Traditional Anglicans gained strength in the months following the controversial ordination of the first openly-gay Episcopal bishop in the United States. In November, they will tout that newfound strength and unity with their first international conference, slated for Nov. 10-12 in Pittsburgh.
Titled "Hope and a Future," the conference will be hosted by the Anglican Communion Network and supported by all the major reformed Anglican groups in North America, including the American Anglican Council, Anglican Communion in Canada, Anglican Communion Network, Anglican Mission in America, Anglican Province in America, Essentials Federation in Canada, Forward in Faith North America, Network in Canada, Reformed Episcopal Church, and the Conference of North American Anglican Bishops.
According to organizers, the conference "promises to be a watershed event" for those "ready for the renewal of North American Anglicanism."
"Mobilizing and empowering everyone — especially the laity — is essential to the rebirth of a biblical, missionary, and united Anglicanism in North America," the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, said on a statement on the Network's website.
"This is the vocation of the Anglican Communion Network and this is what the ‘Hope and a Future’ conference is all about," Duncan said. "As we move toward the challenges of 2006, I believe this conference will also be a key witness to the strength of our movement."
Most of the organizations supporting the event were established as a response to the Episcopal Church USA’s decision in November 2003 to ordain a sexually active homosexual bishop and the Anglican Church of Canada’s openness to giving same-sex marriage blessings.
These decisions also sparked an international fury that led to a near schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion; some African churches refused monetary and personnel support from the two North American churches and even called for the "excommunication" of the Episcopal Church U.S.A from the communion.
At home, some North American parishes began aligning themselves with Anglican bodies abroad, and congregants began holding back financial support for the United States and Canadian denominations.
The conference brings together all those who support traditional Anglicanism including some non-Anglican evangelicals, such as Rick Warren, Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church.
For more information or to register for the conference, visit: www.anglicanhope.org.