First bit of news: the Provincial Synod of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines began with a Synod Eucharist at which the Revd. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion Office (ACO), preached. If all goes to plan, Edward Malecdan, Bishop of Bontoc and former Dean of St. Andrew’s will be elected the next Prime Bishop, or Primate, of the ECP.
I got to meet Canon Kearon at the breakfast following, and confirmed that we did know some of the same people. He is here in town, he says, not only for the ECP Synod, but also for the National Council meeting of the Philippine Independent Church, which is meeting in Cagayan de Oro City at around the same time.
This got me to wondering: if there is supposedly a concordat of full communion, why is it that they don’t try to have their synods meet jointly for a time? The Canadian Lutherans and Anglicans make sure that this is the case. Yet another proof, dare I say, that union may not happen in my lifetime.
Canon Kearon also noted something important: not attending Lambeth, he points out, says more about the bishops in question than it does about the Conference itself.
(Incidentally, he used to teach at the Irish School of Ecumenics, and he noted that Bishop Charles Henry Brent was one of the pioneers of the Faith and Order movement, which led eventually to the WCC. He knows Brent’s prayer for mission but only now did he know that Brent wrote it.)
Meanwhile, I will be going up to Baguio this evening, right after work, and I may be able to post some things from there. The operative word is may, of course.
Also, I ask for your prayers as the rest of the week goes on, for both the ECP and IFI in convention assembled. As I mentioned to Canon Kearon, it is these churches which will bear an important witness in years to come, to a kind of Philippine Christianity that moves beyond polarities.