The leader of the Anglican Mission in America, Bishop Chuck Murphy, will meet with the Primate of Rwanda today to seek a resolution to the split that has seen nine AMiA bishops quit the province and the Anglican Communion.
The Archbishop of Kenya, Dr. Eliud Wabukhala will host the 4 Jan 2012 meeting between Bishop Murphy and Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje in Nairobi. Other African and North American church leaders are expected to attend the meeting as well.
Last month Bishop Murphy stated he would travel to London to meet with retired Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini, Moses Tay and Yong Ping Chung to begin the work of finding a new provincial sponsor for the AMiA.
A statement released after the 12-14 December meeting omitted mention of a new home. It did affirm, however, the retired archbishops’ continued support for the missionary society concept advocated by Bishop Murphy.
While attempts to find overseas backing were explored, the AMiA leadership also sent out feelers toward the ACNA, to see how the North American Anglican province-in-formation might view the split. At the close of a 20 December meeting in Pittsburgh between ACNA leader Archbishop Robert Duncan and two of the nine resigned bishops, Archbishop Duncan issued a pastoral letter stating that reconciliation between the breakaway bishops and Rwanda was a condition for further talks that would allow the breakaway bishops to find a new provincial home.
The “starting point” for the ACNA in the AMiA split was the “importance of our Provincial relationship” with Rwanda, its archbishop, the two AMiA bishops who had not quit the province – Terrell Glenn and Thad Barnum – and their clergy, as well as with those who had left Rwanda, the archbishop wrote.
The ACNA was “deeply connected to all three, and we can only move forward when issues and relationships have been adequately addressed and necessary transitions are in progress,” he said.
The following day the AMiA bishops released a letter, which was not signed by Bishop Murphy however, that affirmed the importance of reconciliation with the Rwanda.
The AMiA bishops explained that in time “things will all be made clearer as the dust settles, as relationships are restored and truth comes to light,” and added that they would not discuss the reasons for the collapse of their relationship with the Rwandan bishops other than in “the pursuit of reconciliation among our Houses. You may be assured that reconciliation remains important to us.”
The AMiA did not respond to our request for comments as of our going to press, but Bishop Murphy is expected to speak of his work in finding a new provincial home for those who have quit Rwanda at the 11-14 January AMiA Winter Conference in Houston.