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LAGOS: CAPA Bishops Salute ECUSA Network in Opening Communique

African Anglican Bishops Conference Communiqué

Anglican Anglican Bishops Conference meeting in Lagos

10/30/2004

The First All Africa Anglican Bishops’ Conference held at the Archbishop
Vining Memorial Cathedral Church Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria from October 26-Nov. 1, 2004 with the theme: Africa Comes of Age ­ an Anglican Self-Evaluation hereby issues the following communiqué:.

1. The Participants from all over Africa and other Partners, as well as
the Ecumenical partners noted that this conference has come at a critical time and commended the AABC Design group for making this possible.

2. The Conference noted that the Anglican Church in Africa has indeed
come of age and gone beyond the stage of mission “from the West to the rest", to that of mission “from everywhere to everywhere” and must therefore seek to work for the transformation of our continent by making the proclamation of the Gospel in its fullness and making it relevant to fight against poverty, HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other health concerns, corruption, conflicts and human rights abuses.

3. Church leaders should engage in dialogue with our political leaders to
identify the opportunities and strategies for maximizing Africa¹s vast but
grossly misappropriated and underutilized resources by investment in
profitable ventures and sharing of resources through linkages between
African nations as New Partnerships for African Development (NEPAD) is
already doing.

4. The Church must take active interest in working for the political
maturity of Africa, the empowerment of women, youth and children and other disadvantaged groups, through relevant education and adequate gate-keeping of our cherished values now under attack for unbridled media values.

5. The Church should enter into a creative phase of building
relationships between Christianity and communities of other faiths for the purpose of fostering better understanding, respect and peace co-existence, without compromising the gospel of Jesus Christ.

6. The time has come for the Church in Africa to address the pitfalls in
our present theological and western world view education, which has failed to relate with some of the socio-political and economic challenges and Christian faith in Africa. We need well-resourced, highly rated and
contextually relevant theological institutions that can engage intelligently
with our peculiar challenges from an African perspective.

7. The Anglican Church in Africa should reach out to Christian
minorities and the unreached peoples wherever they are, as an integral part of our caring ministry to the global community of Christians, by affirming and providing them with spiritual and material support.

8. The conference reiterates our Biblical position on the ongoing
controversy on human sexuality: God created us male and female and we cannot sacrifice truth for any revisionist agenda, which leans on a faulty understanding of Christian unity. We note with approval that the Windsor Report calls for a moratorium on the ordination, election and consecration to the Episcopate who is living in a same gender union and the blessing of same-sex unions. We are committed to the united future life of the Anglican Communion, one that is rooted in truth and love and faithfulness to the gospel of Christ, according to the Scriptures.

9. We are grateful for the presence of representatives of the NETWORK of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes at this historic gathering. We salute their boldness, courage and faithful witness and acknowledge them as our partners in mission in the United States of America. We grieve with those who are alienated within their own Province because of their stand for the historic faith and order of the Church. We pledge them the full weight and support of our ministries. We pray God¹s favour on the NETWORK as we look forward to many new and creative partnerships for the Gospel in the coming years.

10. The Anglican Church in Africa is poised to collaborate with other
partners in progress such as our various governments and voluntary
organisations to emancipate our continent from the long night of ethnic
conflicts and wars and to work to usher in the new dawn of democracy, peace and reconciliation, social and economic reconstruction in an atmosphere that is devoid of the injustices and oppression that have bedeviled our progress

11. This conference is concerned about the violent situations in Daffur in
Sudan, Iraq and Israel/Palestine that has resulted in multiple loss of
lives. The conference, while acknowledging the peace mediatory role of the Governments of Nigeria, Egypt, Libya and the international community, prays that the current agreement signed by both parties in Sudan as well as the peace moves in Iraq and Israel/Palestine will result in lasting peace in these areas.

12. We give thanks to Almighty God for this historic meeting, and pledge ourselves to ongoing fellowship, mutual support and shared witness in the continent of Africa. To this end we will meet every five years, twice before the Lambeth Conference.

The Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, CON; DD
Chairman of CAPA

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