ACNA '09: New Province Kicks off with Smells, Bells, Sermon and Ratified Constitution
By David W. Virtue in Bedford, Texas
It was an historic day in the life of North American Anglicanism.
A new orthodox Anglican province was born amidst joy and hope, years of hard work, lawsuits, losses, tears and alienation.
But it has happened. Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, soon to be archbishop-elect of the Anglican Church of North America thundered from the pulpit of St. Vincent's Cathedral that God chose these days because He had a message to deliver. "It's about mission," he cried, "it's about our part in that mission. It's about being witnesses to Jesus and about being fore-runners of Jesus.
"Are we ready," roared Duncan. "Are we willing?"
"We are," roared the 800 attendees that included 234 delegates, 533 other attendees as well as 35 international Anglican and ecumenical guests.
The Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, Bishop of Ft. Worth told the people that this is a historic moment for us all and "we are delighted that at last the time for the first provincial assembly has arrived."
"Over the next four days, we will be together we will be praying, singing, studying God's word, deliberately breaking bread. Most importantly we will be seeking God's will and His blessing for us as a Church.
"With God's help, we will begin a new chapter in our lives as Anglicans. We will strive together to build a biblical, missionary and united body in the mainstream of Anglicanism."
This is a day that many have prayed and yearned for. "I'm from Georgia and our parish faces a lawsuit over the property. I would be depressed about it, but here I am seeing the birth of something new. Whatever happens with the property, God is doing something new here and I am glad to be a part of it. God wins."
Similar sentiments were expressed by both delegates and attendees.
The soon to be retired Archbishop of Kenya, The Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi was all smiles as he shook hands and talked with delegates.
"When I retire as Archbishop, I am going to be an evangelist throughout Africa. I want to tell the story of Jesus to everyone I see," he told VOL.
In today's digest, we have covered the opening address of Bishop Duncan, as well as the full text of his message. Fr. Michael Heidt wrote about the ratification of the New Constitution while the news analysis commentaries were by Canon Gary L'Hommedieu and Mary Ann Mueller.
We will be posting to the website as fast as stories are written. We will post a digest daily for all VOL's readers.
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