A wide variety of members presented the report from the Continuing Indaba program at the meeting today of the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Auckland, New Zealand. The word indaba is a Zulu word for decision making by consensus common in many African cultures with parallels in many societies globally.
Canon Phil Groves began the presentation and indicated he would “report of good news from Kenya to Canada: from Hong Kong to Ghana and England and Jamaica”
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of South Africa spoke of the origins of bringing the Indaba process to the Lambeth Design Group. His intention was to help the Communion reconnect with gospel-shaped approaches.
“This is not” he said” about competitiveness, dominance, power, polarisation and adversarial attitudes.”
Explaining how the process had run over the past few years, Canon Groves said that Continuing Indaba conversation involved three dioceses from different Provinces in the Anglican Communion. Convened by bishops, conversations were between men and women – both lay and ordained – who are involved in local mission. An important part of the experience was to encounter each other’s Mission contexts. Through facilitated conversations they encouraged and challenged one another in order to further mission in each place
The core values of the Continuing Indaba were defined in a paper by John Mark Oduor of Kenya He summoned the community to meet under the cross of Christ,” for the healing, reconciliation and unity of the community and the world” The core values he identified are:
- The priority of Relationship
- The need for Conversation
- The significance of A Place of Meeting
- The Appreciation of our Uniqueness within a whole community
- Forgiveness and healing
Other members: Ms Suzanne Lawson (Canada) Rev. Canon Janet Trisk (South Africa) Archbishop Paul Kong (Hong Kong)and the Rev Canon Dr Dickson Chilongani (Tanzania) spoke with enthusiasm about their participation in the Continuing Indaba process.
The Primate of Scotland the Most Rev David Chillingworth concluded the presentation emphasizing that Continuing Indaba is a “miracle of grace that is not a program or a project but a way of being God’s church, a way of open conversation leading to mission that takes seriously the local context.” He explained to members that Indaba created the right relationships that enable the difficult questions to be addressed.
When the time came for the ACC to vote on a proposed resolution regarding the future of Continuing Indaba, several delegates suggested further additions, including a suggestion from Bp Samson Mwalunda of Kenya, that Continuing Indaba should be a process to undergird all pan-Anglican conferences. There was another suggestion that Continuing indaba should have a commitment to the ultimate resolution of issues.
ACC Chair, Bp James Tengatenga, offered the members a motion to seek to refine the resolution, or to vote on the existing one. By a narrow margin, the ACC voted to not accept any amendments, and a majority then voted in favour of the unamended resolution.
One who voted against the resolution was The Most Revd Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu, who said afterwards that he gave his full support to Continuing Indaba, but that he wished that the resolution had been strengthened.