A letter from Archbishop Foley Beach
As followers of Jesus in the modern world, we can often get side-tracked by all the noise of technology, social media, politics, and busy schedules and forget what our lives are to be about in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul reminded his disciple, Timothy, what Jesus has commanded for us all: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).” True love flows from a heart that is pure, a conscience that is clear, and faith that is real.
Paul was reinforcing the teaching of Jesus: “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34,35).” The commandment to love was not new for the people of God; this is what the Law taught. What was new in the commandment was to love as Jesus loved. His love was different, so much so that He tells His followers to abide (remain) in His love and His joy would not only be in them, but their joy would be full (John 15:9-12). If we are to abide in His love and to love others as He has loved us, we must ask the question: how has He loved us? Let me share four ways.
1. HE SHARED HIMSELF. This is what the Church calls the Incarnation, God entering the human race. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).” He set aside His divinity, His glory, and His majesty, and entered into our world as one of us. He became a human being. “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him (1 John 4:9).”
How do we love like Jesus loved? We share ourselves with others; we enter into their worlds. Whether this is a spouse, friend, neighbor, co-worker, child, or unbeliever, we leave the comfortableness of our world and go into theirs. We leave our glory, go humble ourselves, and enter into their world. Too many attempts to share Jesus with others are rooted in an expectation that “the other” come to us. But like Jesus, love is expressed when we leave our world, our culture, our network of friends, and enter to the others’ world and share in their lives.
2. HE SERVED OTHERS. Jesus expressed His love with action and deeds in serving. He taught, He performed miracles to help and heal people, He traveled great distances, and He even washed his disciples’ feet, the cultural role of a servant. Jesus explained his actions of love in this way: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).”
This may sound strange to you, but real love is about the other person. It is not about you or me. When you love someone, it is not about the romantic feelings you might have. It is about the other. Jesus modeled His love by serving others. As followers of Jesus (disciples), we express love by serving others. Those of us in leadership roles must ask: Am I a serving leader or a self-serving leader? Jesus loved by serving.
3. HE SACRIFICED. Jesus expressed his love by His sacrifice, His death on the cross. He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 13:15).” He sacrificed Himself so that we have forgiveness of our sins. He sacrificed Himself so that we might have a relationship with God. He sacrificed Himself when he didn’t have to. The Apostle John says it like this: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10).” The Apostle Paul explains it this way, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).”
How do we love one another as Jesus loved us? We sacrifice for others. We pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus. That is, we die to self and live for God. We sacrifice our selfishness and self-centeredness. We live as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).
This does not mean that we compromise what is right and what is true. We do not set aside the commandments of God in the name of love. Love is sacrificing self to follow the commandments of God. As Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me, and the life I live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
4. HE REMAINED STEADFAST. Jesus was committed to His mission. He was resolute, dedicated, and unwavering. This is love. The writer to the Hebrews says it this way: “Let us fi x our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down on the right hand on the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:2,3).”
Too many of us have bought into the “love is a feeling” philosophy of our culture. If I feel love, I love. If I don’t feel love, I don’t love. If I fall in love, I get married. If I fall out of love, I get divorced. The Apostle Paul contradicts this definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 saying that love is not about how I feel: “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not envious. Love is not arrogant. Love is not rude. Love does not insist on its own way. Love is not irritable. Love is not resentful. Love does not rejoice in sinful behavior. Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends (1 Corinthians 13:7,8).” Jesus modeled this kind of love.
Brothers and sisters, the aim of our charge is love. As the Anglican Church in North America, we are attempting to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. Let’s ask God to help us to do this. During the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, let us reach out to others with the love of Jesus Christ.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Don’t miss this story of how one bi-vocational priest took a chance and now runs a Monday Ministry at the world’s largest airline, serving thousands of people each day and transforming the corporate culture.
“When you serve 21,000 people, you’ve got 21,000 stories,” Fr. Greg McBrayer explained while sitting in the Command Center of American Airlines, a large conference room filled with screens and discussion microphone units overlooking the chaotic flight operations floor. Though McBrayer has thousands of stories to share, they are all small pieces of what makes up the story the Lord is writing through him.
In the middle of the busy operations floor covered by desk cubbies of several stacked monitors is a raised platform called “The Bridge.” This is where Fr. McBrayer, as Chief Flight Controller, sits.
“I came into the aviation world about 40 years ago and I’ve spent my entire adult life in flight control,” McBrayer said. He spent many years with US Airways in Pittsburgh, but after the airline’s merger with American Airlines in 2013, McBrayer was transferred to the Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
“This is where it is run tactically every day,” McBrayer explained. “It’s also the place where God has called me to serve Him in ministry.”
McBrayer is a bi-vocational priest serving, now, in the Diocese of Fort Worth. Growing up in Georgia, he attended an Episcopal church with his father and the local Baptist church with his mother. He later found himself in the Lutheran church and began seminary training. But the events of September 11, 2001 spurred McBrayer to push ahead and take more seriously his call to ministry.
“At that time, we were going through a great deal at US Air and then 9/11 came and there was an even greater need,” he said. “There was a tremendous amount of anxiety in the profession, in all ranks throughout the industry. And, you know something, I was beginning to be used more in my ministerial role in that setting than I could be in a church.”
At that time, while employees were receiving solid health care benefits, they were not provided any spiritual health care. McBrayer saw this as an opportunity to build a holistic healthcare plan within the company.
“I went to senior leadership and I said, ‘Look, I’d love to come here on my own time, and if I could be provided space, offer Biblical study.’” McBrayer was given the space, but he realized he needed “to prove to them that it was something that was going to be healthy.”
Immediately, the ministry saw results. “It immediately started to grow. It crossed denominational lines. It really didn’t matter. It was just an opportunity to come together as Christians in a workplace setting on our own time, on breaks.”
And executives noticed.
“Management started seeing fruitfulness. They realized people were being more attentive in their jobs, it seemed like there was just a whole different feeling in the office. Attendance improved.”
With roots in Anglicanism, McBrayer began the Bible study ministry with Midday Prayer as its foundation.
“I ended up using the noon-day order as a way to start in prayer and have some structure. It had started off as a Bible study, but I realized it needed a bit of a worship component to it and so I pressed into the Prayer Book. I figured, you know what, why try to reinvent the wheel when we’ve got fathers who have been doing this for centuries.”
Now ordained, in 2009, as theological dispute rose within Lutheranism, McBrayer was encouraged by many to seek a new home in a new church, the Anglican Church in North America. With his background, it was a natural fit and he was welcomed into the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He continued to press into his ministry with the help of the liturgy as structure, offering both Word and Sacrament in the workplace as well as a consistent representation of Christ.
Walking around the operations floor, McBrayer was greeted by probably 90% of those we pass by. Donning his collar and black clerical shirt with a black sport coat embroidered with his Chaplaincy title in yellow on the right side of his chest, McBrayer stands out. His people, “family” as he calls them, notice him and appreciate him. He clearly has a presence that is unlike any other in the building. And, that presence is a constant reminder of what and who he represents – Christ.
McBrayer explained that while lay ministers can – and should – lead ministries within their companies, his ordination enhanced his ministry. “It gave opportunity to bring both Word and Sacrament into a secular setting.”
In the Command Center, used by senior executives to run the largest airline in the world with massive windows overlooking the flight operations floor housing several hundred employees 24/7, McBrayer holds Eucharist services.
“I can see through that window as I’m lifting up the cup and see the hundreds of people out there who can see this happening. That is all God,” he said. “[I have] the opportunity to marry and to bury.” He’s given last rights on the flight operations floor. He’s baptized his coworker friends of many years.
McBrayer’s ministry has now been incorporated into all of American Airlines. The entire company has his contact information to reach him for ministry needs. He has a hotline in which people all over the world can call in to his weekly services to participate from their desk. And, he can be deployed by the company at any time to travel for pastoral needs. He serves 6,000 people in his Fort Worth office alone.
On top of that, McBrayer also services countless thousands of passengers and employees of all walks of life who venture through the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. His position at American Airlines has provided him opportunity to become the director of the DFW Airport Chaplaincy, a separate but related ministry.
As the director of the airport chaplains, he leads services in the airport’s five chapels and oversees a staff of thirty who do ministry in the chapels and have a ministry of presence in the terminals. He prays over fallen soldiers and airline employees. He and his chaplains serve passengers, employees, and their families.
