Category : Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

An Easter Message From Archbishop Foley Beach

Holy Week reminds us that God loved us so much that he sent his Son into our world to die for our sins. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” And so he was crucified on Good Friday, and now it’s Easter morning, the day of his resurrection. He rose from the dead and affirmed everything that he said. His resurrection promises us not just hope for now and life abundantly in the present, but life eternal, eternal life with him. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

I don’t know where this video finds you this morning, or this afternoon, or tonight, but I hope you will find yourself in the presence of the Lord, and if not, that you will open your heart and soul to him this day.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Easter

(TLC Covenant) Jeremy Bonner+David Goodhew–The Growth of the Anglican Church in North America”

But ACNA has seen significant growth as well as decline. Leaving aside the two Nigerian dioceses that have left ACNA, the number of congregations in the rest of ACNA continues steadily to increase. Its stress on church planting is bearing considerable fruit and is much more vigorous than that of TEC.

What is particularly telling is the success of the non-territorial jurisdictions, particularly the diocese named C4SO (Churches for the Sake of Others), whose membership doubled and principal service attendance tripled over the six years up to 2019. C4SO is now the second-largest diocese in ACNA, eclipsed only by South Carolina, larger than Fort Worth or Pittsburgh. Western dioceses like Cascadia and the Rocky Mountains also report significant increases in membership and attendance.

C4SO 2013 2019

Congregations 26 52

Members 5,325 10,493

Attendance 3,157 9,373

Members of TEC may be tempted to look askance at a diocese whose name sounds like a droid from Star Wars, but humility is in order. The growth of C4SO massively outpaces all TEC dioceses in the same period.

What Is Going On in ACNA?

Now past its first decade, ACNA is declining and growing.

Read it all.

Posted in ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Presses On: Convention Held March 13, 2021

In considering what he owes his successor, the Bishop outlined his plans for meeting with, “shoring up and strengthening” the diocesan staff and leaders of Diocesan ministries; the Diocesan Council; those who oversee the discernment, call and training for ordained ministry; and the Deans and Standing Committee.

Before reflecting on what he owed the Diocese, the Bishop praised the clergy and the congregations for how they had pressed on despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, celebrating the many ways “creativity has abounded, and the work and ministry of the churches have gone on.”

“I want to pause in this convention to celebrate our clergy – rectors, vicars, assisting priests and deacons and their lay member for your extraordinary ministry during these extraordinary times!” he said. “Not only that but for how you have helped and learned from one another building up the body of Christ. … Well done good and faithful servants.”

He did express a word of caution noting “more of our older members have returned to in-person worship in numbers greater than the young.” “Generation Z those born after 1998 according to reliable research is the most unchurched generation in American history. These are their formative and perhaps in many ways their defining years.” The Bishop stressed that though we need not meet in large gatherings the church “does need to be incarnational.” He will be assembling a team to consider updating guidance regarding the way forward.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Your Prayers Appreciated for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Convention Today

Read it all. The agenda includes a report from the Bishop Coadjutor Search Committee.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

(First Things) Hans Boersma on the recent ACNA kerfuffle over Christian anthropology and pastoral care

Whither the ACNA? Much will depend on its ability to keep the theological and the pastoral together.

First, we should avoid blaming our Christian heritage or the contemporary church for singling out the sin of homosexuality. Such self-blame is understandable: It is a way of dealing with the emotional hardship caused by same-sex attraction. But this introspection is, for the most part, unwarranted. Traditional Christian morality does not single out homosexuality, whereas making it part of one’s identity does. Besides, power roles have reversed: In today’s therapeutic culture, insisting on one’s gay identity mostly gets applauded, while it requires great courage to speak and write biblically about homosexuality. And while greed, adultery, etc. are all wrong, Scripture hardly supports the notion that all sins are of equal weight.

Third, we should keep in mind that the primary pastoral context of sin is alienation from God. If disordered sexual desires lead us away from a right relationship with God, then that is the key pastoral issue that we must address. The primary pastoral context, then, is not the feeling of exclusion from fellow believers as a result of sexual identity. It’s not that the latter doesn’t powerfully function; it obviously does. But it does so because of the way we have wedded sexual desire to human identity—a unique characteristic of today’s Western therapeutic culture. Carl Trueman’s recent book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, is a must-read to untangle the cultural web that we have spun for ourselves and a welcome antidote to the inexorable drift toward acceptance of disordered desire.

Please note, I am not encouraging us to ignore the pastoral. Quite the opposite: I am convinced we’re often not pastoral enough.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(JE) Some Albany Clergy in TEC (the Episcopal Church) to Join Anglican Church in North America

number of clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Albany are preparing to join the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) according to officials with the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word (ADLW).

The announcement made February 21 is in response to clergy requests for canonical residency under ADLW Bishop Julian Dobbs. It would be the first public movement of clergy in New York’s Capital District since the resignation of Bishop William H. Love earlier this winter.

According to officials with the ACNA diocese, the Albany clergy “have formally applied and are being licensed to minister within the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word.” They are to comprise a regional ministry network that will “place a strong emphasis on church planting and ministries in the [Capital] Region and surrounding areas of New York.”

“We are confident that as these men and women boldly proclaim the authentic Gospel of Christ, many souls will be saved, and new disciples will be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ,” the ADLW statement reads. “We ask that you join us in praying for these clergy and the congregations committed to their care.”

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC)

(ACNA) Clarity In The Midst Of Confusion: A Provincial Statement On The Events Of The Week

From there:

In January of this year, the College of Bishops released a statement on human sexuality and identity which reiterated the biblical position that the Province was founded upon in 2009, a position fully aligned with the Jerusalem Declaration and Lambeth 1.10. While the culture in North America has moved further away from the biblical understanding of sexuality and human identity, the Anglican Church in North America has not moved.

This week, a lay person dissented from the College of Bishop’s statement in a public letter and instigated the very confusion that the College of Bishops warned would happen if its members did not heed this pastoral advice. The confusion was made worse by a misleading claim that Provincial approval had been given for the letter; it had not.

We encourage those who have concerns to again read the Statement itself, “Sexuality and Identity: A Pastoral Statement from the College of Bishops,” rather than be distracted by inaccurate commentary and misleading open letters. For additional context we also commend the letter, “Identity Matters,” from the bishop who chaired the taskforce. If you continue to have questions or concerns, please contact your local bishop. If you are an international partner, you can contact the Provincial Office at communications@anglicanchurch.net

The Anglican Church in North America remains committed to being a place where Christians who experience same-sex attraction can come alongside other brothers and sisters in Christ seeking to be more closely conformed to the character of Jesus, and grow in biblical holiness, righteousness, and godliness. Together, we will continue to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AI) Archbishop Beach writes to the Diocese of the South about some recent developments

Commemoration of Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna Martyr, 156

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am writing today to address a letter which was put out yesterday via social media. A group led by aspirant, Pieter Valk, has put out a letter entitled, Dear Gay Anglicans, in response to the College of Bishops’ pastoral letter on identity. If you have not seen the letter, you can find it HERE.

While it says they are not undermining our Pastoral Statement, they actually are. Replacing “gay Christian” with “gay Anglican” is pretty much in your face. My immediate reaction to the letter was that it was pretty benign and wasn’t going to change anything about what we teach.

However, it has already had international ramifications. I have had to deal with two provinces already (actually now three as of a few minutes ago) — and this is just the first day. In many of our partner provinces, the practice of homosexuality is against the law, and to make matters more difficult, they usually don’t understand the nuances of the word “gay” or “homosexual attraction” — they just hear the practice of same-sex immorality.

In the province, the expected hard rhetoric is coming from both sides in reaction to this. I find our lack of charity in the province a serious blind spot we need to address. Many of our bishops, and rightly so, feel this is an attempt to undermine our roles as guardians of the Faith and teachers of the doctrine of the Church. Some individuals have expressed that we are now TEC 2.0. Some think this is going to break the ACNA apart — one quote I received tonight: “If I had to guess what might fracture the ACNA I would’ve said women’s ordination. I never would have thought it would be homosexuality. We gave up everything to take a clear stand on this. It is disheartening to have it being taken away.” I could go on, but you get the point.

This is serious enough, however, that I am writing this at 1:15 am.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Language, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Mark Yarnhouse–Reflections on The ACNA Pastoral Statement

Several years ago, when I was on sabbatical in Cambridge, I was asked to speak to a group of conservative clerics in London about research on sexual orientation and identity. I was delighted to learn that Wesley Hill was also speaking. Wes describes himself as a celibate gay Christian and I recall the graciousness with which the clerics received Wes, although they themselves had questions about such a designation. The spirit of the time together was that they had convened brothers and sisters in Christ to discuss what is often referred to as a traditional Christian sexual ethic and how that ethic intersects with scientific research and the lives of people actually living out that ethic in meaningful ways.

Reading through the recently published Pastoral Statement from the College of Bishops in the Anglican Church in North America on Sexuality and Identity reminded me of this event, perhaps because sections of the statement stand in contrast to some of what I experienced that day.

After the Preamble and Purpose, the statement itself address same-sex relationships, identity and transformation, and identity and language. Let me offer a few thoughts on each of these three sections….

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Sexuality And Identity: A Pastoral Statement From ACNA The College Of Bishops

The Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) offer this pastoral statement to the Church after prayer, study, careful listening to disparate voices, and a collaborative process involving contributions from across the Province. As a result of this process, we have become even more acutely aware of the power we all need to live faithfully in Jesus Christ as He redeems the whole of our identity, including our sexuality.

The College of Bishops asked for the formation of this statement in January of 2020 after we heard reports of varied application among ACNA leaders regarding the use of language about sexual identity, especially within provincial events. We recognize there are a multiplicity of realities in our current national, political, and global circumstances into which an episcopal voice could be presented. In the midst of this tragic pandemic, we desire to continue to minister the Gospel into all aspects of our common life that have been distorted by sin such as racism, persecution, injustice, and violence, while also speaking to this specific issue of identity and sexuality. We hope this circumspect statement will speak pastorally to the issue of sexuality and the use of language within our provincial church.

Our foundation is the Scriptural truth that God made us male and female in His image—a profound unity with distinction (Genesis 1:27). God established marriage between male and female to fill the earth through procreation (Genesis 1:28). Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught that marriage is the model of God’s relation to humanity, the Church. It is a sacramental type of union by which humans work out their salvation with, and in, God’s grace. It requires a lifetime of commitment joined, blessed, and sustained by God between one man and one woman for the purposes of raising children and bearing the image of Christ’s relationship with the Church (Matthew 19:1-12, Ephesians 5:21-33). Yet, Jesus and Paul also extol, and themselves exemplify, the model of virginity for life and spirituality (2 Corinthians 11:1-2). They establish Christian celibacy as a normal, while less common, vocation of abstinent singleness for the sake of the kingdom (Matthew 19:1-12, 1 Corinthians 7:1-40).

Furthermore, we equally affirm, following Paul, that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We say, with Augustine, that this Fall has affected our lives in destructive ways that have disordered our affections. While same-sex attraction is one manifest type of disordered affection, there are many other types of disordered affections. Indeed, we recognize that same-sex sexual relationships have been an oft-targeted sin while other sinful manifestations of our common fallen nature, such as pornography, adultery, divorce, greed, and disregard for the poor have sometimes been tragically discounted or even ignored.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

On January 7, 2021 Archbishop Foley Beach welcomed the Rt. Rev. Bill Skilton into the ACNA, “It is my great pleasure to receive the Holy Orders of the Rt. Rev. William J. Skilton, D.D., as a retired bishop of the Anglican Church in North America. We recognize your ordination and consecration as a Bishop in Christ’s one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and we welcome you to exercise your ministry under the guidance of the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence.” Bishop Skilton will continue to serve as bishop-in-residence at Old St. Andrew’s, Charleston and has been licensed by Bishop Lawrence to perform the duties of priest within the Diocese and to exercise episcopal duties at the invitation and direction of the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese….

