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Four Continuing Anglican Churches will Sign Full Communion Statement at Historic Atlanta Joint Synod

Anglican Churches to Sign Statement of Full Communion at Historic Atlanta Joint Synod - UPDATED

By Chandler Holder Jones
Anglican Province of America
Sept. 11, 2017

This October the leaders of four Continuing Anglican Churches--The Anglican Church in America (ACA), the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), the Anglican Province of America (APA), and the Diocese of the Holy Cross (DHC)--will gather in Atlanta for a series of joint synods to formally recognize their growing affinity and to sign an historic statement of full communion.

The four Churches represent 300 congregations in the United States as well as larger memberships in Africa, South America, Oceania, Asia, and England. The groups have grown increasingly close over recent years, and look to the Congress of Saint Louis (1977) and the Affirmation of Saint Louis as common historical and theological touchstones. The Churches are united by commitments to credal orthodoxy; to traditional Anglican worship; to the threefold Apostolic ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons; and to traditional morality in issues affecting the sanctity of life and human sexuality.

While all four Churches seek closer relations with other ecclesial bodies with Anglican backgrounds, they differ from most of them in a firm belief that innovations since the mid-1970s such as modernist liturgies and the purported ordination of women to Holy Orders constitute unacceptable developments that remove Anglicans from the central Tradition of the Undivided Church of the first millennium.

The 2017 Anglican Joint Synods will meet over the week of October 2nd to 6th 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia Hotel on Ashford-Dunwoody Road. At the conclusion the Bishops and Councils are expected to sign an agreement establishing full communion, known as "communio in sacris", and formally pledge to pursue full unity. These documents aim to reconcile several contentious issues and, more significantly, open up reciprocity of holy orders and sacramental life.

During the October meetings, the four Churches will discuss common plans for mission and evangelism, signaling a new chapter in their life and ministry together. Each Church will hold its own mandatory business meetings and Synods, but the four will join together throughout the week for common worship and social occasions.

The four Churches and their episcopal leaders are the Anglican Church in America, led by Presiding Bishop Brian Marsh; the Anglican Catholic Church, led by Archbishop Mark Haverland; the Anglican Province of America, led by Presiding Bishop Walter Grundorf, and the Diocese of the Holy Cross, led by Bishop Paul Hewett.

The combined Synod Mass at the hotel on Friday morning at 11am, October 6th 2017, following the plenary session, will be a joint celebration expressing the sacramental communion of the four Churches. The public is invited to attend the Mass. All interested people are urged to make plans now to attend this unique history-making event.

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