4 Jan 2019
Greetings, this New Year, 2019!
Under the spiritual guidance of Archbishops George Forde, Vincent Waterman and Wilfred Portier, a charge was given October 10, 1996 to rebuild this church, and so, on February 22, 1997, the journey began. We have had highs and lows, but we have seen the ACW touch every corner of the world. We rejoice in the fact that the ACW is still carrying forth the mission given us by the Gospel and enhanced by our goal of “Reaching out to the world!”
Now the leadership has been passed on to a new generation under the guidance of our Metropolitan Archbishop Ernest Anthony Ross, who will preside from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. We pray Gods guidance on him.
All bishops in the Anglican Church Worldwide are in good standing and submit their obedience to the House of Bishops. They will assist Metr. Abp. Ernest as requested. We are mindful that current leaders may not witness the ACW’s eventual success, just as Bishops Richard Allen, of the AME Church, and Charles Mason, of the Church of God in Christ, passed away before they could see the generational investment of their work began paying interest in the their own denominations. The churches they sparked are now worldwide, and both the AME and the COGIC are vibrant forces touching lives in many nations. We pray that future generations will be just as blessed by the ACW.
Our Metropolitan Archbishop Ernest Ross, now 48 years of age, and Bishop-Elect James Burke, age 44, will carry the charge to the future. Bishop-Elect Burke will preside from Grenada in the West Indies until further notice.
As I retire to take personal care of my long-ignored health, as our doctors have demanded, we will never be far away. We will take the charge as Dean of the Good Shepherd Cathedral in Belleville, Illinois, which remains the ACW Chancery.
Metropolitan Archbishop Ernest has fully committed himself to his task and, will in time, make visitations to all the parishes in the USA, Canada, West Indies and Australia. We have decided to not immediately visit Africa due to lack of verifications and factual information.
The Metropolitan has made the decision that there will be a new focus on ACW media as our outreach to the world. Two faithful benefactors have made generous contributions in support of this mission for the year of 2019. I will serve as an advisor on mission goals at his request.
Two branches have been formed from the ACW over the years--All Nations Anglican Church, or ANAC, and the Worldwide Anglican Church, the WAC. We fully support ANAC, as their ministry and leadership are directed as the Gospel demands, with verified clerical fellowship. We do not support the WAC. They have trodden a divisive path of deceit, presenting fake clergy and membership numbers and plagiarizing the work of the ACW as their own. Yet we continue to pray for them. Their current leader Bishop Lwamga, elevated to Archbishop while he was still in good standing with the ACW, has been defrocked from this vestment of office. We now carry no relationship with him, other than our prayers that he and the WAC will cease their non-Christian ways and come again into the honest fellowship of believers.
In a 2018 published report of the Church of England it was reported that over 900 parishes have left the body, mostly for policy reasons. And the Roman Catholic Church has lost over two million members worldwide, mainly over clergy sexual misconduct. We will not dwell on this, but encourage all of our member and clergy to continue walking in holiness, allowing the Holy Spirit to be their guide. A church is not determined by numbers but by that which manifests God’s Glory.
While retired, I have pledged my faithful support to our Metropolitan Archbishop Ernest, our House of Bishops, and other successors. I thank all of them, especially the bishops, for their support during my tenure in the various offices of the church. I shall forever be grateful and I pray that God will continue to guide the Anglican Church Worldwide.
As I celebrate 45 years of ordination as an Anglican priest this 4th of January, I remain your ever faithful servant, ++Hartley, Dean of the Good Shepherd Cathedral