A Message from the Presiding Bishop

 

Since Bishop White's time back in the eighteenth century, Episcopalians have gathered every third year in a General Convention to take order for the governance of the Church.  In the UECNA, 2017 happens to be a General Convention year, and we will be meeting May 17th to 19th at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.  Whilst General Conventions are rarely great spiritual occasions, they do provide an opportunity for representatives of the church from all over the country to meet together for prayer and sacrament, as well as to do the necessary business of the Church.  New officers are elected, progress reports are given, and there is, at least on the part of the old hands, an attempt to gauge the progress the Church has made since the last triennial meeting.

 

I am sure that in many respects our upcoming meeting will be like so many of its predecessors.  Unlike some many of the mainline churches, our Convention has no power to alter or redefine doctrine, so most of our task is administrative.  One issue that seems to be a perennial favourite of General Conventions is the vexed topic of clergy education.  The traditional three-year seminary, most folks agree, is of diminishing appeal to the average ministerial candidate.  Many of our clergy discover their vocations at a stage in life when it is not possible for them to stop the world for two or three years and attend seminary.  Thus, like so many other denominations we are looking at ways of making training affordable, and "doable" candidates, and also ways of fitting in training with church planting.  It is hoped that from the fall of 2017 we will be able to offer a far more structured approach through the United Episcopal Theological Institute.

 

Anglicanism in the USA and Canada has been in an ongoing theological crisis for the last fifty or more years, and it is only through a deliberate return to the old paths, and to a church founded upon the Bible, the Prayer Book, and the Articles of Religion that we can hope to reassert a clear Anglican identity that is both Reformed and Catholic.  In order to grow one has to have some message of hope, and no message of hope is more proven than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our mission as a church is 'to know Jesus Christ, and Him crucified' for it is only through Christ that we can know peace with God, and eternal hope.

 

If you would like to know more about the UECNA please browse through these pages, and if there are matters which are not addressed here on which you would like to know our teaching, please contact your closest UECNA minister, email the National Office at unitedepiscopalchurch@gmail.com, or write to us at the snail mail address given in the sidebar.


Lastly, I would like to add that we firmly believe that the best way for the Church to advance the Christian Faith is to abstain from ecclesiastical politics, and to devote all our energy to preaching the Gospel of Christ, and celebrating the sacraments of our Redemption. Our mission as the Church is to point always beyond ourselves and towards our Saviour preaching the Gospel of God's Love in Christ for humanity.

 

In Christ,

+Peter D Robinson,

Presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church of North America,