Archbishop Beach issues a call to prayer on Ash Wednesday with a particular emphasis on intercessions for the intervention of the spread of the Coronavirus.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and alms-giving; and by reading and meditating of God’s holy Word – BCP2019, p. 544.
Dearly Beloved in Jesus Christ,
As you and I begin the observance of Lent on this Ash Wednesday, I want to ask you to build into your Lenten observance specific times of prayer (and fasting) asking for God’s intervention in the spread of the Coronavirus in North America and all around the world.
Dr. Nancy Messionnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, said yesterday that it is only a matter of time before the virus now labeled COVID-19 begins to spread across North America. Saying that schools and businesses should begin preparing now, she said: “I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe. But these are things that people need to start thinking about now.”
This is where you and I can make a difference in prayer. If you are going to give up something this Lent, give up “time” and use that time in prayer. If you are going to take something on this Lent, take up specific times in intercessory prayer. Ask God to eradicate this virus. Ask him to intervene. Ask him to help public health officials, doctors, and government officials with wisdom and guidance. Ask him to heal the victims and comfort those who have lost loved-ones. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing this virus right now in China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Iran, Italy, and so many other places.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound judgment (2 Tim.1:7). Let us walk and live in God’s wisdom asking for his help, and trusting in His mercy.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
A letter from Archbishop Foley Beach to Gafcon.
Beloved in Christ Jesus: Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Light of the world!
The season of Epiphany has been a reminder to us of the mission of the Church – to reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. With the Great Commission Jesus encouraged his disciples:
Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have command you; and I am with you until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19, 20).
One of the great joys of the Anglican Communion is that it has the potential to demonstrate the gospel ‘mystery’ of being heirs, members and sharers together by a common global life and mission. It has been my privilege to share in the installation of Archbishop Melter Tais as the new Primate of South East Asia. It is a joy to be with brothers and sisters who are so united in mission and in love for Jesus.
Please pray for Archbishop-elect Stephen Kaziimba as the Church of Uganda prepares for his enthronement service on Sunday, March 1st, at which I have been invited to preach. The Ugandan Church has a noble history of faithfulness to Christ, from the early martyrs of the mid 1880’s through to Janani Luwum in 1977 and countless acts of courageous witness for Christ to the present day. We give thanks for the Ugandan witness throughout the decades. May this Church, truly seeded by the blood of the martyrs, reveal even more of the glorious mystery of the gospel in its life together!
Christian discipleship and leadership calls us to make disciples of all nations and it requires us to protect the flock from false teachers. Encountering false teachers is nothing new in the history of the Church. The New Testament is filled with exhortations regarding false teachers. The Apostle Paul was concerned about what was happening in his beloved church plant in the city of Ephesus and wrote: “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them…” (Ephesians 5:5-7).
Did Paul say not to love them? No. He said not to become partners with them. This is the real challenge for many of our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion who have had years of partnership and fellowship and communion with provinces who now are filled with false teachers and with those who are practicing immorality. While the Anglican Establishment argues that this does not matter – that we can agree to disagree on issues of salvation—the Scriptures are clear that we are dishonouring the Body of Christ and the Lord himself when we ignore false teachers and pretend everything is just fine. (See 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 and 2 John 1:10-11).
Recognising the difference between true and false teachers and true and false “togetherness” calls for discernment. I strongly recommend a new tool that helps us in this task by recalling our recent history. The Anglican Reality Check (www.anglicanrealitycheck.org) is an interactive time-line which tracks key events, good and bad, in the unfolding crisis of faith which has overtaken the Anglican Communion in the twenty-first century. It is amazing how much we can forget, and in a world of instant mass communication, this is a great way of keeping perspective and not being swayed by the latest PR slogans. Please spread the word and ensure that this powerful resource is used as widely as possibly to keep the laity and clergy informed.
In the meantime, the Gafcon Networks have continued to work and minister so as to enhance the proclamation of the Gospel all around the world, especially to those in places where they have no witness or church. These Networks – the Suffering Church, Church Planting, Theological Education, Women’s Ministries, Bishop Training Institute, Youth and Children’s Ministry, Global Mission Partnerships, Lawyers Task Force, Sustainable Development, and PRAYER – are all working to help equip the Church for the work God has given us. You can find out more at www.gafcon.org/neworks.
Please also pray for KIGALI 2020 in Rwanda, an important conference for bishops and their wives. Archbishop Kwashi, Archbishop Mbanda, and their teams are working hard to prepare for our arrival in June. If you are a bishop in the Anglican Communion and can affirm the Jerusalem Declaration, you are welcome to attend.
I invite you today to go out and share Jesus with someone!
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. – Collect for Third Sunday of Epiphany
Your brother in the hope and faith of Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Chairman, Gafcon Primates Council
The Liturgy Task Force has released for download the first wave of the 2019 Book of Common Prayer liturgies in traditional language. Included in this release are the Daily Offices, both Eucharistic liturgies, and the Ash Wednesday service, among others.
The Traditional Language Version of the Book of Common Prayer 2019 is expected to be available for purchase later this spring. Stay tuned for updates!
“This Traditional Language Edition of the Book of Common Prayer (2019) employs the personal idiom (thou, thee, thy, thine, etc.) of historic Prayer Books, and uses the verb forms of Elizabethan English, as permitted in the section Concerning the Divine Service of the Church.
This edition also substitutes the historic Coverdale Psalter of 1535, as revised in the 1928 American Prayer Book. All psalms appointed and psalm references in this Traditional Language Edition take this form.
All other quotations from Scripture are from the Authorized Version of the Holy Bible (kjv) of 1611, unless the Prayer Book tradition maintains a still earlier version of the verse or verses.
