Friday, November 30, 2007

Jim Rosenthal is Deacon at Church Where Gay Eucharist Was Held

[Stand Firm] 30.11.07--Our sources in London tell us that this is the church where the gay eucharist "clergy consultation" was held.

All Hallows by the Tower is home to The Rev. Jim Rosenthal.Rosenthal is Director of Communications for the Anglican Consultative Council.

The Scriptures and the Created Order part 2: A Response to Fr. Tobias Haller’s, “True Union”

[Stand Firm] 30.11.07--Homosexual affection and desire certainly finds a home within a wider biblical context, but it is not the home Fr. Haller describes. It cannot be categorized within the realm of agape because the homosexual impulse is an inherently fallen one. It turns in on itself. Just as God’s human creatures chose to exchange the glory of the Creator for the worship of created things; things like themselves, so the homosexual impulse turns man or woman toward his or her own likeness and away from the complimentary other. The reason Paul turns directly from idolatry to the homosexual impulse in Romans 1 is that creation’s idolatrous turn toward the creature is mirrored in the man’s turn toward man and woman’s turn toward woman.

Executive Council Officers Address Bishops’ Concerns

[The Living Church] 30.11.07--Civil litigation is the only recourse available when the canons of The Episcopal Church are not honored, according to two officers of Executive Council who recently wrote to a group of retired bishops.

Last summer four retired bishops—C. Fitzsimons Allison of South Carolina, Maurice M. Benitez of Texas, Alex D. Dickson of West Tennessee, and William Wantland of Eau Claire—wrote a series of letters to Executive Council requesting publication of the amount of money spent to date on legal and court fees in church property disputes and pleading with council to stop suing congregations that have left. The bishops also took issue with a resolution approved by the council which declares “null and void” canonical amendments approved by dioceses to qualify or remove language which subordinates the diocesan canons to those of the national church. A fifth retired bishop, Milton L. Wood, suffragan of Atlanta, subsequently asked to have his name added to the second letter.

Committee: Church Turnaround Strategy Needed

[The Living Church] 30.11.07--Declining Church attendance, low morale at the Episcopal Church Center and reports of conflict from an increasing number of congregations are evidence of the need to develop and implement a turnaround strategy, according to an interim report released by the Committee on the State of the Church.

“Part of the responsibility of the Committee on the State of the Church is to serve as sentinel for The Episcopal Church,” the report states. “As the prophet Ezekiel explained to the ancient Hebrews, the job of sentinel is to remain alert; and, when there is reason, to signal the people (Ezekiel 33:1-6).”

Anglican Leader In 'Denial'

[National Post] 30.11.07--The head of the Anglican Church of Canada is suffering from "functional amnesia" and is in "denial" for ignoring a key part of an international report that is meant to deal with the issue of same-sex blessings, conservatives charge.

They point to a pastoral letter released yesterday, in which Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the national Church, expressed displeasure with the primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, which takes in most of South America, for appointing bishops in Canada this month to oversee a parallel church structure here for those opposed to the controversial rite.

Archbishop will act 'in collaboration with Primates'

[Religious Intelligence] 30.11.07--The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the Primates of the Anglican Communion that his response to the American crisis will be taken with their collaboration.

Writing to the Primates on Oct 2 Dr. Williams said he was “seeking the counsel of the Primates in the first instance.”

“My intention is firmly to honour the discernment of all the primates and the wider Communion at this juncture, which is why it is important to me to have frank assessments from all of you at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

“What I am asking for,” Archbishop Williams said, “is an indication of your view as to how far your province is able to accept the JSC Report assessment that the House of Bishops have responded positively to the requests of Windsor and of the Dar-es-Salaam message of the Primates.”

The Interim Report of the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Episcopal Church

[The Episcopal Church] 30.11.07--Fact:

• Almost half (49%) of our parishes and missions have an Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) of 70 or less. The norm - nearly two-thirds (63%) of Episcopal congregations--has an ASA of 100 or less.

The Great Divide

[The Venturar County Reporter] 30.11.07-- At 83, with a raspy voice and an East Coast, Episcopalian background, the Rev. Harvey Guthrie isn’t usually tagged as an advocate for gay equality in the Church.

But when the former priest and professor took the pulpit at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fillmore earlier this month, he was prepared to defy stereotypes and give a sermon unlike any he had given before.

A Pastoral Statement from the Primate and Metropolitans of the Anglican Church of Canada

[The Anglican Church of Canada] 30.11.07--The actions by the Primate of the Southern Cone are not necessary. Our bishops have made adequate and appropriate provision for the pastoral care and episcopal support of all members of the Anglican Church of Canada, including those who find themselves in conscientious disagreement with the view of their bishop and synod over the blessing of same-sex unions. These provisions, contained in the document known as Shared Episcopal Ministry, were adopted by the House of Bishops and commended by the panel of reference appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The actions by the Primate of the Southern Cone are also inappropriate. They contravene ancient canons of the Church going as far back as the 4th century, as well as statements of the Lambeth Conference, the Windsor report and the Communiqué from the Primates' Meeting earlier this year. Furthermore these actions violate Canon XVII of the Anglican Church of Canada which states that “No Bishop priest or deacon shall exercise ordained ministry in a diocese without the license or temporary permission of the Diocesan Bishop.”

Any ministry exercised in Canada by those received into the Province of the Southern Cone after voluntarily relinquishing the exercise of their ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada is inappropriate, unwelcome and invalid. We are aware that some bishops have, or will be making statements to that effect in their own dioceses.

Graham Kings Responds to Chris Sugden

[TitusOneNine] 30.11.07--This ‘no longer trusting in the Archbishop of Canterbury’ matches Chris Sugden’s earlier article, ‘Not Schism but Revolution’, in Evangelicals Now (September 2007), where he stated, after a quotation from Bishop Bob Duncan:

In other words, since the Archbishop of Canterbury has not provided for the safe oversight of the orthodox in the United States, he has forfeited his role as the one who gathers the Communion.

Archbishop presides over 'gay' Communion Service

[EV News] 30.11.07--The Times reports today that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, presided at a “secret” Communion service yesterday for homosexual clergy in the Church of England. At the service he also gave a talk on “present realities and future possibilities for lesbians and gay men in the church.”

The venue, originally scheduled to be St Peter’s, Eaton Square, Belgravia, was changed to avoid media attention after news of the meeting emerged on the Church Society website. The meeting was organised by the Clergy Consultation, a support group for gay clergy, ordinands and Anglican monks and nuns.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Anglicanism in USA: An Alternative View

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

I believe that we already know what we need to know about the two successions that preceded the current exodus of evangelical and orthodox clergy and congregations from the Episcopal Church. Sponsoring a series of regional conferences upon these successions may not be the wisest use of Common Cause time, resources, and energies and may have unforeseen consequences. Different regional conferences might draw different conclusions and might become another one of the centrifugal forces that work against evangelical and orthodox unity.

A more practical approach would be for the Common Cause Council to employ a competent research team to examine the successions and to report its findings and conclusions to the Council for dissemination. They may not want to limit their research to the experiences of the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Continuing Anglican Church. They may wish to look the experiences of extramural Anglican bodies outside the United States such as the Church of England in South Africa, the Independent Anglican Church in the United Kingdom, and the Traditional Anglican Communion in Australia.

The growth and increasing influence of the Oxford Tractarian Movement in the then Protestant Episcopal Church prompted the succession of a group of Evangelical Episcopalians from the Church in 1873. The Tractarians’ doctrine of justification and other aspects of their theology – their elevation of tradition over Scripture, their doctrines of baptismal regeneration and the Real Presence and Isaac William’s doctrine of “reserve” greatly alarmed the Evangelicals in the Protestant Episcopal Church. The theology of the Tractarians and the pronounced Roman Catholic leanings of the Ritualists who followed them were too much for Bishop George David Cummins. He and seven other clergy and nineteen laymen left the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1873 and formed the Reformed Episcopal Church. They issued a Declaration of Principles. Other Evangelical Episcopalians would eventually join them.

The Reformed Episcopal Church started small and has stayed small. A contributing factor may have, at least at the beginning, been that Bishop Cummins divided his energies. He sought to unite other Evangelicals outside the Protestant Episcopal Church into a single body. Bishop Cummins also died three years after he founded the Reformed Episcopal Church. The Reformed Episcopal Church has shown over its 134-year history only a lukewarm interest in establishing new congregations in comparison to other Evangelical denominations. Its congregations are scattered around the United States and Canada. It may be noteworthy that the Reformed Episcopal Church has not planted any congregations in Kentucky where Cummins was Assistant Bishop and which was a hot bed of Tractarianism and Ritualism in his day. The neighboring state of Tennessee has only one Reformed Episcopal Church congregation.

