The Synod of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, at its regular meeting on September 23rd, 2015, has initiated a bold move for Anglican unity.
By affirming the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as an Anglican Province, and by holding true to Anglican order, the Synod is calling for the legal transfer of PEARUSA to the ACNA under Archbishop Foley Beach by June 2016. This call includes the PEARUSA Networks becoming ACNA Dioceses.
At the same time, Archbishop Rwaje and Presiding Bishop Steve Breedlove (pictured) have announced that PEARUSA will now transition into Rwanda Ministry Partners, a ministry association within the ACNA.
“Though we release you legally,” Archbishop Rwaje said, “We are bound relationally in Jesus Christ. We will continue serving together as we always have with ever increasing strength.”
The Province of Rwanda established its Missionary District in 2000 for the sake of Gospel mission, during a time of crisis in the Episcopal Church. PEARUSA was formed to continue this mandate of evangelization and church planting in 2012. The ACNA was formed in 2009 with a mission to carry the transforming love of Jesus Christ to North America and was immediately recognized as a Province by the Church of Rwanda.
American clergy ordained in the Province of Rwanda prior to June 2016 may remain canonically resident in Rwanda or apply for canonical transfer to the ACNA. Those who remain resident in Rwanda will be licensed by the ACNA and under its singular authority.
“Rwanda Ministry Partners keeps PEARUSA’s passion alive,” Bishop Breedlove said in Rwanda today. “Our key values have been: Ancient Faith, Global Relationships, Local Mission. It’s exciting to think that clergy and churches all across ACNA that were not part of PEARUSA can now be part of Rwanda Ministry Partners.”
Archbishop Beach commented, “I commend Archbishop Rwaje and the Rwandan House of Bishops for their leadership in this initiative. Not only will this enhance more unity within our Province here in North America, but Rwanda Ministry Partners will allow others in the Province who would like to be connected to Rwanda to do so. I look forward to more partnerships and deeper relationships with Rwanda for the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Quigg Lawrence added, “Rwanda Ministry Partners will actually enhance and expand what PEARUSA’s ministry and relationship have always been.”
“Rwanda’s our family,” Bishop Ken Ross said in a phone interview. “In one sense, little changes. We remain part of the rich, sacrificial faith in Jesus Christ that marks the Rwandan story.”
“I’m deeply impressed by the courage of the Rwandan House of Bishops,” Bishop David Bryan stated. “Their wise leadership for the sake of the unity of the Anglican Church is a dynamic witness.”
Anyone interested in ongoing relationships and partnerships with the Anglican Church of Rwanda is encouraged to attend PEARUSA’s National Assembly, held November 4-7 in the Charlotte area, with Archbishop Rwaje attending.