ACNA and Episcopalian

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Elmo, Jan 20, 2022.

  1. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    They merge into a single organization, with a single hierarchy, while endorses the confessional/doctrinal statements of both traditions, while maintaining congregations that are continuous with either one or the other tradition, or are combined congregations. The liturgy is then made adaptable to either tradition.

    If you're interested, look at what the Church of South India did in the mid-20th cent., how it merged, how they handled the liturgical/worship differences between the various constituent groups, etc. I suspect that if the mainline U.S. churches continue to shrink, there'll be talk about some sort of merger like that between them. The resulting body would still be the American representative in the Anglican Communion, and the official liturgy would probably be something very similar to the 1979 BCP, with elements drawn from other traditions, but there would be individual congregations within it that aren't Anglican.
     
  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I could at least tolerate such an arrangement as long as the Real Presence in the Eucharist is upheld along with all bishops being ordained in Apostolic Succession
     
  3. Clayton

    Clayton Active Member

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    I think I would rather prefer the way it worked in the American colonies where a single Anglican priest would serve multiple congregations within the parish, traveling weekly from one congregation to the next.

    I think my local ACA church works in these lines where they have lay led morning prayer three Sundays a month and a priest from a ways away who comes up monthly for a communion service.
     
  4. Clayton

    Clayton Active Member

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    that sounds sort of like a group of priests I knew who were “bi-ritual” in that they were both able to perform rites in the Latin and Byzantine rites. But with an added difference in confession.
     
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  5. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Bi-ritual in the Catholic Church is a considerably steeper learning curve than switching from the BCP to a Lutheran Service. There are significant differences between the Roman Missal, the Holy Qurbono, and the Divine Liturgy.

    The texts for the BCP and the Lutheran services are quite similar (because by and large the first Lutheran liturgies in English copied large sections of the BCP rather than translating everything fresh); it's primarily a matter of the parts of the service being ordered differently and the musical settings changing. I could walk into an LCMS or NALC church, if I were authorized, invited and so inclined, and go through a service of Holy Communion from the Lutheran Book of Worship or Lutheran Worship without the old-timers looking at me cross-eyed. I wouldn't even attempt to serve an Eastern Rite service.
     
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  6. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I find that most who bet money on the decline or demise of my church (ACNA) find themselves losing money.
     
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  7. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think the basic issue concerning the vitality of the church in much of the cultural West is that Christianity as a whole is on the wane, so you have to be able to distinguish the average rate of decline in active church membership from the specific declines in certain denominations. ACNA has until recently grown mostly at the expense of TEC in the US and the national Anglican church in Canada. It has been mostly a shifting of existing congregants from one place to another. But the key point to make is that ACNA also has organic growth, which is to say, it is drawing in new members (albeit slowly). TEC has had dramatic negative growth for decades now. Apart from the outgassing to ACNA, it has lost many members who simply leave the faith entirely. There are some projections that TEC will disappear by 2050. (And I actually think that number is optimistic.)

    TEC is not alone in this. ELCA is in pretty much the same boat. And though it'll be some years before we get the numbers in, I suspect the UMC is going to report precipitous declines in their membership rolls as well. The Roman Catholic Church hasn't released firm census numbers recently, but all signs point to a calamitous fall in attendance even before COVID. If you measure congregational health in the RC or mainline Protestant churches by marriages and baptisms, the picture is more dire still. Christians are, on average, older than the average age of the population at large and are not getting married or having kids at nearly the rate they used to. This points to a failure of evangelism and Christian witness, and a failure to cultivate young Christian families as the cornerstone of any functioning church.

    Much of this shrinkage is not simply due to people leaving for other denominations; the existing congregations just aren't showing up any more. Theologically orthodox denominations, in contrast, are showing growth (notwithstanding the general decline in overall Christianity). Demographically, the Christian church in the west is on a death-spiral. The orthodox evangelical churches may show growth in absolute numbers for some time to come, but their size as a percentage of the population will continue to shrink.

    Young people are the mission field. Led by the Holy Spirit, we must evangelize the young and convince them to rebel against the culture. This rebellion will take the form of getting married, having children, and living a faithful Christian life. In these times, this is a revolutionary message.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
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  8. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Here is what the ELCA is up to these days

    IMG_F5B0266706DB-1.jpg
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Women's autonomy: "I, a woman, decide what is right for me!" Never mind about letting God say what's right for you; autonomous beings need not ask permission from anyone! :facepalm:

    They've overlooked the fact that submission to God goes to the very essence of Christianity.
     
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  10. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This is why Paul always used the Greek word δοῦλος (doulos, or slave) to describe his relationship to Christ. We proclaim Christ as our Lord and Savior, not as our best buddy.
     
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Just following up on this...the hypothetical scenario I'm envisioning implies a uniform liturgy. This would be similar to the early 19th-century Prussian Union of Churches, sort of like classical Anglicanism in reverse, but without being the result of State compulsion. Rather than compel uniformity from the start, from which later churches forcibly broke away, in Prussia there were Reformed presbyteries and independent or loosely associated Lutheran congregations, that were merged into one organization with one common liturgy, ordinal, hymnal, and synodal structure, with individual congregations being either Reformed, Lutheran, or 'United' congregations. All pastors were ordained using the same rite, and all congregations employed the same liturgy, whether they were confessionally Lutheran or Reformed. It seems unavoidable that the mainline denominations will at least consider going this route at some point. Something similar has already been happening in Western Europe.