Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Orombi Marching

The Archbishop of Uganda Henry Luke Orombi was interviewed by Anne Coletta on the United States Anglican TV.

I have recoloured some interesting bits!

He saw a parallel with the courage of Joshua and his coming to leadership after Moses' death and the orthodox people who have a challenge. God is with you and it is about moving on. You get into the promised land, you are poised to take over Jericho but God dealt with them seriously in Jericho. So stay clear of sin if you walk with God, he concluded.

There seemed to be an obvious parallel there and with his and others' actions in the United States. Orombi said he was refreshed by his travel to the USA.

He said Ugandans had treated Bob Duncan as a primate when in Lagos 2004 in his leading the orthodox - he steps out tall as a leader. Duncan was honoured by Ugandans. He compares with Caleb who was along with Joshua. Caleb was 85, and walked with the Israelites for 45 years. Bob Duncan is also humble and it is time to take his inheritance as Caleb did. Duncan is godly and experienced. Caleb helped Joshua to fight, Orombi believes and Duncan is a leader within orthodoxy and solid and it is his time for his inheritance. There is though no time frame with God. Walk a day at a time. That's God.

Orombi had thought it unlikely for TEC to comply with Dar Es Salaam by September 30 2007. The gap has widened further since then. The Ugandans are not going to Lambeth. They are not in fellowship with TEC. It is impractical to go to Lambeth. Rowan Williams has not given them an opportunity to resolve differences. The Covenant discussions will not come to a close. Everyone is still in square one. There were many options from Dar Es Salaam but TEC was not interested in the pastoral scheme and there are litigations going on. So it would be like going back to square one at Lambeth: three weeks where there would be more conflicts than fellowship.

When the concept of GAFCON came they thought let's get together; plus the venue is appropriate - it's Jerusalem where the early Church started. They could renew their vision for mission and networking and passion for the gospel. It is only for one week but will be a more profitable use of time - contrast that passion there for the three weeks at Lambeth, which will be suspicion towards each other and pretending to be together but not in reality.

GAFCON is invitation only otherwise it would be overwhelmed. There could have been many more than 1000. Orombi and company do not want it to be Lambeth-like but have clergy and laity too with younger potential leaders. So they want to target this mix by invitations.

They have all been spending a long and needless time with issues going around in circles. They want to get out of the circle and get together and tackle what the Lord wants with the Church and what is the need of the world - and to go for it, he said. From October 2003 for five years he said they have talked on this - and for how much more? The Anglican Communion is there; but the agendas in the Anglican Communion should shift.

It is a question of conscience about some orthodox bishops going to Lambeth. Orombi saw no reason personally why to go to GAFCON and then Lambeth. He has great demands on his time that need prioritising.

He said that the second draft of the Covenant is watered down already. The Church of Uganda is submitting. The Church of Uganda (?) hopes and prays that the Covenant can bind us [Anglicans]. Such depends on a willingness to abide by it. Some people may reject it outright if it is very strong. The best prospect for everyone to subscribe to it may be if it is watered down; but if it is so watered down the Church of Uganda may not subscribe to it. "What's the point?" he asked. The Communion is an amazing organisation with paperwork. Sit down, talk, how to communique... What is it though if people are not going to abide with what they agree upon? He gave 1:10 1998 as an example.

The Presiding bishop letter protesting about the visit to Savannah was mailed and released on the Internet about the same time. He said that was good because someone could read it and bring it to him. He was travelling - an excellent way for him not to receive it Bishop Schori's letter. He wondered why she didn't write it a week before he left. It was a publicity gimmick, he said. He was not contravening anything: he was coming to a congregation that was not under TEC. He had never been to Savannah and this congregation had come out of the Episopal Church - he added "praise the Lord that it is in the Anglican Communion". He came to offer pastoral communion and care; it was a fantastic time. He wrote back to her and said, "Listen, if you are really walking according to Windsor you would not be saying what you are saying and doing what you are doing." The Windsor Report was so clear and now she has rejected it - this had been talked about in Domantine. His was a response where the Episcopal Church had failed and the leadership want to retain the congregations in the Anglican Communion - these could have joined other Churches and left the Anglican Communion altogether. Uganda is available for the time being until they solve their own problems. They should of course go back to their parents, and the time will come to go back and the congregations should go back. He wondered why the local Bishop did not write instead. The Presiding Bishop is entitled to her opinion and he had responded. He hoped she read it. He said that a letter to him should not have gone public: she was politicising and he responded publically.

He said they did not come to the USA on their own but by invitation. The invitations are very valid, from friends for a long time, and a friend in need is a friend indeed. They know they can be given something; and all they are stepping on is the Gospel, the Word of God. No TEC bishop has a message for anyone in his country. (It was not clear on the recording if he said he would or would not protest if TEC people were invited by people in his country.) They might want to bring money but the issue is beyond money. It is the commitment to Christ and his Church. They were invited in the USA and you cannot say no.

He said a little later that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has not acted as a referee but has taken sides. He ought to be an independent man. Also he should help them know where he stands. There is his role as a convenor of meetings - after Dar Es Salaam and after New Orleans 2007 he would have loved him to have called a Primates Meeting. They made a request. There was not (either) a joint meeting of Primates and ACC: the Archbishop of Canterbury would not get himself to do that. It was really a let down. The Primates initiated this action and should have got together about what came out of the TEC House of Bishops at New Orleans - which was inadequate. There was no way for the Primates who initiated this to respond because they were not called together. So Archbishop Orombi feels disappointed. The Archbishop of Canterbury's lack of clarity is the problem - what he means. He is a gifted and intelligent man. Sometimes communication from people like that is difficult to understand. Where does he stand? When the Archbishop of Canterbury is with them he is very committed; when he is with the liberals he is equally committed. All right, but is he trying to please all of us? He suggested that Rowan Williams finds out who he is going to please.

Archbishop Orombi also said that all (?) need to be faithful as Anglicans as a calling to a Church to the Word of God; this world is hungry for the word of God. They need to go out to minister to them and for people to be together. All should seek to work together: unless united there are factors and powers to tear us apart. He said that we need to guard against this but Jesus is Lord and we cannot fail. He said that we (?) are on the march. God is not interested in numbers. If there is a few here it does not matter - as with Gideon.

1 comment:

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