Category : CANA

Convocation of Anglicans in North America

Peter Toon–On seceding from the Episcopal Church: But where to go?

A part of my daily e-mail traffic comes from people who have read my various pieces, in which I show the mess into which North American Anglicanism has got itself through (a) the initial infidelity of The Episcopal Church [for details of this see my Episcopal Innovations, 1960-2004, from] and then (b) the indiscriminate creation of small groups bearing the name “Anglican” from 1977 through to 2008 [see further my Anglican Identity from the same site]. They ask simply: what are we to do? And some of them expect that there is a simple answer which applies in all the 48 contiguous states, not to mention Alaska and Hawaii.

It seems to me that the extra-mural Anglican situation outside TEC has got so complex””not least through the intervention of at least five overseas Anglican provinces in recent years””that it is not possible to offer any simple answer, except the one that avoids the problem and is simply: “Pack your bags, leave this Anglican house, go to another with a different name [Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox etc.] and forget about the Anglican mess as far as you are able, for to clean it up will take a generation.”

If people have patience to consider principles and not be caught up in “winds of change” and “instant solutions” and “imitating others,” then I put to them””in brief””something like the following (adapted of course to local and personal reality). I presume here that the starting point is a parish in TEC where there is a dissatisfied group of Episcopalians who wish to be faithful to Biblical religion….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Continuum, CANA, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, TEC Conflicts

Jeremy Bonner reviews Miranda K. Hassett's Anglican Communion in Crisis

In examining the origins of the conservative movement in the Episcopal Church, Hassett challenges some widespread opinions held by members of the liberal community. The oft-repeated charge that the support of Global South bishops for American conservatives at the 1998 Lambeth Conference and subsequently was “bought,” she dismisses as reflecting an inadequate grasp of where most of the Southern bishops stood. That there are problems with the disparities of wealth between North and South and how wealth is shared between the two cannot, she believes, explain why the crisis has developed as it has done. More controversial, especially in America, will be the conclusion she draws from her experience of worshipping and talking with the St. Timothy’s, regarding the genuineness of the professions of concern for moral teaching that come from groups like AMIA. “Although homosexuality is often singled out for particularly vehement opposition,” she writes, “my time at St. Timothy’s showed me that evangelical Episcopalians’ responses to homosexuals are framed in the same language of sin and the need for transformation through a relationship with Jesus Christ that they apply to their own lives.” (42)

Conservatives, however, should not become complacent. Hassett has her own view of the myth that has grown up around Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom, which has led some to see the shift in the locus of power to the Global South as the inevitable triumph of Christian orthodoxy. (249-52) Her Ugandan experiences demonstrate that the sense of a monolithic Southern Church that one can sometimes derive from the statements of certain primates is far from accurate. She notes, for example, the greater degree of tolerance for homosexuality (though not a denial of its sinful nature) displayed by the Bakolole fellowships that emerged from the East African Revival; the understanding of homosexuality as an imported “colonial” practice that has made it a matter of nationalist well as religious significance; and the continued reservations expressed by Ugandan bishops and priests about the wisdom of constituting AMIA.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Provinces, CANA, Church of Uganda, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

Robert McCan: The Episcopal Church Versus CANA

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori testified by way of a televised deposition that lasted some 54 minutes. She was courteous yet clear in her conviction that CANA congregations had no right to leave the Church and take the property. When pressed to offer some negotiated settlement on property she was clear that The Episcopal Church would not negotiate with a church from another country coming into a diocese and competing with that established diocese. Asked to explain, she stated this violated current and ancient practice. Polity in all parts of the Anglican world has been for a bishop in one area to get permission from the bishop in another before going there to perform any type of ministerial function. She saw the establishment of parallel parishes and their vocal criticism of The Episcopal Church as confusing to the public and harmful to the church.

Presiding Bishop Katharine was reminded that she had signed the statement of the Primates at the Dar es Salaam meeting. It required The Episcopal Church to repent and pledge to renounce the practice of consecrating homosexual bishops and blessing same-gender “unions” or marriages. She responded that she signed to indicate that the statement represented what transpired. She indicated that she had no authority to bind the bishops or The Episcopal Church to such a statement.

