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News Release from the Province of Kenya: Consecration of Dr. Bill Atwood as Suffragan Bishop

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 • 5:57 am

This is an email news release from the Province of Kenya:




Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ.

God in His mercy has granted us a great salvation in Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit. The foundations of that faith have been celebrated and shared through many centuries and cultures. In particular, we rejoice in the godly Christian heritage of this faith that we have received in the Anglican Communion.

Now, the fabric of the Anglican Communion has been torn by the actions of The Episcopal Church. The damage has been exacerbated by the failure of the House of Bishops there to provide for the care called for in the Windsor Report and to reject the Pastoral Council offered through the primates in their Communiqué from Dar es Salaam.

Tragically, the Episcopal Church has refused to provide adequate care for the faithful who continue steadfastly in “the faith once delivered to the saints.” Following months of consultation with other provinces, the Anglican Church of Kenya is taking steps to provide for the care of churches under our charge.

As a part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces, the ACK will consecrate The Revd Canon Dr. Bill Atwood as Suffragan bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi of the ACK to support the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya, including support of Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America.

Our goal is to collaborate with faithful Anglicans (including those in North America who are related with other provinces). A North American Anglican Coalition can provide a safe haven for those who maintain historic Anglican faith and practice, and offer a way to live and work together in the furtherance of the Gospel.

Yours sincerely,
The Most Rev. Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi


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I like the fact that this continues to keep the pressure on and I like the timing, giving time for the pressure to build and creating room for further actions before the Sept. 30 meeting.  Actions speak louder than words and the more GS Primates that we see taking action the harder it is for our opponents to focus on a single person as the “cause” of the problem.

[1] Posted by johnp on 06-13-2007 at 06:25 AM • top

Someone please explain how this helps matters one iota.  Much as I respect and admire Canon Atwood—goodness knows he’s done wonderful things for believing Anglicans—I don’t see how yet another bishop helps.  It almost seems that as nature abhors a vacuum, every Global South primate is trying to ensure he fills that created by the Gospel void in the American church, lest be left out.  What happens if there is a new province, with Bp Duncan or whoever at the helm.  What happens to all these bishops?  It’s hard enough with the continuing churches creating bishops as if on a mimeograph machine, but now it looks like our Global South friends might be doing the same.  I’m serious: can someone explain why this is at all helpful?

[2] Posted by VaAnglican on 06-13-2007 at 06:28 AM • top

VaAnglican, this is my comment in answer to a similar question from another thread:

This is very very good. CAPA, AMiA, and now NAAC…it looks like a college of orthodox bishops is being formed by at least three primates…although the Telegraph notes up to “six” may be involved in this move and ++Nzimbi intimates that this is in cooperation with other provinces. I would suppose that primates with N. American parishes (not in CANA or AMiA) may be involved in Atwood’s+ concecration since ++Akinola and ++Rwanda are already spoken for.

It looks like a college of orthodox bishops may be forming with the potential to join forces with the Network and common cause. This could be the beginning of something very very big, the formation of a province untainted by heterodoxy.

The best thing about it is that it has the potential to survive and thrive apart from Canterbury if need-be and if in fact this college does form, it effectively binds the various provinces together in much the same way that marriages bind families. We could be seeing the first moves away from a canterbury centered communion or at least the possibiity of such a thing if Canterbury does not act.

[3] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-13-2007 at 06:35 AM • top

This is eerily reminiscent of the early days of the Continuing Church.  We began bishop-less (having been seduced and abandoned by a few orthodox ECUSA bishops who finally decided that the institution was more important than the principles).  Then we got four bishops consecrated at Denver in January 1978.  Then we got more.  And more and more and more.  The abundance of bishops ultimately turned out to be the source of division.  Yes, those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.

[4] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 06-13-2007 at 06:37 AM • top


It would be logical for Henry Orombi, Greg Venables, etc, who have American Parishes under their oversight, to Consecrate American Bishops as well, as the COLLEGE OF BISHOPS forms.  The other COMMON CAUSE partners, APA, REC, etc could come into the COLLEGE OF BISHOPS with their Bishops.  Then, some number of former TEC Dioceses, i.e. Fort Worth, San Juaquin, etc might come in.  One would think Bob Duncan would become the Archbishop of the College of Bishops.
The College
Bob Duncan - Archbishop
(X number of Network Bishops - Perhaps 5 or 6?)
Bp. Martin Minns - CANA (Nigeria)
Bp. David Bena - CANA (Nigeria)
Bp. Chuck Murphy - AMiA (Rwanda)
Bp. T. J. Johnston - AMiA (Rwanda)
Bp. Sandy Greene - AMiA (Rwanda)
Bp. Thad Barnum - AMiA (Rwanda)
Bp. Bill Atwood - (Kenya)
Bp. TBD - (Uganda)
Bp. TBD - (Southern Cone)
Bp. Walter Grundorf - APA
Bp. Leonard Riches - REC
Perhaps a few others, like ACA, EMC, etc ......
Not sure if Canadian Common Cause Partners would come into this College of Bishops or be formed into a separate Canadian College.

