(Roanoke Times) A once fiery pastor is now an Anglican bishop

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...that turned-out parish, the Church of the Holy Spirit, not only survived, but under Lawrence’s leadership it has grown from a puny 45 members when he arrived to 1,500. It spawned three daughter churches, too.

Lawrence himself has matured into a wiser leader, more focused on bringing people to Jesus Christ than pounding the pulpit over those hot button issues.

For all those things, Lawrence was consecrated Monday evening as the fifth and newest bishop in the Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda and in the Anglican Church in North America.

“He’s a good guy,” said Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, archbishop of the Rwandan church, who joined in Lawrence’s consecration, along with Bishop Richard Duncan of the North American church. “He’s a pastor, a committed leader to his flock. I saw how he cares for his church, the members of his church.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Posted February 11, 2013 at 6:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

He declined to leave the church he’s helped build to make the job full time. He’s also taking no salary as bishop. That way, as a volunteer, if a demand of the job conflicts with serving his home parish, “I can say ‘no.’”

A reversion to the practice of TEC of yesteryear. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it comes with a price if the churches he is to serve are far-flung.

February 11, 10:17 am | [comment link]
2. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Another day, another bishop.  How many is that in Virginia now?

February 11, 11:31 am | [comment link]
3. Eastern Anglican wrote:

On the same day I read that Benedict XVI resigns, I also read there is another Alphabet Soup Anglican Bishop in the US.  At some point doesn’t this become an embarrassment? Are purple shirts and pointy hats now awarded as some sort of Ecclesiastical Gold Watch for service?  I know that Rome gives Pointy Hats and Sticks to people in reward for service, even to Diocese sans people. 

So TEC and ACNA, and all other Alphabet Soups, what is the correct ratio of people to bishop?  1:1, 100:1, 1000:1?  Both groups seem to be heading in the same direction.

February 11, 12:16 pm | [comment link]
4. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

A bishop for every city and town is an early Church norm!  Why the complaints about numbers?  Rejoice and be glad, a Gospel-proclaiming Bishop is a gift from God!  Bishop Quigg has an admirable track record in mission: the Church of the Holy Spirit and three daughter churches.

February 11, 1:23 pm | [comment link]
5. Eastern Anglican wrote:

I would be glad to return to the Ante-Nicene norm.  Bring it on!  A chicken in every pot and a purple shirt in every city (as long as they were my flavor). However, all the alphabets and denominations would need to be reunited into one geographical diocese under one bishop. Would you as an Anglican surrender to a Roman Bishop?  A TEC Bishop? An Orthodox Bishop?  A self-ordained baptist who calls himself a Bishop? I agree that it is a laudable ideal, and goal for which we should pray, as did our Lord.

I rejoice in faithful priests, deacons, bishops and laity.  I rejoice in a Gospel proclaiming church. I pray that God blesses his Episcopacy.

I do not dismiss his record, but does that make ministry as a bishop essential?

I ask what the need is for one more bishop? I argue the same within TEC, we have more bishops than needed under our current organization, and less than needed by the Ante-Nicene model. It seems that all of us in the Anglican Entities have not had a deep theological discussion on the role and need for bishops.  If it is each city, then let us unite.  If it is geographical, let us do the same.  If it is promotional, let us repent. 

And let us carry on the conversation for the other ordained orders.  Do we need so many priests or deacons?

All of this is the fruit of continued heresy, schism, and pride by all of us.  All of us have cause for repentance.  Of course, Ash Wednesday will soon arrive.

February 11, 1:44 pm | [comment link]
6. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Why the complaints about numbers?

Well I am sure Lawrence Quigg is an excellent pastor and church planter, but four parishes doth not a diocese make.  Oh that ACNA were as fast at planting churches as they appear to be at breeding bishops.

You see the problem is not with the people who are being made bishops, it is the absense of structure.  Over here we are trying to reduce the number of bishops, and their costs.  The Anglican church traditionally has a ladder of delegation and hierachy so that decisions are made at a more local level and a bishop comes in usually at the end of that process, so we have parishes with vicars and rectors, those are grouped into teams and deaneries with their own structures fitted for the locality, or in the cases of cathedrals, deans.  Then and only then at diocesan level does one find the diocesan bishop and such suffragans and assistants as he feels he needs.

The proliferation of bishops which one finds in both TEC and more so ACNA and its various constituents suggests little structure or planning, and well if you meet an ACNA bishop it is like someone in a US company handing you a business card which described the person as a ‘Vice-President’ of his organisation - you know he isn’t really, nor probably is he someone in any position of real seniority, more likely a junior manager, or a salesman. 