The page numbers of this Traditional Language Edition mirror the page numbers of the Book of Common Prayer (2019), where possible.” (BCP 2019, Concerning the Traditional Language Edition)
A Letter from Archbishop Foley Beach
Beloved in Christ Jesus: Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Light of the world!
On Epiphany we remember the Magi who came to worship Jesus as the King of kings, bringing to him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold, a most precious gift representing nobility and royalty. Frankincense, an expensive beautiful smelling incense offered to the gods (Origen: Frankincense is the incense of deity). Myrrh, a costly perfume emphasizing his humanness, often used for burial. Here in their offerings to Jesus, we see gifts emphasizing his divinity and his humanity; gifts honoring his birth and honoring his death.
There was also a dark side to the Epiphany story. On the 4th Day of Christmas (December 28) we are reminded of King Herod’s ruthless massacre of the children of Bethlehem in an attempt to exterminate the infant Jesus. Even in the midst of such blessing to the world, evil seeks to destroy all the good that God does and His plans for humanity. Of course, we know evil (and evildoers) will not have the last word as demonstrated in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!! Until the fullness of the Kingdom is realized in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must still face this reality in our daily lives and ministries.
For many of us, Christmas is a time for celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Word becoming flesh, and enjoying time with family and friends. However, for some of our brothers and sisters in Christ, Christmas has become a time of increased threat. This was graphically and barbarically demonstrated by the beheading of a young Nigerian woman, Martha Bulus, and her 10 companions who were abducted by Boko Haram on their way to her wedding on December 26th in north eastern Nigeria’s Borno state. It is reported that the executions were filmed and the video posted online.
It is truly appalling that families who should have had videos of a joyful wedding were faced with a video of their loved ones being butchered to death. This tragedy has illustrated again the deep reluctance on the part of many Western governments, church leaders, and media to speak out on behalf of persecuted Christians. But last year the British Government accepted a report prepared for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, commissioned from the Rt Rev’d Philip Mountstephen, Bishop of Truro. It recognised the large scale of persecution worldwide, involving an estimated quarter of a billion Christians in 144 countries.
While the West mostly remains silent, it is the global family of the Church who must be at the forefront in standing with those who suffer by prayer, practical care and advocacy. Those of you who use the Gafcon daily prayer diary will know that we regularly pray for the Suffering Church and during 2020 the Gafcon Suffering Church network will play an important part in Gafcon’s global ministry. (If you do not yet use this wonderful aid for your prayers, why not make it a New Year’s Resolution to do so?)
We must never speak glibly of suffering, pain and trauma, but in solidarity with the Suffering Church we gain the liberating perspective of faith. The Apostle Paul tells us that he was seeking to know Christ “and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10), and that he hadn’t obtained it yet, but “I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
I am reminded of the Epiphany Collect in which we pray, “Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face.” For all of us our life on earth is temporary, but we trust in what we do not see, and are sustained on our pilgrimage by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit until that glorious day when we shall see Jesus face to face! Hallelujah!
Suffering as a mark of the Christian life carries a powerful message to Church leaders who have compromised Christian teaching and morality in order to try and win acceptance from secular societies that celebrate relativism and narcissistic individualism. Compromising biblical truth only leads to more compromise, and eventually becomes unrecognizable as anything Christian. It demonstrates in real life that this faith in Christ is not just ‘my truth’ or something merely therapeutic, ‘but is truth gloriously and uniquely revealed in Jesus Christ who said God’s word is truth (John 17:17), and “I am the truth” (John 14:6), and has promised “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28.20).’
Bishops of the Anglican Communion will gather in June for the Gafcon 2020 Bishops and Wives Conference, hosted by Archbishop Mbanda and the Anglican Church of Rwanda. It is this unquenchable hope in Jesus, the unfailing truth of His Word, the redemption of all suffering, and joyful life of serving Jesus as found in the Gospel, that we bishops will proclaim in solidarity when we gather in Kigali.
Finally, as we remember those in the midst of distress, let us continue to pray for God’s mercy upon those in Australia who are enduring bush fires on an unprecedented scale which have brought loss of life, trauma and widespread destruction. Archbishop Glenn Davies has commended a special prayer which I in turn commend to the whole Gafcon family.
Your brother in the hope and faith of Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Chairman, Gafcon Primates Council
A Joint Statement from the Anglican Church in North America and the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes
The Rt. Rev. Ronald Jackson has communicated to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes his resignation as the bishop ordinary of the diocese, citing health reasons and to be effective immediately. The diocese has accepted his tendered resignation and is grateful to Bishop Ron for his years of service. Adhering to the canons of both the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes and the Province, the Standing Committee will begin implementing the details of the transition immediately and will share more information about that process in the weeks ahead. The Rt. Rev. John Miller, appointed temporary bishop for the diocese in November 2019, will continue advising the Standing Committee and serve as a liaison with the Province.
Bishop Jackson has been on administrative leave since November 2019 concerning information brought to the attention of the Archbishop’s Office that called for an impartial investigation to be conducted. At the provincial level, the investigative process has entered its middle stages and remains ongoing. Locally, a pastoral team has been put in place to provide holistic care for Bishop Ron and Patty.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, commented on the transition: “Please keep Bishop Ron and his wife, Patty, in your prayers. This has been a difficult and complicated decision for them. Please also pray for the Standing Committee. I have been impressed with how they have proactively and wisely led the diocese over the last couple months. They will have my prayers and full support as they move forward during this challenging time.”
January 2020, Melbourne, Florida
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3. Reading for the Feast of the Epiphany)
We began our meeting on Monday, January 6th by celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany, and concluded our meeting on Friday, January the 10th. We began each day in worship of Almighty God with preaching from the Scriptures and the celebration of Holy Communion. Our business and fellowship throughout the day was punctuated with Midday Prayer and Evening Prayer. It was a great joy to use the Book of Common Prayer 2019 for each of our divine worship services.
On Thursday, we were blessed by the generous hospitality of Prince of Peace Anglican Church in Melbourne, Florida. Their clergy, staff, and volunteers hosted us for lunch, and, meeting in their consecrated space, we consented to the election of Bishop R. Charles Gillin as bishop ordinary of the Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic (REC). More about the election can be read here.
As bishops, we have an ongoing commitment to care for our clergy and their families and to equip our clergy to care for their people in the midst of the world. We gave thanks for Archbishop Beach’s Epiphany letter to the clergy of our province which provided practical, biblical advice for developing and maintaining a healthy and balanced life. We commend the letter in its entirety to all of our clergy, as well as those lay leaders, such as vestry members, who share a responsibility for the health of their parish culture.
Recognizing the importance of the physical health of our clergy and their families, we spent time discussing our concerns about the rising cost of health care.
Also this week, Jay Haug, representing the ministry Living without Lust, was invited to make a presentation to the bishops. In a measured but straightforward way, he reminded us of the staggering statistics of pornography involvement in all sectors of our society, including the church. The internet has radically increased access to pornography and dramatically lowered the age at which it is first experienced. Having drawn our attention to the huge challenge, which we must not ignore, Haug shared strategies and resources to go beyond the outward behavior to the heart of the problem, which is the root of desire. The good news is that there are effective support groups available and principles for recovery for the many who are caught in addiction and there is assistance for all to help avoid any involvement in pornography.
We gave approval to a traditional language version of the Book of Common Prayer 2019. Parts of the traditional language version will be available electronically in the near future and the book will be in print by the summer of this year. We also received a report from the Prayer Book Task Force. They are producing an Altar Book for the Book of Common Prayer 2019, the book Occasional Services, and a lesser feasts and fasts book to be called Sanctifying Time. The College commends the work of the members of the Task Force and thanks God for the contributions they have made to the wider Church.
The College also learned of the appointment of an expanded Music Task Force, now under the chairmanship of Mr. Mark Williams of Christ Church Anglican, Savannah, GA, and its new website, www.acnamusicresources.com.
We received with great joy the final version of the Catechism, To Be a Christian. We were thankful to be joined by leaders of Crossway Books, Mr. Anthony Gosling, COO of Crossway, and Mr. Dane Ortlund, Chief Publishing Officer, who presented us with copies of the final edition of the catechism straight from the press. We expressed our appreciation for Crossway and the partnership we have developed over the years. The Catechism will be in stock later this month, and is now available for order.
Following a video presentation by the Rev. Dr. Esau McCaulley, Director of the Anglican Church in North America’s Next Generation Initiative, and the Rt. Rev. Alphonza Gadsden, Bishop of the Diocese of the Southeast (REC), the College spent time in discussion and prayer about issues of race, racism, and recent mass shootings. Particular attention was given to the great need for multi-ethnic outreach and church planting, ensuring that all peoples are reached for Christ and to addressing the public witness of the Province and our dioceses on matters of justice.
Last year, on January 10, 2019, Bishop Todd Atkinson was accepted into the College, while the jurisdictional status of his churches in Canada, called “Via Apostolica,” was still to be determined.
At this meeting of the College of Bishops, exactly one year later, the following proposal, moved by Bishop Charlie Masters, Bishop of the Anglican Network in Canada, was presented and accepted:
This College of Bishops recommends to the Provincial Executive Committee and Provincial Council the establishment of Via Apostolica as a Provincial Missionary District under Canon 12 and recommends Bishop Todd Atkinson be designated a ‘Bishop for Special Mission” to lead this ministry.
This will next be presented to the Executive Committee in February of this year and the Provincial Council in June.
The Anglican Church in North America continues to maintain and develop strong, strategic, and growing relationships with Anglican provinces around the world. Through the international ministry of Archbishop Beach and as a result of his ministry as Chairman of the Gafcon Primates’ Council, the global missional relationships and outreach of the Province have been strengthened through new and existing partnerships. The Gafcon Primates’ Council represents the majority of the world’s active Anglicans.
The bishops of the Anglican Church in North America welcome the invitation to attend and participate in the Kigali 2020 Bishops’ Conference in June which will provide an opportunity for the bishops of Gafcon to stand together, uphold the faith once for all entrusted to the saints, and strengthen gospel and ministry ties that bind us together in Christ.
The College also received a report from Canon Phil Ashey and Bishop Bill Atwood (Dean of International Affairs) on the Global South Anglican Covenant adopted by the 7th Global South Assembly in Cairo on October 11, 2019. This Global South “Cairo Covenant” addresses the “ecclesial deficit” or lack of discipline for false teaching in the Anglican Communion. Gafcon continues to address the “gospel deficit” of false teaching by proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations, and authenticating Biblically faithful Anglicans. The College recognized the different charisms that Gafcon and the Global South have expressed in upholding the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3) and rejoice in the renewed opportunity presented by the Cairo Covenant for both Gafcon and the Global South to work together for the sake of Gospel mission and the recovery of genuine Communion among Anglicans. The College received the invitation to review the Cairo Covenant in preparation for ratification by the Provincial Council in June 2021.
We celebrate the work of our Ecumenical Task Force and thank God for our ecumenical partners. We have endorsed concordats with the Episcopal Missionary Church and with the Independent Catholic Philippine Church (also known as the Iglesia Catolica Filipina Independiente). These concordats will be presented for approval to the Provincial Council in June.
We continue dialogue with numerous church bodies with the goal of healing the Church and working towards Christian unity. Two guests from the New Day Kingdom Assembly Church were observers at the College as their church explores the “Anglican Way.” Archbishop Thomas E. Wallace and Rev. Theron Davis Ham made the trip from Houston to be with us, and we enjoyed their fellowship throughout the week.
Finally, we want to encourage members of the Anglican Church in North America to attend our joint conference with the North American Lutheran Church entitled “DiscipleLife 2020” to be held in Orlando, FL on February 13-15.
Over the last three years, the Bishops’ Working Group on Holy Orders has continued to serve by proposing creative and innovative ways to continue the discipline of conversation, seeking to understand the varied differences in our perception of the nature of holy orders. During this time, we have discovered again and again that there are layers upon layers of differences in ecclesiology, hermeneutics, theology, and tradition. These layers result in deep differences in our perspectives on the nature of holy orders in general and the role of women in orders in particular. We recognize that there is great pain over these differences both within our working group and throughout the Province. During the week, we spent time in small group discussions on this topic, both formal and informal. The working group continues to encourage the College to lead in both lament and prayer as we seek a way forward.
We heard a report from Bishop Michael Williams on behalf of the Special Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy about the continued strong growth of the Province’s chaplains. There are now 23 hospital and hospice chaplains, 17 community chaplains, 3 prison chaplains, 17 Commissioned Lay Chaplains, and 81 military chaplains, with an additional 24 actively engaged in the application, ordination, and endorsement processes. We gave thanks for this fruitful ministry and prayed for our chaplains, particularly for those serving in areas of conflict.
We had an engaging and unified conversation around the opportunity for pastoral care to those within our churches who are same-sex attracted. We identified the ways in which the church has not always seen and heard the reality of men and women living with strong same-sex attraction, and we discussed the importance of developing greater clarity around this pastoral ministry and providing more theological leadership for our province. Our discussion included the greater debate within the larger evangelical church around the kind of language that should be employed to describe a faithful follower of Jesus who seeks to live under the authority of Scripture while experiencing the reality of unwanted same-sex attraction. The Archbishop assigned a task force, chaired by Bishop Stewart Ruch III, to develop a theological and pastoral statement for consideration at our next meeting that addresses the use of this language as well as an articulation of our heart as bishops for many who have various kinds of sexual brokenness.
We thank all those across the Province who prayed for us last week. As the Lord moves us from strength to strength, we give thanks for the blessing of fellowship provided by the collegial atmosphere and the common commitment we have to reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
Learn about the “chapel and outreach mission serving Christ along the South Texas and Mexico border.”
Immigration – one of the most politicized words in the United States, and possibly all of North America, today.
Perhaps that is why all throughout the political spectrum people have varying reactions to “ministry to immigrants” and often those reactions are strong and emotional. Maybe you’re even experiencing an emotional reaction to this article already. Stick with me.
Likely, there are places on this issue in which we can all agree: There is a crisis on the border (even if we disagree on what it is and how to handle it) and immigrants are human beings who are loved by God. If we all start here, we can appreciate the ministry of Trinity on the Border, deep in the south of Texas.
Harlingen, Texas is 15 miles give or take from the Mexico border. As recently as this summer, hundreds of immigrants from all over the world were pouring into the United States here each day. A nice city of approximately 65,000 residents lined with palm trees and modern development, Harlingen is neither run down nor filled with desert and tumble weeds like some outsiders might expect from a Texas border city. But it does face the border crisis daily.
This is why the Rev. Michael Jarrett and his wife, Dr. Erica Jarrett, moved to the city in 2015. While serving in other parts of Texas the previous year, the Jarretts had a growing concern for the number of immigrants coming into the United States and the lack of an Anglican presence there to meet them in their need. So, when the Jarretts asked the Lord to send Anglicans to the South Texas border, He – in His good humor – sent them.
“It was clear that this was a significant issue that we felt that the Church, the Anglican Church in North America, needed to have a response to. Over time, we realized we are the Anglican Church in North America and if the Province is going to have a response, maybe it’s us,” Fr. Michael said.
After a web search, the Jarretts found and connected with La Posada Providencia, the only shelter of its kind in the Valley of South Texas. La Posada is a mid-way shelter. It houses immigrants who are beyond detention centers but not at their final destination. Run by three women who are members of religious societies, the shelter provides housing, English language and U.S. culture classes for all levels and ages, transportation and help with appointments, and more. Most importantly, though, at the very real, human level, they provide friendship, love, and a smiling face.
When he first arrived in town, Fr. Michael was a driver for the shelter, but the partnership has grown significantly. Eventually, the Jarretts also began a medical clinic and began leading worship services. Two years ago, they started a Christian school. All together these ministry areas now make up what is Trinity on the Border.
“We are a chapel and outreach mission serving Christ along the South Texas/Mexico border,” says Fr. Michael. “We just came and started doing whatever a doctor and priest could do to serve down here.”
Trinity on the Border serves its community by meeting tangible needs, both for immigrants and residents. Many in the community have medical needs but are unable to afford the necessary care. Using a Matthew 25 grant, Trinity on the Border was able to build out its central mission location with offices, a chapel, and two exam rooms for their free clinic.
Dr. Jarrett and another local doctor, who attends the worship services and has kids in the school, provide free medical care to those in need at the Trinity on the Border mission building every week. Additionally, Dr. Jarrett makes weekly “house calls” to the La Posada immigrant shelter.
Today, the partnership with La Posada is far more than it originally was. Not only does Dr. Jarrett provide medical care for immigrants, other staff of Trinity on the Border have roles there as well. The Rev. Daniel Behrens, Missionary Curate for Trinity on the Border, teaches English classes three times per week. His wife also participates by leading children’s activities.
The Trinity school meets a need for Christian education in the city. Using the Charlotte Mason curriculum, it provides a different approach to education and child development that is unique in the area. The school now has about 15 students between kindergarten and 3rd grade.
Finally, the chapel ministry of Trinity on the Border is the piece that flows into all others. With a healing prayer service on Thursday mornings at the Culture of Life clinic, Eucharistic services at a shelter on the Mexican side of the border, and Thursday morning chapel at the school, this ministry goes beyond their congregational Sunday services.
“We’re not Trinity for the Immigrant even, we are Trinity on the Border. We are for whoever is here,” says Fr. Michael before describing his newest ministry pursuit: to be a chaplain for the Coast Guard, a Department of Homeland Security position. “We keep reminding our team that we’re here for everybody. We serve Border Patrol, we serve Customs, we serve immigrants, we serve the poor who live here, we serve the rich who live here.”
Yet, Fr. Michael and his team are not ignorant of the political climate. “People want us to speak into the political situation. And we have personal opinions on that. I don’t think everybody on our team has the same personal opinion,” he said, “but as far as our work, that stays pretty simple. If they’re here, if they’re a human being, we are going to love them with the love of Christ and what happens to them is not really in the realm of what we can do anything about.”
One thing the team knows is that every person they encounter has a different story. In mid-September, those stories included a father and son from Angola who had been separated at the border but were reunited and at La Posada together. Because of their earlier separation, the father had already received asylum and the young child was still going through the process. They included a young, English-speaking single mother from Uganda staying at the shelter while working to earn her GED and secure a driver’s license.
At the clinic, the room hosting the healing prayer service was packed with those in need, all with their own stories as well. Notably, a young man, a musician who spent most of his time in bars, had just quit drinking the week before. He wants to be a better father and give his time to the Lord in service. He received prayer and anointing.
For Fr. Daniel, who is nearly one year into his curacy, it is a privilege to serve these people and that is evident in his care for them. It’s been “difficult” and “awkward” at times, he says, but “awkwardness may be evidence that you’re doing something cross-cultural.” To him, the ministry of Trinity on the Border is a “special thing, very different from other ministries in the Anglican Church in North America.”
Ultimately, the Jarretts and their team are accomplishing what they set out to do: bring Jesus to the Texas and Mexico border through the Anglican expression. And that is something we can all be proud of.
For more, listen to the Things Anglican podcast on the Anglican Church in North America App, on Apple Podcasts, or here.
On January 9, 2020, the Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops consented to the election of the Rt. Rev. R. Charles Gillin as the Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic (REC).
Gillin has served as the bishop suffragan of the diocese since September 2012 when he was consecrated. Based in southern New Jersey, just due east of Philadelphia, Gillin is centrally located to the majority of the congregations in the diocese that spans from Maine to Maryland with one outlier in Ontario, Canada.
Married for 47 years, Gillin and his wife, Jan, have two married children and four grandchildren. They have spent his entire 41-year clerical ministry in the Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic (REC), though it once had a different name.
Gillin succeeds the Rt. Rev. David Hicks, who announced his resignation in April 2019, noting he would return to congregational ministry as rector of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Butler, Pennsylvania, a parish in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Commenting on the decision of the College, Hicks said, “Bishop Gillin is a godly man. We worked well together when I was in the diocese. I am sure he will do well as God leads him. He and the people of the diocese remain in my prayers.”
The Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) is a sub-jurisdiction within the Anglican Church in North America. In accordance with the REC Constitution and Canons, the Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton, became interim bishop upon Hicks’s resignation and will serve in such capacity until spring 2020 when Gillin will be installed.
“We are so very thankful for the Lord’s confirmation of Bishop Chuck by the College of Bishops. He has been a faithful bishop for many years. We know he will continue to bless the Church in his new sphere of call as Ordinary of the Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic,” said Sutton.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, shared the gracious sentiment: “We are delighted to have Bishop Gillin active again in the College, but most importantly we are appreciative of his willingness to serve the diocese he already knows and loves in this new capacity. He’s a man of humility, devoted to the Lord. I believe he will continue to lead and serve the diocese well.”
In the moments following the bishops’ decision, Gillin offered “thanksgiving to God for His mercy and grace, to the Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, to the Standing Committees of the various dioceses of the REC, and for the confirming action of the Anglican Church in North America College of Bishops. I look forward to working with the College, with my fellow bishops in the REC, and especially with the clergy of the NEMA diocese in moving us forward in God’s power to accomplish His will in reaching the people within our diocese and the world with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.”
Listen to Archbishop Foley Beach’s Christmas message reminding us why we can have joy this Christmas, and always. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
A merry and happy Christmas to you!
I’m addressing you from in front of Abney Park Chapel, an historic church built on a piece of property that Isaac Watts, the famous hymn and song writer, used to live. Isaac Watts brought us the famous Christmas hymn “Joy to the World.” “Joy to the World” is based on Psalm 98. There are so many good verses in this Psalm, but the overall theme is about singing and praising the Lord and having joy because of the salvation He’s brought to the world.
We find allusions to this Psalm when the shepherds are out in the field and the angels appear to tell them about Jesus being born in Bethlehem. The angels tell the shepherds this, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12)
Part of the message of Psalm 98 and of this message from the angels is that, because of this salvation that is going to be brought into the world because of Jesus being born, people will have great joy!
When I think about joy in the Christian life, I am reminded of something I was taught early on in my Christian walk about having joy in one’s life as we follow Jesus. It is based on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. It’s a very simple acronym, JOY: Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.
Philippians 1:21 says, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” In other words, we make him the priority. He’s the first thing in our life. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” Jesus said.
Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but in humility regard others as more important than yourself.” Do not merely look after your own interests, but also the interests of others. It’s so easy in our selfish world to think of ourselves first, but part of having joy is thinking of the other person before yourself.
And the “y” is for yourself. You are so important to the Lord! You are important to His cause and His purposes on earth.
So, here we are at Christmas, and God desires for you and me to have His joy. As Isaac Watts wrote, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room. And heaven and nature sing.”
I hope this Christmas you are preparing room in your heart for our Lord Jesus Christ. But not only that, that you’re putting Him first, the other second, and yourself last.
God bless you!
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
Don’t miss out on the upcoming opportunity to dive into partnership, fellowship, and discipleship with our partners in Christ in the North American Lutheran Church this February in Orlando, Florida.
The Anglican Church in North America is co-hosting the first-ever joint conference with the North American Lutheran Church focusing on discipleship and partnering at the grassroots level.
The ecumenical consultation between the Anglican Church in North America and the North American Lutheran Church began on March 27, 2012 at Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA, and continues to meet semi-annually. Trinity School for Ministry has been well-known as a seminary in the Anglican tradition and more recently has also partnered with the North American Lutheran Church. According to the consultation, “the goal of these meetings has been, from the start, finding ways that the two bodies could cooperate in critically important areas of common concern in our modern context in North America,” specifically at the grassroots, congregational level.
To aid in these efforts, the consultation conceived the idea to bring congregational leaders – lay and clergy - together for a conference and fellowship between the two Churches.
DiscipleLife 2020 will bring this vision to fruition February 13-15, 2020 at the Sheraton Orlando North hotel. Speakers include Archbishop Foley Beach, Bishop Dan Selbo (NALC), Bishop Todd Hunter, and many more.
Please consider joining us for this unique opportunity to join in Gospel mission with our fellow Christ followers.
Book your room by January 13 to secure special conference rates.
Register and learn more here.
Prayer for Discipleship Life 2020
The first ever joint conference between the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) will be held February 13-15, 2020 at the Sheraton Orlando North Hotel, Orlando, Florida.
The Anglican Church in North America and the North American Lutheran Church would both describe themselves as “Great Commission” churches—committed to the Lord’s charge to “Go, make disciples…baptize…teach…” (Matthew 28:19-20). Other Christian bodies in North America share the same focus, but lack the commitment to the key role of Word and Sacrament in forming Christians who will be disciples and followers of Jesus, intentionally, authentically and with accountability. Essential to such forming of disciples is community, and developing congregational cultures which foster and support disciple-making. As simple as they sound, disciple-making and creating congregations with disciple-making cultures are not familiar or comfortable to most Lutherans and Anglicans in the 21st Century!
Join us for this opportunity for biblically-grounded Anglicans and Lutherans to meet together, get to know one another and network for greater mission and ministry in local contexts; and to acknowledge and embrace “small steps” toward disciple-making at the local level—fostering an “awakening toward action,” regardless of the size of the congregation, or the experience of clergy and laity; and to return home encouraged and empowered to get involved, to get motivated and to get moving with regard to being disciples and making disciples!
Learn more at disciplelife2020.org
Note: If you have had trouble making hotel reservations, please call Hanna at the Sheraton Orlando North, 407-551-7507 for assistance.
Prayer for Discipleship Life 2020
Canon William (Bill) Deiss is retiring in 2020, and so Anglican Relief and Development Fund-US is seeking to hire a new Executive Director in the spring of 2020.
The Executive Director position is a full-time, executive/management position, reporting to the Chairman and the Board of Directors of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund-U.S. (ARDF-US). The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing administration, programs, and strategic planning of the organization. In addition, key responsibilities include fundraising, marketing/communications, and community outreach.
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund serves as the official international relief and development arm of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) with the vision that, working together, Christians can help the poor and needy in the World, demonstrating the love of Christ and spreading the Gospel. The mission of ARDF-US is to work within the worldwide Anglican Communion to maximize life change in some of the most challenging parts of the world for the sake of Christ by facilitating development and relief projects.
To-date, ARDF-US has funded nearly 200 development projects in 38 countries internationally, with over $10 million committed and more than 1.3 million lives impacted. In addition, ARDF-US has assisted in 40 relief projects in over 20 countries internationally and 11 states in the United States, facilitating over $2.5 million in relief funds distributed.
We are seeking candidates with a passion for Christ, the global church and the vision and mission of ARDF-US. Candidates should have experience in fundraising, executive leadership, cross-cultural relations, and ability to serve as a global ambassador for ARDF-US. Familiarity with international business and Anglican theology and ecclesial structures is preferred.
For more information about the job, requirements for the position, and details about submitting an application, please click here.
It’s finally here! The Catechesis Task Force has released a downloadable PDF of the final version of To Be Christian: An Anglican Catechism.
Working since the formational days of the Province, the Task Force went through an extensive process to develop the Catechism, including working closely with the College of Bishops as well as receiving feedback from the Province at large.
Beloved in Christ Jesus: Advent Greetings in the name of our Risen and Returning King, our Lord Jesus Christ!
I am delighted that in this Advent season, Gafcon is launching a weekday devotional project called ‘Lift Up Your Hearts’. These words are profoundly Scriptural. The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:14,
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” and in Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things that are above.”
Advent is a time to “lift up your hearts” toward heaven, to bring our lives into alignment with God’s plan and purpose through repentance, and to prepare ourselves by living in readiness for Christ’s return in majesty and glory.
“Lift up your Hearts” is also an ancient liturgical phrase which reaches back into the earliest centuries of the undivided Church. As we gather at God’s Table, we lift up our hearts in the company of the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ who have gone before us (Hebrews 12:1), and our hearts delight with them in sharing the same unchanging truth of God’s grace in the gospel of Jesus.
It is my prayer that during this Advent season, faithful Anglicans around the world will be united in lifting up their hearts as we share in the glorious Advent hope. This hope is what has always sustained followers of Jesus through hardship, challenges, and suffering. I have seen its power firsthand during my recent visit to the Church of Pakistan. This is a church which knows only too painfully the cost of discipleship, and yet is building a vibrant Christian community and reaching out in respectful dialogue. I was privileged to have many opportunities to speak and preach, to help confirm over 50 confirmands, and to meet with Islamic scholars and governmental leaders. Pray for these faithful followers of Jesus.
Through our Suffering Church Network, Gafcon is raising awareness of Anglicans around the world who pay a heavy price for their faithfulness, often unknown and in isolation from other Christians. As we stand in solidarity with them, pray for them, and walk with them (there will be a special emphasis on the Suffering Church in our Gafcon daily prayer diary during Advent), we are drawn back to the heart of the gospel and discover that by God’s amazing grace, the way of the cross is indeed none other than the way of life and peace.
Sadly, suffering also comes from within the organised church itself as many of us in the Anglican Church in North America, the Anglican Church of Brazil, the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa, New Zealand, and the Scottish Anglican Network know very well, and we are now seeing growing hostility to orthodox faith in many other places as well. Bishops, clergy, and lay persons in various provinces are being ostracized, condemned, and alienated because they cannot and will not go along with attempts to change basic Christian teaching and morality which contradicts the Bible.
It was a great joy to learn that the Venerable David McCLay, a leading member of Gafcon Ireland, has been elected as the next Bishop of Down and Dromore. Please pray for him that he may know great grace and courage in this new stage of life and ministry. Sadly, there was an attempt to block his election by a group of clergy who claimed in a letter to the Irish Times that ‘the policies of Gafcon are antithetical’ to the principles of the Rite of Consecration, which according to them includes the need to recognise ‘sexual diversity’. Surely, it is a sign of the deep-seated spiritual crisis and need for repentance in the Anglican Communion when even the rite of Consecration of a Bishop can be made to mean things that were never intended (just as the English House of Bishops repurposed the rite of Affirmation of Baptismal Faith for those who self-identify as transgender).
In June 2020 hundreds of bishops from around the Anglican Communion will be gathering at the Gafcon Bishops Conference, Kigali 2020, to study the great Biblical truths embedded in the Rite of Consecration and to rededicate themselves to serve as godly, Christ-like shepherds to the people of God. While Lambeth conferences are now increasingly preoccupied with the politics of institutional unity and endorsing Biblical immorality, Kigali 2020 will be outward looking, a time of unprecedented renewal, vision building and equipping, as we press forward to making Christ known faithfully to the nations. Please do pray for organizers with all the financial and logistical challenges this event brings!
Another Advent is upon us. Let us lift up our hearts to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus the Messiah!!
“Lift up your hearts!” We lift them, Lord, to Thee; Here at Thy feet none other may we see; ‘Lift up your hearts!’ E’en so, with one accord, We lift them up, we lift them to the Lord” (Hymn by Butler, 1881).
Your brother in the Coming King,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
Chairman, Gafcon Primates Council
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.
How One Church is Training Her People to Witness for Christ in A Skeptical, Jaded Culture
“How do Christians move forward in sharing our faith in this environment of fake news, bad news and a general mistrust of claims of truth?”
That’s a question many of us are asking ourselves, and it was the question St. John’s Vancouver, a church in the Anglican Network in Canada, posed to the entire congregation.
“I think every Christian who lives in the West has the sense right now that we are sailing in uncharted waters culturally,” Rev. Canon David Short, the rector of St. John’s, said. “The idea that there might be some sort of truth out there, we [people in our culture] don’t like that idea. And I think the affect for us as Christians has been uncertainty…and some of us, I think, have been silenced.”
This concerned the pastoral team at St. John’s, especially as they observed two specific trends in their city. One was a deep desire for spiritual authenticity. The second was a deepening suspicion that the Christian faith has nothing to offer.
“I think Vancouver thinks that God is, sort of, at best, irrelevant,” said one young parishioner.
“On the one side we have this fantastic good news about what God has done in Jesus Christ. And we know God through this gospel,” said Canon Short. “On the other side we have friends and family and neighbours who we love, but bringing those two things together seems to be more and more difficult.”
So, St. John’s resolved to do something fairly drastic. They paused all their other mid-week events and groups for a month and asked their entire congregation to attend a series of four meetings. They called the series CCQ – connect, content, questions.
“We’ve called it CCQ because each week we’re going to do three things,” said Canon Short in a promo video. “We’re going to talk about connecting with others, we’re going to talk about the content of the gospel, and we’re going to talk about questions that people have.
“As preachers, when we apply the Bible, we encourage people to share their faith, but I’m more and more conscious how complicated that is. It’s not a simple thing to do,” he said. “And the whole point of CCQ is to come together to pray, to lean on God, to listen to each other, to see if we can find a way forward to better do this.”
So, for four Tuesday evenings, everyone was asked to come, worship, pray, share, and learn, asking God for a way forward in equipping one another for the great task of evangelism. The evenings began with a focus on connecting with the people around them. Led by Rev. Aaron Roberts, they explored questions like “what’s important to your non-Christian friends?” and “how can we enter into a conversation about the gospel with grace and wisdom?”
“I really hope you will discover that you guys are actually better at this than you think you are,” he said on the first night.
“Because you know how to have relationships. You know how to have conversations. What we want to try and give you are some ideas about how to have these natural faith conversations.”
The second part of each night focused on the content of the gospel and was led by Canon Short.
“Perhaps when we do get to speak about Jesus we get a bit in a muddle and we’re not sure what we should say,” he said. So, they began to look very practically at the primary components of the gospel and the Christian faith, using an easy-to-remember, four-part structure – Creation, Fall, Jesus Christ, Response.
The third part of the evening focused on the inevitable questions we face while being bold with our faith. Led by Tad Inboden, there was teaching not only on apologetics but on growing more comfortable with people who are questioning. Time was given for role-play practice with questions like “aren’t Christians just hypocrites?”, “isn’t loving people all that matters?”, and “how can you claim that Jesus is the only way to God?”
CCQ sparked at St. John’s a renewed focus on being intentional, prayerful, and articulate in their witness for Christ in their city and it contributed needed training towards that task. But leadership at St. John’s is also very aware that it’s the gospel itself that enables and fuels its proclamation.
“When a heart is gripped by the gospel of grace,” said Tad Inboden, “when it is… captivated by the beauty of the gospel, the costliness of the gospel, when it overwhelms the imagination, it spurs us forward and sends us out on mission.” St. John’s has made much of the materials and recordings from their CCQ series available online for other churches.
You can find out more here: www.stjohnsvancouver.org/ccq-content
Scott Hunt is the Communications Director for the Anglican Network in Canada, a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America. He’s a member of St. George’s Burlington and lives in Fergus, Ontario with his wife, Richelle.
The Anglican Church in North America’s Music Task Force has now released music resources to accompany the Psalms for the upcoming seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. It has also released today a Hymns and Spiritual Songs Worship Planner for the Advent season. These resources have been launched on the Task Force’s new website.
The Music Task Force was commissioned out of the Liturgy and Common Worship Task Force, the group responsible for the Book of Common Prayer 2019. Now, the attention turns to the musicality of the Anglican tradition.
Mark Williams is the Chair of the Music Task Force. Paraphrasing his parish priest, he explained, “First, we needed a province and second we needed a prayer book and a polity. Now, we’ve got all that, so it’s time to look at the art.”
Williams serves as Pastoral Church Musician at Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia and has an extensive background across various worship styles within Anglicanism. His ministry has taken him all over the province.
“The one thing I hear over and over and over [from parish priests and musicians] is: We’ve got this prayer book, how do we put legs to it through art and music? How do we choose hymns? How do we put a praise or folk band together? How do we make a choir happen?”
To help congregations begin accomplishing these tasks, the Music Task Force has released a new website with various resources for parish priests and music worship leaders. A quick glimpse at the website reveals the various areas for which resources have been and will continue to be released, including Music Leadership Philosophy, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Psalter, Choirs, Praise Teams, Pastor and Church Musician Relationship, and more.
It is a goal of the Task Force that its resources will reach across the diversity of churchmanship and service style within the Province.
“What we are trying to do is equip low church, high church, medium church, inexperienced, and experienced; we are trying to provide resources through the gamut,” explains Williams.
Ultimately, the goal is to encourage Anglican Church in North America churches to celebrate and keep alive the long, rich history of music in Anglicanism and to build relationships amongst worship leaders within the Province. Therefore, these new resources are geared toward priests and church musicians.
“We as Anglicans have the most rich heritage of church music of any denomination in the world. In fact, we have been the envy of many church musicians and church music schools around the globe because of that rich heritage. How sad would it be for us to not pick up that mantle and carry it as Anglicans in North America?” Williams continued, “I really want our music to be high quality, whether it be contemporary or high church. I want it to be singable, something the congregations can do in their work of worship. And, I want the music to fit the liturgy, the time of year, the season. Beyond that, I’m willing to walk in any camp [of worship style and churchmanship].”
In addition to the Music Task Force, a related ministry group called the “Musicians of the Anglican Church in North America” is forming to help build community between worship leaders in the Province.
To learn more about the Music Task Force, Musicians of the Anglican Church in North America, and the resources available, visit acnamusic.org. Check out the Psalter tab for the seasonal Psalm resources released today. The Worship Planner can be found under the Hymns and Spiritual Songs tab.
A Joint Statement from the Anglican Church in North America and the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes
Information has been brought to the attention of the Archbishop’s Office regarding the Rt. Rev. Ronald Jackson of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes that calls for an investigation to be conducted. To ensure the integrity of the investigation and allow for due process, Bishop Jackson is on administrative leave while a thorough inquiry into these matters is conducted.
During this leave, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes is the ecclesial authority and, in cooperation with the Archbishop’s Office, is ensuring the ongoing mission and ministry of the diocese. Archbishop Beach has appointed the Rt. Rev. John Miller to assist the Standing Committee in its work and to provide temporary pastoral care and ongoing episcopal support to the diocese.
More information will be shared as it becomes available, and we encourage you to refrain from speculation. This statement is a call to prayer, and we ask you and your congregation to join us in lifting up everyone in the diocese:
Prayers for a Diocese
O God, by your grace you have called us in this Diocese to be a good and godly fellowship of faith. Bless our bishops and other clergy, and all our people. Grant that your Word may be truly preached and truly heard, your Sacraments faithfully administered and faithfully received. By your Spirit, fashion our lives according to the example of your Son, and grant that we may show the power of your love to all among whom we live; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers for the Mission of the Church
O God, our heavenly Father, you manifested your love by sending your only-begotten Son into the world, that all might live through him: Pour out your Spirit on your Church, that we may fulfill his command to preach the Gospel to all people. Send forth laborers into your harvest; defend them in all dangers and temptations; and hasten the time when the fullness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and faithful Israel shall be saved; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Book of Common Prayer 2019, pgs. 647, 651)
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.
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