Presentations on the Anglican Church in North America to Church of England Synod Members
February 17th, 2010
On Tuesday February 9, 2010, the Bishops of Winchester, Exeter and Blackburn hosted a lunch at the General Synod, attended by over 100 members, to hear a presentation by official representatives of the Anglican Church in North America. This is what they heard.
Mrs. Cynthia P. Brust
Good afternoon...I am Cynthia Brust, Director of Communications for the Anglican Mission in the Americas, a wife and mother and a laywoman passionate about teaching the Word of God. In October, My husband and I relocated from South Carolina to the west coast where we are planting a church in south Orange County, California - the greater Los Angeles area.
My colleagues and I are honored to be with you today to share our perspective about the Anglican Church in North America, and we are grateful to Bishop Michael for his kind invitation.
Each of us will introduce ourselves, but as a group, the four of us represent different entities associated with the Anglican Church in North America...unique perspectives...varying backgrounds and professions which will be reflected in our time with you.
I am going to offer a brief overview of the vision and guiding principles of the Anglican Church in North America; Bishop Harvey will present a snapshot of the church–including its growth and development. Dr. Howell will describe the unity despite differences within the Anglican Church in North America; and Dr. Baucum will share his personal journey into the Anglican Church in North America.
The mission and method of the Anglican Church in North America is succinct:
To reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ by converting individuals in multiplying congregations fueled by the Holy Spirit.
Celebrating a treasured heritage, the Anglican Church in North America finds its identity within the historic traditions or strands that characterize Anglicanism.
1. Centered on the Gospel and operating under the authority of Scripture with a focus on fulfilling the Great Commission.
2. Recognizes Truth as that which has been believed, taught and guarded in all times and places.
3. Embraces the power of the Holy Spirit who moves in and through believers and the Church empowering us for ministry through His gifts, building up the Body and sanctifying us.
4. Social action puts feet on faith, responding to Christ's mandate to be His hands and feet through ministry in the world, serving the least, the last and the lost.
The Anglican Church in North America is guided by a clear set of values or a way of life - this Church...
* Loves the Scriptures
* Embraces the Tradition
* Is constant in Prayer
* Is committed to Family
* Submits to one another in Community
In order to fulfill the Anglican Church in North America's mission, Archbishop Duncan has cast a Kingdom-sized vision for planting 1000 new congregations in the church's first five years, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. This missional focus is a high priority for the church leadership.
Reports from local congregations illustrate creative, kingdom-focused mission and ministry within the Anglican Church in North America.
II A Snapshot of the Anglican Church in North America
The Rt. Rev. Don Harvey
I am Bishop Don Harvey, and I serve as the Moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada as well as Dean of the Anglican Church in North America assisting Archbishop Robert Duncan. I am also affiliated with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
I am what is referred to as a "cradle Anglican". I grew up in the Diocese of Newfoundland when it was still directly under the Church of England - who furnished us with both bishops and clergy for several centuries. Our ties with the "Mother Country" still are quite strong, and I recall being required to write the General Ordinance Examination of the Church of England prior to being ordained in 1963. I have been a Priest Associate of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham for almost 50 years, and since my Consecration in 1993, I have made at least an annual visit to the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield for rest and renewal.
I bring greetings to each of you from Archbishop Duncan who sends his regards and best wishes.
The Anglican Province in North America did what some said was impossible - it has united faithful Anglicans in North America that in the past had difficulty putting aside differences in theology and church order. Inspired by a new vision and the power of the Holy Spirit, 11 entities were successfully brought together to form the Anglican Church in North America:
The American Anglican Council
The Anglican Coalition in Canada (Rwanda)
The Anglican Communion Network, The Anglican Mission in the Americas (Rwanda), The Anglican Network in Canada (Southern Cone), The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (Nigeria), Forward in Faith - North America, The Missionary Convocation of Kenya, The Missionary Convocation of the Southern Cone, The Missionary Convocation of Uganda, The Reformed Episcopal Church
These were joined by four former Episcopal Church Dioceses, namely Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy and San Joaquin, and the subsequent growth has been extraordinary. We have grown from 703 congregations at our June 2009 inauguration to 765 congregations as of January 1, 2010. This corresponds to a growth rate of more than two congregations per week for 25 weeks.
As a result, the Anglican Church in North America now represents more than 100,000 faithful Anglicans in 53 US states and Canadian provinces, making it larger than twelve Provinces of the Anglican Communion, including Scotland, Wales, Japan, Jerusalem, SE Asia and Southern Cone.
I don't believe it is too strong to say that we have experienced a miraculous level of mutual submission and collaboration that reflects Paul's analogy of the church found in I Corinthians 12:12-26.
12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body... 21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you." And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you." 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
We have certainly seen this principle enacted with regard to the ordination of women. We now have in North America two valid positions that represent the mind of the whole church and not only allow but protect two integrities.
I have been personally blessed by the level of mutual respect and cooperation within the College of Bishops, uniting all strands of Anglican comprehensiveness.
On a number of occasions, the Archbishop of Canterbury has referred to us "faithful Anglicans". We have been deeply encouraged by the response of many within the Anglican Communion as a significant number of Provinces have acknowledged the Anglican Church in North America through their synods and/or through their Primates and have also acknowledged Archbishop Duncan as Primate of the Anglican Church in North America.
In addition, we have experienced significant progress in our ecumenical relationships. For example, the Orthodox Church in America has formally reopened ecumenical conversations with the Anglican Church in North America, having suspended all such talks with The Episcopal Church years ago.
This completes my "snapshot" of illustrating the Anglican Church in North America's development and insight into the way in which we live our life together. It has been a journey marked by faith, and while we have experienced our share of challenges, these have served to increase our resolve and commitment to our mission.
III Unity through Grace
Dr. Michael Howell
Thank you for this opportunity to tell you more about the Anglican Church in North America. I am Dr. Michael Howell, Executive Director of Forward in Faith in North America.
As Bishop Harvey noted, mutual respect is a hallmark of the Anglican Church in North America. Forward in Faith has been included in all stages of the formation, development and current ministry, and our practice of the historic Catholic tradition has always been welcomed in the life of the Anglican Church in North America, even by those who do not fully agree with us on some matters. It has been a powerful witness to see each entity willing to work together and learn from one another, rejoicing in each contribution, deliberately choosing to walk in unity with one another. Working in unity, despite our differences, has served to strengthen us.
In an historic act of respect and conciliation, the Anglican Church in North America has made a place for both Anglican integrities concerning the ordination of women to the presbyterate, until the worldwide Communion comes to consensus.
The Anglican Church in North America has also enabled Forward in Faith to create the Missionary Diocese of All Saints, which will focus on mission and discipleship, according to our understanding of the historic, catholic faith. Recently, 12 congregations that made up the Diocese of Delmarva in the Charismatic Episcopal Church joined our diocese.
I believe it is significant to note that the Anglican Church in North America is designed to be flexible in nature. For example, the church's Constitution and Canons accommodate a number of the entities affiliated, including Forward in Faith in North America.
I have every confidence that this church will continue to grow and flourish, building on the momentum we are currently experiencing.
IV Local Leadership: A Personal Journey
The Rev. Dr. Tory Baucum
I am Tory Baucum, and I serve as Rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia, and my ministry has been lived out in both parochial and academic arenas. For example, I have been an Alpha conference speaker for the past decade and serve on the board of Alpha-USA as well as an adjunct Professor of Asbury Theological Seminary.
