Bishop's Advent Newsletter
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
A Blessed and Holy Advent to you all!
The past several months have been very busy times for our diocese and national church. We have witnessed the ordination of several men to the diaconate and the priesthood, attended an historic and joyous Joint Synod and convened a successful diocesan synod. Unfortunately, the Diocese of Puerto Rico sustained major damage from Hurricane Maria. The church has responded by sending prayers and material support to Bishop Garcia and his faithful parishes and people.
Here is the news:
International/Traditional Anglican Communion
Bishop Juan Sion Lobos reports that his translation of The Book of Common Prayer into Ki 'ch'e, the ancient Mayan language spoken by many people in Guatemala, is nearing completion. His translation will be reviewed and edited by language specialists in Guatemala prior to publication. The IAF is currently receiving contributions to assist in the publication costs. This will be the first time a prayer book has been translated into Ki 'ch'e (pron: Kee CHAY). We pray that this prayer book will serve the spiritual needs of Guatemala's faithful Christians.
Bishop Wellington Murinda was recently consecrated Bishop to serve Zimbabwe, Africa. Bishop Michael Gill was chief consecrator. Bishops Andrew Mukayamba and Craig Botterill were co-consecrators. We pray for the godly episcopal ministry of Bishop Murinda.
Concerns have been expressed regarding the unsettled political situation in Zimbabwe. Bishop Michael Gill has reported that Bishop Murinda and the faithful people under his authority and ministry are safe. We continue to pray for the good Anglicans in that country.
Some have asked about Bishop Andrew's vehicle. At present, we are expecting the vehicle to be delivered within the next few weeks.
Anglican Church in America
As we all know, the island of Puerto Rico has suffered considerable destruction to property and infrastructure. At the time of this writing (70 days after the hurricane), many of our clergy and people remain without water and/or electricity. Father Jorge has neither water nor electricity. He and his family must travel a fair distance to obtain water and other necessities. Deacon Tony and Nancy, though they have returned to their home, water service has still not been restored. Fortunately, Bishop Garcia, due to the fact that he lives in the City of Ponce, is currently receiving all necessary services.
It should be noted that the outpouring of support for Bishop Garcia has been outstanding. According to Erv Lischke, Executive Director of the IAF, nearly $30,000.00 has been received from all sources.
Bishop Garcia's parish church, Justo y Pastor, has provided uninterrupted services to Anglicans and others since the hurricane struck the island.
The big news during the past several months – indeed during the past year – has been the Joint Synod held in Atlanta, Georgia on October 2-6. This historic meeting brought together four jurisdictions in a spirit of harmony and collegiality. The Anglican Catholic Church, the Anglican Church in America, the Anglican Province of America and the Diocese of the Holy Cross signed a historic Communio in Sacris agreement during the last day of the Joint Synod. This moving event, along with the Votive Mass that followed, has been recorded on videos that will shortly be available on the ACA website. Several participants have already received copies of the video. I encourage a wide viewing of these recordings. They capture some of the spirit of that wonderful event.
At the present time, the G-4 bishops (as they have come to be called) are meeting by teleconference on a monthly basis. During the latest teleconference, plans were made to produce a directory of Joint Synod parishes and clergy. Plans were also made to develop Spanish language resources and establish procedures whereby other jurisdictions and clergy may join the Joint Synod group.
In addition to the above, the group decided to share the role of Chaplain Endorser for the military, to invite each other to clericus gatherings and to plan future Joint Synods.
Diocese of the Northeast
The diocese has had a very busy and productive year. Three men were ordered deacon; two men were priested. In addition, Bishop Webb was consecrated bishop. The Board of Examining Chaplains has been very busy conducting canonical exams. At present, Mr. Scott Chase is completing his written exam for the diaconate. Several men have inquired about vocations to holy orders. Three women are currently preparing to be set apart as deaconesses.
The Church of the Transfiguration, which is just a year old, continues to grow. The parish sent fifteen members to our recent diocesan synod. Transfiguration will host our 2018 diocesan synod. Many thanks to Father Gary Drinkwater, Senior Warden, Barry Vaill, and all the members of Transfiguration for their enthusiasm and joy in the Lord.
The Northeast Anglican
Ed Pacht has turned out another superb edition of our quarterly publication. The theme for this issue is St. Luke's Camp. The camp is now over thirty years old. It is the longest-running residential Summer camp program in the ACA. There will be many articles, photos and registration material included in the NEA. The camp is an exceptional learning program for children. All children are invited to attend, whether they are members of a parish or not.
Your Brother in Christ,