Saturday, January 29, 2005

AAC Prepares to Abandon Ship

From American Anglican Council's website; an announcement of their move to Atlanta;

"The covenant commitments of the AAC remain unchanged and both staff and the Board look forward to a new year in which to devote our time, effort and resources to addressing your needs," Canon Anderson remarked. "Once we know the Primates' official plans regarding recommendations of the Windsor Report 2004, we can proceed with appropriate action and assist individuals and congregations in moving forward. There will be much work before us including canonical, legal and property issues as well as mobilizing the faithful to proclaim the Gospel and build up our congregations."

Following its incorporation in 1996, the AAC was based in Dallas, Texas under the leadership of Bishop James Stanton. Upon his resignation, Diane Knippers, who served as Interim President, relocated the administrative offices to Washington, DC where it was consolidated and has remained since. Following General Convention 2003, the AAC experienced significant growth in membership, staff and scope and is now poised to assist with a new level of realignment.

(emphasis added)
What's this all about? Here's a news item that might help refresh your memory as to who the AAC are and what they're up to; Memo discloses AAC's strategy for replacing Episcopal Church;

..."Our ultimate goal is a realignment of Anglicanism on North American soil committed to biblical faith and values, and driven by Gospel mission," said the memo [see below], dated December 28, 2003 and signed by the Rev. Geoffrey Chapman, rector of St. Stephen's Church in Sewickley, the largest parish in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. "We believe in the end this should be a 'replacement' jurisdiction with confessional standards [and] closely aligned with the majority of world Anglicanism… We seek to retain ownership of our property as we move into this realignment"...

...In the second stage, which Chapman predicted would get underway "probably in 2004," dissenters would seek "negotiated settlements" with dioceses over property. If such settlements failed, however, "faithful disobedience of canon law on a widespread basis may be necessary," Chapman wrote. "We will innovatively move around, beyond or within the canons" to achieve the group's goals, he said, and time announcements of intentions to realign "in successive weeks to build impact" in the media. Among the goals of the strategy are to "generate significant public attention both within this country and among our world-wide partners"...

(emphasis added)
Probably in 2004, eh? A bit behind schedule, aren't we boys? Not by much, though. Watch for new shenanigans next month after the Primates meet regarding the Windsor Report.

Mark Harris, whose blog Preludium I just discovered today, sums up this move for us;

The move, dear friends, is to this end: to help people and parishes to get out of the Episcopal Church and into another church community, namely the Network. Having called for people to abandon ship, the AAC now has boats launched. As they row away some may look back and notice the ship is not sinking, but rather moving on. It was not hit by an iceburg, but rather by gust of the Spirit's wind, fortunately blowing in the same direction as the ship itself was going. But it is moving away from the AAC boats. Ah well!
"The Network" is the name the AAC has used since the fallout from the Chapman letter. Same folks running the show; new name but same game. They've managed to get a few other right wing fringe groups to join them under this new banner, but not much else has changed. Network = AAC.

As a side note, Diane Knippers, mentioned as the "interim President" of the AAC, is President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, an extreme right wing group who originally turned their sights on rooting out communism, but when they ran out of communists decided to refocus on the mainline denominations. You may recall the IRD as one the shrill voices during the witch hunt of a few months ago. The AAC and the IRD have shared an office, a mailing address, and the same well-heeled contributors for many years. I wonder if the IRD is moving south as well, or will they be the AAC's Washington branch office now?


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