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Friday, March 09, 2007

Moderator Bob's Pastoral Letter














Obviously, I'm not a member of the ACN and, thank you Jesus, not under obedience to the Moderator.

This has just been released and sent to me, which I send to you for your perusal and consideration. ACN members, please close your eyes until Monday.

Anglican Communion Network

Biblical Missionary Uniting
535 Smithfield Street
Suite 910
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-325-8900
Fax: 412-325-8902
PASTORAL LETTER FROM BISHOP ROBERT DUNCAN
Contact: Jenny Noyes
Phone: 412-325-8900 x108

March 9, 2007


The Rt. Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan, Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, is requesting all Network priests to read the following letter to their congregations this Sunday or make hard copies available to parishioners. You are receiving an advance copy of this letter. This document has not yet been released to the general public.

The Network will make the letter public on Monday by posting it on our website at
www.acn-us.org and releasing it to the press. Please do not publish this letter online in any fashion until Monday, March 12.

Due to the latest of this email, please feel free to read this letter to your congregation on a subsequent Sunday and to send it electronically or post it on your own website after Monday, March 12.

We appreciate your partnership in the Network and hope that this letter is an encouragement to your parishioners. Thank you.


9th March, A.D. 2007
Third Friday of Lent

TO ALL WHO ARE A PART OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION NETWORK OR ARE ALLIES
IN ITS WELFARE:

Beloved in the Lord,

The Primates’ Meeting in Tanzania considered in great depth the plight “of those congregations and dioceses within the Episcopal Church who have sought alternative pastoral oversight because of their theological differences with their diocesan bishop or with the Presiding Bishop.” (1)

The hope of the Primates’ Meeting, in the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is that a “sufficiently strong scheme” can be put in place so as to be “sufficient for all dissenting congregations and dioceses to find their home within it.” (2)

Another way to say this is to say that a sufficiently strong plan must be found for the congregations and dioceses of the Anglican Communion Network (plus any others from the wider Windsor coalition that may desire similar insulation).

The responsibility for developing such a system has been given to the wider coalition of Windsor Bishops who signed on to the “Camp Allen principles” – a group that includes the Network Bishops – to shape such a system, a system to be led by a Primatial Vicar. (3)

There is much question as to the degree to which the vision for an international Pastoral Council and a domestic Primatial Vicar would leave the Network “within” the Episcopal Church.

At the start, one has to say that the eighty-six congregations of the Network’s International Conference ( Uganda, Kenya, So. Cone and Central Africa) are neither
under nor within the Episcopal Church, anymore than are the one hundred and forty churches in the Anglican Mission and CANA.

Since the Key Recommendations of the Dar es Salaam Meeting anticipated “a place for
[AMiA and CANA] within these provisions,” there is envisioned something much different than can be described as “within” the Episcopal Church.

For the hundreds of Network congregations in the Network Dioceses and Convocations, (who claim to be what they have always been, which is the Episcopal Church where they are) I want to share the following assessment.

Most of us are at present within the Episcopal Church. This is where the Network was principally called to stand. One can be “within” something and not “under” it.

The Network has been proving that for the last three years. The Dar es Salaam Communique and Key Recommendations represent a last attempt at reconciliation in the
Anglican Communion and in the Episcopal Church.

What the global leadership of the Anglican Communion has proposed is a marital
separation. Pastorally, the church recommends such separations because they sometimes bring restoration of right relationship.

Both parties are still technically within the marriage. But marital separations never leave one party “under” the other; such an arrangement would be doomed to failure from the start.

The words of the Dar es Salaam Communique and Key Recommendations are carefully chosen. Any sense that the Pastoral Council and Primatial Vicar are “under” majority TEC is absent from the documents themselves, would surely doom the vision to failure, and could hardly prove “a sufficiently strong scheme.”

Whether this last effort to reconcile both the Episcopal Church to the Anglican Communion and the two parts of the Episcopal Church to each other can succeed is, in human terms, up to the Network, to the Windsor Bishops, and to the wider House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.

Three things must be said:

1) As Network Moderator, I will do everything I can to bring the hopes of the Primates Meeting to fruition. Necessarily, I will attend the meeting of the House of Bishops about to convene. The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked for “generosity and graciousness” in response to what the Primates have done. I will go in that spirit.

Attendance at the meeting of the House of Bishops, however, should not be construed as anything more than doing what the situation requires. It remains that “the theological differences” with the Presiding Bishop and with those Diocesan Bishops who have taught and acted contrary to received Faith and Order (as upheld in the Windsor Report, and the Dromantine and Dar es Salaam Communiques) are of such magnitude that discussion of the issues before us is the limit of our participation in the life of the House of Bishops at the present time.

This represents no alteration of the grounds on which most Network Bishops have
participated in the House of Bishops since August of 2003.

2) The Windsor Bishops (which includes the Network Bishops) – all those who adopted the Camp Allen principles (4) – will meet shortly after Easter to shape our part of what the Primates’ Meeting has envisioned.

Obvious agenda items include discussion about a Primatial Vicar, about a “sufficiently strong” plan for the Network and Windsor minority, and about imagining whether any form of ministry could be designed that would be acceptable to those who have gone out.

3) The House of Bishops will have to respond to us and to the recommendations of the Primates’ Meeting in a vastly different manner than has characterized the majority’s behavior toward us in recent experience.

As already stated, the Archbishop of Canterbury has called on all to “approach [the] challenges with a spirit of graciousness and generosity.” (5) Pray toward this end.

From the earliest days, we in the Anglican Communion Network have known that our vocation is to stand for the Faith once delivered to the saints, in submission to the whole Anglican Communion. From the earliest days, we appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the Primates (6) to make that possible in an increasingly hostile environment here in theUnited States.

Again, the Archbishop and the Primates have heard us. Again, they have spoken. They have determined to give the Episcopal Church one more chance to make it clear about the majority’s intentions vis a vis the teaching of Lambeth I.10, the Windsor Report and the Dromantine Communique.

Most of us, but certainly not all, in the Anglican Communion Network now believe that it is the Episcopal Church majority’s clear and continuing intention to “walk apart” in matters of Faith and Order.

Nevertheless, we owe it to our beloved Communion to follow the Primates’ wisdom as to how to take a last step in that discernment. The Primates have established a deadline of September 30th for the Episcopal Church’s entire House of Bishops to make an “unequivocal” response. (7)

For all that is ahead, the Anglican Communion Network will continue to work with those “within” and with those who have “gone out” for a biblical, missionary and united future for North American Anglicanism.

There can be no turning back from that Godly commitment: the Network’s vision from the beginning. “And since we have this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” [2 Cor. 4:1]

Please continue to pray with fervor for me and for all who lead, as well as for all who are having an especially hard time with yet one more time of waiting and of testing. Your prayers are the vehicles of our Lord’s victory realized in the crises and crosses we face at every level both great and small.

Faithfully in Christ,

Moderator, Anglican Communion Network




(1) Archbishop Rowan Williams, Pastoral Letter to the Primates, 5th
March 2007.

(2) Ibid.

(3) Key Recommendations of the Primates, 19th February 2007.

(4) Ibid.

(5) Archbishop Rowan Williams, Pastoral Letter to the Primates, 5th
March 2007.

(6) Dissenting Bishops’ Statement, 5th August 2003.

(7) Key Recommendations of the Primates, 19th February 2007.

-30-

The Anglican Communion Network is a biblical, missionary and uniting
movement of North American Anglicans in fellowship with the worldwide
Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion Network is comprised of over
900 parishes and over 2200 clergy. The Anglican Communion Network
operates under the legal name of the Network of Anglican Communion
Dioceses and Parishes as a tax exempt organization under Section
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.

20 comments:

Jim said...

I think you got the scoop on this one. Madpriest will be so envious. ;-) I read it and gave thanks that I did not get the job in Pittsburg I applied for a ways back.

What an amazing man our immoderator. As a service to his sheep he will force himself to attend a meeting of the HoB. What a guy! {gak!}

FWIW
jimB

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Maddy is a mature, adult man, a priest duly ordained in the Church of England.

For goodness sake!

Still, I expect that the next sound you hear will be the great wailing and gnashing of teeth from across the pond.

Maddy, I love you madly.

Scott Gunn said...

Good scoop! I think this letter is showing more clearly who exactly is "walking apart." First the dissenters won't receive communion with their priamte and others, and now they talk about limited participation in the House of Bishops -- after a vague apology for going there in the first place. The Network and Akinolites clearly want to go their own thing. While I would like to be in a church with great diversity, even great theological diversity, I see no reason to coerce someone to stay in a church they seem to walk to leave. Conversely, I see no reason to meddle in a church as you're on your way out the door.

SG+

Rev. Kurt said...

"Attendance at the meeting of the House of Bishops, however, should not be construed as anything more than doing what the situation requires."

How gracious that he and his cohorts will attend the upcoming HoB Meeting.

With such humility and forbearance, we are all so lucky!

Please.........

Lisa said...

Kudos, Elizabeth. Ya beat me to it. I bow to your fast keystroking! However, mine is formatted prettier! {vbg} But I'll be content to rest in your reflected glory.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Lisa,

Everything I know about blogging, I learned from you.

I am your humble student.

MadPriest said...

Big deal.
But it's not in the same league as the face of Jesus appearing in a piece wallpaper, now is it?
(general gnashing of teeth)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

No it's not, Maddy, not at all. Or your fabulous rendering of the Nazi Jesus.

You DA MAN, Maddy!

BTW, when I'm in Canterbury for Lambeth 2008, invited or not, I'll come early and fly into Manchester and come visit you for a stay.

I'll bring some good Kentucky whiskey and we'll tell some stories, eh?

Lisa said...

Thank God for MadPriest's continuing ministry among us. You're right, Maddy: the face of Jesus appearing in a piece of wallpaper is definitely of more import than the latest round of blahblahblah from the Network fulminators. Thanks for helping me keep this stuff in perspective.

Lisa said...

Elizabeth beat us fair and square on the news ... but I think The Episcopal Majority wins on commentary. Please take a look at MadPriest's latest creation. When the new honest-to-God Anglican Communion is born, we're going to have to give MadPriest some marvelous heretofore-unimagined position therein!

MadPriest & Lisbeth: You two are the best!

Wayne said...

"Attendance at the meeting of the House of Bishops, however, should not be construed as anything more than doing what the situation requires."

We'll spend the money that could have been used to feed the hungry. We don't want to go, but, well, you know how it is...

KJ said...

Wow! It seems like they're keeping themselves very busy so they won't have any time to "listen".

Cecilia said...

Yours is not my denomination... so perhaps I speak out of turn... but I say: Let 'em go.

Pax, C.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Another way to say this is to say that a sufficiently strong plan must be found for the congregations and dioceses of the Anglican Communion Network (plus any others from the wider Windsor coalition that may desire similar insulation).

Insulation? What a bunch of scared rabbits?

Nina said...

So "One can be “within” something and not “under” it."

Good! Would someone apply that to the Anglican Communion and point it out gently to all those who keep trying to swat the Episcopal Church over the head with a rolled-up copy of the Windsor Magisterial Pronouncement, er, Report?

Aren't these the same folks that want the Episcopal Church to knuckle under to said report? It's doubly disingenuous to go around claiming that authority exists where it does not exist (Anglican Communion over its members, "Windsor Compliance") and then claim that authority does not exist where it does exist (Episcopal Church over its parishes). That would be some kind of record for multiplethink.

James said...

Well like the leaked fax from a few years ago, at least this one makes their plans clear. They are leaving ECUSA and will try to take as many people, as many parishes, and as much resource with them as they possibly can.