Finally, when asked how she could support legal action against CANA churches when the Primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury had urged the church to settle disputes over church property within the church rather than through the courts, she responded, “I have a duty to protect the assets and the integrity of The Episcopal Church.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Priest, members form new church in Tennessee

The rector, vestry and most members of Trinity Episcopal Church in Winchester, Tenn., began worship in a new location today as Christ the King Anglican Church.

Charging that the Episcopal Church today is pursuing a “false” gospel, the Rev. William Midgett, his staff, the lay leadership and a number of parishioners left the 149-year-old church last Sunday.

“For us, it came down to choosing between two gospels,” the former rector said. “We recognized there was one (gospel) the church has held onto for 2,000 years, and what’s being promoted now looks very different from that.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

CANA Welcomes Ten U.S. Churches Commended to CANA Oversight by Bishop of Bolivia

HERNDON, Va. (January 7, 2008) ”“ The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) has welcomed ten new congregations into its membership. The Rt. Rev. Francis R. Lyons, the Bishop of Bolivia, commended these U.S. Anglican congregations and their clergy to the oversight of CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with these churches that have been blessed by the leadership in Bolivia and will continue to be blessed by the Holy Spirit. CANA is eager to welcome them on their Christ-centered and faithful mission to serve God and to honor the worldwide Anglican Communion,” said Bishop Minns.
Originally under the ecclesiastical leadership of the Church of Bolivia, the ten U.S. congregations were given CANA oversight “with a profound desire to promote unity in Jesus Christ which issues from his reconciling work on the Cross and an abiding trust in the power of God’s Word written, and with a genuine commitment to support the emerging ecclesiastical structure of faithful Anglicans in North America,” said the Rt. Rev. Francis R. Lyons of Bolivia in a letter to Bishop Minns.

The newest CANA congregations are St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Fairlawn, OH, Church of the Holy Spirit (Anglican), Akron, OH, Anglican Church of the Good Samaritan (Fairhill), Cleveland, OH, St. Barnabas Anglican Church, Bay Village, OH, St. Anne in the Fields, Madison, OH, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Milan, OH, Christ the King Anglican Church, Columbiana, OH, Christ Our King Anglican Church, Lexington, MI, St. Michael the Archangel Anglican Church, Indianapolis, IN, and The Shepherd Church, Evansville, IN.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Newbie Anglican: A Resolution and a Plea

Those who peruse the big Anglican blogs know that “Communion Conservatives” (those who advocate contending for the faith by staying in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion) and “Federal Conservatives” (those who are convinced one or both of those bodies are too far gone to the point they think it best orthodox at least prepare to leave) are rather close to each other’s throats at the moment.

To be honest, I have my opinion as to which side is most at blame, but that’s not my concern right now. This post may even seem a bit vague because I don’t want to engage in figure pointing. For my concern is that anger between the two sides is getting to and past the point that it will make it difficult for these two sides of orthodox Anglicans to work together in the future.

That distresses me. If it turns out the Federal Conservatives are right and the Communion Conservative eventually find staying in TEC and the like to be untenable, I want the Comm-Cons to feel they have a refuge in Common Cause and/or whatever church bodies the Fed-Cons form. Likewise, if a miracle happens and the Anglican Communion or even the Episcopal Church sufficiently reforms, I want Fed-Cons to feel they can return. I hope the current divisions between the two are temporary. And even if Comm-Cons and Fed-Cons remain on different tracks, I want them to be able still to work together on those things they can.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Continuum, CANA, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

BabyBlue: The Division of The Episcopal Church: First Post-Trial Briefs Filed Today

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Chris Sugden: Church on the Tipping Point

The Church of the Epiphany, near Dulles International Airport, in Washington DC is the home of the CANA offices. Some 1,000 people gathered there last Sunday for a three-hour service for the consecration of two Nigerians and two Anglo-Americans as bishops of CANA. The Convocation of Anglicans in North America has 60 congregations in 20 states in the USA, with a total average Sunday attendance of approx 8,600, larger than 70 per cent of TEC dioceses. A senior leader said CANA expected to grow to 200 congregations in the next year. All the glories of Anglican worship were there: a splendid liturgy, the great hymns of the church, enthusiastic African praise songs accompanied by drums and the celebrant on tambourine led by a dominant Nigerian soprano, and robust biblical exposition. It was impossible to tell if this was a Nigerian service in which Anglo-Americans took part, or an Anglo-American service in which Nigerians took part. CANA and other Anglican entities on North America are working hard to express true partnership across cultures. It is hard to see what else other than the crisis we are in could have brought about such a deep desire from Westerners for Global South help.

Archbishop Edmund Akanya of Kaduna insisted in his sermon that the antidote to prevailing heresy is the faithful teaching of the whole Bible. ”˜We will continue to face the growth of heresies. Teach the Word, it is your duty to protect and preserve what God has given to our hands. The divisions in the Anglican Communion are not about sexuality. It is the beginning of a new kind of religion which not only reinterprets traditional doctrines but jettisons many altogether.’ To this task the new bishops, Roger Ames, David Anderson, Amos Fagbamiye and Nathan Kanu were consecrated.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, TEC Conflicts

Richard Kew: The View from the Bleachers

When you have an opportunity to stand back from what is going on, you are better able to see all the players in action, and it is a little easier to measure their play against a common set of reference points. Quite honestly, it seems to me that denial of the realities is standard at both ends of the spectrum. The voices of those who ally themselves with the “establishment” and the National Church seem as determined to read the situation through their own set of colored lenses as those at the other end of spectrum to put their own spin on the realities. While those who want everyone to kiss and make up are more sentimental than realistic.

If Kevin Martin is correct, and I think he has been fairer in his analysis of what is going on than most, then for those who continue as part of the Episcopal Church a crunch point is fast approaching when declining numbers and funds will no longer be capable of upholding the infrastructure that presently exists. You might have been able to say until now that its only a relatively small number of parishes that are causing all this upset and, by and large, other than them everything is fine and dandy, but it is no longer just parishes heading for the exit. When dioceses start doing the same then you have to change your tune.

But then, those who are conservative, orthodox, or whatever other label you want to give them, have their own blinkers on when it comes to looking at the realities. It might be a wonderful sense of relief for those leaving to get out from under the antagonistic leadership of the Episcopal Church, but it is incredibly hard and grueling work to create a whole new infrastructure in which to be church. Having been at the front end of a number of new ventures in my time, I know from personal experience the grinding agony of having limited financial resources, relatively little land or property, and how incapacitating it can be to do pioneer work after you have got over the euphoria of getting the new ministry (or whatever) up and started. It requires guts and a special mix of gifts to be a pioneer.

Read the whole piece.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

CANA split on issue of women priests

But how that passion will relate to women’s rights within the church remains to be seen.

Although Minns told those assembled that “there is no person outside the reach of God’s love,” he also informed them that, “At this time the Church of Nigeria, to which we owe canonical obedience, has no provision for the ordination of women, although there has been acceptance of women in the order of deacons.”

The Episcopal Church has allowed for the ordination of women since its 1976 General Convention but Minns said that CANA, which currently numbers about 60 congregations with over 100 clergy in 20 states with a total average Sunday attendance of approximately 8,600 ”“ larger than 70 percent of the dioceses in the Episcopal Church ”“ is currently split on the issue.

The four new bishops consecrated on Sunday were all male.

“I am fully aware that this is a topic of concern for many clergy and congregations throughout CANA and one that produces intense reactions,” Minns said Thursday.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA

Ruth Gledhill: Is the Anglican experiment Over?

Bishop Duncan gave me an interview during his visit. He said: “It is hard to imagine how the Communion can be kept together. The American church remains committed to its progressive direction.” He compared it to US foreign policy. “The American Episcopal Church, rather like American foreign policy, is determined the world will go precisely the way it wishes. It seems a split is almost unavoidable at this point.”

A great many people observing the situation, he said, are speaking in terms of the “Anglican experiment” being over. “That is a great sadness. The question for the rest of us is whether we can again be both Reformed and Catholic. The jury is out. Will it simply disintegrate or will it break into two parts? It is a long-term historical question. The 21st century will give an answer to it but we are only at the beginning of that century.”

