Thinking Anglicans

Presiding Bishop at National Press Club

The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church addressed the National Press Club, in Washington DC.

There is a transcript of her speech here.

There is an audio recording which also includes the extended Question and Answer session here.

A video recording of the event is over here.


Private feast, or public festival?

Talking to a young Nigerian woman this week, I asked her what she thought of the approach to Christmas in our part of east London, and how British celebrations contrasted with those in her home country. ‘It’s very quiet,’ she said. ‘In Nigeria, there would be people out dancing and singing, wherever you go.’ There’s a climate issue here, of course. As I write, the rain pours down out of grey skies, and shoppers scurry along the high street, heads down under their umbrellas. Any carol singers, let alone dancers, aren’t going to receive much notice.

There’s also an underlying question about the balance of public and private in our observance of the festivities. We lead our public life in the run-up to Christmas (and in the days immediately afterwards) on the high streets and in shopping centres and retail parks. Those are our places of encounter with the stranger, with those who are in some way not ‘ours’. We all share in the queue for the till, we compete for the bargain or for access to the mirror, we mutter apologies as we take each other’s space. Occasionally we will pause together, our attention taken by some religious, civic, or commercial offering for general consumption: the Salvation Army band or a school choir if we are lucky, the mall grotto or recorded carols and a mechanical Father Christmas if we are not.

There are halfway houses between this public life and the privacy of the home. They are the places where we are part of an extended group, drawn together by common interest which takes us beyond the domestic circle. Parents and carers gather for the school nativity play; we still have very traditional nativity plays in multi-cultural East Ham. For those who work together, there is the office Christmas party, or its substitute. Every club, be it Rotary, bowls, line dancing or the Women’s Institute, will have its Christmas do.

When it comes to Christmas Day, however, the gears change. Just look at the TV advertisements: Christmas is a private event which happens in a purely domestic setting and is just for family, or at most for friends so close that they replace family. We close down, retire behind our front doors, and hide, safe from the threat of the unfamiliar. Even the pattern of churchgoing increasingly conforms. For all but the hard core, the religious bit of Christmas is something to be got out of the way before the day itself. Crib services and Christingles on Christmas Eve are the great growth area, especially for the very occasional or once a year churchgoers; and even for the faithful and observant, Midnight Mass means that church is done virtually before the feast day begins. We, too, have our ‘common interest’ event before the festival.

Does this domestication have its roots in the Reformation, with Luther’s reinvention of the family as the location of everyday holiness, and the loss of the Catholic tradition of the public and communal? Are we re-engaging with the domesticity of the Jewish Sabbath? Does it derive from the breakdown of shared culture in a post-industrial and multi-cultural society? Can we blame this, too, on late capitalist consumerism?

Whatever the underlying reasons for this pattern, it is worth noting that the most significant group for whom Christmas is experienced in public, as a time of consorting with strangers in a place not their own, are those who have no home, or for whom there is no family provision. The centres provided by Crisis, the church and charity Christmas lunches for the elderly and lonely, these are the places of the non-domestic, unprivatised Christmas.

When I get home after morning service on Christmas Day, like most clergy I shall shut the door with relief, and relax in the company of my family. But niggling somewhere will be a question about the contrast between that pleasurable experience and the story of good news announced noisily and very publicly with a choir of angels and a star, and a stable whose door seemed to be perpetually open to those who wanted to come and see.


problem in Chichester?

Updated Tuesday morning

Jonathan Wynne-Jones reports in the Telegraph that Bishop faces rebellion over women clergy.

On one side of the row is the Rt Rev John Hind, the Bishop of Chichester, who has a black belt in judo and a staunch opponent of the ordination of women.

In the opposing corner is a growing group of clergy and worshippers in his diocese, who are dismayed by the bishop’s intransigence.

Bishop Hind has told his diocesan synod that when he appoints a new junior bishop, they will not be permitted to ordain women…

The report also includes these statistics:

Out of its 393 parishes, only 65 have stated that they would not accept a woman as their incumbent.


Among 308 paid clergy in the Chichester diocese, only 20 are women.

