Church in Haiti Hit by Hurricane Matthew
From Bishop Bill Atwood: Hurricane Matthew went right over our sister church, Saint Matthias in Léogâne, Haiti. It is one of our own Diocesan churches. Thankfully, there were no deaths or injuries among those in the congregation, but the roof was completely ripped off and a deluge of rain came in (see photo above). Much of the furniture was damaged as well. In times like these, we have a wonderful opportunity to truly be the Church! While other relief efforts may well follow, we have a responsibility to reach out to our own congregation (pictured below, January 2016).
We will set up a separate fund through the Diocesan office to provide aid to our brothers and sisters at Saint Matthias. I cannot stress enough how urgently this help is needed. Please ask the Lord to direct you with regard to what He wants to provide through you. We will keep you updated as we receive information.
Donations can be made by going to idio. net and seleting the donation button or going here. You can designate "Haiti Relief" in the Payment Section under "Purpose."
The Winter Newsletter is Now Available
You can view the "FlipBook" version here
and a pdf version here:
Save Change, Save Lives
Begins on ASH WEDNESDAY
February 10, 2016
and Extends until EASTER Sunday,
March 27, 2016
ACNA Made a Partner Province by the
Anglican Primates of the Global South
More information available here.
“From the Beginning”: God’s Design for Marriage
A Statement from the Anglican Church in North America
The Archbishop and Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America have received the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States of America and are deeply grieved by the stark departure from God’s revealed order. We are concerned for the inevitable results from this action to change the legal understanding of marriage and family life.
While this decision grieves us, God’s truth and the goodness of the order established in creation have not been changed. The kingdom of God cannot be shaken. We pray with confidence that God will reveal his glory, love, goodness, and hope to the world through his Church as we seek to follow him in faith and obedience.
Jesus Christ teaches that God is the author of marriage from the beginning of time (Matthew 19:4-6). God’s design for marriage has always involved a man and a woman: “a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). These truths have ordered civilization for thousands of years. Where God’s designs are followed in any society, including his designs for marriage and families, the result is the greatest possible blessing and abundance of life.
The Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is often summarized as, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Because of his love, we love and care for all those who experience same-sex attraction. The Anglican Church in North America continues to welcome everyone to experience the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
Marriage is established by God for the procreation and raising of children and for the good of society. For this reason, governments have an interest in marriage and have delegated authority from God to protect and regulate it. But no court, no legislature and no local magistrate has the authority to redefine marriage and to impose this definition on their citizens.
The United States of America, so its founders believed and taught, is a nation under God whose citizens’ fundamental rights are derived from the Creator. There is no right to a relationship which is contrary to the Creator’s express design. We cannot accept the Supreme Court’s decision purporting to find a fundamental right to same-sex “marriage” any more than we can accept its claim to have found a right to destroy human life in the womb. We will work with others to overturn this decision, and we pray that others will join with us in this effort.
Meeting this week in Vancouver, British Columbia, we are reminded that our Canadian members have been living under a similar legal standard for the last ten years. Their situation includes minimal legal protections for those who in good conscience cannot recognize this redefinition, and it is our prayer that stronger protections will be put into place and honored in the United States.
In the meantime, we shall continue to exercise our religious freedom to perform marriages for those who come for holy matrimony as defined by our Church. The Anglican Church in North America only authorizes and only performs marriages between one man and one woman. We respect the consciences of those clergy who may decline to perform marriages as agents of the state. We ask our churches to respect such decisions and help make arrangements to minister to those seeking to be married. We are also well aware that this ruling may create difficulties for our lay members and Christian institutions as they seek to be faithful in upholding God’s design for marriage, and we will make every effort to find ways to support and stand with them.
The Church bears witness to the truth of God’s Word and God’s design of marriage (see attached statement on “Bearing Witness”). When government oversteps its rightful authority, “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Today there is no place for either triumphalism or despair, so we prayerfully and sincerely urge a spirit of charity by all. We speak out of a concern for the consequences that our people and our neighbors will suffer from an unjust and unwise decision by five justices of the Supreme Court. We call those justices to repentance, even as we echo Jesus’ words, praying for God the Father to forgive them, for they know not what they have done.
We call our people to a season of prayer for marriage and offer the accompanying Litany and Prayer to guide us.
Unanimously adopted by the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America. June 26, 2015
A LITANY FOR MARRIAGE
We thank you, heavenly Father, for graciously creating us in your image, male and female, and for ordaining that a man and woman shall be joined as one flesh in the covenant of marriage.
We thank you, O Father.
We thank you for the gift and heritage of children and for placing them in homes which may be havens of blessing and peace.
We thank you, O Father.
We thank you for the love between fathers and mothers and sons and daughters that binds together the generations and undergirds our country’s social fabric.
We thank you, O Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, divine Bridegroom, we repent for all the situations in which we have dishonored the covenant of marriage through selfishness or unfaithfulness.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We repent as a Church where we have failed to prepare our children for holy matrimony, or to care for those who are widowed, divorced or single.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We repent where as citizens we have become complacent and neglected the defense of marriage in the public square.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
We pray you, Holy Spirit, to restore marriage to its due honor in our country and to revive our marriages and families as emblems of your love.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
We pray you to strengthen our bishops and other leaders as they join with faithful churches to make a strong God-honoring defense of your design for marriage.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
We pray you to have mercy on those who have promoted false teaching about marriage and on those who have been led astray and harmed by it.
Deliver us by your grace and power.
Grant us courage, O Triune God, to hold fast to the truth of your Word, and give grace to those who are counted worthy to suffer for the Name of Christ.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
A PRAYER FOR MARRIAGE
Almighty God our heavenly Father, you have created us male and female in your image and have ordained that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. Look down in mercy, we pray, on our families, our church and our nation. Knit together in constant affection those who, in Holy Matrimony, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, the hearts of the children to the parents, and the hearts of all to those who are single or alone. Finally, grant that your Church may steadfastly defend the unchangeable bond of marriage which embodies the mystery of Christ’s love for us; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever.
Suggested Hymns: “O God of Earth and Altar”; “God of Grace and God of Glory”
Bearing Witness to Holy Matrimony
The following statement is intended to make clear the position of the Anglican Church in North America with regard to the nature of marriage.
THE SCRIPTURE BEARS WITNESS
The Anglican Church in North America grounds its doctrine and discipline on the authority of the Bible as God’s word written (Constitution, Art. 1.1). The Bible from beginning to end is clear and consistent in its teaching about marriage. The following passages testify to the essential character of marriage as a faithful lifelong union of a man and a woman.
Human Nature in the Image of God
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
God’s Design of Marriage and Family Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Jesus’ Affirmation of Lifelong Monogamous Marriage
[Jesus said,] “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore
God has joined together, let not man separate.”
The Mutual Love of Husbands and Wives Based in Christ’s Love for the Church
Ephesians 5:24-27 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
The Sanctity of Marriage
Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN NORTH AMERICA BEARS WITNESS
The Anglican Church in North America bears witness to the biblical and traditional teaching concerning marriage in its Constitution and Canons (2012) and in its Catechism (2014). This teaching is in agreement with the historic Anglican tradition of the Book of Common Prayer (1662), the Lambeth Conferences of Anglican Bishops, and the Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (2008).
CONSTITUTION AND CANONS (2009, 2012)
Article I: Fundamental Declarations of the Province
As the Anglican Church in North America (the Province), being a part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ, we believe and confess Jesus Christ to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father but by Him. Therefore, we identify the following seven elements as characteristic of the Anglican Way, and essential for membership:
1. We confess the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation, and to be the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life…
6. We receive The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline, and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.
In all these things, the Anglican Church in North America is determined by the help of God to hold and maintain, as the Anglican Way has received them, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to our posterity.
We seek to be and remain in full communion with all Anglican Churches, Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacraments and Discipline of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Canon II. 7: Of Christian Marriage
The Anglican Church in North America affirms our Lord’s teaching that the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong of one man and one woman. (Section 1)
Members of the Clergy of this Church shall conform to the Canons of this Church governing the solemnization of Holy Matrimony. (Section 3)
As marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman in which the two become one flesh, it is both an ordinance of Creation, affirmed as such by our Lord, and commended by Saint Paul as a sign of the mystical union between Christ and His Church (Matthew 19:3-9; Ephesians 5:22-32). (Section 4)
The Clergy shall require the parties to sign the following declaration:
“We, A. B. and C. D., desiring to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church, do solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. We believe it is for the purpose of the procreation (if it may be) of children, and their spiritual and physical nurture, for mutual fellowship, encouragement, and understanding, and for the safeguarding and benefit of society, and we do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God’s help thereto. (Section 6)
Canon II.8: Of Standards of Sexual Morality and Ethics
In view of the teaching of Holy Scripture, the Lambeth Conference of 1998 and the Jerusalem Declaration, this Church upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage, and cannot legitimize or bless same sex unions or ordain persons who engage in homosexual behavior. Sexual intercourse should take place only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (Section 2)
TO BE A CHRISTIAN: AN ANGLICAN CATECHISM
(Anglican Church in North America 2014)
128. What is marriage?
Marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman, binding both to self-giving love and exclusive fidelity. In the rite of Christian marriage, the couple exchange vows to uphold this covenant. They do this before God and in the presence of witnesses, who pray that God will bless their life together. (Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19; Mark 10:2-9; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39)
129. What is signified in marriage?
The covenantal union of man and woman in marriage signifies the communion between Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, and the Church, his holy bride. Not all are called to marriage, but all Christians are wedded to Christ and blessed by the grace God gives in marriage. (Ephesians 5:31-32)
130. What grace does God give in marriage?
In Christian marriage, God establishes and blesses the covenant between husband and wife, and joins them to live together in a communion of love, faithfulness and peace within the fellowship of Christ and his Church. God enables all married people to grow in love, wisdom and godliness through a common life patterned on the sacrificial love of Christ.
THE ANGLICAN BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER BEARS WITNESS
As noted in the Constitution (I.6), the Anglican Church in North America recognizes the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as its standard for worship. This Prayer Book defines Holy Matrimony as follows:
DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men…”
It goes on to state three purposes of holy matrimony:
First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.
Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body.
Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.
This definition is in full accord with the biblical witness and is consistent with the canons and catechism of the Anglican Church in North America.
THE LAMBETH CONFERENCE OF ANGLICAN BISHOPS BEARS WITNESS
The Lambeth Conference of Bishops has borne witness consistently on the subject of marriage at its decennial meetings over the past 150 years. Several examples of this teaching are as follows:
Recognising that to live a pure and chaste life before and after marriage is, for both sexes, the unchangeable Christian standard, attainable and attained through the help of the Holy Spirit by men and women in every age, the Conference desires to proclaim the universal obligation of this standard, and its vital importance as an essential condition of human happiness. (Resolution 66)
The Conference affirms as our Lord’s principle and standard of marriage a life-long and indissoluble union, for better or worse, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, and calls on all Christian people to maintain and bear witness to this standard. (Resolution 67)
Faced with the great increase in the number of broken marriages and the tragedy of children deprived of true home life, this Conference desires again to affirm that marriage always entails a life-long union and obligation; it is convinced that upon the faithful observance of this divine law depend the stability of home life, the welfare and happiness of children, and the real health of society. It calls upon members of the Church and others to do their utmost by word and example to uphold the sanctity of the marriage bond and to counteract those influences which tend to destroy it. It is convinced that maintenance of the Church’s standard of discipline can alone meet the deepest needs of men; and it earnestly implores those whose marriage, perhaps through no fault of their own, is unhappy to remain steadfastly faithful to their marriage vows. (Resolution 92)
• in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage.
• recognises that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God’s transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;
• while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex;
• cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions. (Resolution I.10)
THE GLOBAL FELLOWSHIP OF CONFESSING ANGLICANS BEARS WITNESS
In June 2008, 280 Anglican bishops held a special “Global Anglican Future Conference” in Jerusalem. This Conference adopted the Jerusalem Declaration, which reaffirms the biblical and historic standards of Anglicanism and states:
We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married. (Clause 8)
The Conference led to the formation of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, to which the Anglican Church in North America was admitted in 2009 as a full member.
ECUMENICAL STATEMENTS BEAR WITNESS
The Anglican Church in North America is party to a wider fellowship of Christian churches that share its biblical understanding of Holy Matrimony. The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America has borne witness by signing several recent ecumenical statements on the nature of marriage:
“The Two Shall Become One Flesh: Reclaiming Christian Marriage” by Evangelicals and Catholics Together (March 2015) endorsed by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America along with more than thirty Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders. Available at www.firstthings.com/article/2015/03/the-two-shall-become-one-flesh-reclaiming-marriage-2.
“An Affirmation of Marriage” by Anglican Church in North America, Lutheran Church-Canada, North American Lutheran Church and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (May 2013). Available at http://thenalc.org/the-nalc-releases-ecumenical-affirmation-on-marriage/
“The Defense of Marriage and the Right of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness: An Open Letter from Religious Leaders to All in Positions of Public Service” (April 2015), signed by the current and former Archbishops of the Anglican Church in North America, along with ecumenical leaders from the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches, as well as representatives of the Mormon, Jewish, and Muslim communities. Available at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Open-Letter-on-Marriage-and-Religious-Freedom-April-2015.pdf
“Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage” signed by the Archbishop along with Christian leaders and 55,000 others (and counting). Available at http://defendmarriage.org/pledge-in-solidarity-to-defend-marriage
The full statement can be found here in PDF.
Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala
Primate of Kenya
Chairman, GAFCON Primates’ Council
To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council
‘For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.’ 1 Corinthians 2:2
My dear brothers and sisters,
I send you greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ who by his suffering and death has destroyed death!
The gospel writers normally portray Jesus’ mission as the unfolding of a clear divine purpose so I find it striking that the only occasions when we find him wrestling with choices are the temptations in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry and in the Garden of Gethsemane as he approaches the cross.
In contrast, we easily become preoccupied with self-centred choices that distract us from the challenges of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. The temptations that Jesus faced remind us that we too are in a lifelong spiritual battle. This is a truth we affirm in the baptism service of the Anglican Church of Kenya which includes the words ‘Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified. Fight bravely under his banner against sin, the world and the devil and continue his faithful soldiers and servants to the end of your lives.’
Attacks on Christians in the Middle East and West Africa show us that for a growing number of Christians, confessing the faith of Christ crucified can lead to extreme suffering and cruel death. Now we have seen Islamic militants extend their barbarity to North Africa and turn the sea red with the blood of twenty-one Egyptian Christians beheaded on a Libyan beach for being ‘people of the cross.’ Let us pledge during this Lenten season to pray continually for those facing such ruthless persecution. In the same week as this atrocity, the Church of Uganda celebrated the courageous leadership of Ugandan Archbishop Janani Luwum who died as a martyr at the hands of Idi Amin thirty-eight years ago and whose witness is a continual inspiration and a reminder that the blood of those who die for the cause of Christ is not be shed in vain.
For many of us testing comes in more ordinary ways through life’s trials, in the face of which there can be the temptation to despair and give up. A person who could have done just that was the first missionary to East Africa, Johann Krapf, who was sent by CMS and arrived in Mombasa in 1844. In the same year his wife and baby daughter died of malaria, but he persevered and wrote ‘The victories of the Church are gained by stepping over the graves of her members’. Today, he is honoured as a founding figure of the Anglican Church of Kenya.
We learn the key to such spiritual strength in the face of temptation from Jesus’ experience in the wilderness. He repels the devil’s assaults by the Word of God and challenges the devil’s prompting to turn stones into bread by saying ‘it is written’ as he quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4).
Jesus here affirms that the words of Scripture are words that come from the mouth of God. They are divine words, not merely human words, and it is by every such word that we are to live, not just those words that we find comfortable in our culture.
A Church that is no longer able to say ‘it is written’ has placed itself in great spiritual danger, but that is where the Anglican Communion could be led according to a review just released of ‘Living Reconciliation’, a book written to promote the 'Continuing Indaba' project.
The review by Dr Martin Davie, a respected Church of England theologian who was until recently Theological Consultant to its House of Bishops, shows that ‘Living Reconciliation’ is not faithful to the Bible’s teaching that reconciliation has evangelism at its heart. What the writers are really concerned about is institutional unity and they simply assume that the deeply divisive promotion of same sex relationships by such Churches as the Episcopal Church of the United States is not a barrier to full and continued fellowship.
According to Dr Davie, ‘The New Testament’s emphasis is not on people learning to live with what divides them, but learning to live out what unites them’. The New Testament teaches that reconciliation with each other flows from reconciliation with God through repentance and faith in the gospel message. It does not make sense to call for reconciliation in the Church while at the same time accepting behaviour that the Bible says excludes people from the Kingdom of God unless they repent.
He concludes that the path recommended by the authors of ‘Living Reconciliation’ is ‘effectively a blank cheque for the acceptance of any and every possible form of deviation from New Testament Christianity.’ An introduction and link to the review is given on the GAFCON website at http://gafcon.org/news/living-reconciliation-deeply-problematic .
The GAFCON movement is vital for the future. At its heart is a passion to see the Anglican Communion restored and renewed so that it can confess the faith of Christ crucified with integrity and without confusion and division. This is a call to discipleship for each one of us, so let us learn from Jesus to say ‘it is written’ and stand firm in the power and promises of God.
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council
GIVING TUESDAY is TODAY
December 2, 2014
You can donate by selecting the "donate" button on the bottom of the page:
Giving Tuesday is a global movement started in 2012 as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season. It is a day dedicated to giving back, a way for all of us to give to others in thanksgiving for all that we have and to celebrate generosity. We hope you will be a part of this new tradition by giving generously to Ekklesia Society to help build water wells in Africa, so people there can have clean water.
You can join "cyber giving" by going to the website and selecting the "donation" button on the bottom of the page:
Giving Day was a Great Success!
THANK YOU to all who contributed.
Great News - Lenten Offering
This Lent we are having great response to Bishop's Well water bottle coin banks. On top of that, some folks are coming up with creative ways to help get funds to drill wells in Kenya where people are so desperate for water. Our favorite one for the week comes from the Youth Group at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Owasso, OK. Each week youth are bringing a plate of baked treats and auctioning them off at church. Last week a plate of obviously scrumptious cookies went for just over $70!!! Creative! Well done kids!!
2014 CLERGY RETREAT
GAFCON opens in Kenya
Early pictures from GAFCON can be viewed at the ACNA site here:
Aid to Oklahoma
Thanks to our generous donors, ARDF has raised over $111,000 on behalf of Tornado victims in Oklahoma. These funds are being disbursed through the ACNA International Diocese to a local Anglican parish and are being used to provide immediate relief to those affected, rebuild homes, repair church buildings, and reach out to the local community with spiritual healing. More information is available here.
Ordination to the Priesthood
We are pleased to announce and request your prayers for the ordination of The Rev. Isaac Rehberg to the Priesthood on Sunday, April 7, 2013, at Christ Our King, New Braunfels.
Rowan Williams Gives Final Address
as Archbishop of Canterbury
Rowan Williams attended his last service as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury at Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday, December 30, 2012. More than 700 people bade farewell to the 62-year-old Williams, who will take up the posts of Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Christian Aid. His decade in office was characterized by turbulence as he sought to maintain unity within the Anglican Communion in the midst of dissension over homosexuality and gay marriage, the invasion of Iraq, issues of Sharia law and the government economic policy, and, in the final days, the defeat of legislation to introduce the first femal bishops in the Church of England. His Christmas sermon for 2012 is available here, and his final New Year's message is available here.
8th Archbishop of Church of Uganda Enthroned
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala greets Archbishop Stanley Ntagali
Photo credit: Church of Uganda
On Sunday, December 16, 2012, at St. Paul's Cathedral, Namirembe, The Most Revd Stanley Ntagali was enthroned as the 8th Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. The ceremony was attended by more than 3000 people, including His Excellency the President, political and business leaders, all the bishops of the Church of Uganda, and Primates from numerous other provinces in the Anglican communion. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, addressed the gathering, and the Most Revd. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York and a Ugandan by birth, represented the Archbishop of Canterbury and read a letter of greetings and congratulations. The preacher was the Most Revd Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America. The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, retiring Archbishop, handed over the Provincial Staff to Archbishop Ntagali, symbolizing the transfer of spiritual authority from one Archbishop to another. More information can be found here.
Urgent Message from Archbishop Duncan
Archbishop Duncan encourages us “to join with our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in this season of prayer.”
To the Bishops, Clergy, and Christians of the Anglican Church in North America
Greetings in the wonderful name of The Lord Jesus Christ.
Some of you may know of the great challenges that are faced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Horrible armed conflict has claimed more than five million lives there since 1998. Now, a surge in fighting in the eastern part of the country has increased the casualties.
In the midst of extreme poverty and violence, the Anglican Church of Congo has maintained a faithful witness. Our dear friend and GAFCON/FCA brother, Archbishop Henri Isingoma is being joined by other Christian leaders in calling for a week of intense prayer from Monday, November 26th to Sunday, December 2nd. Archbishop Henri is an amazing inspiration, being able to keep his focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ in circumstances that are unimaginably difficult.
It is our Christian duty in the Anglican Church in North America to join with our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in this season of prayer with hope and expectation that the same God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead would bring a breakthrough for genuine and lasting peace.
Faithfully in Christ,
Canons and Constitution for New Diocese Adopted/Bishop Nominated
On Saturday, November 10, the constitution and canons for the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast were adopted, and The Very Rev'd Clark W. P. Lowenfield, Vicar General of the Diocese-in-Formation, was nominated for Bishop, by acclamation. Lowenfield is the Elder/Steward of HopePointe Anglican Church in The Woodlands, Texas. He is a graduate of Amherst College and The University of the South-School of Theology. He and his wife Tricia have three daughters.
105th Archbishop of Canterbury Announced
Eton-educated former oil company executive, the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby has accepted God's call to be the next head of the Church of England and spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion. The Prime Minister's office and Lambeth Palace released the announcement of the Queen's nomination on November 9, 2012. He will be enthroned on March 21, 2013. Bishop Welby is well known for his deeply-held evangelical faith and his experience in the business world. After reading law and history at Trinity College, Cambridge, he began a career in the oil industry based in Paris and London, with work in Western Africa and the North Sea. In response to God's call to the ministry, he matriculated Cranmer Hall in Durham and took a degree in theology. He served later as a curate in Nuneaton in the Coventry Diocese and in 1995 was made a rector in Southam; in 2002, he was made a canon at Coventry Cathedral. He was made Dean of Liverpool in 2007 and enthroned as Bishop of Durham, the fourth most important post in the Church of England, in 2011. His mother was Winston Churchill's private secretary, and he is also related to the former Conservative deputy Prime Minister, Rob Butler. His experience in conflict resolution and his frequent, often dangerous, trips to Nigeria, as well as his extensive knowledge of the Anglican Communion, are expected to be of great benefit to him and the church. He is known for his sense of humor and self-depracating manner, as well as his love of sailing. He and his wife Caroline have six children, one of whom died at the age of seven months in an automobile accident in 1983. More information is available from the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Bishop's opening statement at Lambeth is available here, and a recent interview is available here.
Bishop Atwood Sends Letter to Diocese Concerning Responsible Voting
Bishop Bill Atwood has sent a letter to the International Diocese concerning the spiritual responsibility of Christians to vote in the upcoming election. In it, he notes that
"In this election, there are critical issues that Christians must consider if we are to remain faithful. Three of them stand out. First, is reference for life. Second, preserving the integrity and stability of the family as God has revealed it. Third is religious freedom . . . . The attempt is being made to keep "religious" values out of public discourse and decision-making, but we should not do that. Unwittingly, Christians who opt out of the political process are strengthening that position . . . . It is not faithful to fail to vote." The entire letter can be read here.
The Rev. Steve Breedlove Consecrated Bishop in PEAR USA
On Monday, October 29, 2012, The Rev. Steve Breedlove was consecrated Bishop in the Anglican Province of Rwanda. He was elected by unanimous acclamation at the first PEAR USA Celebration Assembly, which met in Raleigh, NC, in June. At that time, the formation of three network relationship groups, along with the leaders of those groups, also was announced. At the Consecration Service, Archbishop Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) preached and Archbishop Rwaje of Rwanda did the consecration. Most of the Rwandan Bishops were present, along with Bishops and other leaders in ACNA.
PEARUSA is a North American mission and church planting movement of the Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda (PEAR), in collaboration with the ACNA.
(Photo by Thomas Kortus)
Ecumenical Summit Held in Dallas, Texas
Leaders from Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches and organizations met in Dallas, Texas, from October 22-25, 2012. They affirmed common theological ground and sought practical ways to work together on engaging North American culture, planting churches and missions, and being a social witness. On the final day, they affirmed an ecumenical statement that addresses each of these concerns. They also committed to meet again for a second summit in 2013. A list of participants and more information can be found on the ACNA website.
Archbishop Duncan Authorizes a Theological Task Force on Holy Orders
Archbishop Duncan has appointed the Rt. Rev. David Hicks, Bishop of the REC Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to lead a Theological Task Force of the College of Bishops through a thorough study regarding the ordination of women to Holy Orders. When the Anglican Church in North America was founded, the consensus was that the different understandings regarding ordination of women to Holy Orders would be held in mutual love and respect while moving forward for the good of the Church. This commitment was embedded in the Constitution and Canons. As ACNA enters its fourth year, the Archbishop has determined, along with the Bishops, that it is "time to appoint a continuing body to help us with the study [of women's ordination] that was never previously undertaken." More information is available at the ACNA website.
Church of the Province of West Africa (CPWA) Elects 9th Primate
The following letter was released by the Dean of CPWA:Upon the approval of the amendments to the constitution to create two internal provinces in the Church of the Province of West Africa (CPWA) namely, the province of Ghana to comprise all the dioceses in Ghana and the province of West Africa to comprise the dioceses in Bo, Cameroon, Freetown, Gambia, Guinea and Liberia; each to be headed by an Archbishop:
The province of Ghana elected Rt. Revd. Dr. Daniel Yinka Sarfo, Bishop of Kumasi as the Archbishop-elect and the province of West Africa, Rt. Revd. Dr. S. Tilewa Johnson, Bishop of Gambia as the Archbishop-elect.
Archbishop-elect S. Tilewa Johnson was then elected as the Ninth Primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa for a term of five (5) years
Dated this 29th day of September, 2012 at Cuttington University, Suacoco, Liberia
(signed) +AlbertDG Gomez
RT. REVD. ALBERT D. G. GOMEZ
DEAN OF THE CHURCH OF PROVINCE OF WEST AFRICA (CPWA)
Global South Primates' Letter to the Crown Nominations Committee
On July 20, 2012, Primates from the Global South of the Anglican Communion sent a letter to Lord Luce of the Crown Nominations Commission regarding their expectations for the next Archbishop of Canterbury. In the Communique released at the end of the meeting, the Primates noted:
We have written to the Crown Nominations Commission with concerns from the Global South and important principles for consideration as it nominates candidates for the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury.
A copy of the letter is now available.
2012 Global South Conference, Bangkok, Thailand
The Global South Anglican Conference met in Bangkok, Thailand, from July 16-21, 2012. The theme of the Conference was "Be Transformed by the Renewing of the Mind to Obedience of Faith for Holistic Mission in a Radically Changing Global Landscape," based on Romans 12:1f and II Timothy 4:7. The Conference was a response to the Fourth Anglican Global South to South Encounter in Singapore, April 2010, to "gather leaders from Provinces of the Global South and other mission partners, which are unequivocally committed to the apostolic-historic faith." The Bangkok Conference, attended by more than 100 delegates from provinces of the Global South and by mission partners from other parts of the Communion and various Mission agencies, noted that "the 'centre of gravity in world Christianity' has shifted to the Global South." In light of numerous challenges that are faced in the changing global patterns of thinking, they determined that the "greatest need is for discipleship to take root and go deep," and that emphasis had to be placed "on discipleship and character formation, marked with 'humility, integrity, and simplicity.'" The Communique issued at the end of the meeting is available online.
The Rt. Rev. Stanley Ntagali Elected 8th Archbishop of the Church of Uganda
On 22nd June 2012, at a press conference held at the Archbishop's Palace, Namirembe, the Rt. Rev. Nicodemus Okille, Dean of the Church of the Province of Uganda, announced that the Rt. Rev. Stanley Ntagali was elected the 8th Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. The election was held by secret ballot during a meeting of the House of Bishops on Friday, 22nd June, 2012, at St. Paul's Cathedral, Namirembe, and was presided over by the Provincial Chancellor. Bishop Ntagali was elected with more than a two-thirds majority, per the Constitution of the Church of Uganda. Bishop Ntagali was consecrated Bishop on 19th December 2004 and has served as the Bishop of Masindi-Kitara Diocese for eight years. More information is available here.
Presider Pro-Tem of PEARUSA Installed
At the opening Eucharist of the Celebration Assembly of PEARUSA in Raleigh, North Carolina, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje presented The Rev. Canon Dr. Steve Breedlove to the clergy and lay members of the assembly. Rev. Canon Breedlove, who recently stepped down as rector of All Saints Church, Chapel Hill, was officially installed as the Presider pro tem of PEARUSA. He will preside over an interim mission council until the October assembly, at which time the offices and structures of the organization will be finalized. Bishop Thad Barnum will serve as episcopal advisor, at the Archbishop's request. In a show of unity, Bishop John Guernsey brought greetings from ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan, who was unable to attend due to previous commitments, and his fellow bishops.
Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the Holy See to Retire
The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced that the Very Reverend Canon David Richardson, the Archbishop’s Representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, intends to retire at Easter 2013. Canon Richardson will have served for five years as Director of the Centre. He has recently been instrumental in establishing a five-year plan that will enable the Centre to move forward its mission with renewed focus and vigor in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the Centre in 2016 and beyond. Canon Richardson is Dean Emeritus of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, and one of four Provincial Canons of Canterbury. He is married to Margie and they have two adult children. More information is available at
ACNA 2012 Assembly Concludes with Eucharist
On the final day of Assembly 2012 in Ridgecrest, N.C., the closing Eucharist service was marked by a focus on the theme of “Captivating Disciples, Multiplying Congregations and Transforming Communities.”
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairman of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Primates’ Council, presided, and The Rt. Rev. John A.M. Guernsey, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, delivered the sermon. The full text of his sermon can be read here.
Bishop Atwood Interviews Archbishop Isingoma
During the ACNA Provincial Assembly, held in North Carolina in June 2012, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Atwood, Bishop of the International Diocese of ACNA, interviewed Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Anglican Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In April, 2012, Archbishop Isingoma provided a temporary refuge for members of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) while they searched for an ecclesiastical home. In doing so, he set certain provisions and restrictions for the group, including the requirement that they engage in a "reconciliation process." More information is avaialbe here.
GAFCON Concludes Leaders' Conference in London and Sets 2013 Meeting
In their final conference, ‘Commitment,’ the GAFCON leaders meeting in London resolved to work together in an ever-strengthening partnership, to support each other, and to engage in a battle on behalf of the Biblical Gospel. They issued a Statement and Commitment for moving forward.
In his plenary address, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali stated that the Anglican “Instruments of Unity” have failed dramatically and that the FCA is called to model an alternative way for the churches of the Anglican Communion to gather and relate to one another in such a way as to carry out the Great Commission in the coming decades.
A Global Anglican Future Conference was announced for May 2013 and will include clergy and lay people, as well as bishops. For more information, please go to the Gafcon London 2012 site.
ACNA and The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod Release Joint Statement
The Anglican Church of North America and the North American Lutheran Church met at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA, on March 27. On April 23, 2012, they released a joint statement addressing their areas of theological agreement, challenges both churches face, and ways in they they may work together in the future. Bishop Bradosky and Archbishop Duncan affirmed their mutual commitment to pursue the development of ecumenical relationships between ACNA and NALC, on the basis of Holy Scripture. For more information, please go to the ACNA website.
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Kenya, at News Conference of Opening of GAFCON Leaders Conference
The New Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop of Kenya, exchanged seats with former Chairman, Archbishop Greg Venables, Southern Cone, as he accepted the call to serve in the leadership position. He then addressed the media. For a video of the news conference, please go to the GAFCON media site. In his opening address, Archbishop Wabukala told the delegates that they were called to "a grest prophetic purpose at this critical point in the life of our Communion.” He outlined the extent of unbiblical teaching in the Communion and declared “The heart of the crisis we face is not only institutional, but spiritual.”
Primates Meet Prior to GAFCON Leaders Conference
The Primates Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans met for three days, April 19th - 21, in London. They confirmed the decision to call GAFCON II in May next year and will present a venue soon. For more information, please go to the GAFCON website.