Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Hope for Conservatives Says Jensen

[] 28 Jun 2006--The Archbishop of Canterbury's response to controversial decisions by the US Episcopal Church is 'a turning-point' that gives hope to conservatives around the world, says the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen.

Episcopal ministers say one thing, Bible says another

[] 29 Jun 2006--The Rev. Robert Giannini and Bishop Catherine Waynick, though undoubtedly sincere, are nonetheless wrong as they discuss God's word and the Episcopal Church. The Bible tells us that we are all sinners, and that we should all repent of our sins and asks God to change us. We are not in any way supposed to celebrate our sinful nature.

ECUSA dioceses made petitions for alternative pastoral oversight

[Global South Anglican] 29 Jun 2006--Diocese of Pittsburg’s statement (link here) Standing Committee Requests ‘Alternative Primatial Oversight’; withdraws from Province III of ECUSA and envisions Tenth Province Within Episcopal Church....

Election of Bishops - Church of Nigeria News

[Church of Nigeria News] 29 Jun 2006--The Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev Peter Akinola has announced the election of new Bishops in the Church of Nigeria.

Bishop Duncan Responds to Archbishop Williams’ Statement

[Anglican Communion Network] 29 Jun 2006--Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network and bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, welcomed Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams’ recent statement on the future of the Anglican Communion.

The American Anglican Council: Comments on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Statement

[American Anglican Council] 27 Jun 2006--The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued his reflections today on the future of Anglicanism, emphasizing that this statement is not designed to preempt the Anglican Communion’s “necessary process of careful assessment of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) response to the Windsor Report.” Archbishop Williams describes his goal as defining a vision for “what kind of Anglican Communion we wish to be and to explore how this vision might become more of a reality.” We at the American Anglican Council are grateful for the Archbishop’s careful and insightful analysis of the complex issues facing the Communion and support significant action to incorporate the spirit of his statement.

Gay Priest Nominated for Episcopal Bishop in NJ

[beliefnet] 28 Jun 2006--Defying national and international pressure, the Episcopal Diocese of Newark on Wednesday (June 28) announced that the slate of candidates for its next bishop will include a gay priest.

Point of no return: church must choose,20867,19623128-2702,00.html

[The Australian] 29 Jun 2006--While the word split does not appear anywhere in Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams's proposal to restructure the Anglican Church - and neither Archbishop Phillip Aspinall nor Archbishop Peter Jensen would use it - the two-tier restructuring of the church allows for nothing less.

Related articles:
Anglican head admits split - The Age,8599,1208887,00.html
Starting a Slow Schism - Time
Worldwide Anglican Church Prepares for Split - Christianity Today UK,2106,3715899a11,00.html
Anglican church in NZ plays down talk of split - stuff,20867,19623125-2702,00.html
Last-ditch Anglican plan to stop split - The Australian

Three Episcopal Dioceses Reject Presiding Bishop's Authority

[The Christian Post] 29 Jun 2006--Three conservative Episcopal dioceses that oppose consecrating gay bishops voted Wednesday to reject the authority of the denomination's presiding bishop but stopped short of a full break with the Episcopal Church.

Related articles:
Episcopal Feud Over Gay Bishops Widens - The Washington Post

Launching Community

[] 29 Jun 2006--Three steps to making your small group dream come true for your church.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Long Path away from the Gospel

[Reform Ireland] 23 Jun 2006--Reform Ireland notes with great sadness the determination of ECUSA’s General Convention to continue to follow the liberal revisionist agenda on the issue of human sexuality. Reform Ireland had hoped and prayed that ECUSA would repent of its previous actions and return to biblical Christianity. It has become clear that the ECUSA was intent on delivering a resounding rebuff to the Anglican Communion with the weak response to the Windsor Report from GC2006. Reform Ireland welcomes the dissenting letter signed by eleven orthodox bishops of ECUSA. We also endorse and support the initiative taken by Archbishop Akinola and other bishops of the global south in offering a ‘pastoral and structural response’ to the orthodox in ECUSA.

"TEC" - Poised To Become A Rival Anglican Communion?

[VirtueOnline] 27 Jun 2006--Despite an 11th hour effort at the just-concluded General Convention to remain in good graces with the wider Anglican Communion, there is reason to think Episcopal Church now stands a good chance of being deemed by Anglican primates to be "walking apart" from the global church.

But have Episcopal hierarchs had a "Plan B" for just such a contingency all along, one that was in plain view at the June 13-21 convention in Columbus, Ohio?

A095: While Nobody Was Looking...

[Stand Firm] 26 Jun 2006--Two posters at TitusOneNine describe in detail how A095 was introduced....