From my personal perspective, I have to say, things look a little different….

Read the whole blog entry.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, CANA, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Washington Times: New bishops set for Anglican breakaways

“The old order in the Episcopal Church is falling apart,” said CANA Bishop Martyn Minns, the former rector of Truro Church in Fairfax. “We’re all finding a new way to live into our Anglican heritage.”

Churches belonging to CANA are under the umbrella of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, and Bishop Minns was made a member of the Nigerian House of Bishops in August 2006. He was snubbed last spring by being one of a handful of prelates not invited by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to the decennial Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops.

Archbishop Akinola has since said that none of his bishops will attend Lambeth in July if the CANA bishops are not invited. He objected to the presence of several dozen American bishops who helped consecrate openly homosexual New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson in 2003.

“It’s not so much about me and my invitation,” Bishop Minns told reporters Thursday, “it’s about how the Anglican Communion functions together.”

Read it all and there is much more information on the CANA website.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Four Anglican Bishops (including two Americans) consecrated today for CANA

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA

CANA expanding, Leader says

An umbrella group for about a dozen former Episcopal congregations in Northern Virginia has grown larger as the national church continues to “alienate” its members, a top official with the splinter group said Thursday.

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America, or CANA, has expanded to 60 congregations and more than 100 clergy in 20 states, Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns said during a speech at the Church of the Epiphany in Herndon. CANA, which is affiliated with a conservative archbishop in Nigeria, plans to consecrate four new bishops at the church Sunday.

“We have grown at a remarkable rate,” Minns said. “We have done so in the face of relentless opposition and some of the largest lawsuits ever mounted by the Episcopal Church against its own clergy and congregations.”

A spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia declined to comment Thursday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA

The Bishop’s Pastoral Call to the CANA Council 2007

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, CANA, Church of Nigeria, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Robin T Adams: Our Move from TEC to Nigeria — Some Questions and Answers

Now, almost one year after having left The Episcopal Church (TEC), we look back at our experience and some frequently asked questions regarding our departure.

You really need to take the time to read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, CANA, Church of Nigeria, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

The Full Text of Bishop Sandy Millar's Sermon at the Installation of the Rev. Tory Baucum

I don’t need to remind you that there is a war on for the very soul of the Church. But your courage, if I may say this, humbly, and your steadfastness in the face of a new and speciously sophisticated manifestation of evil has won you many admirers all over the world.
And now I want to suggest to you ”“ it’s time to GO FOR IT. To put up your sails for the wind of the Spirit is blowing. Look after each other, look after Tory and Elizabeth, that family; and Tory and Elizabeth, look after them.

The wind is blowing, and the Lord’s promise is as real today as ever it was. As far as you can, put the unpleasant things behind you. The Lord is doing a NEW THING do you not see it? There are thousands out there waiting to hear that God loves them. There is a task to be done before the Lord returns. There are millions of people to be touched with that sense of joy and peace and purpose and grace and forgiveness and love which you carry as the messengers for God. But it starts, it continues and it ends with Peter’s cry from the heart ”˜Lord, you know everything’ ”˜You know that I love you’. And Jesus’ kind reply ”˜Feed my sheep’.

Let’s have a moment of quiet if we may and I would love to encourage any of you and each of you in your own way with the Lord to re-dedicate yourselves. Don’t get distracted now, time is short. Re-dedicate yourselves if you’d like to and I’m going to end with a little prayer in which you could do that. Re-dedicate yourselves to the service of God, to the welfare of the Church for whom Jesus is coming back and the glory of God’s name in this place.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, CANA, Church of England (CoE), Church of Uganda, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

4 New Bishops Elected to Serve CANA

From here; this more fully fleshes out the material in the second link in the post about Nigeria below.

(Herndon, VA) — The House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) met in Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria, on the 12th day of September 2007. They received a report from the Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria in the USA. Acknowledging the significant growth of CANA that is taking place in the USA, the House of Bishops considered a request for additional bishops to further the work of CANA and the extension of God’s Kingdom.

