Everything from a revised Prayer Book, through marriage for gays, to the Anglican Covenant is being debated at the 60th General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui (GSTHW) of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP). The meeting will be held in Nadi, Fiji Islands, 6-13 July 2012. [That’s not even mentioning that the location itself is controversial!]
The world-famous A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa was the product of dozens of our top people over a period of a quarter of a century. Now a revision of 20% of it is being rushed through – the work of maybe a couple of people. The errors, in the hastily-produced text being presented to GSTHW, are still visible. The intention behind the revision is laudable – but it needs a longer time and more work to bring it up to the quality we need. I hope GSTHW votes Yes to Motion 17 and votes No to Bill 5, leaving this significant revision of the Prayer Book for some further work.
The liturgical agreements within our church, understood to be committed to “common prayer”, are confused and confusing. In the recent meeting of our bishops they tried to remedy this by issuing a list of what is allowed. This list is now a document in the hands of GSTHW members. The list is not only inadequate for working out what is actually required, allowed, or forbidden, but it is also obviously erroneous. In ACANZP most of the BCP 1662 is allowed, some of its rules have lost their authority, and some of the BCP is forbidden. Furthermore some of BCP 1928 is allowed. Just as an example: none of this is mentioned in the list! Our church had lost its memory how to revise the Prayer Book, experimental services are accidentally ending up as formularies, and no one is certain whether passing Ashes to Fire this meeting of GSTHW will result in it being a requirement binding on us as a formulary or not. I hope GSTHW votes Yes to Motion 18 and No to Bill 4 leaving Ashes to Fire in its current status of authorised for experimental use, but not moving it on towards a formulary until our church has clarified liturgical rules.
[Updated 5 July 2012: There is a late motion to GSTHW]
Then there’s motions about ordaining, blessing, and marrying gays (link off this site). I’m trying to work out a way of channelling the heat, around already about this, to provide warmth to my home through the rest of the cold winter. The Commission on the Ordination and Blessing of People in Same Sex Relationships will be presenting its first report.
There’s a vote on the Anglican Covenant.
I am not the only one who (link off this site) has been seeking that the GSTHW material be public prior to the meeting. Our church has the material in PDF format; our church has the website. It would take five minutes to put the material online. Why don’t we?! The Interdiocesan Conference meets beforehand. Where are the dates? Some of us want to be praying for these meetings…
Update 5 July 2012: I suggest the twitter hashtag be #THW12