Category : Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

An Ad Clerum on Missions from Interim Pittsburgh ACNA Bishop Martyn Minns

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

It was 1985, and our 18-year-old daughter Helen was transferring through Miami International Airport on her way back home to Lafayette, Louisiana, from a short-term mission trip to the Dominican Republic. She had been there leading a team of young people from our church, including our 16-year-old daughter Catherine and our 14-year-old son Jon, as part of a World Servants project. They had worked in a remote village with dirt roads and no running water. In two weeks they had built a simple church structure using concrete block and had also led a Vacation Bible School for the children of the community. It had been hard work, but they were thrilled by all that they had accomplished, and the villagers were overjoyed.

As she walked through the busy airport, Helen spotted “Charlotte” and a group of her old friends from high school. After the usual squeals of delight, Charlotte explained that they were on their way home from a week in Paris, where they had visited various museums and enjoyed many of the delights of that wonderful city. She asked Helen what she had been doing and looked appalled when our daughter described her two weeks of manual labor in the Dominican Republic.

“Why would you ever do such a thing?” Charlotte asked.

Short-term missions are not exactly new, but they have always been somewhat controversial….

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Missions

(ACNA) Firm Hired To Investigate Allegations Of Misconduct In Upper Midwest

Husch Blackwell LLP has been elected to serve as the firm contracted to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct and mishandling in the Diocese of the Upper Midwest. Husch Blackwell is a national firm and the team engaged for this investigation is based out of their Chicago, Illinois office.

In late June 2021, the Anglican Church in North America was notified that there had been an erosion of trust in the Diocese of the Upper Midwest due to allegations that the Diocese mishandled accusations of sexual misconduct. On July 10, Archbishop Foley Beach announced the Province’s acceptance of a request from the Diocese to take on oversight of the investigation and called for the formation of a Provincial Response Team. The Province is a separate legal entity from the Diocese of the Upper Midwest.

The Provincial Response Team (PRT) of experienced men and women, laity and clergy, began building a process to contract a third-party investigative firm that is trauma-informed, properly experienced, and capable of competently investigating this matter.

The PRT developed a set of criteria, with input from some of the alleged survivors, to vet potential firms. The PRT then began the process of engaging potential investigators based upon those criteria, contacting eleven firms. Out of those contacted, the PRT determined two firms sufficiently met the selection criteria. All alleged survivors known to us were sent the names of these two firms and a summary description of each and were asked to vote or to indicate no preference. These votes, along with the vote of each member of the PRT, resulted in the selection and subsequent engagement of Husch Blackwell. The Province is grateful for the time and energy the other firms gave to us as the PRT considered them.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

South Carolina And Anic Elections Consented To By ACNA College Of Bishops

Prior to serving in Columbia, he served as the Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois from 1997 -2004; as the Canon Pastor at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando, Florida from 1994 – 1997 and as the Curate at St. Paul’s Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee from 1993 – 1994. Edgar and his wife, Beth, have been married for 32 years. They have five grown children and a new granddaughter.

“When the Archbishop told me that the College had consented to my election, I thought of the words from King David, ‘Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?’” said Edgar. “I am humbled by the trust that has been invested in me. By God’s grace, I will serve His church to the best of my ability to prove worthy of this call.”

Bishop Mark Lawrence, retiring diocesan bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, stated, “This is most heartening to me on multiple accounts. I’m giving thanks to God for Bishop Edgar’s election and for what it heralds for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina.”

God willing, Bishop-elect Edgar will be consecrated on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston, South Carolina.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

An Ad Clerum on Epiphany from Pittsburgh ACNA Bishop Martyn Minns

Epiphany is the season in the Church year when we celebrate the coming of the light of Christ into a very dark world. It is a world-changing event that we can never fully comprehend. Epiphany is sometimes referred to as the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles – represented by the Magi, that rather odd set of characters introduced to us in Matthew’s Gospel (2:1-12). While tradition has promoted them to be Kings of the Orient and even given them names – Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar – we really know very little about them from the scriptures.