After the meeting, the Primate, the Most Rev’d Peter J. Akinola, announced the election of four suffragan bishops and appointed them to serve in the USA. The bishops-elect are the Rev’d Canon Roger Ames (Akron, OH), the Rev’d Canon David Anderson (Atlanta, GA), the Ven. Amos Fagbamiye (Indianapolis, IN), and the Rev’d Canon Nathan Kanu (Oklahoma City, OK). The consecrations will take place in the USA before the end of 2007, at a date and place yet to be determined. These four bishops-elect will join Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns and Suffragan Bishop David Bena in providing an indigenous ecclesiastical structure for faithful Anglicans in this country.

CANA currently consists of approximately 60 congregations and 80 clergy in 20 states. About a quarter of the congregations are primarily expatriate Nigerians. CANA was established in 2005 to provide a means by which Anglicans living in the USA, who were alienated by the actions and decisions of The Episcopal Church, could continue to live out their faith without compromising their core convictions. CANA is part of the Common Cause partnership that includes representatives of more than 250 Anglican congregations that are connected to the rest of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide fellowship of some 70 million, through various pastoral and missionary initiatives.

Update: A Living Church article regarding this matter is here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA

New Anglican Church leader in Connecticut starting fresh

An Episcopal priest at odds with church leaders over many of their views, including on homosexuality, is breaking from the ranks by retiring Sept. 30 to start a new congregation, Christ Church Anglican.

The Rev. Gilbert Wilkes, rector of Christ and the Epiphany Episcopal Church in East Haven, said Saturday his new congregation will meet for the first time Oct. 14 with services at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. at a middle school in East Haven. His church will be part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America – or CANA – founded to offer disaffected Episcopalians a theologically friendly church structure.

“I hate to see him leave the Episcopal Church – he’s been an exemplary priest and pastor,” said Diocesan Bishop Andrew E. Smith. “We’ve always had a great relationship.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Connecticut

Martyn Minns reports on the recent consecrations

Bishops Bill Atwood, John Guernsey, and Bill Murdoch are personal friends of many years and we are looking forward to working with them in the coming months as part of the Common Cause Partnership. These new initiatives are a dramatic demonstration that we are not alone as we seek to bear witness to the transforming love of Jesus Christ that is rooted in the ‘faith once and for all delivered to the saints.’

These missionary and pastoral initiatives by our friends in the Global South also make clear that they will not abandon us to those who seek to silence our voices by pernicious lawsuits and canonical threats. It is my hope that one result of these creative partnerships will be a renewed emphasis on mission and reaching the unchurched with the Gospel.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, CANA, Church of Uganda

The Church Times Story on Martyn Minns and Peter Akinola

In response to this story, we have the following from Greg Griffith:

– Archbishop Akinola was in Virginia last week, when the statement was released. He and Minns spent much time together. It is entirely possible that +Akinola was using Minns’ computer to compose his statement. It is more likely that +Akinola was dictating the statement to Minns. It is far more likely that +Akinola was giving shape and form to the statement, while relying on Minns for the exact wording… in other words, exactly what a trusted confidant and Assistant Secretary of the Global South Steering Committee is for. Surely Jim Naughton, as a diocesan communications director who has no doubt ghost-written more than a few of John Chane’s statements, understands how that works.

– Any notion – asserted both by [Father]Jake and [Jjim] Naughton – that Martyn Minns “pulled one over” on Archbishop Akinola is absurd. There is simply no way the Anglican Church of Nigeria released a statement that was not approved by +Akinola.

– The idea – also asserted both by [Father]Jake and [Jim] Naughton – that Peter Akinola doesn’t possess the intellectual acumen or the command of the English language to compose “Agonizing Journey,” is equally absurd, and tinged with more than a touch of racism. The archbishop is a highly educated man (master’s degree from Virginia Theological Seminary) and is quite articulate.