The Telegraph report refers to a letter from the bishop to the Church Times.

The story began with this news report: No change for women by Ed Beavan.

That provoked this letter from Bishop John Hind Traditionalists and women’s ordination.

In turn, there followed another letter from Christina Rees, Sarah Lamming, and Charles Read: Juggling unsatisfactory outcomes after women vote (scroll down to the bottom for this letter).

And, though probably not finally, there is another letter, this time from Dr Brian Hanson, in this week’s Church Times, normally available only to subscribers for the first week, but already published elsewhere, so look at this: Chichester, Horsham & Fairness.

Tuesday morning update

George Pitcher at the Telegraph has also written about this, see Planet Chichester threatens to divide Church.

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reports from Pittsburgh

Updated Tuesday morning

From the diocese:

State Of The Diocese Report – The Rev. Dr. James B. Simons

Bishop Named For Pittsburgh Episcopalians

Greetings to the Special Convention from The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Revised Resolution IV “Affirming Accession to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church” Is Available [as a PDF]

From the newspapers:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Ann Rodgers Diocese names interim leader

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Debra Erdley Smaller Episcopal diocese rebuilds

Tuesday morning update

Episcopal News Service at last has a report, Pittsburgh Episcopalians reorganize diocese.


church press covers ACNA

Revised on 19 December

The Church of England Newspaper has this article by George Conger Canterbury won’t block or bless new province:

The Archbishop of Canterbury will not block the creation of a third Anglican province in North America, sources familiar with Dr. Rowan Williams’ Dec 5 meeting with five traditionalist archbishops, tell The Church of England Newspaper.

However, the archbishop will not give it his endorsement either, arguing his office does not have the legal authority to make, or un-make, Anglicans.

On Dec 5, five members of the Gafcon primates council: Archbishops Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, and Henry Orombi of Uganda met with Dr. Williams in Canterbury for approximately five hours to discuss the current state of affairs within the Communion…

The Church Times has this article by Pat Ashworth New Anglican province comes into being in US together with a sidebar, Members of the Group (scroll down below the main article for this):

SOME members of the new Church began breaking away before the present crisis. One ACNA partner, the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC), split from the Episcopal Church in the United States as long ago as 1873. The Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA), affiliated to Rwanda, was, in 2000, already moving towards establishing a separate province, after the irregular consecrations of Bishop John Rodgers and Bishop Chuck Murphy in Singapore. The AMiA had 23 parishes in 2000. Now it says it has 140, including 12 in Canada (who are members of the Anglican Coalition in Canada, its subsidiary)…

The Church Times also has an article by Bishop Duncan on its Comment pages, which is at present only now available to subscribers. This makes it harder possible to appreciate the Leader article A new Church in the United States which says:

WHETHER it is viewed with sympathy or suspicion, there is no doubt that the new Anglican Church in North America changes the Anglican map. To be more accurate, it lays a new map (a relief map, perhaps?) on top of the old one, so that in his otherwise factual article (See Comment ) the new Archbishop, the Most Revd Bob Duncan, can say artlessly that the charge of boundary-crossing, condemned by the Windsor report, “is most effectively and completely addressed by general acceptance of the new province”. Although territorial confusion matters less where a church is defined more by congregational membership than place of abode, the parish ideal is none the less strong…


columns in the middle of Advent

The Dean of Perth (Western Australia), John Shepherd has written in The Times Salvation is not about who is in and who is out.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Sister Wendy’s pictures of love.

David Peel writes about his battle with cancer in the Guardian’s Face to Faith.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that One size of school can’t fit all values.

The Cif Belief Question this week is What should evangelicals believe? Answers come from John Richardson, Christina Rees, Justin Thacker and Graham Kings.

At Ekklesia Simon Barrow asks Which Jesus are we expecting?


ACNA: 700 congregations?

Updated Friday evening

The press release about the Anglican Church in North America says

“The movement unites 700 orthodox Anglican congregations, representing roughly 100,000 people…”

“The Common Cause Partnership is a federation of Anglican Christians that links together eight Anglican jurisdictions and organizations in North America, including the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Coalition in Canada, the Anglican Communion Network, the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, Forward in Faith North America, the Reformed Episcopal Church, and the bishops and congregations linked with Kenya, Uganda, and South America’s Southern Cone.”

Estimates of the numbers of parishes by jurisdiction are shown below. Some of these figures come directly from the Common Cause database, others were supplied to me, and others are my own estimate. I would welcome corrections to any of these figures. The table does not include any contribution from the 75 Forward in Faith North America congregations listed by Common Cause, most of which as I understand it are still within The Episcopal Church.

Friday update

Forward in Faith North America has published Forward in Faith NA responds to Q & A on the new ACNA which may answer some of the questions raised here about the status of FiFNA congregations in ACNA.

Reformed Episcopal Church  (includes 7 in Canada) 135
Anglican Mission in the Americas  (Rwanda)
(includes 12 in Canada )
Convocation of Anglicans in North America (Nigeria) 68
Missionary Convocation of Kenya 36
Bp Atwood
Missionary Convocation of Uganda 51
Bp Guernsey
Missionary Convocation of the Southern Cone  
–       Ex
San Joaquin
–       Ex Pittsburgh 55
SS estimate
–       Ex Quincy 20
SS estimate
–       Ex Fort Worth 45
SS estimate
–       Ex Canada ANiC 19
CC database
–       Individual congregations affiliated to Bolivia, Argentina and Recife 45
SS 2007 est.

About those bridesmaids

Ten bridesmaids took their lamps… (Matthew 25.1-13)

Among the Advent stories of the need to keep watchful, this one adds a different twist. All ten fell asleep, but some had taken the precaution of providing themselves with more oil.

It isn’t surprising they slept. After many generations, we are still waiting. Our grandparents knew the value of keeping the reserve of oil; they had lived through wars and depression, and recognised a need for caution. But their attitude has gone out of fashion. It’s as though the bridesmaids woke up one morning and decided that their wedding garments were now seriously out of fashion, and that it would be fun to trade some of that carefully stored oil for a brand new outfit.

We did save once. And for a time when interest rates reached double figures our savings appeared to be capable of giving almost instant gratification to our desires. But then interest rates fell, and only property seemed to be climbing in value. We stopped saving, and tested the inflated value of our homes by re-mortgaging to give ourselves a treat; a holiday, a car, a new kitchen, or just the brand new outfit in order to keep in the fashion.

The building societies found that the savings had dried up, so they had to look for funds elsewhere to satisfy the inflated demands of their clients. And now the lamps are going out for lack of oil. We can’t go back to the banks. They have no more funds, and besides, our houses aren’t worth what we once claimed.

We are told that, in desperation, people are looking to churches for a way out of the dilemma, or at least for some relief from their pain. But the one who said ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth’ is not likely to feed our addiction to consumerism.

Fortunately, all we face at the moment is a credit crunch which might bring us to our senses, rather than the appearance of the bridegroom heralding the end of the age. So there might, in this Advent season, be time to reassess our priorities. We might learn to wait, this time for something really worth waiting for.


Los Angeles authorizes blessings

See this news report by Episcopal News Service LOS ANGELES: Bishop authorizes blessings of lifelong covenantal relationships.

Bishop J. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles has authorized the use of a rite for the “Sacramental Blessing of a Life-long Covenant” for both same-gender and heterosexual couples…

On the diocesan website there are these four PDF files:

Policy Regarding the Sacramental Blessing of Life-long Covenants in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

Some Questions and Answers: The Sacramental Blessing of a Life-Long Covenant

Service for the Sacramental Blessing of a Life-Long Covenant

Suggested Readings for the Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant


Network to cease operation

Updated Friday

The Anglican Communion Network has issued a press release Anglican Communion Network Celebrates Successes, Prepares for Hand Over to Province.

“God did not use the Network to change the direction of The Episcopal Church as we had originally hoped. He has used it and us to create a Biblical, missionary and united Anglican province-in-waiting here in North America. We are deeply thankful to Him and to all who have supported its work,” said Bishop Duncan.

