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). 

 

 
 

Message From Archbishop Foley Beach

Grace and peace to you in the incredible Name of our Messiah and Lord, Jesus Christ!!

As most of you know, I have been invited to attend a gathering called by the Archbishop of Canterbury next week in Canterbury, England. The reasons he has not been able to call a meeting of the Primates of the Communion until this time is because the actions of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada have deeply torn the fabric of trust and fellowship in the Communion. In 2007 the Primates met in Dar es Salaam and unanimously agreed on a course of action to restore the godly fellowship of the Communion by asking these two provinces to repent and return to the Biblical teaching and practice of the Anglican Communion. When they did not repent, the previous Archbishop of Canterbury acted against the consensus of the Primates and ignored the consequences which were imposed. This has made the breach even wider.

Since that time, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) has met in Jerusalem (2008) and in Nairobi (2013), and through GAFCON, the Anglican Church in North America was birthed in 2009. Since that time our Province in North America has been recognized and is in full communion with the provinces represented by GAFCON and the Global South of the Anglican Communion. These provinces represent the vast majority of the Anglicans in the world and have been our partners in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and discipling people in Anglican Christianity.

I have been asked many times why I am going. Firstly, as a group the GAFCON Primates all decided together that we would attend in good faith and see if there is a possibility of restoring order to the structures of the Anglican Communion.

Secondly, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, invited me in good faith, and like my brother Primates, I am going in good faith.

Thirdly, the Anglican Church in North America is now a Partner Province of the Global South who are also planning to attend.

Fourthly, to not attempt to bring godly order and unity to the Church would be a sin against the Lord and His bride.

I am writing to ask for your prayers, even fasting, as the Lord leads you. I travel to the UK this weekend for the meetings which begin on Monday morning at Canterbury Cathedral. I see no easy answers without repentance and Gospel Truth. Pray for wisdom. Pray for confidence in the Truth of God. Pray for boldness. Pray for humility. Pray for repentance. Pray for healing. What is at stake? It is really not about me or about the Anglican Church in North America. It is the reputation of Jesus Christ. It is the souls of millions of people who are being taught a false Gospel and are being led into spiritual and sexual bondage under the pretense of the Christian Faith. It is about the third largest expression of the Christian Faith being able to unite and bring Christian hope and godliness in the face of violent opposition all around the globe.

Personally, I believe this will be an extremely challenging meeting for all involved, but I believe in a big and powerful God!!

Thank you in advance for your prayers.

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than we can ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations" (Ephesians 3:20f, ESV).

Your brother in Christ,

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America