In March, the Missionary District of the Southeast (PEAR-USA) announced it will move its congregations to be “fully and solely under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in North America.”
The Rt. Rev. David Bryan explained at a clergy meeting at Church of the Apostles (Columbia, SC) that the twenty congregations of the Missionary District of the Southeast would join local geographic dioceses. Bishop Bryan will serve as a suffragan or assisting bishop in those dioceses that will welcome the PEAR-Southeast congregations. The congregations are located in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
The congregations will also maintain their missional relationships through an inter-diocesan convocation and the Rwanda Ministry Partners.
Meanwhile, in April, congregations of the Diocese of the West joined existing dioceses, with the majority choosing to join the Missionary Diocese of All Saints as a convocation. “The Missionary Diocese of All Saints allows us to be a missionary presence in the western U.S.,” said the bishop of the Diocese of the West, the Rt. Rev. Winfield Mott, at their Diocesan Synod held at St. John’s Church in Boerne, TX.
The Anglican Church in North America has recognized some of the challenges of overlapping jurisdictions within province. “It has become clear at this stage of the life of the Province,” the College of Bishops noted in their communique following Provincial Council 2013, “that the multiplicity of overlapping jurisdictions throughout North America and Canada presents a relational challenge for the bishops, dioceses and congregations of our Church.”
The Provincial Council has affirmed that “unity in the province will be strengthened as bishops, clergy, and churches from overlapping jurisdictions join together in fellowship, spiritual growth, and mission.”
Archbishop Beach has been encouraged by these partnerships, “The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada introduced a crisis of both faith and order into the life of the Anglican Communion. We are thankful that the GAFCON Provinces came to our aid, and provided critical ecclesial lifeboats at a time when many were being illegally deposed and sued for maintaining the faith once delivered to the saints. GAFCON’s creation of the Anglican Church in North America brought these lifeboats together as one Church, solving the crisis of faith and putting us on the road to resolving the challenges of proper order. This merging of dioceses is further fruit of the restoration of Anglicanism in North America.”
-By Mary Ailes, Director of Communications for the DIocese of the Mid-Atlantic.