Plano, TX – The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America has re-elected the Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach to serve as its archbishop and primate for a second term.
According to the Church’s Constitution, an archbishop may serve up to two 5-year terms.
In the Anglican Church in North America, the archbishop oversees bishops, dioceses, and parishes in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. He has certain responsibilities and duties beyond that of other bishops in the province but does not hold unilateral authority.
Beach was recently installed as the Chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon). Gafcon is a global movement of orthodox Anglicans representing over 70% of the denomination’s active members.
Archbishop Beach expressed his excitement in continuing in this role: “It’s truly a blessing to be chosen by this amazing group of godly bishops to serve the Church. I’m honored and humbled by the confidence that they have placed in me, and I’m excited to be a part of what God is doing through the Anglican Church in North America.”
As for the future, Beach says he is “committed to seeing this Church fulfill its mission to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. We’ve seen such great growth over the last few years, with new congregations and members in the US, Canada, and Mexico. We are reaching people from all different walks of life and we need to continue doing that.”
To aid in doing so, the Province will gather at its 10th Anniversary Assembly this coming week to focus on discipleship. “Discipleship is so important to the mission of the Church. I’m excited that we will be focusing in on that this coming week,” Beach said.
The Rt. Rev. Charlie Masters, bishop of the Anglican Network in Canada commented, “I’m extremely grateful. Since the day he was first elected 5 years ago, it’s been very clear to me and everyone I know that this is God’s man to lead us as our primate. It’s a huge sacrifice of service he and his wife, Allison, have given and I’m extremely grateful and will be praying for him as he serves God in this role and I serve under his leadership.”
Likewise, the Most Rev. Ray Sutton, dean of the province, said, “Once again, we have seen the Holy Spirit create an overwhelming consensus in support of our archbishop. We thank God for him!”
To learn more about the Anglican Church in North America and Archbishop Beach, visit anglicanchurch.net
Plano, TX – Late afternoon on Friday, June 14, the Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops consented to the election of the Very Rev. Ryan Reed as the Bishop Coadjutor for the Diocese of Fort Worth.
Reed was elected by the Fort Worth convention on June 1.
Last summer, the current bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, who has served the diocese in this capacity for over 25 years, announced his coming retirement. In the same announcement, Iker also called for the election of a bishop coadjutor to enter as an assistant with the expectation of taking over the position when he retires. Reed will fill this role and take over for Iker at the end of the year.
A native of Nebraska and raised in Houston, Reed is well-known in the Fort Worth diocese. He was ordained to both the diaconate and priesthood by Iker in 1996 and 1997, respectively. His entire ordained ministry tenure has been within the Diocese of Fort Worth, most recently as Dean of St. Vincent’s Cathedral, the location of the Inaugural Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America in 2009.
The consent to Reed’s election comes just days before the province enters into its 10-year anniversary Assembly. “There’s a lot of history here,” Reed said. “To be a part of the development of the province over the last 10 years is incredible. I’m excited to see where God’s Spirit is leading us and excited to be a part of the College of Bishops. You can feel the grace and the love in the gathering of bishops; to be seated with them is mind-blowing.”
Iker expressed his approval of the consent on behalf of the diocese. “We are excited about the transition to new leadership by our new Bishop-elect, and that process has already begun. Dean Reed brings to us many pastoral gifts and a fresh vision for the mission of our diocese.”
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, archbishop and primate of the Anglican Church in North America, shared in the joy of the day saying, “Bishop-elect Reed is a Christ-centered priest who has already served his diocese and the province well. I believe he will continue to do so faithfully. The College is grateful to Bishop Iker for his faithful and steady leadership over the years, and we are excited for the future of the Diocese of Fort Worth.”
Reed’s consecration is planned for September 21, 2019 in Fort Worth.
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BEDFORD, Texas – The clergy and people of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, gathered here in a special electing convention, have chosen the Very Rev. Ryan Reed, 51, to become the fourth Bishop of the Diocese, succeeding the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker.
The Bishop-elect has served as Dean of St. Vincent’s Cathedral, where the election was held, since 2002. A native of Omaha, Neb., Dean Reed was raised near Houston. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, and a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. He and his wife, Kathy, have one daughter. Ordained to the priesthood in 1997, he has served churches in Fort Worth, Bridgeport, and Bedford, Texas; and held a variety of ministerial and administrative
posts. He is a past President of the diocesan Standing Committee and presently serves on the Executive Committee of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). He is a member of the Society of the Holy Cross, an international devotional society for clergy.
The special convention opened with the report of the Nominating Committee, which officially placed four names in nomination. Balloting began after a worship service. The election was confirmed on the third ballot, when Dean Reed received a majority of votes from both the clergy and lay orders, as required.
“We are delighted with Dean Reed’s selection to serve as our next Bishop,” said Bishop Iker at the close of the convention. “His broad experience in the wider Church and his gifts as a pastor will serve the Diocese well in the years to come.”
The election requires the consent of the ACNA College of Bishops in a meeting scheduled later this month. A service of consecration for the Bishop-elect is expected in September 2019. Leadership of the Diocese will pass to Bishop-elect Reed upon Bishop Iker’s retirement on Dec. 31, 2019.
St. Vincent’s Cathedral Church is the seat of the Bishop of Fort Worth. It was the site of the formation, in June 2009, of the Anglican Church in North America, a province with congregations across the U.S. and Canada. The ACNA has a total membership of over 132,000. Fort Worth is the second-largest Diocese in the province.
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth was founded in 1982 and has 56 congregations primarily in 24 North Central Texas counties. It is a constituent member of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church and a founding Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America.
In August 2018, a decorated Air Force veteran and a former drug addict named Bill moved into the House of Hope, a transitional housing program for formerly homeless veterans and a Matthew 25 Initiative ministry. His life was changed forever.
Twenty-five years ago, while he was a student at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, the Rev. Michael Wurschmidt, “Pastor Mike,” and his wife, Tina, founded Shepherd’s Heart Anglican Church in Pittsburgh. Their mission is to “share the heart of Jesus our Shepherd on the streets of Pittsburgh and to the ends of the earth.” Pastor Mike is also a federal chaplain with Veteran Affairs.
In addition to traditional worship services on Sunday evenings, Shepherd’s Heart parish includes “Shepherd’s Place,” a drop-in center for homeless men and women; a food pantry; a shuttle bus to transport homeless individuals to medical and other important appointments; a resource center filled with clothing, shoes, boots and more; and Shepherd’s Heart Veteran’s Home (“the House of Hope”), a transitional housing program for formerly homeless veterans.
In August 2018, a decorated Air Force veteran and a former drug addict named Bill moved into the House of Hope. Through the ministry, Bill has now – at 43 years old - committed his life and work to Jesus Christ. He will never be the same and praises God for healing and transformation! God is leading him to help other homeless veterans in the future. He is now healthy - physically, emotionally, and spiritually – and will soon move into his own apartment.
Pastor Mike interviewed Bill for this story.
Pastor Mike: Tell me about your childhood.
Bill: I grew up in Toronto, Ohio, a small town near Steubenville. I was a good student and loved history immensely. I am a huge World War II buff and I also like to read about the Civil War. My parents took me to many battlefields (Gettysburg, Bull Run, Richmond) while traveling around with our family bluegrass band called “The Ohio River Band.” In school, I was in the band, choir, glee club, show choir, jazz band, and musicals. I had a wonderful childhood and a loving family.
At what age did you go to the Air Force? What was your specialty? What year were you discharged?
I went to the Air Force in 1994 at the age of 18. In basic training, I chose Space Systems Operations. I received my technical training at Vandenburg Air Force Base in California as well as Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was a Satellite Data Systems Supervisor stationed at Buckley Air Force Base and was responsible for the detection of missiles and other threats to the United States and our allies. I really enjoyed what I did. I was a crew instructor as well as the crew evaluator, certifying new crew members for mission ready status. I also won Guardian Challenge 1996 [an annual Air Force competition for the space warfighter wings]. I was discharged in 1998 and returned to Toronto, Ohio to live.
What did you do after the Air Force?
I worked as a Union Insulator (Local Union 2) out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I worked in steel mills and power plants insulating boiler walls and steam pipes.
What year did you turn to drugs? Was there a particular event or situation that contributed to your turning to this temptation?
I started dabbling with drugs around 2003. I was married in 1994 and my wife and I were having frequent arguments. I was playing guitar in bars and hanging with a whole new group of friends.
What was your lowest point?
In 2008, a former girlfriend committed suicide. We had a son who was five. He was present with her when she died. I had many regrets and much anger at that time. I blamed myself because I was doing drugs and was not more supportive of them both. I also used that event as a reason to relapse and to go deeper into drugs. I was financially broken, defeated, and spiritually broken.
How has your life changed since you came to SH?
Shepherd’s Heart changed me immediately. The staff and volunteers here made me feel that I could have a future again and a fresh start was possible. In turn, I started believing in myself again. Before I knew it, I was being productive and asked to perform small tasks at Shepherd’s Heart. I marveled because just a few short months before, I was in active addiction. With counseling, I was enabled and empowered to give attention to many areas in my life that needed change.
How have you come closer to God?
The most important fact is that God has transformed me. I now have a desire to be closer to Him. I don’t need the drugs. I’m in the praise and worship band at Shepherd’s Heart. I volunteer for everything I can, I try to help all my fellow veterans, and I share the Word of God with them as well. I am also writing gospel music and plan to make a CD in His praise in the future,
Where is God leading you next?
I feel the Lord is leading me to work with homeless veterans. I would like to get a degree in social work focusing on those with substance abuse/addiction. I also want to work with homeless men and women. I am thankful to God for Shepherd’s Heart. The love here is truly the best blessing I could ever have received.
What are your plans, hopes, and goals for the future?
I want to praise God forever. I plan to keep giving back, praising and worshipping God through my music, and being a positive role model for others who are homeless.
The wait is over! You can now order hard copies of The Book of Common Prayer 2019. Orders will ship after June 20, post-Assembly.
Both Pew and Deluxe editions are available. Pew editions price at $16.95 each but drop to $14.95 each when purchasing 16 or more copies. Deluxe editions are $29.95 each.
To go directly to Anglican Liturgy Press to purchase your BCP 2019, click here.
To learn more about the Book of Common Prayer 2019 first, visit bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net, and when you’re ready, click the “Purchase” tab.
The Diocese of CANA West, the Diocese of CANA East, and the Diocese of the Trinity, all of which previously had dual citizenship in the Anglican Church in North America and the Church of Nigeria through CANA (the Convocation of Anglicans in North America), clarified their status this week.
According to the Houston agreement, jointly signed by Archbishop Okoh of the Church of Nigeria and Archbishop Beach of the Anglican Church in North America, each diocese will reside canonically in either the Anglican Church in North America or the Church of Nigeria, as it chooses, and can apply for ministry partner status in the other province.
At its synod this past week, the Diocese of CANA East took action to remain solely a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America and to change its name to The Anglican Diocese of the Living Word. The Diocese has also applied for ministry partner status with the Church of Nigeria. In his address to his diocesan synod, Bishop Dobbs explained the significance of the new name:
The living word of God is the supreme authority in Anglicanism. Article VI of the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, ‘Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation,’ puts it this way: ‘Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.’ In Anglicanism, the living Word of God alone contains all things necessary for salvation.
This was the view of Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, who was martyred for his faith in 1556. He said, ‘Let us night and day muse, meditate and contemplate the Scriptures. Let us ruminate, and (as it were) chew the cud, that we may have the sweet juice, spiritual effect, honey, kernel, taste, comfort, and consolation of them.’
The Anglican Diocese of the Living Word beautifully captures the essence of the fundamental beliefs of our diocese.
The Diocese of CANA West and the Diocese of the Trinity have chosen to be solely dioceses of the Church of Nigeria. Article II.3 of the Constitution of the Anglican Church in North America states that “Member dioceses (or groups of dioceses organized into distinct jurisdictions) are free to withdraw from the Province by action of their own governing bodies at any time.”
On Tuesday, May 22, 2019, the Executive Committee of the Anglican Church in North America received notice from the Diocese of CANA West and from the Diocese of the Trinity to withdraw from the Anglican Church in North America.
The Houston protocol states that:
Each CANA diocese shall make all necessary constitutional and canonical amendments to effectuate such membership in one Province. Similarly, if any CANA diocese wishes to apply to the CoN or the ACNA to be a Ministry Partner, it should make such application.
Commenting on the joint protocol, Bishop Fagbamiye of the Diocese of the Trinity said, “The new Protocol is sincerely long awaited, and it is an answer to our prayers, particularly the Nigeria American immigrants and other immigrants in the Anglican Diocese of the Trinity which from inception is in CANA.” The Diocese of CANA West and the Diocese of the Trinity may now apply for ministry partner status in the Anglican Church in North America by following Title I Canon 7 Section 1 which reads:
Ministry Partners, Affiliated Ministries and Religious Orders work together with the Anglican Church in North America to extend the Kingdom of God. Those desiring admittance in one of these categories shall apply in writing to the Council to become associated with the Church. Applicants must subscribe without reservation to the Fundamental Declarations of the Church stated in Article I of the Constitution. The Council may admit an applicant upon terms deemed appropriate. Ministry Partners, Affiliated Ministries and Religious Orders may have representatives attend functions or gatherings of the Church upon invitation of the Archbishop. Ministry Partners, Affiliated Ministries and Religious Orders may withdraw or have their status ended with or without cause.
Archbishop Beach commented on the decisions taken by the dioceses:
In the spiritual realm and in the Church, it is important to have clear lines of authority. The agreement that I signed with Archbishop Okoh has allowed each of the CANA dioceses to bring clarity since they were technically connected with two provinces, two archbishops, and two houses of bishops. For those choosing to remain under the Church of Nigeria, we bless them in the name of Jesus and pray that their ministry here in North America will lead many people to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. As Jesus said: ‘the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.’
A message from Archbishop Foley Beach.
Bill Murray. Danny Parker. Dan DeHaan. David Chamberlain. David Collins. What do all these men have in common? They discipled me.
Bill Murray used to meet with me once a week and teach me about how to study the Bible and pray. Danny Parker taught me how to love high school students in a manner in which they would know it. Dan DeHaan taught me how to seek God for Himself and not just for what He can give me. David Chamberlain mentored me in the Anglican faith, and David Collins taught me about the Church and the release of the Holy Spirit in ministry. These men are just a few of the many who have discipled and mentored me in how to follow Jesus Christ. They gave of their time, their resources, and their very lives to help me become a disciple of Jesus.
Jesus calls each of his followers to be about the business of disciple-making – helping others follow Jesus as He leads them in their lives. When a person is born-again, she or he is like a new baby in this world. A baby must be cared for, loved, fed, cleaned, disciplined, and nurtured until such a time she or he can walk on her or his own. The Kingdom of God is similar. We need to be taught to walk the talk: How do you worship? How do you pray? How do you read and study the Bible? How do you hear the Lord? How do you love your neighbor? What do the Scriptures say about Jesus? About serving? About what is right and what is wrong? This is what discipleship does – it cooperates with the Holy Spirit to help us to follow Jesus in our life-situation.
Many have tried to turn discipleship into a class or course that we attend. As good as those courses might be, discipleship is also caught, not just taught. It is a lifestyle modeled and shared in the living of life together. I am so grateful for the many individuals who have walked with me over the years, sharing their lives, their families, their wisdom, and their knowledge of God.
As Anglicans, we have an incredible wealth of resources to aid us in our discipleship. We have the Catechism; we have the Book of Common Prayer; we have numerous Anglican scholars and Bible teachers spanning the past five centuries whose work opens the pages of Scriptures, and we have many godly women and men of the Church Catholic from the days of the Patriarchs. In today’s age of technology, we can access sermons and teachings from people all over the world and throughout the history of the Church. Our only excuse now for not living into discipleship and being a disciple-maker is that we just don’t want to. Ouch. But this is truer than most of us realize.
This week, I listened to a brother in Christ share about his ministry with prisoners. He works with serious and violent offenders. He made an astonishing statement: About 95% of these men have sat in churches in their younger years and have prayed the sinner’s prayer. What happened? Why didn’t it take? Could it be that they were never discipled? Could it be no one ever invested in their walk with the Lord, and they never became a disciple? They had made a decision for Christ, but they never became a disciple of Christ.
As a province, let’s be about making disciples. It is the best way to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. After all, this is what the Great Commission is all about. “Therefore, go and make disciples….” (Mt.28:19).
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America
Beloved in Christ Jesus: Greetings in the name of the crucified, risen, and ascended King, our Lord Jesus Christ!
As I write this, my first letter to you all as Chairman of the Gafcon Primates Council, I want to begin by giving my heartfelt thanks to God for the work of my friend and predecessor, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh. His courage, clarity of vision, godly wisdom and love for the Lord have been so essential to the growth of Gafcon in recent years.
I am very aware of the weight of responsibility entrusted to me, but I am also excited about the adventure of faith ahead as we continue to step out together in obedience to Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep. The Church is his, bought by the price of his shed blood, and we dare not compromise it by sin, neglect, or false teaching. The Church is also commissioned by Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations, and the desire of my heart is to see the Anglican Communion become a mighty instrument of God for reaching the lost.
It is estimated that there are 2.1 billion people on the earth who have no contact with any Christian witness, and therefore, above all else, I want to see Gafcon uniting and equipping Anglicans around the world to be a missionary movement. As the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration affirms, the reason we first gathered in Jerusalem in 2008 was ‘to free our Communion for a clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ’ and this remains our great purpose.
Earlier this month I was in Sydney for the Gafcon Primates Council meeting and afterwards Archbishop Ben Kwashi, our General Secretary, and I were able visit a number of Australian cities where we were much encouraged by the warm welcome we received and strong attendances. Our time in Australia was marked by wonderful fellowship, unity of purpose and solid progress on many areas as set out in the Primates Council Communique, but I would like to highlight four especially significant outcomes.
Firstly, we elected the Most Rev. Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Rwanda as the deputy chairman. Archbishop Mbanda is a tremendous man of God who has a proven track record of leadership in the cause of Jesus Christ. He replaces Archbishop Stanley Ntagali who has served with humility and grace; a powerful example of Christian leadership to us all.
Secondly, we recognised a new extra provincial diocese for faithful Anglicans in New Zealand. I was privileged to meet many of their leaders on a trip there just before the Primates Council meeting, and I thank God for their courage and vision in taking this historic step to secure the future of Anglican witness in New Zealand. Just this past week, these leaders held their first Synod that approved their Constitution and Canons, and elected the Rev. Jay Behan, vicar of St. Stephen’s, Christchurch, as their first bishop. His consecration is scheduled for October. Pray for him as he continues to lead!
Thirdly, we endorsed the formation of a tenth network to help us share the burdens of the Suffering Church, a reality brought home to us recently by the terrible loss of life caused by the Easter Sunday attacks on three churches in Sri Lanka. Coming out of our G19 Gathering in Dubai, this network will help us all serve the Lord with these sisters and brothers living in challenging contexts.
Fourthly, we announced a Global Bishops Conference to run from 8th-14th June 2020. This gathering, to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, has been made necessary by the fact that the 2020 Lambeth Conference is being conducted in violation of its own previous resolutions, especially Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Conference, which reaffirmed the biblical teaching on marriage and human sexuality. We will gather for excellent Bible teaching, worship, training, fellowship and counsel together regarding the challenges facing our sheep.
The Global Anglican Future Conference remains committed, as members of the Anglican Communion, to proclaiming Jesus Christ faithfully to the nations. Let us, as followers of Jesus, conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ: daily remaining filled with the Holy Spirit, with repentant hearts and wills obeying His Holy Word, serving as His ambassadors to the rest of the world, and earnestly praying for revival and spiritual awakening in all nations of the earth!
Your brother in Jesus Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Chairman, Gafcon Primates Council
A Communiqué from the Gafcon Primates Council Meeting Sydney, Australia – April 29, 2019 – May 2, 2019
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. ~ Psalm 127:1
As Archbishops and Primates of the Anglican Communion we came to Sydney, Australia, for prayer, worship, and fellowship. We were joined by the leaders of our branches, and worked together to support the ministry of our people. Our provinces and branches represent 50 million of the 70 million active Anglicans of the Communion. We give thanks for the generous hospitality of Archbishop Glenn Davies and the Anglican Diocese of Sydney who hosted us.
Our primary focus this week has been upon the great tasks of mission and evangelism. As a global fellowship we are uniquely positioned to support one another in ministry to a world where mass immigration and globalisation are reshaping our countries. There are billions who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, and the field is ripe for the harvest. In this new world every believer has a role in preaching Christ faithfully to the nations. There are even more who have heard, but not understood. In many situations the main challenge is not ignorance, but unbelief. We ask you to join us in prayer for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s power to break into the hearts and minds of those who have not yet believed.
Our time together began on Monday evening as we gathered for dinner. We gave thanks for the sacrificial work of our outgoing leadership team: Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria (Chairman), Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda (Vice Chairman) and Archbishop Peter Jensen of Australia (General Secretary). By the grace of God, during this last season of our life together their steady hands have guided us, and because of their faithfulness we have seen the movement grow from strength to strength.
We installed Archbishop Foley Beach of North America as the new Chairman of the Primates Council and gathered around him for a time of prayer and commissioning. This was the first Council meeting for Archbishop Ben Kwashi of Nigeria, the General Secretary, who took up this post in January. Archbishops Beach and Kwashi shared the chairing of the meeting, and we also elected Archbishop Laurent Mbanda of Rwanda to serve as Vice Chairman of the Council. Please join us in prayer as they lead us forward in the years to come.
In addition, it was our joy to welcome the Most Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit, Archbishop of Kenya, onto the Primates Council.
Our common commitment to the gospel provides us with the energy and freedom necessary for mission. Our grassroots networks are doing exciting work in nine diverse areas and we heard updates on the progress of each of them. We rejoice to see the networks working together to fulfill our commitment in Jerusalem last year ‘to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations’.