The story of the Magi’s search for the One who was born the King of the Jews has inspired generations. The story begins in the East, as they study the heavens looking for messages. They conclude that something, or someone, remarkable is about to be born and make a perilous journey to investigate further. Along the way they consult with King Herod and finally make their way to Bethlehem, where they find the infant Jesus with his family. After offering their extravagant gifts that have been the subject of many sermons and Epiphany pageants, they are warned in a dream about Herod’s ulterior motives and return home “by another way.” It is a story that never gets old with the retelling and appeals to all ages. It combines elements of a fascinating adventure story and of supernatural revelations that stretch the mind, no matter how sophisticated we think we have become.

Epiphany season is a good time to remember the many ways in which God still reveals himself to us. For some, those revelations are dramatic and life changing …

One of the classic moments of personal revelation was recorded by John Wesley in his journal of May 24, 1738:

In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society meeting in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading [Martin] Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.

Thus the Methodist movement was born and the course of Christianity in England, the US, and beyond was changed for good!

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Epiphany, Theology

A Christmas Message from Archbishop Foley Beach

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Christmas

(ADOSC) The Rt. Rev. Alex D. Dickson, Jr. (1926–2021)

From there:

Bishop Dickson was consecrated as the First Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee on April 9, 1983. Prior to his consecration as Bishop, he served 10 years as a parish priest in the Diocese of Mississippi; four years at Rolling Fork and Hollandale; six years in Jackson; and then he served as Rector and Headmaster of All Saints School in Vicksburg for 15 years.

In 1995, after he retired as Bishop of West Tennessee, he began Mission Work in Southeast Asia and Africa. At the time of his death, he was serving as Bishop in Residence at St. Michael’s Church in Charleston, SC. He was also Chairman of a mission to a leprosy colony in Liberia. His greatest passion was to bring people to a deep faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He loved to work with people in small groups, teaching them to pray the Scriptures. He was working in this ministry until the day of his death.

During World War II, he served on a destroyer in the Pacific during the Battle of Okinawa.

He was born on September 9, 1926, on New Africa Plantation near Alligator, Mississippi. He married Charnelle Perkins of Glen Allan, MS on October 7, 1948. They have three sons: Alex III (now in heaven), Charles in Sylva, NC, and John in Memphis, TN; six grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. God is good! Charnelle died on October 16, 1995. He married Jane Graham Carver of Charleston, SC on January 2, 1999. Jane has three children and six grandchildren. God is good!

“I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

Memorials may be given to G3 Ministry (led by his stepson), The Rev. Graham Schuyler, 76 Westfield Drive, Pawleys Island, SC 29585.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

Anglican Bishop Alex Dickson RIP

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh) Bishop Martyn Minns on Preaching

Preaching is what we are ordained to do. It is one of the most remarkable privileges that any person can be given. We are presuming to speak for God. It is not, as many seem to think today, simply telling people off or condemning them for their failures. Nor is it just a ‘pep talk’ – a friendly word of reassurance and encouragement. It is something quite different. It is engaging in a supernatural transaction. It is presenting the Word of God to the people of God. My friend and mentor Terry Fullam was a great preacher, and I learned a great deal from him. In a memorable one-liner, he said that sermons are a, “ … Word about the Word from the Word.” In other words, sermons are always to have a Gospel focus, with Jesus Christ at the heart, and grounded in the Holy Scriptures.

Terry Fullam spent hours preparing his sermons – he told me that a useful guideline was an hour of preparation for a minute in delivery. By the time he actually preached his sermon – he never used any notes – it all seemed effortless. He also found nothing wrong with recycling his sermons. “They get better with age,” he once told me with a grin! Early in his time at St. Paul’s in Darien, I realized that he had three brilliant Christmas sermons that he brought back in a regular pattern each year.

Our eldest daughter, Sarah, who is gifted with a remarkable memory, also noticed this and entertained her high school friends by whispering his next lines or the “punch lines” to his stories before he finished them. This resulted in barely suppressed giggles from the entire youth group while he preached. Once, I observed what was happening, I apologized to Terry for the disruption. He smiled and said, “Don’t apologize. Sarah has managed to memorize my sermons. What higher compliment could a preacher ever receive?”

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

ACNA announces that a Provincial Investigation Concerning Bishop Todd Atkinson Begins

From there:

Allegations of misconduct, including the abuse of ecclesiastical power, have been made against Bishop Todd Atkinson. A Provincial Investigative Team has been formed to look into these matters, and is beginning its work.

We are inviting individuals with relevant information to confidentially reach out to the Provincial Investigative Team at tainvestigation@anglicanchurch.net about how to participate in the investigation.

You can learn more about the process, the investigative team, and how to receive official updates here.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

A Local Paper Profile on the New Bishop-elect of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, Chip Edgar

The Very Rev. Chip Edgar isn’t sure when he’ll officially assume the role of bishop of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina.

As the newly elected bishop coadjutor, his task for the next few months is to serve alongside the diocese’s current bishop, learning all of the ins and outs of what it takes to lead the growing religious group.

But Edgar, who serves as the planting pastor at Cathedral Church of the Apostles in Columbia, does have some early thoughts about how his experience in establishing new congregations will shape how he leads a diocese during a time when nationwide trends have indicated decline in church membership and religious affiliation.

“I think church planting is at the heart of who we are as Christians,” Edgar said. “Regardless of what sociological statistics are suggesting, the church is obligated to be always out there trying to plant, trying to grow.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Archbp Foley Beach writes about Michael Nazir-Ali’s decision to join the Roman Catholic Church

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, GAFCON, Roman Catholic

(Anglican Diocese of Fort Worth) State Supreme Court rejects TEC loyalists’ bid to keep property

Today the Supreme Court of Texas declined to overturn or delay the April 2021 order of the 141st District Court directing Episcopal Church parties to return property removed from churches they formerly occupied.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

(ACNA) A Pastoral Message from Archbishop Beach Regarding Gafcon and Women in the Episcopate

I am writing to you today from Nairobi, Kenya at the close of the recent Gafcon Primates Meeting. I am thankful for our global fellowship that is providing encouragement for many, from those undergoing persecution in Nigeria to those grappling with theological innovations in Wales. I encourage you to read more from the press release here.

There is one matter coming out of our meeting that is a challenge for a number of us in the Anglican Church in North America, myself included. The Anglican Church of Kenya recently consecrated a female diocesan bishop, and there has been speculation about how this development might affect our fellowship. At our meeting, the Gafcon Primates agreed we have not come to a consensus on the issue of women in holy orders, and specifically women in the episcopate. At its founding, Gafcon articulated in the Jerusalem Declaration the centrality of the Gospel message of salvation while acknowledging differences in secondary matters and pledging “to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.” Such matters will certainly stretch our fellowship, but our unity in Christ remains strong….

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Church of Kenya

Author and Beloved Anglican Pastor Thomas McKenzie and one of His 2 Children Have Been Killed in a Car Accident

On Monday, [the] Rev. Thomas McKenzie and his 22-year-old child Charlie were killed in a car crash. The two were en route to New Mexico where Charlie, who had recently changed their legal name, was set to start their senior year at college.

“It is with deep sadness that I write to inform you that this morning, Thomas and his 22-year-old daughter Ella died in an accident on Interstate 40 west of Nashville,” wrote Church of the Redeemer’s associate pastor Rev. Kenny Benge in an email.

“They were driving to Santa Fe, New Mexico where Ella was to continue her studies at St. John’s College. Thomas was just beginning his well-deserved sabbatical.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

A Call To Prayer From Archbishop Foley Beach Regarding The Situation In Afghanistan, Haiti, And The Ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Like many of you, I have been soberly watching the situation unfolding in Afghanistan. I know it has surfaced many emotions for people across the world, especially those who have personal connections with Afghanistan and the Afghan people. Whether justified or unjustified, war is always a tragic consequence of the Fall. While in war we can witness the greatness of human courage and selflessness, we also realize the depths of human sinfulness, as poet Robert Burns wrote, “man’s inhumanity to man.”

