Accompanied by his Provincial Canon, the Ven. Cn. Dr. Jack Lumanog, the trip began with the Missions Consultation Roundtable hosted by Bishop Rennis Ponniah and Assistant Bishop Kim Kuan Seng in the Diocese of Singapore.
37 mission leaders from the Anglican Church in North America were invited to participate in the roundtable which was held November 11-14, 2014 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore. In all, there were 171 participants representing 19 countries in attendance at the conference.
Archbishop Foley Beach preached at Morning Prayer and was part of a panel discussion on mobilizing the Church for mission. Another panel discussion on the challenges facing missions agencies was made up of leaders from the North American Province including Stewart Wicker and Denise Cox from the Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders and The Rev. Canon Dr. John Macdonald representing Anglican Global Missions Partners and Trinity School for Ministry. Dioceses and congregations with active missionary outreach work in South East Asia were also present with delegations including The Falls Church (VA), St. Vincent’s Cathedral (Bedford, TX), Christ Church (Austin, TX), Restoration Church (Arlington, VA), All Saints Church (Charlotte, NC), and Bishop-elect Keith Andrews of the Diocese of Western Anglicans,. Also present were Canon Bill Deiss of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, Dr. Glen Petta of SOMA USA, and Clark and Carol Smith of E412 Ministries.
Following Singapore, Archbishop Beach, and Canon Lumanog were joined by Bishop Bill Atwood (Dean for International Affairs) on a visit to the Diocese of Kuching. Hosted by The Most Rev. Bolly Lapok, the team from North America was dispatched to preach at churches in Kuching. Archbishop Beach preached to capacity crowds at St. Thomas’s Cathedral in the city, Bishop Atwood preached at St. Faith’s Anglican Church, while Canon Lumanog ministered at St. Basil’s Anglican Church.
From there, Archbishop Beach was taken to the Bengoh housing project where more than 3,000 Anglicans have been resettled due to a government dam-building project. Though there was considerable pain and an enormous sense of loss from giving up their ancestral land, there was still a desire among these brothers and sisters to celebrate what God has given them. There was a palpable joy flowing from the Holy Spirit as the entire village greeted Archbishop Beach and Archbishop Lapok.
The official visit concluded with a festive lunch hosted by the rural Archdeaconries of the Diocese of Kuching. The lunch included dances offered by various cultural groups of the area congregations and a wide variety of local foods. Archbishop Beach was extended a “royal welcome” from Archbishop Bolly and the various parishes in the rural Archdeaconries, with gifts presented to him from the Diocese of Kuching.
From Malaysia, the tour through South East Asia continued with a visit to the Church of the Province of Myanmar. The Most Rev. Stephen Than and his wife, Nan, welcomed Archbishop Beach and Canon Lumanog to the Diocese of Yangon. Following a service of Holy Communion with the diocesan clergy, Archbishop Beach was asked to share a teaching on overcoming the challenges facing those in leadership, and Canon Jack prayed for a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon those gathered.
The visit continued at the Provincial Office of Myanmar and the Archbishop’s residence where the staff gathered to welcome Archbishop Beach. There was mutual sharing about the challenges and opportunities facing the respective Provincial Office staffs.
The visit to Myanmar concluded with a service of Evensong at Holy Cross Theological College where Archbishop Beach preached to over 50 young men and women preparing for vocational ministry. This was a moving time of ministry where the Lord was glorified through the preaching of His Word and in the various choral pieces offered by the student body.
Wrapping up a fruitful time in South East Asia, the trip concluded in Sydney, Australia where Archbishop Beach met with leadership of the Diocese of Sydney and retired Archbishop Peter Jensen who continues to serve as General Secretary of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA). Archbishop Beach preached at St. Andrew’s Cathedral at the invitation of Archbishop Glenn Davies of the Diocese of Sydney. The visit ended with a formal meeting of Archbishop Beach with all of the Anglican bishops of the Diocese of Sydney at Bishopscourt.