All Saints Pawleys Island votes to join the ACNA

 

All Saints Pawleys Island votes to join the ACNA

Author: 

George Conger

The mother church of the Anglican Mission in America has voted to join the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA).
At a parish meeting on 5 Nov 2012, All Saints Church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina was asked to give its support to one of two propositions. Proposal 1 would affiliate the historic congregation with the ACNA, while proposal 2 would align the church with the Anglican Mission in America's (AMiA) Society for Mission and Apostolic Works.
Parish by laws required 51 per cent approval for a change in affiliation or 316 votes.  With a quorum present, proposal 1 received 322 votes and proposal 2 received 229 votes.
The run up to the vote had been difficult for the parish, with partisans from each side pressing their views on to the congregation.  Speaking before the vote, All Saints rector the Rev. Robert Grafe urged the congregation to vote for proposal 1.
Proposal 1 was not a repudiation of the AMiA or its founder, Bishop Chuck Murphy – who served as rector of All Saints for over 20 years – but recognition of the changing institutional structures of Anglicanism in the United States, Fr. Grafe said.
The decision by Bishop Murphy to withdraw the AMiA from the oversight of the Church of Rwanda and become an independent mission society outside of the Anglican Communion had been troubling for many members of the congregation, whilst others supported Bishop Murphy's step forward.
Fr. Grafe told Anglican Ink the past few months had been difficult for All Saints, but he believed the church was now entering a “time of renewal.”
Being a Christian meant being in “authentic relationship” with your brother, he said.  “We cannot reach out to those” outside the faith, “if we cannot reach out to one another.”
He added that the events of the past year were an opportunity.  “Repentance allows you an opportunity to get down on your knees” and seek God.
All Saints has an “excited core group” of believers, he observed.  “We know we have been called to be a missional, incarnational, First century church,” he said, adding that that DNA was “part of the AMiA, the Anglican Mission and the ACNA.”
However, the dispute over affiliation meant “we have not loved each other as we have wanted too,” he said, but “both sides” of the dispute were “open” to reconciliation. Whether that meant both sides would be “worshipping under the same roof, that is a different matter,” Fr Grafe said.