From the Bishop

Reflections on Provincial Assembly

July 7, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,

The joy of this New England summer day is unmatched in the beauty of its sun and sky; yet the memory of our recent 2017 ACNA Provincial Assembly shines even brighter. This past week in Wheaton, Illinois was a great time with many highlights, but the strongest was the sense of connection we had with one another, which reminded me of the sense of unity I experienced during the 2008 GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem. Provincial Assembly 2017 was historic for us in many ways and served as the culmination of a busy and fruitful June.

The past month was filled with great moments: the Consecration of our Cathedral, All Saints Anglican Cathedral, Amesbury; the installation of her first dean, the Very Rev Dr. Nathan Baxter; the celebration of our Ugandan Archdeaconry, with her 10th Anniversary at St Peter’s Belmont, MA; and The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali’s visit. Provincial Assembly followed, where we had the second largest youth group present outside of the Chicago-based Church of the Resurrection. Many of our own leaders took part in the week’s events: the Rev Leah Turner finished second in a field of eight clergy running for Provincial Executive Committee; and the Rev Canons Justin Howard and Alex Cameron both led workshops with their wives, Amy Howard and Tamara Cameron, on church planting and healing ministry.

We were blessed by the worship at Assembly 2017, which culminated at the final Holy Communion at Wheaton’s Edman Chapel on Friday morning, June 30. The music, the liturgy, and the preaching by Archbishop Okoh of Nigeria, all came together in an awe-inspiring service. This included the historic consecration of the first GAFCON missionary bishop since Bishops Atwood, Guernsey, and myself, who were consecrated in August 2007 by the world-wide communion for the launch of the ACNA. Bishop Andrew Lines was consecrated as missionary bishop to Scotland, and the wives of the ACNA bishops laid hands on and prayed for Mandy Lines, his wife. The moment’s intensity, love, and sense of support were so strong that there was hardly a dry eye in the sanctuary.

During Assembly we also hosted the Most Rev Jackson Ole Sapit, Archbishop of Kenya, in Wheaton, after which we hosted him here in Massachusetts, as he presided over our Kenyan Archdeaconry’s Kenyan festival at Grace Anglican Church of Bridgewater. At this event, the Kenyan Archdeaconry, led by Archdeacon Peter Gachathi, witnessed the gathering of many Kenyan Clergy currently not in the ADNE. We confirmed twelve, welcomed twelve ladies into the Mothers Union of the ACNA, and we had a first: the establishment of the North American Anglican Men’s Association, inducting twelve men into this new organization. After the service and luncheon, Archbishop Sapit and I met with Kenyan and ADNE clergy, the outcome of which was planning for a week-long visit from him in 2018 to establish the structures and membership of a much larger Kenyan Archdeaconry here in the ADNE.

Now after these events, we can see the continuing and growing revitalization of Anglicanism world-wide, of which we are an important part. I am looking forward to what the Lord will do in the coming year, as we move towards the GAFCON Jerusalem meeting in 2018. We are thankful for the work that has been done to make these events possible, and I pray that this Summer is for you one of rest, refreshment and encouragement.

See you all in August! Blessings to you in Christ,

+Bill

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