Falls Church, VA (February 18, 2023) – Today at The Falls Church Anglican in Falls Church, VA, over 800 friends and members of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic of the Anglican Church in North America gathered to witness the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Chris Warner as the second bishop of the Diocese.
Archbishop Foley Beach presided as the chief consecrator, and the preacher was the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, Bishop Emeritus of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. Twenty-six bishops participated in the service, along with 125 priests and deacons.
The service began with jubilant music from Beltway Brass and The Falls Church Anglican Children and Youth Choir. Throughout the service, the musicians and choir from the Falls Church Anglican provided joyous worship.
In his sermon, Bishop Lawrence reminded Bishop Chris that he, like Paul in Acts 20, is constrained by the Holy Spirit, being directed to do the Savior’s bidding for the flock of God: “Wrapped in the cords of obedience Christopher comes.” He went on to remind Bishop Chris of Jesus’ repeated question to Peter in John 21, “Peter, do you love me?” When Peter said that he did, Jesus urged him, “Feed my lambs.” All other questions and the focus of his calling as Bishop follow that single question and answer.
Bishop Chris’ adult children were among those who presented him with gifts as marks of office. Nathan Warner presented anointing oil, Caroline Warner presented his pectoral cross, and Anna Warner presented his episcopal ring. Following the laying on of hands, the wives of the ACNA bishops, led by Allison Beach, gathered with Catherine Warner to pray for her in her new ministry role.
Bishop John Guernsey, the first bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic remarked, “I was blessed to relinquish my spiritual authority as diocesan bishop and to present to Bishop Chris his crosier as a sign that he is now the Bishop of our Diocese. I am so deeply thankful for this day, and I am confident that our Diocese will thrive under his godly leadership.”
In a letter to all who participated, Bishop Chris shares “I’m filled with joy and gratitude for each of you and I’m humbled by all that has gone into making today a reality. The process leading to my consecration as the second bishop of the Diocese of the Mid Atlantic began during a mentoring conversation in 2018 that planted a seed within me, which the Lord nurtured through prayer, the witness of the Scriptures, the counsel of trusted advisors and friends, and ultimately through the discernment of the body of Christ, both lay and ordained, in this diocese. I’m grateful for God’s faithfulness through it all and for your friendship, prayers, and thoughtful expressions of support.”
On September 14, 2021, Bishop John Guernsey called for the Diocese to begin the process leading to the election and consecration of his successor and to his retirement. The clergy and lay delegates of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic elected on the second ballot the Rev. Chris Warner as Bishop-Elect during a special electing Synod on October 15, 2022 at All Saints’ Church in Woodbridge, VA. On January 11, 2023, the College of Bishops consented to his election as bishop for the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.
The Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic is a regional diocese of the Anglican Church in North America dedicated to reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. The Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic consists of 41 Congregations, Missions, and Mission Fellowships in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, eastern West Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. Several more are in formation