In Guarding the Holy Fire, Roger Steers tells what happened to “the majority of committed Evangelicals” who stayed in the Protestant Episcopal Church.

“In the years following 1873 Evangelicals within the Episcopal Church faced problems which effectively destroyed old-style Evangelicalism within the Church for about eighty years. The new generation of leaders, initially Evangelicals, slowly abandoned old party loyalty in favor of the Broad Church whose new emphasis on critical theology and social ministry seemed to them better fitted to address the problems of post-Civil-War America.

At Evangelical Episcopal seminaries in Virginia and Cambridge (ETS) younger faculty members embraced Liberalism, Darwinism and biblical criticism. By the end of the century, all the Evangelical educational institutions had become Liberal. By 1900, there were very few people left in the Protestant Episcopal Church to carry on the Evangelical Episcopal vision.”

By the close of the 19th century Evangelical Episcopalians had became completely extinct. As Gillis Harp points out in A Once & Former Evangelical—Phillip Brooks: A Cautionary Tale, the Evangelicals and their significant contribution to American Anglicanism were forgotten.

“By the 1950s, there was no longer a living memory of genuine Evangelical churchmanship within the Episcopal Church. Many official church histories compounded this institutional amnesia by often slighting the contribution to the denomination made by Evangelicals during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (most “in-house” histories grudgingly acknowledged the Reformed Episcopalians who seceded in 1873 but added that they were never real Episcopalians anyway!).”

With no Evangelical wing to act as a counter-balance the Anglo-Catholic and Broad Church parties in the Episcopal Church came to dominate the worship and life of the denomination. Episcopalians developed an identity that was essentially anti-Evangelical and which affected their attitudes toward the Bible, the atonement, evangelism, and the need for personal conversion and faith. These developments would have long-term ramifications for the Episcopal Church that we are seeing played out today.

Gillis Harp notes that there was an emergence of a kind of Evangelicalism in the Episcopal Church in the 1960s. It was imported from the Church of England and was influenced by Church of England Evangelicals like J. I. Packer and John Stott. The establishment of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in the 1970s was an outgrowth of this development. The ranks of this new Evangelical movement were swollen by others who emerged from the charismatic renewal movement. While the latter were labeled “Evangelicals,” their churchmanship was not as self-consciously Protestant as that of the old Evangelical party. This movement was not strong enough to check the ascendancy of Liberalism in the Episcopal Church.

The Broad Church was not the only segment of the Episcopal Church to experience the influence of Darwinism, Higher Criticism, and modernism. The Anglo-Catholic wing also increasingly became more liberal in the closing decade of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. In the 1960s and 1970s it would become radicalized. There was a split between conservative, or “traditionalist,” elements in the Anglo-Catholic wing and liberal, or “progressive” elements. The second secession was prompted by this split, which centered upon the issues of prayer book revision and women’s ordination. One group of Anglo-Catholic “traditionalists” seceded from the Episcopal Church in 1977 and formed the “Continuing Anglican Church,” which quickly fragmented into several jurisdictions. A number of factors have been identified as contributing to this fragmentation —the personalities of Continuing Anglican Church leaders and the petty feuds and rivalries between them, the desire on the part of individual leaders to establish personal fiefdoms, the lack of flexibility, conflict resolution skills, and a strong commitment to unity on their part, and a tendency to split over even resolvable differences.

Another group of Anglo-Catholic “traditionalists” opted to remain a part of the Episcopal Church. Some eventually acquiesced to using the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and to accepting women’s ordination. Others became a beleaguered persecuted minority in the Episcopal Church, engaged in a desperate holding action against a numerically superior force. They form the core of Forward in Faith North America.

In his article Dr. Toon identifies the 1928 Book of Common Prayer with the “classic Prayer Book.” The 1928 Prayer Book was the first major revision of the American Prayer Book. With the exception of the Scottish Prayer of Consecration the American Prayer was, until the adoption of the 1928 revision, fairly close to the 1662 Prayer Book. The 1928 revision introduced a number of significant changes in the theology of the American Prayer Book so that it no longer adhered to the biblical and Reformation theology of the Prayer Book that Anglicans worldwide regard as the classic Anglican Prayer Book—the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The 1928 revision adopted a number of features of the 1549 Prayer Book that Bishop Stephen Gardiner interpreted as teaching the doctrines of the Sacrifice of the Mass and Transubstantiation. However, the 1928 revision has other features that go well beyond the 1549 Prayer Book in their unreformed Catholic theology.

The 1928 revision was adopted at time in the history of the Protestant Episcopal Church when it was on the verge of abolishing the Thirty-Nine Articles as its standard of faith. With the adoption of the 1928 Prayer Book, the resolution to do away with the Articles, which had been adopted at the 1925 General Convention and faced easy passage at 1928 General Convention, was quietly dropped. The 1928 Prayer Book in its departure from the theology of the 1662 Prayer Book, whether or not we are willing to admit it, established the precedence for the 1979 revision.

The 1928 Prayer Book from a theological perspective is far from a conservative revision of the 1662 Prayer Book. It is time that we ceased glossing over the differences between the two books. For an example of a genuine conservative revision of the 1662 Prayer Book, see the 1926 Irish Prayer Book. It is time to retire the fiction that the 1928 Book is the 1662 Book, adapted to local conditions. While they may employ a number of the same prayers and liturgical texts, the 1928 Book deviates significantly at critical points from the 1662 Book.

Dr. Toon describes the Reformed Episcopal Church as “high church evangelical.” He fails to mention that for most of its history the Reformed Episcopal Church has been low church. This shift in churchmanship is a recent development and is itself a cause of controversy within the Reformed Episcopal Church.

In recent years the Reformed Episcopal Church has been experiencing a movement within its clergy akin to the one that caused its founders to secede from the Protestant Episcopal Church. The influence of this movement can be seen in the Reformed Episcopal Church’s new Prayer Book, which, despite its compilers claim that it brings the Reformed Episcopal Church’s Prayer Book closer to The Book of Common Prayer of 1662, actually contains a number of significant deviations from the 1662 Prayer Book. This material largely comes from where the 1928 Prayer Book deviates the most from the 1662 Prayer Book. The new Prayer Book also tacitly repudiates the Reformed Episcopal Church’s Declaration of Principles.

Dr. Toon notes that the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America, a jurisdiction of the Continuing Anglican Church, are both signatories of the Theological Statement of the Common Cause Partnership, which establishes the Biblical and Reformation theology of Thirty-Nine Articles and The Book of Common Prayer of 1662 as the signatories’ common standard of faith and worship. Both jurisdictions, however, use service books that do not conform to the standard that they have adopted. The Reformed Episcopal Church uses its new Prayer Book and the Anglican Province of America uses the 1928 Prayer Book. It must also be noted that the churches of Forward in Faith North America, another signatory of the Common Cause Theological Statement also use the 1928 Prayer Book.

These are red flags that point to weaknesses in the Common Cause Partnership that threaten its unity. Adopting the Thirty-Nine Articles and The Book of Common Prayer of 1662 as the common standard of faith and worship of the Common Cause Partners makes sense since it is the official standard of faith and worship of the Church of England and a large number of the provinces of the Anglican Communion. All of the global South provinces that have offered a safe haven to departing Episcopal congregations affirm the Thirty Nine Articles and use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer or a service book based upon the 1662 Prayer Book. The Thirty-Nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer were first adopted as the Anglican standard of faith and worship during the reign of Elizabeth I. The Elizabethan Settlement determined the shape of classical Anglicanism.

The 1559 Book of Common Prayer, the Prayer Book of the Elizabethan Settlement, was the second Prayer Book of Edward VI, the reformed Prayer Book of 1552, with some additions and alterations. As Roger Beckwith draws to our attention in ‘For the More Explanation’ and ‘For the More Perfection’: Cranmer’s Second Prayer Book, the 1552 Book completed the reforms begun with the 1549 Book, bringing “to clear and mature expression the biblical theology which in the 1549 Book was only implicit.” The 1662 Book of Common Prayer is the 1559 Prayer Book with some modest changes.

