January 17, 2018

 

Re: College of Bishops in Melbourne, Florida

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

Cindy and I have just returned for the College of Bishops meeting in Melbourne, Florida. I would like to

fill you in on some our business as it will help our life together.

 

The point that touches our life together most directly is what has been accomplished by the Liturgical

Task Force. These are the people involved in developing our new Prayer Book. They have made some

great strides in moving toward the publication of the new BCP 2019.

 

Perhaps the most helpful is currently available on the ACNA website. Go to our website and click on

“Texts for Common Prayer”. Scroll down until you come to “Leaflet Scripture Inserts - Year B”. Click

on them and a beautiful insert will appear using the ACNA lectionary readings. The psalter for the

ACNA is based on a reworking of the Coverdale Psalter that C.S. Lewis and T.S. Elliot worked on. It

has been adapted to modern language. Our new psalter will begin to appear in these inserts. Also printed

on the insert is a Seasonal Greeting, Collect of the Day, and the Proper Preface. From time to time there

will also be liturgical hints printed in italics. This is a great resource. It will go a long way to helping us

move toward our new lectionary. I highly encourage you to look at this resource and begin to use it.

 

The Task Force has also moved from three Eucharistic Rites to two. They will be called the Standard

Text and the Ancient Text. They will soon appear on the “Texts for Common Prayer” section of the

ACNA website. Some of the awkward language of earlier trial texts has been corrected. There was a

strong effort to preserve the rhythm of older forms. This is very helpful particularly in familiar texts like

the Prayer of Humble Access. The new Standard text has some lines drawn beside parts of the

Eucharistic Prayer. This makes those paragraphs optional. By omitting those parts one can shorten the

prayer or adapt it to make it very similar to the ’79 BCP prayer A. I encourage you to look at these texts

when they are published in the next few days. It is good to use the texts in preparation for the printing of

the new BCP.

 

We continue to build strong ecumenical relationships with other churches. We also continue to build

strong relationships with other conservative Anglican Provinces.

It has become clear that Bishop Jones who oversees chaplains in the ACNA and Anglican chaplains in

the military needed help. His diocese is literally worldwide. The blessing is that many chaplains have

decided to join the ACNA. In order to help him minister, the College approved the ordination of two

suffragan bishops. This was a very joyful thing to me in that one of the suffragans is Mike Williams.

Mike is a dear friend and our friendship goes all the way back to seminary at Trinity, Ambridge.

The College also heard from Bishop Humphrey who serves the Anglican Church in Pakistan. He was a

truly loving leader and we were all blessed by his message of preaching the Gospel courageously in the

face of persecution.

 

Perhaps the most important thing that happens when the College gathers is the relationship we build and

the fellowship we share. It helps us to understand we are part of something much larger than the local

diocese. We have all been blessed by the leadership of our past Archbishop, Bob Duncan and our current

Archbishop, Foley Beach.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

Bishop Mark