What is the Anglican Communion Network?
What is the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes?
of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, commonly referred to as
the Anglican Communion Network (ACN), is a united
missionary movement dedicated to bringing the “true and
of Anglicanism to North America, making disciples of Jesus
Christ. ACN allows Episcopalians to remain in communion with
the worldwide Anglican Communion who have declared either
impaired or broken communion with the episcopal Church USA
the ACN has come to represent the hope for a return to the
historic faith and order of Anglicanism.
Where and when did the ACN get its start?
formation of the ACN was originally suggested by the Archbishop of
the Most Rev. Rowan Williams. Initial plans for
the ACN were
formulated at a gathering of mainstream Anglican leaders
(including four Primates) in London in November 2003.
Memorandum of Agreement resulted from this meeting and was ultimately
signed by 13 ECUSA bishops. The Memorandum stated the intention
of these bishops to begin taking steps toward organizing a
network of “confessing” dioceses
and congregations within ECUSA. The signing of the Memorandum
by a bishop did not indicated the formal joining of the Network
by his diocese.
Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes was officially
launched January 20, 2004, at the Network’s Organizing Convocation
held at Christ Church, Plano, Texas. The Convocation
included representatives from 12 Episcopal dioceses as well as individuals
from geographic regions
and one non-geographic area that were designated as “Convocations.” The
gathering unanimously adopted a Structural Charter and
affirmed a Theological Charter.
Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan was elected Moderator of the new Network and
will serve for a three-year term. The
Organizing Convocation also
a 12-member Steering Committee comprised of individuals
from across the country.
is the ACN’s purpose and vision?
- The core
purpose of the ACN is “to be a united missionary movement
of Anglicans in fellowship with global Anglicanism, making disciples
who make disciples of Jesus Christ in North American and to the
ends of the
envisions being a “missionary movement in North America of
such irresistible spiritual power in Word and Sacrament that
people are drawn
to a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ and become
members of the Body of Christ, His Church. We will be known for our
to evangelical faith and catholic order.”
are ACN’s goals?
seeks to unite faithful, orthodox congregations and dioceses for Great
Commission ministry. Our core values speak well to
- The Unchanging
We will uphold the uniqueness of Christ crucified and risen, the
only Lord and Savior of the world, and the authority of Scripture,
the rule and ultimate
standard of faith.
We will bathe our movement in prayer, seeking to follow the mind
of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
will embody a passion to lead every unbeliever in each generation to
Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, in fulfillment of
the Great Commission,
globally and locally.
Those in Need
We will reach out with the compassion of Jesus to the poor, the
broken, the lost, and those who are persecuted for the
cause of Christ.
live as brothers and sisters who will lay down our lives for one another
in the face of risk and opposition.
- Strategic Partnerships
We will forge lively partnerships with biblically faithful
Christians of other Churches and with Anglicans in
other associations in
Why is ACN a necessity and why should dioceses/parishes associate
the egregious decisions made at General Convention 2003 in which
the Episcopal Church abandoned 2000 years of biblical
teaching and historical
church order, there was a disconnect between the Episcopal
Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. As a result, 21 Provinces
have declared either impaired or broken communion with ECUSA,
and 14 Primates
have recognized the ACN as the legitimate Anglican presence in
America. The ACN, therefore, Provides a means for remaining
connected with the Anglican
- At a
time when Church leadership is failing, ACN will provide a way for
dioceses and parishes to remain under orthodox leadership.
is the Anglican Communion Network, and why does it go by a different
Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes adopted the abbreviated
title of Anglican Communion Network (ACN) in an effort
to curb confusion
as shortened titles and acronyms began to spring up. A short and
reference has enabled clear communication about the Network of
Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes.
- For legal
and jurisdictional purposes, ACN shall retain its formal title as the
Does ACN have any intentions to leave ECUSA?
- The Anglican
Communion Network seeks to be a faithful and legitimate expression
of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
to the Structural Charter, ACN’s highest priority “is
to seek to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in unity with the See
of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion, as a member of that Communion,” acting “in
good faith within the Constitution of ECUSA.”
General Convention, ECUSA has continued in a path that abandons
the faith, order, and doctrine of Anglicanism. More and more, Anglican
are expressing frustration with ECUSA and the Anglican Church
Canada. Twenty-two Primates have called for the expulsion
of the Canadian
Church from the Communion.
Episcopal Church itself abandoned the Constitution and Canons of
Episcopal Church in the United States of America
not following its mission and purpose to follow biblical
teaching and the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book
which states, “In which it will also appear that this Church
is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in
of doctrine, discipline, or worship ... “
- The ECUSA,
in its Constitution, also pledged to remain in fellowship “within
the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,” in communion
with the See of Canterbury, which it has discarded.
What is the distinction between AAC and ACN? What is the
role the AAC plays in ACN?
- ACN is
an ecclesial body, whereas the American Anglican Council (AAC) is an
advocacy organization dedicated to reforming the Episcopal
they share a dedication to biblical authority, the Great Commission,
and the historic faith and order of Anglicanism, the two are
ACN is a link for dioceses and parishes; the AAC, an advocate
for renewal of the Episcopal Church.
- The AAC
has been asked by the Steering Committee of the ACN to serve as interim
Secretariat of ACN through 2004, at which time re-evaluation
is ACN a “missionary” organization?
- As the
Structural Charter explicitly states, the first and foremost goal of
ACN is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to carry
out the mission of the Great Commission.
- ACN will
work to bring into fellowship, with each other and with the Anglican
Communion, “those who have left ECUSA and those
who wish to explore the tradition and worship of Anglican orthodoxy.” Clergy
and laity alike will be sent into often unwelcoming territory to
leadership and the truth of the Gospel to those who are isolated
- ACN will
also continue to build its relationship with Global Mission Partners,
which serves as its missionary arm.
What dioceses were present at the Organizing Convocation?
represented at the Organizing Convocation were Albany, Central Florida,
Dallas, Florida, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy, Rio Grande,
San Joaquin, South Carolina, Springfield, and Western Kansas.
How many dioceses have formally associated with ACN?
dioceses have formally associated with ACN through ratification by
their respective governing bodies. These are Albany, Central
Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy, Rio Grande, San Joaquin, Springfield,
and South Carolina.
Who can associate with ACN?
individual parishes outside ACN dioceses, and clergy of all three orders
have the ability to associate with ACN.
Committed to “the propagation of the unchanging Gospel
of Jesus Christ and the fulfillment of the Great Commission to make
disciples of all nations,” dioceses will form the main frame
of ACN. Currently there are nine dioceses that have joined. Bishops
from 12 dioceses originally
signed the Structural Charter. The Archbishop of Canterbury indicated
only four dioceses were necessary to establish a Network, which is
number required for a Province in the Anglican Communion. Already,
Network dioceses and parishes count more communicants than at least
12 of the Anglican
Communion’s 38 Provinces.
Parishes: Parishes in non-ACN dioceses can affiliate through Convocations,
which include on non-geographical and five geographical
regions in the United States, led by Deans. If you are a member
of a parish that
wishes to join ACN, encourage your clergy to get in touch with
other clergy in your diocese who have already taken this stand. Inform
of this possible action, educate and open the topic for discussion
to the Vestry, and contact the Dean of the Convocation through
which you will
associate with ACN.
- The Convocations,
whose boundaries were established by the Steering Committee, are known
as the New England Convocation, the Mid-Atlantic
the Southeastern Convocation, the Mid-Continental Convocation,
and the Western Convocation. The non-geographical convocation
Forward in Faith North America Convocation. Congregations who
are a part of
will “come under the spiritual authority of a bishop approved
by the Steering Committee.”
- A Convocation
will be considered “active” when it consists
of at least six participating congregations. Currently, there
are 43 parishes that have affiliated. Congregations in ACN dioceses
Clergy: Individual clergy have the ability to associate through ACN
Convocations, with stipulations similar to those of parishes.
individuals associate with ACN?
- ACN is not an individual membership organization. Ecclesial in nature,
it is a body comprised of dioceses, parishes, and clergy who offer orthodox
leadership within the Church.
- For many individuals who are not able to attend a parish associated with
ACN, fellowship groups are proving to be an acceptable, albeit temporary,
alternative. Lay people are encouraged to organize into mission fellowship
What will happen if our diocesan bishop refuses to allow
our parish to join?
- ECUSA has placed its members in a precarious situation. It has moved
forward with decisions that resulted in impaired communion with the
worldwide and abandoned its own Constitution. Therefore, parishes and
clergy have the right to seek alternative episcopal oversight and
to join ACN
in order to re-establish relationships within the Anglican Communion,
as well as to carry out the Great Commission with integrity.
are no canonical grounds for bishops to prevent association with the
the Archbishop of Canterbury in support of ACN?
- The Archbishop
of Canterbury first recommended formation of a Network to serve as
an alternative for those who wished to remain in
in the Episcopal Church and who required adequate episcopal oversight.
- In a
speech made Feb. 9, 2004, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams,
expressed continued support of ACN and the progress toward
How is ACN funded?
- ACN is
funded through the generous donations of parishes, dioceses, and individuals.
Many who do not wish to send funds to the National
are redirecting them to ACN, as well as to other mission organizations.
is the hope of ACN leadership that member bodies (i.e. dioceses,
etc.) will contribute to the furthering of the mission
are ACN’s headquarters?
currently headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa.