ACANZP General Synod – Tuesday 10 May 2016

Synod to re-draft same-sex motion
General Synod forms a new working group to re-draft the motion on same-sex blessings. Debate will resume on Wednesday.

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TAONGA NEWS | 10 MAY 2016 |
General Synod/Te Hīnota Whānui has decided to draft a new motion that provides an alternate response to the ‘A Way Forward’ (AWF) report.
The existing motion 4 had proposed synod accept the AWF report and adopt its recommendation to establish two new services of blessing as church formularies.
While both Tikanga Māori and Tikanga Polynesian agreed they could adopt provisions of the AWF report, the seven New Zealand dioceses yesterday asked for more time to address misgivings about the two services of blessing posed.
Synod moved into conference mode, and requested space to operate with only members and those with speaking rights present.
“This has been a very difficult day for us, a rollercoaster day in many ways;” Archbishop Philip Richardson said after a half-day in conference mode.
When synod reconvened on Monday evening Tikanga Pākeha asked its tikanga partners for time to amend motion 4 to take into account the concerns of members who oppose aspects of ‘A Way Forward.’
“We are saying something to our LGBTI brothers and sisters in Tikanga Pākeha, and it’s difficult: we are all aware of the pain our inability to move will cause to you,” Archbishop Philip said. “But it is our hope that we can get to a profoundly better place than we are at now.”
Synod agreed the new working group will comprise seven members – two from each tikanga and a legal adviser.
The group will work through today and is expected to present a new motion for synod to consider on Wednesday.
Maori support
Ven Te Hope Hakaraia (Upoko o te Ika) offered the support of his tikanga:
“We are willing with Pasifika to move forward.
“However, we are not deaf; we have heard the anguish and the pain of our brothers and sisters in Tikanga Pakeha.
“We want you to come on the bus, to come into our tent. We want to use our manaaki to help you.”
Tikanga Maori then agreed to revisit Motion 4 “as an act of unity, kotahitanga and aroha.”
Susan Wallace (Waipounamu) spoke to tautoko Archdeacon Te Hope.
“In the spirit of radical manaakitanga, under the koroka of the discussion we have had, no one should be left behind,” she said.
Anne Candy (Tai Tokerau), however, expressed reservations about any slowing of change,
“ We have held takatāpui [LGBTI people] captive by not offering them a place in our church.” she said.
“I find it very hard that our church isn’t going to be about emancipation.
“How long do they have to wait?”
Fe’i Tevi (Polynesia) said Polynesia would journey with Tikanga Pākehā.
“We agree that the coconut has not yet fallen; “ he said, “it will fall when it’s ripe.”
“There’s a willingness in Polynesia to look again at ‘A Way Forward’.
“It’s not our tikanga to leave anyone aside and abandon them.”


Synod to ponder blessings overnight

General Synod members are given the evening to prepare questions for a new motion on same-sex blessings.

TAONGA NEWS   |  10 MAY 2016  |

A working group tasked with drafting a new motion 4 in response to “A Way Forward’ presented the new motion to General Synod/Te Hīnota Whānui this evening.

Bishop Andrew Hedge introduced the draft motion with a preliminary explanation, before synod members were given the text to consider overnight.
Synod has been asked to prepare questions for the working group tomorrow.


SO! Members of our General Synod/Hinota Whanui now have the new Draft Motion 4 (a re-draft of Motion 30 ?) to ponder overnight! One can imagine the hastily-gathered interest groups that will be – even at this moment – huddled together in conference to discuss their particular interest in either supporting this new Motion – or, alternatively, finding ways of rejecting it.

Considering the fact that the implications of Motion 30 have been around the dioceses of our Church ever  since the 2014 General Synod, one might have thought that, by the time the consequences of the decision to consider Same-Sex Blessings in our Church had reached some credence. Two years after the Motion was proposed and passed in G.S.2014, something concrete ought to  have been reached by the end of the current deliberations.

YES! The Motion 30 proposal received fairly violent opposition in some parts of our Church, but when one sits down to consider what really is at stake, the furore  that has arisen lately in the conservative wing of ACANZP might be considered to somewhat ‘over the top’ – especially when the traditional doctrine of Marriage (between two persons of the opposite gender) will be retained under the provisions of the Motion. This has been one of the bones of contention.

All that is being asked, is that two Persons involved in a legally contracted Civil Marriage (whether that marriage be heterosexual or Same-sexual) may be able to receive a Blessing from the Church. This is not a marriage rite, but a simple Blessing of the couple concerned. What must be recognised in all of this is that the majority of  couples concerned will be members (or prospective members) of our own Anglican Churches of the Province. The real question here is; how do we treat them in terms of pastoral care and acceptance of them as co-members of the Body of Christ? The world is watching.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand


About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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8 Responses to ACANZP General Synod – Tuesday 10 May 2016

  1. Brian Ralph says:

    Thanks for keeping me up to date . I am currently in Vienna.
    ““How long do they have to wait?”” I am glad there are some people speaking up for me and other LGBT people. I am near the end of my tether. Am glad to have 6 weeks without any Anglican church service and unless something good comes out of this Synod, I have little interest in continuing my 58 years (since confirmation at 14) membership of the Anglican church. In retrospect my life would have been a lot happier without it.

  2. kiwianglo says:

    Dear Brian. Don’t lose heart. I’m 86, coming up to 87 and have been waiting a long time for the Church to come up to the mark about its institutional sexism and homophobia. I’m trusting that ACANZP will do something about this issue at this G.S. Prayers still going up!
    Regards, Fr.Ron

  3. Michael says:

    I’ve lost a little heart. I made the mistake of reading

    It hurts a lot. It gives me such doubt that I feel like a desecrator for even approaching Communion. I should have a thicker skin, but after reading some of that I doubt I would ever be accepted in the Church. At least not in my lifetime. I’ve been with my partner for 18 years now, it would be wrong to deny all the kindness care and love, it is monogamous and filled with goodness.

    I think I agree with Brian above. I may pray everyday, fast strictly during lent, sit with the Lord at the Altar of Repose, do this, that; try: knowing I fall short everyday, but I think I’m going to feel like an illegal immigrant in a Trump run America. Maybe this is humbling, and that is good, but right now it feels a little more akin to humiliation than humbling. I will have to search my heart. The Lord will always be there, I’m not sure about much else right now.

    Thank you always for your voice of kindness on this issue.

  4. Michael says:

    Actually, on retrospect, to entirely take the scripture out of context, in the words of our Lord:

    If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first. If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.

    I don’t think it is meant to be easy to take up one’s own cross and follow Him, even our Redeemer was hated, and still is. So I don’t expect any better. Perhaps faith, patience, and hope will prevail.

    St. John of the Cross suffered horrifically at the hands of his own brothers over reforms. I am no saint, but I can hopefully be patient and faithful. So I will see it as humbling, and wait.

    Thank you Father.

  5. kiwianglo says:

    Dear Michael, thank you for your response – which is quite consonant with my own feelings- on this important failure of our Church to fully understand the plight of those of us who have waited so long for the battle against homophobia and sexism in the Church to be defeated.

    Just a few scared conservative people, whose understanding of the whole issue of homosexuality still resides in the middle-ages’ (mis)understanding of gender and sexuality, have managed to delay the eirenic treatment of a significant minority in the Church – on the basis of their inbuilt fear of the repercussions they imagine will follow the blessing of same-Sex Unions. It is already in process around the world and no-one has yet suffered injury or died from it.

    But then, some of us always knew that the currently aborted process would be seized upon by those in the Church who see the world and its values as their enemies. However, on this issue, the world is carrying the banner of social justice and loving kindness way ahead of the Church.

    I am mindful of a couple of verses of the Hymn of Father F.W. Faber (E.H. 461) :

    “There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in heaven;
    There is no place where earth’s failings have such kindly judgement given

    “But we make his love too narrow by false limits of our own;
    And we magnify his strictness with a zeal he would not own

    My earnest and prayerful hope is that, by G.S. 2018 (though I may not still be alive by then), we will have overcome the prejudice and fear that seems to have captured the hearts of those who reject anyone who may be ‘different’ – whether or not we are ALL the baptized children of God.

    Blessings, Father Ron

  6. Michael says:

    Thank you Father. That’s a beautiful, comforting verse.

    And you’d better be here by then! No going on to Glory just yet, please! At terrible risk of sounding sycophantic, you are a treasure to St. Michael’s, you are a treasure to the Anglican Communion. What you do on here, seriously, it really does count as pastoral care. I can’t speak for others, but I know for me, your voice as a respected, educated, Anglo-Catholic priest, speaking out on behalf of those who feel they fell through some creationist moral crack; it brings hope in times of doubt. Which is to me, the spirit of of pastoral care. Very Franciscan and reminiscent of the work of the prejudiced early Oxford movement.

    I may ‘only’ be 34, but I’ve seen a lot of hatred from those who preach the Gospel in my life. My allegiance remains with our Lord, my devotion remains to his Holy Mother. And may I humbly submit to a spirit of obedience, but hopefully never blindness.

    (I never thought I’d see the term ‘cafeteria Catholic’ leveled on an Anglican forum. *Sigh*)

    Thank you, I really hope to officially join the parish of St. Michael’s officially rather than just passing through like a unhallowed ghost. I just don’t want to cause any problems for anyone. I wish to be confirmed and had even looked at St John’s College. That is unlikely to happen now sadly, and probably not for sometime. …Maybe I could make it to a deacon (in Dunedin at least)?

    Anyway, enough of my musings, thank you Father, in humility, may Our Lord keep you and yours.


    (And Brian, if you read this, please don’t give up yet! It’s hard to know the sun without the night.)

  7. kiwianglo says:

    Dear Michael (and Brian, if you’re looking in),

    Thank you for your kind words. I’ve always felt that, as a priest – and an ex-Franciscan Brother (SSF) – I have a duty to ALL in the Church, not just the self-regarding Holy and Good – being, myself, a Sinner. My dearest wish is that, before I depart this life, I will be able to celebrate the end of sexism and homophobia in our Church – rejoicing in the fact that the Church is a ‘Hospital for Sinners, rather than a Mausoleum for Saints.

    May I, as one of the honorary staff at St.Michaels, warmly welcome you, Michael – and anyone in your situation – to come and worship with us. We have Daily Mass and 3 Services on Sundays. Just make yourself known to me or any of the people at SMAA. We would love to make you a part of our Loving Community in Christ. Blessings, Fr. Ron “Jesu, Mercy; Mary, pray for us sinners”

  8. Michael says:

    Thank you dearly for your kind and humbling words, Father.

    I have had the great grace of attending St. Michael’s over the past few years, somewhat secretly (I can be somewhat chameleon-ish? when needed), I just never wanted to put the Church in an ‘awkward situation’ if someone asked about my life, I couldn’t lie/hide in good conscience (which is hopefully a good attribute).

    To be officially and warmly invited – in honesty of my life, warms my heart and spirit greatly, much more than I can begin to articulate. Thank you.

    It saddens me this issue is overshadowing the genuine needs the people, animals, plants, every species, and the very planet itself, have in this time. For me it’s inconsequential, not something that defines me, a small facet that has become a sticking point for working true good via the Church.

    Your quote reminds me of St.Teresa of Avila, one of my favourite Saints: “From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.” It is somewhat ‘apocryphal’, not appearing in her texts, but is often shown to demonstrate her zest for life.

    A Blessed and Holy Pentecost to you Father, with abundant and sincere thanks: to you and the the spirit of generosity at Saint Michael’s (my patron). I hope to meet you all ‘officially’ soon.

    Yours, humbly (and joyfully) in Christ


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