Unity Faith and Order - Dialogues - Anglican Baptist

Latin American Phase Communiqué 2003

A Latin American phase of international conversations between Anglicans and Baptists was held in Santiago, Chile from January 22-24, 2003. This regional meeting follows three previous held in Norwich (for Europe) in 2000, Yangon (for Asia) in 2001 and in Nairobi (for Africa) in 2002. Participants came representing their respective Churches in Chile, Guatemala, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil and joined members of the Continuation Committee which is conducting these regional gatherings on behalf of the Baptist World Alliance and the Anglican Communion.

On the first evening, the Revd. Alfredo Monje of the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Chile and the Anglican Bishop of Chile, Hector Zavala welcomed the delegates on behalf of the local Churches. Anglican and Baptist delegates gave an overview of the life and witness of their respective ministries throughout Latin America.

Papers were presented on the following topics:

  • Evangelism, Proselytism and Mission in Latin America
  • Ministry of Pastoral Oversight
  • Baptist/Anglican Identity: expressed through worship, teaching and evangelism.

The plenary session evoked some rich insights from the Latin American context into themes which emerged from previous conversations namely: continuity and story: recognition and acceptance: contextual mission and ministry: baptism and Christian initiation; membership and community; oversight and episcope; and, confessing the faith. Many other concerns were expressed and issues explored. There was a general agreement that those areas of faith and life that we share in common far outweigh the areas where there are differences between us. The participants concluded by recognizing the depth of fellowship existing between us by sharing worship centered around the biblical text, Ephesians 4:1-6, "One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism."

The ABIC is the official instrument of the Churches of the Anglican Communion and the Baptist World Alliance responsible for the International Conversations which have the following objectives:

  1. To enable Anglican/Baptists to learn from each other and to deepen understanding of relationships between the two world communions in the light of their histories.
  2. To share with each other how we understand the Christian faith and to work toward a common confession of the Apostolic Faith.
  3. To identify issues of doctrine and the nature of the Church to be explored further in possible future conversations.
  4. To look for ways to cooperate in mission and community activities and increase our fellowship and common witness to the Gospel.

Further meetings will be held in 2003 in the Caribbean and in North America. Members of the eight person Continuation Committee will draft a report when the six phases have concluded and it will be submitted to the respective world communions in 2004/5.

The following persons participated in the Santiago meetings:

Paul Avis (England, Continuation Committee)
John Baycroft (Canada, ACC)
Carlos Lainfiesta (Guatemala)
Jerson Darif Palhano (Brazil)
Bruce Mathhews (Canada, Co-chair Continuation Committee)
Ione Walbaum (Chile)

Raquel Contreras (Chile)
Tony Cupit (Australia, BWA)
Josue Fonseca (Chile)
Tomas Mackey (Argentina)
Ken Manley (Australia)
Amparo de Medina (Colombia)
Zaqueu Moreira de Oliveira
Alberto Prokopchuk (Argentina, UBLA)

Santiago, 24 January, 2003