Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As many of you may have heard, the College of Bishops is gathering this week (September 5-7) in conclave (a private assembly of the bishops) to discuss the report we have received from the Task Force on Holy Orders earlier this year, specifically women’s orders. This is the beginning of our formal discussion as bishops, and I sincerely doubt it will be the end of our prayerful deliberation on this important issue. We are seeking to hear God’s will for us as Biblically orthodox, and faithful North American Anglicans, who are part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
There are two things which I want to share with you, as members of the Anglican Church in North America.
First, as Anglicans we are a conciliar Church in which decision-making and authority are shared amongst the clergy and laity. If the College of Bishops were to be united in discerning that it is God’s will to move in a different direction than that which is established in our Constitution (see Article VIII, Section 2), it would need to be brought to the full leadership of the Church for discernment (ie. Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly, see Article XV).
Second, I believe in the power of prayer, and that God provides prayer as a means to further his purposes in the world and in the Church. I ask you to keep the bishops (and specifically your bishop) in your personal and corporate prayers as we gather to discuss this issue and how we move forward together. Our bishops are godly men and are committed to seeing the Anglican Church in North America flourish and prosper under the authority of Holy Scripture and the Tradition of the Church. Please pray for us. “To him who is able to do more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20,21).
Forward, Always Forward. Everywhere Forward!
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America