Episcopal Splinter Groups Announce Plan for North American Anglican Province
December 5, 2008

Diocese of SC Plans to remain in TEC

In This Issue:
Anglican Leaders Begin Forming New Church in North America
The New North American Province of Common Cause Partners
Anglican group organizes-Post & Courier Coverage
NYT-Episcopal Split as Conservatives Form New Group
Bishop Lawrence at October Episcopal Forum Meeting
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Anglican Leaders Begin Forming New Church in North America

Anglican Communion Network, WHEATON, Ill., Dec. 3, 2008

Abstract: Bishops, clergy and lay leaders from the United States and Canada unveiled a provisional constitution and the first set of canons for the new Anglican Church in North America at a news conference and worship service Wednesday at Wheaton Evangelical Free Church in suburban Chicago.

The movement unites 700 orthodox Anglican congregations, representing roughly 100,000 people, in an organization that members believe will be recognized as a province – the Anglican term for the church’s largest regional jurisdictions – by many of the world’s Anglican leaders

“The purpose of this province is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his transforming love in the United States, Canada and beyond,” said Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh, moderator of the Common Cause Partnership................

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.......................

Link to ACN Announcement

The New North American Province of Common Cause Partners
Abstract of Constitution

ARTICLE I – FUNDAMENTAL DECLARATIONS OF THE PROVINCE
As the Anglican Church in North America (the Province), being a part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, we believe and confess Jesus Christ to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father but by Him. Therefore, we identify the following eight elements as characteristic of the Anglican Way, and essential for membership:
1. We confess the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation, and to be the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life.

2. We confess Baptism and the Supper of the Lord to be Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself in the Gospel, and thus to be ministered with unfailing use of His words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him.

3. We confess the godly historic Episcopate as an inherent part of the apostolic faith and practice, and therefore as integral to the fullness and unity of the Body of Christ.

4. We confess as proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture the historic faith of the undivided church as declared in the three Catholic Creeds: the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian.

5. Concerning the seven Councils of the undivided Church, we affirm the teaching of the first four Councils and the Christological clarifications of the fifth, sixth and seventh Councils, in so far as they are agreeable to the Holy Scriptures.

6. We receive The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline, and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.

7. We receive the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1562, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, as expressing the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and as expressing fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief.

8. We affirm the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) Statement and Jerusalem Declaration issued 29 June 2008.


ARTICLE II – THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE PROVINCE
1. The founding entities of the Anglican Church in North America are the members of the Common Cause Partnership namely:

o The American Anglican Council
o The Anglican Coalition in Canada
o The Anglican Communion Network
o The Anglican Mission in the Americas
o The Anglican Network in Canada
o The Convocation of Anglicans in North America
o Forward in Faith – North America
o The Missionary Convocation of Kenya
o The Missionary Convocation of the Southern Cone
o The Missionary Convocation of Uganda
o The Reformed Episcopal Church
.....................................
Full Text - Common Cause Partnership (New Province Documents)

Anglican group organizes-Post & Courier Coverage
By: Rachel Zoll, Associated Press, December 4, 2008

Abstract — Theological conservatives upset by liberal views of U.S. Episcopalians and Canadian Anglicans formed a rival North American province Wednesday in a long- developing rift over the Bible that erupted when Episcopalians consecrated the first openly gay bishop.............

The new Anglican Church in North America includes four breakaway Episcopal dioceses, dozens of individual parishes in the U.S. and Canada, and splinter groups that left the Anglican family years ago.

Its future status in the Anglican Communion is unclear.
It is unprecedented for an Anglican national province to be created where any other such national church already exists. But traditionalists say the new group is needed to represent the true historic tradition of Anglican Christianity.............

"The Lord is displacing the Episcopal Church," Duncan said in a news conference in Wheaton, Ill., where the proposed constitution for the new province was drafted. He noted that membership and worship attendance in the U.S. denomination have been declining for years............

