Duncan explains AMiA’s fellow traveler status

An email from ACNA HQ on the AMiA-ble separation with AMiA is in circulation. It reads in part:

The Archbishop’s Cabinet has been working since February with the leadership of the Anglican Mission (the AM) in the Americas to clarify the Anglican Mission’s structural relationship within the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

This consideration came as a result of a January resolution by the Rwandan House of Bishops objecting to the dual membership of Rwanda’s missionary bishops in the North American College of Bishops.

It has been agreed by the Executive Committee of the ACNA (presently also the Archbishop’s Cabinet, and formerly the lead bishops of Common Cause) that the Anglican Mission will petition the June meeting of the Provincial Council for status as a Ministry Partner, a status provided for in the Constitution and Canons of the North American Province and agreeable to the Province of Rwanda.

The most significant change brought by Ministry Partner status is that AM Bishops would no longer be regular members of the ACNA College of Bishops. Bishop Chuck Murphy, Primatial Vicar and Bishop Chairman of the AM made the following comment concerning the future of the Anglican Mission as a Ministry Partner within the Anglican Church in North America:

“We are delighted that the Anglican Church in North America is now successfully up and running. As one of the founding members of the ACNA, we in the Anglican Mission have invested significant time and energy into its formation and we remain strongly supportive of the Province and Archbishop Duncan’s leadership of this important new work.”

Archbishop Duncan noted, “The vision of a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America remains the vision of every North American Anglican. Jurisdictional integration also remains a future hope as Rwandan canons do provide for the transfer of the Anglican Mission to the Anglican Church in North America when the time seems right.”

Of this development a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America) writes,

Try as the announcement does to make this sound like good news–or at least not a very big deal–apparently a large portion of the ACNA is withdrawing from full membership and falling back to what seems to amount to a “friendly fellow traveler” status. I, for one, have never thought of FACA–a Ministry Partner–as a member of ACNA but rather as folks who share many of our values as Anglicans and want to work together with us as much as possible.

In fact, such “dual membership” with an overseas province is pretty much “normal” for the time being in ACNA (DioFW is still affiliated with the province of the Southern Cone for the moment, for example).

To which a commenter adds,

“If Ft. Worth belongs to the Southern Cone and not ac/na, then who actually belongs to it? I just went to the AMiA’s website and counted over one hundred and fifty parishes, plus who knows how many in formation and start-ups? This is a tremendous loss since they were amongst the vanguard of Church Planters. Add to this the four REC Churches in Eastern Canada and it is almost one fifth of the parishes in ac/na and who knows how many people, percentage-wise, perhaps one third?”

Jim Naughton did his back-of-the-envelope calculation of the loss to ACNA here.

We reported on AMiA’s separation plans earlier today.

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