Please join me in prayer for the people of Afghanistan, those Afghans and Americans seeking safe passage out of the country, and those on the ground continuing to help. Pray for wisdom for leaders at all levels who face very difficult decisions. Pray for the ever-growing underground Church in Afghanistan. Even more, pray that all Afghanis, especially those in power, are met by the Holy Spirit and come to personally know the risen Christ. Please join me in prayer and fasting with special prayers in our worship services this coming Sunday.

I want to send a personal message to all the military, foreign service, civil service, contractors, missionaries, and aid workers, and their families, who have given so much of their blood, sweat, and tears in service to their nations and for the welfare of the Afghan people. Know that your efforts are not in vain.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Health & Medicine, Spirituality/Prayer

An update on the situation in the ACNA diocese of the Upper Midwest

Earlier this month, Archbishop Beach announced that, at the request of the Diocese of the Upper Midwest, the Province would undertake oversight of the independent investigation into allegations of abuse within the diocese, ensure that pastoral care for survivors is offered, and conduct a review of diocesan structures and processes. Below are some recent developments in that unfolding situation:

Executive Committee expresses sorrow, calls for prayer, and approves formation of Provincial Response Team

Meeting on Monday, July 26, 2021 the Executive Committee of the Anglican Church in North America responded to the concerns raised by survivors of abuse in the Diocese of the Upper Midwest. The members of the Committee expressed “deep sorrow for all survivors who have suffered harm and pain as a result of abuse and/or misconduct and for their families and loved ones,” approved the formation of a Provincial Response Team, and called for “prayer for healing and justice for all affected by this tragic situation, for wisdom for those dealing with it, and for a spirit of grace, humility, and repentance throughout our Church.”

The Executive Committee is the Anglican Church in North America’s Board of Directors and is made up of clergy and laity elected from across the Province. Read more from the Executive Committee here.

Archbishop Beach appoints Bishops Miller and Atkinson to assist Diocese

Read it all and please note the diocesan website is there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology

Archbp Foley Beach’s Address to ACNA’s Provincial Council this week

As I look back at this past year, we continued to confront our deficiencies regarding race, racism, and racial reconciliation. As a province, we are listening, but we are continuing to act intentionally, as we stated back in 2015. You may remember a number of us met in North Charleston, South Carolina, hosted by Bishops Al Gadsden and William White at New Bethel EMC Church. We met after the Ferguson shooting, just after a policeman shot a black man in North Charleston, not long after the tragic shootings at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, and in the midst of ongoing protests and riots in Baltimore. At that gathering, we said the following about our intentions as the Anglican Church in North America:

To this end we:

  1. Ask each congregation to pray and work for racial reconciliation in their community,
  2. Intend to develop a Provincial team to lead our multiethnic ministries and we encourage the development of regional networks to support those who are called to multi-ethnic church planting, evangelism, and discipleship,
  3. Invite dioceses and parishes to consider how they might actively develop more effective multi-ethnic leadership pipelines,
  4. Invite dioceses and parishes to make a financial commitment to supporting multi-ethnic leadership.

Out of this meeting came AMEN, the Anglican Multi-Ethnic Network, which is now led by Fr. Taylor Ishii. He took over from Canon Lawrence McElrath, who served as the Archbishop’s Canon and Chaplain but was called up to active duty and service in Afghanistan. AMEN’s purpose is stated as follows: “The Anglican multi-ethnic network (AMEN) is a group within the ACNA dedicated to encouraging the church to better embody the universal saving power of the gospel through planting multi-ethnic churches or increasing the presence of people of color in existing churches.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry, Theology

News from the Bishop Coadjutor Search Committee for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina

From there:

News from the Bishop Coadjutor Search Committee
April 29, 2021

The committee selected to search for the next Bishop of The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina met in an overnight retreat at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center Sunday evening, April 18 and Monday April 19.