Our work in all its variety is undergirded by prayer through the daily topics provided by the Prayer Network and we rejoice to see how the networks are already bringing fresh impetus. In New Zealand, the Lawyers Task Force has advised on the Constitution and Canons of a new Anglican diocese, while mission strategy has been enriched in both New Zealand and Ireland by consultation with the Church Planting network.
In Central and South America, the Church Planting Network is working with the Anglican Church in Brazil to establish new churches in areas beyond Brazil where Anglican witness has been compromised.
We see the Global Mission Partnerships Network being a catalyst for new evangelistic initiatives, especially in East Africa. Leadership around the Communion is being strengthened through the Bishops Training Institute which now has a network of over one hundred bishops who have benefitted from these training conferences.
Through the Sustainable Development Network, working together with partner Anglican agencies and local church leadership, generous funding has been raised for emergency relief and recovery in Mozambique following the Cyclone Idai disaster in March. We were also pleased to learn that the Youth and Children’s Ministry Network has recently launched an online platform for the sharing of teaching and worship resources to equip leaders who have the vital task of passing on the faith to a new generation.
Earlier this year some of us met in Dubai and had the joy of sharing fellowship with faithful Anglicans in restricted situations. They requested that a network to support those in similar circumstances be developed. We have enthusiastically affirmed this desire and the Suffering Church Network will enable us to share the burdens of those who show such resilience and even joy in the face of severe trial.
We are deeply distressed and saddened at the recent horrific attacks in Sri Lanka specifically targeting Christians, and the attendant injuries and tragic loss of life. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been attacked. We also pray for those who perpetrate such attacks, and pray that they come to repentance. We give thanks for the robust response of the Sri Lankan Government and their measures to protect all peace-loving citizens of the island nation.
We were reminded of the words of Jeremiah 6:14, “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” Last year in Jerusalem our delegates urged us not to attend Lambeth 2020 if godly order in the Communion had not been restored. They respectfully called upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to effect the necessary changes that fell within his power and responsibility.
We have not yet received a response from the Archbishop of Canterbury. We note that, as it currently stands, the conference is to include provinces who continue to violate Lambeth Resolution I.10 thereby putting the conference itself in violation of its own resolution: failing to uphold faithfulness in marriage and legitimising practices incompatible with Scripture. This incoherence further tears the fabric of the Anglican Communion and undermines the foundations for reconciliation.
Gafcon Bishops Conference 2020
On the one hand, we have no interest in attempting to rival Lambeth 2020. On the other hand, we do not want our bishops to be deprived of faithful fellowship while we wait for order in the Communion to be restored. Therefore, we have decided to call together a meeting of bishops of the Anglican Communion in June of 2020. The conference will be primarily designed for those who will not be attending Lambeth, but all bishops of the Anglican Communion who subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration and Lambeth Resolution I.10 are invited to join in this time of teaching, worship, and fellowship. We shall meet June 8-14 in Kigali, Rwanda, and be hosted by Archbishop Laurent Mbanda and the Anglican Church of Rwanda.
We received updates from each of our Gafcon branches. A common thread throughout these reports was the comfort that each has expressed in knowing that they are not alone.
With the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia’s recent General Synod decision to permit the blessing of same-sex marriages and civil unions we give thanks for the individuals and churches that have remained faithful and courageous in these islands. We support those who, in good conscience, feel unable to remain within a Church that has made such a decision. We affirmed their creating a new diocese and recognised them as authentically Anglican. This new diocese will keep them within the Anglican Communion and they will relate directly to Gafcon. We also affirmed the consecration of a new bishop to oversee and support the new diocese.
Europe and the United Kingdom
The Anglican provinces in this region have become confused and compromised by the waves of cultural change. We are encouraged by the growing membership of Gafcon UK. As we said in 2017, “ We believe that the complexity of the current situation in Europe does not admit of a single solution. Faithful Christians may be called to different courses of action. We bless those whose context and conscience have led them to remain and contend for the faith within the current structures.”
At the same time we have approved the creation of a missionary district for Europe to further the work of the gospel by meeting the needs of the growing number of Anglican congregations outside these provinces.
We heard from Anglicans in South Africa who are taking steps towards building unity among the faithful in the country. Freedom of religion and freedom of association are being threatened within South African society. The creep of compromise, both in South African society generally and the Anglican Church of Southern Africa in particular, has been steady. After decades of estrangement, members of the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) and faithful members of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa are coming together. They reported that the Jerusalem Conference was a powerful opportunity to deepen their fellowship.
The religious freedom issues that have affected South Africa have also affected the secular and religious life of Australia. The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia will meet again in 2020, and it is likely that some will push to redefine marriage. Gafcon Australia is working to maintain the biblical faithfulness of their province on both the issues of sexuality and church order. We also heard encouraging reports of the fellowship between Gafcon Australia and FCA New Zealand as they have supported one another over the last year. Their partnership has been a model of regional fellowship that we commend to the wider movement.
In 2008, the Primate of West Africa, the Most Rev. Justice Offei Akrofi, was one of the founding members of the Gafcon movement. Members of the Church of the Province of West Africa have been present at each of the Global Anglican Future Conferences. The Diocese of Sunyani has now taken the lead in developing the official Ghanaian branch of the movement. A seven member board has been formed under the leadership of Bishop Festus Yeboah Asuamah.
The Irish branch, launched in Belfast just over one year ago, is focusing its efforts on theological education and church planting. In December, over 50 clergy and ministry trainees attended a 48 hour Residential on Reformation Anglicanism, and in early 2019 over 180 attended a three week course in Biblical Theology. The foundations for a new church planting initiative are currently being put in place and specific details about personnel and location are due by the end of 2019. Preparations are also being made for a large Bible Convention in April 2021 for laity and clergy.
Women in the Episcopate
The Primates received the Interim Report of the Task Force on Women in the Episcopate, the result of a four-year comprehensive study, and affirmed its recommendation that “the provinces of Gafcon should retain the historic practice of consecration only of men as bishops until and unless a strong consensus to change emerges after prayer, consultation and continued study of Scripture among the Gafcon fellowship.” We authorised the Task Force to continue this consultation.
Gafcon is a movement “to guard and proclaim the unchanging truth in a changing world.” As we heard this week, many around the world are being tossed back and forth by waves of confusion, and blown by the wind of the latest, fashionable, false doctrine. Many are in desperate need of Jesus, who is the only one who can bring salvation. Please lift up his Church daily in your prayers, pray for us as we seek to lead, and join us in proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations.
The Most. Rev. Foley Beach
The Most. Rev. Laurent Mbanda
The Most Rev. Zacharie Masimango Katanda
The Most. Rev. Stanley Ntagali
The Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh
The Most Rev. Jackson Nasoore Ole Sapit
The Most. Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo
The Most Rev. Miguel Uchoa
The Most Rev. Gregory James Venables
The Most Rev. James Wong
The Most Rev. Tito Zavalla
Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, and Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), have signed an agreement regarding the status of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) dioceses in both provinces.
CANA was originally a missionary movement in North America under the Church of Nigeria. CANA fulfilled two main objectives: they provided a connection between the Church of Nigeria and Nigerian immigrants in the United States, and they provided oversight to those leaving the Episcopal Church before the inception of the Anglican Church in North America. At the formation of the Anglican Church in North America, CANA became a founding jurisdiction of the province while also retaining membership in Church of Nigeria. Eventually, CANA subdivided into dioceses who applied and were received as dioceses of the Anglican Church in North America with their bishops having seat, voice, and vote in the Anglican Church in North America College of Bishops and in the Church of Nigeria.
In January of this year, the Church of Nigeria elected four suffragan bishops for the Diocese of the Trinity, a CANA diocese composed primarily of expatriate Nigerians in North America. These elections surprised the Anglican Church in North America and led both provinces to desire clearer lines of authority for the CANA dioceses. A joint committee of representatives from both provinces met in Houston, Texas on March 12, 2019, and the final agreement was signed by both primates this week in Sydney, Australia during the Gafcon Primates Council Meeting.
The agreement provides that CANA become solely a mission of the Church of Nigeria but allows each of the three dioceses (Cana East, Cana West, Trinity) to make its own decision regarding its provincial relationships.
Each diocese will amend its constitution and canons as necessary, and may request to be a ministry partner of the alternative province. Both provinces are thankful that this resolution has been reached and look forward to continued collaboration in Gospel ministry, sharing full communion as provinces in the Anglican Communion.
This agreement enables a diocese which desires to emphasize reaching expatriate Nigerians to have a direct connection with the Anglican Church of Nigeria, and it allows a diocese with a broader ministry focus to remain directly connected with the Anglican Church in North America.
Archbishop Beach commented on the situation, “In one of my recent trips in the United States I came across an old French Catholic Church and an old German Catholic church within a couple blocks of each other. It reminded me how many Americans over the centuries have maintained cultural and ecclesial connections with their country of origin while starting new lives here in North America. This agreement helps us honor the desire of our Nigerian brothers and sisters in North America to remain connected with the Church of Nigeria, while providing for future ministry partnership.”
Attend the Ancient Evangelical Future Conference June 6-7, 2019 and stay for the catechesis conference, Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way, on June 8th at a discounted rate.
The Robert E. Webber Center and Trinity School for Ministry announce a special offer for those planning to attend the Ancient Evangelical Future Conference (AEF) on June 6-7, 2019 on Trinity’s campus. We invite you to stay an additional day and attend the family catechesis conference, Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way, on June 8th for only an additional $30.
June 6-7, 2019 | AEF 2019 $135 | AEF with Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way $165
Trinity School for Ministry | Ambridge, PA
Speakers: Winfield Bevins ● Hans Boersma ● Timothy George ● Christopher Hall ● Tish Harrison Warren ● John Witvliet
Forty years ago, Robert Webber published Common Roots: A Call to Evangelical Maturity, which urged modern Christians to recover their historic Christian legacy. Webber (with others) is widely credited with launching the subsequent retrieval movement of ancient Christian faith and practice. This conference will both celebrate and assess this forty-year movement: what modern Christians have learned, how it has changed our religious landscape, and what its future implications may be.
We are delighted to announce that the Robert Webber Center has partnered with the Christian History Institute in the planning of this year’s Ancient Evangelical Future Conference. All attendees will receive a complimentary print copy of the just-published edition of the Christian History Magazine, “Recovery from Modern Amnesia: Ancient Practices for a Faith-Full Future.”
As in past years, the Ancient Evangelical Future Conference also includes a mix of lectures, panel discussions, and break-out discussion groups in a welcoming atmosphere that links theory and practice. Each day of the event is bounded by the liturgies of Morning and Evening Prayer, and flavored with table-fellowship. Join others in this unique opportunity for reflection, retrieval, and refreshment for the sake of the life and ministry of the Church today.
The Rev. Dr. Winfield Bevins & Dr. Robin Turner
Sponsored by: The Robert E. Webber Center
June 8 | $60 (Including Lunch) or $165 for both Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way and AEF 2019
This conference is intended for pastors, catechists, Christian educators, Christian parents, and all other lay Christians else who desire to teach the story of Scripture to others.
Most families and pastors would agree that families are the building block of a healthy congregation. There tends to be a break down somewhere along the way between the desire on the part of church leadership to equip parents and the day-to-day reality of families living in our frenzied and fractured culture. Similarly, parents want to provide positive practices at home, but are often at a loss as to how to do so. This one day seminar will focus on families as the heart and hope of the church by looking at some very practical ways for equipping pastors, parents, and children for active discipleship.
Winfield’s expertise in missional church planting and his passion for the critical role that families play in growing believers in the faith at home, will make for a lively morning for us as he explores how the church and home can work together to build believers the old-fashioned way. One of the struggles many of us encounter as practitioners is that we have captured the catechetical vision for how formational life could be so much more than it is, but have no idea how to share or implement that vision.
Robin will guide us through some of the common obstacles we encounter in our congregations looking at practical solutions for practitioners and parents in working together in support of children and family formation.
For more information, call 724-266-3838 or go to http://www.tsm.edu.
The Anglican Church in North America has just released an updated Provincial Cycle of Prayer, covering mid-April 2019 through mid-May 2020.
The Cycle of Prayer presents a weekly prayer schedule to cover leaders, dioceses, and ministries in the Anglican Church in North America and fellow Anglicans around the world.
While leaders and prayer warriors are often aware of the Cycle of Prayer and may use it on Sunday mornings and daily prayer offices, the Cycle of Prayer is available for all to use in their private and public worship to cover our leaders and ministries.
Download the Cycle of Prayer here.
Nominations for Executive Committee will be accepted until May 15, 2019. Nominees must be current members of the Provincial Council.
Eastertide Greetings in the Name of our Risen Lord!
Nominations are now being accepted for election to the Executive Committee of the Anglican Church in North America. The election will take place during the Provincial Council meeting to be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas/Frisco Convention Center near Plano Texas on Monday morning June 17, 2019.
The Executive Committee serves as the Board of Directors for the Anglican Church in North America. Members serve three-year staggered terms and cannot serve more than two terms consecutively. The organization and responsibilities of the Executive Committee are further outlined in Title 1, Canon 1, Section 4 of the Anglican Church in North America canons. Clergy nominees to the Executive Committee can be of any order: bishop, priest, or deacon.
In order to be eligible for election to the Executive Committee, a nominee must be a current (2018) member of the Anglican Church in North America’s Provincial Council. Each member must be able to self-fund travel for at least two face-to-face meetings of the Executive Committee (annually) and be available for monthly conference calls and other calls as needed.
ALL Nominees for the Executive Committee should send a brief biography and photo to email@example.com by May 15, 2019. Each biography, including a photo of the nominee, and the name of their diocese, should be sent as one fully formatted PDF file. Before submitting a nomination, please contact the nominee and solicit his or her permission in writing. Include a statement of permission at the bottom of the biography page.
Nominee profiles that are received by May 15, 2019 will be made available to the Council before the June 17th meeting of Council. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rev. Canon Dr. David D. Wilson,
Chairman of the Nomination Sub-committee
The General Secretary of Gafcon offers a call to prayer and hope in the resurrection in reaction to the bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter morning.
Greetings to you in Peace.
Yesterday suicide bombers unleashed death and destruction as unsuspecting Sri Lankan Christians gathered to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Together with those killed in hotels, the death toll has reached 310, with many more injured, and our hearts go out in prayer for all who have been caught up in these deeply traumatic events.
News of this atrocity came through just before I preached at All Souls Langham Place and let me repeat what I said then, “The resurrection of Jesus is a total defeat of death and of those who would want to use death to scare people off from faith in Jesus. His resurrection has made death powerless against all who believe in Jesus Christ.”
At our recent conference in Dubai, Gafcon resolved to stand with the Suffering Church and this will be a leading agenda item for our Primates Council as it meets in Sydney next week. Meanwhile, in this Easter week let us remember that the one who drew alongside two sad and discouraged disciples on the Emmaus road was the Risen Christ who yet still bore the wounds of the cross. By death he has destroyed death and he will be with us until the very end in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Risen Lord be with you!
Archbishop Ben Kwashi, Gafcon General Secretary
Archbishop Beach share his favorite Easter memory and the hope of the resurrection.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Monday, as I was reading and reflecting for this Holy Week, I happened to glance at the TV and saw the horrific fire in Paris. Flames quickly engulfed the iconic church, Notre Dame, as millions around the world watched in disbelief. The steeple collapsed and fire consumed much of the hand-made stained glass and artifacts. I learned that over 52 acres of trees were cut and shaped into beams and planks that have stood for nearly 800 years. It is no wonder the fire was so intense.
Though it will take years, there is hope that the church will be rebuilt. This event has united, in both grief and a commitment to generosity, everyone from committed Christians to casual tourists to avowed secularists. What a unique moment! But it didn’t end there. In a most amazing, and perhaps providential, way, the tragedy that struck one of the world’s great cathedrals also led many to give to restore three historic, black churches recently burned in Louisiana.
Donations to the Louisiana churches have sky rocketed over the last few days, in large part due to the increased news coverage, awareness, and care generated because of the Notre Dame fire. The situations are, of course, not equivalent. There is a vast difference between alleged hate crimes and an accident, and few buildings in the world can compare to Notre Dame. Nevertheless, it has been encouraging to see compassion go viral and bring hope to each community. Pray with me that the Lord will use these events to spark healing and fresh revival in both Europe and North America.
The truth is that the Lord always rebuilds His Church. It is true everywhere.
We should remember this life-changing truth straight from the Gospel itself because it applies in the life of every believer, congregation, diocese, and province. Jesus promised that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church. In this hope, we have entered Holy Week.
Jesus was not speaking about buildings, of course. Buildings are not the church. Jesus was calling upon those who confess that He is the Son of God to be the Church. He was saying, “Take notice: the powers of darkness, the gates of hell, the pressures of an evil world will never silence the people and the proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God.”
This is our common mission in the Anglican Church in North America. It remains clear no matter what we may face or what may face us!
As you walk through this Holy Season, please keep this in mind. Our mission is unchanged: to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
Have a blessed Holy Week and a glorious Easter.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
The Anglican Church in North America has officially released the final texts for The Book of Common Prayer 2019.
These texts can be found on the new Book of Common Prayer (BCP) website here. Commemorative editions marking the 10-year anniversary of the Anglican Church in North America will be released at Provincial Assembly in June, and pew editions will be made available for purchase shortly thereafter.
In 2009, at the formation of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Robert Duncan announced three goals for the province: to plant churches, to develop a Catechism, and to formulate a new version of The Book of Common Prayer. Duncan, who is also the Chair of the Liturgy Task Force, commented, “The prayer book has taken the longest. It had to be done right and it will shape our life for years to come, generations to come. Our mission is to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus and, indeed, that’s what this prayer book [helps us do].”
In 1549, The Book of Common Prayer was a revolutionary addition to the life of the Church. During the Reformation, as the movement sought to make Scripture more accessible for the lay person, Archbishop Cranmer also sought to make the prayers and liturgy more accessible. He did so by creating The Book of Common Prayer – a compilation of prayers and liturgy based on Scripture in the language of the English people. During the Reformation, the prayer book went through various revisions, but The Book of Common Prayer 1662 has become the standard. The result has been described as “the Scriptures arranged for worship.”
“It has been, from the beginning, a basic and reliable way for Christians to pray,” Duncan said. The Book of Common Prayer 2019 seeks to continue this same function but set in the context of today’s Church. “What the 2019 does is take what was good from the modern liturgical renewal and also what was lost from the tradition,” Duncan says.
Like the Catechism, pieces of The Book of Common Prayer 2019 have already been translated and more translations are coming. Duncan admits he has already had calls from other provinces looking to the Liturgy Task Force for direction in developing their own revised prayer book.
As for the impact on the Anglican Church in North America, he believes the BCP 2019 will help to shape generations. After cultural revolution swept England in the 16th and 17th centuries, “the 1662 book was settling and stabilizing.” Duncan continued, “That very well may be the role that this prayer book has, and we have a hunch it’s going to be very useful and appropriate for the 21st century.”
In addition to facilitating corporate worship and encouraging the prayer life of individuals, The Book of Common Prayer also provides parents with the tools to help revitalize the spiritual life of the home. The Family Prayer liturgies “give families very simple ways of beginning to shape their children in a way of daily praying, of engaging Scripture, and of beginning to grow as Anglicans.”
All of these resources are available for download on the BCP website. The Liturgy Task Force wants “to make the texts – in Word and PDFs – very accessible. We want to do everything we can to help these texts go deep into the life of the Church.”
The Caminemos Juntos (Let’s Walk Together) Americas Conference entitled “Multiply: New Models and Testimonies of Planting and Revitalization”, took place in Santiago de Chile, from April 3 to 6, 2019 as a gathering of around 100 leaders from more than 10 countries.
The conference was put on in partnership between the Anglican Church of Chile, the Anglican Church in Brazil, the Anglican Church in North America and the Gafcon church planting network.
Bishops, pastors, lay ministers and participants arrived from Panama, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, the United States, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Chile and shared a time loaded with passion, joy, unity and vision, welcoming practical tools and resources to take back with us to our different contexts.
Through plenary meetings, morning bible studies, workshops and presentations, we discovered different church planting and revitalization models, relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and depending on God more than set programs.
As a result, more than 30 people have made a commitment to start a process of planting new churches, 10 have shown interest in becoming cross-cultural missionaries and others have joined intercession and communication teams!
Also with great joy, the new album of Adoremos Juntos (United Adoration) was also released during the conference. It includes songs in English, Spanish and Portuguese which were written by latino Anglican worship leaders and songwriters from throughout the Americas at previous Caminemos Juntos conferences. You can hear the songs and download the lyrics and chords here: http://www.unitedadoration.com/adoremos-juntos/ These original missional songs are being sung throughout the Americas and serve to mobilize the Latino church and the global church more broadly toward mission.
The most relevant topics shared were those related to church planting, revitalization and developing new leaders through intentional discipleship and formal training. One encouraging testimony shared was that of 27 new churches that have been planted in Brazil in these past 13 years.
Two models of church planting were presented: The Spontaneous Planting Model (Brazil) and the Deep Planting Model (Chile) both offering similar characteristics regarding the required process needed. The key is to train disciples who will make new disciples. Each require time and training; prayer (including prayer walks); showing God’s love in practical ways and engaging in new friendships. In summary what is required is to living a missionary lifestyle! We were encouraged to change from inviting people to church or church activities / meetings. Instead today the challenge is to meet the people where they are and start discovery bible study groups were they gather (houses, coffee shops, places of work, etc.). It’s time to mobilize our churches, unleash lay leadership and boost collaborative team work.
Many workshops were offered, all with a vibrant and practical focus: Equipping and Forming Leaders, Campus Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Church Planting and “Semillero” / CEP (Chilean training programs). The conference ended with a communion and commissioning service.
For those of us who travelled from Argentina, it was a great blessing to be there. We came back to our country renewed in our faith, encouraged and full of practical tools to apply in our local churches.
These are some of the comments we received:
“It was a wonderful gathering where we’ve been taught and equipped by the Holy Spirit to revitalize God’s church. We were given good tools and testimonies for church plantation. Thank God for this gift!” Andy Lenton - pastor.
“Each conference of Caminemos Juntos is different, but the expectation of hearing God’s voice is always the same! Each devotional, plenary meeting, workshop and time of praise and worship has been totally enriching. Sharing with brothers and sisters from different countries and learning about what God is doing is so encouraging. I can’t wait for the next conference!” Adrián Torres - lay minister.
“A lovely time packed with learning and sharing. We’ve come back renewed, inspired, with new ideas, contacts and more challenges ahead. We must continue working together as an Anglican family in unity and growth, walking together!” Andy Del Bueno - lay minister.
We look forward to gathering again soon! The next conference of Caminemos Juntos Américas, will take place next year in Brazil in September or October of 2020.
Sylvine Macdonald lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and together with her husband Adrian is a member of the Caminemos Juntos Embassador Team, one of the leadership teams tasked with providing vision and direction for the movement.
To view the original article, click here.
On Saturday, March 16, 2019, the Rt. Rev. Andrew Williams was consecrated as the second bishop of the Anglican Diocese in New England (ADNE) at Holy Family Parish in Amesbury, Massachusetts.
On hand to officiate the ceremony and serve as Chief Consecrators were The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, The Rt. Rev. Bill Murdoch, First Bishop of the ADNE, The Rt. Rev. James Hobby, Bishop of Pittsburgh. Ten other ACNA bishops came from around the country, as well as Bishops James Ssebbala and Cranmer Mugisha of Uganda and Bishop Adam Andudu of South Sudan. The Rt. Rev. Bill Atwood, Bishop of the International Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America, delivered the sermon on the history of the province, its implications for the worldwide Church and for the local church, and the significance of the role that Bishop Williams will assume on behalf of New England and the Anglican Church in North America.
Over 600 guests were present for the celebration of this historical event as they welcomed Bishop Williams, who will continue on Bishop Murdoch’s legacy in the missionary diocese of New England. The event was held a block down the street from All Saints Anglican Cathedral at Holy Family Parish, a Roman Catholic church, with the blessing of Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston. A solemn procession began at the Cathedral, led by a bagpiper, and ended at Holy Family for the start of the ceremony. The service is a reminder of the ongoing ecumenical partnership between the ADNE and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, which has supported the ADNE in various ways since its inception. A luncheon for all the guests was held on the All Saints Cathedral property.
Bishop Williams graduated with an honors degree in theology and was ordained in the Diocese of Exeter in the Church of England in 2000. He spent six years serving as Associate Vicar of St. Andrew’s, Chorleywood, a vibrant suburban congregation just outside London. Since October 2009, he has been the Senior Pastor of Trinity Church in Greenwich, CT, with an area of focus in developing and overseeing a new outreach strategy through the creation and support of Mission Shaped Communities. “I am extremely grateful to everyone whose prayers and service have brought this day to fruition; and to Bishop Bill, for laying down an extraordinary foundation in Jesus Christ; I am humbled by the gift of trust given to me by the people of this diocese, in calling me to serve in the company of his heroes.”
Bishop Bill Murdoch, the founding bishop of the diocese, remarked, “the splendor of the day was only matched by the joy and love that filled the hearts of diocesan staff, team leadership, and all the clergy and lay people as we celebrated the transition of episcopal leadership from the first to second bishop of New England. The openness of the whole diocese’s love and commitment to one another and our new bishop brought us to a new beginning with great energy and joy.”
To read more about Bishop Andrew Williams, visit his webpage, with his submitted biography and answers to questions given during the discernment process: http://www.ad-ne.org/andrew-williams/
It is that time of year again! The Governance Task Force is calling for feedback from the province on the proposed amendments to the Constitution and Canons.
The Governance Task Force (GTF) is a team from many dioceses of the Anglican Church in North America. It includes attorneys, clergy, non-attorneys, and a Bishop. Their challenging task is to draft new church laws (“canons”) and amend existing canons to be presented to the governing bodies (Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly) for adoption and ratification. The GTF was originally formed in 2008 to draft what became the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Church in North America. Since then, the GTF’s main task is to receive feedback from diocesan chancellors, the Anglican Lawyers Network, and others for proposed changes to the constitution and canons as needed, and subsequently work to effectively draft the appropriate changes.
Proposed changes can range from changing the wording of a canon for more accuracy, efficiency, and protection, to adding new provisions as the need arises or is foreseeable.
This year, the proposed amendments include several that are revisited from last year after review from the College of Bishops as well as newly proposed changes.
While it is the Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly that have the authority to adopt and ratify amendments to the Constitution and Canons, leaders in the Church believe it is important to allow the entire province the opportunity to speak into these binding documents. “There’s a canon law maxim from Roman law, ‘That which touches all should be decided by all,’” Canon Phil Ashey, Chairman of the GTF, said.
So, this week, the Governance Task Force opens up its discussion to you, the Province.
As you’re reading through the proposed canonical changes, keep in mind that the GTF follows two principles, minimalism and subsidiarity. Minimalism guides the GTF to not create canons that are too complicated, in order to remain “missionally lean,” as Canon Phil described. The principle of subsidiarity fulfills the idea that governance is most effective at the level where it is most likely to be settled. Subsidiarity means that many matters can therefore be left to the dioceses or congregations without having to enact a Provincial canon.
To have your voice heard, review the proposed canonical amendments and provide your feedback here by April 15, 2019.
February 19-20, 2019: Review and recommendations by Executive Committee.
April 15, 2019: Deadline for comments.
May 1, 2019: GTF publishes Report with further adjustments (if necessary) to all ACNA Diocesan delegates to Provincial Council, Provincial Assembly and Diocesan Chancellors, with an invitation to submit any amendments no later than May 17. GTF begins review of second round of comments and proposed amendments.
June 1, 2019: GTF publishes Final Report to all ACNA Diocesan Delegates to Provincial Council and Diocesan Chancellors.
June 17-19, 2018: GTF presents Final Report for approval in Plano TX by Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly 2019.
To learn more about the Governance Task Force, click here.
It is with great excitement and hope in Jesus Christ that the Anglican Church in North America announces we will be accepting new ministry grant applications for the Matthew 25 Initiative beginning April 1, 2019.
The Lord is doing such wonderful ministry through our family of congregations, reaching those who are suffering from poverty, homelessness, drug and alcohol addictions, trafficking victims, post incarceration, sexual brokenness, refugees in need, etc. The Lord Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
In the last 4 years, 84 Anglican Church in North America churches and ministries have received grants through the MT25i process to either begin a new ministry or continue their ministry to the “least of these.” We are overwhelmed by the goodness of our Lord and the faithfulness of His people in our family of churches and to the generous donors making the grants possible.
We look forward to receiving your grant application with great excitement. May the Lord continue to bless the ACNA and MT25i as we bring the Love of Jesus to those He loves so very much.
To learn more about the Matthew 25 initiative, visit their website.
To learn about the Matthew 25 Gathering back in February, click here.
This community of people is crucial to what we are forming in the Anglican Church in North America so we prioritize time and resources to make it happen: we gather annually, we create lots of opportunity for interaction, and we celebrate what is happening around our province.
The sleet was falling and I thought to myself, ‘I should have gone back for an umbrella.’ The gray sky pushed down on me with wet frigidity that slowly seeped through my coat with urgent shivers. I looked at the slush on the steps, prayed that no one would slip, and gingerly stepped down, down, down from the lofty perch of the Lincoln Memorial towards the reflecting pool and the stark Washington Monument. As I stepped, I saw some of my Matthew 25 colleagues huddled and then I heard the familiar voice of Gathering Steering Team member, Herb Bailey as he began to read Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech from the very spot Dr. King would have delivered it over 55 years prior. The cold sleet persisted. Herb read the whole thing. As he approached those clarion words, ‘Let Freedom Ring…’ we all lifted our eyes and our voices and proclaimed together, “Free at last! (Yes) Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” ’ That’s a Matthew 25 Gathering moment we will not soon forget.
And yet, the Matthew 25 Gathering was created because the dream of Dr. King and the vision of the prophet Isaiah (which Dr. King invoked by quoting, ‘the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together’) is still an unrealized aspiration. There are men and women doing heroic works for justice and mercy (and they must!) because the Lord calls them and men like Dr. King inspire them.
The leadership of the ACNA decided to create an annual Gathering of Anglicans who are doing these works of justice and mercy so that the heart and soul of our province would be revealed by people like Herb, Vicky, Adam, Eva-Elizabeth, Daniel, Sami, and hundreds of others. The Gathering is a learning community, an opportunity to be refreshed, and a place to meet people doing similar work across our province.
Planning for the first Matthew 25 Gathering began in 2015 in order to make contending for justice and mercy part of the DNA of our young North American movement. This was initiated by Archbishop Foley Beach and the Canon for Mission who said to us, “our desire is that this part of God’s heart be the heart of the ACNA.”
By coming together, we aimed to form a common vocabulary for talking about justice and mercy in our denomination. We deliberately don’t use words like “compassion ministries” or “ministry among the poor.” We want to avoid reductionism and we seek to be as holistic as possible in our language. So in 2019 we had workshops and ‘stories from the field’ about creation care, advocating for the unborn, multiethnic parish ministry, restorative justice, elder care, trauma and soul care, immigration legal aid, human trafficking, addiction…. all of it! When we talk about Anglican Justice and Mercy Contending for Shalom, each of those words is chosen with intention.
This year, we presented to Gathering participants the way our work on a common vocabulary has grown into a rich, robust theological reflection on Anglican social theology. It was written by Father Nicholas Krause, Ph.D candidate in Theology and Ethics at Baylor University and Associate Priest for Campus Ministry at Christ Church in Waco, TX, from his collected observations at The Matthew 25 Gathering in 2017. We heartily encourage anyone in the ACNA who wants to read an Anglican Social Theology to take the time to work through Father Nicholas’ careful writing.
In addition to common vocabulary and theological reflection, we layer topics and build on the content of prior Gatherings. For example, we have consistently talked about the way race and ethnicity impacts the work of every person who attends. The first Gathering focused on lament for pain and brokenness caused by racial injustice. At the second Gathering, we held the grief of our own denominational story in North America, being honest to name our sin, while also celebrating some markers of hope. During the third Gathering, we looked at the structures that exacerbate racial brokenness. We examined the systems that make works of justice and mercy necessary and more difficult.
We also hope to highlight and contribute some Anglican distinctives to the broader North American church’s growing focus on ministries of justice and mercy. The two primary emphases that we as Anglicans can bring to this conversation are first, a sacramental perspective on creation that engages with every corner of the material work and structures. And second, a contemplative tradition and practice that pairs with the activist proclivities of Christians doing this work.
We want to build a community of Anglican practitioners of justice and mercy across the continent. We want to know each other, network with each other, and collaborate in partnership. This community of people is crucial to what we are forming in the Anglican Church in North America and so we prioritize time and resources to make it happen: we gather annually, we create lots of opportunity for interaction, and we celebrate what is happening around our province. This is not just a conference to deliver information. It’s a community of people who are learning to be vocational companions across the provinces of Canada and the states of Mexico and America.
It is our prayer that every person in an ACNA church who is doing works of justice and mercy would make The Matthew 25 Gathering an annual priority. The relationships and encouragement that happen when we gather are crucial to the sustainability of this work. We long to see this community of Anglicans doing works of justice and mercy mature into a strong and growing voice that witnesses true Shalom in every place that the Anglican Church in North America calls home.
To learn more about the Matthew 25 Gathering, visit http://www.anglicanjusticeandmercy.org/. If your congregation is looking to begin a Matthew 25 ministry,
Five Questions From Archbishop Foley Beach to Ask Before I Press Enter, Send, or Like
Most of us have done it!! We have posted something on the Internet when we had thought, incorrectly, that we had heard all the facts. Or we have written something slamming a brother or sister in Christ personally without talking to them in person first. Or we have written something when we were in the flesh and not in the Holy Spirit that caused heartache and pain to some innocent victim of our written words. Or we have spoken prophetically only later to have wished we had shared the comments in person.
The following is a simple code of ethics (5 Questions) for the follower of Jesus to consider before one clicks the “enter” button. It is intended for the follower of Jesus to remember that even in cyber-space we are witnesses (either for good or for bad) for Jesus Christ modeling a life which is supposed to emulate him.
Or is it gossip, slander, or unverified hearsay? Our responsibility is to speak truth, yet speak it in love (Ephesians 4:15). Why is it my responsibility to speak this truth, or to be judge and jury? What gives me the right to write this or post this?
There is a difference between writing about what someone has said or done and writing about the person. It is easy to speak out of our own anger and emotional needs without going to the person first. As followers of Jesus, it is not right to say anything about another person unless it is flowing from God’s love within us, and he has given us a process to do this – Matthew 18:15-20.
This is what love does. Speaking truth to another can bring benefit and repentance, but slander, hatred, and meanness bring destruction, hurt, and divisiveness in the Body. The Scriptures exhort us to avoid these kinds of things. Colossians 4:6 – Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt; Ephesians 4:31 – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other as God in Christ has forgiven you.
As followers of his, this is what our mission is about – sharing Jesus Christ so that others may worship Him, too. Can people see Jesus in my comments, pictures, and online activity? Do they see the fruit of the Holy Spirit being manifest in my words? 1 Corinthians 5:14 - It is the love of Christ which compels us. Am I reflecting the aroma of Christ?
If so, then why write it or post it? Flee the temptation to sin.
1. Is it the truth?
2. Have I talked to the person before I talked about the person?
3. Will it benefit all concerned?
4. Do my words reflect well on Jesus Christ?
5. Will I have to confess what I have written as a sin?
Note: The Rotary International Four-Way Test served as a model for these questions. Download this code of ethics here.
Streams in the Desert: A Letter from Churches in Restricted Situations
1. We gathered together as the people of God, under the Word of God and aware of His presence and love for the whole of His creation (Matt 6:25 -29, Rom 8:20-23). Among us were 4 Primates, 31 bishops and archbishops, 44 clergy and 59 lay people from twelve countries.
2. We were grateful that the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) organised this gathering for Anglicans living in restricted circumstances who were not able to attend G18.
3. We met in the context of hostility between India and Pakistan; conflict in Sudan; a fragile peace in South Sudan, though some parts continue to face unrest; and the endemic violence between ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria.
4. We gave thanks to God, as we studied St Paul’s letter to the Philippians and learned from the plenary addresses and from each other of the joys and challenges of sharing the gospel in our different contexts.
5. Gafcon is a movement for the reform and renewal of the Anglican Communion by faithful Anglicans who find their beloved Communion has been devastated by those preaching and practicing another gospel (Gal 1:6-7).
6. As an expression of such faithfulness, we commend the Letter to the Churches written by our brothers and sisters at Gafcon 2018.
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!” (Philippians 4:1)
7. As faithful Anglicans, the love of God and His gospel is at the heart of who we are and what we do. We give thanks for the opportunity we have had to join with brothers and sisters in shared fellowship. Our week together has confirmed our shared appreciation of, and submission to, God’s revelation of himself through Scripture to which, by the grace of God, we seek to hold, even in the most adverse situations.
8. We shared in the joy and suffering faced by many of our brothers and sisters living in restricted situations as they seek to remain faithful to Christ.
9. We heard of the sense of betrayal they experience when the very gospel for which they are suffering is being undermined and denied in other parts of the Anglican Communion. It grieves us that those who reject the clarity and authority of the Scriptures, the universal teaching of the Church, the classical Anglican formularies and the decisions of the Lambeth Conference undermine the credibility of our witness amongst our fellow citizens of other faiths and of none.
We respectfully continue to urge that all faithful Anglican provinces, including the Anglican Church in North America and the Anglican Province of Brazil, be invited to future Anglican gatherings.
At the same time, we ask that those provinces, bishops and clergy who, in word or action, openly disregard the teaching of the Church as described, for example, by Resolution I:10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, should not be invited unless they repent of their actions and their consequences.
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. (Philippians 1:12)
10. We recognise that, despite the very different contexts in which we live, our fundamental need is the same; that is, each of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and of his purposes for us in our creation. We give thanks that the atonement provided by Christ’s death and the new life springing from His resurrection fully meets that need. We commit ourselves to sharing this Good News, in word and in deed, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
11. We learned from different models of mission and ministry that were appropriate to our different contexts.
12. We were gladdened to hear that people are turning to Christ from every tribe, language and nation represented at the conference, even in the most difficult circumstances. Our worship reflected our cultural and linguistic diversity and the unity that results from our common submission to God’s revelation in Christ.
We are encouraged that the faithful suffering of God’s people has indeed served to proclaim the gospel to the world. We ask that the testimony of endurance and joyful resilience of the suffering Church be at the heart of our life and work together in the Communion, so that there may be blessing for Anglicans worldwide.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)
13. We grieve that the fellowship in the Anglican Communion has been torn at the deepest level by those who preach another gospel and those who urge us to continue to ‘walk together’ with them. We are grateful, therefore, that Gafcon offers us the opportunity to partner with one another in true gospel fellowship. As the Chairman of the Gafcon Primates pointed out in his address, the continued development of the nine networks is one way one in which this can take place:
• Theological Education: To promote effective theological training throughout the Anglican Communion.
• Church Planting: To expand church planting as a global strategy for evangelization and discipleship.
• Global Mission Partnerships: To promote strategic cross-cultural mission partnerships in a globalised world.
• Youth and Children’s Ministry: To be a catalyst for mission to young people and children of all nations so that they may become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
• Women’s Ministry: To promote biblical patterns of marriage and family life, especially through the worldwide Mother’s Union.
• Sustainable Development: To establish global partnerships which work with the local church to bring sustainable and transformative development.
• Bishops’ Training Institute: To serve the formation of faithful and effective episcopal leadership throughout the Communion.
• Lawyers Task Force: To address issues of religious freedom and matters of concern to Anglican lawyers and Chancellors and to further the aims of the Jerusalem Declaration.
• Prayer: To equip faithful Anglicans around the world to pray for the renewal and reform of the Communion and to develop globally connected regional and national intercessory prayer networks.
14. We look forward to seeing these networks provide fellowship and resources for faithful churches who have to refuse help which comes with an ungodly agenda that might, therefore, compromise their integrity.
We recommend that the Gafcon Primates consider appropriate ways to discern and nurture the particular gifts and ministries of women and men, so that they may play their part in the life of their churches.
We request that the Gafcon Primates consider developing a new network to provide fellowship, advocacy and intentional prayer for those in restricted situations and ask that all the other networks consider the particular needs of our persecuted brothers and sisters, ensuring that the gifts God has given them are used throughout our Communion.
Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:17-21)
15. We were encouraged by the presence of the Primate of All Nigeria, the Primate of South Sudan, the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, the Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh, and many senior bishops, including the Archbishop of Jos, the new General Secretary of Gafcon, together representing the vast majority of faithful Anglicans.
16. As St Paul says, our persecuted brothers and sisters give us an example of those who live the apostolic life in faithfulness to Christ, with God-given joy and perseverance, in the face of threats within and without (cf. Philippians 3:17).
17. We pray that, by God’s grace, their example will also maintain us in faithfulness to the gospel, prophetic witness, love of God and our fellow brothers and sisters, as we eagerly await the return of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And it is our prayer that our love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that we may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
(cf. Philippians 1:9-11)
The original post can be viewed here.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach announced Tuesday that he has appointed the Rev. Canon Phil Ashey to serve in the capacity of Special Counsel to the Archbishop.
The Special Counsel serves as an advisor to the Archbishop and the College of Bishops regarding legal issues, canon law, and international affairs. He will continue to work closely with our provincial chancellors and serve as chair the Governance Task Force of the province.
Archbishop Foley commented, “Canon Phil has already been serving the Church in a similar capacity over the last several years, and I am thankful that he has accepted this appointment. The College of Bishops and I are incredibly blessed to have his expertise available to us.”
Canon Ashey earned an undergraduate degree from Stanford University in Political Philosophy, a law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and a degree in canon law from Cardiff University Wales with Distinction. He served as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County, California before attending seminary. During his theological studies, he also served as research assistant in Corporate Litigation at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City. Ashey is also the author of Anglican Conciliarism: How the Church Meets and Decides Together (2016, Anglican House) and serves as the president and CEO of the American Anglican Council.
“I am honored by Archbishop Foley’s request to serve as his Special Counsel and to continue this work on a more official basis. The challenges we face internationally and at home are great as we grow the Anglican Church in North America— but the goodness, grace, and faithfulness of our Lord are greater by far,” said Ashey.
Young Anglicans will be hosting a provincial youth gathering running concurrently with Provincial Assembly this June in Plano, Texas.
The ACNA 2019 Provincial Youth Gathering (PYG) will take place June 17-22 at the Crown Plaza Galleria in Dallas, TX. Come spend an incredible week following Jesus in our uniquely Anglican way doing what the early church did: ENCOUNTERING the living God in the praises of His people, devoting ourselves to the TEACHINGS of the Apostles through challenging talks and Bible study, CELEBRATING the Eucharist together, and SERVING the world that He loves.
“My youth came home excited about God and eager to know how they could get more involved in church and youth group.”
The conference will be a life-changing time of challenge, fun, new friendships with Anglican teenagers from all over North America, and learning from gifted Anglican Bishops featuring Archbishop Foley Beach. We’ll join the opening Eucharist of the Provincial Assembly at 7:00 PM on Monday at Christ Church Plano. The conference portion of PYG will conclude Wednesday at lunch, and that afternoon the mission portion of the gathering will begin. Exciting details to come, but groups can plan on serving God and the people of Dallas through ministry to the homeless, summer VBS programs, light construction projects and farm work. The week will conclude after lunch on Saturday, June 22.
Students must attend with a youth group. Youth groups can choose to attend the conference only or stay for the mission trip within the Dallas area.
Early bird registration lasts until April 1, so register today! Click here for more information and to register.
This year’s conference will be held in Santiago, Chile. The theme is MULTIPLY: New Models and Testimonies of Planting and Revitalization.
We encourage you to participate in the next Caminemos Juntos (Walk Together) Americas conference to be held in Santiago, Chile between April 4 and 6, 2019. The theme this year is MULTIPLY: New models and testimonies of planting and revitalization.
The objective of the conference is to address the centrality of the role of the Church in the plan of salvation of the world and the “how and why” of the planting of congregations throughout the continent.
The desire is also to listen through plenary sessions, workshops, and forums, different testimonies of the planting of Anglican churches in diverse Latin American contexts, such as prisons, universities, rural and urban areas, among immigrants, and with indigenous groups, among others.
Unlike previous conferences, this conference will practical training tracks on how to plant churches using different specific models. For example, models such as “Spontaneous planting by multiplying of disciples” (cases of congregations or programs started without funds), or “Deep planting through leadership training”, among others, will be exhibited.
The meeting is organized thanks to the collaborative work between the Anglican Church in Brazil, the Anglican Church of Chile, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the church planting network of the GAFCON movement.
To view the original post and register, click here.
To the Faithful of the Gafcon movement and friends from Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council.
‘We endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ’
1 Corinthians 9:12
My dear people of God,
Later this month I shall be travelling to Dubai for Gafcon 2019 to share fellowship with faithful brothers and sisters, many of whom will be coming from contexts where restrictions are imposed on Christian witness and faithful discipleship can be costly in many ways.
But I know that despite these hardships, our time together will be joyful because the gospel of God, the good news of our salvation and eternal life in Jesus Christ, will be at the centre of all that we do. I will never forget the moment when the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration was read at our first great assembly in 2008. There was an eruption of joy and thanksgiving such as many of us had never experienced before because we knew that our longing to see the biblical gospel restored in our beloved Communion was being fulfilled.
We must stir one another up to maintain that joy and passion for the gospel and I pray that we will have the same single mindedness as the Apostle Paul. The obstacles to the gospel that our brothers and sisters meeting in Dubai face are imposed upon them, but how tragic it is when obstacles to the gospel arise within the church itself.
It came to light last month that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s newly appointed envoy to the Vatican had a history of disputing core Christian doctrine, including a widely circulated video in which he calls for people to be ‘set free’ from belief in a physical resurrection. Dr John Shepherd has responded by issuing a statement which apparently affirms belief that Jesus was raised bodily, but has not repudiated his previous statements to the contrary. Such confusion is itself an obstacle to the gospel.
We have also learned with deep concern that the Assistant Bishop of Toronto, Kevin Robertson, entered into a same sex union using the marriage service in St James’ Cathedral, Toronto. This step by the Anglican Church of Canada underlines the urgency of our advice in the Jerusalem 2018 ‘Letter to the Churches’ warning against attending the 2020 Lambeth Conference as currently constituted. For the first time assistant bishops and their spouses will be invited, so we can expect that Bishop Robertson and his partner will be attending and received in good standing.
Over two hundred bishops did not come to Lambeth 2008 as a matter of conscience because Archbishop Rowan Williams invited the TEC bishops who had approved the consecration in 2003 of Gene Robinson, a man in a same sex partnership, against the clearly stated mind of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, but even Archbishop Williams did not invite Gene Robinson himself on the grounds that he reserved the right not to invite bishops who had caused very serious division or scandal. But now it seems to be considered that a bishop can be married to a same-sex partner in a cathedral, by another bishop, and yet remain in good standing. I strongly commend Professor Stephen Noll’s article ‘Taking Sweet Council Together’ in which he shows how true Christian fellowship is not only a joy, but also a responsibility and must be based on true doctrine. Without that discipline, the Church is prey to the ‘fierce wolves’ St Paul warns the Ephesian elders to beware of, even those who arise from within the Church and speak ‘twisted things’ (Acts 20:29,30).
With great sadness we therefore have to conclude that the Lambeth Conference of 2020 will itself be an obstacle to the gospel by embracing teaching and a pattern of life which are profoundly at odds with the biblical witness and the apostolic Christianity through the ages.
St Paul was prepared to ‘endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ’. Not only did he face great persecution, but he also gave up his rights to be accompanied by a wife and to legitimate remuneration. Let us likewise have the same determination and courage so we will not take part in anything that makes our Anglican Communion an obstacle to the gospel. Instead, let us press forward to fulfil the great aim we affirmed at the first GAFCON in 2008, to give clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ.
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council
A reflection on the 2019 ySummit and March for Life.
God is good.
Those are really the only words that I have to say about the ySummit: Mobilizing Young Anglicans for Life. After a year of coming together with our planning team, made up of Anglican youth leaders, to work out all the kinks, and completing what seemed like an endless amount of work around the holidays, the ySummit brought 85 youth leaders, students, and parents together on January 17-18, 2019 in Falls Church, VA and Washington D.C. Let me just say again: God is good.
Our vision for the ySummit and March for Life was for youth in the Anglican Church to fully understand the worth of every human life, including their own. The event was centered around the Abundant Life that Jesus gives us – and we hit that message hard at the ySummit through worship, fellowship, and engaging speakers. The next day, we joined hundreds of thousands of people at the March for Life, most of whom are under 25 years old, to advocate for every human life. Robbie Pruitt, pastoral associate and youth director of Christ the King Church in Alexandria, Virginia, said it better than I ever could: “I am for life, because Jesus, the author of life, is for life.”
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (Jesus, John 10:10, ESV).
Students spent time in intercessory prayer – that they would acknowledge God as the Creator, recognize those impacted by abortion, value the selfless act of adoption, and truly believe who God made them to be, so that they could serve Him.
Youth leaders were commissioned by the Rt. Rev. Bill Murdoch, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New England, who supported the ySummit from the beginning and even made it a priority to be there. In turn, students were commissioned by their youth leaders to go out on Friday at the March for Life and advocate for human life – affirming that every human being is created uniquely from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death and that God has never made a person He does not love. This was a powerful time of prayer and the Holy Spirit was present!
I had the privilege this year of speaking at the ySummit, sharing part of my story and connecting our identities as children of God with being pro-life. I was reminded of an important question that I wrestled with when I was a teenager; so, that’s what I ran with. I asked the attendees that question: “Who are you, and why are you here?” Even in Scripture, we see clearly how often God’s people and even Jesus’ disciples forget the Truth – that they are God’s people, holy and set apart.
We do the same thing today. We stumble through our days hoping that we can figure out all the challenges and do all the things on our to-do list by our own willpower. But we aren’t alone. We are God’s people. That is who we are, and that is why we are here.
Craig Vickerman, rector of All Saints Anglican in Attleboro, MA, brought a group of students to the ySummit and the March for Life and said, “The fact that the next generation of kids will grow up understanding what it means to value life from God’s perspective is HUGE.” These students ARE going to shift our culture – I am confident in that, and I want to be a part of it. I want Anglicans for Life to be a part of it. And I want our Church to be a part of it. God is working – in the midst of the darkness that we’ve seen against us, the terrible laws that have been passed, and the opposition that’s pushed harder than ever - He is working. I am sure of that because He created life, He sustains it, and He died for each of us to have it abundantly.
On that note, we were also excited to launch our new youth ministry resource, Abundant Life: You Were Made for More, which equips youth leaders, partners with parents, and engages teens in conversations about relationships and sexuality from a Gospel-centered, culturally-relevant approach. Visit YouWereMadeForMore.Org for all the details. You’ll see that the teachings in the curriculum are all rooted in who God created us to be, which is why this was such an essential part of the ySummit, too. I firmly believe that once students understand who they are (and Whose they are) the game is going to change. I believe that igniting our youth to live faithfully in their relationships and standing for life are actually more connected than most of us realize. It begins by equipping them with their identities, because that’s exactly what Jesus did for us in the Bible. We start with identity – and as we move toward becoming more and more like Him, we realize that if we want to follow Him we have to value what He values. And that’s when we realize that each and every person has dignity and worth.
We are already SO excited for the ySummit 2020 and look forward to having even MORE youth leaders, parents, and students marching with us – standing for who they are and Whose they are – but more importantly, standing for the unborn children who were robbed of that chance.
Please follow Anglicans for Life on social media and get connected with us if you’d like to stay in the loop about the March for Life 2020. But for now, you can save the date: January 23-24, 2020!
This is the promise that I left with the students who attended the ySummit, and it’s the same promise that I will leave you with: In the midst of the culture of death and the fear that may surround you as you figure out who you are, why you are here, and what life is really all about – the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The war is already won! The war against these babies, the war for life, has already been won.
If you’ve been following abortion legislation being discussed and passed within the past few weeks, you can see that the battle is still raging. Satan will do whatever he can to stop you from believing that who you are is powerful. Your storyis powerful. Your identity is powerful. Your identity is powerful because of Jesus. If you agree with that, if you believe who God says you are, you can get in the fight, knowing who you are because of what Jesus has already done.
Sammie Franks is the Coordinator of Ministry Outreach with Anglicans for Life and author of the Abundant Life: You Were Made for More curriculum.
Anglican Christians are ministering in communities where people struggle with anguish and harm caused by abortion but aren’t sure that they can discuss it, according to speakers at an Anglican Church in North America gathering timed alongside the national March for Life.
“We are in desperate need of heroes,” Canon Alan Hawkins preached at a worship service before the annual march. “Our culture longs for heroes: a person who discovers their true identity and does amazing things. A person who speaks truth into them and tells them who they really are.”
The 2019 Summit for Life was held January 17-18 at The Falls Church Anglican in Falls Church, Virginia. Sponsored by Anglicans for Life (AFL) and the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, the event also featured a first-time “ySummit” which drew 85 registered young people on the night of the 17th.
“Deep inside of you, you are created imago dei, the image of God,” Hawkins stated. “You do not have to do great things to have value. We have value as God’s image bearers; we are speaking truth today to a culture.”
Hawkins’ words echoed summit keynote speaker Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation.
“We’re valuable based on our intrinsic worth, not our instrumental worth – what we can do for other people,” proposed Anderson. “We all have an equal claim to dignity.”
AFL President Deacon Georgette Forney explained the purpose of the annual summit is to influence culture, communities, and churches by bearing witness to the cause of life.
“We are here to help the next generation make better choices about life,” Forney noted in her opening remarks to summit participants. “You are here because God wants to move through you with people he will put in your path in 2019.”
“God made the human race of one blood,” shared Dr. Alveda King of Priests for Life. “We fight over race and politics, but we are one blood … we can learn to live together as brothers and sisters.”
Several speakers shared about their own experiences with abortion and how God used people in churches to bring healing to their lives.
“When the pastor speaks from the pulpit about [abortion] it frees people in the congregation to begin telling their stories,” shared Sheila Harper, Founder and President of SaveOne, a ministry to post-abortive people facing mental and emotional anguish.
“It is just as much about men as it is about women, and about the families that suffer around the issue of abortion,” Harper shared of her own abortion and those she has ministered among.
But, Harper explained, abortion recovery is often placed at the bottom of a church budget.
“This is the greatest resource that we have – people who have made this choice turning their life around,” Harper shared.
In a summit workshop, Harper referenced Proverbs chapter 18 verse 21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
“We’re speaking life or death; we can choose to use our tongue for evil or good. It’s our choice,” Harper said. Harper also quoted Revelation chapter 12 verse 11: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
“We overcome the enemy by the word of the Lamb and by our testimony,” Harper shared. “I have power – given to me by God – to speak out what he’s done for me. But we cannot speak out our testimony until we are healed, and that is where abortion recovery comes in.”
Harper noted that it is “very common” for her to encounter women who have undergone multiple abortions.
“But when people are healed, it doesn’t happen again,” Harper encouraged. “How many people in our churches are walking around wounded? How many people are out there that we could bring around us because their voices are being added to what we are doing?”
In his address, Anderson presented an overview of the state of sanctity of life laws and public opinion in the United States, expressing hope but also concern.
“I don’t know how long you can sustain a culture of life when you don’t have a theological grounding,” Anderson wondered aloud, commenting on the decline of religious participation in the U.S.
Anderson, who researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy at Heritage, noted that the abortion rate continues a steady drop, down 2 percent during the most recent reporting year.
“We’ve cut in half roughly the number of abortions that took place at the peak,” Anderson reported. He credited changing hearts and minds and legal work as contributors to the declining abortion rate. “Pro-life laws save babies, it’s important to remember that.”
Anderson also noted progress towards life in American public opinion, citing a Marist public opinion poll reporting that 75 percent of Americans would support limiting abortions to the first trimester.
Despite this change in public opinion, the U.S. remains one of only seven nations that permits late term abortions, alongside North Korea and China.
Similarly, only 7 percent of millennials support abortion without any exceptions and funded by tax dollars – the position of the current Democratic Party platform – according to a survey administered by The Polling Company, inc./WomanTrend on behalf of the Institute for Pro-Life Advancement.
“I sometimes fear that these public opinion polls inflate our support based on how they are asked,” the Heritage Foundation researcher qualified, noting that survey results can swing wildly.
Anderson lamented the failure of a GOP controlled Congress unable to defund Planned Parenthood, despite having a President in office who said he would sign such defunding into law. According to NBC News, at least 34 percent of funding for the nation’s largest abortion-providing organization comes from taxpayer dollars dispersed by the federal government, in addition to state funding.
“They shut down the government over a border wall, they weren’t willing to shut down the government over killing babies,” Anderson lamented about federal lawmakers.
Anderson was encouraged by recent appointments and confirmations of both U.S. district and circuit court judges, a development that he believes will result in incremental changes towards pro-life policies.
“As pro-lifers, we should care not just about killing life, but about how life is passed on,” Anderson stated. “There is a great danger to creating children in the laboratory, treating human subjects as though they are objects of human mastery – where we are the manufacturer and they are the manufactured.”
Anderson reported that, troublingly, the number of children in foster care or waiting to be adopted increased between 2008-2012. During the past five years, the number has increased by more than 50,000. Anderson partly credits this rise to the opioid epidemic, where families are less able to care for children.
“Ideally this number would be zero,” Anderson suggested. He noted that many faith-based adoption agencies have been “shut down by the government” for their insistence upon matching children with families that share their core beliefs.
“How do we help children find forever families when the government is shutting down the faith-based agencies that do some of the best work?” Anderson asked, noting that this comes as the U.S. experiences a 30-year low in fertility. Gradual increases in life expectancy, which had been steadily increasing, have reversed into decline for the past three years, mostly credited to “deaths of despair” such as opioid overdoses and suicides.
Anderson lamented that states “one by one each year legalize assisted suicide for the past four or five years.”
“People increasingly feel pressured to take their own lives,” Anderson observed, noting that it is cheaper to provide a fatal dose of barbiturates than it is to complete a round of chemotherapy. “There is an idea that we are no longer supposed to burden one another. That some lives are not worthy of legal protection.”
“Legalizing assisted suicide undermines…sound medicine, when doctors have the option of killing their patients. The more cost effective solution will be suicide, and people will feel pressured.”
“Human beings, embryos, in labs are treated as objects to be used, as products for us to use rather than gifts to be received.”
“123,000 children are waiting to be adopted in our foster care system…We should adopt these children. Yet the government is attacking Christian adoption agencies that do the best work.”
“Our general attitude now is that people who are too young, too old, to sick are less valuable than others.”
“When you hold your own child in your hands, the abortion nightmare becomes that much more horrific”
Summit participants also heard from the Rev. Rick Bergh, a bereavement educator and counsellor from British Columbia.
Bergh noted that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and 9th in his native Canada. Bergh listed causes of suicide: a lack of purpose, suffering, and belief that the person is inflicting undue burden upon others.
“Church, do you think we can answer those questions from God’s word?” Bergh asked. “What do we do with elderly when bodies begin to fail and minds begin to wander?”
Jeff Walton is Communications Manager and Anglican Program Director for the Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD). He is a member of the Anglican Church in North America and on the provincial Executive Committee. This article has been republished with the permission of IRD. You can view the original post here.
Anglicans For Life is excited to announce the release of a culturally-relevant, Gospel-centered youth ministry resource called Abundant Life: You Were Made for More!
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion-provider and it also teaches sex education in public schools, telling students how to have “safe, healthy sex,” and what their options are if they encounter an unwanted pregnancy or STD. They support students in making decisions that, developmentally, they aren’t equipped to make, creating potential damage that will last a lifetime. To counter Planned Parenthood and the sexual liberation narrative, Anglicans for Life is excited to announce the release of a culturally-relevant, Gospel-centered youth ministry resource called Abundant Life: You Were Made for More!
Development of Abundant Life: You Were Made for More began when Anglicans for Life and Sammie Franks, AFL’s Coordinator of Ministry Outreach, recognized the need to equip youth leaders and parents to address the issues of life, identity, and relationship education. This new resource covers topics like healthy relationships, sexuality, dating, decision-making, pornography addiction, identity, social media usage, loneliness, depression, and suicide, all resting on the ultimate redemption found only in Jesus Christ. Author Sammie Franks was inspired to create Abundant Life based on her experience in youth ministry, believing wholeheartedly that when teenagers know what they are worth and whose they are, they will be more inclined to live for Jesus – following His commandments and walking in His ways.
Sammie has written a comprehensive curriculum to guide them in that commitment. The web-based series has 4 modules made up of 12 teachings, complete with large-group presentations, marketing graphics, supplemental resources, and small group questions.
As the author of Abundant Life, Sammie Franks notes, “Statistically, the worst thing our culture does for young people is to water down sex education. We misunderstand teenagers when we assume that they are just immature, physically and emotionally, in how they think about relationships. Beneath the physiological realities resides a deep, human desire for connection. We were made for relationships. But we have to recognize that ultimate intimacy comes in our relationship with God. When we fail to help young people navigate how sex and relationships fit into the broader category of life, we are failing the God who created relationships to be deep, bountiful gifts for us. Sadly, ‘Generation Z’ already believes that Christianity is a religion that has too many rules, many about sex. In fact, they’ve disconnected sex and relationships so much so that the majority aren’t terribly interested in sex itself – porn is safer to them.”
The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey, Bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, commends this initiative to youth leaders and parents, saying: “Abundant Life: You Were Made for More has a powerful message for the youth in our churches. The idea that we must discover who God created us to be and, more importantly, believe and trust in Him as our foundation before we dive into relationships with others is revolutionary in today’s culture. We live in a society that has foolishly redefined ‘love’ to be selfish, temporary, and contingent on feelings. That isn’t love. When we get back to who God is, and who we are because of Him, that definition of love can be transformed.”
Taylor, a 21 year-old, who has participated in the Abundant Life teaching said, “Not only did this open my eyes to the real definition of purity that the Lord calls us to, but for the first time I understood the very real, tangible impact of past relationships on my future marriage. After hearing the message in Abundant Life, it confirmed the love that the Lord has for me, and how I need Him if I’m ever going to have a relationship with someone else.”
Founded 40 years ago, Anglicans for Life is the only Anglican ministry dedicated to educating and equipping the Church to advocate for life - from conception until natural death. To find out more about Abundant Life: You Were Made for More, call 412-749-0455 or visit the web site www.YouWereMadeforMore.org.
A Statement from Archbishop Foley Beach on New York’s Recent Legislation
Last week, politicians in the State of New York passed legislation enabling the killing of unborn babies throughout all nine months of pregnancy, right up until the moment before birth. A full-term baby can now be killed. This legislation is a disastrous development for all of us. One of the foundational responsibilities of the State is to provide physical security to the vulnerable, and none are more vulnerable than babies. I am profoundly saddened by the blatant disregard for the value of life exhibited by the politicians who have done this and by the evident celebration exhibited in the New York City skyline. They have not only abdicated their responsibility to protect the vulnerable but have facilitated their destruction and murder. Pray for them, that God by His goodness will lead them to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Beyond the damage this “Reproductive Health Act” will have on women, men, and families, the killing of unborn babies undermines the State itself. Abortion not only ends the life of a human being, it denies the world all that she or he would have contributed to society. Future leaders, artists, teachers, doctors, and engineers are being denied the opportunity to fulfill their God-created purpose.
Abortion is the greatest moral issue of our time. The legislation and attitudes that threaten life are not going away anytime soon. Neither are we. Our Christian commitment to protect life, from conception to natural death, is literally written into the Anglican Church in North America’s Constitution and identity as a Church. This is something that all practicing Christians should be passionate about, and it was encouraging to see the next generation of youth participating in the Life Summit and March for Life a couple of weeks ago in Washington, D.C.
We are proud to partner with Anglicans for Life and support them in their mission to help equip every Anglican Church with the resources to ensure women have real options and the on-going support they need to choose life for themselves and their children. The effects of this awful law can be minimized as we raise the conscience of the culture and as churches work together with local pregnancy resource centers to inform, educate, and make available resources to women. These centers offer far more life-affirming help and support than what the abortion clinics and those who profit from the killing of the innocent ever could.
I encourage you to live out the Gospel and facilitate a culture of life in your community. There are so many ways any and every person can help: from having casual conversations with friends to supporting pregnancy resource centers; from providing free childcare for a couple who has adopted a child to political action. Most importantly, be willing to share what Jesus Christ has done in your own life. Please join me in prayer that our communities and our countries will be transformed by the love of Jesus Christ, will repent of these evils, and will protect the next generation.
You can learn more about how Anglicans for Life can help you and your church at www.AnglicansForLife.org
As was reported last week, the Bishops of the Church of Nigeria have elected four bishops for the Anglican Diocese of the Trinity to minister in North America.
These elections did not follow the Protocol between the Anglican Church in North America and the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), and were not made in consultation with the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America. The bishops-elect still have to go through the Church of Nigeria’s credentialing process. It is not intended that they will be a part of the Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops.
Conversations between Archbishop Beach and Archbishop Okoh are ongoing as they seek a way forward that honors Christ and his Church, and builds up the Gafcon movement.
Bishop Dobbs and Bishop Orji commented on the situation, “This does not directly affect the mission and ministry of the other CANA dioceses. While we are disappointed by the way this election process has unfolded, this is not a situation that affects our local parishes and their commitment to making disciples and followers of Jesus.”
The College of Bishops share about their recent meeting in Melbourne, Florida held January 7-11, 2019. The College meets a minimum of two times each year (January and June).
Collect for The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ ~ O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Our meeting took place in the context of worship, fellowship, and prayer during the first week of Epiphany. Archbishop Beach began our time together during the opening Eucharist teaching about the grace of God evidenced in the miraculous star that led the Magi to Jesus. The contrast between the Magi and the shepherds couldn’t have been more stark, yet God calls all to his service.
Our primary work this week has been the approval of liturgies for the 2019 Prayer Book. That was followed up with conversations about womens’ ministry, discerning the admittance of two new members to the College, and receiving reports from around the Church, including updates on our ecumenical dialogues. All the discussions were in the context of fulfilling our Gospel mandate to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
The Book of Common Prayer 2019
After six years of the use of draft liturgies, submission of extensive comments from across the Church, and significant revisions and refinements, we have approved the Book of Common Prayer (2019)! The last wave of liturgies in their final form was approved this week for our new Prayer Book, which will be available at Provincial Assembly this June in Plano, Texas. One of the documents approved was the Preface, which includes this helpful introduction to worship in the prayer book tradition:
Rites that were finalized at this meeting include:
* The Ordinal
* Consecration and Dedication of a Place of Worship
* Institution of a Rector
* Occasional Prayers
* The Psalter
* Calendar of the Christian Year
* Sunday, Holy Day, and Commemoration Lectionary
* Propers for Various Occasions
* Calendar of Holy Days and Commemorations
* Daily Office Lectionary
The BCP texts as now finally approved will be put online at AnglicanChurch.net by mid-February under a new Book of Common Prayer tab.
At the conclusion of the liturgical approval process, we stood in unison to praise God and to thank Archbishop Duncan and the Liturgy Task Force for their sacrificial work on this historic resource.
Ongoing Conversation on Holy Orders
The Bishops’ Working Group on Holy Orders, co-chaired by Bishop Clark Lowenfield and Bishop Jim Hobby, facilitated the next step of our conversations regarding holy orders and the ministry of men and women. When we met previously in Victoria, Canada (September 2017) to discuss this topic we acknowledged that “we have not effectively discipled and equipped all Christians, male and especially female, lay and ordained, to fulfill their callings and ministries in the work of God’s kingdom. We repent of this and commit to work earnestly toward a far greater release of the whole Church to her God-given mission.” In light of this reality, we thought a good place to start was to listen. There were powerful presentations by a number of women about their experience and observations about ministry from their perspective. The presentations were very well received and are linked here.
Two New Bishops Admitted into the College
On Thursday, January 10, 2019, we met prayerfully to consider the inclusion of two new bishops in the College. We give thanks for the people of Prince of Peace Anglican Church in Viera, Florida, who graciously hosted us. We consented to the election of the Rev. Andrew Williams as Bishop of the Anglican Diocese in New England and admitted Bishop Todd Atkinson of Via Apostolica and the Anglican Network in Canada.
In addition to carrying on the continuity of Diocesan ministry, we are excited that we continue to be a “gathering group” that is uniting those of Anglican faith and practice. We are thankful for the extraordinary work that Via Apostolica is doing in reaching young leaders. You can learn more about these elections here and here.
We received reports from around the Church, including updates on our ecumenical dialogues, the annual report from the Special Jurisdiction for the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy, and the ministries and growth of Gafcon and our partners worldwide.
Archbishop Beach shared with the College that, after a time of personal prayer and discernment, he has decided to allow himself to be considered for a second term in office. Prior to Assembly 2019, the College will meet in Plano, Texas, June 13-16, 2019 to discern the Lord’s will for the election of the Archbishop. Please keep Archbishop Beach and the College of Bishops in your prayers as they enter this process.
Anglican Unity Task Force
We recognized that the reality of overlapping dioceses, rooted in our different histories, has no immediate resolution, but must not prevent us from moving forward in our mission. Therefore we reviewed a draft of a protocol created by the task force. It was created to help us to strengthen the working relationships among bishops and dioceses and to communicate and collaborate more effectively, particularly in church planting.
Our Commitment to Mission
All of our prayers and discussions have taken place with our eyes on the Gospel mission to which we have been called. Even with the weight of administrative work that has to be done, we seek to keep our mission priorities uppermost in our minds. Just as the Star of Bethlehem led the Magi to Jesus, God continues to draw the unbelieving to himself through means and methods that we would not have imagined. We are excited to be numbered among those being used by the Lord for his purposes. We continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to empower our Gospel witness and enliven our discipleship, that we might reach every people and language and nation in North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
Three presentations made to the College of Bishops on ways the church can better equip women for ministry.
In Victoria, Canada on September 5-7, 2017, the College of Bishops met to discuss, formally for the first time, holy orders in general, and the role of women in particular. At that meeting they said, “We have not effectively discipled and equipped all Christians, male and especially female, lay and ordained, to fulfill their callings and ministries in the work of God’s kingdom. We repent of this and commit to work earnestly toward a far greater release of the whole Church to her God-given mission.”
As part of that repentance and commitment, a Bishops’ Working Group on Holy Orders was formed to help carry these conversations forward. This group is co-chaired by Bishop Clark Lowenfield and Bishop Jim Hobby. At the College of Bishops’ meeting this week (January 7-11, 2019), the working group helped the College take the next step in this important conversation.
Ministry is a responsibility and calling of all Christians, not only the ordained. Three women were invited to come and speak about how the church can better support the ministry of women. The presentations below, introduced by Bishop Lowenfield, come from the Rev. Travis Boline, Mrs. Katherine Ruch, and the Rev. Deacon Lisa Schwandt. They were an invaluable part of the week, offering thoughtful, encouraging, and challenging insights.
During the College of Bishops meeting this week, the Rt. Rev. Todd Atkinson and his churches were welcomed into the Anglican Church in North America.
Atkinson oversees a church planting initiative in Canada called Via Apostolica and has been in partnership with the Anglican Network in Canada since their synod in 2014.
Born in Canada, Atkinson came to faith in Christ as a teen. Upon reaching majority age, he moved to the United Kingdom to train with a British evangelist and ended up at Oxford University where he studied theology and philosophy. In 2003, Atkinson made a permanent move back to Canada and in 2012 he was consecrated a bishop. He and his wife, Cheri, currently live in Lethbridge, Alberta. They have three children.
“This is a big day so I’m a bit emotional. This is a promised land that I’m very privileged to have entered into,” Atkinson explained. “I say this to all the people in the ACNA: You’ve got something really good. The way God is reconstituting Anglicanism and making it an absolute force for missions, there’s just so many good things here! There’s a lot of health, a lot of really good things!”
The Rt. Rev. Charlie Masters, Diocesan Bishop of ANiC, shared his excitement: “Via Apostolica has an intense love of the Lord, a high view of the work of the Holy Spirit, and a love of the Anglican Way. I’m delighted that I was able to commend Bishop Todd to the College of Bishops today. I was honored by that, kind of like Barnabas bringing Paul to the Apostles. It was a serious time of discernment on behalf of the College of Bishops. They never lightly do anything. There was a great sense of joy. It was a great morning.”
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, said, “I am thankful for Bishop Atkinson’s heart for mentoring and discipleship. As a College we have come to know him over the last few years and are now blessed to welcome him home into the Anglican Church in North America.”
On January 10, 2019, after prayerful consideration and deliberation, the Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops consented to the election of the Rev. Andrew Williams as the next bishop for the Anglican Diocese of New England.
Williams was elected by the diocesan synod on November 17, 2018.
Williams is set to be consecrated on March 16, 2019 as the successor to the Rt. Rev. William Murdoch who has served as the diocesan bishop since its founding in 2008. Murdoch will retire in late spring after ensuring the smooth transition of leadership to Williams.
Williams is originally from the United Kingdom where he was a legal malpractice defense attorney before discerning a call to ministry and attending Trinity College, Bristol. He was ordained in 2000 in the Diocese of Exeter, served in a congregation in Southwest England, then spent a 6-year period as Associate Vicar of St. Andrew’s, Chorleywood just outside of London. In 2009, Williams moved to the United States to become Senior Pastor of Trinity Church, Greenwich, Connecticut. Williams, his wife, Elena, and their three daughters will be moving to the Boston area to be in proximity to the diocesan Cathedral.
“I feel enormously privileged and blessed to be called into the miracle that is the Anglican Church in North America. I have witnessed this week the most extraordinary, exemplary Christian leaders who are making, and are poised to make, historic Kingdom impact for this century and beyond. I am tremendously humbled and very excited to serve in every way I can,” Williams said.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, expressed the delight of the College: “It’s a privilege to announce the consent of Andrew Williams to be the next bishop of New England. He is a good and godly man who we believe will continue the great leadership work of Bishop Murdoch in reaching New England with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.”
Murdoch commented, “Our discernment process and election, and now this confirmation by the College of Bishops have all been joyful and filled with an incredibly deep sense of spiritual connection as the Anglican Diocese of New England and Anglican Church in North America. We have a great sense of joy and anticipation of new beginnings with Andrew as the second bishop of the Diocese of New England.”
Read the press release of Bishop-Elect Williams’s election here.
To the Faithful of the Gafcon movement and friends from Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council.
‘His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
My dear people of God,
Receive New Year Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
At our great assembly in Jerusalem last year, we gathered around the theme of ‘Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations’ so it is very appropriate that we begin a new year with the celebration of the Epiphany, the revealing of Jesus as God’s Son to the nations.
In the gospel God’s amazing grace continues to shine forth and brings about a new humanity from the four corners of the earth as we join the Magi and bow before the Son of God in joyful worship. According to St Paul, the church’s wonderful unity in Christ reveals the ‘manifold wisdom’ of God, not only on earth, but also in the heavenly realms. So as we play our part by drawing together faithful Anglicans from around the globe, from all their different cultures, we not only witness to the world, but we are also the theatre in which the wisdom of God is demonstrated to angelic powers.
This was the profound spiritual context of our great assembly in Jerusalem last year and will be equally true as those who were unable to join us in Jerusalem due to travel restrictions gather in Dubai at the end of February.
Such a wonderful privilege and responsibility should surely drive us to our knees in reverent dependence upon the Spirit of God. It should also make us passionate upholders of biblical truth, because it is through the Scriptures that God’s wisdom is taught to the Church.
The choice before us as a global communion is between this revealed wisdom of God and the wisdom claimed by secular ideologies. For a while the reality of this fork in the road can be obscured by an insistence on dialogue in its various guises such as ‘indaba’, ‘good disagreement’ and ‘walking together’, but in the absence of godly discipline, false teaching will continue to spread.
In the Church of England, just before Christmas, this process reached the point where its bishops took the unprecedented step of giving official guidance for what they described as ‘services to help transgender people mark their transition’ and it will be incorporated into ‘Common Worship’ (a range of services authorised by General Synod).
The guidance states that ‘the House of Bishops commends the rite of Affirmation of Baptismal Faith as the central feature of any service to recognize liturgically a person’s gender transition’. A form of service which is intended to mark a renewed commitment to Christ and the new life we receive through him is instead used to celebrate an identity which contradicts our God-given identity as male and female (as affirmed by Jesus himself in Matthew 19:4) and is still controversial even in secular society.
Although Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998 did not directly address gender transition, by taking this step, the Church of England is rejecting biblical authority in a similar way to TEC and other revisionist Provinces which have permitted same sex marriage.
So, much as we thank God for the rich history represented by the See of Canterbury, we cannot avoid the sad truth that insistence on full communion with Canterbury as an essential mark of belonging to the Anglican Communion now risks jeopardising the apostolic faith itself. Let us pray that there will be repentance and that God will give courage and boldness to those who remain faithful.
Finally, I commend to your prayers this month our new General Secretary, Archbishop Ben Kwashi. He is a great evangelist, teacher and a leader of outstanding courage and we pray that the wonder and glory of the gospel of Christ which has so captured his heart will capture all our hearts also in the year ahead.
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council
To view the original post, click here.
Archbishop Beach shares the Christmas story from Matthew’s Gospel and the significance of knowing Jesus as Emmanuel.
Learn how one church has invited Food Trucks to help them reach their community with the Gospel in tangible ways.
I was sitting alone in the fellowship hall when I heard them around the corner. A father and two children were entering the church doors to use the restrooms.
“Okay, kids, here we go,” the father said, his voice full of drama and trepidation. “Something we never thought we’d ever do…. we’re going into a church.”
As they tip-toed to the bathrooms I could hear other families playing and laughing outside. Hundreds of them had come that evening from the neighbourhood and were strewn all over the church lawn and parking lot. Kids were playing street hockey and basketball. Parents were eating in lawn chairs and on tailgates. It was Thursday night and for many, even people who swore to never set foot in a church, that meant Breaking Bread food trucks at St. George’s Anglican Church in Burlington, Ontario.
Where Did the Idea Begin?
“The idea for Breaking Bread came from meeting and getting to know the residents in the neighbourhood where our new building is located,” Stephanie Finn, the lead organizer of the project at St. George’s, told me. “Our area is saturated with newcomers, primarily commuters, who have relocated from urban areas to raise families. So, isolation is a major issue.”
“We are in an affluent area where people live harried, hurried lives, never really spending time with each other,” said Rev. Canon Ray David Glenn, rector of St. George’s, which is why the church decided to organize and host food truck nights with gourmet-style food for their community.
“For us, surrounded by busy parents with young children and house values of over $1 million, something like this just made sense,” Stephanie said.
So, how did it come together?
“I contacted food trucks first to see if they’d be interested in joining us,” Stephanie explained. “We had just run a very successful outreach event and had some results to show them. I had experience running events and a marketing plan so they knew it wouldn’t be a waste of their time.” With some of the trucks onboard, they were able to get a small city grant and attract some local organizations to help with the sports and crafts.
Hosting the trucks doesn’t make or cost St. George’s money. Apart from scheduling the two or three weekly trucks, setting up garbage cans and a few hockey and basketball nets, the event is relatively low-maintenance for them, requiring only a few volunteers each week and often attracting 400-500 people.
What’s the Purpose?
“We have a lot of regulars now. People meet their own neighbours at the craft table. And, a few of them have even told us they consider St. George’s their church home, they just don’t come on Sundays, yet,” she said.
“We have information out on the tables, but we didn’t want this to feel like a sales pitch because that was something that alienated us as seekers and new Christians,” Stephanie and her husband Rev. Len Finn told me. “We wanted to show our community how the generosity of the Gospel changes lives. We welcome total strangers onto our property, invite them to share a meal and break bread with us, and entertain their kids while they sit back and relax.”
“The gospel cuts against both isolation and earning with the good news of Jesus Christ who has freely given to us, though we didn’t earn it; inviting us into his kingdom, to his table, and into friendship with him,” Canon Ray David said. “Breaking Bread is our community rubbing up against the goodness of the gospel in tangible ways.”
What Have You Learned?
“Food truck festivals may be trendy these days, but that wasn’t why we did it,” Rev. Len continued. “You have to get to know your community and understand their specific hurts and needs. In another context, food trucks might not be best. The key really is coming to know and love the people of your community and then to pray about how your church has been gifted by God to be a blessing to them.”
“I would recommend churches begin with these five steps,” Canon Ray David said.
1. Become convinced of the stakes of the gospel - hell to shun and heaven to gain
2. Become convinced of the power of the gospel - the power of God for salvation
3. Become clear on the message of gospel
4. Become clear on the implications of the gospel
5. Build relationships, paying close attention to the needs of your neighbourhood and how they can be addressed from the gospel
These may lead to taking on something similar, or something completely different. But they will lead to building goodwill in your neighbourhood from the good news of God’s one-way love for us in Jesus.”
More information: http://www.stgeorgesonline.com/breakingbread
Scott Hunt is the Communications Director for the Anglican Network in Canada, a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America. He’s a member of St. George’s Burlington and lives in Fergus, Ontario with his wife, Richelle.
When I look at our Province and see that we are only ten years old I am filled with joy and thanksgiving. I could easily raise an Ebenezer! Couldn’t you??
A letter from Archbishop Foley Beach.
Dear Faithful, Anglican Friends,
This is a great Biblical word: Ebenezer. It is an old word, but to me it is always fresh and exciting. And it seems like the word might just be the perfect word to speak together as an entire province.
It comes from 1 Samuel 7:12. And it is deeply powerful word.
Do you know the story surrounding it? Samuel is in the last years of his life. (That is NOT why I like this verse.) He has led the people of God from one conflict to another and, in one instance, to gather the people together, he erects a stone monument and he gives it a name: Ebenezer. It is an act of worship. He has looked back over the years to see the hand and the power of God that has both guided and protected them.
The late Eugene Peterson phrased it this way in The Message: “Samuel took a single rock and set it… He named it “Ebenezer” (Rock of Help), saying, “This marks the place where God helped us.” When I look at our Province and see that we are only ten years old I am filled with joy and thanksgiving. I could easily raise an Ebenezer! Couldn’t you??
It is for this reason that I am writing you. You have been a part of the Ebenezer story of this province. By your prayers, support, and giving you have enabled the essential, core ministries of the Province to supply the needs
for our first ten years. Thank you!! Thanks to your prayers and support, the growth has been incredible. Think of where the Lord has brought us over this past decade. It is a high honor to share these facts with you.
This is an incredible achievement. We started in faith, and almost ten short years later, we see enormous growth in so many of our churches. Some are very small and struggling. Many are large and growing. But all of them are part of this extraordinary movement of God.
We believe in church planting! I don’t know of any movement that has seen such an explosion of church planting. We have learned so much over the past ten years…and we are developing this knowledge into practical training for a new generation of churches, ones that we are praying to see in our second decade.
I find this truth to be more than amazing. We had an initial base of congregations that established the ACNA ten years ago. Since then we have had huge church planting efforts to increase our capacity. It is working! The Always Forward Movement is leading with support, training, and encouragement for local congregations and dioceses. And now we have a steady ‘birth rate’ year by year. Again, these are all great signs for our new Province.
This is another remarkable reality. The average Sunday attendance in all ACNA churches in every diocese is strong. And getting stronger! Many of these beloved churches are meeting in rented facilities. Their members willingly gave up the comforts of an established congregation to launch a new church. As I travel the country and speak with our bishops and clergy, I find that our churches and leaders are finding ways of making it all work to the Glory of God. In fact, many churches have been raising capital campaign funds for their own building expansions.
Thanks to friends like you, we are a strong and growing today not only because of the work and courage of God’s people, but because of the amazing faithfulness of our God. We have seen Him move mountains, stir hearts, lift spirits, and go before us. You have been a part of the Ebenezer story of this province. By your prayers, support, and giving you have enabled the essential, core ministries of the Province to supply the needs for the first ten years. Thank you! But as we approach the end of 2018, I need your help to end this year on strong financial footing and to have the resources needed to launch critical efforts in 2019. By December 31, 2018, we need to receive $200,000.
Why is this so important? In the next 12 months, I want to initiate three provincial-wide efforts that will make a positive difference in the years to come:
1. Developing Young Anglican Leaders
This is a critical need for our congregations. Good efforts have been underway to find, call, train and equip young leaders for the work of our churches. But this is only the beginning. Our effort needs to include finding and calling leaders from a more diverse population. Canada, for instance, is leading in this endeavor in regards to our work in the Asian community. Our efforts with our dear Hispanic brothers and sisters are succeeding well through the efforts of the ministry of Caminemos Juntos. Even so, we have much more work to do. I want our province to be able to facilitate this work.
2. Church Planting at the Next Level
This has been one of the main characteristics of our Province, but I have to tell you that it is hard work. Really hard. When I started our church in Georgia, it seemed that many in the modern culture were open to the Christian faith. But today the soil has hardened; it has become rocky. Always Forward, our church planting network, could bring help to these planters in the form of training, connections, encouragement, and planning. Imagine what a great boost it would be if we could gather all the planters and their spouses for times of worship, training, marriage support, and refreshment. A strong province can facilitate this work.
3. Resourcing Our Leaders and Churches
Do you realize that we are a national church with an international reach? Our staff is working overtime in several roles to make sure the word gets out. They make sure our leaders have relevant information, as well as produce and disseminate the essential tools, Anglican-based curricula, and information to strengthen our leaders, congregations and dioceses. The more we grow, the more important it is to have a fully staffed and fully updated website.
Can you help?
We stand at the summit of a ten-year journey that is taking us forward. Our bishops are united. Our clergy are engaged. Our members are serving. And our Province is a respected member of a global, Anglican community.
But I need your help. And I want to ask for this boldly and confidently. I know that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. Here is what I am asking:
First, by God’s Grace, please fulfill your pledge and increase your commitment to your local congregation. The church you attend and the leader that God has called to your church need your critical financial support.
Second, please pray about helping the ACNA meet our important financial year-end need. And then, please, give!
Great things are in store for next year and I need friends like you standing with us. Please consider what you could give to help us meet this $200,000 need.
You are welcome to call the Provincial Office at any time to speak to one of our ministry leaders. If you would, click here to support our mission.
Archbishop Foley Beach
P.S. I would love to hear how the Lord has used the ACNA to touch you. Send us your Ebenezer story and let’s celebrate all that the Lord is doing!!
A story from the mission field of the Lord’s grace, mercy, and love to restore and raise up those He calls.
In October 2009, I embarked on a journey to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to use my skills as a therapist to work with survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. I went expecting to work with adolescent female survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation, but when I arrived in Cambodia, God had a surprise for me. A 6-year-old boy named Pirum had been brought to the shelter a couple of months before. He was the nephew of one of the survivors, and she had rescued him from a very unsafe situation. We were happy he was safe, but it wasn’t ideal. We were in no way set up to manage a 6-year-old boy. The shelter setting was not the healthiest for him, but there were no other options.
He was tiny and malnourished, looking years younger than he was. He had significant dental decay, yet he had a smile that could light up a room! He quickly weaseled his way into my heart, but I was scared to love him because I didn’t know how long I would be in his life. Yet, through a whole series of complex circumstances, Pirum and I ended up living together in the organization’s team house where I eventually became his primary caretaker. During this time, I constantly asked God what he was doing, and each time He told me to trust Him and love on this child. So, I did.
In 2011, I traveled to New Zealand to speak at a mission conference where I met a youth pastor named Guy. We quickly hit it off and fell in love. We were married in January of 2013 and he moved to Cambodia to join me in life and ministry.
We were unsure about what the future held, but we knew we would do whatever it took to continue caring for Pirum for as long as God allowed. We asked God to guide our steps. We agreed that we would try not to worry about the future, but instead just walk through each door that was opened before us. Then, one day, we met a friend who told us that she could help us get legal custody. And she did! A year later, we were given the name of an adoption lawyer who had successfully processed a number of foreign adoption cases in Cambodia.
We met with the lawyer and signed a contract that day. We got in the car and cried. We cried because we never thought it was possible, and we cried because for the first time in this journey we felt hope, but that hope was terrifying. If you don’t hope, you can’t be disappointed. Yet it was clear to us both that God was calling us to hope, so we did.
In God’s faithfulness, on November 7, 2016, Pirum’s adoption was finalized. We gave him the middle name, Isaac, in honor of God’s promises and his perfect timing. Finally, after 7 years of not being able to guarantee safety for Pirum or make any long-term plans for our family, he was ours - forever.
In December 2017, we moved Pirum and his two little sisters to Wellington, New Zealand to take on a new missionary post as youth mission mobilizers for New Zealand Church Missionary Society. Pirum decided he wanted to be called Isaac in New Zealand as a way of marking this new chapter of life.
This new chapter has allowed us to see quite quickly who God has created Isaac to be. During his confirmation a couple of weeks ago, our bishop saw a vision of Isaac inviting all his friends to the banquet table. When I heard that, my eyes filled with tears because what the bishop didn’t know was that within a couple of weeks of being here, Isaac invited a friend over to have dinner and then to join him at youth group. The next week he invited another. A few weeks ago, we had seven extra kids at our table. We are going to have to bring in more chairs soon because Isaac is quite literally inviting all his friends to the banquet table to meet Jesus!
Perhaps the most important thing for us on this journey has been the community of faith around us. We have laughed, cried, and prayed with some incredible fellow journeyers for the Lord. The stories of what God is doing around the world are what keep us going and what keep the Church thriving. One great place to seek out stories of faith is at the New Wineskins for Global Mission conference. The next New Wineskins conference is September 26-29, 2019 at Ridgecrest, North Carolina. There will be missionaries like us there to share stories of faith from their journeys that can encourage you on yours. Keep running the race of perseverance and don’t run it alone, friends.
The Bentons are SAMS missionaries serving in Wellington, New Zealand. If you would like to learn more about their life and ministry in New Zealand you can follow them on Facebook at “The Bentons in New Zealand” or find them on the SAMS website: http://www.sams-usa.org.
The third annual Matthew 25 Gathering, Justice & Mercy: Contending for Shalom, will be held February 19-21, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. Register soon! Scholarships and housing available for those in need.
Anglicans in North America care about Justice and Mercy. At Archbishop Beach’s initiative, we invite all practitioners, organizational leaders, clergy, and lay leaders to the 3rd Annual Matthew 25 Gathering, a formative time together for those who are, or hope to begin, contending for shalom among vulnerable, marginalized, and under-resourced communities.
The three goals of the Matthew 25 Gathering are: First, to be a learning community; to grow, clarify, and be thoughtfully challenged. Second, to offer encouragement and networking, providing opportunities for strategic, supportive, and generative relationships. Third, to enjoy refreshment, healing, and celebration to proactively fight burn out and discouragement in these intense contexts of ministry and missional outreach.
The Gathering fosters contemplative activism standing in the stream of the global and historic Anglican tradition, which offers a robust theological, prayerful, and missional background from which to draw. While standing on the shoulders of others, there is a lot to learn and discern in seeking to “understand the times and know what to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).
The focus of each annual gathering is contending for shalom through embodied engagement in works of justice and mercy. Guest speakers are invited along with Anglican voices, making the most of meeting in the Washington, D.C. area.
Dr. David Leong, from Seattle Pacific University, will speak about moving from ‘patterns of exclusion’ to ‘communities of belonging’ and discuss how race and urban geography both make our work of justice and mercy necessary and more difficult. Dr. Leong helps his audience understand the causes of structural sin and offers inspiration to keep working to change those structures while seeking to be agents of reconciliation.
Dr. Vincent Bacote, from Wheaton College, will unpack how to engage the current cultural landscape, how to live out the calling to contend for shalom when civil discourse seems to be lost. Dr. Bacote will encourage discussion of some hopeful tools and vision that help us practically to live both in the kingdom of God and the current North American cultures.
Other Anglicans in North America will share how they are engaged in ministries of justice and mercy as well as lead workshops on the following topics: Anglican Social Teaching; Fundraising and Grants; Holistic Community Development; Homelessness; Peacemaking; Immigration Legal Aid; Soul Care Prayer Practices; Multi-ethnic Church Planting; Caring for the Physically Vulnerable; Creation Care and Agricultural Ministries; Human Trafficking; Refugees; Systemic Injustice and Advocacy as Faithful Response; Elder Care; Addiction and Substance Abuse.
Taking advantage of the Washington, D.C. resources, participants can sign up for a soul care retreat prior to the Gathering and visits afterward to the African American Museum and Museum of the Bible.
This February, the Matthew 25 Gathering promises to be a lively, joyful, thought-provoking, and unifying event. We welcome all those who desire to continue the conversation.
For more information and to register, visit the Gathering website.
When you register…
1. Households and families from Restoration Anglican Church are opening their homes so that you have free places to stay and eat breakfast. No charge for lodging if you stay in one of our homes.
2. We have scholarships for airfare (up to $250 per person) and scholarships for registration fees ($25 off the $100 fee). We have made it VERY affordable through the generosity of churches and the Matthew 25 Initiative. You could participate in the Gathering for a total cost of $75.
Learn more here:
To the Faithful of the Gafcon movement and friends from Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council.
“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:6,7
My dear people of God,
Gafcon began as a movement of courage. Bishops, clergy, and lay leaders around the world were prepared to be unpopular and break with the abuse of tradition to gather in Jerusalem for our first Global Anglican Future Conference in 2008. It was unfairly criticised as schismatic and one senior bishop of the Church of England even compared the leaders to the false teachers described as ‘super-apostles’ by St Paul (2 Corinthians 11:5).
A decade later, we thank Almighty God that the Gafcon movement continues to expand and to gather those who are committed to proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations. But we still need the same courage as in those pioneering days because the temptation to compromise with false teaching has not gone away.
On the contrary, it has become greater as the number of Provinces rejecting the authority of Scripture grows, and I want to congratulate Archbishop Mbanda who has confirmed that Rwanda will be joining Nigeria and Uganda in declining to attend the 2020 Lambeth Conference unless the Archbishop of Canterbury includes all faithful bishops of the Communion, and declines to invite those who continue to accept the jurisdiction of Provinces which have stepped outside the boundaries of apostolic faith.
This season of Advent is a time to renew our courage as we look up and look forward. For many of us our culture encourages a focus on the present and we want immediate rewards. The gospel is different. It points us to a home that we do not yet see and a glory that is far beyond anything we will experience in this life. St Paul can say ‘we are always of good courage’ because he knew what it meant to ‘walk by faith and not by sight.’ His life was invested in the world to come, in things eternal, not in the temporary rewards of the present. May we take this lesson to heart and know that whatever losses we may risk in this life, nothing can take away the glory to come.
So we salute the courage of all those Anglicans around the world who sacrifice to proclaim Christ faithfully. Some live in contexts where Christians face attempts to very severely restrict their witness and our Gafcon 2019 Conference in Dubai next February is designed to encourage such brothers and sisters. Others continue to face persecution from within the Church itself, most notoriously in North America, and I commend especially to your prayers the Bishop of Albany, the Rt Revd Bill Love, who was present with us in Jerusalem for Gafcon 2018.
With effect from Advent, TEC (the Episcopal Church of the United States) has mandated that all its dioceses must permit same sex marriage rites, but Bishop Love has issued a pastoral letter in which he makes it clear that this will not be permitted in the Diocese of Albany because the Episcopal Church “is attempting to order me as a Bishop in God’s holy Church, to compromise ‘the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3) and to turn my back on the vows I have made to God and His People.”
It remains to be seen how Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will proceed, but TEC is relentlessly pursuing the faithful Dioceses of South Carolina and Fort Worth through the courts, as it has done with many others in the past.
Finally, let us ask Almighty God to continue his blessing upon us in this time of leadership transition.
Archbishop Peter Jensen will be standing down at the end of this month as our General Secretary. He is one of our founding fathers and truly a man of courage who has not flinched from the heavy burden of this global ministry. The affection and esteem in which he is held were obvious to all at the close of our Jerusalem conference and his passion for the gospel of God will continue to be a great inspiration.
As we prepare to welcome his successor, Archbishop Ben Kwashi, we thank God for the appointment of a leader who has shown outstanding faith and courage throughout his long ministry. With his wide international experience and his determination to preach the gospel, we can be sure that this movement has a great champion for its commitment to ‘Proclaiming Christ faithfully to the Nations’.
In closing, I wish to use this medium on behalf of the Gafcon family to convey to our beloved brothers, Canon Charles Raven and Archbishop Miguel Uchoa who were bereaved of their beloved wives, our heart-felt condolences.
May the strength of God uphold them and may the Souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in the bosom of our LORD and Saviour.
Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand (James 5:8).
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria
Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council
Education is an area through which the Church can have a great impact both on individuals and society as a whole. Here are stories of four churches that are working to bring hope through education to students of all ages.
“Education is very important because there is no development for an illiterate person,” an elder in the Anglican church, The Democratic Republic of Congo.
Education is a key to individual and corporate development. Because of this, it is crucial to personal development and societal development. It is an area through which the Church can have a great impact both on individuals and society as a whole. These are stories of four churches that are working to bring hope through education to students of all ages. They are based on actual people and the things God is doing through them.
“I like the way in which my son is motivated, I like that he is hearing about God. Seeing the school developing gives me hope.” – María Angelica Gomez Ocampos
Many children in poor urban areas do not receive a decent education. Redeemer Anglican Church – located in a poorer section of Asunción – operates an academically excellent preschool. Unfortunately, this tiny school could enroll only 16 children.
Blanca Susana Bueno saw the children leaving the church every day, so she asked why the kids were there.
“They told me about the preschool, so I requested a space for my little girl. Silvana was very shy, but when she began attending school she started to be more confident and sharing with other children. What she most enjoyed were the Bible stories. What I most appreciate was the good treatment that Gloria [de Maldonado, the school’s founder] gave to the children and the teaching on values,” said Blanca, single mother of 8-year-old Silvana
The Anglican Church in Paraguay has partnered with Redeemer Anglican Church to expand the school. Now 50 students can attend!
Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo
“Now all my four children will go to school and as a pygmy I will not be discriminated [against]. I am studying literacy [through the church] and now I can read and write. I have started reading the Bible in the Church.” – Ms. Clarise Kaputo
Pygmies are a neglected minority in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They experience racial stereotyping and social exclusion. Because of this, many drop out of school, leaving them mired in an ongoing cycle of poverty. They needed a school that would accept them.
The Anglican Church in Katanga built a primary school that is bringing together pygmy and non-pygmy families in an inclusive environment teaching Christian values. Meanwhile, mothers like Clarise – who never had the chance to go to school – have the opportunity to study literacy.
“If there were no hostel at the school… I would not have gotten the chance to attend secondary school. But, because the accommodation here is safe, my parents agreed to pay for me to stay and attend school.” — Happyness Gasper
With many high schools located far from the villages, many girls drop out of school after completing primary school. The church in Tanzania is creating safe places by building hostels adjacent to high schools in order to allow more girls to enroll.
These hostels provide more than a safe place to sleep. They create communities where girls can grow into their full potential, attending school and learning Spiritual lessons that will stay with them long after they graduate.
Winnie Benard is one such student.
“Oh, that was a miracle because it was tiresome for me traveling by bicycle every day going to school. I am privileged to secure a place in this beautiful hostel. I say so because there are many female students who are missing such a good environment of studying. I expect to use this privilege positively by studying hard.”
“The training I received helped me to start my own business. I initially was reluctant and did not want to join the program, but I have never regretted the decision to join.… It is a program that brings together young people to learn and become better people in the community.” — David Obisama
Not everyone can go to college, especially in poverty-stricken areas. In the slums around Accra, Ghana, many young people have a hard time finding jobs after dropping out of high school. Without meaningful employment, they turn to gangs, petty theft, and illegal drugs and fall prey to behaviors that keep the community impoverished.
To counter this, the church is building a vocational center where young adults ages 17 to 25 will gather for spiritual, educational, and physical development. When admitted, the students join a community that provides them with viable skills and the knowledge of Jesus and the fellowship of other believers.
Registration now open for the missional gathering for leaders at the intersection of gospel and culture.
At the 2019 Intersection Conference (May 16-18 at Trinity Anglican Church in Atlanta), the theme is “For the Sake of the World: An Anglican Missional Ecclesiology.” Anglican leaders will engage 8 leading evangelical and sacramental voices exploring what it means to be the church on mission. Through panels and cohorts, attendees will gain actionable ideas and practices to catalyze their local churches to engage contemporary culture.
After each speaker, a panel of diverse thinkers will interact with the concepts, interweaving approaches to Anglican practice and perspective. Attendees will then discuss practical implications in mealtime cohort groups—leaving challenged and energized for mission in a post-Christian world.
This year there is no application process. All attendees are welcome.
Tish Harrison Warren
Bishop Ric Thorpe
Bishop Todd Hunter
Both the 2017 and the 2018 Intersection Conferences were an exciting display of unity in the Anglican Church in North America—over 20 dioceses were represented at each! The 2019 conference will once again gather missional minds from around the province to crack the code for 21st century mission. Hosting the conference is The Telos Collective, a five-year initiative commissioned by Archbishop Foley Beach to catalyze faithful and fruitful Gospel engagement with culture. Archbishop Beach asked Bishop Todd Hunter to lead The Telos Collective, working alongside him and other bishops and leaders to help the Anglican Church gain confidence to engage a postmodern world.
“We’re looking for men and women who think like missionaries, who are committed to using every strategy at their disposal to reach 21st century North Americans for Christ,” Archbishop Beach says.
Bishop Hunter believes the Intersection Conference is an important way to serve Provincial Sponsor Archbishop Beach and the Anglican Church in North America. “We respect the diversity of the dioceses within, and focus our energy in one specific direction: mission,” he says. “We will encourage attendees to think about and execute these ideas within their bishops’ overall ecclesiology and under their leadership.”
Are you curious about, and striving to find solutions for contemporary mission? If so, please apply now to get our special Early Bird rate (group and individual) for the 2019 Intersection Conference.
Some scholarships are available.
Learn more about the 2019 Intersection Conference here.
Come serve for 6 months in one of the most vibrant and historic latino neighborhoods in the US, Little Village, Chicago. First session runs February 8 - August 3, 2019.
Join a cohort of 6-12 residents who will live, serve and learn alongside Nueva Vida an established neighborhood congregation while helping plant a new Anglican congregation. Residents will receive hands on trainings through weekly cohort meetings, one-on-one mentoring with neighborhood pastors and leaders. Training will be in neighborhood community development, Latino disciple making and leadership principles. On successfully completing the program residents are sent out to plant new congregations in their own contexts.
This 6 month program is for those who:
Commitments for Leadership Residents:
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Assembly 2019 will be held June 17-19 in Plano, Texas
This June, the Anglican Church in North America celebrates its 10th Anniversary with Assembly 2019: Renewing Our Call to the Great Commission, an assembly centered on discipleship and moving forward into our next 10 years as a province.
Assembly will be held in Plano, Texas, June 17-19, 2019 and hosted by Christ Church Plano, the site of Archbishop Bob Duncan’s installation as the inaugural archbishop in 2009.
Keynote speakers Archbishop Foley Beach, Archbishop Laurent Mbanda, James Bryan Smith, Russell Moore, and Ravi Zacharias will join us as we celebrate and help us go deeper into discipleship.
To commemorate the occasion, attendees will receive a special edition of The 2019 Book of Common Prayer 2019 and will be mailed a revised Catechism. Both will be officially released at Assembly.
The next 400 registrants will receive a discount by using the code 10YEARS
Visit disciple2019.com now for more information and to register.
Anglicans for Life and Young Anglicans partner to bring new curricula to our youth programs and launch the ySummit: Mobilizing Young Anglicans for Life at the March for Life.
“You were made for more.” I longed to hear those words as a teenager. I longed to hear that my life mattered, that I had purpose and I was loved.
Fast forward to today, and I’m so excited to be a part of the ministry of Anglicans for Life! We’re an organization that believes we have been given the opportunity through Jesus Christ to live an abundant life on this side of Heaven. Our desire is to see the next generation fully understand the sanctity of life, standing against abortion and the harm it causes women, men, and pre-born children.
After joining the AFL team in 2017, the Lord put it on my heart to dive deeper into the question: are we, as a Church, addressing sex education and relationships in a way that glorifies that abundant life?
Nationally, the abortion-giant Planned Parenthood is the largest sex education provider in public school systems and they are going into schools and teaching students how to have “safe, healthy sex.” They support students in making decisions that developmentally they aren’t yet able to make, potentially creating life-long damage, and they have a receptive audience. “Generation Z” believes that Christianity is a religion that has too many rules. Additionally, radical western individualism has produced unprecedented social isolation unique to 21st century youth. Even though opportunities for social connection have exponentially increased, suicide rates have reached all-time highs and sexual exploitation is running rampant. It seems as though Satan is preparing for his grand finale – working overtime to convince people that they are alone and worthless.
This is not the sort of abundant life that Jesus was talking about, and it certainly isn’t the kind of life that He died for.
If we want to bring real life transformation into the Church’s youth, we must first speak to who they are. Every teenager yearns to know “Who am I and what am I doing here?”. We have the answer. And that’s how Abundant Life: You Were Made for More was born.
The worst thing the Church can do is to water down sex education. We misunderstand teenagers when we assume that they are just immature, physically and emotionally. Beneath the physiological realities resides a deep human desire for connection. When we fail to help young people navigate how sex and relationships fit into the broader category of life, we are failing the God who created relationship to be a deep, bountiful gift for us.
This curriculum’s goal is to educate middle school and high school students about relational and culturally-relevant topics through Scriptural teaching and in partnership with parents and youth leaders. The first 12-weeks of the curriculum will be launched at the Summit for Life in January, introduced by myself and Rev. Steven Tighe of Young Anglicans. This teaching curriculum will be available for youth leaders to incorporate into their weekly ministries, complete with a large group teaching, small group questions, and supplemental materials.
In conjunction with the new curriculum, we will also have our first ySummit: Mobilizing Young Anglicans for Life. After last year’s AFL Summit and March for Life, the bishops and youth ministers in attendance saw the value in bringing youth to the conference. So, Young Anglicans (https://younganglicans.com/) and Anglicans for Life decided to collaborate on this shared passion, and we’ve spent months praying and creating a vision for this event. The Rev. Dr. Steven Tighe, Provincial Youth Canon, is excited about the event: “The Lord has anointed this team of people with a distinct passion for Jesus, youth, and life. I am ecstatic to see Young Anglicans be a part of this with Georgette and Sammie, because I know that the Lord deeply cares about life. He made it, He sustains it, and ultimately, He is it.”
The ySummit is being held on the evening of January 17, 2019 in Falls Church, VA, the evening before the March for Life. Centered around the abundant life that Jesus gives us, through worship, fellowship, and engaging speakers, we’ll connect the Gospel with the mission about the sacredness of life, helping students see how they can make a difference for the Kingdom here on earth!
Our youth need to know that they were made for more - that they were made in God’s image. Those words are transforming. Those words will give life. I’m so excited for this endeavor and I invite you to come on this journey with us. If you’re interested in learning more about or registering for the ySummit, please visit ysummit.org!
Bishop Stewart E. Ruch sums it up well: “An important part of growing up is coming to grips with the injustices of your own culture and understanding God’s great justice work in Jesus and in the kingdom of God. I’m enthusiastic for our Anglican youth to trust in Jesus and His justice as they face into this era of abortion in which they are now living. The March for Life has been very significant for my own children and I look forward to the additional discipleship opportunities that will be provided for our youth as well.”
More information about the Summit for Life can be found at: http://anglicansforlife.org/Summit-2019/
Anglicans for Life and Young Anglicans look forward to seeing you in D.C.!
Sammie Franks serves as the Coordinator of Ministry Outreach at Anglicans for Life. In addition to her work in our ministry, she spends time going into public schools with the Women’s Choice Network, speaking to high schoolers about healthy relationships and sex education in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Outside of work, she is involved in leading youth group at her church, enjoys running, grabbing coffee with her identical twin sister, and is passionate about serving in nonprofit organizations around the city that empower young children and teenagers to be who they were created to be through Jesus Christ.
A church planter’s story of God’s hand working.
Alex Leighton is not supposed to be here.
When his teenage parents found out they were pregnant, they sought counsel from their pastor. His advice was to abort the baby. At 19 and 17, though, Alex’s parents made the brave decision to keep the baby. Forty-five years later, Alex’s parents remain happily married and, through their journey, his father became a priest.
Growing up in the church, there is not a time Alex can recall when he did not know Jesus. Incidentally, he can recall sneaking into the pulpit as a child, staring out at an empty sanctuary and thinking, “How does Dad do this? There’s no way I ever could.”
While pursuing pre-med studies in college, Alex found himself leading a men’s Bible study in his apartment. Having begun to experience doubt about his desire to become a doctor, he began to see God working in the Bible study and, surprisingly, through Alex’s teaching. It was then that he felt the call to become a priest and shifted his path towards ordination, despite his childhood misgivings.
For the past seven years, Alex has served as the Associate Rector of All Saints Church in Woodbridge, Virginia. He describes his time there with Rector Dan Morgan as “a curacy of sorts,” working in true partnership with one another to grow as individuals, leaders, and a church community. The culture of All Saints Woodbridge is one of listening to the Lord’s leading. So, when he told them that he was called to plant a church in Montana, the people responded with understanding and blessing, sending him out as a missionary.
Now, Alex and his wife, Rebecca, have four children, ages three to ten. In the summer of 2017, during their time of discernment, the Leightons took a family trip to Montana. It was during that trip they revealed to the children that they were considering a move to the city of Bozeman to plant a church.
Their oldest son immediately responded with affirmation saying, “God told me we’re supposed to come out here and plant a church.” Their middle two children, though, were saddened at the prospect of leaving home. In the days that followed, while still in Montana, both came to Alex and Rebecca with a change of heart. “It will be hard,” they said, “but we feel like God is calling us.”
And while the Leightons were praying for discernment as a family, the need for their presence in Bozeman was already being brought before the Lord. The Rocky Mountain Deanery, part of Alex’s new diocese, the Diocese of Western Anglicans, has prayerfully identified a vision for cities in the West. In each of these cities, they are praying for God to match priests to them and make their calling clear.
And clear it was! During a different phase of his discernment process, Alex visited Bozeman with another priest. They embarked on a prayer walk through the city. Stopping at a downtown coffee shop, they prayed, “Lord, show us what you’re doing here. Make your presence known.” Walking out of the coffee shop, Alex looked down to see “…God is love. I John 4:8” written in chalk on the sidewalk.
An examination of the city revealed a blitz of hopeful messages and scripture written all over. A message and medium comfortingly similar to the way Alex and his fellow pastors would support their kids and schools: chalk messages on sidewalks. God was clearly at work in Bozeman and calling Alex to serve Him there.
Working in partnership with his former diocese, the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, and his new diocese, the Diocese of Western Anglicans, Alex and his family forged a path forward. This included a great deal of encouragement and partnership from both Bishop John Guernsey and Bishop Keith Andrews as Alex transitioned from one diocese to the next. Alex describes the relationship between all entities involved as an “organic partnership” as they seek to respond to the Lord’s call.
Having made the official move to Bozeman, Montana in July 2018, Alex, Rebecca, and the kids are leaning into their new life as church planters. So, where do they begin? Relationships. From neighbors to local pastor groups to people in coffee shops, the Leightons are equipped with the Lord’s courage to say, “We’re starting a church. And we’d love your help to get to know this city.”
It may seem awkward and scary, but so was his parent’s decision to give him life back in 1973. Alex Leighton is, in fact, exactly where he is supposed to be. Thanks be to God!
Visit always-forward.com to learn more about the many people involved in this church planting effort.
Registration is now open for Winter InterTerms at Trinity School for Ministry. Week One runs from January 7 through 11; Week Two is from January 14 through 18.
These courses compress an entire semester of learning into a week-long class. A variety of courses are available which can be taken as credit or non-credit; for continuing education or for personal enrichment.
A message from Archbishop Foley Beach!
Several years ago, I was out hiking on a humid, summer day and came upon a small, beautiful pond which was fed by a mountain stream. I had the bright idea that I would like to go for a swim and cool off. After taking off my boots I began to wade out into the water. Two feet out, the water came up to my ankles. Five feet out, the water came up to my ankles. Twenty feet out, the water came up to my ankles. It was at this point, I realized I was not going for a swim as the pond was beautiful and wide but not very deep.
As I have served the Lord in various ministry capacities over the past 40 years, it seems that too often this describes many people who call themselves Christians. They may be active in their congregation; they may claim various gifts of the Holy Spirit; they may be serving in various ministry capacities; they may have certain devotions or participate in a religious order; and may say they have been born again. Yet, their relationship with God is only ankle deep.
Jesus asked his disciples (and he asks us) to go into the world and “make disciples.” He didn’t say go and make church members. He didn’t say go and get people to make a decision for me. He didn’t say go and teach people how to be religious. SO, this begs the question: What is a disciple?
A disciple of Jesus is a person who has decided to walk in the ways of Jesus as her/his Savior and Lord. This person is living a lifestyle which imitates Jesus Christ and his teaching. This person has not only received Jesus as their Savior but is attempting to follow his Lordship through the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, admittedly, this looks different in various traditions of the Faith. However, I suggest that there are several common denominators of all disciples of Jesus.
1. Intellectual Knowledge. Followers of Jesus learn the things Jesus taught his first disciples as found in the Bible, the Old Testament and New Testament. This is a life-long adventure and is manifest in understanding certain basic tenets of the Christian Faith. Can you explain why we call God “Father?” Can you tell someone why Jesus is the “only way to the Father?” Do you understand why we can say that our sins have been forgiven? This is just scratching the surface of the intellectual knowledge which disciples of Jesus will have.
2. Relational Knowledge. Followers of Jesus grow in their relationship with God and how to commune with him through the Bible, prayer, worship, the breaking of Bread, and fellowship with other followers of Jesus. God is not an intellectual concept; He is a living Being who desires fellowship with us.
3. Missional Knowledge. Followers of Jesus are on a mission – to expand the knowledge of God and His Kingdom through Jesus Christ. This is done by using one’s spiritual gifts and talents in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s love to the people in our circle of influence. He calls us to make disciples of others and this is our mission in our time. I like to ask people who their “Timothy” or “Theresa” is. Who are you discipling and encouraging in their walk with Jesus?
Are you an ankle-deep Christian? Why not intentionally take your relationship with God to the next level? Deepen your intellectual knowledge, your relational knowledge, and your missional knowledge.
I want to invite you to attend our next Provincial Assembly in June 2019 which will focus on discipleship. Not only will we have our Revised Catechism and our new 2019 Book of Common Prayer for you, but we have a host of excellent speakers to challenge us in our call to discipleship.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America
Hear from Keith about his love for Christmas, artistry, Anglicanism, and more!
You likely know Keith Getty for his song In Christ Alone, but did you know that Keith’s hymn-writing actually began with Christmas?
“I’m a fanatic of a great Christmas carol. They embody the three values a great hymn should have. They embody the rich, living theology that is deep in truth but vibrant and emotional and connected. Secondly, they embody melodies that every generation can sing. The third thing is that great Christmas songs are great artistry,” Getty said as he reflected on his songwriting history and the history of classic Christmas songs. “As a hymn writer, I love deep, living theology and music that is classic. I love artistry. Great artistry lasts. Great artistry speaks to the deepest part of your soul.”
Great artistry is part of what Keith and Kristyn Getty intend to bring to their Sing! An Irish Christmas concert series beginning the final week of November lasting until just before Christmas.
For another year, the Gettys have partnered with the Anglican Church in North America, culminating in special pricing for clergy and members to their Christmas concerts. The partnership began in 2015. Beyond the discounts, the partnership has included relationship and an Anglican Track at their annual Sing! Conference of songwriters and worship leaders. This last September, Archbishop Foley Beach, who says he is “grateful for the partnership,” led morning prayer one day using the Anglican Church in North America liturgy. According to Getty, it was their most attended morning prayer of the week with over 2,500 in attendance, mostly Baptists.
Though not Anglican himself, Keith’s appreciation for Anglicanism is deep and long-standing. He was first introduced to the tradition in high school through his music teacher who taught him the liturgy and classical artists.
In college at Durham University, he found himself longing for a bit more than what his own congregation offered. Weekly attendance at Evensong at the Durham Cathedral “allowed me to repeat the gospel in an ancient, in a timeless, and most importantly, in a beautiful way,” he said. “I think Anglicanism [appeals to] my logic in understanding the bigness of God, the magnitude of sin, the wonder of the gospel and then learning to pray for individuals, for families, for churches, for communities, and for the world. I think this [time] was the most formative on my music; I learned what church music should be.”
Now, he finds his partnership with the Anglican church to be a privilege and, speaking in terms of forming the next generation in Christian music, Getty acknowledges, “we need Anglicanism much more than Anglicanism needs us right now and that remains my conviction.”
“We should love extraordinary art. Christian art should not be the laughing stock of culture,” Getty contended after reflecting on great Christian hymn writers, like Charles Wesley, who he says were the greatest poets of their time – Christian or not.
He went on to discuss his views that when church leaders of our day speak of reformation needed in this or that, they usually don’t want to engage in conversation about reforming their Sunday services:
“They won’t actually engage in the thing that really shapes our week. At the end of the day, if we don’t sing songs about eternity, we don’t pray eternally. If we are not praying and weeping for the tragedies…and the needs of our fellow believers, I can guarantee you we’re not going to be doing that during the week… So, I think right now there is a huge need to speak to the liturgical content and structure of services, to speak to the theological depth of what we sing, to look at our public prayer, and learn from those who’ve gone before us, and to practice the reading of the Word.”
These are the things, though, he appreciates about Anglicanism and believes we can offer the Church and its music ministers. This is why they want you to join in the partnership and attend their Christmas concerts which will include lessons and carols liturgy.
“The first half is fun! There’s dance; there is instrumental music; there’s performance music and a little bit of singing,” he says of the concert. “Then the second half is inspired by Anglicanism: it’s a reduction of the lessons and carols service in 45 minutes…where we can read through the Christmas story and then people get to sing the great Christmas carols of the faith.”
On November 28, at the concert in Atlanta, Archbishop Foley will be the special guest. He will read during the lessons and carols and share about the meaning of Christmas.
“I told him he has to wear all of his Anglican ‘garb,’” Getty chuckled, speaking of the archbishop’s vestments. “I’m thrilled he’s going to do it. He’s got such a wonderful love of Scripture, the liturgical sense, and the ability to preach, as well as a love for the season and love for the people of Atlanta.”
The Gettys are excited for this year’s concerts where they expect to reach about 40,000 people across the nation. He says they want to “give people a beautiful taste of the Christmas message” and for “everyone to experience something of Christ.”
“The wonderful part of preaching the Gospel at Christmas, it allows us to talk about the anticipation of Jesus…it allows us to talk about the Christ-child coming as a child…it allows us to think about his humanity as well as, of course, being reminded of his death and resurrection.”
For non-believers, Getty says they pray daily that they would come to faith in Jesus through their show. For those who already trust in Jesus, they hope it will be “a special and poignant time of peace and joy.”
“We just look forward to you being there. We are available most nights to meet people, so we look forward to that,” says Getty.
For more information about the Christmas concert series, click here and see below.
For more information about the 2019 Sing! Conference, August 19-21 in Nashville, click here.
For more about Getty Music, click here.
|Concert Dates and Locations|
|Atlanta, GA||Nov. 28 Wed||Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center|
|North Augusta, SC||Nov. 29 Thu||First Baptist North Augusta|
|Kingsburg, CA||Dec. 2 Sun||Grace Church of the Valley|
|El Cajon, CA||Dec. 3 Mon||Shadow Mountain Church|
|Costa Mesa, CA||Dec. 4 Tue||Segerstrom Center for the Arts|
|Mesa, AZ||Dec. 5 Wed||Ikeda Theater|
|Dallas, TX||Dec. 7 Fri||Winspear Opera House|
|Colorado Springs, CO||Dec. 10 Mon||Pikes Peak Center|
|New York, NY||Dec. 13 Thu||Carnegie Hall|
|Suffolk, VA||Dec. 14 Fri||Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church|
|Washington, DC||Dec. 15 Sat||The Kennedy Center|
|Elmira, NY||Dec. 16 Sun||The Clemens Center|
|Fort Wayne, IN||Dec. 18 Tue||Embassy Theater|
|Columbia, MO||Dec. 19 Wed||Missouri Theater|
|St. Louis, MO||Dec. 20 Thu||Concordia Lutheran Church|
|Nashville, TN||Dec. 21 Fri||The Schermerhorn Symphony Hall|
Bonus Fun Fact: Keith Getty has “so many” Christmas favorites. This year, though, he says “the one I’m most looking forward to singing is Charles Wesley’s carol, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus…but at the same time, I always love to sing Angels We Have Heard on High.” For his list of 10 Christmas carols everyone should know, click here.
On Saturday, November 17, 2018, the 10th Annual Synod of the Anglican Diocese in New England (ADNE) elected the Rev. Andrew Williams to be the next bishop of the diocese. Prior to his election, Rev. Williams served as pastor of Trinity Church in Greenwich, CT. He began his professional life as a lawyer in the United Kingdom. From 1989-1998, he was a corporate litigator specializing in defending law suits brought against the legal profession.
Despite a successful career, it was during this time that he began to sense that something significant was missing in his life, and much to the surprise of Rev. Williams and his wife, Elena, they found themselves drawn into something far deeper, and ultimately came to a living faith in God through the love, support and friendship of their Anglican Parish. A time of discernment followed, and after much prayer and strong encouragement from those who knew him, he resigned from his law firm and began training for ordination at Trinity College, Bristol. He graduated with an honors degree in theology and was ordained in the Diocese of Exeter in 2000. Drew spent six years as Associate Vicar of St. Andrew’s, Chorleywood, a vibrant suburban congregation just outside London. Prior to coming to Chorleywood, he served a congregation in the southwest of England.
Since October 2009, the Rev. Andrew Williams has been the Senior Pastor of Trinity Church in Greenwich, CT, with an area of focus in developing and overseeing a new outreach strategy through the creation and support of Mission Shaped Communities (MSC’s). These communities are led by lay-persons and have broadened and multiplied the ministry of his congregations, leading to significant growth in depth and multiplication in numbers.
The Rev. Andrew Williams will be put forward on January 9th for confirmation by the Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops and will then be consecrated on March 16, 2019 at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Amesbury, MA.
Wildfires are ravaging California, leaving desolation in their wake. Relief is needed. Read about the reality on the ground and how you can help here.
The Anglican Church is reaching out to those affected by the California wildfires, the worst in the state’s history!
The Vry Rev. Victor Schreffler is the Anglican Dean of the Sacramento Valley in the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO). He sends this report:
“The situation is horrible beyond words! Prayers are very much needed for the emergency responders as well as victims and their families. It occurs to me that in some ways it’s like a nuclear meltdown because repercussions will be far reaching and long lasting. Sensitive groups breathing the air will be impacted even after the smoke has cleared. Rural hospitals are already struggling and closing at an alarming rate. ...Restoring health care access will be a challenge.”
It is too early to know all that will be required to restore these communities. We do know that it will take donations of time and money from those across the country. The Anglican Relief and Development Fund and the Anglican Church in North America are partnering with C4SO to deliver aid to those who need it most. This can happen quickly – with your help. While the churches are not ready to receive your volunteer labor, they are ready to receive your prayers and your financial help!
You can donate by mailing a check (with “California Wildfires” in the memo line) to:
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund
P.O. Box 645354
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-5354
You can also donate online at this link.
By supporting the local church through ARDF, leaders on the ground – in the neighborhood – are able to offer the love of Jesus through practical and spiritual help. These leaders develop relationships that don’t end when the disaster does.
To view the original story, click here.
Build lifelong memories and celebrate the true story of Christmas by singing your faith with thousands of believers.
Join Ireland’s own Keith & Kristyn Getty, known for carols and modern hymns such as “In Christ Alone,” for their eighth annual tour of Sing! An Irish Christmas. The Gettys are joined by their band of virtuosic instrumentalists fusing Celtic, Bluegrass, Americana, Modern and Classical music along with cultural dance and the choral sounds of the holiday.
Come sing along with Keith & Kristyn and special guests for an evening that unites tradition and innovation in a vibrant celebration of the season!
From Archbishop Beach: “I am grateful for the partnership we have with the Gettys! I and many in the Anglican Church in North America continue to be enriched by their ministry. As we prepare for the coming Christmas season, this tour is an opportunity to hear and sing some of the great hymns of the Faith. I’ll be participating in the concert in Atlanta on November 28th. If you or your church are looking for a fellowship opportunity this Advent, this is an excellent one to consider!”
Video Preview of Sing! An Irish Christmas:
|Concert Dates and Locations|
|Atlanta, GA||Nov. 28 Wed||Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center|
|North Augusta, SC||Nov. 29 Thu||First Baptist North Augusta|
|Kingsburg, CA||Dec. 2 Sun||Grace Church of the Valley|
|El Cajon, CA||Dec. 3 Mon||Shadow Mountain Church|
|Costa Mesa, CA||Dec. 4 Tue||Segerstrom Center for the Arts|
|Mesa, AZ||Dec. 5 Wed||Ikeda Theater|
|Dallas, TX||Dec. 7 Fri||Winspear Opera House|
|Colorado Springs, CO||Dec. 10 Mon||Pikes Peak Center|
|New York, NY||Dec. 13 Thu||Carnegie Hall|
|Suffolk, VA||Dec. 14 Fri||Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church|
|Washington, DC||Dec. 15 Sat||The Kennedy Center|
|Elmira, NY||Dec. 16 Sun||The Clemens Center|
|Fort Wayne, IN||Dec. 18 Tue||Embassy Theater|
|Columbia, MO||Dec. 19 Wed||Missouri Theater|
|St. Louis, MO||Dec. 20 Thu||Concordia Lutheran Church|
|Nashville, TN||Dec. 21 Fri||The Schermerhorn Symphony Hall|
Tish Harrison Warren, author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, discusses the book, how it relates to her life, and more!
Tish Harrison Warren is the author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life and a priest in the Anglican Church in North America. After eight years with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries at Vanderbilt and the University of Texas at Austin, she now serves as Co-Associate Rector at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, PA. She and her husband Jonathan are the parents of two daughters.
To start things off, where did you grow up and how did your journey of following Jesus begin?
I grew up in central Texas. I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church and was baptized when I was around six years old. I loved Jesus as a small child and remember singing songs to God on the swing set. When I was a little older, through a family move and a tough, dark season in my family, I grew to rely on God in a deeper way. God was really kind to me as a teenager and made himself very apparent and real to me and took care of me, nurturing me in very clear ways. In late high school/early college, I began asking a lot of hard theological questions. I encountered my own sinfulness in new ways—I’d always been this straight-A student and church kid, so though I would assent to being a sinner, the darkness in me was mostly theory. In coming to understand myself as a sinner, I learned about grace in a way I never knew, and it was completely life changing. My Christian faith changed from being about asking Jesus in my heart and being a “good Christian” to giving up on myself and my righteousness and walking in the goodness of Jesus to me. It was a sea change. Grace broke me and remade me.
How did you end up becoming an Anglican?
My husband and I were part of (and on staff at) several Presbyterian churches (PCA). I was drawn to the beauty of Anglicanism in seminary and, through our theology and Church History courses, I was becoming more sacramental in my theology, but we loved (and still love) our church in the PCA. It wasn’t until we moved cities and, for a variety of reasons, could not find a PCA church near us, that we decided to attend a little evangelical Episcopal church. It was a gap year between seminary and my husband’s PhD program, so we didn’t think “we will now be Anglican forever” when we started attending. We just needed a church for the year. But for the first three months we went to this Episcopal church, I’d cry every week. The mystery, beauty, and embodiment of the liturgy and weekly eucharist was so very healing to me. After a few months in this church, we knew we were ruined for any other tradition. We fell in love with the Anglican way of worship (chiefly, the liturgy and the prayer book) and couldn’t go anywhere else. We moved cities again for my husband, Jonathan, to get his PhD and we started attending Church of the Redeemer in Nashville. Around six years later, we were both ordained in that church by Archbishop Duncan.
You are the author of Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, which won Christianity Today’s Book of the Year Award. What made you decide to write about liturgy?
I wrote this book because I was trying to figure out my own life. In college and in my 20’s, I was part of an evangelical movement that emphasized being “world changers.” I was also deeply impacted by the scriptural call to the poor and to seeking justice. I wanted to take risks and be “radical” for Jesus. Then, I was in my thirties with two tiny kids and a husband getting a PhD and I still wanted those things, but didn’t have the scarcest idea of what that might look like in my actual limited and concrete life.
There were a spate of books at the time—and many were good on embracing the ordinary, but it wasn’t clear to me how and why ordinary life mattered. In the midst of this time, I was newly Anglican and growing in love with liturgy. I also read James KA Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom and was really impacted by his take on Christian formation. Thinking about Christian formation in daily life became immensely important to me. I began finding organic connections between our liturgies on Sunday and the “liturgies” of my time with kids and neighbors and waking and sleeping. I decided to write about one (rather boring) day in my life in conversation with our liturgy in worship in order to look at Christian formation and worship.
Why do you think people struggle with understanding liturgy, thinking that it’s a barrier to worship rather than a doorway?
I think people have seen churches who can recite prayers by rote, but who seem tired, angry, or apathetic. And I think that in America, we think of faith as something that happens inside of us—a feeling in our hearts or a belief in our brains. Those formed in American evangelicalism can come to see faith therefore as a certain internal state of passion or emotion or ardent belief. The idea of encountering God through spiritual practices is a live (and trendy) conversation now in evangelicalism, but it’s still a fairly new idea to many people.
It is fascinating how you tie in every day liturgies in our lives (i.e., simple tasks from making the bed to washing dishes) to the liturgy of the Church. Have you found this opens people’s minds and hearts to trying out liturgy as found in the Prayer Book?
Yes, many people have told me that they were deeply skeptical of liturgical worship, but that they read my book and are now practicing the liturgical calendar or using the prayer book or even started attending an Anglican church. As I said, I grew up in low church evangelicalism and “discovered” liturgy in my late twenties, so I wrote the book with people like me in mind. It’s a very practical introduction to liturgy for beginners—because that’s what I am.
The Anglican Church in North America is getting ready to publish a new Book of Common Prayer for the whole church. You and your husband helped plant a church in Austin. How do you think we can prepare congregations to embrace liturgy, especially in church planting?
One simple way is to get actual prayer books in people’s hands and show them how to use it (which is not at all self-evident. I most often use the ‘79 prayer book, and it is certainly difficult to navigate for new folks. I had one parishioner who ordered one online and tried to read it like a normal book, from front to back cover, and was understandably completely baffled about how this was supposed to help her devotionally). Another easy on ramp is to practice—and teach on—the liturgical calendar. This is a great, corporate way to worship and practice formation together. I also love having instructive eucharistic services from time-to-time where a church walks through the liturgy together and stops at each step to explain the meaning and history of a particular liturgical practice.
What has surprised you about the response to your book?
