Presiding Bishop Receives Pederast Priest*New Anglican Mission Society announced in UK*Five New York Bishops Okay Gay Marriage
Whose decision? A decision is involved in the process of becoming a Christian, but it is God's decision before it can be ours. This is not to deny that we 'decided for Christ', and freely, but to affirm that we did so only because he had first 'decided for us'. This emphasis on God's gracious, sovereign decision or choice is reinforced by the vocabulary with which it is associated. On the one hand, it is attributed to God's 'pleasure', 'will', 'plan' and 'purpose', and on the other it is traced back to 'before the creation of the world' or 'before time began'. --- From "The Message of Romans" by John R. W. Stott
The Loving Friendship of Jesus Christ. Every true Christian has a Friend in heaven, of almighty power and boundless love. They are thought of, cared for, provided for, defended by God's eternal Son. They have an unfailing Protector, who never slumbers or sleeps, and watches continually over their interests. The world may despise them, but they have no cause to be ashamed. Father and mother even may cast them out, but Christ having once taken them up, will never let them go. They are the friend of Christ even after they are dead. The friendships of this world are often fair-weather friendships, and fail us like summer-dried fountains, when our need is the greatest; but the friendship of the Son of God is stronger than death, and goes beyond the grave. The Friend of sinners is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. --- Bishop J.C. Ryle
Contentment through pain. If God has given His Son to die for us, let us beware of doubting His kindness and love in any painful providence of our daily life. Let us never suppose that He can give us anything that is not really for our good. Let us remember the words of Paul, "He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all-how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things." (Rom. 8:32.) Let us see in every sorrow and trouble of our earthly pilgrimage, the hand of Him who gave Christ to die for our sins. That hand can never smite us except in love. He, who gave us His only begotten Son, will never withhold anything from us that is really for our good. Let us lean back on this thought and be content. Let us say to ourselves in the darkest hour of trial, "This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well."--- Bishop J.C. Ryle
The Dreadful Truth of Coming Judgment. There is a judgment coming. People have their reckoning days, and God will at last have His. The trumpet shall sound. The dead shall be raised incorruptible. The living shall be changed. All, of every name, nation, people and tongue, shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ. The books shall be opened, and the evidence brought forth. Our true character will come out before the world. There will be no concealment, no evasion, no false coloring. Every one shall give account of themselves to God, and all shall be judged according to their works. The wicked shall go away into everlasting fire, and the righteous into life eternal. These are dreadful truths. But they are truths, and ought to be told. --- J.C. Ryle
You need a moral people for freedom and democracy for the republic to work properly. When morals are debased, you are going to end up with a different country. --- Ann Coulter
"The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves. The Scriptures supplies him with the means of doing both." --- John Calvin (Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon)
Dear Brothers and Sisters
July 1, 2011
It is the biggest news of the year, perhaps since she took office.
According to court documents and reports VOL has received Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop, knowingly received a pedophile priest to the Episcopal Church after the former Benedictine monk sexually abused students at a Roman Catholic Abbey. He was allowed to join the Episcopal Church by Jefferts Schori while she was the Bishop of Nevada, according to reports VOL has received.
According to lawsuit papers filed last week by one of the abused boys known as John Doe 181, Fr. Bede Parry, 69, admitted that he had inappropriate sexual relations with several members of the group at the northwest Missouri abbey in the 1980s.
In 2000, Fr. Parry underwent psychological testing. The results revealed that Fr. Parry is a sexual abuser who has the proclivity to reoffend with minors. The test results were then provided to the Abbey, the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Episcopal Bishop for the Diocese of Nevada, Katharine Jefferts Schori. Parry converted to The Episcopal Church under Jefferts Schori in 2004. The record shows that from 2000 to the present, All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas has employed Parry as a Music Director. He was made an assisting priest at All Saints in 2004 after Jefferts Schori received him into The Episcopal Church acknowledging his Catholic priesthood.
A Canon lawyer and bishop told VOL that if she knew or should have known about his sexual past, she might be guilty of violating the sexual code of practice apparently in place in Nevada.
Attorney and canon lawyer Allan Haley says that Church Canon III.11, as in effect in 2003-2004, provides "...that when a Priest or Deacon ordained in a Church by a Bishop of the Historic Episcopate but not in communion with this Church desires to be received as a Member of the Clergy in this Church... evidence that the person is a confirmed adult communicant in good standing in a Congregation of this Church... Evidence of previous Ministry and that all other credentials are valid and authentic...evidence of moral and godly character; and that the person is free from any vows or other engagements inconsistent with the exercise of Holy Orders in this Church." Apparently this was not done.
"Bishop Jefferts Schori and the members of her then Commission on Ministry have some explaining to do. Moreover, it is worth pointing out that in just two days, the new disciplinary canons take effect. At that point, Jefferts Schori, and any clergy members of the Nevada Commission on Ministry in 2003, has an obligation to self-report any lapses in clerical standards of conduct which they may have committed in connection with the Parry application. (For example, if they did not call for an update to the 2000 report, then they violated Canon III.8.7 (a) quoted above. If the Commission missed it, the duty to have the report updated as canon law required fell squarely in the lap of Bishop Jefferts Schori.) We shall soon see how seriously the Episcopal Church (USA) takes its new canons."
A new Anglican Mission Society was announced this past week in England. The Anglican Mission in England (AMIE) held its inaugural event on Wednesday June 22 during an evangelical ministers' conference in central London.
AMIE was established as a society within the Church of England dedicated to educating the unchurched and biblical church planting. The AMIE has been encouraged in this development by the Primates' Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON) who wrote in a communiqué from Nairobi in May 2011, "We remain convinced that from within the Provinces which we represent there are creative ways by which we can support those who have been alienated so that they can remain within the Anglican family."
The AMIE is determined to remain within the Church of England. The desire of those who identify with the society is to have an effective structure which enables them to remain in the Church of England and work as closely as possible with its institutions. Churches or individuals may join or affiliate themselves with the AMIE for a variety of reasons. Some may be churches in impaired communion with their diocesan bishop who require oversight. Others may be in good relations with their bishop, but wish to identify with and support others.
This looks like yet another tank parked on Lambeth Palace lawn along with the Ordinariate and the new GAFCON/FCA office in London.
There has been little public reaction to this except from Riazat Butt of the "The Guardian" newspaper. She came out slamming the group saying, "beware of strangers bearing gifts. AMiE states, not at all ominously, that its intention is to support "those who have been alienated so that they can remain within the Anglican family. Churches or individuals may join or affiliate themselves with the Amie for a variety of reasons. Some may be churches in impaired communion with their diocesan bishop who require oversight. Others may be in good relations with their bishop but wish to identify with and support others.
"So, in non-Anglican parlance, this means if you don't like your bishop you can have another one that fits more neatly with your world view. They don't even have to be a bishop in the Church of England. I have three words for you - cross-border intervention."
The liberal evangelical UK Anglican blog FULCRUM was none too happy with the idea of AMiE either and in a predictable press release, Fulcrum all but accuses the Anglican Mission of being a breakaway group. One wag said, "I guess Fulcrum thinks they possess a world of knowledge." The Anglican Mission has made it very clear that they intend to work within the Church of England, not unlike English missionary societies of the past: "The AMIE is determined to remain within the Church of England. The desire of those who identify with the society is to have an effective structure which enables them to remain in the Church of England and work as closely as possible with its institutions."
But, of course, Fulcrum will not keep mere facts from getting in the way of expressing "concern" about evangelicals who somewhat live up to the name.
Gay matrimony met elite Episcopal sanctimony this week when five out of six Episcopal bishops in the state of New York announced they would allow their priests to perform unnatural rites for unnatural sex in their temples of sodomy. Same-sex marriage or sodomarriage will become legal in New York State on July 24, 2011. A bill to make it so was passed on June 24, 2011 by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. New York will be the sixth state to ratify same-sex marriage. What this means is that when the Almighty rains down hell from heaven, it will make 911 look like a firecracker went off in a NY subway.
