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Duncan Installed as Archbishop of ACNA...Metropolitan Jonah Cuts Ties with TEC

The shepherds of Christ's flock have a double duty: to feed the sheep (by teaching the truth) and to protect them from wolves (by warning of error). As Paul put it to Titus, elders must hold firm the sure word according to apostolic teaching, so that they would be able both 'to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it' (Tit. 1:9). This emphasis is unpopular today. We are frequently told always to be positive in our teaching, and never negative. But those who say this have either not read the New Testament or, having read it, they disagree with it. For the Lord Jesus and his apostles refuted error themselves and urged us to do the same. One wonders if it is the neglect of this obligation which is a major cause of today's theological confusion. If, when false teaching arises, Christian leaders sit idly by and do nothing, or turn tail and flee, they will earn the terrible epithet 'hirelings' who care nothing for Christ's flock (Jn. 10:12ff). Then too it will be said of believers, as it was of Israel, that 'they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and ... they became food for all the wild animals' (Ezk. 34:5). --- Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity" By John R.W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
6/24/2009

PLANO, TX: - It was an historic moment. Drums rolled, an orchestra played Symphonie No. 9 'Gothique' op. 70 by Charles Marie Widor while some 380 clergy of the ACNA, Anglican Communion and Ecumenical Partners, including 13 bishops and an African Archbishop processed into Christ Church Plano, an architecturally contemporary interpretation of a traditional church, to formally invest their brother in Christ, The Most Rev. Robert Duncan as the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of North America.

The birth of the 39th Province of the Anglican Communion is now a reality.

A new jurisdiction to rival The Episcopal Church is now an actuality in North America. There is no going back. It is done.

It is God's timing and God's message, said Archbishop Robert Duncan of this inaugural provincial assembly, to the more than 1,000 assembled in the church. "I am glad to say that this is the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist and not the beheading of John the Baptist." Duncan's comment was greeted with laughter.

"In 1509 (500 years ago) Henry, crowned King of England, was a ruler who had gone astray confiscating church property in an almost contemporary way (laughter)... but God works all things together for his good," said Duncan.

In his sermon, Duncan said it was not about the past and it's not about what we have come out of. God is calling us not be reactive. "As Metropolitan Jonah reminded us today, there are some things that separate us from the orthodox that also separate us from one another. It's time for us to be about the mission of the church."

"The miracle of this moment is that the Lord has brought out to do the mission of the church not papering over the differences and not putting them down to be in relationship with others. We must stand and be prepared to talk with Christian brothers and sisters about the unity that comes in Jesus Christ. It is not about the past. God has blessed this journey and he is ready to bless us in great measure. God will sort it out."

"God's timing this day is that we will not miss God's message to us in North America."

It is a milestone in Anglican history, vilified on the one hand by The Episcopal Church, praised by GAFCON Primates and bishops on the other.

Anglicanism in North America will never be the same again. You can read the full story in today's digest.

Christ Church Plano is the parish home of The Rev. David Roseberry, formerly of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and now with the Anglican Mission in the Americas.

*****

The leader of the Orthodox Church in North America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah re-kindled the oldest ecumenical relationship in Christian history here in Bedford, Texas. Addressing delegates and attendees of the inaugural assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, he said, "I am seeking an ecumenical restoration by being here today. This is God's call to us." This significant gesture represents the possibility of full communion being exchanged between the churches, he said. He also signaled the end of all ecumenical ties and relations with The Episcopal Church, USA.

Metropolitan Jonah represents the North American branch of the Orthodox Church, a Christian denomination that has a long history of strong relationships with the Anglican Church. "We have to actualize that radical experience of union in Christ with one another," Jonah said. Speaking for 45 minutes, the Metropolitan addressed the importance of looking past our differences in order to work together for mission. "Our unity transcends our particularity," he said.

His Beatitude's message focused on unity, but he also addressed contrasting beliefs between the two churches. "Though united in upholding the authority of the Bible and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the Orthodox Church and Anglican Church in North America have differing opinions on matters such as the ordination of women and other doctrinal issues." Despite this, the Metropolitan told the audience that "our arms are open wide."

Following the speech, a representative of an Orthodox seminary, St. Vladimir's, announced a cooperative effort with Nashotah House, an orthodox Anglican seminary that would help further these ecumenical relationships and what Jonah described as a "new dialogue between the Orthodox Church in North America and the new Anglican province in North America.

Metropolitan Jonah, 49, was reared in The Episcopal Church, but joined the OCA while a student at the University of California, San Diego, in 1978. He was elected metropolitan last year as a reform candidate, eleven days after he was consecrated Bishop of Fort Worth.

You can read Metropolitan Jonah's message in today's digest.

We are posting a full digest of stories covering all aspects of this historic occasion. If you want to stay current you may do so by going to www.virtueonline.org and reading stories as they unfold and watching live streaming video.

In Christ,

David

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