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UPDATED: ACNA misrepresents its level of participation in #Primates2016

UPDATED: ACNA misrepresents its level of participation in #Primates2016

Updated in an addendum adding material from ANiC (ACNA’s Canadian subsidiary)

The website for #Primates2016, managed by the Anglican Consultative Council’s Anglican Communion Office, says media reports are mistaken about the extent of the participation of ACNA’s Foley Beach.

Link to that #Primates2016 statement:

Statement on votes given to Primates at the meeting in Canterbury

17 Jan 2016

On those occasions when the discussion required Primates to privately record a preference or a decision, slips were informally distributed around the tables and then collected. Apart from when the meeting agreed the agenda at the start, it was made clear to Archbishop Foley Beach that it would not be appropriate for him to take part and he was not invited to do so. Given the spirit of the meeting at all times, it is unfortunate that this is misrepresented in recent reports.

The Church Times did the original reporting on the votes given to Beach at the gathering.

@ChurchTimes tweets that ACNA disputes the statement on the #Primate2016 website. Here’s the thread. Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski got the ball rolling when he tweeted on statement.

“C of E’s head of comms” would be the Church of England’s Director of Communications, Rev. Arun Arora, who tweeted:

And Arora then retweeted,

Take note of the time stamps on the tweets.

Update: @JustinWelby’s Director of Reconciliation, David Porter (@baldynotion), retweeted Arora,



ANiC (ACNA-Canada) continues to spread ACNA’s misinformation on whether Beach had voting privileges. Here’s what ANIC said on January 29:

The decision to discipline TEC finally came to a vote on Thursday. Archbishop Foley has made it clear that, while he chose not to participate in that vote, it was passed by a very large majority….

All these steps taken, including the decision of Archbishop Foley to not vote on the discipline motion although he was given a ballot, were taken as faithful applications of wise principle.

Nowhere in ANiC’s statement is it made clear to its readers that should not read this to mean Foley did not have the right to vote.


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The Rev. Barbara A.T. Wilson

“The Corinthians had been competing with one another according to their culturally-defined values. They were using the gifts of the Holy Spirit, meant for the good of the whole community, as their personal arsenal in the competition for honor at the expense of others. However, by pointing to the church’s common experience of God’s grace in baptism, Paul makes clear that we all share the same water, the same promise, the same Spirit, and thus all are equally part of the same body.”

It is precisely through our theology of Baptism that TEC arrives where it is today. The ACNA and conservatives elsewhere seem to think the decision to admit women to Holy Orders, as well as LBGT individuals living holy and committed lives, are intended as a personal insult to conservatives who read scripture literally (and selectively literally at that.) They refuse to engage in theological dialogue about the sacraments, especially baptism, preferring knee-jerk reference to their lines of scripture which they fail to realize are also “culturally defined values,” especially in the African Church.

The Rev. Barbara A.T. Wilson

I just ran across this commentary on Sunday’s Epistle reading, on the Working Preacher site. It seems very germane to the ongoing discussion here. Unity and heterogeny are values which are actually required to inform and guide fully mature faith.

“We often confuse unity with uniformity, because it is much easier to gather with people who are like ourselves than it is to reach across the divisions which mark our culture.
Thus, few of our churches reflect the ethnic, social, and economic diversity of the neighborhoods around them. Our congregations are often very homogenous, and we are, sadly, comfortable with that.

Paul insists on something richer. Since the church is intended to be a foretaste of the final reconciliation of all things that God promises, Paul calls the church to start acting that way. Thus diversity within the church is not a problem to be avoided, solved, or managed, but a gift of God’s grace and a sign of the Spirit at work. The differing gifts of the Spirit form us in such a way that we do, and indeed must, belong to one another.

Paul’s claims throughout chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians find their foundation in baptism (verses 12-13). In baptism we experience the Spirit of God at work to overcome the divisions which the powers of this world nurture and on which they depend. The Corinthians had been competing with one another according to their culturally-defined values. They were using the gifts of the Holy Spirit, meant for the good of the whole community, as their personal arsenal in the competition for honor at the expense of others. However, by pointing to the church’s common experience of God’s grace in baptism, Paul makes clear that we all share the same water, the same promise, the same Spirit, and thus all are equally part of the same body.”

Brian Peterson
Professor of New Testament
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Columbia, SC

John Craig

This is you fourth comment in this story today. Come back tomorrow. – ed

David and Kurt,

Just curious: have you ever been to Africa? If so, have you ever been to a Church service? Hopefully your negative comments about the African Church are from some personal experiences, and not just repeating someone else’s opinion.

Regarding the numbers, even if they are way over stated, they are way larger that TEC, ACNA etc.

There is data on the growth of the Church in Sub Saharan Africa (not specifically the Anglican Church)

You have such a negative view of the African Church, view them as primitive etc. So, why would you even want to be in communion with them? Obviously your negativity is driven somewhat by being upset by censure. But the fact remains that they are going to continue to uphold Biblical marriage and TEC is committed to redefining marriage. The Primates have followed a Biblical model and offered TEC an opportunity to repent. At the end of the period, if there is not repentance, then I can’t force them wanting to be in communion with TEC because your views are not consistent with the Bible (at least as they and most Evangelicals see it).
So it seems pretty predictable what the long term outcome is. Do you have a different view?

David Allen

I haven’t been to a lot of places, that doesn’t mean that I can’t trust & benefit from the reports of others with boots on the ground.

But to offer a feather from others who arrive here to set the rest of us straight on matters Conservative/Evangelical, numbers aren’t really important, because “narrow is the gate and straight is the way that leads to salvation and few there be that find it.”

David Allen

John Craig, you have had your four comments today in this story, come back tomorrow.

The Rev. Barbara A.T. Wilson

“. . . growth happens where there is life.”
Sometimes. “Growth happens” where there is cancer, too.

John Craig

I agree. But I hope you got the point. The Church in Africa is vibrant because of the hearts of the people and joy.

Some on here are touting their personal educational credentials or the erudite nature of TEC as an asset . Perhaps it is, but my first hand experience is that there is more faith, life and joy in the African Church than in anything in the US. Not just TEC but ACNA etc.

We can all learn from the African Church about throwing off illusions that our credentials really matter. They don’t . All that matters is CHRIST, to whom we have attached ourselves.

Prof Christopher Seitz

+Josiah is a close friend.

“Grossly exaggerated?” I’d like to see that quote!

Surely it is wildly beyond doubt that Uganda and Nigeria and Kenya — just to mention three — are larger than TEC or SEC or Wales or Brazil by a factor of 20.

Exaggerating numbers is something TEC was also prone to, until the new man was brought in to keep things accurate. That takes courage and is a sign of health within TEC.

It is also crucial when one begins to think about merging small dioceses — 45% of the total now.

Kurt Hill

Absolutely spot on, Br. David! And much of which passes for “Anglicanism” there is often a primitive Pentecostalism.

As far as the numbers go, if Episcopalians counted our membership like some of the “vibrant” African churches do, it would be over 5 million today…

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

David Allen

No better an expert on Africa in general and Nigeria specifically is the Sec Gen of the ACC and he said last year that the membership populations of African Anglican churches are grossly exaggerated.

African Christians are so joyous and full of life that they are accusing young children and old people of being witches and butchering them and burning them alive.

I think that you have drank the GAFCON Kool Aide!

Cynthia Katsarelis

Jesus was all about the rules? And the Pharisees loved him for it?

We aren’t the Roman Catholics. There’s no central authority with power to do anything.

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