Corrected: Standing Commission considers funding for ecumenical relationships

Correction 6/19/2010: Sarah Dylan Breuer corrects the record in the comments below here and here. Extracts:

I’m not sure where the misunderstanding occurred, but at no point did I say that Executive Council or the Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations (SCEIR) had recommended or was considering any change in the budget allocation for the Anglican Communion Office. That’s just not true.

Oh, I should add that it is true that the SCEIR strongly urged Executive Council to fund travel for TEC experts who have been participating in ecumenical dialogues authorized by General Convention so that they can continue in dialogue with those churches — with the ACO whenever possible, but in other ways when necessary.

Below is our post as originally written based on The Living Church article.


In order to maintain its own place in ecumenical relationship The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission of the Executive Council is considering redirecting $15,000 annually from ACO funding reports Ralph Webb writing for The Living Church:

…At an afternoon meeting of the world mission committee, [Sarah Dylan Breuer of Massachusetts] reported that the commission wants to maintain ecumenical conversations with other church bodies, “even if the Anglican Communion Office does not.”

The standing commission has proposed that approximately $15,000 should be taken from the Episcopal Church’s Anglican Communion Office funding to strengthen the Episcopal Church’s ecumenical relationships. Breuer said the intention would still be to work through the Anglican Communion Office “insofar as possible,” but that “We will not say [in our ecumenical conversations], ‘We have no need of you’ because the Anglican Communion Office says to us ‘We have no need of you.’”

The proposal to redirect funds met with some skepticism. “I think we’ll produce massive confusion if we say, ‘If we can’t do our international conversations one way, we’ll take the money from the Anglican Communion Office and do them another way,’” said the Rev. Canon Mark Harris of Delaware.

The committee did not take immediate action on the proposal.

Breuer also reported that the standing commission wants to begin dialogue with the United Church of Christ and that relationships with Reformed churches should be approached “in multilateral ways rather than bilateral ones.” …

On Webb’s views on licensing elsewhere in the article note that the Presiding Bishop has been licensed previously to officiate in the Church of England.

Webb’s personal blog is outdated, but he states there his ties to IRD:

I’m a former “evangelical on the liturgical trail” (with apologies to Robert Webber). I can’t quite say that I was an “evangelical on the Canterbury trail” because I didn’t know that I was heading toward Canterbury at the time! In any case, I came to find a home in Anglicanism. I now serve as Director of Anglican Action for the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD). For a fuller biography, see the IRD Staff page on the IRD site


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