Representatives of the evangelical, charismatic, and Anglo-Catholic streams find unity in spiritual renewal.
Last month, the Episcopal Church installed a new presiding bishop who will set a course for the 2.8 million-member denomination through the rest of this century. Leading evangelicals, who hope to influence the church’s course, met the week before Edmond L. Browning was installed as presiding bishop. The renewal leaders emerged with a statement of united purpose, inviting the Episcopal Church to adhere to biblical tenets of faith and to acknowledge signs of spiritual renewal in its midst.
The purpose of the Winter Park, Florida, meeting was “to gather the evangelical constituency and give it a voice [because] evangelical witness has been underplayed and silent in our church for a long time,” according to Bishop Alden Hathaway of Pittsburgh, one of the conference organizers.
Episcopalians who desire renewal in the denomination make up a diverse group that is not always in complete agreement. It consists of church members who are charismatic, evangelical, and “Anglo-Catholic,” or high-church traditionalists. As a result of last month’s conference, 90 participants from all three streams agreed to work together for renewal “in whatever variety of worship and devotion the new life finds expression.”
They drafted a lengthy letter to the church, describing renewal in Episcopal parishes nationwide and summarizing position papers drafted at the meeting. They addressed biblical authority, salvation, preaching, apostolic witness, life in the Spirit, evangelism, and social outreach, among other topics. “We recognize that the Spirit is moving in our midst,” the letter states, ...1
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