The full text of the Resolution includes this:

…And finally be it resolved, that the Steering Committee enter into conversation with that part of the membership of the Anglican Communion Network remaining in The Episcopal Church as to whether they might desire to take upon themselves the original mantle of the Anglican Communion Network.

Friday Update

The Living Church reports that Rio Grande Drops Network Affiliation:

The standing committee of the Diocese of the Rio Grande has voted unanimously to disaffiliate from the Anglican Communion Network…

…The withdrawal of the Rio Grande, which did not send any representatives to the annual council meeting, leaves eight of the original 10 dioceses nominally in the organization. Four of the original 10 founding dioceses—Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy and San Joaquin—have withdrawn from The Episcopal Church.

…Bishop John Howe of the Diocese of Central Florida withdrew his Network affiliation about six months ago in favor of affiliation with the Anglican Communion Institute. Leaders from the remaining four Network dioceses—Albany, Dallas, South Carolina and Springfield—expressed varying degrees of support for the formation of another organization, but all four said there were no plans at present to discuss withdrawal or disaffiliation.

And there is also an ENS report on this: RIO GRANDE: Diocese disaffiliates from Anglican Communion Network.


Bishop Chane writes about ACNA

The Bishop of Washington, John Chane has written a letter to his diocese about the proposed formation of a new province in North America.

Read it all here. There is also a PDF version.

Here’s an extract:

…The Archbishop of Canterbury wisely did not invite any of the bishops consecrated to serve in the Nigerian, Ugandan, Rwandan or Kenyan incursions into the United States to last summer’s Lambeth Conference. Nor did he invite bishops of the Reformed Episcopal Church, which broke from the Anglican Communion almost 130 years ago. Williams seems unlikely to reverse course now. He knows that the leaders of the proposed province have been working, overtly and covertly, to undermine the Episcopal Church for almost a decade, so what was a front page story to the editors of the New York Times was old news to him. It would be folly for the Archbishop to even consider recognizing a non-geographical province because it would unleash chaos in the Communion, with theological minorities in every jurisdiction seeking to affiliate with likeminded Anglicans in other provinces. Unfortunately, the Archbishop has contributed to the confusion and anxiety the leaders of the proposed province have sought to foster by meeting on numerous occasions with Duncan and his allies. These meetings have bestowed an unwarranted sense of legitimacy on those who seek to deconstruct the Anglican Communion.

What Duncan and Minns propose – that Duncan become the Archbishop of a newly minted non-geographical province with the support of GAFCON primates such as Peter Akinola of Nigeria and Henry Orombi of Uganda – is a rejection of the respectful diversity and generous orthodoxy that defines the Communion. It is a repudiation of the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury in our communal life. It flies in the very face of what it truly means to be an Anglican. For Minns to suggest that he is leading a “new reformation” is ludicrous and demeans the historicity and value of the real Reformation as we know it and live it. The movers of the proposed new province embarrass themselves, the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion by the self-serving media coverage they have worked so hard to achieve. The news of the proposed province appears at a time when more than 28 million Americans are living on food stamps, one out of every 10 new mortgage holders is facing foreclosure, unemployment is at its highest level in decades, the auto industry is “tanking” and the real danger of deflation or a possible depression looms large on the horizon. In the global south, millions live on $1 a day, and wars, ethnic and religious violence, poverty and the AIDS epidemic continue to wrack the African continent. To learn in this context that Duncan, Minns and their allies think that the most important issue facing the church is the sexuality of the Bishop of New Hampshire suggests a level of self-absorption that is difficult to square with the teachings of Christ. And to learn that the New York Times considers the complaints of these deposed, retired and irregularly consecrated bishops to be front page news suggests a fixation on “culture wars” reporting that deprives readers of a true sense of the challenges facing the church in this country…



The CEEC has news:

Chairman stands down.