My comments will focus on my personal journey into the Anglican Church in North America. Before becoming Rector of Truro Church, I was an Episcopal Priest for 16 years and taught at Asbury Theological Seminary (ATS) for 9 years. Asbury is an ecumenical seminary in the Wesleyan tradition, and administration encouraged me to work with the whole church - everyone from Fr. Cantalamessa (Preacher to the Papal Household) to Bishop Todd Hunter, who at the time, served as head of the largest charismatic denomination in the USA. I also served as a missioner of Alpha International and trained over 2000 pastors and leaders in the Alpha course and the principles of catechetical evangelism.
My core ministry values are church unity, evangelism and ministry to the poor. These are also core values of Truro Church which is one of the reasons I accepted their call to be rector. Truro is committed to spending half of its 4 million dollar budget to outreach. We have over 50 mission partners, the premier homeless shelter of the county, and since I arrived, a homeless congregation of 150 people.
I believe that every church has a charism to be shared with the broader church. I believe Anglicanism's unique charism is church unity and the offer of reformed Catholicism. We operate, at our best, with a spirit of hospitality to the entire (albeit fractured) church of Jesus Christ. Truro wonderfully embodies this charism, manifested in a 40 year, abiding relationship with the Anglican church of Uganda (starting with Bp Festo Kivengere). It is manifest in its congregational make-up of nearly one-third former Roman Catholic, one-third former Evangelical Protestants, and one-third former Episcopalians. It is manifest, in our strong working relationship with the local Roman Catholic Bishops and countless Eastern Orthodox and Evangelical pastors and churches. It is manifest in its commitment to the Anglican Communion, one of the founding members of Five Talents International , a charter member of the Compass Rose Society, as well as good working relationships with at least a dozen provinces of the Anglican Communion.
This past fall, Truro trained and empowered over 75 DC congregations in the Alpha course and orchestrated a common launch date, inviting the city "to supper." This fall we have over 105 churches offering the course in our region.
Due to our ecumenical work and ministry to the homeless, we have been approached by the county to help them solve an intractable homeless problem and we are planning to use the skills we have developed in training and coordinating the Alpha course, to train churches to minister to the homeless and to find them permanent housing. At the same time we are developing a national congress on marriage and parenting with the local Roman Catholic Church. Again, we are employing the skills the Lord has taught us in one ministry sphere to develop a broad ecumenical initiative.
All of the values and opportunities for living out those values are made available to us as members of the Anglican Church of North America. Our ministries are welcomed, supported and thereby enhanced and made fruitful. From my own years of ecumenical, academic and pastoral work, I believe the Anglican Church of North America promises to have a healing effect in the Anglican Communion as well as repair ecumenical relations in North America.
Thank you for inviting us to share our story with our fellow sisters and brothers in the Church of England.
Mrs. Cynthia Brust
Thank you for joining us today - we appreciate your hospitality and interest. During our time together, I have provided an overview of the Anglican Church in North America; Bishop Harvey has highlighted the growth as well as the relational nature of this church; Dr. Howell has given insight into how the various entities have developed a pattern for working together; and Dr. Baucum has offered a narrative from his perspective as the Rector of a thriving parish that personalizes this picture of the Anglican Church in North America.
I hope we have given you the "big picture" story, but please don't lose sight of the fact that day in and day out across North America, faithful clergy and laity work shoulder to shoulder to fulfill the vision for this still unfolding story. They are led by Archbishop Duncan and bishops with commitment and love, and they are inspired by a love for Christ and others. I wish we had time to share more illustrations from the field demonstrating the creativity and passion that characterize this church. Suffice it to say that in cities, towns and rural areas in the US and Canada, individuals and congregations are proclaiming the Gospel; they are working to address injustice; and they are reaching out to those struggling against such bondage as addiction, poverty, homelessness and human trafficking. Most importantly, lives are being transformed as individuals come to faith. The Anglican Church in North America is not without some measure of messiness or moments of tension, but it is unified by true bonds of affection and represents hope, restoration and a new beginning.
I ask you to pray for this church and its leadership, and please know that you will remain in our prayers.
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