Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The General Convention of our Episcopal Church has left me with shock, disappointment and a heavy heart. At the same time I feel a new hope for the mainstream Anglican Communion, and your and my participation in it.
As you know, the Episcopal Church made two grievous decisions last week that have shattered the Anglican family. In giving its consent to the election of Gene Robinson and by approving same-sex marriage, the Episcopal Church has departed from the historic faith and order of the Anglican Communion as well as the Church of Jesus Christ. We are now left with a severe pastoral crisis and a likely realignment of the Anglican Communion.
This is not the outcome that the AAC had desired, but we did prepare ourselves for this possibility. The AAC's primary goal at General Convention was to take a bold and uncompromising stand for the Gospel. Our Convention theme was "GOD IS" and we proclaimed the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every way that we were able. Our 200 plus volunteers poured out their very hearts and souls to try to keep the Church on the one true path and to share the transforming love of Jesus. I am proud of the job that our hundreds of people did, covering the many aspects of General Convention. They were an army of the Lord. That is why, even in our defeat on the two key issues, I have great confidence and peace that we fulfilled God's purpose for us at Convention. Ultimately, I believe that God used the AAC to help force the Episcopal Church to make a choice between God's way or the way of the world. Tragically, ECUSA chose the world's way, and thus, ECUSA has left the Anglican family, at least as far as doctrine, discipline, and Biblical Authority is concerned.
But while this outcome is not what we would have wished, it has actually given us a new clarity and direction. It is now abundantly clear that God has a new and exciting plan for mainstream Anglicans in America. I believe that we will begin to see this plan unfold over the next several months.
I now see God calling the AAC, in concert with others, to gather together mainstream Anglicans from within the Episcopal Church to chart a new course, under the guidance of the Anglican Primates, that will enable us to remain an active and faithful part of the vibrant and growing Anglican family and to refocus all of our energies once again on growing God's kingdom.
But the challenge of this new call is great. The AAC must now quickly and completely restructure itself. I am very concerned that the huge pastoral, financial, communication, administrative and event coordination burdens (and opportunities) we now face could overwhelm us. The AAC received a stunningly high level of visibility at Convention, and now so many people both inside and outside the Church are watching the AAC closely. Episcopal parishes and individuals are seeking our leadership and help, and it is critical that we are able to provide that leadership. We have literally received many thousands of emails, letters and phone calls from people who are grieving and looking for a way forward and who are now turning to the AAC for hope.
This is one of the pivotal moments in the history of the Christian Church. I can't emphasize this enough. What happens during the next several months will impact Christians worldwide. Therefore, in order for us to lead effectively during this historic moment and meet the huge new demands on our organization, the AAC is in URGENT need of your financial support. As president of the AAC, I need your help to insure that we can help lead mainstream Anglicans in the Episcopal Church wherever God is calling us to go. I also need your help to ensure that the AAC can continue to be a bold voice for biblical truth in our desperately broken world.
Your gift will help us with the following:
You also can personally contribute online right now by visiting our secure contribution page at: http://americananglican.org/Contribute/Contribute.cfm
Challenging and exciting days lie ahead. We have crossed into uncharted territory. The crisis in the Anglican Communion is unprecedented, but rest assured God is sovereign. Nothing the Episcopal Church has said or done can change that fundamental truth.
Thank you for any financial support you are able to give. If you have given recently and are not able to give again we do understand. Encourage your friends to help raise support. Please keep the AAC in your prayers, and especially pray for the personal safety of our leaders. Also, I ask you to please continue standing with the AAC over the next several months as events such as the Plano meeting and the extraordinary gathering of the worldwide Anglican Primates (October 15-16, 2003) unfold. Be sure to also read the document "What do I do now?" which is posted on the AAC website.
May God bless you and keep you during the difficult days ahead.
Faithfully in Christ Jesus,
The Rev. Canon David C. Anderson
President and CEO
American Anglican Council
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