March 23, 2017

November 16, 2011

Bishop Terrell Glenn’s (AMiA) Resignation Letter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus.

I am writing to inform you that I have resigned from the Anglican Mission in America. I communicated this to my brother bishops earlier this week at our fall retreat in Myrtle Beach and submitted a letter to that effect to Bishop Murphy, our Chairman and Archbishop Rwaje’s Primatial Vicar. This is not a decision that I have made lightly or in haste or in reaction to any of the impending decisions about the future direction of the Anglican Mission that are before the Council of Bishops and the Anglican Mission. Rather, it is a decision that Teresa and I have made after several months of agonizing prayer as we have sought to do what we believe the Lord has called us to do.

For a while now, Bishop Murphy and I have sought to resolve personal issues between us. Regrettably, we have been unsuccessful. As Teresa and I prayed about this, we came to believe that the Lord was leading us to step out of the Anglican Mission and we are doing this in obedience to Him. In anticipation of this decision, we sought to hear the Lord about next steps but only heard Him clearly about this one. Therefore, we now are entering a period of discernment as to our future ministry.

There are two things that I ask of you at this time. First, please do not take our decision as an indication or recommendation from me as to what any of you should do in response to the proposed changes in the life of the Anglican Mission as it considers becoming a Missionary Society. Instead, I ask that you remain faithfully a part of the Anglican Mission and a vitally prayerful part of the process of discernment in which the Mission is currently engaged concerning its future. This means that discussions among you should be conducted in a manner worthy of the Gospel, that honors the leadership of the Anglican Mission and that is above reproach in every way. Second, and more personally, I ask for your prayers for direction for the Glenn family as we seek our Lord’s will for our lives.

Over these past three years and especially in this recent season in which I have been able to give a singular focus to serving as your bishop, Teresa and I have been blessed not only to deepen ministry relationships with you, but also to foster friendships. Truly, it has been an honor, privilege and joy to serve as your bishop. Teresa and I love you deeply and you will remain in our prayers.

In His Peace,

Bishop Terrell

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Sorry to see this. In light of Matthew 5:23-14, wouldn’t reconciliation proceed the call to something new?

[1] Posted by Festivus on 11-16-2011 at 10:50 AM · [top]

While I can appreciate +Terrell’s concerns and respect his decision, I am not sure it was a good idea to divulge, however cryptically, about his differences with +Chuck. That’s an open secret, to be sure, but a simple statement that he was resigning for personal reasons after a period of prayer would have been sufficient.

[2] Posted by Jagged Edge on 11-16-2011 at 01:42 PM · [top]

RE: “That’s an open secret, to be sure, but a simple statement that he was resigning for personal reasons after a period of prayer would have been sufficient.”

But see . . . this is the way the game has always worked in TEC.  We have a few people knowing “open secrets” and the rest in the dark.  Then when one of the folks who actually *knows* the “open secret” talks about it out loud, the rest of those who know the “open secret” but prefer to keep it hidden tell the person who outs the “open secret” that they have no evidence and are only promoting unverified “gossip” and should be quiet.

I think Bishop Glenn walked a very fine line.  He knew he was going to resign.  He knew the word was going to get out about it.  He knew that at least some might think that his resignation might have to do with changes in the AMiA and he wished to deny that.  And no doubt he knew that *others* might assert that his departure had “nothing at all to do with any rift but had to do with some of his personal issues”—ie, just like the average TEC bishop or TEC rector asserting that people departing TEC had to do with their commute times or their problems with the 1979 prayer book.

It’s all kept “on the hush hush and very qt”—and it’s quite sickening to behold.

It’s a pity that so much of that ethos of hiding and denying and deceit and spin has been imported—or exported with so many of the departers—into other Anglican entities.  So now we have a spread from TEC and the COE into many other entities.

I’m grateful for Bishop Glenn’s clarity and wisdom and graciousness in his words.  It means far less whispering and talking behind hands—and far less opportunity for spinning efforts from *all sides*.

[3] Posted by Sarah on 11-16-2011 at 02:10 PM · [top]

Thanks Terrell for being clear and graceful. You and your family, as well as the AMiA family are in our prayers. Although I am serving as a CANA priest, I will forever be grateful for Chuck Murphy, John Rogers and AMiA for fighting the early battles that makes my ministry in Anglicanism possible. Your courage gave me courage. I think we sometime forget the gutsy sacrifices they made to pave the way for the rest of us and I look forward to the day we (Anglicans) are all together in witness to a great God.

[4] Posted by Chuck C on 11-16-2011 at 03:50 PM · [top]

Re: “Rather, it is a decision that Teresa and I have made after several months of agonizing prayer as we have sought to do what we believe the Lord has called us to do.”

On a totally different note (and without getting into this matter, which I know very, very, little about):
As a priest who spent three years of his adult married life in the seminary, living and breathing the seminary air with my family members (those who were not in college or boarding school at that time), preparing for the ordained ministry as a priest in Christ’s holy Church, I am always very uncomfortable with statements such as the referenced, supra.

