Friday, December 22, 2006

Real moral courage

[] 22 December 2006--More Episcopal parishes voted over the weekend to leave the U.S. church, and perhaps those responsible for the parishioners' anguish over the direction of this Christian denomination feel little remorse. Perhaps they think they stood tall for the moral good when they decided as they did in national conventions on the question of homosexuality.

Virginia Diocese Will ‘Assert’ Canonical and Legal Rights

[The Living Church] 22 December 2006--Following a joint Dec. 18 meeting of the executive board and standing committee, the Diocese of Virginia began the process of sorting through options to recover the property of seven churches where the majority voted to leave.

Related article:
Bishop Lee: Extension to 30-Day Standstill Agreement Possible - The Living Church

Two Important Letters from CANA

[Global South Anglican] 22 December 2006--This pastoral letter and a number of articles upon recent developments within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion can be found at the Global South Anglican website.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bishop eyes sanctions at All Saints

[The Sun Chronicle] 13 Dec 2006--A strongly-worded letter from their bishop has led the Rev. Lance Giuffrida and parishioners of All Saints on North Main Street to face the possibility that they may have to leave their parish property if they continue to operate as a separated Anglican congregation.

American Anglicans visit Nigeria

[Church of Nigeria News] 13 Dec 2006--A team of missionaries from the Anglican Communion Network in the United States (ACN-US) recently completed a partnership working visit to Nigeria, home of the largest concentration of the 70 million Anglicans worldwide.

Not All San Joaquin Parishes Plan to Leave

[The Living Church] 13 Dec 2006--At least four congregations in the Diocese of San Joaquin will probably remain with The Episcopal Church if clergy and lay delegates to the 2007 annual convention in the Diocese of San Joaquin approve a second reading of constitutional changes that would effectively remove the California diocese from the denomination.

National Church May ‘Retain Interest’ in Virginia Church Properties

[The Living Church] 13 Dec 2006--Beginning Dec. 10, eight congregations representing slightly less than 10 percent of communicants in the 90,000-member Diocese of Virginia began voting on whether to leave The Episcopal Church and previously cordial relations between the diocese and the parishes have grown acrimonious.

Bishop-elect Lawrence Sees Election Resistance in Broader Context

[The Living Church] 13 Dec 2006--The Very Rev. Mark Lawrence, rector of St. Paul’s Church, Bakersfield, Calif., recognizes that he is in a difficult position. Elected Bishop of South Carolina Sept. 16, Fr. Lawrence must receive consent from a majority of standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction within 120 days from Nov. 9, the date they were formally notified of an election.

Tanzanian Bishops declare they are in severely impaired communion with Episcopal Church

[Global South Anglican] 13 Dec 2006--The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) issued a statement December 7 saying that its “communion with the Episcopal Church (USA) is severely impaired” in light the 75th General Convention’s response to the Windsor Report.

It is not a crime to hold traditional values

[The Times Higher Education Supplament] 13 Dec 2006--The belief among conservative Christians that some behaviour is sinful does not amount to an expression of hate, says Rowan Williams, so why have some student unions withdrawn recognition from religious societies?

Daniels of the Year: Men of the Hard Cloth

[World] 13 Dec 2006--Jesus asked His disciples, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A man clothed in soft garments?" John the Baptist, of course, was no such man, and neither are WORLD's 2006 Daniels of the Year Peter Jasper Akinola and Henry Luke Orombi. Their biblical stands are making a difference not only in Africa but in the United States, as the crisis in the oldest American denomination reaches its climax.

Another Diocese of Virginia Parish Disaffiliates with Diocese and National Church

[All Saints' Church] 13 Dec 2006--The Rector, Wardens and Vestry have announced that the motion to disaffiliate from The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia has carried with 402 votes in favor and 6 against. This being more than the required two-thirds majority, the motion is carried!

Related article:
Episcopal Church sees first defection - The Washington Times

A Statement from Bishop Peter Lee

[Stand Firm] 13 Dec 2006--Bishop Lee appeals for "unity through diversity".

The Clergy and Wardens of Church of the Apostles, Fairfax, Virginia, write Bishop Peter Lee

[Stand Firm] 13 Dec 2006--Originally posted at TitusOneNine.

A Covenant for the Church of England

[EV News] 13 Dec 2006--Text of the Covenant released yesterday (Tuesday 12th December 2006). At this stage an initial list of signatories is not available.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Episcopal bishop bids goodbye to congregants

[North County Times] 9 Dec 2006--In what may be described more as an amiable parting than a stormy divorce, two priests from St. Timothy's Episcopal Church turned in their keys Wednesday night and left the local diocese to begin a new church.

Episcopal bishop revokes 6 priests

[The Florida Times-Union] 9 Dec 2006--Six of the first seven North Florida priests to join overseas Anglican provinces have had their ordinations revoked by the leader of the Jacksonville-based Episcopal Diocese of Florida.

Episcopal Parishes May Split From National Denomination

[The Ledger] 9 Dec 2006--They are two of the biggest churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, with roots stretching back to Colonial times.

Archbishop of Nigeria prevented from preaching in Sheffield

[EV News] 9 Dec 2006--The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Bishop of Sheffield has been accused of preventing the Archbishop of Nigeria from preaching at a church in his diocese.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Simon Vibert: a New Booklet entitled Why I am an Anglican

[titusonenine] 6 Dec 2006--Published October 2006, “Why I am an Anglican” has contributions from 12 of today’s evangelical leaders (FWS Orthos booklet 23). The authors range from leaders of large and small churches, leaders of Anglican evangelical networks, a Bishop (Wallace Benn) and a theological college principal (Richard Turnbull). The collective conclusions should encourage a fresh commitment to Anglican Evangelicalism today as: a place for Gospel proclamation; a desire to reach the nation, under God, for Christ; a commitment to the godly reform of the denomination; and a network of relationships across the nation and around the world.

Bishop-Elect Mark Lawrence Answers TEC Bishops and Standing Committees

[Stand Firm] 6 Dec 2006--1. In what ways will you work to keep the Diocese of South Carolina in The Episcopal Church? Although this appears to be a reasonable and straightforward question, it is actually anything but. I might as well have been asked while I was engaged to my wife, Allison, “In what ways will you work to keep your wife from leaving her commitments?” The question assumes something that has yet to be demonstrated by any prior action. Unless, of course, one makes the assumption that the request of the Standing Committee for Alternative Primatial Oversight was an initial step of departure, which I do not believe it needs to be. As you are well aware, The Episcopal Church, because of its reliance on constitutional and canonical autonomy, rather than the bonds of affection, has acted not merely unilaterally, but also precipitously towards the considered position of the vast majority within the Anglican Communion, and is now itself in a state of increasing disarray. This action of TEC is quite different from a respectful request made by an aggrieved diocese to the acknowledged Spiritual Leader of our Communion. Certainly we concede that the Archbishop of Canterbury has, heretofore, no jurisdictional authority in these matters. Yet we also know The Episcopal Church’s action in 2003, unlike the APO request, has caused more than a few Episcopalians, as well the worldwide Communion, much consternation. I would ask you to consider the fact that many of us want to remain in the Anglican Communion as well as The Episcopal Church. I would also suggest that you consider that the Diocese of South Carolina, in its recent request for APO, is actually seeking to find a way to remain at one and the same time in TEC and in covenant with the Communion. It serves none of us well to ignore the developing crisis and take refuge in polity which is proving to be no longer sufficient for the challenges we presently face....

With that said, back to your question. I shall commit myself to work at least as hard at keeping the Diocese of South Carolina in The Episcopal Church, as my sister and brother bishops work at keeping The Episcopal Church in covenanted relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Uganda Field Worship

[Prayer Book Society of USA] 6 Dec 2006--The Christians in the village churches are poor.
Most of them do not own a prayer book or bible. You can buy a local language prayer book (1662
BCP translated) in Kampala, a day’s trip from most of the country, but it is of very poor quality and quite likely out of print. There is a market for prayer books, of course, but almost no printer will undertake the effort to print 5000 copies of the prayer book in, say, Lugbara or Runyoro, when he cannot be sure of recovering his investment. So most of the Christians have never thumbed their fingers through the pages of a prayer book, a hymnbook, or even a bible. Everything they know about Christianity and about the Lord has come to them orally
or through fellowship with other believers. And is this not as it should be?

You will need an Acrobat Reader to read this article. You will also need to scroll down to the article.

Christianity under siege

[The Jamaica Observer] 6 Dec 2006--Christianity is under siege the world over and Christians everywhere need to come together urgently, whether they like it or not, to defend against further erosion of the common faith.

Archbishop Venables: Primates Coalition Will Support Second U.S. Jurisdiction

[The Living Church] 6 Dec 2006--In a message to the Dec. 1-2 convention in the Diocese of San Joaquin, the Primate of the Southern Cone assured clergy and lay delegates that the Global South primates’ coalition will support pleas for a second Anglican jurisdiction in the United States—one independent of The Episcopal Church.

Archbishop Williams: Existing Communion Links No Longer Effective

[The Living Church] 6 Dec 2006--The Archbishop of Canterbury has defended the selection of the Primate of the West Indies, the Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, as chair of the Anglican Covenant drafting committee.

Related article:
Archbishop of Canterbury says he has no 'pre-cooked' agenda for resolving conflict - Episcopal News Service

Departure of Seventh San Diego Parish Called ‘Totally Respectful’

[The Living Church] 6 Dec 2006--After consultation with the Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes, Bishop of San Diego, the clergy leadership at St. Timothy’s Church, San Diego, have resigned in order to begin a new Anglican congregation to be named Resurrection Community Church in Poway. The decision was announced to the parish in a joint letter to parishioners as well as during services on Dec. 3.

Presiding Bishop ‘Laments’ San Joaquin Action

[The Living CHurch] 6 Dec 2006--Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said she “laments” the action taken by the annual convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin this weekend to “repudiate their membership in The Episcopal Church.”

"Shall the Fundamentalists Win?"

[] 6 Dec 2006--An excerpt from Philip Jenkins' new book, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South.

Christian Convert: 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Islam

[The Christian Post] 6 Dec 2006--The son of a devout Islamic leader who converted to Christianity in 1982 listed ten points he believes everyone should know about Islam in order to better understand who Muslims are and how to reach them.

Missional Bricks and Mortar

[Out of Ur] 6 Dec 2006--Can a church be truly missional and own a building?

Friday, December 01, 2006

'Asian Tiger' to discuss Anglican missions in U.S.,0,3794325.story?coll=stam-news-local-headlines

[The Stamford Advocate] 1 Dec 2006--The recently retired leader of a Christian missionary organization that was borne out of a rift between the worldwide Anglican Communion and its American wing will speak at a conference in Fairfield this weekend.

Open Letter Attacks Requests for Alternative Primatial Oversight

[The Living Church] 1 Dec 2006--Five retired bishops are among the more than 140 Episcopalians who have signed an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury that urges him to reject all requests for alternative primatial oversight.

Bishops develop proposal responding to 'Appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury'

[Episcopal News Service] 1 Dec 2006--A group of bishops, including Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, has developed a proposal responding to "An Appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury" addressing what other petitioning bishops and dioceses have termed "alternative primatial oversight" or "alternative primatial relationship."

Related article:
Episcopalians Reach Out to Conservatives - The Christian Post

Observations on the new Presiding Bishop and the Anglican Communion (Jordan Hylden, First Things)

[Global South Anglican] 1 Dec 2006--The problem is that… [Katharine Jefferts Schori] is on a direct collision course with the rest of the Anglican Communion. And, while she will not admit it in so many words, it has become increasingly clear that Bishop Schori and her supporters know perfectly well that their actions will end in a final break with Canterbury and the Global South. The church’s Executive Council has already proposed the formation of an “Anglican Convocation of the Americas,” comprising liberal churches such as ECUSA, Canada, and Brazil. Even the Episcopal Church’s name no longer officially includes reference to the United States, which Bishop Schori has stated reflects the “transnational” character (better put, “ambition”) of the church. Liberal voices from England and elsewhere have signaled their desire to join such a convocation, which almost certainly will set itself up as a “progressive” alternative to mainstream Anglicanism.

AAC Responds to 'Primatial Vicar' Proposal

[Stand Firm] 1 Dec 2006--“The proposal does not take into account the heart of the issue and problem which is that Katharine Jefferts Schori has adopted a form of faith, theology and Christology that is so seriously out of step with historic Anglicanism and Christianity that it calls into question her capacity to give appropriate leadership on this matter. It keeps all the power in her hands. The proposal is to be in consultation with not the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Thus she makes all the decisions. It is a non-starter.”

Episcopal Church APO Proposal Dead on Arrival

[Stand Firm] 1 Dec 2006--We are heartened that the national leadership of The Episcopal Church has realized the time has come for structural change. We will study this proposal,” said Bishop Robert Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Anglican Communion Network. “However, at first glance what is proposed is neither primatial, nor oversight, nor is it an alternative to the spiritual authority of one who, by both teaching and action, has expressly rejected the Windsor Report and its recommendations. This is obviously not what was asked for.”

Bishop Iker Writes His Clergy about TEC's Proposal

[Stand Firm] 1 Dec 2006--While I am grateful for the efforts of those who crafted the proposal, I find it unacceptable and unworkable in its present form.

Perhaps it needs to be clarified that we have not requested someone to serve as “the Presiding Bishop’s designated pastor” to us; we have appealed for an alternative primate. Nor has this appeal been made to the Presiding Bishop, but to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion. We expect a suitable response from them at the Primates’ Meeting in February.

This new proposal is deficient in that it seeks to reinforce the PB’s authority over us rather than provide an acceptable alternative. We cannot accept a Primatial Vicar appointed by her and accountable to her, who “could” function for her only when so delegated by her. In addition, the provisional nature of the proposal does not meet our needs for a long-term solution to our irreconcilable differences.