Monday, July 30, 2001

SEPTEMBER 12, 1801 & SEPTEMBER 12, 2001 --- 200 YEARS


At an earlier Convention they had approved THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER and
THE ORDINAL received from the Church of England. Thus by 1801 the three
basic and classic Anglican Formularies were approved by the PECUSA and it
was a wholly Anglican jurisdiction of the Church.

We need to be well versed in these Formularies, especially now when the
question of the identity and nature of the Anglican Way is under scrutiny
and attack.

I stand ready to help promote these celebrations wherever I am able. Let
there be essays and articles in parish magazines and diocesan papers. Let
there be a special service on September 12 where the Articles are publicly
read. Let there be one day conferences on them and let there be a revival of
interest in the Reformed Catholicism of the Anglican Formularies.

There is a good commentary on the Articles on the PBS website ---

Peter Toon (presbyter)
Are all baptized Christians priests unto God?
A Discussion Starter

One of the cherished doctrines of evangelical Protestants is “the
priesthood of all believers.” This doctrine is asserted as both being
biblical and as contrary to perceived sacerdotalism and emphasis upon
"ministerial priesthood" in Romanism and Anglo-Catholicism.

The biblical basis is to be found in 1 Peter 2:5 & 9 & Revelation 1:6; 5:10;
20:6, and the O.T. background is in Exodus 19:6 & Isaiah 61:6.

When we examine the teaching in 1 Peter we gain the impression that the
church, as the congregation of the baptized, is corporately a holy and
royal priesthood. That is the Christian assembly is priestly in its relation
to God and is so by his grace.

When we examine the teaching in the Book of Revelation we gain the
impression that each baptized believer is a priest and that the Christian
congregation is made up of “priests to his [Christ’s] God and Father.” And
they are so by God’s grace.

This priesthood which belongs to all Christians both corporately and
individually is closely connected in these texts with kingship (ruling – a
privilege of the End time) and holiness (obeying the Lord, a duty now and at
the End time).


We are all familiar with the fact that it is normal in figurative language
to give the same name to things which are only alike in one or two aspects.
Thus here we should not expect that the Christian priesthood is in all
respects like the priesthood of the Old Testament and covenant. Rather the
two are alike only in certain basic respects.

Based upon the two OT references (Exodus 19:6 & Isaiah 61:6) it is possible
that the priesthood of the new covenant was seen by the N.T. writers in
terms of a redeemed people united to Christ by the Spirit, being set apart
as the specific chosen people of God, having direct access to this God of
the covenant and of offering to him acceptable, spiritual sacrifices, all as
means to serve him and glorify him in this world.

When we ask what are spiritual sacrifices then the answer of the N.T. is in
terms of worship (John 4:23), faith (Philippians 2:17), prayer (Revelation
5:8; 8:3), praise (Hebrews 13:16), gifts to sustain Christian ministry
(Philippians 4:18), gifts to the poor (Hebrews 13:16), evangelization
(Romans 15:16f.), martyrdom (Philippians 2:17; 2 Timothy 4:6) and the
consecration of one’s life to the Lord (Romans 12:1). Christian believers,
individually and corporately, can and do offer such spiritual sacrifices to
the Father through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his Spirit in
their dedicated lives at home, at work, in service and at worship.

We recall from the evidence of the Old Testament that the priest of the
Mosaic covenant had the right of access to the Lord, of making intercession
for the people of Israel, of offering acceptable physical sacrifices, of
blessing the people and of teaching the Mosaic law. Most of what he did
could only be done by him because he was set apart as a priest to do these
very things. In contrast, the priesthood that belonged to the whole of God
’s chosen people, Israel, obviously did not include the specific
responsibilities and duties of the Levitical priesthood but rather
proclaimed and affirmed that Israel is God’s chosen people , called out from
the nations, and as such has the privilege and duty to draw close to him in
worship and prayer and for blessing from him.

In contrast, in the new covenant (and thus within the New Testament)
established by the blood of the Lord Jesus there is no order of priesthood
comparable to the Levitical priesthood for he himself is the only Priest and
not Levitical but of the ancient order of Melchizedec. However, and very
importantly, there is an universal priesthood of the new covenant which
belongs to the era of the gift of the Holy Spirit and not of outward
observances as in the old covenant. It is a priesthood which offers
spiritual sacrifices individually and corporately. Jesus). Yet in the New
Testament no specific connection is made between the priesthood of the
Church and of believers on the one hand and the high Priesthood of Christ in
heaven, on the other.


The move to call ministers of the new covenant by the term “priest” belongs
to the period after the apostles and came about through the analogy of the
Levitical priesthood with the order of Bishops and Presbyters. The fact
that Old Testament was much read and studied as the Christian Bible and the
fact that the Eucharist was seen as an offering and sacrifice to the Father
through the Son in the Spirit assisted this apparently easy transfer of the
word priest first to the Bishop and then to the Presbyter. And as far as the
Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches are concerned, this usage is
a permanent part of their theology and vocabulary. In contrast, with the
Church of England and Anglican Communion of Churches the usage is not

It may be noted that once this analogy is in use and once this transfer is
made, then the universal priesthood of the Church and the priesthood of each
member of the new covenant becomes the more difficult to sustain and
explain. [And this fact is made the more problematic for English-speaking
persons because the word “priest” can simply be a contraction of the word
“presbyter” (as it apparently is in the BCP & Ordinal of 1549, 1662) and
have no reference to the Levitical priest.]

Further, it may be seen that if the analogy is dropped and the doctrine of
“the priesthood of all believers” is emphasized (as happened in the
Protestant Reformation of the 16th century) then the problem arises as to
how to define this priesthood in such a way as to make room for good order
in the Church where the pastoral and sacramental and teaching duties of
bishops, presbyters and deacons are clear.

The Anglican Reformers (as may be seen from the evidence of the historic
Formularies of the Church of England and from their own writings) embraced
the doctrine of the priesthood of the Church and of all believers but did so
while maintaining the traditional three-fold order of the ordained Ministry.
Further they retained to this Ministry the conduct of divine service, the
preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments --- except in
the case of emergency (in terms of infant baptism) or urgent practical need
(an educated layman reading a homily). They worked on the principle that one
does not change that which has existed for good reason a long time and
belongs to sound order.

Thus what is known as the Elizabeth Settlement of Religion (1559) is a
carefully worked out form of reformed Catholicism or conservative
Protestantism in which there is a marrying of biblical theology and
received, purified and simplified tradition. To set aside its major
provisions is to do great harm to the Anglican Way of Christianity and make
it unworkable.

