Thirty years gone by…

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Congress of St. Louis. Thirty years ago traditional Anglicans and Episcopalians saw the slippery slope that the good old Episcopal church was leaning toward and they chose to let goods and kindred go in search of sanity and fidelity to the faith once delivered to the saints. These days we hear of people declaring the United States a “mission territory” and then they come only to complicate the already confused minds of Anglicans. Fronts and alliances have been declared that partially embrace fidelity to orthodoxy. In seeking to follow His holy will and the care of His flock we have run into situations that have not worked for the faithful Anglicans who have followed such a lead. In some of the so-called federations, many compromises have been made in terms of Sacramental and Apostolic Tradition. Faith at its core is adherence to the teaching of the Scriptures, administering of the Sacrament and upholding of the tradition of the apostles who carried this down the centuries. True fidelity is not adherence to any new wave of permissive morality that society might embrace. The role of the church needs to be clear in leading its people in the right direction regarding faith and morals.
In my short experience and earnest desire to do what is right in His sight, I’ve seen situations where the people have been left in a quandary. Overseas oversight does not translate into the pastoral care in the “here and now” situation. Trinity Anglican Church in Evansville, Indiana is an example of this situation. Having received no oversight from the jurisdiction that they had belonged to, their Anglicanism was run amuck by their priest. As a result, the laity began looking for a safer haven.
One would think that thirty years of fidelity in the continuing movement would give UECNA credibility. And yet the faithful go through repeat disappointments in order to arrive at verdant pastures. Also, among the leadership there are many who want more clout and so join the number game while sacrificing their stand. While this may be true of the bishops, there are faithful clergy (like Dn. Tom Bradshaw from Heber Springs, Arkansas) who have wrestled with their situation within the ECUSA, met with their leadership and expressed their conviction with clear conscience. Perhaps what is lacking today is men of such caliber who are willing to let go of their security in the ECUSA.
If money alone was our primary concern, then none of us would be in these tiny churches consciously living the faith and morals and leading the flock in the same. We know that we have greater accountability when the Master returns and each of us will be responsible for our commissions and omissions in our duty towards His flock.
Kudos to Trinity Anglican Church in Evansville, Indiana and to Rev. Tom Bradshaw for your courage and conviction. Only such a conviction is needed and the Lord who has begun the good work in you will bring it to fruition. We are here with you in adhering to the faith once delivered unto the saints and in constantly fostering faith, family and tradition, until His second coming. And kudos to the ACC, APCK and HCC, who are in sync with UECNA and continue to stand in defense of the faith and morality in the Anglican way.