The bishops of the Anglican Church in North America met June 23-24, 2016 in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.
A part of that time was set aside to pray and deliberate about consenting to the addition of new members to the College of Bishops. The meeting was held in the historic church of St. Andrew’s. Since their inception, the Bishops have spent a significant time in prayer and worship when they meet for these deliberations. The time also includes hearing the testimonies of how candidates came to faith in Christ.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh, The Rev. Jim Hobby
The Rev. Jim Hobby was elected bishop by the Diocese of Pittsburgh in a special convention held on April 23, 2016. The Rev. Hobby, who began his ministry in the Pittsburgh area, and most recently has been serving in Georgia, was elected on the 5th ballot. The College of Bishops met with Rev. Hobby on Thursday, June 23rd and joyfully confirmed the election.
One bishop winsomely said, “Should we check his shoe size? He has big shoes to fill following Archbishop Bob,” to which another warmly replied, “I know him. His feet fit perfectly.”
The Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others, The Rt. Rev. TJ Johnston
Bishop TJ Johnston was originally a member of both the Anglican Church in North America and the Anglican Mission, but left the College of Bishops in 2010 when the Anglican Mission withdrew from full participation in the ACNA. Over the last three years, he has engaged a process of reconciliation and restoration.
Bishop T.J. Johnson shared, “A little over three years ago the Holy Spirit urged me to take a journey. A journey to live a life worthy of the calling [ I ] have received (Ephesians 4:1). It has been a personal journey that has been marked by praying, living, and walking out Ephesians 4:1-6. It has been a time, when in humility, I have been led to seek restoration of relationship, to acknowledge that through “things done and left undone” that peace and unity had been broken, to ask for forgiveness, and to find grace and freedom to press on in the Kingdom Mission that Jesus has given His Church.
Yesterday, through the grace and leading of the Holy Spirit, I received forgiveness and was re-instated as a member of the College. Last night, as I reflected and prayed, the remaining verses in this passage washed over my heart: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
With the blessing and welcome of the College I look forward to serving Bishop Todd Hunter-C4SO and to run with freedom the calling that the Holy Spirit has marked out for me. I am so grateful and thankful for this opportunity.”
The Diocese of the Carolinas, The Rt. Rev. David Bryan
The Rt. Rev. David Bryan is an existing member of the College, but at this meeting the College considered his election as Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of the Carolinas, concurrent with his appointment as an Assisting Bishop in Gulf Atlantic and the Anglican Diocese of the South. When the PEAR-USA churches were released by the Anglican Church in Rwanda, Bishop Bryan’s network considered becoming a diocese in the Anglican Church in North America. However, after prayer and discernment, the churches chose to merge into the local existing dioceses, with Bishop Bryan continuing to provide episcopal oversight to each congregation under the authority of the respective diocesan bishops. Bishop Bryan said, “Given our context in the Southeast, we discerned that this was the right thing to do in these three dioceses to build unity and the strengthen the church for mission moving forward.”
The College gave thanks for Bishop Bryan’s willingness to help ease the challenge of overlapping jurisdictions, and confirmed his new appointment by the Carolinas.
Bishop Wood commented, “This is a kairos moment in the life of our church. Bishop David along with the clergy and lay leadership of the Southeast PEARUSA network have long demonstrated a commitment gospel ministry. Now, they have set an example for us all as we move towards the unity in the church for which our Lord prayed. I am excited about the possibilities ahead.”