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A Global Family

This upcoming Sunday, we welcome Bishop John Guernsey and his wife, Meg. Every year our Bishop visits us, his very presence a reminder that we are a part of something much bigger than our own local congregation. Resting under the authority of our Bishop, we are woven into the greater Anglican expression of God’s Kingdom through the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, which in turn rests within the Anglican Church of North America, which links arms with Anglican followers of Jesus around the globe and through the generations. I appreciate the ACNA’s articulation of Anglicanism:


Anglicanism is a worldwide body of Christians responding to God’s revelation through Jesus Christ. Anglicanism brings together the authority of the Bible, the historic faith, and the beauty of structured prayer. It is rooted in tradition, yet contemporary in practice. It is united in substance, yet diverse in expression. We are a global family living out our faith in local communities.


Immanuel Anglican Church is a part of that “global family”!


On Sunday, Bishop John will also exercise one of his important roles as Bishop—confirming Scottie Cheatham, and receiving Janice Flynn. Our Book of Common Prayer 2019 describes this practice well:


The Anglican Church requires a public and personal profession of the Faith from every adult believer in Jesus Christ. Confirmation or Reception by a Bishop is its liturgical expression. Confirmation is clearly grounded in Scripture: the Apostles prayed for, and laid their hands on those who had already been baptized (2 Timothy 1:6-7; Acts 8:14-17; 19:6).


In Confirmation, through the Bishop’s laying on of hands and prayer for daily increase in the Holy Spirit, God strengthens the believer for Christian life in the service of Christ and his kingdom. Grace is God’s gift, and we pray that he will pour out his Holy Spirit on those who have already been made his children by adoption and grace in Baptism.


At the direction of the Bishop, and after public reaffirmation of their baptismal promises, those having made adult professions of faith in other Christian traditions (including those confirmed in other traditions) are received into the Anglican Church with prayer and the laying on of hands by a Bishop.


Join me in praying for Scottie and Janice on this important day in our life together.


Also join me in welcoming Bishop John and Meg! Wear your name tags and linger longer after the service to be with them. This will be one of our final opportunities to spend time with them. We’re fortunate in that we’ll get to be with them twice more, once for Deacon Sallie’s ordination to the priesthood on October 1st at All Saints’, and one final time for the consecration of our Mission Outpost (date TBD). Even so, be sure to take time to thank Bishop John and Meg for their years of faithfulness to us and to our diocese, and to stand with them in grateful anticipation of the next season of their lives.


Your Pastor in Christ,