Steve Wood Elected Third Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America

Steve Wood Elected Third Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America

Latrobe, Pennsylvania – The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America has elected its next archbishop, the Rt. Rev. Steve Wood, bishop of the Diocese of the Carolinas. The College met in conclave in the crypt of St. Vincent’s Basilica at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania from Thursday, June 20 through Saturday, June 22, 2024.

Bishop Wood will serve as the third archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America which was founded in 2009 and now has over 128,000 members in over 1,000 congregations across Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

The archbishop convenes the meetings of the Provincial Assembly, Provincial Council and College of Bishops, represents the Province in the Councils of the Church, serves as chairman of the Executive Committee (board) of the Church, serves as the President of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, and undertakes other duties as prescribed by the Canons of the Church. He serves a five-year term and can serve a maximum of two terms.

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach is completing his second term and tenth year as archbishop, after having been elected by the College in 2014 at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. After transferring authority to Archbishop-elect Wood, Beach will take a sabbatical before continuing as bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the South.

Beach is looking forward to the future of the Province, commenting, “Bishop Wood is an incredible leader and the ACNA is going to be blessed in this next season of our life together.”

The conclave kicks off a week of Provincial leadership gatherings and will be followed by meetings of the Executive Committee, Provincial Council, and Provincial Assembly. In addition to the business meetings, Provincial Assembly will include a mission conference for over 900 attendees that will include worship, plenary speakers, breakout sessions, and fellowship. A banquet celebrating the ministry and leadership of Beach will beheld Thursday evening.

Wood will spend the week accompanying Beach in the various meetings to become acclimated to the role before taking over for him at the close of the week. On being elected, Wood said, “Who expects to be elected the archbishop of the Province? It is overwhelming, humbling, and I am in need of God’s grace and mercy. I will endeavor to be faithful to the people of the ACNA and serve them to the best of my abilities. Please pray for me, my family, my parish, and my diocese.”

Authority will be transferred from Beach to Wood at the closing Eucharist of the Provincial Assembly which will take place on Friday, June 28, 2024.

The Pastor, the Holy Spirit, and the State of the Church

By Thad Rockwell Barnum
Assisting Bishop, Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas

You’ve been asked to speak at a pastor’s conference. Your topic: “Three Most Urgent Leadership Principles for Today’s Pastor.” How would you respond? What are your top three?

Would He make the list?

Does He matter? Would you talk about Him?

In many Anglican churches in North America, we self-describe as “three streams.” Word. Spirit. Sacrament. He gets top billing, at least in concept. When I ask pastors to talk about this stream of the Holy Spirit, I find He’s often relegated to the prayer ministry during communion — and that’s it. It makes me wonder: Why don’t we just say we’re “two streams” if that’s who we are?

I don’t think a lot of pastors would like my top three.

He’s all I’d talk about.

Can You Hear Him?

This is not hard.

The Lord Jesus said it clearly to His seven churches in Revelation: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” 1 Simple rule: Healthy ears, healthy church. The danger is we don’t listen. We do to Him what the Laodiceans did to Jesus and push Him out. Can you see Him standing outside, knocking, urging: “If anyone hears My voice and opens the door”? 2

If you can hear, can you hear?

To the people of Israel, the Lord persistently sent prophets with one message: “Listen to My voice.” In Hebrew, the word for listen and obey are the same. They did neither: “Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in the stubbornness of their evil heart…” 3

It’s my first principle: Can you hear Him?

Think about the gospels, same story. Our Lord was brutal with the religious leaders of His day. They upheld the traditions. They devoted themselves to Scripture. They were gifted “two stream” leaders who could hear the prophets of the past but killed the prophets of the present. Jesus called them, “snakes” and wept over Jerusalem, calling her “the city that kills the prophets…” 4

They refused to listen.

Stephen was just as brutal. To the same leaders, before they stoned him to death, he said, “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit.” 5 The diagnosis: Uncircumcised heart and ears! Is that you? Are you resisting the Holy Spirit?

Can you hear Him?

We know this principle. It’s what keeps our marriages healthy. Try it, stop listening, and we feel it. We drift apart. It’s the same with the Lord the moment we stop “hearing what the Spirit says.” Show me a healthy leader and I’ll show you someone who lives and breathes Isaiah 50:4 every day: “He awakens Me morning by morning. He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.”

We’ve got to start here. First principle: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…”

Can You Follow Him?

This kind of hearing changes us.

