Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes consecrates its second bishop in Akron ceremony

Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes consecrates its second bishop in Akron ceremony

By Theresa Cottom
Beacon Journal staff writer
http://www.ohio.com/

The Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes opened a new chapter Thursday, six years after its establishment, by consecrating Ronald W. Jackson as its second bishop in a ceremony at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Akron.

The procession was led by Archbishop Foley Beach, head of the Anglican Church in North America. Anglican bishops and other church representatives from across the continent took part in the service, some coming from as far as Texas, Canada and New England.

“I enjoy seeing a new beginning,” said Dan Klueg, one of about 250 attendees that filled the pews of the ornate church. “I’m confident [in Jackson] because the concept is steeped in prayer. We’re listening to God, which is what I want to be part of.”

The elaborate two-hour service was based on an ancient ceremony clad in symbolism, involving bishops laying their hands upon Jackson, numerous prayers and music from a live band and choir that played a wide variety of Christian music.

Jackson will succeed Founding Bishop Roger Ames, who is stepping down to be an assistant bishop. Under Ames, the diocese has grown from 15 parishes to 55 since 2010.

“He is a dedicated man of prayer. He’s had a strong experience of the spirit,” Ames said of Jackson. “I just think the Holy Spirit clearly has selected him. He’s a very brilliant guy, too.”

The ACNA was founded in 2008 by orthodox Anglicans who broke away from the American Episcopal Church due to its liberal views on homosexuality. The break was initiated by the Episcopal Church’s consecration of an openly gay bishop in 2003, V. Eugene Robinson and the 2002 decision by the Canadian diocese of New Westminster to bless same-sex unions.

The Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes, which extends from southern Ontario to Lexington, Ky., was established in 2010.

Anglican services are typically held at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Fairlawn. However, Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Lennon granted Ames permission to use St. Bernard for the consecration to accommodate the large crowd.

“There is really good cooperation between the Roman Catholics and Anglicans at the moment,” Ames said. Ames explained that Gregory Venables, an Anglican bishop in Argentina, was friends with Pope Francis before he became the pope.

“There was a very strong Anglican connection between Pope Francis and our friend, and that has kind of filtered down in various ways. When we asked Bishop Lennon, he jumped at the opportunity to share, and we really appreciate it.”

“He was very kind and gracious to make St. Bernard available,” Jackson added.

Jackson was ordained as a priest in 1973. Since then, he has served in churches all over, including California, Tennessee and Capetown in South Africa. He has had an even broader reach in his missionary work, serving in India, South America and Africa. Jackson also taught ministry at Trinity College in England for six years before being elected as bishop. He and his wife, Patricia, have four children and six grandchildren.

“I kind of have a world perspective of the church and not just a local perspective of the church,” said Ames, who noted the diversity of parishioners within the diocese; some hail from South America and Africa. “We have wonderful influences. We don’t have to go out to the world, the world is coming to us. One of the things we want to be able to do is reach out to people of different cultures.”

Theresa Cottom can be reached at 330-996-3216 or tcottom@thebeaconjournal.com.

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