Of provinces and math

I don’t know who started it, but people have taken to calling today’s new Anglican province the “third province” in North America. I don’t get it. Are conservatives so concerned about the perceived heresies of ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada that they forget about the rest of North America? I’m not sure, but I think George Conger created this phrase for North American Anglicans? He used it here and here. It’s been picked up many times since then. Maybe George or someone will leave a comment here to help me understand this. George is a smart guy, so I’m sure there’s a good reason behind the phrase.

What surprised me a little was the official statement from the Episcopal Church today, which includes this: “The Episcopal Church, along with the Anglican Church of Canada and the La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, comprise the official, recognized presence of the Anglican Communion in North America.” Well, not really.

We all need to remember the Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America and The Church in the Province of the West Indies, which are both found the southern bits of this continent. If you include the Caribbean, which is technically part of North America, you have to include Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba and Bermuda (Extra-Provincial to Canterbury), though that’s not really a province. And of course, we can’t forget the Church of South India, operating in North America. You can find all this on the Anglican Communion website.

By my count, that would make today’s new province the Eighth Province. Not nearly as cool-sounding, but more accurate. (I excluded Bermuda in that count.) I suspect the Third Province meme caught on because of the original provincial players: The Third Province Movement. You can’t make this stuff up.

I’m trying to figure out how to turn this into a board game. It would be a combination of Risk, Monopoly, and Chutes & Ladders. This could be more interesting, and more fun, than trying to keep track of all the goings-on.

Graphic from the BBC.

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