Best guess on why the "Christian" websites (titus, StandFirm, etc) are keeping quiet about this is that campaign to make sure DioSC leaves too ASAP - trying to appoint Mark "San Joaquin" Lawerence
so he can be an ECUSA bishop for six months before following Duncan out the door.

Frankly, with Duncan's Pastoral Council being Akinola and Orombi (for AMiA and CANA, natch), and their first conidition being that ECUSA must vest property in the local parihes for any parish that chooses to move into the "Pastoral Provison"

I think we just call the bluff now. If Duncan is dumb enough to turn up at the HoB - nail him the way he nailed KJS - if he wants to leave, fine, he can take is dog collar off and walk home - if not, sue Pittsburg and SC and SJ and all the rest so hard that the rubble bounces.

Bill said...

"...Aren't these the same folks that want the Episcopal Church to knuckle under to said report? It's doubly disingenuous to go around claiming that authority exists where it does not exist (Anglican Communion over its members, "Windsor Compliance") and then claim that authority does not exist where it does exist (Episcopal Church over its parishes). That would be some kind of record for multiplethink...."

You are quite right that the Anglican communion does not have the authority to order its provinces to obey them.
However, the Anglican Communion does have the right to maintain its belief system in accordance with the spiritual giants of the reformation like Crammer, Ridley and others who followed, and who have helped structure the Anglican Church with such things as the bcp, 39 articles, etc.) and maintain the 'faith once given' which Keaton so vehemently decries in a post on the HoB/D.
Having this right, the Anglican Communion also has the right to determine who is following their belief system. Those who don't agree with this are making a deliberate choice to walk away. That includes TEC, portions of the CofE, and a number of other provinces. And they will most likely form their own communion.
The "who is walking away from who" is such a hackneyed phrase that seems to be available to all groups except for the Anglican Communion.
As for +Duncan, he is a conservative traditionalist. What do you want him to be? A liberal! Of course you do. but he isn't and neither are tens of thousands of other TEC members.
From almost everything I have heard from those of you on the liberal or progressive side of TEC, there is no room for conservative traditionalists. Why is that?
Because they don't believe that you are right? Because they believe that the Bible is the Word of God?
Because they believe that our nature is a fallen one, and we bear the consequences of original sin?
Because they believe that first and foremost, Jesus came to atone for our sins and save us, that our lives might be transformed?
Because the fruit of the life tranformed by our salvation through Jesus is a life that shows the fruits of the spirit which include winning souls for Jesus throughout the world, feeding, healing, and showing compassion for the millions in need?

I've said enough ....more than enough. Reverend Keaton, I apologize for simply referring to you as Keaton (above). I was angered by some of the commenters on the HoB/D who referred to +Duncan and others as 'Duncan', 'Mr. Duncan'. Like them or not, please show them some respect.

Peace and blessings

Bill

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Bill,

First of all, it is KAEton, not KEATON.

I refer to Mr. Duncan as such because those who refer to themselves as 'reasserters' refer to all ordained women - even Our Presiding Bishops - as Ms.

I am returning the honorific title in kind.

Finally, for five long years I joined six others in a grass roots organization called "The New Commandment Task Force" which worked across the nation and internationally for reconciliation among Progressives, Moderates and Conservative/Orthodox.

The reason the effort ultimately failed is not because the Progressives and Moderates didn't work for it or want it - but that most of the Conservative/Orthodox so adamamently opposed it.

As David Anderson, president of the AAC, said on national TV, he stays in TEC because he "likes a good fight."

If you got another impression about Progressives and Moderates it's because you've been reading too many conservative/orthodox blogs.

GroundedintheGospel said...

"I refer to Mr. Duncan as such because those who refer to themselves as 'reasserters' refer to all ordained women - even Our Presiding Bishops - as Ms."

I don't think this is true of Bishop Duncan. He certainly called the Bishop of Indianapolis 'Bishop' when in a meeting I attended.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

All of the bishops asking for "Primatial Oversight" have consistently referred to our Presiding Bishop as Mrs. Schori.