Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Diocese of the Holy Cross to Join FACA?

The Diocese of the Holy Cross, 13 parishes affiliated with Forward in Faith - United Kingdom, has voted to seek membership in the Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas. Hopefully, this represents another small step towards unity among orthodox Anglicans. The EMC. of which St. Francis, Austin, is a member, also joined FACA this year. FACA is a fairly loose organization; the individual ekklesiai are quite varied. The ACA is Anglo-Catholic; AMiA tends to be pretty Evangelical; the REC is, well, Reformed, like it says. Some use the '28 Prayer Book, some the '78. The AMiA has some female clergy, which may wind up being a bone of contention to greater unification. All, however, want to establish and maintain an orthodox Anglican presence in the USA. A small step, as I said, but nevertheless a step in the right direction. Progress implies movement towards an agreed-upon goal, so I believe (in hopes of infuriating a liberal or two) this clearly represents progressive Christianity.

On February 26, the DHC Standing Committee met and voted unanimously to apply for membership in the Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas. The Federation is now comprised of the Anglican Province of America (APA), the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC), the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), the Anglican Church in America (ACA), and the Episcopal Missionary Church (EMC), totaling some 450 parishes. The Episcopal Visitor is Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of the Americas. Two Federation members, the APA and the REC, have a 'Covenant Union of Anglican Churches in Concordat' with the Church of the Province of Nigeria and the Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola.

The purpose of the Federation is the common cause of the Gospel and the furtherance of cooperation, communication, support, discipline and accountability among the various jurisdictions, each of which retains its sovereignty. The Federation is linked with Forward in Faith through mutual membership in Common Cause.