Texanglican

"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

My Photo
Name:
Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spin it any way you like, but this is a blow to the Anglican Church in North America

After almost a year of unalloyed good news for ACNA, the Church of Rwanda has delivered a significant set back to the Anglican Church in North America. From before the Inaugural Assembly at St. Vincent's in Bedford last year the Anglican Mission in America (now apparently "the AM") was held out as a kind of Missionary Society within the ACNA, still part of the Anglican Church of Rwanda but also fully a part of ACNA. In fact, such "dual membership" with an overseas province is pretty much "normal" for the time being in ACNA (DioFW is still affiliated with the province of the Southern Cone for the moment, for example).

But it seems that the leadership of the Rwandan church is not content to have the bishops of the Anglican Mission be members of the House of Bishops of Rwanda and of the ACNA at the same time. So after months of negotiation it appears that the Anglican Mission will move back next month from being a full member of ACNA to being a "Ministry Partner."

Here is a portion of the emailed release of this announcement sent out from the Ambridge, PA headquarters of ACNA yesterday (apparently not yet on the ACNA website) to clergy and lay leaders conveying this news:

The Archbishop's Cabinet has been working since February with the
leadership of the Anglican Mission (theAM) in the Americas to clarify
the Anglican Mission's structural relationship within the Anglican
Church in North America (ACNA). This consideration came as a result
of a January resolution by the Rwandan House of Bishops objecting to
the dual membership of Rwanda's missionary bishops in the North
American College of Bishops. The Anglican Mission, one of the
founding entities of the Anglican Church in North America, was
established as a North American missionary outreach of the Province of
Rwanda following the consecrations of Bishop Chuck Murphy and John
Rodgers in the year 2000.


The Constitution and Canons of the ACNA were written so that theAM
might be practically integrated in the structure of the ACNA as a
jurisdiction, while sustaining identity as a missionary outreach of
Rwanda. The jurisdictional approach has led to a number of areas of
confusion for bishops and congregations of the Anglican Mission.
Consequently, it has been agreed by the Executive Committee of the
ACNA (presently also the Archbishop's Cabinet, and formerly the lead
bishops of Common Cause) that the Anglican Mission will petition the
June meeting of the Provincial Council for status as a Ministry
Partner, a status provided for in the Constitution and Canons of the
North American Province and agreeable to the Province of Rwanda.


The Ministry Partner option will clarify the existing confusions. The
Primatial Vicar of the Anglican Mission, appointed by the Archbishop
of Rwanda, serves as chief liaison between the Province of Rwanda and
the Anglican Church in North America. Representatives of the Anglican
Mission continue to sit in the Provincial Council. The ACNA and its
Ministry Partners remain fervently committed to Anglican 1000 and
church-planting. Local congregations continue to work together in
ministry, and are free to transfer between the Anglican Mission in the
Americas and the Anglican Church in North America (or vice versa) in
consultation with the bishops concerned. Clergy of theAM remain
canonically resident in the Province of Rwanda and subject to their
Norms, Prescripts, and Disciplines, but Ministry Partner status does
provide canonically for clergy of theAM and the ACNA to minister in
both ecclesiastical entities provided they are in good standing. The
most significant change brought by Ministry Partner status is that AM
Bishops would no longer be regular members of the ACNA College of
Bishops.


Bishop Chuck Murphy, Primatial Vicar and Bishop Chairman of theAM made
the following comment concerning the future of the Anglican Mission as
a Ministry Partner within the Anglican Church in North America: "We
are delighted that the Anglican Church in North America is now
successfully up and running. As one of the founding members of the
ACNA, we in the Anglican Mission have invested significant time and
energy into its formation and we remain strongly supportive of the
Province and Archbishop Duncan's leadership of this important new
work." Archbishop Duncan noted, "The vision of a biblical, missionary
and united Anglicanism in North America remains the vision of every
North American Anglican. Jurisdictional integration also remains a
future hope as Rwandan canons do provide for the transfer of the
Anglican Mission to the Anglican Church in North America when the time
seems right."

Try as the announcement does to make this sound like good news--or at least not a very big deal--apparently a large portion of the ACNA is withdrawing from full membership and falling back to what seems to amount to a "friendly fellow traveler" status. I, for one, have never thought of FACA--a Ministry Partner-as a member of ACNA but rather as folks who share many of our values as Anglicans and want to work together with us as much as possible. But am I right in reading this note to indicate that now the Anglican Mission is going to have a similar "Ministry Partner" relationship to the ACNA as that of FACA? Or is there more to the AM's future status than that? The AM's bishops will not be part of the ACNA college of bishops from now on but they will still have representatives on the Provincial Council. Has FACA had such representatives on the Provincial Council up to this point? I am quite confused.

