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). 

 

 
 

A MESSAGE FROM BISHOP FELIX ORJI June 13, 2019

“A Man of God is one who depends on the Grace of God, preaches the Word of God, stays in the Will of God, fulfills the Purposes of God, respects the Servants of God, edifies the Family of God, is filled with the Spirit of God, devotes himself to the Ministry of God, loves the Word of God, and lives for the Kingdom of God!"- Dr. Billy Graham

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

We have now concluded our Diocesan Synod in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and there should be no doubt in the minds of everyone who attended that the Lord sovereignly blessed us in every way. To him be all the glory now and forever. Amen.

My gratitude goes to everyone who attended and especially to all the faithful brothers and sisters who worked very hard to make this Synod successful. May the Lord richly bless you all.

In my Episcopal Address I asked the Diocese to endeavor by the enabling grace of God to love the Lord with all that we are and have and to love one another from the heart as we continue to fulfill our mission which is to make disciples of all nations and tribes for Christ. We must NOT lose our focus on our mission and the centrality of Christ in our message and ministry. Our Lord Jesus Christ must be at the center of our preaching and prayer, our fellowship and worship, our ministry and mission. He must be the crux of everything we think, do and say because he is our Savior, our Lord and our Hope of glory!

There are few matters to which I must draw your attention:

First, the Diocesan Synod has granted me the concurrence to propose to the House Bishops of the Church of Nigeria names of clergy to be elected Suffragan Bishops for our Diocese. Their responsibilities will be to plant churches and assist me in my work as the Diocesan Bishop. God willing, I will propose names of some clergymen to the Primate before September. Please pray that the Lord will give us Suffragan Bishops who are converted Christians, humble, godly, dependable, loyal and faithful to the gospel.

Second, Sir Ike Oraedu(Irvington, New Jersey) and Deacon Sheri Graham(Dallas, Texas) were elected to the Diocesan Board for a three year term.

Thirdly, we are pleased to welcome two new parishes and Rectors to our Diocese.
 
-The Rev. Richard Lepage
Reformation Anglican Church
Grey, Maine.
 
-The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Smith
Redeemer Anglican Church.  Casselberry, Florida.
 
Please pray for them and welcome them enthusiastically when you run into them personally and on social media.
 
Three more clergy and a parish have contacted me and are in the process of joining our Diocese.

Fourthly, in my new role as the Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America(CANA), I will be handling several new responsibilities in addition to my role as the Diocesan Bishop of the West(CANA), so please be patient with me and keep me in your prayers. I will soon be a setting up the CANA office in Houston, Texas.

Finally, I want to remind Rectors and parishes to ensure that you are up to date in sending your Diocesan monthly tithes to the Diocesan Office in El Paso. Consistency is important as we need these finances to carry out our ministries and fulfill our obligations as a Diocese.  Thank you.

Keep preaching the Word of God. Stay away from false teaching and keep yourselves from Idols.  

Please find attached the following documents:

* 2019 Episcopal Address and Diocesan Customary
* Diocesan Constitution & Canons_042819