Delegates to the Anglican Communion Network’s fifth annual council meeting in Overland Park, Kansas, voted today to begin handing over ministries as well as financial and administrative support services to the forming Anglican Church in North America.
Network members spoke of how much the organization has meant to them since its founding in 2004. “This has been my lifeline. Without the Anglican Communion Network and you all, I don’t know what would have happened,” said Episcopal Church Bishop Jim Adams of Western Kansas.
During the approximately six months the hand over is expected to take, the Network office will continue to provide key organizational, administrative and other services for Network members and the Common Cause Partnership as it completes the creation of the Anglican Church in North America.
The hand over will not be complete until the summer of 2009. When it is complete, the Network as it is currently configured will cease operation.
“God did not use the Network to change the direction of The Episcopal Church as we had originally hoped. He has used it and us to create a Biblical, missionary and united Anglican province-in-waiting here in North America. We are deeply thankful to Him and to all who have supported its work,” said Bishop Duncan.
Many ministries of the Network are already positioned to successfully continue supporting Anglicans in North America. The Anglican Relief and Development Fund will continue as the relief agency for the Anglican Church in North America. Since its founding, it has funded more than 80 projects, distributing more than $3.5 million to support the work of Anglicans to meet the physical and spiritual needs of millions of people. The Anglican Global Mission Partners, also a Network initiative, will continue to draw together more than 30 Anglican organizations committed to mission. The Young Anglicans Project will continue work on a proposed Anglican Catechism in outline. The Titus Institute for Church Planting is established as an independent body and continues its work. The Common Cause Partnership, also a Network supported initiative, is the primary body responsible for creating The Anglican Church in North America.
Acknowledging the need for fellowship and support felt particularly by those in the Network who are remaining within The Episcopal Church, Bishop Duncan said, “We remain sisters and brothers in Christ, regardless of our way forward. We will certainly be looking at ways we can continue to support each other as the Network transitions over the next few months” said Bishop Duncan.
The full text of the Network Council’s resolution is below:
Resolution passed by the Network’s Annual Council on December 9, 2008
Whereas the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes was formed to call the Episcopal Church in the United States of America back to “the Faith once delivered to the saints;” and
Whereas this purpose of the Network has not been achieved, nor is the purpose, in human terms, viewed by most Network participants as achievable; and
Whereas the Network vision of a “biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America” has been mightily blessed by Almighty God in the life of the Common Cause Partnership and in the emergence of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America; and
Whereas the Anglican Global Mission Partners and the Anglican Relief and Development Fund have been birthed and successfully stand on their own, and
Whereas in the first six months of the Year of Our Lord 2009 the call of the Anglican Communion Network is to steward and transition: 1) Financial and administration support for the global role of the Moderator to be handed over to the Diocese of Pittsburgh in creation of the Primate’s office; 2) Financial and administrative support for the Common Cause Partnership to be handed over to a newly created Provincial office on (or after) July 1st, 2009; 3) Organizational and moral support of those remaining in the Episcopal Church to be mutually determined, and
Whereas the Lord has done great things indeed, in the five and a half years of the Anglican Communion Network’s season of witness,
Be it therefore resolved, that the officers and Steering Committee be authorized to undertake the six-month season of transition preparatory to the ratification of the constitution of the Anglican Church in North America.
Further resolved, that the leadership work specifically to turn over 1) The financial and administrative support given to the Moderator to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and 2) The financial and administrative support of Common Cause to a new Provincial office.
And finally be it resolved, that the Steering Committee enter into conversation with that part of the membership of the Anglican Communion Network remaining in The Episcopal Church as to whether they might desire to take upon themselves the original mantle of the Anglican Communion Network.