The ACNA parish of Truro playing nice with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has long been an issue in the background. Now it has become an issue front and center in ACNA with the formation of the Truro Institute, “A School of Peace and Reconciliation”.
Excuse me. I had to go vomit there. For we know what “peace and reconciliation” looks like in The Episcopal Church. And look further at the mission of the Truro Institute -- to “work with seminarians and other young people to seed our respective denominations with a new generation of peace makers.”
Thanks, but no thanks. The last thing the Anglican Church in North American needs is to be seeded with “peace makers” from The Episcopal Church.
ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach, to his credit, has wasted no time in issuing a frank statement about this school:
I have only recently been made aware of the “Truro Institute,” described as “A School of Peace and Reconciliation” which is proposed to be jointly led by Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax, VA, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
The idea of a School of Peace and Reconciliation is to be commended. I would welcome the opening of centers with this focus around the Anglican Church in North America if they promote Biblical reconciliation. Unfortunately, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has not been reconciled with the revealed Word of God, and is therefore not an appropriate partner for such a project. Their leadership continues to promote teaching and practice that is contrary to Scripture —teaching that, if followed, would keep people from an eternal inheritance in the Kingdom of God, teaching that has torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion, and teaching that remains a scandal in the Anglican Communion to this day. Therefore, until there is repentance by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, there can be no true Gospel partnership with them.
Bishop Guernsey and I had both made this clear to the leadership of Truro. I have been amazed at the godly counsel, patience, and goodness of Bishop Guernsey in these discussions. I am disappointed that they have not just ignored, but defied our counsel. In doing so they have entered into a legal relationship with the Episcopal Church that makes them unequally yoked. It requires the permission of the Episcopal bishop for me to visit, and it creates an Episcopal Diocese of Virginia center of ministry with a required on-campus presence of one of their bishops. The decision to partner with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in this way is not in harmony with the Bible’s instruction in dealing with false teachers, and it denigrates the costly sacrifice of the many congregations who had their buildings and assets taken by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
It is ironic to begin a “Peace and Reconciliation” center when you are not at peace with your own bishop and archbishop. Truro has been a leader in the renewal of North American Anglicanism, giving a robust defense of the Gospel, and refusing to peddle any counterfeit. It is my hope that they will uphold that heritage, resist counterfeit versions of “reconciliation,” and fulfill their calling among the leading congregations of the Anglican Church in North America.
A good statement indeed that sets forth just how serious a situation this is. But further measures will surely be necessary and that probably soon lest the Provincial Assembly this summer become that much more *interesting*.