Sunday, May 10, 2009
Anglican Church – The name the Church of England goes by around the world. A series of self-contained, self-governing national churches guided by the principles established in England in the mid-1500s when the national church was reformed to correct the errors of the church in Rome and to remove foreign influences.
Since the Revolutionary War ended the Anglican Church in the United States had been known as the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States (PECUSA). It later dropped “Protestant” and has now dropped “of the United States.”
About 135 years ago a group split from the PECUSA over an understanding of baptism and a feeling that the PECUSA was becoming too “Roman” in their understanding of the church. This group became the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC).
In the 1960s radicals began to take over leadership positions in the church, advocating pacifism, abortion, homosexual primacy and other similar positions. For a church which had spawned roughly 40 percent of the country’s presidents and military flag officers, that was unacceptable to many. People dropped out, priests dropped out, no bishops dropped out. The dropouts formed small groups, which coalesced into parishes and dioceses, even into nationwide churches. Often mocked by TEC, they were known as the Continuing Church.
Some of the Continuing Churches of the Anglican denomination in the United States are attempting to coalesce into what would be known as the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). This process is slow and cumbersome, yet on a fast track. It is slow and cumbersome because it is being lead by people without clear vision and good communications skills. Its Arch Bishop selectee, Robert Duncan, was a TEC bishop until about six months ago. He was one of three bishops who finally left TEC, apparently following his flock. With 20/20 hindsight he has managed to style himself as the leader of the Continuum. A leader who lead his flock to follow God after 95 percent of them had gone ahead.
The ACNA has adopted the English 1662 Book of Common Prayer as their standard. Apparently this was done as it is the “Standard” of the Worldwide Anglican Communion. This is flawed reasoning as the Anglican Church is designed to be a national church. The logical book to adopt as standard was the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer. That apparently could not be done as Bob Duncan and the other two leaders had backed the 1979 Book which claimed to be a Book of Common Prayer, but was not. The 1979 Book clearly paved the way for female and homosexual ordinations. They could not admit they were wrong. In addition, they want to be able to leave the 1979 book in place.
In addition, styling the new group as North American rejects the central concept of the national church. Although the Canadian Continuum is small, they deserve their own province.
The Continuum operates on a small budget. For instance, the REC’s Diocese of the West, covering about 40 percent of the country operates on a $30,000.00 per year budget. The ACNA being TEC retreads has full time paid staff and different ideas. They want each of the 700 parishes they expect to gain to give a one time “Thank Offering” of $1,000.00. That will give them a nice $700,000.00 nest egg from which to rule.
Below you will read the missive from the ACNA Chief Operating Officer. Before you read it, read my response. It will make your reading more interesting.
What, pray tell, should we be so thankful for that we should send you $1,000.00? Seven hundred parishes at a thousand a pop - $700,000.00. That is money. You tell us that this is a time that should be “marked by both celebration and gratitude.” For what?
The ACNA picked a guy who could not find his way out of the proverbial ecclesiastical wet paper bag. It apparently took him 40 years to recognize the TEC was headed to hell. In the mean time, he mis-led his flock.
We should be grateful the ACNA has decided to adopt the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer? I do not think so. The Anglican church was founded on a national model. We are Americans. Not North Americans, not English. We will use an American Book of Common Prayer. Perhaps you would like me to send you a copy of the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer?
We should be grateful that in the future your organization will live off the fat of our diocese with a tithe? How do you feel about 10 percent of $30,000.00? That is what you will get from our diocese.
I want an Anglican Church of the United States, not North America. I want a leader, not a follower.
Tell Bob and the boys, “No thank you.”
With all due respect,
Now, feel free to read the begging letter. Oh, yes – if this appeals to you send money.
-----Original Message----- From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Friday, May 08, 2009 10:50 AM Subject: [SPAM] Special ACNA Thank Offering
Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
I am writing to give you advance notification of a mailing that you should expect to receive early next week. It is a letter to you and your vestry from Archbishop-Designate Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Upon receipt I ask that you and your Vestry prayerfully receive this invitation of financial support with a gracious heart, and respond as generosity as you can for the sake of all that God has bestowed upon us and is doing among us.
This special Thank Offering was presented to and strongly endorsed by all of the Lead Bishops and Stewardship Group when our Provincial Council met last month to formally accept the 28 dioceses and dioceses-in-formation from all across North America. The idea is to collect an average of $1,000 from each of our more than 700 congregations. It will allow us to start-up effectively and meet the initial financial needs of the new provincial office. In the years ahead, the operations of our province will be funded by regular tithes from our dioceses, not extraordinary congregational offerings.
Full details of this extremely important offering including a sample bulletin insert, suitable for reproduction, and a return envelope will be enclosed in this forthcoming mailing. This offering can be taken on Pentecost and subsequent Sundays up to June 21st (the Eve of the Inaugural Provincial Assembly). We would also encourage your church to include news of this offering in leaflets and newsletters the next few Sundays.
This is an incredibly exciting time marked by both celebration and gratitude. No one among us doubts what the Lord has undertaken for us. The outcome of this offering will be instrumental to our start-up as we begin to fulfill our mission of "Reaching North America with the Transforming Love of Jesus Christ." Thank you in advance for your support and please do not hesitate to contact me directly should you have any questions.
I remain deeply grateful for the tremendous privilege of serving you and your parish.
Blessings, Brad B. Root
Chief Operating Officer Anglican Church in North America (724) 266-9400 firstname.lastname@example.org