Monday, June 22, 2009

New Anglicans to Keep Jesus 'the Main Thing'

BEDFORD, Texas --- In a cathedral overflowing with hundreds of Christians who broke from the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh said the new Anglican body they are forming must stay focused on Jesus.

"It's a new day," he told 900 people who had gathered for the organizing assembly of the 100,000-member Anglican Church in North America, which hopes to eventually be recognized as part of the 80-million member global Anglican Communion.

Anglican churches trace their roots to the Church of England, and the 2.1 million-member Episcopal Church is the U.S. province of the Anglican Communion.

Bishop Duncan is about to become archbishop of these groups who believe that the Episcopal Church and its Canadian counterpart have failed to uphold biblical authority and traditional doctrine on matters from the divinity of Christ to sexual ethics. Many of those present at the gathering are at risk of losing their church buildings, or have already lost them, in property disputes with their former denominations.

"I think there is no one who would go back," Bishop Duncan said, to cries of "No! No!" from the congregation in St. Vincent Cathedral, the seat of the Diocese of Fort Worth, which, like the Diocese of Pittsburgh, voted to break with the Episcopal Church.

"I hear this everywhere I go. There is no one who would go back. There has been suffering and loss. Some of it was very wounding. But we are so much better off than we were before."

He quoted the late baseball player and manager Casey Stengel, saying, "the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." He promised that the new church would be more mission-minded and less legislative and bureaucratic than what they had left behind.

"Jesus is he main thing. The sharing of his Gospel is the main thing. Being agents of his transforming love is the main thing," he said.

Read more:

No comments: