AC-NA/Kenyan Bishop reflects on Singapore GS4 Encounter

By Bill Atwood
May 1, 2010

And it shall be, on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land which the Lord your God is giving you,that you shall set up for yourselves large stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord God of your fathers promised you. – Deut 27:2-3

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Clearly, when the Jews left the wilderness and crossed the Jordan to enter the Promised Land, their struggles were not over.

They still had many challenges and battles to fight, but the passage of crossing the Jordan was a tremendously important one, and the Lord called them to mark it with large stones.

The Fourth Global South Encounter (GSE4) that was just held in Singapore was a huge passage for many, but particularly so for the Anglican Church in North America. I have noted with interest that some people have expressed great disappointment with the lack of “action,” but I’d like to suggest that they may have missed some points of tremendous significance.

First some background:

GSE4 gathered 130 delegates from 20 provinces of the Anglican Communion. The term “Global South” is not unique to Anglicanism, but it has special application in the Communion. A complicating detail is that the term is used differently by different people. For some it is simply a description of everything south of the 20º northern parallel.

For others, it is a description of the developing nations of the “two-thirds world.” In that application, it would exclude nations like Australia and New Zealand because they are considered “western” in culture and economic development.

It is hard to imagine in that model why Hong Kong and Singapore would be included in the Global South list. Of course, the Diocese of Singapore includes the missionary deaneries of Viet Nam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, and Nepal. (Oddly enough, even though there is a tremendous distance between Singapore and Nepal, there are natural links. Many Nepalese go to Singapore to work so it has been a fruitful connection.) The third way that the term “Global South” is used is a doctrinal one.

As the influence of the Episcopal Church has spread, a number of provinces that are located below the 20º northern parallel have adopted TEC’s doctrinal postion. A number of them are both dependent and responsive to financial support from TEC.

Read more …………….

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