[5] Posted by Anglican Observer on 06-13-2007 at 06:42 AM • top


That depends on your opinion of the Installation of +Martyn Minns. If you thought that was “not helpful,” than this also would be not productive. If you joined the choir of voices in celebration, than exact same logic without the hype. If neutral like other, than this says Kenya thinks they are in this for the long haul, maybe not as long as Nigeria which actually modified it’s cannon law, but they obviously think they will have oversight issues for a long time. Granted that maybe very true, SF has had much discussion between internal and external reform people and one thing that has brought forth is just how much of a mess this is and a temporary solution might be ten or more years, so having a bishop in that time might be useful. It the ACN and Common Cause do pull a miracle and a new providence is formed quickly—well, ++Duncan could take it easy for he’d have lots of help.

[6] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-13-2007 at 06:44 AM • top

Isn’t this a blueprint for a separate church which does not look to Canterbury? Or are there to be two provinces within a number of geographical settings?

[7] Posted by Merseymike on 06-13-2007 at 06:47 AM • top

Hmmm….  “Suffragan” Bishop. Suffragan bishop = transitional diocesan bishop. Diocesan bishop = candidate for primatial bishop. Do the math.

[8] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 06-13-2007 at 07:17 AM • top

L.Wells—A crucial difference from the Continuing Churches will be that this new batch is driven to plant churches on an evangelical model, something like the Presbyterian Church in America. The CC followed more the Orthodox Presbyterian model of “defending the faith.” The best defense is a good offence. The OPC continues to languish while PCA is becoming a main player.

[9] Posted by Gator on 06-13-2007 at 07:17 AM • top

I believe that +Bill Atwood will bring some skills and experience to the mix that might well facilitate the organization Orthodox Anglicans both inside and outside of TEC—to get them past their sticking points—and quickly.  Before becoming the first “travel agent to the Primates” (his words) he has been a consultant on church health and growth (and probably other things I know nothing about).  He is ex Air Force (pilot).
Cuts to the chase….......takes the long and organizational view.  To my mind his consecration will be a positive step.  Dana

[10] Posted by citykid on 06-13-2007 at 07:32 AM • top

Thanks, Matt, for your speedy and helpful reply.  I do think the Rev. Wells has great perspective and wisdom to offer in this regard, though: I can see a top-heavy college of bishops, as frankly Mere Christian’s list above itself suggests.  We must learn from what happened with the Continuum, with a ridiculous number of bishops and wannabe bishops that did nothing but prompt more and more division, as the Rev. Wells reminds us.  If, on the other hand, this is all a carefully choreographed, step-by-step construction of a new province, then that’s great.  And to the degree it a) scares the American Church into repentance (not gonna happen); b) tells the ABC that the GS means business (a possibility); or c) makes a reality a new home for orthodox Anglicans irrespective of the ABC’s actions (likely)—then all the better.  IF they don’t go too crazy with the purple shirts.

[11] Posted by VaAnglican on 06-13-2007 at 07:41 AM • top

More creation of the reality on the ground.  With luck and generosity, neither of which have necessarily been the hallmarks of factional relations, a fully functioning alternative to TEC, complete with international recognition, could be in existence at need post-9/30.  If they can just avoid succumbing to the “Purple Plague!”

[12] Posted by APB on 06-13-2007 at 08:02 AM • top

De facto it looks like another province in the offing unless TEC gets a grip fast, whatever.

[13] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-13-2007 at 08:14 AM • top

I agree that this creates more reality on the ground.  TEC HoB created “reality” in one direction at their last meeting with those awful resolutions they passed.  +++Cantuar created more reality with the invitations.  ++Akinola and now ++Nzimbi are creating still more reality as a counter-offer.

This is all still in the realm of very high-stakes poker.  I think that someone from the Global South had to respond to TEC and the ABC in order to keep the pressure on to force a “call” just after September 30 . . . and, that is a good thing in my mind.

The danger, of course, is that, if a “call” does not happen soon after September 30 and is delayed (again) until Lambeth 08, I fear two things.  The first is obvious . . . increased fracturing.  However, I can live with the fracturing until September 30 or so because that is such a short time frame.  My real fear is that, if decision time is delayed yet again, the fracturing will increase, and, each small group and sub-group will become further entrenched in its own design and tradition.

The longer the Anglican Commuion puts off this decision, the greater the liklihood that the orthodox “spin-offs” will end up remaining “splinter” groups that few people will want to leave TEC for.  That will not be good for the “splinters,” and, it will not be good for the “mushy middle” either.

Still, I am happy with this move . . . it keeps up the pressure, and that is certainly necessary.

My question is . . . is this the supposed “schism” to which the Telegraph article was referring?  If so, then the Telegraph engaged in a healthy bit of sensationalizing, did they not?  Or, is there more to come?

