Bp Bena June 2017
Next Week's ACNA Assembly - Unity or Just Getting Along?
Bishop David Bena
So next week, lots of people from all over the world will gather at Wheaton College near Chicago for what is called the Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America. Lots of bucks and lots of time will be expended for this conference. Mary Ellen and I will drive from Syracuse to Chicago, participate in the Bishops' meeting, the Convocation of Chaplains, and the Assembly itself over the period of a week (lots of clergy shirts needed). I have to ask myself, "Is it worth it? Is our gathering a sign on unity, or are we just getting along to get along?"
Good question. Glad you asked. The answer is, "Yes. It's a sign of unity." Next week, the thirty dioceses of the Anglican Church in North America will send representatives for the exact purpose of showing a sign of unity. Although not all the dioceses look exactly like each other, nor have the same personality, they are unified around the Holy Scriptures as the guide of life, and around the Person of Jesus as the ground for salvation. There will not be people there who want to swamp the Church with relativism in life or doctrine; no one will "cross their fingers" when they recite the Creed; no detractors who want us to pass ridiculous political resolutions. We will gather around God - Father who loves us, Jesus who saves us, Holy Spirit who strengthens us for mission - and glorify Him together.
Yes, we have some differences of opinion. We haven't come to a full resolution as to whether women have the biblical mandate to be ordained presbyters. We haven't come to a full resolution as to whether a diocese should be totally geographic or be affinity based.
But we are One Body in the Lord, standing for the Truth of the Gospel, the saving of people from hell, the dignity of living biblical value, and the building up of God's Church.
I wish you could be there to see the beauty of a united Church, friends. It will be wonderful to behold. If you're not able to be there, please pray for those of us who do attend. Watch and be thankful for what God is doing in our midst.
CANA East will be represented at the ACNA and CANA meetings in Wheaton, IL by:
Bishop Julian and Brenda Dobbs
Bishop David and Mary Ellen Bena
Archdeacon Carl and Janet Eyberg
Archdeacon Partick Malone
Canon Jay Cayangyang
Mr Raymond Dague
Mr Terry Bochte