The Anglican Communion News Service has posted an article, More than 60 evangelism resources soon available for the Anglican Communion. The article begins,
"The Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative (ECGI) core group met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 14 – 17 February 2011. The groupi was chaired by Bishop Patrick Yu from Canada, and hosted by Bishop Moon Hing Ng of the Diocese of West Malaysia. It included members from Melanesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Kenya, England and the USA, with staff from the Anglican Communion Office."
A footnote lists the members of the ECGI:
"Bishop Patrick Yu - Canada – Convenor; Bishop Bill Godfrey - Peru; Mrs Linda Jones – Liverpool, England; Revd Anthonio J. Kibwela Kifwambwa – DR Congo; Rev Canon Rosemary Mbogo – Kenya; Rev Trevor Pearce - South Africa; Bishop Irfan Jamil – Pakistan; Bishop Ng Moon Hing – West Malaysia; Revd Patterson Worak – Melanesia; Bishop Ken Okeke - Church of Nigeria Missionary Society; Rev Canon Mark Oxbrow – Faith2Share – UK; Rev Dr Julian Linnell - Anglican Frontier Mission- USA; Captain Judy Douglas – Church Army Australia and is serviced by Revd John Kafwanka and Mr Stuart Buchanan of the Mission Department, Anglican Communion Office."
The Rev. Dr. Julian Linnell, Anglican Frontier Mission-USA is listed as a participant.
To be clear, I am glad that AFM is represented in that group, and I am glad the evangelism resources are being produced. Anglican Frontier Mission is one of those organizations that works with both TEC and ACNA members and although that might present some problems at times, I am convinced that we all have work to do related to evangelism and church growth and we can learn from one another. I am also impressed with Dr. Linnell's credentials and history.
The question is, is Dr. Julian Linnell a member of The Episcopal Church, and if not is he a member of the Anglican Church in North America? And if neither, then of what church?
I have found nothing to indicate that he is a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, where he was ordained, or the Diocese of Southern Virginia where he was a priest in Virginia Beach. My guess is that he transferred to Southern Virginia from the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and from there to ACNA 's Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh after he took the appointment as director of Anglican Frontier Missions.
However, there is this note on the Anglican Church in North America website:
From HERE. "Earlier this year, The Rev. John Porter, rector of Grace Church, traveled to Turkey for an exploratory mission trip in the southeastern part of the country, near the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. He was joined by The Rev. Julian Linnell, director of Anglican Frontier Missions (AFM) who is also a priest of this diocese, and DT Stoddard, a former Trinity School for Ministry student with over ten years of mission and church-planting experience among the Turks."
The way this reads, Dr. Linnell is a member of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Whether or not that is true is hard to determine, but taken on face value it would appear that Dr. Linnell is not a member of a Church that is part of the Anglican Communion.
And, if he is part of ACNA, the Anglican Communion Evangelism office has appointed a member of ACNA to one of its groups, the Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative.
Given that TEC members of several committees have been dismissed or reduced to consultant status, it seems worth noting that ACNA has a priest on an Anglican Communion panel.
Again, as relates to the concerns of Evangelism and Church Growth, there is no reason not to have members of churches not part of the Anglican Communion as a member of this initiative. But it would appear that if he is from such a church, he is the only one the list who is. No one has bothered to note this, so perhaps he is not, in which case ACNA has misspoken. If he is, then the Anglican Communion Office ought to have noted the fact.
For a Church that often exemplifies the niceties of formal relationships and for an Archbishop who is so concerned not to have members of a church that is unrepentant of Windsor demands part of its ecumenical work, there seems to be no parallel concern about having members of churches not in communion with Canterbury and schismatic part of a working group of the Anglican Communion.
Then again perhaps Dr. Linnell is a priest in The Episcopal Church or some other church in communion with the See of Canterbury. Further information would be helpful.