Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies, reminds us that there is another Covenant within the Anglican Communion that speaks to mission but that is often forgotten in the current controversies.
Reading the comments made by deputations about the St. Andrew’s draft caused me to think about another covenant. The “Covenant for Communion in Mission is the work of the Anglican Communion’s Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism (IASCOME). The Anglican Consultative Council forwarded The “Covenant “to those bodies of the Anglican Communion tasked to consider the Anglican Covenant as commended by the Windsor Report”.
In November, 2006, the Episcopal Church Executive Council passed a resolution commending the Covenant for Communion in Mission for study. I do not recall it getting much attention.
The Covenant for Communion in Mission may be found here (with commentary). It says:
A Covenant For Communion In Mission
This Covenant signifies our common call to share in God’s healing and reconciling mission for our blessed but broken and hurting world.
In our relationships as Anglican sisters and brothers in Christ, we live in the hope of the unity that God has brought about through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Nourished by Scripture and Sacrament, we pledge ourselves to:
1. Recognise Jesus in each other’s contexts and lives
2. Support one another in our participation in God’s mission
3. Encourage expressions of our new life in Christ
4. Meet to share common purpose and explore differences and disagreements
5. Be willing to change in response to critique and challenge from others
6. Celebrate our strengths and mourn over our failures
7. Share equitably our God-given resources
8. Work together for the sustainability of God’s creation
9. Live into the promise of God’s reconciliation for ourselves and for the world
We make this covenant in the promise of our mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Body of Christ.
The covenant is deliberately general in its principles. The document is based on the Five Marks of Mission of the 1984 and 1990 Anglican Consultative Councils, which are
To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God;
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers;
To respond to human need by loving service;
To seek to transform unjust structures of society;
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
The Five Marks of Mission appear in the Indaba Groups report of the last Lambeth Conference.
23. As Anglicans, we value the “five marks of mission”, which begin with the preaching of the Gospel and the call to personal conversion, but which embrace the whole of life: we would wish to see increased emphasis on ecumenism, peace-making and global mutuality as integral parts of God’s mission. Mission is a rich and diverse pattern faithful to the proclamation of the Reign of God in Christ Jesus; a proclamation which touches all areas of life.
Anderson says “The Covenant for Communion in Mission is a document worthy of discussion and prayerful consideration.”
Read Bonnie Anderson’s statement here.