AMiA, Partial Timeline

At some point I need to put together a timeline of all the events, letters and statements from the last few months in order to provide some clarity (and possibly help future historians). For now, I’ll just add that to the to do list. What follows is a small timeline that adds the new details from Bishop Barnum’s letter today, cross-referenced with some of the press releases from Rev. Cynthia Brust.

31 May 2011

Bishop Alexis Bilindabagabo writes a letter about financial issues to Archbishop Rwaje.

June 2011

Our Chairman reported that in June, at some point during or after the turbulent House of Bishops meeting in Rwanda, retired Archbishop Kolini said to our Chairman that he believed it was time for AMIA to leave Rwanda.

[Source: Barnum letter]

Mid-Summer 2011

By mid-summer, our Chairman met in London with AMIA’s retired and founding archbishops. It was here, as I understand it, that the concept of a new AMIA Missionary Society took shape out of a perceived concern that AMIA was suddenly vulnerable to the leadership changes in Rwanda. As this meeting took place, the vision of the Missionary Society — a real, tangible “option” — was as yet completely unknown to, and outside the counsel of, our own Rwandan Archbishop, Onesphore Rwaje.

[Source: Barnum letter]

31 August 2011

On August 31, I heard a word I never dreamed I’d hear.

I was on a monthly AMIA Council of Bishops (COB) phone call when our Chairman presented us with “options.” He asked, 1- if we wanted to stay in Rwanda; 2- if we wanted to go to ACNA or, 3- if we wanted to start a new Missionary Society. He asked each of us to respond.

[Source: Barnum letter]

Early October 2011

He {Murphy} met again with AMIA’s retired archbishops (sans ++Rwaje) in early October.

He met with the AMIA Network Leaders in Arkansas and again in South Carolina with senior rectors from all over the Mission.

[Source: Barnum letter]

25 October 2011

On Tuesday, October 25, Mr. Conger made a call to Cynthia Brust, our Director of Communications, requesting confirmation of a “source’s” claim that the Anglican Mission Council of Bishops met the week before and decided to break their relationship with the Anglican Province of Rwanda. He was told that the information was not correct and that the source was misinformed. He followed up with an email dated October 31, indicating it was a “query” from the Church of England Newspaper.

It read in part: “What I have been told is that the Anglican Mission is exploring pulling out from the oversight of the Church of Rwanda. It will either find a new sponsor from among the GS primates, or ask Archbishop Kolini to be its sponsor.

The reason for this move, I am told, is friction over the decision of the Rwandans not to approve some episcopal appointments proposed by the Anglican Mission.“We responded to that email early yesterday afternoon (November 2) making it very clear that Mr. Conger’s source or sources were ill informed and clearly stating the Anglican Mission’s and Rwanda’s mutual desire to remain connected.

…discussions about the possibility of formalizing what has long been the stated vision of the AM’s functioning as a missionary society, is simply that – a possibility being discussed that represents a consistent trajectory. Remaining connected to Rwanda remains a high value in these conversations, and we have no reason to believe this would change. Mr. Kallsen’s and Mr. Conger’s claims otherwise are untrue.

[Source: Brust press release]

31 October 2011

Archbishop Rwaje to Bishop Murphy: “I am requesting that all procedures toward the formation of the new missionary society be halted until we go through the Jerusalem moment.”

4 November 2011

All of the concepts discussed, including the creation of a defined “society for apostolic work,” or “Missionary Society,” include an expectation that we will remain connected to Rwanda, and theAM leaders are working collaboratively, as always, with Rwandan leaders. These conversations with leadership on both sides of the Atlantic remain ongoing, and it is important to note that no decisions have been made – we are in a process of conversations only, and frankly any public discussion is premature at best.

Bishop Chuck Murphy enjoys a positive, honest, open and collaborative relationship with Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje and the House of Bishops of Rwanda…the suggestion that the Anglican Mission does not intend to remain a part of the Anglican Communion is false.

[Source: Brust press release]

November 2011

AMIA Council of Bishops meeting in Myrtle Beach

For it was at this meeting Bishop Terrell Glenn submitted his resignation from the AMIA Council of Bishops citing a broken and unreconciled relationship with the Chairman.

[Source: Barnum letter]

11 November 2011

Rumors that there has been a rift between the Anglican Mission in the Americas and the Anglican Province of Rwanda are false said Bishop and Chairman Chuck Murphy who told VOL that there is “no rift, no tear” and that the relationship is “solid” and “cherished. Both parties are working through their future shape together.

“I will be meeting with Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, Primate of the Province of Rwanda, in Washington DC, next week to continue discussion of the design of such a missionary society. I have invited the Rev. Canon Kevin Donlon (our Canon for Ecclesiastical Affairs) to join us in this these discussions.

The Anglican Mission leader reported that at a regularly scheduled Council of Bishops meeting this week, Bishop Terrell Glenn resigned as a missionary bishop overseeing the Apostles Mission Network (parishes ranging geographically from the northeast to the Carolinas).

[source 1=”Virtue” 2=”Online” 3=”article” language=”:”][/source]

18 Nov 2011

Bishop Murphy told CEN it was “absurd” to suggest he was in rebellion. He denied the AMiA was seeking to withdraw from Rwanda and stated his relations with the archbishop remained strong.

[Source: Church of England News]

5 December 2011

Early Monday morning, December 5, I wrote Bishop Chuck and copied two of my colleagues as witnesses. I begged him to comply with the Archbishop’s admonition. I wrote, “If we have any authority as bishops to bring ‘godly discipline’ then we’ve got to model being under and complying to ‘godly discipline’ …“Model being under authority for us, for the Mission. Don’t let us divide… For the sake of the Mission, for the sake of all who look to you as a model of godly leadership, come under the discipline of your Archbishop.”

A half hour after sending this letter, I was notified that the COB was about to have an emergency conference call and that each of us (except Bishop Terrell who had formerly left the COB) was being asked to issue our formal resignation along with our Chairman as bishops of the Province of Rwanda.

7 December 2011

Two days later, I had opportunity to speak with Archbishop Rwaje. I apologized to him that we were unwilling to comply with his godly admonition. I apologized for the insulting words of the past months – none which hurt more than the phrase “reverse colonialism” (implying AMIA wasn’t going to be controlled by Africa) – and then for the hurtful comparison of being compared to the Egyptian nation.

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