Bearing this in mind, protests rightly arise when, on the one side, there
seems to be an effort to minimize or to negate “the priesthood of all
believers” and emphasize “the ministerial priesthood” of the clergy; and,
on the other side, when there seems to be an attempt to draw deductions from
the universal priesthood which are innovatory and radical. Thus, over the
last century, evangelical churchmen [and others] have protested against the
claims made for, and the use of the very name of, “a ministerial
priesthood,” and more recently, in the last few decades, anglo-catholic
churchmen [and others] have protested against the calls for lay celebration
[presidency] of the Holy Communion.

Certainly the Anglican Family has developed the practice of
comprehensiveness to keep the Elizabethan Settlement in place and also to
allow for varieties of emphasis in doctrine and of ceremonial in
churchmanship. However, this practice of comprehensiveness does have its
limits and these do not include claiming an unique priesthood [like that of
the Levitical] for the ordained clergy and the right of a layperson, even if
authorized, to be the Celebrant at the Service of Holy Communion.

The Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon. July 30, 2001
News of St. James the Less, Philadelphia, PA

Dear Friends,

I wanted to let you know that the Bp of PA has filed a suit against our
parish of St. James the Less in Philadelphia, PA. He filed in Orphans Court,
which happens to have jurisdiction over non-profit organizations, which was
a bit of a surprise. It looks that this was done probably because Orphans
Court is less congested and tends to act more quickly than the Court of Common
Pleas. He has asked the court to do four things:

1. Declare null and void the April, 1999, merger by which the congregation left the diocese (the earlier church of St. James merged itself with another corporation created for that specific purpose. When corporations merge, they can choose to use the By-Laws of either one (I am not sure whether they can pick and choose or not). The newly created merged corporation took the By-Laws of the specially created corporation, which make no reference at all to ECUSA.

2. Dissolve the parish as it now exists. This is much more drastic even than
reduction ot mission status. He wants to wipe us out totally. This makes
clear that he has no intention of maintaining a parish in our location, and
that he cares not a whit about either the people of St. James or our

3. Make the Bp. himself trustee of all parish property, real and personal.
He is not naming himself rector, because he want there to be no parish. This
will allow him to take the money, particularly the trust fund, and basically
use it for anything he wants. This further supports what I said about his
real interests in item 2.

4. To hold each individual Vestry member personally accountable for all
money spent in the past two years as breach of fiduciary responsibility. This
looks like a scare tactic to see if he can frighten one or more Vestry members to
come over to his side, testify against the rights of the congregation, and
thereby be exempt from his request.

It looks like we can expect a trial in less than 6 months. Whoever loses
will almost certainly appeal, and there are two levels of appeal possible in the
state courts. It looks like we are in for a long, expensive, draining fight!

I thought you would want to know what is going on. I ask for your prayers
for the survival of the parish of St. James the Less, in its present location
and without being looted by the bandits.


Friday, July 27, 2001

ACNS 2542 - NIGERIA - 24 July 2001
Anglican Communion Ordains Eight Priests
By Juliana Taiwo

[Naija News] Eight priests and seven deacons were ordained recently by the
Bishop of Ijebu Diocese, Anglican Communion, the Rt Revd Professor Akinyele

The ceremony which was part of activities to mark the silver jubilee of the
diocese took place at Emmanuel Church, Italupe Ijebu Ode.

In his charge to the priests, Bishop Omoyajowo enjoined them to adhere
strictly to the 39 articles of the Christian faith which include the belief
in the sonship, Lordship and messiahship of Jesus Christ as well as
evangelising their communities through the teaching and preaching of
biblical injunctions and also through being embodiments of Christian

In his sermon, Venerable E B Abiala who also co-ordinated the three days
retreat for the ordained priests told the ministers that they were called to
serve and not lord themselves over their congregation. Their mission was to
preach the ministry of reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ and to
bring the world back to God.

Nigerians he said needed Christ more than ever because of their social and
moral bankruptcy. Dignitaries from all walks of life graced the occasion.
They included the wife of the Diocesan, Mrs Adenike Omoyajowo who
co-ordinated the wives of the new clergies as chairperson of the diocese
women's wing, Venerable Sunday Oyinlola, archdeacon, Ijebu West Alekun
archdeaconry, Justice Mabogunje (rtd) the chancellor of the diocese and
Barrister Ogunyemi the diocesan registrar.

ACNS 2545 - AUSTRALIA - 24 July 2001

Dr Ann Young - against Women Bishops (Part I)

23 July 2001

Your Grace, fellow members of Synod.

As in 1998,my role is to present an alternative to the support for the move
to ordain women as bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia.

During the past 3 years, I - like many of you and many others in the
church - have had to ask myself 'am I opposed to this because of habit or
perversity or reluctance to change?' I have had the privilege of working
with a group of people for whom I have had increasing liking and respect,
although as Muriel has noted, we and other members of the Group have not
changed our theological position. Professional colleagues obviously think
mine is inconsistent with my professional career path. Most of the women in
my family and several of my close friends - including Christian ones - think
I am just plain wrong. If it takes a generation to achieve social change,
does the church have to wait a generation to achieve social change, does the
church have to wait for diehards like me to get off synods before 'progress'
can be made? I often wish I could support the move for ordination, but two
things stop me doing so - the plain reading of Scripture, and the practice
of the church over 2000 years.

In salvation, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor
female. But in my mind, it does not follow that responsibility for feeding
and correcting the flock of God, for administering the sacraments instituted
by Christ, and for teaching sound doctrine is gender non-specific. If the
leadership role of men rested only on one or two verses in the letters of St
Paul, then I might be convinced that it was a practice for that time, but
not binding us now. However, that is not the case. As I read it, the
consistent teaching of Scripture is that men have the responsibility under
God to take these roles. It was so in the Old Testament times, with a few
rare exceptions. There is no doubt that Jesus gave new and unheard dignity
to women, and they were key supporters of his ministry. Yet he did not
appoint any women as disciples. Was this just because it would have gone
against the demands of social norms. The Holy Spirit 'brought to mind all
that Jesus had taught'. Yet the apostles led by Him chose no women, only
men, to fill the leadership roles in those decades of the church.

Was that just for then? Is the holy Spirit leading us to change now?
Obviously, many people think so, but I am uncomfortable with the arguments
put forward to in support of this idea. Since the ordination of women to the
priesthood was authorized, the concept of reception has been widely
promoted. This means that if the move is of God, then it will succeed, and
if not, it will fail. This strikes me as dubious on both theological and
historical grounds.
ACNS 2545 - AUSTRALIA - 24 July 2001

Dr Ann Young - against Women Bishops (Part II)
It may seem odd that I am going over again matters that for many people
became obsolete with the clarification canon concerning ordination to the
priesthood. But these matters are still the root of many objections to the
current proposed canon. The objections are theological; the yare founded on
the belief that holding the received tradition of the Church is not just
clinging to earlier patterns, but rather an appeal to the experience, wisdom
and knowledge of the catholic church. We need to be very sure that it is new
wind of Spirit of God, and not a tornado of our times, that we allow to blow
away two millennia of acceptance of the leadership role of men in the
church. I believe that it is not a new revelation, that the church be
established by Christ and sustained by His Holy Spirit is not for us to
change. Nevertheless, we have today a partial fait accompli. We have women
ordained as priests in the Australian Anglican Church, and we have a serious
proposal to authorize their ordination as bishop.

I was listening to Margaret Somerville, the medical ethicist, on the radio
the other day. She commented that we are in a Western, secular, democratic,
litigious society, that values the rights of the individual over the rights
of the society. Because of all those characteristics, we will disagree about
ethical issues. Our Church is part of that society, and all of us are
moulded by it to some extant at least. So we can expect that we will be
divided on issues of significance. And any large gathering of people like
this is intrinsically a political forum, so that division into 'parties' is
almost inevitable. The challenge for us as Christians is to resist using the
Synod primarily as a political venue, and to acknowledge that all of us
continually fall short of the Glory of God. When we come to the end of the
debate and vote, how we will see the majority see the outcome? As a victory?
As the Holy Spirit affirming their stance? As a majority opinion of this
group at this time? How will those in the minority react? In bitterness
against a crushing blow? In anger, and rejection of the Church? In
recognition that the majority have in good conscience held a contrary view?
If we are united in Christ, how do we deal with an issue for which there is
such strongly held opposing views?

In the proposed Canon, Muriel has emphasized the possibility of a principled
compromise. For some, there is no such possibility. The ordination of women
to the priesthood is such a gospel imperative that no diminution of its
dignity can be contemplated. Or -a view held equally strongly - the
ordination of women to the priesthood is such a betrayal of gospel
principles, that this is only a further insult. It would be so much easier
if the way we express our faith in God were a light matter, if we didn't
really mind either way. Or if we could come to a point when we echoed the
Jerusalem Council and said 'it seemed good to us and to the Holy Spirit…'
But friends, that's not the way the debate is shaping. As the Working Group
has discussed the issue over the past three years, we have wrestled not only
with basic questions, but also with how to present them here.

As you can see from the structure of the proposed canon, we decided that the
first question is the basic principle - do we or do we not consider it
proper to consecrate women as bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia?
We purposely separated that question from the possibility of alternative
episcopal oversight because of the responses we had to our initial suite of
suggested forms for oversight. What did we get:

We might accept the canon only if it has this method

We won't accept the canon if it has any method

We would consider the canon if it had this, but not that method

We would consider the canon if this method was modified in this way

We don't care what alternatives are, we'll support / reject the canon

I invite you to contemplate just how convoluted and confusing a debate with
multiple alternatives would be! However, part of our brief was to propose
methods of alternative episcopal oversight. So, first we discuss the basic
issue of principle. The next step is to decide whether the attached Protocol
adequately provides that, or whether even that is unacceptable /
unnecessary, or whether it needs to be modified. Then, if more protection is
needed for those disaffected by the canon, we need to decide whether this
should be imposed legally on the diocesan bishops, and then if so, how. We
have proposed a method which fits comfortably within the existing structure
of our church.
ACNS 2545 - AUSTRALIA - 24 July 2001

Dr Ann Young - against Women Bishops (Part III)
There is one other question which was raised during the consultation process
that I would like to mention here. The brief asked us to bring forward a
draft canon, and to propose a method of alternative oversight for those who
oppose the consecration of women as bishops, to provide for the good
conscience of those who hold the position that I share - that ordination of
women to the priesthood and thence to the episcopacy is contrary to the
teaching of scripture. Many of the submissions to our group turned the coin
over. What of those who support women's ordination but are not able to
receive the full ministry of women as priests or as bishops? This reinforces
for me the concern behind the move made last Synod to provide for
alternative oversight. We as a Synod make decisions by majority vote. It's a
method that fits our society well. It's at best doubtful that it is a
biblical method. But it's the method we use. So how do we care for the
marginalised, the disaffected, the hurt, the less powerful, the minorities?
No matter which way the canon is decided, those people will be in our
church. Either Muriel Porter or I will be one of them. So will a goodly
number of you.

The basic question is theological - we each will vote on the canon according
to whether we believe it is, or is not, proper for women to be ordained. But
bishops are not simply promoted priests. They have responsibility for
ordination of others, for confirmation, for maintaining unity and sound
doctrine. Consequently, passing this canon would raise added concerns and
practical problems. It may be possible within a diocese to move parishes to
seek or to avoid the ministry of an ordained woman; it is hardly practical
to move dioceses in response to the gender of the bishop. Realistically,
though, many Anglicans are not wholly happy with their bishop, because of
differences over theology or churchmanship. In some cases but not all, the
matter of gender may simply be another point of difference. The concerns are
probably greater for men and women who are or wish to be ordained, and hold
a view contrary to that of their diocese or bishop. It is a very serious
matter if a woman's ordination is not accepted, or if an ordained person
cannot accept the validity of his colleague or bishop. Yet the reality of
the situation is that both these scenarios are inevitable, as are concerns
over the validity of confirmation. No amount of protocol or legislation can
completely overcome this. However, to discuss and work through the concerns
over the past three years has given me a greater understanding of, and
empathy with, people of different views to my own, and we as a Working Group
have tried to share that better understanding with the church via the
consultation process. The group discussions here are a further extension. We
may not alter one another's mind, but we may find that we can work together.

I will vote against the principle canon. I cannot set aside my conviction
That Jesus Christ established His church on a pattern that is eternal,
That the Bible plainly places the responsibility for leadership of God's people on men,
And that the Holy Spirit's guidance has maintained and continues to maintain
the church according to the will of God.

If the canon passes, it becomes less to do with theology and more to do with
practicality and the weight we give to tradition. Whether the canon passes
or not, we will need to show one another respect and care if we are to
honour God rather than act as a group engaged in political debate.
ACNS 2546 - AUSTRALIA - 24 July 2001
Bill accepted in principle at 12th General Synod of the Anglican Church of

The 12th General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia has accepted a
Bill in principle removing all the legal obstacles to the consecration of
women to the episcopate (women bishops).

In a secret ballot, the General Synod voted 135 "for" and 95 "against", with
two abstentions, on a motion to accept the Bill in principle. The move has
allowed the Bill to be debated in detail at the General Synod and a vote on
the final amended Bill is expected to be taken later tonight.

The motion was moved by Dr Muriel Porter, of Melbourne, and seconded by
Bishop of Bunbury, David McCall.

The result of any amendments and the final vote will be released once they
are known.

The women bishops Bill is the result of wide consultation throughout the
church by a working group formed following the last General Synod in
Adelaide in February 1998.

The Bill is modelled on the Law of the Church of England Clarification Canon
1992 - the church law which removed any possible legal obstacles to the
ordination of women as priests.

