Why PEARUSA?

 

Why PEARUSA?

Author: 

James Gibson

Many of my recent conversations with Anglican clergy and laity continue to center around the question, “Why is PEARUSA a wise choice rather than going directly into the ACNA?” This is a good and genuine question, especially in light of our intention to become a subjurisdiction of ACNA. (We are enthusiastic that God is building united, biblical, mission‐driven Anglicanism in North America. We are thankful for Archbishop Bob Duncan and his team – and we keep them in our regular prayers. We have many friends and ministry partners in ACNA. So why wouldn’t we just join directly?)
The answer centers in the opportunity, desire, and the desirability of contributing a clear, united voice to the conversation ACNA is leading. What does PEARUSA have to say?
We bring a consistent missional culture of evangelism and church‐planting, and we are committed to expanding this mission through leadership development.
We preach Christ crucified, the hope of sinners. We believe and proclaim the Gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone. We labor with all our might to present every person “complete in Christ” through the forgiveness, reconciliation, and new life found in Jesus.
We have a singular focus on expanding the work of the Gospel through planting new Anglican churches and birthing new missional communities.
We have a consistent commitment and growing strategy for planting healthy Anglican churches and missional communities that take root, thrive, and actually reach unreached people for Christ.
We are developing creative, flexible, affordable, and theologically substantial training systems to develop and support church planters and pastors in life‐long mission and effective leadership.
Our ordination processes emphasize mentoring, spiritual vitality, theological engagement, life‐long mission, and practical leadership.
We bring an active link to the spiritual vitality and leadership of the Global South.
Our Rwandan leaders exhibit the Gospel character, deep spirituality, and missional passion of the East African Revival.
We have enthusiastically adopted the theological and spiritual standards of faith and practice embodied in GAFCON’s Jerusalem Declaration.
Through our relationship with Rwanda, we connect to and are shaped by the Holy Spirit’s powerful presence in the Anglican Church of the Global South.
We seek to be a bridging entity for the Spirit’s work across continents.
We bring a distinct, complementary reformational Anglican theology.
Rooted in the robust work of the English Reformers, we stand firmly on the great Reformation doctrines of sola gratia, sola fides and sola scriptura.
We acknowledge the unique breadth of theological understanding within biblical, faithful Anglicans, and we are committed to honor and serve joyfully alongside those with whom we honestly differ. In that collegial context we bring a united voice for historic reformational Anglican theology.
We also hold firmly to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England as the standard for both faith and worship, believing that it rightly clarifies aspects of doctrine and worship and unites them in the liturgical practices of the Church.
We also hold to the conviction that mission requires unshakable convictions concerning doctrine but flexibility and freedom in liturgical practices. We are heirs of worship that has been culturally adapted while remaining fully orthodox, and we believe that is missionally essential.
We bring a warm and collegial style of relationship and collaboration in ministry.
Our Rwandan connection is not pragmatic: it is spiritual and relational. We are learning to do the work of Christ in the context of healthy relationships, reconciliation and collegiality through our Rwandan brothers and sisters.
God has given us a legacy and gift of collaboration and mutuality in ministry. We believe strongly that good spiritual leadership and authority are not incompatible, but in fact require, broad participation by laity, clergy and bishops.
We have a pattern of decentralization, empowerment, and creativity in mission and ministry.
We help each other generously and sacrificially as we equip and release more leaders and more churches for the work of Christ.
We bring a lean approach to centralized structures.
Our understanding of the ministry of bishops, and our active development of collegial, decentralized systems of mission, decision‐making, and oversight, mean that we will maintain lean centralized systems. That means more money for mission, discipleship, and care.
It is essential to underscore a governing statement about everything that we have just said: Nothing that distinguishes PEARUSA’s voice is in conflict with the overriding convictions and commitments of ACNA. We do not bring a discordant voice but a complementary, strengthening voice. In fact, everything we believe and practice echoes what many in ACNA already believe and practice. If this were not so, there would not be such enthusiasm from both ACNA and PEARUSA for the development of the protocols to govern PEARUSA as a subjurisdiction of ACNA.
As we share and grow in our distinct convictions and practices, we need to continue in prayer for humility, gratitude, and the Spirit‐given wisdom to be good team‐players in the work of Gospel‐driven Anglicanism in North America. Please pray for us and with us to that end.