The five liberal bishops couldn't wait to endorse the governor's decision and fell all over themselves in abasement before the Catholic governor who now faces opprobrium and more from the seven RC bishops who promptly denounced the state's decision. The Episcopal bishops pled the pain of injustice for queers long denied them and said all was well and any priest could proceed as they saw fit.
Of course, there was no surprise here. Only the Episcopal Bishop of Albany is orthodox. He did not have anything to say about it even though he was asked. We may presume he is against the idea and won't let his priests perform such acts as it is ontologically impossible to get the Almighty's approval for something that violates thousands of years of history, tradition and Scripture and specifically our Lord's statement that in the beginning (He) God made male and female because their organs fit better and more naturally into each other and not two men or two women trying to fit body parts into orifices not made for that purpose.
What will ultimately happen is that in time General Convention will sanctify Rites for same sex blessings. While not mandated immediately it will, like women's ordination, be first a matter of conscience then, one day, right out of the blue, a transsexual bishop (what will he/she be wearing) will announce to the HOB that voluntary must be changed to mandatory and anyone opposing the idea must conform or leave. It happened with WO. It will happen with pansexual rites.
Today those who insist that society retain the timeless definition of marriage as the union of male and female can expect to be excoriated as bigots and haters, and to be assured that history will revile them just as it reviles anyone who does not advance the sodomite agenda of the church.
I urge VOL readers to read a piece in today's digest by By John-Henry Westen entitled, "A plea to U.S. (Catholic) Bishops: Please love enough to speak of the dangers of homosexuality." It is a masterful piece and cuts right to the core of the issue. Here is just one paragraph, "While religious leaders respond to the gay 'marriage' agenda by defending marriage, the battle isn't really about marriage at all - but about societal acceptance of homosexual acts. Unless they speak to homosexuality, their tactics will fail, as they did in Canada and elsewhere." http://tinyurl.com/3cckyhx
A number of Episcopal and Anglican churches in the US and Canada fled their liberal bishops and made their way into the evangelical Anglican soil of ACNA and the ANiC this week along with the Caribbean Episcopal rector of the largest Black Episcopal Church in the U.S. based in Brooklyn, New York.
New Anglican services began in Lee, New Hampshire, this week. Members of the Lee Congregational Church, located on 17 Mast Road in Lee, opened their doors to host the Anglican Church of the Resurrection. Formerly meeting at the Pease Tradeport, the Anglican Church of the Resurrection holds a great deal in common with other Christian denominations. Like other Protestant churches, it honors God's word in the Bible. Members share weekly communion and have worship services similar to Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.
Outside Pittsburgh in Penn Hills, the congregation of St. James Episcopal Church lost their building where they had been located for over 50 years. They chose to leave and accepted the kind offer of Faith Community Church to share their building and facilities at 501 Jefferson Road, Penn Hills. Concurrent with the move, the congregation is pleased to announce the formation of a new congregation in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh: St. James Anglican Church.
In Ottawa, some 300 believing Anglicans filed out of St. Alban's Anglican Church on King Edward Avenue on Sunday, leaving behind a place where some have roots going back to Confederation. Founded in 1865, the church where Sir John A. Macdonald worshipped has been in the spotlight ever since a showdown over same-sex marriage and other issues led the congregation of St. Alban's to leave the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, and, after a bitter battle, the building they have called home for 146 years.
In Brooklyn, NY, a black Anglo-Catholic priest resigned his parish, St. Mark Episcopal Church, over his bishop's endorsement of same sex marriage. St. Mark Brooklyn is the largest Black Episcopal Church in the continental U.S. that has some 3600 members. The Rev. Peter Bramble resigned from from his church because his bishop, Lawrence Provenzano has endorsed New York's passage of the Marriage Equality legislation enacted earlier this week.
Bramble, 66, told VOL that he informed Bishop Provenzano and his vestry that he will retire from the ministry at the end of the month. Bramble has been rector of the parish for 14 years. You can read the full story in today's digest.
