Forward in Faith Parishes Affiliate with the ACN En Masse
Forward in Faith North America (FiFNA), the largest organization of Anglo-Catholic parishes in the Episcopal Church, recently voted to affiliate its parishes with the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) en masse. The move, which makes all parishes that are members of FiFNA automatically ACN-affiliated parishes unless they choose otherwise, dramatically increases the size of the Network's Forward in Faith Convocation of parishes outside of Network-affiliated dioceses.
Parishes and dioceses in the Anglo-catholic tradition have a significant and welcome presence in the Network, said Bishop Robert Duncan, ACN moderator. He noted that the Network-affiliated dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin are all FiFNA members.
Following the example of Anglican Communion Archbishops who spoke at the Hope and A Future Conference in November about maintaining communion with each other even though they have different views on the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopacy, the ACN works to welcome and respect orthodox Anglicans on both sides of this theological question. "What the primates told us is that they have learned to disagree on this issue while continuing in ministry together. We in the Network are committed to the same goal," said Bishop Duncan.
Commenting on the move, Bishop Keith Ackerman, Quincy, who also serves as president of FiFNA said, ""We've tried it going separately, and it didn't work. We've come to the table together. We can not go back to our divisions. We stand as Anglicans united, and we will stand!"
The ACN, which was formed just two years ago to stand for orthodox Anglicanism in North America and maintain connections to Anglicans around the world, continues to grow. Presently, affiliates include over 1000 parishes and 2500 clergy, 10 dioceses and 6 convocations, and an estimated 250,000 communicants. A seventh convocation is presently organizing.
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