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). 




Dear Rectors, Clergy, and Wardens,

The document attached contains the diocesan Policy Regarding Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment officially adopted on January 13, 2017. Please distribute copies of this policy to all clergy, paid and unpaid staff, members of the vestry, ministry leaders, lay ministry volunteers, Christian education teachers, and Christian education volunteers, and ask them to complete, sign, and return to you the individual certification appearing on the last page of this policy. Once you have received fully-executed individual certifications from each of the aforementioned persons, please execute the general certification appearing on the penultimate page of the policy and return it to our Executive Archdeacon, the Venerable Dr. Myles Calvin, by no later than March 1, 2017. Please maintain all of the fully-executed individual certifications in your respective parish files. Please note that ALL clergy must sign this document and inform Venerable Dr. Myles Calvin. If you have any questions please email the Chancellor, Mr. Christopher Milner or Vice Chancellor for Canada, Mr. David at: / /

with PDF link at the bottom of the page for your printing convenience

Missionary Diocese of CANA West Policy
Regarding Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment
(January 13, 2017)

1. Summary

1.1 THE MISSIONARY DIOCESE OF CANA WEST (“CANA West”) is strongly committed to providing a workplace that is free from employment discrimination and unlawful harassment. Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, national origin, age, religion, pregnancy, disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law are prohibited. Such conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. CANA West expects all employees to treat all other employees with courtesy and respect.

1.2 Sexual and other unlawful harassment in any manner or form is expressly prohibited. All incidents of sexual or other unlawful harassment will be promptly and thoroughly investigated, and appropriate corrective action will be taken by management. Any employee, staff member, or staff volunteer who engages in any action or conduct constituting sexual or other unlawful harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.

1.3 An employee’s, staff member’s, or staff volunteer’s refusal to submit to sexual advances or endure a hostile work environment will not adversely affect the employee’s employment, evaluation, wages, advancement, assigned duties, or any other condition of employment or career development.

1.4 Any employee, staff member, or staff volunteer who engages in sexual or other unlawful harassment or who retaliates against any employee who complains of or reports harassment will be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination of employment.

2. Sexual Harassment

2.1 Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

a) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;

b) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or

c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

2.2 Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, the following actions may constitute sexual harassment: (1) sex-oriented “kidding,” “teasing,” or jokes; (2) sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; (3) verbal comments, gestures, or physical actions of a sexual nature toward another employee; (4) making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, and jokes; (5) comments about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; (6) inappropriate physical contact: touching, assault, impeding or blocking movements; (7) inappropriate visual conduct: leering, making sexual gestures, displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters; and (8) suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations.

3. Other Unlawful Harassment

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic also is strictly prohibited. Under this policy, unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual based on the individual’s sex, race, national origin, age, religion, pregnancy, disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, provincial, or local law or that of the individual’s relatives, friends or associates, is prohibited if it:

a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment;

b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance; or

c) otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes, teasing, or nicknames; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is posted or circulated in the workplace, or uses employment equipment such as telephones, computers, or internet sites.

4. Scope of Policy

This policy prohibiting sexual and other unlawful harassment is not limited to relationships between and among employees. CANA West will not tolerate any form of unlawful harassment against CANA West employees, staff members, or staff volunteers, whether by clergy, officers, executives, managers, supervisors, co-workers, volunteers, or agents, or by members of CANA West congregations, or by CANA West vendors, independent contractors, or others who do business with CANA West. No employee shall ever subject any other employee, volunteer, current or potential members of CANA West congregations, or others to unlawful harassment of any nature.

5. Complaint Procedure

5.1 CANA West encourages reporting of all incidents of sexual or other unlawful harassment, regardless of the identity of the offender. CANA West encourages individuals who believe they are the victims of sexual or other unlawful harassment to firmly and promptly notify the offender, as circumstances may reasonably dictate, that his or her behavior is unwelcome. CANA West also recognizes that power and status disparities between the offender and the recipient of the offensive conduct may make such a discussion too difficult. Consequently, such direct communication is not a requirement or prerequisite to filing a complaint.