[14] Posted by Eddie Swain on 06-13-2007 at 08:19 AM • top

I think this is exciting and helpful.  With the planned common cause Bishop’s council in late Sept - it makes sense that Kenya would need someone at the table to participate in any merger talls.  I think the Southern Cone also has a Retired TEC Bishop in Okla. (name has escaped me).  If the plan is to build a new Province and I hope it is - then there will need to be many more diocesean Bishops - the already consecrated Bishops could at least in the begining hold two hats - in Minns case he could be Bishop of CANA and the replacement province’s Bishop of Virginia.  Based upon the Danbury map it appears that there is a regional flavor to the new jurisdictions (ie AMIA is strong in Colorado).  If there is to be a real split many more parishes will want to come over from TEC - it will be easier if there is a geographical structure and a Bishop in place to go towards.

[15] Posted by chips on 06-13-2007 at 08:43 AM • top

  The OPC continues to languish while PCA is becoming a main player.

Actually, Gator, I like your analogy very much.  The polarity of OPC/PCA with the contrast of Paleo-Anglicans and Neo-Anglicans is, to my way of thinking, right on the money, and I have used it myself on other threads.
But I disagree with your assessment of both Presby groups.  The OPC is not languishing, and the PCA is not without serious problems of its own.  If I were a Presbyterian, the OPC would be the kirk of my choosing.

[16] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 06-13-2007 at 09:22 AM • top

This is not correct:
Suffragan bishop = transitional diocesan bishop.

Bishop Coadjutor = transitional diocesan bishop.

A Suffragan assists the diocesan bishop and is sometimes elected to become coadjutor and then diocesan bishop.

[17] Posted by Tony on 06-13-2007 at 10:11 AM • top

What are the numbers for the OPC and PCA.  My understanding is that the PCA is much bigger than the OPC, but maybe someone here can give us the true picture.

[18] Posted by Tony on 06-13-2007 at 10:13 AM • top

A crucial difference from the Continuing Churches will be that this new batch is driven to plant churches on an evangelical model

In my experience, the all-too-prevelant Continuing Church bashing (whether it centers on real or on imagined flaws of the movement), one of the favorite sideline passtimes on this site, is generally a masquerade for one or more of four basic sentiments which actually underly the speaker’s complaints and provide their true motivation:

* They’re too catholic and I’m a die-hard Protestant
* They don’t ordain women and I think WO is okay
* They’re not led by ____ (fill in Anglican priest/bishop of choice) and therefore I don’t trust them because they aren’t run by _my_ party.
* They were right 30 years ago and make me feel foolish for sticking with TEc all this time, so I’m coming up with excuses to try to make them look “wrong” to justify my own continued cohabitation with apostates.


[19] Posted by LP on 06-13-2007 at 10:26 AM • top

Actually, Br’er Rabbit, I think a Suffragan Bishop is an assisting bishop in perpetuity.  A Bishop Coadjutor is the heir apparent.

Mere Christian, I think you have hit the College of Bishops on the head.  The only issue I have with your list is that I’m betting that +Atwood <u>is</u> the “TBD” bishop for Ugandan and Southern Cone parishes.

[20] Posted by West Coast Cleric on 06-13-2007 at 10:29 AM • top

Dear West Coast Cleric,

You may be right, in that the new organization is calling itself the North American Anglican Coaliation (NAAC).  The one thing I would wonder how they would handle is this (maybe you have a suggestion):
Bill Atwood will be consecrated as a full bishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya.
Both Abp. Orombi and Abp. Venables have strings of American Parishes under their direct oversight.
How easily could either or both of them place their parishes directly under a Kenyan Bishop ?
Of course, if this in fact a coordinated effort, they have everything already worked out.
Whatever is going on, this is not a scattering, but a gathering together .......
This is not a random disorganizing of things, but a deliberate organizing of things .....

[21] Posted by Anglican Observer on 06-13-2007 at 11:05 AM • top

Mere Christian, you said:

Of course, if this in fact a coordinated effort, they have everything already worked out.

I say: “Exactly.”  I would take it to the bank.

[22] Posted by West Coast Cleric on 06-13-2007 at 11:19 AM • top

++Venables also has FACA under him, which is a odd arrangement with a very mature REC & AMiA under Rwanda in addition to +Lyons parishes. It’ll be interesting how NAAC fit into that or FACA and Common Cause fit into NAAC or all three equal confederacies?

[23] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-13-2007 at 11:40 AM • top

I see this as a direct consequence of the early invitations. Rowan Williams are you listening? People are not pleased with your machinations!

[24] Posted by robroy on 06-13-2007 at 11:43 AM • top

++Venables also has FACA under him, which is a odd arrangement with a very mature REC & AMiA under Rwanda in addition to +Lyons parishes.

The REC is one of the prime movers of FACA, which is busily gathering up the Continuing jurisdictions that want to take this opportunity (likely the last one in our lifetimes) of re-uniting the spinoffs from ECUSA from the Seventies. 

It’ll be interesting how NAAC fit into that or FACA and Common Cause fit into NAAC or all three equal confederacies?

From what I hear when I’m allowed to be a fly on the wall is this:  all these “confederacies” are working in tandem now, continuing their separate existences for the nonce simply because it moves things along most efficiently toward two goals, both of them very much in everyone’s sights:

1.  The reunion of orthodox Anglicans outside ECUSA (TEC, whatever) as well as outside a Canterbury-based Anglicanism. 

The latter (outside Canterbury-based Anglicanism) wasn’t required, except for Canterbury’s persevering dithering.  The handwriting’s been there on Lambeth Palace’s walls for quite some time, to the effect that the orthodox in the Canterbury-headed Communion are not going to get their way.  Ergo, they’ll now need to go without Canterbury.

2.  The union of orthodox Anglicans world-wide in a new (or reformed) world-wide communion of orthodox Anglicans.

The folks around here have mostly preferred, prayed for, hoped for, and worked for a world-wide Anglicanism that is reformed (not necessarily Reformed)—exercising discipline within its ranks, for starters.  That vision is pretty well evaporated.  Shots across Canterbury’s bow are not being heeded by Canterbury, in case anyone has noticed ++Rowan’s interviews lately.  The man is either too Machiavellian by half, or utterly daft.  Take your pick; it comes to the same place either way: a place for everyone around Canterbury’s table for the next several generations at a minimum.

But, to Hosea’s question—the confederacies are already conferderating among themselves, and they have been since the inception of FACA.  What I find fascinating is that the fears of some orthodox (that the old Continuum’s fissiparousness is being replicated here) are very likely identical to TEC’s and Canterbury’s hopes (!)—i.e. that the orthodox will expend their energy and focus on turf wars among themselves. 

Given mankind’s penchant for botching things up, that’s always a possibility.  On the other hand, if they’re cooperating among themselves as much as what I’ve been permitted to see behind the scenes, TEC and Canterbury may find their worst nightmares confirmed within a few months.

[25] Posted by BrotherQuotidian on 06-13-2007 at 12:12 PM • top

....TEC and Canterbury may find <b.their worst nightmares</b> confirmed within a few months.

Their true nighmare consist only of loss of money & property! I pray that the faithful will recognise that lawsuits will commense forthwith and build up a sizable “warchest” to help fund what will be inevitable down the road with TEC & Beers! Not too mention the need for stamina and strength to prersevere through it!

[26] Posted by TLDillon on 06-13-2007 at 01:18 PM • top

This news is great, PROVIDED that it is a move coordinated with the other primates and the Network (sorry about my shouting). If this is a coordinated step, it has many benefits:

1. Warning to TEC that its ability to stop the Communion is gone and that TEC’s time is up.

2. Warning to the ABC that (i) his ability to delay and “tilt” in TEC’s favor won’t stop the GS, and (ii) the ABC must choose between TEC and the GS; he cannot have both. In effect, the GS is saying “it is TEC or us”. This forces the ABC to recognize that the Communion is going to split. The ABC’s hope to paper over the schism at Lambeth will fail. Full stop. The ABC’s only choice concerns who he wants to be affiliated with him when the dust settles after the schism. I hope the new group joins the college of bishops.

If this step is not coordinated, then it demonstrates the developing dinsintegration of the orthodox into ever smaller fragments.

[27] Posted by Publius on 06-13-2007 at 01:53 PM • top

West Coast Cleric and Tony, thanks for the corrections.
My bad.

[28] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 06-13-2007 at 02:10 PM • top

This news is great, PROVIDED that it is a move coordinated with the other primates and the Network (sorry about my shouting).

From the public statements, ++Akinola, ++Orimbi, and the AAC are on board.

It’s hard to see any evidence of disintegrating here.

[29] Posted by James Manley on 06-13-2007 at 02:20 PM • top

Please do not compare evangelical Anglicans to the PCA.  The EPC is a much better comparison in terms of content and operating style, but even there the comparison breaks down.  As many friends as I have in the PCA, and I do consider them to be brothers and sisters in Christ, they have the same difficulties in being effective in mission as the Continuing Churches, which have tended (not always but more often than not), to be ineffective at growth in fruitfulness as well as numbers of churches and individuals.  Then people like LP, God love him, will rationalize the lack of growth with maxims like “mile-wide inch deep” evangelicals, and slogans like “we were right before anyone else was right.”  The PCA tends to have a similar idolatry of patting themselves on the back for having right doctrine while being less mission focused, a result from an over focus on the uber-Calvinistic doctrine of election and an under-focus on the responsibility of Christians to love others as we have been loved, not just the non-elect.  The evangelism methodology of the PCA church for which I worked was equivalent to saving seats in the sanctuary for the elect to show up.  In two years, the love of God was mentioned once as a phrase but not explored as a topic.  The emphasis on the submission of women was to the exclusion of an emphasis on the servant leadership that men were supposed to exemplify.  The worship tended to be of the Westminister Confession, rather than the God that it purports to confess.  In the Continuing Church, there tends to be a similar idolatry of Catholic Faith and Order, worshiping forms of godliness rather than the God whom we are purporting to worship.  Sitting around patting ourselves on the back for having the right confession, the right discipline, the right doctrine, or the right liturgy has never been the same as gospel mission.  We, like the Americans/Westerners that we are, have confused church culture for the content of the gospel: Jesus Christ and him crucified.  Until we unite around one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, preaching one Gospel, we will not find ourselves in the same bureaucracy under the same bishops.  Those of us who are going out and coming in under any other name than Jesus will continue to have our efforts thwarted by the enemy of God who reigns over the world for his time and season, except over those who call on the Name of Jesus.  We have been calling on the name “Anglican” as thought it were synonymous with that same power working in us that raised Jesus from the dead.  It is not.  Until we leave behind the cultural trappings of the state-church mentality of the church of England, or Rome, or the internecine ethnic rivalries of the Orthodox, and embrace the reformation of behavior exemplified in Thomas Cranmer’s ethic to get the content of the Apostles’ teaching in the vernacular of the cultures around us, we will continue to pull the rug out from under our own missionary efforts.  There is a big difference between the Continuing Churches and Protestant Anglicans, and that is a chasm that is about as difficult to cross as the one between the Global South and the post-Christian West.