The important point about the article is that the author has raced to a conclusion without evidence. If I have a word document on my computer written by Bishop Salmon with changes in it (if the Word software indicates so), the changes were made on my computer but by whom they were made is still not known. Indeed, on a number of occasions Bishop Salmon has called me and made changes to the document with me on the phone. He was speaking, and I was typing. Yes, you guessed it, this has happened on a number of occasions. I can think of several where both Bishop Salmon and Bishop Skilton made multiple changes to the final text, which of course they both then signed. Every change came through my computer, but was made by them because they were concerned about every word. This is called care and collaboration, and it happens all over the church all the time–KSH.

Update: Ekklesia [U.K., not to be confused with the U.S. version] has a piece on this which goes even farther over the top.

Further Update: Don’t miss the press release from The Venerable AkinTunde Popoola, Director of Communications for the Church of Nigeria, below in the comments (#41)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, CANA, Church of Nigeria, Media

BabyBlue Analyzes a Letter from Virginia Bishop Peter Lee to some Clergy

On Friday The 13th, Bishop Peter James Lee sent the following letter out to twenty one clergy whose congregations, following the Diocese of Virginia Protocol, voted to separate from the Episcopal Church, and whom he inhibited following his sudden cancellation of his own Property Committee as well as the stand-still agreement – all designed to negotiate amicably.

Notice that Bishop Lee introduces a new phrase, a new organization, in his Friday the 13th Letter. It’s called The Communion of The Episcopal Church (as opposed to the Anglican Communion). Since the inception of the Episcopal Church, when churches won recognition from the Archbishop of Canterbury himself and then went to form dioceses, the word “communion” has meant the Anglican Communion.

Church of the Apostles, Fairfax, was able to call a New Zealand priest to be their rector because he was an Anglican priest. Bishop Lee is “in communion” with the Anglican bishops in New Zealand and so the clerical orders are recognized. That is what “communion” means. It means that all these clergy and bishops have orders that are valid to celebrate the Eucharist….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Martyn Minns: Girding for battle, hoping for change

In May, Bishop Martyn Minns became head of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a conservative group with ties to Nigeria. Minns, 64, led 11 Virginia congregations to break ties with the Episcopal Church last year. For 16 years, he has been rector of the historic Truro Church, where George Washington’s father once served on the vestry. Now, Minns prepares for a battle with the denomination he left behind.

Why did you decide to leave the Episcopal Church?

I really do believe that the Episcopal Church kind of left me. They have moved to adopt positions and attitudes that are at odds with where the rest of the Anglican Communion is and where I am. And so in that sense, I’ve not really changed that much. But they have.

Why not stay put and practice your beliefs in your own church?

That’s obviously something I tried to do. But the problem I had is that most of the congregation here felt they could no longer continue in that mode, and in fact, we lost over 100 families. They voted with their feet.

What are the consequences of your decision?

We’re actually now facing potentially the largest lawsuit the Episcopal Church has ever initiated against congregations. They are trying to evict us and indeed to take all of our property and all of our resources away from us. … Our replacement cost is estimated at about $30-million, and we’re just one of the churches.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, CANA, Church of Nigeria, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

More Lambeth Invitations Likely

The invitation list for the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops is not complete, according to Canon James Rosenthal, communications director for the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).

Invitations were sent May 22. The initial invitation list was compiled based on past precedent and the recommendations of the Windsor Report, according to Canon Rosenthal and other aides to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams who spoke with The Living Church.

Bishops who have not received invitations included those whose consecrations are valid but whose jurisdictions are anomalous, bishops not engaged in stipendiary episcopal ministry, and a handful of bishops whose manner of life or public actions are cause for concern. Invitation also were not extended to retired but semi-active bishops known as “assisting bishops” in The Episcopal Church or “honorary assistant bishops” in the Church of England.