All of us have accepted that there will be confusion during this time of "realignment" in world-wide Anglicanism. Apparently the Rwandan leadership just doesn't want to tolerate any "joint membership" of their missionary bishops with a North American jurisdiction while the rest of the overseas provinces who have helped us don't mind a little untidiness for a bit.

Hopefully administrative conservatism is all there is to this. I truly don't want to believe the rumors I have heard that the motive for Rwanda pulling back the AM from the ACNA has something to do with fears of losing North American funding. It would help squash those concerns here if the Rwandan church would issue a statement fully committing them to allowing the AM to join us as full members of ACNA as soon as is feasible
in the future. That might dispel any hint that the Anglican Mission's US parishes are being "held hostage" by the Rwandan church.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed by this news. I am completely committed to the future of the ACNA. Thus it saddens me to see the province diminished in this way. May God hasten the day when we will be fully reunited in every aspect, not simply as "partners" in ministry.

33 Comments:

Blogger 1662 BCP said...

Randall,
As much as I personally dislike ac/na, I know that you must feel somewhat disappointed at today's news. But a few years ago when I once thought of going with AmiA I learned that 10% of their income went to Rwanda, so I think that money did play some factor in this decision. Robin, who has much more experience with AmiA has seen real potential problems with their role in ac/na and has outlined this in many of his articles. Did you know that the Eastern diocese of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Canada has formally separated from the REC in the US? Albeit they are a rather small diocese, but there are a number of concerned REC people in the US who do not like the direction their Church has taken since its involvement with the ac/na and perhaps some parishes in the US will separate to join with Bishop Fedechko in Canada. Then there is the question of what path wil FiFNA take if much of the FiF in England decide to join with Rome? Will Americans follow-suit? I have felt rather strongly that seeking recognition of ac/na as a Province in the Anglican Communion was premature because there are so many divergent parties involved. Anglo-Catholics, Open-Catholics, Charismatics as well as others claiming to be Evangelicals, not to speak of the divide over Women's ordination. Those, like myself, who identify themselves as Classical Anglican Evangelicals have found no North American body with which to unite and have been forced to look overseas for affinity. In my case it is with the Church of England in South Africa, with whom we are in discussion. I wish you well in your ministry.

9:25 AM  
Blogger davidicline said...

I agree with you Fr. As a member of AMiA, I am also wondering if there are power struggle and personality clash issues involved. As one who is concerned about the catholicity of the church, I don't see how this helps.
This 'go-it-alone' attitude has been apparent to me since the ACNA was formed, and has been more evident when the AMiA (theAM) named its last set of bishops.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Fr. Christopher C. Stainbrook said...

Dear Father Foster:
I too find this confusing and sad, but not surprising. The history of all the breakaway or "continuing" churches is replete with divisions and more divisions. While it was the hope that the ACNA could somehow evade this (and it was in this hope that our Diocese acceded to the Constitution and Canons of the ACNA while remaining within the Province of the Southern Cone) it now seems that this pattern is occurring here as well.
The recent divisive ordination in Plano may well cause even further defections from ACNA, this time on theological rather than administrative grounds.
Thanks be to God that Fort Worth has chosen to remain in the Southern Cone -- let us hope that we do not rush into actually, fully and precipitously joining the ACNA and then later have to pull out, thus exacerbating these divisions.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Ann McCarthy said...

While I believe this has been going on in effect for a while now, I am sad to see it formalized. And, frankly, I find this more confusing than the previous arrangement. Why can you not have voice and vote in two places if we are presuming that those who are voting are prayerfully seeking the will of God? Further, is this saying that a vote that serves the province of Rwanda would hurt the ACNA or vice versa?

Fr. Stainbrook, I think that Plano is part of the AM, so it may not affect the ACNA.

11:02 AM  
Blogger 1662 BCP said...

Fr. Christopher,
If Ft. Worth belongs to the Southern Cone and not ac/na, then who actually belongs to it?

11:12 AM  
Blogger 1662 BCP said...

