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Convocation of Anglican Bishops
Grace and Peace
I am sorry that I was unable to send this out before this morning. This is a 'first' agreement. We have agreed to meet at least once more this year in hopes of doing even more to unite the continuum. Likewise, we will be attending each other's synods and meetings of our houses of bishops.
For those of you who do not know about the Traditionalist Movement in Anglicanism, it dates from the early 1960's, with the largest exodus occurring in the mid 1970's. Sadly, like all such movements in America's church history, fragmentation has occurred for all kinds of reasons.
Historically, there has been a lot of anger and hostility directed at those who have left by those traditionalists who have stayed and against those who have stayed by those traditionalists who have left. There has also been hostility between those who left - we all did not leave for the same reasons: for some it was the Prayer Book changes, some the ordination of women, others the issues surrounding homosexuality, and still others could not stand the perceived lawlessness - canons that have been selectively ignored or enforced when it served a liberal agenda. Today, there are over 600 churches in North America alone in this movement.
This is a first step. We would ask you to join us in prayer for the unification of our movement.
The Feast of Saint Boniface May 5, 1999
The Abbey of Saint Benedict, Bartonville, Illinois
A Call to Prayer and The Pursuit of Unity
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit it, the bond of peace
We, the Bishops of the Continuing Anglican Churches and Traditionalist Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America meeting at the call of the Abbot of Saint Benedict's Abbey at Bartonville, in the Diocese of Quincy, recognize the deep divisions which have afflicted our individual jurisdictions. We acknowledge that these divisions have been caused by our pride, anger, envy and other sentiments contrary to the Gospel, and that these have caused deep hurt to those entrusted to our care.
We are mindful that we as individuals, and our jurisdictions as portions of the Christian family, must grow in forgiveness and reconciliation in order to fulfill our Lord's will that his Church be one. To begin this growth, we constitute ourselves a confraternity and community of prayer, and call upon the clergy, religious and laity under our care, to join themselves to us in regular corporate and private prayer for each other, and neither to speak nor to do ill against each other, that the Holy Spirit will work among us to heal these sad divisions.
During our meeting, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have discovered mutual unity, respect and repentance; and providentially have unexpected and convenient opportunities to continue our discussions throughout the coming year. To prepare ourselves for these continuing meetings, we ask that our clergy, religious and laity join us each day in the following traditional prayers.
For the Unity of God's People
Book of Common Prayer, United States of America, 1928
For Deliverance from Peril
Book of Common Prayer Canada, 1962
Present but not empowered to sign:
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