We began and ended our overnight steeped in prayer and all had a truly blessed time watching in awe as the power of the Holy Spirit moved, molded and shaped our thoughts and directed our hearts. This committee remains convinced that our Lord has already chosen our next bishop and that we, on the committee, are merely affirming God’s choice.

You may remember that according to our timeline we offered a very long inquiry period in which the entire Anglican Diocese of South Carolina was invited to suggest a priest for consideration by the committee. We received a large number of suggested names during this first phase which concluded on April 1.

The majority of those suggestions ended in the suggested priest deciding themselves not to go any further in the process. For those remaining, we divided the names amongst us and are now checking references and setting up appointments for interviews via Zoom. All of the remaining nominees will be interviewed by the committee as a whole on Zoom and also every remaining nominee will be visited in their ministries by small teams of committee members. This phase of the search process is scheduled to end June 24 when the Search Committee meets as a whole to hear reports from the teams who visited the nominees.

Here’s a timeline of remaining tasks to be completed by the Bishop’s Search Committee:

April 23 –May 23 – Zoom meetings by entire search committee with every remaining suggested person.

May 24 – the Bishop’s Search Committee meets as a whole to consider a list of nominees who will move on in the process.

May 25 through June 23 – the final list of nominees will be visited in their ministry context.

June 25 – Search Committee meets to approve final list to be presented to the Standing Committee.

July 6 – The Standing Committee makes their choices as to whom will continue in the process, pending extensive background checks.

August 1 – an official list of Candidates for Bishop Coadjutor will be published with a suggested date or dates for a walkabout or for several walkabouts for diocesan delegates to meet the candidates.

Around September 11– Walkabout (or walkabouts) to be held for the diocesan delegates to meet the candidates. The Walkabout or walkabouts will be hosted by the Search Committee.

October 16 – Ballots to be cast for Bishop Coadjutor at a special Diocesan Electing Convention.

After October 16 – ACNA College of Bishops meets to approve Diocesan selection of new Bishop.

March 12, 2022 (God willing) – Consecration of new Bishop at Diocesan Convention

Thank you so very much for your faithful prayer for this search committee. We can honestly feel your participation and the undergirding that you provide through your prayers. Please continue!

Respectfully Submitted ,

John Burwell,
Communications member of the Bishop’s Search Committee

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

An Easter Message From Archbishop Foley Beach

Holy Week reminds us that God loved us so much that he sent his Son into our world to die for our sins. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” And so he was crucified on Good Friday, and now it’s Easter morning, the day of his resurrection. He rose from the dead and affirmed everything that he said. His resurrection promises us not just hope for now and life abundantly in the present, but life eternal, eternal life with him. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

I don’t know where this video finds you this morning, or this afternoon, or tonight, but I hope you will find yourself in the presence of the Lord, and if not, that you will open your heart and soul to him this day.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Easter

(TLC Covenant) Jeremy Bonner+David Goodhew–The Growth of the Anglican Church in North America”

But ACNA has seen significant growth as well as decline. Leaving aside the two Nigerian dioceses that have left ACNA, the number of congregations in the rest of ACNA continues steadily to increase. Its stress on church planting is bearing considerable fruit and is much more vigorous than that of TEC.

What is particularly telling is the success of the non-territorial jurisdictions, particularly the diocese named C4SO (Churches for the Sake of Others), whose membership doubled and principal service attendance tripled over the six years up to 2019. C4SO is now the second-largest diocese in ACNA, eclipsed only by South Carolina, larger than Fort Worth or Pittsburgh. Western dioceses like Cascadia and the Rocky Mountains also report significant increases in membership and attendance.

C4SO 2013 2019

Congregations 26 52

Members 5,325 10,493

Attendance 3,157 9,373

Members of TEC may be tempted to look askance at a diocese whose name sounds like a droid from Star Wars, but humility is in order. The growth of C4SO massively outpaces all TEC dioceses in the same period.

