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ACN Convocation Deans Respond to House of Bishops’ Plan

The House of Bishops has failed the Church by its new process for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO). The bishops had the opportunity to act sacrificially and lovingly to reach out to orthodox Episcopal congregations and parishioners. Instead, they have offered DEPO, a cumbersome bureaucratic process controlled by the very overseers from whom relief is sought. It inadequately deals with episcopal pastoral care and fails entirely to address such issues as ordination, the calling of clergy, church planting, finances or property. Under DEPO, the power and prerogatives of the bishops are paramount, while genuine concern for parishioners is lost. It shows that the House of Bishops is not serious about reform which would respond to the concerns of the Primates.

We know that our Network bishops who were present worked valiantly for a better outcome from the House of Bishops meeting just concluded. Nevertheless, the great majority of the bishops have made clear by the terms of the plan for DEPO that the rejection of biblical authority and the endorsement of sexual intimacyoutside of marriage are now the settled teaching of our Church; all that remains is to regulate the speed with which this new teaching is imposed on orthodox Episcopalians.

The Anglican Communion Network is committed to living under the authority of Holy Scripture and in true unity with the vast majority of the worldwide Anglicans. We serve in partnership with the Primates, who have written, “we offer our support and the full weight of our ministries and offices to those who are gathering” in the Network.

As Deans of the Anglican Communion Network, we say to all faithful Episcopalians in our Convocations: We will do our utmost to provide the support, guidance and encouragement you need to remain faithful to Christ and to carry out the missionary calling we all share. We will work with you in bold and creative ways to provide ministry and mission in healthy, orthodox church structures.

In the Anglican Communion Network, we will remain faithful to Christ, no matter what the cost. We take heart from St. Paul’s words in this Sunday’s epistle: “I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

“Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:8-14).

Your servants in Christ,

The Rev. John A. M. Guernsey
Dean, Mid-Atlantic Convocation

The Rev. James McCaslin
Dean, Southeastern Convocation

The Rev. Ronald L. McCrary
Dean, Mid-Continental Convocation

The Rev. David Moyer
Dean, Forward in Faith North America Convocation

The Rev. William Murdoch
Dean, New England Convocation

The Rev. William A. Thompson
Dean, Western Convocation

Posted at 12:00 am 3.26.2004 | Permalink