Bishop Happenings

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Today seems to be a heavy news day as far as Anglican bishops are concerned. There are three articles of note:

First, from ACNS: Over 500 Bishops from 39 Anglican Provinces Register

Organisers of next year’s Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops have announced that 502 bishops and 382 spouses have so far registered for the decennial event, with the numbers rising each day. Registrations to date come from 39 of the Anglican Communion’s 45 member Provinces and Extra Provincial Churches. “In comparison to the 2008 event when registrations had not started at this point, this is a most encouraging position to be in”, Lambeth Conference Chief Executive Phil George said.

The Lambeth Conference is one of four “Instruments of Communion” of the global Anglican Communion. Invitations are extended by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the bishops of the Communion to gather for prayer and discussion.

…Responding to the large number of registrations, Phil George, said: “It is very encouraging to have so many bishops and spouses already registered to come. I am delighted that we have received more than 880 bookings so far.

“The process of delivering invitations to over 165 countries is not straightforward and some have taken a lot longer than expected to arrive. So the initial request to register by 31 March was always seen as an encouragement to do so rather than a fixed deadline. Of course, the guest list is changing all the time as new bishops are appointed and others step down. But I would encourage all who have now received their invitations to sign up as quickly as possible and ideally by 31 July 2019.”

The last Lambeth Conference, in 2008, attracted 623 bishops and a smaller number of spouses.

Next up, GAFCON chair, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria, is stepping down. He has written a pastoral letter summarizing the accomplishments of the GAFCON network during his tenure.

By God’s grace, Gafcon has grown into much more than a conference. It is a growing presence now established in 22 Provinces and its Primates Council represents the majority of the world’s practising Anglicans. In 2017, the Gafcon Primates Council authorised the consecration of a missionary bishop for the UK and Europe, recognising the spiritual crisis of the established  Anglican churches in that region, and in 2018, following the precedent of the Anglican Church in North America ten years previously, the new Anglican Church of Brazil was recognised as Province of the Anglican Communion.

During the Gafcon 2018 Conference, nine global networks were launched which gather faithful Anglicans from around the globe to take action together as a way of putting into practice our solemn commitment to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations. Even as I write, the Church Planting Network leaders are at the Caminemos Juntos conference in Chile helping to develop a strategic church planting initiative in South America and the Sustainable Development Network has coordinated a very generous response to the Cyclone Idai disaster focussing on relief in Mozambique and the rebuilding of lives and livelihoods to follow. Crucially, these initiatives, along with all of Gafcon’s work, are now supported daily in prayer by supporters around the world thanks to the work of the Prayer Network. 

Archbishop Okoh goes on to name his successor:

My successor, Archbishop Foley Beach [currently the head of ACNA], is one who has been tested and paid the price of standing firm. God is blessing us with a godly and wise leader who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and has the heart of an evangelist. Keep him and all the Primates Council in your prayers as they gather in Sydney at the end of this month.

Finally, closer to home, the Dioceses of San Diego, Maine, and Northern California were notified this week of successful consent processes for their recent episcopal elections. The ordination and consecration of the Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook (San Diego), the Rev. Thomas James Brown (Maine), and the Rev. Canon Megan Traquair (Northern California) will take place on June 15, June 22, and June 29, respectively. The Presiding Bishop is expected to serve as chief consecrator for all three.

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Steve Price
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Steve Price

A member of the British Parliament has stated that the ban on attendance of the spouses of same sex Bishops violates workplace discrimination laws and the issue may end up in court.

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Christopher SEITZ
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Christopher SEITZ

500 Bishops? I believe there are nearly 900 total. Happy to be corrected.

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