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VIRGINIA: First Step In Realignment Taken Says Truro Rector

FIRST STEP IN REALIGNMENT TAKEN SAYS VIRGINIA RECTOR

The Rev. Martyn Minns reflects on the new network

It is about five months since the idea of the Network was conceived and now it has been officially birthed! The Network-or to use its complete name "A Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes" held its inaugural convocation in Plano on January 19-20. Teams of delegates that usually consisted of the diocesan bishop, two clergy and two laity, represented the twelve founding dioceses.

Those of us who are not part of the founding dioceses were clustered in regional convocations. John Guernsey and I represented the Mid-Atlantic Convocation. We spent most of our time working through the foundational documents, a Charter and a basic theological statement "Confession and Calling of the Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes," both of which will be available through the Truro website.

It was painstaking work, but by God's grace we were all able to agree on both statements. We also spent a considerable amount of time in prayer and were blessed to have numerous testimonies of the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives and ministries of those gathered.

We were also blessed to have Michael Green present with us. Michael is one of the great Anglican evangelists and New Testament theologians and he not only gave us tremendous encouragement but also challenged us to truly live out the Great Commission. At the end of the convocation the founding documents were adopted unanimously and Bishop Bob Duncan was elected by acclamation to serve as Moderator.

What does it all mean? It is a vital first step in the realignment of Anglicanism within North America. The Network will provide a structure to connect orthodox Anglican believers throughout North America and a means whereby we can relate to the wider Anglican Communion. It gives us hope for the future and the opportunity to get on with the work of mission from a firm foundation. One of the key components of the Network is the provision of Episcopal oversight for isolated congregations. The details of this are still being worked out because there is a wide range of situations which confront us.

Some parishes are experiencing persecution whereas others are merely marginalized. Some parishes have actually had their leadership removed and property confiscated whereas others have simply been threatened. A steering committee was appointed to begin to develop guidelines and protocols. What does it mean for Truro Church? It is a structural response to the informal realignment that we have been pursuing for some time.

When the process for formal membership is established I will share it with all of you, and we will have the opportunity for study and response. I believe that it is an answer to our prayers for a way whereby we can live out our faith as loyal Anglicans without compromise. There is still a tremendous amount of work to do but I am greatly encouraged. To God be the Glory!

The Rev. Martyn Minns is rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia

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