The exciting thing about the Anglican Communion has been its emergence out of the national Church of England into a world-wide fellowship involving people of widely different origins and cultures. Anglicanism reached America in the 17th century with the colonists. Today it is known there as the Episcopalian Church. The vigorous missionary thrust of the evangelical societies of the church in the late 18th and early 19th centuries planted elements of the Anglican way in many parts of the world. British commercial and colonial expansion in the 19th century accelerated this and led to the formal establishment of numerous Anglican Churches. In the 400 or so years in which the modern Anglican tradition has existed, God has changed the Church beyond recognition. In the process of growth and development, the Anglican Communion has produced its own heroes, who have borne witness to Christ, sometimes at the cost of their lives.
Many of these "saints" including those from Aotearoa/New Zealand are incorporated into our current Lectionary Calendar. There are many others who played important roles in the growth of the church and the spread of the gospel. Then there are some who patiently and faithfully served Christ in their day, some suffered for their commitment. All these are commemorated today for their part in the life and witness of the Anglican Communion. Today there are reportedly 80 million Anglicans worldwide.
The Anglican Communion (Worldwide Church) now has it's own online News Service. The Top Stories currently:
- The Pacific Mother's Union is celebrating it's 100th Anniversary.
- In Minnisota in the USA, Clergy from the US Episcopal church joined immigration activists in a vigil and protest last week outside a federal building where hundreds of deportation orders are issued each year. Protestors called on the government to remove the name of Bishop Henry Whipple from the building, because they claim what goes on there is in direct opposition to the Bishop's values.
- The Anglican Alliance pays tribute to leaders of Christian environmental charity killed in car accident. A Rocha – an international organisation promoting global care of creation - had 3 of their leaders killed in a fatal car accident in South Africa last week.
- Youth lead by example on Care for the Environment. - Young people in Pakistan and Kenya are leading the way on care of the environment by taking practical steps to look after their communities and inspire ‘green’ action. Youth leaders from Pakistan gave a practical example on environmental responsibility when they joined in a rubbish clean at the end of their inter-faith camp.