Third Annual Meeting, Cape Town, South Africa
11–17 February 2011
Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, the members of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission (AMICUM) could not forget the courage, conviction and determination of those who had fought against the sin of apartheid and had then set about a process of truth and reconciliation. On a visit to Robben Island where the members heard a commentary by a former political prisoner, the Commission was left in no doubt of the need to be honest with each other if the painful divisions that deny the Gospel call to unity are to be overcome.
At this third meeting there was a much clearer awareness of the need for the Commission to identify and begin to tackle some of the issues that are at the heart of our present denominational divisions. These divisions and the causes behind them are not always being named in our churches worldwide.
The Commission recognises that, if the goal of fuller communion is to be realised, in the course of the next two years significant work will need to be undertaken on some specific areas. These include issues relating to the interchangeability of ordained ministries and the ministry of oversight (episkope). Our hope is to find ways in which, in every place, the churches of our two world families may work as one in the urgent task of mission.
The Commission took careful note of the bilateral conversations between our communions. These are taking place in the United States, England, Ireland, and New Zealand, and in Canada and Australia between Anglicans and the united or uniting churches. In listening to the experience of two United Churches (Church of South India/Church of North India) the Commission has become more aware that questions of identity and belonging to wider Christian fellowships require ongoing attention. The Commission would welcome hearing news of any other bilateral conversations.
The Commission is aware that Anglicans and Methodists also speak and act together in many places in the world in multi-lateral ecumenical relationships. In the course of this meeting the Commission paid particular attention to the work of the Church Unity Commission in South Africa. This included a visit from the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, the Revd Yvette Moses, vice-chair of the Cape District of the Methodist Church, and other local church leaders. On the Sunday members of the Commission attended worship at the Parish of St Cyprian’s, in the township of Langa. The Commission is very grateful to the Anglican Church of Southern Africa for much practical assistance during its stay.
The Commission will meet again in February 2012, in Maryland, USA, hosted by the World Methodist Council.
Members of AMICUM are,
The Revd Professor Robert Gribben (Australia) (Co-Chair)
Dr Elizabeth Amoah (Ghana)
Bishop Thomas L Hoyt Jr (USA)
The Revd Dr Wong Tik Wah (Malaysia)
The Revd Professor Sarah Lancaster (USA)
The Revd Gareth Powell (England) (Acting Co-Secretary)
The Rt Revd Harold Miller (Ireland) (Co-Chair)
The Revd Canon Professor Paul Avis (England)
The Very Revd Flavio Irala (Brazil) (not present at the meeting)
The Revd Garth Minott (Jamaica)
The Revd Canon Lulama Mtanjiswa Ntshingwa (Southern Africa)
The Rt Revd Dr P Surya Prakash (India)
Lutheran World Federation Observer
The Rt Revd Walter Jagucki (England)
The Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan (Co-Secretary) (Anglican Communion Office)
Mr Neil Vigers (Anglican Communion Office)