I just went to the AMiA's website and counted over one hundred and fifty parishes, plus who knows how many in formation and start-ups? This is a tremendous loss since they were amongst the vanguard of Church Planters. Add to this the four REC Churches in Eastern Canada and it is almost one fifth of the parishes in ac/na and who knows how many people, percentage-wise, perhaps one third?

12:39 PM  
Blogger Robin G. Jordan said...

Randall,

I posted this comment on Stand Firm.

I am not suprised by this development. With its current structure and form of goverance it would be very difficult for the AMiA to integrate into the ACNA and Ministry Partnership status may be the best way of maintaining a relationship with the ACNA. The AMiA is the largest constituent body of the ACNA, has the largest representation in the Provincial Council and the Provincial Assembly, and many provisions in the ACNA constitution and canons were adopted to accomodate the AMiA. The decision of the AMiA to accept Ministry Partnership status solves the contuity of leadership problem in the AMiA, which is structured more like Roman Catholic archdiocese or diocese and business corporation than a conventional western Anglican ecclesiastical or internal province or diocese. The canon governing the relationship of the Primate of the Rwanda to the Primatial Vicar is based upon the canon of the Roman Catholic Church governing the relationship of the Pope to that church. Both the Rwandan canons and the AMiA canonical charter show the strong influence of the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church.

Cont'd below.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Robin G. Jordan said...

The AMiA, for those unfamiliar with its structure and form of governance, has a command and control system consisting of a centralized hierarchy with the Primatial Vicar and the Council of Missionary Bishops at the top and the laity at the bottom. The Primatial Vicar governs the organization “in concert” with the Council of Missionary Bishops. While the Council may recommend candidates for missionary bishop to the Primate and House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in Rwanda for consideration, the Primatial Vicar may veto their recommendations. The authority and powers of the Primatial Vicar are close to that of an archbishop or bishop in the Roman Catholic Church. What authority and powers the Council of Missionary Bishops exercises are derived from the Primatial Vicar who in turn derives his authority and powers from the Primate of Rwanda.

The Primatial Vicar is also the head of the AMiA’s secular organization. He is the chairman of the board of directors and exercises considerable authority and power in that position. The president of the corporation is responsible to him.

The clergy and laity play no role in the governance of the spiritual organization of the AMiA. The articles of incorporation and by-laws of the secular organization are not on the Internet so it is unknown what role, if any, they have in the administration and management of the corporation. The College of Presbyters has a purely consultative role like the Council of Priests in a Roman Catholic archdiocese or diocese. The AMiA Network leaders are appointed by the Primatial Vicar with the advise and approval of the Council of Missionary Bishops.

To fully integrate into the ACNA, the AMiA would have to dismantle its existing structure and form of goverance and disrupt the existing lines of authority and relationships of power in the organization.

On the other hand, the other constituent bodies in the ACNA have adopted the conventional Western diocesan structure and form of church governance. The AMiA’s acceptance of Ministry Partnership status opens the way for needed reform in the ACNA and needed revision of its constitution and canons that are essential for the further integration of the ACNA as well as the preservation of positive aspects of the North American Anglican heritage such as diocesan autonomy with the diocese electing its own bishops, subject to confrmation by a Provincial Synod with the option of the one-time delegation of the election of a bishop to the College of Bishops in the event of repeated failures to elect a bishop as in the Anglican Church of Australia and the Anglican Church of the Province of the Southern Cone. Such election would be also subject to the confirmation of the Provincial Synod. The role of the Archbishop needs to be more clearly defined and the office of Dean of the ACNA established in the constitution and canons.

While I think that as a Ministry Partner the AMiA should be permitted non-voting representation in the Provincial Assembly and the Provincial Synod, I do not believe that it would be in the best interest of the ACNA to give the AMiA voting representation. This would enable the AMiA, which has decided against full integration into the ACNA, to dominate its governing bodies and set ACNA policy.

2:13 PM  
Blogger BabyBlue said...

I am not so sure - one of the AMiA bishops will be leading a teaching conference at my CANA/ACNA parish in the fall. This structure may allow some innovation to occur (remember, we are all branching off of churches that have not grown in decades) while still retaining attachments and fellowship. It may be a different method, but the relationships remain intact.

bb

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A personal perspective of the present situation from 20 years of intense observation and participation:

Part 1

If you seek to understand the present dynamics of AMiA / ACNA you have to start back with First Promise. In the 1990's when it was finally abundantly clear that the ECUSA was irrevocably revisionist, a group of clergy began to seek real leaders to stand up for biblical authority. NONE could be found in America! Those formative years were the crucible for the biases and conflict that presented themselves in the 2000's.

