In preparation for the first Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church of North America, to be held in Bedford, Texas, 22-25 June 2009, the Right Revd John Ellison, the retired Bishop of Paraguay, discusses the marks of a true church - apostolicity, catholicity, holiness and unity.
He argues that the Church of England is in danger of becoming a backwater within Global Anglicanism if it fails to recognise and partner with the new Province.
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Emerging Anglican Province Announces 28 Dioceses
Leaders representing Canadian and US orthodox Anglican jurisdictions approved applications for membership of 28 dioceses and dioceses-in-formation and finalized plans for launching the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Twelve Anglican organizations are uniting to form the ACNA.
The ACNA Leadership Council, in addition to accepting these dioceses as constituent members, finalized a draft constitution and a comprehensive set of canons (Church bylaws) for ratification by the provincial assembly. A list of the new dioceses, the constitution and the canons will soon be available at www.united-anglicans.org.
“It is a great encouragement to see the fruit of many years’ work,” said the Right Reverend Robert Duncan, archbishop-elect of the Anglican Church in North America and Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. “Today 23 dioceses and five dioceses-in-formation joined together to reconstitute an orthodox, Biblical, missionary and united Church in North America.”
The Anglican Church in North America holds its inaugural provincial assembly 22-25 June 2009 in St Vincent’s Cathedral, Bedford, Texas. Delegates to this inaugural provincial assembly will be selected by the 28 constituent dioceses and dioceses-in-formation according to an agreed apportionment (contained in Title I, Canon 5).
In addition to the official delegates, a number of other Anglican and ecumenical Christian leaders are expected to be present at the provincial assembly, demonstrating the breadth of recognition and fellowship accorded ACNA. Already, three prominent Ecumenical leaders are confirmed speakers at the ACNA provincial assembly:
- Pastor Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church,
- His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, the Archbishop of Washington and New York and the Metropolitan of All America and Canada for the Orthodox Church in America, and
- the Rev Todd Hunter, Director of West Coast Church Planting for the Anglican Mission in the Americas.
Earlier this month, seven Primates (Archbishops leading Churches in the Anglican Communion) issued a statement recognizing the Anglican Church in North America as an Emergent Province. These Primates, who represent 70 per cent of committed Anglicans worldwide, said in their statement, “Though many Provinces are in impaired or broken communion with TEC [the Episcopal Church] and the Anglican Church of Canada, our fellowship with faithful Anglicans in North America remains steadfast. The FCA [Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans] Primates’ Council recognizes the Anglican Church in North America as genuinely Anglican and recommends that Anglican Provinces affirm full communion with the ACNA.”
The Anglican Church in North America unites some 100,000 Anglicans in 700 parishes into a single church. Jurisdictions which 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; the Convocation of Anglicans in North America; the Anglican Network in Canada; the Anglican Coalition in Canada; the Reformed Episcopal Church; and the missionary initiatives of Kenya, Uganda, and South America’s Southern Cone. Additionally, the American Anglican Council and Forward in Faith North America are founding organizations.
The Constitution as will be presented to the June Assembly is available here
The Canons as will be presented to the June Assembly are available here
The ACNA Provincial Assembly register here