Happy Epiphany! I want to give you a quick update on our Anglican affiliation. Last month I sent you a letter telling you that most of the bishops of the Anglican Mission (AM) had resigned, stemming from conflict between Chuck Murphy (Chairman of the Council of Bishops) and the Rwandan House of Bishops. This means that all of the priests and parishes of the AM face a decision about our future Anglican home. Here are a few items, by way of update:
1] My ultimate ecclesial authority is still the Archbishop of Rwanda, Onesphore Rwaje, and Bishops Terrell Glenn and Thad Barnum, whom he delegated to give oversight in North America. I am one of over 450 clergy of the Province of Rwanda.
2] As part of the process of gathering information, Brian Murphy, Peter Coelho and I have been in Houston at the AM’s Winter Conference for the past few days in order to hear their post-Rwanda reflections. The AM bishops have admitted some wrongs and Chuck Murphy has taken some steps toward reconciling the relationship with the Rwandan House of Bishops. It is not likely, however, that the AM will again come under the Province of Rwanda, nor is it yet clear where the AM will find a provincial home within the Anglican Communion. The AM is moving forward as a Missionary Society.
3] Next week Brian Murphy and I will attend a gathering in Raleigh, NC with Archbishop Duncan, Archbishop Rwaje of Rwanda and many other Anglican clergy and lay leaders, to learn more about their sense of direction and next steps. Abp. Duncan oversees the Anglican Church of North America. With these two archbishops in attendance, it is likely that these meetings will involve discussion of moving into closer relationship with the Anglican Church of North America.
4] The vestry, staff and I are going through a process of discussion and discernment about our future Anglican home. At this point, our options are to transfer from Rwanda to the Anglican Church of North America. Or to transfer from Rwanda to wherever the AM lands. We might discover another option in Raleigh next week. We are researching all options and implications, so that we can have confidence in a thorough process.
5] The bottom line for Christ Church is that we will remain fully Anglican, connected nationally and globally. This decision won’t have much practical effect “on the ground” for Christ Church. I do want you to be informed, however. And we want to make the wisest possible decision that will allow us to remain true to our ecclesial identity and faithful to our missional calling to be a community following Jesus, making disciples and impacting our great city, for the praise of His glory.
Lastly, we want to hear from you. If you have questions or comments, please write the vestry and me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Vestry members: Scott Friesen [Senior Warden], Len Skiles, Jack McCool, Ann Cushman, Lisa Neely). Have a great weekend!