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9 October 2016 | Vicar Writes

Greetings From Cairo

By Terry Wong

Greetings from Cairo! I am here for a Global South Anglican Conference. It is attended and supported by Provinces in the Southern Hemisphere like those from Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. We also have some from USA and UK. The common basis which these Provinces and leaders share is a certain conservative or orthodox approach to faith and practice. 

As some of us are aware, some Provinces in our Communion have capitulated to modern revisionist values in areas like human sexuality or biblical interpretation. Conferences like these seek to strengthen our partnership, co-mission and explore/discuss ways in which we can be faithful to our faith and order. My role is largely secretariat, and along with some colleagues, provide some support to the leadership committee. It is never easy to pull away from the usual Parish responsibilities but it is also our responsibility to contribute to the wider Communion. Indeed, we are all connected and “no church is an island.”

While not every worshipper in the Cathedral is interested in our ecclesiology and tradition, I know there are some who care. I can tell you assuredly that I do and give a lot of thought to these issues. Why am I an Anglican and not a Roman Catholic? Am I a “Protestant” and what does that term means? In fact, what is the Anglican Church? Asking these questions is not about trying to set ourselves up as superior to other parts of the Christian family. These are questions about our roots. 

In asking them, we anchor our faith and understanding of the Church in time and space. In so doing, we often find the heart of what every Christian church has in common, the essential faith, stripped of its cultural, political and historical developments. In understanding what it means to be an Anglican, we free ourselves from stereotypes or an Anglican experience that is bound to our own very limited local experience in time and space. 

There will be opportunities here in SAC to explore these questions. Stay interested!