Anglican Communion Network
Annual Council Meeting
April 18-20, 2005

St. Vincent's Cathedral Church
Bed
ford, Texas

 
 

The following documents were released following the conclusion of the meeting. Following the Communiqué and Windsor Action Covenant is a press release from the Network office.

Bishop Iker's Report
 
 
Communiqué
 
 

The Anglican Communion Network (ACN) met in Council April 18-20, 2005 in Bedford, Texas. As we celebrated the strong growth, momentum and vital ministry of the ACN, the gathering focused on critical issues such as church planting, global mission, ministry to youth and outreach to the poor. The crisis of the Anglican Communion also figured predominantly in our discussions. We reaffirmed our unequivocal commitment to the Anglican Communion and the faith and practice of historic Anglicanism. We agreed to the following statements as representing the mind of the house:

1. We give gives thanks for the Primates’ Communique reaffirming the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 as the present position of the Anglican Communion and urge the General Convention to repent of its actions which have alienated the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion and to affirm its intention to remain a constituent member of the Anglican Communion by complying with the primates’ requests (paragraph 17).

2. The primates of the Anglican Communion at their meeting in Newry called for “as a matter of urgency” a panel of reference (paragraph 15), and yet as of this date, the panel has not been organized. We implore the Archbishop of Canterbury immediately to organize this panel to help ensure the protection of beleaguered parishes and clergy of the Episcopal Church.

3. We requested that Moderator Robert Duncan send a letter to Pope Benedict XVI expressing our greetings and support, thanking him for upholding the historic teaching and faith of the Church. We anticipate with joy his continued efforts to build bridges between the separated branches of God’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

4. We express our urgent desire that the Anglican Communion Network continue to work diligently to build formal relationships with Anglican jurisdictions not currently in communion with Canterbury, to solidify those relationships and to work for structural unity with them.

5. We denounce the response of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church to send a full delegation to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Nottingham as further evidence of the arrogance of our church and a direct refusal to comply with the letter and the spirit of the Primates’ Communique issued at the Newry meeting.

6. Six priests of the diocese of Connecticut – the Rev. Allyn Benedict, Christ Church, Watertown; the Rev. Ronald S. Gauss, Bishop Seabury, Groton; the Rev. Mark Hansen, St. John’s, Bristol; the Rev. Donald Helmandollar, Trinity, Bristol; the Rev. Christopher Leighton, St. Paul’s, Darien; and the Rev. Gil Wilkes, Christ and the Epiphany, East Haven – are under threat of inhibition by Andrew Smith, Bishop of Connecticut. These priests and their congregations have been faithful to Scripture, to the historic faith and order of Anglicanism and to the communion. Bishop Smith’s charge of “abandonment of communion” is unfounded and unsubstantiated, and his threat of inhibition and ultimate deposition represents an abuse of canonical power. We stand in solidarity with these godly men and the congregations they shepherd. We condemn the actions of Bishop Smith and pledge our ongoing support to the six clergy and churches in Connecticut as well as to all those across the nation who are experiencing harassment and persecution by their bishops.

 
   
   
 
Windsor Action Covenant
 
 

In order to stand firm in the faith of the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church…

Laity

• I will learn and profess the historic faith
• I will build solidarity with laypeople, bishops priests and deacons who profess and practice the Apostolic Faith

- standing beside parish priests and leaders who are being pressured for adhering to the teaching of the Communion, and
- standing with those who stand with me regardless of what they feel they must do in their situation

• I will work with other parish and diocesan leaders to clarify our response to the Windsor report
• I will challenge my vestry with the clear choice to become a Windsor parish
• I will seek spiritual oversight and direction only from bishops who teach the historic faith
• I will build a personal relationship with, and encourage the building of a parish relationship, with an overseas parish and diocese
• I will commit myself to the disciplines of daily prayer, personal evangelism and discipleship
• I will develop a missionary attitude and practice in my personal and pastoral life
• I will remain committed to a life of personal holiness as embodied in my baptismal vows, and where applicable, my marriage vows, family commitments, and daily disciplines.If General Convention chooses finally to walk apart, I will not follow, but will remain a faithful Anglican, God being my helper.


