The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA)
The following is one in a series of talking points prepared as a resource for The Episcopal Church.
The Episcopal Church and the ACNA
The facts about The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA).
The Episcopal Church is over 7400 congregations in 109 dioceses plus three regional areas in 16 countries with 2.2 million members.
It is important to note that membership in ACNA includes churches and denominations which have disassociated from The Episcopal Church both recently and over the last 130 years, as well as congregations which have never been part of The Episcopal Church. A definitive number is difficult to ascertain.
ACNA is lead by an archbishop who is not a member of The Episcopal Church, The Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada, or The Anglican Communion.
The Episcopal Church laity and clergy believe the Christian faith as stated in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. We call the Holy Scriptures the Word of God because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible. We look to the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in the understanding of the Scriptures. Our assurance as Christians is that nothing, not even death, shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Episcopal Church welcomes all who wish to serve God through Jesus Christ.
The Episcopal Church welcomes women in ordained ministry – deacons, priests and bishops. The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church is the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to lead The Episcopal Church as well as any of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion. ACNA does not permit women to serve as bishops and, in some areas, bars women from all ordination.
The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, serving God together and working together to bring the Reign of God on earth. ACNA is not a member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.
It is important to note that those who have remained in The Episcopal Church in those places where some have left include conservatives as well as liberals, persons on the political right as well as on the political left, and everything in between.
It is an inaccurate and misleading image that pictures those who have broken away from The Episcopal Church as the persecuted faithful, when in reality those who have remained have felt deeply hurt, and now in some cases are exiled from their own church buildings by ACNA.