March 27, 2017

June 7, 2012

The ACNA Releases 2011 Statistics

Read it all here (PDF).

It appears many parishes have yet to report their data.

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Why does the member data include the membership of ministry partners?  It is irrelevant because they are not a part of the ACNA.  That seems to be spin.  it is like saying we have 60,000 members and 20,000 friends….. which makes us kind of have 80,000 members- which includes by the way AMIA.

[1] Posted by ACNApriest on 6-7-2012 at 06:28 AM · [top]

Nice job on this—it’s not easy to be a relatively new organization and begin providing more detailed stats, not to mention, as we see with TEC, it makes an organization vulnerable [and rightly so].  And a lot of times people don’t really see the relevance of it. But it does provide for more accountability and responsibility on the part of parishes and dioceses, and that’s all to the good.

[2] Posted by Sarah on 6-7-2012 at 07:59 AM · [top]

The whole question of affiliation and data for ministry-partner congregations must be a nightmare for those working on statistics.  I really pity ACNA administrators in having to track such a complex and continually shifting situation in terms of jurisdictions and affiliations!!

Here’s a bit of info as to why it’s such a nightmare.

I’ve been curious how many parishes are leaving AMiA, so I spent some time the past few days browsing and comparing websites trying to get an idea.  As best I can determine, the ACNA church locator database currently lists 174 Anglican Mission affiliated congregations / fellowships / emerging plants in the US.  (I have not looked at Canada stats yet)

However, when comparing that list with the list of congregations / fellowships / emerging plants on the AMiA website, two very different stories emerge!!

59 of the 174 congregations / fellowships listed on the ACNA website as Anglican Mission affiliates are NO LONGER on the AM website.  I’ve not yet finished trying to figure out the status of all 59 of these fellowships, but here’s a rough idea based on my partial research.

1) Some have clearly left AM for another jurisdiction.  I’ve got pretty good evidence that at least 30 of these have formally changed affiliation to REC, ACNA, or PEARUSA.  I expect quite a few more parishes currently in discernment will join that list.

2) Some church plants have failed or merged.  There websites are dead, or there is a clear announcement of merger.  I think that’s true for about 10 - 15 of the AM congregations & fellowships listed on the ACNA website. 

[When you’re dealing with a lot of emerging church plants that don’t have buildings or full time staff, trying to get accurate stats is a tricky business!]

3) Then you’ve got a whole bunch of congregations / fellowships / emerging church plants listed on the AM website that do not appear on the ACNA website.  I counted 33 of those.  Are these all new church plants?  I haven’t yet researched their status.  But for whatever reason, these entities don’t yet appear on the ACNA website.

[Note:  It would appear that for former or current AM congregations the AM website is considerably more accurate as to current status.  It quite accurately reflects the departure of parishes that have officially changed jurisdiction in the past 12 months or so - which I’m glad to see.  Even in their current chaos, they are being faithful to accurately update their data when a parish changes affiliation.]

So the net result of all of this confusion is that if you go by the ACNA website, there are 174 AM-affiliated fellowships/congregations in the US.

If you go by the AM website there are 158 congregations / fellowships / emerging plants in the US.  [This is broken down as follows:  87 affiliated congregations;  25 affiliated fellowships; 46 “Unaffiliated Emerging Works”]

The discrepancy of 16 fellowships [174-158] doesn’t seem SO bad perhaps, except it’s MUCH worse than it first appears.  Comparing the two databases I come up with ONLY 115 congregations / fellowships / plants which BOTH databases list as AM-affiliates. 

So there are actually roughly 100 current or former AM-affiliated congregations / fellowships out there whose status has recently changed or remains unclear!!!!!!  And the chaos will only continue in the short-term as quite a significant chunk of former-AM affiliates chose to affiliate with ACNA / PEARUSA.

Trying to keep up with these ever-shifting affiliations and deal with the inherent instability of new church planting efforts means trying to track parochial data could be a full-time job for someone in ACNA

[3] Posted by Karen B. on 6-7-2012 at 08:03 AM · [top]

#1 - your question may soon become moot as many former AM-affiliates join ACNA directly.

Also, given the tenor of Abp. Duncan’s address, I’m willing to bet AM will lose its ministry-partner status, so that might just leave APA-affiliates as ministry partner congregations?

Perhaps ACNA should adopt this practice:

- collect “parochial” data only on those congregations / fellowships directly affiliated with ACNA.

- however, on its church locator website, it could continue to be generous in listing “ministry partner” congregations as part of the function of that website is to help people find an orthodox Anglican parish near them, and in such a list, including APA or AM parishes might not be a bad thing even if they are not directly affiliated with ACNA.

[4] Posted by Karen B. on 6-7-2012 at 08:36 AM · [top]

The ACNA locator lists St. Paul’s, Asheville, on Roscommon Road. That church has reorganized as Christ Church and meets in an evangelical church downtown. Its web site and the AMiA site list it as a congregation.

[5] Posted by TomRightmyer on 6-7-2012 at 08:48 AM · [top]

As may be obvious, I wrote my #3 and #4 before I had a chance to download and review the full parochial data report.

I’ve now had a chance to read through it.  So my #4 is not very useful!  ACNA is in fact already doing exactly what I suggested!! 

- Member congregations and “ministry partner” congregations are clearly separated
708 members, 299 partners

- parochial data submission is only mandatory for member congregations

Other comments based on the report.

1)  Encouraging to see good numbers for baptisms (including adult baptisms) and conversions! (It just blows my mind to see an Anglican entity reporting data on conversions.  This Evangelical is loving it!)

2) It would be interesting to compare the ratio baptisms / ASA or baptisms / members with that of TEC.  Anyone willing to attempt that?!  I don’t have anymore time for awhile now for data crunching.

3) Love that they breakdown “youth” (under 30!) and adult membership, and it’s great to see a healthy percentage of youth!  May that continue and even grow.

4) Great to see the data on page 4 about those reached through outreach and evangelism, and also about mission trips, etc.  Again, it thrills my heart to see ACNA measuring this because it shows that it’s an important priority to them.  AWESOME!

5) Looking at page 5 just reinforces my comment #3 above about the incredibly hard task it must be to keep up with such a fluid situation.  109 congregations changed jurisdiction (to or from ACNA), while 12 congregations closed.  Those 121 parishes represent nearly 17% of
all ACNA parishes.

=> Can anyone shed light on the 47 congregations that were transferred to another diocese or jurisdiction?  That number seems surprisingly high and I’m wondering what it’s about.

6) Page 7:  Median ASA is 46.  Not surprising given how new many of these congregations are and the focus on church planting.  But again, it highlights the vulnerability of a lot of these parishes.  It would be interesting to compare the ASA size % breakdown with that of TEC.

7) It’s encouraging to see that 13% of parishes are actively planting another church!  Cool.

8) Was disappointed that the diocesan statistics on pp 12 - 13 only cover financials.  But with so many dioceses still in such significant transition, and so many parishes not reporting, I guess that’s not a surprise.  It will be a sign of greater stability and maturity when dioceses are able to begin reporting meaningful year-over-year comparison data in ASA, membership, baptisms, etc.  (Obviously ACNA has collected that data, just not making it public yet.)

Anyway. it really is encouraging to see this kind of precedent established for parochial reporting in terms of timeliness, transparency, and the actual metrics they’re collecting and reporting on. 

Well done ACNA.  By God’s grace, and for His glory, may there be wonderful increase and fruitfulness in the years ahead!

[6] Posted by Karen B. on 6-7-2012 at 09:40 AM · [top]

To help others who may be wanting to compare 2010 and 2011 data:

here is the 2010 data

and the discussion thread about that data:

[7] Posted by Karen B. on 6-7-2012 at 09:55 AM · [top]

RE: “I’m willing to bet AM will lose its ministry-partner status, so that might just leave APA-affiliates as ministry partner congregations? . . . “

Karen—unfortunately, ACNA lists numerous other “ministry partners” as parishes on their church locator other than the APA/AMiA.

The ministry partner list is found here:

The farther away from the core 2003-evacuees each ministry partner is the less opportunity for accountability and discipline and the more the ensuing years allows for stunningly awful theology, practice, ecclesiology, discipline, accountability, morality, and more. So, for instance, one of the “ministry partners” is the FACA, which includes the parishes of the ACA, the EMC, and the Diocese of the Holy Cross:

The opportunity for utterly disastrous and irreparable church harm in fecklessly engaging in “ministry partnerships” with Anglican entities of which, in reality, ACNA knows practically nothing at all is truly staggering.

I’ve been noting this ever since 2005 when I pointed out in a meeting—and continuously and droningly ever since then—that the numerous Anglican entities in the US simply do not have even remotely a standard of church discipline that even TEC would find standard and appropriate. And trust me, folks—TEC shouldn’t be our standard.

Way back in late 2003 as I researched what entity I would need to depart to—assuming that I would leave—I went through every single website of Anglican entities that I could discover, painstakingly researching each and every one—some 40 or so at the time. I learned about their histories, and divisions, and leadership, and theology, and practices.

The results were quite . . . quite quite quite . . . disillusioning.

When I tried to share these things with leaders who were interested in Common Cause and who were also leading the charge on what turned out to be their departure, it was ignored.

It’s clear now—looking at things 8 to 9 years on—that the colossal ignorance continues—or the colossal unconcern, I don’t know which.

Let me offer just one example among scores and scores and scores now out there littering the landscape—all due to some almost 40 and more years of chaos and dysfunction.

Back in 2009, while discussing another ACNA priest [who was appropriately disciplined by ACNA] Bishop Geralyn Wolf was interviewed in the Providence Journal. The article is reprinted in full over at Vatican Crimes:

The article states this:

“Bishop Wolf, who became the bishop of Rhode Island in 1996, four years after Father Coyle left the state, said people might get the impression from the media that such things occur often, “but I’ve had to deal with only two in the last four years.”

In both cases, she said, the offending clergy confessed their sin, expressed “extreme remorse” and vowed to amend their lives. “Few people are willing to stand up publicly and do that, and I honor their courage,” she said.

But such declarations of remorse and repentance are not enough to warrant reinstating an offending priest, in Bishop Wolf’s view.

“I don’t know what the procedure is for the Church of Uganda,” she said, but in the last two cases that she has dealt with here, the priests renounced their orders and weren’t permitted to serve as Episcopal priests.

Though Bishop Wolf declined to name one of the two priests who were disciplined, she acknowledged that one of them was the Rev. Jonathan Ostman, who abruptly resigned as rector of St. John the Evangelist Church, Newport, while on a missionary trip to Africa in 2006. Although the reasons for Father Ostman’s abrupt departure were not disclosed at the time, Bishop Wolf said Wednesday that the priest renounced his ordination in the Episcopal Church after he learned he had been accused of sexual misconduct.

The priest is now the rector of St. John the Baptist, an Anglican traditionalist parish in Marshall, Va., which he joined in 2007. He did not return calls placed to his phone Wednesday.

So, being the researcher that I am, I find the parish in Marshall VA—and the priest in question is there as rector as a parish of the Diocese of the Holy Cross, a Continuing Anglican entity:

And then—recalling that FACA is a “ministry partner” of ACNA, I toddle over to the ACNA church locator:

And indeed, the Anglican Church of St. John the Baptist is listed as a “ministry partner” parish in Virginia, complete with link to website.

Please note: 1) I make no assertions as to guilt or innocence, 2) I make no assertions as to the theology of accepting clergy if guilty, 3) I make no assertions regarding whether any of this was investigated and found “all clear.”

But I do make this assertion.  There is no way—no way—that all of the instances of poor church discipline and accountability and diocese/jurisdiction-hopping can be investigated—there’s not enough time or staff in the world to research the, as I said above, scores and scores of issues out there. The StandFirm staff well knows—well knows—what’s “out there” in that regards which we have not posted about.

This is very serious business. We are talking—again—about 40 years of utter, complete chaos, fragmentation, and dysfunction, and the listing of some of the products of that 40 years on the ACNA church locator website.  Chaos, fragmentation and dysfunction do not “make” bad people—but they do most certainly attract them.

[8] Posted by Sarah on 6-7-2012 at 10:01 AM · [top]

With a caveat that I may not be drawing correct comparisons (apples to apples), here are a few quick and dirty comparisons for a few key data points between the 2010 and 2011 data.

# ACNA member parishes in 2010:  659
# ACNA member parishes in 2011:  708

# member parishes reporting in 2010 (as of December 2011):  605 (92%)
# member parishes reporting in 2011 (as of June 2012):  499 (70%)

** I’m very uncertain whether the # of reports submitted includes optional ministry partner reports, so the above data for # and % of member parishes reporting may be wrong **

Baptisms 2010: 3058
[ children:  1647 (54%)  / youth: 424 (14%) / adult:  987 (32%)  ]

Baptisms 2011:  1824
[ children:  1376 (75%)  / youth: 263 (14%) / adult:  185 (10%)  ]

[9] Posted by Karen B. on 6-7-2012 at 10:14 AM · [top]

Sarah, re: your #8, I can appreciate many of the points you make, but I think you MAY be somewhat overstating the chaos & darkness in terms of ministry partners.

I’m working on compiling a summary right now, but the truth is that something like 95% of partner congregations are divided between the AM (about 70%) and APA (25%) so the OTHER partnerships are very few in number.

I’ll have more detailed stats in a little while.

Also, really when you think about what the chaos was a few years ago, with AMiA, CANA, Diocese of Uganda, Diocese of Southern Cone, REC, Diocese of the Holy Spirit, FiF, etc etc, all being separate jurisdictions, the degree to which much of the chaos has already been resolved is quite remarkable.

So, your points are important, but I think we are seeing *BIG* and real steps forward towards coherence and accountability.

More data on breakdown by partner soon.

[10] Posted by Karen B. on 6-7-2012 at 11:26 AM · [top]

RE: “when you think about what the chaos was a few years ago, with AMiA, CANA, Diocese of Uganda, Diocese of Southern Cone, REC, Diocese of the Holy Spirit, FiF, etc etc, all being separate jurisdictions, the degree to which much of the chaos has already been resolved is quite remarkable.”

Hi Karen B—just to be clear—when I was speaking of the radical chaos, fragmentation and dysfunction of the past forty years I was speaking of the Continuing Anglican entities, not of the past 9 years which admittedly have their share—but not forty years of it!

RE: “something like 95% of partner congregations are divided between the AM (about 70%) and APA (25%) so the OTHER partnerships are very few in number.”

I understand—we’re looking at around 300 parishes of “ministry partners” counted and around 175 of those are AMiA. That leaves another 125 or so that are either APA or the other “ministry partner” entities.

But keep in mind that even if the parishes are *not* all listed on the parish locator [and I would expect that all the parishes of the various ministry partners are *not* all listed on the ACNA parish locator because the various ministry partners all claim far more than 125 or so parishes total], the ACNA is claiming “ministry partnership” with these Anglican entities—a number of them. You’ve got the AAC—which has had various Anglican parishes from various entities as a part of its list. You’ve got the same for FIF. The same, obviously, for FACA. These three are “ministry partners” and they have members that are parishes of various and sundry Anglican entities.

That’s a whole lot of parishes that are not either APA or AMiA or REC.

These are not “trivial” partnerships either. Hence the way that ACNA spins itself on its own website:

The Anglican Church in North America unites some 100,000 Anglicans in nearly 1,000 congregations across the United States and Canada into a single Church. It is a Province-in-formation in the global Anglican Communion.

Note that ACNA happily claims as a part of its identity those same ministry partners as a part of a “single church.”

Just to add to this, look at how any departing AMiA congregations have been folded into ACNA—willy nilly and taken on trust, naturally [something that I don’t think should have happened as a matter of good form/order and logistics, but that’s yet another topic].

Don’t think for a second that if a bunch of other “ministry partners” of *other* alternate Anglican entities don’t want to move en masse into ACNA that they won’t be allowed to with little to no vetting of clergy or parishes.

After all, so the rhetoric will go . . . these parishes have already been “ministry partners” with us for the past years. Why would we back off from accepting them into our entity now when they wish to join?

With each and every Anglican-jurisdiction-hopping that occurs, it becomes harder and harder to unravel the good from the bad, the seriously dysfunctional from the mildly so, the corrupt and heretical and mentally ill from the healthy.

[11] Posted by Sarah on 6-7-2012 at 11:56 AM · [top]

Sarah, I’ll send you my Excel spreadsheet by email in case you’re interested, but I’ve reviewed the data for each state & Canadian province using the ACNA locator.

I know you’ve got some very real questions about the validity of these data (i.e. how are there so few “Other” partner congregations beyond AM or APA.  I can’t answer you that.  Perhaps someone in ACNA WILL chime in here and help clarify things.  Your questions ARE important.

But for now I can only work with the data I’ve got.  Let’s at least start there:


Total Member congregations:  725
Total Partner congregations:  278

[my totals are off by 1 from the ACNA totals - I have 1 partner too many and 1 member too few.]

AM parishes (including Canada) = 191 (69% of partners)
APA parishes = 58 (21% of partners)
Dio Holy Cross = 20 (7% of partners)
PEARUSA = 3 (1% of partners)
Other = 6 (2% of partners)

So, you’re talking 26 non AM & PEAR or APA parishes.  Not a lot.

Also, the geographic distribution is quite striking.  Only 12 US States, and NO Canadian provinces have partner congregations other than AM or APA.  So most bishops are not having to deal with other less-known Anglican entities.

Like you, I’d welcome a LOT more clarity about the whole affiliation issue and how congregations of different sub-jurisdictions are held accountable.  But I think that info will become clearer.

Hope this is at least a bit helpful to some.

Please note I’m in NO way affiliated with or speak for ACNA staff or statisticians.  I’m just pulling numbers off the ACNA website.  Others will need to tell us what they mean.

[12] Posted by Karen B. on 6-7-2012 at 12:24 PM · [top]

#11 Sarah, you write

Just to add to this, look at how any departing AMiA congregations have been folded into ACNA—willy nilly and taken on trust, naturally [something that I don’t think should have happened as a matter of good form/order and logistics, but that’s yet another topic].

I can’t speak for what happens in every ACNA diocese, and accepting a parish into the ACNA happens at the diocesan level, but in the Diocese of Pittsburgh a parish and its clergy apply for reception.  Clergy undergo Oxford Background checks and a parish has to ensure that its bylaws are in accord with diocesan canons.  Typically a visitation to the parish from Diocesan Office also happens prior to reception at the annual convention of the diocese.  I don’t know that I would characterize this as “wily nilly and taken on trust”.  grin  Its more like a trust and verify process.

[13] Posted by Ed McNeill on 6-7-2012 at 01:05 PM · [top]

Thanks KarenB—I do appreciate it.

RE: “So, you’re talking 26 non AM & PEAR or APA parishes.”

I agree—although I’m afraid I’d have to add the APA as a part of the Continuing churches chaos/fragmentation/dysfunction—so you’re at some 80+ churches that have been listed on the ACNA church locator that are not a part of the last 10 years, but are instead a part of the last 40 years—years of unbelievable—and I mean *staggering*—chaos in which a whole lot of stuff happened that is virtually [now] untrackable and unresearchable in entirety. As a matter of discretion, for instance, I’m not talking about my local situation—which is dreadful. And when I research for other individuals who ask me—theirs is quite dreadful as well!

Further—just taking one of the ministry partner entities—the ACA—they claim some 60 parishes. I’m assuming it’s only a matter of time before they are—quite rightly in order to be fair—placed in the ACNA church locator. And so on with the EMC, and any other entities that are a part of FIF and the AAC, both of which are ministry partners, and etc, etc.

I appreciate your fairness, and your lack of trying to sluff this off as irrelevant. It’s not, and if people do not take it seriously it *will* come back and bite in a public and most humiliating manner years from now.

[14] Posted by Sarah on 6-7-2012 at 03:14 PM · [top]

Will there be greater transparency in future years, do you think?  I don’t see a specific web site for each parish that lists pledges, members and ASA the way the TEC web site does.  At the end it says you can ask for more data, but it asks your name and why you want it.  Putting info about each parish, diocese on a web site would be nice.

[15] Posted by Matthew on 6-7-2012 at 04:04 PM · [top]

Going back to Sarah’s #2 for a moment, this point is well made.  Procedures for governance and accountability take time to become part of the institutional fabric of an organisation.  The earlier they are started (even if not yet fully developed) the better.

[16] Posted by MichaelA on 6-7-2012 at 09:00 PM · [top]

Sarah and Karen B.,

I assume that “APA” in these statistics means the Anglican Province of America under +Walter Grundorf, and also that the APA diocese of the West under +Boyce which moved to the REC in 2008 would now come under “ACNA” - is that correct?

[17] Posted by MichaelA on 6-7-2012 at 09:05 PM · [top]

Since I happened to be looking at Tennessee parishes for another reason, I checked the EMC (a member of the Federation) vs. the ACNA list.  No EMC parishes appear on the ACNA list.  REC parishes on the list are not identified as a separate group; I know this because my parish, in NC, is on the list without the REC identifier.  It is not clear to me at all that all the wider “partner” groups are on the ACNA locator list (or on the statistical report).  Ones that are appear to be clearly labeled for the most part.  The “chaos” seems to be mostly the Anglican Mission situation, which is in flux as the report was prepared, and will settle out within months.

[18] Posted by Katherine on 6-8-2012 at 08:29 AM · [top]

RE: “It is not clear to me at all that all the wider “partner” groups are on the ACNA locator list (or on the statistical report).”

They’re not—I had checked over the past year to see how they’ve been added.  So far, the Diocese of the Holy Cross has been added [one of the entities that is a part of FACA which is a partner].

[19] Posted by Sarah on 6-8-2012 at 09:28 AM · [top]

FYI, for a breakdown of the AMiA situation, I am currently aware of 36 parishes that are in PEARUSA and 16 that have publically made known their intention to be a part of the AMiA mission society. The rest are either affiliating with ACNA or dissolving/merging, and it will take time to see where they all go.

[20] Posted by Jeff Walton on 6-14-2012 at 01:02 PM · [top]

I was at the PEARUSA conference this past week.  The current network breakdown in PEARUSA accounts for roughly 80 churches that have said they want to affiliate with them, though this isn’t a final figure.

[21] Posted by Wonders for Oyarsa on 6-14-2012 at 02:10 PM · [top]

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