Among their concerns they write:
On Oct. 25-26, 2011, Bp Murphy hosted some 75 Anglican Mission clergy in Pawleys Island, SC for a Presbyters’ Retreat. The bulk of the meeting was given to the presentation of the Chairman’s new structural proposal for the AMiA. Bp Murphy explained his rationale for the proposal, and then his canon lawyer, Kevin Donlon, presented the proposal in great detail. During the Q&A following the Chairman’s presentation, the first question asked was whether the time was only for questions of clarification, or if feedback also welcomed. Bp Murphy discouraged the latter, saying, “I’m only on the sixth step out of ten. I’m in a process now of trying to tell you the latest thinking. The next steps will be four more meetings. Then when we get to the point that we’re about to pour the concrete, that’s when we would need to hear back.” When asked when this might be, Bp Murphy said only that “we might want to call a gathering” at some point, but nothing definitive was offered. Many AMiA clergy left the retreat burdened with a growing uneasiness about the future, yet no avenue for constructive feedback has been provided by the Chairman. Thus, many clergy find themselves in an impossible bind, needing to engage in genuine dialogue with the leadership about the future but wary of insubordination. As a result, hundreds of conversations are taking place—without the leadership—in secret behind closed doors. It’s a tense and uncertain time for many in the AMiA. We desire to walk in the light by bringing the ongoing conversation into the light. Our purpose in writing this document is to speak the truth in love, in hopes of fostering honest and open dialogue together, for the sake of our shared Gospel mission to North America. We have been greatly blessed by, and are indebted to, the AMiA and her leadership, and our hope is to see this mission continue as our Lord leads.
AMiA Bishop Chuck Murphy
Read it all here. For more commentary, check out the latest edition of Anglican Unscripted here.
UPDATE: The AMiA has issued a press release which you can read at SF here. Here is a short excerpt of where they report they are in their conversations with the Anglican province of Rwanda:
The Anglican Mission has been in conversations for some months internally and with Rwanda leadership about shaping the best structure to both express and facilitate our consistent vision to be "a mission, nothing more and nothing less." All of the concepts discussed, including the creation of a defined "society for apostolic work," or "Missionary Society," include an expectation that we will remain connected to Rwanda, and the AM leaders are working collaboratively, as always, with Rwandan leaders. These conversations with leadership on both sides of the Atlantic remain ongoing, and it is important to note that no decisions have been made - we are in a process of conversations only, and frankly any public discussion is premature at best.We have learned, or I hope we have learned over the years that it is best to encourage public conversation that includes the laity over important matters that affect the people in the pews. The Episcopal Church is also going through public conversations as well as they too consider restructuring TEC with a call for a special General Convention before Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori steps down from her office in 2015. After all, structure is theology.
NEW UPDATE: Meanwhile, the Church of England newspaper has an article that focuses on the creation of the Diocese of the Trinity by the Church of Nigeria in the United States. I know that CANA is working on forming dioceses, as it did with the Diocese of the Mid Atlantic, that will have the opportunity to join the ACNA. CANA is in a unique position in that its bishops sit in both the Church of Nigeria House of Bishops as well as the ACNA College of Bishops. It reminds us that we are still in transition - the ACNA prayerfully waits to become a province in the Anglican Communion while at the same time maintain connection with provinces that are full members of the Anglican Communion as is the Church of Nigeria. And this transition is not only applicable to the ACNA as it develops, but also The Episcopal Church as it takes a hard look at where it stands today. Both entities show the affects of the division, a division that even the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Virgina recognized as real when it affirmed that the evidence "clearly establishes that a split or rupture has occurred within the Diocese and, given the evidence of similar events in other dioceses of TEC, the split or rupture has occurred at the national level as well."
Jesus knew what He was doing when He prayed so fervently for us. He is praying for His disciples that night in the Garden in the hours before He is taken away to the cross when his attention turns to us all:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
-John 17:20-23EVENING UPDATE: Well, so much for oneness.
A Statement from the Archbishop of Rwanda and
the Primatial Vicar of the Anglican Mission in the Americas
We have recently been made aware that a number of unfounded rumors and false assertions regarding the relationship between the Anglican Mission and Rwanda have begun to swirl in various circles and on the Internet. We are releasing this statement together to urge you not to be misled or distracted by those who would sow destructive seeds of discord through innuendo and commentary, for we know that this is the work and design of the Enemy.
The work and the relationship between the AMiA and the Province of Rwanda remains solid and cherished, as we discuss and explore together the future shape of our life and our work in the mission from the Lord which we share on two continents. As always, we ask for your prayers and support as we continue to seek the best way forward together in growing the Lord’s Kingdom on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje
Archbishop and Primate
Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Rt. Rev. Charles H. Murphy, III
Primatial Vicar and Chairman
The Anglican Mission in the Americas
How can one not recommend to the laity at this point to pray hard and run for the exit? Not kidding.