Jan
18
2016

The Anglican Communion Suspends the Episcopal Church

From this week’s Ministry Briefing, news of difficult times ahead for the Anglican Communion:

During a contentious Primates Meeting of the Anglican archbishops, the Episcopal Church has been suspended for three years over its decision to perform same sex marriages. The document ruled that marriage is between a man and a woman and is seen as a victory for conservatives in the Anglican communion, including conservatives from the Global Anglican Future or GAFCON group.

Source: Christian Today

Why does this matter for church leaders?

This story is loaded with a bunch of different trends in the church right now:

  • The Rise of the Global South: The southern hemisphere is beginning to take a prominent place in the leadership of the global church. As these churches grow in influence we will see more conflict in denominations that have significant theological and cultural rifts between the north and south.
  • The Potential for Denominational Splits: As denominations struggle through their positions on homosexuality fault lines that have been long hidden are beginning to be exposed. These struggles have been happening in the PC(USA), United Methodist Church, the Roman Catholic church, and others. This is not going away anytime soon… and could get ugly.
  • The World is Watching: These struggles are not happening in a vacuum. These struggles on on display for the world to see, and the way we conduct ourselves will communicate much about the Church. While there may be schisms and splits, I pray we do it with love…. is that a naive hope?

How are YOU seeing this play out in YOUR denomination?

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About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.

  • Chet

    It will be fun indeed. Even within the Episcopal Church (America’s Anglican expression), there is a deep divide. The church is shrinking significantly as a whole, but individual congregations that have not lost their focus on maintaining a Biblically sound theology seem to be bucking that trend. It has been fun over the past two years for me to spend time with a really great Episcopal rector whose congregation is among those who have maintained sound doctrine on marriage. They are a vibrant community of faith.