From the President - Fr. Bausch Urges Prayer


By Lawrence Bausch, FIFNA President

With only minor modification in recent years, the Daily Prayer of FIFNA has been used to guide our members in living out our faith for a couple of decades.  Recently, our Council discussed how valuable this prayer is in focusing and motivating our members.  We may see articles which will highlight portions of this prayer in future issues. 

I want to use this space to consider how it orients us.  This is particularly useful as we try to help those not in FIFNA to understand who we are.

We have learned that many in the ACNA consider FIFNA as a single-issue organization, only concerned with the integrity of Holy Orders and the preservation of the all-male Priesthood. Our Daily Prayer tells a different story. Our petition is for God to “help us to witness to the saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”. Thus far, this unites us with all Christians in the “Great Commission." We are a missional movement; you may recall that our roots are in the Evangelical and Catholic Mission of the 1970s and ‘80s.  

The focus of our witness is to “win many hearts to Catholic Truth, Apostolic Order, and Godly Life within the fellowship of thy Holy Church.” Here we make clear that we understand that receiving the saving Gospel includes being united in the Creedal Church. We believe that one does not merely need or can have a personal relationship with Jesus; to receive Christ is to become a member of His Body, the Church. Christian intimacy with our Lord is two-fold: 

He lives in us, and we live in Him (John 15:1-5). So, the new life we are given in Baptism is both unspeakably intimate and remarkably social (our new ‘family’ consists of all baptized). And so FIFNA’s mission includes teaching the Church as an essential component of the Gospel.   

Many of us who were in Jerusalem during the 2008 GAFCON conference heard that a major sticking point, one which made it somewhat difficult for the movement to coalesce, was lack of unity around ecclesiology. It is precisely here that FIFNA has a significant contribution to make. 

Our understanding of this, expressed in our prayer, can be very helpful in our effort to keep the ACNA from moving in the direction of a “confessional” church as opposed to the “creedal” church of our catholic tradition and inheritance. In this context, the question of women and Holy Orders is just one piece of a whole theological perspective, and it needs to be understood in that context. 

Our mission is much bigger than this single issue, and perhaps the wisest strategy is to center our teaching on ecclesiology. This was the focus of Bishop Wantland’s talks at our 2019 Assembly on “The Catholicity of Anglicanism."  

As we pray our Daily Prayer, may we be prepared to live out the mission it calls us to, praying for opportunities to share what we have been given for the glory of God and for the upbuilding of his Church.

The Rev. Canon Lawrence Bausch

President, FIFNA

The FIFNA Prayer

O God our Father, bless Forward in Faith. Inspire us and strengthen our fellowship. Help us to witness to the saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that with love, patience, and evangelical zeal we may win many hearts to Catholic Truth, in Apostolic Order, for Godly Life within the fellowship of thy Holy Church. We ask this through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Forward in Christ

Proclaiming the Faith and Order of the Church, given to us by Christ.