Here is the cause of my discomfort:
Yea, I know, I know the wife is part and parcel of the ministry, and is also called (and vowed) to support the priest in his ministry, BUT, at the end of the day, it is the priest that is CALLED and ordained into the PRIESTHOOD.  THEREFORE, decisions regarding whether to resign or to take one direction or the other in one’s priestly, or episcopal   ministry ought to be the DECISION of the ordained person, with the support of the spouse, of course. NOT a joint decision.

This is my view, and I welcome yours.

Yea, everyone knows that I am married to the most godly woman in Arlington, Saint Mabel, the saintly lady of St. Philip’s, BUT, she as far as I know, she was not ordained with me into the sacred order of the priesthood.  Yes, she was with me all the way through the process. I pray with her for the success and direction of my ministry, but at the end of the day, I still believe she is there to support me, but not to decide with me as to where and how I minister to God’s people. There is a big difference between making a decision with me, and praying with me and supporting my decision.

Again, I say, this is my view, and I welcome yours.

My wife attended and participated fully in the programs and “life” of the Seminary Spouse at Sewanee for three years. If she took to heart and applied what she was supposed to have “learnt” from all that she was exposed to at Sewanee, and if I had to “listen” to her in my ministerial decision makings, I have an idea where my priestly ministry would be at this point. Needless to say that it would be anywhere but here at St. Philip’s Arlington.

Please, once again, this has nothing to do with the godly bishop’s family and his situation. I am just thinking aloud and making an observation on a topic that has been coming to my mind for many years.

I love my wife, and I listen to her, BUT….......

BTW, if you hear that I was thrown out of our tonight,  and that my sleeping bag is in the St. Philip’s church parking lot,(this is not Occupy St. Philip’s), I am sure you would know why - having read this piece, which my wife is surely going to see before the end of this day. Pray for me. LOL.

Fr. Kingsley Jon-Ubabuco
Arlington, Texas

[5] Posted by Spiro on 11-16-2011 at 04:07 PM · [top]

Bishop Glenn is, in my mind, a godly and righteous Bishop.  I only knew him briefly, and since I transferred from Rwanda to the REC a year ago and only a short time after he took oversight over our Network (I left AMIA not out of any unhappiness with the Anglican Mission, but rather a sense of calling to a new parish that happened to be REC).  +Terrell is thoughtful, wise and a great pastor.  He was a great help to me and my former parish during a time of transition. 

Of course, I am either very naive or very blessed, but I have served under very godly men in both the AMiA and REC.  (and, yes, in TEC as well, where I was confirmed by Bishop James Stanton, who I believe to be a godly man as well).  Sometimes, I think we lose sight of the fact that even though we may well disagree about particular decisions (WO or not, stay in TEC for now or not, new province or missionary society…etc.) that there are some truly spirit-filled Gospel men on both sides of many of these issues.

I really know little about what might happening in AMIA at the moment, but like others who have posted already, I am grateful for the pioneering courage of +Kolini, +Murphy, +Rodgers, +Greene, +Barnum and +Tay.  I love the Anglican Mission for what it has done and what it is doing, even as I also appreciate the faithfulness of the REC and CANA and ACNA and the remnant in TEC.

[6] Posted by Father Bob Hackendorf on 11-16-2011 at 05:28 PM · [top]

Let’s not forget the courage of Bishop Allison who accompanied both +Murphy and
+ Rodgers to their consecration in Singapore.

[7] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 11-16-2011 at 05:45 PM · [top]

Yes, and +Dickson as well, thanks for that reminder SC blu cat lady!

[8] Posted by Father Bob Hackendorf on 11-16-2011 at 05:54 PM · [top]

It is my fervent hope AMiA heals from whatever is currently afflicting it (it appears there may be some authoritarianism in some places). In another AMiA network my dealings with those above my pay grade have been tenuous (putting it kindly and cryptically).

Christe eleison!

[9] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 11-16-2011 at 06:05 PM · [top]

I completely disagree with #5.  Then again, I did not graduate from an Episcopal seminary, so perhaps my wife and I have a much different perspective of what constitutes the ministry to which we have been called as rector and wife. smile

[10] Posted by Jason Miller on 11-18-2011 at 05:21 PM · [top]

Of course the decision is the bishop’s.
“...This is not a decision that I have made lightly…”

His wife agrees with him. He said so. 
If she had not, he would have said nothing about that.

It is good and right that he include his wife among his most valued of councilors, and that he state that this was a decision he made.  It is fitting that he and his wife both prayed, and the answer each received confirmed that given the other.

Troubles arise when there is not such unity at home….

[11] Posted by Bo on 11-21-2011 at 12:06 AM · [top]

The job requirements of a bishop, per 1 Tim 2/3 seem to be for those folks whose home life isn’t standing on its ear.  That can either be interpreted as the family’s needs having precedence over the ministry’s needs, or some sort of proof that if he can handle a smaller ministry, he could probably handle a larger one.  I tend to favor both interpretations, that the family’s needs preceed those of the ministry both in time and relative importance.

[12] Posted by J Eppinga on 11-21-2011 at 07:48 AM · [top]

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