Following the termination of the Global Partnership arrangement between the Ang
lican Province of America (APA) and Bishop Belmonte of the Anglican Church of the Philippines, Traditional (ACPT) in early December 2015, two of the clergy who had served under Bishop Belmonte and who had previously been active in the ACPT, Rev. Benjie Fuentes and Deacon Joel Arellano, wrote to Bishop Grundorf to ask for his Episcopal oversight and for permission to continue their ministry under the APA. Bishop Grundorf agreed to this arrangement on a temporary basis while he and the APA Missions Board sought a more permanent and long term arrangement.
During the course of the APA Mission Boards investiga
tion into various matters of concern regarding the Episcopal leadership of Bishop Belmonte, advice had been sought from Bishop Terry Lowe of the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) who had served as ACC bishop to the Philippines and lived in that country for twenty years. Bishop Lowe and Bishop Grundorf had previously discussed various aspects of the ACC’s and APA’s work in the Philippines at a recent ACC Synod. After being asked to provide Episcopal oversight for the former ACPT clergy, it seemed most logical to approach Bishop Lowe for his assistance. Discussions then followed with Bishops Grundorf (APA), Haverland (ACC) and Lowe(ACC) and it was determined that a joint venture under the Episcopal oversight of Bishop Lowe would make the most sense and be to the greatest benefit of all concerned.
The end result is that we now have a joint work in the Philippines with the ACC which is under the Episcopal oversight of Bishop Terry Lowe and managed in the Philippines by the Canon to the Bishop, Rev. Canon John Benedict and the ACC Vicar General to the Philippines, Rev. Fr. Melvin Lebria. The APA has three churches in Umingan in the Pagasinan Province on the Island of Luzon. They are part of a larger group totaling 31 churches with around 3,125 members which are spread across several islands in the Philippines. All of the details regarding this arrange
ment are still being worked out by the bishops of both jurisdictions.
The group will hold its Synod in late July in Cebu in the Philippines at which time it is expected that a Bishop will be elected for these churches and Deacon Joel Arellano will be ordained to the priesthood. It is hoped that the APA will also be able to send representatives to the Synod.
We praise God for directing this initiative and for providing the opportunity to continue our ministry in the Philippines in a collaborative and more productive way than had been possible previously. Please continue to pray for this joint work, as together with the ACC we attempt to build God’s Kingdom in the Philippines.