From Chairman to Sage

Bishop Chuck Murphy (Congo) has offered some answers to the folks at All Saints, Pawleys Island concerning the future of the The Anglican Mission Society for Mission and Apostolic Works. Here are some highlights from what he said and an occasional comment from me:

…my hope and my prayer is that we continue to resist the urge to engage in the fray, gossip, slander, and party spirit.

You mean like this?

A Missionary Society is what we feel called to be for 50 or more years; my retirement would have me seated on the College of Consultors, to provide insight and allow me to move into the role of sage rather than remaining in the role of chairman. It may evolve into something different… taking a step and taking a step.

We cannot ignore the fact that November and December involved an onslaught of events that hit us, and me, particularly, like an unforeseen hurricane, and information couldn’t be distributed because everything was changing by the hour… all in conjunction with the online “blogospere” that you may know about.

This confirms the Anglican Autumn thesis – these structures have trouble in the marketplace of ideas when their PR doesn’t work.

Question: How permanent is the relationship with the Congo?

What we asked for from Archbishop Isingoma was for him a temporary vicariate. Why did we use the word “temporary”? Because we felt like in the next 180 days, we will have a permanent mission society established.

So, what I asked for is as a temporary move to get us to that point, “would you establish a temporary vicariate for us” which is a fancy word for let us function as we did under Archbishop Kolini until we can get the Missionary Society up and running.

What’s intended for the Missionary Society – we adopted its constitution last week – is that it becomes permanent. And Archbishop Isingoma has never indicated to me that this was a temporary arrangement. He has written to me saying this is a long-term partnership working together.

Question: Why the Congo?

I want to be under Godly leadership, not just who is the head of the zip code……I want to know are you Godly…has God raised you up for this. The only advantage to me going to the Congo was that it is an authentic province of the Anglican Communion and it was important for those clergy for whom that still matters.

“For whom that still matters,” indicates that for many clergy it doesn’t. In other words, being a Continuing Church is just fine. Also, since you failed to submit to the last Godly leadership you were under, why will it be any different this time, unless the understanding is that this ‘leadership’ will never discipline you?

Question: Is the Congo Anglican Church a member of GAFCON? If not, why not?

Yes, Congo is going through the process of becoming a member of GAFCON. However, the importance and definition of this varies from individual to individual and congregation to congregation. There is a range of opinion.

1. This is news. While it has been suspected, I don’t think anyone has seen confirmation that Congo was turning its back on Archbishop Rowan and embracing GAFCON.

2. How can “the definition” of becoming a member of GAFCON vary “from individual to individual”? What does that mean?

Question: What is the importance of AMIA being affiliated with an Anglican Province that is a member of the Anglican Communion (Canterbury)?

The AMiA finds no importance in being affiliated with just any Anglican Province, which is why we are not affiliated with the Anglican Province in America known now as The Episcopal Church. The AMiA does, however, find importance in being "Anglican" and that requires being "under authority".

I would add: being under authority that does not ask questions about your finances or threaten to discipline you. Essentially, the kind of authority that rubber-stamps what you want.

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