But it goes further, giving the General Synod the opportunity to recognise
that there are differences of opinion in the church as to whether a woman
can or should perform the duties of a bishop, but also recognises and
affirms the essential unity of the church under God within a tolerable

Importantly, the Bill includes a protocol relating to the provision of
episcopal (bishop) oversight and ministry for those unable to accept the
ministry of a female bishop.

The Bill states: "In any diocese in which a woman is appointed as bishop,
the bishop of the diocese must ensure that appropriate episcopal pastoral
oversight and ministry is provided for persons whose conscience precludes
them from accepting the ministry of a bishop who is a woman ... No member of
clergy or lay member of this church shall suffer any discrimination or
prejudice because he or she in conscience accepts female bishops, priests or
deacons or does not so accept them." (Sections 6.1, 8)

At a local level, parishes will be able to vote to have a bishop from
another region or diocese minister to them, if they wish to have episcopal
ministry by a bishop other than a female bishop.

As a "special Bill", it will require a two-thirds majority of the General
Synod at the final voting stage. If passed, it becomes a "provisional canon"
and must then be considered by each diocese. If, at the next General Synod
in 2004, the provisional canon is passed by two-thirds majority at the final
voting stage, it will become a "canon" and go back to dioceses to consider
and adopt or not adopt.

The General Synod may vote on the Bill as one body, but it may be the case
that a sufficient number of members (five bishops or 10 clergy or laity)
call for a vote by "Houses". This would mean the House of Bishops, House of
Clergy and House of Laity would vote separately, and to pass, the question
must pass each house.

There are 11 women bishops in the worldwide Anglican Communion, in New
Zealand, the United States and Canada.

On behalf of the Standing Committee of General Synod, two General Synod
members, Dr Muriel Porter, from Melbourne, and Dr Ann Young, from Sydney,
today gave a special presentation of two perspectives on the issue, followed
by questions of clarification and a small group discussion.

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Friday, July 20, 2001

Mary Magdalen (of Magdala in Galilee)

July 22nd is the Feast Day of St Mary Magdalen (in the 1549 BCP and the
Canadian 1962 BCP but not for the English 1662 or the American 1928 BCP)

It is so easy to confuse this Mary with one or other of the other Mary’s.
The outline of her encounters with Jesus provides the headings for a good

1. From her Jesus expelled seven demons (Mk 16:9; Lk 8:2)
2. Mary ministered to the needs of Jesus (Luke 8:2)
3. Mary witnessed the Crucifixion (Mt 27:56; Mk 15:40; John 19:25)
4. Mary witnessed the burial of Jesus ( Matt 27:61; Mk 15:47)
5. Mary witnessed the empty tomb (Matt 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-8; Luke 24:10)
6. The risen Jesus appeared to Mary (Mk 16:9 John 20:1-18)

Note that the picture of Mary Magdalene as the classic example of the
penitent sinner is due to the identification of her with the sinful and
repentant woman of Luke 7:36-50, but this woman is not named and there is no
compelling reason to name her as Mary Magdalene (but early in chapter 8,
Mary Magdalene is named as the woman from whom Jesus had expelled seven
demons and this is the basis of the connexion of Mary with repentance.)

The COLLECT in the Canadian 1962 BCP celebrates Mary Magdalen as the woman
who was sanctified by Jesus and became a witness of the Resurrection. The
COLLECT in the English 1549 BCP, following the medieval pattern, presents
Mary as the example of the repentant sinner and thus may be based upon a
wrong interpretation of Luke 7:36ff.

The Rev’d Dr Peter Toon
The Bishop of Fort Worth, The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, confirmed today that
he has called for a special meeting of the Diocesan Standing Committee for
Monday, August 13th, in order to consider certain canonical charges that
have surfaced in the Diocese of Washington against The Rev. Samuel L.
Edwards. Fr. Edwards is the Rector of Christ Church, St. JohnÕs Parish,
Accokeek, Maryland, but remains a member of the clergy of the Diocese of
Fort Worth.

One of the complaints was brought to Bishop Iker from The Rt. Rev. Jane
Holmes Dixon, acting as Bishop of Washington. She accuses Fr. Edwards of
performing services in the Diocese without a license to officiate. Other
charges, which have not yet been forwarded to Fort Worth by Bishop Dixon,
were filed by a number of priests resident in the Washington Diocese,
accusing Fr. Edwards with violations of the doctrine and discipline of the
Episcopal Church.

Bishop Iker has pledged that a full and impartial investigation will be
conducted of all charges against Fr. Edwards. If the facts warrant it, the
case will be placed before the Ecclesiastical Court of the Episcopal Diocese
of Fort Worth for a trial.

The Bishop re-iterated that Fr. Edwards is a priest in good standing in his
Diocese and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Press Release from the Diocese of Fort Worth
July 19, 2001

Sunday, July 15, 2001

From the Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon:

I sent out the Legal Document ( linked below) sent to the Presiding Bishop concerning the refusal of Bp Dixon to accept the Revd Mr Edwards with this comment -- a comment based on some personal experience of the two cases! here is my comment & the response of the lawyer for Sam Edwards and the parish of Accokeek. Let us hope that he is right and I am wrong for he is the expert and I am the pessimistic observer of the ECUSA and its antinomianism!


Chuck Nalls responds:

With due respect to Dr. Peter (Toon), I must make several brief points as
the complainants' counsel in both cases. I do so mindful of "pre-presentment
publicity", but please understand that I am an advocate of a position.

First, the charges filed are on procedural grounds. If the simple language
of the objection period (30 days) has no meaning, then no language of the
canon has meaning. It is a point I have made in other contexts in which the
issues are a bit less distinct. However, here we are not dealing with the
Righter matter, nor are we involved with the qualification question that my
predecessor at the Canon Law Institute faced with the Orris Walker case
(detestable on the merits).

Dixon sat on her procedural rights. Jane Dixon did not satisfy a deadline.
If the post-modern church is in the business of parsing words such as a
simple deadline (define "is", for example), what are our hopes for
Scripture? The question is called.

Second, with any tribunal, it is a tenuous proposition to anticipate
outcome. As counsel ecclesiastic and temporal, I hope and pray I am proven
right. We seek a simple reading of simple language. If I am not, then there
is no justice available in the ECUSA canons. I will, however, await the
decision of the Review Panel and, I trust, the trial court.

Third, as those I defend know, I stand with our brothers and sisters who are
witness to the faith in ECUSA. It is a tough road for them. However, I
must ask Fr. Peter and the rest who are in ECUSA--if this doesn't fly, if
even human rule has no meaning, if canon which must be based on Scripture is
fluid, can you in Christian conscience stay--can you stay in ECUSA?

Saturday, July 14, 2001

The Text of the Presentment against Bishop Dixon

The full text of the Presentment by Clergy and Laity may be read at
Primates without dioceses
The oddities of the Anglican organization in North America.

