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WHEATON, IL: Diocese of South Carolina Joins The ACNA

WHEATON, IL: Diocese of South Carolina Joins The ACNA
The ACNA is planting one new church a week, said Archbishop Foley Beach

By David W. Virtue in Wheaton, Il
June 27, 2017

The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is planting one new church a week, Archbishop Foley Beach told delegates to the triennial gathering of some 1400 Anglicans, at Wheaton College, in the heartland of America's Bible belt. The ACNA also officially received The Diocese of South Carolina as the newest diocese with some 22,000 members (ASA 9,000) - the largest of 31 dioceses in the orthodox Anglican body. The diocese broke away from the Episcopal Church over the authority of Scripture and TEC's embrace of homosexuality and gay marriage in defiance of Lambeth resolution 1.10.

The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey, of the ACNA, who introduced the vote, said the Diocese far exceeded canonical requirements for reception.

Bishop Mark Lawrence acknowledged his diocese's pilgrimage out of TEC and rejoiced that his diocese was now officially aligned with the ACNA. Delegates voted unanimously to receive the diocese. After leaving TEC in October 2012 the diocese was accepted into the Global South in August 2014 until a formal decision was made in 2016 to join the Anglican Church in North America. That action required two formal votes. Addressing delegates, Lawrence described the action as a homecoming for the Diocese of South Carolina. "We as a diocese have a 300-year history and this is a new chapter that we take up today along with you." Lawrence described it as a convergence, and said it was a new chapter in the life and journey of the diocese. Lawrence cited the poet Robert Frost who said, "Home is that place where when you come there, they have to let you in. Well you didn't have to let us in but you have and it feels like a homecoming for the Diocese of South Carolina and for me as her bishop."

Egyptian Archbishop Mouneer Anis and chairman of the Global South Primates Steering Committee which provided the Diocese of South Carolina with provisional primatial oversight within the Anglican Communion after the Diocese of South Carolina voted to leave the Episcopal Church, said, "It was great news to hear that the Diocese of South Carolina decided to join the Anglican Church in North America. I'm sure this will bring joy to the heart of God and will be a blessing to the whole continent of North America." He praised Lawrence and said he hoped his presence would be for the expansion of God's kingdom.

The Diocese of South Carolina sent an official delegation as a witness to the ACNA Assembly at Wheaton College, a Christian liberal arts college ranked by Forbes among the Top 100 Colleges and Universities in its 2015 rankings.

Later this week some 50 Anglican bishops will lay hands on Canon Andy Lines and declare him a Missionary Bishop for Europe under the ecclesiastical protection of GAFCON, an act that brought forth anger and disappointment from Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury. He accused the GAFCON archbishops of "boundary crossing".

Other speakers that will engage delegates include UK Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, Egyptian Archbishop Mouneer Anis, and American missiologist Ed Stetzer and Louie Giglio. Archbishop Foley Beach is hosting the gathering

Archbishop Beach described the gathering as the single most important provincial conference for Anglicans in North America which has drawn leaders from across the country, Canada and Mexico.

Beach said the theme of the Assembly, "Mission on our doorstep" highlighted the necessity for Anglicans to reach out with the love of Christ to lost Americans. Some 122 chaplains will also be in attendance.


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