Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Anglican Diocese of the South to Consecrate First Bishop October 9th
For Immediate Release
September 27, 2010
The Anglican Diocese of the South (ADOTS) will consecrate the Rev. Dr. Foley Beach as its first bishop on October 9th at The Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rev. Beach is rector of Holy Cross Anglican in Loganville, Georgia and will lead a diocese of 24 member and partner parishes from around the Southeast. ADOTS is one of the newest dioceses in the growing Anglican Church in North America, a church which itself began in 2009.
Many local and national Anglican leaders will be attending, including Archbishop Robert Duncan, head of the Anglican Church in North America. The Rev. Dr. Marc Robertson of Christ Church Savannah will be delivering the sermon.
The ceremony will be on Saturday, October 9, 2010, at 1:00 PM and is open to the public. The Church of the Apostles is located at 3585 Northside Pkwy NW, Atlanta, GA 30327-2309; telephone (404) 842-0200.
Media are invited to attend and should contact Robert Lundy for more information and press kits.
The ADOTS was founded in June, 2010 as a diocese of the newly formed Anglican Church in North America. The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) unites some 100,000 Anglicans in 700 parishes in 28 dioceses, into a single Church. It is a province-in-formation in the global Anglican Communion, initiated by the request of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in June 2008 and formally recognized by the GAFCON primates - leaders of Anglican Churches representing 70 per cent of the active Anglicans globally
The ADOTS consists of more than 1,500 Anglicans from 24 parishes in five states (AL, GA, NC, SC, TN). 16 of the parishes are full members of the ADOTS while 8 of the parishes are "partners." A partner parish is one that is subject to the constitution and canons of another Anglican jurisdiction other than the ADOTS but participates fully in the ministries of the diocese.
The Rev. Dr. Foley Beach is the rector and pastor of Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville, Georgia. He has served at Holy Cross since it was founded in February 2004. In his "A Word from the Lord" ministry, he shares with radio and internet listeners and newspaper readers what the Bible says about topics that are at the forefront of today's society. In clear and concise ways he brings out the principles of the Word of God so that listeners and readers may apply them in their lives.
Dr. Beach is a native Atlantan, a graduate of North Fulton High School and Georgia State University. He is also a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the School of Theology at the University of the South. He has served in ministry more than 30 years, having ministered with Young Life, the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Church. His passion is to share the word of God in such a way as to help others discover the incredible, living Jesus. Married for over 27 years, he and his wife have two children who are in college.
Dr. Beach was nominated by the delegates of the Anglican Diocese of the South Inaugural Synod on April 30 to serve as the bishop of the new diocese. He was elected by the College of Bishops in the Anglican Church of North America at their Provincial Meeting in June of this year. Once ordained and consecrated an Anglican bishop on October 9, the new bishop will oversee the clergy and parishioners of the diocese's member congregations.
For decades or longer pecusa has been a mixed society of orthodox and heterodox Christians. It was once a bastion of orthodoxy, but in more recent days pecusa has become highly inhospitable to orthodox believers. Somewhere along the line pecusa ceased to exhibit the marks of the church and so the entitiies of the ACNA were created as ways out of an organization that was once a church. The exodus began in the 19th century with the Reformed Episcopal Church and continued in the late 20th century with the continuing churches. In the year 2000, the AMIA was born and it was followed by CANA and other jurisdictions under the auspices of foreign primates. The exodus from pecusa continues to this day and in addition to planting new congregations the ACNA unites congregations from her different entities.
A second reading of the situation is by the ACI and others who are committed to remain in pecusa. They see the situation through the exilic prophets. In their view pecusa has turned her back on God just as Israel and Judah did. The current crisis is God's judgement on pecusa, but at some point pecusa may repent and return to the Lord. Whether that happens or not, according to this view, orthodox believers in pecusa should not separate from their errant church. These folks believe that while the marks of the church are not evident universally throughout pecusa, the official documents of pecusa, including the prayer book, as well as sufficient orthodox numbers militate against the view that pecusa has ceased to be a church.
In reading Walter Brueggemann's commentary on Jeremiah I discovered what might be another way to look at the current situation. In his section on chapter 38, WB says
"We are very close to the end of the long rule of the Davidic line. No wonder there is tension, hostility, distrust, and panic among the leaders." [2:145]
As pecusa continues to diminish in size and influence we see the tension, hostility, distrust, and panic among her leaders. The litigation is the most glarring illustration of this. Is pecusa in the death throes that might indicate that we are very close to the end of any significant role for pecusa in the work of God in North America and worldwide? The financial assets of pecusa indicate otherwise, but we certainly do not see any growth in pecusa that would argue for a bright future.
WB: "The crisis in the narrative concerns the way in which the holy purpose of God works against the present, perceived well-being of Jerusalem." [2:146]
The kicker is that Jerusalem was already in bad shape. Just as pecusa tries to pretend that All is Well, Judah attempted to believe that all was well. Yet, God was at work through Babylon to bring forth His purposes. While the ACNA is not Babylon, could it be that God is working out His purposes through this means?
WB: "The population of Jerusalem has two policy options: It can surrender to Babylon or resist. Surrender, so the prophet asserts, will permit life. Resistance will mean death." [2:147]
This is where my interpretation gets interesting. pecusa decided a while ago to surrender to Babylon (meaning secular culture). pecusa has adopted political correctness, inclusivity, and tolerance, rather than Biblical norms. Instead of resisting Babylon, pecusa resists the efforts of those who would lead pecusa back to obedience to God. pecusa believes that to resist Babylon will mean death, but the opposite is true! pecusa has adopted the ways of Babylon and has been dying ever since. The resistance that pecusa maintains is against the orthodox who would bring life back to pecusa.
Now, before any pecusa sharpie says it I will - WB is supportive of much that pecusa has promulgated over the last decade or so. Even so, I believe that my use of his commentary suggests another reading of the current Anglican crisis in North America.