In the UK, three more priests turned away from the Anglican Communion to join the Roman Catholic Church. The latest priests to turn their backs on the Anglican Communion and join the specially established Catholic Ordinariate are Father David Elliott, of Reading, Berks, Father Jonathan Redvers Harris, of the Isle of Wight and Father Graham Smith, of Christchurch, Dorset. Earlier this month, "The Christian Post" reported how seven former Church of England clergy were ordained into the Ordinariate, as part of a series of ordinations taking place over Pentecost.
S.C. Episcopal Priest Held At GunpointThe Rev. Chad Lawrence, rector of the parish church of St. Helena's, Beaufort, and son of the Bishop of South Carolina Mark Lawrence, was held at gunpoint and robbed on Sunday June 26. The gunman accosted him outside the church building, forced him into the church offices and tied him up. The gunman asked Lawrence to give him three reasons why he shouldn't kill him and Lawrence said, "I love my wife and three children very much. I'm here doing God's work and if you kill me you're going to have to answer to him." Lawrence later said, "God was with me in a terrible storm. I knew he was there and in control. It strengthened my faith." Lawrence went on to preach all three sermons that day. Police are still searching for the man. You can see the video here courtesy of WTOC-TV. http://www.wtoc.com/category/153752/wtoc-video-center
Is American evangelicalism's influence waning? The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life surveyed 2,196 evangelical leaders from 166 countries and territories - the attendance list for the Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization in October 2010. Some of the results were:
Seven-in-ten evangelical leaders who live in the Global South (71%) expect that five years from now the state of evangelicalism in their countries will be better than it is today. But a majority of evangelical leaders in the Global North expect that the state of evangelicalism in their countries will either stay about the same (21%) or worsen (33%) over the next five years.
In addition, most leaders in the Global South (58%) say that evangelical Christians are gaining influence on life in their countries. By contrast, most leaders in the Global North (66%) say that, in the societies in which they live, evangelicals are losing influence. U.S. evangelical leaders are especially downbeat about the prospects for evangelical Christianity in their society; 82% say evangelicals are losing influence in the United States today, while only 17% think evangelicals are gaining influence.
...Overall, evangelical leaders around the world view secularism, consumerism and popular culture as the greatest threats they face today. More of the leaders express concern about these aspects of modern life than express concern about other religions, internal disagreements among evangelicals or government restrictions on religion.
...Conflict between religious groups ... does not loom as a particularly large concern for most of the evangelical leaders surveyed. A majority says that conflict between religious groups is either a small problem (41%) or not a problem at all (14%) in their countries - though a sizable minority considers it either a moderately big problem (27%) or a very big problem (17%). Those who live in the Middle East and North Africa are especially inclined to see inter-religious conflict as a moderately big (37%) or very big problem (35%). Nine-in-ten evangelical leaders (90%) who live in Muslim-majority countries say the influence of Islam is a major threat, compared with 41% of leaders who live elsewhere.
What Does the Bible Teach About Homosexuality? Watch this video by Dr. Robert Gagnon. The author of the most powerful book refuting the whole homosexual enterprise lays out the fallacy of homosexual practice for all to see, hear and watch. http://vimeo.com/2126309
Buy his book The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics by Robert A. J. Gagnon
In Green Bay, Wisconsin, last week local churchgoers took their Mass outdoors. Sunday marked the eighth annual "Mass on the Grass." It was held at Jackson Square Park. Four Episcopal churches in the Green Bay area came together for worship. Organizers say the event is meant to promote unity among the church community. "It's important because our churches try to work together and do some collaborative ministries and just support each other," said Rev. Jim Conradt with St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Green Bay is in the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac.
Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington Kentucky named its first female dean. The Rev. Canon Carol L. Wade, former canon preceptor at the National Cathedral in Washington, will be the new dean and rector at Lexington's historic Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral. She is the first woman to hold either position at the downtown church.
Wade will assume her new duties in September. Her selection was announced Sunday during both worship services at Christ Church.
"I am overjoyed," Wade said in a telephone interview. "I cannot tell you how much I look forward to partnering with the wonderfully gifted people at the cathedral and working with the diocese, the people of Lexington and beyond."
TEC Task force releases report on Anglican Covenant. An Executive Council task force released a report it received from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons outlining the changes that would be needed if the General Convention decides to sign onto the Anglican Covenant.
"The SCCC is of the view that adoption of the current draft Anglican Covenant has the potential to change the constitutional and canonical framework of [the Episcopal Church], particularly with respect to the autonomy of our Church, and the constitutional authority of our General Convention, bishops and dioceses," says the report.
Executive Council has predicted that formal approval of the covenant by the Episcopal Church could not come until at least 2015 should endorsement require changes to the church's constitution; hence the request for the church's Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons to offer its report. Constitutional changes require approval by two consecutive meetings of the church's triennial convention.
INTERPRETATION: The Covenant is dead on arrival. It will never pass General Convention with that "nasty" little disciplinary clause, (IV) because if they did and they got caught doing something very bad ecclesiastically, Rowan would come out with a big cane and make them take it like men or women, and only a handful in TEC would consider that pleasurable.
In Minot, North Dakota, All Saints Episcopal Church escaped the worst of flood waters. Canon John Floberg said, "All Saints Episcopal Church is high and dry," but the devastating flood inundated nearly four thousand homes in that small north north-central North Dakota city.
Floberg said that the Souris River's rising waters displaced eight of his families, including his assisting priest, the Rev. George Slanger. Fr. Slanger evacuated to his long-time vacation home 90 miles away in the Turtle Mountains. He makes a 180 mile round trip to serve his church. The Canon lives in Bismarck, about 100 miles away.
Even as the floodwaters have peaked and slowly start to recede, All Saints Episcopal Church will continue its 118-year ministry to the surrounding community. However, the Vacation Bible School, scheduled for this week, has been put on hold. Other regularly scheduled church activities will continue unabated including: Midweek worship, Bible studies, and the Thursday noon Soup Kitchen. You can read Mary Ann Mueller's fine article on this in today's digest.
The Global South forges ahead even as Western Anglicanism slowly withers and dies. The Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) consecrated Stephen Dokolo as the new Rt. Rev Bishop for the Diocese Lui in Mundri East, Western Equatoria state, South Sudan, on Sunday.
The consecration came after his appointment by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul to succeed the late Bishop Bullen Doli. He is the third bishop to be ordained in Lui diocese. The first Bishop was Ephraim Nathana, followed by Bishop Bullen Doli, who passed away last year.
Bishop Dokolo said his vision for the development of Lui is to see Christians of the dioceses become "mature in faith" and "self reliant both physically and spiritually."
Dokolo assured the congregation that he would improve the mission of evangelism and establish more evangelism centers and in-service training programs for the non-English speaking pastors of the diocese.
From the newly formed Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic comes this. "Last week the Anglican Church in North America's Provincial Council approved our application to become a Diocese. Jim Oakes, Chloellen Miller and the Rev. Robin Rauh were there as our delegates as we were voted in with great rejoicing. It's a major milestone in our journey together in Christ and we give Him thanks and praise." Archbishop Robert Duncan reported that in the first 18 months (the latest stats are through the end of 2010), they grew from 702 to 952 congregations. That's 250 new churches, or more than 3 per week since they were launched in June 2009. Of those 250, at least 130 were brand new church plants. Even more significantly, the number of baptisms of mature converts has risen significantly. In 2010, 400 youth and young adults were baptized (age 16-30) and nearly 1000 adults over the age of 30. That's close to the number of infants and young children baptized (1647).
The new Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic brings together churches with ties to four Anglican Provinces of the Global South: Nigeria, Uganda, the Southern Cone (South America) and Kenya. "We're now fully united as one diocese in the Anglican Church in North America. The ACNA's Diocese of the Holy Spirit, which I served as bishop, is now dissolving and its congregations are all transferring into regional dioceses, including 12 in this area that are now in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. Some CANA churches will retain their affiliation with the Church of Nigeria, but for all of us our primary diocesan identity will now be the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic."
