Good to chat last night. I realized after the conversation that I felt sad about the state of the church in NZ. But when I thought about it, I wasn't really sad about motion 29 and it's associated changes. I'm sad about the lack of many good examples of effective mission and healthy growing churches. I really hope this becomes the focus of the Affirm Christian Community - a network of churches committing to being more effective in mission for the full biblical gospel, and willing to take risks. Imagine if the affirm Christian community became known as the church planting wing of Anglicanism in NZ. Like, the Christian Community, I think, has to push against the voices inside it which want to make the focus (in word, or in deed) to be preserving doctrine. Having good doctrine is a necessary pre-requisite of the mission, but it is not the mission. Many churches with correct doctrine have died. I think y'all should be saying, with one accord: 'we have an opportunity and authorization to come together and get serious about getting effective in the mission. Let's take that opportunity and see what God will do.
Chaplain at Harvard University
InterVarsity’s Harvard Team Leader for Post-grad Student Ministry
Why I voted against the Motion 29 recommendations, and why I’m still not leaving!
By The Revd Dr Andrew Burgess, Bishopdale College, Nelson
I am not a Bishop, or a Vicar General, nor an Archdeacon. I’m not even a member of Standing Committee. I’m just ‘Burge’ … but I want to offer my thoughts as someone who ‘represented’ Nelson Diocese at the General Synod.
The General Synod or Te Hinota Whanui of the Anglican Church in these islands voted to adopt the recommendations of what we have been calling Motion 29 report. (The actual motion at the 2018 meeting we just had was Motion 7, just to confuse things, but it adopted the Motion 29 recommendations, with some minor changes.)
I don’t want to try and go into detail on the report – for many people reading this the key issue is straight-forward, and that is the acceptance of blessings for same-sex couples in a civil union or marriage. The church, as a whole, agreed to allow Bishops to choose to have some sort of service or part of a service written, and for those Bishops to allow an ordained Anglican minister to use that material for a blessing of a civil union or civil marriage, regardless of the gender of the couple, and so on.
Time for Love - A Response
by Bryden Black, Easter 2018
First impressions of this documentary (that is what it calls itself) are that it is first rate, well produced, and with a suitably beguiling sound track (music by Ludovico Einaudi, by any chance). As far as the medium of ‘talking heads’ go, it seeks to present a biblical case for at least same-sex blessings and ideally for same-sex marriage. Its avowed audience furthermore are those who seek themselves to acknowledge a high view of biblical authority. Does it achieve its goals? Apart from dispelling the usual miscues sometimes/often paraded in these discussions (e.g. the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen 19), frankly, in my opinion, no; it fails. Not only did we not actually hear new ground being broken here, the old arguments assembled via an array of interviewees continue finally not to convince. And it fails to convince for a number of reasons, some specifically and others cumulatively. We shall take some specific reasons first.
The full article can be downloaded here.
11 May 2018
Response to the Interim Report of the Working Group I’m not certain whether this “accommodation” is “beautiful” or not. It is certainly an accommodation. That is to say, it is an organizational, and therefore political, solution to a perceived human problem. And as such, it might indeed have much to commend it (e.g. Orders of Consecrated Life; Respectful Climate). Whether it is also an appropriate and due Church solution - that is something else again, entirely.
AFFIRM recognizes that there is a strong desire for change to allow people in life long committed Gay relationships to be ordained. While we cannot agree with this we would encourage those who seek this change to set up their own structure including being able to retain their buildings. Our concern is not to block the revisionist approach. Justice demands that no one be forced to act against their conscience. This cuts both ways. Hence our desire to see that those who seek change are given the freedom to do so without forcing others to comply.
AFFIRM held a number of meetings about possible structures culminating in a meeting in Christchurch where all of the comments and findings were presented and then preferences agreed upon. The clear preferences for all the meetings is that we would stay as we are and not go ahead with the recommendations of the "A Way Forward" report. If however this does not happen the following are our offers to the new Commission.