UE General Convention

This year my family had opportunity to attend the UECNA’s 2014 General Convention. There was an anticipation this Convention would have a tremendous bearing upon the future of the continuing church. Anglican Rose has taken liberty to infer several ideas not neccesarily shared by Bp. Robinson. 

2013 Predictions. In an earlier essay called “Post-Brockton“, I offered a few predictions regarding the ultimate failure of the ACC’s staunch non-involvement policy, namely, forbidding unity with Anglican churches which are in communion with other churches that ordain women, or “double non-involvement”. Of course, the ACC was targeting ACNA and FACA-related bodies like the APA, DHC, and especially the REC(1). I also predicted the APA and UECNA would grow restless of any hard isolationist policy, sooner or later breaking from it in favor of a larger unity with North American churches besides ACC. While much remains to be seen, the UECNA has apparently left the ACC-orbit. 

At the 2014 General Conference, Bp. Robinson described the UEC-ACC Agreement as hopelessly ‘plateaued’, or to say more bluntly, ‘dead’.  Moreover, overtures with PCK similarly went nowhere. Robinson gracefully describes the situation in his 2014 UEC News (the 5/13-5/14 entry), the following being highlights…

‘[The Presiding Bishop Robinson] also gave an overview of both inter-jurisdiction and ecumenical relations, noting that whilst moves towards closer relations with the Anglican Catholic Church and the Anglican Province of Christ the King were stalled, old friendships with the Diocese of the Great Lakes [DGL], and the Anglican Episcopal Church [AECUSA] had been renewed…The General Convention was also warmly supportive of a proposal to drop the ‘Trinitarian’ as the UECNA’s joint journal with the ACC, and revive “Glad Tidings” as a quarterly publication from August 2014.  The Presiding Bishop also suggested that in future the UECNA would be printing its own liturgical calendar, and the clergy delegates approved this notion…The Presiding Bishop then gave his charge in which he highlighted three urgent priorities.  A greater commitment to Home Mission and Evangelism by the whole Church; the establishment of a Missionary Society, and the re-establishment of Latimer Seminary (initially founded in 1985 by Bishop Knight) as the theological institute for the UECNA..The Presiding Bishop then gave his charge in which he highlighted three urgent priorities.  A greater commitment to Home Mission and Evangelism by the whole Church; the establishment of a Missionary Society, and the re-establishment of Latimer Seminary (initially founded in 1985 by Bishop Knight) as the theological institute for the UECNA…”

The above certainly marks a not-so-new direction for UECNA since it largely constitutes a return to the UECNA’s ecumenial activity during the 1980’s: the UECNA as a low- and broad-church, aligning itself with like-minded partners. In the 1980’s this meant jurisdictions like Walter Adam’s AECNA, Anthony Clavier’s AEC, Robert Harvey’s DioSW, and even self-identifying Protestant Anglican churches like Robert Godfrey’s AOC or William Jerdan’s REC. Curiously, many of these churches left TEC before 1977, taking a more consistent stand against liberal trends than the St. Louis Congress.

Robinson seems ready to rally what remains of the UEC’s former alliance. The AECUSA and DGL are smaller than UECNA, but together they would represent an indisputably pro-1928 BCP and pro-39 Article alliance inside the continuing church movement. Implicit in this continuing ‘realignment’ would be the AOC whose Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Jerry Ogles, has been actively engaged in AECUSA and counterparts in England (2). This creates an interesting vector among North American Anglicans, adding even some English ecclesiastical connections, that might serve an important role in Anglican Futures given a hypothetical AOC-UECNA alliance emerges, additionally buoyed by a new sense of evangelism.

What of FACA? Last year we saw some indication the UECNA might be moving away from ACC toward FACA. While the former proved true, the latter has yet to occur. This year Robinson returned to FACA but, again, only as an observer. Nonetheless, the UE Presiding Bishops notes for his April 29th news entry,

“Bishop Robinson will again be an observer at the annual meeting of the Federation of Anglican Churches in America meet at Cummins Memorial Seminary, Summerville, NC.  The FACA is an umbrella body for a number of conservative and continuing Anglican bodies in the United States including the Reformed Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church in America, the Anglican Province in America, the Episcopal Missionary Church, and several others.  The United Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop has attended as an observer since 2013.”

At the 2014 Convention, Robinson explained FACA as a particular area of interest for the UEC, and, likely, UEC will continue its observer status in yearly FACA meetings. However, FACA also appears to be going in a new direction– not necessarily tied to ACNA or the reputably ‘evangelical’ GAFCON (3). President Hewett recently bulleted these new developments on the FACA website, of which…

  • Joint Synods possible by the summer of 2016 for all FACA jurisdictions and members so that the laity and clergy get to know each other.
  • Spring of 2015, a Congress of all Anglo-Catholic bishops of the world, to include of course all clergy and laity who can attend hosted by St. Andrew’s, Diocese of Forth Worth for all ecumenical partners, Orthodox, Polish National Catholic, Union of Scranton, Roman and traditional Lutheran.

It appears FACA is being used to create an Anglo-Catholic Congress(4)? This resonates with FiFNA’s announcements for both a ‘New Oxford Movement’ as well as a ‘Catholic International’. ‘Joint synods’ likely builds off the merger already happening between ACA-APA. While the merger has the potential to create a flagship significantly larger than ACC, it also poses several problems. First, the APA would loose its 1995 Solemn Declaration in favor of ACA standards which prescribe the St. Louis Affirmation. Second, the merger will bring APA into the TAC concordat(5). The above is happening at a time when Bp. Grundorf, and presumably Marsh, are hoping to include other continuing churches in a beefed-up TAC-US. Grundorf hinted at this ecumenical venture in his February epistle,

“Third, the Group received a proposal for the creation of an Assembly of Bishops for the Traditional Anglican Church in the United States of America, a Continuing Church counterpart to the ‘Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America,’ in which the bishops would be in full sacramental communion with each other (communicatio in sacris) and bound by mutual love and commitment to working together as one body. In it, Dioceses and Provinces would remain autonomous and canonically self-determining. The bishops would consult with each, confer with one another, make decisions together, and speak with one voice to culture and society; they would be enabled to form, educate, and train clergy and laity together as one body. Evangelistic and missionary efforts, domestic and foreign, would not overlap but would be united and synchronized. Each Diocese or Province would pledge over time not to act in any major way without consultation and consensus with and through the others.”

Allegedly an “expansion and deepening of the current Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas”, it remains to be seen if TAC-US would further alienate APA from North American Anglicanism. If TAC-US includes ACC– as it might be inferred from the ramp-up of ACC presence at recent ACA synods– then a policy of “double non-involvement” could prevail. However, a more benign version of TAC-US might lurch around the corner if, instead, APA plans to work in tandem with FiFNA elements and the projected Fort Worth Assembly. In this case, ACC might very well remove itself from any TAC-US scheme for disdain of FiF.

Of course, much of this depends on where FiFNA intends to go with an ‘Anglo-Catholic International’. Will it be an instrument to leave ACNA behind? Might it be an attempt at making a new Communion that will– in a tragic-comedic fashion– seek approval from ROCOR as ‘Western Rite’ or pick up the illusionary reigns of ARIIC? Or, is FiFNA merely trying to press a traditionalist hermenuetic within GAFCON? There’s a huge difference!

Conclusion: As these events unfold, it’s worth recalling anything which alienates cooperation with “orthodox Primates in the Anglican Communion” or North American “Common Cause Partners” (sic., ACNA), is neither an expansion nor a deepening of FACA. Instead, FACA purports,

3. The Federation will seek to maintain the Patronage of orthodox Primates in the Anglican Communion. Such patronage is for advisory purposes in expanding fellowship with those in the Anglican Communion and working in concert with the godly projects and programs of the Archbishops primarily in the Global South.

4. Some of the member jurisdictions of the Federation are also members of the Common Cause Partners in North America. All deliberations and actions of the Federation will be executed with sensitivity to the godly goals and purposes of the Common Cause Partners to proclaim the Gospel and effect unity among faithful Anglicans in North America.

Until these questions are sorted, the UECNA’s refrain from FACA– whether accidental or not– is providential. Not until 2016 will we know where FiFNA– and in all likelihood the APA– are headed. Keep in mind the APA is the current “flagship” and founder of FACA (if not the continuing church in general). So, when we discuss APA, we are really discussing the straits of the continuing movement itself. FACA not only is a way to relate with ACNA but also– and perhaps more importantly– APA. Secondly, it will minimally take until 2016 for the UECNA’s proposed alliance with Protestant Anglicans to bear fruit.

A year or two in ecclesiastical time is nothing, and a stronger UECNA (backed by AECUSA and perhaps AOC) within FACA might encourage churches like APA to keep their moderate C&C rather than rush into the pitfalls of another Old Catholic or Uniate experiment. The same might be true with larger Anglicanism, eventually. But everything ultimately rides on these relatively small yet orthodox jurisdictions growing by an intensified mission, yet the UEC sounds aware of this fact. It has begun a process of soliciting missions with five new plants between three missionary districts.

Within the 2014 UE General Convention was the exciting potential to reclaim Continuing as well as older Protestant Episcopal traditions. This was a landmark convention, restoring the UECNA to its earlier conception as a “broad and low” church, known to the Bishops of the 1980’s.

