On Sunday June 11th we had congregational meetings following each of the services to decide whether or not to join the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) prior to the National General Convention of the Episcopal Church that begins today.  This was a difficult meeting for many of our members.  I was very pleased that everyone felt free to speak their mind and did so in a respectful and caring way.  Following the final service the ballots were counted.  The count was

59 for joining the ACN
31 for not joining the ACN
2 abstentions

This vote seemed to reflect the opinions of those who spoke.  The most common reason given for joining was to send a message to the General Convention through our delegates that St. Edward’s wants to remain in the Anglican Communion.  Another reason given was to make plain our identity as an orthodox Episcopal Church, and to join with others who seek the renewal of the Episcopal Church. Many who spoke against joining wanted to wait until after the General Convention had opportunity to respond to the requirments of the Anglican Communion and hopefully avoid causing further division in our parish.  Some who spoke against joining were opposed to the goals of the ACN.

I am now communicating our decision to our diocesan delegates at the National Convention and pray they vote in ways that maintain the unity of the Anglican Community.  I am also praying for all who feel alienated by our decision.  I view taking the stand we have as a sad necessity.