Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Jerusalem Declaration and the new Anglican province in North America

Common Cause has announced that the Jerusalem Declaration will be signed in Wheaton on Dec. 3rd, following a convention of leaders responsible for the drafting of a constitution and preparation for the new Anglican province in North America. The event is open to the public so that all can come and affirm the declaration; if I'm able to attend I'll certainly report back about it.

This event will establish the new Anglican province in America that his been so long in the making. Apparently 100,000 Anglicans throughout North America make up the federation that is now taking the next canonical step towards provincial recognition. The Primates' Meeting in February will see a significant primatial recognition, already pledged since the Jerusalem meeting this past summer.

Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh will lead the new province, and Archbishop Rowan Williams has already instructed him to submit an application to Canterbury for the recognition of the new province.

How this will work out in the coming months, it's hard for me to say. I simply haven't been keeping up with the news on the Anglican Communion and need to do some more research. One interesting comment that I read today mentioned that it will be difficult to continue recognizing the validity of the Episcopal Church (TEC) if the new Anglican province in America approves of the eventual Anglican Covenant while TEC does not. Although the Covenant has been received with some suspicion by liberals and conservatives alike, this observation might be the most accurate to how things end up playing out.


  1. Fascinating, to be sure.

    I had the privilege of speaking with the retired bishop of S.C., FitzSimons Allison, a few months back. As we were speaking about future ministry opportunities, he advised me to wait on a few moves to see what the landscape looked like when the dust settled. I suppose maybe he was alluding to all this.

  2. Are you an Anglican, Chris, or working with them? I imagine he was indeed speaking about this with the caution of "wait". Only the Lord knows how this will all turn out. It's an exciting and tragic time, and what it certainly isn't is settled.

    I attend an AMiA congregation and have not gotten involved in any of the realignment work, except for a paper on some of the canonical aspects of the situation- and with that, I constantly had this sense of "will any of this be relevant a few months from now?" A lot is changing at once, and as slow as these processes move forward, there are also some permanent and major shifts occurring.

  3. Evan, I am not, though I've floated between the Anglicans and the Lutherans since the early 90s. Right now I am at an "independent" Reformed congregation, which has more to do with my current work and the many opportunities I have to serve and teach there as much as anything else.

    I suppose the trick is to not let this situation paralyze the parish. "We press on."

  4. Yes, I think so. It's easy to think that congregational ministry is being paralyzed by all of this, too, given how the stories are often covered in the media. But I think that the daily work goes forward throughout all of this.

    It's good to hear that there are more Protestant mutts out there... I was baptized Lutheran, grew up Presbyterian, and I'm now going to attending an Anglican church. I could see myself bouncing around some more- as you say, based very much on the current situation. While many lament this sort of denominationalism, I can't help but think that the doctrinal and sacramental hospitality allowing this sort of border-crossing says something about the unity of Protestantism as it already stands. I don't lose (much) sleep over it, anyhow, and a steady conscience amidst the work of the Gospel is worth consideration.