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ATLANTA: 2000 Anglicans Participate in Historic Investiture of New Anglican Archbishop

ATLANTA: 2000 Anglicans Participate in Historic Investiture of New Anglican Archbishop

By David W. Virtue in Atlanta
October 9, 2014

Nearly 2000 Anglicans packed the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta to throw their support behind the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, as hands were laid on him by Primates of the Anglican Communion acknowledging his leadership as it passed from Archbishop Robert Duncan to a new generation leader.

Anglicans, including laity, clergy, bishops and archbishops from eight provinces and from all walks of life, sang, intoned prayers and cheered for their new leader as the 57-year old archbishop took the reins of leadership of a church that numbers more than 112,000 in some 27 dioceses in Canada, the US, and Mexico. The ACNA is now larger than the Anglican Church of Canada in average Sunday attendance.

In his investiture sermon, Archbishop Beach remarked, "We are a diverse lot. We are united, but not uniform. We are Evangelical. We are Anglo-Catholic. We are Charismatic. We are high church. We are low-church. We are contemporary. We are traditional. We are classical. We are the body of Jesus Christ called Anglicans who have been given a mission to minister in North America. We have our part to play in the Great vision of God for the nations on this continent.

"I think about Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Jewell, Lancelot Andrews, Hooker, Whitfield, Wesley, Newman, Keeble, Pusey, C.S. Lewis, John Stott, J.I. Packer, Os Guinness. We have always been a diverse lot! And we are today," he added.

Addressing ACNA's brief history, Beach noted that what began as a confederation and coalition of various Anglican churches has now evolved into a vibrant, missional Province with the purpose of reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. "This Anglican Movement is positioned to impact the Continent of North America with the powerful and life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ in a tremendous way. Aslan is on the move as we see people all over the Americas drawn to what God is doing in our midst."

He publicly praised Bishop Greg Venables of the Argentine, formerly Archbishop of the Southern Cone, who offered life boats for faithful Anglicans across the US and Canada as they split from the Episcopal Church because of its serious deviation from Scripture, the Creeds and Anglican tradition.

Touching on the theme of reconciliation, a key theme of Archbishop Justin Welby's ministry, Beach observed, "When I speak of reconciliation, I am not talking about being reconciled with the world, or with sin, or with sinful behavior or giving up one's principles or compromising Biblical Truth in order to be reconciled. However, the Scriptures do tell us that we are all ministers of reconciliation and that we are to be reconciled with each other.

"This reconciliation is based on the cross of Jesus, on the Truth in the Scriptures, and on the Tradition handed down to us by the Church Fathers. To be reconciled means there was once a problem."

Beach praised the work of his predecessor, Archbishop Robert Duncan, saying, "Archbishop Bob brought the various Anglican tribes together and has wrought us into a united movement for the Lord. King David had 40 years; Archbishop Bob only had 5 years."

Beach described Archbishop Duncan as "God's instrument to bring us to where we are. I compare his ministry to that of King David, King of the nation of Israel." (Archbishop Duncan received a standing ovation).

The archbishop said the ACNA must be a repenting, reconciling, reproducing and relentlessly compassionate church in the midst of a hostile world that needs the Good News about Jesus.

"When we gathered in June and I was elected the new Archbishop and Primate, I was asked to preach at the closing Eucharist of the Assembly. If you were there, you may remember that the Lord gave us all a charge in the words of Archabbot Boniface, the founder the monastery of St. Vincent Arch Abbey - where we gathered for our summer Assembly:

"Forward, Always Forward, Everywhere Forward
"Forward, Always Forward, Everywhere Forward"

The installation was witnessed by eight archbishops of the Anglican Communion, including Kenyan Archbishop Eliud Wabukala; Southern Cone Archbishop Tito Zavala; The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh Archbishop, Primate, and Metropolitan of All Nigeria; The Most Rev. Dr. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop and Primate of Rwanda; The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop and Primate of Uganda; The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Chairman of the Anglican Global South; Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa and President Bishop of the Anglican Church in the Middle East; The Most Rev. Stephen An Myint Oo, Archbishop of Myanmar; and The Most Rev. Ezekiel Kondo Archbishop of the Internal Province of Sudan and Bishop of Khartoum. Together they represent more than 50 million global Anglicans, the vast majority of Anglicans in the world today and the largest provinces of the Anglican Communion.

Also present were two active, though retired archbishops, including Argentine Bishop Gregory Venables (former Archbishop of the Southern Cone), a close personal friend of Pope Francis and retired Archbishop Ben Kwashi of Jos, Nigeria.

"I give thanks to God that we have here tonight the Primates of numerous Anglican Provinces Representing the Provinces of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, South America, Myanmar,
Egypt, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Jerusalem. We also have representatives sent by the Primates of Southeast Asia, Congo and Sudan. And we have bishops here from South Sudan, Argentina and Brazil."

Other bishops and ecumenical guests included the Rev. Herzen Andone of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church; the Most Rev. Dr. Mark Haverland, Archbishop of the Anglican Catholic Church; the Rt. Rev. Chandler Jones, Bishop of the Anglican Province of America; the Most Rev. Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania, Orthodox Church in America; the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina; The Rev. Dr. David Wendel of the North American Lutheran Church; the Rev. Larry Vogel, representing the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod; the Rev. Dr. Roy Taylor, stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America and representing the National Association of Evangelicals; the Rt. Rev. William Millsaps, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Missionary Church; and the Rt. Rev. Paul Sobiechowski, Bishop of the Eastern Diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church.

Greetings were sent from President Barack Obama and Archishop Justin Welby and from those primates present bringing greetings from their own provinces.

The service of investiture marked an historic milestone and a first for the fledgling denomination, most of whose members left the Episcopal Church over unacceptable theological and moral innovations. Archbishop Robert Duncan pioneered the new denomination steering it through its early years, drawing together disparate Anglicans from across the North American continent into what has become a growing, vibrant movement recognized by the vast majority of Anglicans, though still as yet not recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The denomination has grown by 40 percent in four years.

Archbishop Beach spent 34 years as an Episcopalian, which included 12 years as a priest, before coming to the full realization that he could not stay in that denomination due to the Episcopal Church's moral and theological innovations.

UPDATED. VOL has modified the number of persons present at this installation. It was closer to 2,000 than 3,000. If you add those watching on Anglican TV and U-tube the figure would be well over 4,000.


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