Church of Uganda to Consecrate an American Bishop

(Church of Uganda News)

The Most Rev’d Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda, with the consent of the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, given in December 2006 and reaffirmed today, will consecrate the Rev. John A.M. Guernsey, an American priest canonically resident in North Kigezi Diocese, Church of Uganda, as a Bishop in the Church of Uganda. He will be consecrated in Mbarara on 2nd September 2007, together with Rev. George Tibesigwa, Bishop-elect of Ankole Diocese.

Bishop-elect Guernsey will provide local episcopal oversight to the 26 congregations in the United States that are part of the Church of Uganda, on behalf of the ten Ugandan Bishops currently providing episcopal care to Biblically orthodox American congregations. He will also continue to serve as Rector of All Saints Church, Dale City, Virginia.

Archbishop Orombi said, “Rev. Guernsey has a long history with the Church of Uganda, including many short visits to Uganda for teaching and preaching missions. He is highly respected by clergy and Bishops in the Church of Uganda, and has also been a pastoral and strategic leader in the Anglican Communion Network as Dean of the Mid-Atlantic Convocation. He is the ideal candidate to pioneer this new ministry.”

Archbishop Orombi’s fellow Primates, who are also providing episcopal oversight to Biblically orthodox congregations in the United States, are supportive of the move. Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of the Anglican Church of Kenya also recently announced the consecration of the Rev. Canon Dr. Bill Atwood, an American priest, as a Bishop in the Church of Kenya, a decision applauded by Archbishop Orombi.

Archbishop Nzimbi said, “It is a new day for the pastoral and episcopal care of the orthodox congregations in America. We look forward to working with our Ugandan neighbours in mutual collaboration in providing apostolic and missional support to our orthodox brothers and sisters in America.”

The election and consecration of Rev. Guernsey as a Bishop in the Church of Uganda has the support of the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network and Convener of Common Cause.

“John Guernsey’s consecration is an answer to our prayers,” said Duncan, “that we would be able to provide a domestic bishop for the Ugandan churches that are part of the Network’s International Conference.”

Duncan added, “In my capacity as the Convener of Common Cause, we will enthusiastically welcome him to the Council of Bishops meeting in September.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

29 comments on “Church of Uganda to Consecrate an American Bishop

  1. David Keller says:

    Two thoughts:
    (1) I can’t think of a more Godly or intelligent man to be a bishop.
    (2) Holy Cow!!! I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall in Bp. Lee’s office this morning.

  2. Br_er Rabbit says:

    Hip Hip Hooray! Henry Luke is the MAN!

  3. Br_er Rabbit says:

    And John Guernsey ain’t no wimp, either!
    Fantastic choice; a true leader.

  4. KAR says:

    #1 David Keller:

  5. Irenaeus says:

    Good move, great choice!

    While Canterbury dithers, Africa builds.

  6. PhilAshey says:

    I have known John since 1992, and I know he shares fervently our hopes for a “New Apostolic Paradigm” for Anglican mission and ministry in the USA. Bishop-elect Guernsey is a man of great prayer and humility, a real “team player”, and one who will be a servant-leader in working with other Anglican Bishops from CANA, Kenya, and the ACN in partnering across jurisdictional lines to build a new Anglican province in North America.
    Praise God for this election, and for the humble, prayerful, graceful, godly leadership of our Archbishop and the Ugandan House of Bishops!

  7. Stuart Smith says:

    It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how all of these extra-territorial Anglican bishops and their dioceses will relate to a common Anglican presence in the USA. Some of these dioceses accept woman’s ordination, others do not. Some of these dioceses will be able to directly and immediately related to each other in full communion…some not.

    My primary concern is that there is no “master plan” that guides all these missionary actions. True enough, God can use whatever structures we put in place. However, for those of us with a high doctrine of the Church and who treasure its good order, it is painful to see all of this “willy-nilly” planting of bishops and off-shore dioceses without a connective, collective plan apparent.

  8. wildfire says:

    While Canterbury dithers, Africa builds.

    As JFK once noted, Washington is a city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency. Despite its Southern efficiency, Washington does have electronic communications, so Rowan Williams is not totally isolated. Is it too much to ask that he manifest some signs of life?

  9. David Wilson says:

    #7 That there is no public master plan does not mean there is no plan. This whole thing is like Texas Hold’em. We aren’t showing too early. Got to wait for the river and the turn.
    David Wilson
    DioPgh Standing Cmte

  10. Stuart Smith says:

    #8: My suspicion is that the ABC does not want to respond to all of this missionary planting from Africa. Every time he speaks, he is lit up by someone second guessing his intentions &/or wisdom in saying whatever he has said. Your mother’s old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” might be at work here. ++Rowan probably wishes all this were not happening. But, honestly, what can he do but say ‘tut-tut’ to the Global South, since they are no longer in awe of British Anglicanism!

  11. Br_er Rabbit says:

    My primary concern is that there is no “master plan” that guides all these missionary actions.

    Stuart, I doubt that there is no “master plan.” I suspect that there is indeed a master plan, but below the GS primates level (and probably the level of the likes of +Duncan and Guernsey+), you and I are simply not apprised of it. Details, of course, may not be finalized; but I am assured that there is a connective, collective plan well formulated. It may not be “apparent,” as you note, but it is there.

  12. Stuart Smith says:

    #9: Yes, I am familiar with the notion that “there are things being discussed which we can’t disclose now”. My experience with that dynamic has not been pleasant over the past 20 years in the ECUSA. For decades, we have been told that, though things seem dire and the reappraisers seem to hold all the power, “there are things being done…which we can’t tell you about now…which will make things better”. The only problem was that there was never anything beyond TALK! So, now that African archbishops are actually doing something, I still want to know: what are OUR bishops…the Network reasserter-bishops… planning to do?

  13. Philip Snyder says:

    I would say that we are seeing the “master” plan in operation. This announcement, following so quickly on the heels of Canon Atwood, seems to be creating a group of bishops for oversight of the Orthodox Anglican Province in North America.

    Phil Snyder

  14. edistobeachwalker says:

    This is one more piece of evidence that some of the Global South Primates have lost trust in Rowan Williams’ leadership, and one cannot help but think that it is a result of the Lambeth invitations.

  15. KAR says:

    #8 Washington, DC also has an AMiA,CANA & a FiFNA parish inside its 16 sq miles and Uganda, EMC & REC parishes just outside, so the ABC could do a little investigation on his own if he really wanted to connect (while G-Town is liberal, the Catholic diocese are pretty solid, maybe some of that could also rub off).

  16. David Wilson says:

    As a member of the Pittsburgh Standing Cmte I can say Bishop Duncan is not simply sitting idle. However given the fact that Dr Lewis of Calvary Church (with the nod from other interested parties) runs to the law courts everytime someone in leadership in Pittsburgh wiggles their nose means that things must move forward in an ordered fashion with little revealed beforehand.

  17. jamesw says:

    Okay, here is a suggestion for those who say there is “no master plan.” The primates – as a GROUP – have agreed to play out the process through the Instruments of Unity. That process is to give TEC till Sept. 30 to render a decision on DES, then for Rowan to call together the primates to make decisions – including, supposedly, decisions on withdrawing Lambeth invitations.

    The GS primates clearly do not believe (nor does anyone else) that TEC will comply with the DES Communique. Given Kearon’s comments and Rowan’s actions to date on Lambeth invitations, the GS primates have no trust at all in Rowan Williams. So they are of mind to take action NOW. But collectively, as a GROUP, they can’t, without pre-empting the Communion process. But anyone who thinks the Guernsey and Atwood consecrations are not part of coordinated action has their head in the sand.

    My theory is that the above is the reason why the GS primates are not yet openly working together. They will wait to see what happens post-Sept. 30. One of three scenarios will transpire:

    1. Discipline will be agreed upon and TEC Lambeth invitations will be withdrawn (except for Windsor specific bishops). The primates will implement a new oversight plan for North America made up of Windsor TEC bishops and the GS overseen bishops included in one College of Anglican Bishops. The existing GS overseen bishops will become part of this College.
    2. Discipline will be agreed upon and TEC Lambeth invitations will be withdrawn (except for Windsor specific bishops). There will be no official Anglican oversight, but the primates will recognize the GS initiatives as legitimate. The GS primates will then come together and coordinate their oversight initatives into a proto-province.
    3. There will be no discipline or Rowan will try dragging things out. The GS primates will come together and coordinate their oversight initiatives into a new North American province. The GS will still give Rowan some more time to discipline TEC before the AC split actually happens, but they would establish the new Province nonetheless.

    Remember, individual GS interventions in North America is nothing new since DES. Collective GS primatial action would be new. And do remember everyone, what Gomez said about the Atwood consecration.

  18. Br_er Rabbit says:

    Well said, JamesW. It is cogent that these consecrations will all take place before the DES deadline. These moves expand, rather than change, the nature of the interventions thus far. But they place the GS primates in a position to move with lightning speed once TEC has refused to change its already-definitive rejection by the deadline date.

    At this point, it would be completely unsurprising if ++Venables were to announce the electon and then consecrate a prominent U.S. clergyman to replace the retired +Cox, to represent U.S. churches under Southern Cone at the upcoming international meeting.

  19. wvparson says:

    If this is not to be the movie, to which 1976-79 was the trailer there needs to be openness now. I realize that such openness is a risk, but behind the scenes moves cannot contribute to godly union and concord.

    The appointment of leaders before the “led” have organized, their appointment by others overseas, representing different flavors of churchmanship and differing identities would seem to court continued divisions and rivalries here. As with the continuing churches in the end it boils down to turf and an entrenched episcopate unwilling or unable to compromise either position or territory.

    It may well seem to others that this development -that of different Provinces appointing bishops for the same territory -is a political strategy aimed at confusing those they perceive oppose them in the Communion, rather than a strategy for unity and mission. Political strategies have got the conservative movement to its present state.

  20. Randy Muller says:

    It seems to me that clear, coordinated and reasonable action is being taken by the East African primates.

    The original cause of all this is the Episcopal Church and her un-consultative and unilateral actions in 2003, and her insincerity and duplicity in dealing with the primates and Anglican Communion on it. She last lost the trust of most of the primates, and probably the Archbishop of Canterbury himself.

    In many ways, the Episcopal Church looks and acts like a bully in an abusive marriage situation. Instead of working toward holding the marriage by reconciliation and repentance, it is desperately and forcefully trying to prevent people from leaving by threatening them with legal action. This is a battle it cannot win.

    Bishops and priests throughout the Episcopal Church have requested viable alternative oversight, and not only has this request gone unanswered in the Episcopal Church, but Canterbury has also ignored it. These requests are serious, and reflect growing chaos in both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. It is both baffling and shameful that they have been ignored. This is like the police refusing to get involved in a domestic dispute.

    The primates at Dar es Salaam have proposed viable alternative oversight, and it has already been clearly rejected by both the House of Bishops and the Executive Council. The Executive Council put an exclamation mark on their rejection by threatening legal action at the same time.

    I don’t know what the Executive Council thinks it is doing, but what it is actually doing is hastening and encouraging the “creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States”, to quote Archbishop Drexel Gomez.

  21. midwestnorwegian says:

    Add that to your “tiny minority” +KJS!!!

  22. Brian from T19 says:

    Rowan Williams is not totally isolated. Is it too much to ask that he manifest some signs of life?

    ++Rowan doesn’t really need to say anything. He has continued in the belied that AMiA Bishops are not Bishops in the Anglican Communion and has made it clear that +Minns is not a Bishop in the Anglican Communion. The appointmants/elections of the new “missionary” bishops for ACK and Uganda are simply not relevant to the existing situation. Of course the appointments will anger TEC, but as far as Canterbury is concerned, they are not Bishops in Communion with ++Rowan.

