A roundup of early reactions to Synod vote on ACNA

Feb 12, 2010 by

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Dr Michael W HowellStand Firm in Faith has an interesting roundup of reactions from its US perspective to the recent Synod vote.  Read here.  Of particular interest is post No 94 from Michael Howell.  Dr Howell is Executive Director of Forward in Faith USA, and was one of the speakers at the pre-synod fringe event on Lorna Ashworth's motion.  He says:

As one of the ACNA representatives and as someone who worked on strategy with Lorna Ashworth, and a host of other CoE delegates this week at General Synod this week, I found the comments on this thread to be interesting and to be honest, not unexpected. Here’s a brief summary of how I see this development.

Yes, I agree that the amended resolution is not the outcome we had wanted. HOWEVER, I stand in full agreement with those who take this as a very positive outcome. In my post-debate conversations with our strongest supporters in the General Synod, they have almost unanimously stated that the unamended resolution would have failed if it was put to a vote. Moreover, those same delegates affirmed that the amended resolution (which passed), would have been defeated if the vote took place as recently as two or three years ago. I would also point out that the amended resolution even goes a step further than Lorna’s original text, by commending the CoE to work with the Communion’s instruments on the matter of ACNA membership.

After Bp. Harvey, Fr. Baucum, Cynthia and I gave our presentations at Tuesday’s luncheon, two things were very clear:

1) There are many (non-radical) CoE members who still have doubts that the atrocities of TEC and the ACoC are real. It’s just very hard for them to believe that “churches” could disregard proper procedure and behave in such a manner.

2) Our presentations had a VERY positive impact on many delegates who had previously thought the ACNA was nothing more than bunch of “homophobic schismatics”, who did not want to play by the “rules”, and were simply looking to rejoin “the club” for ulterior motives. Time and time again, delegates approached me and told me that after listening to us, they had to do a complete 180 degree turn on their previously-held opinions. Our strongest allies in the General Synod felt that this was a major reason why the (albeit) revised resolution passed by such an overwhelming majority.

In closing, I will say this – Don’t be too hasty in dismissing the amended resolution as another example of Anglican stalling by “fudge”. Many delegates felt that something substantive could very well come in 2011 and that the extra time would be valuable for internal deliberations that would help the ACNA cause. The “X” factor in all of this, is this fact that there is no guarantee that all or most of the current Synod membership will be re-elected for seating in 2011. Despite that, ACNA must focus on moving forward in its mission and ministry, building on the great momentum that it has already experienced through the work of the Holy Spirit. Whether it’s 2011 or 2012, or some other future point, our effectiveness as communities of faith and as ministers of the Gospel is going to make the most compelling case for full communion with the CoE or any other church or province.

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