TEC's Anglican identity was not so much lost as it was stolen. The authority of Scripture was first questioned, then discarded. The Virgin birth became a myth, the Resurrection became a metaphor. The Articles of Religion were relegated to fine print of historical interest only. We are borne aloft and kept from falling, they claim, by virtue of having been baptized. But when the meaning of everything else has been taken away, just what does that baptism mean? In the South we have a saying, "I guess it didn't take" when someone, once baptized, lapses. The great thief has done his job. --- The Underground Pewster
"That no Powers be delegated to a general ecclesiastical Government, except such as cannot conveniently be exercised by the Clergy and Vestries in their respective Congregations." --- The Rev. Dr. William White of Pennsylvania in 1782
Our age has become overly focused on a model of "leadership" which is nothing short of superficial, for whom the shallow gilt of charisma and "personality" have blinded everyone to questions of duty and responsibility. Benedict's resignation teaches us once again that leadership-while exercised by a person-is not about that person. --- William Fahey in Crisis magazine
No other Saviour. Because in no other person but the historic Jesus of Nazareth has God become man and lived a human life on earth, died to bear the penalty of our sins, and been raised from death and exalted to glory, there is no other Saviour, for there is no other person who is qualified to save. --- John R.W. Stott
Inerrant and sinless. It is very dangerous to begin with such a presupposition as 'to err is human', and then to add, 'therefore to be human Jesus must have erred'. Could we not equally well argue that 'to sin is human, and therefore Jesus must have sinned'? But the unanimous testimony of the Scriptures, which the church has always accepted, is that our Lord was sinless. Of course sin and error are part of our fallen human nature, but they are no necessary part of the perfect human nature which God made and Christ assumed. The evidence of Scripture is that the man Christ Jesus, through the perfect surrender of his mind to the revelation of God, was inerrant, and through the perfect surrender of his will to the will of God, was sinless. --- John R.W. Stott
Dear Brothers and Sisters
February 22, 2013
The new Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby will hit the ground running when he is enthroned next month in Canterbury. He'll be off to a bumpy ride.
VOL has learned that the leader of 77 million Anglicans will face the first test of his leadership following his enthronement next month in Canterbury, England. Global South Primates comprising more than 80% of the Anglican Communion's constituent members will tell the new Archbishop of Canterbury that he will be held accountable for how he deals with theologically renegade bishops like Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Canadian Anglican Archbishop Fred Hiltz.
Sources in Africa tell VOL that archbishops from provinces like Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya have said that they will continue their policy of not appearing at future primatial meetings if Jefferts Schori is invited, and that the Communion will devolve into two distinct Anglican bodies with the Global South drawing together orthodox Anglicans from across the globe.
Welby is trying hard to get all the Primates in the same room while they are in Canterbury in order to take advantage of their natural desire not to offend a new ABC, the source told VOL. "If he succeeds, we can expect the liberally positioned Anglican Communion Office to spin it as the dawn of a new age of Indaba."
To stave off the possibility of open dissension Welby, in one of his first official acts as the new ABC, has appointed Canon David Porter who is said to be widely experienced in peace building, group facilitation, and training, to a newly created position as "Director of Reconciliation" to "enable the Church to make a powerful contribution to transforming the often violent conflicts which overshadow the lives of so many people in the world."
One thing is certain, sooner or later, as an evangelical, Welby will have to make peace with fellow Evangelicals like ACNA Archbishop Bob Duncan and Bishop Coadjutor Charlie Masters of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), even if Canadian Archbishop Fred Hiltz doesn't like it.
You can read the full story here or in today's digest. http://tinyurl.com/avaq7jk
Wherever he goes and whenever he speaks, the former Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson preaches the same lines with the same set of lies and spin.
First of all, he announces that the given and received moral order is now obsolete; by declaring it to be so, he promotes his own moral disorder. Then he says that his sexual behavior has not caused the Anglican Communion to break up (a gross over simplification). He concludes with the sweeping notion that God loves absolutely everybody regardless of how they behave, thus exempting any need for repentance and newness of life, nullifying the claims of the cross that demand we change to meet and do His will, and not accomplishing our own "devices and desires." His movie "Love Free or Die: How the Bishop of New Hampshire is Changing the World," is a paean to his own narcissism and self-absorption.
So thus it was this past week that Robinson made his way to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to push acceptance for his homosexuality once more.
Robinson delivered the lecture "Being a Prophet in Times of High Anxiety". He took questions from a crowd of hundreds that touched on his controversial election as the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, as well as continued gay and lesbian involvement in the church, while a number of denominations including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod the United Methodist Church and the monolithic Roman Catholic Church have not, nor will ever (perhaps the Methodists will rollover in time) believe that sodomy is good and right in the eyes of God.
You can read the full account in today's digest or click here: http://tinyurl.com/bcbg7x2
If you believe for even a single moment that the Episcopal Church's acquiescence to and promotion of a variety of pansexual behaviors is deleterious to its spiritual health, you will be interested to know that one in three Americans now has a sexually transmitted disease (STD) - some 110 million Americans, though many of them have multiple infections.
Anyway you cut it, this is a sign of a decaying culture. With "Nones" now in the ascendency and millions of young people bagging church (with little sign that they are interested in returning), add rampant materialism, a video porn culture and the belief that God is just basically irrelevant to everyday life (unless there is a mass shooting and people briefly turn to God for help), America is doomed, if there is not a revival in the land. Advancing technologies will not save it if the underlying moral chaos continues.
At the invitation of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Katharine Jefferts Schori will attend the enthronement celebration on March 21 at Canterbury Cathedral.
"I look forward to joining with other primates of the Anglican Communion for the investiture of the next Archbishop of Canterbury," Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said. "It is a particular delight to welcome Justin Welby in this role, as we have come to know him over the last several years, both in The Episcopal Church and among the primates. He enters this role at a time of opportunity and challenge, when many people hope for continued growth and maturation within the Communion."
During the trip, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will attend the Anglican Communion Primates Standing Committee of which she is an elected member.
I will also be attending the enthronement and will give VOL readers a first-hand account of what takes place there.
It was announced from The Office of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori that the progressive Diocese of Eau Claire (AKA reappraisers, revisionists, and theological liberals) has elected William Jay Lambert to be the next bishop.
The Rev. Lambert was elected on November 10, 2012. His ordination and consecration service is slated for March 16; Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will officiate. While Bishop-Elect Lambert has received the necessary majority of consents, consents will continue to be accepted up to and including the May 3 deadline date.
Here are the latest figures on this diocese since the majority split from the Episcopal Church.
EAU CLAIRE IS ONE OF ONLY NINE TEC DOMESTIC DIOCESES WHICH HAVE FEWER THAN 2,000 ASA in 2011.
Northern Michigan: 917
North Dakota: 849
Western Kansas: 1,009
EAU CLAIRE: 1,095
Eastern Oregon: 1,329
NOTE: 2012 ASA figures are not yet in - 2011 is the latest ASA figures are available.
Only two churches have an ASA more than 100:
Christ Church Cathedral -- Eau Claire -- 120;
Christ Church -- LaCrosse -- 120.
Only one town, Chippewa Falls, has two TEC churches, both hovering around 20 ASA.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 12
Christ Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 7
Christ Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 19
St. Simeon's Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 21
St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 10
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 19
NOTE: The Conrath church was originally an entire Roman Catholic congregation which converted in 1992. Bishop William Wantland received them into TEC and the Diocese of Eau Claire in October 1992.
Christ Church Cathedral
2011 ASA: 120
Christ Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 120
Our Savior's Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 10
Church of the Ascension Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 43
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 83
Grace Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 38
Sts. Thomas & John Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 15
St. Katherine's Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 22
Grace Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 40
St. John's Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 50
St. Alban's Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 22
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 25
St. Alban the Martyr Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 26
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
2011 ASA: 30
CHURCHES THAT HAVE CLOSED IN 2012
MAUSTON St. John' s 2011 ASA: 9
PARK FALLS St. Margaret
2011 ASA: 7
EMERGENT CHURCH START UP IN 2012
RIVER FALLS Anam Cara Community Featuring Celtic spirituality
2012 ASA: 10
A New Diocese of the Carolinas Website has been launched, according to Bishop Steve Wood. This past week the new website for the Diocese of the Carolinas went live. It is designed to be dynamic rather than static (meaning content will change on a regular basis). You can see it here: http://dioceseofthecarolinas.com/
The National Council of Churches confirmed this week that the ecumenical council will shut down its historic office on New York's Riverside Drive, transitioning to a single office in Washington, D.C. A decision to consolidate into a single office has been expected since a report last year by an NCC Governing Board Task Force on Revisioning and Restructuring.
The NCC, once numbering hundreds of staffers, occupied three floors at the Interchurch Center in New York. Completed in 1960, the imposing granite-clad structure was nicknamed the "God Box" and dubbed the "Protestant Vatican on the Hudson" when President Dwight D. Eisenhower laid the cornerstone in 1958. John D. Rockefeller funded the project, along with the neighboring gothic Riverside Church.
The NCC has faced budget difficulties for many years due to declining revenue from participating denominations, known officially as "member communions." One-third of the council's member communions are not contributing financially to its work, while another third are giving only token financial support.
A brief period in the mid-2000s saw the council increase support from secular political foundations that were attracted to the NCC's liberal issues advocacy. The council suffered during the 2008 financial crisis when much of the outside funding dried up.
The ecumenical body, which counts 37 old-line Protestant, Orthodox, and historically African-American denominations among its members, is also eliminating six positions as part of the "ongoing" reorganization. Transitional General Secretary Peg Birk will now be based in the existing NCC office at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill, while three senior staff will remain in New York at what was described in a press release as "satellite offices" - one of which will be at nearby Union Seminary. (Source IRD www.theird.com)
The Diocese of New Westminster closed a church with 35 people recently. Canadian Blogger Samizdat wrote, "No, no, not St. John's Shaughnessy, they have 40 people and that extra five makes all the difference. Apparently, [t]he minimum standard ... for sustainable and viable ministry is being able to afford a priest". The diocese is paying for St. John's priest because (Bishop) Michael Ingham would look too much like a dog in a manger if he didn't use the building he fought so hard to keep for something that at least bears a passing resemblance to a church - albeit a nearly empty one.
Much better to mothball St. Mark's which, ironically, was a diocesan appeasing "inclusive community" "grounded in social justice" parish - neither of which prevented Ingham giving them the chop:
This from a parishioner: Pam Martin married at St. Mark's Anglican Church. She was baptized and confirmed there, as were her children. But at month's end, the 52-year-old and the rest of St. Mark's congregation won't be allowed to use the church building at 1805 Larch St. anymore.
The Diocese of New Westminster owns the property, and Bishop Michael Ingham told St. Mark's it couldn't hold services after Feb. 28, although the building isn't being closed.
Membership at St. Mark's is stable but small - about 35 show up for Sunday worship. It's been able to support only a quarter-time priest for years. Martin is upset about not being able to use the building, which she considers her spiritual home.
It is high season for evangelistic missions in British Universities. About 90 take place between January and the end of March each year, writes canon Michael Green, one of England's leading Anglican evangelists. "The students work has never been in better shape. And our strategies to spread this in Europe are developing well. About 60 evangelists capable of sustaining a university outreach are developing their talents. We will all meet in Serbia in November, while John Lennox does major lectures for Christianity in the capitals of 6 surrounding nations. Then we will go out in university missions to these capitals, locals and Brits together. The main strategist is Lindsay Brown, recently retired president of IFES." Despite England's growing secularity and indifference to all things Christian, there are vital signs of evangelical outreach and growth occurring across the country, writes Green.
"The Christian Union (transdenominational) which exists in every university invites a missioner for a special Events Week (Mon-Fri) each year. This has been carefully prepared for and prayed over. The Missioner (s) needs to be a fairly high powered apologist and also a gifted evangelist. Sometimes two missioners will come, one doing more of the apologetics and another more of the evangelism. At the invitation of the Christian group, the missioner brings a team with him, comprising Europeans as well as British, who help in the work of evangelism. Sometimes they are able to stay in the Halls of residence (i.e. dormitories), and occupy a student bed while the student sleeps on the floor. The team meet for prayer with the students for an hour at the start of the day then have a team planning time among themselves. From mid-morning they go out with pre-printed 'flyers' or invitations, which they give to whatever students they meet, for a free lunch and talk on a topic known to interest the students which relates to the Christian gospel (that is where previous research into student attitudes comes in). The Christian Union pays for the lunch, and people come in and are out in an hour. The first 15 minutes is for eating, then 20 minutes for the talk, then 20 minutes for the arguments, disagreements etc. Free Gospels are available, various Christian books are sold at £1 each, ($1.53) and on every seat is a response slip for people to sign up either to say they will join a group for skeptics and enquirers after the mission is over, or to say that they have just put their faith in Christ. This response form is a vital part of every meeting. Needless to say the assistants to the missioner are closely involved in all these meetings, helping with the outreach informally, one to one.
