Note: This is a longer version of an article from the forthcoming October 2007 Faith and Freedom.
This summer, two important Anglican meetings illustrated the divergent directions of progressive and orthodox Anglicans in the United States.
First, the Episcopal Church's Executive Council met in Parsippany, NJ, from June 11-14. The Executive Council is one of the major leadership bodies within the denomination; it meets three times a year to deal with Episcopal Church governance in the three years between General Conventions.
Second, the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) held its annual council meeting in Bedford, TX, from July 30-31. The ACN is, as its name suggests, a network of orthodox Anglicans both inside and outside the Episcopal Church. Since its formation in early 2004, it has been a major voice of orthodox Anglicanism in the United States.Both meetings were held against the backdrop of a tense time in the Anglican Communion. The primates of Anglican Communion provinces had issued a communiqué that followed their highly-publicized February meeting in Tanzania. In it, the primates had requested the following of the Episcopal Church:
*That the denomination's House of Bishops would, by September 30, 2007, assure the primates of the denomination's reversal of course regarding the blessing of same-sex unions and the consent to the consecration of bishops in same-sex relationships
*That the Episcopal Church would participate in a "pastoral scheme" designed to provide pastoral relief for orthodox Anglicans in the Episcopal Church and mend the deep divisions between the Episcopal Church and the rest of the Anglican Communion
*That all parties involved in lawsuits over church property—including the Episcopal Church itself—would end their legal actions immediately
Against this backdrop, the two meetings proved to be vastly different. In fact, they demonstrated vividly the gap in worldviews between the groups.
For the rest of the article, go to the IRD website: http://www.ird-renew.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=fvKVLfMVIsG&b=399595&ct=4447647