The Head of the Roman Catholic Church is the Bishop of Rome and he has a
diocese - Rome. In fact he is a diocesan bishop first and the Pope second.

The senior Patriarch of the Orthodox Churches is the Bishop of
Constantinople and he has a diocese - and Constantinople. In fact he is a
diocesan bishop first and the Patriarch second.

The Head of the Church of England is the Archbishop of Canterbury and he has
a diocese - Canterbury. In fact he is a diocesan bishop first and Primate

BUT when we get to North America and to the Anglican presence there we find
a strange phenomenon!

First of all, the Primate of the Anglican Church in Canada, who in the
Canons is called the Senior Metropolitan and Archbishop, actually has no
diocese. (This is a recent development for not too long ago the Primate was
one of the Archbishops of the Canadian Provinces and he always had a
diocese.) And secondly, the Primate of the Episcopal Church of the USA who
is called the Presiding Bishop also has no diocese. (This also is a modern
development for until World War II the Presiding Bishop was always a
sitting diocesan bishop.)

So we have two Bishops/Primates of the Anglican Family in North America, who
make very strong proclamations about the commitment of the Anglican Way to
the territorial diocese, who only make concessions to Native Peoples and no
others for the existence of a special ethnic diocese, who themselves have no
actual territory over which they are bishop. What is necessary for the Pope
and the Patriarch and for the Archbishop of Canterbury is not necessary for
them. Yet having no territorial or cultural or ethnic diocese they proclaim
the doctrine that each bishop [apart from themselves!] should have his own

And to show how illogical they are, one need only note that both in Canada
and in the USA there have been official “unions” with the Evangelical
Lutheran Church so that the Anglican Church of Canada and the ECUSA have
accepted the reality of parallel and overlapping territorial jurisdictions
between which there is full eucharistic communion and between which there is
interchangeability of ordained persons.

YET when it comes to the possibility of a parallel jurisdiction in N.
America accepted by the Anglican Communion for traditional Anglicans, who
are committed to the historic Trinitarian Faith, then both of these
Primates (who have no dioceses) and their staff sing loudly the praises of
the territorial bishopric and oppose with all their might the idea of an
Anglican parallel diocese/province!

Is it not time for these Primates to show themselves friendly towards the
Continuing Anglican Church, the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican
Mission in America with a view to working towards general agreement on a
parallel province in North America for traditional Anglicans who are
committed to the classic BCP and to the historic Order of the Church?

The Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon, President of the Prayer Book Society of the USA,
July 14, 2001.

Friday, July 13, 2001

Indians in the USA and Greeks in Armenia – a similarity

In Armenia in ancient times the Greek Christians living in that area did not
attend the local, Armenian, churches, but instead had their own
congregations and their own, separate, bishops to oversee them! At the same
time, each Church was in full communion with the other and each retained its
awareness of belonging to the family of the wider Church. (F. Dvornik,
National Churches and the Church Universal [London: Dacre Press, 1944],

Today, we know from reports in the press, from their own web-site, and by
personal observations that members of the Church of S. India (a member
church of the Anglican Family) who live in the USA, the area that is claimed
as the territory of the Episcopal Church USA (a member of the Anglican
Family), actually have their own congregations and are visited by their
bishop(s) from India.

Both these examples raise questions as to the finality or exclusive nature
of what is called the territorial bishopric. In each case an exception
was/is being made for what we may call the cultural episcopate – in one case
Greek and in the other South Indian (Tamil?).

To these examples of cultural bishoprics can be added from the Anglican
world, the two overlapping Anglican dioceses in Europe (American & English),
bishoprics for the armed forces of various countries, bishoprics for Native
Peoples in New Zealand, the USA and elsewhere, and bishoprics in England for
those who do not accept the ordination of women. Then, from the Roman
Catholic Church there are examples of overlapping cultural
bishoprics/dioceses in abundance in the big cities of USA & Canada because
of varied immigration of Catholics of various Rites from old Europe. And
the same is true of the national or ethnic Orthodox Churches which, while
being wholly separate from each other in most of Europe, also often overlap
each other in the USA & Canada.

We may suggest that the territorial bishopric speaks most eloquently of the
unity of the Church on earth and that the Bishop of each territory is the
sign of that unity. In contrast the cultural bishopric speaks eloquently of
the diversity of the Church, that it is made up of people of different
races and tribes and nations. In the modern world the one, holy, catholic
and apostolic Church needs and thus rightly has both forms of jurisdiction.
They complement one another!

There seems to be no absolute reason why these two forms of bishoprics
cannot exist alongside each other especially in places such as the USA where
there is such a great variety of people whose origins are in many parts of
the earth.

So far so good.

But in the context of American Anglicanism the question arises as to whether
the principle of complementarity specifically applies when a cultural
bishopric has been created by some clergy and laity seceding from a
territorial bishopric(s) because they believe that the territorial bishopric
is in some basic way in error or in heresy or in immorality. In other
words, within the Anglican Communion is it possible for a cultural
bishopric to exist alongside a territorial bishopric if there is impaired or
broken eucharistic communion between the parent bishopric and the dioceses
created by the seceders ?

And this situation becomes the more complicated if other territorial
Churches or individual dioceses within the Anglican Family declare
themselves in communion with the seceders and not with the original
territorial jurisdiction.

What exists in the USA in modern Anglicanism is that there is the original
territorial bishopric/province (PECUSA/ECUSA) and from this there have
seceded clergy and laity who have formed jurisdictions outside the original
bishoprics/province. Now the question is whether if the uniting of these
jurisdictions with a view to being an accredited Province of the Anglican
Communion is possible, while they remain in impaired or broken communion
with the ECUSA, which remains a Province of good standing in the Anglican

The Rev’d Dr Peter Toon July 13 2001

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

The ECUSA as a supermarket of religious possibilities

In various tracts and essays I have referred to the vast supermarket of
religions that is found in America and that is advertised in the “Churches”
section of the Yellow Pages of the Telephone Books for the big cities. And I
have observed that in a corner of this supermarket is the
Episcopalian/Anglican section with the ECUSA and forty or so other smaller
groups selling their wares.

It has been pointed out to me that the ECUSA itself is practically speaking,
and on the ground, a veritable supermarket of religions. There was a time –
not too long ago -- when there was a basic uniformity to the PECUSA (now
ECUSA) and that uniformity was provided by the use of one classic Book of
Common Prayer , even though varieties of churchmanship were present. So it
was the same product on sale even though it was wrapped in different paper
and presented with different background music in different parishes.