"In the evening it is not so much apologetics as straight evangelism, usually assisted by drama, music, conjuring, jazz, curry, or whatever the Christian students have devised. Often the room is decorated by the Christians and comfortable seating set out. The content of the talks is obvious enough - the person of Jesus, human need, the cross, the reality of the resurrection, and the excitement and challenge of the Christian life. A triple challenge is usually issued. One is to skeptics, to look at the evidence provided by a (free) gospel. To those intrigued, to sign up for an Enquirers' course, and for those who are ready, a prayer of commitment to Christ there and then. It is thrilling to see some young men and women entrusting their lives to Christ as the close of these meetings. After the week is over, two courses are put in place. One is to help new believers with assurance, the devotional life, church and Christian fellowship, the work of the Holy Spirit, temptation and victory, Christian living, and witness and service. For Enquirers, courses cover issues such as God's existence, science and faith, other religions, suffering and other normal objections to the Christian faith. But increasingly students themselves are using Uncover, a short, attractive guided study in parts of Luke's Gospel which is run by students for their friends. Sometimes a debate takes place, between the missioner and a prominent atheist academic - this pulls the students in.
"European would-be evangelists come and see what happens, and then put on something similar in their own countries - this is now growing well, under the acronym FEUER, the German name for fire. Some 90 such university missions happen in UK every year, and hundreds of students come to faith. Typically we would see say 20-40 students professing faith after a week like this, and twice that number signing up for an Enquirers' Course, of whom some come to Christ in due course, and some do not. There is a whole network of more senior postgraduates who work full time for the UCCF (analogous to Inter Varsity in the US) and act as senior encouragers and helpers to the undergraduates..."
Such missions are among the most encouraging features of the Christian faith in UK, and could well be adapted to the needs of students in other countries, writes Green.
Pope praised for trailblazing unity with Anglicans, screamed a recent UK press headline. Pope Benedict's move allowing Anglican converts to enter the Catholic Church as a group makes him "the Pope of Christian Unity," says the head of the United Kingdom's structure for these communities.
"I think it just shows his fatherly care to open his arms to those who came from different traditions, but shared a common faith," Monsignor Keith Newton told a Catholic News Agency.
Msgr. Newton leads the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham - an ecclesial structure in the U.K. for Anglicans who enter the Catholic Church in groups and who wish to maintain elements of their spiritual and liturgical heritage.
"I'm more than happy to call him the Pope of Christian Unity, because for me that's exactly what he's been, and for those who entered the Catholic Church through that provision."
A priest described as "one of the worst offenders in the history of the Anglican Church" in Australia moved between parishes in NSW, and later joined the Baptist Church, despite senior clerics knowing he had allegedly committed serial sex abuse.
Geoffrey Albert Taylor is alleged to have abused dozens of predominantly teenage women and girls over at least three decades from the 1960s.
During this time, he worked at a number of Anglican Sydney parishes and spent almost four years as director of the diocese's youth department.
Anglican officials received the first allegations of potential abuse as early as 1970, but Taylor was not asked to resign as a priest until 1993, after signing a statement admitting to "having sexual relationships with my parishioners".
He then moved to the Baptist church in Lithgow, 140km west of Sydney, where he preached until his death in 2011. At Taylor's funeral, three people signed the condolence book "A. Victim", "B. Victim" and "C. Victim".
Trinity School for Ministry (TSM) announced recently that it will offer a Master of Arts degree in religion entirely online for students who prefer distance learning to a residential program. "We are meeting a need for a huge number of people who are called to ministry," said Geoffrey Mackey, director of Distance learning. "Very often these students are already actively engaged in ministry and for financial reasons are simply unable to come to campus."
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