Click below to view or download this printable PDF of the Advent Scriptures & Collects — for individual, family, or congregational use. Advent begins on November 29, 2020.
Click below to view or download this printable PDF of the Advent Scriptures & Collects — for individual, family, or congregational use. Advent begins on November 29, 2020.
Did you know about the online calendar of Sunday Lessons and Collects?
You can subscribe to it and see the name of each Sunday, and all Feast days in the BCP 2019 Sunday and Feast Day lectionary. That way you can see it on your phone or computer calendar.
Please note: Please contact the ACNA directly with any questions about the Lectionary.
In a first for the Anglican Diocese of the South, the 10th Anniversary Synod Business Meeting of the Diocese was held virtually via the video conferencing service Zoom. Clergy and lay delegates gathered online for the Saturday morning meeting on November 7, 2020. The event was live-streamed on the ADOTS Facebook page, where it is still available for viewing.
“While we have not been able to gather in person, we have tried to make the most of our situation and hopefully, it will honor the Lord,” said Archbishop Foley Beach during his opening remarks. As part of the virtual event, the Rules of Order were amended to allow for procedures for voting in online meetings – approved by a raising of hands in front of delegates’ screens.
In celebration of the Diocese’s 10th anniversary, Archbishop Foley shared memories from 11 years ago, when people from various jurisdictions gathered in the offices of the American Anglican Council to ask the question: Is it time for churches in this area to form a new diocese in the newly formed Anglican Church in North America?
“We concluded that it was,” said Archbishop Foley, “and congregations who were under Bolivia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda, and some independent congregations began to work together to form what has become the Anglican Diocese of the South.”
Archbishop Foley used this opportunity to look back on his Synod address from ten years ago – and remind us ten years later what the mission of ADOTS was and still is today.
The Diocese is called to:
Exist for the people; the people do not exist for the Diocese. “My whole mentality has been that what we do collectively is to assist us individually in our callings from God,” he said.
Be an equipping agency. For priests and deacons, who have a continual need for training, “one cannot rest on their past accomplishments and their past knowledge to be effective in ministry,” Archbishop Foley said. The diocese will continue to offer them opportunities to grow in faith, knowledge, effectiveness, abilities, and leadership. For congregations, they should be equipped in how to minister to one another, worship, and reach out in the community, to “follow God’s vision for your particular church.”
Fulfill the Great Commandment, Mark 12:29-31. We serve one God, who desires us to love Him, ourselves, and our neighbors. “It is a choice to maintain a love relationship with the Lord, with our neighbors, and who He has made us to be.”
Fulfill the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. “You and I are charged with making disciples of Jesus Christ – not with getting people to make decisions or to join the Church. Let us not get lost in doing ministry and providing worship that we forget that we are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ.”
A growing relationship with Jesus Christ. “We need fresh manna every day to have an alive, dynamic, and growing relationship with God. Day by day we walk with him in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Foster personal discipleship. Archbishop Foley references 2 Timothy 2:2: “So here you have Paul discipling Timothy, and Timothy discipling reliable men, who those reliable men or women will then go and disciple others. If we are not making disciples, then what are we doing?”
Evangelism. “Are we even presenting Jesus Christ? Individually? Corporately? If this generation is going to hear about the Lord, it will be because this Church and our contemporaries out there share the Gospel.”
Nurture Congregations. “Depending on the congregation, how it needs to be nurtured will vary. If your church is vibrant and alive, people will find the Lord through your worship, fellowship, and ministry.”
Plant Congregations. “Right now we have two new church plants and two are in the process of starting in the next few months or so. You and I have an incredible opportunity before us to reach thousands of people who do not know the Lord or who have become nominal in their faith and are unchurched.”
Archbishop Foley warned against slipping into “maintaining mode,” and closed his address saying, “It has been a privilege to serve as your bishop, and I hope the work we do together as the Anglican Diocese of the South as we begin this second decade brings honor and glory to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Happy Anniversary!”
Bishop Frank encouraged us from 1 Corinthians 15:58: ‘Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.’
“We’re living in the victory of Jesus Christ,” he said. “So as we keep our focus on the King who reigns, as we worship each day and praise him and focus on him, we also need to remember that things we do this day will be for the Lord. We will abound in His work, unshaken. Paul is encouraging us in this in-between time to focus on the Lord, to claim the victory. We need to claim that victory and live into that victory each day.”
This award is given each year to a lay person “who has served ADOTS with dedication and overflowing commitment to Jesus Christ.”
This year, the awards were presented to R.C. Rover of All Saints in Peachtree City, GA, and Laura Spearman of Christ Church Atlanta.
