Valley Forge, Pa. -- The American Baptist-related Baptist World Alliance reports that conversations between Baptists and Anglicans that began in 2000 continued with meetings this January in Chile and the Bahamas.
The Baptist World Alliance traditionally has sponsored conversations with other Christian faith groups as part of its goal to encourage better mutual understanding among believers of different traditions.
"The unique feature of these Baptist/Anglican gatherings," according to BWA Communications Director Wendy Ryan, "is that they have brought together many more participants from all continents than is usual in inter-church conversations in which Baptists have participated, and have been contextualized to focus on the different continents and their particular approach to the practice of the Christian faith. It has meant that many Baptists from all over the world have been engaged."
One focus of the conversations is "to enable Anglicans and Baptists to...deepen the understanding of the relationships between the two world communions in the light of their histories.... allow[ing] Baptists and Anglicans to share with each other how they understand the Christian faith."
Tony Cupit, BWA evangelism and education director, who staffed the meeting, said, "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 Baptist World Alliance, which will celebrate its centennial in 2005, includes 206 Baptist unions and conventions worldwide, including American Baptist Churches USA.
By Albert H. Lee