Is the AAC a church?

No. The AAC is an independent nonprofit organization centered primarily on advocacy, education, counsel and advice (legal and otherwise), and education. We do not carry out ordinations or consecrations.

What is the AAC’s position on women’s ordination?

The AAC has individual members and affiliate congregations/ministries with differing views on women’s ordination, and we respect these differing opinions.

What is the Anglican Church in North America?

The American Anglican Council is one of the founding members of the The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The ACNA officially began December 3, 2008, at the culmination of a three-day meeting of the Common Cause Council, a leadership assembly that included three representatives from each of the nine Common Cause Partners Federation members. The council unanimously adopted a provisional constitution and nine initial canons that governed the church until a Provincial Assembly met June 22 – 25, 2009 in Bedford, Texas. That meeting amended and provided final ratification of the constitution and canons and installed the ACNA’s first Archbishop, Bob Duncan of the Pittsburgh diocese. The current Archbishop is the Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach. Several Anglican provinces have recognized the Anglican Church in North America and are in full communion with them. These include:

  • The Anglican Church of Nigeria
  • The Anglican Church of Kenya
  • The Church of Uganda
  • The Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America
  • Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda
  • The Anglican Church of Tanzania
  • The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
  • Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
  • The Church of the Province of South East Asia

 

What is the Anglican Communion?

The Anglican Communion is a worldwide communion of 39 Anglican provinces with approximately 100 million baptized members.

What does it mean to be “in communion” with one another? What is meant by “broken communion”?

Members of the Anglican Communion (39 provinces) are united by a common faith, doctrine, tradition and order. Broken, or impaired, communion indicates that one or more of the constituent members has breached the bonds of communion.

What is meant by the “Global South”?

In the Anglican Communion, “Global South” is the term used to refer to those provinces and dioceses near or south of the equator, particularly those in Africa, southern Asia, and Latin America. These Anglicans, representing approximately 70% of the Anglican Communion, meet together regularly; a majority of Global South leaders are deeply evangelical and are outspoken critics of the theological crisis in The Episcopal Church in some provinces of the Anglican Communion.

What are the four “Instruments of Anglican Unity” and what are their purposes?

The four instruments of unity in the Anglican Communion, and each of their roles, are the:

  • Archbishop of Canterbury (unique focus of unity; calls the Lambeth Conference; chairs the Primates’ meetings; President of the ACC)
  • Lambeth Conference (gathering of the bishops of the Communion; meets once every 10 years)
  • Primates (Archbishops of each province)
  • Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) (includes one to three persons from every province; an advisory council which seeks to develop common policies with respect to the world mission of the Church)

 

What is via media?

Traditionally, the term via media has been used to describe the middle way between the Reformed/Protestant expression of faith and Roman Catholicism. With the rise of revisionism, via media has been re-interpreted as the middle of extremes between conservative and liberal theology—it is described as the “moderate position,” even though its proponents are actually departing from the most basic tenets of historic and biblical Christianity, thereby rendering it a new tool of revisionism.

What is “revisionism”?

Revisionism, also known as “Progressive Christianity,” seeks to change theological, doctrinal and moral essentials of orthodox Christianity. This version of Christianity offers a “new gospel.” Revisionists often reject the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation.

What is meant by “orthodoxy”?

"Orthodoxy” refers to doctrine, teaching and practice consistent with Scripture and traditions of the Christian Church (based on the four Councils of Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus and Chalcedon; the 39 Articles of Religion; the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral; and the 1888 Lambeth Conference).

Isn’t this issue of homosexuality just like women’s ordination and civil rights, and one day the church will change and learn to accept it?

Issues of sexuality are not justice or civil rights issues; rather sexuality is a theological and doctrinal issue addressed and settled by plain reading of Scripture. Homosexuality is condemned in Scripture as sinful regardless of the context. (There is no provision for “committed partnerships” or same-sex unions.) The Church is called to lovingly lead sinners toward repentance and transformation (if they are willing) rather than embrace sinful behavior. In addition, the Anglican Communion has stated clearly that the questions surrounding the ordination of women are not considered “essentials of faith,” and, therefore, differing views on the issue of women’s ordination are accepted within the Communion. In other words, the Communion has “agreed to disagree” on women’s ordination. The Anglican Communion has expressed its mind on issues of sexuality, however, and upholds Scripture and historic teaching on sexuality.

What is Lambeth 1.10?

Lambeth 1.10 was a “resolution on human sexuality” passed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference; it has since been upheld by each of the other three instruments of Anglican unity as the Communion’s mind on human sexuality. The resolution upholds, among other things:

  • marriage defined as “between a man and a woman in a lifelong union”
  • abstinence for those who are not called to marriage
  • homosexual practice as “incompatible with Scripture”
  • rejection of “legitimising or blessing of same sex unions” and of ordination of “those involved in same gender unions”
  • recognition of the need to “minister pastorally and sensitively” to all, including those who practice homosexuality

Lambeth 1.10 (Full Text)

What is GAFCON and what happened there?

GAFCON, which stands for the Global Anglican Future Conference, was an initiative led by several Global South Primates that called for a conference of orthodox Anglicans in Jerusalem in June, 2008. While there, bishop, clergy and lay representatives discussed the crisis of faith in the Anglican Communion and a possible way forward. On the conference's final day, the delegation of 1,400 ratified the Jerusalem Declaration. This document outlined principals of orthodox Anglicanism and also called for a Primatial Council to be formed of those Primates that agreed with the Jerusalem Declaration. The document also called for a new province in North America to be formed from the Common Cause Partnership. In 2013 and 2018 the second and third GAFCON events were held. GAFCON currently represents the vast majority of practicing Anglicans.

 

What is The Episcopal Church (TEC)?

TEC is the new name for what was formerly known as the Episcopal Church USA, or ECUSA; the name was officially changed by General Convention 2006. TEC is currently the U.S. province of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The other Anglican group in the U.S. is the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

What is the AAC’s position on abortion?

The AAC’s Covenant of Faith (“A Place to Stand”) states our position on the sanctity of life: “All human life is a sacred gift from God and is to be protected and defended from conception to natural death. We will uphold the sanctity of life and bring the grace and compassion of Christ to those who face the realities of previous abortion, unwanted pregnancy, and end-of-life illness.”