Saturday, July 04, 2015

An Outline of a Proposal for a Second ACNA Province


By Robin G. Jordan

In this article I briefly outline a proposal for a second province within the Anglican Church in North America. This province would be more closely aligned to the teaching of the Bible and the doctrine and principles of the historic Anglican formularies than the existing province is in its governing documents and other doctrinal statements.

The new province would have its own constitution and canons that would create a provincial structure and form of governance that were recognizably different from that of the existing province in a number of ways:
1. There would be a general synod which would be the supreme authority in matters affecting the new province as a whole. The general synod would be composed of elected clergy and lay delegates. The ratio of lay delegates to clergy delegates would reflect the ratio of lay persons to clergy in the new province.

The general synod would hold regular sessions at intervals prescribed in the new province’s governing documents which would include provisions for calling special sessions of the general synod.

The general synod would elect its own prolocuter, or presiding officer, and determine its own rules of procedure, subject to the provisions of the governing documents of the new province.

The bishops of the new province would be ex officio members of the general synod. Should there be a call for a vote by orders, the bishops would vote with the presbyters. They would not vote as a separate body.

2. There would be a general executive committee appointed by the general synod and subject to its directions. The general executive committee would carry on the work of the general synod between its sessions and perform such other functions as expressly assigned to that body by the new province’s governing documents.

3. There would be a moderator who would be elected by the general synod from the bishops of the province and would preside at all meetings of the general executive committee at which he is present. He would also serve as the official spokesperson of the new province. He would have no power or prerogative except what is conveyed to him by the new province’s governing documents. His term of office would be prescribed in the same documents.

4. Mid-level judicatories would be designated regions rather than dioceses and would be composed of networks of congregations and clergy within specific geographic areas of Canada or the United States and its territories. Regions would in turn be subdivided into districts. Each district would be formed from a specific cluster of congregations and clergy within the geographic boundaries of a region. The reason for this particular organization of the new province would be to embody a major principle underpinning its structure: The province is voluntary association of congregations and clergy organized for the purposes of mission and ministry and such other purposes as specified within its governing documents. Regions and districts derive their authority from the networks and clusters of congregations and clergy forming them.

Each region would have its own governing documents. Each region would have its own annual conference consisting of the pastors of its constituent congregations and elected delegates from these congregations. Each region would have its own executive committee that would carry on the work of the annual conference between sessions, subject to the directions of the annual conference and in accordance with the provisions of the region’s governing documents.

5. Each region would have its own bishops. Bishops would have no power or prerogative except what is mutually agreed upon by the congregations and clergy comprising the region and expressly conveyed to them by the region’s governing documents.

Bishops would elected by a variety of methods. They would be elected by a board of electors or selection committee appointed by the region’s annual conference. The choice of the board or committee would require ratification by the annual conference. They would be elected directly by the region’s annual conference. Only when a region failed to elect a bishop after repeated attempts or within a specific time limit would the province itself be able to step in and elect a bishop for the region. In such cases the general executive committee would function as the region’s annual conference, following the procedure for the election of a bishop for a region delineated in the region’s governing documents.

The age requirement for bishops would be lower than that of the existing province. This would open the office to a larger group of clergy within the new province.

Bishops would hold office for a specific term which could be extended by the region’s annual conference after a review of their performance in office. In event the region’s annual conference decided not to extend their term of office, it would have authority to declare their office vacant and to proceed with the election of a successor.

Confirmation of the election of a bishop would be limited to confirmation of the suitability of the bishop elect to hold episcopal office within the new province—to whether the bishop-elect meets the necessary requirements for the office of bishop and holds convictions consistent with those of the new province as a whole. Such confirmation would be the responsibility of the general synod when the general synod is in session and the regional executive committees when the general synod is not in session. The extension of a bishop’s term of office and the declaration of a vacancy in an episcopal office would not require any action by the province.

6. The new province would have its own united plan of giving. See the united giving plan in my article, “A Blueprint for a Second ACNA Province.”

