My Thoughts On Anglican Church of North America

My thoughts on this topic are fairly simple. May their number, influence, and territory increase. I will be most interested to see what Bible believing Anglicans in North America can accomplish now that they are freed from the bonds of TEC. I also think the Anglican Communion should recognize them as a Province under the Gamaliel principle. ACNA has ostensibly brought together most of the continuing Anglican churches under one roof.

Of course, this development will mean GC2009 will pull out all the stops. Unfortunately, ACNA’s recognition by the Anglican Communion will not be dependent on its faithfulness to Anglicanism, but money. ACNA will need to find a way to replace the funds lost from TEC as it walks apart.

I hate to be the one with the mercenary attitude in the Anglican blogosphere. However, this is the reality of the situation, as sad as it is.

I would hope after GC2009 Western Louisiana would wake up and realize we need to leave TEC, together, as a family. Reforming TEC is a futile effort at best. I’ve been to General Convention as a deputy, and I know what I am talking about. I am going one more time, to press for the Anglican Covenant, knowing that it will fail, and I will be a witness to this failure and the effort put into attempting to obtain its passage. I will share this with the Diocese upon my return, and they can make the collective decision on what they will do.

But, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15. At the end of 2009, my terms as deputy and member of the standing committee will both be up. That means I will not stay in a TEC that rejects the Anglican covenant as they proudly deride other Christians and claim enlightenment from their own knowledge rather than from the Lord. I will not stay in a TEC whose leadership spouts old heresies and claims this is some new thing. I pray that Western Louisiana will wake up; realize what is going on, and take action.

I am hopeful, but not certain, that Western Louisiana will ultimately do the right thing. This uncertainty mostly stems from the financial bondage under which our clergy are held. I do not judge them; for I know not these chains of my retirement, my insurance, my chances of future gainful employment, being dependent on TEC. I don’t know what I would do if I were to face poverty or bankruptcy as a clergyperson due to my faith. One thing is for certain – I call on all my readers, particularly in Western Louisiana, to pray for our clergy in the coming months.

Some of my readers had emailed asking why I hadn’t posted on the new province as of yet; well, here it is, and I’m betting this post will provoke some interesting comments on the new Anglican Church of North America and Western Louisiana’s future.

28 Responses to “My Thoughts On Anglican Church of North America”


  1. 1 John Robert December 8, 2008 at 4:23 am

    A presumption of failure on the part of TEC to adopt an Anglican Covenant is as premature as is the assumption that the ACNA will be accepted as legitimate province in the AC. I know few Clergy whose contemplation of retirement have trumpted their Faith.

  2. 2 Henry December 8, 2008 at 4:33 am

    The problem of clergy insurance and pension is a true problem, but can be overcome. Here in Ft. Worth, we came up with our own insurance plan a full year before we left TEc…and I believe we have shared it with other dioceses (not sure of that). We have also come up with alternative retirement plans….probably not as good as the Church Pension Fund, yet, but a plan none the less. When clergy use those as the only or main reasons for not leaving, one should question their faith.

  3. 3 John Robert December 8, 2008 at 4:34 am

    That’s “trumpted”, not “trumpeted” — sorry!

  4. 4 Texanglican December 8, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Indeed, Henry. Here in the diocese of Fort Worth both health insurance and retirement plans have been dealt with. (And yes, faithful Anglican clergy anywhere can take part in those plans–indeed, we are eager for the number of participants to increase!) For a newer priest like me, the financial differences between staying in TEc and going are not great. Those considerations did not play any role in my decision to vote to leave TEc last month.

    It must be understood, however, that some of our more senior priests have in fact taken a very sizeable hit to their retirement plans by going to the Southern Cone. It speaks so well of their commitment to the faith that I do not know of a single one who decided to stay within TEC here because of persoanl economics, despite losing tens of thousands of dollars they once expected to receive at retirement. May God bless these faithful shepherds.

