*NOTICE TO SYNOD* - Recommendation Re: Constitution Amendment
Visit the Synod 2021 tab to view the proposed Constitution amendment recommended by the Committee on Constitution and Canons of the Diocese.
A CALL TO PRAYER FROM ARCHBISHOP FOLEY BEACH REGARDING THE SITUATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN, HAITI, AND THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
August 18, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Like many of you, I have been soberly watching the situation unfolding in Afghanistan. I know it has surfaced many emotions for people across the world, especially those who have personal connections with Afghanistan and the Afghan people. Whether justified or unjustified, war is always a tragic consequence of the Fall. While in war we can witness the greatness of human courage and selflessness, we also realize the depths of human sinfulness, as poet Robert Burns wrote, “man’s inhumanity to man.” Please join me in prayer for the people of Afghanistan, those Afgans and Americans seeking safe passage out of the country, and those on the ground continuing to help. Pray for wisdom for leaders at all levels who face very difficult decisions. Pray for the ever-growing underground Church in Afghanistan. Even more, pray that all Afghanis, especially those in power, are met by the Holy Spirit and come to personally know the risen Christ. Please join me in prayer and fasting with special prayers in our worship services this coming Sunday. I want to send a personal message to all the military, foreign service, civil service, contractors, missionaries, and aid workers, and their families, who have given so much of their blood, sweat, and tears in service to their nations and for the welfare of the Afghan people. Know that your efforts are not in vain. You selflessly answered the call to service, sacrificing many things, and risking your own life for others. Many of you bear the scars, visible and invisible. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) These words may resonate so deeply in your souls in a way that many will never understand because they are words that you have lived by. However, our Lord knows. He also bears the scars. It is through His indescribable love for us that He gave His own life on the cross. The things of this fallen world will disappoint us, but our God never will. For those who are feeling burdened, please don’t go through this alone. Please contact your clergy or one of the many veterans’ groups. We love you and we thank you for all the things you have done. Additionally, please offer up prayers for all those affected by the recent earthquake and tropical storms, especially those in Haiti, as well as the ongoing COVID pandemic. The depth of suffering, loss, and heartache so many are experiencing at this time can only be met by the supernatural Presence of the Lord. As the world seemingly darkens, remember that the Church is to be a light to the world, pointing to the One who is the Light of life. Let us remain united together in Christ, as citizens of heaven, opposing the powers of darkness, and remembering what Saint Paul wrote: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) TheAnglican Relief and Development Fund has begun raising funds for support for Afghan refugees and the people of Haiti. Donations for Afghan refugees can be made via this link: https://ardf.org/joseph-fund. Those who want to give towards Haiti should give via this link: https://ardf.org/relief-haiti-2021. Your brother in Jesus Christ, The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
A Letter from Archbishop Beach on the Diocese of the Upper Midwest
July 10, 2021
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Anglican Church in North America,
This past Spring, the Diocese of the Upper Midwest engaged a third-party investigative firm to review its handling over the past two years of revelations and allegations of sexual abuse by a Lay Catechist in one of their congregations. Due to the Anglican Church in North America’s governance principle of subsidiarity, Canonical responsibility and authority in these matters rests with the local diocese. However, the bishop and the diocese have now formally requested that the Province become involved, and I want to apprise you of this matter.
This week, on July 8th, 2021, I received a request for a leave of absence from Bishop Stewart Ruch, III, Bishop of the Diocese of the Upper Midwest. Bishop Ruch requested this with a desire “to create any needed space for the Province to take next steps regarding this serious matter and to assure the people in the diocese as well as the survivors involved that there will be a transparent and independent process.” I have granted Bishop Ruch permission for this leave, effective immediately.
Later that day, I received a request from the Bishop’s Council (Standing Committee) of the Diocese of the Upper Midwest asking that the Province take up oversight of the investigation into mishandling of abuse charges in the diocese. The Bishop’s Council has also requested a review of their diocesan leadership structures. I have agreed to both requests.
A Provincial Response Team is being formed by Provincial leaders to take oversight of this process, committed to act with thorough professionalism and with deep care for the survivors. This team will include diverse representation of women and men with experience in these areas. We are prayerful and hopeful that this will help bring forth truth and confidence so healing and restoration can be facilitated.
The Provincial Response Team will be responsible to select all appropriate entities for this investigation and for the care of survivors. The Team will continue to engage with the survivors throughout the investigation and to conduct this investigation with transparency and integrity. The Province takes this seriously and desires to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7) and to “conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1:27).
Additionally, I will appoint a team in coordination with the Provincial Governance Task Force to review the diocesan leadership structures and cooperate with the Provincial Response Team to any extent necessary.
We will provide timely updates as this process moves forward. If you or anyone you know has questions or comments, you are welcome to email the Provincial Response Team at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I ask for your regular prayers and intercessions for those who have been harmed and now suffer, the clergy and people of the Diocese of the Upper Midwest, Bishop Ruch and his family, and the Provincial Response Team who will now have oversight of this process.
In Christ Jesus, The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach Archbishop and Primate The Anglican Church in North America
Prayer Request for Congregations in Search Process
Please keep in prayer these churches in our diocese who are currently in the search process for their next rector or associate rector: All Saints Anglican Church, Rochester, NY Church of the Ascension, Marion, IN St. John's, Canton, OH St. Timothy's, Elizabethtown, KY