In a move that took most people by surprise, the Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Onesphorus Rwaje publicly handed over a number of US bishops and clergy who had been canonically resident in Rwanda to the Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)
“I am here to be with you as you officially receive bishops, presbyters and deacons who have voluntarily requested to be canonically transferred from the oversight of the Anglican Church of Rwanda to the ACNA,” he told conferees of the ACNA Assembly 2012.
One thing that has always been the great unknown in the ecclesiastical experiment called the ACNA has been this: how to pull together all the African jurisdictions that have come to this continent into the new fold. The whole process of the Rwandans and the AMiA hasn’t been a pretty one, but my guess is that the people back home have had enough of North American egotism and wanted to bring closure in as graceful way as possible.
One thing that makes this a little easier is GAFCON. It looks like the centre of the Orthodox wing of Anglicanism will in fact end up in Africa in spite of the problems with the AMiA . When that process moves forward, same Africans will have more say about those with whom they have communion.
Hopefully the rebels on this side of the Atlantic will remember an important principle: treat people you meet on the way up well, because you’ll meet them again on the way down.