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BOLIVIAN BISHOP SAYS ECUSA NO LONGER REPRESENTS ANGLICANISM IN US

BOLIVIAN BISHOP SAYS ECUSA NO LONGER REPRESENTS ANGLICANISM IN US

By David W. Virtue

Loganville GA, (February 2, 2004) – Anglican Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia told more than 230 people that “the Episcopal Church no longer represents Anglicanism in the United States, and we no longer recognize them as such.”

“They have departed from Anglicanism and do not represent the Christian Faith,” he said. He reminded the people, “keep the main thing the main thing and the main thing is Jesus.”

Holy Cross Anglican Church will hold their first services on February 8th with a Traditional Anglican Worship format and also a Contemporary Anglican format. Bishop Lyons was the guest of a celebratory worship service and reception in his honor at Holy Cross Anglican Church this evening at 7:00 p.m. at Loganville Middle School in Loganville, GA, just outside of Atlanta.

More than 230 people came out on a night with rain and freezing rain to meet and greet the Bishop of Bolivia. Bishop Lyons was visiting to celebrate the formation of Holy Cross Anglican Church, one of two new Anglican parishes that have recently been formed in Atlanta by clergy and laity who have left the Diocese of Atlanta within The Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA) and whom will now come under his jurisdiction as Bishop of Bolivia, and under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone and its Primate, The Most Rev. Gregory Venables.

The move is viewed as a rescue situation for Episcopalians who feel they cannot in good conscience stay in the Diocese of Atlanta within the ECUSA. Holy Cross Anglican Church was established by several hundred mainstream Episcopalians in the Atlanta area who sought to remove themselves from the Diocese of Atlanta within the ECUSA while maintaining their Christian ties to millions of Anglicans around the world within the Anglican Communion.

The Rector, Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, describes Holy Cross Anglican Church as a Bible- based evangelical church, emphasizing discipleship, caring for the needy, and reaching out to the unchurched in the community. The Rev. Dr. Beach and the Rev. Lin Watts, who both served as Episcopal priests in the Diocese of Atlanta, were received as Anglican priests by Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia.

At the service on Monday evening, both reaffirmed their ordination vows and signed the Declaration of the Southern Cone. Bishop Lyons presented both priests with a set of stoles from Bolivia. In his sermon to the congregation, Bishop Lyons told the people that God was creating a new work which is to bear witness to Jesus.

They church recently received a $770,000 gift to purchase 10 acres for the future church, and a committee has been appointed to present a land-use and building plan. Bishop Lyons said he was acting with the full blessing of the Primate of Southern Cone, Gregory Venables.

He said that he was “extending to Holy Cross Anglican Church emergency and temporary, Episcopal pastoral covering” as they begin their new work. “I have received the Rev. Dr. Foley Beach as a priest in good standing with our diocese and province, a part of the Anglican Communion, and he will lead you as pastor.” He said further, “We are not going to rest until this emergency situation is resolved and you are recognized with local official Anglican oversight in the United States.”

The name, Holy Cross, will always remind parishioners where to turn for their source of strength. Founding member Clyde Strickland explains, “We are all looking for a place to go for comfort and spiritual help. The first place you need to go to is to the cross, and what is the cross except holy, so we decided on the name ‘Holy Cross.’”

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