    Mr. Drell, I deeply admire your commitment to depart from TEc after GenCon, should they reject the Angican Covenant–as they certainly will. May God bless you, and give the people of WesternLA the wisdom to see that there is not longer a way forward within TEc.

    BTW, John Robert, as it stands I believe PB Schori has hinted they may not even consider the Covenant this time around due to “time frame” considerations (“not enough time to study it before GenCon,” etc.) Even if it should be taken up next summer, I can tell you exactly what they will do. They will approve the spirit of parts of the Covenant, reject any possibly “coercive” elements in it[a.k.a. discipline of erant provines], and send it to committee to study for another three years. Besides, it will not doubt require “constitutional” changes within TEc even if by some miracle they want to put themselves under it. That take two GenCons to become effective. Can you imagine what TEc will be like by GenCon 2012!? There is no chance that TEc will ever accept international discipline.

  5. 5 Jim Workman December 8, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Back to yourthread Brad–I’ll be watching for your dispatches from Disneyland. Thanks for your stance of fighting-if-staying (with the understanding that fighting is fighting for truth).

  6. 6 Timothy Fountain December 8, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    The problem of clergy compensation can be overcome by proactive lay people.

    Lay people planning to leave TEC, and wanting clergy to come with, need to establish a non-TEC account (incorporate an AAC chapter or something and offerings continue to be tax deductible). Start funding it now – heck, if no clergy go with you you still have a pot of money to invest in, I dunno, prison ministry or some other worthy service to God and neighbor.

    Clergy who want to leave TEC are going to have to make sacrifices – that’s not avoidable. It is especially scary in this down job market. I am fortunate and have my family’s health insurance via a part time second job I secured awhile back. Lay people – if you want to help your clergy leave TEC you need to be preparing things like this for them – you won’t be able to replace their whole TEC compensation but you can be seeking (or, if you are an employer, providing) secular work for them.

    Brad’s advice is right – be praying for your clergy now. And seek God’s guidance as to how you might prepare a way for them to leave TEC and continue in Anglican ministry.

  7. 7 John Delmore December 8, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I must confess to a bit of confusion: is the ACNA* a “province” of the Southern Cone? Are they claiming to be a “province” of the AC?

    Clearly, they are not the latter; and I’ve never heard of a “sub-province”, which seems to rule out the former.

    It’s all a bit Python-esque, to me: “Are you the People’s Liberation Front of Judea?” “No, were the Judean People’s Liberation Front!” “Splitters!!!”

    I can only continue to pray, as always, for God’s ONE holy, catholic and apostolic Church…

    JD

    *Unlike many, I will give the respect of the capital “C”. Though I feel they are misguided, I know in my heart that they are trying to serve God.

  8. 8 George Gray+ December 8, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Please keep me and my family in your prayers. As a life-long Episcopalian and twenty-two years as a priest and seminarian, I was dismissed within 22 hours by the chairman of the Title IV Committee of TEC. I was born, baptized, confirmed, raised, married, and ordained in the Diocese of Western Louisiana. I now am an Anglican priest out of Africa leading a new church, All Saints Church, Spartanburg. Our purpose is bring 12,000 to Christ, raise up Christian leaders, and plant 12 churches in the Upstate of South Carolina in the next 12 years. It is hard work, but I truly understand what The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King felt when he said: FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD I AM FREE AT LAST! Brad, I think you will feel the same way when you finally leave TEC.

  9. 9 Archie December 8, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    I was a live long Episcopalian in the Diocese of South Carolina. I left the Diocese and TEC with All Saints Church Pawleys Island and joined AMiA. I have never regreted that move even though many of my friends in the diocese did not understand why we would leave an orthodox diocese which SC certainly is. The problem is that you cannot continue to support a national church that has moved so far away from basic Christian dogma, a PB who says that Jesus is not the way the truth and the life, etc.

    Hundurds and hundurds of clergy have spoken with their feet and let che chips fall where they may.