Contrast the geographical use of bishops in Nigeria where the question is ‘how many districts does he cover’ with that in the US where increasingly the question is ‘how many bishops are there in this district’.

It may be a cultural thing in the US to make everyone a VP or a bishop, but in an Anglican context it is top heavy and to us a bit peculiar.  How about making some Archdeacons, and let them grow their skills before making them bishops. 

We are obsessed with bishops in the West, my church spends all its energies on little else.

February 11, 1:46 pm | [comment link]
7. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

PM, I intend a serious reply once I get off work, but just off the top of my head, may I ask if the skills you think need growing are the ones in which the Bishops learn to over-ride Synod in their collegial haste to make women bishops or some other skills, such as -oh, say- church growing or planting or nurturing or evangelisation?  Perhaps profound lessons in actual attendance and conversion of the nominal?

I take my tongue out of my cheek, now!

February 11, 5:32 pm | [comment link]
8. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “Are purple shirts and pointy hats now awarded as some sort of Ecclesiastical Gold Watch for service?”

“Barkeep—a pointy hat for my friend here!”

RE: “it is like someone in a US company handing you a business card which described the person as a ‘Vice-President’ of his organisation - you know he isn’t really, nor probably is he someone in any position of real seniority, more likely a junior manager, or a salesman.”

I think there are a number of psychological influences on this trend which, let’s face it, also occurred in droves with the Continuing churches.

For one thing, one of the underlying foundational presuppositions of ACNA appears to be that the fall of TEC was in large part due to the HOD over the HOB.  It’s wildly—delusionally—inaccurate, but there it is.  You can see that foundational presupposition carried out in the pretty-awful Canons and Constitution they approved which essentially gives nothing more than “you’re welcome to voice your opinion” power to the laity and clergy, and almost the entirety of the decision making power to their House of Bishops.

So—one must, of course, “be a bishop” in order to actually have any “power.”

The other thing I think really rankled a lot of folks who were in TEC was the fact that good clergy were abused by lousy corrupt bishops.  So . . . they’ve got to “get their own back” by providing all the persecuted leaders with their own pointy hats.  After all . . . they went through a bunch of nasty stuff in TECusa—so the least that could be done is to make them bishops.  I think that’s a lot of the psychology behind giving so many pointy hats.

And then, there’s the whole issue of wanting to interact with all the OTHER bishops out there—on an “equal footing” . . .

And then there’s the self-justification that this is going to be “just like the African model” whereby a “missionary bishop” [one who, by and large, has absolutely none of the requisite skills for this] is going to run around and “plant churches” so that sure they only have four parishes now, but look at all the hundreds they’ll have five years from now!

Lots and lots of “reasons” . . .

February 11, 6:14 pm | [comment link]
9. David Keller wrote:

I have previously vowed to make no more comments on T19 as I am no longer part of TEC. However, I know a little about the structure of PEAR USA. PEAR USA currently has three “dioceses”, or regional councils; Southeastern, which currently has no bishop, Western which will consecrate a bishop this spring and Mid-Atlantic which just consecrated Lawrence. There is a missionary bishop in New England who does not have a jurisdiction at present. There is also a Bishop-Presider. All of these bishops are rectors of churches and have been extraordinarily successful in church planting and church growth. PEAR USA is, by definition is a church planting entity. PEAR andPEAR USA believe unity comes through the cross, not through structure and finances. The PEAR USA bishops also sit on the House of Bishops of ACNA.  There is free transport of priests between PEAR USA and ACNA. The hope is we will all eventually be one body. As to the comment about the number of bishops in Virginia, I am not sure, but I personally don’t count the TEC bishops in that number. They are a very large part of the reason I am not there. Please read the oath of conformity which PEAR USA clergy must take. If you can find a TEC bishop who could take it without crossing his fingers, I’d be happy, though incredibly surprized, to meet him.

February 11, 6:43 pm | [comment link]
10. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “How many is that in Virginia now?”

Pageantmaster, judging by a quick check of the ACNA website, it *appears* that bishops with jurisdiction of various parishes *connected with* ACNA parishes in Virginia are:

—the REC bishop
—the PEAR bishop [ministry partner]
—the CANA bishop
—the ACNA bishop [for the strictly ACNA parishes]
—the APA bishop [ministry partner]
—the Diocese of the Holy Cross bishop [ministry partner]

That doesn’t include the various Continuing entities which are not connected in any way to ACNA.

PEAR bishops in the US, as nearly as I can see from the PEAR website [not assessing whether they have diocesan jurisdiction]:

Rt. Rev. Kenneth Ross
Rt. Rev. Thad Barnum
Rt. Rev. Terrell Glenn
Rt. Rev. Quigg Lawrence

February 11, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
11. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

PM said: “You see the problem is not with the people who are being made bishops, it is the absense of structure.”