What Is Going On in ACNA?

Now past its first decade, ACNA is declining and growing.

Read it all.

Posted in ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Presses On: Convention Held March 13, 2021

In considering what he owes his successor, the Bishop outlined his plans for meeting with, “shoring up and strengthening” the diocesan staff and leaders of Diocesan ministries; the Diocesan Council; those who oversee the discernment, call and training for ordained ministry; and the Deans and Standing Committee.

Before reflecting on what he owed the Diocese, the Bishop praised the clergy and the congregations for how they had pressed on despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, celebrating the many ways “creativity has abounded, and the work and ministry of the churches have gone on.”

“I want to pause in this convention to celebrate our clergy – rectors, vicars, assisting priests and deacons and their lay member for your extraordinary ministry during these extraordinary times!” he said. “Not only that but for how you have helped and learned from one another building up the body of Christ. … Well done good and faithful servants.”

He did express a word of caution noting “more of our older members have returned to in-person worship in numbers greater than the young.” “Generation Z those born after 1998 according to reliable research is the most unchurched generation in American history. These are their formative and perhaps in many ways their defining years.” The Bishop stressed that though we need not meet in large gatherings the church “does need to be incarnational.” He will be assembling a team to consider updating guidance regarding the way forward.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Your Prayers Appreciated for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Convention Today

Read it all. The agenda includes a report from the Bishop Coadjutor Search Committee.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

(First Things) Hans Boersma on the recent ACNA kerfuffle over Christian anthropology and pastoral care

Whither the ACNA? Much will depend on its ability to keep the theological and the pastoral together.

First, we should avoid blaming our Christian heritage or the contemporary church for singling out the sin of homosexuality. Such self-blame is understandable: It is a way of dealing with the emotional hardship caused by same-sex attraction. But this introspection is, for the most part, unwarranted. Traditional Christian morality does not single out homosexuality, whereas making it part of one’s identity does. Besides, power roles have reversed: In today’s therapeutic culture, insisting on one’s gay identity mostly gets applauded, while it requires great courage to speak and write biblically about homosexuality. And while greed, adultery, etc. are all wrong, Scripture hardly supports the notion that all sins are of equal weight.

Third, we should keep in mind that the primary pastoral context of sin is alienation from God. If disordered sexual desires lead us away from a right relationship with God, then that is the key pastoral issue that we must address. The primary pastoral context, then, is not the feeling of exclusion from fellow believers as a result of sexual identity. It’s not that the latter doesn’t powerfully function; it obviously does. But it does so because of the way we have wedded sexual desire to human identity—a unique characteristic of today’s Western therapeutic culture. Carl Trueman’s recent book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, is a must-read to untangle the cultural web that we have spun for ourselves and a welcome antidote to the inexorable drift toward acceptance of disordered desire.

Please note, I am not encouraging us to ignore the pastoral. Quite the opposite: I am convinced we’re often not pastoral enough.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(JE) Some Albany Clergy in TEC (the Episcopal Church) to Join Anglican Church in North America

number of clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Albany are preparing to join the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) according to officials with the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word (ADLW).

The announcement made February 21 is in response to clergy requests for canonical residency under ADLW Bishop Julian Dobbs. It would be the first public movement of clergy in New York’s Capital District since the resignation of Bishop William H. Love earlier this winter.

According to officials with the ACNA diocese, the Albany clergy “have formally applied and are being licensed to minister within the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word.” They are to comprise a regional ministry network that will “place a strong emphasis on church planting and ministries in the [Capital] Region and surrounding areas of New York.”

“We are confident that as these men and women boldly proclaim the authentic Gospel of Christ, many souls will be saved, and new disciples will be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ,” the ADLW statement reads. “We ask that you join us in praying for these clergy and the congregations committed to their care.”

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC)

(ACNA) Clarity In The Midst Of Confusion: A Provincial Statement On The Events Of The Week

From there:

In January of this year, the College of Bishops released a statement on human sexuality and identity which reiterated the biblical position that the Province was founded upon in 2009, a position fully aligned with the Jerusalem Declaration and Lambeth 1.10. While the culture in North America has moved further away from the biblical understanding of sexuality and human identity, the Anglican Church in North America has not moved.

This week, a lay person dissented from the College of Bishop’s statement in a public letter and instigated the very confusion that the College of Bishops warned would happen if its members did not heed this pastoral advice. The confusion was made worse by a misleading claim that Provincial approval had been given for the letter; it had not.

We encourage those who have concerns to again read the Statement itself, “Sexuality and Identity: A Pastoral Statement from the College of Bishops,” rather than be distracted by inaccurate commentary and misleading open letters. For additional context we also commend the letter, “Identity Matters,” from the bishop who chaired the taskforce. If you continue to have questions or concerns, please contact your local bishop. If you are an international partner, you can contact the Provincial Office at communications@anglicanchurch.net

The Anglican Church in North America remains committed to being a place where Christians who experience same-sex attraction can come alongside other brothers and sisters in Christ seeking to be more closely conformed to the character of Jesus, and grow in biblical holiness, righteousness, and godliness. Together, we will continue to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AI) Archbishop Beach writes to the Diocese of the South about some recent developments

Commemoration of Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna Martyr, 156

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am writing today to address a letter which was put out yesterday via social media. A group led by aspirant, Pieter Valk, has put out a letter entitled, Dear Gay Anglicans, in response to the College of Bishops’ pastoral letter on identity. If you have not seen the letter, you can find it HERE.

While it says they are not undermining our Pastoral Statement, they actually are. Replacing “gay Christian” with “gay Anglican” is pretty much in your face. My immediate reaction to the letter was that it was pretty benign and wasn’t going to change anything about what we teach.

However, it has already had international ramifications. I have had to deal with two provinces already (actually now three as of a few minutes ago) — and this is just the first day. In many of our partner provinces, the practice of homosexuality is against the law, and to make matters more difficult, they usually don’t understand the nuances of the word “gay” or “homosexual attraction” — they just hear the practice of same-sex immorality.

In the province, the expected hard rhetoric is coming from both sides in reaction to this. I find our lack of charity in the province a serious blind spot we need to address. Many of our bishops, and rightly so, feel this is an attempt to undermine our roles as guardians of the Faith and teachers of the doctrine of the Church. Some individuals have expressed that we are now TEC 2.0. Some think this is going to break the ACNA apart — one quote I received tonight: “If I had to guess what might fracture the ACNA I would’ve said women’s ordination. I never would have thought it would be homosexuality. We gave up everything to take a clear stand on this. It is disheartening to have it being taken away.” I could go on, but you get the point.

This is serious enough, however, that I am writing this at 1:15 am.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Language, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Mark Yarnhouse–Reflections on The ACNA Pastoral Statement

Several years ago, when I was on sabbatical in Cambridge, I was asked to speak to a group of conservative clerics in London about research on sexual orientation and identity. I was delighted to learn that Wesley Hill was also speaking. Wes describes himself as a celibate gay Christian and I recall the graciousness with which the clerics received Wes, although they themselves had questions about such a designation. The spirit of the time together was that they had convened brothers and sisters in Christ to discuss what is often referred to as a traditional Christian sexual ethic and how that ethic intersects with scientific research and the lives of people actually living out that ethic in meaningful ways.

Reading through the recently published Pastoral Statement from the College of Bishops in the Anglican Church in North America on Sexuality and Identity reminded me of this event, perhaps because sections of the statement stand in contrast to some of what I experienced that day.

After the Preamble and Purpose, the statement itself address same-sex relationships, identity and transformation, and identity and language. Let me offer a few thoughts on each of these three sections….

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Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Sexuality And Identity: A Pastoral Statement From ACNA The College Of Bishops

The Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) offer this pastoral statement to the Church after prayer, study, careful listening to disparate voices, and a collaborative process involving contributions from across the Province. As a result of this process, we have become even more acutely aware of the power we all need to live faithfully in Jesus Christ as He redeems the whole of our identity, including our sexuality.

The College of Bishops asked for the formation of this statement in January of 2020 after we heard reports of varied application among ACNA leaders regarding the use of language about sexual identity, especially within provincial events. We recognize there are a multiplicity of realities in our current national, political, and global circumstances into which an episcopal voice could be presented. In the midst of this tragic pandemic, we desire to continue to minister the Gospel into all aspects of our common life that have been distorted by sin such as racism, persecution, injustice, and violence, while also speaking to this specific issue of identity and sexuality. We hope this circumspect statement will speak pastorally to the issue of sexuality and the use of language within our provincial church.

Our foundation is the Scriptural truth that God made us male and female in His image—a profound unity with distinction (Genesis 1:27). God established marriage between male and female to fill the earth through procreation (Genesis 1:28). Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught that marriage is the model of God’s relation to humanity, the Church. It is a sacramental type of union by which humans work out their salvation with, and in, God’s grace. It requires a lifetime of commitment joined, blessed, and sustained by God between one man and one woman for the purposes of raising children and bearing the image of Christ’s relationship with the Church (Matthew 19:1-12, Ephesians 5:21-33). Yet, Jesus and Paul also extol, and themselves exemplify, the model of virginity for life and spirituality (2 Corinthians 11:1-2). They establish Christian celibacy as a normal, while less common, vocation of abstinent singleness for the sake of the kingdom (Matthew 19:1-12, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40).

Furthermore, we equally affirm, following Paul, that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We say, with Augustine, that this Fall has affected our lives in destructive ways that have disordered our affections. While same-sex attraction is one manifest type of disordered affection, there are many other types of disordered affections. Indeed, we recognize that same-sex sexual relationships have been an oft-targeted sin while other sinful manifestations of our common fallen nature, such as pornography, adultery, divorce, greed, and disregard for the poor have sometimes been tragically discounted or even ignored.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

On January 7, 2021 Archbishop Foley Beach welcomed the Rt. Rev. Bill Skilton into the ACNA, “It is my great pleasure to receive the Holy Orders of the Rt. Rev. William J. Skilton, D.D., as a retired bishop of the Anglican Church in North America. We recognize your ordination and consecration as a Bishop in Christ’s one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and we welcome you to exercise your ministry under the guidance of the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence.” Bishop Skilton will continue to serve as bishop-in-residence at Old St. Andrew’s, Charleston and has been licensed by Bishop Lawrence to perform the duties of priest within the Diocese and to exercise episcopal duties at the invitation and direction of the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese….

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Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

The ACNA College of Bishops Meeting Communique January 2021

From there:

The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America met via Zoom January 5-7, 2021 for prayer, conversation, and fellowship. In addition to consenting to the election of two new bishops-elect, we engaged in important dialogue on topics of particular urgency in contemporary society: racial reconciliation, sexuality and identity, and ministry in the midst of a pandemic.

As events unfolded in the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, the words of Archbishop Beach’s address from the previous day were a prophetic encouragement to continue to work for the unity of the Church in the midst of a polarized society:

“We are beginning to suffer from a serious lack of theological, Biblical, and historical understanding in the Church. We have often quoted Marc’ Antonio de Dominis (1560-1624), archbishop of Split (Spalato): ‘In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.’ Yes, we can differ on the nonessentials, but the Faith is not up for grabs. So, let’s not be afraid to say the hard thing regarding the essentials of the Faith and remain true to the teaching of Holy Scripture, the Bible. But remembering, in all things, charity! The mentality which writes people off and breaks fellowship with those who disagree is creeping its way into the Church. We must fight to maintain the unity of the Spirit in our Church.”

During our time together, we also looked at concrete proposals for addressing clergy wellness, received an update from the Liturgy and Music Task Forces, and began looking ahead to 2030.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)