5.2 Any employee who feels that he or she is or has been the victim of sexual or other unlawful harassment, or who observes the harassment of another employee, should immediately notify his or her direct supervisor, the Ven. Dr. Myles A. Calvin, Executive Archdeacon and Canon to the Ordinary (, 915-383-4422), and/or Chancellor Christopher Lee Milner (, 469-516-1245). CANA West will fully investigate all complaints and will maintain appropriate confidentiality to the extent possible given CANA West’s duty to investigate the complaint. The alleged offender may be placed on administrative leave/suspension during the investigation. Whether and/or the extent to which the suspension is without pay are matters left to the law(s) of the jurisdiction where the affected parish is located, and to the vestry of that parish. In no event will CANA West be responsible for reimbursing an alleged offender for lost wages if he/she is suspended without pay.

5.3 CANA West will not retaliate against any employee who files a complaint, reports harassing or discriminatory conduct, or participates in the investigation of a complaint.

5.4 Following a prompt and thorough investigation, prompt and appropriate responsive and/or corrective action will be taken by CANA West leadership. Anyone who is found to have engaged in sexual or other unlawful harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment, depending on the circumstances. The disciplinary action taken with respect to any violation of this policy will be commensurate with the seriousness of the particular offense. CANA West will inform the employees involved of the results of its investigation.

6. Claimed Exemptions

CANA West is exempt from certain claims of unlawful employment practices because of its status as a church or convention or association of churches, a religious organization, and/or other type of entity recognized as being provided an exemption by various federal laws, state laws, county codes and/or ordinances. To the fullest extent permitted, CANA West expressly claims any and all exemptions available to it under applicable laws regarding and/or related to unlawful employment practices. Exemptions claimed by CANA West include, but are not limited to, those exemptions available to it under: (1) Section of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-1(a); (2) Article 1, § 16 of the Virginia Constitution; (3) the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; and (4) any and all other applicable federal and state laws, county and local codes and ordinances. Nothing contained in this policy is intended to, nor should it be interpreted as, waiving any exemption(s) that CANA West may have, claim, and/or be entitled to claim either now or in the future.

7. Acknowledgment of Receipt

All members of the clergy, all paid and unpaid staff members, all members of the vestry, all Christian Education workers, and all other ministry leaders, must read this CANA West policy prohibiting sexual or other unlawful harassment and must understand that they should not engage in sexual or other unlawful harassment. They must also understand that they are not expected to tolerate sexual or other unlawful harassment by others and can make a complaint of any such conduct which will be fully and fairly investigated by CANA West. Further, they must acknowledge that any CANA West employee engaging in conduct in violation of this policy is acting outside the scope of their employment responsibilities and may be subject to individual liability for their unlawful and policy-prohibited actions. Further, they must acknowledge that CANA West is a religious organization with special legal rights and exemptions, including but not limited to those rights and exemptions discussed in Paragraph 6 above.


I, ________________________, Rector (or Senior Warden) of ___________________________, hereby certify that all members of the clergy (including myself), all paid and unpaid staff members, all members of the vestry, all Christian Education workers, and all other ministry leaders at ________________________________________, have read, understood, and agreed to abide by the Missionary Diocese of CANA West Policy Regarding Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment set forth above.

Signed this ____ day of ________________, 201___,

Rector (or Senior Warden)

(Name of parish)


I, __________________________________ (name), serving in the capacity of _______________________________________ (description of position) at ______________________________________ (name of parish or mission), hereby certify that I have both read and understood, and that I agree to abide by, the Missionary Diocese of CANA West Policy Regarding Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment provided to me by the Rector/Senior Warden.

Signed this ____ day of ____________________, 201___,


(Name of parish or mission)


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