Just engage LP on any topic….

(Pax) Vernacular translation = Peace

[30] Posted by Christoferos on 06-13-2007 at 03:33 PM • top

May I ask, why has it seemed so important over the last several decades to put the cart before the horse, or the bishop before the diocese, in this case… If these prelates were truly working together, and I don’t doubt that, why wouldn’t they want to gather the faithful, and then raise up bishops? It would seem that standing together, in one place, at one time, with the laity and clergy gathered, and consecrating a bishop, or however many, ordaining/receiving clergy, baptizing, and confirming, would be a powerful statement—- a gathering inclusive of the American dioceses that want to leave TEC, and with the AMiA, CANA, Reformed Churches, etc… I am sincere in asking…

[31] Posted by FrVan on 06-13-2007 at 04:17 PM • top

Fr. Van,

In the case of NAAC and CANA, the congregations have been gathered. There are over 24 Kenyan congregations in NAmerica. And, as the International Conference website makes clear, his pastoral care will include many more parishes under different provincial jurisdiction.

As for CANA, the same. There are over 30 parishes in CANA I believe.

The bishops are not bishops without a cause or cure. They have both already

[32] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-13-2007 at 04:25 PM • top

I accept that, thank you Mr. Kennedy. I still beg the question of unified actions. What BCP? Which bishop? Which congregation? and the like, as opposed to, say, “The Unified Orthodox Anglican Province of the USA,” or something like that (I admit mine would be an awful choice for a name, but you see what I mean)?

[33] Posted by FrVan on 06-13-2007 at 04:34 PM • top

Dok4hs, regarding lawsuits: In every state in the union, the hierarchal church arguments goes out the window when there is a church split. I would say there is now the evidence of a church split is much bolstered.

[34] Posted by robroy on 06-13-2007 at 04:35 PM • top

Christoferos, you sound more like a Rev. of Four Square, Pentecostal, Assembly of God, etc….preaching to a congregation than you do a liturgical church believer. I think the difference here in the “calling on for and Anglican Chruch” is more clear than what you are obviously seeing. We aren’t “calling on the name of Anglican” in the same way that we call on the Name of Jesus Christ. All we want is to be united in the Name of Christ in an Orthodox Anglican Communion that is not yoked to a church in an apostate position that seems hell bent on thumbing their arrogant noses at the whole worldwide Anglican Communion and who acts like an insolent rebellious child wanting their way no matter the consequences despite the scriptures!

As far as any reference to EPC vs. PCA I wouldn’t begin to comment on that subject since I am not thoroughly up to speed on their differences. But what I do know is that the Methodist, the RC, & the Presbyterians have all had their fair share of problems and problematic pastors so one of us is no better than the rest. We all must look to God for clear guidance and be faithfully obedient to God & His Scripture. (Even though many refute it and call it out dated!)

[35] Posted by TLDillon on 06-13-2007 at 04:39 PM • top

There is a great opportunity here to rethink the way that we organize. Many are concerned about splintering into smaller orthodox groups, because some are accepting of WO, others oppose, and along other lines.

If we gather all of the orthodox who agree on the basics under one roof, this is powerful. A diocese was created in days gone by because travel and communication was slow. Now travel is fast and communication is instantaneous.

For this reason, many businesses are organized around product lines, rather than geography. Retail sales reports to Sam, industrial sales to Mary, and food service to Dave.

By analogy, those who want WO can be in one diocese (or several), those who do not want WO in another (or several), etc so that what links parishes within a diocese in closeness in theology, not necessarily closeness in geography.

This is probably too much revamping of organizational thinking to work, but sometimes God moves in strange ways.

[36] Posted by BillS on 06-13-2007 at 04:44 PM • top

The old adage of United we Stand and Divided we Fall could ring true in the present situation of the Anglican alphabet soup.  I look at our own local situation here in Colorado Springs to illustrate the point.  In our current situation(former Grace Episcopal) of one large CANA congregation(five to eight hundred active members) and up the street a few blocks is a large (300 to 600 active members) AMIA congregation, both doing wonderful works of bringing the Word to their respective parishes.  But, think of how much more powerful and effective and efficient it could be if their forces were joined in a common effort.
This type of unification of necessity must take place at the very top of the hierarchy.  Jealousy and pride of territory and minor differences of approach mush be put aside in order to establish a common bond.  Perhaps the Roman Catholics had the right idea when they established the College of Cardinals to provide a focal point for unity among the Bishops and Archbishops.  One Cardinal (Abp. of Canterbury ?) would do but it would have to be formalized.  If you don’t like Cardinal, call him something else but commit it to a formal document with a job description. This could be something just short of a Pope, considering all the historical baggage he bears.
I am not sure of how many types of Anglican I can be.  One orthodox
Anglican type ruled by the 39 articles, the 1929 or earlier BCP, the Nicene creed, and not least of all the Holy Scriptures would suit me.  As a common layman, I am not concerned about how many angels dance on the head of a pin, but I am looking for one ray of light bearing the message of truth, not a cacaphony of differing I Ams.

