Today, the Scottish Episcopal Church approved same-sex marriage. We knew this was coming. It was the subject of a great deal of conversation at the GAFCON Primates Meeting in Lagos recently. At that meeting, a coordinated action was planned and approved to consecrate a Bishop to care for those in Scotland and England that do not go along with these innovations. Since the meeting in Lagos, we have been going through the canonical process to consecrate the Rev. Canon Andy Lines at the request of the GAFCON Primates. Almost all of them will be at the Assembly where this historic consecration will take place. Please read the attached from Archbishop Foley Beach.
Dear Fellow Servants of the Lord:
Grace to you in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!
I am writing to you as a clergyperson of the Anglican Church in North America because I want you to be aware of events which are about to take place and of which the ACNA will be involved.
For several years now, clergy and congregations in Scotland and England have been asking us, Gafcon, and others to provide oversight as their situations have become intolerable due to the unbiblical compromises in theology and morality. The faithful in Scotland began by reaching out to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, but got no response. They then reached out to English bishops whom they thought might be willing to offer support. They received sympathetic responses, but no promise of material assistance. They then approached the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York again, and were rebuffed. Finally, they reached out to Gafcon for support.
The Gafcon primates and provinces have been seeking to find a solution for this since these requests began coming in. At the last Gafcon Primates meeting in Lagos this past April, the Gafcon Primates decided to consecrate Canon Andy Lines from the United Kingdom as a missionary bishop to Europe – providing Episcopal oversight to clergy and congregations in Scotland and those outside the Church of England. They also asked our Province if we would take on this responsibility.
After discussing this with the bishops and the Executive Committee, and after looking at our canonical requirements, we have prayerfully decided to consecrate the missionary bishop on behalf of Gafcon on Friday, June 30th in Wheaton, Il. This will be a time when the Gafcon Primates can participate in the service as most will be here in the U.S. for our Assembly (as well as other archbishops and bishops from around the world).
Although we are the consecrating Province, this is a Gafcon initiative and their presence will demonstrate that this is a global event. For those of us who were provided oversight and care by overseas Provinces in our time of need, it seems only right to now “give as we have been given to” and to “bless others as we have been blessed.”
I wanted you to know this ahead of time so that you can be praying, and so that you can celebrate this international event even as you labor in your own ministry and mission. He has given us an incredible mission field here in North America as the field is ripe for the harvest! Forward. Always forward. Everywhere forward!
Your brother in Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America