Anglican Mission in the Americas


Anglican Mission in the Americas

The Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA; formerly Anglican Mission in America) is a Christian missionary organization active in the United States. Established in 2000, it aims to be an alternative jurisdiction to the Episcopal Church in the USA, the long-established denomination for Anglican Communion members in the United States. The AMiA reflects the staunchly evangelical and low church wing of Anglicanism and is a member of the Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas.

Formation

The AMiA was formed by Episcopalians and Anglicans who see the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) as apostate. AMiA members have criticized numerous actions, documents, policies and doctrines of the ECUSA as being in conflict with Holy Scripture. The ECUSA's acceptance of homosexuality was certainly an example of conflict between AMiA and ECUSA; Gene Robinson's ordination was the final catalyst for many American Episcopal churches' turns to AMiA and similar Episcopalian break-away groups.

The first flames of the AMiA came in 1996 when eleven families, composed of both Episcopalian and Presbyterian laypeople in Little Rock, Arkansas, became increasingly disillusioned with their respective churches and their perceived lack of Biblical adherence, especially to the Great Commission. Upon the local Episcopalian bishop's rejection of their plans to create a new church, the fifteen were granted the oversight of the Church of the Province of Rwanda, St. Andrews Church ( http://www.saintandrews-lr.org/) thus became one of the first in the West to be under oversight of the Global South beginning a chain of international cooperation among Anglicans which culminated in August 2000 in Amsterdam, when the AMiA was officially established.

tatus

The status of the AMiA within the Anglican Communion is disputed. AMiA is a member of the Common Cause Partnership, an organization dedicated to uniting various Anglican jurisdictions to form a new conservative province of the Anglican Communion in North America.

The AMiA is technically a missionary organization to the USA under the authority of the Episcopal Church of the Province of Rwanda and the Anglican Church of the Province of South East Asia, both of which are member churches of the Anglican Communion. The AMiA's priests and bishops are ordained by (and obtain, members believe, the benefits of Apostolic Succession through) the Archbishops of Rwanda and Southeast Asia. As the website of the AMiA states,

Most AMiA clergy are former Episcopal priests who seek to promote what they see as traditional Anglicanism through establishing new parishes in the United States. The Rwandan and Southeast Asian provinces of which AMiA is part have consecrated American bishops for the United States, meaning that the usual pattern of missionary work in which the personnel of one nation are sent overseas is not required for AMiA's work.

The AMiA is similar to the Continuing Anglican Movement with the obvious differences that: 1) it is an extension of member provinces of the Anglican Communion, whereas most of the Continuing Churches disavow the Anglican Communion, 2) it has women clergy (but has recently stated that it will no longer ordain women as clergy), and 3) many of its parishes continue to use the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of ECUSA which Continuing Anglicans consider to be defective. The AMIA is working on an updated version of the 1662, 1928 and 1962 (Canadian) Book of Common Prayer for consideration by its churches in North America. Peter Toon has led this effort http://www.anglicanmarketplace.com/ and http://pbsusa.org/. The goal is to provide an updated version of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for use by North American churches.

Another, larger organization of this type -- often compared with the AMiA -- is the Anglican Communion Network (ACN). It is made up of dioceses and parishes which, unlike AMiA, have remained within the Episcopal Church in the USA. The Anglican Communion Network is in partnership with the AMIA through the Common Cause Partnership http://www.united-anglicans.org/

While the AMiA believes itself to be part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, George Carey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury (and as such, head of the Anglican Communion) at the time of the formation of the AMiA, stated otherwise in a personal opinion. The Archbishop's comments from his final address to the Anglican Consultative Council in 2002 make clear his own view that clergy who join the AMiA are leaving the Communion. [http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/articles/31/25/acns3132.html] Many in the AMiA would take a strong issue with the above statements holding that they are very much a part of the world wide Anglican Communion through oversight by the Rwanda Church.

"I have been clear in my condemnation of the schism created by AMiA and the actions of those Primates and other bishops who consecrated the six bishops. Sadly, I see little sign of willingness on the part of some bishops in the Communion to play their part in discouraging teaching or action that leads some conscientious clergy to conclude that they have no option other than to leave us for AMiA."

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has taken the same line on the standing of the AMiA, by refusing to include any AMiA bishop or representative in the 2008 Lambeth Conference. This action along with others has led many in the Global South to be troubled by the upcoming Lambeth Conference and many have decided not to attend.

Ordination of Women

After several years of consideration, the AMiA decided against ordaining women to the priesthood. This decision, however, is not applied ex post facto. At least two female priests who left the Episcopal Church for AMiA retain AMiA recognition of their ordinations. Additionally, the AMiA fully recognizes the ordination of female deacons.

See also

*Anglican views of homosexuality
*Anglican Coalition in Canada
*Anglican Communion Network
*Continuing Anglican Movement
*Convergence Movement
*Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a similar body established by the Church of Nigeria
*Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas

External links

* [http://www.theamia.org/ AMiA official website]
* [http://www.greaterdanburyanglicans.org/AMiAChurches.html Map of AMiA Churches]
* [http://anglicansonline.org/special/AMiAclassification.html Anglican Online report on status of AMiA in the Anglican Communion]
* [http://anglicansonline.org/communion/nic.html List of continuing Anglican churches, including AMiA]


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