A Christmas Message from Archbishop Beach

A merry and happy Christmas to you!

I’m addressing you from in front of Abney Park Chapel, an historic church built on a piece of property that Isaac Watts, the famous hymn and song writer, used to live. Isaac Watts brought us the famous Christmas hymn “Joy to the World.” “Joy to the World” is based on Psalm 98. There are so many good verses in this Psalm, but the overall theme is about singing and praising the Lord and having joy because of the salvation He’s brought to the world.

We find allusions to this Psalm when the shepherds are out in the field and the angels appear to tell them about Jesus being born in Bethlehem. The angels tell the shepherds this, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12) 

Part of the message of Psalm 98 and of this message from the angels is that, because of this salvation that is going to be brought into the world because of Jesus being born, people will have great joy!

When I think about joy in the Christian life, I am reminded of something I was taught early on in my Christian walk about having joy in one’s life as we follow Jesus. It is based on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. It’s a very simple acronym, JOY: Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.

Philippians 1:21 says, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” In other words, we make him the priority. He’s the first thing in our life. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” Jesus said.

Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but in humility regard others as more important than yourself.” Do not merely look after your own interests, but also the interests of others. It’s so easy in our selfish world to think of ourselves first, but part of having joy is thinking of the other person before yourself.

And the “y” is for yourself. You are so important to the Lord! You are important to His cause and His purposes on earth.

So, here we are at Christmas, and God desires for you and me to have His joy. As Isaac Watts wrote, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room. And heaven and nature sing.”

I hope this Christmas you are preparing room in your heart for our Lord Jesus Christ. But not only that, that you’re putting Him first, the other second, and yourself last.

God bless you!

Merry Christmas,
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Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
Gafcon Chairman



DiscipleLife 2020: Joint Conference with North American Lutheran Church

The Anglican Church in North America is co-hosting the first-ever joint conference with the North American Lutheran Church focusing on discipleship and partnering at the grassroots level.

The ecumenical consultation between the Anglican Church in North America and the North American Lutheran Church began on March 27, 2012 at Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA, and continues to meet semi-annually. Trinity School for Ministry has been well-known as a seminary in the Anglican tradition and more recently has also partnered with the North American Lutheran Church. According to the consultation, “the goal of these meetings has been, from the start, finding ways that the two bodies could cooperate in critically important areas of common concern in our modern context in North America,” specifically at the grassroots, congregational level.

To aid in these efforts, the consultation conceived the idea to bring congregational leaders – lay and clergy - together for a conference and fellowship between the two Churches.

DiscipleLife 2020 will bring this vision to fruition February 13-15, 2020 at the Sheraton Orlando North hotel. Speakers include Archbishop Foley Beach, Bishop Dan Selbo (NALC), Bishop Todd Hunter, and many more.

Please consider joining us for this unique opportunity to join in Gospel mission with our fellow Christ followers.

Book your room by January 13 to secure special conference rates.

Register and learn more here.

Prayer for Discipleship Life 2020

Our loving Heavenly Father, we give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Through him You have reconciled the world to Yourself and called us to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; and to teach everything he commanded us.  We pray for the Disciple Life Conference in February in Orlando, where Anglican and Lutheran Christians will meet together.  We pray that You would renew and equip us for the ministry of making disciples.  Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon our churches.  Empower us to make disciples.  Enable us to share the love of Christ with all people.  Raise up laborers/labourers for the harvest as we pray, learn, and worship together.  In all things may we work as one to bring glory to Your Name so that the world may come to acknowledge Your Son as Lord and Savior.  “Now to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Disciple Life 2020

The Anglican Church in North America and the North American Lutheran Church would both describe themselves as “Great Commission” churches—committed to the Lord’s charge to “Go, make disciples…baptize…teach…” (Matthew 28:19-20). Other Christian bodies in North America share the same focus, but lack the commitment to the key role of Word and Sacrament in forming Christians who will be disciples and followers of Jesus, intentionally, authentically and with accountability. Essential to such forming of disciples is community, and developing congregational cultures which foster and support disciple-making. As simple as they sound, disciple-making and creating congregations with disciple-making cultures are not familiar or comfortable to most Lutherans and Anglicans in the 21st Century!

Join us for this opportunity for biblically-grounded Anglicans and Lutherans to meet together, get to know one another and network for greater mission and ministry in local contexts; and to acknowledge and embrace “small steps” toward disciple-making at the local level—fostering an “awakening toward action,” regardless of the size of the congregation, or the experience of clergy and laity; and to return home encouraged and empowered to get involved, to get motivated and to get moving with regard to being disciples and making disciples! 

Learn more at disciplelife2020.org

Note: If you have had trouble making hotel reservations, please call Hanna at the Sheraton Orlando North, 407-551-7507 for assistance.


Prayer for Discipleship Life 2020

Our loving Heavenly Father, we give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Through him You have reconciled the world to Yourself and called us to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; and to teach everything he commanded us.  We pray for the Disciple Life Conference in February in Orlando, where Anglican and Lutheran Christians will meet together.  We pray that You would renew and equip us for the ministry of making disciples.  Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon our churches.  Empower us to make disciples.  Enable us to share the love of Christ with all people.  Raise up laborers/labourers for the harvest as we pray, learn, and worship together.  In all things may we work as one to bring glory to Your Name so that the world may come to acknowledge Your Son as Lord and Savior.  “Now to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.