Dear Dr. Harmon:
I know that I greatly understate myself when I say that Anglicanism on this continent is currently quite complex and confusing, especially when it comes to predicting the future direction of our great tradition. I personally am strongly committed to ministering within the Anglican tradition in a way that upholds the orthodox faith, both in theology and polity. For this reason I am both encouraged and troubled by the recent formation of the ACNA. As has been expressed by many, most notably the Communion Partners and the Anglican Communion Institute, the ACNA does seem to be significantly compromising its ecclesiology in order to move beyond the tensions that have for so long plagued our Communion. As a current parishioner at an ACNA church and as someone looking towards ordination, I find this deeply troubling. At the same time, recent decisions in TEC provide little comfort or hope, reinforcing my belief that the possibility of finding in TEC a place to minister in faithfulness and integrity all but impossible.
As a faithful leader of our communion and someone who I know to be committed to the orthodox faith, both in belief and practice, I am writing to ask for your input into this complex situation. Do you still see the Communion Partners remaining in TEC long term, and therefore is there still hope for young ordinands to pursue Holy Orders through the traditional means? On the other hand, do you believe that as the ACNA develops there is hope for a strengthening of its ecclesiological foundation? To this end I am comforted by the involvement of the Rt. Rev. Jack Iker and the Rev. Dr. Robert Munday, as well as the ecumenical voice of Metropolitan Jonah.
With these two “tracks” (to employ recent Anglican terminology) to orthodoxy, is there any hope that the two might eventually partner together and become a unified voice? Closer to home, I think of the presence of the AMiA within the Diocese of South Carolina. I know very little of the relationship between the two, but do you see any hope for partnership in ministry and mission between the two?
I know I have asked more than can possibly be answered, so I would appreciate any thoughts or remarks that you may have on any part of the aforementioned topics.