3/24/2008

Goodbye Network?

The Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, aka the Anglican Communion Network, has just posted on its web page an announcement of an upcoming meeting on April 24th in Chicago. The posting states,

"Bishops of those Episcopal Church dioceses that have formally affiliated with the Anglican Communion Network will meet in Chicago on April 24. The purpose of the meeting is to allow Network bishops to speak frankly with each other about the future.

As the crisis in The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion has deepened, Network bishops and dioceses have been moving in several directions. Some Network dioceses have re- affiliated or are considering re-affiliating with other provinces of the Anglican Communion. Individual Network bishops have left The Episcopal Church to join other communions. Other bishops are attempting to be a voice for orthodoxy within The Episcopal Church.

“I have called this meeting because we need to talk frankly and openly about the future and how we as Network bishops can help the Network best fulfill its mission to build a biblical, missionary and united Anglican witness in the years ahead,” said Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Network."

Common Cause Partnership, a grouping of Anglican communities - some in communion with Canterbury and some not - is a branching off from the Network. The Moderator of CCP seems to think that this new effort is an extension of the Network's mission: “It is clear that the Network has a continuing mission to unite orthodox Anglicans, especially as increasing numbers of Network parishes and now dioceses are exiting The Episcopal Church. We will be talking about how we can work together to accomplish this goal even as we bless the several paths we have chosen as bishops and dioceses."

But not all bishops and dioceses in the Network are so inclined to think that uniting "orthodox" Anglicans in North America (including church groups not in communion with Canterbury and groups that have affiliated with other Provinces) ought to be understood as the Network's mission. The several paths will probably lead to a clearer separation of those working in TEC and those working elsewhere.

It may very well be that this Chicago meeting will spell the end of the Network as a force within The Episcopal Church. I have suggested earlier that in answering the question, "Why the Network Matters" Canon Daryl Fenton, Chief Operating Officer of the Network, essentially indicated that the Network is now the staff of the Common Cause Partnership.

So perhaps the Chicago meeting is a chance to be frank about it all, shake hands and unwind the Network into those who are going to stay in the Episcopal Church and those who are part of a new Anglican entity related to all the rest of the Provinces in the Communion in different sort of way, perhaps in a new world wide configuration of churches.

Goodbye, Network?

11 comments:

  1. Goodbye Network...

    Nice to see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!

    Leonardo Ricardo

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  2. This puts in mind a question.

    Are there any parishes / congregations in the Diocese of New Hampshire which have sought some form of alternate episcopal or alternate primatial oversight?

    Given the "conservative" spin that Gene Robinson is simply too horrible to be a bishop, surely there must be dozens of congregations and hundreds of the faithful seeking to escape.

    None of them, according to any list I've seen, have aligned themselves with the schismatics from Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya or Argentina.

    Anyone know?

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  3. Malcolm+, since you asked, there are two Common Cause Partner churches in New Hampshire, one in Rochester NH and one in Port, Newington, NH. Both are under Kenya. There are also eight Anglican Church in America parishes. Since assuming the bishopric in 2003, the diocese has lost 2300 members or a 14% decline.

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  4. A 14% membership decline over a five year period is probably pretty close to average for a North American diocese over that time period, isn't it? Certainly doesn't suggest that the good folk of NH have gone into a tailspin over the sexual orientation of their bishop. My guess would be that any diocese of San Joaquin you care to name has undergone a far more dramatic membership decline in recent months.

    ps At the risk of pedantry, did the diocese really assume the bishopric in 2003?

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  5. As I understand it, Anglican Church in America predates +Robinson, doesn't it?

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  6. A little off-topic:

    The local Anglican seminary in Manila will, according to a reliable source, have a new dean who is close to Sydney in both theological and liturgical terms, is opposed to ecumenical dialogue especially with Roman Catholics, and is generally the kind who doesn't use incense in the Mass (and may not even want to call it that!).

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  7. It's less than a month since you were in the Philippines. Have you any background on the Manila seminary report?

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  8. Hi Mark! I have a small, private consultation to make to you and just can't find an email address to send it to. Is there one?
    Thanks!

    Leonel

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  9. Leonel: I can be reached at poetmark1940@gmail.com

    I'm going to post my email address on the side bar for future reference.

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  10. Lapinbiarre: regarding the Seminary in Manila. All I know is that while I was there it was announced that the prior Dean had submitted his resignation and that they were looking for a new dean, I believe on a temporary basis, and starting a longer term search. I may be wrong about the "short term" arrangement.

    It seems to me the Seminary has gone through some difficult times in that a number of PIC seminarians now go to local seminaries, there are a larger group of seminarians from elsewhere in East Asia who are unrelated to specific issues and ministry needs facing the Church in the Philippines, and there has been some problems in keeping a solid core faculty.

    At the same time the Seminary is an effective community for shaping and training new clergy.

    The Dean, who I gather from another comment may be more low church and evangelical than has been the norm at St.Andrews may or may not be a good thing...time, as always, tells.

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  11. Yes, time may tell, but already there is a brewing storm over the appointment.

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