  23. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Does impaired or broken communnion with 22 of 38 Provinces mean anything to EKUSA/TEC, BfT19? Apparently not. That’s why the faithful need shepherds here in the wunderlanden das EKUSA/TEK!

  24. chips says:

    Brian – I do not think +++Rowan has made it clear that the AMIA and CANA Bishops are not Bishops in the Anglican Communion – I think he called their consecrations irregular and/or controversial. I think that is not the same. At some point +++Rowan will need to say something in order to stop a meltdown. By Kenya and Uganda naming Bishops – and ++Gomez’ backing of the moves – ++Nigeria is no longer way out in front. Both Kenya and Uganda are now on record as supporting a “unified” orthodox Anglican Presence in North America. I think a new province is becoming a relative certainty. I do not think Williams will let Africa go to keep the Americans in (He might appear to be Racist – liberals are terrified of such an accusation).

  25. Brien says:


    There is a significant difference between the origins of the episcopate in the older continuing churches and what is happening now. The difference is that the selections and consecrations are taking place within provincial structure already established. The continuing churches were pulled out of thin air, and, often, because of intense desire to be a bishop on the part of many of the founders. There was no authentication of the episcopal call by any other part of the church; the overseas provinces are providing the possibility of a stable base by their actions. I know very little about those who have been selected for consecration; but their selection has not been a process of self-selection as far as can be known. There is every possibility that the turf battles related to ego and personal ambition can be avoided in what we see emerging. I pray that this is so.

  26. Brien says:

    Oops. My previous post was responding to #19 Sorry.

  27. Frances Scott says:

    Okay! Everbody line up and heap as much verbal abuse on Rowan Williams as you can while he is otherwise occupied. Why assume that every communication between The ABC and his fellow Primates must be made public? Why assume that the public must be privy to the minutist bit of strategy for the realignment? How many of you have tried to do something openly and aboveboard only to be shot down by your diocesan bishop? I tried to have open informational meetings in my local parish so I put up a poster and put flyers in the bulletins 2 Sunday in a row…one of the members faxed the insert to the diocesan office and the priest got a phone call advising him to cancel the meetings! Work beneath the radar whenever you can; it is the wisest thing to do.

  28. mugsie says:

    #28 Frances Scott. What you just described that happened in your church regarding your attempts to hold open informational meetings in your parish is so revealing. This is pure evidence that the “powers that be” who are not on biblical standards are using all sorts of evil tactics to make sure their agenda is met. Manipulation, scare tactics, law suits, and must I go on…. I praise you for doing your efforts in a public light!!!! I love you for it!!!!! That is the Christian thing to do. I’m sorry the meetings were canceled due to your priest being so spineless and having no faith whatsoever that our Lord is going to provide for him, but your efforts will be applauded and truly rewarded by our Lord. You can count on that. Many blessings to you!

  29. Loren+ says:

    Master Plan? Duncan added, “In my capacity as the Convener of Common Cause, we will enthusiastically welcome him to the Council of Bishops meeting in September.”

    If that’s not a huge hint, then it is a huge error in communication. The Council begins its meeting the evening of the same day on which the HOB meeting concludes. We now have Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda present with the network and continuing church.

    I can’t read the plan yet, but Bishop Duncan sure has dropped a big hint that the pieces are being put in place now in order to act come the end of September. If I were working out of 815, I’d be working overtime right now trying to figure out a response–of course, I ‘d be non-anxious about it, trying to find a way to move forward saving my understanding of Gospel imperative without losing my right to sit at the Table.

    The ABC has previously given +Duncan the green light to move forward, including inviting +Duncan to Dar es Salaam to meet with Primates–until the ABC tells the Windsor Bishops and the Primates to slow down, then the green light is still on.

    We are on the front row watching history in the making.