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BWA, Anglican council announce 4-year dialogue

WASHINGTON (BP)–The Baptist World Alliance has agreed to begin a four-year period of talks with the Anglican Consultative Council in 2000, according to a June 21 news release from the BWA.
The BWA news release referenced a May 25 meeting in London, involving BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz; Tony Cupit, BWA director of study and research; David Hamid, general secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council; and John Peterson, general secretary of the Church of England.
The BWA news release reported that the four officials “agreed the dialogue between Anglicans and Baptists would help each to learn from the other, and understand similarities and dissimilarities that exist between the two communities, identify major theological and polity issues and look for ways to cooperate in various mission and community activities.”
Over the four-year period of the talks, meetings will be held in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and North America involving a permanent core committee of representatives from both groups, to which selected persons from each region will be added when the talks are held there, the BWA news release stated.
“These forthcoming talks with the Anglicans, or Episcopalians, continues a tradition of conversations with other Christian world communions,” the BWA news release said, “and is part of the responsibility the BWA has to promote understanding, not only among Baptists, but among other Christian groups.
“Eight years ago, when these Baptist/Anglican talks were proposed, the BWA General Council approved them, but financial constraints prevented the ACC from following through,” the BWA news release continued. “However, at their 1998 meeting, the Lambeth Conference of Bishops insisted these conversations be a priority.”
Lotz was quoted in the news release as stating, “We look forward to these significant conversations that will enable both communions to share what they have in common, and to learn from one another about those issues where we can both be mutually encouraging. It is our hope that these theological conversations will contribute to that unity for which Christ prayed in John 17, to the end that the world might find it easier to believe.”