Anglican Mission in the Americas obtains Ecclesiastical Oversight from Congo
By David W. Virtue
April 13, 2012
In a move that brings closure to a split in the Anglican Mission in the Americas, AMIA Chairman Chuck Murphy announced today that he has obtained ecclesiastical oversight from the Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo , a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.
In a letter to his constituency Bishop Murphy said that Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Anglican Church of the Congo has received him as a Bishop of the House of Bishops in his Province offering AMIA a new canonical residence.
"In response to a recent letter from Archbishop Rwaje asking our bishops to translate to another Anglican jurisdiction by the end of this month, I had earlier requested that he send my letters dimissory to the Province of the Congo.
"This transfer follows a process of relational reconciliation with Rwanda facilitated by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala. These conversations culminated in our meeting in Johannesburg and the Communiqué in which Archbishop Rwaje agreed to release theAM to develop other jurisdictional relationships.
"Under our accord with the Province of the Congo, we are now secure and validly attached to the global Anglican Communion. Rooted in the East African Revival, the Province of the Congo [formerly Zaire] was originally joined together as one larger province, which also included Rwanda and Burundi. In 1992, all three were subsequently established as separate provinces.
The Anglican Mission's connection with the Congo began at Winter Conference 2012 when Bishop William Bahemuka Mugenyi generously made provision for scheduled ordinations to go forward."
Murphy said the AMIA would transition toward a Mission society with oversight provided by a College of Consultors and conversations with other jurisdictions including the Anglican Church in North America will continue.
TheAM (AMIA) experienced a split from the Province of Rwanda following the retirement of Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini and the 11-year-old partnership crumbled.
Under the oversight of the Rwandan province, the Pawleys Island SC–based AMIA grew to more than 150 congregations in the United States and Canada.
But the 2010 retirement of Rwandan Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini-who had a strong personal connection with Bishop Charles Murphy, AMIA's chairman-precipitated a change in the relationship.
Suddenly, AMIA faced questions and accusations from Rwandan church leaders over the American association's finances, oversight, and long-term direction.
Two AMIA bishops and a number of parishes chose to remain under the Rwandan House of Bishops (PEAR) and set up PEAR-USA under Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje.
This new canonical residence provides for the majority of AMIA's bishops and clergy to transfer from Rwanda to the Congo. Murphy will facilitate the transition and requests for transfers should be sent to the Mission Center [email Patti Angulo: email@example.com]."
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