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Anglicanism, LGBTQ, and the Anglican Network in Canada

When friends of ours suggested that we attend a small Anglican church two years ago, I wasn’t terribly interested. “Aren’t all Anglican churches quite liberal, and focused on embracing the LGBTQ lifestyle, ordaining gay priests, etc.?”

Actually, no. Not all of them.

What I found out is that ten years ago, some Anglicans in Canada took a stand for the authority of Scriptures. Rather than splitting away from the Anglican Church in Canada, they found a rather complex way to form a new branch within Anglicanism, and the Anglican Network in Canada was born.

However, the story didn’t end there. Next came years of legal battles, which saw this fledgling denomination lose nearly all of their amazing cathedrals. Many pastors who were reaching retirement age lost pensions and salaries. In addition, many faced passive and active forms of persecution from those who were supposed to provide spiritual protection and oversight.

And the story is far from over! The global Anglican Church is facing a split of global proportions, between churches in the Northern Hemisphere who have abandoned Scriptures as an authority on sexual ethics, and churches in the Southern Hemisphere who by no means are ready to budge on the issue of homosexuality, or LGBTQ. Nobody knows how this one will end.

After hearing a bit more of their story, I thought maybe I could give this church a chance. What I found was a denomination focused on:

1. Bold witnesses

2. Biblically grounded

3. Loving children & families

4. On mission

5. Planting & growing churches

Literally: those are the five principles that Bishop Charlie (the bishop in charge of this new denomination/organization) has laid before the rest of the churches.

After attending for two years, and moving slowly towards increased involvement, I had the opportunity to attend a “synod” meeting (aka, a church gathering) this past Fall. On the way back, I recorded this podcast on:

  1. The precise history of ANIC, as best as I can reconstruct it
  2. My impressions of ANIC, from attending a church, and now a synod meeting
  3. The current state of Anglicanism

There are actually so many Anglican priests becoming Catholic today, due to the current rift, that the RCC has created a new diocese for them, and made a special provision that Anglican priests turning Catholic are allowed to maintain their marriages and families. For the first time in centuries, there are now large numbers of married priests within the Catholic church, due to this issue!

Since I come from a Mennonite background, it is very “weird” for me to be going to an Anglican church. In my next podcast (coming out next week) will talk candidly about how I have been reacting to some issues like high-church liturgies, communion every Sunday, and infant baptism. Stay tuned!

(you can listen to this week’s podcast by clicking below. To have all podcasts sent automatically to your device, subscribe here.)

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