Category : –Proposed Formation of a new North American Province
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
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.”