4. Issues with regard to particular denominations

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1 4. Issues with regard to particular denominations Anglican Church of Australia General Issues for Cooperation between Anglican and Uniting Churches See: Code of Practice for Local Co-operation in Victoria between the Anglican Church of Australia and the Uniting Church in Australia. July, Steps to Unity - An outline process for Ecumenical Convergence from an Anglican Perspective, Anglican Church of Australia General Synod Ecumenical Strategies Group, For the Sake of the Gospel - Mutual Recognition of Ordained Ministries in the Anglican and Uniting Churches in Australia, a discussion paper, Re: Authority of the Bishop Each [Anglican] bishop has authority within his diocese to encourage, permit or otherwise, cooperative ventures. He may also have no power to direct the life of an Anglican congregation. Re: Clergy Clergy of each church [Anglican and Uniting] will be encouraged to co-operate in the exercise of their ministries (Trinity Declaration x), however, Anglicans and the U.C.A. have different views on the role and authority of the Priest/Minister of the Word. This, together with the way in which pastoral care and sacraments will be provided, must be settled from the beginning. Recognition of the ministry of the U.C.A. has been the major barrier to unrestricted local Eucharistic fellowship between the Anglican Church and the Uniting Church, but there are ways of effecting sharing at the Lord's Table together. Some [Anglican] bishops are prepared to authorize U.C.A. ministers; others are not. A bishop may determine to 'authorise' rather than license U.C.A. clergy, which is seen as effective and constitutional from the Anglican point of view, whereas a Presbytery is satisfied with an arrangement in which the minister/priest can do everything for members of both churches in the parish that the minister/priest could do in a parish of their own, and that implies presiding at the Eucharist in services of both traditions. Having women in the ordained ministry will pose some difficulties for the Anglicans. It would be difficult and probably impossible for the bishop to authorise her to do what he cannot do for a woman in his own communion. Nevertheless one bishop was happy for his people to receive communion at Uniting Church services at which a woman presided - whilst she was using the U.C.A. liturgy. The U.C.A. Presbytery could not accept a situation in which it was necessary for an Anglican minister to come into a parish for communion services when a U.C.A. minister is otherwise carrying out all the functions of parish minister/priest. Some difficulties may arise because in Anglican orders, the parish priest lacks what the Uniting Church finds valuable in the commissioning of a minister to do all that is required in a parish.

2 Confirmation illustrates the point. Anglican ministers in co-operating parishes are authorised by the Presbytery to carry out Uniting Church confirmations, but must arrange for the Bishop to come for the Anglican members he has prepared in the same class. Re: Property An [Anglican] diocese may be prepared to enter a Declaration of Trust so that one party holds the property on behalf of both parties... in other instances the relationship is that of 'landlord/tenant' one party owning the property and the other having access as a tenant. There are instances where Uniting Church properties have been sold and the funds invested in the joint venture with Anglicans. However the agreement does not make provision for the Uniting Church to provide ministry. It has been the Anglican prerogative, mainly because of the question of presidency at the Eucharist. Re: Episcope A Victorian Joint Standing Committee has been appointed to support parishes working under the Code of Practice. It consists of 5 Anglicans (including one bishop) and 5 members from the U.C.A. The Committee is collecting Covenants and consulting re property matters. Regular meetings of representatives of the two regional oversight bodies (The Presbytery and the Diocese) are a very valuable part of co-operative work: the chair of presbytery, the presbytery minister and the chair of the Pastoral Relations Committee may meet every two to three months with the bishop and two archdeacons with an extensive but informal agenda which allows for planning and review of the work in co-operating congregations and other points of common interest. No binding decisions may be made as any formal action must process through the respective councils and follow the procedures of each of the churches. There are continuing Joint Anglican/U.C.A committee Task Groups working: on a Code of Practice to look at property issues to look at liturgical issues on agreement for sharing ministry on draft agreement for ordering congregational life (Trinity Declaration Recommendations iv) Re: Liturgy Anglican Uniting Church covenant: liturgical aspects Robert Gribben and Charles Sherlock The following agreement sets out a framework for the liturgical practice of co-operating congregations within the proposed Anglican -Uniting Church covenant. It is recognised that such a statement cannot cover the full range of congregational practice within both churches, not least because (especially for the Uniting Church) authorised liturgical forms do not necessarily represent such practice. The agreement therefore speaks in terms of the principles, substance and shape of the corporate worship life of both churches.