While so many travelers are unaware of the ministry going on around them, McBrayer and his team encounter those in desperate need. “You realize, people aren’t going to see Mickey Mouse. They’re going to bury people and to deal with life issues,” he described somberly of the life realities of travelers.
Walking through the modern airline facilities, as we passed blue backlights around elevators and full glass doors to offices and conference rooms, the stories rolled on, one after another. In the simple yet chic prayer room, one large table holds the Quran, Torah, Book of Mormon, and several Bible translations. The English Standard Version laid open to Proverbs in the center. This picture is a subtle representation of the diversity of the company and the beauty of the ministry McBrayer holds.
Looking at the diversity of the religious scripts on the table amidst the calm, quiet, white of the room, he shared one of his favorite testimonies. A coworker of his had married another co-worker, a Muslim. She had grown up Roman Catholic but converted to Islam upon marriage and was far more devout than her husband. But, in 2015, she began acknowledging the Spirit’s pursuit of her.
“At one point, she told me that she had begun having dreams, and flash backs, PTSD-type symptoms and that she was questioning her renunciation of Christ as a result of what had occurred early in her life. She said that she thought Jesus was reaching out to her and that she wanted to talk with me about it.” McBrayer met with her and then invited her to the Monday Bible study. “She soon began studying and worshiping with us and began to fully embrace her gradual turn back to Jesus.”
But, McBrayer says, “The truly amazing story is how Jesus used her conversion and our Monday ministry to bring her daughter into a saving relationship with Jesus.” The young woman’s first visit to the Bible study “brought her to a spiritual awaking and led to her accepting Christ as her Savior two days later.” She was eventually baptized by McBrayer and is now an active member of an Anglican church in Pittsburgh!
Really, it’s about “relationship and finding people where they are,” McBrayer says. “You have to take the Church to the world.” Speaking of the reality of work hours and the need to see our workplace as a mission field, McBrayer enthusiastically proclaimed, “you’re going to be here most of your life, so why not be used here. The need is tremendous.”
As he sees it, “the richest mission field in our country today is corporate America.”
But to serve “requires boldness. It requires a desire to serve God where He has placed you.” That goes for those with a collar and those without. It goes for you and for me.
“If you’re faithful in your commitment to Him, to serve in these places, the one thing I can tell you for sure is that He is going to be faithful,” McBrayer says. “The greatest reward I get is getting up every morning and getting to say, ‘you know what, God is going to use me today at American Airlines to do Kingdom work.’”
To hear more from Fr. Greg McBrayer, check out the Anglican Church in North America podcast here.
GERMANY – The latest round of dialogue between the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC), and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) took place in Wittenberg, Germany from October 28-November 2, 2019, welcoming the representatives of several European churches to the discussions for the first time.
The meetings in Wittenberg focused on opportunities for new areas of cooperation between confessional churches, both Lutheran and Anglican, in continental Europe and England, especially in the areas of theological education. To that end, the dialogue welcomed additional guests from Germany’s Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (Selbständige Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche – SELK), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in England (ELCE), the Free Church of England (FCE), the Reformed Episcopal Church in Germany (Anglikanische Kirche in Deutschland – AKD), the Reformed Episcopal Church in Croatia (Protestantska Reformirana Kršćanska Crkva – PRKC), and the United Methodist Church in Germany (Evangelisch-methodistische Kirche – EMK).
Despite differing backgrounds, the individuals in attendance were united in their commitments to the Gospel of forgiveness, life, and salvation by grace through faith in Christ together with the infallible authority of Holy Scripture in all matters of doctrine and life. Although meeting in Europe, the Anglican and Lutheran representatives both have firm connections and shared perspectives with churches in the Global South who are at odds with the growing numbers of churches in the West that have forsaken biblical teaching and turned instead to affirming universalism, same-sex marriage, ordination of active homosexuals, and other deviations from Scripture.
The event was also notable in that it featured introductory meetings between the heads of the International Lutheran Council (ILC) and Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON): Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt of SELK and Archbishop Foley Beach of ACNA, respectively. The ILC is a growing association of confessional Lutheran church bodies representing millions of Lutherans around the world. It includes LCC and the LCMS among its members. GAFCON was born out of the confessing realignment of world Anglicanism as those who uphold the authority of Scripture banded together. Today GAFCON represents roughly 50 million of the world’s 70 million Anglicans.
During the dialogue, participants took time to outline the background of their various churches and movements. This was especially important given the addition of multiple European church leaders who were attending the discussions for the first time. Bishop Ray Sutton, presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church and Dean of Ecumenical Affairs for ACNA, outlined the history of the confessing Anglican movement. The Rev. Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, Chairman of the LCMS’ Commission for Theology and Church Relations, provided background on The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, while Bishop Voigt presented on the history of SELK. LCC’s Past President Robert Bugbee spoke on both the history of LCC as well as the International Lutheran Council. Discussions turned to the possibility of further discussions between GAFCON and ILC leadership. Future meeting dates were set for additional discussions on this subject.
A major focus of the meetings was investigating the possibility of cooperative educational work in continental Europe and the United Kingdom. The seminaries of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England were particularly highlighted as potential venues for such cooperation. Additional discussion focused on the possibility of interchanges between Anglican and Lutheran representatives in Germany and England, as well as those form North America.
As the meetings coincided with the observance of Reformation Day on October 31, participants had the opportunity to visit a number of Reformation sites throughout Wittenberg, including Martin Luther’s house, Philipp Melanchthon’s house, the Castle Church, and St. Mary’s Church. On Reformation Day itself, participants gathered at the doors of the Castle Church where they made a joint declaration:
On these doors some 502 years ago, Martin Luther called all believers to a life of repentance. Scorning the high-sounding promises of a corrupt church, he asserted that every repentant Christian “participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church.” As repentant Christians, representatives of Anglican and Lutheran churches, and heirs of the Reformation that began in this place, we humbly rejoice that together we believe, teach, and confess such truths. In humble faith we join our voices to declare the enduring, central truth of the Reformation: that although “we have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” we “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-25).
The next dialogue meeting between the ACNA, LCC, and the LCMS is set for April 21-23, 2020 in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The event will be a planning meeting to establish meeting plans for the next triennium.
Anglican Church in North America: Archbishop Foley Beach; the Rev. Peter Frank; the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Riches, Reformed Episcopal Seminary (REC) rector and professor; and REC Presiding Bishop Ray Sutton, Dean of Ecumenical Affairs.
Lutherans: LCC Past President Robert Bugbee; the Rev. Joel Kuhl, Chairman of LCC’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR); the Rev. Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, Executive Director of the LCMS’ CTCR; and the Rev. Larry Vogel, Associate Executive Director of the LCMS’ CTCR.
International guests included: the Rev. Dr. Christoph Barnbrock, Rector and Professor at SELK’s seminary Lutherische Theologische Hochschule; outgoing ELCE Chairman Jon Ehlers; FCE Bishop John Fenwick; AKD Bishop Gerhard Meyer; PRKC Bishop Jasmin Milić; SELK Bishop Emeritus Jobst Schöne; SELK Bishop Hans-Jörg Voigt, and the Rev. Dr. Vatroslav Župančić of the EMK.
Life Symposium in conjunction with OneLife LA in Los Angeles will be held Jan. 17-18, 2020; Summit 2020 and ySummit 2020 will be held in Falls Church, VA in conjunction with the March for Life in Washington D.C. on Jan. 23-24, 2020.
Did you know that 43% of women having abortions in 2015* were sitting in churches within 30 days prior to their abortions? Did you know that nine states have now legalized assisted suicide and, in some of those states, you don’t have to have a terminal illness to receive help in killing yourself?
On top of the increasing cultural divide in our society, our vulnerable unborn and elderly brothers and sisters are being increasingly seen as expendable, even to those who believe in God.
Because these issues are degrading the sanctity of life, life that God says is good and created for a purpose, Anglicans for Life (AFL) is working overtime to make sure there are people in our churches who are equipped to provide ministry, pastoral care, and education on life topics. Specifically, AFL hosts an annual Summit in Washington DC, which coincides with the March for Life and the Life Symposium in Los Angeles, which occurs the day before the One Life Walk. Both events are focused on equipping God’s people for life-centered ministry!
Anglicans for Life doesn’t just have the vision of ending abortion; we’re also trying to prevent abortions through our efforts to connect with the younger generation to help them understand the importance of their relationships and sexuality, in light of their identity in Christ. Through ySummit: Mobilizing Young Anglicans for Life which is presented in partnership with Young Anglicans, we are seeking to give students a clearer picture of what the sanctity of life means.
We are very grateful that the Anglican Church in North America has faithfully supported the life-affirming ministry of Anglicans for Life. These events have been specifically designed to equip the Province to live out Title II, Canon 8, which says: “All members and clergy are called to protect and respect the sanctity of every human life.” While today’s culture increasingly celebrates and embraces death, God and His Word commands us to protect and value life. Our January events, Summit 2020, ySummit, and Life Symposium seek to mobilize life-ministry in your church by featuring awesome keynote speakers, workshops, testimonies, and networking opportunities.
Please join us at one of these events and get trained to uphold the sanctity of life in 2020!
1. Life Symposium (January 17-18, 2020): In conjunction with OneLife LA in Los Angeles, California. Additional information can be found on our website at http://www.AnglicansForLife.org/Symposium-2020 .
2. Summit 2020 (January 23-24, 2020): Calling all Anglicans into Action for Life! You are invited to attend Summit 2020: Mobilizing the Church for Life on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 at the Falls Church Anglican in Falls Church, VA. In a culture that embraces assisted suicide and abortion, this event seeks to inspire and equip you for life-affirming ministry! Visit http://www.AnglicansForLife.org/Summit-2020/ for details.
3. ySummit 2020: Mobilizing Young Anglicans for Life (January 23-24, 2020): If you’re in middle school or high school, we invite you to the ySummit 2020 on January 23, 2020! This event is centered around the abundant life that Jesus gives us and through worship, fellowship, and engaging speakers, we’ll connect the Gospel with the social justice issue of life, so you can make a difference for the Kingdom here on earth. Visit http://www.YouWereMadeForMore.org/ySummit-2020 for details.
In the same way that many North Americans found a temporary ecclesial home in places like Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda, faithful congregations from the United Kingdom and Europe are now finding a canonical home in the Anglican Church in North America.
Fowey, England: population just over 2,300. The pronunciation is “foy,” rhyming with “soy.” It’s old. King Arthur old. Robert Bridges, the avant-garde poet laureate during the Cubism days, called Fowey “the most poetic-looking town in England.” Georgian and Medieval buildings congregate the hillside at the river mouth, bunched close like a small fortune of sheep. Shoulder to shoulder they stand as if each might be (understandably) elbowing their way atop for a sliver view of the harbor, envious of the little boats with their excess real estate to bob and sway freely atop the water below.
Fowey has served for centuries as a workaday seaport for the larger Cornish county. Being on the westernmost part of the southwest peninsula, she’s bustling in the summer months, much favored today by English holiday-makers and sailors alike. But come the New Year, boats abandon the river like keepers do their shops. Google it. No, go book an Airbnb any Saturday in January and see how incredibly successful you are. The internet presumes Fowey is nothing more than a “getaway.”
So, to be honest, before I traveled there, the town sounded more like superlative sabbatical material, not the next battlefield in the unfolding Anglican reformation.
Era depending, we all learned in school it has been places such as Babylon, Athens, and Rome, along with Paris, London, New York, and Tokyo that are the world’s leading culture transmitters. Vibrant cultural economies accessible to the global network, along with robust capital accumulation mechanize urban centers to dominate societal thought – from the geopolitical climate on out into the rural hinterlands. Yet in recent months it is the modest little Fowey that has taken the lead in England. Perhaps it should come as no surprise to us; if one spends any time in the Bible, it seems the Lord has a historical knack for using the small and unassuming.
Unlike some in the Global Anglican Future (Gafcon) movement, the issues surrounding marriage are not what brought Fowey to the table. It was baptism. The Church of England’s House of Bishops decided to release transgender guidelines in December 2018 offering the church celebratory material for use after one’s presumed transition between sexes. The choice of celebratory material was shocking. They chose the Baptismal liturgy.
Baptism, in its intended form, is a sign of death to sin and a new identity of a life unified and raised with Christ by His blood alone. The vicar of Fowey, the Rev. Philip de-Grey Warter quickly recognized the danger. “The guidance has the effect of denying the gospel,” he explained in August when I sat down with him and his wife, Naomi, at the vicarage in Fowey. “Now, whatever you think about the transgender [topic], folk in that situation nonetheless need a huge amount of compassion and understanding. The issue for me was that the House of Bishops were willing to allow Baptism to be used for something other than what it’s intended. We are a liturgical church, we express our doctrine and belief liturgically. So that’s an official thing. It says that truth is completely personal.”
So, after 17 faithful years, Philip stepped out of the Church of England on September 30. He is the first Church of England minister to leave with a substantial part of his parish to come under Bishop Andy Lines, Gafcon’s missionary bishop to Europe. In the same way that many North Americans found a temporary ecclesial home in places like Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda, faithful congregations from the United Kingdom and Europe are now finding a canonical home in the Anglican Church in North America where Bishop Lines is resident.
Philip and Naomi’s ministry will continue in Fowey with the planting of Anchor Anglican Church Fowey (AACF). “It’s business as usual,” he said, “seeking to proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ as faithfully and engagingly as I can in partnership with others.” Services will be held at The Mission to Seafarers, a longstanding institution of the port of Fowey. Guy Stickney, one of the four AACF trustees, described it as “a basic portacabin set up for sailors, hidden away on the edge of the town overlooking a public car park. I don’t think it’s been decorated for at least 30 years, but we are grateful.”
Equally appreciative of the space to meet, Philip says, “We won’t be constrained by ranks of pews all facing in one direction. Instead, we hope to create a more informal and relaxed extended-family atmosphere. It won’t matter at all if children want to wander. There will be toys available and an opportunity for them to enjoy a Bible activity of their own.”
The inaugural service on the first Sunday in October included a visit from Bishop Lines and recorded messages of welcome and blessing from various Gafcon congregations, bishops, and archbishops from around the world. “Our desire is to ensure that the good news in Jesus Christ is available in an orthodox and relevant way to future generations of Fowey residents,” said Dan Leafe, another of the four trustees.
And as for those evangelicals in the Church of England who are not sharing in Philip’s move, he revealed both reasonable frustration and humble appreciation. “There are folks who are determining to be biblical and faithful in their context [by remaining]. And if they are contending for the faith, then I absolutely respect them in that.”
A year prior to Philip’s departure, Archbishop Foley Beach visited the congregation to offer support. Regardless of one’s choice to leave or stay within the Church of England, Archbishop Beach called it a matter of conscience to be taken to prayer. “Gafcon offers hope to all faithful Anglicans,” he said reflecting on his time there. “Philip and his people have had the courage to refuse to compromise with a false gospel. I am excited for them as they seek to follow the Lord’s guidance and move forward in mission.”
Gospel grunt work and Kingdom advancement are coming out of a small holiday-makers town in the southwest corner of Cornwall. Faithful people in Fowey are living out their obedience to God, lured upward, wooed by God Himself to a Kingdom unseen, to bear up their crosses and think upon eternal years. This is a gain that far outweighs the cost.
To hear more of Philip’s story, check out the companion Things Anglican Podcast episode here.
Beloved in Christ Jesus: Greetings in the name of the crucified, risen, and ascended King, our Lord Jesus Christ!
I write to you from Wittenberg, Germany, where Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation 502 years ago by posting his 95 Theses on the doors of the Castle Church.
This month has seen an historic step in the life of the Anglican Communion. It was my privilege to be the chief consecrator, along with Co-consecrators, Archbishop Laurent Mbanda of the Anglican Church of Rwanda and Gafcon Vice-Chairman, and Archbishop Glenn Davies, the Archbishop of Sydney, as the Revd Jay Behan became the first bishop of the new diocese of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa, New Zealand (CCAANZ) at a joyful ceremony in Christchurch New Zealand on 19th October in the presence of a congregation of 650 supporters, with 19 international leaders present and greetings from Anglican Primates around the world.
Archbishop Peter Jensen delivered a powerful sermon in which he reminded us that the Church must always align itself with the unchanging priorities of Jesus and his Kingdom. He said,
“What we are doing is only right if it is in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to make disciples of all nations. This service is about Jesus and the gospel. We are not to become defensive and polemical but set to a grand task of preaching an authentic gospel to be preached throughout this land.”
We did not start a new Church in New Zealand. We simply did what we as confessing Anglicans have been doing since the Gafcon moment of 2008 became a movement; we are ensuring that faithful Anglicans can maintain a clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ in contexts where the existing Anglican leadership has effectively made orthodox biblical faith optional.
