The Most Reverend WALTER GRUNDORF Anglican Province of America 3348 West State Road 426
Oviedo, FL 32765
RE: It is time to Act!
Dear Bishop Grundorf:
It is time to act on a unified church in the United States. Now, not later. The time for talk is over. Done. It is time to act.
The World Wide Anglican Churches are looking for a single contact in the United States of America. As the Church of England expanded around the globe, it did so not as the “Church of England”, but rather as the Anglican Church with national churches in each nation.
When the United States formed, the Church of England then operating in the country re-formed as the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. Continuing the model of the Church of England, each country where this form of Christianity spread formed its own national church, each under the direction and leadership of a single bishop or primate. Until recently, all the national churches looked to the Archbishop of Canterbury as the symbolic head of the worldwide church. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury is not the monarch of the church, nor does anyone think he is infallible. All of the national churches form the Anglican Communion, with, in theory, all subscribing to the same Articles of Religion found in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and its predecessors.
As the church known as the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America (PECUSA) succumbed to heresy and apostasy, it morphed into the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) and now The Episcopal Church (TEC). Over the past 30 years the now TEC has become less and less Bible oriented; its theology can no longer be found in the Bible. As the various dioceses elected apostates as bishops, membership dropped. With the election of a practicing homosexual adulterer as a bishop and the election of a woman who cannot bring herself to refer to Jesus as the Son of God, the one time important church has dropped to less than ten percent of its former size.
Even the Primates are beginning to recognize that not only is the TEC not an Anglican Church, it is not a Christian Church, nor is it even a Church of the One True God.
The Primates are asking to deal with one entity in the United States of America. They seem to be confused by the myriad of Anglican churches in this country. They fail to understand that the myriad exists because of a lack of leadership by the Bishops of the PECUSA – ECUSA – TEC. With bishops leading the church to hell, valuing collegiality over God’s Word, the people began to see the problem. Over time many individuals and in a few cases congregations have left the PECUSA/ECUSA/TEC and formed new churches where they could practice their religion without fear of apostasy. Thus, the split was gradual and diverse.
The new churches are known as the continuing church. The continuing church is comprised of many splinter groups. They are often derided for not being willing to come together. Those from whom the derision arises actually mean not willing to compromise their principles and come to the other side. Most of the continuing churches saw what compromise brought and who brought it: bishops, bishops wearing purple shirts and sporting spade tipped tails, gutless bishops who preferred the collegiality of their exclusive club of bishops to following the clear Word of God. Lest we blame the event wholly on the collegiality of the American bishops, let it be recognized the Global Primates have yet to take a concrete stand on the heresy of TEC. They continually write almost incomprehensible letters to the TEC threatening action of indeterminate nature at an indeterminate time in the future.
There are differences in approaches, not so much in theology, but certainly approaches. No one should compromise, yet we should not let our differences override our natural ties through our allegiance to God, His Son, the Holy Ghost and our Anglican form of religion.
The time to act is now. We need a unified Anglican Church of the United States of America and we need it right now. Not five years from now, or even next year. NOW.
The solution is to act on what we can agree on and act now. We need to maintain our uniqueness. Yet, to have an effective voice in the Anglican Communion there needs to be one voice for the United States’ Anglican Churches.
There is a solution – the Anglican Church of the United States of America, a sort of Church Republic. The problems facing the United States’ Anglican Churches are almost identical to those facing our young nation at its founding. So is the solution:
Hold a National Convention
o Each national church (APA, REC, UEC, etc.) to send three delegates, a Bishop, a Priest and a Layman
o Form a list of beliefs and rules common to all
o Number the list
Elect a Presiding Bishop from among the Bishops present
o Period of office – Four years
o One term only
o The Presiding Bishop, like an ambassador, can only commit the Anglican Church of the United States of America to a tentative agreement. Any action he takes must be ratified by the Congress.
o The next Bishop cannot be drawn from the same national church
o Any change or addition to the list of common beliefs and rules must be by unanimous agreement of the member churches.
Make contact with the other Primates and send the Presiding Bishop to the Primate meetings. They will have to choose sides. No more talk.
This will give us a single voice and there will be no compromise. Each of the component churches, like the states, retains its identity, traditions and rules. Nothing is required to change. No bishop loses his position.
One voice – No Compromise – All Gain – No Loss
So, how do we get this started?
You call the Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church and tell him you want to meet with him to start the process. Ask him to get on board with this plan. List out a set of beliefs and rules common to the two groups. Then call the next biggest group and do the same, and so on and so forth. Then, with 60 days notice, call for a National Convention. Put the list up, already agreed to, call for a vote and be done with it. Then, hold the election for Presiding Bishop and break for lunch.
Objection: Can’t be done! There are no simple solutions to complex problems like these!
Frankly, we are tired of hearing that. The fact is there are no complex solutions that work. You may not like the simple solution, but it will work. If you don’t act, someone else will.
Lead, follow or get out of the way.
ALPINE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF THE BLESSED TRINITY
Charles W. Arnold, Beadle