3 Christian Initiation a) Both our churches recognise Baptism as administered in both churches, and welcome people of any age to this sacrament. b) We agree that, subject to particular notes made below, use of the forms in An Australian Prayer Book, Uniting in Worship or A Prayer Book for Australia constitutes valid Christian Baptism. We agree that the Apostles' Creed is a sufficient affirmation of the faith into which each person is baptised. c) We agree that each Christian is baptised into the Church of God. Where the question is raised locally as to whether this takes visible shape in either the Anglican or Uniting Church communion, our response would be that he or she is baptised into a visible body which anticipates the Church that is coming as Christ's will and gift 'from the future', embracing both Anglican and Uniting traditions. d) There is some difference of emphasis as to the 'warrant' for the baptism of an infant. The Anglican Church requires of each candidate for baptism that they repent of sins and confess Christ, whether of themselves (supported by sponsors) or through their sponsors. The Uniting Church requires that the parents of an infant make public affirmation of their own faith, and the intention to raise the child as a Christian, but does not ask the infant to confess sins or faith. We recommend that, in any baptism of an infant conducted in a joint congregation, both disciplines are followed, so that the parents State their own faith, and also that sponsors act on behalf of the child. In the case of A Prayer Book for Australia, this would be achieved by including the parents in The Presentation and The Decision (pages ). e) Both churches take the admission of baptised persons to the Holy Communion with considerable seriousness. We both practise a form of commissioning through prayer and the laying on of hands in Anglican practice, normatively by a bishop. The Anglican Church 'receives' communicant members of a Church holding the apostolic faith who wish to become Anglicans. We believe that in any joint congregation, confirmation must continue. Where this is conducted by a bishop, the candidate should be received by the Uniting Church as a member accepted at the Lord's Table; where this is conducted by the Uniting Church minister, the candidate should be received by the Anglican Church as a communicant member. The pattern of worship Along with western churches generally, both the Anglican Church of Australia and the Uniting Church in Australia have shared in the renewal of public worship through the liturgical movement. One institutional outcome is the formation of the Australian Consultation on Liturgy, in which both churches have been active since its inception. In particular, a) We note that both our churches are committed to the systematic public reading of the Holy Scriptures, and delight in corporate singing. As one outcome of liturgical renewal, we note gladly that we use closely similar versions of the Revised Common Lectionary for Sundays. Further, we share a substantial body of hymnody: in particular, that many congregations from both churches use The Australian Hymn Book and Together in Song. b) We agree that the Lord's Prayer, preferably in the modern translation prepared by the English Language Liturgical/ Consultation which is common to both our churches, is normally to be used on every occasion of corporate worship. We note that the use of an affirmation of faith is a normal part of Sunday worship in both traditions, and also that this is always an authorised form. For both churches, the Apostles' Creed is normative for baptisms. For Anglicans, it is also typically used at Morning and

4 Evening Prayer, with the Nicene Creed used for the Holy Communion. We agree that, in cooperating congregations, the use of such affirmations of faith should be a regular aspect of corporate Sunday worship. We agree that the omission of the filioque in the Nicene Creed is not a communion-dividing issue between us. We recommend that the congregation uses the form which belongs to the church of the presiding minister. c) Another outcome of this common heritage -of immediate relevance to the current task -is agreement on the basic structure of the worship in a Christian assembly: Gathering (typically including greeting, hymnody, scripture sentences and prayers, and- if not employed elsewhere -confession and absolution/assurance of forgiveness) Ministry or the Word (both our churches employ similar patterns of readings, make use of the Psalter, assign a critical importance to preaching, and confess the faith of the Church) The Prayers or the People (commonly using responses from the congregation), and allowing for both liturgical prayer and the disciplined use of ex tempore prayers) The Holy Communion, preceded by appropriate preparation, the Greeting of Peace, the Great Thanksgiving (giving thanks for God's work in creation and redemption, commemorating the atoning death of Jesus Christ, and invoking the Holy Spirit to enable all present to feed on Christ by faith with thanksgiving, and so offer the praise due to God our heavenly Father), followed by administration in both kinds. Sending out (including blessings and dismissal) Where the Holy Communion is not celebrated, fuller use of hymnody~ prayers and preaching commonly takes place in both our churches. d) On the basis of the above considerations~ we believe that the regular Sunday services of both our churches, conducted according to our respective formularies, may in general terms (subject in particular to the comments below about the Thanksgiving Prayer) be used in good conscience in a co-operating congregation. The Holy Communion a) Both our churches celebrate regularly the sacrament of the Holy Communion, Lord's Supper or Eucharist, and receive those who are accepted at the Lord's Table by their own Church (in Anglican terms, 'communicant members'). We therefore agree that all members of a cooperating congregation, and visitors who meet the above conditions, may receive the sacrament whether the service is shaped by the Anglican or Uniting traditions. b) Both our churches welcome all persons who have been baptised, and are in communion with a church which holds the apostolic faith, to receive the Holy Communion, while respecting the disciplines of churches who differ from this position. c) The Uniting Church authorizes a variety of Great Prayers of Thanksgiving in Uniting in Worship, but it also allows ministers to choose to use a prayer from another source as long as it conforms to Uniting Church doctrine. Ministers are asked to exercise an important discretion at this point. As regards the Great Thanksgiving, the Uniting Church accepts that each of those in An Australian Prayer Book and A Prayer Book for Australia are sufficiently congruent with Uniting Church understandings as to be able to use in a co-operating congregation. We note that the prayer described as 'Alternative Prayer of Thanksgiving A' in Uniting in Worship is almost identical to the Second Prayer of Thanksgiving in An Australian Prayer Book, and Alternative Thanksgiving 4 in A Prayer Book for Australia. This commonality is due to the prayer having been originally drafted by the (Congregationalist) Harold Leather-

