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Churches request [Kenyan] Anglican diocese, bishop
VirtueOnline-News ^ | 1/15/2007 | David Waters, The Commercial Appeal

Posted on 01/15/2007 6:49:48 PM PST by sionnsar

January 15, 2007

Delegates from a dozen churches in Memphis and across the South will ask the Anglican Church of Kenya to form a diocese and appoint a bishop for them in America.

The unprecedented request was given to Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, who was in Memphis over the weekend for meetings and services hosted by St. Peter's Anglican Church in East Memphis.

The archbishop said he will discuss the request with worldwide Anglican leaders in February and he hopes to have an answer by April.

"We must go slowly and assure that in every step we are giving honor and glory to God," Nzimbi told delegates from Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina and Missouri.

St. Peter's is one of 18 U.S. churches that have affiliated with the Anglican Church of Kenya, joining a growing nationwide movement to establish a conservative alternative to the Episcopal Church. All Saints Anglican in Jackson, Tenn., is another.

In recent years, dozens of other congregations across the country have cut their ties to the Episcopal Church and affiliated with more conservative Anglican communions in Africa, Asia or South America.

The exodus began in 2003 when Episcopal bishops consecrated an openly gay bishop. That year, Faith Anglican Church of Memphis joined the Nigerian-based Anglican Mission in America, which includes more than 100 U.S. congregations.

With 2.5 million members, the Kenyan church is the fifth largest branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, a bit larger than the Episcopal (U.S.) branch. So far, all of the Kenyan Church's 29 dioceses and more than 40 bishops are in Kenya.

The formation of the first American diocese would include the appointment of the first American bishop and could encourage more Episcopalians to leave the fold and join the U.S. Anglican movement.

"Our goal is for the Episcopal Church to sort of see the error of its ways and reunite with all of us," said Rev. Steve Carpenter, a former Episcopal priest and now associate pastor of St. Peter's.

"But if that doesn't happen, the goal is to establish a single Anglican communion in America. Right now, all of us who have joined the Anglican movement are sort of free-floating. Establishing an Anglican diocese with a bishop here in America would give all of us a new home."

The Anglicans who met in Memphis said they feel more spiritual kinship with their Anglican brothers 8,000 miles away than they do with their Episcopal cousins next door.

"This isn't just about homosexuality or same-sex unions. This is about the authority of Scripture," said Jeff Garrety, a member of All Saints Anglican Church in Jackson.

"The Episcopal Church and its leaders have diminished that authority."

Nzimbi cautioned the U.S. delegates not to expect too much too soon. The next step might be to form an American deanery, a less formal collection of parishes, which could grow into a larger diocese headed by a bishop.

Meantime, he asked delegates to be patient.

"We are here to say we stand with you, we encourage you, and we love you," Nzimbi said.


TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 01/15/2007 6:49:49 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Way4Him; Peach; Zippo44; piperpilot; ex-Texan; ableLight; rogue yam; neodad; Tribemike; ..
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 01/15/2007 6:50:31 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar

the ball is rolling

3 posted on 01/15/2007 7:18:27 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: sionnsar

Kenya? Why not join the CANA or the AMiA?

Is this a strategy to gain wide global South solidarity with the orthodox?

4 posted on 01/15/2007 9:06:40 PM PST by AnalogReigns
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