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INDIANAPOLIS: ACNA Parish The Table Flees to The Episcopal Church

INDIANAPOLIS: ACNA Parish The Table Flees to The Episcopal Church

By David W. Virtue, DD
October 5, 2022

An ACNA parish in Indianapolis called The Table has discerned a call to leave the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and join the Episcopal Church.

"After a process of discernment lasting more than a year, last week our members voted 44-4 to disaffiliate with the ACNA and pursue affiliation with the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, led by Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows," said Fr. Ben Sternke on behalf of the Leadership Team which includes two co-rectors, Spencer Ruark and Matt Tebbe.

The Table is a parish in the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO) led by Bishop Todd Hunter.

"We sensed there was better alignment for The Table within the Episcopal Church (and especially the Diocese of Indianapolis) than there was within the ACNA, specifically as it relates to:
• Our commitment to resisting patriarchy and empowering women to fully lead in the church (ACNA prohibits women from being bishops).
• Our commitment to social and racial justice, standing in solidarity with marginalized oppressed communities and working for liberation for all.
• Our commitment to cultivating a resilient, non-reactive, non-anxious Christianity.
• Our commitment to practicing a generous "big tent" spirituality rooted in the deep well of the Anglican tradition.

"We have begun the process of applying to be an affiliated ministry of the Episcopal Church, which is a designation that provides time and space for us to move toward full membership as a parish of the Diocese of Indianapolis."

Clearly delighted by the move, the Episcopal Bishop of Indianapolis, one Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows wrote her diocese and said this; "I am writing to tell you about a sign of new life and growth in our diocese. Over the last year, The Table, an Indianapolis congregation planted in 2015 as part of the ACNA has discerned a call to leave that denomination and become part of the Episcopal Church...the Table voted 44-4 to disaffiliate formally with ACNA and pursue affiliation with the diocese."

She said the congregation is committed to being a safe place for LGBTQ people and to joining with us in our work to dismantle systemic racism and discrimination.

The congregation currently worships at a United Methodist Church and will apply to become a missional community under Canon 20 of the Diocese of Indianapolis.

According to Fr. Ben, not much will change in the daily life and worship at The Table. "We are being welcomed as the church we are, which is already well-aligned with the values of the diocese. We are also excited and hopeful for the fruit that this new affiliation will bring, both in and through our community."

For another perspective click here: https://juicyecumenism.com/2022/10/04/table-church-indianapolis/


Dear Clergy,

For the past eight months or so, I have been engaged in a discernment process with the Revs. Ben Sternke, Matt Tebbe and Spencer Ruark of the Table Indy. We have been discussing their desire to be in a denomination and diocese where they can lead in good conscience and minister according to their convictions.

In many honest conversations, they told me they felt they may be better aligned with The Episcopal Church on several key issues than they are with the Diocese of C4SO and the Anglican Church in North America, and I agreed.

Along with their Vestry, they brought this proposal to the church, and the church voted to approve it. I have met with Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis to facilitate this transfer.

As the Bishop of C4SO, in a spirit of brotherly love and goodwill, I release this parish into the care of The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis. I commit to care for the Rev. Nancy Nethercott, who will stay in C4SO. I count Matt, Ben and Spencer as friends, and we share mutual passions for the full flourishing of God's kingdom.

Going forward, my prayer for The Table is this: may "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:14).

Grace and peace,

Bishop Todd Hunter

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