ACNA Anglican Church in North America
March 17-19, 2011

Report from the meeting
of ACNA Chancellors

by David Weaver
Vice Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth


Diocesan and Provincial Chancellors, Canons to the Ordinary and Archdeacons met in Pittsburgh March 17-19 to share ideas, problems and solutions as the Anglican Church in North America continues to expand and grow. The meetings not only fulfilled their stated purpose, they provided an added benefit particularly relevant to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

As new congregations and dioceses are formed and new bishops consecrated, the ACNA is expanding exponentially under the leadership of Archbishop Robert Duncan, and one of the shining stars in this development continues to be the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Although embroiled in a bitter and costly lawsuit with the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and its local contingent, the Diocese continues to attract new congregations and new members, demonstrating that ministry can continue to flourish even when facing the major obstacles erected by those who would see us dissolved.

The Fort Worth Diocese is seen among its peers in the ACNA as a champion for the Gospel and mission of the Church. And as the Diocese continues to combat the spiritual warfare that has been launched against it, Bishop Iker and those who are on the front lines with him are being held up in prayer by thousands of faithful Anglicans worldwide.

But the Fort Worth Diocese is not the only example of discipleship in the face of adversity. Dozens of congregations throughout the United States and Canada have abandoned their property and possessions for the sake of the Gospel, and they report that God has blessed them mightily. Their example demonstrates that effective ministry is not dependent upon money and property, but on the commitment of the people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

As the participants moved through such topics as “What a Bishop Expects of His Diocese” and “What a Diocese Expects of its Bishop,” the recurring themes revolved around commitment, prayer and visionary, transforming leadership. 

There are those who say that the ACNA cannot survive the diversity of its constituents, that there are insufficient financial resources to fund such an ambitious undertaking, and that differences in the manner in which various groups view the Sacraments and form of worship ultimately will destroy this fragile alliance. What was seen at the meetings held in Pittsburgh, where all of these competing views were represented, was the unity of mission and vision shared by all who were present.

Most importantly for Fort Worth is the reminder provided by this meeting that, while it is proper for the Diocese to take such steps as are necessary to preserve and protect its property and the property of its parishes and missions, the continued survival and success of the ministry of the Diocese and its congregations will not depend upon any ruling by any secular Court. For as long as there are faithful Anglicans committed to the spread of Christ’s Kingdom, the ministry and mission of the ACNA and the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth will continue to grow and flourish, with or without the property now in dispute.

Respectfully and faithfully submitted,

R. David Weaver
Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth