Some 830 “orthodox Episcopalians” gathered at Long Beach, California, for the much-awaited Plano-West conference on the unity of the Episcopal Church USA, June 3-4. The conference, organized by the conservative American Anglican Council, once again iterated the need to uphold the scripture in all decisions made in the denomination.
In the shaky months following the ECUSA bishops’ blessing of same-sex unions and vote to install an openly homosexual man as fellow bishop, the denomination became splintered, consistently loosing membership and funding. Additionally, members of the worldwide Anglican Communion criticized and broke ties with the ECUSA as they called the American branch to repentance. The members of the AAC tackled these sensitive issues throughout the 2 day conference.
“In the Decade of Evangelism, ECUSA lost thousands of people,” said the Rev. Canon Michael Green who spoke on the Lifestyle, Message, Approach and Priorities of “those who changed the world”.
“The characteristics of the first Christians included dedication, enthusiasm, joy, faith, holiness, spiritual power, courage and generosity,” said Green, as he applauded the bishops of Africa for declining the funding from their American counterpart.
The AAC and the Anglican Communion Network – another network of conservatives within the ECUSA – is considering offering financial assistance to the African churches.
“God wants us to be a ship prepared to sail into the unknown, into deep waters guided by the winds of the Holy Spirit,” said the Rev. Ron Jackson, AAC/Los Angeles convener. “Sometimes people need to be reminded of who God is – we worship the great I AM not the I Was.”
The following is the full text of the Plano-West Statement, signed by all those who attended the Long Beach conference:
The Plano-West Statement
Long Beach, CA ~ June 4, 2004
As an orthodox Anglican in North America, standing under the authority of the Word of God and to the glory of Jesus Christ, the only Lord and Savior of the world, I commit to:
• Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and support those who do.
• Support the planting of new churches.
• Uphold the sanctity of life.
• Marriage between one man and one woman, and marriage as God’s sole provision for sexual relations.
• The rejection of all teachings and claims of revelation that are contrary to Holy Scripture or the apostolic teaching of the church.
• Pray and support faithful, orthodox Anglicans in the Global South and in North America noting specifically the crisis in Canada.
My plea to the Anglican Primates:
In the name of God, I urge you to:
1. Take measures to uphold Holy Scripture as authoritative in the life and practice of the Anglican church.
2. Take measures to uphold the apostolic, historic and orthodox teachings of the church.
3. Discipline and censure ECUSA for its ongoing ungodly actions.
4. Recognize the Anglican Communion Network as a true Anglican province in North America if ECUSA does not repent.
5. Demand the immediate cessation of the “blessing” of same-sex unions