UPDATE: Here's the official announcement from Bishop Duncan's office:
The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has resolved unanimously to be “in abiding and full communion” with the emerging Anglican Church in North America. The Church of Nigeria, which counts more than a quarter of the world’s Anglican Christians as members, is the first Anglican province to formally accept the Anglican Church in North America as its North American partner within the Anglican Communion.
In making their decision, the leaders of the Church of Nigeria’s more than 140 dioceses also recommended that their province send a delegation to the Anglican Church in North America’s inaugural Provincial Assembly, to be held June 22-25 in Bedford, TX, “to demonstrate our enduring partnership in the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Robert Duncan, archbishop-designate for the Anglican Church in North America, thanked the Church of Nigeria for their decision. “In this one action, leaders representing every diocese in the Church of Nigeria, which in turn count as members more than a quarter of the world’s Anglicans, have declared themselves to be full partners of the Anglican Church in North America. They have stated clearly that we stand together on the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible, the historic creeds and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as our only Savior and Lord. We look forward to welcoming our Nigerian brothers and sisters to observe our inaugural assembly in Bedford this June.”
“Both in Nigeria and in North America,” added Bishop Duncan, “We understand our mission very similarly, that is, to reach our societies with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.”
The Anglican Church in North America unites some 700 Anglican parishes in 12 Anglican jurisdictions in North America into a single church. Jurisdictions coming together in the Anglican Church in North America are the Anglican Coalition in Canada, the dioceses of Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy and San Joaquin (of the Anglican Communion Network), the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the Reformed Episcopal Church, and the missionary initiatives of Kenya, Uganda, and South America’s Southern Cone. Additionally, the American Anglican Council and Forward in Faith North America are founding organizations.
And here is CANA's announcement:
HERNDON, Va. (March 20, 2009) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America praised the unanimous decision of the Church of Nigeria Standing Committee to be in full communion with the emerging Anglican province, the Anglican Church of North America. The Church of Nigeria is the first Anglican province to formally accept the emerging province as a branch of the Anglican Communion. CANA is a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America, which includes about 700 congregations.
“Once again, we within CANA are grateful to the Church of Nigeria for creating a formal branch between orthodox Anglican congregations in North America and the well-respected Province, as the Church of Nigeria did for CANA several years ago.
"It is a significant decision that will strengthen the unity among those in the U.S. who wish to remain faithful to their Christian beliefs while remaining in good standing as part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Our continued prayer is for Anglicans across the world to be able to stay faithful to orthodox beliefs within the Anglican Communion. This decision by the Church of Nigeria formalizes that hope,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.
It's clear now why The Episcopal Church is engaging in publicly attacking the Anglican Church of Nigeria (and not the Sudan or Uganda or other churches of the Anglican Global South who hold the same principles and are under severe threat by Islamic extremists). It seems to be less about real compassion for the Nigerian people (for they use the word "Nigerian" in a less than complementary way - as in the use of "Nigerian Churches" in the Diocese of Virginia and the Diocese of Colorado - which has a very strong and clear message, make no mistake about it - they would never think to call them "Norweign Churches" if it had been the Anglican Church of Norway who had provided ecclesiastical oversite), but rather as a political and legal decision by Episcopal litigation strategists for political gain.
If TEC activists truly cared about the Nigerian people, truly cared, why are they not sending over missionaries as they do attempt to do with the Sudan (where the church leaders actually hold the same views as the Church of Nigeria as we saw at the Lambeth Conference this past summer)? Or they did (that actually hasn't turned out as well as TEC thought it would). Seems that the Sudanese bishops are as tough as Nigerian bishops, or Ugandan bishops, or Kenyan bishops, or Rwandan bishops, or Australian bishops, or even the Bishop of Rochester. Wonder why.
The HoB/HoD listserve of late is filled with some of the most sorrowful attacks on the primate, it's sad. Would they say the same things about Archbishop Daniel? Think not. That would not accomplish the political agenda sadly at play here. That being said, seeing the lack of response on the listserve so far to the activist proposed initiatives at General Convention, perhaps more and more Episcopalians in the pews are indeed seeing the TEC actions for what they are: Politics and Litigation. In fact, one bewildered deputy there lamented, why don't we just love them more? Why not indeed?