Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Continuing Anglican Jurisdictions to Hold Joint Synod

Good news for orthodox Anglican unity:

The leaders of four Continuing Anglican Churches have announced plans for Joint Synods to meet in Atlanta, Georgia, the week of October 2nd to 6th.  At the conclusion of the week it is the intention of the Churches to sign an agreement establishing full communion (communio in sacris) among the four bodies as well as a pledge to pursue in a determined and deliberate fashion increasingly full unity.  The Churches also will discuss common plans for mission and evangelism.  Each Church will hold its own mandatory business meetings and Synods, but the four will join together throughout for common worship and social occasions.

The four Churches and their episcopal leaders are the Anglican Church in American (Brian Marsh), the Anglican Catholic Church (Mark Haverland), the Anglican Province of America (Walter Grundorf), and the Diocese of the Holy Cross (Paul Hewett). 

This is indeed good news, and I do hope this works out.  But a joint synod is no guarantee of future unity.  With high hopes, I attended a joint meeting between the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) and the Anglican Province of America in June 2005.  It was an excellent time and an eventual merger was expected.

It never happened for reasons that have left my memory.

I also hope Abp. Haverland proves himself more interested in unity than he seemed to be at the Anglican Congress in 2015.  He preached a sermon there that, based on the content, could have been titled “Why I can’t be in unity in you.”  It was not especially winsome.  To be fair, he obviously does have some interest in unity; otherwise, this meeting would not be planned.

In any case, I do wish these jurisdictions the best, including Haverland’s ACC.  The more unified orthodox Anglicanism is, the better.

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