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). 

 

 
 

SYNOD ADDRESSES 2017

These are the addresses from our 2017 Synod meetings.
All are PDF documents. If you cannot open an PDF document, simply download the ADOBE Acrobat software and viola! You will be able to read all of these documents.

Bishop Felix says:

"May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

I write to pass on to you the Talks given at our last Synod. Sending these documents to you does not mean that I agree with every detail in each of the Talks. However each Talk has important lessons for us all and they together reflect the understandings of Anglicanism and ministry in our Anglican family. So read the documents with such understanding. If you see any heresy just disregard it and let me know.

My hope is that as a Diocese we should all try to understand the breath of the doctrine, discipline, and worship of our Anglicanism, have a good grasp of Anglican tradition, reason, and experience as sources of knowledge and authority in Anglicanism.

But more importantly, we must uphold the authority and primacy of Scripture over the diocese, you and I, tradition, reason, and experience without jettisoning the good in them. That's what Sola Scripture means. Sola Scriptura does not mean freedom to ignore our Anglican Tradition and appropriate use of our God-given Reason. Instead it means that Scripture is the FINAL AUTHORITY in matters of faith and practice. So let the Bible correct your theology, lifestyle, traditions, experience, and reason.

The reason why the Episcopal Church lost its way and the reason why many in the new Anglican movement will lose their way is because of their unwillingness to submit to the authority and primacy of Scripture. So it is important to me as your Bishop that you pay attention to the Bible for your own good and for that of the Diocese and God's kingdom. I'm very uncompromising on the issue of Scripture over us all.

So please read your Bible, believe the Bible, preach and teach the Bible, and let the Bible control your practice of ministry in the context of our Anglican tradition and our geographical region. And you and I will get along well on that basis. Here are books on Anglicanism that I recommend to you."

PASTORAL ADDRESS
by The Right Reverend Dr. Felix Orji

2 Timothy 4

Readiness & Decency

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