1. In many ways the REC is the rival to ACC when it comes to politics in the continuum. These two bodies are almost polar opposites. Much of this rival revolves around who’s in FACA and who isn’t.
2. Recently, Bp. Ogles of the AOC has been very active and supportive of smaller Protestant Anglicans churches. Not only has Ogles been supplying pulpits, but during his visits to AECUSA has assisted with ordinations and consecrations. At the beginning of 2014, Ogles consecrated Edward Malcolms as Primus of the Church of England Continuing. Obviously, Ogles was filling in a gap left behind by the ACC-UEC compact. The CoEC was originally the sister church of UECNA. With UECNA freed of ACC bondage, Robinson will now be free to renew these more natural and like-minded ties. AOC has also picked up ministers from the Church of England and now has a presence in Britain. Ogles likewise picked up the remnants of TPEC in the USA, and it now is a ‘nongeographic’ body within AOC. So, AOC has been proactive about relationships, and if combined with UECNA, both would fill a gap perhaps left behind as REC pursues closer ties with Fort Worth Anglo-Catholics.
3. Just to be clear: FACA is not a diocese of ACNA. It is a ministry partner. The definition of ministry partnership is elusive but there are several examples of it in ACNA. I tried to compare and combine similarities, giving something of a provisional definition that can be read here. Otherwise, I’d say MP status asks a minimum, i.e., that ACNA is recognized as an ecclesiastical body, and the partner pledges goodwill toward it. The rest is up to the affiliate. These are not burdensome principles, and it can be had with either ACNA entirely or individuals components thereof– like FiFNA, CANA, or REC. Not all FACA members have embraced ministry partnership, but parishes in DHC, ACA, and especially APA can be found on ACNA’s church locator. This is something Haverland of ACC has been critical about.

4. The sponsoring parish for the proposed Anglo-Catholic World Congress belongs to the Diocese of Fort Worth which is the largest Anglo-Catholic diocese in ACNA and Headquarters of FiFNA. Fort Worth has recently phased out women deacons it had inherited from TEC, and adopted the new FiFNA Declaration which presses ‘seven sacraments’ and ‘seven councils’. Bp. Robinson has described these mutual developments inside both the continuum and ACNA has an ‘anglo-catholic end game’. Undoubtedly, it’s a ramp-up. Despite these commonalities, there remains some ire between ACC and Fort Worth over tactics and who owns the mantle of leadership. ACC believes its apostolic lines of succession from Chambers is untainted, so it is the only ‘sacramental’ church, etc.. That said, it should be remembered Fort Worth together with its smaller anglo-catholic counterpart, Dio Quincy, were principle organizers of Bartonville, giving the REC some influence within segments of the continuing church. The ACC has felt such was an invasion of ecclesiastical territory. ACC is probably one of the most territorial and isolated Anglican churches, aside from PCK, in North America.
5. An anonymous but well-informed sourced has this to say about APA-ACA merger (collected by email Feb,-March): “The ACA is basically an Anglo-Catholic organisation, and depending on who succeeds Grundorf, the APA could go the same way very rapidly. The centre of gravity is already on the Catholic side of central…At one point I was looking at the ACA-APA merger and hoping that +Grundorf’s view would prevail and the new church would commit to the ‘Spirit of St Louis’ and not to the Affirmation.  Unfortunately, *****  is a conduit for ACC ideas into the APA and the ACA has already been tutored by the Falk-Hepworth school Anglo-Catholics.  Whatever else you can say about it, the merger does not have promising parents”. 

92 responses to “UE General Convention

  1. A recent write-up on the REC General Council 2014. Notice Bp. Grundorf is standing fourth from the right. Grundorf’s presence confirms two things. The RE-DEUS intercommunion agreement is not dead. Rather it still enjoys a “substantial measure of unity” (see the 2011 APA-RE unity update), obviously with the potential to reinvigorated itself at point. At the 2014 DEUS synod, Grundorf even commending RE Seminary, making no mention of Logos House.

    “This I especially intend for younger men who are willing to take the time and give the effort in preparing for the priesthood through seminary training. This is not easy due to limited number of traditional Anglican Seminaries. We will have three young people who have recently completed undergraduate degrees entering the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania this fall. Through our relationship with the Reformed Episcopal Church, these students will attend seminary tuition free. The Seminary has recently been fully accredited by the nationally recognized Association of Theological Schools. “

    The APA is most likely using the REC relationship to maintain additional ties with FiFNA bishops. Nonetheless, there is a good probability the proposed TAC-US will be closer in spirit to FiFNA than ACC, thus preserving something of DEUS’s old ecumenical character rather than taking a hard turn toward the ACC’s Stahlinism. It also means the APA is open to influences from the ACNA and FACA. Indeed, Haverland’s plea for a ‘double non-invovlement’ rule seems to hardly penetrated Grundorf’s APA.

    It appears ACC may have finally isolated itself… with UECNA breaking off and APA now gravitating toward FiFNA? However, there remains the problem of FiFNA amending their Declaration into a more explicit anglo-catholic confession, but this does not necessarily undermine APA’s “spirit of clause” in the same way ACC involvement might. The real problem with the Affirmation is as Robinson has said,

    “However, what seems to have slipped by, almost totally unobserved, was a small provision which if consistently followed would revolutionize the Church. It is the simple provision that all pre-existing formularies be interpreted in accordance with this Affirmation. On the face of it, this is a very simple and sensible declaration, but its implementation effectively side-lined the Reformation inheritance of Anglicanism by justifying and making normative the Anglo-Catholic rejection of the Articles and Homilies. It also created a second, Catholic, string of revisionism within the Anglican tradition, and led to enormous conflict within the new Continuing Church as it became clear that although diversity of liturgical practice would be tolerated – at least for the time being – the theology was going to be Anglo-Catholic, and those who held a differing point of view could put up or shut up.”

    I believe the best way to protect the low and broad church character of the continuing movement is by giving priority to provincial Solemn Declarations (SD), which were a norm before St. Louis, the APA’s present SD being ideal. As Robinson notes,

    “The older Continuing Anglican groups tended to summarize their “grievances” in the form of a Solemn Declaration, and/or Declaration of Principles. The former had been pioneered by the Church of Ireland and the Church of Canada at the time of the dissolution of the union to the Church of England. The latter came from the Reformed Episcopal Church, which had draw its version up to protest Tractarianism in 1873. For the most part, these early efforts affirmed their believe in the authority of Scripture, the three ancient Creeds, the two Domincial Sacraments, and the Church in question’s Anglican heritage whilst specifically repudiating modern errors concerning Holy Orders, and Morality. For the Broad Church majority of lay continuers this was sufficient…”

    If I had one wish in the face of ACA-APA merger, it would be the ACA accept the APA’s main C&C, not the other way around. Indeed, the APA respresents the older (circa 1968) church and is the larger partner in the merger. Deerfield Beach was an important development, but I would plea against the letter of it, if possible. I tried to compare extant solemn declarations, sharing my two favorites: the APA’s 1995- and the old AECNA’s 1975-Declarations.

    Finally, I’d like readers to keep in mind when we talk about the continuum, we are really speaking about APA. This is true in both size and origins. In contrast, the ACC has isolated itself from any cooperation with other Anglicans. Moreover, the emergence of a renewed Protestant continuing Anglican church, rallied about UECNA (the old Albion Knight alliance), has the potential to gradually pull APA back to its former broad position, securing a future for the continuum as a leaven in North American Anglicanism.

  2. Tikhonian advocate

    A number of problems are shot through this well-written article, apart from the belief that honest Orthodoxy will even consider ANY Anglican ‘church’ as legitmate, when the most recent missive to “Franky the First” has been so damning – and that’s ROME!


    Bp. Robinson seems a sane enough individual, but, knowing Ogles, and what remains of the AOC, they only hold to the first FOUR Councils- if that! They’re basically nothing more than ‘pseudo-Nestorians,’ or Low Church- no Church PECUSANS, if you draw the connections. Why would Robinson wish to join with the remnant of the AOC, and not the enlightened part!?

    A good Anglican pov on the Councils is here:

    As a cleric who loves the BCP, and all that Anglicanism stands for, (esp. when it is most English, most Catholic, and least Roman) I cannot believe a ‘low and broad’ approach will be helpful in the long run, any more than a Falkist Poping over scenario. For any and all attempts to ‘join ROCOR’ might be ‘beyond the pale’ wishful thinking, in that the now-merged ROCOR/MP are no better than the symbiotic WCC/Rome, as the first article above makes clear.

    And the ROCOR trads aren’t going to even look your way, if you don’t hold to the Councils- (all seven of them) as a bare minimum!

    Just sayin’…

    • Hello TA,
      I think WRO is important and will eventually come into play, but Anglicans have a mess to clean up first. If you know anything about early Methodism, or the SEC under the Kirk, it’s quite possible to be “low” in ceremonial yey ‘high’ in doctrine. Nonetheless, premature and asymmetric engagement usually concludes with Anglicans getting the short end of the stick. There was a time when the tables were turned, say, during the mid-19th century. I think more could be done with the Coptic church, and their so-called British Orthodox branch, than with ROCOR or Antioch. BOC was the direct descendant of W.R. Morgan’s Ancient British Church, so there’s a DNA commonality. I was briefly hopeful that APA would setup a ‘WR’ within their own jurisdiction, but, then again, APA is not one to make hard rules (unlike ROCOR). I prefer the first edition of the St. Tikhon BCP over the second. It’s too bad Lancelot Andrewes Press enlarged the earlier version. The first edition was more generous with regard to Anglican theology, imo. The odd thing is LA Press grossly modified the first edition of Tikhon’s liturgy yet are selling unabridged copies of John Neale’s Psalter Commentary. Sincerely, Charles

  3. An Awkward Aardvark

    While I understand your dislike of Anglo-papalism, as an old high churchman with catholic leanings, I am equally disturbed by ACNA’s non-Anglican churches. Many ignore any form of BCP worship and look non-denominational. What is your take on it and how can the remnant of UEC reawaken BCP Catholicism?