It was with great reluctance that Rwanda stepped into the fray, praying for Godly leadership to emerge in America. Several were summoned to Africa (INCLUDING DUNCAN) where bishops begging them to step up to the plate. They would not do it! So, Kolini stuck his neck out and provided episcopal oversight.

The "stay and fight" crowd was pissed at AMiA for bleeding strong evangelical leadership from ECUSA and in many cases blamed the ultimate collapse on the exodus of 2000.

Well, a few years into this came the Vicki Gene fiasco and everyone wanted out. But bias, prejudice, and anger prevented many from affiliating with the now well established AMiA so many found their own alternative bishop.

Meanwhile, freed from the shackles of the dead structure of ECUSA, AMiA was in revival...planting churches and preaching the gospel. The group's rapid growth diluted the "former Episcopal" demographic in AMiA congregations. Old arguments that had fractured the ECUSA over the preceding century were no longer in the vocabulary of those worshiping in AMiA churches. In fact, with so many new Christians, it was often hard to find people who even knew what the Episcopal Church was. Word, Spirit, Sacrament were offered and the people were edified.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Part 2

So then there was GAFCON (Duncan wasn't there either, he was having a birthday party in Europe). All the Africans were a bit itchy about American garbage distracting from real African issues like AIDS and the front lines of the Christian battle with Islam. But, they weren't about to turn their back on the truth or the Anglicans in North America who stood up for it, so they called for a new province. It’s hard to minister to your own millions when you are jetting around the globe trying to get white people to stop fornicating and calling the truth a lie.

Here's where some of the present "confusion" comes in. By now the AMiA had become fully and canonically incorporated into the province of Rwanda. We were (are) an integral part of an existing province. Kolini is our bishop and hero. We owe everything to him. Further, AMiA had become quite comfortable with its identity as a missionary order. To use a military analogy, the AMiA is something akin to SEALs, small groups of specialists with freedom and authority to adapt and overcome. There are things a SEAL platoon can do that a battalion can't (remember the entire point here is expanding the kingdom of God)!

ACNA is a battalion. It is apparent that what is sought is STRUCTURE: province, diocese, new prayer books, old Episcopal arguments...totally foreign stuff to most AMiA folks.

With the GAFCON / FCA initiative and call for a new province, those who had previously found it so hard to abandon ship were ready to set sail on their new yacht. Now with the opportunity to be called Your Grace (he grins every time he is greeted with that title) and to receive a miter and crosier (I have never seen an AMiA bishop so adorned) Duncan FINALLY steps to the fore. However, the group that would constitute the new ACNA was pitifully small and insignificant (without the now decade old and growing AMiA). So, without pride or prejudice the AMiA welcomed the opportunity to help anybody (even those who hate them) support the Anglican Identity promulgated by the Jerusalem Declaration (avoiding the use of the sticky term “orthodox” here).

A year into the new structure, it is very clear to AMiA folks that ACNA is rapidly becoming a cleaned-up Episcopal church. With visions of future committees, Roberts rules, diocesan conventions, and old arguments the SEALS realize that they are pretty good at making war and have no desire to be a battalion. It is going to take an enormous amount of time and energy to form the structure of the ACNA. The AMiA simply has no passion for those objectives. We just want to get back into our inflatable boat and get back to the battle.

ACNA is not a province, but a province in formation. When, years from now, it does become a province, who knows what the communion will look like. AMiA is part of a legitimate province and has been for 10 years. With the ongoing global realignment, Rwanda (including AMiA) will be with the Global South promoting Christianity rather than Anglicanism.

So, when you read the tea leaves of the ongoing evolution of Anglicanism in North America, know that the Anglican Mission is and always has been a missionary order, “nothing more, nothing less.” We are focused like a laser on bringing Jesus to the 130 million un-churched folks in America. If you want to talk about Jesus, His Teachings, holy living, loving, serving…we’ll be there every time. If you ask us to help to form diocese, committees, write new cannons, argue the finer points of church tradition…we will prayerfully support you and politely decline to participate.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Robin G. Jordan said...

