CONTEXT The Anglican Communion is the world’s largest protestant denomination, and is spread throughout the world from Africa to Asia to South America. It is known for its beautiful worship, service to the poor and disenfranchised, prayerful patterns and influential congregants. In the United States in the past decade there has been confusion and division in the Anglican Communion. In this synopsis I desire to help bring some clarity to the discussion and explain why our church in Bishop is now Anglican rather than Episcopalian, and encourage people to connect with this faithful movement.
St. Timothy’s in Bishop, as a member of the San Joaquin Diocese, after much prayer and thought, took a first vote in December of 2006 to leave the Episcopal Church. A year later, the second vote was taken in December of 2007 to make it final. The Canons (Rules) of the Episcopal Church and the laws of the State of California were the road map used to make the final decision. The majority of congregations in the diocese voted to leave the Episcopal Church. The response from the Episcopal Church was to sue our churches individually and collectively, and to sue to have all of our assets confiscated.
Over the past decade a group of approximately 100,000 Episcopalians, under the authority of bishops in Africa, South America, and the US chose to organize the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). This decision was in response to the enthronement of an actively homosexual bishop in New England, and a more general drift in the denomination away from the authority of Scripture, the uniqueness of Christ and the faith as expressed and taught by the historic Church.
THE WAY FORWARD This sad division is representative of a wider conflict happening within American culture today as we gradually drift from affirming the Holy Bible as God’s Word, and Jesus Christ as the unique revelation of God’s salvation. In our culture today we are increasingly confronted with the decision whether we will drift with our culture away from Christ and His Church, or whether we will press upstream to continue in the historic faith passed down to us through Christ, and the generations that have gone before us.
At St. Timothy’s Anglican we have decided to choose the difficult upstream path, seeking to remain faithful to the Scriptures, and to their teachings that Jesus Christ is the way of salvation. This does not mean we are ultra-conservative, against the LGBT community and against women in leadership, which some people would have the public believe. We whole-heartedly affirm that the message of salvation in Christ is inclusive of all people irrespective of birth and background. We also believe that the principles of the Scriptures are enduring through all times and cultures, and none of us have an exemption on the call to live according to their revelation. We are confident that those that spend time with our local church and our movement will find that we are a community committed to the Scriptures, engaged in our world and welcoming of all people. It would be our pleasure to get to welcome you to this faithful expression of Christ’s Church.