As the sun came over the horizon this morning, a new day dawned on the Anglican Communion. Yesterday, the leaders of several conservative Anglican movements in the United States and Canada formed a new province, to be called the Anglican Church in North America. The leader of the new province – an archbishop, no less! – will be Robert Duncan, former Bishop of Pittsburgh.
The provisional constitution of the new province is available here. Here are some highlights:
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.
The new province’s canons are available here.
Want a good laugh? Here’s a line from the New York Times story about the conference:
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.”
How these people can say that with a straight face is beyond me! I think the actual quote was more like this:
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 vie…. hahahahaha!!! Oh, who am I kidding? We’ll sic our lawyers on these guys faster than you can say ‘KJS is a heretic’!”
So anyway… all kidding aside, I’m really excited about yesterday’s news. The new province will bring together parishes and believers from 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 Missionary Convocation of Kenya, The Missionary Convocation of the Southern Cone, The Missionary Convocation of Uganda, and The Reformed Episcopal Church.That’s big. So big that that 815 cannot simply ignore them. The question now is whether enough primates will recognize the new province. It’s a lock that KJS and company will not, and that the Global South bishops will… as always, it’s those wishy-washy folks in the middle that we have to worry about.
The only question I have is… where can I sign up?