Monday, January 26, 2015

California's newest Bishop

On Sunday night, Archbishop Foley Beach and others from the Anglican Church in North America consecrated its newest bishop in Newport Beach, California. The Rt. Rev. M. Keith Andrews (M. Div, D. Min) was consecrated the second bishop for the Diocese of Western Anglicans.

The Service

Rt. Rev. Keith Andrews
The service was held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, one of 175 parishes of the ECO Presbyterian movement that broke away from the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA). (Unlike the ACNA parishes, they got to keep their buildings). It was the same place where the diocese’s first bishop, Rt. Rev. Bill Thompson, was consecrated on October 31, 2009.

As recorded by Anglican TV, the service was clocked at 194 minutes from start to finish (excluding music before and after the service).

By my estimate there were about 600-700 people in the pews — of those 60+ deacons and priests — with another 60 attending in the altar party, including a 6-piece praise band and a 17-member choir that looked lost in the spacious choir benches. As with the most recent diocesan convention, the service emphasized praise music over hymns or other traditional liturgy.

The service combined the Ordinal — published in 2011 and approved by the ACNA bishops in 2013 — with the ACNA “trial use” Communion service that was launched in time for Advent 2013. The event was organized by Rev. Richard Crocker and Rev. Cathie Young — respectively the rector and associate rector of nearby St. James’ Anglican.

The Election

The diocese’ first bishop, Rt. Rev. Thompson was elected in June 2009 and resigned effective June 30, 2014. Bp. Thompson announced his resignation in August 2013 after two falls and a concussion. (In Feb. 2014, he revealed that he had since been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the diocese’s Executive Committee would assist in the governance.)

In late 2013, the Executive Committee appointed a 12-member nominating committee to find qualified candidates. The March 2014 diocesan newsletter explained the process:
According to our Canons, the Bishop must be drawn from male Rectors in the Diocese who have at least five years’ experience, are at least 35 year old, and are not divorced and remarried. This gave us a potential pool of twenty candidates. They were each contacted, and seven agreed to put their name forward.

On February 8th, the four candidates still in the discernment process were announced to the full diocesan House of Delegates at its annual meeting. The candidates still in the process are:

Fr. Keith Andrews, Living Faith, Tempe, AZ
Fr. Russell Martin, Christ the King, San Diego, CA
Fr. Larry Bausch, Holy Trinity, San Diego, CA
Fr. Jose Poch, St. David’s, Burbank, CA
On March 22, the committee nominated Andrews and Martin, dropping Bausch (the most Anglo-Catholic candidate) and Poche (who was also a candidate in 2009).

In May 2014, the diocesan House of Delegates voted to nominate Andrews in hopes that the ACNA College of Bishops would elect the 2nd bishop at their June meeting. Instead, Rev. Andrews was elected bishop at their October meeting.

Bp. Thompson was directly elected by the diocese, and the 2014 requirement for ACNA approval was somewhat controversial. This shift in policy caused confusion during the ceremony, in which the text of the program was not what was spoken during the presentation of the bishop-elect (emphasis added):
The Diocesan President says
I certify that the Reverend Doctor M. Keith Andrews was duly elected nominated Bishop of the Diocese of the Western Anglicans by the clergy and lay members of the House of Delegates of the Diocese on May 10, 2014, as attested to by the minutes of the House of Delegates.

The Dean of Provincial Affairs says
I certify that the Reverend Doctor M. Keith Andrews was duly confirmed elected as Bishop of the Diocese of the Western Anglicans by the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America on October 10,2014, as attested to by the minutes of the College.
The Consecration
I counted 12 bishops in the altar party (not including the archbishop and the bishop-elect). Note all the bishops listed in the program were present — and I didn’t recognize a couple — but here they are:
Back row: unidentified, Bp. Eric Menees, unidentified, Bp. Clark Lowenfield, Bp. Gregory Bowers. Front row: Bp. William Murdoch, Bp. John Guernsey, Bp. Bill Thompson, Bp. Todd Hunter, Bp. Frank Lyons, unidentified
The new Bishop was examined by Abp. Foley and 11 other bishops. (The bishop not participating in the examination was Bp. Gregory Bowers, representing the Los Angeles-area Jubilee Convocation that is discussing fellowship with ACNA).

