David Virtue, the feisty Anglican journalist, has a new website. I receive his news digest and I noticed in this morning's release that he has an article about a group with which I am unfamiliar.
Up to this point I have been familiar with the Word Alone folks (and the historically related LCMC) -- conservative Lutherans who are resisting efforts to embrace episcopal church governance. I am also familiar with the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, a thinktank promoting bridge-building between Lutheranism and Catholicism. However, I have been unfamiliar with the following micro-denominations which are actually attempting to move toward a more catholic Lutheranism -- and eventually reconciliation with Rome.
LAST WEEK a group of Lutheran, Evangelical Catholic, and Anglican bishops met in Georgia as authorized by their respective Churches and canonically established the Augustana Evangelical Catholic Communion ("AECC" or "this Communion"). The Augustana Evangelical Catholic Communion is an Evangelical Synod of Churches. This group stands in the Evangelical Catholic tradition arising from the Reformation. They want to gather all Evangelical Catholic Churches (both Lutheran and Anglicans) who agree with the Doctrine of this Communion, into one Catholic Communion of Churches for the worship of God, the proclamation of the Gospel and for common witness and service to humanity. The official blurb is that "this Communion does not seek to be an end into herself. She seeks to stand with all Catholic, Evangelical, Anglican and Orthodox Churches, who uphold the traditional Creeds of the Church, to proclaim to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through worship of God and care for humanity.
The current member Churches of the AECC include the following: The Athanasian Catholic Church of the Augsburg Confession, The Evangelical Community Church-Lutheran, The Holy Cross Anglican Communion, The Lutheran Orthodox Church. In addition to these Churches, they are in active discussions with additional member Churches in the AECC. "We welcome other Churches to consider membership in our new Communion. (In addition to full members, Churches who agree with the Doctrine of this Communion may become Affiliated or Associated Churches of the AECC.) The AECC seeks to eventually become a Church "sui iuris" in union with the Church and Bishop of Rome in the same manner as the various Eastern Catholic Churches are in union with Rome."