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Resolution 7 - The Holy Spirit and the Church

Resolution 7

The Holy Spirit and the Church

1. The Conference rejoices at the abundant evidence from many parts of the world that there is renewed awareness of the power and gifts of God's Holy Spirit to cleanse, sustain, empower, and build up the Body of Christ.

2. We have seen increased instances of parish life being renewed, of individual ministries becoming effective agencies of God's power to heal and reconcile, of witness to the faith and proclamation of the Gospel with converting power, and of a deeper involvement in the sacramental life of the Church.

3. We rejoice at the prompting of God's Spirit within the many expressions of ecumenity among Christians, for the new forms of Christian communal life springing up and for Christian witness on behalf of world peace and the affirmation of freedom and human dignity.

4. The Conference, therefore, recalls the entire Anglican Communion to a new openness to the power of the Holy Spirit; and offers the following guidance to the Church, in the light of the several ways this Spirit-filled activity may be best understood and represented in the life of the parish.

(a) We all should share fully and faithfully in the balanced corporate and sacramental life of the local parish church. Informal services of prayer and praise need this enrichment in the same way as the sacramental life needs the enrichment of informal prayer and praise.

(b) We all should ensure that reading and meditation of the Bible be part of the normal life of the parish and be accompanied by appropriate study of scholarly background material so that the Scripture is understood in its proper context. Those who search to understand the scholarly background material in their reading of the Bible should ensure that they do so under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that the Scripture is understood in its proper context.

(c) We all should search out ways to identify with those who suffer and are poor, and be involved personally in efforts to bring them justice, liberation, healing, and new life in Christ.

(d) We should remember always that the power of the Spirit is not to be presented as either an exemption from suffering or a guarantee of success in this life. The road from Palm Sunday to Pentecost must pass through Good Friday and Easter. It is at the cross that new life through the Holy Spirit is found, and in the shadow of the cross that Christians must pray "Come, Holy Spirit."