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Rwanda and AMiA to go their separate ways: The Church of England Newspaper, April 6, 2012 p 7. April 11, 2012

Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Church of England Newspaper.
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Bishop Chuck Murphy

The Archbishop of Kenya reports that attempts to forge a compromise between the bishops of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) and the Church of Rwanda have failed.  In a statement released on 29 March 2012, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala stated that each side wishes the other well as they pursue new opportunities in ministry.

The severing of formal ties between the AMiA and Rwanda after 12 years ends the first sustained “cross border” jurisdictional violation criticized by the Windsor Report – leaving the Church of Nigeria with the only formal overseas-led jurisdiction in North America.

On 13 March 2012 Bishop Chuck Murphy, Bishop John Miller and Canon Mike Murphy of the AMiA, along with the retired primates of Rwanda and South East Asia, Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini and Yong Ping Chung with the Primate of Rwanda, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje and Bishop Laurent Mbanda in Johannesburg to “facilitate relational reconciliation,” a statement from the AMiA said.

The Johannesburg meeting follows upon a January meeting in Nairobi also hosted by Archbishop Wabukala that sought to find a way forward in the rupture between the AMiA’s bishops and the Church of Rwanda.  Last year all but two of the AMiA’s bishops quit the African church after the Rwandan House of Bishops pushed for greater financial and organizational accountability of the South Carolina-based jurisdiction.

The split has fractured the AMiA’s 150 congregations.  While no numbers have been released by the AMiA, a majority of its congregations appear to have left Bishop Murphy’s oversight—including Bishop Murphy’s former parish and the AMiA’s headquarters, All Saints Church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

One faction appears set to join the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a second group has pledged its loyalty to the Church of Rwanda but will seek to operate under the oversight of the ACNA, while a third remains with Bishop Murphy and his bishops.  Negotiations to find an accommodation are currently underway between the Murphy faction and the ACNA, however the terms publicly set by Archbishop Duncan include reconciliation between Rwanda and the Murphy group.

In his letter from Johannesburg, Archbishop Wabukala said the two sides stated that they had “done the best” to resolve the situation.  However, “we mutually agree to release each other to develop our God-given ministries for the advancement of His Kingdom.”

The parties further agreed not to disparage each other.  “We will honor all parties involved by promising not to engage in derogatory or judgmental communication,” the statement said.

The AMiA statement said “Bishop Murphy expressed deep gratitude to Archbishop Wabukala for his leadership and thanksgiving for this new beginning for the Anglican Mission.”  A member of the Rwandan House of Bishops contacted by the Church of England Newspaper stated his church would not comment at this time, noting the communiqué spoke for itself.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.


1. pa - April 11, 2012

All Saints Pawleys Island has NOT left the Anglican Mission. Please check your facts before you print.

geoconger - April 11, 2012

The AMiA has left All Saints. And, how can one explain the rector’s letter to the congregation that All Saints will remain under the oversight of the Province of Rwanda?

pa - April 11, 2012

part of communique from All Saints Church April 2, 2012

I wanted to let you know that a video blog, sort of like an internet TV show, that focuses on “all things Anglican” is reporting (erroneously) that All Saints has left the Anglican Mission in America for PEAR-USA. Since I am not a viewer of this blog, I am grateful for a friend in Alabama who let me know of the false report.

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus has come that we might have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).
Jesus is Lord!

Faithfully, Rob

The Rev. Robert L. Grafe, Jr.

All Saints – Waccamaw
3560 Kings River Road
Pawleys Island, SC 29585

(843) 237-4223


geoconger - April 11, 2012

Fr Grafe is denying something I did not say. In my article I wrote that some AMiA congregations “have left Bishop Murphy’s oversight—including Bishop Murphy’s former parish and the AMiA’s headquarters, All Saints Church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.”

This is different from saying that the congregation had joined PEAR USA.

The extract from above does not contradict what I wrote, but should also be read in conjunction with Fr. Grafe’s letter to the congregation that “we have no intention of breaking from the Anglican Mission in America. Nor do we have any intention of coming out from under Archbishop Rwaje and the oversight of the Province of Rwanda.”

How this is possible I am not quite sure. Time will tell.

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