A Letter Concerning the Death of George Floyd and So Many Others

A Letter Concerning the Death of George Floyd and So Many Others

George Floyd was made in the image of God and as such is a person of utmost value. This is not true because a few Anglican Bishops issue a letter. This conviction arises from our reading of Scripture. The Psalmist said:

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well (Psalm 139:13-14).

The opening book of our Scriptures declares the value of all human life:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27)

What happened to George is an affront to God because his status as an image-bearer was not respected. He was treated in a way that denied his basic humanity. Our lament is real. But our lament is not limited to George and his family. We mourn alongside the wider Black community for whom this tragedy awakens memories of their own traumas and the larger history of systemic oppression that still plagues this country.

George’s death is not merely the most recent evidence that proves racism exists against Black people in this country. But it is a vivid manifestation of the ongoing devaluation of black life. At the root of all racism is a heretical anthropology that devalues the Imago Dei in us all.  The gospel reveals that all are equally created, sinful, and equally in the need of the saving work of Christ. The racism we lament is not just interpersonal. It exists in the implicit and explicit customs and attitudes that do disproportionate harm to ethnic minorities in the country. In other words, too often racial bias has been combined with political power to create inequalities that still need to be eradicated.

As bishops in the ACNA, we commit ourselves to stand alongside those in the Black community as they contend for a just society, not as some attempt to transform America into the kingdom of God, but as a manifestation of neighborly love and bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ.  We confess that too often ethnic minorities have felt like contending for biblical justice has been a burden that they bear alone.

In the end, our hope is not in our efforts but in the shed blood of Jesus that reconciles God to humanity and humans to each other. Our hope is that our churches become places where the power of the gospel to bring together the nations of the earth (Rev 7:9) is seen in our life together as disciples. Such work cannot be carried out by an individual letter in a time of crisis. We commit to educating ourselves and the churches under our charge within a biblical and theological frame to face the problems of our day. We likewise commit to partnering with like-minded churches in the work of justice and reconciliation.

The Feast of Pentecost is here in a couple of days. The power of the Spirit is loosed to convict of sin and deliver us from its power. Our prayer is that in a country as diverse as these United States, the church will be united in the essential truths of Christianity including its concern for the most vulnerable. So…Come Holy Spirit. Mediate to us and all the earth, we pray, the victory of Jesus over the principalities and powers that seek to rule and cause death and destruction in this time between the times. Come Holy Spirit.

Almighty God, on this day, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, you revealed the way of eternal life to every race and nation: Pour out this gift anew, that by the preaching of the Gospel your salvation may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, you created us in your own image: Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and help us to use our freedom rightly in the establishment of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Sincerely in Christ,


Bishops Jim Hobby, Todd Hunter, Stewart Ruch III, and Steve Wood


Bishop Steve Wood 2019 Synod Address

Thank you to Filmore and All Saints, Thank you David, Thad, Terrell, Thank you Maddy, Thank you Phillip Clark – Dio Chancellor, Thank you for your prayers for St. Andrew’s Church. We have seen God at work in all.

The Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas exists to equip clergy and congregations to fulfill the Great Commandments (Mk.12:29-31) and the Great Commission (Mt.28:19-20) by leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ through evangelism, personal discipleship, and the nurturing and planting of congregations.

We have an opportunity in ACNA – The average congregation in ACNA is less than 100. Our diocese has huge leadership development possibilities with the Simeon Fellowship led by Dean Chip Edgar and Ridley Institute led by Randy Forester.

In ACNA, Andrew Williams is being consecrated in New England today. Succeeding +Bill Murdoch. There will be a season of leadership transitions in ACNA as many current Bishops are nearing retirement.

Village Church

Today in our diocese we are admitting Village Church of Greenville, SC as a parish. Seth Cain+ and his wife Ashley have led well and we are thankful for them.

We welcome the new people that are apart of the diocese include Lucy Albert, Church of the Good Shepherd – Deacon, Kyle Holtzhower, St. Andrew’s – Priesthood, Caleb Burr, Holy Trinity Church – Priesthood, Phillip Wilson, St. Andrew’s – Priesthood, Dave Libbon, St. Andrew’s – Priesthood, Ben Snyder, Wilmore Anglican – Priesthood, Jordan Kologe, Church of the Good Shepherd – Priesthood, Jeremy Roseman, Resurrection Anglican – Transitional Diaconate, Chase Edgar, St. Paul’s Church – Transitional Diaconate. Those transferred into ADOC: Joel Pinson, King of Kings – Rector, Wright Wall, Holy Trinity Church – Clergy Associate for evangelism and equipping.

College Ministry

We now have connections to College Ministry in the Carolinas. Madison Perry is at the North Carolina Study Center at UNC and Justin Hare and Jonathan Furst are associated with the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) @ Clemson University and University of South Carolina.

The ADOC Task Force on Women in Ministry 

I am excited to introduce ADOC Task Force on Women in Ministry. I have charged this committee with making recommendations for how the Diocese of the Carolinas can best fulfill the commitment made by the College of Bishops “to work earnestly toward a far greater release of the whole church to her God-given mission” – especially discipling and equipping “female [members], lay and ordained, to fulfill their callings and ministries in the work of God’s kingdom.”

The particular work of the Task Force is to identify the ways in which women, both lay and ordained, might exercise roles of service and leadership within the diocese, and in local churches, and make recommendations for how to support them in carrying out the priesthood of all believers.

Specifically, the Task Force will address the following questions:

·       What is the definition of ministry?

·       What roles have been assumed to be male-only?

·       What opportunities have not been open to women?

·       What can we do practically to fulfill the commitment made by the College of Bishops?

·       What can a church do to encourage women in ministry?

·       What pathways need to be in place for women to obtain credentials and training?

·       How best to recruit and mentor women for ministry in the church?

·       What materials need to be developed so that the recommendations of the Task Force can be implemented in a small, medium, and large church?

To do this work I propose the following men and women to serve on the Task Force:  The Rev. Lucy Albert, Executive Assistant, Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Davidson, NC, The Rev. Gary Ball, Rector, Redeemer, Asheville, NC, The Rev. John Hall, Senior Pastor, Christ the Redeemer, Clemson, SC, The Rev. Virginia Mussellmann, Deacon, Church of the Holy Cross, Raleigh NC, Mrs. Van Weston, former staff member Christ Church, Murrells Inlet, SC, The Rev. Joshua Yoder, Rector, Christ Church, Washington, NC.

Build Together Campaign

The Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas will begin a Build Together Campaign. Build Together is an annual diocesan campaign to help churches of the Diocese of the Carolinas that are making the critical transition into their initial permanent location/building.  One Sunday a year would be designated as “Build Together Sunday” and churches would share information (inserts, slides, videos) provided by the diocese with their congregations and receive designated gifts/pledges that Sunday. The Standing Committee of the Diocese would oversee the development of criteria, administration and distribution of these funds to churches who make appropriate an application and request. We are now stronger together in the Diocese of the Carolinas and this is a tangible and very strategic way we can advance the kingdom of God in the Carolinas.

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A Word from of Diocesan Bishop Steve Wood

Having the Word and the Spirit

“Jesus said to His disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses.”

How did the early church turn the Greco-Roman world upside down?  Certainly, a large part of their success lay in their message – that through Christ people could find freedom and salvation from all the things that held them in fear and bondage.

But it wasn’t just the early church’s message that made them so fruitful.  It was both Word and Spirit.  The early church was empowered by a vital experience of God – the Holy Spirit’s presence.

The Book of Acts communicates a simple message to Christians, that apart from the Holy Spirit, we Christians have nothing and are nothing and can do nothing.  Our whole life is dependent on the Holy Spirit.  Our coming to faith in Jesus is the product of the Holy Spirit.  Our Christian growth is a result of the Holy Spirit, our unity in the church – created by the Holy Spirit.  Our evangelism and mission is empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Our knowledge of God’s Word is a result of the Holy Spirit.  Our hearing from God, our healing, the restoration of marriages and families, our insight into the things of God, our servanthood, our Christian character:  It’s all the result of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Listen, there is very clearly and very definitely something to believe in Christianity – we can never let go of that.  But there’s also something more.  There is Someone to receive, Someone to experience.  Christianity has a certain truth content to it.  But Christianity goes beyond creeds and beyond propositional content.  It involves an encounter with the Holy Spirit – an experience of God through the Holy Spirit.  This is partially what Jesus meant when He said, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”

Much of the church today says not to worry about experiences and not to worry about feelings.  Concern yourself with the truth and that is enough.  On one hand there is truth in this.  You don’t have to wait for a feeling to obey God.  The Christian life is not just a life of waiting around for a feeling in order to do what is right or good or helpful.  We act in faith based on the truth.  We know what God’s Word says –we know what God’s will is and so we do God’s will regardless of our feelings.

But the Bible consistently presents the Holy Spirit as Someone who can be experienced – as Someone who imparts power.  A few examples of this biblical witness:

The Apostle Peter wrote truths for us to believe but he also spoke of his experience.  1 Peter 1:8 he writes that as we encounter God we experience “joy unspeakable.”
The Apostle Paul, who wrote some of the most profound and dense theology, said in Romans 5, “God’s love is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit?”  Is that just doctrine or an experience?
Again, Paul, we read in Romans 8 that we have received the Holy Spirit and by Him we cry out, “‘Abba, Father,’ the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirits that we are children of God” is that heart cry, “Abba Father,” just right belief or it is the result of a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit?

God brought the prophet Ezekiel to a desert valley that was covered with the bones of dead men.  While Ezekiel watched, the Spirit of God breathed upon those dried out bones and flesh grew on them and dead men came back to life.  Some of us are like those dead bones in the valley.  You’re not physically dead.  You may be as physically fit as one could be.  You may be intellectually fit.  Your mind could be incredibly quick and your wit as sharp.  But even if you are physically alive and intellectually alive, spiritually you can still be dead – dead to God.  Dead, in terms of your awareness of God.  Dead, in terms of your experience of God before the power of the Spirit makes you alive to the reality of God.

Jesus said to His disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses.” The power of the Spirit is at work in us to make us look like Jesus.  And living like Jesus is a fantastic way to live.  Jesus was free.  Jesus was secure.  His identity was not based on the opinions of those around him.  He did not feel the need to prove Himself.  He did not measure His success in life by what He possessed or what He accomplished.  He did not measure the fruitfulness of His ministry or the faithfulness of His Father by the response of His audience.  He was at peace with Himself.  Jesus was authentic.  He was the real deal.

Being like Jesus means that you are aiming at loving other people and not being self-consumed with introspection or self-pitying, being self-absorbed.  Being like Jesus means you’re able to love people who are different than you.  People who are different in color, different in background, different education, different ages. Being like Jesus means that you speak well of others instead of always complaining, bad-mouthing, gossiping.

Wouldn’t it be nice to live life like Jesus?  Secure, content, thankful, truthful, loving, free?  How does it happen?  How does holiness happen?

It happens by the Word and the Holy Spirit working together in our lives.

One last thought on this matter. When I was in seminary I had a theology professor who used this ditty to make this point:

To have the Word without the Spirit is to dry up.
To have the Spirit without the Word is to blow up.
To have the Word and the Spirit is to grow up.

May we all grow in the fullness of life that the Lord means for us to know.

Yours in Christ,