    Also, where can I get a copy of the first edition of Tikhon’s liturgy? Alright, one more question, do you think any sort of union with the Orthodox is possible, or even something good to seek?

    Greatly admire your work in this troublesome and confusing time as an Anglican.

    • Hello Aardvark,
      My primary concern is the future of North American Anglicanism. Unfortunately, ACNA is a significant part of that future simply because it’s the largest Anglican body outside of TEC, with ties to the Global South as well as counterparts in England and Australia. So, I think more can be gained by interacting with ACNA than avoiding it.

      That said, I have never wanted a merging of continuing churches into ACNA. What I’ve advocated is seizing the opportunity of ACNA ministry partnerships. These partnerships can be had with either the entire ACNA or select (more orthodox) sub-jurisdictions therein (like Quincy or the REC, etc.). FACA offers a possibility, and currently you can find APA, DHC, and ACA congregations on the ACNA’s church locator.

      Here’s an opinion by a recent observer about the viability of working within liberal churches. In ACNA, it’s a 50/50 split on the woman priestess question, yet anti-WO tend to have the upperhand committee-wise. Perhaps Trueman’s advice is appropriate:

      “‘Stay in as long as they let you preach the gospel in your own pulpit’ is a catastrophic failure…. Unless the orthodox in mixed denominations are actively working to exert influence at those points where denominational power is concentrated and exerted – the committees, the synods/assemblies, the seminaries etc. – their influence will not rise beyond the local church and whatever informal networks they develop within the broader church.”

      What is the role of UEC? Maybe UEC could do something with FACA. However, right now the UE is re-energizing the Anglican Conference, creating a gravity for Protestant and Protestant-leaning Anglican bodies, most of whom pre-date 1977. I think this path of unity has priority over other schemes. If UE and allies later hitched themselves to FACA, they might cue-up the older APA-REC agreement. That may pull APA toward a Settlement rather than a Tractarian basis of churchmanship. What APA does with its 1995 Solemn Declaration will determine a lot.

      It’s my opinion APA has always been that “original province”. Sadly, APA will not keep its ’95 Solemn Declaration unless encouraged by other churches not of the FiF or ACC-mold. Not only does the future of the continuum pivot upon APA but likely the fate of the 1928 BCP (increasingly, only continuing churches use the 1928). So, my hope is the UEC can eventually have a positive effect on APA, and I believe this in turn might benefit ACNA if not larger Anglicanism.

  4. Interesting… Bp. Chandler Jones recently deleted the links he had at ‘Philorthodox’ to Anglican Rose and our family Oratory… 😦 I’ve also noticed the ACC has omitted all mention of the Reber-Haverland agreement. They use to have a special page up on it. Gone.

  5. An Awkward Aardvark

    This is off-topic but I don’t know where else to ask, and I value your opinion Charles. What is our Anglican objections to the Eastern Orthodox? It is curious to me that Article XIX omits Constantinople as the only Patriarchal See not having erred.

  6. I am favorable to the Eastern Orthodox, but I believe any present engagement will be lopsided given the disarray of the Anglican church. If we can clean up our mess, I think a parity could be had. So, I tend not to want to put the cart before the horse. Of course, there was a time when the relationship between the Greek and British churches were equal. The loss of the first edition the St. Tikhon liturgy was unfortunate. In the end, liberalism will burn itself out, and then you’ll see the Anglican tree regrow. Patience?

    • Nearer than the Eastern Orthodox, I believe, are the Marthomites of Kerala. Already in communion with Anglicans, they are both eastern and evangelical. Reformed in similar ways, Anglican and Marthomite churches might support each other more readily than Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians.

  7. Though I never felt merger was necessary between Protestant continuing Anglicans (judging confederations or conferences sufficient), I am happy for this one announced by Bp. Robinson on Facebook, July 19th:

    “At its 2014 Diocesan Convention, meeting today in Hastings, MI, the Diocese of the Great Lakes (not to be confused with the ACNA entity of the same name) voted unanimously to affiliate with the UECNA. We would like to welcome Bishop Hustwick and his and people into the UECNA family, and we look forward to working with them to build up the kingdom of God.”

    This represents a deepening of the old alliance forged by Albion Knight between UEC and DGL. I believe we can expect the UEC to continue this ‘realignment’, restoring the prior-Albion Knight orientation of churches. This might include former partners of Anglican Church, Inc. as well as the APA and REC. The Anglican Church was a confederation cobbled together by Walter Adams. Bp. Adams was the Archbishop of old-AECNA which was the earliest continuing church on the West Coast, started in 1972. The AECNA represented the Western-half of the American Episcopal Church, now known as APA. In the 1990’s it did quite a bit of cooperation with Knight’s UECNA.

    DGL comes into UECNA as an affinity diocese but in time will become geographical. This is a plan APA has already used to incorporate similarly small ecclesiastical bodies like Shaver’s ARSA as well as Lousille’s DCKM. At the 2014 DGL convention, the Presiding Bishop of AECUSA was present, delivering encouraging words regarding the new alignment midst discussion upon UECNA affiliation. The DGL website explains,

    “Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Episcopal Church George Conners and Betty Swanson of the AEC Standing Committee were honored guests at the DGL Synod. Bishop Conners spoke to the Synod about the need for Anglican “continuing church” unity.”

    Conner is third from the left, top row
    [Above: Hutswick first from the left. Conner is fourth]

    Overall, such an alliance between UEC, DGL, AECUSA, ACUSA, and AOC would amount to about 40 parishes. In the continuing world, that’s substantial,– about a third of the size of present-day APA or ACC. It’s also the equivalent size of most individual ACNA dioceses, affinity or otherwise. Not something to ignore.

    I will not be surprised if the UEC proves itself a bridge between RE and APA, providing a counterweight to the rigid anglo-catholicism of ACC while adding another cord to the RE-DEUS compact, otherwise known as FACA. In that scenario, RE-DEUS might be pulled away from 7/7 formulas toward a classic Solemn Declaration, having ripple effects throughout North America if not beyond.

  8. Confirmed by Walter Spaulding: AB Haverland plans to observe and perhaps even address the 2016 Anglo-Catholic Congress, but the ACC will refrain from further participation. The ACC has done this with FiFNA, FACA, and even the Bartonville conference prior. Anglican Rose suspects the Anglo-Catholic Congress and TAC-US will be two different creatures, though perhaps having overlap mainly through APA. The REC’s expected involvement at the Congress will likely keep the ACC at a distance. This self-exclusion could also happen with TAC-US if APA (re)commits itself too deeply with ACNA-related churches… It will be interesting to see if ACC or FiF prove the greater gravity for APA, ultimately determining the alignment of the continuing churches in the states.

  9. No. I think Bp. Morse has managed to unhinge PCK’s fortunes from both ACC and APA. Consequently, PCK is its own ecclesiastical entity, yet it’s in contention with ACC over original jurisdiction. PCK agrees with the essentials of the Athen’s Statement, but it disagrees over which jurisdiction was canonically genuine. The Athen’s Statement pushes Cyprian ecclesiology to an extreme, conveniently leaving Morse and Mote the only “valid episcopate” for Anglicans in the world. UEC lacks “intent” because Doren, and especially Knight, formed it under a flawed perception of the Bishopric. In my opinion the ACC and PCK are irrelevant since each have equally isolated themselves from larger Anglicanism. Worst, they serve as bridge churches to Rome or the East.

  10. An Awkward Aardvark

    Just read on the ACNA Facebook group per Fr. Wells of the Continuum blog,that Archbishop Haverland of the ACC is attending the investiture of Archbishop Foley Beach.

    I would have bet the farm against that ever happening.

    • Recently the Free Church of England’s bishop primus, the Rt Rev. John Fenwick, visited the Marthomites in India. In the major metropolitan areas of the United States, cooperating with the Marthomites would help counterbalance the Anglo-Catholic wing while also solidifying Anglicans’ catholic and episcopalian identity; it would also help us look outward and keep an international view of Protestant solidarity.

    • In any case, I am glad that Archbishop Haverland is willing to associate with ACNA.

  11. What!?! LOL. Fr. Wells is a credible source, but I’d like to read the comment myself. With Bp. Scarlett making the rounds as the ACC’s ‘evangelical poster-boy’, the loss of the UEC (that hurt), and the recent FiF push for an international Catholic Congress (which may include partners the ACC wouldn’t mind cultivating– like PNCC and Union Scranton), perhaps the ACC has realized their isolation ineffective. Well’s many words of abuse toward ACNA and REC now seem to be loosing their sincerity…? Wells was one of the most anti-ACNA and anti-RE clerics I knew a year or two ago. Thanks for posting and how this upcoming Catholic International pans out will be very interesting. It looks like FiF is coming to the driver’s seat, but I hope the Congress doesn’t become a distraction for the small Protestant Anglican groups who are in the midst of pulling together.

  12. An Awkward Aardvark

    They set a date, but which jurisdictions will attend outside if FiFNA? http://www.fifna.org/news-events/international-anglican-catholic-congress/

  13. There’s been some talk to bill the Congress as ‘Reformed Catholic’ in order to bring in more ‘evangelical’ jurisdictions, like REC. My gut feeling is RE will attend regardless while there may be some pressure on UECNA to do the same. The problem with UECNA’s appearance at an ‘Anglican Catholic Congress’ is such may upset the ecumenical partners UE has recently been breaking ice with, e.g., AOC and AECUSA. At this point, I’m not sure what evangelicals would gain by attending a Congress dominated by Anglo-Catholics. Moreover, I doubt we’ll see any of the ACNA evangelicals like CANA or PEARUSA attend– although neither ordain women priests. There are bigger events on the horizon which most Anglicans are neither prepared nor receptive about, mainly the break up of the United Methodist Church. At least ,the UM’s fall-out would be huge for Protestants in the USA, giving energy to conservative evangelicals in general. Hence, I wonder why RE doesn’t invest more in the ACNA’s Ecumenical Council rather than placing so many chips in FiF? To say the least, there’s a real gap to fill in North American Protestant Anglicanism.

  14. Charles, I have long felt that a pairing with conservative Methodists and truly Reformed Anglicans would be huge. I attended several years ago a Methodist Church in my area – and I could not help but think what this could do for Reformed Anglicanism – bringing together the best of Methodist preaching with a true Reformed worhsip

    • Jehovah Bless you Kevin! What you describe is dear to my heart. I believe conservative Methodists would be a great counterweight to encroaching Anglo-catholicism. There are some very conservative Methodists groups that left the mainline during the 1960’s that would make fine allies in the culture war. A number of these groups, though independent from UMC for many years, have some very interesting connections to conservative UMC through non-parochial ministries. Wesleyan Bible Seminary in Jackson Mississippi is an example. As you know, Methodists have retained a surprising amount of the evangelical Anglican heritage, and those that are open to historical persuasion can’t avoid the Anglican font to their discipline and articles. I also think Anglicans are open to new forms of polity that include Bishops but are not necessarily diocesan, and that’s exciting given many of our conflicts with Protestant dissent has really been over secondary aspects of episcopal office.

  15. An Awkward Aardvark

    The Continuum continues to realign itself: http://anglicancatholic.org/announcements/81

    • Realignment can be a very, very slow process. A few points, Awkward Aardvark, about the ACC and, getting back to an earlier comment of yours (which I missed), the UMC.

      The future of any rapprochement between APA-ACA and ACC will depend on what is said at the upcoming FiFNA International Catholic Congress. Haverland will be giving an address there, likely repeating earlier calls for ‘double non-involvement’– obviously in contradistinction to FiF’s ‘maximum communion’ policy. Yet, Grundorf is predisposed to FiF and elements of GAFCON, so he’s unlikely to break ties. What we are probably seeing with the wooing of APA-ACA, or for that matter HCC, is a return of clergy who originally departed ACC, following either Falk or Kleppinger. While ACA is much closer theologically to ACC, DEUS has its own identity independent of the St. Louis Congress, and I don’t see it disappearing as a moderate continuing church, open to ties with GAFCON or larger Anglicanism. A lot of this is hype by ACC after loosing the Reber-Haverland accord. They are trying to recover lost ground, an example being Haverland’s presence at the consecration of Bp. Foley Beach. I don’t take it seriously since the real question is if ACC can substantially include Evangelicals, as Bp. Robinson asks, or if they’d like to recline their Athen’s Statement (where ‘double non-involvement’ stems). Otherwise, it’s a lot of window dressing.
      Haverland-Reber Accord, RIP

      The UMC implosion is ecclesiastically way bigger than any so-called International Catholic Congress, and I am amazed there are so few Anglicans following it. Continuing Anglicans have neglected otherwise natural ties with Methodists who left UMC during the 60’s and 70’s. Some of these independent Methodists have relations to conservative UMC that might prove handy, making something of an emerging affinity network. Methodism might also be a counterweight, imo, to neo-Tractarianism (or the “new Oxford Movement”) which seems to be trending as a ‘reflexively stupid’ answer to WO and other liberal impositions. Among the continuing churches, UECNA, AOC, and the Anglican Diocese of the Good Shepherd (ADoGS) are probably the only jurisdictions capable of making such a rapport. I have not spoken about ADoGS, but it has a couple churches from old-AECNA, and their Southeast Bishop gives substantial ministerial support to UMC congregations in Georgia as well as their own 1928 BCP parish in FL. Most continuing clergy have been direly negligent in making similar friendships with confessional Wesleyans? Yet, methodism, especially its historical expression, is probably the single denomination that never fully identified with Dissent and has kept a good margin of commonality with Evangelical Anglicans, the former adopting most of the American BCP by 1915 and even more in 1939. Moreover, Methodists numerics are large in the USA, approaching something of a national religion (while Anglicanism can add a needed historical context to Wesleyanism).

      • Living in the Bible Belt and coming from the UMC, I’m not as optimistic that traditional UMC members will provide a counterweight to bolstering traditional Anglican numbers. The theology and worship of today’s UMC has left the great heritage of Wesley. A terrible and tragic shame.

      • No. I’m not for methodists ecclesiastically joining Anglican churches. What I’m hoping to see is a development of relationships based on congregational independence or consociation. Most UMC are liberal, but what I’ve noticed about a minority among conservative UMC is a desire to connect with the historic person of Wesley. Whenever this happens, and an authentic historical interest takes hold, there’s opportunity to know Wesley as a churchman. That’s the critical gap Anglicanism could fill, and frankly I believe both Methodism and Anglicanism really have desperate need for one another. Anglicanism can get too caught up in clericism and sacramentals while Methodism tends the opposite way. If the two can somehow inform one another, both would benefit. I believe such a scenario might lurk around the corner after a UMC break-up. We could also see fallout from UMC into the socially conservative methodist groups like SMC, MPC, and AIM. I think these bodies might eventually make excellent partners for low church or evangelical Anglicans. As said above, there are a handful of Anglicans who fill this bill– some already supplying methodists pulpits– and they could actually plant the exact relationship I’m trying to outline. Perhaps some of the ADoSG for example. Lately, Bp. Robinson has been leaning in a similar ‘methodistic’ direction, wanting UE to embrace greater lay agency, bible literacy, etc.. Most of UMC is little of interest to me. I’m talking about what might happen in a relatively small, yet vitally important, milieu. Most of this milieu are separatists from the 60’s and 70’s liberalism– so pretty socially conservative, imo.

  16. The British Orthodox is a travesty of post-Anglican proportion. Also men have claimed a ‘catholic’ faith over a pretended Protestant declaration of Socinianism despite an academics intellectualism and the ideals of the Reformed.

  17. Turns out the larger continuing churches (APA-ACA) will be find a way to realignment through FACA not FCA per se. Not sure how I missed the role of FACA in my earlier article on Donlon’s Bubbles! If the recent logo for the Catholic International Congress of Anglicans is any indication, looks like FACA is essentially synonymous with APA and ACA. Notice the fused APA and ACA cross in the left-hand blue field. Lastly, REC is fast melting its differences with FiF as well as the rest of Anglo-Catholicism. Today, there are very few places for low church, evangelical Anglicans to go since Anglo-Catholicism has nearly swallowed everything that passes for mildly conservative. There will be no swing-back for APA while joined to the FiF crowd, I am afraid. My hope is UEC can partner with remaining Prot continuing Anglicans. With AEC joining UE as a non-geographic diocese, all that remains is a formal relation with the Convocation of the Good Shepherd– Melvin Pickering’s jurisdiction. AOC is a bit complicated by their International Communion, and in the USA amounts to no more than 2 or 3 churches. After that, it will be up to the old Prot Anglicans to grow and find ties with non-Anglican evangelicals, imo, and then we’ll have something politically substantial.
    New FACA flag?

    • An Awkward Aardvark

      Did you notice the list of speakers? I’m still shocked Archbishop Haverland will be attending, much less speaking. I suspect this conference may launch the much rumored “Anglican SCOBA.”

      • Hello Aardvark,
        Haverland’s address to the Congress will likely clarify his relationship to realignment Anglicans, especially the FiF bishops who are part of ACNA. Haverland will probably restate criteria already enunciated at Brockton and Victoria, as well as in scattered statements elsewhere. FIFNA’s move toward a seven/seven scheme in their declaration will be well-received by Haverland, but he will want further precision regarding the episcopate and sacraments, surely along lines of the ACC C&C, St. Louis Affirmation, and Athen’s statement. Therefore, we might see some limited participation by the ACC in the near future, but nothing formal so long as FIF and APA keep ties to ACNA. The big change will be with APA and ACA, not so much ACC, which will stick to its guns, yet perhaps in a more friendly tone.

        That said, FiF bishops are repeating Bartonville but on terms more favorable to tractarian Anglo-Catholicism or what has been called “the New Oxford Movement”. The same bishops had made clear that future collaboration with continuing churches will require further consolidation or unity among CC. FACA is being used as the vehicle for such, yet FACA is also being transformed by the ACA-APA merger, and I think this Congress will be an attempt to supersede the older FACA cocoon.

        The real question (for me as someone who sees the 39 Articles and Reformation Confessionalism as necessary to Anglican Identity) is what will happen to the Prot Anglicans, who do not necessarily identify with a resurgent Tractarianism/Ritualism, some of whom belong to the pre-1977 continuing church? The few who remain are rallying around Bp. Robinson and the UECNA. My expectation is such jurisdictions will gradually find levels of partnerships and projects for union over the next five years or so. Aside from UE, we are talking about ADoGS, elements inside the AOC as well as the CoV– maybe a total of 10 churches in all. This will represent, perhaps, a sifting between continuing evangelical and catholics, with evangelicals more or less on one side and catholics on the other. So, what you are witnessing is an event in a larger process of church alignments, but make no mistake the FiF bishops, not ACC, have the steering wheel of the emerging Congress or “New Oxford Movement”, and amazingly the REC is conforming itself with that total organization, and I doubt will be counted on the evangelical side as things progress.

        My last comment is this, and I will leave it hang: If the Prot Anglicans can come together, it may prove the ‘key’ to unlock conservative Methodism (not UMC really). A realignment is coming in American methodism that will have a way bigger impact on the Church in the USA than any prior break up of any mainline church or new currents arising in EO or RC. But that depends on what continuing Prot-Anglicans “do” now, so we’ll see.

  18. An Awkward Aardvark

    I’m afraid Prot-Anglicans are so few and far between (I don’t have any of the jurisdictions you mentioned within 200 miles) that conservative Methodism will carry on as slightly higher church form of Southern Baptists. At least here in the Southeast that is how I see things progressing.

    • Brother, what I’m proposing is an asymmetric strategy where influence is disproportional to actual size. Key is to make contact with conservative methodists who left UMC for basically the same reasons as the continuing churches did in the sixties and seventies– and only those methodist bodies that are comparable in size. I’m thinking of relatively small methodist churches like ECNA, MPC, AIM, and SMC. These jurisdictions in turn already have established relationships with some conservative UMC and others that could be leveraged.

      The one thing I notice when liberalism hits rock bottom is folks tend to look back to their past or ‘tradition’. In the case of Wesley, the Church of England and the Anglican ministry is unavoidable. But who can fill in those gaps better than Prot-Anglicans if they are ready? The one thing I’m ready to admit is Anglicans in general are too small to register on the national level regardless of party. However, in terms of shear numbers, Methodism has always been nigh close to a national church for the USA and only a hairs breath from Anglicanism at times. It is culturally ‘American’ and will remain so. I must write about this subject, I suppose, to be more convincing, and I will.

      Anyway, in the continuum there is quickly emerging two rally points: the FIF-endorsed APA-ACA (w/ ACC currently hovering about it); and the UECNA for continuing evangelicals who’ve been left on a limb until now. The ACC will not be content as a hanger-on or subsumed under FiF or APA formula, so there is a good probability it will hope to impress itself as a third rally point vis-a-vis the other two. But for now ACC plans have been significantly set back!

  19. Haverland and Grundorf are Wed and Thursday speakers at the Congress for evening prayer service. It can be read af the very bottom of the current Congress itinerary. The Congress seems dominated by realignment (REC and FiF) Anglicans. Safe to say “tough crowd”. Some of Bp. Hewett’s earlier, maybe giddy, comments about joint synods and PNCC, etc., apparently have been dropped at the FACA page, and though PNCC land the Old Catholics appear absent, the chancellor and former Anglican of St. Vladimir’s seminary will also speak. Looks like the congress will be reported at both AnglicanTV and Virtue Online.

  20. The comments about the joint synods and PNCC of the FACA page have just been moved to under the Documents tab. It looks like they are just making room to push the Catholic Congress. Thanks for all the great articles looking forward to the next one. Quick question what are all the acronyms for the Methodist Churches a few posts up? God Bless and Happy St Pattys day

    • Hi Tom, There is an article in the works, and the blog is not dead. ECNA= evangelcial church north america. SMC= Southern Methodist Church. MPC= Methodist Protestant Church. AIM= Association of Independent Methodists. Like the continuing church, these jurisdictions left the UMC during the sixties and seventies for basically the same reasons. The link to Anglicanism is whether they keep the 25 articles, still call themselves Wesleyan, and use an older hymnal. Most do. However, ECNA has no hymnal and allows their pastors to choose their own form of worship, for better or for worst. Most are centered in the South, but ECNA is Pacific Northwest. AIM has a seminary in Jackson MI that has relationships with Good News Methodists in UMC who are in turn collaborating with Sutton and cn. Ashley through IRD (=Institute of Religion and Democracy).

  21. Any news about what was discussed at the latest FACA meeting? Did Bishop Robinson attend it? Thanks again

    • Yes, the bottom line / good news is the APA-REC accord is alive and well. While I am very skeptical about what the ICCA bodes for North American Anglicanism (i.e., more anglo-catholicism or papism w/ 7/7 formulas), the silver-lining seems to be APA’s return to realignment Anglicanism and an overall strengthening of bonds with RE. That will send Haverland up the wall, and I expect his address to the congress to reflect such criticism. Nonetheless, this ‘bond’ was gained at some expense, I think, to RE identity. The result is a gap in ecumenical protestantism that I pray the UE can someday pick up, especially with same-size conservative Methodist jurisdictions like MPC and those I named above. Anyway, Bp. Robinson was greatly reassured by this meeting of FACA, and it sounds like if FACA sticks to its founding principles, it’s something he may have increasing interest. For those not using Facebook, here’s Robinson’s statement, and a shorter version may be found on the UE News section of their website.

      I have just returned from the Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas meeting in Katy, TX. I am pleased to say that, by contrast with last year’s meeting which kind of got up a back alley and never came out again, I am pleased to say that the 2015 meeting was very positive. The FACA also decided to reaffirm its commitment to Classical Anglicanism as was stated in its original ‘Commitments’ document of 2006. I was particularly relieved to see the group recommit to its First Commitment which runs as follows:

      “We share commitment to, and understanding of Anglican Identity that includes:
      The supremacy of Biblical authority that rises out of the relationship with Christ, Who is the Living Word of God.
      The necessity to conform to the historic formularies of Anglicanism in faith, worship, and discipleship including Classical Anglican Prayer Book Worship, and Ordinal (the historic threefold ministry.)
      Three Creeds and four undisputed Ecumenical Council
      The momentum of authentic Anglicanism to work and move towards unity with those who share these values
      Solidarity with the faithful Anglicans of the global South is spiritually more significant than direct Communion with Canterbury,”

      I am hoping that some of the co-operative spirit between Evangelicals and Catholics that I saw today carries through into the July meeting in Fort Worth.

  22. Sorry to keep making this post longer but do you think that this would be a possible option. http://michaeldeshanehinton.blogspot.com/2014/06/wesleyan-affinity-diocese.html

    • Hi Tom. Perhaps. I’d like to know more about this man’s theology. One thing to make clear: I don’t mean modern, so-called “Wesleyanism” which has been hard hit by liberalism and even anabaptism. That’s the stereotype many high church Anglicans likely fear. I’m talking about a genuine historical Methodism that brings Wesleyans to their ‘roots’, namely, the evangelical Anglican churchmanship of the 18th century. Nor am I sure if an affinity diocese is necessary. As we know, Wesley envisioned the Methodists as remaining in the Church of England, or, in our case, an Anglican church. So, Methodists might exist as a society within an Anglican church, but I don’t see the need for parallel diocese which basically defeats the purpose. I’m trying to model what Methodism might look like under like-minded Protestant Anglican church with Littlewood Chapel inside the UECNA. My concern with the DoJW is that it might be a weird mish-mash of anglo-papism with pentecostal / charismatic evangelicalism (aka. three streams). That’s not historic Wesleyanism in my opinion, nor is it Anglican, since it doesn’t take the 18th century or Wesley’s plan seriously.

  23. Bishop Robinson recently announced his cancellation at the international Catholic Congress. Various opinions have been expressed on Facebook. I personally see this as an attempt to keep UECNA independent, allowing room for its internal growth and development. Regardless, let’s keep in mind Bp. Robinson’s call to the continuing churches,

    “in January 2014, Bishop Robinson made an appeal to the leaders of other traditional Episcopal bodies to work for consolidation of the traditional Anglican work on the basis of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and traditional BCP within a single jurisdiction.”

    Folks disappointed with Bp. Robinson’s absence might recall Robinson has attended FACA for three consecutive years. While the Catholic Conference is FiF’s attempt to jockey anglo-catholics within GAFCON, using 7/ 7 formulae as a rally point, FACA has kept to a classical Anglican faith when it recently reaffirmed and clarified its 2006 statement — not only commending the 39 articles but four ecumenical councils. Given the difference between 7/ 7 and FACA’s statement of belief, is it any wonder why continuing Prot-Anglicans might prefer ecumenical participation in FACA rather than an International Catholic Congress?

    Furthermore, FACA was built upon the RE-DEUS accord, so its a body much closer to our peculiar track of history. Again, if there’s any jurisdiction representative of an “original province” among continuing churches, it’s the old-AEC/ DEUS. The APA may indeed return to its old-AEC roots, and such would be more likely if FACA benefited from an enlarged UECNA. Heck, that might even pull the REC back to its older Protestantism, ‘moved by jealousy’.