This offering of one product by the ECUSA ceased in the 1970s when the use
of trial services and innovative new shapes of the liturgy became common.
The uniformity based on the classic BCP together with other formularies and
the common male episcopate was replaced by variety in the actual content of
services and women as priests and bishops. So people began to shop around
within the one church to find what was to their taste. For some this meant
a woman priest and a relevant liturgy while for others this meant a male
priest and a traditional liturgy. And there were still rich parishes and
poor parishes, respectable and not so respectable parishes.

The situation in the year 2001 is that the ECUSA is dominated by the
doctrine of relativism and thus allows and encourages all forms of service,
all types of liturgy, all forms of preaching, all forms of living and
lifestyle that do not ever make any absolute claims to be true. Truth is
seen as the net result of all people sharing and pooling their insights and
feelings rather than in some revelation from God in heaven. So variety is
encouraged. The only uniformity is therefore philosophical and few seem to
notice this because it is more taken for granted than spelled out. In this
philosophy, the Christian religion is seen as therapeutic and community
building but it is not portrayed as the unique conveyance of absolute,
saving truth and of eternal life with God.

But there still hang on in the ECUSA those who aspire to be classically
orthodox as charismatic, or evangelical or anglo-catholic Episcopalians.
And there are parishes which defy the basic relativist philosophy of the
ECUSA and teach and preach and worship on the basis that Jesus Christ is the
Way, the Truth and the Life. Such Episcopalians have to compromise in some
ways and they only have a very small share of the supermarket that is the
ECUSA. But it does mean, for example, that if one lives in certain parts of
the USA and is prepared to travel one can even – amazingly after 50 years
of innovation -- find churches using the old prayer Book (the BCP 1928) and
doing so both as evangelicals or as anglo-catholics.

It would appear that supermarket that is the ECUSA can and will stay in
business as long as there is a common assumption held by the majority not
only that no-one possesses absolute truth but also that there is not one
single way to God for salvation. In this context there is much room for
variety and for worship--committees in different places to devise vastly
different types of services offering worship to seemingly different deities.

If this basic philosophy of relativism is ever seriously and persistently
challenged by a large-enough group within ECUSA then there will be religious
and culture wars within this Church. Meanwhile as a minority the would-be
orthodox have very little influence and so they can be tolerated as long as
they do not cause too much fuss and do not grow appreciably in numbers.
This toleration has the practical effect of enlarging the supermarket of
possibilities in the ECUSA!

The Rev’d Dr Peter Toon July 10, 2001
Is the easiest –“the American” – thing to do the right thing to do?!

In the Yellow Pages of Phone Books that cover the big cities, one finds a
very long list of different churches, denominations, sects and cults. I
call this List. the Supermarket of Religions. In it, as a small proportion
of the whole, there is a variety of churches, denominations, jurisdictions,
congregations, societies and groups that use the name “Anglican” or
“Episcopal.” And the largest by far of these is of course the Episcopal
Church, USA [the ECUSA] with perhaps two million members nation-wide. Then
we meet thirty or forty denominations or jurisdictions that in comparison
to the ECUSA are exceedingly small and their total membership is not more
than 100,000. And in this small grouping some are very much larger than the
others, for some jurisdictions have only five or so congregations while
others have fifty or more.

Within this Anglican/Episcopal presence of thirty or forty groups that are
outside the ECUSA, a majority of the jurisdictions claim to be
authentically Anglican, receive the Scriptures as the Word of God written,
believe the Creeds and accept the classic Anglican Formularies. And their
history is that they were once within the ECUSA and have seceded from it on
doctrinal and moral grounds. In fact, had there not been further divisions
in their ranks after the original secessions from the ECUSA then the number
of jurisdictions would have been very small, with the largest being “the
Anglican Continuing Church.” Alongside it would have been only the older
Reformed Episcopal Church, the new Anglican Mission in America, and a few
others – say a total of ten instead of forty.

But the reality is that there are a lot of groups and most of them (in
comparison with others in the Supermarket) are selling the same product. It
seems that they believe that competition is healthy for the propagation of
Anglican Christianity in the USA. Yet the evidence of the last three decades
does not point to growth in either numbers or quality.

Now such is the nature of the competitive supermarket of religions, and such
is the space and liberty that is modern America, that the easiest thing for
each of these jurisdictions to do is to do its own thing. That is to pursue
its own agenda and to cooperate if necessary here and there with those who
are deemed to be fellow travelers. And in defense of this isolationism and
autonomy, any group/jurisdiction can point to problems, doctrinal and
practical errors, and personality cults in the other jurisdictions.
Further, they can say that they are doing the American thing and that being
true to oneself is all right and good.

When one tries to use either practical arguments [e.g., all are basically
Anglican and should be in coalition] or biblical doctrine e.g., [“that
they may be one” joined in “koinonia” etc.] to call those groups which claim
to be biblical and orthodox to cooperate, to dialogue, to form a coalition
and to work towards unity, then one meets some of the emotion of
isolationism and autonomy. Certainly a few come out in support of such
proposals and are truly enthusiastic. But at the same time one receives a
large mail from those who are happy to do their own thing, to perpetuate
their own little group, and to pretend that they are effectively the only
truly Anglican group in existence selling the real product. Thus the
proposer of a coalition is attacked as being a compromiser and an
interferer and as being a less than right-minded American.

Does one give up and let the small Anglican offerings in the American
Supermarket follow the normal competitive ethos therein and continue to
divided and subdivide? Or does one keep on trying, keep on reminding
Anglicans that the whole thrust of the Christian Religion calls them not to
competition but to cooperation, coalition and unity now in this sinful world
where the Church is imperfect? Does one remind them that the major part of
the Anglican family is not in the West but in Africa and Asia and that we
are called to be one with these brothers and sisters? Certainly there will
be unity at the Eschaton but that which shall be at the end time by the
grace of God, surely we are called to work for NOW!

I think that I will keep on trying… at least for a little longer.

The Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon July 10, 2001

Monday, July 09, 2001


In any assessment of the Anglican Way of Christianity in modern America, an
honored place must be given to the CAJ – that is the Continuing Anglican
Jurisdictions, which have been with us for 25 years.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion give
the impression that the only Anglicans in the USA are those within the
Episcopal Church (ECUSA) and in the new-on-the-map Anglican Mission in
America (AMiA). Likewise many clergy and laity in the ECUSA seem to think
that the only real Anglicans in the USA are in the ECUSA or the AMiA. And
some of the conservative clergy and laity of the ECUSA and AMiA seem to
think that the only real Anglicans outside their ranks are in the Reformed
Episcopal Church and small jurisdictions allied to this small church.

The Continuing Anglican movement is to be distinguished from the Reformed
Episcopal Church (a small denomination that began in the 19th century in a
move out of the Protestant Episcopal Church). The origins of the CAJ are in
the mid-1970s when there was a secession of mostly anglo-catholic clergy and
laity from the ECUSA because of perceived heresy and error in the ECUSA.
The seceders, or the continuers, did not agree with the ordination of women
and wished to retain the classic Book of Common Prayer (edition of 1928).
They wished to continue the Anglican worship, doctrine and discipline as
they had received it. And they began both as one movement and one
church/jurisdiction. Many of them made great sacrifices and suffered
greatly for their secession and search for purity of worship and order.

