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A Letter to Fellow ACNA Clergy: On Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Justice

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Following the lead of bishops Jim Hobby, Todd Hunter, Stewart Ruch III, and Steve Wood, who recently wrote in response to the death of George Floyd, which gained support from a number of other bishops, we offer this open letter to our fellow ACNA clergy and to the churches under our care. Whether you’re ACNA clergy, a layperson, or a Christian leader outside the ACNA, we invite your consideration of the following and your signature in support.

Our Context

Our province, The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), was born as part of a global movement that features diverse leadership and reflects the churches and people of global Anglicanism. It is a manifestation of the universal power and eschatological telos of the Gospel of Jesus: “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9).

Currently, the American population is about 38% non-white. By many projections, over the next 20 years, it will be increasingly composed of ethnic minorities. Our province, however, is far from representative of this emerging reality. The mission on our doorstep is clear: to reach North America, in all of its ethnic diversity, “with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.” We have the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel “to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15) and to be Jesus’ witnesses “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We are called to reflect the ethnic diversity of the global movement of which we are a part, as well as the diverse locales in which we are present.

In order to more fully embody our Gospel witness, we must support, encourage, and empower the leadership of brothers and sisters of color in the ACNA to create more hospitable and welcoming spaces for people of color. This includes Black, Latino/a, Native, Asian, and other people groups. We must listen and respond to these voices in our midst and collectively seek to understand and address the historic and ongoing ways in which people of color continue to struggle under various expressions of injustice.

We see and grieve the racism and discrimination that exists and has a deep cultural and structural influence in our society, in our communities, and in our churches. The recent tragedies of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are simply the latest in a long line of harrowing examples of these deeply embedded systemic realities. We see and grieve that our brothers and sisters of color, including many in our own dioceses and parishes, have been and continue to be profoundly affected by these realities.

Against this backdrop, we offer the following confessions and make the following commitments.

We confess that we have failed to see, understand, and address the expressions of racism, both personal and systemic, that plague our society, communities, and churches.

We confess our slowness to listen to the dismay and discouragement of our brothers and sisters of color, especially those in our own province, and have neglected to cultivate hospitable spaces for them to flourish.

We confess that our ignorance, complacency, and silence have undermined our fidelity to the Great Commandment to love God and love our neighbor (Matt. 22:36-40), which fundamentally calls us into disciplines of anti-racism.

We commit to listening to, learning from, and supporting leaders of color in their witness to our province.

We commit to partnering with these friends, and with organizations like

that are working to promote, support, and invest in a more diverse and just Anglicanism.

And, in all of our different capacities and platforms, in our churches and in the world, we commit ourselves to investing in the work of anti-racism—in our catechesis, discipleship, preaching, ministry, advocacy, and reform.

The Road Ahead

We are encouraged by the leaders, including the Archbishop, who have spoken out about the recent injustices, and we know that there are places within the province where there is movement toward realizing this vision of a multi-ethnic church, one that is unhindered by racism in all its forms, that can reach the entirety of North America.

However, there is significant work yet to be done. We hope that others will join us in our intentional commitment to partnering with leaders of color and the provincial organizations listed above in order to cultivate a diverse and just Anglicanism in North America.

We are a group of clergy committed to the ACNA and its mission. If you would like either to join us in these confessions and commitments or signal your affirmation of such work, we invite you to add your name to this letter.

Our ultimate goal, however, is not just signatures, but a collective public commitment towards diversity and justice for the sake of the gospel and our Kingdom witness.

Almighty God, you created us in your own image: Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and help us to use our freedom rightly in the establishment of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Sincerely in Christ,

Rev. Dr. Shawn McCain
Rector, Resurrection Anglican South Austin

Rev. Ben Sternke
Co-Rector, The Table Indianapolis & Co-Founder, Gravity Leadership

Rev. Canon Dr. Dan Alger
Provincial Canon for Church Planting, Anglican Church in North America
Director, Always Forward Church Planting Initiative

Rev. Gary Ball
Rector, Redeemer Asheville, NC

Rev. Canon Greg Goebel
Editor-in-chief, Anglican Compass

Rev. Hannah King
Associate Rector, The Village Anglican, Greenville

Rev. Michael King
Associate Rector, The Village Anglican, Greenville

Very Rev. Canon Dr. Kris McDaniel
Senior Pastor, Trinity Anglican, Atlanta
Canon for Church Development (Planting and Adoptions),
Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others

Rev. Lee Nelson
Rector, Christ Church, Waco

Rev. Marty Reardon
Westside Worship Pastor, Trinity Anglican, Atlanta

Rev. Erik Rogers
Assisting Clergy, Resurrection Anglican South Austin

Rev. Canon David Roseberry
Publisher, Anglican Compass

Very Rev. Cliff Warner
Rector, Christ Church, Austin

Rev. Dr. Jonathan Warren Pagán
Associate Rector, Church of the Ascension, Pittsburgh

Sign the Letter

If you’re ACNA clergy, please use the first form. We’d also love for laypeople and Christian leaders outside of the ACNA to indicate their support. If you’re not ACNA clergy, please use the second form (scroll down).