7. The new province would have its own set of standards for clergy and other ministry leaders, its own credentialing procedures for clergy and other ministry leaders, its own central registry of clergy and other ministry leaders meeting its standards, and its own set of disciplinary canons. Under the provisions of the new province’s disciplinary canons bishops would not be more difficult to discipline than presbyters. Procedural safeguards for all accused parties would be tightened to ensure that they receive a fair hearing. At the same time there would be special provisions for handling allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation
The new province would embody the fundamental belief that the safeguarding of the apostolic faith and the maintenance of Biblical orthodoxy is the responsibility of the whole Church. The developments in the Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican Church in North America, the Church of England, the Continuing Anglican Churches, the Episcopal Church, and other Anglican entities have shown that bishops are capable of falling into error and leading the Church into error.

The new province would have its own Prayer Book which would be sensitive to the needs of congregations on the North America mission field, would conform to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures and the doctrine and principles of the historic Anglican formularies, and, unlike the proposed service book of the existing province of the Anglican Church in North America, would be “a Book of the Church, drawn up by laity and clergy and finally approved, amended, and put into its final shape” not by bishops but by the general synod [1]. Regions would be able to compile supplemental liturgies and authorize their use provide these supplemental liturgies conformed to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures and the doctrine and principles of the historic Anglican formularies.

The new province would also have its own Catechism which would also be a Catechism of the Church, conforming to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures and the doctrine and principles of the historic Anglican formularies and prepared, revised, and adopted in a manner similar to that of the new province’s Prayer Book. It would not be a Catechism of the Bishops like that of the existing province of the Anglican Church in North America, which conflicts in a number of key areas with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures and the doctrine and principles of the historic Anglican formularies and is the result of the absence of any effective checks on what Archdeacon Cox describes as “the autocratic actions of bishops” in that province [2].

The new province would enfold congregations, clergy, and individuals in and outside the Anglican Church in North America who:
1. Hold the Christian faith as professed by the Church of Christ from earliest times and particularly as articulated in the creeds known as the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed.

2. Accept the plenary authority of the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testament in all matters of faith and practice.

3. Recognize the historic threefold ministry of deacon, presbyter, and bishop as having antecedents in the primitive Church and being allowed by Scripture.

4. Subscribes to the doctrine and principles of the reformed Church of England embodied in the historic Anglican formularies, namely the two Books of Homilies, the Articles of Religion sometimes known as the Thirty-Nine Articles, and The Book of Common Prayer together with the Form and Manner of Making Ordaining and Consecrating of Deacons, Presbyters, and Bishops appended to the Prayer Book.

5. Recognize that God gave authority to the Church as a whole and the governance of the Church is a shared responsibility of all members of the Church. This includes the exercise of authority in matters of Faith and Order and worship.
Among the benefits of the new province would be:
1. The new province would extend formal recognition and official standing within the Anglican Church in North America to Biblically faithful orthodox Anglicans who share these convictions.

2. The new province would increase the Anglican Church in North America’s effectiveness in planting and growing gospel-centered churches in North America. The new province would create an environment in which Biblically faithful orthodox Anglicans who share the foregoing convictions would be able to flourish and in turn devote themselves fully to reaching and engaging the unchurched population of North America and enfolding them into gospel-centered churches.

The growth of a denomination is tied to the growth of its population base. This is one of the critical lessons that can be learned from the experience of the Continuing Anglican Churches as well as the Anglican Church of Canada, the Church of England, the Episcopal Church and other declining Anglican entities.

3. The new province would ensure that gifts given for the purpose of supporting efforts to plant gospel-centered churches are actually used for that purpose and not to support efforts to plant churches that do not share the convictions of the givers.

4. The new province would broaden the appeal of the denomination to Biblical orthodox Protestant congregations and clergy who are drawn to liturgical forms of worship and the reformed Anglican tradition but are repelled by unreformed Catholic teaching and practices of the existing province of the Anglican Church in North America and its particular structure and form of governance.

5. The new province would secure a future for confessional Anglicanism in North America.
Endnotes:
[1] W. L. Paige Cox, “Constitutional Episcopacy,” Churchman vol. 43 (July 1929), p. 196
[2] Ibid, p. 198

10 comments:

Austin Olive said...

Hi Robin,

A couple of thoughts have occurred to me as I have been reflecting on your blogs that I would like to share. I would like to hear your thoughts on them.

1) As a one-time time Presbyterian, I am a fan of synodical government. But there are several weaknesses that I see. One is that I believe that an established episcopacy is invaluable, but as a chief pastoral rather than as an executive office.

Presbyterianism's great weakness is that pastoral care cannot be done by committee. AI have both served on such a committee as well as been in need of the care of one. Having sat on both sides of that table, I know that it's doesn't work.

I like your outline for bishops, but I would suggest that they need tenures long enough to allow them to serve effectively as pastors a of the pastors and as mentors to (especially) the younger clergy.

They business of the Church can be carried out by committee. But the pastoral care cannot.

2) As regards a catechism, Why not simply adopt the Westminster Shorter Catechism? It was written by and for the C of E, though admittedly under unusual circumstances. If not adopted in whole, it could serve as a point of departure, as the Baptist's London and Philadelphia Confessions used the Westminster Confession as a model.

Thoughts?

Pax,

-Austin.

Robin G. Jordan said...

Like you, Austin, I see bishops in a pastoral role, serving as pastor to pastors. When I propose term limits for bishops, I am thinking of them as having terms of office of sufficient length to form relationships with the pastors under their episcopal oversight.

As for mentoring, the literature I have read on the subject does not support the assignment of a mentor to a young pastor but rather the young pastor’s selection of his own mentor and then in specific areas of need.

Historically the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Anglican Church has perpetuated its teaching and practices through the practice of an older priest taking a new priest under his wing and encouraging and supporting his development of Anglo-Catholic opinions. The Episcopal Church has a mentoring system for new bishops in which the House of Bishops assigns a senior bishop to mentor a new bishop. This is one way that liberals are able to maintain their dominance in the House of Bishops.

The mentors from whom I personally benefited the most were people whom I selected myself.

The pastoral care a bishop can provide to the clergy in a judicatory has its limitations especially if the judicatory covers a large geographic area, limiting the face-to-face contact between the bishop and the clergy in the judicatory. What happens in practice is that an archdeacon or some other senior presbyter who has been assigned responsibility for the welfare of clergy and their families in his part of the judicatory provides pastoral care. Archdeacons historically have overseen the training of young men who are seeking ordination, examined candidates for ordination, and presented them to the ordaining bishop. The members of the local clerical association also informally provide pastoral care to each other.

As for catechisms, my own inclination is to explore the possibility of using as a basis for a catechism two of the earlier Reformed catechisms used in the Church of England—Alexander Nowell’s Larger Catechism and Thomas Becon’s Catechism. They come from roughly the same period in English Church history as the two Books of Homilies and the Articles of Religion. They would need to be modernized in language and style.

Austin Olive said...

Do you think that using the Westminster Catechism(s) would be limiting in the effort to form a critical mass for a second province? I would think that this might be a problem, though the trade off could be a greater collection of conservative "Presby-palians" from places such as the PCA & EPC, and schools such as Covenant, Reformed, and Westminster Seminaries.

Austin Olive said...

I've had some thoughts regarding how the ACNA has arrived at its current state. It's something I saw when I was in my previous denomination (the Evangelical Presbyterian Church).

I served on the committee in one of their presbyteries that was charged with pastoral oversight of ministers and with preparation of candidates for ordination and transfer. Almost ten years ago we as a denomination were approached by quite a number of evangelicals from the PCUSA who'd seen the handwriting on the wall and deco explore their options for leaving the mainline Presbyterians for our (Evangelical and Confessional) denomination. As the Clerk of our presbytery's committee I was tasked with exploring what steps would be required for us to receive transferring ministers. (I.e., what sorts of examinations might be required, what sorts of additional training or education we might need to require/offer, etc.)

As I did my homework, I read at length from position papers and sermons that seemed representative of the folks we were anticipating receiving. I also spoke with a professor from what is considered the least liberal PCUSA seminary who is widely considered to be the most conservative scholar of their denominational schools.

What was most alarming to me was the fact that what was considered 'conservative,' 'Reformed,' and evangelical in the Mainline circles was not by any means what we considered to be so. Evangelical, yes, but not Reformed, and really not conservative as we saw it. As it turned out, and as the helpful professor explained, 'Reformed' among these folk did not mean "Confessional," but rather more of we might call "Evangelical." That is, they thought of "Reformed" as meaning an adherence to the fundamentals of the faith: the virgin birth, the truthfulness (though not infallibility) of Scripture, miracles, the Substitutionary Atonement, the Resurrection, etc. In holding to these doctrines, these folk were far, far out of step with the mainline PCUSA, but they were not at all Confessional. As a result, we as a committee saw a need to require additional mentoring and training in Reformed theology for our incoming transferees. Unfortunately, our denomination as a whole rejected our suggestions as they were afraid of scaring off or offending this very large influx of new ministers and churches. The sad result was the opening of the floodgates of our denomination to a largely non-Confessional group who now outnumber the churches and ministers of ten years ago. As one friend of mine put it, "We are now guests in our own house."

At any rate, the upshot of what I see in the ACNA is this: While it is absolutely appropriate to praise and appreciation to veterans of the (losing) battles in the mainline denominations, and while it is important to honor them, it is not wise to give them control of the wheelhouse. These folks have been fighting good fights, but their fights have been over the essentials of the faith. They are in large part unprepared to form a new denomination. There's simply too steep of a learning curve for them to assume the wheel before they are ready.

As regards the ACNA, I would suggest as a possibility that what we see is a groups of people who, while they've fought the fight in the old denomination, have the skillset of fighters against heresy and apostasy, not the skillsets of builders and theologians.

I have other reflections, but my wife is calling us to breakfast.

Shalom shabbat,

-A.

Robin G. Jordan said...

A number of factors are contributing to the present state of affairs in the Anglican Church in North America. You may have put your finger on one of them. James Packer is one of its few theologians of real note in the ACNA and the evidence does not point to him having significant influence upon the development of doctrine in the denomination. Packer has also been criticized for his endorsement of Evangelicals and Catholics Together which claims theological agreement between Evangelicals and Catholics. Packer has also publicly claimed such agreement in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary. Packer wrote the Introduction to To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism in which he claims that the contents of the catechism are acceptable to all legitimate schools of Anglican thought. The catechism takes the Arminian-Roman Catholic view of the order of salvation, maintains the Eastern Orthodox-Roman Catholic view that confirmation, matrimony, penance, ordination, and unction are sacraments, and leans toward the Eastern Orthodox view of sanctification. The catechism’s contents are far from acceptable to all legitimate schools of Anglican thought. One is forced to conclude that Packer has radically changed his views from when he wrote Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs or he did not read the final draft of the catechism.

John Rodgers is another theologian in the ACNA. He does not come from an evangelical background but embraced neo-orthodoxy through the influence of Karl Barth. The evidence points to his succumbing to the influence of Anglo-Catholic and Convergentist theology in recent years. The adherents of Anglo-Catholic and Convergentist schools of thought espouse unreformed Catholic teaching and practices. They also take a negative view of the Protestant Reformation. Rodgers also endorsed Evangelicals and Catholics Together.

What I see in the Anglican Church in North America is the effects of the confused state of theology in the Episcopal Church, which may have its beginnings in the earliest days of that denomination. The bishops and other clergy in the Anglican Church in North America are not entirely free from its effects. While the Episcopal Church adopted its own version of the Thirty-Nine Articles, the denomination did not require clerical subscription to these Articles. The extent to which a member of the clergy subscribed to their doctrine and principles was left to the member of the clergy. The Episcopal Church lost its conservative Evangelical wing in the 1870s. The Anglo-Catholic Movement and the Broad Church Movement would dominate Episcopal thought well into the twentieth century. They would lay the groundwork for more radical departure from the Scriptures, which we see in the Episcopal Church today.

From the mid-nineteenth century on a number of views were presented and received as established truth when they were in actuality pure theory with little basis in fact. One of them was the myth that historic Anglicanism was a via media, or middle way, between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. This view has been displaced by the notion that Anglicanism at its best embraces three theological streams—Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and Pentecostalism—since the late twentieth century. What these views attempt to do is justify and rationalize theological confusion. The English Reformers were Protestant, Reformed, and Evangelical and their legacy is a Church that is Protestant, Reformed, and Evangelical. If they represent any kind of via media, it is between Zurich and Geneva. The reformed Church of England in the sixteenth century had more in common with the Church of Zurich and the other Swiss Reformed Churches than it had with the Church of Geneva. John Calvin and Theodore Beza would not become major influences in the English Church until the early seventeenth century when the Puritan Movement gained ground in the English Church.[Continued]

Robin G. Jordan said...

I am of the opinion that the Anglican Church in North America’s “founding fathers” are not the right persons to defend “Biblical Anglicanism” or to establish a new Anglican province. I associate “Biblical Anglicanism” with confessional Anglicanism, the “Protestant Reformed religion” of the Church of England’s historic formularies and the Coronation Oath Act.

