Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Church of Nigeria elects Missionary Bishop for Convocation of Anglicans in North America

Church of Nigeria elects Missionary Bishop for Convocation of Anglicans in North America

In addition to a number of other Episcopal elections the House of Bishop of the Church of Nigeria, meeting in Abuja on June 27th and 28th, elected the Revd Canon Martyn Minns, Rector of Truro Church, Fairfax, Virginia to serve as our Missionary Bishop for CANA – the Convocation of Anglicans in North America – a missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). The Primate has also appointed a team of three other bishops led by the Rt. Reverend Benjamin Kwashi to coordinate Episcopal Visitors, i.e. bishops from the Church of Nigeria, to work alongside him.

CANA was first announced in 2005 after full consultation with the Nigerian congregations in America, together with the enthusiastic endorsement of the Episcopal Synod and the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria. It functions as a ministry of the Church of Nigeria in America but has its own legal and ecclesial structure and now has its own local episcopate.

The intention is not to challenge or intervene in the churches of ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada but rather to provide safe harbour for those who can no longer find their spiritual home in those churches.

Archbishop Peter Akinola said that, “We have already witnessed God’s blessing on our decision to elect a missionary Bishop to the Congo. We have also recently decided to appoint a non-geographic Bishop for migrant Fulani herdsmen who number over 12 million across West Africa sub region.” He also said that he was “mindful of the precedent set by the Convocation of American Churches in Europe and also the recent action of the Archbishop of Canterbury in welcoming the Rt. Reverend Sandy Millar, Assistant Bishop in the Church of Uganda, as a Bishop in Mission in England.” In all this he said that, “we believe we are continuing the tradition of Missionary Bishops that has always been an essential part of Anglicanism and which the Church of Nigeria has embraced in response to the 1988 Lambeth Conference Call for a Decade of Evangelism.”

He also stated that, “We have deliberately held back from this action until now because of our hope that the Episcopal Church USA would heed the cry of the Anglican Communion as expressed in the essential elements of the Windsor Report and the Dromantine Communiqué. The elections and actions of their 75th General Convention, however, make it clear that far from turning back they are even more committed to pursuing their unbiblical revisionist agenda.”

“For the sake of the mission of Christ and out of faithful obedience to His Gospel we have no other choice than to offer Biblically faithful episcopal care to our beleaguered congregations and others who will not compromise the ‘faith once delivered to the saints.’”

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