  10. 10 Bob Maxwell+ December 8, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    John Delmore, perhaps I can clarify the picture.

    Right now we in the CCP are a province in formation with a draft constitution that has been received by the elected delegates, clergy and lay, at the CCPc [Common Cause Partners Council] in Wheaton. +Duncan is our Archbishop designate ACiNA the name –and that encompasses everything from Point Barrow to Newfoundland and down co Cancun!

    This constitution is following Worldwide Anglican Communion process in that four geographical dioceses at the request of the GAFCON Primates Council and their other partners in the CCP created the Constitution and Cannons for them to receive, which they did last Thursday, present to the +++Rowan on Friday, which they did, and take to the WW Anglican Primates meeting in Alexandria Egypt, the first week in Feb.It takes a 2/3 super majority to gain the primates approval. When it has that supermajority it will be taken to the Anglican Consultative Council where they are tasked to make it official by granting voice and vote.

    At the same time, the members of the CCP are to take the Proposed C&C to their dioceses, networks and clusters, approve them and elect the appropriate delegates for the General Synod to be held the first week in June [or 2nd] at St Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford TX, DFW. I do not expect the APA to approve –the western group in the APA went to the REC in order to proceed into the new province. Then, as each sheltering province has their meetings, ie, Nigeria where CANA is a diocese, full jurisdiction will be transferred, each in the way s they work out.

    A little confusing, but all above board and a pleasure compared to the plural truths of TEc.

    Such a joy to have been in Wheaton! Do get the CD’s of the Press Conference and the Eucharist from AnglicanTV.org.

    Bob Maxwell+

    All Saints Diocese, Church of Kenya
    . . . still ridin’ for the brand, but not on a dead horse!

  11. 11 JDelmore December 9, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Thank you, +Bob. That sort of clears some of the smoke.

    JD

  12. 12 Fr Charles Threewit December 9, 2008 at 2:20 am

    When we of San Joaquin voted to leave last year, the immediate comment all over the room was “Suddenly, I feel free!” I didn’t hear one person express any fear fro their future finances, and there were some very young priests who stood with their brothers (and sister deacons) in voting to leave. And so far, Schori and associates have not been able to damage them, although we are now purportedly under inhibition leading to deposition. We now have become part of other pension and health plans which are comparable. And to know that we have stood for Christ and not for creature needs and comforts is certainly to have come at least one step closer to the Kingdom. God bless us all!
    Fr Charles Threewit

  13. 13 Dave December 9, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Wish you lots of luck with the breakaway group. It’s only a matter of time until it begins to splinter (it’s all ready happening). Lets face reality here, people like Iker and Duncan will find themselves throwing rocks at each other as soon as their red-hot hatred of TEC dies down. The issue of womens ordination is, in and of itself, more than enough to cause a split somewhere down the road. Iker sees Duncan as holding a heretical view on W.O., so let’s take a bet as to how long it will be before his ego takes over and he publicly labels Duncan as such.

    As a loyal Episcopalian, I honestly do not like to see anyone leave the church…however…if the choice is between people like you leaving or staying in the church and causing division and strife, then I must admit that everybody would be better served if you can find a place where you can worship and serve and be happy.

    If the day were to come when I could find myself no longer being able to worship in the Episcopal Church, then I would leave (without animosity) and find a church where I was more comfortable. The difference between us, I suppose, is that I would not try to take TEC assets with me on my way out the door.

  14. 14 Bob Maxwell+ December 9, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    JD, flip that “†” to after my name –while I’ve been ordained three times, I’m not a bishop! [VBG}

    Bob Maxwell+

    All Saints Diocese, Church of Kenya
    . . . still ridin’ for the brand, but not on a dead horse!