Texas Episcopal Megachurch to Leave Denomination

[The Christian Post] 27 Jun 2006-- Christ Church Episcopal has announced that it will leave the denomination because it can no longer abide by the national church's decisions.

Related article:
Plano Congregation to Leave Episcopal Church - The Living Church

Panel: What's the Most Pressing Theological Issue Facing Your Church?

[] 27 Jun 2006--How can we live our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ in the 21st century? Pastors have been overwhelmed with models and programs designed to make local churches bigger. Each, however, seems only a temporary fix until something new comes along. These models come from mega-churches, and the programs are downsized to fit smaller churches. Unfortunately, it hasn't really worked.

Making Volunteering – And Volunteers – a Priority

[Christianity] 27 Jun 2006--Don't look for people to fill roles; look for roles to fulfill people.

Conducting Acts of Hospitality

[Christianity Today] 27 Jun 2006--When my family and I started a new church in Lexington, Kentucky, one of the first things we did was perform a community act of kindness. Seven teams, a total of 21 families, met on a Saturday afternoon at a large subdivision close to where we plan to locate the new church. We went door-to-door handing out free light bulbs to every household. Along with the light bulbs, we handed out brochures describing our new church and inviting people to come and visit our worship services. On each package was a note that read, "Spreading the 'Light' of the World through the Love of Jesus Christ."
All total, we visited over two

Monday, June 26, 2006

The American way puts the Church of England to shame,,1805972,00.html

[Guardian Unlimited] June 26, 2006--The American church is to be commended for quietly carrying on with its life. The entire Anglican communion has risen up against it, Lambeth Palace included. But it has chosen to maintain its dignity. Last week Katharine Jefferts Schori became the first woman leader of an Anglican church anywhere in the world when she was appointed to head the US Episcopalian church and said there should be "room at the table" for gay and lesbian members of the church.

The Rev. Brien Koehler of St. Luke's Baton Rouge Writes His Parish

[Stand Firm] June 26, 2006--It would be very tempting to say that the issue that is causing us trouble is human sexuality (and homosexuality in particular). That would be easy, but short-sighted. The issue is much more serious: the issue is whether there is any accepted benchmark for authority in the Episcopal Church or not. Does the Episcopal Church have "authority" to make whatever changes a majority believes are appropriate or correct without restraint? The traditional Anglican answer would be NO. Decisions of church councils, and bishops, and priests are subject to the rule of Scripture. Here is what the Articles of Religion say about these things:

"The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written..." Article 20, p. 871 of the Prayer Book.

More articles from Stand Firm can be found at

New Episcopal Head Says Homosexuality Not a Sin

[The Christian Post] June 20, 2006--In a statement that is sure to draw fire from Christian conservatives, the newly elected leader of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. said Monday that she believes homosexuality is not a sin and that homosexuals were created by God “with affections ordered toward other people of the same gender.”

A Pastoral Letter to the Diocese of South Carolina in Response to the 2006 General Convention

[] June 26, 2006-- write in sadness to tell you that the General Convention of the Episcopal Church taken as a whole did not respond adequately to the plea of the Anglican Communion as expressed in the Windsor Report. A number of bishops in the Church of England and Primates throughout the Anglican Communion have agreed with this assessment.

The Church must not sway to the siren voice of postmodern culture,,3933-2240445.html

[Times Online] June 24, 2006--The pick-and-mix individualism of postmodern Western culture has many family resemblances to these earlier times. The sense of a revealed and given faith and order, faithfully handed down, is at a discount in an age of subjectivism. Cultural captivity is subtle because culture is all-pervasive, seeping in through the media. We have a culture of rights deriving more from the Enlightenment than from Christian understanding. The very culture which despises religion can, with a siren voice, seduce the churches by saying that in order to be acceptable religion must conform to the culture. It is all too easy to believe that mission demands cultural conformity, but the kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed is a kingdom that judges all cultures.

Truth should be more important than unity

[The Telegraph] June 25, 2006--In many ways, the United States is a study in contrasts. It is full of clashing colours and jangling messages. Socially and politically, it is very divided. The "neocons" have clear views on everything from Iraq to abortion, and the "progressives" have the opposite - but also equally clear - opinions on such matters. We would expect, then, to find these divisions reflected in broadly-based organisations such as the Churches and we would not be wrong. All of the so-called "mainline" Churches have this fault-line running through them.