Some previous Lambeth Conferences included bishops holding administrative positions within their national churches, but no such invitations have yet been extended for 2008. Episcopal bishops in this group include the Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, the Presiding Bishop’s deputy for ecumenical and interfaith relations; the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews, director of the Office of Pastoral Development at The Episcopal Church Center; and the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. All three are actively engaged in stipendiary church ministry and are active members of the House of Bishops, but are not directly engaged in “episcopal ministry,” the ACC said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008

Jennifer McKenzie: Worshipping with the faithful remnant

“Welcome to the Party!” came the greeting from The Rev. Michael Pipkin as he appeared seemingly from nowhere out of the crowd. “It’s good to see you here. Thanks for coming.” The ”˜party’ is the regular Sunday gathering of the members of The Falls Church ”“ Episcopal, a remnant of former members of the several-hundred-member break-away church now affiliated with CANA, who have placed themselves under the authority of Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria. This smaller group is made up of the approximately 10% from the original church who voted to remain in the Episcopal Church plus newcomers and occasional visitors who come for a Sunday or two to give visible support to the gathered church. They are meeting in the loft at the Falls Church Presbyterian, generously supported by that congregation and their pastor, The Rev. Dr. Thomas Schmid, who says, “We are so happy to have them here with us.”

The service was a celebration of the Eucharist with special prayers for Pentecost, the day remembered for the occasion of the followers of Jesus being empowered by the Holy Spirit 50 days after Jesus’ Resurrection. In his sermon, The Rev. Pipkin explained how like so many, this holy day was taken from a Jewish festival commanded by God through Moses ”“ in this case, the Festival of Weeks. The Jewish tradition is one where, at the beginning of the harvest, the ”˜first fruits’ are given as a thank offering, waved by the high priest before God. In other words, The Rev. Pipkin said, the offering of thanks is made ”˜not knowing what the rest of the growing season will be like.’ He suggested that making such an offering in our day would be akin to paying taxes on January 1st of the year in advance of securing our income for that year ”“ a practice that would probably be fraught with anxiety and fear. But, he reminded the congregation as he had been told in his youth, “anxiety and fear are not of God.” Instead, he suggested, just like in the Pentecost story in the Gospel reading from John appointed for this day, Jesus approaches us saying “Peace be with you”¦in all our anxiety about what will happen next, of not knowing what the next steps will be, God tells us to not fear.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Connecticut Parish Joins CANA

The ordination of openly gay ministers and the blessing of same-sex unions are merely the “trip-wire issues” for Trinity and the five other Connecticut churches at odds with Bishop Smith and the Episcopal Church, Helmandollar said Wednesday.

“The defining issue for us is the absolute revisionist view of Scripture within the Episcopal Church, the idea that man wrote the Bible, so man can change it, ” Helmandollar said. “You’ll hear such things from the Episcopal Church. We firmly believe we do not have the authority to do that. We firmly believe it is the word of God and it’s not to be changed.”

Trinity and the other five churches sued Smith in federal court two years ago, claiming he violated their civil and property rights when they asked to be placed under the authority of a bishop from another state. The lawsuit said the priests were wrongly charged with being “out of communion” with the bishop, putting their positions in jeopardy, and that they were denied due process.

The lawsuit was dismissed last year by a federal judge and the parishes are appealing.

The six parishes also brought ecclesiastical charges against Smith, accusing him of “apostasy” for voting to approve the election of New Hampshire’s openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, in 2003. Those charges were dismissed by a review committee on April 11.

Smith could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Karin Hamilton, spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese in Connecticut, said Smith was not prepared to speak publicly about Trinity’s defection until he has had an opportunity to talk at length with Helmandollar.

The pressing issue for both the diocese and Trinity, now that the split is formal, is whether the diocese will force church members to worship elsewhere.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Connecticut, TEC Departing Parishes

Connecticut Parish opts for 'traditional beliefs'

Trinity Episcopal Church has declared itself a member of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.
The Rev. Donald Helmandollar, Trinity’s rector, confirmed Tuesday that as of Sunday the parish had joined the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a self-described mission of the Nigerian church, serving Episcopalians who hold traditional beliefs. It is based in Fairfax, Va.
The action means the parish is no longer a member of the Episcopal Church U.S.A. but is still Anglican, Helmandollar said.
“We have remained with the Anglican Communion. … The Episcopal Church has demonstrated, continues to demonstrate, that they are walking apart from the communion,” he said.
Helmandollar said the congregation voted to make the move because its members see the Episcopal Church abandoning “the orthodox tenets” of Christian belief.
The 2003 approval of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who is gay, has forced the issue for Trinity’s members and other conservatives, he said.
Helmandollar said he sent a letter Tuesday to Bishop Andrew D. Smith, head of the Diocese of Connecticut, informing him of the move. Smith said he had not yet received it and did not want to comment until he had.
The way Helmandollar sees it, Trinity, founded in 1752, is not leaving the Episcopal Church as much as the church has left its scriptural foundations.
“Most of the rest of the Anglican Communion of 77 million folks … the vast majority are staying the course” on sexuality and other beliefs, he said. “They’re not changing.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Connecticut, TEC Departing Parishes

