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California Bishop Dissed*Bennison Retires (finally)*WO issue surfaces for ACNA*

Kingdom come and kingdom coming. The essence of the interim period between the 'now' and the 'not yet', between kingdom come and kingdom coming, is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the people of God. On the one hand, the gift of the Spirit is the distinctive blessing of the kingdom of God, and so the principal sign that the new age has dawned. On the other, because his indwelling is only the beginning of our kingdom inheritance, it is also the guarantee that the rest will one day be ours. The New Testament uses three metaphors to illustrate this. The Holy Spirit is the 'first fruits', pledging that the full harvest will follow, the 'deposit' or the first installment, pledging that the full payment will be made, and the foretaste, pledging that the full feast will one day be enjoyed. In this way the Holy Spirit is 'both a fulfillment of the promise and the promise of fulfillment: he is the guarantee that the new world of God has already begun, as well as a sign that this new world is still to come' --- Taken from Authentic Christianity by John Stott and Timothy Dudley-Smith.

History is change. There has probably never been a generation more suspicious of the old and more confident in the new than the present generation. It is a generation in revolt against what it has inherited from the past (in many cases understandably and justifiably so). It hates tradition and loves revolution. Anything that savours of rigid institutionalism, of the status quo or of the establishment, arouses its hot indignation. Such a wholesale repudiation of what is old is, to say the least, extremely naive. Nevertheless, the opposite tendency of resistance to all change is equally mistaken. Time does not stand still. History is change. Far from impeding progress, for example in scientific discovery and social justice, Christians should be in the vanguard of advance. --- John R.W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters
October 12, 2012

If any further evidence is needed that The Episcopal Church has fallen off the sexual cliff and into a permanent prurient cesspool, take a look at what took place this week in San Francisco, California.

A faceoff between an orthodox Roman Catholic archbishop and a revisionist Episcopal bishop in San Francisco highlights the deep divisions between The Episcopal Church with its revisionist sexual theology and most of the rest of Christendom including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches of the East and West, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Assemblies of God, orthodox Presbyterians and United Methodists.

Episcopal California Bishop Marc Andrus gave the new San Francisco Roman Catholic archbishop a backhanded welcome to the neighborhood by stressing the wonders of The Episcopal Church's Millennium Development Goals. Then he turned on the high level cleric for not showing appropriate pain for pansexualists and his church's alleged "oppression" of gays. Of course, in TEC anyone who does not pay due homage to homosexualists like Gene Robinson, Mary Glasspool, Louie Crew and Susan Russell is automatically guilty of homophobia and, worse, hatred.

The new Archbishop is daring to take a tough line on homosexual behavior that, oh my god, is just awful. We definitely can't have that. So at the installation of the new Archbishop, Andrus showed up late and missed the procession of interfaith clergy who were to be seated up front.

Andrus got it into a snit and walked out. The Catholic Diocesan spokesperson George Wesolek said they were looking for an opportunity to bring the bishop in without disrupting the service. When they went to retrieve him, he had already left.

Andrus got into a snit and plastered the Internet with his own interpretation of events. The Archdiocese says the Episcopal bishop was spoiling for a fight. Andrus whacks the Archbishop, tries to steal his "gay" flock and then gets bent out of shape when he doesn't get his way. What a crybaby.

You can read the full account in today's digest.


Occasionally there is good news in The Episcopal Church. So it came to pass, after a decade of Episcopal hellishness unmatched by almost any other bishop that Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania has announced that he would retire at the end of the year. A church official said a provisional bishop will serve until a replacement for Bennison is selected. He will be elected early next year.

Bennison, 68, a supporter of gay clergy and same-sex marriage, was elevated to his position in 1998. His tenure has been marked by many controversies over his support of gay rights and disputes over church property. He was suspended for mishandling his brother's sex abuse of a teen girl in the 1970s, but was reinstated.

Church officials remain tightlipped, but sources have told VOL that he was told to resign or face disciplinary charges based on a new resolution, B021, passed at GC2012, which recognizes that when the relationship between bishops and dioceses is severely strained, sometimes to the breaking point, there is a way out that includes getting rid of the diocesan bishop. Behind the scenes public pressure was put on him to make a public statement.

"I believe that the interests of the diocese are best served if the process envisioned by the Standing Committee begins sooner rather than later and therefore I have informed the committee that I will retire on December 31, 2012," quoth Bennison.