Why, then, should I have been shocked on entering the Greater Columbus Convention Centre in Ohio, where the General Convention of the Episcopal Church (the Anglican Church in the USA) was being held? Should I not have expected tension, difference and debate? There was, first of all, culture shock. It felt to me like a trendy exhibition put together by some ultra-politically-correct organisation, with all the favourite causes of the fashionable prominent. There was, however, a more profound reason for feeling uncomfortable: it became plain quite quickly that this was not a conflict merely of styles, attitudes or even opinions but of two quite different views of religion.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Saturday After

Feature Article
Keeping the Faith - Peter Jensen

[sydneyanglicans] May 12, 2006--This article was published in an earlier edition of AnglicansAblaze but I am republishing it as it is particularly relevant considering the recent actions and inactions of the 2006 General Convention of "The Episcopal Church".

The Anglican Church in North America
Anglican Church Of The Redeemer Welcomes Bishop From Tanzania

[The Chattanoogan] June 23, 2006--Chattanooga’s Anglican Church of the Redeemer will welcome Bishop Philip Baji from Tanzania in East Africa June 23–25.

The Episcopal Church
Sacrifice of Episcopal LGBTs Doomed to Failure, Head of the Bay Area's LGBT Episcopal Ministry Warns

[PRNewswire] June 24, 2006--The head of the Bay Area's LGBTEpiscopal ministry warns a "compromise" resolution passed by the GeneralConvention to prevent a schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion is "dead on arrival."

Iker Plans to Stay in Church

[Fort Worth Star-Telegram] June 24, 2006-- Bishop Jack Iker plans to keep his Fort Worth Diocese within the Episcopal Church, U.S.A., despite his unprecedented plea this week to the Archbishop of Canterbury to provide him and the 24-county diocese with a leader other than Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Shori.

House Rules: Why Expulsion is Not Impossible
[Stand Firm] June 24, 2006--It's actually pretty easy...

For more articles from Stand Firm, go to

A Troublesome Priestess

[The Sydney Morning Herald] June 24, 2006---When the Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori became the first woman primate in the history of the Anglican Church her election was hailed as a bridge builder and condemned as a church wrecker. After three years of sabre rattling, posturing and deadlines, the hardliners of the US arm of the Anglican Church are drawing up terms of separation.

A New Day is Dawning - A Pastoral Letter from the Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network
[Anglican Communion Network] April 23, 2006--A new day is dawning. It is a new day for all of us who understand ourselves to be faithful and orthodox Anglicans, whether within the Episcopal Church or gone out from it.

It is with sadness, but also with anticipation, that I write to you now that the General Convention of the Episcopal Church has provided the clarity for which we have long prayed. By almost every assessment the General Convention has embraced the course of “walking apart.”

Letter from the AAC President Following the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church{B701BA95-9CA3-44DE-A47D-34714463C941}&notoc=1

[American Anglican Council] June 23, 2006--We have just returned from the 75th Convention of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). The American Anglican Council (AAC) went to Columbus to work for clarity, and I believe we witnessed ECUSA make their choice. The worldwide Communion asked for simple, unambiguous compliance with the Windsor Report, specifically an expression of regret for decisions made in 2003 and subsequent actions, as well as moratoria on consecrations of non-celibate homosexuals and same-sex blessings. The Episcopal Church did not deliver. Instead, both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies bowed to intense pressure from the Presiding Bishop to pass B033, a resolution characterized by ill-defined language with no provision for enforcement or accountability. The legislation “called upon” standing committees and diocesan bishops to “exercise restraint” by not consenting to the election of individuals whose “manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church.” Why was this legislation not cast in Windsor language? It was clear that neither house would have approved Windsor compliance wording.

The Culture Wars
US Church Vote Opens Door for Gay Clergy

[The Age] June 22, 2006--biggest US Presbyterian Church body has approved a policy that will open the way for the ordination of gays and lesbians.

The Resurgence of Islam
New Study Shows Divide Between Muslims, West

[The Christian Post] June 23, 2006--Muslims view people f rom the West, especially the United States and Europe, as selfish, immoral and greedy. People f rom the U.S. and Europe view Muslims as arrogant, violent and intolerant.

The Persecuted Church
CSW Calls for Investigation after 'Brutal' Murder of Indian Preacher

[The Christian Post] June 15, 2006--A U.K.-based Christian human rights group is advocating for a full investigation of the latest murder of a preacher in India.

Book Reviews
How We Worship

[Christianity Today] June 24, 2006--Nearly every Christian, nearly every Sunday, nearly everywhere in the world, worships. Though time, place, and manner of the services have all varied, followers of Christ have gathered to tell the story of his life, death, and resurrection for two thousand years. But many of us do not stop to think deeply about how our worship practices fit into that ancient and global stream. The Oxford History of Christian Worship, a new collection of essays edited by esteemed liturgical scholars Geoffrey Wainwright and Karen B. Westerfield Tucker, gives us the opportunity to do so.

