The Diocese of Quincy held its 132nd annual Synod October 16-17, and formally aligned itself as a constituent member of the newly formed Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a group of more than 700 Anglican churches in the US and Canada that was founded in June. Since that time another 40 churches have joined the new body.
The Synod, hosted by the Church of the Transfiguration in Princeton, also reaffirmed its pastoral relationship with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone which offered the diocese “safe harbor” a year ago when the diocese separated from the Episcopal Church.
“God has truly blessed us over the last 12 months,” said Fr. John Spencer, President of the Standing Committee which currently oversees the diocese. “Our churches remain strong, we are focused on the future, and we are blessed to now be part of an orthodox Anglican body here in the US.” The ACNA is led by Archbishop Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and a leader over the last several years of the movement to restore a traditional, biblically grounded Anglican presence in the US.
In addition to routine business, the annual Synod welcomed three new parishes into the diocese. “They applied to become part of Quincy,” Fr. Spencer said, “because they know our diocese had taken a firm stand for the historic faith and practice of the Church. They know we adhere to biblical teaching and biblical morality, and they found a home with us.” Several other parishes have approached the diocese about possibly becoming members.
“God isn’t hampered by the rebellion of some in the church. When some stray from the Gospel, God raises up faithful Christians who are willing to stand against the social and moral decay that can infect and destroy a culture.” That decay, Spencer said, has infected some US churches. “There is a cost when you stand against the flow of society. But Christian faith is not a popularity contest. Our first calling is to uphold the teaching of Christ. Cultures have always resisted the Gospel. That’s no reason to stop teaching it, or stop living it.”
Two of the largest Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion have already formally recognized the new ACNA. As the ACNA receives growing recognition around the Communion, Spencer said, the diocese will maintain is pastoral relationship with the Province of the Southern Cone as its “official” link to world-wide Anglicanism.