A military command and control structure is an accurate description of the Anglican Mission. But its origins are not the SEALS, much less the US Navy. It comes from two sources that I have carefully documented on my web log Anglicans Ablaze. The primary source is the Roman Catholic Church. Both the Rwandan canons and the Anglican Mission canonical charter are heavily indebted to the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church and incorporate doctrine, language, norms, and principles from the Church of Rome. There are no "African methods." They are a fiction. Almost everything is borrowed from the Roman Catholic Church. A secondary source is corporate America. Chuck Murphy is not only Primatial Vicar of the Anglican Mission but Chairman of the Board. He is the center of power in the Anglican Mission. All ecclesiastical authority and power in the Anglican Mission is derived from the Primate of Rwanda through Murphy. The Rwandan canon governing Kolini's relationship with Murphy is adapted from the Roman Catholic canon governing the relationship of the Pope to his subordinates in the Roman Catholic hierarchy. If the Anglican Mission can be compared with any organization, it is the Jesuits, a Roman Catholic order that for several hundred years sought to undermine the Church of England and Anglicanism. They had a military type command and control structure.

Clergy of the Anglican Mission may gather annually to reaffirm the Solemn Declaration of Principles, to reaffirm the doctrine of the historic Church of England Formularies. But it is an empty ceremony. Both Murphy and Rodgers put their impritur on two service books that violated the principle set forth in the Solemn Declaration of Principles: all alternative rites and form used in the Anglican Mission must conform to the doctrine of classical Anglican Prayer Book--The Book of Common Prayerof 1662. Neither service book did!

While esprit de corp is commendable in any person involved in a missionary organization, the kind of esprit de corp that you are articulating is going to drive a wedge between the Anglican Mission and the ACNA and have negative consequences for both para-church organizations.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no way Chuck Murphy will ever accept being anything but The Vicar of Christ in North America.

Once there is a "generational change of leadership" (to put things tastefully) theAM will quickly merge with ACNA.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Nara Dewar Duncan said...

Father,

I feel the need to respond to the barely concealed character asassination of Archbishop Duncan written on your blog by a coward named Anonymous. Not only does he hide behind that name, but he so many facts incorrect that I am stupified that he would post them. I don't mind giving up my husband for the work of the Kingdom but I DO mind reading Crap like this - and especially on what is supposed to be an orthodox blog. If the meeting Anonymous is refering to is the one I am thinking of - it took place in Amsterdam, not Africa, and Duncan was never asked to have any part in the founding of the AMiA. He also had already stepped up to the plate. Before that, he never had, and was certainly never "summoned" to Africa to meet with Kolini. The AMiA grew out of First Promise - and All Saints Pawley's Island - that much is true, and never did Duncan have any relationship there. He attended First Promise as a Parish Priest - I believe it's frist meeting. As for "a birthday party" - yes indeed, he did forgoe GAFCON for a birthday party! His 60th which I had been planning for two years and which the GAFCON Promates were well aware of when they chose the dates -he was on the planning committee, remember Mr. no-it-all? The meeting was actually scheduled for a week earlier until the Nigerian House of Bishops decided they wanted it a week later. So sorry our life got in the way.

You clearly have some animus regarding Duncan. That is your problem - but you really should check your facts. Does he grin when he is addressed as 'Your Grace'? Does he wear a cope and mitre and Chuck does not? Does not Chuck and most if not all of the Amia Bishops come from low-church traditions? and does not Duncan come from a high Chuch tradition? Do you know? Probably not, but the answer is yes,they do. Does Duncan care about catholic faith and order and does it appear that Chuck does not rate those things all that high? Yes is the answer. Might that not explain some of your quibbles? Yes.
The day the AMia starts doing some church planting is difficult areas will be the day when I cheer you. What about New England? Anyone can plant a church in the South where there is still a church going culture - not so the northeast where they are dying for an orthodox presence. And I don't meann plant a church 2 blocks away from one already planted an syphon off their people - so your New York City plant doesn't count. No, go into Morris County in New Jersey and try there. Then brag about your expertise and success and I'll be on the front row of congratulations. Right now, be glad I don't know who you are - because you've made me very angry.

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Nara Dewar Duncan said...