Yes and No.  Yes, compared to the subsequently developed monarchial systemization to which you refer and which exists currently in East and West.  No, compared to the early Church situation in the early second century when this was the normal structure and which extended for quite some time in the East (4th Century) and longer in the West (8th or 9th Century). 

I refer to THE BYZANTINE-SLAV LITURGY of ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM: Its Origin and Evolution by Casimir Kucharek , Alleluia Press, 1971, which I was reading out of interest in matters liturgical, and which came to mind as I read your comments and those of Eastern Anglican.

Within the context of the discussion of the Fraction at Eucharist, Fr. Kucharek notes (on page 66): “Early in the second century there arose the touching custom of the fermentum .  A fragment of the consecrated bread from the bishop’s Eucharist was carried to other, lesser churches of the city where the presbyters were celebrating the Liturgy, to express the bishop’s supremacy or ‘presidency’ over his whole church.  In the East, the custom probably died out in the fourth century.  In Rome itself, however, it survived till the eighth or ninth century.”  On page 204, “In the pre-Nicene Church, a bishop generally had only one parish in his ‘diocese;’ the presbyters/priests, deacons, etc., were his assistants in that parish.  By the end of the third century, every bishop had under his care at least several parishes, each with their own presbyter and minor clergy; the practice of the fermentum proves this (see p. 66 for history).  Care of the main parish belonged to the bishop, while the administration of the others, the ‘lesser parishes,’ was delegated to presbyters and other minor clergy.  Since most people whether living in urban areas or in the outlying villages belonged to these ‘lesser’ parishes, we may conclude that the most frequent type of Liturgy in both East and West was the Presbyter’s.  ...In the West, the letters of Gregory the Great often mention the need tor ordain presbyters and deacons for churches which had no bishop.”

This structure is not the one we are most familiar with, I grant.  But it is a structure which has served the Church and herGreat Shepherd.  If one were to set all of them up as monarchials and give them the perks accumulated through the Middle Ages, well, it could be a bit pricey.  And well we know that the seizure of such centralized power by Arians and worse have historical precedent and marked abuse of such power (e.g., TEc and its heretical usurpers and CoE and its HOB monarchialists’ whinging dogging of the Synod serfs as modern counterparts).

So I reject the concept that these are solely bishops in that monarchial-post-Middle-Ages mentality.  I think that their role is that of missionary bishops, especially at present.  The numbers of people and distances involved in their oversight responsibilities and the need for “hands on” care quite accord, I think.  I think Eastern Anglican has it right that we have too few bishops for the pre-Nicene model of being Church.  Within the context of the secular society, as within the pagan society of the Roman Empire, this may be a good ‘return to the basics’ of evangelisation.

Within that contextualization, some of the problems belonging to the CoE have not yet arisen (We could pray they would be obviated!) and some of the problems of TEc could be avoided.  It is an experiment worth trying when there are 130 million unreached persons in North America.  So, in modern parlance, perhaps this is the indigenous bishop format for the New World!  That’s a thought, eh?  But the purveyors of Western cultural imperialism might think it a bit too indigenous!

February 11, 8:48 pm | [comment link]
12. Todd Granger wrote:

Well put, dwstroudmd+.  There is no reason that the medieval-juridical model and its postmedieval forms need be our model for the episcopate.  More bishops and smaller numbers of churches under their care is not unknown in the modern world.  I recall reading in Bishops, but What Kind? an essay by Bishop Kallistos (Timothy) Ware, in which he noted that most dioceses in modern Greece and southern Italy are about the size of a rural deanery in Britain.  Given a smaller territory and a smaller number of churches under his care, the bishop could function more ably as a pastor to all the people of God in his cure, and not only as a pastor to his clergy.  Ware wrote that the faithful would frequently go to the bishop’s house or church to petition him - though their access to the bishop was usually controlled by an sturdy archimandrite with a staff!

Why could such a model of smaller dioceses and more bishops not be appropriate to the post-Christendom context, as dwstroudmd+ suggests, particularly because it emphasizes the pastoral (and evangelistic), and not the prelatical or the administrative aspects of the ministry?  So I say, bring on the norm of a bishop over ten or a dozen churches (or, in some cases, fewer)!

I don’t deny that ACNA, PEARUSA, CANA, REC all need to coalesce their jurisdictions (writing as a member of one of those jurisdictions), but there are theological and historical reasons for these things (I hesitate to conjure psychological reasons), and union takes time if it is to take for a long time.  To their credit, the ACNA College of Bishops have recognized the scandal of overlapping jurisdictions and are committed to seeing them disappear in the fullness of time.

