March 18, 2020

 

An Urgent Directive to the Clergy and Congregations of the Anglican Diocese of the West:

Mandatory Suspension of Church Gatherings

-- From: The Rt Rev’d Dr Felix Orji, OSB ECCK

 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7

 

Dear Friends,

 

Effective immediately, I am directing all parishes within our Diocese to suspend all church-related public gatherings for the next two weeks.  This includes all church services and social gatherings related to your church and congregations. If for some reason you feel you must continue to gather for worship, the Rector must inform me in writing and include the consent of the Vestry of the parish. Be aware that your decisions and actions may have legal implications for the church if mishandled. 

 

Please note this directive is for the next two weeks or more, depending on your local authorities, city ordinance, or state. This is a critical period in curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus as stated recently by the Centers for Disease Control. I will alert you of future changes to this directive.

 

This action will demand a significant sacrifice for all of us. However, we must act now in the best interest of the common good so that our ministry and mission are not hindered in the future.  

 

I recommend the following actions to keep our congregations connected and engaged with the Church:  use your Internet and Social Media directors to set up a Live Stream every Sunday to allow parishioners to virtually attend services.  This can be done via your Church’s Facebook page or Instagram account.  You might also consider using another phone or digital camcorder to video your services and uploading those videos to your Church’s YouTube page for viewing at any time.

God will guide us in how to take advantage of digital applications to ensure that our congregations receive His word, pastoral care, and fellowship. 

 

The financial viability of parishes and our diocese is a legitimate concern for many clergy and vestries, so I strongly urge you to continue to give to your churches during this time.  

 

As we look unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our Faith, I ask each of you to do whatever it takes within the bounds of faith and reason to support and encourage one another, especially the elderly and the vulnerable within and outside the church. He remains sovereign over us and our present circumstances. He is with us and will see us through. 

 

Let us continue steadfastly in prayer, trusting the Lord for his gracious and powerful intervention in protecting us, healing the sick, and glorifying his name in this time of crises. 

 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9 

 

Yours in Christ,

 

The Right Reverend Dr Felix Orji, OSB. 

Diocesan Bishop | Anglican Diocese of the West

Missionary Bishop | USA & Canada

Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion). 

 

 
 

BISHOP FELIX ORJI

BPandLilian_croped_WO_feet

Bishop Felix Orji is the Diocesan Bishop of the Missionary Diocese of CANA West, which is part of the Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion) and the Anglican Church in North America(ACNA). The Diocese of CANA West comprises parishes in the United States and Canada. There are about 30 parishes and 60 clergy in his Diocese.

Early in his life, Bishop Felix Orji made a decision to follow and serve Christ as the Savior and Lord of his life. The result of this decision as a teenager was a commitment to the call of God on his life to serve Christ as a minister of the gospel of God's grace. This led him to ordained ministry in the Anglican Church in Canada and the USA as a priest and now as a Bishop of the Church of Nigeria and ACNA in the Anglican Communion. He completed a BA degree with honors at the University of Ife in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and received a Master’s degree at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He earned a Diploma in Christian Studies from Regent College, Vancouver, BC, and a Master of Divinity from Vancouver School of Theology in Canada. Dr. Orji also earned a Doctorate in Leadership and Evangelism from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary at the Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bishop Orji who is currently the Bishop Protector of the Order of St. Benedict, was ordained in 1996 in the Diocese of New Westminster, Anglican Church of Canada. He served his curacy at All Saints Anglican Church in Burnaby, BC and afterwards as Associate rector at St. Johns Shaughnessy in Vancouver, BC, the largest evangelical Anglican parish in Canada. In 2004, he moved to the Diocese of the Rio Grande in the USA where he served a parish for a year. He was also the Coordinator of the Anglican Fellowship of the Southwest till 2010 which finally became the Diocese of the Southwest.

In 2005, Dr. Orji became associate rector of St. Francis on the Hill in El Paso, and Rector from 2008 to August 2015. In September 2011, he was consecrated Bishop by the Anglican Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion) to serve in the USA and Canada. Bishop Orji is now the episcopal head of the Anglican Cathedral Church of St. Francis located at 470 Eagle Drive, El Paso, TX, 79912, in west El Paso.

St. Francis is an evangelical Anglican parish that is committed to: the primacy of Scripture, the centrality of Christ as Savior and Lord in the Christian life, reverent and vibrant worship, evangelism, and mission in El Paso and beyond.

Our Bishop's vision and prayer is that the Holy Spirit will make it possible for us to go DEEPER with God, get CLOSER to one another, and go FURTHER in our impact in our community and the world.

The Right Reverend Dr. Felix Orji and his wife Lilian have four children, Cara, John, Jadon, and Justin. Cara is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and John is a second year student at University of Toronto in Canada.