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 has been chosen as Missionary Bishop

Press Release:

EL PASO, TX – May 31, 2019 – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has appointed the Right Reverend Dr. Felix Orji as Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA).  The announcement was made yesterday by The Most Reverend Dr. Nicholas Okoh, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.

Bishop Orji is currently the Diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the West and Bishop Protector of the Anglican Order of St. Benedict. He serves as the episcopal head of the Anglican Cathedral in Houston, Texas, and will remain Diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the West.

“This is truly an honor for me,” said Dr. Orji.  “I appreciate the trust our Primate, Archbishop Okoh has placed in me, and in this role, I plan to continue to serve the churches of our Diocese through the mission of CANA and the Church of Nigeria.”

Bishop Orji 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 U.S. where he served a parish church for a year.

In 2005, Dr. Orji became Associate Rector of St. Francis on the Hill in El Paso, and Rector from 2008 to August 2011. In September 2011, he was consecrated Bishop by the Anglican Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to serve in the U.S. and Canada.  At that time, the new St. Francis Anglican Church in El Paso that Dr. Orji founded became the Diocesan Cathedral.

Bishop Orji earned 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 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bishop Orji and family reside in Richmond, Texas.

 --

The Ven. Canon Dr. Myles A. Calvin, LCDC, BCC
Executive Archdeacon (Canon to the Ordinary)
Anglican Diocese of the West (Church of Nigeria)