is inclusive of the whole human race and not just of the church. In the present translation this is not clear. We would suggest "for us human beings and for our salvation." These proposals more accurately reflect the original text.

In the following line, the ICET translation implies that women are passive participants in the act of creation. The Greek is more accurately translated as "he was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary," which emphasizes Marys active participation in the Incarnation.

Finally, we recommend restoration of language making use of the relative noun "who" in place of the masculine pronouns introduced by the ICET translation in the section on the Holy Spirit.

San Francisco, California

 

Resolution 1982 - April 1982

Whereas: There seems to be great confusion relating to Christian initiation and the reception of holy communion, and

Whereas: It is dangerous for the church to be confused about such an important area of its life; therefore

Be it resolved: That the Houses of Bishops and the commissions dealing with worship in our two churches* be urged to solve the ambiguities and the resulting confusion in terms of our churches official teaching that Holy Baptism effects the fullness of Christian initiation.

Mississauga, Ontario

* The Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. and the Anglican Church of Canada.

 

Waverly Statement - May 1981

The theological basis and ministerial functions of the diaconate are clearly set forth in the Book of Common Prayer: the preface to the ordination rites, the rites of ordination of bishops and of deacons, and the catechism. How these functions can best find expression in the present day church will emerge from a continuation of the dialogue and prayerful study that renewed interest in the diaconate has begun.

Although the concept of the diaconate is new to many bishops, priests, deacons, and laity, it is being carried out in the church today by increasing numbers of deacons. This fact we believe to be the most significant sign of the leading of the church by the Holy Spirit into the restoration of the diaconate. It is important to listen to these deacons.

The ministry of the deacon is an extension of the promise of the bishop to "encourage and support all baptized people in their gifts and ministries." The deacon is charged to exercise a special ministry of servant directly under the bishop, particularly serving the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely; by making Christ and his redemptive love known by word and example; by interpreting to the church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world; and "to show Christs people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself."

The bishop promises to "guide and strengthen the deacons," and the deacon promises to be guided by the pastoral direction and leadership of the bishop.

Great care and attention must be given to the development of patterns for this special relationship between deacon and bishop, emphasizing particularly four areas: theology, selection, training, use.

Bishops and their Commissions on Ministry can undertake an historical and theological study of the diaconate. An excellent resource is The Diaconate: A Full and Equal Order by James Monroe Barnett, published by Seabury Press (available in October, 1981).

In addition to the canonical requirements in selecting candidates for the diaconate, the church needs to consider in particular the kinds of diaconal ministry already manifested in a candidates life. A clear distinction must be made between the process of admission to the diaconate and the process of admission to the priesthood by Commissions on Ministry, as well as to the differences and similarities in training candidates for these two orders.

Basic training in church history, scriptures, liturgy, pastoral theology, and spiritual formation must be done, ordinarily within a community of people preparing for the diaconate or for lay ministry. However, this would not preclude preparation for deacons through seminary education. Generally speaking, deacons would need additional training in the particular forms of ministry to which they are called.

The diaconate can enable and extend lay ministry and free priests to do their ministry more effectively. The fear of some that a revived diaconate will stifle lay ministry or conflict with priests has been disproved by the successful use of deacons in many dioceses in many ways. Again, let us listen to those deacons and to the bishops, priests, and laity with whom they work.

The deacon acts in a servant role in the liturgy, proclaiming the gospel and, through the prayers of the people, serving as a link between the church ministering to the world and its worship of almighty God. The deacon interprets to the church the needs of the world, beginning in prayer and proclamation and leading the redeemed into ministry and proclamation in action by dismissing the faithful to: "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord."

We believe that the most helpful source for understanding the use of the deacon in liturgy is The Deacon in Liturgy by Deacon Ormonde Plater of St. Annas Church, New Orleans, published by the National Center for the Diaconate, 14 Beacon St., Boston, Mass. 02108.

Waverly, Georgia

Note: James M. Barnetts The Diaconate: A Full and Equal Order was republished by Trinity Press in a revised edition in 1993. Ormonde Platers book was revised as Deacons in the Liturgy and published by Morehouse Publishing in 1992; he is now at Grace Church, New Orleans.

 

New Orleans Statement - May 1980

The Nicene Creed is the most important summary of the historic faith of the Holy Catholic Church. Its wording is, therefore, a matter for serious attention. For generations Anglican scholars have been aware that the words in the third paragraph, "and the Son" (the so-called filioque clause), are no part of the ancient and authentic text. This intrusion has been and is a cause of scandal and grave offense to all Christians of the eastern churches, and a source of embarrassment to some in our own church. At the Lambeth Conference of 1978, the bishops of the Anglican Communion agreed to open discussion of this matter in their respective churches.

Accordingly, the Council of Associated Parishes respectfully urges the Presiding Bishop and the other bishops of the Episcopal Church to set in motion such discussion without further delay. At the same time we note at the recent enthronement of the 102nd Archbishop of Canterbury the use of the authentic text of the Nicene Creed and the favorable ecumenical response to it. We also call attention to the reopening of this question in the Anglican Church of Canada in the recently proposed Third Canadian Eucharist.

New Orleans, Louisiana

 

The Prayer Book Statement - April 1978

Under one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, historical Anglicanism holds up one book in the church. In our oneness of book and church we have unity without uniformity; we have order without rigidity.

Therefore we call upon the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies of the 66th General Convention to certify the Proposed Book of Common Prayer to be the standard Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

Sewanee, Tennessee

 

Wewoka Statement - April 1977

The Associated Parishes Council is committed to the renewal of the order of deacon as a full, normal ministry in the church, alongside the priesthood. The diaconate is not properly a stepping-stone or a back door to the priesthood. It is not an auxiliary ministry. Deacons and priests have equal but different ministries whose functions are clearly outlined in the new ordinal of the Proposed Book of Common Prayer.

In an effort to clarify the distinctive character and importance of each order, as well as the ministry of the laity, we feel that candidates for the priesthood should be ordained directly to that order. Deacons should be eligible to be elected as bishop and ordained directly to that order.

The ministry of lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons is one in the body of Christ our great high priest who came as one who serves.

Wewoka, Oklahoma

 

Statement Issued by the Council of Associated Parishes on the Admission of Children to Communion - January 1969

The Council of Associated Parishes calls upon our bishops to create a climate which will support clergy who wish to communicate baptized children.

We call attention to a report by the Lambeth Conference which suggests two possibilities for the church to follow: admission to holy communion after baptism and adequate instruction; or infant baptism and confirmation together followed by admission to holy communion.

We also suggest that the guest communion resolution passed by the General Convention in Seattle allows baptized members of other communions to receive at our Altars, but our own children are not given this opportunity.

We believe our children should not be able to remember when they had not received communion. When they were baptized they were admitted to the church or koinonia, and the koinonia expresses its commonness in the eucharistic meal.

We also believe the church should recognize the mobility of the population and the problems this creates when practices vary too greatly as to when a person can receive communion. Already many of our parishes are admitting children, and a five-year-old may be a regular communicant in one city and be rejected from the Lords table in another.

 

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