Message from Bishop David Anderson
Posted June 8, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
I have spent the last several days, from Sunday afternoon through today [Thursday], at the Anglican Church in North America's (ACNA) Provincial Assembly at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, and can attest that the ACNA is healthy, growing, and exciting. On Monday, the combined Executive Council and Archbishop's Cabinet, of which I am a member, met and covered a great deal of business, much of which would be further dealt with by the ACNA College of Bishops on Tuesday and the Provincial Council on Wednesday. Several layers of agreement were necessary on some issues, and although at times there was a bit of tedium, since I sat through discussion of some issues three days in a row, the process assured that multiple layers of the provincial leadership had a time to discuss, question and vote on things, and arrive at phenomenal consensus.
New dioceses were moved forward from their previous "diocese in formation" stage, other new groups were moved into the "diocese in formation" stage, and the election of a new bishop was approved by the College of Bishops. Detailed reporting is available from the ACNA website, but the overall impression is of an Anglican Province going into high gear. Primates visiting from several other Anglican Provinces were seated in the College and given voice and vote, and their wisdom as representing more elder Anglican Provinces was welcomed.
It would appear that the Anglican Mission Pauley's Island Chairman Bishop Chuck Murphy's desired structure for the Mission - to be an organization perhaps like the Jesuits, but internally structured like a diocese - may have some difficulties. First, no mission organization that we are aware of has been or is structured as Bishop Murphy would now organize the Mission, so how will the outside Anglican world view such a mixture? Second, without an Anglican Province providing the Pauley's Island Anglican Communion connectivity, how would they be any different from other "continuing" churches calling themselves Anglican? The final test of being Anglican is more than using the name in the title; it is being in a relationship with a recognized Anglican Province in a way that provides for Godly oversight and accountability.
For the ACNA that is provided by participation in the GAFCON/FCA Primates' Council, and indeed the chairman of that Council, Archbishop/Primate Eliud Wabukala of Kenya was present and participating in the ACNA meetings and worship this week. After cutting their ties with Rwanda, and having only a brief temporary coverage with the Congo, what will be the Pauley's Island connectivity to a functioning Anglican province in the future? This is at the moment unclear, but tremendously important if the Mission is to stay Anglican.
On Thursday afternoon at the ACNA Provincial Assembly there was a moving and powerful Eucharist, with Archbishop and Primate Robert Duncan both celebrating and preaching. Behind him stood an entire row of Primates and representatives from Global South Provinces, showing the increased support and respect that the ACNA has achieved. At the conclusion of the service, before the Primatial Blessing, Archbishop and Primate of Rwanda Rwaje asked all of the PEAR Anglican Mission bishops, priests and deacons to stand, and he read the Canon Law of Rwanda on transferring ecclesiastical membership, and said that it had been satisfied, and that he was transferring these clergy from one room of the (Anglican) house to the next room, and with that gave their primatial superintendency over to Archbishop Robert Duncan. The entire congregation erupted into applause and praise to the Lord. The PEAR bishops, priests and deacons who requested to be transferred are now canonically under the care of His Grace Robert Duncan, in a transfer that was Godly, Apostolic and Catholic. the rest
Fr. Phil Ashey: Anglican Perspective
Week of June 6, 2012