At the end of the consecration, the archbishop and the other bishops engaged in the traditional laying on of hands (which the unitiated
resembled a rugby scrum without the pushing and shoving).

The consecration was followed by the presentation of four episcopal symbols from four deaneries of the diocese: Rocky Mountain (a crozier), Arizona (a ring), San Diego (a pectoral cross) and Los Angeles (his cope and mitre).

After this — and before the offertory — the congregation heard greetings from Andrews’ ecumenical partners in Arizona and the local assemblyman (with a state proclamation). A longer talk came from a priest of the North American Lutheran Church (the ELCA-splinter group) and a representative from the Diocese of Singapore.

The New Bishop

Bp. Andrews gave a brief five minute talk, thanking those responsible. While the event did only indirectly touched on his qualifications and experience, I did have a chance to hear him speak in April 2014 as one of the two final candidates.

Here some excerpts of his resume from that presentation (which I have scanned and posted to Google). His work experience:
  • Senior Pastor, Living Faith Anglican Church, Tempe, AZ (2005-Present)
  • Anglican Mission in the Americas Canon Missioner and Network Leader (2005-2012)
  • Vicar (1985-1998) and Rector (2005), St. James Episcopal Church, Tempe, AZ
  • Associate Rector, Christ Church of the Ascension, Paradise Valley, AZ (1983-1985)
  • Assistant Rector, All Saints, Carmel, CA (1981-1983)
His education:
  • D. Min, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2003
  • M. Div., Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 1981
  • M.A., Arizona State University, 1976
  • B.A., Arizona State University, 1975
His dissertation, entitled “A local church paradigm that fosters renewal in mission through church multiplication,” is listed in the Fuller library as a case study of his St. James experience.

What stood out from his presentation (and what I know of the other three semi-finalists) was his successful track record in planting churches. Obviously this is a crucial imperative for the diocese and ACNA more broadly.

The Diocese

What is less clear is the bishop’s plans for the diocese (and also the constraints of the existing clergy and laity). I was told that any candidate from outside Southern California (i.e., Andrews) would be expected to relocate to Southern California (which has the greatest concentration of parishes).

When first consecrated, Bp. Thompson remained rector of All Saints (Long Beach, Calif.) but then relinquished that role in July 2012 (at the age of 66) to become a full-time bishop.

The office of bishop and the diocese have remained at All Saints since Bp. Thompson stepped down. The diocese HQ seems to have been in a holding pattern (under its interim bishop), with few updates to the website; the bimonthly newsletter hasn’t been published in 10 months.

So will the diocese remain in Long Beach? Will Bp. Andrews have another home parish? What other changes are coming? When the ECUSA formed a new diocese in San Diego in the 1970s, the first bishop used his home parish as the cathedral; the second and subsequent bishops used the largest parish in the city center as their cathedral.

The diocese of 35 parishes is hoping to convert its four deaneries to new dioceses. To do that will require significant growth in membership, parishes and pledging — something that all California Anglicans hope that the new bishop can pull off.

Update: The official ACNA press release (reprinted at Virtue Online) lists 10 of the 11 bishops (beyond Abp. Beach) involved in the consecration:
  • Rt. Rev. John A.M. Guernsey, Bishop of Diocese of Mid-Atlantic
  • Rt. Rev. Todd Hunter, Bishop of Diocese of Churches for Sake of Others
  • Rt. Rev. Clark Lowenfield, Bishop of Diocese of Western Gulf Coast
  • Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons, Assisting Bishop of Anglican Diocese of South
  • Rt. Rev. Eric Menees, Bishop of Diocese of San Joaquin
  • Rt. Rev. John Miller, III, Assistant Bishop of Diocese of Atlantic
  • Rt. Rev. William Murdock, Bishop of Anglican Diocese of New England
  • Rt. Rev. William Thompson, Retired Bishop of Diocese of Western Anglicans
  • Rt. Rev. Mark Zimmerman, Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Southwest
  • Rt. Rev. Derek Jones, Bishop of Armed Forces and Chaplaincy

No comments: