Sunday, November 16, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: New Anglican Province to be formed December 3, 2008

UPDATE: WHEATON, IL, Nov. 14 -- Leaders of the Common Cause Partnership, a federation of more than 100,000 Anglican Christians in North America, will release to the public on the evening of Dec. 3 the draft constitution of an emerging Anglican C¬hurch in North America, formally subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and affirm the GAFCON Statement on the Global Anglican Future at an evening worship celebration in suburban Chicago.

This historic event comes in the wake of GAFCON held in Israel last June with leaders from more than one-half of the world’s 77 million Anglicans. At the close of that gathering, Anglican leaders released the Jerusalem Declaration and the GAFCON Statement on the Global Anglican Future, which outlined their Christian beliefs and goals to reform, heal and revitalize the Anglican Communion worldwide.

“One conclusion of the Global Anglican Future Conference held in Jerusalem last June was that the time for the recognition of a new Anglican body in North America had arrived,” observed Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, moderator of Common Cause Partnership. “The public release of our draft constitution is an important concrete step toward the goal of a biblical, missionary and united Anglican Church in North America.”

Provinces, dioceses and parishes around the world have been making formal decisions to support the Jerusalem Declaration and the GAFCON Statement on the Global Anglican Future since its release this summer. Leading bishops and representatives of the North American Common Cause Partnership will officially subscribe to the Declaration and affirm the Statement at the public worship service at Wheaton Evangelical Free Church in Wheaton, IL at 7:30 p.m. CST on December 3. All Anglicans in attendance will also be given an opportunity to individually subscribe to the Declaration and affirm the Statement.

“We enthusiastically issue a public invitation to all fellow Christians in hopes that they will witness, participate in and celebrate our unity and common mission,” Bishop Duncan added.

Prior to the evening service, at 2 p.m. CST earlier on Dec. 3, a reception will be held at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton to give thanks and learn about the mission of Christ Awakening. Rooted among Anglicans, Christ Awakenings are quickly spreading to the larger Christian community. The first Christ Awakening was held in September 2007 in Chicago. Since then, the grassroots movement of Christ Awakenings has held events in Vancouver, Ohio and New England to call Christians to work together, in unity, partnering for mission worldwide. After the reception, a media briefing with Common Cause leaders will follow at 5:30 p.m. CST, addressing the significance of the historic worship celebration that evening.

The Common Cause Partnership is a federation of Anglican Christians that links together eight Anglican jurisdictions and organizations in North America, including the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Coalition in Canada, the Anglican Communion Network, the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, Forward in Faith North America, the Reformed Episcopal Church, and the bishops and congregations linked with Kenya, Uganda, and South America’s Southern Cone. Together they represent more than 100,000 Anglican Christians worshiping each Sunday in the United States and Canada.


Just Me said...

Is there any indication if all CCP members are "on-board" or do you expect some will remain to be firmly within TEC?

I only ask your opinion because feelings are so strong on both sides; those that wish to separate and those who wish to fight the enemy within.

BabyBlue said...

Yes, all the CCP members are on board. The small and hardliner Anglican Province of America left the Common Cause Partnership almost a year ago and has since suffered a split.

That being said, I do think that some parishes and bishops within the American Anglican Council (who are not members of CCP on the diocesan level) will remain in TEC,at least for the short-term, as well they should if they should feel called to do so. It's imperative that we understand that God does indeed call remnants to remain as witnesses to the Gospel (a kind of "French Resistance") and they need all our love and support. TEC will now have to contend not only with pressure from outside it's strict walls, but also from within. That's not going to end.

It's also imperative that those who feel called to remain inside the TEC walls remember what their battle is as far as dealing with the innovations and reinterpretations of Anglican Christian theology, in their parishes, dioceses, and at General Convention - which is fast approaching next year. While it's important that we continue to have robust conversations with one another, we should do our best to refrain from friendly fire. Here in Virginia we have seen that grace practiced over and over again and I hope it will continue.

It is my opinion that the "inside" strategy should change (again, following a French Resistance model) and should be more stealth-like and covert, to follow the analogy. It's time to bring out our ecclesiastical Francis Marions. How that is done doesn't necessarily have to be political-only, but we shouldn't be naive and not be prepared to do what is necessary within the structures of the Church (and this is for both the old province and the new one), God willing.

For those AAC bishops and parishes remaining in TEC, they do need to regroup and consider their options as they are even deeper into the minority and most of their recognized GC leadership is gone. They will also need to know they have support from the new province as we are allies - different fronts, same battle. We are all in the Anglican Communion. This is very important and something that we continue to experience between the Diocese of Virginia and the Anglican District of Virginia, albeit on the parish level as of this writing. But we continue to hope and pray that we can model a way through, as we began, to look for ways in which we can partner together. One of the major ways I've seen so far is our joint support of the homeless shelter in Fairfax City. But there are other examples as well.

We should also remember that Rowan Williams opened his home to Bishop Duncan and his wife following attempts by TEC's Presiding Bishop to depose him. I thank for God that. We're going to find out who the true liberals really are. And I mean that.


The Underground Pewster said...

The French Resistance could not defeat the enemy on its own. The underground needs the support of the free world.

Anonymous said...

The formation of a North American province is great news. I suppose some of the hard work has already been done in terms of a draft constitution. I expect lots of flexibility for the constituent parts of Common Cause to be able to complete their investment in the new Province. I wonder what it will mean for our group CANA. Should we disban and merge into the new provience?

Pastor Robin