CANA Welcomes New Congregations

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Colorado, TEC Conflicts: Connecticut, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

Martyn Minns–The Church is Flat: A New Anglicanism

In his book The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman explains how our world has shrunk. Thanks to instant information and rapid transportation, hierarchical structures have been flattened.

One global organization that should be ideally positioned for this transformation is the Christian Church. The genius of its founder was that it was designed to be “flat;” small groups with a common vision, a common language of faith, and international networks that crossed national boundaries. As often happens, initial flexibility was soon lost and replaced by more predictable and controllable structures and the early vision forgotten while waiting for another fresh wave of inspiration and creativity.

We are witnessing such a new wave. A prime example is the Anglican Communion – an international community of more than 75 million in 164 countries, ordered into 38 separate provinces.

In the good old days mandates, money and missionaries flowed from the traditional power base of London and, more recently, New York to their grateful recipients in the developing world. But that is all changing now and we have, as noted Penn State religion and history professor Philip Jenkins describes it, ‘A New Christendom’ where much of the energy, leadership and vision now come from the Global South. The old ways of doing church are being shaken and we are rediscovering what it means to be part of a truly global community.

One example is the birth of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, or CANA. It was first conceived as a way to provide a safe harbor for Nigerian Anglicans who no longer felt welcome in The Episcopal Church because of its deliberate distancing from traditional mainstream Christianity but now includes a growing number of other Anglican congregations from across America.

This realignment isn’t simply about issues of human sexuality but on the other much more basic questions such as the role and authority of the Scriptures and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. It is part of an emerging movement of formerly Episcopal churches and new congregations, which are breaking out of their hierarchical straightjackets and connecting directly with other parts of the Anglican Communion. What unites them is a vision for global Christianity; a commitment to a common language of faith and abiding friendships that connect across challenging cultural divides.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Identity, CANA, Global South Churches & Primates

Colorado Springs Parish votes to break from Episcopal Church

A majority of voting members at Grace Church and St. Stephens Parish in Colorado Springs have declared their willingness to break away from the Episcopal Church to join a conservative Anglican network more in line with their beliefs, according to spokesman Alan Crippen.
The vote, tallied Saturday, showed 93 percent of 370 voting members approved of the plan to leave the Episcopal Church, Crippen said. It capped an ongoing period of uncertainty that began March 26 when parish rector, The Rev. Don Armstrong, and a majority of the church’s governing board, declared they were each individually leaving the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Colorado.

Because the schismatic act was so unusual, the breakaway parish leaders said they would set up a vote to determine what parishioners wanted to do.

Armstrong has been under an ongoing investigation by the diocese of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in parish funds. He denies the charge and says is an act of revenge by the diocese and Bishop Rob O’Neill because of his conservative beliefs.

In a second ballot question, 78 percent of the voters declared they wanted the breakaway leadership of Grace Church to continue fighting to hold on to the church property at 601 N. Tejon St. The 135-year-old property, which occupies a city block, is now embroiled in a legal dispute with the Episcopal Church in El Paso County District Court.

Crippen said he believed the “no” votes on both ballot questions came from Grace Church members loyal to the diocese and to Bishop Rob O’Neill, even though the Episcopal loyalists had said all along that they would refuse to legitimize Armstrong’s cause by participating in the vote.

Crippen said the will of the voting majority was indisputable, “and showed clearly a very strong mandate to affirm the vestry decision of March 26 (to leave the Episcopal Church).”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Colorado, TEC Departing Parishes