Thinking Anglicans

ACNA adjusts its numbers

From a press release by the Anglican Church in North America:

The Anglican Church in North America has 614 congregations in 20 dioceses. More than 200 other congregations are ministry partners with the Anglican Church, including the congregations of The Anglican Mission. The Anglican Church represents more than 100,000 Christians in North America.

Previous reports here, here, and here.

This short PDF file explains where these congregations came from.

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Pantycelyn
Pantycelyn
10 years ago

Who cares ?

Chris Smith
Chris Smith
10 years ago

I have a strong suspicion that if you checked out several of the newly formed congregations you might be surprised to find that there are perhaps as few as a half dozen people in each of these congregations. Out of curiosity, I checked out three of these newly formed congregations in Northern California: one in the San Francisco area, one in the Sacramento area and one in the Sierra foothills about two hundred miles from San Francisco. All of them fit this pattern. I believe these numbers may be largely exaggerated and present a false picture as to what this… Read more »

Mary
Mary
10 years ago

I agree with Chris Smith’s comments above. I know a group that has formed a new ACNA “church”. Seven-ten people, barely recognizable liturgy, heavy empahsis on spiritual “gifts” and charismata, many untruths told while forming this new “church”, and almost all members angry at TEC for one reason or another.

Funny thing is, they USED to radiate joy and the light of God. Now? They simply seem dark, joyless, and dangerously angry.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
10 years ago

I think Pantecelyn’s views are about right …. on all of it!

Chris Smith
Chris Smith
10 years ago

While I agree with Martin Reynolds in this post, I also think it might be helpful to make the ACNA tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Lies and deception by some members of the ACNA have hurt innocent people. Let’s call a spade a spade and stop with the charade. I believe it may the time has arrived for the rest of the world to see this movement in the clear light of day. It’s time they come out of the shadows of their exaggerated numbers and let the world see who they are and… Read more »

Nom de Plume
Nom de Plume
10 years ago

“The Anglican Church in North America has 614 congregations in 20 dioceses”

…and 8000 bishops.

Chris H.
Chris H.
10 years ago

Chris Smith, the situation in loyal TEC churches isn’t much better than that in this diocese. 7-15 is average attendance in several churches; that’s why some priests here preside over three parishes each full-time and sometimes more when they visit the nine churches with no priest. So if ACNA isn’t real because of those numbers, neither is TEC. I heard one priest say that if TEC only counted actual attendance that there would be less than a million members. Also, as far as I know there are only two ACNA churches in this state, but in at least one city… Read more »

Phil Harrold
Phil Harrold
10 years ago

ACNA displays the same diversity of worship style that one finds elsewhere in the Anglican Communion, including the Church of England. As I’ve observed on countless occasions in the UK, some use the Prayer Book, some don’t, and the ministry context has much to do with this. And, by the way, numbers in ACNA church plants range as widely as those of U.K. Anglican churches. And, please, Chris Smith–stating, “I also think it might be helpful to make the ACNA tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Lies and deception by some members of the ACNA… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
10 years ago

“the situation in loyal TEC churches isn’t much better than that in this diocese”

Where’s that?

Adam Armstrong
Adam Armstrong
10 years ago

It’s hard to imagine a viable congregation of 7-10 members-what part of the country is that? We have a lot of small rural churches in Canada, but that’s quite small. In our Diocese there are a number of “separatist” parishes, but in Canada they are usually called “Network” and are connected to Venables and the Southern Cone, although they appear on the ACNA website. It is quite true that they are barely recognizable as Anglican, since most are charismatic/protestant/fundamentalist and are usually the private preserve of their clergy. They are quite independent, even of their so-called “bishops”, so they have… Read more »

Mary
Mary
10 years ago

“It’s hard to imagine a viable congregation of 7-10 members-what part of the country is that?”

This is in an area where the average TEC congregation has an ASA in the 100-200 range. And in an area where there ARE other ACNA options — in fact much more viable options. I think this specific “church plant” boils down to two things — people who are still angry that they didn’t get THEIR way, and people who want to run their own show.

Chris H.
Chris H.
10 years ago

It’s the Diocese of Montana. 41 parishes, 25 priests in 25(out of 56)counties. 9 parishes are vacant, although I think each has a deacon. The Annual Report of the Diocese counts seven “clusters” where a group of 3-5 churches share clergy. To make sure I wasn’t just spreading the local numbers statewide, I checked average attendance for 16 parishes across the state. The biggest cities had average attendance of just under 200.That includes the city where they still count the ACNA’ers. The rural/eastern towns had 5,6,8,12,13. And those were the numbers they were admitting to. How often it’s true like… Read more »

Chris H.
Chris H.
10 years ago

I’m sorry Mary, I’m talking TEC churches, not ACNA. Only the biggest cities in what counts as metropolitan areas here in Montana have average attendance like that. I live in the fifth largest town/city (50,000 people) and the average attendance here is only 50. What state are you in? I’m sure the situation is very similar in other areas.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith
10 years ago

I will address this comment to the poster in this thread named Phil Harrold. I do not believe the ACNA does in fact, display an overall Anglican identity. I believe it is a protestant fundamentalist or Pentecostalist spirituality they tend toward. Even their many websites reflect this. Yes, Phil, we should always aim to be more charitable and try to avoid hurtful comments to others but you are failing to own up to some mighty important facts and they are: The ACNA have tried to STEAL property and assets that clearly do NOT belong to them. These properties and assets… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
10 years ago

Using Big Sky Country as an example of the whole US in regard to church attendance in Episcopal parishes is rather akin to using Hawaii as an example of snowfall for all 50 states.

Tell me, Chris H., what’s the average attendance for the Baptist, Methodist, UCC and other denominational churches like around there? You already note that the Lutherans are in about the same situation…so it seems to me this speaks more about the nature of rural areas than anything else.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

“I think this specific “church plant” boils down to two things — people who are still angry that they didn’t get THEIR way, and people who want to run their own show.”

– Posted by: Mary on Sunday –

Sounds suspiciously like ‘Congregationalism’ to me.
And is this not a true assessment of ACNA?

Mary
Mary
10 years ago

Chris H. – “I’m talking TEC churches, not ACNA”

As am I. 100-200 total ASA for the majority of TEC congregations in my Diocese — some more, some less, but in general. Even my currently struggling parish averages an ASA of 150. I am in an East Coast Diocese, one of the original nine.

Josh L.
Josh L.
10 years ago

The Episcopal Church had an average of 69 people per parish for ASA as of 2007. In 2007, 167 members on the rollbooks was the average. The majority of these congregations are elderly people. So if you do the math: TEC lost 38,000 members in 2007, lost 59,000 members in 2008, no new numbers for 2009..but two diocese left reported, which would make an average loss of approx 60,000 not including 2010 losses. So the average TEC today would probably have an average of 50-60 people on Sunday. As for the ACNA? Who knows. It’s not even worth discussing. They… Read more »

Chris H.
Chris H.
10 years ago

I wasn’t trying to say that every state is like Montana. Chris S. seemed to me to be mocking ACNA because of it’s church size and numbers and I was trying to point out that if church size proves that a church is a fraud, then TEC is as much a fraud here as ACNA around here. According to TEC’s official numbers for 2008, 66% of parishes in the U.S. have an average attendance of 100 people or less, and only 5% have ASA of 300 or more, which makes Montana’s numbers pretty normal. I hesitate when people assume the… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
10 years ago

Chris H: Well, maybe the problem is that in your diocese, the heirarchy is trying to hard to hang on to a structure that worked in pioneer days but is unworkable today. Perhaps some of these parishes need to be closed and/or merged. That’s what happened here with a long-time parish that had dwindled to just 35 members on its rolls. And I think a church is too fundamentalist (or too something, anyway), when it doesn’t use the CPB for services, when it asks for MORE than baptism to receive the Eucharist, when it asks for public “confessions” of faith… Read more »

Phil Harrold
Phil Harrold
10 years ago

Chris Smith– you describe what you want to see. Your presuppositions and prejudices color your view of everything related to ACNA. It is characteristic of all of us, as fallen creatures, to project onto our enemies, and it is something we must continually confess because it brings nothing but harm to the Body and further accentuates our divisions. I do not recognize what you describe to be ACNA. You have made it so OTHER that it readily defies empirical evidence to the contrary, as commentators have shown on this stream. If you are unwilling to accept this, then further exchange… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
10 years ago

“What if they believe in substitutionary atonement?”

Ew. At least as this is usually presented. Protestants seem to have made things unnecessarily bad with substitutionary atonement by being afraid to call Jesus Christ, God, and using the “gave his Son” exclusively. Instead of having God sacrifice himself on the Cross, in many places God is presented as a sadistic father who has his son tortured on behalf of a third party’s crime.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
10 years ago

re, substitution atonement, and deistic sadism, I rather like the last bit of a prayer by Father Boyd from decades ago, especially if one reads the word “decoration” so as to apply to various tragic classical theologies of “atonement”. The Prayer prays in part “Can we somehow get through all the decoration which has been developed about the cross and just be there with you?” -Malcolm Boyd, “Are You running with me Jesus” from the section “Meditations on the cross” The Prayer is titled “Help us to dig in, Jesus, and be with you.” Father Boyd’s perspectives can be located… Read more »

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