The ecumenical leaders of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) dialogue met this week at the Church of the Holy Communion in Dallas, Texas. The co-chairs, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary, and The Rt. Rev. Kevin Bond Allen, Bishop of the Diocese of Cascadia, led the discussions in response to the historic meeting in Moscow last August between Archbishop Foley Beach and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton, Dean of the Ecumenical Relations Task Force, gave an excellent report, and the leaders discussed its import for the future ecumenism and work of the OCA-ACNA dialogue. The Most Rev. Archbishop Melchizedek, Bishop of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania, encouraged the committee to learn more about the history of the Orthodox and Anglican relationship in order to work towards a faithful cooperation and witness to world.
It was agreed the Committee would focus future work on the following:
- To produce a book on the history of the Orthodox and Anglican ecumenical dialogue, which dates back to the late 1800’s;
- To present papers on Moral Theology, Ecclesiology, and Theology to, in part, explore how we can join together in addressing the cultural and moral challenges of our day;
- to present papers on the nature of the priesthood within the Orthodox and Anglican Churches;
- to discuss what unity means, as well as potential impediments to it, among Orthodox and Anglicans in their respective jurisdictions, both locally and globally; and
- what it means to “be in communion” so that we can work towards better understanding and unity where possible.
Those present from the OCA were The Most Rev. Archbishop Melchizedek, The V. Rev. Archpriest Chad Hatfield, The Rev. John Parker. Those present from the Anglican Church in North America were The Rt. Rev. Bishop Kevin Allen, The Rt. Rev. Bishop Ray Sutton, The Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, and Dr. Michael Howell.
Their next meeting will be late June 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina.