Saturday, March 21, 2009

BluePrint in Action

A True Blueprint for the New Church in Action

On March 26th at Holy Cross Anglican Church, Loganville, GA, just before the American Anglican Council's "Blueprint" conference kicks off, Anglican history will be made. Over 25 Anglican churches from across the country are sending delegates to convene and begin charting their future together as a diocese in the new Anglican Church in North America.

The delegates that gather will have a common bond; they are all Anglicans under the jurisdiction of the Church of Uganda. While at Holy Cross, this convocation will be moving past the dream of the New Church and beginning the challenging task of making it a reality. Their goal is to be able to send their diocesan delegates to the inaugural Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, held June 22-25th, and to vote and ratify the new constitution and canons of the church.

Before they can arrive at the Provincial Assembly in June, there is organizational work to be done. Consistent with Anglican practice, congregations come together to form a diocese and dioceses band together as a national church. This convocation will be taking the first formative step in creating a diocese. (A diocese in the ACNA can also be referred to as a "cluster" or "network.")

Prior to this meeting, the vestry of each congregation needed to adopt a resolution subscribing to the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Church in North America. They also needed to state that their church wanted to be a part of the diocese being formed from the congregations presently under the Church of Uganda. After this, a delegation from each parish was assembled with proportionate representation of lay delegates selected by the vestry, or other means, based on the congregation's average Sunday attendance. All clergy were invited to attend.

When the delegates arrive in Loganville, there will be serious work to do. Structures must be formed - a Standing Committee, Officers (Treasurer, Secretary, and Chancellor) must be elected. Delegates to the Provincial Assembly must be elected to attend the June meeting. Like any organization in formation, draft by-laws and canons need to be ratified along with articles of incorporation and an application for 501c3 status reviewed and filed. Along with these important tasks, a budget and financial report will be prepared to support the emerging organization as well. One of the easier tasks before the delegation will be that of choosing a new name for the new diocese, which will be revealed at the AAC's Blueprint conference.

As this group of parishes comes closer together, we can all thank the Lord for being one more step closer to the new Anglican Church in North America for which we have all waited so long.

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