Category : Common Cause Partnership
The report reveals that in U.S. dioceses, baptisms are down five percent from 27,140 in 2012 to 25,822 in 2013. Similarly, marriages are down four percent from 10,366 to 9,933 (the denomination has seen a 40 percent decline in children baptized since 2003 and a 46 percent decline in marriages over the same period). The losses are not evenly distributed, with some dioceses performing worse than others: in the Diocese of Northern Michigan, where an ordained Buddhist was elected (and later failed to gain consent from other dioceses) to be bishop in 2009, zero children were confirmed in 2013.
Episcopal “renewing” dioceses in San Joaquin and Fort Worth are also continuing to struggle: Fort Worth closed five parishes in 2013 (from 22 to 17), with San Joaquin closing two (21 to 19). Pittsburgh added one new parish (36 to 37). Other diocese closing parishes include Maryland (4) and Massachusetts (3), with most of the dioceses in Northeastern Province 1 seeing the closure of at least one parish.
Despite continuing to claim over 70 parishes and 28,000 members following the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (DioSC) and the vast majority of its parishes ending their affiliation with the Episcopal Church, the renewing Episcopal Church in South Carolina (ECSC) has posted updated information on baptisms and weddings, showing a drop from 388 children’s baptisms in 2012 to only 135 in 2013. South Carolina reported 170 children and 143 adults confirmed in 2012, dropping to 54 children and 37 adults in 2013.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We announced last month on August 20th that the Standing Committee and I were in agreement on a course of action regarding the future of the Diocese of South Carolina and the challenges many of us face because of decisions by the recent General Convention of the Episcopal Church. However, for many reasons it was then and is now, imprudent to reveal that course of action. Things are progressing””we have not stopped or dropped the ball. Please know that I understand the level of anxiety and concern of many in the diocese. Nevertheless I must ask you all for your continued patience and prayers as we seek to deal wisely and carefully with a fluid situation that requires great discernment and sensitivity on a regular basis. I will communicate to you the details at the very earliest moment such a communication is prudent.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
–(The Rt. Rev.) Mark J. Lawrence is Bishop of South Carolina
Bishop Alphonza Gadsden was one of two Reformed Episcopal Church Bishops, and three Reformed Episcopal Church leaders, who attended and processed in the Eucharist at the recent diocese of South Carolina Convention.
This elf has been slacking lately and it is only today that it dawned on me that we need a new ACNA category on the blog. So from today onwards, you will now find all stories related to the ACNA here: Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)
News stories, primary source documents and commentary specifically about this week’s ACNA Assembly will be found here: ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009. [i](we have re-categorized relevant blog entries from the past week or so)[/i]
All past blog entries about the ACNA from the past 6-7 months are under this category: –Proposed Formation of a new North American Province
The Rev. Craige Borrett, my coworker in the parish where I serve, is going to watch and take notes and report to the diocese. I am posting this because I have already gotten many questions about it.
As a result of developments in the Diocese of Springfield, Bishop The Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield, will not be attending the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) Assembly which is scheduled to begin tomorrow at St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas.
The Rev. Bill Thompson, Rector of All Saints Anglican Church, Long Beach, California, is the first Bishop of the Diocese of Western Anglicans of the Anglican Church in North America.
“My first reaction upon my election,” the Bishop”elect said, “was to feel very humbled that the College of Bishops felt that I was the person to do this job. Being the Bishop of Western Anglicans is a job that neither I nor anyone else can do on their own. I will need the prayers, support, and hard work, of many to make our diocese what God wants it to be.”
This clip includes brief comments from Bishop Iker and Bishop Duncan among others.
Episcopal Bishop Jerry Lamb announced that the first service at St. Paul’s in Modesto will be held July 5 at 10 a.m., instead of the two services originally scheduled.
He said a diocesan committee decided it would be better to have everyone gathered at one time to celebrate the renewal of Episcopal services at the church on Oakdale Road just south of Briggsmore….
Also last week, the nine other self-incorporated parishes with ties to the Anglican diocese headquartered in Fresno received letters from Lamb “to arrange the transition of all properties and assets back to the Episcopal Church.” Two of those parishes are St. Francis in Turlock and St. James (the historic Red Church) in Sonora….
The Rev. Gerry Grossman, pastor of St. Francis, said Lamb’s letter “amounts to the harassment of a local congregation by a national organization. We’ve received ‘invitations’ from him before, but this is the first request to, quote, “give back” something that’s ours. We’re not going to have this taken from us. The story of David and Goliath comes to mind.”
Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, who led the network of hundreds of congregations that broke from The Episcopal Church for the past five years under the banner of the Anglican Communion Network, will be installed as the new church body’s first archbishop on June 24 at Christ Church in Plano, Texas. Visiting bishops from as far away as South America, Africa and Asia, representing millions of Anglicans, are expected to attend the June 22-25 assembly.