The Rev. Charles Robertson, adviser to Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, said in a statement that "there is room within the Episcopal Church for people with different views, and we regret that some have felt the need to depart from the diversity of our common life in Christ."

Central to the new organization's constitution is a declaration that the Bible is regarded as the "final authority and unchangeable standard." ......................

"We've seen it coming for years. It's not a rival denomination. At best, it would be a church within a church," said the Very Rev. John Burwell of the Church of the Holy Cross, which has congregations on Sullivan's Island and Daniel Island. "They're still part of the Anglican Church. They just don't want to be part of the Episcopal Church," he said. "We intend to stay and fight. We intend to stay in the Episcopal Church and act as the conscience of the Episcopal Church," Burwell said...........

There are conservatives in both countries who will not join the new province and instead have vowed to stay within their national denominations despite theological differences.

The new province will not be fully formed for months, or perhaps longer, as it goes through the process of approving a new constitution and leadership. Members of the new church also must overcome their own theological differences over ordaining women and other issues.

In the four breakaway Episcopal dioceses, legal challenges over property will likely take resources away from building the new province. The four dioceses are Fort Worth, Texas; Pittsburgh; Quincy, Ill.; and San Joaquin, based in Fresno, Calif. National Episcopal leaders are helping local parishioners reorganize those dioceses.

Link to Post & Courier Article

NYT-Episcopal Split as Conservatives Form New Group
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN, Published: December 3, 2008

Abstract — Conservatives alienated from the Episcopal Church announced on Wednesday that they were founding their own rival denomination, the biggest challenge yet to the authority of the Episcopal Church since it ordained an openly gay bishop five years ago................

The conservatives intend to seek the approval of leaders in the global Anglican Communion for the province they plan to form. If they should receive broad approval, their effort could lead to new defections from the Episcopal Church, the American branch of Anglicanism.

In the last few years, Episcopalians who wanted to leave the church but remain in the Anglican Communion put themselves under the authority of bishops in Africa and Latin America. A new American province would give them a homegrown alternative.

It would also result in two competing provinces on the same soil, each claiming the mantle of historical Anglican Christianity. The conservatives have named theirs the Anglican Church in North America. And for the first time, a province would be defined not by geography, but by theological orientation............

The Rev. Charles Robertson, canon for the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, said Wednesday, “There is room within the Episcopal Church for people of different views, and we regret that some have felt the need to depart from the diversity of our common life in Christ.”

He added that the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada and La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico will continue to be “the official, recognized presence of the Anglican Communion in North America.” ...............

The proposed new province would unite nine groups that have left the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada over the years. This includes four Episcopal dioceses and umbrella groups for dozens of individual parishes in the United States and Canada.

Besides Pittsburgh, those dioceses are Fort Worth; Quincy, Ill.; and San Joaquin, in the Central Valley of California — representing 4 of 110 dioceses in the Episcopal Church. But not all the parishes and Episcopalians in those four dioceses agreed to leave the Episcopal Church...........

Bishop Martyn Minns, a leading figure in the formation of the new province, said of the Archbishop of Canterbury: “It’s desirable that he get behind this. It’s something that would bring a little more coherence to the life of the Communion. But if he doesn’t, so be it.” ..............

If the conservatives try to take their church properties with them, they are likely to face lawsuits from the Episcopal Church. The church is already suing breakaway parishes and dioceses in several states to retain church property..........



Full text of NYT Article

Bishop Lawrence at October Episcopal Forum Meeting
This Forum was held at the Harbour Club in Charleston, SC and was attended by approximately 80 persons. A complete report of the observations, comments and questions received from forum attendees can be found at the link below. These have been forwarded to Bishop Lawrence for consideration in preparation for another Forum to continue this discussion.

Click on the link and then select the Report for 11/6/08 Forum
(This link may not be available untill 12/8)
Report on the 11/6/08 Episcopal Forum with Bishop Lawrence

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