The ACC Provincial Synod and 2020 Anglican Joint Synods were held January 13-17 in Dunwoody (metro Atlanta), GA. I attended as one of 11 clerical delegates from our Diocese of the Mid-Alantic States. In addition to the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), the other three Churches of the “G-4”—the Anglican Church in America (ACA), Anglican Province in America (APA), and Diocese of the Holy Cross (DHC)—were also present.
The ACA and DHC both held their Provincial (national) Synods at the same time and in the same hotel as the ACC. The APA had previously scheduled their Provincial Synod for another time and location, but their bishops and some of their clergy and laity were present for part of the week. All four jurisdictions came together for a beautiful and moving Joint Synod Mass on Friday, January 17.
I participated in the inaugural (organizational) meeting of the G-4 Joint Mission & Evangelism Committee (nicknamed “G-4 Continuing Forward”) on Tuesday, January 14. There were brief, good talks by Bishop Paul Hewett (DHC), Bishop Bill Perkins (APA), and Fr. Matt Mirabile (ACA) on church planting and creating, growing, and renewing churches in our tradition. There was also a discussion of key issues, best practices, and obstacles our churches face in church planting, renewal, and growth. The Committee plans to create a website/blog with best practices and lessons learned on these topics as well as sponsor future regional meetings.
I was able to spend time with my good friend Bishop Steve Scarlett and learn what he’s been doing to build and grow St. Matthew’s Church in Newport Beach, CA, over the past decade. I met new friends from all the G-4 Churches.
The ACC Provincial Synod itself was all business and uneventful. Archbishop Haverland gave a state of the Church report. Bishop Scarlett gave two short talks on the vital importance of prayer, mission, and building healthy relationships for the future of the Church. ACC clergy from Africa, Pakistan, Columbia, and Haiti reported on their churches. John Omwake, editor of The Trinitarian for the past 30 years, announced his retirement.
It is clear that the G-4 Churches are moving toward greater unity and cohesiveness among themselves and foresee a future in which we will all be in one Church. The exact details of how this will be accomplished, however, particularly in terms of organizational unity, remain to be prayed through and worked out.—Fr. Rob