As long as a number of signatories of the Common Cause Theological Statement are using Prayers Books that do not conform to the doctrine of the Thirty-Nine Articles and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, the Common Cause Partnership’s Theological Agreement is little more than window dressing. It offers an illusion of doctrinal agreement without any substance. I believe that it will be a real measure of the Common Cause Partners’ commitment to their Theological Statement if they produce a new service book that actually adheres to this doctrine. It will also be a real measure of their commitment to the Common Cause Partnership if they adopt this service book and use it in place of not only the 1979 Book of Common Prayer but also the 1928 Prayer Book. This will also show how willing the Common Cause Partners are to put the Episcopal Church behind them and make a full and genuine realignment.

Layman Laments Canadian Anglican Church's Spin on Bishop's Departure

[Virtue Online] 29.11.07--The Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada (its executive body) has issued a statement responding to Bishop Don Harvey's departure to the Southern Cone.

Mr. Henderson, an activist layman, makes a section-by-section analysis on the CoGS statement which was unanimously approved by The Council of General Synod.

Anglican District of Virginia Legal Background Documents

[Virtue Online] 29.11.07--The Anglican District of Virginia ("ADV"), incorporated on December 5, 2006, is an association of Anglican congregations in Virginia and part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America ("CANA"). ADV members are in full communion with constituent members of the Anglican Communion through their affiliation with CANA, a missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria, and other Anglican Communion Archbishops and Bishops. ADV members are thus a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, a community of 77 million people.

Conservative Anglicans to establish new Canadian denomination

[Canadian Christianity] 29.11.07--Bishop Ingham has said that the ACC can tolerate a wide variety of theological opinions but it cannot tolerate schism, the setting up an alternative church.
However, renowned theologian James I. Packer told the ANiC conference, "Schism is always a sin, but realignment may become a duty."

"Those who are unfaithful to the heritage are the schismatics," Packer told the National Post. "It is not we who are the schismatics."

Waiting for Aspinall

[Stand Firm] 29.11.07--Aspinall's predecessor, Carnley, managed to single-handedly stymie the Panel of Reference. Perhaps Aspinall has designs to outdo him? Only time will tell, in the meantime we wait to see what his response was to the JSC report that we are told was rejected by a large majority of the Primates.

That old gay victim line again

[Anglican Mainstream] 29.11.07--I first came across the following development in a ‘right-wing’ periodical and held fire. Turned out it was right on the money. Matt Daniels of the Alliance for Marriage recently flagged it, this time in Time. When will the penny drop for people that gay is NOT victim? When will people realise that this stereotype is blatantly untrue and outdated? We have a whole new class of victims today - and gay is not one of them! Time describes the extraordinary success of many high-flying, successful and wealthy gay folk - and now politically dominant. Not bad for 2-3% (?) of the population!

Gill ’started the Gill Foundation, which has invested $110 million nationwide in gay causes over the past decade. The Gill Action Fund threw $15 million into a dozen states during the 2006 midterm elections, targeting 70 politicians regarded as unhelpful to gay causes: 50 went down. And the fund is helping transform the political face of Colorado … Impatient with the lack of gay rights progress this past decade, Gill is pushing hard to end injustice and inequality by the end of the next decade. And recognizing that most anti-gay initiatives are born at the state level, Gill has developed a national political strategy based on successes in Colorado. “They’ve taken an in-state model and applied it to the entire country,” says Denver political analyst Floyd Ciruli. “Gill (and his people) are incredibly strategic. They simply don’t waste money. They put their funding where they can take control of legislatures.” Ciruli adds, “People were unaware of what was going on for quite awhile, but now I think everybody knows that they have really changed the direction of the state. I’m not sure that everyone really understands how potent (Gill) is, but he now has to be the number one gay rights advocate in the country in terms of funding and strategy. They’re taking significant contributions and putting them brilliantly in legislative environments where a few seats changing will change the entire control of a state.”‘

Bishops without borders launched in Canada

[Anglican Mainstream] 29.11.07--Revolutionary movements in Eastern Europe in the 1980s and 1990s headed for the TV stations. In the revolution in the Anglican Communion last week, the Anglican Network in Canada launched its parallel Anglican entity in a TV Station in Burlington, Ontario.

260 leaders of congregations across Canada gathered at short notice. Nothing could be finalised until the Province of Southern Cone synod on 5-7 November had re-elected Gregory Venables as Presiding Bishop and permitted North American churches to affiliate with the Province.

Breakaway Anglicans set for fight

[The Toronto Star] 29.11.07--Canada's breakaway conservative Anglicans have a million-dollar war chest to fight pending legal battles over church property and have hired a Bay Street law firm, documents from the groups' recent meeting in Burlington reveal.

"It is possible that we could lose church properties at the end of the day," reads one of the documents, released this week by Anglican Essentials Canada. "However, that day could be very long coming."

Church of Ireland proposes its own draft covenant

[Irish Angle] 29.11.07--The Church of Ireland has responded to the Anglican Draft Covenant by producing its own draft covenant. The document was prepared by a small group former and present Irish members of ACC and other church members experienced in ecumenical affairs, who hold “a wide variety of views in relation to both churchmanship and issues of human sexuality.” It has been presented to both the House of Bishops and the Standing Committee of the Church of Ireland, with suggestions from both bodies incorporated into the document.

In redrafting a proposed Anglican Covenant the working group wanted to express very clearly the themes of Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence within the Body of Christ, to be inclusive, insofar as possible and produce an agreement which might prevent similar crises in the future. To achieve this, the working group sought to remove elements of legislative structure from any proposed Anglican covenant and emphasised provincial autonomy within the Communion.

US Bishops fail to convince primates

[Conger] 29.11.07--The Primates have returned a vote of no confidence in the Episcopal Church. Lambeth Palace reports that a majority of primates have rejected the conclusions of the ACC/Primates Joint Standing Committtee (JSC), and have told the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams the Episcopal Church has failed, in whole or in part, to honor the recommendations of the Windsor Report and the Primates’ Dar es Salaam communiqué.

The majority rejection of the JSC report comes as a blow to Dr. Williams’ hopes to avert a showdown between the liberal and conservative wings of the Communion. It also marks an unprecedented repudiation of the competence and judgment of the central apparatus of the Anglican Consultative Council.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Australian Archbishop Calls Anglican Court's Approval of Female Bishops 'Shaky'

[The Christian Post] 28.11.07--Sydney Anglican Archbishop Dr. Peter Jensen has made clear his disappointment in the highest legal authority in the Australian Anglican Church, calling its recent decision to allow the ordination of women as bishops "shaky."

The Appellate Tribunal’s 4-3 decision late September, which did not address whether the ordination of women is compatible with the Bible, is being challenged by Jensen, who said the majority ruling was “scarcely” based on a sound basis for such a big change.

Anti-Christian Persecution in India Hits New High

[The Christian Post] 28.11.07--At least four cases of Christian persecution in India were reported in the average week this year, according to statistics recently revealed by the president of the All India Catholic Union and others actively monitoring the situation.

AICU leader Dr. John Dayal, who is also a renowned journalist and member of the National Integration Council, said the statistics gathered from Jan. 1 to Nov. 16 show that the number of atrocities against Christians this year, 190, has surpassed the marks of recent years.

In search of...elevator speeches

[] 28.11.07--In elevators, at parties, on the sidelines of soccer ovals strangers often ask you what you ‘do’. How can you turn this 30 second opening into a window on eternity?

Churches in Bahrain threatened with eviction

[Christianity Today UK] 28.11.07--Churches in Bahrain could be facing eviction in Manama after the Bahrain Government gave them two weeks notice to provide documents proving that they were given permission to operate in the country.

At least ten churches, including two Episcopal and seven Pentecostal churches have been affected, according to Salem Voice Ministries (SVM).

St. Andrew's church leaving its Vestal home

[Greater Bingham Press & Sun-Bulletin] 28.11.07--Almost six months after withdrawing from the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, members of St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Vestal will leave their buildings on Mirador Road this week and share facilities with a Baptist congregation on Front Street.

After the congregation's vestry voted in June to leave the Episcopal Church, leaders faced the prospect of a long and costly legal battle with the diocese over the local parish's buildings, which include a church, community center and rectory.

From Calvary to Lambeth

[BBC Radio Player] 28.11.07--Michael Buerk reports on the divide over homosexuality in the worldwide Anglican Church. He talks to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who expresses his feelings of shame over homophobia.

