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The NACDP - A statement from Bishop James M. Stanton

The Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes

A statement from Bishop James M. Stanton

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ

The Charter conference held in Plano is now concluded and the Network of
Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes has been established.

It was unanimously agreed to by the bishops and representatives of the
dioceses noted, and by representatives of parishes in other dioceses
concerned to preserve the unity of the Church within the Anglican Communion.

There are two points of paramount importance to me and, I trust, to us all.

1. The Charter makes very clear that the Network “shall operate in good
faith within the Constitution of The Episcopal Church” (Article I). At
no time was the suggestion made or considered that the Network would
work outside the Constitution of the Episcopal Church.

2. The purpose of the Network is to “constitute a true and legitimate
expression of the world-wide Anglican Communion” and to maintain the
widest possible connection to that Communion (Articles II, III, IV).

The Network Charter provides a simple structure which will permit its
affiliates to explore and pursue ministry together. I hope and pray that
by this means we can begin to look to the future and, confident of our
relationships with all others in the Anglican Communion, carry on our
God-given mission.

Those representing the Diocese of Dallas besides myself were: Dr. Bill
Power, President of the Standing Committee; Canon Paul Lambert, dean of
our General Convention Deputies; Neil Anderson and Laura Allen, both
deputies of long experience particularly in the area of Constitution and
Canons (Laura has served as Secretary of the relevant Convention
Committee for two General Conventions, and is also a member of the
Standing Committee).

Alternate representatives included: Dean Michael Mills of the Cathedral;
Fr. Henry Pendergrass, member of the Standing Committee; Lana Valenta,
chair of our Diocesan Convention Committee; Canon Neal Michell of our
Staff; and Fr. David Roseberry, rector of Christ Church and host of the
Conference and Fr. Larry Smith, rector of Incarnation.

A Network is only as good as the purposes it is designed to serve. My
hope is that the Network will become a resource to all of us as we seek
to move forward as the Church we are and which our Constitution
proclaims us to be.

Much discussion among the representatives focused on matters that, in
fact, are consistent with our own Strategic Plan: planting new
congregations, discipling new members of the Body of Christ, educating
our people for leadership in the years ahead. It will take time to
reflect on and deepen our understanding of the Network.

I leave today (Wednesday) for the enthronement of the Rt. Rev. Henry
Orombi as the new Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. (That event will
take place on January 25. Please pray for him and all of us.) On my
return, I will call a meeting of the Clergy to discuss the Network and
will plan to present it to the Diocese in local meetings in the weeks ahead.

How would I describe our participation in this Network? For the time
being, we will be provisional participants.

As I said to the Executive Council and the Standing Committee, I expect
that if the Network meets a need and serves the purposes for which it
has been established it will be presented to the Diocesan Convention in
October for formal action.

Let me add a comment concerning an article that appeared in the
Washington Post concerning a document that was circulated by a sub-
committee of a sub-committee of the American Anglican Council. It
concerned “adequate episcopal oversight.”

As I understand it, that document was a draft. It was never circulated
to any bishops, and in fact had never been approved by the AAC. I
certainly knew nothing about it until the matter appeared in the press,
and would never have supported any such approach.

I raise this matter because the Post article and the document itself
seemed to link it to the Network - which had not yet been formed!

I trust that the Network will be judged on its own merits and by what it
does, and not by the acts or interpretations of others.

For my own part, as I have said consistently throughout the weeks
preceding and all the time following our General Convention, we stand on
the Constitution and Canons of the Church and will not depart from them.

I want to be clear that the matter of “adequate episcopal oversight” was
first raised by the Primates (including our own) at the Lambeth Meeting
on October 15-16 and was set out in their letter issued at the
conclusion of that meeting.

The Network is committed to “work for the provision of adequate
episcopal oversight” (Article VII) as envisioned by and in cooperation
with the Primates. Nothing more, nothing less. Please look at the Charter.


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