´The Executive Officer of the Church of England Evangelical Council informed the meeting that Dr Richard Turnbull had tendered a letter of resignation as chairman. The letter was read to the meeting and was received with great surprise and regret. “Richard has contributed significantly to the life of CEEC, for thirteen years as a member and for the last three of those years as its chair. The Council is very grateful to him for all that he has done over those years; and records that it is not the Council´s wish that he should discontinue as its chairman.” Having due regard to Richards priorities for home, for family and for his responsibilities as Principal of Wycliffe Hall, it was resolved that his resignation be accepted with great regret; and that Richard be invited to continue as a member of the Council.´

A statement from Bishop Wallace Benn, President of CEEC will be available shortly.

And, the Council has issued this statement:

The Council met on 4th December – its first meeting since the NEAC5 Consultation meeting at All Souls Langham Place on 15th November 2008. The following statement summarises our deliberations concerning the Consultation.

CEEC apologises for the fact that we failed to circulate the proposed resolutions prior to the Consultation day. We acknowledge that this was a serious mistake which understandably caused consternation on the day.

We appreciate the fact that, following 15th November, many people availed themselves of the opportunity to make their views known by e-mail to CEEC have heard a summary of what was said by this means.

We understand that what happened at the Consultation together with associated press reports has undermined the credibility of the Council. Though we are sensitive to the accusation that CEEC is not properly representative of evangelicals, over half the membership is elected and all those who subscribe to the Council’s Basis of Faith are eligible to stand for election.

We resolve to do all we can to fulfill our stated purpose of taking counsel together about matters of particular concern to evangelical Anglicans.

The Council, having listened to all that was said on 15th November, has adopted the following Resolution:

  • “CEEC affirms and rejoices that the Church of England professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and its historic formularies (the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons) and set out in Canon A5 and the Declaration of Assent.
  • Further we affirm (1) the CEEC’s own Basis of Belief, (2) Resolution 3.5 of Lambeth 1998 (concerning the authority of Holy Scriptures), (3) Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 (concerning human sexuality), and (4) the Jerusalem Declaration, and as members of the Anglican Communion, we acknowledge our obligation to stand in prayerful solidarity with faithful Anglicans across the globe.
  • We recognize that evangelical Anglicans will pursue a variety of strategies for dealing with the current crisis in the Communion, and we support those who are seeking to work through the existing Anglican Communion structures, those who are working within the framework set out in the GAFCON Statement, and those supporting both.
  • We call on the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates to recognize the urgency of the situation as it affects parishes and clergy, particularly in the USA, Canada and Brazil, and to give immediate and serious consideration to granting recognition to the new Province in the USA.

The power of story

There is an old saw which says that God invented humanity because God loves stories. In the tradition of the Hebrew people, there was a prohibition against rendering their God in the plastic arts and so they went to town on narrative and thoroughly delighted in it. The Hebrew sacred texts are story and counter-story describing worlds and the God who is active in those worlds. If you are familiar with the world painted by the Deuteronomist, that you get what you deserve, and God rewards the righteous, then the Book of Job comes alive as a counter-story, protesting that ill-fortune falls on the righteous too, and the reasons are hidden in the depths of God.

The Christmas stories are counter-stories. They are stories which are holding out for a God and a world which will work differently to the one in which the storytellers live. Matthew uses the Moses story, and Luke the call of Samuel, to tell their listeners that the God who was present in these classical tales is present in Jesus of Nazareth. We know that the Christmas stories are counter-stories because they use words for Jesus of Nazareth which the early audience will have associated with Augustus Caesar. Caesar was Son of God, Prince of Peace, and our Christmas birth story writers are saying that Jesus is these things, in other words, Jesus is, Caesar is not. Caesar’s Roman Peace is fine if you are Roman, and so long as Caesar has the biggest army. The peace of Jesus of Nazareth is about seeking out those who do not benefit from Roman peace, and including them at life’s table. Our Christmas stories are asking us whether our God is more likely to be found in a Roman palace, or a cow’s feeding trough.

All of this is commonplace for first year students in Biblical studies, I’m saying nothing new. But over the last several years my worry has been that we have lost our grip on the power of story. When you clear our public spaces of religious stories (particularly those pressed into the service of worldly interest) you are not left with a pristine post-Enlightenment space. The power of stories is that they are ways of inviting us to consider who we might be, they invite us to make lives in the worlds they describe, and they invite our loyalty and our resources. This is too much power to be left unfulfilled.

Into this space come the storytellers we know, news organisations, spin doctors and advertisements, each seeking to frame the world and our place in it. With the technological gap between generations, the worry is that our children are being formed by stories told by Nintendo, Sony and the like. After school our children step into virtual worlds which are laid out before them. They can progress through these worlds with the purchase of each upgrade, and they are being encouraged to acquire skills which will help them be promoted through the moral universes the games companies have described.

All of this goes by stealth because this happens unsupervised. Work-weary parents may even be grateful for the diversion. Narratives are being quietly assimilated, and these are shared in the schoolyard, and young friends measure each other by their skill and knowledge in worlds barely guessed at by those who have the care of developing the next generation.

We need to dispense with the tinsel-and-teatowel Christmas and recover its visceral power in the world where the story was first told, a world which was about brute force and malnutrition. We need to rediscover the power of telling stories of a God which runs counter to the prevailing values of the day.

If we can recover Christmas as a counter-story in its own day under Rome, we might want to start telling new counter-stories about the God we believe in, in our own day, to the Playstation generation.


Los Angeles news

The Diocese of Los Angeles held its annual convention last weekend.

News reports:

Los Angeles Times Episcopal Diocese of L.A. officially condones the blessing of gay unions by Jessica Garrison

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has announced that church leaders can bless the unions of same-sex couples as a matter of policy.

The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, whose diocese encompasses Los Angeles County and five other Southern California counties, made the announcement Friday during a diocesan convention in Riverside.

Bruno acted just days after hundreds of conservative Episcopal congregations in North America formed a breakaway church amid a rift that began with the ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire five years ago.

Bruno’s declaration is not expected to have a major effect on Episcopal churches in Southern California. Many have been blessing gay unions for years. But he has now made it official…

Riverside Press-Enterprise At Riverside convention Episcopalians say no to ban on gay bishops by David Olson

In a move that presaged yet another battle over homosexuality at a national Episcopal Church meeting, delegates to the Los Angeles Diocese’s convention voted overwhelmingly Saturday to support lifting a moratorium on consecrating bishops who are in same-sex relationships…


Sunday Tribune interviews Archbishop Akinola

There is a lengthy interview with Archbishop Peter Akinola in the Sunday Tribune, a Nigerian newspaper.

Read it all here.


opinions this weekend

Comment is free Belief has a weekly question. This week it is Can religion help us through the slump?

There are five responses from Julia Neuberger, Francis Davis, Ishtiaq Hussain, Graham Kings, and Nick Spencer.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about the Enigmatic life of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Michael Wright argues in the Guardian that Now is a good time for Quakers to reassess their priorities and find their tongues.

Catherine Pepinster writes in The Times The beauty of our creations is also part of our faith.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that Borrowing is no way out of the credit crisis.


update on Fort Worth

Updated again Sunday morning

From epiScope: Renunciation of Orders

Today, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori “accepted the renunciation of the Ordained Ministry of this Church, made in writing on November 24, 2008 by the Right Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth who is, therefore, removed from Ordained Ministry of this Church and released from the obligations of all Ministerial offices, and is deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred on him in Ordinations.”

Saturday morning update

There is a detailed ENS report: Presiding Bishop declares inhibited Fort Worth bishop has renounced his orders.

See also PB “accepts” Bishop Iker’s renunciation of orders at Episcopal Café.

Here is what was published on the date mentioned above.

Read what she wrote to the House of Bishops.

…My decision to accept Bishop Iker’s voluntary renunciation fits squarely within the canons. Bishop Iker’s November 24 statement clearly constitutes “a renunciation of the ordained ministry of this Church, and a desire to be removed therefrom” as contemplated by Canon III.12.7(a). Other, similar letters — most recently from Bishops Bena and Fairfield — have also been treated as voluntary renunciations and with the consent of my Council of Advice I have accepted them and removed and released those bishops from our ordained ministry, as well…

Sunday morning update

Bishop Iker has issued a statement: What Renunciation?

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Episcopal Church presiding bishop says Iker renounced orders.

And, Bishop Iker commented on the proposed new province in this newspaper report: Fort Worth Episcopal bishop weighs in on the church’s split.

The Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians issued this statement.


GAFCON primates meet at Canterbury

Updated Tuesday

Primates of the GAFCON Primates’ Council meeting in London have issued the following statement about the Province of the Anglican Church in North America:

We welcome the news of the North American Anglican Province in formation. We fully support this development with our prayer and blessing, since it demonstrates the determination of these faithful Christians to remain authentic Anglicans.

North American Anglicans have been tragically divided since 2003 when activities condemned by the clear teaching of Scripture and the vast majority of the Anglican Communion were publicly endorsed. This has left many Anglicans without a proper spiritual home. The steps taken to form the new Province are a necessary initiative. A new Province will draw together in unity many of those who wish to remain faithful to the teaching of God’s word, and also create the highest level of fellowship possible with the wider Anglican Communion.

Furthermore, it releases the energy of many Anglican Christians to be involved in mission, free from the difficulties of remaining in fellowship with those who have so clearly disregarded the word of God.

There are some reports of the meeting that was held today between several GAFCON primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury:

Ruth Gledhill has Canterbury summit: nothing happened

Baby Blue has Rowan Williams hosts Anglican primates at Canterbury Cathedral for emergency summit

Tuesday update

Although the statement appearing on the GAFCON website does not include any signatures, it now appears from this Religion News Service report, Conservative Anglican Primates Back New Province, that it may have been signed by only five of the six primates who constitute the GAFCON primates council. The name missing from the RNS report is The Most Rev Valentino Mokiwa, Primate of Tanzania.


more reports on Wheaton

Updated again Saturday morning

The Los Angeles Times has Episcopal Church leader says those who defected ‘are no longer Episcopalians’ by Duke Helfand

Update There is an additional article: Split in Episcopal Church hits new level

The Washington Post has A Worldwide Anglican Melee by Jacqueline L. Salmon and Michelle Boorstein

The Toronto Star has Anglicans formalize split by Stuart Laidlaw

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has Episcopalian churches in Georgia may join new Anglican group by Christopher Quinn

Religion News Service has What’s ahead for the fractured Episcopal Church? by Daniel Burke

Christianity Today has Conservative Anglicans Create Rival Church by Timothy Morgan

Jim Naughton at Episcopal Café has 100,000? We think not and he also has some critique of other coverage here and also here.


The Living Church has at last published a report, Provisional Structure Unveiled for New Province.

Stand Firm has published a note: Clarifying the Role of the AAC in the New Province.

The Anglican Journal has Anglican Church in North America: new church or new province?

Christian Today has GAFCON Primates to meet Archbishop over US split

The New York Times has yet another article, Conservative Anglicans Vow to Press Ahead With Split by Laurie Goodstein.


some reactions to Wheaton

Updated Saturday morning

Among the interesting comments so far…

Jan Nunley reminds us of some earlier news events in Everything old…

In particular, she links to Dissident Episcopalians Meet to Discuss New Church, which is dated 1977.

Update Jan has more, in I found another one….

Jeffrey Weiss at the Dallas Morning News suggests the new ‘Anglican Church in North America’ isn’t actually Anglican, in fact he says:

At this point I put these folks in the same basket as the women who claim they’re Catholic priests, Christians who say they are “Messianic Jews” and Mormons who say they are Christians.

Ian Douglas asks Why do we call them traditionalists?

Paragraph 154 of The Windsor Report clearly states: ‘Whilst there are instances in the polity of Anglican churches that more than one jurisdiction exists in one place, this is something to be discouraged rather than propagated. We do not therefore favour the establishment of parallel jurisdictions.’

Update Jeff Sharlet has Anglicans Toot Somebody Else’s Horn.