The ACNA Provisional Constitution: A Blueprint for Radical Innovation in Church Government

April 11, 2009 at 2:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

By Robin G. Jordan

The following paper related to the provisional constitution of the Anglican Church in North America and the three proposed amendments to the provisional constitution and the proposed constitution in its appendix were submitted to Hugo Blankingship, the chairman of the ACNA Governance Task Force, and Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Common Cause Partnership and acting Primate of the ACNA, in response to Bishop Duncan’s letter of April 3, 2009. This writer is also preparing a similar paper related to the proposed code of canons for the ACNA. It must be noted that the 17 days that the ACNA has provided for public comment on these documents is totally insufficient for interested parties to study the documents, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and to weigh the implications of their contents. A minimum of 90 days is required, preferably 6 to 12 months.

In building a house, it is wise to go over the plans of the house with the architect rather than entrusting everything to him. There may design flaws and hidden costs that a careful perusal of the plans may reveal. Those who do not take the time to look at the details end up spending more on the house than they anticipated and may discover that the house is not quite what they had in mind. However, once the house is built, they are stuck with it. As the old proverbial saying goes, having made their bed, they must lie in it. Suing the architect takes time and money and renovations take more time and more money. And their dream house still may not be what they had hoped it would be. It is better to make sure that things are done right from the outset.

In this paper I examine the first sheet of the blueprint of the Anglican Church in North America—the final draft of the provisional constitution and the three proposed amendments thereto that are to be presented at the Inaugural Provincial Assembly—and propose a number of changes to that document and its proposed amendments. One of these changes would make the Anglican Church in North America more comprehensive from an Evangelical and Reformed standpoint without making it less comprehensive from an Anglo-Catholic and charismatic standpoint. A number of the changes would preserve the North American Anglican heritage of the autonomy of the diocese, the long tradition of a diocese electing its bishop, and a synodical form of ecclesiastical governance. Several of them address issues that the Governance Task Force in drafting the provisional constitution and its proposed amendments did not address.

To read the rest of this paper, go to:


Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.