[37] Posted by FrankV on 06-13-2007 at 04:48 PM • top

Thank you Robroy! I stand corrected but I don’t hold much faith in any judicial system and especially in 815.

[38] Posted by TLDillon on 06-13-2007 at 04:51 PM • top

So who gets the title “Anglican”?

Those who have broken with Canterbury?

Those who have stayed with Canterbury?

And if both claim the title….

Curiouser and curiouser…

[39] Posted by Vintner on 06-13-2007 at 05:20 PM • top

Titles, schmitles, who cares?  We can go crazy trying to put a boundary around Christianity.  But, since we are of this world I guess we must in order to define ourselves.  How about, ” I believe in one catholic and apostolic church . . . etc.”

[40] Posted by FrankV on 06-13-2007 at 05:46 PM • top

In todays modern world, we could call ourselves, “The Bizarreians”.

[41] Posted by FrankV on 06-13-2007 at 05:49 PM • top

Fr. Van asks ” I still beg the question of unified actions. What BCP? Which bishop? Which congregation? and the like, as opposed to, say, “The Unified Orthodox Anglican Province of the USA ... ,”

Here’s what I hear from those working toward that Unified Whatever in the future ...

1.  The old path toward such a goal went through the questions you pose:  which prayerbook? Which bishop over what territory?  Which congregations under which bishop? 

2.  Those working now (particularly within FACA which is a rallying point for continuing parishes, dioceses, and jurisdictions) are determined to forge something organizationally functional (a federation, say), for the purposes of establishing the institutional framework for later creation of an entity that answers all those questions.

It used to be “Let’s settle all these issues and unite based on our ability to come to comprehensive agreement.”  That has proven too ineffective and too slow. 

Now the path is “Let’s federate for the purposes of aligning the satisfactorily orthodox together over against the ditherers and apostates.”

I read with interest that Cana has 30 parishes and Kenya 24.  The last figures I saw for FACA, the total number of parishes was approaching 500.  Either they’re smoking some realllly good stuff, or they’re very much an under the radar force to be reckoned with outside TEC and Canturbury Anglicanism.  And, it is growing quickly evident that the renaissance of Anglicanism, if the Lord pleases to bless it, will take place detached from Canterbury and not otherwise.

[42] Posted by BrotherQuotidian on 06-13-2007 at 05:51 PM • top

And, it is growing quickly evident that the renaissance of Anglicanism, if the Lord pleases to bless it, will take place detached from Canterbury and not otherwise.

Such a renaissance will need a vibrant hymnody befitting its missional zeal. I propose the following hymn be one of our standards.

Saints of God! the Dawn is Brightening
Saints of God! the dawn is brightening,
Token of our coming Lord:
O’er the earth the field is whitening;
Louder rings the Master’s Word;
Pray for reapers, pray for reapers
In the harvest of the Lord!

Now, O Lord, fulfill Thy pleasure,
Breathe upon Thy chosen band,
And, with Pentecostal measure,
Send forth reapers o’er our land;
Faithful reapers, faithful reapers,
Gathering sheaves for Thy right hand.

Broad the shadow of our nation,
Eager millions hither roam;
Lo! they wait for Thy salvation;
Come, Lord Jesus! quickly come!
By Thy Spirit, by Thy Spirit,
Bring Thy ransomed people home.

Soon shall end the time of weeping,
Soon the reaping time will come;
Heaven and earth together keeping
God’s eternal harvest home.
Saints and angels, saints and angels,
Shout the world’s great harvest home.

—Mary H. Maxwell

[43] Posted by Jagged Edge on 06-13-2007 at 06:33 PM • top

I like the concept of FACA and the possibilities it presents.  I have downloaded and printed out a copy of their website and given it to my local CANA pastor in order to plant a seed of curiosity and perhaps trigger exploratory moves.
In the meantime, I would still like to see our local CANA and AMIA parishes get together under one roof in some form of commonweal.

[44] Posted by FrankV on 06-13-2007 at 07:21 PM • top

There seem to be at least three dimensions to discussions (recent and farther into the past) about the activities in the USA of primates of other provinces:

1. Is conciliar leadership versus confessional leadership advisable?

2. Can the GS primates be in coordination or will they be in competition?

3. Are the GS primates saying “x”, but do they “really” intend “y” (“x” being the obvious issue of the moment, “y” being some sub rosa plan)?

I would submit that much of this discussion arises because we are so used to the extremely warped image of bishops we generally see in TEC (and perhaps in Canada, the UK and elsewhere).

We see bishops who seem to admit no higher authority than the institutions of TEC - although they in reality do not even consider themselves under that pseudo-conciliar authority.

