Expect to see more “Anglican” churches around in North America in 2009. The new Anglican Church in North America has a missionary mindset. But also, some of the parishes already in the new church will want to change their names to make their identity more clear.
Many of those will be Reformed Episcopal parishes. Our bishops are gently encouraging us to change our parish names to “Anglican” in part because the E-word leads to confusion. Bishop Grote visited my parish yesterday and said as much. I wish I remembered the delicate way he put difficulties with the E-word. :)
And that has been my personal experience. When I say I go to a Reformed Episcopal Church, people are polite and all. But it’s clear they think it’s Episcopalian. So I have a choice to let it lie or right away give an explanation of what we are not. Not a pleasant choice. It’s hard to be winsome given that.
It seems my parish agrees with our bishops’ wisdom though we are proud of our Reformed Episcopal identity. We haven’t decided yet, but I expect we will change our name (or at least our sign) from “Reformed Episcopal” to “Anglican.” We won’t be alone.