Bennison will go down as possibly the worst bishop since Arius. He once said that Jesus was a sinner who forgave himself. He was found guilty of covering up his brother's (a priest) abuse of a minor, but got off on a statute of limitations. He lied and deceived a small group of Anglo-Catholic priests over a flying bishop arrangement they had with a previous Episcopal bishop. He made life miserable for Evangelical priests in the diocese and got embroiled in multiple lawsuits with David Moyer, former priest at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, PA. He managed to retain properties in disputes with those who chose to leave over the Episcopal Church's acceptance of pansexuality, but then admitted it cost $55,000 a year to maintain empty buildings - a cost of nearly half a million dollars a year to the diocese.

There is not one good thing to be said about this man except that his departure will mean a new bishop, who will undoubtedly be liberal in faith and morals, but who cannot possibly be as bad or venal as Bennison.

You can read the full story in today's digest.


Some other good news to report is that Bishop William Love of the Diocese of Albany says the average ASA (Average Sunday Attendance) for the diocese increased...from 6492 people in 2010 to 6590 in 2011, the first overall increase...in over nine years!


The issue of women's ordination continues to lurk just beneath the surface for the new Anglican province - The Anglican Church in North America.

It surfaced this week when the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin Standing Committee passed a resolution in support of the Forward in Faith, North America (FiFNA) resolution calling on "the ACNA College of Bishops for a voluntary moratorium on any further ordinations of women to the Priesthood until a comprehensive theological inquiry is undertaken and completed on the question of the ordination of women as it relates to the wider question of the nature of faith and order of the church (ecclesiology)."

Bishop Eric Vawter Menees forwarded the resolution to Archbishop Bob Duncan and the ACNA College of Bishops

Since the Forward In Faith North America Assembly in mid-July, similar resolutions (urging a moratorium on Women's ordinations throughout ACNA) have also been adopted by the Standing Committees of the Dioceses of Quincy, Fort Worth, and Missionary Diocese of All Saints.

This is an issue that seems unlikely to go away any time soon. It simmers and bubbles on orthodox blogs and websites around the globe. It will have to be addressed perhaps after Archbishop Duncan retires in two years. One hopes this issue can be resolved without a split. That would be a crying shame.


AT SEWANEE, University of the South, big changes are afoot and none of them look very good. At the university's recent Convocation, Vice-Chancellor John McCardell opened with the announcement of the trustees' election of the Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson (John) Howard, Bishop of the Diocese of Florida, as the 24th Chancellor of the University. Bishop Howard was formally installed during a Eucharist service Oct. 10.

This bishop has inhibited and deposed more orthodox priests in his diocese than any living bishop. Since 2003, more than 5,000 Episcopalians have left the Diocese and 22 clergy have been inhibited or deposed for "the abandonment of the communion of this church", including some retired distinguished clergy who were never informed of their inhibition until the letter landed in their mail boxes.

Furthermore, the Bishop of Atlanta, Neil Alexander announced that he would be the new Dean of the Seminary even though he said he would be leaving his bishopric to take up a post in Liturgics at Emory University.

A source told VOL that Alexander's ability to give himself awards and earn TEC top dollars is unmatched. "He not only used his position as bishop trustee to get himself elected as a Regent, he then orchestrated his unopposed victory as Chancellor. As Chancellor, he named himself Dean of Sewanee Episcopal Seminary. Now he's put himself in a chaired Profe$$orship.

"Nobody in all of Sewanee's history has ever grabbed as much power, profit, and privilege as has Alexander, and he's not even an alumnus. Alexander gets his fat retirement income from Diocese of Atlanta, and gets paid twice by Sewanee Episcopal Seminary - once for job as Dean, and second as Chaired professor - BIG BUCK$ FOR THE BIG MAN ON CAMPU$." a source told VOL.

VOL received this latest report from Sewanee about Alexander's latest moves: "Folks are aghast at his blatant abuse of White privilege, especially from one who is so busy integrating minority Diversity into every aspect Sewanee, from student life and 'engagement' to faculty appointments to new anti-racist governance oversight. Non-white racial Diversity is the new religion at Sewanee, plus the gay stuff. When will we get more Interfaith Muslims?

"Alexander told his diocese that he never stops thinking about race, so while he's got you thinking he's a good anti-racist, he doubles down on his White privilege and grabs more advantages for himself, expecting he'll be excused because he led his diocese to elect its historic first African American bishop.

"Alexander is just like the White civil rights marcher who marches from the picket line straight back to the best office on campus, with the best perks.

"Alexander systematically hurts opportunities of other Whites to benefit from their earned institutionally advancement so that Diversity can get pushed to the head of the line at Sewanee, but he guarantees he gets the best opportunities just for himself. Structural inequity is profitable when you get to the top and keep on getting..."