Buerk also interviewed Lord Carey, Bishop Duncan, and others.

Official Split in Canadian Anglican Communions "likely to get messy"

[LifeSite] 28.11.07--ANiC director Cheryl Chang said she anticipates difficult times ahead for the Anglican church in Canada, as struggles are bound to ensue over property and clerical authority. "It's likely to get messy," she said. "We expect priests to be fired and congregations to be locked out of buildings or attempts to evict them. We have asked for an act of grace from the Canadian church to let parishes discern their future without threats and intimidation, but we shall see how they respond.

"The ANiC is encouraging individual Canadian parishes to hold a vote in February on whether they wish to remain under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Church of Canada or join the Southern Cone. There will then be a large-scale conference in Vancouver next April 25, at which Archbishop Gregory James Venables of the Southern Cone is scheduled to officially welcome the Canadian parishes that wish to join his province.

Life on the Ground in Minnesota: Gary Johnson Resigns from the Trustees of the Diocese

[Stand Firm] 28.11.07--As trustees, we hold funds that are restricted in amount or purposes for use within the Diocese. Yet, we are not given information how much is being taken from each fund each year and how it is being used by the diocese consistent with the donor’s intention. I have asked repeatedly during my first two years for this information, but have not received it. As I have stated several times, I cannot fulfill even the minimal obligations I believe I have as a Trustee without this information. Malcolm has always assured me it will be done. At our recent meeting I was pleased that there appears to be some renewed resolve to actually do this. I have simply grown tired of asking for things like this, being assured it will be done, but then only to see that it is not done.

An international overview of the Anglican Communion

[Anglican Mainstream] 28.11.07--A presentation given by Chris Sugden at the Anglican Network in Canada Conference in Burlington Ontario

The Anglican Communion - in the Western hemisphere is very much an Anglophile church. But the Lord is leading us to embrace the real theological and missiological basis for being Anglicans by conviction rather than by accident or by opportunity.

In Brief: Listening to other sexual minorities

[Anglican Mainstream] 28.11.07--‘Since he was a child Ashford has always had a deep attraction to young girls but never acted on his urges or knew they had a name. It wasn’t until five years ago, at the age of 30, that Asford realised why his brief marriage and his countless flings across the United States and Europe always ended the same. Ashford is a pedophile … “I am tired of being forced into the shadows by society. I have committed no crime, therefore there is no good reason that I should have to hide myself. As long as pedophiles continue to hide, there is no chance of them ever being accepted” … Ashford, 35, … is part of a pioneering group of pedophiles from around the world who also believe pedophilia is not a sexual disorder that can be cured by medication and psychotherapy. He believes, rather, that it is a sexual orientation with which he was born, and therefore, cannot deny … Pedophilia “has all the same characteristics as homosexuality, transvestism, fetishism, etc.”, said Dan Markussen, spokesman for the 100-member association [the Danish Pedophile Association], which was founded in 1985. “Sexual orientation is defined as a lifelong attraction, which pedophilia obviously is.”‘

Episcopal property trial on hiatus

[The Fairfax County Times] 28.11.07--A court hearing between the Anglican District of Virginia and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia for rights to 11 church properties has ended for now.

The week-long trial, presided over by Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy L. Bellows, began Nov. 13 and concluded Nov. 20, with Bellows taking the case under advisement.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Peace on earth and in the church

[] 27.11.07--‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests,’ sang the angels (Luke 2:14). A mangled version of this has entered popular speech, making Christmas a time to think about the end of wars on the earth. Not that that is a bad hope, and as we end 2007, it is certainly right for us to look out into the world and long for a thorough outbreak of peace among all men everywhere.

But the peace which the angels announced was an even more profound one. It was peace between God and humanity, a reconciliation through Christ the Lord. Much as we long for the cessation of war, so much more should we be gladdened that God has acted to remove the causes of warfare between himself and us. This is what makes us sing with joy at Christmas and throughout the year. It is also the true ground of reconciliation between people.

Sydney firm on women bishops

[] 27.11.07--A decision by a NSW diocese to elect a female bishop would clearly ‘break the unity’ of the Anglican Church, says the Bishop of North Sydney, Glenn Davies.

In his column in this month’s Archbishop Writes, Archbishop Peter Jensen has confirmed that he cannot participate in the consecration of a woman bishop. Yet Anglican protocol holds that as Metropolitan of NSW, the Archbishop of Sydney consecrates all NSW bishops.

Valley Diocese Looking To Leave the American Episcopal Church

[ABC30.c0m] 27.11.07--Church members on both sides are preparing for the upcoming church decision that could make history.

The theological split stems from the church's decision to ordain gay and female clergy.

"Someone who is involved in a single sex partner, as the Bishop of New Hampshire is, is going against scripture," said Bishop John David Schofield, San Joaquin Diocese.

The bishop of the San Joaquin diocese is one vote away from breaking away from the American based church which would be a first, but not all valley Episcopalians want the split.

Bloggers keep the faith, contentiously

[USA Today] 27.11.07--"For Christ's sake, stop!" declared the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Rev. Frank Page, pleading for civility in the Baptist blogosphere.

Episcopalians and Anglicans duel incessantly over their faith and future in the Anglican Communion.

Catholics focus on every topic from liturgy to law to spirituality.

These are faith bloggers — uncountable voices who contest, confess and consider religious beliefs, doctrines and denominational politics in their posts.

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Kunonga is history – Anglican Church

[Zimbabwe Daily News] 27.11.07--The Anglican Church in Harare last Wednesday urged parishioners to openly dissociate themselves from all members of the clergy and laity who for lack of information or deliberate mischief still view Zanu (PF) protégé Nolbert Kunonga as the Bishop of Harare.

The new Bishop’s office said yesterday recent developments within the Anglican Diocese of Harare have created some unnecessary divisions among Christians with Kunonga and his “misinformed supporters” making grossly misleading statements about their status in the Diocese of Harare.

A Message from Archbishop James Ayong, Primate of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea

[Anglican Communion News Service] 27.11.07--A belated acknowledgement of the situation in Popondota Diocese. I received the news about the disaster which hit Popondota Diocese, during my Diocesan Synod, so we ended the Synod three days earlier to the actual closing day.

The immediate reaction was to send our Provincial Health Secretary to the Provincial Office in Lae to set up a base in Lae to co-ordinate collection of what we can collect from Anglicans in Lae and from the people and the Morobe Provincial Government, and from other organisations to put together with what the Church can purchase in way of Food and Clothing and to have these shipped by the Lutheran Shipping to Gona. The boat has left for Gona.

I appeal to the Five Anglican Dioceses in the Province and to the people of Papua New Guinea to work around clock to do what we can to help the homeless and those who have lost food gardens and relatives. I remind us all, Christians, that at times like this we need to stand together as "One people of One Country" and allow God to give his blessings to those who are in need throughour combined effort of love and care. This is not the first time that our Nation has gone through such disaster. We have stood together with our Provincial Governments and our National Government in previous situations as this present one, which affects the livelihood of our fellow Oro Province people.

Anglicanism in USA – can we learn from the past?

[The Prayer Book Society] 27.11.07--Whether we call what is going on in American Anglicanism or Episcopalianism right now in late 2007 by the name of “renewal” or “dysfunctionality,” we are in a state where, it would appear, examining aspects of, or episodes in the past history of, the Anglican Way may be of help.

For example, before the major secession of the last few years, accompanied by the entry into the American scene of African provinces, there were two secessions that cry out for careful examination—in the hope we can learn from them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Research Request: So when did General Convention “effect” the division of 1873?

[Stand Firm] 26.11.07--The Episcopal church presented a number of witnesses in the Virginia parish property trial, including David Booth Beers, the Presiding Bishop's chancellor, Ian Douglas, a professor at the Episcopal Divinity School, and Robert B. Mullin, a professor at General Theological Seminary.

According to The Living Church, David Booth Beers, the Presiding Bishop's chancellor testified repeatedly "that under The Episcopal Church's constitution and canons only General Convention can effect a division."

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, LGBTs & the Listening Process

[Anglican Mainstream] 26.11.07--AM received this response to the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ submission to the Listening Process. Because of the current PC regime, the author felt s/he could not send it to the Church Times. Given its content, we are pleased to put it up on our site. Though there is some UK-specific information, much below relates to issues which impact us all.

Of course I cannot comment on Professor King’s Christian credentials as I don’t know what they are, but I would be very suspicious of atheists or people of other belief systems, let alone those with no knowledge of what Christians believe, commenting on the way the Christian church should ‘lead’ - especially if it is not in the direction they would like! I was not aware that the Listening Process was in fact open to secular bodies - should this perhaps be extended to, say, other organisations like the National Secular Society, perhaps?

Is the Anglican Communion obsessed with sexuality?

[Anglican Mainstream] 26.11.07--Contrary to popular opinion, sexual ethics is more prominent in the teaching of Jesus than, for example, either commendation of love of neighbour or concern for the poor. Please count the verses and look at the contexts. The contexts indicate the important place sexual ethics had in the thinking of Jesus. Sex was important to him. Sex was also important to Paul.

Who Are the Schismatics?

[Virtue Online] 26.11.07--Following upon the conference of the Anglican Network in Canada recently held in Burlington Ontario, the Right Reverend Dr. Michael Ingham, Bishop of New Westminster, has warned that 'full-blown schism' has fallen upon the Anglican Church of Canada. Dr. Ingham has sent threatening letters to retired Bishop Donald Harvey, who has left the Anglican Church of Canada and found a new episcopal home under the South American Primate, Gregory Venables, to stay off his turf (not to ordain desperately-needed new priests for conservative parishes in New Westminster), to the potential ordinands (asserting that only his ordinations are recognized in the Anglican Church of Canada and, speaking imperially, the world-wide Anglican Communion), and to conservative priests in his Diocese (not to support any irregular ordinations).

In the various versions of the Bishop's warnings published by friendly media, little mention has been made that most of the global Anglican Communion consider Dr. Ingham himself a schismatic, and that many of the large national churches of Anglicanism, especially in Africa, Asia and South America have severed or suspended their communion with the angry Bishop. In their opinion, Dr. Ingham is the one who has broken with the clear teaching of Anglicanism, as expressed in Lambeth conferences and in the conciliar deliberations of the leaders of Anglican national churches, the Primates - most notably in the Windsor Report and its process of discernment and discipline, which Dr. Ingham and his Diocese have defied. Dr. Ingham has earned for himself a standing of revisionist leadership within the Anglican Communion, championing not only the gay rights agenda, attending supportively the consecration of the gay Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, but also a religious pluralism which sees salvation through Christ as but one of the ways to God, and a sexual morality which finds Eastern spirituality offering better guidance for sexual expression than traditional Christian teaching on chastity and marriage.

Bishop Don Harvey of ANiC speaks of his sorrows and joys at their launch

[Anglican Mainstream] 26.11.07--Bishop Don Harvey was interviewed by 100 Huntley Street, a Canadian TV station at the Anglican Network in Canada conference. The gist of the interview is as follows - not verbatim....

What would Gamaliel do?

[To All the World] 26.11.07--Bp. Schori has elsewhere expressed the view (also reported here) that, "if all sides in the current debate over sexuality and Scripture could 'hold their truths more lightly,' they might yet find a way forward."

Well, okay, if you want to try holding your "truths more lightly," here's a place to start. Let's assume that Gamaliel is right (and he certainly has been proven right about the beginning of Christianity). These Anglicans are as much a division in the Episcopal Church over a difference in religious views as the early Christians were from the Jews. How about applying Gamaliel's test to our present situation? How about dispensing with all the lawsuits and, instead, start negotiating settlements with departing Anglican congregations? "For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

Or am I being too biblical?

Liberals do not trust in the supernatural agency of a personal God.

Bishop Michael Ingham Writes his Clergy

[TitusOneNine] 26.11.07--By now you will have heard the announcement from Burlington, Ontario, by the Essentials Network of a formal separation from the Canadian Church. You may well be asked about it this on Sunday and for some time to come, so I thought I would offer you my own preliminary reflections on what should be our principal responses.

First, this development, while not unexpected (the signs have been there for several years, see below) is both unwelcome and unnecessary. Unwelcome because it violates both the ancient traditions of our church and also the consistent urgings of Scripture for unity among Christians. Unnecessary because no Canadian Anglican is being compelled to act against their conscience in matters of doctrine or ethics, and so there is no need for ‘safety’ from ecclesiastical oppression.

On Realignment and Having a Clear Conscience

[TitusOneNine] 26.11.07--Last weekend deputies to Pittsburgh's Diocesan Convention voted to take a first step in disaffiliating with the national Episcopal Church in order to realign with another, overseas, Anglican jurisdiction. That process will take at least a year to complete.

Subsequently a colleague asked me (Dennett): "So, how are you feeling?"

My answer was: "Sad. I don't dislike people on the other side; but I do think they're wrong and it's reached the point where, however much I may like them, I can't keep on going the same direction they're going."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Anglicans, archbishop up in arms over schism in church

[Globe and Mail] 24.11.07--The schism in Canadian Anglicanism turned ugly at week's end with threatened fights over ownership of church buildings, hints of swift punishment for rebellious priests and the uncrating of an alternative church structure for clergy and laity who reject openness toward homosexuals.

As conservative denomination members attending a two-day conference in Burlington, Ont., heard plans for the orthodox Anglican Church in South America to establish a parallel jurisdiction in Canada, the primate of the Canadian church announced he would issue a letter next week to be read in all Anglican parishes.

Hindu, Episcopal divides continue

[The Modesto Bee] 24.11.07--While an officer in the British army, John Bowker was sent to control a riot over a donkey between religious factions in a northern Nigerian marketplace.

"I did everything by the book," Bowker said. "You had to blow a trumpet, you had to have an interpreter, you had to say, 'Go home,' three times or, 'I'll fire.' "

It was no use. The crowd could not be calmed and soon pulled the donkey limb from limb. While witnessing the spectacle, Bowker had an epiphany.

"I suddenly realized I wanted to understand why religious people hated each other so much," he says. His career has included Anglican priesthood and editing The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. He also has written several books, including "Licenced Insanities: Religions and Belief in God in the Contemporary World."

"My answer is that religions are so dangerous because they matter so much," he said.

The Modesto area is not without its share of religious fights. Church woes have led to new congregations. Court cases have been filed over church property taken over by unscrupulous leaders. Charges against pastors have split churches and communities.

CofE clergy support conservative US Bishop in face of disciplinary threats

[Christianity Today UK] 24.11.07--The Catholic Group in the Church of England General Synod has written a letter of support to the Bishop of Fort Worth after he was given a warning from the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church that he would face discipliniary action if his diocese changed its constitution to secede from the Episcopal Church.

So far, 51 people have signed the letter to Bishop Jack Iker,which praises his “stand for Scripture and traditional faith and order” .

The letter also describes the Episcopal Church's departure from Scripture as “deeply damaging" and describes its use of litigation as “nothing short of a scandal”, reports Church Times.

The letter welcomed the Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments that dioceses compliant with Windsor would remain in the Anglican Communion and hoped that Bishop Iker would be encouraged to do so.

Those who signed the letter said that they “look to the Church of England to give a lead in modelling better ways of handling disagreement to the Episcopal Church and the rest of the Communion”.

The signatories also expressed concern at the way the Episcopal Church leadership has been handling disagreements within the Church.

Uganda: Gay, Clergy Clash At People's Space

[]24.11.07--The Assistant Bishop of Kampala Diocese, Zac Niringiye, said: "As Church leaders, we want to speak out very clearly what we believe in from the perspectives of culture and religion. We love homosexuals as we love thieves and any person who is not honourable. But promoting the gays' agenda is evil and it is counter to God's design to humanity, to productivity and it is unnatural."

Conservative Anglicans look to the Third World

[National Post] 24.11.07--For hundreds of years, Anglican missionaries poured out of the West to bring the word of God to those living in darkness.

But the tables have turned in recent years, as those who were evangelized are now doing the evangelizing.

In the U.S. and Canada, Anglicans who believe their national churches have abandoned the Scripture are reaching out to the Global South - the provinces of the Anglican Communion that represent most of the Third World - for spiritual comfort. The flashpoint has been same-sex blessings, but the deeper issue is one of theological conservatism versus liberalism.

Two churches shun Canada Anglicans over gay unions

[Reuters] 24.11.07--Two congregations with roots in the Anglican Church of Canada have joined a bishop who abandoned the church because of its position on homosexuality, deepening divisions within the worldwide Anglican movement.

The two churches, both in British Columbia, oppose the blessing of gay marriages and will serve under a more orthodox archbishop in Argentina.

Pope in talks over Anglican converts

[Telegraph] 24.11.07--The Pope is understood to be considering ways to accommodate disaffected Anglicans who are thinking of joining the Catholic Church.

Many Anglicans are hopeful that Rome will allow groups who convert to Catholicism en masse to maintain elements of their current identity.

At a meeting with cardinals from around the world, the Pope discussed the growing splits between liberals and conservatives on issues such as the ordination of women and openly homosexual bishops.

In an apparent appeal to Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a senior Roman Catholic called for Anglican leaders to resolve the matter urgently.

ANALYSIS: Will Group of Anglicans Come Home to Rome?

[Catholic Online] 24.11.07--On the eve of the Consistory, rumors are swirling of a major movement toward Rome.

As the Anglican communion world wide suffers from internal division over issues of Christian orthodoxy, could a significant movement of Anglicans soon be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church?

Conference presentations from Anglican Network in Canada launch conference

[Anglican Essentials Canada] 24.11.07--Conference material from“Building on the solid Rock”Network national conference, November 22-23

This material includes some useful PowerPoint presentations and handouts on church planting.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Life Under the Big Top

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

"Historically, the Anglican Church came from a split from the Roman Catholic Church in the 1400s," Adams conceded "But afterwards it became a big tent church ... open to a wide variety of theologies, and we think that's good and we'd like it to remain that way."

The preceding statement comes from an AFP interview with Neil Adams, a spokesman for Bishop Michael Ingham (“Anglican bishops break with Canadian church over gay row,” AFP, November 22, 2007). AFP was interviewing him regarding Bishop Ingham’s reaction to the announcement of the establishment of a parallel Anglican church in Canada under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Gregory Venables and the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Two things struck me about this statement. The first thing was its historical inaccuracy. The First Act of Supremacy (26 Henry 8, c. 1) that ended Papal jurisdiction over the Church of England and declared Henry VIII “the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England” was adopted by the English Parliament in 1534, formalizing a rift between King Henry and the Bishop of Rome over his request for a annulment of his marriage to his older brother’s wife, Catherine of Aragorn, who had failed to produce a male heir for him. Under pressure from the Holy Roman Emperor, Catherine’s uncle, Pope Leo X had refused to grant Henry’s request. The Holy Roman Emperor had threatened to invade the Papal States with his army.

The second thing was its repetition of a widely-used liberal talking point, that is, the Anglican Church is a big tent under the canopy of which there is ample room for a wide range of diverse beliefs—like the big top at the circus but not with one ring or three but many rings. This view is not surprising, coming as it does from the spokesman of Bishop Ingham. Ingham is known for his advocacy of pluralism. He wrote a book titled Mansions of the Spirit, in which he, like Presiding Bishop Katharine Schori and her predecessor, Bishop Frank Griswold, asserts that there are other pathways to God beside Jesus Christ.

If Adams gave the AFP reporter inaccurate information about the English Church’s break with Rome, is what he said about the comprehensiveness of the Anglican Church also inaccurate? If we examine the history of the Anglican Church, we will discover that the comprehensiveness of the Anglican Church has never been as "generous" as liberals would lead us to believe. Liberals in the Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church, and other provinces of the Anglican Communion are promoting this view of the Anglican Church in order to gain wider acceptance for beliefs and practices that Christianity and Anglicanism have historically rejected as unbiblical, heretical, and immoral, but which they themselves have embraced. What being “open to a wide variety of theologies” really means is being open to these beliefs and practices or at least not actively opposing them.

Those who have experienced life under the “big top” of the liberal dominated church will tell you that there is room for you as long as you do not insist upon practicing what you believe. You can hold orthodox beliefs provided that you do not insist that your beliefs are right and try to convince others of the rightness of your beliefs. All beliefs, you will be told, are personal viewpoints and therefore equal. However, when it comes to matters of practice, you are expected to acquiesce to what liberals believe, to defer to the liberal viewpoint. If you do not, subtle and not so subtle pressure is placed upon you to conform. Diversity of opinion is tolerated as long as it remains just that—opinion. The generous comprehensiveness of the liberal-dominated church is not really generous at all.

Diocese of San Joaquin Invioted to Join Anglican Church of the Southern Cone

[PR-USA.Net] 23.11.07--The Diocese of San Joaquin today announced that the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of South America has extended an invitation to offer the Diocese membership on an emergency and pastoral basis.

The announcement comes three weeks before the Diocese is scheduled to hear the second and final reading of Constitutional changes first adopted on December 2, 2006. Should the second reading of the Constitutional changes be approved at the Diocesan Convention on December 8, 2007, the Diocese is free to accept the invitation to align with the Province of the Southern Cone and remain a diocese with full membership within the Anglican Communion.

According to the Rt. Rev. John-David M. Schofield, Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, We welcome the invitation extended by the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone. The invitation assures the Dioceses place in the Anglican Communion and full communion with the See of Canterbury.

Bishop Harvey welcomes two parishes to jurisdiction of the Southern Cone

[VirtueOnline] 23.11.07--The first Canadian Anglican churches have been welcomed to the episcopal care of Bishop Donald Harvey under the Primatial authority of Archbishop Gregory Venables and the Province of the Southern Cone. Neither St John's Richmond (BC) nor Church of the Resurrection (Hope, BC) was an Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) congregation at the time they joined, although both had their roots in the ACC.

"We are sending these churches out to minister, share the good news of Jesus Christ, and help rebuild an orthodox Anglican witness in Canada," said Bishop Donald Harvey.

St John's Richmond is a young vibrant congregation of 80 that meets in a Baptist church building. It started in 2005 as a Bible study group of members from St John's (Shaughnessy) and has grown rapidly since. They have been an independent church in full communion with ANiC parishes.

'We're very thankful that this allows us to be in full communion with Anglicans worldwide," said the Rev Sean Love, rector of St John's Richmond . "We look forward to Bishop Don's episcopal ministry and are excited about continuing gospel mission and ministry in a growing urban centre."

Church of Nigeria Wails for the Anglican Communion

[Church of Nigeria News] 23.11.07--Prayer ministers cutting across all ranks in the Anglican Church of Nigeria assembled at St. Piran’s Church, Jos, Plateau State in a corporate and intensive intercession focusing on Church renewal and advancement of evangelization process in the 21st century.

The convocation which formally kicked off with a solemn Holy Communion Service presided over by the Bishop of Jos Diocese and the Archbishop-elect of the Province of Jos, the Rt. Revd. Benjamin Kwashi, had in attendance bishops, clergy, intercessors, missionaries and evangelists from all across the Anglican communion in Nigeria.

Bishop Kwashi speaking in a sermon at the service admonished the intercessors not to relent in their prayers for the Primate and the Leadership of the Church of Nigeria as they champion the opposition to all unbiblical acts in the world and the move into large missionary enterprise in Africa.

Greetings to the Anglican Network of Canada from Bishop Mouneer Anis

[Anglican Mainstream] 23.11.07--Please convey to my faithful brothers and sisters in Canada my greeting in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We here in the diocese of Egypt support you wholeheartedly. We thank God for your Faithfulness and stance for the Gospel . We are saddened by the fact that the Province of Canada has failed to provide adequate Episcopal Oversight for the faithful and biblical churches who hold the traditional teaching of the Anglican Communion as expressed in Lambeth resolution 1.10 and accepted fully the Windsor Recommendation.

We are called to be salt and light not to be relevant to the culture where we live.This is why we are proud of you because you reject to be moulded by your culture. You choosed the difficult path to proclaim the Truth and the Lord will honour this.

May the Lord continue to strengthen you to keep the true faith you have.

Yours in Christ,
+Mouneer Anis

Global realignment; Who We Are And Where We Stand: J.I. Packer

[Anglican Mainstream] 23.11.07--Do you remember Peter Sellers, creator of Dr. Strangelove and Inspector Clouseau, man of a thousand voices as they called him? He was once asked to record the whole Bible on disc, and he refused. “To do something like that,” he said, “you need to know exactly who you are. I don’t know who I am.”

Do we know who we are? I think we do, and I will state what I think straight away. We are sinners, miserable and hell-deserving, saved by the glorious grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are orthodox biblical Christians, members of the worldwide Anglican Communion, who value the Anglican heritage of wisdom and faithful devotion, and who cannot in good conscience go along with the increasing slippage from Anglican standards of the Anglican Church of Canada. We are in fact increasingly isolated in our church, much as Jeremiah long ago was isolated in Jerusalem - and if we do not feel something of Jeremiah’s distress at being so placed, I would say there is something wrong with us.

But we are so placed, and action is called for, and my aim in this talk is to ensure that we move ahead with clarity in our minds as to who we are, where we come from, what we are doing and why, and how to explain our action when we are challenged and criticized for it, as surely we shall be.

What you don’t know can’t hurt you…

[Anglican Mainstream] 23.11.07--It is often more interesting to discover what has not been said than what has been. I am thinking here of my letter to the Church Times, 23rd November 2007. Part but by no means all saw the light of day on the printed page: the most damning evidence was omitted which provided the strongest factual basis for the letter’s otherwise fairly outrageous claims. Hence I am printing the letter in its entirety - the edited out bits are in italics. And to be frank, I could have added site after dreadful site, but felt this was at least a start.

‘”Acceptance helps gays, psychiatrists inform Anglicans”, caught my eye. I have shared my home and Golden Retriever with lovely gay men and been good friends with bi women. I don’t only observe from a safe distance, but I am interested in these issues within a larger framework as well. The hurt and rejection of those in the GLBT community have been immense. No doubt of it. But isn’t there more at stake here? I would have hoped that both the article and the supporting document would have developed the issues, instead of reiterating the same stale argumentation. I kept wondering when the more recent academic research on “born gay” theories, ex-gay and reparative therapy, for instance, would surface.

I would like to note two things here. First, this sort of “acceptance” does help gays in certain respects. It would also help all sorts of other sexual minorities still closeted. Do we want them “out” too? There are many sexual orientations - people keep assuming the gay show is the only one in town! Bis, polys (polyamorists), zoos (loving relationships with animals) and even boy/girllovers (they reject the label of paedophile as inaccurate and pejorative) all claim that they are “wired” like this, have always known they were different and suffered discrimination. Read their stuff! This is how they feel.

Giles Fraser: “I believe the new puritans will fail”

[Stand Firm] 23.11.07--Beyond the catastrophizing, conspiracy theories, and invective -- "conspiracy," "dangerous," "new puritans," "hostile takeover," -- there is also rank falsehood -- "whom [the Presiding Bishop] Bishop Duncan has ordered his clergy not to pray for" -- and hopeful fantasizing -- "They will fail" -- in this short, meandering reflection in the Church Times by Giles Fraser, a liberal in the Church of England.

It's fascinating to see what sort of person is a leading light over in liberal COE circles -- this essay is, frankly, nothing more than a collection of feelings strewn on a page, a man emoting in public, and is somewhat embarrassing to post here.

But it's probably good for us to occasionally look in and just see what they take for coherence and reasonable reflection. Reminds me of one of the younger Bennet sisters from Pride and Prejudice writing to her diary.

Bishop Don Harveys Charge

[Anglican Essentials Canada] 23.11.07--This will be a short charge - cannot review the year that has gone!

Appointments and announcements.

When you retire from ACoC HoB you receive a glass dish with diocesan coats of arms. Managed to break it before it got home. Perhaps a god-incidence….. Thought about it when I reliquished my orders. Many fond memories with Canadian HoB. Another god-incidence with Bp Malcolm Harding, do not have time to outline story.

Friday afternoon from Burlington

[Anglican Essentials Canada] 23.11.07--Bp Guernsey - Global realignment: An international view.

Tremendous privilege to be here, bringing greetings from Network Deans and from those South of the border. Lord has lead me to 2 Cor 4....

Opening brief Filed with California Supreme Court by Saint James, Newport Beach

[TitusOneNine] 23.11.07--Attorneys for St. James Anglican Church this week filed the opening brief with the California Supreme Court in the church’s property case with the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the national Episcopal Church.

The opening brief is the first step in the process that will culminate with the California Supreme Court deciding three important issues that will affect every church in California, regardless of denomination....

Church of England leaders send letter of support to Bishop Iker

[The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth] 23.11.07--We write to assure you of our support and prayers in the face of the letter you have received recently from Presiding Bishop Schori.

We fully applaud the stand you have taken for scriptural and traditional Faith and Order, the departure from which of The Episcopal Church (TEC) has been deeply damaging and divisive within the Anglican Communion, and in our relationships with major ecumenical partners. The leadership of TEC’s use of litigation against faithful congregations and clergy is nothing short of a scandal, recalling St. Paul’s strictures about the letter of the law which kills, in contrast to the Spirit of God which gives life and freedom. Bishop Peter Forster of Chester was quite right when he said last week that the use of legal procedures was not an appropriate way to address this kind of situation.

Presiding Bishop: “I ordered U-turn on deal”:

[Conger] 23.11.07--In testimony before a Virginia court last week, US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori stated she had directed the Diocese of Virginia to sue the clergy and lay leaders of 11 congregations after they had quit the Episcopal Church for the Churches of Nigerian and Uganda.

In video taped testimony presented to the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Bishop Schori said she ordered Virginia Bishop Peter Lee to break a verbal agreement allowing the 11 parishes to withdraw from the diocese so as to prevent “incursions by foreign bishops.”

Bishop Schori’s testimony during the four hour deposition, recorded on Oct 30 and presented in evidence on Nob 15, did little to engender the sympathy of the court, as observers noted she carefully parsed her words, and at one point was directed by the court to answer a question.

Christianity and Liberalism--Are They Two Different Religions? -- Church Society Conference Report 2007

[ Cross†Way] 23.11.07--The aim of the Conference was to show how liberalism is contrary to Scripture, to learn from previous Christians who have stood against it, and to examine it’s impact on evangelicals in the Church of England today.

Primate to issue pastoral letter

[The Anglican Church of Canada] 23.11.07--Recent events emanating from the Essentials (Network) conference may have caused confusion and concern among Canadian Anglicans.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, will address these issues in the context of his pastoral ministry after consultation with other Metropolitan Archbishops.

Accordingly, a pastoral letter to the church will be issued next week for reading in Anglican parishes on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Friday morning from Burlington

[Anglican Essentials Canada] 23.11.07--I’ll continue blogging this morning as I can.

Rev David Short is giving a Bible study on the power of God. Talking about an earthquake in the church and we are now seeing the tsunami. Do not be like an ostrich and bury your head in the sand, but seek higher ground. Acts 2:32-36:

The gospel is not about God affirming us in our sin. Phillipians 2 v8-11:

8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

It’s all about Him! (aside - it is a joy to be at a conference when the Bible is opened so often!) Principalities and powers are real and evil - Ephesians 6 v12:

our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Evil is not just the ‘naughty things we do’ but there are real spiritual forces of wickedness. In essense it is defiance, rebellion and disbelief. JC has been raised up and sits above all power and authority, hence the strategy is now to attack the Church and the truth. Any structure that commits itself to lies becomes a medium for the principalities and powers.

Concern expressed over possible exclusion of bishops from Lambeth

[ekklesia] 23.11.07--As inclusive Anglicans representing what many call the 'orthodox centre' in the church have been meeting in a major gathering called Drenched in Grace, concern has been expressed that the Archbishop of Canterbury is giving in to pressure from hardliners.

A few days ago reports emerged in The Daily Telegraph and elswhere that the Dr Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the world's 77 million Anglicans, bitterly divided in a war of sexuality and authority, is preparing to target individual bishops whose pro-gay policies are seen as threatening to derail efforts to avert schism by withdrawing their invitations to next year's Lambeth Conference of worldwide bishops.

"Is the Archbishop of Canterbury proposing to withhold invitations from English as well as bishops from other Provinces, the USA in particular, who in the perception of conservatives, are also pro-gay in their diocesan policy?" the Rev Colin Coward, head of Changing Attitude asked at the beginning of the week.

It is said that Dr Williams could also target conservatives if he believes they are breaching the guidelines against bishops intervening in other Provinces and dioceses.

The Archbishop is said to have told friends he will challenge any bishop he believes is coming to the conference with an agenda "very much at odds" with his attempts to maintain unity in the worldwide Church, scrutinising “controversial bishops” he has already invited if there is evidence that they are unwilling to compromise their views, claims Changing Attitude.

They claim he may be seeking assurances that bishops can abide by the broad principles of the Windsor Report, but has not ruled out barring them from the three-week conference. The Windsor Report asked The Episcopal Church to impose moratoriums on future consecrations of gay bishops and on the blessing of same-sex relationships.

