(Toronto, CANADA) The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) College of Bishops acted today to admit the Right Reverend Richard Lipka of the Diocese of Delmarva.
Bishop Lipka will serve under Bishop William Ilgenfritz as the Suffragan of the Missionary Diocese of All Saints (MDAS) which was just formed in August 2009 to provide a spiritual home for Forward In Faith NA congregations within the ACNA. “This underlines ACNA’s commitment to be a Province seeking Anglican unity and our witness to the ‘faith once delivered,’” said Bishop Ilgenfritz at the announcement.
Bishop Richard Lipka, Suffragan MDAS
All of the congregations of the MDAS are part of Forward In Faith NA, and their priests are individually members of FiFNA. Bishop Ilgenfritz hopes every lay person would also join, in his diocese and throughout the ACNA. Bishop Ilgenfritz explains, “We have a mission for all Anglicans to be committed to the historic faith and order of the undivided Church, to actively share and establish new footholds of two or three disciples, and to help them be communities of great faith in Jesus Christ. So I welcome Bishop Richard and his people in joining in this part of the Great Commission.”
Speaking on behalf of his clergy and parishes, Bishop Lipka expressed an eagerness to work within the new Anglican province and in the Missionary Diocese. “We must continue our long standing effort of prayer, serving, and giving of our very selves in witness to Jesus Christ who came to bring the lost and lapsed to His loving Heavenly Father.” Bishop Lipka and the churches of Delmarva have never questioned their identity as Anglican Catholics, but they knew they needed to be connected to the larger Anglican family. “We have found our place within that communion.” FiFNA continues to play a significant role toward Anglican unity and historic faith and order. “The admission of Bishop Lipka and Delmarva congregations makes visible our being a people who live the self-giving life and participate in living Body of Christ, the Church” said Bishop Ilgenfritz.
The parishes of the former Diocese of Delmarva join the MDAS congregations spread across Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and the newly planted congregation in North Carolina. Bishop Ilgenfritz is being contacted by clergy and parishes discerning a place in the unification of Anglicans in North America and with those looking to form new cells and congregations under the MDAS.
Media contact for more information or interviews: Katie Simmons, FiFNA Press Officer