AMiA and ACNA – Guessing at the Status

In an attempt to decipher where exactly the Pawleys Island group will end up affiliating (if anywhere), let’s look at some of the statements that have been made. My sources here are Virtue Online articles, Archbishop Duncan’s Pastoral Letter and the words of Bishop John Miller from the Winter Conference. To date, we have not heard from Rwanda or GAFCON, but only from ACNA and the Pawleys leadership, so this story is being told from one perspective:

  1. The Rwandan House of Bishops has accepted the resignations of the Pawleys Island bishops. Bishop Murphy said “[Archbishop Rwaje] accepted our resignations and told us this last week in Nairobi.”
  2. Rwanda will not discipline these bishops. Murphy says: “No one has been deposed and no charges filed. [Archbishop Rwaje] did say he could act and pull together a special synod, but he has chosen not to do that.” In other words, Rwanda will not defrock the resigned bishops.
  3. The AMiA’s position is that it will not change its leadership to enter ACNA. Murphy said: “We are not going to throw away our culture, vision and leadership in order to force fit into a system that would, in the words of Bishop John Rodgers ‘commit hari kari.’ This seems to stand in direct contradistinction to Archbishop Duncan’s letter, which said, “For the Anglican Church in North America, these subjects must include leadership, relationships, and jurisdictional participation in a way that is fully Anglican.”
  4. The AMiA is moving full speed ahead with its Communion within the Communion idea of a Global Missionary Society, starting churches all over the world, with a revenue stream presumably headed back to Pawleys. Resigned Bishop John Miller said, “we really do believe as a Council of Bishops that the way forward for the Anglican Mission is as a Missionary Society.” Retired Bishop  Moses Tay said that God is giving him the message “transitions – global mission.”

In my next post, I will look more at Bishop Miller’s narrative of the Nairobi meeting.

3 thoughts on “AMiA and ACNA – Guessing at the Status”

  1. Joel,

    I believe that we are witnesses to the emergence of a new denomination, not a new missionary society. Bear in mind that The Episcopal Church, formerly the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA, as a legal entity is a missionary society–the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

    Bishop Murphy has not just broken with the Anglican Church of Rwanda, he has broken with GAFCON. Any existing GAFCON province (or in the case of the ACNA, province wannabe) that takes in Bishop Murphy and his part of the Anglican Mission will be breking with GAFCON. Murphy has also shown that he is rebellious and will go to great lengths to achieve his ends once he has set his mind on them. Doggedness can be a strength but it also can be a weakness. This leaves the liberal provinces or the non-aligned provinces. (Are there any non-aligned provinces?) Murphy is not likely to ally himself with the liberal provinces;

    Bishop Murphy and his part of the Anglican Mission may yet shed their Anglican identity. For many in his group it is tenous at best.

    1. Yes, I agree. And I don’t think that this new denomination / society / whatever will flourish. It is born in rebellion and does not have the narrative of Rwanda re-evangelizing America that it used to have.

  2. Robin,

    I agree with you completely in your assessment of the situation. I had missed the “society” language as some sort of code for new denomination. Especially in connection with the Domestic and Foreign Missions Society. The bad thing is that a lot of good people are going to follow Murphy in his schism.


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