Father,

I feel the need to respond to the barely concealed character asassination of Archbishop Duncan written on your blog by a coward named Anonymous. Not only does he hide behind that name, but he so many facts incorrect that I am stupified that he would post them. I don't mind giving up my husband for the work of the Kingdom but I DO mind reading Crap like this - and especially on what is supposed to be an orthodox blog. If the meeting Anonymous is refering to is the one I am thinking of - it took place in Amsterdam, not Africa, and Duncan was never asked to have any part in the founding of the AMiA. He also had already stepped up to the plate. Before that, he never had, and was certainly never "summoned" to Africa to meet with Kolini. The AMiA grew out of First Promise - and All Saints Pawley's Island - that much is true, and never did Duncan have any relationship there. He attended First Promise as a Parish Priest - I believe it's frist meeting. As for "a birthday party" - yes indeed, he did forgoe GAFCON for a birthday party! His 60th which I had been planning for two years and which the GAFCON Promates were well aware of when they chose the dates -he was on the planning committee, remember Mr. no-it-all? The meeting was actually scheduled for a week earlier until the Nigerian House of Bishops decided they wanted it a week later. So sorry our life got in the way.

You clearly have some animus regarding Duncan. That is your problem - but you really should check your facts. Does he grin when he is addressed as 'Your Grace'? Does he wear a cope and mitre and Chuck does not? Does not Chuck and most if not all of the Amia Bishops come from low-church traditions? and does not Duncan come from a high Chuch tradition? Do you know? Probably not, but the answer is yes,they do. Does Duncan care about catholic faith and order and does it appear that Chuck does not rate those things all that high? Yes is the answer. Might that not explain some of your quibbles? Yes.
The day the AMia starts doing some church planting is difficult areas will be the day when I cheer you. What about New England? Anyone can plant a church in the South where there is still a church going culture - not so the northeast where they are dying for an orthodox presence. And I don't meann plant a church 2 blocks away from one already planted an syphon off their people - so your New York City plant doesn't count. No, go into Morris County in New Jersey and try there. Then brag about your expertise and success and I'll be on the front row of congratulations. Right now, be glad I don't know who you are - because you've made me very angry.

6:36 PM  
Blogger 1662 BCP said...

Randall,
There seem to be a number of issues which reveal these alliances to be rather shaky. I anticipate that defensiveness, criticism and rivalry will further divide these organizations.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, I am not a priest. I am a nobody. The personal perspective I offered earlier was neither an attempt at character assignation of Duncan nor a defense of Chuck (no mention of Bp Murphy is to be found in my comments), rather a general defense of AMiA who has been criticized mercilessly over the entire blogosphere mostly by folks who have a limited perspective about who they are.

As an example, the few comments on this blog alone include blaming Rwanda for sandbagging ACNA; accusation that money is the motivating factor for Rwanda and AMiA; that the leaders of AMiA are power hungry; that the cannons of the Rwandan church are rigged to make Kolini like a pope.

I had the pleasure of knowing some of the brave men who were in First Promise. I have watched them alienated by their friends, maligned, criticized. These brave men lost everything. So, yes, my comments are a bit defensive.

I do not know your husband so I can say nothing of his character. My mention of him is as a representative of the party that treats AMiA like a read-headed step child. The bloggers blame Rwanda for the present circumstances…Rwanda was our advocate and hero from the very beginning when no American was willing to lead. AMiA is accused of being power hungry, yet it is not an AMiA bishop that has been elevated at this juncture. Kolini is seemingly accused of desiring to be a pope, I commented on the trappings of power and authority. Rwanda is accused of being motivated by money…now that is something to respond angrily to! The Rwandan bishops are icons of humility and selflessness.

I have angered you, I’m sorry. However, in your angry response (to a nobody on a blog) you, a member of the archbishop’s own household, have betrayed deep resentment and contempt for the AMiA and bishop Murphy personally. Your response provides great clarity to me about what I have witnessed of the persecution of my friends.

9:30 PM  
Blogger 1662 BCP said...

This affirms my previous comment.

9:37 PM  
Blogger matthew said...

Hi There - I am Matt Burnett, AMiA priest in Colorado Springs at Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

I know that the "issues" are complex and important. So, I may be a simpleton, but as stumbling and bumbling as we all may be I think very highly of Archbishop Duncan as the real deal, think the world of Bp. Church Murphy, consider it a privilige to be in Archbishop Kolini's province, enjoy working together with the local CANA church (St. George's), planted Holy Trinity and can't wait to plant a daughter church asap (44% contra-Christianity in our zip), and hope that ACNA totally flourishes.

I know that the hurts of stumbling/bumbling people can still sting, but I hope that we all will take a deep abdominal breath, perhaps a sip of our favorite libation, and pray like crazy for one another.


in Christ,

matt

11:08 PM  
Blogger Texanglican (R.W. Foster+) said...

