Anglican Church Praying for Tornado Victims

Update: Read the latest from Virtue Online regarding our member parish in Joplin. Reformed Episcopal Church Bishop Sam Seamans was on the ground on the 26th and brought this video footage back with him.
The Anglican Church in North America and its members immediately went to the Lord in prayer following the devastating tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., on Sunday, May 22. With an estimated death toll of 125 at press time, the twister is the deadliest of its kind since officials began keeping records in 1950. Roughly 1,500 people have been reported missing, in addition to 750 who were injured. Neighborhoods were leveled and 2,000 buildings were destroyed according to news reports.

The storm system that impacted Joplin comes in the middle of a record year for tornadoes, as recovery efforts continue in the South and more deaths and injuries were reported across the Midwest this week. The National Weather Service told CBS News, “There were 506 tornadoes reported in the U.S. through this date last year. It’s already more than double that - 1,151 - this year.” It was also noted that tornadoes have killed more than 500 people so far in 2011, seven times the average.

The Anglican Church in North America has nine member parishes in Missouri, including Church of Our Savior in Joplin, part of the Reformed Episcopal Church. The Senior Warden reports the building they rent for worship services was completely destroyed along with all furnishings and materials. However, the church is offering prayers of thanks as no one in the congregation was injured or killed.

The Anglican Church in North America has been in close communication with Bishop Royal Grote of the Reformed Episcopal Church Diocese of Mid-America to discern how we can best aid in the recovery efforts. In addition to prayer, those who feel led to contribute financially can mail checks to: Diocese of Mid-America, 4142 Dayflower Dr., Katy, TX 77494 with “Church of Our Savior Joplin” noted in the memo line. The Anglican Church office is also contacting member parishes in Missouri to organize teams that can assist on the ground.

Almighty and eternal Father, we appeal to you, asking for a pouring out of your Holy Spirit on all who are suffering through the devastation wrought by deadly winds in Joplin, Missouri, and across the region. We ask comfort and hope for those who suffer without the assurance of knowing your Son our Lord, Christ Jesus. We ask for strength, courage, and compassion for all Christians, and especially our Anglican brothers and sisters as they seek to serve others while enduring their own losses. Give us all generous hearts and open hands. Enable us to send help that demonstrates your love and your character flowing through us. Trusting in your merciful Providence, we lay all these troubles and sorrows before you in the name of your Son our Savior Jesus.  Amen.

Photo Caption: On this Sunday, May 22, 2011 photo, two young Joplin, Mo, residents carry their dog and head to a rescue center after their home was destroyed by a tornado that hit the southwest Missouri city on Sunday evening. The tornado tore a path a mile wide and four miles long destroying homes and businesses. Credit: Mike Gullett/Associated Press

Mid-Atlantic Anglicans Vote to Move Forward with Becoming a New Anglican Church Diocese

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (May 21, 2011) – The Anglican Church in North America welcomed the news that Anglicans in the Mid-Atlantic region voted to pursue diocesan status as the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. The group of congregations, currently joined together as the Anglican District of Virginia, also voted to elect The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey as its bishop. If the petition for diocesan status is approved, the formal transition to the new structure under the leadership of Bishop Guernsey will take place this fall.

The votes were taken during a constitutional convention meeting in Herndon, Va., on May 20-21. A special event was also held to express gratitude for the service of retiring Bishop David Bena.

“It is with great joy that we receive the petition from Mid-Atlantic Anglicans to become a formal diocese within the Anglican Church in North America. The growth of the Anglican District of Virginia and its unwavering commitment to planting new churches and winning hearts for the Gospel has been a beacon of light to the whole Anglican Church. The move towards diocesan status serves only to strengthen our existing relationship and would provide a geographic home for orthodox Anglicans throughout the Mid-Atlantic region,” said The Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America.

“This group of churches has been truly blessed and nurtured by Godly leaders including Bishops Martyn Minns and David Bena. As the diocesan process moves forward, I know Bishop Guernsey will continue that tradition and provide Spirit-led leadership and oversight to the churches in the Mid-Atlantic region. His zeal for sharing the Good News of Christ and equipping churches to reach the least among us cannot be overstated,” Archbishop Duncan continued.

In addition to his proposed role within the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, Bishop John Guernsey already serves in a leadership capacity within the Anglican Church in North America. He is Bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit and serves on the Executive Committee of the Anglican Church. Click here to read more about Bishop Guernsey’s vision for the new diocese.

“I’m tremendously excited about what lies ahead for us in this new diocese. The clergy and people of our churches have a great love for the Lord Jesus, a commitment to the trustworthiness of His Word, and a passion for sharing the Good News. It will be a joy and a privilege to serve as their bishop,” Bishop John Guernsey stated.

Archbishop Duncan also acknowledged the extraordinary contribution of Archdeacon Julian Dobbs, who was the other nominee in the election for bishop of the Mid-Atlantic Diocese. “We look forward to the service that Archdeacon Dobbs will give to the Anglican Church in North America as newly appointed suffragan bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America,” Archbishop Duncan stated.

According to Anglican District of Virginia Chairman Jim Oakes, “In just a few years, we have grown to over 40 worshipping congregations, are planting churches, and have almost 7,000 people worshipping in our churches each Sunday. My prayer is that this group of churches and its leadership will make the trumpet sound even louder and bring more worshippers together in mission and ministry.”

The Anglican Church in North America ( unites some 100,000 Anglicans in nearly 1,000 congregations across the United States and Canada. The Anglican Church is a Province-in-formation in the global Anglican Communion. The Most Rev. Robert Duncan is the archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America and bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Anglican Church representative, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Caitlin Manaois at (703) 683-5004, ext. 119.

Photo caption: Bishop Guernsey speaks at a summit on church planting in Virginia.

The Anglican Church Welcomes Newly-Elected Bishop of the San Joaquin Diocese

On Saturday, May 14, during a special convention meeting, the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin elected The Rev. Dr. Eric Menees as its bishop and chief pastor. The meeting included clergy and lay delegates and was held at St. James Cathedral in Fresno, Calif. Bishop-elect Menees will succeed Bishop John-David Schofield, who has served the diocese since 1988 and will be retiring this fall.

“We are extremely grateful for the dedication of Bishop Schofield and are thankful for the Spirit-led deliberations among the people of the San Joaquin Diocese to elect a Godly leader to continue to grow the flock. Bishop-elect Menees has shown that he has a true passion for the Gospel and a servant’s heart. I am confident the Diocese of San Joaquin will be greatly blessed while in his care. Our prayers are with Bishop-elect Menees and the whole diocese,” said The Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America.

Bishop-elect Eric Menees currently serves as the Rector of the Anglican Church of the Resurrection in San Marcos, Calif. A graduate of the General Theological Seminary, he then received his Doctor of Ministry from Seabury Western. Bishop-elect Menees was ordained in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Prior to founding the Anglican Church of the Resurrection in 2006, he worked with Spanish-language ministries, served as the chaplain of the Bishop’s School in La Jolla, and took on the role of rector at Grace Episcopal Church in San Marcos. He and his wife have two children.

The consecration of Bishop-elect Menees is scheduled for Saturday, September 24 and the enthronement will take place on Sunday, October 23 to coincide with Bishop Schofield’s retirement. For time and location information, please click here.

Please join the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin in offering the following prayer:
Almighty Father, we thank you for raising up among us faithful servants for the ministry of your Word and Sacraments. We pray that Bishop-elect Eric may be to us an effective example in word and action, in love and patience, in holiness of life, and fidelity to your son and our Lord’s gospel. Grant that we, with him, may serve you now, and always rejoice in your glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.