We praise God for the successful Provincial Council that took place June 23-24, 2020! Though the current realities surrounding Covid-19 required the meeting to be held via Zoom, the Lord provided the wisdom, coordination, internet connectivity, patience, and stamina for a smooth meeting.
The Cairo Covenant and Global South Fellowship
The prominent business highlight of the meeting was the passing of the resolution to accept and endorse the Global South Covenant and conciliar structure, continuing the Anglican Church in North America’s status as full members of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches. This moment was marked with grateful messages in the Zoom chat, noting the historic measure and the blessing of being a part of this worldwide communion.
The Global South came into being in 1986 as a fellowship of provinces in primarily the southern hemisphere of the Anglican Communion. Over the last couple of decades the Global South has continued to call for a restoration of orthodoxy within the Anglican Communion. In October of 2019 while meeting in Cairo, Egypt, the Fellowship instituted a conciliar structure in order to maintain discipline to the Scriptures and formalize unity with one another.
The passing of this resolution stands as a statement of hope reflecting the desire for a united orthodox and global Anglicanism of people from all nations, tribes, and tongues.
The Via Apostolica Missionary District
Another notable action was to formally establish Via Apostolica as a Missionary District under Canon I.12. Via Apostolica is a network of congregations in Canada that has been on the “Canterbury Trail” and is excited to now have an ecclesial home in the Anglican Church in North America. With particular interest in planting churches and training up young leaders, Via Apostolica joins the Province to further our mission to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. In January 2019, Bishop Todd Atkinson was admitted into the College of Bishops, and in January 2020, the College designated Atkinson as a Bishop for Special Mission to lead the Missionary District, sending its recommendation, and that of the Executive Committee, for the establishment of the District to the Provincial Council as provided by the Canons.
In 2019, the Province saw overall decline due to the withdrawal of two CANA dioceses, CANA West and Trinity. The numbers show that at the end of 2019, the Anglican Church in North America had 972 congregations, 127,624 members, and 84,310 average Sunday attendance. Adjusting for the withdrawal of the two dioceses, though, the Province did well in 2019. Though losing a net of 20 congregations, membership increased by 202 and average Sunday attendance by 559.
Full Communion Agreements
Additionally, the Council passed resolutions to establish full communion with the Episcopal Missionary Church and the International Conference of Philippine Independent Catholic Churches of Jesus Christ (ICPICCJC). More on this can be read in the respective concordats here and here.
Other Items of Note
- Each meeting began with Midday Prayer and a homily from Bishop Andrew Williams of the Anglican Diocese of New England. You can view these teachings here.
- The Provincial Council was also blessed to hear testimonies from members across the province. You can watch those testimonies here.
- Archbishop Foley Beach gave a report on the state of the Province and a sermon on the current state of racial dynamics in the culture and the place of the Church which can be viewed here.
- Four new Executive Committee members were elected by the Council.
- The Document Center for the meeting is here.
Next year, the Provincial Council plans to return to in-person meetings with its 2021 meeting held at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina, June 13-18.