Congregations of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) observed a special anniversary on Sunday January 30, 2005—the five year anniversary of the consecration of their two founding leaders as missionary bishops to the United States. On January 29th, 2000 the Rev. Charles Murphy, a parish priest in South Carolina and the Rev. Dr. John Rodgers, former Dean of the Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, were called to St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore to be consecrated. Two Primates of the Anglican Church, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda and the Most Rev. Dr. Moses Tay of SE Asia, took the action along with other leaders following years of decline and crisis in the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA), and the renewing efforts of two groups in the United States, the First Promise Roundtable and the Association of Anglican Congregations on Mission.
Six months later the Anglican Mission in America was officially launched as a missionary movement based in the Anglican Church of Rwanda, and the following summer four more bishops were consecrated for the fledgling work. The Anglican Mission now numbers over 70 churches, more than half planted as totally new congregations in the last several years.
Rather than a refuge for embattled Episcopalians the Anglican Mission has set its sights on the 130 million un-churched in this country, according to Bishop John Rodgers. "The AMIA is not primarily a city of refuge where we can be safe from the heavy hand of unorthodox leaders and colleagues, but rather an orthodox people committed to mission, that is, to discipling one another and to reaching the un-churched with the Gospel. Both of these actions involve hard work and dedication."
Although there exists precedent in Anglican history, the Singapore action was not universally embraced. However, as the Episcopal Church has continued its departure from most of the rest of the Anglican Communion worldwide in terms of theology and practice, other global leaders are following a similar strategy. A number of Anglican Provinces are now providing protection and oversight to congregations in the United States that have sought help from the "Global South", the areas of the church, such as Africa, Asia and S. America, experiencing the most growth and expressing a commitment to historic, biblical identity.
"One aspect of the work of the AMiA during these last five years has clearly been ‘prophetic’ in nature. We’ve had to see it, say it, and seize it before most were willing to fully acknowledge the depth of the problem facing both the ECUSA and the Anglican Communion," reflected Bishop Chuck Murphy, who serves as the Chairman of the Anglican Mission’s Council of Bishops and National Leadership Council. . "Time has a way of allowing us to gain a clarity that we may not, at first, initially enjoy. It has been my observation that every time God’s people feel led and prodded to boldly step out in faith and in action, God will, in time, bring either His ‘correction’ or His ‘confirmation’ to the action taken. I believe that God has now brought his ‘confirmation’ to the work and the witness of the Anglican Mission."
Celebration Sunday featured highlights from the recently completed annual Winter Conference, a challenge to continue in Mission, and the sharing of an Anglican Mission video.