Changing Attitude, which wishes to see the full inclusion of lesbian and gay Christians, says the Archbishop of Canterbury is being put under huge pressure from conservatives on both extremes of the church who are plotting to secede if they fail to get their own way in forcing The Episcopal Church to be excluded from Lambeth and from the Anglican Communion.

"Orthodox centre"?I It would appear that the liberals in the Church of England have taken Bishop Michael Ingham's advice and are claiming that they are the true "orthodox" in the church. I am always amazed at the impertinence of those on the radical edge. They present themselves as "moderates" and "centrists," paint those who do represent the mainstream of Anglicanism as "extremists," and do all they can to get others to accept their definition of those who on solid Biblical grounds oppose their radical agenda. Now they are asserting that they are the"orthodox centre." They truly deserve the label of "revisionists."

Jefferts Schori--Valkyrie who started Episcopal war

[The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star] 23.11.07--Bill Mehr's Nov. 17 letter--accusing the "breakaway Anglicans" of belligerent actions regarding their separation from the Episcopal Church--is seriously flawed and itself is as harsh as the tactics of Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori ["Breakaway Anglicans follow Mars, not Christ"].

Mr. Mehr does not admit that the Episcopal Church began departing from scriptural authority and doctrine years before gay bishop Gene Robinson's consecration in 2003, which ignited the separation action.

Mr. Mehr writes: "Rather than submitting obediently to the will of the church, as expressed at the General Convention, CANA warriors conduct guerrilla campaigns."

Rubbish. Extensive discernment periods preceded each congregational vote whether to remain within the Episcopal Church or depart. After voting to leave the Episcopal Church, our congregation did not kick anyone out, but invited the minority to stay and worship with the congregation as always.

'Faith on Tap' brings Episcopal clerics to Walnut Creek brewery

[San Mateo County Times] 23.11.07--The ale flowed as Episcopal clerics, including the bishop, went to a downtown pub recently to talk faith with 20- and 30-somethings.

Churchgoers on a mission to sober up sinners? Not at all. "Faith on Tap" is about bringing together young adults hungry for community, rousing discussion and a meaningful life. It's spreading across the country faster than a moonshine delivery.

In the Pyramid Brewery's Diablo Room, Bishop Marc Andrus, the Rev. Phil Brochard, and parishioners from St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Walnut Creek, and more than 20 others gathered around tables laden with glasses and pitchers.

The topic amid the cacophony spilling in from the adjacent main room: "Is there a God pill?" It was the second installment in a three-part series called "Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll.

One of the Episcopal priests in my area has adopted this approach in his work as a campus minister with the students of a local university. His church is not exactly brimming with young adults. This not to say that there is anything wrong with seeking the unchurched and spiritually-connected in bars and pubs where they gather.

Michael Green has been very effective in witnessing to people in bars and pubs. I think that the difference is the direction in which the conversations turns. Sooner or later Green gets around to talking about their relationship with God and their need for a Savior with the people with whom he is having a pint. Talking about spirituality and related subjects may provide an opening but it does not appear that Episcopal priests who have adopted this approach move beyond this opening. They could learn a few things from Green. A friendly chat with the vicar over a beer may leave some with the impression that the vicar is a good fellow but it not not likely lead them to show up at his church next Sunday.

We must also not forget that Church history records that a number of English priests were infamous tipplers who frequented the alehouses and the inns in their cures. Their heavy drinking greatly harmed their ministry as servants of the Gospel and cost them the respect of their flock.

Uganda: Gays, Bishops Clash At Chogm

[] 23.11.07--Just as Commonwealth leaders prepared to take on the crisis in Pakistan, another one seemed to have pentrated the club from the Anglican communion- the issue of gays.

Bishops of the Province of the Church of Uganda and gay activists clashed at the Commonwealth People's Space at Hotel Africana yesteraday when gays overheard bishops telling journalists that Commonwealth countries should not promote their activities.

Archbishop Venables speaks to the ANiC conference

[Anglican Essentials Canada] 23.11.07--Archbishop Venables' video address.

Dr Tutu is ‘ashamed’ of his ‘homophobic’ Communion

[Church Times] 23.11.07--Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s declared view of an exclusive and homophobic Anglican Communion, which is obsessed with sexuality, will be challenged by conservative Christian voices in a BBC Radio 4 programme, From Calvary to Lambeth, to be broadcast on Tuesday.

Michael Buerk interviewed Dr Tutu in Cape Town, and invited responses to key extracts from the interview from a range of conservative figures, including Lord Carey; the Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Rt Revd Robert Duncan; Stephen Green, the director of Christian Voice; Ann Widdecombe MP; and Canon Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream.

Catholics write to back Iker

[Church Times] 23.11.07--The Catholic Group on the General Synod has initiated a letter of support for the Bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt Revd Jack Iker. He has been warned by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, of disciplinary action if his diocese changes its constitution to effect secession from the Episcopal Church.

The letter has 51 signatories. It applauds Bishop Iker’s “stand for scripture and traditional Faith and Order” and describes the Episcopal Church’s “departure” from this as “deeply damaging and divisive within the Anglican Communion and in our relationships with major ecumenical partners”. It describes the leadership’s use of litigation as “nothing short of a scandal”.

It continues: “We are delighted by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement in response to Bishop John Howe of Central Florida that any diocese compliant with Windsor remained in communion with the See of Canterbury and the mainstream of the Anglican Communion, and trust that you and your diocese will be encouraged thereby.”

The signatories “look to the Church of England to give a lead in modelling better ways of handling disagreement to the Episcopal Church and the rest of the Communion”.

Message from Archbishop Peter Jensen to the Anglican Network in Canada

[Anglican Mainstream] 23.11.07--‘I know that as Canadian Anglicans you are beginning this new initiative only after much prayer and searching of the word of God. The issue on which you have taken a stand is absolutely correct. Your obedience to the word of God is a necessary witness both to the Church and to society about the way in which God has designed us to live. You have my admiration for your courage and my prayers for the Lord’s richest blessing on this venture. I extend my warmest Christian greetings to Archbishop Venables and to Bishop Harvey.’

Liberal ideas has 'poisoned' Anglican church: theologian

[National Post] 23.11.07-- A parallel national Anglican church was launched on Thursday amid charges by a leading theologian that the Anglican Church of Canada has been poisoned by liberalism and is real the cause of the schism now underway.

"Schism means unwarranted and unjustified separation from the rest of the Church (structure), causing an indefensible breach of unity," said J.I. Packer, a Canadian who Time magazine called one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. "Those who are unfaithful to the heritage are the schismatics. It is not we who are the schismatics."

Mr. Packer said the Anglican Church of Canada has been "poisoned" by a liberal theology that "knows nothing of a God who uses (the Bible) to tell us things and knows nothing of sin in the heart and in the head."

He said the Anglican Church of Canada is being ruined by its attempts to "play catch-up with the culture" by adopting whatever "is the in-thing."

Letter to Anglican Network in Canada from Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean

[Global South Anglican] 23 Nov 2007--“Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the other. Make us glad by the measure of the years in which we suffered adversity.Show your servants your works. May the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us” (Ps.90).

These words of the Psalmist is an echo of your own experience as disciples of Christ within the Anglican Communion. Because of your faithfulness to the Teachings of the Bible and the Church, you are to-day witnessing to Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.

There is now a need for all of us to set a Vision in a world in which Christians have become prisoners of secular culture. I wish here to encourage you in spite of the prevailing suffering and pain to continue in your struggle to keep the Body of Christ on the right track.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

South American province opens arms to dissenting Canadian parishes

[Anglican Journal] 22 Nov 2007--An Anglican province in South America said on Nov. 22 that it will accept conservative Canadian Anglican churches that are in “serious theological dispute” with their dioceses or with the national church. Such disputes have become more acute recently over differing views on homosexuality.

A second retired Canadian bishop, Malcolm Harding, formerly of the Manitoba diocese of Brandon, announced at the same time that he has relinquished his licence to minister in the Anglican Church of Canada and has become a bishop in the Province of the Southern Cone under Archbishop Gregory Venables.

Both announcements came at the start of a two-day conference convened by the Anglican Network in Canada, a group of parishes and individuals that disagree with the more-liberal stance on homosexuality taken by several Canadian dioceses and by the national church.