(NOTE: Don’t worry if you don’t see your name appear below right away. Check your inbox for a confirmation email, and your junk/spam folder if you don’t see it!)

ACNA Clergy? Sign the Anti-Racism Letter


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All Other Supporters

Not ACNA Clergy? Sign the Anti-Racism Letter Here


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Signatures
35 Jay Greener The Rev. Canon. Rector, Church of the Redeemer, Highwood, IL Jun 01, 2020
34 Ryan Jones Rector of Eucharist Church (San Francisco) Jun 01, 2020
33 Rev. Cn. Greg Lynn Vicar, Epiphany Church, Peoria, IL Jun 01, 2020
32 Spencer Ruark Deacon, The Table, Indianapolis Jun 01, 2020
31 Benjamin Snyder Assisting Priest, Wilmore Anglican Jun 01, 2020
30 Kimberly Deckel Rev Kimberly Deckel Jun 01, 2020
29 Rev. Scott Pedersen Rector & Dean, All Saints Cathedral, Long Beach, CA Jun 01, 2020
28 Ethan McCarthy Deacon, Church of the Redeemer, Highwood, IL Jun 01, 2020
27 Rev. Thomas Ryden Assistant Rector, Apostles Anglican Church, Knoxville, TN Jun 01, 2020
26 The Rev. Canon Matthew Wilkins Canon for Pastoral Care, St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral Jun 01, 2020
25 Carter Stepper Deacon, Church planter, diocese of cascadia Jun 01, 2020
24 Jim Hagan Rev.,Deacon, Church of the Resurrection, DC Jun 01, 2020
23 Jake Lee Rector, Holy Trinity Anglican Church Jun 01, 2020
22 Drew Henley Pastor at Redeemer Community Church Jun 01, 2020
21 Rev. Deacon J. Harman Thomas Prior & Catechist, Community of Saint Columba, Missoula, MT Jun 01, 2020
20 Kevin Antlitz Assistant Pastor, the Church of the Advent Jun 01, 2020
19 The Very Rev. Michael` Guernsey Dean, Holy Cross Cathedral Jun 01, 2020
18 Father Joshua Lickter Rector, Incarnation Anglican Church Jun 01, 2020
17 Amy Rowe Executive Pastor, Incarnation Anglican Jun 01, 2020
16 Rev. Michael Henry Rector, Christ The King, Kokomo, IN Jun 01, 2020
15 Dale Hall The Street Chapel, Chattanooga Jun 01, 2020
14 Rev. Casey Bedell Rector, Saint Ambrose Anglican, Seattle Jun 01, 2020
13 The Very Rev. Peter Matthews Dean, Kentucky Deanery, Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes. Rector, Saint Patrick’s Anglican Church, Lexington, KY Jun 01, 2020
12 Ryan Matchett Rector of Christ’s Church Oceanside Jun 01, 2020
11 Rev. Austin Becton Rector, Good Shepherd Nashville Jun 01, 2020
10 Todd Hunter Bishop Jun 01, 2020
9 Rev. Morgan Reed Planting Clergy, The Franconia-Springfield Mission Jun 01, 2020
8 Daniel Adkinson Rector, St. Thomas Anglican Church, Athens, GA Jun 01, 2020
7 Isaac Bradshaw Deacon Jun 01, 2020
6 Joshua Fink Vicar, All Souls Church, Lexington, SC Jun 01, 2020
5 Eric Snyder Rev. Dr., St Michaels Anglican Church, Delafield WI Jun 01, 2020
4 Andrew Unger Priest in Charge, All Souls Anglican Church, Wheaton Jun 01, 2020
3 Rev. Dcn. Andrew Russell Deacon, St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Mountain Brook, AL Jun 01, 2020
2 Rebecca Henderson Deacon, Anglican Diocese of the South Jun 01, 2020
1 Aaron Harrison Rev., Assisting Clergy, Church of the Savior, Wheaton IL Jun 01, 2020

All Other Supporters

Signatures
11 James Dillon Redeemer Asheville Jun 01, 2020
10 Peter Wilson Laity, All Souls Phoenix Jun 01, 2020
9 Laurin White Wife of Clergy, Mom of Toddler Jun 01, 2020
8 Whitney Harrison Jun 01, 2020
7 Schell Alexander Member, Redeemer Anglican, Asheville, NC Jun 01, 2020
6 Zach Savella Stallard Lay Catechist, Cornerstone Anglican Church- Bridgeport, Chicago, IL Jun 01, 2020
5 Joshua Miser Church of the Ascension Jun 01, 2020
4 Peter White Rev. Dr., spiritual director, The Sabbath Life Jun 01, 2020
3 Rev. Austin Becton Rector, Good Shepherd Nashville Jun 01, 2020
2 Emma Weatherford Jun 01, 2020
1 Victoria Yang Member, Mission Chattanooga (ADOTS) Jun 01, 2020

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