The flagship parish of the Anglican Mission in America – All Saints Pawleys Island – is set to vote at a special parish meeting this fall on its rector’s proposal the congregation join the Anglican Church in North America.
The Rev. Robert L. Grafe, Jr., rector of the founding parish of the AMiA, told Anglican Ink his congregation was entering a “season of prayer and discernment.”
He noted that a “change in affiliation requires an amendment to our by-laws and a parish vote,” which could take place later this year.
In a 27 July 2012 letter to the congregation, Mr. Grafe wrote that in the wake of the December split within the AMiA “it became clear that there would be other Anglican options for affiliation to consider.”
He noted that the parish leadership believed the best way forward following the news of the break up of the AMiA was to wait and see what options presented themselves. “I encouraged us all to avoid taking sides, refrain from demonizing, and to wait on details to surface regarding the various options. Until we were presented with some details which we could prayerfully consider, we would be content to remain both a part of the Anglican Mission and under the oversight of Archbishop Rwaje.”
Eight months later, Mr. Grafe has recommended the congregation affiliate with the Anglican Church in North America. “I believe the Anglican Church of North America is that faithful place of coming together; a unified Anglican witness in North America through which we can continue to walk out our new life in Jesus Christ and serve Him as His Church. I believe All Saints Parish is called to affiliate with the Anglican Church of North America under the oversight of Archbishop Bob Duncan, in communion with the GAFCON and Global South Primates. I see this as the faithful next step.”
All Saints would retain an “ongoing partnership” with the “developing Society for Mission and Apostolic Works” led by Bishop Chuck Murphy, Mr. Grafe wrote, adding that he hoped one day Bishop Murphy’s organization would be “operating with us out of the ACNA, and until that day occurs I would encourage that we treat her as if she already is.”
On All Saints Day (November 1, 2012 ) the congregation will hold a special parish meeting to consider an amendment to its bylaws that would allow it to affiliate with the ACNA, he said. In the meantime: “Pray for those with whom you disagree. Practice forbearance! Participate in the life of the church and refuse to withdraw,” he said, reminding the congregation not to be “afraid. Jesus is Lord of His Church and this is a time of coming together.”
Pawley's Island Parish Letter 7.25.12