Priests, Deacons

• I will teach and preach the historic faith, actively supporting only those seminaries that teach the historic faith
• I will build solidarity with laypeople, bishops priests and deacons who profess and practice the Apostolic Faith

- standing beside parish priests and leaders who are being pressured for adhering to the teaching of the Communion, and
- standing with those who stand with me regardless of what they feel they must do in their situation

• I will seek spiritual care and guidance only from those who teach and practice the Apostolic Faith,
• I will work with other clergy and diocesan leaders to clarify our response to the Windsor report.
• I will build a personal and parish relationship with an overseas parish and diocese
• I will build a team with another priest and parish in a non-Windsor diocese
• I will commit myself to pray the daily office, practice personal evangelism and discipleship
• I will develop a missionary attitude and practice in my personal and pastoral life
• I will remain committed to a life of personal holiness as embodied in my ordination vows, and where applicable, marriage vows, family commitments, and daily disciplines
If General Convention chooses finally to walk apart, I will not follow, but will remain a faithful Anglican, God being my helper.

Bishops

• I will teach and preach the historic faith, actively supporting only those seminaries that teach the historic faith
• I will build solidarity with laypeople, bishops priests and deacons who profess and practice the Apostolic Faith

- standing beside bishops, parish priests and leaders who are being pressured for adhering to the teaching of the Communion, and
- standing with those who stand with me, regardless of what they feel they must do in their situation

• I will work with other clergy and diocesan leaders to clarify our response to the Windsor report.
• I will build a personal and diocesan relationship with an overseas diocese
• I will commit myself to pray the daily office, practice personal evangelism and discipleship
• I will develop a missionary attitude and practice in my personal and pastoral life
• I will remain committed to a life of personal holiness as embodied in my ordination vows, and where applicable, marriage vows, family commitments, and daily disciplines


If General Convention chooses finally to walk apart, I will not follow, but will remain a faithful Anglican, God being my helper.

 
   
   
   
 

April 21, 2005

For Immediate Release

Anglican Communion Network Council Meeting Looks With Hope to the Future, Issues Communique and Windsor Action Covenant

Representatives of the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) gathered for their second annual Council meeting April 18 – 20, 2005 in Bedford Texas. In addition to reports on the substantial growth and progress of the ACN, participants addressed issues related to their missionary focus including church planting, global mission, ministry to youth and outreach to the poor.

“We recognize that our future in Anglicanism contains great possibilities, and we are preparing for it in many ways,” said ACN Moderator Robert Duncan. “Our meeting was marked by a sense of passion and purpose as well as tremendous energy and a wealth of ideas for moving forward. We are united in our call to change lives and transform the world for Christ.”

One of the highlights of the Council meeting was the presence and ministry of the Rt. Rev. John Chew, Bishop of Singapore and Secretary of the Global South planning team. He presented a model of mission from Singapore that speaks of church planting and evangelism in rigorously difficult circumstances, a context which makes him particularly sensitive to those who seek to maintain orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic setting such as the United States. In addition, he assured the gathering of international solidarity, promising the Global South would stand with the ACN bishops as they stand with those from all dioceses where orthodox clergy are being unjustly pressured.

A significant portion of the meeting focused on addressing the crisis plaguing the Anglican Communion. Participants affirmed their commitment to remaining connected to the worldwide Communion and to upholding the historic faith and order of Anglicanism. The Council also issued a series of statements in a Communique on a variety of issues, including the six Connecticut priests under fire from their bishop. The Council condemned the actions of Bishop Smith, expressed solidarity with the six congregations as well as their clergy and pledged support to them as they continue to endure the harassment and threats by Bishop Smith [See attachment 1.]

In addition, the Council adopted a Windsor Action Covenant and agreed to take it to each diocese and convocation in order to develop a plan for implementation. The Covenant gives church members at every level a way to help the church choose between walking with the Anglican Communion or walking apart. [See attachment 2.]

“ We completed our meeting with a clear focus and commitment to action,“ said Bishop Duncan. “We have set the course for the next months, and now the work of fulfilling those plans begins.”