Liturgy of the Ordinary is my first book, and no one ever really knows how a first book will do (or really any book, for that matter), so one thing that has surprised me is how far the book has travelled and how many people have read it. The first few months I was just constantly astonished that people I didn’t personally know were reading the book. It felt miraculous—like sending out a message in a bottle and hearing back from people who found it. Now, the book has reached tens of thousands of people and is being translated into Dutch, French, and Korean. This was more than I could have imagined. I am very grateful and very surprised.
The other thing that has surprised me is how people from so many different traditions have responded to it. Anglican churches are reading it together, but I’ve also heard from Baptist and Methodist churches reading it together. I heard from one man that a men’s group at Bethlehem Baptist Church (John Piper’s former church) were reading it together—and that surprised me. I got a letter from an elder in an Amish Community in Ireland who read and resonated with the book, and I’ve heard from Orthodox priests and Roman Catholic friends—even one Roman Catholic pre-teen who read the book and liked it.
You write a lot about your family life in Liturgy of the Ordinary. How do you find establishing deliberate practices in your ordinary life helps in keeping the balance between family and ministry life?
Well, we are still new priests and (relatively) new parents so we certainly don’t have the balance between family and ministry life completely figured out yet. One practice that has been of utmost importance for us has been keeping the Sabbath. We need one day a week where we crash and where our kids get all of us and don’t have to share us with the whole church. That’s tough though since Sunday is a work day and the kids go to school on Monday morning, so we practice sabbath from after church on Sunday until Monday afternoon, and Sunday evenings are really sacrosanct family time.
What is next for you?
I’m starting on book #2. I’m not ready to tell much about it yet, but I certainly would appreciate prayer for it.
How can we pray for you and your ministry in Pittsburgh?
We are really grateful for our community here in Pittsburgh (Church of the Ascension). Please pray for us to be faithful and to be able to reach those who are skeptical about the faith. Pray that we would be a church that values strugglers and meets Jesus in our weakness. And pray that we will be able to embody the joy and truthfulness of the Gospel and walk in step with the Holy Spirit.
Also, please pray for Jonathan’s and my kids. It is hard to be a preacher’s kid and they are double preachers’ kids. They need a lot of grace for that call.
Finally, please pray for the Anglican Church in North America. It is such a big tent. We have lower-church evangelical types and high-church Anglo-Catholics; we have those against women’s ordination and those all for it; we have those on the political left and those on the right. I love that we are trying to hold together and display a Gospel-rooted unity, but it is a hard road to walk. I believe it is a faithful—and less trodden—road and that this kind of unity witnesses to Christ and His love and grace for His Church. Everything in our culture is increasingly polarized and the Church bears witness to the truth of Jesus through our love for one another. Existing in this unity amidst difference is not easy, but it’s essential. Walking this road together means all of us will be uncomfortable sometimes, and that is a good thing. But, boy, do we ever need prayer and God’s mercy to His Church.
Mary Ailes is Director of Communications for the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.
In the wake of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Archbishop Beach writes to encourage the Church to show tangible support for our Jewish neighbors.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This week I have been grieving for those directly affected by the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and I have been grieving for all of us who have been touched by this evil. I hope that you will find ways to reach out to our Jewish neighbors and friends in the midst of this painful and frightening time.
I am encouraged to hear reports of our members in Pittsburgh who have responded in love, and I am thankful to those churches around our Province who are planning to join local synagogues this Friday night in a show of solidarity. I want to commend the #ShowUpForShabbat initiative for your consideration.
Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath and it begins at sunset on Friday night and runs until sunset on Saturday night. This is an opportunity to do something tangible and supportive; meeting at local synagogues and letting our neighbors know that they are not alone.
David Harris, one of the organizers, has put it this way: “The community of conscience must stand as one, whether in the face of the hate-motivated attack against a black church in Charleston, which took nine lives, or a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which took 11 lives. We are determined to ensure that love triumphs over hate, good over evil, unity over division. That’s our America.”
You can learn more at:
Please consider joining, but also please be mindful and sensitive to the dynamics in your local area. Some Jewish communities may be thankful for the public show of support, and others may be nervous at having unfamiliar faces at the synagogue on Friday. Both reactions are understandable, so as the organizers suggest, “please reach out to a member of the Synagogue or the Synagogue staff in order to assure that the Synagogue is able to accommodate your desire to attend.”
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
On October 10, 2018, the Florida panhandle was devastated by Hurricane Michael. While many of our Anglican Church in North America congregations and members have experienced great loss and suffering in the aftermath of this storm along with millions of others who were in its path, the Church is also rising up to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
One member of St. Paul Anglican Mission Church, Lynn Haven, Florida, Aimee Roberts, described the scene at the church:
We moved to the church and at first glance – it wasn’t too bad. But then we saw the broken window. The window next to the baby grand piano. And all my music from Sunday morning was soaked. The fair linen on the altar was stained and wet. The Gospel was soaking wet… Father Tracy’s office was miraculously spared. His library, the vestments, the ordination papers for Deacon Sheryll and Father Tracy were fine. The Sunday School room however, was completely open to the sky above.
She added that every parishioner at the church had “significant damage” to his or her home:
They are telling us that we will not have power, or water or sewage for months. Months. What do people do when their jobs don’t have power or water? How do you get out when the nearest gas is a half hour away and you were on empty to begin with? Where do you go when your entire extended family is living in the same neighborhood?
Roberts noted that there are hundreds of people coming to help, including law enforcement, and so, though they’ve lost everything, they are hopeful.
Meanwhile, Fr. John Wallace, Rector of Apostles by the Sea in Rosemary Beach, Florida, is calling on the church to rise up as he leads his parishioners in relief efforts: “So, Church, let’s be the Church!” His congregation is offering food and water, hygiene products and first aid, and other essentials to those in need in the area. Right now, they are focused on immediate needs but recognize that relief efforts will be a “marathon.”
Apostles by the Sea is leading the relief efforts for the Diocese of the Gulf Atlantic who has partnered with the Anglican Relief and Development Fund. Though they ask for volunteers to wait until circumstances are a bit safer to visit, they can use your prayers, especially for stamina and safety. You are also encouraged to help by donating to the relief efforts through ARDF here. Learn more about the relief efforts here and in this video:
Fr. Bryan Bywater grew up in a nominally Christian home before crisis brought pain and darkness to his family. In his early adulthood, after several near-death experiences due to drugs and alcohol, Fr. Bywater had a “blinding light experience” with the Lord that brought him back to the faith and eventually led him to seminary. Now, Fr. Bywater leads one of the Anglican Church in North America’s most unique congregations.
Tell us a little bit of your background and testimony. How long have you been an Anglican and what has it meant to you?
I grew up in Connecticut in an Episcopal Church. Our faith didn’t go much past Sunday, holidays, a quick grace at meals, and the “now I lay me down to sleep” thing. That being said, there was a moment in church, when I was five or so I believe, that I was at the altar rail for communion. The priest laid his hands on my head and I felt a heat enter my body. I had no one to talk about it, but I knew something had happened. I told myself I would never wash my head again, like if I had shaken hands with a famous person!
Unfortunately, my family underwent a long period of crisis, and we abandoned what little connection we had with the church. These were dark, painful years. I was off to college and had several near-death experiences due to drugs and alcohol. I was once congratulated by an ER doctor for waking up as my blood-alcohol level was 0.34. God had his hand on me, and the day after that event a Gideon handed me a New Testament. I took it as a “sign” and kept it as a “good luck charm.” Fast forward (God’s story in my life is rich), and I found myself by the side of the Poudre River, up north of Fort Collins, Colorado, an atheist rock climber living in his car who had had enough. I prayed, “God, I don’t believe in you, and I hate your people, but I’ve had enough. If you are real, show me please.” That’s a prayer God likes to answer I found out because He did. I had a full-on blinding-light experience and the next day drove non-stop from Fort Collins to Connecticut in thirty-nine hours, losing my 5th gear in Kansas City, Missouri and most of my breaks somewhere in Ohio. I’ve never been the same and I’ve chased God ever since. That was 26 years ago.
I went back to Long Island for two years and lived with my old surfing buddy and his family, who were devout Christians. I learned the faith while working on copper and slate roofs with him and his dad. I was sharing the faith and seeing so many come to Christ!
I moved back to Connecticut and returned to an Episcopal Church. I read the back of the book and found the Articles of Religion. Not knowing what was meant by “historical documents,” I thought that the church took them as the outline of what they believed and did.
To keep it short, I spent years in youth ministry, off to seminary at Trinity (then) Episcopal School for Ministry, ordained a transitional deacon, hijacked by the Holy Spirit on a mission trip to Tabora, Tanzania, deposed by TEC, protested by the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACNA had not yet been birthed). I served as an African missionary in America, pastoring a Kenyan Church that was one of the original “Connecticut six”. Whew! So…. I’ve been an Anglican from the cradle to Africa and back. What does it “mean” to me? Being part of the people who began a reformation, of being in a long line of saints who forsook their lives for Christ, and being part of the Church that spans the globe.
Tell us about your ministry and how you got to this place.
I’m currently an Anglican Church in North America priest serving in the Anglican Diocese in New England, as a Captain in Church Army, USA. I’ve been working as an evangelist from the moment I was saved, beginning as a volunteer with Young Life which led to me becoming an Area Director in Connecticut. I’ve served in a number of churches over the past 26 years as well as curate, rector, youth pastor, outreach pastor, all the while feeling my call to be outside on the street.
My work with the elderly began with an almost audible demand from the Lord while I was taking summer Greek at Trinity. I was walking past Elderberry Court on Merchant Street in Ambridge, Pennsylvania working through my massive stack of vocabulary when I heard/felt God say, “go in and visit.” I quipped back (not a good idea), “Lord, I’m busy learning Greek!”, to which He replied, “they are why you are studying Greek.”
I’ve planted three congregations in three separate facilities here, each with teams that join me from different denominations. We hold a full Rite II Eucharist with good old Gospel and healing prayer with laying on of hands. It gets pretty wild at times, so much joy and the Spirit is alive! We have seen a number of conversions and healings. My favorite is Rose who was a non-verbal 90-year-old Jewish lady who burst into tears during my Ash Wednesday service repeating, “I love Jesus!” over and over! We serve the staff, as most work weekends, and hold Gospel nights and Bible Studies as well. All told, we serve close to 100 monthly. These places are full of nothing but widows and orphans, right? They have God’s heart.
In addition to the nursing homes, I planted “The Street Church” in downtown Hartford on the front steps of City Hall. It’s pretty “Rite III.” My liturgics professor at Trinity told us one day, “do not be afraid to let the Holy Sprit hijack your service.” I am not. We meet every Saturday at noon, year round. This church grew out of the Mobile Underwear Shop I started after learning that the homeless just weren’t given any since it had to be new. Most folks donate clothes they don’t want anymore. God says give first fruits, so we do. That first year we clothed over 4,000 and that’s been pretty steady. We had around 12 folks with us that first year. Since then, God put it on my heart to plant a church outside, right there for the homeless. We are the only one around. Most churches want to invite homeless folks in, we invite the church folks out. It is such a powerful ministry! I baptize people in the public fountain. We have the most expensive font in the whole city! We are now called upon to work with the Hartford Police, the homeless outreach groups in the city, and I am asked to teach and preach in all of the evangelical churches in the area. We hear all the time, “those Anglicans know how to spread the Gospel!”
You could say I’ve had a burden to “replant what Anglican means” here in Connecticut. I’ve been called to teach on mission and evangelism throughout the state and beyond. Travel last year kept me pretty busy.
All told, I’m called to transform and build communities.
Describe your typical Saturday service on the Hartford City Hall steps. Would you say it differs from that of a “traditional” Anglican service? If so, how?
Huh, that’s a good question. Oddly enough, I think it’s more “Anglican” than most Anglican services in that it’s a blend of all three streams. You can’t get much more evangelical than a folding table, Higher Church than Eucharist, and charismatic than the Spirit falling on a heroin addict who repents and gets into an ambulance to head off to rehab on the spot!
We arrive in a rented U-haul with our mobile church. We always have homeless friends waiting and they jump in and help us set up, just like any other set up team for a church that rents space; we just happen to be outside on the front steps of City Hall. We’ll gather our team of visitors (volunteers) for that day and brief them on what we do and why. We draw from over a dozen area churches and some who drive an hour to be with us. The number varies from week to week as we draw from over 125 committed folks. We pray and then lay out our coffee/water/sweet tea and snacks, cover the sidewalk in chalk notes of love and Scripture, and flood the streets with worship music.
God led us to the spot because it’s not only a main thoroughfare for the homeless, but we are surrounded by folks headed to the city’s main art museum, the public library, and the University of Connecticut’s School of Social Work. Our welcome team engages all the curious walking by, offering drinks and snacks.
At noon, we gather for worship on the steps. Charlie, one of our street friends, always brings “altar weeds” that he picks en route. I imagine the scene is what Jesus must have seen; homeless, addicts, prostitutes, working poor, church people, well-paid folks, all races, gathered to hear of God’s love.
We have a Rite III service where we pray, read all the lectionary, and then I’ll preach. I’m always surrounded by people in a circle, the “inside and outside” group. Some are smoking, some drunk, some high, some clean; it’s amazing. They all volunteer to read. I had a guy with an ankle bracelet on house arrest as a lectern one day. That’s “weirdly Anglican,” right?
After I preach (or another) we turn to the folks next to us and pray. Have you ever seen a homeless guy pray over a corner-office architect? Their faith is so rich and raw and beautiful. I’ll then gather everyone back in corporate prayer for our “family meal.” Carlos, my “deacon” who has been homeless for three years, stands next to me and serves as my chalice bearer.
The folding table is set with a shiny chalice, patten, and candle holders with electric candles. It brings beauty to the dark, loud place. We invite all baptized and believing folks to partake, offering that if today is the day Christ has laid claim to their lives, they are welcome. I’ve baptized almost a dozen folks on the spot. Every one is “emergency” because we never know what will happen to them. So we both step into the pubic fountain. All my pastor friends who join us can’t believe it when it happens. I remind them Wesley and Whitfield were open air preachers too!
After the service we serve lunch that has been brought by volunteers. One Baptist Church sends their chef and catering team. We all eat together.
During the meal our caseworker (we have four) helps folks navigate the system and the prayer team does their ministry. Then we break down the altar and distribute underwear/socks/bras or hygiene products.
I’ve served in many places and, to be honest, this is the most beautiful expression of the body I have come across. It’s not about me; its about who The Lord called together. It is a piece of heaven on earth.
What testimonies from your ministry stand out to you – whether of those ministered to or of volunteers or even of yourself?
Oh, there are so many, some good, some hard, all faithful. One friend, Angel, would show up drunk every week. Often, he would stumble towards me, filthy hands cupped and outstretched, wanting the Body of Christ. It hit me that his addiction is a disease, and since I could not say to a cancer patient, “Go and get well and then come back,” I had to be with my friend in his sickness. He would see me across the street and yell, “one more day, Father! One more day!” referring to being alive one more day. One day he was sick and we had to call 911. When the ambulance arrived, they refused to care for him until the police arrived because he was known as the violent drunk of the city. When the police arrived, he ran yelling “Father, why did you call the cops? I got a warrant!” He walked back, and the police were frisking him and cuffing him and they called me over. “Father, he wants to talk to you.” So my friend buried his head in my chest while they cuffed him and gave me his personals. I prayed over him and followed him into the “special place” at the hospital for the busted homeless, and tucked him in bed and sang songs over him. Just a few months ago I learned that he is clean and well and fat and healthy!
My favorite volunteer testimony came from a guy who has so many letters after his name that he needs longer cards. After serving with us for a month or so, he blows my phone up with excited texts: “I just stopped and talked and prayed over Casey. She was panhandling under the bridge again today! I bought her breakfast. She looks pretty good.” God did an amazing work in his life! Casey was no longer that old lady with a sign, but had a name and a story.
In the article in the Hartford Courant, you were quoted as saying that you “don’t fit inside a church in the traditional sense.” What about Anglicanism gives you the freedom to be in a traditional church without being traditional?
There is so much freedom in expression of worship in Anglicanism, isn’t there? I’ve been with believers in East Africa under trees, in Cathedrals, in mud huts. I’ve worshipped in the United States in fine buildings, in restaurants, and on the street. I believe being Anglican is first and foremost about proclamation of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Our founders were burning alive for the faith and gave their lives for the glory of God! When Archbishop Duncan gave us the Anglican 1000 charge, I was hooked! He tasked us to raise up worshipping communities every where, in every context.
What about being Anglican, specifically, led you to this kind of ministry? What do those you serve appreciate about the Anglican identity?
I sat under the teaching of Rev. Dr. Les Fairfield, and he ruined me forever for “traditional ministry” when he taught me of the Clapham Sect and of Whitfield preaching on the slag piles in the rain to “thousands of miners, white rivers being formed in the thick black covering their faces as their hearts where broken for the Gospel.” This is Anglicanism for me! Our founders stood on the corners of streets preaching the Word of God! As I mentioned before, we are rich in the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer is the engine of our faith.
Do you have any words of encouragement to those in the Anglican Church in North America, especially as it pertains to radical ministry?
Yes! A few months ago I was approached by folks from the Day Foundation. They had heard of my work and were doing a follow-up to the Barna report of the Spiritual Landscape of our nation. They had heard that there were small pockets of revival, burning embers across the nation and that we were one of them. They sat with me, and we shared stories of God’s workings. New England is on fire, as is our nation, in ways we did not expect - such is the case of God, right? Be faithful to what God has tasked you with. Just be faithful.
This is the final call for feedback on the Anglican Church in North America Book of Common Prayer 2019 working texts. All feedback is due to the Liturgy Task Force by November 1, 2018.
The Liturgy Task Force is especially looking for feedback on the Psalter, the Ordination rites, Consecration of a Place of Worship, and Institution of a Rector. Feedback is also sought on Occasional Prayers, the Lectionaries, and the Calendar of Holy Days and Commemorations.
To view the liturgies, click here.
The Provincial Office is in the midst of a season of transition as the Rev. Canon Alan Hawkins changes his role in the office, the Rev. Lawrence McElrath comes onboard in a role with an expanded remit, and the Rev. Canon Jack Lumanog leaves the staff.
The Anglican Church in North America is pleased to announce that the Rev. Canon Alan Hawkins has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer for the Province. The Chief Operating Officer oversees the staff who handle the day-to-day operations of the province, from finance and communications to helping coordinate ministry initiatives and task forces.
Canon Hawkins comes to the position after serving for the last four years as both the Provincial Canon for Development and a member of the Finance Team. Prior to these appointments, he served as the Provincial Director for Church Planting. Alan is based in Greensboro, North Carolina where he and his family have helped to plant and lead the Church of the Redeemer over the last twelve years. Church of the Redeemer is a thriving congregation in the center of the town, and has just moved into a new building. Canon Hawkins will remain in Greensboro, traveling as necessary to oversee the staff and operations in the Provincial Office outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Archbishop’s office outside Atlanta, Georgia.
“I am excited to serve the province in this new role,” said Canon Hawkins. “As a Church, we continue to grow, and I am honored to continue helping to build up our capacity to support our dioceses and congregations in their local ministries. We are an international church with amazing staff and volunteer leaders spread across multiple time zones. Thankfully, for a province of our size, modern communications tools have revolutionized how we can work and collaborate together for the spread of the Gospel.”
Archbishop Beach commented, “Alan has been serving the province, often behind the scenes, for many years now, and I am delighted that he is willing to lead our operations. His familiarity with our provincial structures and staff, his vision for the future, and the respect he carries amongst our leaders has made him an excellent fit for this role.”
Likewise, the Province welcomes the Rev. Lawrence McElrath to the staff as chaplain and Canon to the Archbishop. In this role, Rev. McElrath will support the Archbishop’s office with logistics, travel, correspondence, and communications.
Rev. McElrath is a U.S. Army Chaplain who has most recently served as Assistant to the Bishop’s Chaplain for the Special Jurisdiction for the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy and Curate at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Hudson, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Educational Ministries from Malone University and a Master of Divinity from Nashotah House Theological Seminary. With over 10 years of experience, Fr. McElrath will be a great addition to the staff in service to the Lord.
“The Lord is doing amazing things through the ministry of the Anglican Church in North America and I am honored to have been asked to serve Christ and His Church in this unique way,” expressed McElrath. “I look forward to working alongside Archbishop Beach, serving as his Canon. In my role, I serve as personal aide to the Primate. My prayer is that, through my ministry, Archbishop Beach will continue to be able to devote himself to prayer, his family and his call to serve the Global Anglican Communion. I am grateful to have the support of my Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Derek Jones, my brothers and sisters in the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy, and most importantly, my wife, Megan. May the Lord give strength to my hands as I endeavor to serve Christ and His Church.”
Canon Hawkins and Rev. McElrath move into positions that have expanded in scope, as the ministries of the province and the Archbishop have expanded. The Rev. Canon Jack Lumanog has served as the COO since 2014, and the Canon to the Archbishop since 2011. Canon Lumanog left the Provincial staff in October, and Archbishop Beach expressed his appreciation for his service, “Over the years, Canon Lumanog has made valuable contributions to the life of the province, and I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund is partnering with the Diocese of the Gulf Atlantic to prepare for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Here is how you can help.
On the heels of Hurricane Florence on the Atlantic Coast, Hurricane Michael is reaching landfall right now, on October 10, as a Category 4 hurricane. Reports claim this is the worst storm to ever hit the Florida panhandle and is predicted to be catastrophic.
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund is already preparing for relief efforts on the Florida Gulf Coast. ARDF is working with the Diocese of the Gulf Atlantic to bring relief to victims of the storm. From ARDF:
As Michael strikes, your gift to ARDF offers tangible hope and help to those in need. You can help by giving much needed funds to ARDF. We will distribute it the Diocese of the Gulf Atlantic. It is the diocese that prioritizes the needs of their communities and distributes donations to those who need it the most.
To learn more about these relief efforts, click here.
Photo by NOAA. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.