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). 

 

 
 

BIG CHANGES for CANA-East

May 23, 2019
 
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bishop Julian Dobbs announced two days ago that the Diocese of CANA East has voted to leave CANA and the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to become solely a Diocese in ACNA. One of the reasons  being given is that the congregational make-up of their Diocese is predominantly Anglo-American, and it serves them better to be in the ACNA, which has such an identity.  As most of you know, Bishop Dobbs is a personal friend of mine and I'm saddened to see him and his diocese withdraw from CANA and the Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion). However, I pray God’s blessing on them as they continue in their ministry and mission.

In her characteristic generosity the Anglican Church of Nigeria will release Bishop Dobbs, as well as CANA East and her clergy, to ACNA.  The new name for the former Diocese of CANA East is now the Diocese of the Living Word. They are no longer part of CANA and the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Bishop Julian Dobbs is no longer the Missionary Bishop of CANA.  The Church of Nigeria will be appointing a new Missionary Bishop over CANA.

Our Anglican Diocese of the West will remain faithfully committed and connected to CANA and to the Anglican Church of Nigeria because they are founded on

-A solid commitment to biblical orthodoxy;
-The Reformed Anglican tradition;
-A global view of the world today and its growing racial diversity; and
-The Church’s connection to the historic Anglican Communion.

In summary, the Anglican Diocese of the West (CANA) is a Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). Through the Church of Nigeria we are fully members of the historic Anglican Communion. Our Diocese is a Christ-centered, biblically driven, multicultural Diocese that is proclaiming Christ to all people, cultures and nations. We are committed to the rich classic, historic, and genuinely Anglican tradition envisioned by the reformers.  We are also committed to the primacy of Scripture in matters of faith and practice, especially regarding the truth of Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation, human sexuality, marriage, and Holy Orders.

As a diocese of the Church of Nigeria we will remain in ministry and mission partnership with ACNA through our communal relationship as members together of GAFCON.

Let me conclude with an important reminder, especially in these times:
Faithfulness, loyalty, respect, love, integrity, and truthfulness are critical in our relationships with the Lord and with one another as we let the Word of God rule in our hearts and actions.

May the Lord grant us the grace of a holy life filled with these fruits of the Spirit for his glory and for our blessing.
 
Warm regards,
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Felix Orji, OSB, ECCK

Anglican Diocese of the West
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

St. Francis Cathedral Church
470 Eagle Drive
El Paso, Texas, 79912
www.dioceseofthewest.org