R.C. Rover was awarded the Bishop’s Cross for his faithful service at All Saints, serving on the ADOTS Standing Committee, and leadership as its Chair. During the online Synod, he remarked, “I want to thank you for the opportunity and thank you for the honor of the Bishop’s Cross. It was a great honor for me to accept that.”
Laura Spearman was presented with the Bishop’s Cross for her strategic counsel in forming the Diocese, her selfless service on the Standing Committee, and leadership as its Chair. In a video shown during the online Synod, Archbishop Foley told her, “Without your leadership, I don’t know what we would’ve done in those early days. You really helped us a lot!”
Laura remarked, “I’m overcome. This is a surprise and such an honor, and it was so important to me in the beginning that the Diocese get off on the right foot. And with Foley’s leadership and the lay people involved, it was not a hard job. And I enjoyed serving and I’m just delighted that we have an Anglican Church in North America today, and that Foley is leading us. Thank you.”
Member and partner congregations:
2010: 25 2020: 42 members and 9 partners
Avg. Sunday Attendance
2010: 2,000 2020: 4,431 (pre-COVID)
Last year, there were 165 baptized and 126 confirmed.
There are now 210 clergy in ADOTS, with new ordinations in 2020 of 10 deacons and 9 priests.
“Let us give thanks to the Lord for all our clergy who have served sacrificially year after year for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Archbishop Foley. “With the onslaught of the pandemic, our clergy and lay leaders immediately began to meet, seek the Lord, and work together for what would be best for our congregations. With so many different state governments and health departments involved, it was quite a challenge to issue specific guidelines which applied to everyone in the diocese. But I am so proud of our clergy and lay leaders who have worked diligently (and are still working so) to minister to their flocks as shepherds caring for the needs of their people.”
Treasurer Chuck Lewis says the financial standing of the Diocese is in “outstanding shape”, with a “very sufficient” amount of funding. ADOTS applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan from the Small Business Administration this year, and in November 2020 received forgiveness of that loan. “We’ve also been especially blessed by all the giving of our churches and I’m sure that’s a good sign that our churches are also doing well financially,” said Lewis. “We appreciate all those gifts. Currently our stead is that our expenses are about $65k less than income for the year.” The vote on the budget for 2021 passed by a show of hands.
The Diocese received greetings from Archbishop Ben Kwashi, who was slated to be the guest speaker for the 10th Anniversary of ADOTS. However, Archbishop Ben is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. The Synod passed the following resolution:
“Be it resolved that the Anglican Diocese of the South and the Anglican Church in North America at its 10th Anniversary Synod does hereby send greetings to Archbishop Ben Kwashi, the Bishop of Jos, Nigeria and the General Secretary of GAFCON, assuring him of our love in the Lord Jesus Christ and prayers for his healing.”
Next year’s ADOTS Synod is scheduled for November 11-13, 2021.
Archbishop Foley Beach welcomed laity and clergy as we joined in Evening Prayer of Synod 2020 last Friday night via a streamed service on Facebook Live, necessary because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The service was an uplifting and inspiring collaboration of musicians, clergy, children, and lay members from around the Diocese of the South – with music led by MissionSong of Mission Chattanooga. If you missed it, you can view the Evening Prayer service here on the ADOTS Facebook page, and we highly recommend you do!
In his evening address, Archbishop Foley acknowledged the uncertain world we live in, amid political strife, a worldwide pandemic, and violence in our cities and communities.
“In the past six months, we’ve seen a renewed call for justice and racial equality in our nation and in our communities, awakening the consciences of many,” he said. “Things are not the same as they were ten years ago when we started. And for most people the elections, the pandemic, the violence, the racial strife, have all created a sense of confusion, chaos, pressure, stress, anxiety, and fear. Is there a word of the Lord that He might have for us tonight? Is there something He might want to say to you? I think there is.”
From the evening’s text, Haggai chapter 2, we considered what that period of life was like for the Israelites: Having been exiled and their temple destroyed, some who were exiled have been allowed to return home and start reconstruction of the temple. Verse three asks, “Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory?”
“With all that’s going around us, I’m sure many of us could be asking similar questions about our nation, our community, our church, maybe your home, maybe your family,” said Archbishop Foley.
The Archbishop gives us five words from Haggai 2 that the Lord gave to His people then, who were working to rebuild their church and their nation. “And I think these can be very useful for you and me,” he said.
“Whatever it is you are facing… remember these five words,” said Archbishop Foley. “This is so reminiscent of what the Lord told Joshua hundreds of years before this time… ‘The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’”
View the Evening Prayer service and Archbishop Foley’s message in full here on the ADOTS Facebook page!
Special thanks to Canon Greg Goebel, Canon Chris Sorensen, and Jason Foster for their great work in putting the service together — Archbishop Foley remarked, “How refreshing and encouraging that service was!”
