From the Bishops of CANA to the Clergy and Congregations of CANA
April 2, 2014
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our coming King.
The bishops of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) have concluded a
very successful working episcopal retreat in Reisterstown, Maryland. The retreat was led by
CANA’s Missionary Bishop, The Rt. Rev’d Julian M. Dobbs. The CANA bishops spent time
in worship, Bible study and prayer as they considered their call to servant leadership in the
Church of God.
At the conclusion of their retreat, the bishops issued the following statement:
The Anglican Church in North America
CANA is a founding jurisdiction in the Anglican Church in North America (“ACNA”),
which unites some 100,000 Anglicans across the United States and Canada. The bishops
discussed ways in which the ministry of CANA can and does strengthen the work of the
Anglican Church in North America and paid tribute to the faithful leadership of its Primate,
The Most. Rev. Robert Duncan, who retires in June.
The bishops committed themselves to work collaboratively in those places where there is
geographic overlap between churches in a CANA diocese and churches in another ACNA
diocese, every effort will be made to maintain the highest possible level of mutual concern
and cooperation in the development of missional strategies that will serve the growth of the
Gospel and clearly demonstrate mutual respect and ministry partnership while maintaining
the uniqueness of CANA’s ministry.
The Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion]
The CANA Bishops give thanks to Almighty God for the courageous leadership of the Most
Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, Primate of All Nigeria and for his faithfulness to Christ. The
Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion] has become a prophetic voice with the global
Anglican Communion calling God’s Church to orthodoxy and mission.
The bishops expressed their concern over the religious tension across Nigeria and the loss of
life and property perpetrated by the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram. The bishops called
upon the Faithful to pray for protection for Nigeria’s Christian community, that they may
worship in freedom and safety.
Guardians Of The Faith
Bishops in the Church of God are called to keep the Church true to the faith, anchored in
Scripture and affirmed in the creeds; to teach the faith and proclaim it. Bishops are to be
pastors to the pastors of the Church and preside over the worshipping life of the dioceses
committed to their care.
Reflecting upon this call and considering reports of some new-age practices and ancient
heresies that have re-emerged in some parts of the Church, the CANA bishops recommitted
themselves and the dioceses entrusted to their care, to the faith expressed in the Jerusalem
Declaration, 2008 which states, “We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New
Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation.”
Furthermore, the CANA bishops emphasized that the Word of God read and proclaimed is
in itself a manifestation of the power of Almighty God and called the church to exercise
serious caution when considering any teaching or spiritual experience that is outside the
canon of Scripture. “… even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the
one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is
preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. [Galatians 1:8, 9 ESV]
The CANA Bishops recommitted their dioceses to the importance of church planting as a
missionary strategy through which the good news of Christ can effectively transform
individuals and societies. The bishops called upon all CANA congregations to actively pray
and plan to plant new churches to reach their communities for Christ.
Recognizing the need to train and ordain new leadership within the church, the CANA
bishops discussed the importance of robust theological education for any person pursuing
Holy Orders and committed themselves and their dioceses, in connection with seminaries
and other places of learning, to developing robust processes that ensure all clergy are suitably
trained and educated for ministry and leadership in the Anglican Church.
Global Fellowship Of Confessing Anglicans
The CANA bishops unreservedly committed themselves to fully support the work of the
Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. As bishops of the Anglican Church in North
America and the Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion] the CANA bishops called for
ongoing renewal and reform within the Anglican Communion.
Bishop Julian Dobbs reaffirmed that CANA is a missionary jurisdiction and that CANA’s
core ministry is to declare the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit, trusting that
it will result in transformed lives and communities across North America. Bishop Dobbs
said, “CANA is now in its 9th year of ministry. From very humble beginnings the ministry
has grown to over 100 churches that are associated with CANA across 30 States and in
Canada, over 435 chaplains and clergy and four missionary dioceses. It is truly a miracle of
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for
you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from
the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.— Philippians 1:3-6 [ESV]