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The Bishop of the Mid-Atlantic, the Rt. Rev. John Guernsey August 21, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church in North America.
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The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey

The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey will be installed as first bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic—formerly known as the Anglican District of Virgina—on Sept 10, 2011 at Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia.  Archbishop Robert Duncan announced the date of his investiture on Aug 20 along with the date of two other consecrations for the ACNA.

Bishop Guernsey was bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit in the ACNA—a non-geographic diocese with parishes spread across the Eastern Seaboard of the US.  It was one of the first ACNA ecclesiastical groups formed in response to the parish secessions from the Episcopal Church.

In what may be an Anglican first, Bishop Guernsey voted (along with his diocese) to make himself job-less, and then stood for election on May 21, 2011 as bishop for the new diocese.

Bishop Guernsey was consecrated on Sept 2, 2007 by Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda after the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda elected him to serve as an assistant bishop for the Church of Uganda overseeing 26 churches that had broken away from the Episcopal Church.  Here is a link to a Washington Times story on his consecrations.  Following the formation of the Anglican Church in North America Bishop Guernsey was translated from the Church of Uganda to the new province as Bishop of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit, and while be translated a third time on Sept 10 to the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.

A personal note here—-I first met Bishop Guernsey in 1997 at the Philadelphia General Convention of the Episcopal Church.  At that time I was a chaplain at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia—approximately two blocks from the convention center that would be the site for the Episcopal Church’s meeting of bishops and diocesan deputies.  John was one of the leaders of the American Anglican Council and a deputy from Virginia.  It was honored to help Bishop John and the AAC at the convention with organizing and assisting with their work at the convention.  I found Bishop John to be a man of integrity, humility and possessing (and displaying in his word and deeds) a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ.

Far too many bishops are chosen because they are technocrats, possessing the skills or experience a diocese thinks it needs at the moment, others are politician—skilled at working the ecclesiastical system, while yet others are safe hands, ‘company men’ who have waited their turn, played the game well and are receiving their reward for their patience.

Bishop John, I have found in the 15 years I have known him, is the sort of man who matches all the qualities listed in 1 Timothy 3:2-7.  (A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. )—along with these qualities he is a man of prayer.

This is not to say that the other bishops I have listed on these pages do not possess these qualities.  Rather I am here offering a personal appreciation of someone whom I have known since the start of my ministry.

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