  24. Though the AOC has a sizeable footprint overseas, and small presence in North America, we are not as small as mentioned above. We have parishes in California, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, and North Carolina (in some cases, multiple ones). We have three parishes in Canada, and several in South America under Bishop Garth Neel of Regina, and Bishop Eduardo of Spain. The AOC has a lively Diocese headquartered in the Solomon Islands under the able and proven leadership of Bishop Legumana – Bishop of Melanesia and the Pacific Basin. We have long established churches in the Philippines, Pakistan, Africa, and have vibrant new churches in Serbia and Macedonia. We have mission churches in England.
    One clarification: I did not have the honor of consecrating Bishop Malcolm in England though invited to participate as a guest. Bishop Malcolm represents the strongest presence of the Reformation Church of England extant in England today, and a courageous and committed shepherd of the flock at St. Mary’s.

    • Hello Bishop Ogles,
      There are very few prot-Anglicans in the continuum, and I’ve tried to name the continuing Protestant-leaning jurisdictions above. The objective size of our movement does little to impress inquirers. The most promising partners in the ACNA are probably CANA and maybe REC. CANA seems to have filled in the gap for churchmen more nervous about rising Anglo-catholicism. The problem with the ACNA Prots, as I see it, is the lack of sustaining a traditional Protestant-Evangelical culture. By this, I mean, practices with family life, use of old hymns & metered psalms in worship, keeping the Lord’s Day as a Sabbath, reading from the Authorized version(s), and the general absence of a serious discipline or good habits like catechizing at home. In other words, the loosey-gooseyness of modern evangelical culture, which typically has strong charismatic overtones, tends to neglect the laity in a way ironically similar to the caste-like clericism of anglo-catholics. So, I don’t see the modern Evangelicals, though potentially more sympathetic to the English Reformation, as being altogether reliable or kindred with continuing Prot Anglicans such as Malcolm or, say, yourself. I pray the remaining traditional Prot-Anglicans can forge cooperation and partnerships, keeping one foot in our small ‘continuing Anglican’ milieu with another in larger North American Anglicanism. Moreover, I remain an admirer of Bp. James Dees, the history of old AOC, and its legacy for the pre-1977 continuing church. To me, this ‘legacy’ is a diminishing reserve of traditional Protestant Anglicanism in the States particularly capable of reminding the Anglo-Saxon descendants from churchmen and orthodox dissent their old pathways to Godliness.

  25. It looks like maybe just maybe the ACA and APA are heading to the ACC orbit.

    • AnAwkwardAardvark

      How so?

    • AnAwkwardAardvark

      Appears you are right Ken: http://www.virtueonline.org/continuing-anglican-churches-announce-formal-accord

      I’d love to hear the Anglican Rose’s thoughts, along with Archbishop Robinson’s. There will be two small united continuing groups with ACC leading the more Roman leaning continuers and UECNA leading the pre 1950 Protestants. Will or can they someday unite? Where is APCK – they are curiously absent despite being in ACC’s orbit. Hopefully the remaining outliers in the continuum will either join with ACC or UECNA to at least begin a more united front for the continuing churches.

      Meanwhile, ACNA faces a war on two fronts: WO and the Three Streams identity crisis.

  26. Hi Ken and Aardvark,

    That’s quite a lot of news to tackle. The APA has been moving up the candle stick for some time mostly due to the supply of clergy from spikier jurisdictions.

    There’s probably a couple things that could be said about this development. First, the rise of the APA in the continuum occurred a few years after the St. Louis Congress. When the St. Louis Affirmation was finally adopted by old-AEC, it was in qualified form illustrating their attachments to older “1950’s episcopalianism”. Indeed, the Athens statement describes the difference between ACC and ACA/APA this way. Meanwhile, the UECNA and APA had a similar agreement forged sometime in the early 1990’s (at a time when continuing episcopalians like AECNA were fraternizing) until Archbishop Reber finally killed it, mostly due to prejudice toward REC.

    The point being, APA has a broad church history. Arguably, this history remains active as shown by current relations with REC as well as Harverland’s recent ICC speech that complains of the same broad relationships as years’ previous. Not surprisingly, the partnerships ACC would like to shun will remain obstacles for substantial or official unity with APA. Unfortunately, ‘de facto’ communion doesn’t explain why ‘full communion’ hasn’t occurred, and it is more likely to remain an indefinite category.

    Secondly, Haverland’s tenacity demonstrates how a single jurisdiction can transform a larger milieu, especially impressive given the ups and downs of ACC influence. This shows what can be done with a well-applied and consistent vision. Regarding the UECNA, there really isn’t many Prot-Anglicans remaining in the continuum to ‘pick up’. They have either already found their way into CANA or UE. Much more could be said about this situation, but I defer to Bishop Robinson.

    Nonetheless, I personally hope that UE can begin looking at relationships with Protestants who have close histories with either the CoE or PEC. An example might be conservative methodists who left the UMC or MEC for the same reasons we left TEC. More realistically, for such partnerships to succeed, they need to be churches that are comparable in size to UE– say, 25 to 40 congregations. They also need a common ritual-culture. The latter would be true challenge, but it could be accomplished where methodists have retained a strong Wesleyan identity and Anglicans begin to resource their own Evangelical tradition, creating a new and desperately needed vector for both sides.

    I believe Bp. Robinson has been exploring Swedish Lutheranism, and there likely is something there as well, but I know far less about it.

  27. The United Episcopal Church has been quite successful in attracting other “low church evangelical” to “traditional broad church” continuing Anglican jurisdictions into its ecclesiastical family such the Diocese of the Great lakes and the Anglican Episcopal Church. No doubt Bishop Robinson is to be congratulated on his ministry as Presiding Bishop of the UECNA in helping to bring such positive outcomes to fruition. The UECNA is thus productively carving out a niche for itself in the world of North American Anglicanism as a genuinely “Classical Anglican” denomination.

    Charles, as you rightly point out a lot of protestant minded traditional Anglicans have already ended up in the United Episcopal Church or within the increasingly protestant/reformed/ evangelical oriented Convocation of Anglicans in North America ( CANA). As we know CANA is itself a family of three dioceses ( CANA East, CANA West and the Missionary Diocese of the Trinity) and a special jurisdiction for chaplains, within the wider Anglican Church in North America. Belonging to ACNA gives CANA recognition by numerically large swathes of the global Anglican Communion and thus considerable appeal to many.

    Aardvark, as you correctly observed the ACNA has considerable weakness derived from trying to straddle both sides of the women’s ordination debate and also by embracing the contradictory “Three Streams” approach to Anglican identity. These are two problems which the UECNA simply does not have and which must give it considerable appeal to classical Anglicans looking for a denominational safe harbour.

    What do you guys think about the possibility of the UECNA and the Anglican Orthodox Church working more closely together or even merging? This would establish a significant “Classical Anglican” counterbalance to the “Anglo-Catholic” agenda and influence of the Anglican Catholic Church on North American continuers. The UECNA would boost the North American presence of the AOC and the AOC would provide an international communion for the UECNA. Such a global, traditional, evangelical ,protestant, classical Anglican denomination would also no doubt be well positioned to welcome home conservative Wesleyan believers who wanted to follow the admonition of blessed Charles and John Wesley to remain within the Anglican fold. Is such a dream with the realms of possibility? Thanks in advance for your insights and observations guys.

  28. I think the die is cast for reunion of the ACC, ACA and APA. All three are very close in churchmanship, liturgical practices and general theological outlook. Many of the “old guard” are passing away and so is any residual animosity. The only two sticking points I see is the APA’s close relationship with the REC, and the several divorced and remarried bishops in the APA. However, I believe Bishop Grote was at the ACC Provincial synod last year. In fact, all the major players of the three groups were there and I suspect they had many conversations about laying aside differences and walking together. Perhaps a way has been found to have friendly relations with the REC after a reunion.

    I don’t know if Bp. Robinson was invited to the Synod (almost assuredly he was) but his absence indicates a different path for the UECNA (as an alternative, though I hesitate to bring it up, could finances be a problem). The path Greg pointed out sounds reasonable.

    I myself have been in three separate groups/jurisdictions, an independent parish formerly associated with the UECNA, the ACC and now the APA. I just don’t see enough differences to justify the separations, at least on the parish level. Theologically, that’s another question.

  29. AnAwkwardAardvark


    I have wondered also about why the UECNA doesn’t try to form a merger with the OAC and AOC? I must confess I am not familiar with either body, but it appears from the AOC website they might be more Anglo-Catholic. I see the EMC being another good partner for merging with the UECNA and wonder if it would ever occur.

    Charles & Ken,

    I think it is interesting that the ACC would unite with the APA and ACA, given their affiliation as partners with ACNA. I agree with Ken that CANA is serving as the best representative of classical Anglicanism. Could the UECNA potentially become partners with CANA?

    Additionally, where is the REC in all of this? They have gone from Presbyterians with prayer books to classically Anglican to flirting with Anglo-Catholicism. It sounds as though the ACC looks down their nose on them but APA has an accord with the REC and they work together in FACA.

    What wretched alphabet-soup and alliances continuing Anglicanism is; who can save this ecclesial mess? Thanks be to God, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

    Finally, Charles I have always liked your idea of UECNA serving as a “Protestant Union” of sorts, that accomplishes what the Savoy Conference failed to do – a comprehensive Biblical church that draws Non-conformists into the fold under the prayer book and formularies. I do not know how receptive the Wesleyans will be, but would add to the list to reach out to conservative Lutherans and Presbyterians, preferably those who are also continuing their traditions after the great schisms the 1960’s and 1970’s brought. I think these talks should occur through some sort of consultative body, such as an American Protestant Association that invites confessional bodies together to discuss their real differences and any possibility of real union.

  30. I worshipped at an AOC parish on Bryson City, NC one Christmas Eve several years ago. It was a very high ritual service (incense and all). Oops, sorry that was OAC (Orthodox Anglican Church), just checked Google.

    Regarding CANA, Aardvark, I don’t know anything about them and I am leery of any group associated with ACNA until they positively reject priestesses.

    • Yeah, CANA has cultural differences with UECNA and RE.. more happy clappy.

      • AnAwkwardAardvark

        Charles, a penny for your thoughts on the EMC?

      • Hello Awkward Aardvark, I don’t have much to say about EMC except it’s part of FACA, and I think the UEC has few ecumenical options with other Anglicans besides the Federative Union. FACA would admit the benefits of realignment without any formal commitment to either REC or APA (the two main Federative partners), et. al..

  31. Anyway, it would be nice for the UECNA and AOC to join hands in a classical Anglican alignment.

    I don’t know if overtures to non-episcopal Reformation groups would have any kind of success at unity, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least talk.

  32. yes, REC is turning slowly anglo-catholic despite the Cummin’s Declaration. Is there a possibility that conservatisim may be expressed aside from anglo-catholicism or Romanism? Though the two have largely become synonymous, Protestantism needn’t be liberal, and I think James P. Dees proved this with the old-AOC and their revival of Reformation principles.

    Alignment with AOC seems most natural considering Ogles recent involvement with the Church of England (Continuing) and Charles Doren’s earlier making of it. I see most benefit with AOC on a parish-to-parish basis rather than relating to the entire international communion. I believe the UEC has tried to avoid international communions with a focus on the States and sometimes Canada.

    I’ve been told Bishop Doren originally envisioned UEC as a relatively local body, bound to the Ohio Valley or Old Northwest. At this point, there’s not a whole the UECNA can do with the remaining continuum. Prot-Anglicans are few and far between, and I think the best direction is for the UE to begin to look toward non-Anglican Protestants, filling a gap that the RE has left behind.

    This might create a new vector that could gradually inspire APA and RE to make an volte-face from ritualism since they seem moved by ecumenical opportunity rather than by formal declarations, like the Cummin’s or St. Louis ones, etc.. Compared to APA and present-day RE, the ACC is much more of a confessional body with dogmatic stakes on the St. Louis platform. This will probably slow, if not kill, unity efforts, and this is why I don’t expect much from ACC stage-walking.

  33. Bp. Robinson gives his assesment, evidentally not putting too much stalk in APA-ACC unity, i.e., Keep calm, carry on! http://www.theoldhighchurchman.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-accidental-dissenter.html

      • Hi Awkward Aardvark, Not really recent news, but it, along with the ICC gathering, forces me admit some mistakes. In sum, I assumed FACA was more or less a creation of the REC-APA accord. What I missed was the role FiF bishops played at Bartonville as a preliminary venture. I believe FACA has been turned over to the ACC by +Ackerman, et. al..

        Three years ago I would have thought this inconceivable, but, at this point, I am persuaded it was one of many backroom deals had at last year’s ICC which now comes to fruition. Basically, I was blind to what I surmise is the arching influence of FiFNA, so I’m reassessing FACA’s value, ends, and purposes, etc.. In otherwords, I am reassessing the APA-REC’s compact since it probably never was independent, and even fifteen years ago it may have been part of a bigger alignment toward FiF or a resurgent anglo-catholic movement in North America.

        Anyway, with FACA essentially handed over to Haverland (i.e., dead for the time being), there is very little left for UECNA, in my opinion, to align with aside from building dialogue with non-Anglican protestants. Diocese of the Good Shepherd (DoGS) and AOC would probably happen on a parish to parish basis without larger interface, etc.. That said, I have a personal affection for DoGS. I would like to see something salvaged from FPEC, but I think Bp. Steve Murrell is the best we can reclaim from that venerable body… and he’s already UE.

    • AnAwkwardAardvark


      I have never heard of this umbrella group until today but it claims to have started in 2010 and encompasses the ACC and ACNA along with other Presbyterian denominations. It is a very well done website, but is this a real group and is ACC really a member with ACNA, much less these Presbyterian denominations?

      Very interesting if it pans out.

      • AnAwkwardAardvark

        Correction, it claims members from those denominations are affiliated with this umbrella group.

      • Gregory R Anderson

        Hi Aardvark,
        I too came across that website and was very puzzled by it. I couldn’t fathom the ACC, which is predominately “traditional Anglo-Catholic,” belonging to such an entity as the Reformed Communion. Your second comment seems to have solved the mystery though, in that the organisation claims to includes members from those different jurisdictions, not the jurisdiction themselves. Thank you for that resolution to the mystery as I was quite confused by it. 🙂

        Off on a different tangent, a couple of weeks ago Anglican Ink carried a story about the REC Diocese of the West, ( formerly part of the APA), merging to become a convocation within the ACNA’s Missionary Diocese of All Saints. Additionally, according to the report of the 109th Synod of the REC Diocese of Mid-America, ( on their Diocesan website), the REC Diocese of Western Canada and Alaska has ceased to exist as a full diocese in the REC/ACNA and has instead become the Convocation of Western Canada within the REC/ACNA Diocese of Mid-America.

        There appears to be some interesting reshuffling going on within the REC to ensure that all of their dioceses meet the canonical requirements of membership in the ACNA.

        The former REC Diocese of the West have completely changed their website to reflect their new status as a convocation with the ACNA’s Missionary Diocese of All Saints but the last time I checked the former REC Diocese of Western Canad and Alaska have’t changed their website at all. Am just wondering if there is more than meets the eye going on here?

      • I wonder if there is some discontent with REC Churches over the direction of ACNA ? Would be interesting to see if some of those churches end up in UEC ?

  34. Haverland is politically formidable, and I assumed he could be ignored once the UE-ACC accord finally died. UECNA is the only sizable traditional-Protestant witness, both formally and informally, among continuing Anglicans in North America.

    • I think that then the UEC now needs to step up to the plate and consolidate the few stragglers into UEC. Maybe BP. Ogles group – and the Anglican Church In Virginia ??

      • When APA moves forward with this intercommunion agreement with ACC, there may indeed be a “few stragglers” coming to UECNA. There’s still some old-AEC DNA inside APA. If RE continues in the anglo-catholic direction, likely more will come. Yes, talks with the constituency in AOC and CoV wouldn’t hurt either. But UECNA will be a holdout and probably be the best bet on turning things around for traditional (1928 BCP) Protestants in North America. FACA is dead for the foreseeable future– at least until ACC fever ebbs, and that will probably take quite a while. Meanwhile, I would like to see the non-geographic AEC diocese inside UEC further develop. It’s a shame Bp. Irons from DoGS couldn’t have been part of that project. He came close, though.

      • If UECNA has the vision and the flexibility to plant confessing churches, and actually succeeds through home chapels, campus ministries, and ‘circuit riders’ in reaching those who have not heard the gospel, I think the rest will follow.

  35. Lue-Yee, You hit the nail on the head. Ecumenicism w/ Prot Continuers has basically dried up. There’s not a ton of options left besides focusing on mission plus discipleship within the UE, and what you describe basically goes back to colonial Anglicans persevering in the Virginian wilderness– insanely large parishes with many scattered & small congregations throughout, the whole under the distant oversight of the missionary diocese of London, and church societies like SPG picking up the slack giving lay initiatives a great deal of liberty, etc..

  36. A protestant, reformed, evangelical communion of Continuing Anglicans including the United Episcopal Church, the Anglican Orthodox Church, the Church of England (Continuing), the Anglican Church of Virginia and the Evangelical Connexion of the Free Church of England would certainly posses some institutional gravity and provide a substantial ecclesiastical umbrella for local confessing Continuing Anglican congregations ( and individuals and families) to gather under, and engage in, the main task of preaching, teaching and living the Gospel and calling people to repent and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    • Greg, That’d be an awesome alignment! Non-Anglican protestants might be a simultaneous step. I’d like to see the development of an anglo-methodist wing within the Protestant rump of the continuum. For that to happen, historical Wesleyanism would have to be related to the irenic aspects of Laudianism. That’s something I’d like to iron out at this blog.

  37. Kevin D makes the interesting observation about some Reformed Episcopal Church congregations possibly joining the UECNA over concern with where the Anglican Church in North America is going. My observation is based purely upon visiting websites and not local parishes and missions but is the REC Diocese of the Southeast more loyal to the original vision of the REC and its founding documents than the other REC dioceses in the USA? The other dioceses , especially that of Mid-America, seem to be theologically and liturgicaly more akin to moderate “prayerbook catholicism” whereas the south east seems to be a more evangelical (and historic) expression of the REC. I’m just thinking out loud and would welcome advice/critique in regards to my statement. Thanks in advance guys.

    • I always thought the REC jumped the gun on joining the ACNA. If I was a member and with the continued uncertainty over women’s ordination in that body, I’d be seriously irrate.

    • AnAwkwardAardvark


      I have wondered the same. REC and UECNA would be a productive merger. I wish other small traditional Protestant Anglican jurisdictions would seek union with UECNA.

      • AnAwkwardAardvark

        Actually, I think the Anglican Orthodox Church and UECNA would be a more productive merger.

      • The AOC and the UECNA would notionally be a good merger. But I hear the AOC has some toxic personalities.