  15. 15 John Delmore December 9, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    LOL “sorry”, Bob+…maybe Brad will edit for me…

  16. 16 Bruce Garner December 10, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Brad, you have read my postings over the years and I have read yours. My faith, my spirituality, my convictions are soundly based in a very personal relationship with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They are also experienced by scripture, tradition and reason. As I understand you, your faith et al are pretty much the same. We hold to many of the same ideals and ideas about God’s calling us to be where we are.

    What I have come to see in you however, is a world-view that is very narrow and limited. You see TEC through one lens. You have been at General Convention and you have seen good and faithful followers of Jesus Christ disagree and then go to either the table of the Eucharist or the lunch table together. They did not remove themselves from the community, the family, regardless of positions on issues. Yet so many of those who find such relief in leaving TEC absented themselves from the family long ago. How many General Conventions has it been since Ft. Worth attended a General Convention Eucharist? They held their own near by to the convention hall lest they be “tainted” by those who did not adhere to their particular interpretation of either canon or scripture or whatever. But that’s not new either. The church has been battling itself since about 75 AD….and I guess that will not end until Jesus arrives to essentially tell us all to sit down and shut up because He’s tired of this bickering and because He has come to take us ALL home.

    I wish you well and Godspeed wherever your spiritual journey takes you. If you do leave TEC please know that there will always be a chair waiting for you if you wish to return.

    Bruce Garner
    Atlanta

    P.S. – It gets very wearysome to hear Presiding Bishop Katharine so badly misquoted. One example is among recent posts. She did not deny that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. What she said was that she would not presume to judge how others might come to God because that is God’s call not hers. We would do well to remember that. For me Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. But I am not foolish or stupid enough to tell God how to get converts! After all, there is no evidence that the covenant with Israel has ever been voided.

  17. 17 Alice C. Linsley December 10, 2008 at 2:49 am

    Dave, there should be a moratorium on the priesting of women as long as the Anglican Primates are not in agreement on the question. Some Primates priest women and some do not, but the American bishops are not likely to allow this to divide such a hard-won unity.

    The more fundamental question is “What is the Priesthood? An elder in vestments? An icon of Jesus Christ? The unique sign that points to the Pleromic Blood of Jesus? If it is the last, as I believe it is, it is ontologically impossible for women to be priests. I say that as a former ECUSA presbyter.

    Another question is why ECUSA began ordaining women as priests? The bishops who encouraged this innovation were children of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement for racial equality. They took this movement to a more radical position, attempting to impose a legalistic insistence on unlimited individual rights. The question of divinely set boundaries was not thoughtfully addressed in the rush to tear them down.

    The 1979 Prayer Book reinforced this rights agenda contrary to biblical and historic Anglican teaching on baptismal regeneration, catholic orders, sin and grace. TEC advocates of homosexual rights point to the ordination of women as a landmark for their cause (Louie Crew crows about it). They correctly perceive that once Catholic orders are abolished, there is nothing to hold them back from ordaining gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, transgendered and polyamorous individuals. When one considers this situation from the supernatural perspective, it appears that this attack on the institution of the priesthood is a demonic attempt to obliterate the unique sign of the Pleromic Blood of Jesus.

  18. 18 Elizabeth Kaeton December 10, 2008 at 2:57 am

    My brother Brad, While this makes me sad, this is not about me, it’s about you. I can’t imagine how much better you’re going to feel once this is all over for you and you are part of a community of folk who believes as you believe.

    A comment and a question about General Convention. First, I don’t think you can really catch the fullness of how General Convention works after one experience as a deputy. Like all good things Anglican, much is in the nuance – in the shades of gray, not the black and white. Even so, if you know what you know after one experience, I wonder why you are waiting until after General Convention 20009 – especially for something you want (Anglican Covenant) which you know you won’t get. Your sentiments are very noble, but it seems to me that you are giving yourself permission to be miserable for seven more months when you don’t have to be.

    I don’t want this to be taken the wrong way, but the comments here stand as testimony to the fact that, once you move on, growth can happen. That’s also true for TEC. Once the folks who are so miserable with her reality move on to their own understanding of the truth, we’ll all be able to move on with our understanding of the gospel truth.

    I wish you well my brother. Peace be on you and your house.

  19. 19 John December 10, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Mr. Drell and others sharing their views here: What is the position of the Diocese of Western Louisiana on the ordination of women?

    Also, how do you think that issue will ultimately be resolved within the newly formed province given there appear to be different views on this fundamental issue? Thank you for your comments.

  20. 20 Bruce Garner December 10, 2008 at 3:40 am

    I cannot speak for others, but for me, having women clergy allows me to get a glimpse of the full countenance of God. If we take the Scriptures literally or just seriously, we are convicted by the creation story in Genesis where God created both man and woman in God’s image. For both man and woman to be created in God’s image, God must be both male and female. When I do not see both women and men serving at God’s altar, I am not seeing the fullness of God as revealed to us. (As far as whether or not Jesus called any women to leadership, we are pointed in that direction several times by His mention of women in ministry including financing His work. Unfortunately, we today are beneficiaries of the influence of centuries of male dominated/influenced translations and commentaries about Scripture.)

    Bruce Garner
    Atlanta

  21. 21 Bruce Garner December 10, 2008 at 3:41 am

    What governs the time stamp on postings? I can assure you it is not 3:40am as I write!

    Just curious.

    Bruce

  22. 22 Sarah December 10, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Can’t speak for Brad — but I feel great, am growing like crazy, and have definitely “moved on” into focusing on our goals and values, as well as the gospel — even while I’m immensely gratified to be in TEC, whose national leaders have little belief or interest in the those goals, values, or the gospel.

    It has been a rich and rewarding five years, since 2003 . . . and I hope there will be many more years to come in TEC, should I be blessed to live as long. Part of the blessing of it will be the privilege of continuing to promote one gospel, while pointing out the errors of another gospel, as best as we can, as long as we’re in TEC.

    But one can be in a battle — which is pretty much the state of most of the institutions in this country — and still enjoy great peace, thankfulness, and joy.

  23. 23 Tregonsee December 10, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Brad,

    As painful as this clearly is for you, it shows yet again that God brings people along as individuals as well as groups. My prayers for you, your family, and what will almost certainly be your former diocese.

    Treg

  24. 24 Alice C. Linsley December 11, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Bruce, women leaders, women pastors and priests are three different things. It is necessary to make a distinction between these. There have been women leaders throughout the Church’s history from the primitive church to today. There are women pastors in Protestant churches. Women can preach even in the Orthodox Church. The question that must be considered is whether women can be priests since the priesthood is a sign that points to the blood of Jesus.

    Episcopalians ordain women as priests, but as TEC’s leaders reject the biblical binary distinctions and are apostates when it comes to the Pleromic Blood, this is a priesthood in name only.

  25. 25 Milton December 12, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Dave, are you a real person or a hologram spouting TEO talking points that you may have only been coached in recently but that most reasserters could recite for you from memory?

  26. 26 GB December 13, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    I suppose it depends on your definition of Continuing Church, but the fact is that none of the original Continuers (those that began with the Affirmation of St. Louis) have joined up with the new ACNA.While we may agree with them on some points, we disagree on some other very important ones.

  27. 27 John Delmore December 15, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    It looks like Rio Grande has jumped the ACNA ship. It won’t surprise me if more dioceses jump during the process of writing a Constitution and Canons attempting to weld such disparate views into “orthodoxy”.

  28. 28 Chris Larimer+ December 16, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Bruce,

    You make an erroneous conclusion about the necessity of women as priests because you fail to perceive that God is neither male nor female. Male and female are what WE are (Gen. 1:27). In each male and female, there is a unique mixture of traits masculine and feminine. Most males have a larger proportion of the former, most females of the latter.

    God is decidedly masculine, though with undeniable feminine traits.

    I would commend to your reading or listening the theological import of a masculine priesthood / presbyterate as probed by Peter Kreeft.


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