Outreach & Evangelism
The Parent Factor

[Outreach] March/April 2006--On Nov. 22, 2002, our son Sean was born to us—two stunned and amazed parents. Two days later, we dressed him in the tiny going-home outfit we'd so carefully chosen. The nurse wheeled me out the hospital doors as Bill pulled up in our ultra-sensible Volvo with multiple airbags.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Anglicans near split over gay issues

[Chicago Sun-Times] June 23, 2006--The obituary-in-waiting for the Anglican Communion goes something like this: A nearly 500-year-old worldwide fellowship of Christian churches splits apart over disputes about gay clergy -- and American liberals get most of the blame.

Episcopal Church Split All But Certain

[CitizenLink] June 22, 2006--Leaders of the Episcopal Church of the USA have adopted a resolution urging the church's dioceses not to appoint bishops whose "manner of life" would "pose a challenge" to the Anglican Communion.

But The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner, an orthodox conservative Episcopal theologian, said the statement approved by the church's general convention in Columbus, Ohio, is weak and doesn't come close to what the Worldwide Anglican Communion asked of the American church — that it "repent" for having consecrated a homosexual bishop in 2003 and pledge that it won't elect any more gay bishops.

"They were also asked to deal with the problem of same-sex blessings," Radner said, "and they chose not to deal with that at all, which is a problem."

The statement may — or may not — keep the larger world church from distancing itself from the American branch of Anglicanism.

Pressure is growing on Williams to take action over schism

[The Telegraph] June 23, 2006--Anglicanism's most powerful conservative leaders paved the way for schism yesterday by attacking the failure of the liberal American Church to come into line over homosexuality.

Split Looms as African Bishops Decry US Church's Stance

[] June 23, 2006--Declaring themselves "saddened" by the U.S. Episcopal Church's stance on homosexuality, conservative leaders in Africa appeared Thursday to be preparing for a rupture in one of the world's largest Christian denominations.

An Open Letter to the Episcopal Church USA - from CAPA

[Global South Anglican] June 22, 2006--We, the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), meeting in Kampala on 21st Р22nd June, have followed with great interest your meeting of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA in Columbus. We have been especially concerned by the development of your response to The Windsor Report, which has been reported to us quite extensively. This is something for which we have earnestly prayed. We are, however, saddened that the reports to date of your elections and actions suggest that you are unable to embrace the essential recommendations of the Windsor Report and the 2005 Primates Communiqu̩ necessary for the healing of our divisions. At the same time, we welcome the various expressions of affection for the life and work of the Anglican Communion.

Our Mother Jesus . . . a sermon by US church's new head,,3-2237322,00.html

[Times Online] June 22, 2006--The Episcopal Church in America descended into chaos last night after leading bishops on both the liberal and conservative wings dissassociated themselves from a last-gasp effort to avert a schism with the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Presbyterians Gender-Neutralize “Trinity”

[The Trumpet] June 23, 2006--On Monday, June 19, delegates at the Presbyterian Church’s national assembly voted to “receive” a policy paper on “gender-inclusive language” for the trinity—the belief in a triune God made up of “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” This means Presbyterians are one step away from requiring congregations to refer to the supposed members of the trinity using language like “Mother, Child and Womb,” “Rock, Redeemer, Friend,” “Lover, Beloved, Love,” or “Creator, Savior, Sanctifier.”

The God Who Names Himself

[The Christian Post] March 23, 2006--Calls for theological innovation and the employment of "theological imagination" are now routine among mainline Protestants and others prone to theological revisionism. Dismissive of doctrinal orthodoxy and biblical language as out of date, oppressive, patriarchal, and worse, the proponents of theological reformulation intend to restructure Christianity around an entirely new system of beliefs, playing with language even as they reinvent the faith.

Challenges lie ahead for Episcopal Church in U.S.

[The Catholic Telegraph] June 23, 2006--Numerous Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati — and indeed throughout the country — have been watching with interest the triennial general convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States, held this year in Columbus over the past couple weeks. And that interest skyrocketed last Sunday when the church announced that Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, 52, had been elected the first female presiding bishop within the worldwide Anglican Communion.

America's Vanishing Protestant Majority--What Does it Mean?

[] June 23, 2006--Writing in 1927, French observer Andre Siegfried described Protestantism as America's "only national religion." To miss this, Siegfried advised, is "to view the country from a false angle." Now, less than a century later, a major research report provides proof that Protestantism no longer represents a clear majority of Americans.