Partnering in Communion Conference ReportNov 19
In a conference convened at the Marriott Airport Hotel in Orlando, Florida on November 15 – 17, 2010, Communion Partners, the fellowship of bishops, clergy and laity from The Episcopal Church who are committed to biblical orthodoxy, traditional Christian practice and the Anglican Communion, met to equip and encourage one another for the work of the Great Commission. The focus of the conference was establishing mission partnerships within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion for the Gospel ministry. The participants heard from the Rt. Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon (Kaduna Diocese, Church of Nigeria) about opportunities for mutual ministry in northern Nigeria and in a workshop were instructed about reaching out to our Muslim neighbors. The Very Rev. Kuan Kim Seng (Dean of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the Diocese of Singapore and diocesan Director of Missions) and the Very Rev. Yee Ching Wah (Dean of the Missionary Deanery of Thailand/Anglican Church of Thailand) introduced those gathered to the need for English-speaking people to come, teach English and share their faith in Southeast Asia. The Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina (the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence) and members of the new Anglican Communion Development Committee (the Rev. Michael Clarkson and the Rev. Robert Lawrence) shared their vision and model for strengthening our bonds with the Anglican Communion through mutual mission and ministry. In addition to the workshop by Bishop Fearon, three other workshops entitled “Discerning the mission ethos of the parish,” “The biblical basis for remnant theology,” and “Mission opportunities in SE Asia” were offered.
Among the 88 participants there were a dozen bishops, a representative from the Archbishop of Canterbury (The Most Rev. Peter Carnley, Perth, Australia, retired), as well as clergy and laity from the United States and Canada.
In the rich exchange of ideas and experiences a greater awareness of our interconnectedness as the Body of Christ, particularly around the Communion was established. The time was well spent in the activities of building up ministry relationships and listening to one another. The reward was that a positive corporate way forward as members of the Anglican Communion was discerned, giving us a readjusted focus on our future ministry as Episcopalians. The conference successfully fulfilled its stated purpose which was to be a “conference designed to encourage bishops, clergy, lay women and men, and congregations to network in mission with one another and with members of the Anglican Communion worldwide.”