Sunday, Dec 05, 2004: “The Windsor Report”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary

Special Session: The Windsor Report

Discussion Led By Mike Kreutzer

Sunday, December 05, 2004


Notes on “The Windsor Report” from Diocesan Convention Session

In general: How to deal with controversy while retaining communion. Top flight people responsible for the WR. Most important document on theology of the Anglican Communion.

Section A: Heart of identity of who we are as members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Webs of mutual relationships and responsibilities, rather than just a denomination.

We are members of a parish, which belongs to a diocese, and that diocese is part of a group of dioceses, and that group is in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church is the body of Christ, and the Bible points to The Living God.

Anglican theology is not constant; we explore it only when needed. 
“Subsidiarity”: all critical decisions should be made at the highest appropriate level. We have no central authority; it is dispersed and based on concepts received, tested and authenticated. ,. 

Section B: Most significant part, says what we believe in. Webs of ever expanding size, more than just a parish or a diocese, even beyond a group of dioceses. The Episcopal Church could’ve become independent in 1776 but kept up the relationship. The Apostolic Succession was/is valued. First challenge came in the 1860s when an African Bishop (Colenzo) stirred up controversy and was deposed. US and Canadian churches wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury, asking him to assemble all the bishops so that all Anglicans could speak together, explore rights and responsibilities. There was agreement not to tromp on the weaker brethren but to provide a level of care for the rest of the church. How can we live together with all our differences?

What has emerged is a desire for a mere structured dialog with the rest of the Anglican Communion. There is a perception in the rest of the world that TEC says “we will teach you”.. .American imperialism in ecclesiastical form. What is required is a measured study of our ecclesiastical boundaries. 

Section C: We have no juridical structure. Lambeth is close to it, but just on one level. The Anglican Consultative Council is also close but not authoritative. How can we be autonomous and responsible at the same time. This section proposes a covenant to deal with matters in an orderly way 

Section D: The recommendations: that we regret the actions of the Robinson consecration and the New Westminster same-sex unions and also that primates and other bishops chose to interfere in the internal affairs of other dioceses. We are invited to express regret in a formal way, that those who took part in the various controversial activities are invited to withdraw to create space, and we are invited to observe a moratorium on the ordination of gays. There is no unqualified freedom to issue texts on same-sex unions, and those who have done that are invited to express regret and/or withdraw.

To those dissenting groups, they must uphold the authority of the diocesan bishops. It commends the principle of diocesan oversight recently proposed by the TEC House of Bishops, such oversight to also include retired bishops. For those who have intervened, they should express regret, declare a moratorium on future interventions and seek accommodation with the local bishops affected.

What happens next? There will be a meeting in December of the Presiding Bishop with members of his advisory council. The House of Bishops will review the recommendations at their next meeting on January 12. The Annual Meeting of diocesan clergy with Bishop Thompson will take place at Proctor Conference Center on February 19. The Anglican Consultative Council (over 100 bishops and lay people) will meet in Nottingham, England in June.

There is much sentiment for our coming to the table together while agreeing on the centrality of the authority of scripture. Bishop N. T. Wright is reported to be the principal (the only?) author of the Scripture section. One question: how does TEC express regret when official decisions can only be made at General Convention (Columbus in June 2006)?

For more information, visit the following websites…

Comments from the Anglican Community:

Purchase the Windsor Report in book format:

Download the 93 page report (*pdf format) bsp/hi/pdfs/18_10_04_windsor_report.pdf

Comments from Christianity Today


Notes on the Election of our Next Bishop

Nominations for our next Bishop were sought through a wide variety of ways, and 400 recommendations -284 unduplicated names -were received by the Committee. All 284 were invited into the process. They were sent a brochure listing the “Seven Gifts” that the Diocese was searching for, gifts defined in a series of diocesan-wide meetings with clergy and lay members, and they were asked to pick one of those seven gifts and respond to the Committee.

95 of the nominees chose to respond; according to our Consultant, the most who had ev~r replied in the past was 25. The process was designed to screen people IN, not OUT. The 95 were then asked to respond to a second of the seven gifts, and 30 replied.

Working with these 30, one member of the Committee was assigned to each person. Six teams of three members each made conference calls to the candidates for an interview that lasted two hours. Each candidate submitted four references, and one person called all four to get a clearer picture.

The Committee met on October 29, and the list was cut to 12. Teams of two then scheduled a personal visit with the candidate, visits lasting 36 hours with talks to 10 other people on the candidate’s staff or others who knew the candidate. That process continues.

Early in January the Committee will reassemble and cut the list to 6 or7. Those individuals will then be invited into the Diocese at the end of January, together with their families for their own discernment procedure -whether they like us or not, a sort of last chance step. After thorough background checks are conducted by the Standing Committee on February 24, they will be invited for a series of regional meetings hosted by the deaneries. Ours will be at St. Margaret’s on Thursday evening, May 26, exact time TBA, for brief presentations, questions and answers, etc. The next step will be deanery meetings without the candidates for follow-up discussions and concerns to be addressed. The actual election will take place at a one-day convention in Cincinnati on June 11,2005.

Why the big response? The Consultant said that Southern Ohio is known as a healthy diocese with a respected Bishop, an engaging profile and good people. The selection criteria followed the national church Canons/Constitution.. .and the noted Seven Gifts. All Committee decisions were made by consensus, never a vote, and each decision was fully supported by the Committee, which was grounded in prayer and worship.

The committee has practiced the highest standard of care and sensitivity with the candidates, tender handling of them and each other. No names have yet been announced, either those in or those out.