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ACNA up 34% in 18 months: The Church of England Newspaper, July 1, 2011 p 7. July 5, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Church of England Newspaper.
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ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has bucked the trend of mainline church decline in the US and has added almost 250 new congregations, Archbishop Robert Duncan told delegates to the church’s second provincial council held last week in Long Beach, California.

“Two years ago we were 706 congregations.  The annual parochial and diocesan reports for 2010,” Archbishop Duncan said on June 21, “identify 952 congregations as part of the dioceses of the ACNA and its ministry partners.  Statistically this represents a 34 per cent growth in congregations at the end of the first 18 months of Church life.”

Growth has been strong across all age groups and demographics, the leader of the breakaway province of conservative Anglicans in the US and Canada told the delegates.  One statistic Archbishop Duncan found particularly encouraging was the report on baptisms for 2010.

Over the past year ACNA parishes recorded “987 baptisms of adults over thirty, 424 baptisms of young people aged sixteen to thirty, and 1647 baptisms of children.”  These numbers excluded baptisms performed in the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA).

“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,” he said.

“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,” Archbishop Duncan noted.

A one to one ratio of adult to children’s baptisms is uncommon among Anglicans in North America.  Data released by the Episcopal Church for 2009 recorded 33,778 children’s baptisms and 5113 adult baptisms.

In his presidential address Archbishop Duncan reported the church’s finances were sound, its membership rolls expanding, and the internal tensions and strains of forming a new Anglican province comprising a range of traditions from Anglo-Catholic, to High Church, to Evangelical to Pentecostal were under control.

The province welcomed four new dioceses and dioceses-in-formation: the Mid-Atlantic, the Carolinas, the Southwest (covering West Texas and New Mexico) and Cascadia (covering the Pacific Northwest).

He reported that the non-geographic Diocese of the Holy Spirit, originally formed by congregations that had come under the oversight of the Church of Uganda, had voted to dissolve.  “All of its congregations and clergy have now been dispersed to other dioceses,” Archbishop Duncan said, and he added that Holy Spirit’s bishop, John Guernsey, had been elected Bishop of the Mid-Atlantic.

“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,” the archbishop said.

Comments

1. Charlie J. Ray - July 5, 2011

How much of this is exaggerated? The REC officially joined recently. It’s mostly small congregations.

2. Matt Cvetic - July 6, 2011

My thoughts exactly. Depending on how you count, there are over 130 REC parishes that came in last month.

3. vec4him - July 7, 2011

The REC was included in the original number of 706 congregations. They have not just recently recently joined for that purpose. They were always counted as part of the ACNA. The “official” part is that the REC may need to make changes to their Constitution and Canons to be full members by their documents. As far a small congregations, that will need to be defined. The overall vision and purpose of the ACNA is seesn in the fat tht people are out there doing what the Lord called us to do: “GO!”

4. reformirani kršćani zagreb - July 7, 2011

We are very happy and thankful to God for such a great growth!

Greetings from the Reformed Episcopal Church in Croatia!


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