5 land, making it particularly appropriate for use in services which join the Anglican and Uniting traditions of worship. We note that some Thanksgiving Prayers authorised in the Uniting Church allow the narrative of institution to be read prior to the opening dialogue, as the 'warrant' for what follows. Since the Anglican Church uniformly prays this narrative as part of the Great Thanksgiving, it is unable to authorise its omission from the prayer. We also note that some Uniting Church Ministers of the Word pray this Prayer ex tempore - perhaps using the authorized prayers as a model. Where this takes place in a co-operating congregation, we agree that the prayer must offer thanks for God's work in creation and redemption, commemorate the atoning death of Jesus Christ, and invoke the Holy Spirit to enable all present to feed on Christ by faith with thanksgiving. We note that in some Anglican congregations a considerable amount of symbolic action is made by the president during the Thanksgiving Prayer.While not wishing to make a judgement about this, we suggest that an elegant simplicity will enable both Uniting and Anglican members to participate more fully in the prayer. We note that the Uniting Church's practice is that those ordained as Ministers of the Word and as Deacons may preside at the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. There are protocols (passed by the 8th Assembly) governing when it is appropriate for each so to preside in a local congregation. It is also the practice for a presbytery to authorize a lay person (usually after some theological and practical study) to preside at the sacraments, but this is largely in the case of serious pastoral need, and is, in any case, limited both in time and place, reviewed annually. Such presidency by deacons or lay people at the Holy Communion is not in accordance with Anglican norms. We also note that in some dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia, women are not ordained as priests. However, the issue of who mayor may not be the appropriate minister to preside at the Holy Communion (or other services) is related to, but distinct from, the liturgical substance of worship. The resolution of these matters will be guided by the discussion and covenants following the report For the Sake of the Gospel, and will be the concern of those charged with the responsibility of appointing ministerial leadership to cooperating parishes/congregation. Pastoral services Pastoral ministry, including the ministries of healing and reconciliation, form substantial aspects of the worship life of both our churches. We rejoice in the many occasions of personal and community care, nurture, advocacy and encouragement which take place without regard for our particular ecclesial allegiances, for the sake of the kingdom of Christ. The following notes take up particular ministries in which liturgical forms playa significant part. a) As regards weddings, we note that both our churches are committed to the preparation of each couple for marriage, including preparation of the wedding service itself. We also note that Commonwealth law requires the use only of rites authorised by the church concerned. We agree that there is nothing in our formularies which ought to trouble the good conscience of either Anglican or Uniting Church 'authorised celebrants'. We also agree that the use of any of our authorised rites for weddings would issue in a valid marriage in Christ. In the case of an inter-church marriage, we would encourage the couple to be viewed ecumenically rather than regarded as a problem: they should be seen as a couple who embody the church growing into that unity which is Christ's gift and will.

6 b) As regards ministry to the sick and dying, we acknowledge with gratefulness that our authorised rites have benefited from mutual borrowing: what matters here is more the quality of pastoral ministry and relationships, which is a communion-bonding issue. We note that the practice of deacons and authorised lay ministers distributing the sacrament to sick communicants from the congregational celebration of the Holy Communion is acknowledged in both our churches. We agree that where such ministry is part of a co- operating congregation it may be offered by either Anglican or Uniting Church persons. c) As regards the ministry of reconciliation, we agree that the opportunity for personal confession and absolution of sin is a significant aspect of every 'minister of God's holy Word'. We note that both churches have authorised liturgical forms which may be used for this ministry, and commend these. Where members of a co-operating congregation ask for the ministry of reconciliation to be offered by either an Anglican priest or a Uniting Church minister of the Word, such wishes are to be respected. d) As regards funerals, we again acknowledge that mutual borrowing has taken place in our liturgical provisions, and we encourage mutual co-operation in funeral ministry. We recognise that while there are some differences of emphasis in practice (though not in our formularies) touching the faithful departed, both churches affirm the reality of the communion of saints. We offer this agreement in the hope that it may offer encouragement to all Christians in our worship of the Triune God -in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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