February 11, 10:38 pm | [comment link]
13. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Thanks for the many responses to me, which I shall think about.  Whatever the question, I am unconvinced that more bishops is the answer.

dwstroudmd+ [have you taken holy orders?] - As you have perceived, I am underwhelmed by the CofE’s HOB and its performance and priorities at the moment, and that includes +Justin’s first outing as ABC, but more of that anon.

February 11, 11:54 pm | [comment link]
14. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “So I say, bring on the norm of a bishop over ten or a dozen churches (or, in some cases, fewer)!”

Well if *that’s* the goal it certainly is a far cry from the original and oft-stated rhetoric of 4-5 years ago when ACNA was going to “grow into” their number of bishops.

But at least it looks like it will easily meet this one.

RE: “I don’t deny that ACNA, PEARUSA, CANA, REC all need to coalesce their jurisdictions . . . “

As an outside observer I’ve thought it helpful for the separate jurisdictions to exist.

February 12, 12:17 am | [comment link]
15. MichaelA wrote:

I have difficulty following the arguments behind some of the posts on this thread. 

At one point, someone suggested that +Quigg Lawrence only has four congregations under him - really? According to the PEARUSA web-site, their “regional networks” contain from 8 - 25 congregations, spread over a wide geographic area.  I would have thought that is more than enough to appoint a bishop.  If he is really only pastoring four congregations can someone give a citation for that?

Some posts have suggested that the number of bishops (even of unrelated jurisdictions) in a geographical area has some relevance to whether a particular group of churches should have a bishop or not - I am still scratching my head over the “logic” of that one. 

A person who has served as a bishop remains a bishop even after they cease from diocesan duties - their existence is entirely irrelevant to the appointment of a new bishop to fill a diocesan role.  That remains the case even when retired bishops are called out of retirement to fulfil some function or other, as happens from time to time in every jurisdiction. 

In my own diocese (Sydney, Australia) the ratio of area bishops to congregation varies between 1:40 and 1:50, which I think is about as good as it ever gets for Anglicans.  But the number of bishops in our diocese is much, much greater.  It includes bishops from other diocese who have come to Sydney to retire, as well as our own retirees.  And at any point in time, several of those retired bishops may be “active” in some sense.  For example, at one time I was a parishioner at a congregation where the rector was a bishop - he had reached retirement age as an area bishop, but the archbishop asked him to pastor a congregation that had some special needs and he was the person with the gravitas and gifts to guide that it through its troubles.  He agreed to do it for a couple of years - so he was an “active” bishop even though he was in reality a rector and had nothing to with the “real” ratio of area bishops to congregations.  All quite normal and acceptable by Anglican standards.

There is the added complication that PEARUSA is going through realignment and recovery after some horrid times.  I would have thought that the best thing ++Rwaje can do is appoint the best available person to be the chief pastor (bishop) of the Atlantic Regional Network churches - regardless of how many other bishops may be in his geographic area, whether TEC, ACNA, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox or any other flavour of bishop.  The only needs that matter are those of these particular congregations.

February 12, 2:46 am | [comment link]
16. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

As to Holy Orders, yes.  I was ordained a deacon in July 2010.  I was ordained to the presbyterate in February 2011.  I will have been a priest for two years on 23 February.

I do not think that the monarchial formulation of the office of bishop is the only way it can be structured for the benefit of the Church.  My point is not that everyone should multiply bishops ad nauseum.  But I do think that there are good historical precedents that allow for understanding the role of the bishop in ways that are advantageous to spreading the Gospel and the ancient organization of the Body in modern times.  And, as i indicated above, this observation was tangential to the liturgical reading I was doing and popped up and out in regard to the observations made early in the thread.

What I find fascinating is how we commit “chronological snobbery” (to borrow CS Lewis’ terminology) un-reflectively in regard to Church order.  I was surprised to learn about this aspect of Early Church organization - though there are intimations of it in Acts and certainly the Epistles of Paul, John and James.  What struck me in the juxtaposition of this increase in my knowledge base and of the increase in bishops was the new perspective it granted.  Clearly the Church under the heel of the secularists may respond as it did under the Imperium of Rome.  Similarity of social order might draw out the Holy Spirit in similarity of Church order.

Then, again, perhaps there is a large component of American-ism involved as well.  It could be both/and rather than either/or.  If subsequent history is a model of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the numbers should gradually decrease and it may be that geographical units larger than towns or cities might come under one bishop even within/amongst the alphabet soup!

On the other hand, would that God grant all these bishops grow dioceses of 40 to 50 churches under their evangelistic episcopal ministrations.  That would go far toward reaching the unreached 130 millions in North America!

February 12, 8:42 pm | [comment link]
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