First, thanks Mrs. Duncan for your comments here. I do wish people would reveal their true identities in comments, but I haven't yet had a "no anonymous comments" policy. I hope not to have to try to start one. I am sorry an anonymous commentator offended you here. Obviously they do not speak for me. I think very highly of my archbishop.

Anon, as for "blaming Rwanda" it is merely a statement of fact that the Rwandan House of Bishops in January objected to the set up of AMiA within ACNA. They were the ones who necessitated this change. For whatever reason they want to keep the AM very close to the vest, while the other overseas jurisdictions who have helped us have cheered the formation of ACNA on and helped Archbishop Duncan and our other leaders at every turn in forming the new province.

And as for "treating AMiA like a red-headed stepchild," the entire Constitution and Canons of the ACNA were constructed with AMiA in mind to insure they could continue to function just as they have. Far from being sidelined, AMiA was right at the center of the process, being catered to a great deal. If anything AMiA was treated like the "fair-haired child" of ACNA!

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Greg Smith said...

First - No Anonymous Comments would make sense.

Anonymous - Your facts are outside of reality. Please call me at 843-608-8833 and I'd be glad to help you understand. Bp. Murphy is a good man with a heart to the Kingdom -- but he has some foibles like all entrepreneurial leaders that Bp. Duncan helped to overcome when others simply wrote the AMIA off.

We're in a civil war -- and it'd be nice if we didn't shoot each other with inaccurate comments.

Finally, Nara is exactly correct about church planting in non-southern regions. AMIA/ACNA etc. are not planting that many new congregations with new converts -- but they are doing an invaluable service in reforming a base from which such things can happen through church transfers.

Blessings,

Fr. Greg Smith
Anglican/Episcopal Chaplain to The Citadel
Former church planter with the AMIA
(With no animosity towards the AMIA)

9:51 AM  
Blogger Jakian Thomist said...

I know these are difficult times, but looking in from the outside, might I suggest a positive amongst all the gloom.

I think the "ministry partner" idea of "folks who share many of our values as Anglicans and want to work together with us as much as possible" could be very good for ecumenical purposes between all non-liberal religious groupings.

I hope you can work this thing out, ecclesiology is indeed a sticky wicket! You have my prayers guys!

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Nara Dewar Duncan said...

Dear Anon, You might notice that in my first comment I addressed Father Foster as the owner of this blog. I never assumed you were a member of the clergy. I also never "slammed" the AMiA - I merely commented on their church planting strategy. I simply took issue with what you wrote and how you wrote it. Might I suggest you go back and re-read that? If you don't see what I objected to, ask someone who is not as close to the subject. As a retired college professor, I would have to give you a very low mark if I compared your own comment on what you actually wrote - it bears little resemblance to the substance of your initial posting.
The AMia has been scrupulously catered to in the entire set-up of ACNA and indeed, Chuck Murphy has been listened to and included from day one. No one has dissed either him or his movement/church. It is his and Rwanda's decision to change their status within ACNA. I know and am fond of Chuck, and indeed, I too, know most of the men and women who were early pioneers of the First Promise movement. My husband tried to stay in TEC and reform from within - we all saw where that got him. None of us had a crystal ball- and seeing into the future is not biblical anyway. Might I suggest that we all will do better at forwarding the Kingdom if we stop taking potshots at one another and get on with the mission. Just lay off the personal character assassinations-Duncan says his prayers and does what he thinks God is telling him to-anymore than that no one can ask. I feel like the guy at the window- I'm throwing it open and screaming- "I've had it, and I won't take anymore." There, I've said it.

11:19 AM  
Blogger 1662 BCP said...

Anonymous,
Does that mean that Chuck Murphy is now the Vicar of Christ in North America or "of North America". I particularly like the comparisons with the Society of Jesus as one of their guiding principles has always been that the ends justify the means. Classical Anglican Evangelicals Beware!

8:35 AM  
Blogger Reformation said...

This is from left field, but here goes.

Attended an AMiA Church during some recent travels.


Observations. "Traces" of a recognizable Anglicanism were to be seen. Good prelude and postlude also, although much talking during both suggested that the "crowd" did not view such moments as "acts" of worship.

Three guitars with the pipe organ was a curiosity too.

Most curious and confusing, be it ACNA or AMiA. Both are very American as this scribe sees it...that's about the bottomline, Americana rather than Anglicana.

