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Religion Library: Anglican/Episcopalian

Community Organization

Written by: Russell P. Dawn

The departures from TEC have not been uniform, resulting in a splintering of Anglican bodies within the U.S., but there is a well-developed movement to create a North American Anglican province distinct from TEC and the Anglican Church in Canada with the goal of uniting the disparate splinter groups.  The movement is supported by numerous Anglican provinces associated with an emerging worldwide realignment.  In June 2008, the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON, attended by representatives of nearly half the Anglicans worldwide, set forth a statement of faith that includes the authority of the historic creeds, the Thirty-nine Articles, and the nature of the Bible as God's word.  It also calls for the formation of a fellowship of confessing Anglicans, and a Primates' Council for recognizing confessing jurisdictions.  These North American and worldwide realignments raise fundamental questions regarding the nature and structure of the Communion in the future, not least the continued centrality of Canterbury.

Study Questions:
     1.    What is the Anglican parish system? How has it evolved over time?
     2.    What is a diocese? How is it governed, and what is its role?
     3.    How does the Anglican Communion create unity?
     4.    How has the Anglican Communion been challenged in contemporary society?


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