The old cisterns of North American Anglicanism have broken and shattered. New wine is being poured into new wineskins. It is impossible to pour it into the old wineskins.
In less than two months the North American Anglican Province (ACNA) will be birthed on U.S. soil, the first of its kind since the formation of The Episcopal Church 431 years ago.
The first Church of England service recorded on North American soil was a celebration of Holy Communion at Frobisher Bay in September 1578.
It will formally mark a huge and irrevocable divide that now exists between those who are faithful to the Anglican tradition as it is expressed in Holy Scripture, the Anglican formularies, the 39 Articles, the creeds, the Book of Common Prayer (1662 and 1928) and, by contrast, those who have imbibed a post-modern morality, liturgical reconstruction, a deconstructed Bible and for whom the definition of mission is inclusion not conversion.
The divide will now determine the course of Anglicanism in North America in the 21st century.
In Bedford, Texas, the leaders of (ACNA) will bring together 28 new dioceses, some 100,000 parishioners, 700 churches and a dozen Anglican organizations drawn from the US and Canada. What will take place in St. Vincent's Cathedral, in Ft. Worth, Texas, will be the culmination of what began last November when its leaders presented a finalized draft constitution and church laws ahead of its first provincial assembly.
"It is a great encouragement to see the fruit of many years' work," said the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, archbishop-elect of the Anglican Church in North America and bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. "Today, 23 dioceses and five dioceses-in-formation joined together to reconstitute an orthodox, Biblical, missionary and united Church in North America."