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

The ACNA College of Bishops Meeting Communique January 2021

From there:

The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America met via Zoom January 5-7, 2021 for prayer, conversation, and fellowship. In addition to consenting to the election of two new bishops-elect, we engaged in important dialogue on topics of particular urgency in contemporary society: racial reconciliation, sexuality and identity, and ministry in the midst of a pandemic.

As events unfolded in the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, the words of Archbishop Beach’s address from the previous day were a prophetic encouragement to continue to work for the unity of the Church in the midst of a polarized society:

“We are beginning to suffer from a serious lack of theological, Biblical, and historical understanding in the Church. We have often quoted Marc’ Antonio de Dominis (1560-1624), archbishop of Split (Spalato): ‘In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.’ Yes, we can differ on the nonessentials, but the Faith is not up for grabs. So, let’s not be afraid to say the hard thing regarding the essentials of the Faith and remain true to the teaching of Holy Scripture, the Bible. But remembering, in all things, charity! The mentality which writes people off and breaks fellowship with those who disagree is creeping its way into the Church. We must fight to maintain the unity of the Spirit in our Church.”

During our time together, we also looked at concrete proposals for addressing clergy wellness, received an update from the Liturgy and Music Task Forces, and began looking ahead to 2030.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Today’s Prayer in the ACNA cycle of Prayer

In the ACNA Cycle of Prayer, today we pray for the Province of Sudan and the Most Rev. Ezekiel Kondo, Archbishop; and for the Province of South Sudan and The Rt. Rev. Justin Arama,
Archbishop, and his wife, Joyce.

Almighty Father, we pray that they may be faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ and empowered
by your Holy Spirit to serve you in the world.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Spirituality/Prayer, Sudan

(JE) Virginia TEC Diocese Signals Truro Anglican Sale is Possible

Episcopal Diocese of Virginia officials have announced that diocesan leadership initiated “confidential conversations” in late 2019 with representatives of Truro Anglican Church in suburban Washington about the future of the property, with a potential sale possible.

“The discussions have been productive and are expected to continue,” the diocese shared in a December 6 press release on its website. A member of the Truro congregation confirmed to me that the diocesan release “is substantially correct.”

I’ve reached out to Truro’s vestry wardens and will update this blog entry as I receive their responses. Truro staff confirmed that a verbal announcement was read aloud to the congregation during a parish meeting but that no written or public statement was released.

Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic Canon for Congregation and Clergy Care the Rev. Mary Maggard Hays noted that ongoing negotiations with the Diocese of Virginia are still confidential, but characterized them as “amicable and thoughtful.”

That assessment is similarly held by Episcopalians.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

(Stephen Noll) Covid19 Vaccine: Are Clergy First Responders, or Last?

I am in my 75th year, a bellwether of the Baby Boom generation, and I am looking forward to getting my Covid-19 vaccinations as soon as possible.

I am also a retired priest. Most of my ordained colleagues are younger than I and are serving active congregations.

So who goes first?

The Centers for Disease Control is apparently drawing up priority guidelines as to “essential” recipients, and it is thought that the elderly and “first responders” will go to the head of the line. I have heard no mention of clergy being on the list of essential workers.

It is, I suppose, not surprising that in a secular society, clergy are considered non-essential, but what surprises me is that there has been no call from church leaders in this matter. All too frequently there has been a sheepish plea for compliance with regulations restricting worship, even when secular bodies are exempted from them. The Supreme Court just struck down such a provision in New York as a violation of the free practice of religion, which is good, but such a decision lacks the rationale that religion – and Christianity in particular – is a matter of the life of the immortal soul, not just the body.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Religion & Culture

Reminder–ACNA Task Force has issued a Call For Feedback On Traditional Language Liturgies

From here:

The Traditional Language Subcommittee of the Liturgy Task Force is seeking feedback on the proposed Book of Common Prayer 2019, Traditional Language Edition. We would especially like feedback relating to translation choices, as well as corrections to any typos or errors that might be found.

Please submit all feedback before December 27, 2020 to Jacob Hootman at liturgytaskforce@anglicanchurch.net.

To access the liturgies, visit the Traditional Language Liturgies page here.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Liturgy, Music, Worship

ACNA Provincial Council Council Votes To Accept Terms Of The Cairo Covenant

The Provincial Council of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) voted on its second day to accept full membership in the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches and to embrace a life of full communion as envisioned in the Cairo Covenant. The resolution, presented by Archbishop Bob Duncan and Bishop Bill Atwood, summarized the declarations of the Seventh Conference of Global South Anglicans, which met in Cairo, Egypt, on October 11, 2019. It also outlined the four objectives of the newly proposed covenantal structure: to guard the faith once delivered to the saints; to be effective in fulfilling God’s mission to the world; to strengthen the Global South’s identity, governance, relational life, and discipleship; and to work for the well-being of the global Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Duncan was honored to present this historical resolution on the anniversary of his consecration as the first archbishop of the ACNA. He commented: “As this Covenant becomes the basis of the accountability for orthodoxy, partnership, and mission in the Provinces of the Global South, it will be the most significant development in the history and ecclesiology of Anglicanism since the emergence of the Lambeth Conference in 1867.”

The ACNA has been a partner member of the Global South since 2015, and the fundamental declarations, mission objectives, relational commitments, and inter-provincial structures of the Global South are completely consistent with the provisions of the ACNA’s Constitution and Canons, Fundamental Declarations, and the GAFCON Jerusalem Declaration. The ACNA continues to be committed to mutual accountability and biblical mission among Anglican provinces as remedies for both the ecclesial deficit and the gospel deficit plaguing the global Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ecclesiology, Global South Churches & Primates

Abp. Foley Beach’s ACNA Provincial Council address–Pursuing Racial Reconciliation

A few years ago, the College of Bishops was able to hear Dr. Albert Thompson from the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic speak to us about the history of our Anglican heritage and the failures of racism, the many injustices, and some of the progress we have made over the years. Last year in Plano at our 10th year Anniversary, we heard the Rev. Anthony Thompson from the REC Diocese of the Southeast. His precious wife was shot, along with eight other people, while having a Bible Study at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston by a hate-filled man seething with racism. Anthony told us about the power of the Gospel of Jesus and how it has enabled him to forgive the man who murdered his wife. In spite of this evil, we saw in the city of Charleston brothers and sisters like Anthony responding with the love of Jesus and the incredible power of forgiveness.

We need to search our hearts and make sure there is no offensive way in us as the Anglican Church in North America. All the words about spiritual renewal and revival in the Bible are not directed to the non-Christian culture, but to the people of God. We need to look within ourselves. And it starts with me. What the Lord has shown me about me in the past few weeks is this–I have failed to understand the incredible burden and pain that many of my black brothers and sisters live with every day. I have not wept with those who weep. And I have not understood the depth of the effect of racism and injustice. I have not understood the burden of living under racist acts, slurs, and systems they have to endure every day, nor have I understood the fear with which they constantly live for themselves and their families. It is not enough not to be a racist; we must not be blind to the sin of racism and ignore it in our midst.

Channing Austin Brown writes in I’m Still Here about a white student in a college class, who after visiting a museum on lynchings, said this to her fellow classmates: “I don’t know what to do with what I’ve learned,” she said. “I can’t fix your pain, and I can’t take it away, but I can see it. And I can work for the rest of my life to make sure your children don’t have to experience the pain of racism.” He writes, “And then she said nine words that I’ve never forgotten: ‘Doing nothing is no longer an option for me.’”

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology

ACNA has Launched a new website

Check it out.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Blogging & the Internet

Archbishop Foley Beach Calls for a Week of Prayer and Fasting for the USA starting today

Consider what we have experienced in recent days and weeks:

  • Another senseless killing by a police officer of an unarmed black man, George Floyd.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people participating in peaceful protests.
  • The unleashing of a spirit of lawlessness where rioting, violence, destruction of businesses and properties (mostly minority owned), unbridled theft, personal assaults on bystanders, store owners, the elderly, and police officers.
  • Covid-19 closing whole countries down, reportedly killing over 100,000 people in the U.S., over 7,000 in Canada, and over 10,000 in Mexico, and creating an economic calamity with tens of millions of people unemployed across North America.
  • Numerous businesses and churches have had to close down and many will not reopen.
  • Incredible generosity of strangers helping strangers in the midst of calamity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Bp Martyn Minns’ Sermon for Pentecost 2020

A Message from CHC 5/31 from Church of the Holy Cross on Vimeo.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Some Acna Bps on the Minneapolis Tragedy–“What happened to George [Floyd] is an affront to God because his status as an image-bearer was not respected”

What happened to George is an affront to God because his status as an image-bearer was not respected. He was treated in a way that denied his basic humanity. Our lament is real. But our lament is not limited to George and his family. We mourn alongside the wider Black community for whom this tragedy awakens memories of their own traumas and the larger history of systemic oppression that still plagues this country.

George’s death is not merely the most recent evidence that proves racism exists against Black people in this country. But it is a vivid manifestation of the ongoing devaluation of black life. At the root of all racism is a heretical anthropology that devalues the Imago Dei in us all. The gospel reveals that all are equally created, sinful, and equally in the need of the saving work of Christ. The racism we lament is not just interpersonal. It exists in the implicit and explicit customs and attitudes that do disproportionate harm to ethnic minorities in the country. In other words, too often racial bias has been combined with political power to create inequalities that still need to be eradicated.

As bishops in the ACNA, we commit ourselves to stand alongside those in the Black community as they contend for a just society, not as some attempt to transform America into the kingdom of God, but as a manifestation of neighborly love and bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ. We confess that too often ethnic minorities have felt like contending for biblical justice has been a burden that they bear alone.

In the end, our hope is not in our efforts but in the shed blood of Jesus that reconciles God to humanity and humans to each other. Our hope is that our churches become places where the power of the gospel to bring together the nations of the earth (Rev 7:9) is seen in our life together as disciples.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(JE) Anglican Bishop Ryan Reed on Seeking the Gospel Amidst Litigation

“One of the things that we have learned is the spiritual handicap or weight that comes upon you even when you are defending yourself in a lawsuit,” Reed shares. ” This Sunday on Pentecost I am calling the entire diocese to a day or penance and of repentance. We are all collectively going to pray the litany of penance together and repent of any way in which this lawsuit has kept us from being faithful to the Gospel, any way it may have hardened our hearts to those who differ with us or those who wanted to hurt us.”

“This Sunday is a day of penance and a day of re-dedication. On Pentecost we are all going to re-affirm our baptismal vows and return to 100 percent focus upon sharing the Gospel and the transforming love of Jesus because that is what is important,” Reed declares. “All of this property and these funds and the buildings — those are just tools to help us share the good news of Jesus Christ. We could do with or without them to be honest, but if we’re not doing that, then those things don’t matter at all.”

Read it all and watch the whole interview (just over 23 minutes).

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pentecost, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

(JE) Anglican Bishop Steve Wood, COVID-19 and “Beauty from Ashes”

Bishop Steve Wood was released from the hospital following 10 days on a ventilator amidst treatment for COVID-19. An otherwise healthy man in his 50s who had not before been hospitalized, Wood is far from the image of elderly or medically compromised patients we regularly read about in the news.

The rector of St. Andrew’s Church and bishop for the Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas shares with the Institute on Religion & Democracy’s Jeff Walton about what sustained him during a period of intensive care, ongoing recovery and God bringing “beauty from ashes.”

Take the time to watch it all (just under 18 minutes).

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Some Very encouraging news on Steve Wood

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Health & Medicine

Sunday Designated a National Day of Prayer

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The President of the United States has called the nation to a day of prayer regarding the coronavirus this Sunday, March 15.

As a Province, let us join in this effort, whether from Canada, the U.S., or Mexico.

This Sunday, let’s pray and fast for our nations:

  • repenting of our sins and asking God’s forgiveness
  • asking God’s intervention to stop the spread of this virus
  • asking God for healing for those who are sick
  • asking God to use us, his people, as agents of love and compassion
  • asking God to draw people to himself through the saving power of Jesus on the cross.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

(UgCN) Justin Welby and his delegation will attend Archbishop-elect Kaziimba’s enthronement

Local media sources report that the service of enthronement of the new Archbishop of the Church of Uganda will be attended by the President and First Lady, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Speaker of Parliament and many other government leaders.

In a statement, Church of Uganda revealed that its 39 active Bishops and more than 45 retired Bishops are expected to attend the service of enthronement. In all, they are preparing for 3,000 – 7,000 people.

The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America and Chairman of the Gafcon Primates’ Council is expected to preach at the enthronement.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Uganda

An Ash Wednesday Letter from Archbishop Foley Beach

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.

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Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Health & Medicine, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

The Most Recent ACNA College of Bishops Communiqué

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.

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Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

(Beeson Divinity School) Gerald McDermott interviews Stephen Gauthier on Anglican Basics: The Church

So, let me just get right down to it. What is the Church?

Gauthier:

Well, on a very simple level it’s easy to start out with, it’s those who have been called. The actual word in Greek for church, ecclesia, means the ones called out. The ones called. It’s the word they used, by the way, that word that we use for the Church in the New Testament, is the word that we used translated in the Old Testament, in the Septuagint version, for the Great Assembly.

It’s much more that it’s a spiritual reality. When Paul was asked, how do you describe the Church, he said this mystery is profound, I’m saying it refers to Christ in the Church. He’s referring to marriage. His idea was that Christ is … that the Church is Christ’s bride and because it’s His Bride, it’s his body. And not as a metaphor, saying it’s a reality.

We have, for example, that he’s telling a husband, why do you love your wife? When you love your wife, since you’re one body you’re loving yourself. Everyone loves his own body. This is how Christ feels about the Church.

So, the understanding is the Church is Christ’s Bride and body. And it’s also the sacramental reality. How do we become part of His actual body? We’re baptized into HIs body. Something that God does. We don’t join the Church. God brings us into His body. It says “for in one spirit we’re all baptized into one body.” It’s something the Spirit joins us to.

And then Eucharist, we’re told, that that bond is strengthened. It’s because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. So, the Church itself … Christ is the manifestation of God, the sacrament of God, the visible … something we can see of an invisible reality. The visible sign of an invisible reality.

The Church is the sacrament of Christ. Christ is the sacrament of the Father, and where do we see Christ? The Church is the sacrament of Christ. And it’s an effective sign because it not only is made holy, you know, it says “by the washing of water and the word,” but it makes holy through the sacraments.

Finally, I think an important thing to say is some people look upon the Church as, I love Jesus, it’s just the Church I have no use for. And actually what Paul says, he says of the Church, he describes the Church as the “fullness of Him who fills all in all.” It’s the place we find Jesus at work with all of His power, all of His authority, where Christ is at work in His Spirit.

After all, where do you look for … the Spirit means “breath.” In Hebrew and Greek it means breath or wind. So, where do you find the breath? You find it in the body. Where do we find God’s Spirit powerfully at work? We find it in His Church.

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Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ecclesiology, Theology