When we give this gift to each other – to listen, really listen – we make it possible for trust to deepen, our relationship to grow, and our love for each other to reach new heights.

It’s what our Lord wants for us. Before He ascended to His Father, He promised the Holy Spirit would come to teach us all things; guide us in all truth; disciple us in character; convict of us sin; protect us from evil; empower us in mission; and always – always – glorify Him. 6

He wants us to be in relationship with the Holy Spirit.

“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 2:38

Soon, we learn to hear His voice. When we sin, we feel it. We “grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” 7 When we exercise too much control in worship services or in decisions on leadership council and staff, we find we “quench the Spirit.” 8 But when we listen to Him and, in obedience, follow Him, we find ourselves being led by Him. It’s why Scripture says, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons and daughters of God.” 9

So I ask: Is He in the lead, or are you?

What does it look like for Him to lead? We see it in Acts 15. The apostles faced a terrifying crisis. It had power to rip the young churches apart. It was urgent for them to “hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” And this is the key: They knew exactly what that meant. They had a relationship with Him and knew, 1- how to hear His voice and, 2- how to follow His lead.

First, He speaks to us in the body of Christ. By using the spiritual gifts He gives to us, we find the saying is true: He speaks to His people through His people. 10 The first thing they did, in 15:6-12, is listen intently to Him by listening intently to each other.

Second, they knew the Holy Spirit never speaks contrary to Scripture. Everything He says and does is confirmed by the word of God. In 15:13-18, He brings Scripture alive to James so that he sees the “the prophets agree” with the testimony of Peter, Paul, and Barnabas.

It’s essential we see the word “agree.”

This, too, is exactly how the Holy Spirit speaks to us. He unites; He brings to one mind; He gives us the gift of experiencing “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” 11

This is the testimony of Acts 15! The apostles and elders met together in a time of great conflict. They were in desperate need of the Holy Spirit’s counsel. They listened to Him by listening to each other; by listening to the Scriptures; and by following His lead as He united their hearts and minds in one accord. It’s for this reason they could say with confidence:

“…it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…
Acts 15:28

It’s the second most urgent principle: Having listened, we follow. We let Him lead.

Can You Surrender to Him?

Now comes the hard part.

We stay safe, we stay “two stream.” In public worship, we follow the order of service. In our preaching, same thing. It’s all planned. If we stick our toes in the third stream, we’re cautious. We don’t like surprises. If we allow for the spontaneous, we plan for it, we control it. It’s how we do life. It’s how we do relationships. We call it — leadership.

But what if it’s not? What if it’s really called – control?

What if leadership is the exact opposite? It’s about – surrender, the yielding of control?

It’s this principle that’s in Mary. That moment, in spontaneous surprise, when she was suddenly in the presence of the mighty angel Gabriel who said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you”? 12 At a time like that, is anything in our control?

It got worse. He told her the plan and, upon hearing it, she didn’t understand it. How could she have a child yet remain a virgin? When she asked, Gabriel surprised her again by telling her the secret that unlocks the mystery of the kingdom of God.

It’s all about surrender.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…”
Luke 1:35

She could have said no. Surrender is never forced. It’s always a choice. But Mary didn’t say no. She offered herself willingly to the plan and purpose of Almighty God in these unforgettable words: “Behold, the Lord’s bondservant; may it be done to me according to your word.” 13

This sound of surrender — is that you?

Years later, on the day of Pentecost, the 120 gathered faced the same choice. The Lord Jesus was sending them on mission but required one thing: To wait until the Holy Spirit came upon them – just like Mary. They, too, had to make a choice of surrender.

Can you surrender to Him?

Many of us say yes and mean no – we can’t let go control. The experience of Pentecost scares us. Spiritual gifts scare us. The idea of teaching our people how to listen, follow, and surrender to the Holy Spirit scares us. It’s why we stay “two stream” and dabble in the third.

Do we realize the impact of saying no? When we take control, we push Him away. When we’re in the lead, He’s not. When we ask Him to bless our plans for the church, do we think He will? When we preach surrender, yet live control, are we being the leaders He has called us to be?

Can you stay yes and mean yes?

Our Lord Jesus sends us out “lambs in the midst of wolves.” 14 He does not send us out alone. We are to be filled, empowered, and led by the Holy Spirit. We can’t do life; we can’t do church; we can’t do mission without Him. We all need Him, and we need leaders who know we need Him.

Leaders who say yes.

Times have shifted. Like the churches in Revelation 2-3, we’re living in a culture hostile to God; defiant to His word; drunk on sexual immorality; and fixated on the idolatrous worship of self. It is in this context, our Lord issued the command, “hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Say yes and hear Him. Follow Him. Surrender yourself to Him. In the times we’re living in, we need Him in the lead. And that means, the urgent need today, is leaders who know it and live it.

Three principles.

He’s all I’d talk about.

 

Notes

1 Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:8, 13, 22
2 Revelation 3:20
3 Jeremiah 11:7-8
4 Matthew 23:33, 37
5 Acts 7:51
6 See John 14:26; 16:13; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 and 2 Peter 1:3-11; John 16:8; Eph 6:10-20; Acts 1:4-8; John 16:14
7 Ephesians 4:30
8 1 Thessalonians 5:19
9 Romans 8:14
10 I first heard this saying in the preaching of the Rev. Dr. Everett “Terry” Fullam
11 Ephesians 4:3
12 Luke 1:28
13 Luke 1:38
14 Luke 10:3

Recap of our 2023 Clergy Conference and SYNOD

Enjoy our video of the 2023 Clergy Conference and SYNOD

This year’s Clergy Conference and Synod was held at St. Paul’s Church in Greenville, SC. St. Paul’s recently moved into their beautiful, newly constructed sanctuary last summer. The Rev. T. Brown and his wife Libby hosted over 200 people throughout the weekend. It was a fabulous time of learning, connecting and worship.

Clergy Conference

Our time began with a clergy dinner served by the Project Hope Homeless Ministry. All proceeds of the dinner will go back into the ministry of Project Hope. The clergy and wives were led by The Rev. Dr. Sam Ferguson in the first of three teachings designed for the Clergy Conference: The Shape of Christian Witness Is Congregational,  The Shape of Christian Growth Is Congregational and The Shape of Christian Identity Is Congregational.

The Clergy Wives in attendance also gathered for a time of sharing and prayer.

Wilmore Anglican in Wilmore, KY meets on Asbury University Campus and were asked to lead many of the components of the recent Asbury Revival. The shared a video and gave testimony to the powerful movement of God.

SYNOD

This year we added Pre-Synod Workshops and they were a great success. All workshops were packed. The topics covered were Hearing the Voice of God led by The Rev. John Burley; Making Discipleship Real-A Practicum led by The Rt. Rev. Thad Barnum; How Church Planting “Works”? led by the Kardia Team; and Revitalizing the Local Church led by The Rev. Phil Ashey.

Opening Worship begin with Clergy Renewal of Vows followed by St. Paul’s Dinner on the Grounds for Lay and Clergy Delegates served by Project Hope. The business meetiing Saturday morning began with opening prayer and a welcome by Bishop Steve Wood. Bishop Wood followed with his bishop address which included the introduction of new clergy. He noted that the diocese began in 2011 with 18 clergy and we now have 143. He received two Congregations that have moved from Mission Status to Congregation Status. The two congregations are The Gathering Church led by Rector Mike Meyers in Spartanburg, SC and Church of the Vines led by Rector Owen Fulghum in Waynesville, NC

The Rev. Dr. Sam Ferguson led the synod with two talks ‘Does God Care About Gender Identity?’ – Part 1 – Deeper Understanding and Part 2 Compassionate Engagement. They can be found on the Ridley Institute page. https://ridleyinstitute.thinkific.com/courses/gender-identity

Kardia, our church planting movement, presented along with The Rev. Bev Mufflemann of Global Mission Initiative. Before closing in prayer, it was announced that our Clergy Retreat and Synod will be held next year at Church of the Apostles, Raleigh, NC, March14-16, 2024.

Advent Letter 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Mourning and Melancholy

In the title essay of her collection of essays, When I Was a Child I Read Books, the author, Marilynne Robinson, recounts her days growing up accompanied by the inherent loneliness of Idaho landscape and the enduring positive benefit of this kind of loneliness. She notes that for Americans of a certain era such emotions as mourning, melancholy, regret, and loneliness were “high sentiments, as they were for the psalmist and for Sophocles, for the Anglo-Saxon poets and for Shakespeare.” Being a child of the Midwest with family still scattered across her hills and hollows along with a son who with his family live in Montana, Robinson’s essay was resonant.

All of this was brought to mind with the advent of Advent and having recently returned from a week in South Dakota where I was struck again by the beautiful loneliness of the post-harvest landscape – with winter settling in – and the long wait ‘til spring.

These high sentiments of mourning and melancholy and loneliness are often my companions. I experience them in the solitude of life. Sometimes in the poetry of a Herbert or Whitman or Donne, other times listening to the “who cooks for you?” of the owls and howls of the coyotes while walking through the chilly black woods under a full November moon.

Season of Advent

This week we, the church universal, mark the beginning of our church year with the season of Advent. The season of Advent is a season of preparation as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. Our seasonal collects and hymns have as their backdrop the prophetic witness to the people of Israel waiting in their “lonely exile” for their Messiah. They mark as well our waiting in a lonely exile as a peculiar people for the Messiah’s second advent. The church calendar is meant to help us navigate the seasons of our lives. They can, at their best, give shape and rhythm to our spiritual life. They can, at their best, provide the opportunity to recognize and embrace aspects of our life we might wish to ignore – all within the context of the faith and our community of faith.

The season of Advent is a season of preparation as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth. We live as some have said, “in between the times.” Meaning that we live between the incarnation and the final consummation of Christ’s return And in this waiting, I experience the high sentiments of which Robinson wrote. I find myself saying often with the biblical writers, “Maranatha” – “come, Lord.” I find myself waiting and wondering with the Psalmist who asks, ‘how long?’ How long until our Lord’s triumphant Advent?

Navigating the Landscape of Our Soul

So, how can Advent help us navigate the landscape of our soul?

Well, we do know something of Christ as we await the final consummation. We are not left as orphans. He has come. He has given us His Spirit. And so, our waiting is a patient waiting (we heard quite a bit of this in our study of 1 & 2 Peter). Patient because we have confidence in Christ and His promise to return. Patient because of His promise that He will set all things right. Patient because of His promise that there will be a day and a place where there will be no more tears, a day and a place where we will see Him face-to-face. This confident patient waiting can give us – if and as we cooperate with the Spirit’s work in our lives – the opportunity to examine and address those hindrances and obstacles in our lives: our crooked paths, our rough places.

This waiting though is suffused with inherent loneliness and longing. A loneliness and a longing that allows one to, in Robinson’s words, “experience . . . radical singularity, one’s greatest dignity and privilege.” That allows one to navigate the landscape of the heart and soul and to discover again that our high sentiments and deepest desires are pointers that point to One thing – the One man, Christ Jesus – who alone is able to satiate our longing and desire.

Come, Lord Jesus.

In Christ,

+Steve

Steve Wood

Bishop, Diocese of the Carolinas

Archbishop Foley Beach’s Appeal for Ukraine Relief

 

ARCHBISHOP FOLEY BEACH’S APPEAL FOR UKRAINE RELIEF

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Lenten Greetings in the Name of Christ Jesus!  As we begin our Lenten pilgrimage, let us not ignore the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding before our eyes in Europe. Our hearts are breaking at the scenes of Ukrainians under attack from Russian forces with bombs landing in neighborhoods, schools, and playgrounds. Many of us have family and friends living and working in Ukraine or serving with the local church.

As the crisis intensifies and Ukrainians fight for their lives, more and more Ukrainians are being displaced and made homeless. Others will be without basic necessities like water, shelter, and food as basic infrastructure is destroyed. The Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) has mounted a campaign to raise funds to help. We are currently partnering with those inside Ukraine and those working in bordering countries being overwhelmed with refugees.

Are you able to help? ARDF has received a $100,000 challenge gift to match dollar for dollar the first $100,000 received. This means your personal gift can be doubled. Please consider helping today by clicking here.

Beyond giving financially to these efforts, your prayers are vital. Prayer really does make a difference! Pray for the Ukrainian people and their leaders, the Russian people and their leaders, the numerous Christian leaders and missionaries in the country, and for the hundreds of thousands of refugees. Ask God to intervene.

Please join us in praying these Collects from The Book of Common Prayer 2019:

“O God, our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son has taught us to seek our daily bread from you: Behold the affliction of your people in Ukraine and send them swift aid in their time of need. Increase the fruits of the earth by your heavenly benediction; and grant that receiving your gifts with thankful hearts, they may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need, and for their own health; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

– Adapted from Collect, In Time of Scarcity and Famine, BCP2019, p.653

“Almighty God, from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed: Kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all people the true love of peace, and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in tranquility your kingdom may go forward, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

– Collect For The Peace of the World, BCP2019, p. 654

Yours in Christ,


The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America