I have no dog in anyone's fight. I don't invest with ACNA or AMiA, but an independent Anglican work, my home parish. In the latter, I get the old book, the old theology, and a Choirmaster who served for three years as Chichester Cathedral's Choirmaster.

Just an observation from some recent travels.

There must be these internal tensions if what I witnessed recently at an AMiA work is representative.

Regards.

D. Philip Veitch

PS. I think Tex's take is correct. It's not a good development no matter how it's spun. But that's ya'alls' problem, not mine. I have no time for it. It's Americana.

5:17 PM  
Blogger 1662 BCP said...

[Off-Topic] Regardless of what this all may, or may not mean, the ac/na better get on the ball with producing a Prayer Book so they can circle the wagons and get everyone on the same page as the Romans have just produced their New Order of the Mass in English which will go into effect in 2011. Perhaps the ac/na can get a deal on the Missals which Rome will be discarding?

9:22 AM  
Blogger Reformation said...

1662 BCP:

1. Can't see that happening, to wit, a new BCP. At least not now.

2. AMiA alleges a committment to the 1662 BCP while using the 1979 BCP.

3. The remaining ACNA (non-AMiA) leaders, e.g. Jack Iker, will not move towards a 1662 BCP, e.g. Black Rubric.

4. I understand the 1662 BCP is used widely in Nigeria. ??

5. Unfortunately, my home parish uses the 1928 BCP...yet, fortunately, while maintaining their committments to the old theology of the Articles and the music is in the Cathedral tradition.

6. David Virtue has been almost silent.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Texanglican (R.W. Foster+) said...

There have been a number of meetings of the committee producing the new Prayer Book for ACNA. I have met the committee members (including the venerable J.I. Packer) they were at St. Vincent's on a couple of occasions in the past . The new Prayer Book will happen eventually, though I am sure it will take a while longer. As far as I know Bishop Iker is fully supportive of the effort.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

May an unrepentant liberal put a comment in the stream?

From over here in TEC space, this looks a lot like the "Continuum." They promised (Deceleration of St. Louis)that they would stay unified.

AMiA has been the one body whose approach made sense to me. They took that which they found important, and went out looking for converts not cross overs. There is a reason they have over 150 congregations and missions.

Machiavelli and von Clausewitz both noted that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So to the extent the various groups want to 'fight' TEC they have some affinity. but the flip side of that aphorism is that once the enemy is gone, the friendship is fragile.

When you get done calling TEC apostate and actually have to live together the cleavages start to matter. That is what schismed the Continuum into irrelevance and the signs for the new schismatics are not good. Part of this is divorce syndrome, the second is always easier to contemplate.

Absent AMiA I think AC-NA has a problem. There is a critical mass of congregations and laity without which all you have is a clergy conversation. Add the developments in England and the RC attempted clergy grab and the Continuum looms.

FWIW
jimB

10:12 AM  
Blogger 1662 BCP said...

JimB,
Bingo, you are spot-on! That is precisely why I have begun to refer to these groups as Continuing Episcopalians. The honeymoon is coming to an end. Who will be next to be voted off the island?

6:13 PM  
Anonymous cell phone said...

I am very happy to read your articles, more useful for me especially
I have the same thing with you. I am so very petrified of this in my lectures.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Calvinrentrees said...

Interesting discussion. Some of those points which would give me concern if I were in your group are as follows.
1. One of the architects of Gafcon is so keen on it, and so committed to it, that he had a birthday party instead of attending the significant meeting about it - even though he was on the committee that set the dates. "...our life got in the way..." of God's work!? May be not so keen after all.
2. The acceptance of the REC without thinking through the consequences - that is, the bedfellows they already keep in the UK. DO you really want them in too?
3. The rowing between members of a group that is intended to move away from the TEC nonsense.
4. The clear lack of a single doctrinal standard. E.g. - there are women ministers in ACNA and yet there are groups (REC for instance) that profess those to be unacceptable. So also the possible links with the Orthodox who regard such a thing as utterly unacceptable because they see it is unbiblical.
5. The most concerning thing is the almost feral way in which attacks are launched at anyone who demurs from the party line. That smacks of the TEC big-time.

I'm glad that I'm not in your group.

3:18 AM  
Anonymous cool gadgets said...

thank you so much for the information. This article helped me in completing my studies. Looks like we have the same opinion

11:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home


View My Stats