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Reverse African Mission Trip

August 25, 2010

African clergy told to re-evangelise ‘ailing’ Anglican church

The archbishop of Uganda has urged hundreds of African bishops to shake off their fears, shame and superficial dependency and re-evangelise the “ailing” churches of the west.

In a rallying cry to the biggest constituency of the Anglican Communion, Henry Orombi said yesterday was time for Africans to “rise up and bring fresh life in the ailing global Anglicanism“.

His call came on the day that US Episcopalians published a guide on liturgical and ceremonial resources for clergy and same-sex couples.

Orombi was addressing 400 bishops who are in Entebbe, Uganda, this week for the second meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa. He told them the “potentials” attending the conference must be free to go to Europe and the US and revive the “Mother Church desperate for the gospel”.

Read the rest of the story

4 Important Questions: 1) How many car washes will these bishops have to do in order to make the trip? 2)What does this say about the state of American Christianity? 3)At what point do we finally we give the African church the voice she deserves in the church? 4)Does Rowan Williams have the largest eyebrows in history?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Josh permalink
    August 25, 2010 9:41 pm

    Zack, this isn’t so much about the state of the American church or giving the African church a voice. The Anglican Communion has churches all over the world, and the Episcopal Church is one of those. These African bishops are the conservatives of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England (the birthplace of Anglicanism) is pretty moderate, and the Episcopals are liberal. The conservative bishops in Africa think that we Episcopalians are ruining the Anglican Communion and doing very bad things, so they’re coming over and trying to steal churches away from the Episcopal Church and get them to join the African Church or start their own group here in the U.S.

    It’s a wrong way of doing things and goes against the entire system of the worldwide Anglican Church. It would be like Catholics from another country coming here and trying to break up the American Catholic Church without authority from the Pope, or an American Nazarene church going over to Europe without authority from the leaders of the Nazarene church and trying to get them to leave their own Nazarene group. Archbishop Williams doesn’t have the same authority as the Pope, so he can’t really punish the African bishops for this because each Church in the Anglican Communion is autonomous, but these African bishops are hurting the Communion more than they’re helping it.

    That’s my view as an Episcopalian. A member of the African Church would probably see it differently. But we’d all agree that Archbishop Williams is a great man with great eyebrows.

  2. August 26, 2010 2:45 pm

    I think you hit the nail on the head, although not necessarily intentionally, with the underlying theme of what you’re saying, and I would argue that it is also what is at the heart of the mess that surrounds not just the Anglican/Episcopal church, but most of Protestantism and that is the fundamental incongruity between “independence” and “communion”. It may not be the hand saying to the body “I don’t need you”, but we do see the hand saying to the body “You can’t tell me what to do” all the time in Protestantism, particularly in America. In fact, I would argue, that this is the major problem in the wedding of American ideals with the Christian faith. We want a faith that is hyper-personal and independent of tradition, culture, and history. In other words we think we have the “liberty/freedom” to re-narrate the faith to our liking if the mood strikes us or culture pressures us. Obviously we don’t say this, but much of our eccelesiology screams it. While, I agree with you that there methods probably aren’t the best, in fairness to them it was the American Anglican leadership who “changed the game” so to speak, ignoring the pleas of many of their own people and especially anyone outside of themselves, including the man with the fantastic eyebrows.

  3. Josh permalink
    August 26, 2010 3:05 pm

    That’s true, the Episcopal Church made the decision in spite of Archbishop Williams’ guidance, which I think was the wrong decision. I would much rather have a worldwide Anglican Communion than a bunch of totally separate churches, and I don’t mind churches from one area trying to provide guidance and advice to churches in another area. What I’m not in favor of is how the African Church is trying to bring individual Episcopal churches under their leadership instead of the leadership of the ECUSA. This is a very divisive issue in the Anglican Communion, and the African Church trying to steal American churches only worsens the problem. As an Episcopalian, I made the decision to submit myself to my own priest, then my bishop, then the Episcopalian Archbishop, then Archbishop Williams. I like the structure of that and think it’s necessary.

    Then again, for some in the Episcopal Church the acceptance of homosexuality might be a serious enough sin that their conscience causes them to need to disregard the leadership of the Episcopalian Archbishop. For me, it’s not.

  4. August 26, 2010 3:15 pm

    Maybe there’s just trying to make up a little bit for the whole slavery thing…..we go over there and steal their people, they come over here and steal our souls. 🙂

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