Anglican task force calls for week of prayer in 2020 to mend bridges
Group describes itself as model of how Communion can be united effectively, despite disagreements
A Season of Prayer and Repentance has been suggested as a way to heal rifts among the Anglican Communion.
The international task group behind the idea is proposing the fifth week of Lent in 2020 for the bonding exercise, from March 29 to April 5, anglicannews.org reported Jan. 29.
The group was formed at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury after a key Primates Meeting in January 2016.
It was established to find viable ways to "restore relationships, rebuild mutual trust and responsibility, heal the legacy of hurt (and) explore deeper relationships," the media stated, citing the group's official remit.
The purpose of the latest proposal is not to assign blame to any parties within the Communion, said Bishop Linda Nicholls from Canada's Anglican Diocese of Huron. She chaired the group's last meeting.
"This is about the biblical admonition that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and that every one of us has areas in our lives individually, and corporately that require repentance," said the prelate.
She said the group chose the run-up to Holy Week because "that leads us into the power of the cross, the victory of the cross, and the reality that all of us stand under its judgment and its grace."
"There is no pointing the finger at anyone except oneself," she added.
The group comprises members with a range of theological perspectives and from different parts of the Communion.
As such, it can be viewed as a model for how the Anglican Communion can overcome its differences and work effectively as a tight unit, she said.
"We said that the only way we can work (together) is by putting on the table who we are, and how we see the things that are affecting our Communion," the bishop said, adding that worshipping and eating together had proven invaluable in terms of building trust.
"Out of this (Season of Prayer), I think we will learn more than we thought we would. I have no doubt that God has a purpose for God's church, and our question is: 'How will the Anglican Communion participate in that?'"