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Beloved in Christ,
It has been three years since we published the previous edition of Equipping the Saints as a crisis resource for Anglican laity. This version focuses primarily on what has happened within TEC and the Anglican Communion during the past three years, so you may find it useful to refer to previous editions in the publications section of our website, www.americananglican.org, for further background information.
When the Episcopal Church consecrated a non-celibate homosexual as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, it may have grabbed your attention, but the crisis extends well beyond issues of sexuality. This crisis has been brewing for more than 40 years, and it is a clash of worldviews— one based on Christian tenets of belief outlined in Scripture and expressed in Anglican faith and the other based on a false gospel that embraces universalism and denies the unique and essential nature of Jesus Christ. By their words and their actions, the majority of TEC’s leadership have shown that they embrace the revisionist theology of the false gospel. The two worldviews are mutually exclusive, contradictory and irreconcilable.
You are not insulated from the effects of this crisis even if your parish or diocese happens to be biblically faithful. The actions of the national Church have caused 22 out of 38 provinces in the Anglican Communion to declare themselves to be in broken or impaired communion with The Episcopal Church (TEC). The crisis has shown no sign of blowing over, and there can be no “middle ground” of faithful Christianity in the chasm between belief and unbelief.
I urge you to become informed about what is happening, and seek the Lord’s guidance about how you should respond. Use this booklet as an educational tool in your congregations and small groups, and pass it on to others who need to be informed.
In the midst of this crisis we see signs of hope and the Lord’s provision as members of the Common Cause Partnership here in the U.S. and Canada have come together to form the Anglican Church in North America (AC-NA) which is a new “province in formation” seeking recognition by the Anglican Communion.
Although many of our AAC members and supporters have left TEC, many more are still members of TEC. For all the orthodox, whether they are in TEC or AC-NA, the AAC provides program information on evangelism and church planting, education on how the church got to the point that it is now, and news and interpretation of current affairs in the Anglican world. Our Episcopal Church desk and AAC Vice President, the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield are available to specifically assist those in TEC.
We are here to help equip you to fulfill the mission of the church—to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything” Jesus has commanded. We are here to help you discern your place to stand while we work together to reform and renew our fractured Anglican Communion. As we do this, we continue to shine a light in the darkness and call to account those who have departed from the faith once delivered by their words, their actions or their inaction.
We give God the glory for all that he has equipped us to do. If there is some way we can serve you, please do not hesitate to call us.
Blessings and Peace in our Saviour Jesus Christ’s Name,
The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson Sr.,
President & CEO, American Anglican Council