Regrettably the one jurisdiction [CAJ] of 1976 quickly became several and
the tendency to divide has remained so that there are now about 30
jurisdictions, mostly very small. In this tendency to divide and subdivide
the CAJ has been deeply influenced by the centrifugal forces of American
culture. The three largest jurisdictions are the Province of Christ the
King, the Anglican Church in America, and the Anglican Catholic Church. In
all there are in the CAJ of 2001 probably about 50,000 members with about
100 bishops. The churchmanship is mostly anglo-catholic but there are a few
evangelicals and high-church evangelicals. There is virtually no evidence of
the charismatic movement in the CAJ and the usual prayer book is the 1928

The CAJ have been busy overseas and there are continuing Anglican
jurisdictions in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Great Britain, India and
other places. And there is an international organization called the
“Trraditional Anglican Communion.”

With the ferment caused by the arrival on the scene of the AMiA I believe
that the time is ripe to think of gathering together the various forms of
biblically –based Anglicanism and Episcopalianism in the USA and seeking to
unite them in a new comprehensive Province which is catholic, evangelical,
charismatic and truly Christian. I see at the end of preliminary
discussions between the AMiA and the CAJ the calling of a national Congress
of all the interested parties in order to take the necessary decisions to
become an orthodox coalition of Anglican jurisdictions and to form a
province. To such a Congress, Forward in Faith North America and other such
groups would surely be welcome to send representatives.

What I am describing as a Congress is modeled on the famous Congresses in
the 18th century that led to the formation of the USA and is therefore
something very different from the Congress called for June 2002 in Dallas,
Texas by the group whose secretary is the Rev’d Mr Richard Kew. The latter
group seems not to have taken the existence of the CAJ very seriously and
further its Congress is not intended to make decisions about coalition and
unity towards the creation of a Province. The Dallas event seems to be
intended as a special sort of “renewal conference.” It appears that each
Congress is needed and may in the providence of God feed into each other.

The Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon July 9 2001
Koinonia, AMiA & Continuers
[A friendly but urgent word to the Bishops of the AMiA, the Continuing
Anglican Jurisdictions and the Reformed Episcopal Church]

In this brief essay, which I shall expand and improve later, I want to begin
to lay a theological foundation upon which it will be possible for the
evangelical & charismatic leaders of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA)
to work together with the more anglo-catholic leaders of the Continuing
Anglican Jurisdictions (CAJ) for the good of the Anglican Way in America.
Both these groupings have in common that they originated in secessions from
the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) – as also did the REC -- and that they want
to continue to be authentic Anglicans. In numerical terms we are speaking
of around 60,000 Anglicans and this number is increasing monthly.

Not selfish autonomy

It is so easy in the vast space that is North America and within the
well-stocked supermarket of American religions for a small or large
church/denomination/jurisdiction to do its own thing. That is, to act in all
practical matters as if it were THE ONLY church of God on earth in the space
and time and situation where it is placed.

The temptation to do its own thing and to be autonomous in word and deed is
faced by each of the Continuing Anglican Jurisdictions, by the Reformed
Episcopal Church [which seceded from the Episcopal Church in the 19th
Century] and by the Anglican Mission in America. The evidence of the last
twenty-five years seems to confirm that the temptation to exist and act
autonomously has not often been resisted. Thus in terms of being absorbed
by this selfish autonomy the people who came out of the ECUSA to form a
continuing church seem to have fared no better than the major American
denomination/church from which they came! We all know that the ECUSA has
claimed an autonomy to innovate in worship, doctrine and discipline to the
embarrassment of the Anglican Communion of Churches. Likewise most of the
[now circa 30] Continuing Churches have pursued isolationist policies and
programs with the result that the divisions within the Continuing Anglican
movement are an embarrassment to sensitive souls.

All will agree that selfish autonomy in the human soul, in the Christian
Church and in the Anglican section of it is wrong. This is easily
demonstrated by noting that all kinds of rational and practical arguments
can be offered to suggest that congregations and people who call themselves
Anglicans or Episcopalians, who claim to be orthodox in worship, doctrine
and discipline, and who have separated themselves from the ECUSA because its
unfaithfulness to revealed religion, ought to be joined together in some
coalition so that they can work together and not against each other for the
good of God’s kingdom.

Neither differences in churchmanship and style, nor the forcefulness of
ecclesiastical personalities pushing personal preferment and thus
isolationism, should keep members of the same Anglican Family apart. And
certainly these members should not be in hostile competition with each
other. They belong together even if, as in many families, there are basic
disagreements, lively tensions and profound problems to resolve. Further,
they belong together even though the experience of American society and
culture is that of centrifugal forces pushing people apart into alienation
and isolation. We need to remember that a particular quality of the Anglican
Way has been its ability as a Comprehensive Church to hold together people
of differing emphases and styles and to persuade them to walk together
toward the same Goal.

It would appear that only in the unifying and sanctifying grace of the Holy
Ghost is there a sufficiently powerful centripetal force to bring the
members of the one Family into active sharing and cooperation.


In addition to the practical, pragmatic and prudential arguments for a
coalition and co-operation amongst members of the Anglican Family who are
living together in one nation, there is a very powerful theological
principle to consider in this regard. And it is all contained in one Greek
word, koinonia.

In fact so powerful and profound is the truth contained in koinonia that
embraces all those baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Ghost and who have been born anew/from above the Holy Ghost and
points to their unity in the Lord Jesus Christ in faith, hope and charity.
Since the blessed company of the redeemed in heaven is a unified people, and
since we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” then the
people of God on earth are called to live in unity in Christ Jesus by His

Here we shall only explore the unity to which the Anglican Family in America
is called.

In using the concept and principle of koinonia, I am very much aware that
it has been used in recent ecumenical talks and documents and in recent
Anglican documents (e.g., the Eames Commission Reports and the Virginia
Report). But I am not following their lead but rather working afresh from
the use of the word koinonia in the sacred Scriptures and by the Early
Church (especially the Cappadocian theologians).

1. Koinonia [Communion/Fellowship] is grounded in the relationality of God
the Holy Trinity. God the Father is in koinonia with the Son and the Holy
Ghost in the internal, eternal and holy life of the Blessed, Holy and
Undivided Trinity. God as Three in One and One in Three is a Holy Communion
of Persons.

2. Koinonia becomes a human possibility because of (a) the Incarnation of
the Second Person of the Holy Trinity and because of His saving work in
Death, Resurrection and Exaltation, and (b) the sending of the Holy Ghost by
the Father in the Name of the ascended Lord Jesus Christ. Only in with and
through Christ Jesus is koinonia a reality for sinful human beings who are
being saved by grace.