      • Just want to stress I don’t think AOC or REC would work as a merger with UE. AOC has an international communion the UE probably wants to avoid. REC is in a theological drift towards anglo-catholicism and FiF that likely makes the Presiding Bishop a bit nervous. Instead, consider other ways to approach these jurisdictions: REC thru FACA (w/ minimal unity) and AOC thru cooperation with the CoE(C). Neither are mergers, but they open doors to more active relationships. There is a tightwire, however; some static exists between FCE and CoE(C) that could negate one or the other relation.

  38. Greg, Ken, and Aardvark, Is there any way I could send you some newsletter copies by snail mail w/ cover letter in order to follow up on a few things we’ve discussed? My email address is ueprochapel@gmail.com. Thanks!

  39. How does everyone feel about the recent meeting for the Global South? Do you think that continuers could begin to form some type of friendship/partnership with them?

  40. Have a feeling, for those interested, relations with AOC are best served by mutual cooperation with the Church of England (continuing), for example both Bishops (AOC and UE) observing the CoE(C) convention. Relations with APA and REC would likely be found through FACA, minus the International Catholic Congress. Eventually, I suspect the New Oxford movement (which has taken over FACA more or less) will burn itself out, especially with ACC involved. ACC will gradually push for their C&C, chasing others away. Relations to FCE might also occur through FACA but by REC in particular. This is an alignment that could work over time and seems the most likely.

  41. Can you do another post and update about what the playing field looks like for the Continuing Anglican and ACNA/GAFCON playing field looks like now? If anyone has any comments or updates I’d love to hear them.
    God Bless

  42. Hello Greg and Tom,
    Thanks for asking. I don’t have much to add except what’s already been stated. The ACC will lead the formation of the Joint-Synod and, one way or another, will push for recognition as the Original Province with a strong position on the St. Louis Affirmation (those points other than merely WO). That’ won’t be too sustainable, and the Joint Synod will fall back to essentially FACA. Basically, a waste of time. I’m a bit more concerned about ACNA. FiFNA is more dynamic, and you may see parts of it leaving for the Joint Synod, wanting a relation to Old Catholicism, etc.. Though I think WO will cause some jurisdictional shuffling in ACNA, I think ACNA as an entity will persist almost indefinitely without reform. The big question for me is if GAFCON will formally break from Lambeth, and if Africa or Sydney will become a new center. I think caution is in order because Lambeth still has a cultural value that will be needed in the future. Conservatives often throw the baby out with the bathwater in the quests for purity, and there’s more to a denomination than their paper documents. That said, I don’t find ACNA, even its anti-WO partners, very conservative since I believe we have more serious problems than WO or feminism. So, not impressed. Another interesting factor will be the likely fallout of milk-toast moderates from TEC as their radical fringe revises the 1979 BCP. Not sure how that might play out, effecting ACNA or not. I will write another UEC Convention post as soon as the UE has a national convention in the West. The convention is rotated through the Districts and Dioceses of the church. It hasn’t come our way since 2014, but I have been consistently attending the annual District convocations, either in person or by letter, held in Prescott as well as Tucson. I’ve written about our meetings in AZ in the Harbinger Newsletter— a circuit publication I write for northern California.

  43. I just tried looking up the Anglican Diocese of Texas, the group that was in communion with the AEC and DGL before these 2 entered the UECNA. I couldn’t find their website or any mention about them on the web. Did they fold into another Anglican or Independent body? Sorry to keep this thread going. Don’t know where else to ask these questions on the web. HAPPY FRIDAY

    • Hi Tom,

      That’s a really good question. I don’t know what happened to them. It wouldn’t be surprising if they merged with another Anglican jurisdiction as there seems to be a continuing trend towards unity and consolidation amongst North American Anglicans as is evidenced by:

      1. The UECNA absorbing the Diocese of the Great Lakes and the Anglican Episcopal Church,

      2. The achievement of full communion and the ongoing commitment to institutional unity between the Anglican Catholic Church, the Anglican Province of America, the Anglican Church in America and the Diocese of the Holy Cross. In light of the fact that the ACC, APA and ACA all have overseas diocese etc, I’m interested to see the influence this union will have on Continuing Anglicans in other nations,

      3. The Anglican Church in North America absobed the Diocese of South Carolina and appear to be rebuilding their relationship with the Anglican Mission in America/Anglican Mission in Canada. Institutional unity may be a distinct possibility in the future between the ACNA and the AMiA & AMiC. The presence of the Reformed Episcopal Church as a distinct autonomous sub jurisdiction within the ACNA provides creative possibilities too, especially if classical Anglican groups like, (for example), the Episcopal Missionary Church wanted to join the ACNA/GAFCON family? I’m just thinking out loud. Your observations and insights would be greatly appreciated.

    • I’m wondering if they were a splinter of Harvey’s old DSW? A good number of Harvey’s churches went AECUSA and some continued by the Convocation of the Good Shepherd. I think these are now in (only 2 or 3 at most) the Reformed Anglican Church (RAC). I’m going to guess, if they still exist (there was only 1 or 2), they probably chose independence. I am a bit skeptical of unity trends, especially if they paper-over doctrinal and certain historical differences that run rough against the nature of the jurisdiction. Perhaps FiFNA’s gradual narrowing of their Declaration from the older Evangelical-Catholic Synod to ‘seven sacraments’, etc., is an example of how these things don’t usually endure, even under favorable conditions? The more recent Continuing Joint Synod proposes a federation, imitating (not extending) FACA, or even copying the ACNA’s partnerships, to some degree. A lot of so-called unity was triggered by ACNA itself, and the realization that if Anglicans persisted fragmented, they’d be left behind. So, the Joint Synod is an obvious counter-response to the moderate-liberal ACNA. I’ve made a point that APA has always been more dynamic and open to ecumenical ventures than ACC, and it’s not in their DNA to settle with an “original Province”. However, Bp. Jones might disagree and is evidently a major factor in APA getting along with ACC. My main re-evaluation in everything, mostly from the point of view of UECNA, has to do with FACA being more an auxiliary of FiFNA, less RE-APA. Yet, I don’t think this is necessary. RE-APA could shift if another gravity pressed from within FACA apart from FiF influence, namely, a vision more keeping with historical Protestant Episcopal rather than ‘New Oxford Movement’.

  44. Here’s the most recent development among Prot-Anglicans. Supposedly the Traditional Anglican Church in America is merging with part of (or all) the Reformed Anglican Church.

    Other news will be found in UECNA’s upcoming Glad Tidings. I was told the Bishop is unfurling another part of UE’s missionary efforts. Ask for their 2018 Advent issue!

    Sorry if you got here by tweet. The post originally was some private observations on the 2014 UE national convention where the Presiding Bishop began articulating a new direction for UE after terminating the ACC concord. As you might notice, the comment section basically has turned into a news reel of continuing Anglican developments from a Prot-Anglican point of view. In retrospect, the International Catholic Congress appears to have knocked the wind out of the sails of UE involvement with FACA. So, we’re in an ecumenical lull, and UE is not totally comfortable with non-Anglicans besides high-church Lutherans.

    I will say the Prot-Anglican, or Low-church, side of the continuum used to be much larger than it is today. It is a very small milieu, but UE is probably its largest single body of such within the continuum– about 25 congregations across the country, mainly clustered in the Ozarks and Mid-Atlantic. Most are missions. Maybe a half dozen are anchor parishes. But, there are more ‘broad’ than low-church clergy active. Sad to say, authentic low-church Anglicanism is currently a very rare bird, but a good number have found cover under the paradigm of ‘Old High Church’ (which is often swapped for ‘Central Churchmanship’) and the historic memory or precedent of UE being originally formed for low- and broad-churchmen.

  45. Looking at the VERY long comment thread, I thought to summarize, at least, my opinion on continuing church ecumenicism. As some know, the International Catholic Congress (ICC), and ACC’s involvement within it, has caused UECNA to halt its proposed FACA membership. Nonetheless, these goals might be pursued in the following order:
    1. Unify with outlying Protestant Anglicans in the Continuum, such as AOC and TACA, by seeking parish to parish relations and “tight-rope” cooperation through third-parties like CoE(C) or ex-FCE EC. There may also be some minor fall-out from REC and APA as these two churches move closer to advanced ACism. In either case, a significant Protestant Anglican pole could develop– partnerships without necessitating mergers.
    2. Consider similar partnerships with small Methodist groupings who left UMC or MEC for the same reasons we left TEC. Use of daily offices are likely a liturgical common denominator or key starting point for helping close ritual differences between these bodies. On our side, we would reclaim the older Religious Societies in the Anglican tradition. On their side a fuller liturgy better approximating the intention of Mr. Wesley.
    3. Once ICC-fever wanes in FACA, and after or during #1 & #2, UECNA might join FACA, exerting a substantial yet passive gravity for RE and APA to forgo New Oxford Movement (and ACC) rapprochement, with the hope RE and APA more or less eventually returning to their original constitutions.
    4. In the long-term a historical witness will be resourced after liberalism burns out within England and America (the anglo-sphere or trans-Atlantic). This will be the time of opportunity and welcoming for anything historically Anglican: obviously true to our prayer book, Articles of Belief, and the former, even grandiose, activities & Encyclicals as projected from the ‘bulwark of Protestancy’. Until then, cultural ties and memory of Lambeth are important to uphold. For churches like UE, this may include, more immediately, even FCE, probably less GAFCON. A memory includes our English roots and those landmarks typically considered secular & civil.

  46. Pingback: UE Convocation West 2018 | Anglican Rose

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