Thursday, May 7, 2009

ACC commits church to new stage of listening process

The 14th Anglican Consultative Council today welcomed the proposal for a “Continuing Indaba Project,” the next stage of the so-called Listening Process on the issue of human sexuality in the Anglican Communion. The process aims to listen to the experiences of homosexual persons and the response of various churches to them and the issue.

The project will involve five diverse “pilot conversations,” which would focus on mission issues and would not avoid hard questions related to sexuality, the authority of Scripture, faithfulness to tradition and the respect for the dignity of all.
Canon Philip Groves, Listening Process facilitator, said the hope is that these conversations will result in “a depth of agreement and the clarification of disagreements resulting in positive missional relationships.” He did not state where the “pilot conversations” would take place.

Speaking before ACC delegates, Mr. Groves explained that indaba is a Zulu word for “the process of decision making by consensus, common in many African cultures and with parallels in other non-western societies,” like the Sacred Circle, commonly used by native communities in Canada. Indaba was the term used for the process used at last year’s Lambeth Conference. He said that within the African context, indaba “is intended to include all parties” and to result in a common decision.
Mr. Groves said the project will adopt the consensus method by “drawing upon Biblical models, the traditions of the church and cultural methods across the Communion.”

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