Trying to understand the Continuing churches

Discussion in 'Church Strands (Anglo-catholics & Evangelicals)' started by anglican74, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Generally speaking, you will find a spectrum of churchmanship in the larger Continuing churches. The smaller churches tend to be homogeneous. In fact, some of the groups exist precisely because they want to have only one form of churchmanship. One example of this is the Anglican Orthodox Church, which is about as low as it comes. They parted ways with my own group, the Orthodox Anglican Church, when they suspected the larger group was getting a little too Romish in ceremonial.

    The UECNA is the largest of the low church groups and they sometimes display some eccentricities one does not find in other parts of the Continuum, such as monthly Holy Communion and North End celebration.

    On the other end of the spectrum are the ACC and APCK, which do not have low church parishes. The Diocese of the Holy Cross also fits in this category but they will soon be joining the ACC. The APA leadership tends to be high church but as a church, they are probably the most diverse of the large Continuing churches. This was something Bess noted in his book about the Continuing churches: the leadership was often out of sync with the preferences of the average parish.

    Even the lowest of Continuing churches would probably appear broad to the typical ACNA parishioner. The types of liturgy that occur in AMiA and C4SO and some of the other dioceses do not exist in the Continuing churches. I have never seen a Continuing priest that did not at least put on a cassock and surplice to conduct a service. Contemporary praise music is generally shunned. There are parishes that use guitars, usually because the only musician they have is a guitarist, but the musical selections will still come from the hymnal, not K-Love's top 40.
     
  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    When looking at some of these churches they are very small. About 8,000 or so total members. Why do they not join together to increase their numbers and ability to reach out
     
  3. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Significant strides are being made for the first time in a long time. Perhaps in the next decade some union will be achieved. A new generation of leaders is coming up and it's up to us to not be arrogant boars and mess it up.
     
  4. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I should visit some continuing churches to get a feel for them. Unfortunately I am trying to plant a church but I am in a dioceses that accept women priests and I am going to have to tell them that that is a deal breaker for me. I will continue to attend church there but in the church we plant if they want my help I can't accept a woman priest
     
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  5. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That's perfect, exactly how I have done it as well. Generally, you will find that the bishops who permit WO are not dictatorial about it.

    Also, traditionally it is the parish that calls the priest, rather than a bishop imposing his will. Thus for example in the Diocese of Pittsburgh which allows WO, I know of many priests (over 1/3) who are not in favor, and whose parishes are not onboard. Those priests and parishes have no threat of someone from the outside coming in to impose things on them. Just because the bishop allows it, does not mean that everyone in the diocese must follow suit.
     
  6. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I just wish we would be done with women priests. Maybe I will press my luck and say I don't like contemporary music either.
     
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  7. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Do it. I don't, and many other people don't either. In the church plant I'm starting there is no contemporary music younger than 200 years old. I'll keep pushing us older too, lol. You can assert how things will go especially as the planter of that church, and bake those things into the parish such that it would be hard to remove them (not that they would push hard for changes either). There is a large latitude within the current ACNA landscape, and the bishops understand this and are very unwilling to go to war with anyone, as long as those people are good and decent Christians underneath.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
  8. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Hahah I am known in my area as an arch traditionalist and everyone knows that I dislike contemporary worship music. I don't even have a smart phone or cable.
     
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  9. Moses

    Moses Member

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    I'm curious - why not plant your church under the authority of a different bishop? It seems like you'd want an overseer who you can trust as a spiritual authority, and the question of who may enter the priesthood is no small one.

    I apologize I'm prying too much.
     
  10. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This wasn't addressed to me, but since I have a similar story I could give my POV, namely that a lot of us traditionalists have made a bet that ACNA is the best hope for a solid and permanent orthodox Anglican province in America. While the Continuing Churches had a good shot of embodying that traditionalist dream when they broke with The Episcopal Church in 1977, today (50 years later) they have so shrunken, and drifted theologically from their old positions, as to no longer capture that dream for most traditionalists that I know. And ACNA on the contrary represents an opposite trajectory, filled with movement and energy. It has its challenges, sure, but its vibrancy is something that would be terribly needed to any Anglican renewal movement. Thus we can feed off that in our church planting efforts, while providing back our traditionalist bona fides that will help them as well. Anyway that's me at least.
     
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  11. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    The ACNA is by far the largest on the non TEC churches out there. Also it is the current church I attend. Where I live is odd just south of the jurisdiction that my church is in. I drive an hour to my parish and it is in the Diocese of the South that does ordain women but where I live puts me in the Diocese of the Gulf Atlantic which does.
     
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    All very crucial aspects of expressing the truth of the Christian Way? Odd when you consider that these priests and churches are trying to convince us (or themselves) that they are the final enclaves of true Christianity. :laugh:

    .
     
  13. tstor

    tstor Member

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    Not necessarily crucial aspects, but certainly outwards signs worth maintaining (imo). For example, it isn't crucial that one dress nicely for church, but should it ever be advised against or discouraged?
     
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  14. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I've never met anyone who advised me to dress shabbily for church or discouraged me from turning out clean and well kempt.

    Have you?

    I knew a young student organist though who was berated for wearing jeans. It turned out they were the only trousers he had and he was trying to live on a student grant.
    .
     
  15. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    No one ever advises to dress shabbily for church, it is true. But then why do all of the 'new' churches have people dressing shabbily, and in the 'traditional' churches 70-80% of people dress shabbily?

    That's because of original sin. Progressive and liberal Christians keep forgetting that we have that. We are prone to evil, to sloth, to laziness, and to lukewarmness. It doesn't need encouragement for us to dress shabbily, we'll happily do it every minute of every day. It takes encouragement to pull us out of our sloth, and to be mindful of dressing our best when we go to worship the Lord.
     
  16. tstor

    tstor Member

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    We can always come up with one-off exceptions. Those aren't typically meaningful.
     
  17. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    You could always petition the REC diocese of the Southeast to look after your mission. ACNA's dioceses are still quite fluid in many areas. I've got 3 or 4 of them operating near me in SE Virginia.
     
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  18. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I am going to see where this goes and if it falters I just might do that.
     
  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That's a really good point, thanks for that. You've reminded me that we have the REC100 program, namely an initiative to plan 100 churches in the coming years. There's been a budget set aside for it, and everything. @bwallac2335
     
  20. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Well lets see how it goes with what I am doing now. What is unique about the REC? Are they very Calvinist?