We see bishops who use fine-sounding words (although bereft of the Gospel and the Lordship of Christ), then do not even act in alignment with their own fine-sounding words.

We see bishops who act as if territory and property is sacred and the flocks within the various parish properties are irrelevant or labeled as rebels because they want to uphold scripture.

Here is what we are not used to:

Bishops and primates who hold the Lordship of Christ as sacred and of infinitely more importance than the instruments of unity, who know that they first vowed to follow Jesus before all else.

Bishops who do not seek territory, or property, but who seek to save souls and guide and guard flocks, bishops who believe that they are called to protect Christian congregations from harm.

Bishops who can work in coordination to do the saving, guiding and guarding.

Bishops who believe that a person’s “yes” should be “yes”, and bishops whose own word is trustworthy.

Bishops who may have been slow to act against TEC’s erroneous behavior, because they could not initially conceive that another bishop or primate would not be true to his or her word.

Bishops who are accustomed to acting to aid in the spread of the Gospel, not merely talking.

These GS primates and bishops are not perfect, but they know who is and they intend to follow him and protect those who are doing likewise.

[45] Posted by Bill Cool on 06-13-2007 at 10:53 PM • top

Have you ever noticed, the left (communists) and the right (facists), let’s say, are able to justify their positions…the destruction…but that the rest must clean up the mess… It is easy to destroy, but soooo difficult to build up…Lots of bad folks on all sides…us included… but why, in God’s name don’t we strive to hold on to the gift we have been given, rather than try to zerox an imposter that won’t bring any more orthodoxy or perfection…that rests in Christ alone, not our own works…

[46] Posted by FrVan on 06-14-2007 at 01:49 AM • top

I want do be a bit anal-retentive and make a slight correction, CANA had about 15 Nigerian congregation when it started (on June 28), then the Virginia 11 gave a big boost in December then the additions recently.

NAAC seems to be for a broader range than just Kenya, at least by the ACN website presentation. In that cause it would fit FrVan model much more exactly if oversight will also include the Bolivian and Ugandan parishes.

[47] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-14-2007 at 07:42 AM • top

In that case, it would ... red face

[48] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-14-2007 at 07:43 AM • top

but why, in God’s name don’t we strive to hold on to the gift we have been given, rather than try to zerox an imposter that won’t bring any more orthodoxy or perfection…that rests in Christ alone, not our own works…

Fr. Van,
“why, in God’s name don’t we strive to hold on to the gift we have been given,”- that is exactly what we ARE trying to do.  The gift is the “faith once delivered” that our predecessors, and no small number of our contemporaries, gave their lives for.  No body is saying we will “throw out the baby with the bathwater.”  But since the current bishops of TEC actively support heresies, actively support priests who worship Islam, actively defy tradition and scripture, actively defy the Communion’s councils, refuse to license orthodox clergy, sue vestries that do not comply with their wishes, and deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ, what alternative do we have but to separate ourselves from that structure? The whole point of what is going on is to renew and restore an episcopal structure with some form of orthodox discipline.
  I completely agree with your premise that perfection “rests in Christ alone, not in our works.” But if we do not act, future generations will not be exposed to that concept.  They will be told that it is all about justice and MDGs and the divine feminine and general convention decisions and that Jesus was a wise philosopher- arguably wiser than the Prophet.

[49] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-14-2007 at 08:34 AM • top

Tjmcmahon: I understand that you are correct in all that you are saying, it is the conclusion of mini-schisms that I am strugglng with..It just seems, somehow, that all these groups, inside and outside the Anglican Communion, with one voice could demand a place…rather than create several institutions and groups, which ultimately will have to contend for authority and structure.

[50] Posted by FrVan on 06-14-2007 at 01:38 PM • top

blockquote>It just seems, somehow, that all these groups, inside and outside the Anglican Communion, with one voice could demand a place</blockquote>
Fr. Van,
I think that what you suggest is indeed the goal.  For the moment, however, we must remember that the people who are risking so much to aid us- the Global South bishops, and indeed all the peoples of the Churches of the GS, have VERY limited resources.  They are working in a coordinated effort.  But I doubt any of them by themselves has the financial and other resources necessary to build a church for a 1/2 million in the US overnight.  What I believe will happen is that come October, the string of press releases we have seen over the last few days will be repeated, but what those press releases will be about will be the formal recognition of a new Anglican ARCHbishop in North America.  The real question is: will that new archbishop be recognized by 7 prelates of the Anglican Communion, or 20, or 30?  If the number of primates recognizing the new archbishop (or province prior to installation of a primate), goes over, say 20, will that primate be recognized by the ABC
That is what did NOT happen 30 years ago.  And the continuing churches went there own ways.  Should there be no recognition this time, I expect your fears will be realized.  But all indications from Akinola, Orombi, and Nzimbi (and statements since Dar by others indicating that they are in favor) are that there will be a solution available to the orthodox before Lambeth, whether TEC likes it or not.  That solution will include official recognition by many of the constituent churches of the Anglican Communion, and conceivably of Cantaur himself.  And my personal feeling is that the GS is not alone in its concerns for TEC’s treatment of the orthodox in this country, even if other primates have more sympathy for TEC on other issues.