Creating a diocese from scratch was a monumental task, as most of those involved were coming from churches with established structures that, as Fr. Michael Fry of All Saints Peachtree City says, “had long-ago been created by others.”
“In the early days several of us wore many hats,” says Fr. Michael, who served on the Steering Committee as ADOTS was forming, helped craft the initial budget on the Finance Committee, chaired the first Standing Committee, and also served as the first delegate to the Provincial Council while ADOTS was in formation.
“It has been a heady experience (and a bit like the wild west) serving as pioneers in building a diocese, forming congregations and erecting buildings that will, by God’s grace, be here long after we are gone,” he says.
Canon Steven Saul, who served as the first Canon to the Ordinary for ADOTS, says the greatest memory for him of those early days of diocesan formation was the excitement of the churches and people gathered to become a part of it.
“One day of great importance was the day we a met at the Cathedral in Loganville and came together to ratify the Constitutions and Canons of the new Diocese. There was the greatest sense of the Lord’s presence as we met for the first official time as a Diocese in Formation,” says Canon Steven. “We prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to lead us in this new work. It was a great new beginning that gave so many of us a new and restored hope in the Church.”
“I remember sitting in the room with the Steering Committee when we first talked about needing to elect a Bishop,” says Fr. Michael. “We all said it obviously should be Fr. Foley as he had been fulfilling the role of Bishop to us all, even when he was a priest and Rector of Holy Cross. While he demurred, we insisted and there was never talk of anyone else.”
Fr. Jack King and his congregation at Apostles, Knoxville, came to the diocese looking for such leadership, shepherding, and fellowship.
“We were seeking a bishop who was truly a pastor and the Lord brought Bishop Foley to shepherd our church through those days,” says Fr. Jack. “I also remember really good conversations in our deanery, beginning new friendships that have grown ever since.”
He holds standing in Synod to be fully received as a member parish as a special memory, as well as preaching to his fellow clergy at the renewal of vows.
“That renewal of vows service has been so important for my own spiritual life. It was very humbling and also a great gift to preach to my fellow pastors in that moment,” says Fr. Jack.
As the diocese has grown through the years, so has the need for serving our youth. Jessica Greiner was the Family Ministry Director for All Saints Peachtree City, and started reaching out across the diocese to connect with other youth and family ministers. She now serves ADOTS as Youth Coordinator.
“My most favorite memories of the last few years are our annual diocesan youth retreats. I love seeing all of our students from across the diocese join together to deepen and strengthen their faith,” says Greiner. “I absolutely love when we have group game time. It’s a chance for our students to build community, work in groups, and really have a blast together.”
As the diocese moved beyond establishment, Canon Dan Alger implored that our diocese embrace a culture of church planting, a view shared and built on by the current Canon for Church Planting, Canon Chris Sorensen of Mission Chattanooga.
“There is no doubt that the next era is going to be the most significant season for ADOTS,” says Canon Chris. “Forming a diocese is hard work. Different churches and clergy, with different backgrounds, concerns, hopes, and even baggage came together and had to figure out who we were. But, we are here now. Organizational infrastructure has been laid. Direction has been set. The next ten years will reveal who we really are.”
“The call of ++Foley to be our bishop was another important milestone, and the event was held at Church of The Apostles in Atlanta. We needed a venue for the consecration that would easily house all the people that would come to witness and pray for the leader of our newly formed diocese. Many months of planning went into that important day and a celebration/reception was provided for the hundreds of people in attendance. The new bishop and his family greeted everyone that made the trip to Atlanta. That day was particularly important for me as clergy because I knew/saw the leader and model of leadership that our future Archbishop provided as a rector. He would now set the example for leadership for other bishops. He has always been a man that leads by example and I knew that day he would one day be our ACNA Archbishop because he humbly follows the Lord. Praise the Lord, it happened!”
– Canon Steven Saul
“I remember the sense of pride and joy hearing about Archbishop Foley’s selection as archbishop. I was grateful then and now that our province would be (and still is) shaped by his pastoral heart.”
– Fr. Jack King, Dean of Tennessee
“The year ++Foley was elevated to Archbishop stands out for me. Being present for the election, serving on the Standing Committee that had to figure out how we should restructure to continue the work of the Diocese with an Archbishop in our midst, and helping with the Investiture are all things I will never forget.”
– Fr. Michael Fry, Dean of West Georgia
“The most formative experiences I have had in ADOTS have been individual pastoral conversations between myself and Archbishop Beach. As I have grown older and more experienced, as a leader, it has become more and more difficult to find someone who can/will lead me. The Archbishop has given me good counsel at several key moments over the years.”
– Canon Chris Sorensen