With all the cutbacks at the Episcopal Church's headquarters at 815 2nd Ave New York because of a $23 million budget cut mandated by General Convention, it is interesting to note that the church is looking to hire more staff including yet another lawyer. You would think they had enough. Apparently not. According to TEC's Director of Human Resources, John E. Colón, the starting salary range for this position is $155,000 - $175,000. A summary of his position includes "coordinating any referrals to outside counsel as required for corporate matters. Advises, consults on and carries out the legal processes necessary to effect the rights, privileges and obligations of the DFMS." This is code for fleeing parishes....don't.

So the question must be asked, how many 815 lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? Sue everyone in sight? Lead the mission of the church however you define it? How many small town vicars would this salary provide: 2 or 3?

The four new positions the church seeks to fill will cost upwards of $500,000 a year. This is the church that dumped its cleaning company because it cost too much to keep them on, and hired cheaper folk, all minorities we should hasten to add. This is the church that constantly cries injustice.


The Episcopal Church's deep thinkers might want to ponder on the latest news that there has been a dramatic increase in religiously unaffiliated as Protestants in the US. They are losing their majority status.

But religious leaders aren't terribly troubled by the news. They should be.

Just under 20 percent of all Americans do not identify with any particular religion, according to a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life report released Tuesday, titled "'Nones' on the Rise."

As that share of the population, up from 15 percent in 2007, continues to rise, the study also reports that the Protestant share, including mainline and evangelical, has dipped below the 50-percent mark for the first time.

According to the report, 53 percent of respondents said they were Protestant in 2007, but only 48 percent identified as such in 2012.

The decline comes primarily from white evangelical and mainline believers, down 2 and 3 percent respectively since 2007.

Ross Douthart, a NY Times columnist, has an interesting take on religion in America. America is not secular, but rather heretical, he says. In fact, Douthat claims, "in some ways you could argue we are more religious" today than we were sixty years ago. Perhaps he had The Episcopal Church in mind which is running after every piece of heresy it can get its hands on.

In a speech at Georgetown University recently, he said, "Institutional decline hasn't really coincided with the sweeping secularization that people often associate with the religious culture of ... Western Europe. It doesn't actually make sense to think of America as a 'post-Christian' nation," because Americans tend to "keep the figure of Jesus, but repurpose him, and reshape the gospel narratives so they fit better with the way we live now." Today, Americans are less likely to report an affiliation with a particular denomination than they were sixty years ago, but more likely to claim having a personal experience with God, or that they believe in an afterlife.

Douthat argued that the weakening and eventual absence of a strong orthodox Christian presence in American public life "has negative consequences for American life overall." He explained, "Paradox, synthesis, mystery, [and] holding competing ideas in tension, ultimately gets you closer to the truth about human existence than ... trying to emphasize just one piece of what's supposed to be a larger message." According to Douthat, "This plays out in our financial lives, in our personal lives, and in our political lives as well."

The Episcopal Church under Katharine Jefferts Schori has lost nearly all sense of transcendence. She has imbibed the social justice waters of Walter Rauschenbusch a key figure in the Social Gospel movement.


The Episcopal Church's Diocese of Washington, under the leadership of Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, continues its aggressive lawsuit against the powerful PNC Bank over the Soper Trust in the diocese's attempt to wrest control away from the bank. The Diocese of Washington's problem-ridden lawsuit is only matched by its free fall in both people and money.

Recent court papers reveal unusual filing problems committed by diocesan lawyers when, twice in recent months, the lawyers for the Diocese of Washington incorrectly filed papers that the court stamped "Filed in Error." The whole thing looks like a comedy of errors except that the diocese is in free fall.

To recap this situation, the now beleaguered Soper Trust was set up with good intentions by Ruth Gregory Soper with wealth obtained by her husband in the Texas oil industry.

In 1973, Mrs. Soper generously left her wealth to many beneficiaries, including five Episcopal organizations, with her money being granted outright to her parish church, All Saints, Chevy Chase, Maryland, and other Episcopal organizations. Ahe placed her money for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington under the jurisdiction of Riggs National Bank; after the collapse of Riggs National Back, PNC Bank inherited this legal responsibility.

On October 8, 2010, the Diocese of Washington filed papers in the US District Court of Maryland, requesting that the trust be taken away from the control of PNC Bank so that the church could control the entire trust. In this lawsuit, the Diocese of Washington seeks to break apart her trust structure and claim control over the money which now totals about $23 million.

Indeed, with the extreme financial shortfall in the Diocese of Washington, the sustainability of the institutions will be difficult. Currently the Soper Trust provides about one/third of the operating costs of the Diocese, a fact which has been well-documented in its budget and a fact which is controversial among many people in the diocese.

You can read the full story in today's digest.


Eric Sohlgren has a passion for our Lord Jesus Christ which he expresses through musical worship. He has released a worship CD called Submitted that many have said is beautiful and heartfelt.

You can learn more about Submitted and hear some of his recording: www.submittedmusic.com

It is also available on iTunes. "While Submitted is well known in the St. James, Newport Beach, CA community, and many of the songs are used for corporate worship, during the past few months God has been leading me to be more proactive about letting others know about Submitted for worship and devotion," he told VOL.


North American Anglicans are not the only ones to experience splits; the same is also happening with splits and departures among Presbyterians especially the PC (USA). Churches are leaving either for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination or the Evangelical Covenant Order (ECO) of Presbyterians which is the newest formed denomination. An evangelical Presbyterian wrote to VOL, "Like the Anglicans, I wish they would form just one and stick with it instead of starting another evangelical group. We now have PCA, EPC and ECO".


A federal judge has again refused to toss out an abuse lawsuit brought by families of 11 former cadets at St. John's Military School in Salina, an Episcopal institution.

The academy wanted the lawsuit dismissed or an order putting the dispute into arbitration. The school contends the enrollment contract signed by cadets' parents requires any claims to be submitted to arbitration.

U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum on Wednesday denied the school's request on the same grounds that he denied it in June. He had previously ruled the arbitration clause agreed to by the parents does not apply to claims from the students.


As we approach the national elections, this word comes from Anglican Priests for Life. Here are the Scriptures to Use in Prayer for the Nation and Scriptures to pray for our National Election.

It is critical that Christians pray for the coming presidential election. There is amazing power in united prayer. Pray with others whenever possible. The power of prayer can overcome any obstacle or ungodly influence and, indeed, do great things.

II Chronicles 7:14 - If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, will heal their land.

Acts 17:30 - Pray for repentance for yourself and for our nation.

Psalm 32:6-7 - Pray that Christians will be motivated to pray faithfully for this election and that the Lord would deliver us from the wrong leaders.

Proverbs 16:13 - Pray that our nation will listen to the truth and not be led astray.

Psalm 125 - Pray that those who trust in the Lord will not be shaken.

Psalm 86:14-17 - Pray that the Lord would defeat those who have no regard for Him in this election.

II Kings 13:16 - Pray that the Lord would put His hands on the man of His choice for president (and his team) and guide them in this election.

Luke 12:54-57 - Pray that God's man and our nation will be discerning and do what is right.

Psalm 16:7-8 - Pray that the Lord would give wise counsel and guidance to His choice for president in this campaign.

Proverbs 1:5-6 - Pray that God's man will listen with discernment, add to his knowledge, and receive wise counsel in this campaign.

John 16:33 - Pray that the man of God's choice would be given wisdom and ability from the Lord to overcome any obstacle or difficulty during this campaign.

Philippians 4:13 - Pray that the Lord's choice for President will have special strength and unusual ability from God.

Psalm 18:32-36 - Pray that the Lord would arm the man of His choice with strength; would guide him in battle (this election); and would sustain him and give him victory.

Hebrews 11:32-34 - Pray that God's man could, through faith, persevere and maintain his courage throughout this election.

2 Corinthians 12:9 - Pray that the Lord would empower and enable his man in any area of weakness.

Habakkuk 1:5 and 3:2 - Pray that the Lord would do something that would utterly amaze us.


The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken about how hate crime "should have no possible place in a society that respects the dignity of all" in a statement to mark the beginning of Hate Crime Awareness Week.

The Archbishop's statement reads, "Hate crime is a fundamental challenge to an individual's dignity and identity. As such it should have no possible place in a society that respects the dignity of all; and it should find no possible justification in any kind of religious belief.

"Christian faith has at its core the conviction that God values each of us infinitely; and it should spur us on to combat hatred and prejudice wherever we encounter them. My prayers are with you as you gather to remember all those who have been affected in any way by hate crimes. I share your hope that with vigilance and solidarity we may work together for a society free from such outrages."

A source in London has told VOL that Hate Crime Awareness Week is an openly gay support event. One has only to look at all the gay businesses on their info website http://172430notohatecrime.wordpress.com/

"A lot of us believe that behind this is the support of gays and their lifestyle. No mention is made of Islamic hatred towards Christians in Nigeria, nor the pathological hatred revisionist TEC bishops and their gay friends have towards orthodox Episcopalians or orthodox Anglicans. It is all a one-sided effort to solicit support for a deadly behavior," said the source.


Former Australian TAC Archbishop John Hepworth seems to have forgotten that he is no longer the leader of the TAC, nor is he even a member of the TAC. He keeps telling the press he is and acts like he has never been kicked out.

Peter Slipper, a leading member of his church, says he would be welcomed back as a priest into TAC according to Hepworth. Slipper was ordained as a priest of the Traditional Anglican Communion in 2008. Hepworth said his friend was facing his darkest days in the wake of "grotty" sexual harassment allegations. "It's always more difficult to fall from a big height than a lesser height." Well Hepworth should know.

Despite the nature of the text messages, revealed in court documents in the harassment case against Slipper, and the nature of other allegations, Archbishop Hepworth said his friend could still pursue a life as a fully functional priest. "The church has always believed in forgiveness," he said.

But a source told VOL that Hepworth has absolutely no authority. He has been expelled from the College of Bishops and his licenses have been revoked. The man has no ability to perform any such function whatsoever."


Governor Mitt Romney is gaining on President Barack Obama in national polls. Following last week's presidential debate, public opinion shifted. The polls now show the race as a tie. Among evangelicals, however, support for Romney appears to have reached its ceiling. The battle for votes now lies elsewhere, according to Christianity Today.

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released its latest political poll Monday. The poll, taken after last week's debate, found Romney ahead of Obama among likely voters 49 to 47 percent. This was a significant shift from Pew's September poll, which had Obama ahead 51 to 43. Both polls show white evangelicals solidly behind Romney. Three-quarters of evangelical likely voters said they will support the GOP ticket. At the other end of the religious-political spectrum, both polls showed those unaffiliated with any religion remaining two-to-one in Obama's camp. {Source CT]


Michael Ingham Bishop of New Westminster is going to announce his retirement soon, a source with close ties inside the diocesan synod has told VOL. Like PA Bishop Charles Bennison, he will be no loss. The damage he has done to his diocese and to relations within the Anglican Communion cannot be underestimated and will take years to fix.


FACTOID: Every day 28,000 Chinese people living on mainland China give their lives to Jesus Christ, an Anglican bishop has told VOL. That's over 10 million a year. Mao and his little Red Book are dead. Jesus and the Bible are on the march. Sooner or later, China will have to decide what national philosophy it wants. Communism is dead, materialism is very much alive, Buddhism holds no sway over the vast majority of Chinese...Christianity might just be the future of that great land with its 1.344 billion people. People are not passing the Mao, perhaps in time they will be passing the peace.


ACC-15. One issue that will come up in Auckland, NZ will be a discussion regarding dividing the Southern Cone into two new provinces. "In terms of communication as well as mission this makes sense. The growth in Anglican churches in the Southern Cone is impressive, especially the growth here in Peru is amazing and a work of God as he continues to multiply us," US missionary Fr. Ian Montgomery, told VOL.

"I personally hope for greater listening to the Spanish voice within the Anglican world. As a continent we are isolated also linguistically. We have grown from a non colonial background, unlike much of the rest of the AC. We are a minority church in our countries in South America and so must work humbly seeking to comment both Christ and our Anglican spirituality."

One hitch is Uruguay, says Montgomery, which has twice refused consent to consecrate their bishop-elect, and the way in which it seems it was done the second time has led Uruguay to ask to leave the Southern Cone and join with Brazil. This requires ACC consent. "At the moment Uruguay is angry and hurt - with reason."


CANA bishop Julian Dobbs told members of the recently formed Christ Church Anglican on the Mainline outside Philadelphia that things are so bad in northern Nigeria, which he recently visited, that the butchering of Christians is now occurring on an unprecedented scale. Muslim fanatics and extremists of Boko Haran have destroyed over 25 churches. Every Sunday when families leave the safety of their homes to attend church, they first gather to pray and say farewell to one another because they know they may never see each other again, said Dobbs. Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has called for a relaunching of mission into northern Nigeria to bring the gospel right into the heart of Muslim territory.


Dear friends, the next time I write to you all will be from Auckland, New Zealand, where I will be attending the Anglican Consultative Council's 15th meeting of Anglican leaders. Dr. Rowan Williams will be there making his last hurrah for the Anglican Communion. It will be mostly a liberal gabfest, but a few orthodox Anglican leaders will be in attendance. The Province of Uganda will be not represented, but the Anglican province of Nigeria will have a representative.

If VOL readers in the Auckland area would like to get in touch with me I am staying at the Rose Park Hotel. I look forward to meeting with you.

I will report directly from Auckland and post stories as they come up to VOL's website: www.virtueonline.org


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Warmly in Christ,


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