“We look forward to celebrating the miracle that is the formation of a biblical, missionary and united Anglican Church in North America,” Duncan said in the days leading up to the assembly. “This meeting is historic because it heals decades of division and represents the answer to many years of prayer. It will be a momentous time for orthodox Anglicans everywhere.”
Leaders in the Anglican Communion Network ”“ which will cease operation when the new province launches ”“ had been calling on The Episcopal Church to repent and to get back in line with traditional Anglicanism and Scripture since it consecrated an openly gay bishop in 2003. But over the past couple of years, Duncan and other conservative bishops saw little hope that the U.S. church body would change direction from what breakaway Anglicans claim to be a departure from Christian orthodoxy.
[Ian] Douglas is not convinced that this week’s assembly is all that important.
“I’ve seen it before,” he said, referring to earlier gatherings of those disenchanted with the Episcopal Church.
But another Episcopal priest, the Rev. William Sachs ”“ a historian and author of the forthcoming book Homosexuality and the Crisis of Anglicanism ”“ called the Bedford meeting “a very big deal.”
He said the new group will be taken much more seriously if it emerges seeming united and willing to work through established procedures for recognition by the Anglican Communion.
Sachs added: “The challenge before them is to come out of there with a message that is positive and distinctive and not simply a shared spirit of protest.”
A congregation in York expects to be part of a proposed Anglican province in the U.S. whose leaders meet this week in Bedford, Texas.
In its 10th year, St. Alban Anglican Church meets in the basement chapel of Trinity United Church of Christ downtown and averages six to nine worshippers at Mass.
Parishioners said Sunday they’re excited about being part of a larger church body.
“If you want to have something going for the future generations, you need to be part of something bigger,” said the Rt. Rev. Barry E. Yingling, parish rector. “So you’re taken seriously.”
St. John’s Anglican Church in Vancouver will join a new group of conservative parishes, the latest move in an ideological battle over same-sex marriage with the local Anglican authority.
St. John’s Rev. Canon David Short will be in Texas this week for meetings to create the Anglican Church of North America. It will include roughly 700 parishes, which are united in their belief in orthodox principles. All 30 parishes that make up the conservative Anglican Network in Canada will join.
The new group will be a permanent home for St. John’s, the largest Canadian Anglican parish, with four services and roughly 1,000 worshippers most Sundays.
The head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, is sending a “pastoral visitor” from his staff, says Duncan, which he says shows that “we are part of the family.”
Williams himself will attend the Episcopal Church’s governing meeting this summer to give a seminar on combating global poverty.
Jurisdictions that have joined together to form the 28 dioceses and dioceses-in-formation of the Anglican Church in North America are: the dioceses of Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy and San Joaquin; the Anglican Mission in the Americas (including the Anglican Coalition in Canada); the Convocation of Anglicans in North America; the Anglican Network in Canada; the Reformed Episcopal Church; and the missionary initiatives of Kenya, Uganda, and South America’s Southern Cone. The American Anglican Council and Forward in Faith North America also are founding organizations.
Representatives from breakaway Episcopal congregations and dioceses ”” bound together in opposition to gay priests and same-sex marriage as well as in their desire to preach the Gospel ”” will gather here this week to create a new Anglican province.
Some say the provincial assembly gathered at St. Vincent’s Episcopal Cathedral Church in Bedford may create something geographically unprecedented in the United States: a second Anglican province.
One province would be the new and theologically conservative Anglican Church in North America; the other, the established and theologically liberal U.S. Episcopal Church.
In his office at the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican), Bishop Robert Duncan has mounted a Scottish broadsword, like that of the hero in his favorite movie, “Braveheart.” It was a gift from a priest after the Episcopal Church accepted a partnered gay bishop.
The legend of “Braveheart” “is about somebody who rallies people to stand up against what is very wrong,” Bishop Duncan said. “It’s a two-edged sword, and the holy scriptures describe scripture as sharper than any two-edged sword.”
Tomorrow in Texas, he is slated to become archbishop of the new Anglican Church in North America. Its 100,000 members broke with the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada, believing they failed to uphold biblical authority and classic doctrine about Jesus when they approved the consecration of a partnered gay bishop and failed to discipline another bishop who denied Jesus was God incarnate.
The status of the new Anglican Church in North America, of which Archbishop-elect Duncan will lead, remains uncertain within the global Anglican Communion.
Martyn Minns recalls the moment he knew he had to leave the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It was 2005. He was rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, Va., and he was talking with a young family who told him they could no longer attend a church that accepted gay bishops or diverged from what they called Orthodox Christianity.
“As I looked at them, I realized that I had a decision to make,” he says. “Either I moved with them into a rather uncertain future, or I lost the heart of the congregation. So for me it was a matter of, ‘Do I want the church of the future, or the church of the past?’ ”
Soon after that, Minns’ church bolted from the American Episcopal Church and aligned itself with the conservative archbishop of the Anglican province of Nigeria. Now he and other church leaders representing more than 700 congregations, four dioceses and up to 100,000 churchgoers are meeting in Bedford, Texas. They hope to form a new Anglican province in the U.S. ”” one that would rival the Episcopal Church.
Springfield, Illinois ”“ June 19, 2009
Notwithstanding suggestions to the contrary, Bishop Beckwith remains a faithful Christian within The Episcopal Church (TEC) as the Bishop Diocesan of Springfield, and intends to keep that status intact. Bishop Beckwith has also served as the Vice President of the American Anglican Council (AAC) for a number of years. A majority of AAC’s membership consists of communicants of The Episcopal Church. It is in this capacity that he has been involved in the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) and the Common Cause Partnership (CCP). Any involvement in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) Assembly scheduled for next week in Bedford, Texas, would be limited to being an observer. Furthermore, as an Episcopalian, Bishop Beckwith was asked to be a TEC Liaison to the Ecumenical Relations Task Force. In no sense is he a structural part of either the Task Force, or the ACNA.
The Episcopal Church of Rwanda has elected three new Bishops to serve in one of the provinces of the Anglican Church in North America.
The election took place on Saturday 13 at the Anglican Diocese of Kigali.
The Bishops who were elected are: The Rev. DR. Todd Hunter, The Rev. Canon Doc Loomis and Rev. Silas TAK Yin Ng.
According to the communiquÃ© the first two bishops will serve in US while one Silas TAK Yin Ng will serve in Canada.
The Anglican Church in North America will be formally founded next week, challenging the legitimacy of the U.S. Episcopal Church and posing a dilemma for the worldwide Anglican Communion over who represents Anglicanism in the United States and Canada.
When 232 delegates to the ACNA convention at St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas, approve the organization’s constitution and canons on Monday, Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan will become archbishop for this “emerging” 39th province of the communion, consisting of several groupings that have left the Episcopal Church over issues related to sexuality and biblical authority.
A ceremony celebrating Bishop Duncan’s installation is set for June 24 at Christ Church in the Dallas suburb of Plano, the ACNA’s largest parish, with more than 2,000 members. Also among the ACNA’s members are 11 Northern Virginia parishes, including the historic The Falls Church and Truro parishes, which left the Episcopal Church to found the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.
Three Christian leaders, Pastor Rick Warren, Metropolitan Jonah, and the Rev. Todd Hunter have agreed to be among those addressing the organizing Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America scheduled for June 22”“25 at St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas.
Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church, will speak on June 23. Warren, a longtime friend of orthodox Anglicans, has been repeatedly recognized as a key spiritual leader in America. Named “America’s Most Influential Pastor” by Christianity Today in 2003, Warren has also been called one of “America’s 25 Best Leaders” (US News and World Report 2006), and one of the “15 People Who Make America Great” (Newsweek 2006). Saddleback Church, founded by Warren in 1980, is an innovative evangelical congregation of 22,000 in Lake Forest California.
The Third reason refers to other concerns that have been articulated about structure and governance in Articles IV to XIV. Some point out that this ecclesiastical structure and way of operating is rather novel and does not continue the patterns with which we are familiar in North America. That is true. Those of us who have lived and exercised leadership in those familiar patterns find these new ways bear a note of fresh air, wisdom and promise. Let’s give them a try. If they prove to be cumbersome or lop-sided in any way, we can alter them. The procedures to make modifications are in place in the Proposed Constitution.
In summary, by all means, let us move ahead. Let us make our concerns clear so that the Council can do its work between Assemblies, just as we all in our dioceses, units, and congregations will have work to do. But, let us sign the Proposed Constitution so that we can do this together, as one in the Lord.
The Canons restore the Catholic teaching concerning Christian Marriage as a lifelong union of one man and one woman, restoring the impediments to valid marriage historically a part of Catholic practice enshrined in Anglican Canon and repealed by The Episcopal Church in 1973. Remarriage after a civil divorce is permitted only if one of the impediments to a valid marriage is determined to have existed, or if the divorce is for the permitted circumstances in Our Lord’s teaching in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 19, or St. Paul’s exception in 1 Corinthian 7.
The Canons make it clear that sexual relations are permitted only between a man and a woman within the confines of holy matrimony. Fornication and adultery, including all homosexual acts, are prohibited. Further, the Canons affirm the sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death.