Bishops from 22 dioceses in the United States and 29 dioceses in Africa joined the congregation of Madrid's Iglesia Episcopal de España for a Eucharist on July 22. Joining the Rt. Rev. Carlos Lozano Lopez, bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain, at the altar were the primates of Burundi, Central Africa, Congo, and Southern Africa, as well as the primate of Brazil...Yes, I know, it is "just bishops," a group in whom some seem to no longer have much faith. If we can get past that, I think we may discover this to be a very positive sign of things to come.
...Following a reception, the visitors made a stop at the Museo del Prado, before returning to El Escorial where the "Walking to Emmaus, Discovering New Mission Perspectives in Changing Times" consultation continues through Thursday, July 26. The consultation is being convened by New York's Trinity Church, Wall Street, as an opportunity for bishops of the Anglican Provinces in Africa and their companions in the Episcopal Church of the United States to strengthen relationships, develop mission partnerships, and discover new opportunities to bear witness to the Gospel.
The Rev. Canon James Callaway, deputy for faith formation and development at Trinity Church, said: "The consultation is offering partners in faith and mission a communal space to further existing partnerships and find commonalities on which to build new relationships. This week, as bishops share their hopes and vision for mission as Anglicans in today's world, we look forward to a stronger communion committed to providing important resources to those in need around the world."
If our bishops, our designated representatives, can work together toward common mission goals, one might say that is a strong indication that they are "in communion." Such shared mission priorities might become a primary determining factor in defining being "in communion" in the future.
The Living Church tells us that 10 of the 12 Anglican Provinces in Africa are represented at this consultation. This event should make it clear that the "Global South" is much more diverse than some might lead us to believe.