The Anglican Church in North America came together at Bedford, Texas, when its Constitution and Canons were adopted in June 2009. Now, in 2011, we are 22 dioceses stretching from Arctic Canada to the Rio Grande, and from Newfoundland to California. There are many evidences of God’s favor toward us, not because we deserve it, but because we continue to work so hard to align ourselves with His will.
Two years ago we were 706 congregations. The annual parochial and diocesan reports for 2010 – the first year for which we have a system of statistical reporting in place (another provincial milestone) – identify 952 congregations as part of the dioceses of the Anglican Church in North America and its ministry partners. Statistically this represents a 34 percent growth in congregations at the end of the first 18 months of Church life.
We focus on the centrality of local congregations as the “chief
agency” of our mission in the Anglican Church in North America. If we are to “reach North America with
the transforming love of Jesus Christ” the principal way we will do
this is through the local congregation. We say that every Anglican
Church congregation is “accountable to the Holy Scriptures, accountable
to the Tradition, and accountable for the transformation of society.”
At my investiture as Archbishop, I called for the people, the
congregations and the dioceses of our Province to plant 1000 new
churches in our first five years. This call has captured the
imagination, the prayers and the energies of the Province. We can point to nearly 150 new plants since June 24th, 2009.
Their stories are told on the Anglican 1000 website.
Given that there are three ways we go about planting – jurisdictions
planting, congregations planting, and indigenous groups planting – and
given that church multiplication is geometrical in its effects – the
goal remains entirely possible. It will be God who gives the growth.
According to the data submitted in the Annual Parochial Reports there
were, in the year 2010, 987 baptisms of adults over thirty, 424 baptisms
of young people aged sixteen to thirty, and 1647 baptisms of children
in the ACNA dioceses, not including the congregations of our Ministry
Partners. What is so stunning about this data is that the number of
baptisms of those 16 and older is almost equal to the number of children
baptized. What this says is that we are reaching adolescents and
adults who have never known Christ, never been part of a church. This
is to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ,
one sign among many that something quite extraordinary is unfolding. To
God be the Glory!
The American Anglican Council
represents these same convictions, and we are very grateful for their
practical ministry in America and their service to the wider Communion.
For the more than 50 congregations that appealed to me to come under
the ecclesiastical oversight of the Church of Uganda, I am aware of
significant support provided to them from the AAC. Thank you!
am sure the AAC worked tirelessly with the leaders of the new Anglican
Church in North America (ACNA) to see that the new Province was ready to
be born, and ready to receive our American congregations. Our
oversight of churches in America was only a temporary measure until the
church in America was stable enough for us to repatriate our
congregations back to their home country. Thank you!
AAC was a tremendous source of support for the GAFCON Primates in
helping us realize our dream of a Global Anglican Future Conference in
Jerusalem in June 2008. There were only six months from conception to
reality for the conference, and it was only possible because of people
like the AAC who worked with us to make our dream come true. We are very
grateful for the AAC's role and support in helping to make GAFCON not
just a dream, but a reality.
Finally, may I thank the
AAC for their quick response to our recent appeal for famine support.
They have used their communications network to make our need known,
received funds on our behalf, and forwarded them to us in a timely
fashion. Their ministry has literally saved lives! It is a practical
ministry and one which demonstrates that faith without works is dead.
all these reasons, and more, I commend the work of the American
Anglican Council, its leaders and staff, for your prayers and generous
Archbishop Orombi is the leader of the Anglican Church of Uganda, one of the Anglican Communion's largest provinces.