A delegation of one dozen bishops from the Anglican Church in North America joined in the annual March for Life on Thursday, January 22 in Washington, D.C.
Led by Archbishop Foley Beach, the Anglican group was organized for the third year by Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic Bishop John Guernsey and Georgette Forney of Anglicans for Life.
The March for Life is the largest annual protest in the United States, regularly drawing tens of thousands of people to mark the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that struck down state restrictions on abortions in 1973.
The theme of this year’s march, “Every Life is a Gift” is intended to counter the perception that some lives are not worth living, and that prematurely ending a life by abortion is preferable in those instances.
“Every life is precious – God knew us before we were born and I believe in protecting human life,” shared Wes Jagoe of the Falls Church Anglican, one of many young participants.
“My reason for being here is to give a voice to those who never get a chance to use their lips, to walk for those who never get to use their legs — and, hopefully, relieving that pain,” declared Bishop John Miller of the Gulf-Atlantic Diocese on the way to the march.
The bishops began the day at the ecumenical prayer service held at Constitution Hall, then visited the nearby offices of the Institute on Religion and Democracy for a brunch. The delegation bussed to the National Mall at noon as the march was beginning.
Tens of thousands of participants marched from the National Mall up Constitution Avenue past the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court.
“I’m always moved by the number of young people here – it is very encouraging,” said Ken Fisher of the Falls Church Anglican, one of several churches represented in the Anglicans for Life group, including Truro Anglican Church of Fairfax, VA and St. Stephen’s Anglican Church of Heathsville, VA.
“It is so heartening to be at the march with hundreds of thousands of young people, and to see the pro-life generation stepping forward in leadership,” cheered Guernsey as he moved with a crush of enthusiastic participants waving signs and chanting on Constitution Avenue. “It is a privilege to walk with them.
“This nation continues to lose its blessing as long as we don’t honor God’s sovereignty,” said Armed Forces and Chaplaincy Bishop Derek Jones.
A full list of bishops participating in this year’s Washington, D.C. March for Life:
Bishop David L. Hicks, Diocese of the NorthEast and Mid-Atlantic of the Reformed Episcopal Church
Bishop Ray R. Sutton, Bishop CoAdjutor of the Diocese of Central States of the Reformed Episcopal Church
Bishop Neil Lebhar, Bishop of the Gulf-Atlantic Diocese
Bishop John E. Miller, Assisting Bishop, Gulf-Atlantic Diocese
Bishop William Murdoch, Anglican Diocese in New England
Archbishop Foley Beach, Anglican Diocese of the South
Bishop William Wilson, Assisting Bishop, Diocese of the South
Bishop John Guernsey, Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic
Bishop Julian Dobbs, Convocation of Anglicans in North America
Bishop William H. Ilgenfritz, Missionary Diocese of All Saints
Bishop Stewart E. Ruch III, Anglican Diocese of the Upper Midwest
Bishop Derek Jones, Armed Forces and Chaplaincy
Jeff Walton serves as member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. He is the Communications Manager for the Institute on Religion & Democracy in Washington, D.C., and also serves as a staffer on the Anglican Action program. Prior to joining the IRD, Jeff worked on Capitol Hill for members of Congress from Virginia and North Carolina. This article first appeared in Juicy Ecumenism and is reprinted by permission.