I am still elated from yesterday’s investiture of the second Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, the Right Rev. Dr. Foley Thomas Beach. It is always a joy at these gatherings of our Church to see so many old friends from across North America”“ it really does have the joy of a family reunion. I was so blessed to see the number of archbishops, bishops, clergy, laity and friends from all across the Anglican Communion with us (at substantial cost, I might add!) simply to rejoice with us in this milestone in the growth of our Anglican Church, and to reaffirm our communion with them and the vast majority of practicing Anglicans across the globe.
Here are just some of the high points for me:
”“The Communion anthem by the combined choirs on the Holy Spirit”“ it lifted me out of my seat and into the throne room of the Lord in worship, reminding me of our continuing need for a new Pentecost
”“ The presence of youth and adults, Americans, Canadians, Burmese, Nigerians (a Nigerian female deacon read the Gospel), all highlighting Archbishop ++Foley’s observation that we are indeed a “diverse lot”
”“ The greetings brought from The Rev. Preb. Charles Marnham, St Mark’s Chester Square London, on behalf of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in the UK, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, the Church of England Evangelical Council, Church Society, Reform, and the Anglican Mission in England”“ with the heartfelt reminder that we should never forgot “how many friends we have in the Church of England.”
But especially the Primates gathering around our new Archbishop, laying hands on him and praying together out loud the blessing, and adding in this significant sentence NOT in the original worship bulletin:
“Foley Beach, We receive you as an Archbishop and a Primate in the Anglican Communion.”
That they went out of their way, together, to pray this before the gathered people of God is a clear reaffirmation of the Primates’ authority to decide who is Anglican, and their confirmation of our Anglican identity on behalf of the vast majority of practicing Anglicans within the Communion.
Whether or not the Archbishop of Canterbury respects this, we will move on with the distinct mission to which our new Archbishop has called us”“ to be a repenting, reconciling, reproducing and relentlessly compassionate Anglican Church reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ!
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