In an essay titled “AMIE is a game-changer” Canon Chris Sugden and Vinay Samuel explain the next steps of the newly formed Anglican Mission in England (AMIE) which is modeled on the AMIA (Anglican Mission in America) a movement with deep connections with the Anglican Church in Rwanda and the Global South.
“The launch of AMIE and the establishment of its panel of bishops indicated that we would no longer play the game of Church of England politics as defined by the Church of England Establishment.[Then after drawing a parallel between the state of the Church of England and the political establishment in the mid-East that has led to the Arab Spring uprising the authors continue:]
In the same way AMIE is a standing together that demonstrates a different way of doing things. It has a different view of mission through planting churches and organizing for growth rather than seeking power and influence in the present system. It has a different view of being Anglican which embraces a global Anglican identity based on the Bible rather than a technical institutional identity. It has a different view of episcopacy that is not prelatical or monarchical but missional, accountable and focused on service. It has a different view of women in ministry that does not seek to compete as though it is a matter of power and status. It has a different view of marriage and sexuality which is not based on the interchangeability of the genders. AMIE resists the disaggregation of the issues as though they are all separate. It analyses the current malaise as a gradual process of destabilizing biblically faithful Anglican witness and ministry.[…]The summer ordinations in Kenya were part of the process of saying that we will remain Anglican but not on the current terms of the CofE establishment. The process of welcoming the ordinands, launching the AMIE and now expanding its membership is a process of moving to the public square of Church of England life and saying: “We will not be robbed of our Anglican identity. We will not be marginalized. You are the usurpers. We will not allow you to deprive us of our Anglican heritage of faithfulness to the Bible. We will find a way of being faithfully Anglican in being true to the Bible which does not depend on you.””
Much of this is familiar to people who remember the first moves of the AMIA movement here in the US back in 2000 and the subsequent irregular ordinations of Chuck Murphy and John Rodgers to the episcopate. This latest essay makes clear that the new organization in England is also planning to ignore the rules of the Anglican Communion when they get in the way of their goals.
It will be interesting to see how the arc of this storyline parallels that of the Episcopal Church’s experience with their dissident voices over the last decade.