Why is God calling older women and younger men into the Church of England, asks vicar John Richardson who writes for the The Ugly Vicar blog.
Figures on the CofE website suggest that when it comes to full-time stipendiary clergy in the Church of England, the women basically tend to be older than the men.
First, the actual number of male assistant curates peaks at 35-39 (206). This is also the point at which they are the greatest total percentage in their gender-group (3.5% of all male clergy, compared with 2.5% for those five years older and 2.9% for those five years younger). However, the balance of incumbent-status clergy and assistant-curates in this age group is about the same (52% and 48% respectively are incumbent-status or assistant curates).
By comparison, women assistant curates in this age group total 57 and represent 3.3% of all female clergy, which is not dissimilar to the men. However, the balance of incumbents to curates in the age group is strikingly different, being 43% and 57%, respectively. Moreover, whilst the percentage of those five years younger is lower (and is higher than that for the men) at 3.2%, the percentage of curates for those five years older is 4.4%, and for those aged 45-49 is 7.2% of the female total.
In fact, the number of female assistant curates peaks at 50-54 (116), at which point they represent 7.6% of all the female clergy. Moreover, the percentage of women incumbents in this age group is still only 67% of the total, whilst a third (33%) are assistant curates. By contrast, 92% of the men in this age group are incumbents and only 8% assistant curates. The same ratio amongst women is only reached at 60-64, although by this time the actual numbers are very small (200 incumbents compared with 14 assistant curates) and the statistics may be correspondingly less reliable.
They seem to indicate two clear trends. One is that male and female clergy differ in their age profiles related to incumbent-status or assistant curate posts. The second is that a higher proportion of male clergy are in incumbent status posts at an earlier age than is the case for women. Conversely, a higher proportion of women clergy are in assistant curate posts at a later age than is the case for men.
To put this in plainer English, it looks as if men get ordained younger than women do, and therefore tend to become incumbents at an earlier age than do women.
On June 28 in Geneva, three organizations, representing about 90 percent of world Christianity, launched a global code of conduct for proselytizing in a bid to reduce tensions between different religious convictions. "Today represents an historic moment in our shared Christian witness. This is the first time that a document has been issued by the World Council of Churches (WCC) together with the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and the Pontifical Council for the Interreligious Dialogue of the Holy See," said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. You can read the full story in today's digest.
It has finally come to this. Civil servants in Scotland can no longer use the word "homosexual" because it is deemed offensive to gay men, according to new guidance from the Scottish Government.
The guidance states, "It is not acceptable to use the word 'homosexual', this term is offensive to many people as it is the term that was used in law to make same sex relationships illegal."
It advises those working on councils, health boards and quangos that they should use the word "gay" instead.
Perhaps, they will allow the more Biblical term "sodomy" because there is nothing "gay" about being gay especially if you are dying of AIDS.
Reconciliation in Rwanda. A Rwandan-led effort to transform communities by inspiring a grass roots movement of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation nationwide is bringing together perpetrators and sufferers from the many who were slaughtered and survived one of the worst genocides in modern history. As We Forgive Rwanda Initiative(AWFRI). Filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson hosted a screening in Kigali to an audience of 5,000 and never imagined it would spark a movement of hope throughout the entire country. But it has. The Living Together program is the centerpiece of AWFRI intertwining film screening with Biblical teaching from curriculum developed and facilitated by local Rwandans, along with discussions to promote healing. The program has touched 35,000 Rwandans to date. 90% of those who participated now believe that authentic reconciliation is truly possible for the first time since the genocide.
Said one perpetrator named Pierre, "I have personally killed and was imprisoned for my crimes. Through the AWFRI program I have decided that I want to find the one I offended and ask him for forgiveness face-to-face."
Recently AWFRI partnered with Walk to Remember, a movement empowering Rwandan youth to take action against genocide so that it will never happen again. They joined President Paul Kagame to walk with 10,000 youth into Amahoro National Stadium for commemoration activities.
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