Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Anglican Leaders Join Supporters of the Anglican Church in North America


The leaders of three Anglican Provinces have recently joined a number of others formally supporting the Anglican Church in North America.

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer H. Anis, president bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East wrote: “Our prayers are for you and for the new Province to continue to stand firm in faith as you have always done. May the Lord keep your unity in order to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ in North America!”

Also writing to offer support was the Most. Rev. John Chew, of the Province of Southeast Asia. “Today you are making a very historic and apostolic stand. Please be assured of our full and deep communion in the Lord”

On June 23, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda “resolved that it warmly supports the creation of the new Province in North America, the Anglican Church in North America, recognizes Bishop Bob Duncan as its new Archbishop, and declares that it is in full communion with the Anglican Church in North America.”

Archbishop Peter Jensen of the Diocese of Sydney and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans wrote: “I send my warmest greetings and congratulations to the new Anglican Province. We recognise that authentic Anglican brothers and sisters have come together in a wonderful new fellowship in the service of the Lord Jesus. We pray that your faithful witness to the gospel will prosper and that as you live under the authority of God’s word you will maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Support also came from England. Bishop Wallace Benn and Archdeacon Michael Lawson sent greetings on behalf of the Church of England Evangelical Council: “We wish you to know that we consider it a privilege given by God that we are joyful to be in full communion with you all. We are especially grateful for your unity expressed among Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical traditions, and recognise that this is in part a fruit of the Jerusalem Conference where the Primates present encouraged you to form a new and orthodox entity in North America. You are of course in fellowship with 80% of the Anglican Communion who share with us in the historic orthodox faith. It is for this reason that we call on many more of our brothers and sisters worldwide to affirm that they recognise the authentic marks of the Apostolic church and true Anglican identity in your witness,” they wrote.

Anglican Mainstream Convener, Philip Giddings, and Canon Dr. Chris Sugden wrote: “It has been our privilege to stand with you in fellowship and prayer…We rejoice to see the Lord’s hand of blessing on you witness as he adds daily to your number those who are being saved.”

Anglican leaders from around the world have welcomed the formation of the Anglican Church in North America. A total of nine Anglican provinces sent formal delegations to the Inaugural Assembly in Bedford June 22-25. Many others sent personal greetings to Archbishop Robert Duncan.


Anonymous said...

Very good news to be recognized by other Christians.

Hey,I just heard today that the ACNA meetings began last week on the feast day of St. Alban ... Amazing; the first known British martyr.

Don't know if the new province would ever consider choosing a patron saint, but he would be a great choice!

Tom Brisson
St. Paul's, Visalia

gurneyhalleck1 said...

If the ACNA is going to have a relationship, a real intercommunion and sharing of orders with the OCA (Orthodox Church of America), the ACNA is going to have to take a strong look at women's ordination and make the tough choices, the real orthodox (small O) decision to drop female ordination and stay true to tradition and scripture. The Orthodox will never stand for intercommunion with an Anglican body that condones this. I think it's sad that Duncan didn't just put his foot down and drop or at least "grandmother" these priestesses out....Will the ACNA actually take the plunge and follow the AMIA report that came out a few years ago and stop ordaining women? It's not enough to just deny the Episcopate to women but they should not be priests in the eyes of Orthodox. Deaconesses is one thing but priesthood another. What is the outlook on this issue in the next ten-twelve years, Father Van?

Fr Van McCalister said...

GH1 -

I did not attend the ACNA assembly. So, I don't have any "behind the scenes" insight. However, from what I have observed and read, I think the tension over the ordination of women to the priesthood will continue and that decision will be left to the conscience of each bishop. For the time being, the consecration of women to the episcopate has been suspended. In Bp Duncan's defence, if he had supported an immediate prohibition against the ordination of women, ACNA would've been doomed from the beginning. The ACNA members are fairly equally divided over this point. In spite of accusations against us for being "schismatic", it is really quite remarkable the way the doctrinally orthodox refugees have set aside their differences in order to rally together for the new province. To me, that indicates a genuine move of the Holy Spirit. And, the fact that the Metropolitan was invited to speak, indicates that the ACNA leadership are willing to put the question of women's ordination on the table for honest discussion.