Former Archbishop Robert Duncan criticized the Elizabethan Settlement in the days before the formation of the Anglican Church in North America and advocated the establishment of a new settlement. The Elizabethan Settlement shaped historic Anglicanism and the two Books of Homilies, the Articles of Religion, and The Book of Common Prayer are a part of that settlement.

Duncan also advocated what he called “regression,” the present form of church governance in the Anglican Church in North America, and the streamlining of its canons. Those who read between the lines recognized that what he was championing was unfettered episcopacy. The African bishops were held up as an example of what North American Anglicans needed—strong bishops. General Convention and the laity were blamed for what happened in the Episcopal Church.

The problem with this view is that the Episcopal Church’s bishops were major contributors to the state of affairs in the Episcopal Church. They occupied the place of power in that denomination.

The deliberative process in General Convention worked against theological conservatives not because the process itself was flawed but due to the actions of the Episcopal Church’s bishops, they had become a minority group in the denomination. The legislative procedure that Duncan advocated ensured that one group or faction in the denomination would determine what provisions would be enacted into canon law.

The streamlining of the canons meant that necessary details and important safeguards would be omitted. Without these details and safeguards whoever occupied the place of power in the denomination would be free to interpret the canons as they saw fit.

The episcopate of a number of the African provinces is modeled upon the prelates of the Roman Catholic Church and the leaders of traditional African society. The manner in which the bishops were selected in these provinces does not have antecedents in the primitive Church but was a relatively recent innovation. The implementation of a similar method in the Anglican Church in North America would enable one group or faction to determine who became a bishop in the denomination and to dominate its college of bishops.

This view reveals a basic distrust of the laity and a strong inclination toward elitism.

I do not see poor thinking at work here. What I see is deliberate thinking.

Among the reasons my inclination is to explore the adaption of the earlier catechisms used in the Church of England during the Elizabethan period is that they reflect the early Reformed theology of the Church of England. This is the Reformed theology of the Edwardian and Elizabethan phases of the English Reformation, the theology of Martin Bucer, Henry Bullinger, Thomas Cranmer, John Jewel, Peter Vermigli, and others. The historic Anglican formularies embody this theology. These catechisms form a part of the Elizabethan Settlement and adapting them would be an affirmation of the Elizabethan Settlement.

The Westminster Catechisms belong to a later period when Calvin and Beza had become major influences upon Reformed theology in the Church of England. While Anglican divines were involved in their drafting and they are a part of the Anglican Church’s Reformed theological heritage, they have stronger associations with Presbyterianism than historic Anglicanism. The Westminster Assembly of Divines was formed in the days leading up to the first English Civil War and was intended in part to bring the Church of England into closer conformity to the Church of Scotland, which had a Presbyterian form of church government.

Austin Olive said...

Out of curiosity, what are your PEARUSA and AMiA?

Robin G. Jordan said...

I am not sure that I understand your question. Are you asking where they stand theologically? Or are you seeking a general description of PEARUSA and AMiA?

At the time Chuck Murphy broke with PEAR, there was evidence of increasing Anglo-Catholic influence in the AMiA. Kolini, while he was archbishop of PEAR had appointed an Anglo-Catholic AMiA priest as special canon for ecclesiastical affairs. This priest drafted a new set of canons for PEAR, which adapted substantial material from the Roman Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law as well as incorporated doctrine and principles from the same document. The section of the canons governing the relationship between the Archbishop of PEAR and the Primatial Vicar in charge of the AMIA was based upon the Roman Catholic Church canons governing the relationship between the Pope and the Archbishop of a Roman Catholic province. Under its provisions the Primatial Vicar in the absence of the Archbishop of PEAR had absolute control of AMiA and was accountable only to the Archbishop of PEAR. The same priest also drafted the new charter for the AMIA. Murphy had the final say in everything, including the nominations for the AMiA’s episcopate, which its Council of Missionary Bishops submitted to PEAR’s House of Bishops for election and confirmation. Murphy broke with PEAR after the new PEAR Archbishop requested an accounting of monies that the AMIA was sending to Rwanda. These monies were going directly to different individuals and groups in Rwanda and not through PEAR.