3. Koinonia, as communion, is in its essence and fullness that which shall
be at the End when redemption is complete and when the faithful in their
resurrection bodies behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Then and only then they shall be in perfect communion and fellowship with
the Holy Trinity, with each other and with the holy angels.

4.Koinonia here on earth in terms of communion with God the Father through
the Son and in terms of fellowship within the Body of Christ, the Household
of God, though truly wonderful and glorious, is always partial even when it
seems to be deep and profound. Within the sinful and finite conditions of
life on earth, there cannot be perfect communion and fellowship. Perfection
of communion is a goal to work towards and hope for rather than something to
possess now in entirety. this world in the church of God, Koinonia is closely related to Word
and Sacraments and to the means of grace. Baptism (regeneration)
establishes the relation of koinonia with the Father through the Son, in the
Body of Christ. The Eucharist/Holy Communion strengthens this fellowship
with the Father and with each another in the Body of Christ. All other
means of grace and acts of Christian service and charity provide further
opportunities for the strengthening of koinonia with God and each other.

6. There is a basic, but necessarily limited and partial koinonia, that
unites all the baptized (regenerated) believers and this divine reality
exists whatever external names and titles we give to the congregations of
the baptized. Where the congregations enjoy eucharistic communion one with
another then there is a deeper, yet still limited and partial, experience of

7. Where congregations and jurisdictions have common origins (e.g.,
Anglicans from the Church of England) and where they are seeking to be
orthodox and faithful, then we may say that they are in koinonia with the
Lord and each other, even though that koinonia is partial and incomplete in
this sinful world. The very fact that they are joined in the very communion
that God in grace has provided, a communion which mirrors the internal life
of the Holy Trinity, points to their moral and bounden duty to live in such
a way as to reflect that communion practically in their mutual relations
and cooperative activity. Thus those who call themselves Anglican and who
aspire to orthodoxy and holiness before the Lord are already joined one to
another in the divine reality of koinonia and ought to arrange church life
to reflect that which they possess.

8. In the light of the above we need to be careful in the careless use of
such terms as “broken communion” or “impaired communion” or “full
communion.” To speak of “full communion” usually means that there is open
admittance to the Lord’s Table and to Holy Communion. But this is not
fullness of koinonia for such is only available and known at the End in the
life of the age to come. It is merely the state of fellowship that ought to
characterize the Body of Christ on a regular basis. “Broken communion”
usually means that there is no sharing at the Lord’s Table because of some
action by one group that is regarded as a serious error or heresy by the
other. However, what there probably is in this situation, in some if not
all of those involved, is that very basic taste and experience of koinonia
which belongs to all the baptized, if they have not wholly apostasized.
“Impaired Communion” usually means that Christians within one denominational
family are divided over a practice or doctrine (e.g., women’s ordination)
and are not wholly sure that they should come together to the Lord’s Table
for Holy Communion.

9. In terms of the AMiA and the CAJ and the REC it can be stated that their
clergy and laity are by the grace of God within the koinonia of God and thus
in relational communion with the Father through the Son by the Holy Ghost
and also with each other in the Household of God. This is an objective
reality whether they like it or not and whether they like each other or not!
It has nothing to do with being nice but has everything to do with being
people who have been baptized in the Triune Name. This being so, they have a
solemn duty, a duty intensified by their claim to belong to one historical
Family, the Anglican, to find ways to form a coalition and begin to
cooperate in such a way as to demonstrate that they participate in God’s
koinonia. To avoid this duty and to pursue selfish autonomy is to run the
risk of being rejected at the final judgment as being unfaithful servants.

10. Therefore let the work of reconciliation and cooperation begin within
the Anglican Family that is presently found in the AMiA, the REC and the CAJ
in order to recognize and experience the koinonia that already exists by the
presence of the Holy Ghost in our souls and in our relations.

The Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon July 8, 2001

Friday, July 06, 2001

The Continuing Anglicans & the Anglican Mission in America grow together

In its authentic 21st century form, the Anglican Way of Christianity is a
comprehensive form. That is Anglicanism is a viable form of reformed
Catholic Faith, which, while holding to the central verities and basic
divine order/polity, embraces people of differing churchmanship and of
differing theological emphases.

Leaving aside the ECUSA which seems totally incapable of reform and renewal
as a Province, what we see in general terms in the USA in 2001 is (a) the
new mission-minded and growing AMiA as an expression primarily of
charismatic evangelical emphases and churchmanship, and (b) the continuing
Anglican churches as an expression of various degrees of anglo-catholic
emphases and churchmanship.

Both these bodies have emerged from the ECUSA as reform and renewal
movements and thus have much in common in terms of origins and purpose.

I submit that these two movements belong together (and with them the
Reformed Episcopal Church and such other congregations as are Anglican in
name and intent) for each of them existing alone is missing something of the
fullness of the Anglican Way.

The Anglo-Catholics in the Continuum will benefit greatly from the warmth
and enthusiasm for the Gospel displayed in the AMiA; and the AMiA
constituency will benefit greatly from the dedication to solid liturgy and
sound order displayed by the Continuum. Each group needs the other in order
to experience the reality of the Anglican Way as it has evolved in modern
times as a comprehensive yet orthodox Way.

It is selfish for either of these groups [or subdivisions of either one] to
go it alone and pretend that as a separated small movement they truly
represent the Anglican/Episcopal Name in the USA.

Of course there will be problems to surmount and suspicions to set aside in
the coming together, but the Lord our God is on the side of those who seek
holiness and desire to worship the Blessed Trinity in spirit and in truth.
American Anglicanism since the 1970s has seen too many spits and divisions
and not enough coming together and healing. Let a true coming together in
koinonia (fellowship in the Gospel) begin.

To start this progress of growing together towards unity I believe that
there needs to be a meeting of the bishops of the AMiA together with six
bishops from the larger of the Continuing Churches. This could lead on to
larger meetings for worship, study and dialogue, culminating in a Congress
of all parties [with laity in the majority] to make decisions concerning the
path of growing together into unity. [Dr Tarsitano & Dr Toon have written
carefully and constructively of what such a Congress would seek to achieve.]

[I see this growing together of AMiA & the Continuers as not being connected
in any practical way with the recent “Congress Movement” of which the Revd
Mr Kew is the organizer and which plans a major conference in June 2002 in
Dallas, TX. I think that this conference will be basically a major rallying
point for those who desire to stay in the ECUSA or closely allied to it and
fight for what they believe can be redeemed from the disorder and apostasy
of this diminishing province. But I suspect that it will not advance the
cause of an orthodox province of the Anglican Way for the USA for the 21st

The Rev’d Dr. Peter Toon July 6, 2002