Since its inception in 1989, Forward in Faith, North America (FIF/NA), has sought “to minister pastorally and sacramentally to all who are faithful to the Anglican Way, both within the Episcopal Church and outside it...”.
FIF/NA is the only organization which represents those within The Episcopal Church who refuse to compromise the Church’s historic Faith and Order. In response to Resolution IV.11 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops, FIF/NA has sought ways to serve as a bridge between the Communion and those who live that Faith and Order outside it, particularly those within the United States gathered in the Anglican Communion Network.
To this end, FIF/NA has entered into full communion with two such “extramural” bodies, the Anglican Church in America (ACA) and its parent, the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), and the Anglican Province of America (APA). Members of the ACA and the APA are thus eligible for full membership in FIF/NA, and to hold office in it.
At the end of November, the ACA’s House of Bishops elected FIF/NA’s President, the Rev’d Dr. David Moyer, to serve as that body’s Bishop for the Armed Forces. The leadership of FIF/NA was not consulted prior to the election, and first began to learn of it in confidence during the week of December 5th.
FIF/NA’s Assembly some years ago presented Fr. Moyer’s name to faithful Primates of the Anglican Communion, in the hope that he might be consecrated as bishop of an overseas Province and sent back to minister to the faithful in North America. While the decision of the ACA is entirely separate from that action, FIF/NA is on record as affirming its belief that Fr. Moyer is a worthy to serve as a bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ.
Fr. Moyer is a priest of the Diocese of Upper Shire, Malawi, in the Province of Central Africa. It is FIF/NA’s understanding that his Province’s canons allow him to remain within it as a priest in good standing, even as he serves as a bishop in the ACA. It is FIF/NA’s earnest hope that this will allow him to pursue even more effectively the organization’s efforts to bring together all who hold the historic Anglican Way, both within the Communion and outside it.
It is also FIF/NA’s hope that this will enable the organization to meet more effectively the pastoral and sacramental needs of those among its members who are no longer able to remain within their Episcopal congregations.
At the same time, the majority of FIF/NA’s members remain within the structures of The Episcopal Church. Fr. Moyer’s election in no way affects FIF/NA’s commitment to minister to them, and to its continued and active participation in the Anglican Communion Network.
Fr. Moyer’s election parallels events in Australia, where FIF/Australia’s vice-chairman has been elected to serve as a TAC bishop while continuing as a priest in good standing of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane.
The date of Fr. Moyer’s consecration, February 16th, was chosen to coincide with a previously-scheduled international meeting which will bring the bishops who will consecrate him into the Philadelphia area. Some concern has been expressed that it will come just before the meeting in Ireland at which the Primates of the Anglican Communion will respond to the Windsor Report. Fr. Moyer has assured FIF/NA that this timing is simply a matter of coincidence: it is not meant to sent any message to the Primates, and FIF/NA hopes that Fr. Moyer’s election and consecration will have no impact on their deliberations.
While his consecration in the ACA will not affect his constitutional standing within FIF/NA, the Council and Fr. Moyer are considering whether or not he will continue as its President.
Copies of the original ACA release can be obtained from
Archbp. Louis Falk at 515-987-0124 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For further information, contact
Fr. Warren Tanghe at 404-872-4169, 404-822-6306, or <email@example.com>