There are of course orthodox Anglicans in Aotearoa New Zealand who do not yet believe it is time to leave their traditional home. I admire the strenuous efforts of the CCAANZ leadership to try and preserve good relationships, but their overriding conviction is that the action they are taking is about ‘Not just us, not just now’.
They are convinced that ‘not just us’ means they must look beyond their own immediate parish context to address the shift that has taken place in the wider church. And that this is ‘not just now’; we only have to look at North America and the UK to see that that once the process becomes established, the secular captivity of the Church proceeds relentlessly, and it is only wise to be prepared. Although currently only 12 parishes, it must surely be only be a matter of time before the Canterbury recognised Anglicans in New Zealand follow the example of other liberal provinces by officially changing their canons to permit same sex marriage. CCAANZ is now the future of faithful Anglican witness in New Zealand.
Indeed, the wisdom of ‘not just now’ has already been illustrated by what can only be described as an intemperate attack on the newly formed CCAANZ by Archbishops Donald Tamihere and Philip Richardson who have issued a statement in which they protest about ‘boundary crossing bishops and their alleged ‘disrespect for the normal protocols of the Anglican Communion and the lack of courtesy shown to our church’. Here we see a leadership which is quick to protest when it feels that ecclesiastical geographical boundaries are being set aside, but happily condones the breaching of God’s clear moral boundaries taught in Scripture and by the Church for two millennia.
The collect for today, the Feast of Ss Simon & Jude, Apostles, gives us the perspective of the Church through the ages as we pray:
Almighty God, who built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone; so join us together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This is a prayer that takes us to the heart of the Gafcon movement and true Anglicanism because we find our unity first and foremost in the apostles’ doctrine. When this is abandoned, there is nothing to fall back on except appeals to protocol and ultimately, as we have seen in North and South America, litigation. This is a question which faces the whole Anglican Communion as bishops have to decide if they will attend Lambeth 2020. With the presence in good standing of four bishops in same-sex unions, it legitimizes and normalizes unbiblical marriage and will reshape the Canterbury Communion as a fellowship of churches bound simply by protocol and no longer by the Apostolic Faith.
Let us remember to pray for the renewal and revival of the Anglican Communion so that Christ may be faithfully proclaimed to our nations in the power of the Holy Spirit with a return to adherence to the teaching of Holy Scripture.
Your brother in Jesus Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
Chairman, Gafcon Primates Council
The Feast of Saints Simon & Jude, 28th October 2019
Homeless for seven years, following the loss of a $40 million 250-year-old historic church property in litigation with the Episcopal Church, a prominent Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) parish moved into its new home this week.
The congregation of the Falls Church Anglican (TFCA) in Falls Church, Virginia, celebrated a consecration service and dedication of their new sanctuary on Sunday, September 8. Since separating from the Episcopal Church in late 2006, the congregation has planted eight congregations across the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and in three other Virginia cities.
TFCA is one of the larger congregations within ACNA, reporting 2,194 members in 2018, with an average principle service attendance of 1,274 and operating income of $6.3 million. The church’s daughter congregations reported a combined membership of 1,481 and an average attendance of 1,548 the same year. According to a 2015 congregational brochure, the existing property (which includes a multistory office building) cost $31 million, with an additional $23 million for new construction on the site. The new sanctuary seats between 900 and 1,000 people.
TFCA’s congregation has been, as Rector Sam Ferguson put it, “tabernacling” for seven years, migrating between three separate office spaces and even more worship sites. Walking into a new church home after many years in borrowed space is significant.
From 2001-2009, I was a member of TFCA, joining a group of approximately 70 people in 2009 sent out to plant an Anglican congregation in neighboring Arlington. I still have many friends there, with whom I shared conversations amidst Episcopal Church denominational turmoil and eventual Anglican realignment.
In May of 2012, I returned to the church for its final worship service in the historic property. The service featured spirited singing of Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” and celebrated the many daughter congregations that TFCA had planted since a congregational vote to depart the Episcopal Church. As one longtime TFCA member prayed aloud that night, she was grateful that “the church planter is now the church planted,” and was trusting God to lead them in a new and uncertain season.
At a standing-room-only 8:45 a.m. service this Sunday in 2019, Ferguson noted that the Bible has many examples of people displaced for a season. God providentially engages his people in an activity or period of renewal that otherwise might not have occurred.
“God strategically forced us into a place of real weakness. As a church, we really didn’t know what was next. We really didn’t know what to do, except depend completely on him. Dependence, not independence, is strength,” Ferguson recounted of TFCA’s own journey. “Weakness will train you to lean on God.”
While TFCA’s new campus is only one mile south of the historic Falls Church building, the move already does seem strategically significant. The new site is adjacent a booming immigrant populations who populate the church’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. Likewise, the new building is a visible landmark along a well-traveled commuter artery from suburban Fairfax County into Washington, D.C.
To be candid, church buildings do matter. They serve as missionary outposts in the communities that church congregations seek to minister amongst. While the buildings themselves are not “the church,” they establish a physical presence in a community. For Anglicans and other Christians in historic, liturgical traditions, setting is important.
I exited the early service to make room for a second, 11:15 a.m., crowd which welcomed international guests from across the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third-largest global family of churches. A friend pointed to a beautiful arrangement of flowers with a note of encouragement from the nearby Roman Catholic high school that hosted many of TFCA’s worship services during the past seven years. It was a touching reminder of the many Christians who welcome Anglicans during their time away from their former church homes. Locally, Roman Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Evangelicals shared their spaces with the large Falls Church congregation that had many programs, but no property to house them in. It was a visible sign of an “ecumenism of the trenches,” in which the household of God joined together to provide during a time of need. Every other Anglican congregation I have spoken with has similar stories. Never before has our church life been so visibly international and ecumenical.
Sunday was also an important day at my own congregation, as we celebrated our one-year anniversary and our first membership Sunday. I am a member of Incarnation Anglican Church in southern Arlington, Virginia, which is TFCA’s first “granddaughter” congregation (we were planted in 2018 by Restoration Anglican Church in northern Arlington, which was itself planted by TFCA in 2009).
During the service, our vicar preached on the importance of inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives and asking for spiritual gifts. While I personally come from a broad church Episcopal background, the charismatic emphasis of my pastor is something I greatly appreciate. Encounter with the person of the Holy Spirit is a common theme across my Anglican diocese.
Just as at TFCA’s consecration, it is our hope at Incarnation that we increase both numerically and in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. Just as at TFCA, there was a buzz as we took vows of membership and signed a church register.
“We are God’s living stones whom he is shaping and configuring into his holy temple,” Ferguson preached earlier that day. “You can imagine it is one thing to build a beautiful building out of bricks and mortar. It is altogether another thing to build a unified and holy people. We are far harder to work with.”
How fitting. God is indeed full of surprises.
Article by Jeff Walton reproduced with permission. Read the original article at: Juicy Ecemunism, the blog of the Institute for Religion and Democracy
Download theConsecration Worship Booklet here
The Rev. Dr. Sam Ferguson’s sermon can be viewed in its entirety here:
Watch a discussion on faith and architecture between the Rev. Dr. Sam Ferguson and the architect who designed the new worship space:
Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas and is now threatening landfall in the Carolinas. The Anglican Relief and Development Fund stands ready to help with relief in Dorian’s aftermath both in the Bahamas and on the US coastline.
For relief efforts within the province, ARDF will work with the local dioceses and congregations who are on the ground and best know the needs of the affected communities. As the destructive path of Dorian continues to unfold, more information and details on relief efforts within the province will be released.
In the Bahamas, ARDF is partnering with Water Mission, a Christian engineering organization whose mission is “to honor God by developing, implementing, and sharing best-in-class safe water solutions that transform as many lives as possible, as quickly as possible.” Water Mission is planning to respond to needs in Green Turtle Cay, Marsh Harbour, and Elbow Cay. Reports from the ground are that in this area, 90% of homes are destroyed, and the remaining10% are severely damaged.
Shipments of Reverse Osmosis systems that can treat saltwater as well as P&G water purification packets for distribution to individuals are being sent.
ARDF has had a long and productive relationship with Water Mission, supporting their efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Please keep those affected by this storm and those called to help with relief efforts in your prayers. To learn more or to donate click here.
*Photo courtesy of NOAA.
Gather with youth ministers from around the Province at the annual Anglican Youth Ministers Gathering, October 2-5, 2019, in Chicago!
Youth ministry is a tough gig. Helping adolescents follow Jesus means not only helping them understand the abundant life he offers them, but doing so in an era of distraction and overcommitment, where church feels like the last priority on their minds. And it can be especially lonely and difficult to engage this task in an Anglican context, since most youth ministry resources come from sources that lack the beauty and depth that drew so many of us into the Anglican way.
That’s why we, Young Anglicans, are hosting the Anglican Youth Ministers Gathering. We want to give anyone who works with youth (volunteer, full-time, lay, clergy, or any combination thereof) a chance to gather together, be encouraged, meet some other Anglican youth ministers, and go home with fresh ideas.
Here’s what Eric Overholt, an Anglican youth minister in California, said about why he’s coming to the AYMG this October:
“There’s nothing like being in a room full of leaders that care about student ministry as much as you do. Add in the Anglican context and it only increases the camaraderie. They speak the same language, are interested in the same things, and are just really fun to be around. I treasure this time with other Anglican youth leaders for the friendships. These friends have become my most trusted resource in youth ministry. I’ve also received some good training (especially, as a diocesan leader) and the resource sharing is always helpful.”
Join us at the annual Anglican Youth Ministers Gathering, October 2-5, 2019 in Wheaton, Illinois!
Learn more and register here.
College and High School Students Engage with God and the Great Commission, September 27-29 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.
Rock the World’s REMIX Great Commission Conference launches college and high school students and their adult leaders into advancing God’s Kingdom. This year’s REMIX conference is September 27-29, 2019 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina, intertwining with the New Wineskins conference and co-sponsored by the Young Anglicans network. Along with its own well-known speakers, including the Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach and the Most Rev. Ben Kwashi, the youth conference will share some speakers, “MAP Talk” workshops, and prayer and worship sessions with the New Wineskins Conference.
At REMIX, college and high school students are equipped to experience and express the Kingdom of God and many hear a new or fresh sense of the Lord’s calling on their lives.
One high school senior who attended a previous REMIX said, “Beforehand, I was feeling incredibly burdened. And not in the good ‘my heart is burdened for starving kids in China’ way but in the ‘why do I even get up in the mornings’ way. I came out of REMIX a re-commissioned person. My story is not unique. Something awakened in us all during those few days.”
This year, a “PREmix” pre-conference especially for MKs (Missionary Kids) and other TCK’s (Third Culture Kids) is offered. MKs/TCKs grow up in a country different from their parents’ home country, leading to unique identity issues and strengths. This pre-conference will serve these students in ways suited to their particular interests and needs.
The Rev. Whis Hays, Rock the World’s Executive Director says, “That’s why we focus on loving God and taking Jesus both to the nations and to younger generations. God’s heart of love propels us to share His love with the young, the poor, the oppressed, and the lost, here and to the ends of the Earth.”
Join the adventure this year as Deep calls to Deep at REMIX!
Find out more and register at www.rocktheworld.org/remix.
A response to the El Paso and Dayton tragedies.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Anglican Church in North America:
I am writing to you on behalf of Archbishop Foley, our Primate, who is on vacation and sabbath time until September. He has asked me in my role as Dean of the Province to serve in an interim capacity for him. Together with our Deans (+Guernsey, +Atwood, and +Allen), we are working with our excellent provincial staff to address needs as they arise. It is in this capacity that we have felt led of the Lord to offer some words of sympathy, prayer, and direction as two cities in the U.S. where we have churches have experienced horrible tragedy.
Our hearts are saddened and grieved by the devastating shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. To all of our brothers and sisters in these cities, we offer our deepest condolences and prayers for your communities. Thankfully, to our knowledge so far, none of our Anglican Church in North America brothers and sisters were directly affected. Even so, there are some things that we can do:
First, keep praying for the victims and their families. I know many of us have already begun to do this in our worship. Yet, the emotional, physical, and spiritual collateral damage from the slaughter of innocent people is far reaching. Let us continue to remember the survivors in these suffering families before the Lord.
Second, those of us in the immediate vicinities can seek ways to offer the compassion of Christ. We give thanks for the churches that we have heard from that are offering pastoral support and grief counseling. One act of mercy many of us can do no matter where we live is to give blood.
Third, pray for God to give our political leaders His wisdom. Ask for their responses to be what will restrain evil without making good people more vulnerable to wickedness (Romans 13:3).
Four, allow the Holy Spirit to create a greater passion in our lives to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to change hearts and lives. The Prophet Jeremiah says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (17:9). The same prophet said, “I will give them a heart to know Me . . . for they will return to Me with their whole heart” (24:7). Only our God can change a human heart from evil to a heart filled with the Holy Spirit. St. Paul wrote these words, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17). He would know; he was once a murderer before he met Christ.
We have Good News for sad times. Jesus Christ “came not for the righteous but sinners” (Mark 2:17). Our Lord can turn hearts from hate to love. But we must witness to the transforming love of Jesus Christ more than ever before. How will people hear if we do not go?
May the Lord use the Anglican Church in North America to reach our hurting cities with the healing light of Jesus’ presence!
Dean of the Anglican Church in North America
Calling all Anglican Church in North America diocesan, ministry partner, and congregational communications professionals! You are invited to join the provincial communications team for the Communicators’ Retreat and Workshops, September 23-25, as a pre-conference to the New Wineskins Missions Conference.
Beginning with dinner on Monday, Sept. 23, attendees will gather for fellowship and retreat. On Tuesday and Wednesday, peer-to-peer learning workshops will run throughout the day with time for fellowship and relaxing, too. On Thursday, those staying through the Conference will begin putting their new-found knowledge and skills to work at the various other New Wineskins pre-conferences. It is highly encouraged that attendees then stay for the New Wineskins Conference, Sept. 26-29.
There is no registration fee, but attendees are responsible for travel expenses and room and board at Ridgecrest Conference Center.
To register, complete these steps:
To reserve your room and purchase your meal plan with Ridgecrest (step 2 above), please call 1-800-588-7222. Tell the representative that you are with the New Wineskins group and need a room beginning on Monday, September 23 through your departure date.
A $100 deposit will be required at booking and the balance to be paid upon check-in. At check-in, payments can be split amongst roommates.
A meal plan beginning with dinner Monday through breakfast Sunday is $170 per person.
The New Wineskins conference is the largest Anglican missions conference in North America and is full of great speakers. Conference registration costs $285. Learn more here.
New Wineskins Missionary Network will host its ninth global mission conference September 26-29 at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Black Mountain, North Carolina.
The New Wineskins Conference is the largest Anglican missions conference in North America and serves as a homecoming for missionaries serving in the field and an equipping experience for laity and clergy from around the world. With programs for children, youth, and adults of every age, organizers anticipate over 1,000 attendees who will worship, learn, connect, and pray together.
The event features four days full of plenary sessions, networking opportunities, Mission Awareness Presentations (MAP Talks), and prayer and worship services. Participants come to hear what God is doing around the world, to be equipped for mission through teaching and instruction, and to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. With this year’s theme of “Better Together,” the conference will celebrate partnership and collaboration. All of this takes place on the campus of Ridgecrest Conference Center with the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
A new feature this year is the addition of more than 16 pre-conferences. Attendees are encouraged to come early to go deeper in an area of mission about which they are passionate. Topics like Business as Mission, the Persecuted Church, International Student Ministry, and more are on offer. Of particular note is Always Forward, the Anglican Church in North America’s Church Planting Initiative, hosting its fall conference as a pre-conference in alignment with the “Better Together” theme!
“We have such an excited anticipation of how God will use our time together in September to bring breakthrough, healing, repentance, missional calling, and boldness by the power of His Holy Spirit, that we urge you not to miss this opportunity for yourself and your parish!” says Jenny Noyes, Executive Director of New Wineskins Missionary Network.
The mission of the New Wineskins Missionary Network is to empower and equip Anglicans for local and global cross-cultural mission. Founded in 1974, New Wineskins is dedicated to praying for missionaries, raising awareness, providing resources and being a network of networks to further the cause of Anglican missions worldwide. The New Wineskins Conference will be a celebration of God’s work among us. Registration and more information can be found at newwineskinsconference.org.
It is easy for us to let the fire for evangelism at home fade. We need good global partnerships to help us develop a global vision; good global partnerships that inspire us to remain faithful to our own evangelistic work by exposing us to the church’s primary evangelistic work to the nations.
“Wait right here,” said Getbez*, as he disappeared into a crowd of people. So, there we waited. It was my first mission trip. Ever. And, I was nominally in charge. A small group from my church, Christ the King, had flown into Nairobi and, after a quick nap, began a long drive north. As we circled Mt. Kenya, the landscape changed from lush and green to arid and brown. As Mt. Kenya faded in our rearview mirror, the road, which I found lacking to begin with, disappeared altogether. For the next six hours, we bounced around in Getbez’s car over washboard dirt roads, around crater-sized potholes, while avoiding thundering “lorries.” As we continued north, the landscape became more and more strange, and people less and less frequent. At one point in the journey, as evening was fast approaching, our car began making strange sounds. We stopped, got out, and discovered that our car, due to one too many enormous pot-holes, was literally falling part. Undeterred, John untied our luggage and used the rope to lash some parts of the car together. “Bush mechanics!” he said as we climbed back in.
Finally, much later than anticipated, we arrived at our destination: a little town in north central Kenya. It was dark. It was dusty. We appeared to be the only non-locals in the town center. There, Getbez dropped us off saying, “wait right here,” as he drove away to take care of some unknown detail. So, there we waited, four people, who twenty-four hours earlier had been sipping coffee at a Starbucks in Alexandria, Virginia. I recall looking at my fellow team members one by one and then saying, “I have never felt so far from home.”
Thankfully, Getbez did return and we enjoyed a wonderful trip. After a few days, we made the long journey back home, but I have returned numerous times, as have many from Christ the King, including my wife and two of my children.
Getbez is one of the plenary speakers at the New Wineskins Global Mission Conference 2019. He is the founder of an organization, a group of fearless church planters who serve in Northern Kenya - a majority Muslim area with many unreached people groups. Their work is the initial proclamation of the Gospel and humanitarian support as well.
Currently, he is building a community outreach project in the middle of a majority Muslim town north of Nairobi. It will house a library, a dispensary, a tailoring training center, and a much needed maternity ward. Eventually, the facility will host teams visiting from far and wide.
I have known Getbez for the past ten years. He has become a close friend and we have developed a meaningful partnership. As uncomfortable as those first few minutes in Kenya were for me, I am convinced that it is good to occasionally be “far from home.”
Prior to launching Christ the King, I served at The Falls Church Anglican. There, I witnessed the many global connections within that church and the positive impact of those connections. Although I could not have explained why at the time, I knew I wanted these relationships to be part of Christ the King.
Soon after our first worship service, Barb Nelson, a founding member, and I decided to find one overseas missionary partner for the church. We thought one was enough for our church in order to be deeply involved with one, rather than broadly involved with many. This faithful member made a list of potential partners, the first of whom was Getbez. After one cup of coffee, I called Barb and said, “Stop looking. We’ve found our partner.” And we did!
While we have reaped many, many benefits from our partnership with Getbez, two things stand out. First, our partnership helps us develop a “global vision.” Second, our partnership ensures that the fire for evangelism remains lit in our own setting. So, two benefits: vision and fire.
It is easy for us to let the fire for evangelism at home fade. We need good global partnerships to help us develop a global vision; good global partnerships that inspire us to remain faithful to our own evangelistic work by exposing us to the church’s primary evangelistic work to the nations. Your church may be small - many are in our young movement. So, start intentionally and remain focused. You will find, as we have found, that you receive far, far more than you give.
The Rev. David Glade is the founding Rector of Christ the King in Alexandria, Virginia.
*To protect the identity of this front-line evangelist, a pseudonym has been used here and his name has not been listed on the New Wineskins Conference speakers webpage, though he will be there.
To learn more about how you can build global mission partnerships, attend the New Wineskins Conference at Ridgecrest in Asheville, North Carolina this September 26-29. Visit NewWineskinsConference.Org for more information and to register.
As society continues to shift and change, our models for church planting, buildings, and growth may need to find new shapes and strategies as well. In some cases, it may look like meeting in a teashop on a busy street in Chinatown.
Crimson Teas is a small teashop in downtown Toronto, nestled along the very busy Chinatown stretch of Spadina Avenue. They boast the “Best Pu-erh Tea in Town” and serve green tea noodles, dim sum, and desserts among other things. Inside, one wall is painted bright crimson red and large sketches of unnamed faces hang there. Tree trunk stools surround a long, angular wood table which runs the length of the narrow room. And if you just happened upon this unique, little establishment it might not be where you’d expect to find an Anglican church. But it is where you’d find Christ the King, Toronto (CTK) — a growing, Bible-based, Christ-centered, multicultural parish in the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC).
“We had to get a few ducks in a row,” Sandra Guinness, member of the church council, said when asked about finding a place to meet in the busy and expensive downtown Toronto. “The challenge of both finding a suitable location and the financial cost of renting—let alone buying— a place downtown was daunting.”
Christ the King launched as a church plant in 2009 under the name “Toronto Centre Project” and met in a leader’s living room. In 2010, they began meeting in the afternoons at a local Baptist church and chose the name Christ the King Anglican Church. In 2016, they joined with another ANiC church plant in the city, Christ the Redeemer, to experiment with holding some services together. In early 2017 the two congregations officially merged with the Rev. Keith Ganzer as rector.
“Back in 2016, we were a very small church with about 20 members coming each Sunday,” Ganzer said. “We felt it was important to move to a location closer to downtown Toronto and the university context.”
Then, God opened a door through a small business owner named Phillip Chan. Passionate about the benefits of tea, Chan opened Crimson Teas in Chinatown and happily opened his doors to CTK for their Sunday services free of charge.
By God’s grace, Chan’s generosity gifted the small congregation with a wealth of opportunities.
With access to a commercial kitchen, food quickly became a big part of life at CTK. Before services, you can get a cup of milk tea (Hong Kong-style, minus the sugar) and homemade muffins. Afterwards, the congregation has lunch together every Sunday.
“Phillip graciously prepares lunch for us each week, and the food is just great every time - tasty and nutritious!” said Jerry Gu, who joined the church in 2017.
As well as the financial freedom and fellowship opportunities, the teashop has made CTK more known in the city and visible to the neighbourhood. On Sundays, anyone walking the busy, downtown street can see their service through the floor-to-ceiling teashop windows. Chan makes a point to invite his customers through the week and some have begun attending on Sundays.
“The number of times — since we started meeting in Crimson Teas — where there have been no visitors on a Sunday can be counted with the fingers on one hand,” said Ron Bales, the church treasurer.
The large windows have also blessed the congregation while they worship. Roger Ong, the assistant minister explained: “The snow falling, people walking by, the street car, curious onlookers, a homeless man and once the Chinatown Festival float parade! It is a great reminder that the church exists for the world and that we are called to be on mission.”
Positioned now in Chinatown and near universities with many international students, CTK has a beautiful variety of people, young and old, worshiping and fellowshipping together. With some space limitations at the teashop they are looking at adding a third Sunday service, finding more room for a children’s program, and prayerfully considering the possibility of a new church plant in the future.
Of course, being such a diverse congregation isn’t without its challenges. “Where messiness increases, His grace abounds all the more,” Ong answered. “God could have chosen to stick with one people… But He didn’t. Making disciples of all nations? That sounds a whole lot more messy and less efficient. But when it all comes together - what a thing of beauty to behold!”
In a world getting smaller and more interconnected every day, more and more churches face the challenges and wonderful opportunities of drawing together people from all backgrounds and cultures. And as society continues to shift and change, our models for church planting, buildings, and growth may need to find new shapes and strategies as well. In some cases, it may look like meeting in a teashop on a busy street in Chinatown.
“One of the things we have been sharing,” said Bales, “with some of our visitors who were keen to church plant is, ‘Don’t pray for a church building; pray for a Phillip Chan!’”
Scott Hunt is the Communications Director for the Anglican Network in Canada.
Salvation Anglican Church, in the Sao Miguel de Taipu neighborhood outside of João Pessoa, Brazil, is indeed a savior to this community. We all know that a vital church plays a key role in a community. But how can one measure this? Anglican Relief and Development Fund traveled to Northeastern Brazil to find out!
A history of flooding
Salvation Anglican Church is located in a rough neighborhood. Located outside of any commercial centers, this community is one of “squatters.” Residents here are those who have been forced off land elsewhere and end up here. They claim their land simply by occupying it.
Needless to say, living in a situation where you fear your land might be grabbed at any moment by someone else does not foster a sense of community!
This land is not very valuable. It is located next to the Paraíba river, which floods often. But it has become home for these residents. An Anglican Church building stood there and served the community.
When this church flooded, the government gave the community land for a new church to be located outside of the flood plain. But as is often the case, there was no money to rebuild it.
Building a new church
Surprisingly, the community gathered together to find a solution. The government plot was not ideal as it was located far away from the original church and was not convenient for residents. One community member donated her land to the church, in exchange for the government land. She was no longer using all of her land to farm, and her extended family could use the government plot.
Now on this better site, a church was built with funds from an ARDF grant. When we visited in 2018, we saw a dynamic church on top of a beautiful hill. We met the Rev. Eliane Chacon who has been at this church for 12 years.
A transformed community
Pastor Eliane reports that she has seen amazing changes since the new building was completed and the neighbors can more easily attend church. They were not, after all, wading through mud on the floor of the church or unable to enter the church at all!
Pastor Eliane told us that before, “They didn’t have a peaceful culture. Violence culture is very common in Brazil.” She went on to tell us of one instance when one woman murdered another over a dispute about a dog!
However, being able to hold regular services has changed this. Now, the community is much calmer and willing to be in community together. “They understand how important forgiveness is. Their relationships are more peaceful.” Pastor Eliane says this is a direct result of preaching the Gospel! Hallelujah!
One concrete example is in the number of couples now wanting to marry or wanting their unions blessed. Before, no one wanted to invest in the commitment of marriage.
“[This year] I will bless 5 more couples because we teach this in the church – how important it is receive the blessing of God in your marriage.”
Pastor Eliane has future plans for the church. She dreams of creating a space for women to gather during their time off. Currently, women stay in their homes alone when they are not working. Bringing them together at the church will only continue to foster this sense of community.
It is amazing to see what a big difference a local church can make, year after year, in a difficult community.
Pastor Eliane’s bishop, Marcio Meira, has an explanation: “We believe Jesus can change every thing, in every time, for everybody. But we need sometimes a miracle. Jesus specializes in miracles.”
Archbishop Foley Beach will speak at this year’s conference that is set to explore the Jewish roots of Christianity.
Beeson Divinity School will host its annual Anglican Theology Conference September 24-25 on the Samford University campus in Birmingham, Alabama. This year’s conference will explore the Jewish roots of Christianity.
Since the Holocaust, both Jewish and Christian scholars have rediscovered the Jewish roots of Christianity. This conference will explore those roots and discuss their continuing implications for Christian theology and practice. Speakers are leading scholars who will present cutting-edge results from recent work.
For more information and to register, visit the conference website here.
This weekend, the Anglican Way Institute will hold its annual Anglican Way Summer Conference with keynote speaker, Dr. Hans Boersma.
If there is one conference to understand how the Anglican mind is supposed to work, it’s the 2019 Anglican Way Summer Conference July 11-14 in Dallas, Texas at Church of the Holy Communion Cathedral!
This year, our keynote speaker Dr. Hans Boersma. Dr. Boersma served as the J.I. Packer Professor of Theology at Regent College since 2005 and has recently been named the Chair of Ascetical Theology at Nashotah House Seminary. He has perhaps in greater detail, and better than any other in recent times, articulated the clearest and best Anglican model of theology based on the Great Tradition of Christian Platonism. It’s summarized well in his seminal work, Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry.
Dr. Boersma will begin with his first talk on Sacramentalism, by offering his thesis of Christian Platonism through the insightful, lucid, and creative work of C.S. Lewis, to distinguish mere symbol from sacrament. He will then cover the important topic of Contemplation in his second presentation on the Beatific Vision. Third, he addresses the essential matter of Anglicanism and Scripture with the development of a sacramental hermeneutic closer to how Christ, the Apostles and the Church Fathers understood the Old and New Testaments. Fourth, Dr. Boersma will turn to the topic of worship with a teaching on the sacrifice of Christ and how we participate in it by way of the Blessed Sacrament. Our speaker’s talks will conclude on the important subject of beauty presented in the Book of Psalms, as a means of participating in the heavenly realm.
Bring your friends and your priest or pastor! Neither will be disappointed!
To Learn more about The Anglican Way Conference or to register click here.
Want to re-experience a bit of Assembly 2019? Miss a session and want to catch it? Now you can! Featured videos of plenaries, livestream interviews, and the Opening Eucharist are available on the App, YouTube, and Facebook. Audio recordings of breakout sessions are also available in the App.
Over the next week, visit your Anglican Church in North America App media center to find newly uploaded recordings of breakout sessions, the anniversary video, network videos, and more. Turn on your notifications to be instantly notified of new uploads. You can also visit our YouTube and Facebook pages to access Assembly videos.
Access Assembly photos here.
Don’t miss any bit of the Disciple 2019 experience!
Seeking to be Biblical Christians in a global age, participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference are busy proclaiming Jesus Christ faithfully to the nations by making disciples, evangelizing those who don’t know Jesus, and speaking into corruption, economic injustices, and moral concerns in their local communities. Here are just a few stories from around the world.
Brothers and Sisters, greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord!!
Seeking to be Biblical Christians in a global age, participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference are busy proclaiming Jesus Christ faithfully to the nations by making disciples, evangelizing those who don’t know Jesus, and speaking into corruption, economic injustices, and moral concerns in their local communities. Here are just a few stories from around the world.
Earlier this month, a truly phenomenal gathering took place in Uganda with some two million pilgrims gathering at Namugongo near Kampala where 45 young men, both Anglicans and Roman Catholics, were martyred between 1885-87 for being unwilling to give into the sexually immoral demands of the King and his friends. In recent years, attendance has increased dramatically with many people coming from well beyond Uganda itself. It has become a great festival of worship, teaching, and fellowship demonstrating so wonderfully the vitality of African Christianity.
Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit of Kenya was invited to be the guest preacher at the Anglican Memorial and Archbishop Stanley Ntagali congratulated his fellow Gafcon Primate for his recent announcement that he would not be attending the 2020 Lambeth Conference, saying:
“The liberals have their money, but we have the true gospel.”
The pilgrims responded with cheering and huge applause because they understood the lesson of the Ugandan martyrs that true discipleship in every generation is sacrificial and marked by the courage to stand firm in the face of ungodly opposition.
In the diocese of Sydney, the bishops and Archbishop met and also decided they cannot in good conscience attend the Lambeth 2020 Conference. Archbishop Glenn Davies wrote:
It is highly regrettable to say this, but I believe the Anglican Communion has lost its moorings and has become, effectively, the “Canterbury Communion”. In other words, rather than the Archbishop of Canterbury inviting those bishops who uphold the foundational trio of the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer (1662 edition, which includes the Ordinal) and the Thirty-nine Articles, he has erred in two respects. He has failed to invite bishops who uphold Reformational Anglicanism and has invited bishops who have repudiated these fundamental truths.
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) just joyfully celebrated its 10th Year Anniversary after being called into existence by the participants of GAFCON 2008 in Jerusalem. The conference theme was “Renewing our Call to the Great Commission” and featured the release of the Book of Common Prayer 2019. The Anglican Church in North America College of Bishops prayerfully considered the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation for some of their bishops to come to Lambeth 2020 as observers. Noting that the Lambeth Conference and the Archbishop of Canterbury himself are in violation of Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 by inviting those who are practicing and living in direct opposition to the content and the spirit of that motion, and further recognizing that these decisions have undermined authority of the Lambeth Conference, the bishops voted unanimously to decline his invitation. They join the Anglican Church in Brazil who made a similar decision.
In the United Kingdom we have seen St. Silas Church in Glasgow, Scotland vote to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church because of that province’s departure from Biblical moral theology. The rector, The Rev. Martyn Ayers said:
There are many presenting issues that have caused difficulty within the Scottish Episcopal Church in recent years, but for us this is simply about the place of Jesus Christ and his words in the life of our church. We feel the Scottish Episcopal Church has moved away from the message of the Bible, and that we cannot follow them. We have taken the decision to leave because of our commitment to Jesus Christ and his word.
St. Silas now says it will accept the alternative oversight and fellowship from the Anglican Archbishops who lead the Global Anglican Future movement (Gafcon).
Elsewhere in the United Kingdom, the Rev. John Parker, Vicar of Fordham and Eight Ash Green in Chelmsford Diocese, has resigned because of the diocesan affirmation of the imposition of transgender ideology on children at the Church of England school of which he was a governor.
Rev. Parker is an Oxford educated biologist whose objections to the ‘training’ being given by Mermaids, a transgender activist group, were scientific as well as ethical, but a rather chilling audio recording makes it clear that no dissent was allowed:
He has received no support from the leadership of the school or the diocese and is now leaving the Church of England. Explaining his resignation from the thriving parish where he has served for 7 years, he said:
This situation, in its entire disregard for the Christian children and parents in the school, and those of other faiths and philosophies, provided another instance of what had been made clear in previous conversations and correspondence with Bishop Stephen [Cottrell] – that my Biblical views on sexuality were not welcome in the Church of England and that I ‘could leave.’
From my side of the Atlantic, all this looks sadly familiar, but we praise God that the Anglican Communion depends ultimately on the truth of God’s Word and those faithful leaders who remain true to the Apostolic Faith. Please pray for this brave man, his family, and the clergy and laity who have stood with them. May the Lord keep us all strong and courageous as we trust unswervingly in the One who promises ‘I will not leave you or forsake you’ (Joshua 1:5).
Sisters and brothers, the Lord has given us work to do. Let us not grow weary in our ministries reaching people in our towns and communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ! Let us remember to gather faithfully each Sunday to worship Him in the Spirit and in the Truth. And let us leave our places of worship each Sunday going out to make disciples of all nations and baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Your brother in Jesus Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Chairman, Gafcon Primates Council
As the Anglican Church in North America enters her second decade, she will cross through her teenage years into adulthood, all the while strengthening her identity after having fought for the first decade to claim it.
What does it mean to grow up into adolescence? It means walking out into the world, away from our parents’ arms, tottering on alone. With increased independence comes greater risk, however; greater mistakes but greater successes. Each step marks a new phase in the growth of our identity. As the Anglican Church in North America enters her second decade, she will cross through her teenage years into adulthood, all the while strengthening her identity after having fought for the first decade to claim it. Adolescents are more able to understand who they are despite their continuing struggles and to integrate conflict into their sense of self. These are the years the province walks confidently towards.
Ten years ago, we were separated from caretakers no longer able to bring us the care and discipline we needed; but the Lord, in his mercy, provided new shepherds to carry us forward until we could walk on our own. In those first years, we reconnected with the wisdom of our grandparents and great-grandparents, whose legacy many of us had lost touch with, and we came to find that it was not we, in our infancy, who broke away, but many of our spiritual parents who abandoned us. Having reconnected with our heritage, we found ourselves firmly settled once again in a global family. We were given the freedom to grow, flourish, learn, take our first steps, wander, explore, come home, cry, laugh, and find our voice. This was the legacy of our first decade. Every mistake was met with a success born out of the helping hands of God extended by those who came to see us through our childhood.
We have finally found our footing. Now, having strengthened our identity, and having found out who we are, we will embrace what we were created to do. The adolescence that we step into is an opportunity to revitalize an orthodox Anglicanism built on a foundation of strength developed over our first ten years.
As we gathered for Assembly, this growing maturity was evident. The release of our Book of Common Prayer reflected a move from toddling to walking as we hit our stride in the Anglican tradition of prayer and worship. The book speaks to our ability to launch out and pray with confidence in the company of our forefathers. It says to the worldwide Church, “We are Anglican,” and it enshrines our identity by common prayer expressed in common worship through the centuries. While there will still be bumps in our adolescent years, they will be experienced with the backbone of a maturing ecclesiology, or understanding of Church leadership and structure, and a refined passion for mission.
The Assembly speakers, including keynote speaker Ravi Zacharias, further impressed on us the reality that we have grown not just in ourselves but also in our relationship with others. We grew in the language we would use to communicate our growing identity, fostering relationships with those who call us “friends” and support our call for dependence on God’s Word and our need for community outside the home. Likewise, the Assembly workshops presented the ins and outs of daily work in the Anglican Church in North America, the little ways we have labored to add our small pieces of the puzzle to a larger whole. They were the expression of ministries, projects, and deep theological thought that came together to help inform the whole body and launch her into the next phase of life.
It is with gratitude that we step forward into adolescence. We walk with gratitude to our forefathers and to our current brothers and sisters who have labored so hard to grow us up and get us out the door, to Archbishop Bob Duncan and others who led the way, and to Archbishop Foley Beach and many more who now keep us moving forward. Growing pains are never easy. We have suffered through many and will doubtless suffer through many more. At Assembly this year, however, we saw the fruit of that labor: over one thousand souls who have benefited from the life we lived together as the Anglican Church in North America and who will continue to draw from her life ahead.
Deacon Francis Capitanio is the Communications Director for the Anglican Diocese of New England.
The call to renew its commitment to the Great Commission brought together clergy and laity from around the Anglican Church in North America and the Global Anglican Communion.
From Monday, June 17 to Wednesday, June 19, the Anglican Church in North America held its Provincial Assembly on the heels of Provincial Council. Assembly, which meets at least once every five years, is the largest governing body of the province. With it comes a conference that brings the Church together for prayer, praise, fellowship, and teaching. At this Assembly, the province celebrated its ten-year anniversary, providing its people an opportunity to look back and see from where the church had come and to look forward to see where she is going. This occasion was marked with the special release of the province’s 2019 Book of Common Prayer, a copy of which all conference attendees received.
The Opening Eucharist was hosted by Christ Church, Plano on Monday night and marked the beginning of the conference. In his opening address during that service, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, reflected on the journey as a province over the last ten years, remembering all that God has done for her in both her successes and trials. He preached on the ministry of John the Baptist, a call to repentance and reform based on the Word of God. St. John’s ministry reflects the province’s work as part of the Church in today’s culture, which includes bringing people to repentance and engaging in the ongoing work of discipleship. “Our calling as believers is not to plant churches,” Beach said, “as good as that is . . . . Our calling from Jesus is to go and make disciples. Jesus calls each of his followers to be about this business of disciple-making, helping others follow Jesus as he leads them in their lives.” He encouraged the Anglican Church in North America to take up this call and remember what is most important in the life of the Church: our commission from Jesus Christ to grow disciples for the Kingdom of God.
Tuesday included Plenary sessions throughout the day at the Frisco Convention Center. Each closed with a presentation introducing one of five ministry networks of the Anglican Church in North America: the Every Tribe and Nation Network, the Matthew 25 Initiative, Always Forward, Anglican Global Mission Partnerships, and Next Generation. These networks have been organized to better coordinate ministry efforts within the province.
A highlighted keynote speaker at the main plenary was Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias. Zacharias addressed the Assembly and encouraged them to stand firm in the faith, recognizing the importance of the Anglican tradition, including the Book of Common Prayer, which has spoken to and informed the Protestant movement. He spoke to the Church’s mission through the story of Joseph in Egypt and the ability of God to bring about good from evil. Zacharias described Joseph as having made it through his trials by the grounding of his faith in a season of temptation, the guarantee of his peace through a season of pain, the generosity of his spirit during a season of power, and the testimony of his contemporaries despite a contradictory culture. Also speaking from the Assembly stage were Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, The Most Rev. Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop and Primate of Rwanda, Archbishop Foley Beach, and others.
Over 30 breakout workshops also gave attendees a breadth and depth of learning and discussion, ranging in topics from maintaining and fostering cultural diversity in our churches, to resourcing urban ministry, the development of the Book of Common Prayer, the history and use of the Coverdale Psalter, and the importance of engaging with the next generation.
This year’s Assembly and 10-year celebration saw 1,175 attendees, representing 23 countries with 10 Primates in attendance, including the Most Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit of Kenya, the Most Rev. Stephen Than of Myanmar, and the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali of Uganda.
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
In May 2019, Jon Ignatius “Jack” Lumanog was inhibited from ministry and no longer serves as a priest in the Anglican Church in North America. The following statement is from his former bishop, the Right Reverend Derek Jones of the Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy:
Mr. Jon I “Jack” Lumanog is no longer with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). During a restorative period while under an ecclesiastical suspension, Mr Lumanog elected to seek ecclesiastical status with another non-ACNA faith group. This and other professional and personal decisions have led to him being inhibited from ministry by me. This means he is no longer a priest with, and has no ecclesiastical standing in, the Anglican Church in North America.
Mr Lumanog’s status is with one of the myriad of non-Anglican groups who loosely use a type of Anglican polity - that includes the use of Anglican titles. While we understand that he is titled as a “bishop” with this group, Mr. Lumanog is not a bishop with the ACNA or with any recognized ACNA or GAFCON communion body.
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.