In its Solemn Declarations, which date to the time of its formation, the AMIA was committed to adherence to the doctrine and principles of the Anglican formularies. But as time passed, it became clear that this commitment was largely on paper. While the AMiA had a Reformed Evangelical element, it also had an Anglo-Catholic element. Perhaps the largest element in the AMIA was Convergentist in their theological leanings. They certainly were in their liturgical views. Gerald Bray would characterize this element as “charismatic open evangelical ritualists.”

An Anglican Prayer Book, which was authorized for use in the AMiA in 2008, was a mixed bag. Overall it leaned in an Anglo-Catholic direction. It certainly was not a contemporary English version of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, which it was presented to be. It incorporated material from the 1928 American Prayer Book and the 1962 Canadian Prayer Book as well as the 1662 Prayer Book. It has its good points and with revision could be transformed into a passable Anglican service book. [Continued]

Robin G. Jordan said...

If I had had access to a writeable CD Rom file of the book, I would have undertaken the revision of the book myself. I had requested such a file of its predecessor from AMiA but received no response to my request. I would compile An American Prayer Book as an alternative to An Anglican Prayer Book but I have never published it largely due to copyright issues that I was not able to resolve at the time. I have posted a number of the rites and services fromAn American Prayer Book at http://exploringananglicanprayerbook.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=11 . You will also find my evaluation of An Anglican Prayer Book on the same website.

PEARUSA also has a Reformed Evangelical element. The evidence points to the dominant element in PEARUSA being Convergentist. PEARUSA’s organizational structure and form of governance is modeled to a large extent on that of the Anglican Church in North America. While PEARUSA has what corresponds to a synod, the synod is consultative like similar bodies in the Roman Catholic Church and may be convened only when the bishops see a need to consult that body. The locus of power in PEARUSA is its bishops. Bishops for PEARUSA are elected and confirmed by the PEARUSA House of Bishops. However, nominees must first be approved by the ACNA’s College of Bishops.

When the organizational structures and forms of governance of the ACNA and PEARUSA are compared with that of other denominations, they have more in common with those of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church than the Anglican Church.

Synodical government has a long history in the Church of England and its origins predate the English Reformation. The form of church government adopted for the reformed Church of England is similar to that of the Swiss Reformed Churches with the exception of the Church of Geneva. The laity in the form of the magistrate had final authority over the church and the church served as the conscience of the magistrate. In the case of the reformed Church of England, the magistrate was the English Monarch and Parliament. The reformed Church of England would retain its convocation, an assembly of bishops and other clergy, but its decisions had no force unless they were approved by the English Monarch and Parliament. In the reformed Church of England bishops were formally elected by the canons of their respective cathedrals but their election required the authorization of the English Monarch who nominated the candidate that they were to elect. Bishops governed the Church but under the oversight of the English Monarch and Parliament to whom they were accountable. They could be suspended by the English Monarch and royal commissioners appointed to perform their duties. Bishops were subject to the law like other ministers. [Continued]

Robin G. Jordan said...

Anglo-Catholics and those who held similar beliefs have typically made two claims and sought to implement what they claimed. First, they claimed that only bishops had authority over the Church. Second, they claimed that bishops were above the law. Bishops were not constrained by the canons of the church or the laws of the land. The canons derived their authority from the bishops and their compliance with the canons was purely voluntary on the bishops’ part. These beliefs are discernible in the Anglican Church in North America.

In England there were a number of judicial rulings which essentially rejected these claims. In the United States, however, these views flourished.

I have argued in a number of articles that those who occupy the place of power in the Anglican Church in North America, while they may style themselves as “Anglican,” are not Anglican in their ecclesiology as well as their theology. They are more unreformed Catholic than Anglican. A denomination that retained the character of the reformed Church of England would genuinely subscribe to doctrine and principles of the Anglican formularies and would give the laity a much greater role in the governance of the denomination at all levels. A representative church assembly with supreme authority in matters affecting the denomination as a whole would take the place that the English Monarch and Parliament historically occupied in relation to the reformed Church of England. It would nominate and elect bishops or confirm their election. It would make canons for the good order of the church. It would approve its Prayer Book and its Articles of Religion and enforce adherence to their doctrine and principles.

As for what is left of the AMiA, the Anglo-Catholic AMiA priest who drafted the PEAR new canons and AMiA’s new charter also drafted its governing documents.