[51] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-14-2007 at 02:06 PM • top

I understand your point…I guess I don’t like the notion that bishops in TEC have become tin-horn dictators within their dioceses, without any real form of accountability to the laity or clergy—- you can’t even charge them with an offence and have a fair hearing unless several members of the HOB agree to allow it. And, all of this is after having been elected and acclaimed within their see, as well as within the whole of TEC…Imagine when bishops have been appointed without such a process in the areas they are to assume… to whom will they be responsible or accountable? I have yet to meet a bishop, even one I have nominated, that has not been changed by the experience—- for good and for evil. It has become a seductive office, apparently… Unless we rein in the office of bishop in meaningful ways (i.e., accountability, due process, earned authority vs. assumed, limitations of overt use of power, meaningful, and open,  justice and punishment processes, and the like), this will continue to be a problem… The office of bishop must be explored, and defined before more are made. What is the relationship of foreign bishops to their congregations (I am talking power and authority), and will that be the assumed relationship with those under their authority here in the USA? Who will be the watchdog in these days of transition and confusion to see that no forms of abuse of power take place (even unintentionally)? If these overseas bishops elect and consecrate, where, then, is the loyalty vested (yes, I know Christ, but who directs, approves, and protects the office and those subordinate to it)? Frankly, There just isn’t a need for more bishops. And, it only seems to make it seem schismatic everytime one is announced. If the Primates are talking unity, talking a plan, why not shout it out loud and clear so that misdirected assumptions don’t lead to more broken hearts?  There are enough bishops to do what you suggest already if it is indeed a unified movement…As an Episcopalian Rector, I have seen the local authority of clergy and congregations erroded. It would seem far healthier to consentrate on building and empowering the local Church, restoring the position of rector to its rightful place, and waiting on the “bishop deal” until they can be raised up by those within the community as well as with assent from outside. Other than Confirmations and the like, what will new bishops add at this time that rectors, vicars, and layfolks can’t do…at least that is more important at this time…
On the other hand, one thing the Primates did that I love, and I think the most important, is that they ignored the General Convention. In one fell swoop they made the GC immaterial. They did so by not including them in whatever actions or discussions will take place. Their attempt is of course to bind American bishops without having to deal with the looney tunes of GC. After setting themselves up as untouchable, and a power unto themselves, without accountability, the emperior’s nakedness has been revealed…Regardless of what happens in the future, GC will have to redefine its role in context to the rest of the Church (accountiblity enforced or they become redundant).

[52] Posted by FrVan on 06-14-2007 at 03:34 PM • top

Fr. Van,
  On the question of “why more bishops?” I think this is a relatively controlled expansion simply to be sure that all the congregations are represented within the American Anglican movement as it moves towards formalizing a structure.  Since +Bob Duncan has called a Common Cause/Network synod to follow the HoB meeting, I think this is just a matter of the various primates seeing to it that the congregations under their care have someone to turn to as this transition to a new unified Anglican Church progresses.  I would guess that we will see some more, but not many more, at least until there is a clearer vision of how many people they will be ministering to.  Should the Archbishop of Canterbury invite a new US primate to Lambeth (admittedly unlikely, but I can dream, can’t I?) we could see a substantial part of the “people in the pews” come with us.
I would certainly agree (and have commented here and elsewhere previously) that TEC has too many bishops.  We have half the congregants we had 50 years ago, we should have half the bishops.  Given the advances in communications, even fewer than that would be more than sufficient.  I would also agree that the position of the rector, vestry and congregation have seriously eroded in recent years (believe me, my personal situation at the moment is evidence that you are correct in this). 
You are identifying the very issues that have lead us to where we find ourselves today.  Obviously, any new structure might be as bad as the old.  But I would argue that it can’t be much worse.  TEC is ruled by demagogues and heretics.  In all likelyhood, whatever new Anglican structure emerges, things will be chaotic for a while.  What I hope for is that there is some recognition by the primates of the Communion of a new structure (or, for the moment, just people forming a structure) and that in short order (perhaps just before or just after Lambeth) there will be a synod of orthodox Anglicans and that synod will get to work on the nuts and bolts of the structure.  What will be most important, to my mind, is to set goals and some kind of timeline.  Rather than voting, for example, to re-write the prayer book, perhaps they could set that as a goal for 2025, and in the meantime, authorize the US BCP’28 (or even ‘79), the Canadian of 1962 and the CofE 1662 (is that date right?), and anything else in current use by CAPA or AMiA for use in North America. 
  To an Episcopal rector, I might recommend that unless there is immediate need to take action (no doubt true in some diocese/circumstances) he should hold fast until the situation becomes clearer after the HoB meeting.  Remember that the true ruler of the Church is Jesus Christ (and take the moment to remind your congregation of this as well) and not the general convention or the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Dioceses, national churches, for that matter, national borders, are the works of men.  We are members of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, and that can NEVER be taken from us. 
In these times that try men’s souls, may the peace of the Lord be with you, Father Van.

[53] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-14-2007 at 04:18 PM • top

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