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The Anglican Church in North America

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In the United States, The Episcopal Church (TEC) is in the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is a member of GAFCON ( Global Anglican Future Conference). ACNA was founded in 2009 by traditional Anglicans that departed from TEC, which was followed by acrimonious lawsuits and property disputes with the departing congregations and dioceses (some of which continue at the writing of this article). The ACNA isn’t made up of recently-departed Episcopalian groups alone. The Reformed Episcopal Church, which split from the Episcopal Church in 1873, joined the ACNA as a sub-jurisdiction. In other words, the Realignment is not simply a matter of denominational division. It also includes elements of union and reunion.

Making things even more confusing is the separate Continuing Anglican movement, which left the Episcopal Church in the 1970s over the issues of the revisionist 1979 American Book of Common Prayer and the adoption of women’s ordination. These groups signed the Affirmation of St. Louis but suffered several splits in the following years. In recent years, there have been efforts on the part of several Continuing jurisdictions to reunite.

For both the ACNA and the Continuing Anglicans, members of these groups will call themselves “Anglicans” rather than “Episcopalians.” The term “Episcopalian” is now used for official members of TEC, at least in the United States. Nevertheless, Americans make up only a small fraction of Anglicans in the world.


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