Archive for January, 2010

GREENSBORO, NC: 1,400 Anglicans Gather to Celebrate 10 Years, Press Evangelism

Friday, January 29th, 2010

By David W. Virtue in Greensboro
www.virtueonline.org
January 27, 2010

With hands held high, amid jubilant singing, more than 1,400 Anglicans, many former Episcopalians, thundered hymns of praise as they met for the 10th Winter Conference of the Anglican Mission of the Americas (AMiA) to strategize reaching the next generation for Jesus Christ.

Rwandan Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini explained the initial pain, the remarkable journey and the joy that AMIA has been on, survived and grown over the past decade.

“We thank God for protecting the baby (AMiA). We also celebrate a child to grow. The Anglican Mission is 10 years old it wasn’t easy getting here. It needed resources. We were often stubborn, often rebels, but we learn from our mistakes. We celebrate the challenge. Many of you paid a price but thank God the baby (AMiA) survived. Our hope was not in ourselves but in the Lord,” he said.

Citing Old and New Testament examples, Kolini said that Elijah believed he was the only one left. St Paul did not disobey the vision from heaven because Paul saw that his witness was to be in a court.

“We are not going to keep quiet nor will we remain silent until we see the salvation of the Lord. The church is no longer desolate or empty but full. I am not going to keep quiet for the 130 million unchurched Americans our vision is not limited.”

The Rwandan Archbishop stated this was not the first time in history that bishops have crossed borders. “It started a long time ago. I am with you for another 11 months and my prayer is be obedient and never to keep silent till we meet the Lord. We must keep going till the last day.”

Bishop Donald Harvey, moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada and recently appointed Dean of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), brought greetings from ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan.

“It is not without significance that the first official duty as the Dean of ACNA is to bring greetings from our family. The last ten years have brought about the unity of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

In his letter to the AMIA gathering, Duncan wrote that the Anglican Mission in the Americas has blazed the path in church multiplication by reaching the unreached.

The Rt. Rev. Charles (Chuck) Murphy, III, Missionary Bishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda and chairman of AMIA, said he has no regrets for the last ten years of the journey. “Our fellowship for the mission is like of St. Paul. The Lord has come through.”

Present at the Winter Conference are three Anglican archbishops: Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, (Rwanda), Archbishop Yong Ping Chung (Southeast Asia, ret.) and Archbishop Moses Tay (Southeast Asia ret.)

Episcopal bishops present include the Rt. Rev. Dr. C. FitzSimons Allison, (S.C. ret.) The Rt. Rev. Alex Dickson, (West Tennessee, ret.). Among AMiA bishops is the former Dean of Trinity School of Ministry and AMiA Bishop John Rodgers.

The three-day conference features speakers the Rev. Mark Batterson, Mrs. Margaret Feinberg, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter, and the Rev. Philip Jones, Mr. David Kinnaman. Acclaimed theologian and scholar Dr. J. I. Packer is offering daily Bible studies

Interpreting “pastoral generosity”……mmmm?

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Bishop releases statement interpreting “pastoral generosity”

Source: Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky


January 21, 2010

Questions recently have been raised regarding Bishop Ted Gulick’s interpretation of the 2009 General Convention’s resolution (C056) on “Liturgies for Blessings,” approved last summer by the House of Deputies and House of Bishops. The resolution asks The Episcopal Church leaders to gather and create “theological and liturgical resources” for same-gender blessings for future consideration by General Convention and, in the meantime, to allow bishops to permit their clergy “to provide generous pastoral response” to gay and lesbian Episcopalians who wish to affirm their partnerships, especially those residing in dioceses in which same-sex civil unions are legal. Last fall Bishop Gulick met with the diocese’s clergy to discuss how “pastoral generosity” should be practiced in the diocese.

Bishop Gulick provided the following statement offering his interpretation of “pastoral generosity,” informed to a large extent by his conversation with the clergy.

My Present Interpretation of Pastoral Generosity and Same-gender Blessings

In the early fall following our recent General Convention, I asked the clergy of our diocese to have a discussion with me around actions taken in the summer by the governing body of The Episcopal Church.

Specifically, I asked them to describe what “pastoral generosity” would look like for gay and lesbian Episcopalians who desire some form of liturgy around their partnerships, and I also asked them to reflect on what “pastoral generosity” would look like for those who have theological and pastoral issues with same-gender partnerships.

Our discussion was careful, in depth, honest and reflected the full breadth of opinion that would be found in our church around this issue. In short, there was no strong movement to move beyond the present pastoral practice that has been the policy of our diocese for at least seven years.

Simply stated, it is the pastoral practice of our diocese to welcome into our life all persons without regard to sexual orientation. We are profoundly grateful for the generous service of gay and lesbian lay members and clergy, who contribute to and enhance our common life.

Following the General Convention’s resolution, the clergy are obligated to offer pastoral care and support to individual gay and lesbian parishioners and to offer care and support that nurtures their covenant partnerships.

We trust each other to minister faithfully to all of our people, including gay and lesbian parishioners, and this ministry may include private services that honor the integrity, covenant realities and commitments of same-gender partnerships.

If the conscience of the ordained minister allows, private liturgies of blessing and support and public services of the Eucharist in thanksgiving for the covenanted, lifelong, monogamous realities of these committed relationships can be held in the churches of our diocese.

It was not the consensus of our meeting that we were of sufficient clarity to have public blessings at this time. Some of the reasons for this would be that there are no official liturgies approved for such blessings, that the civil authority of the Commonwealth does not recognize same-gender marriage, that there has been a call within the Anglican Communion for restraint on such liturgies, and that there remain many loyal Episcopalians who are not ready to welcome such rites as a normative part of Episcopal Church life.

Since a guiding principle of Episcopal church life has been the phrase “lex orandi lex credendi” (the law of praying is the law of believing or “as we pray so we believe”), it would seem to many of us that until the “we” on this issue becomes very large it is dangerous to place such rites “front and center” in our liturgical life, since our liturgical life is our bottom line of theological belief. In other words, the altars of our church are to be “issue free zones.” By refraining from such blessings at this time, it is important to notice the issue that the lack of blessings raises for many among us.

As bishop I would point out that we are in a process of discernment and that we must be very careful with each other. Proceeding in this careful way will maintain the highest degree of communion while the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth.

A Message from Bishop David Anderson American Anglican Council

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

From AAC

Dearly Beloved in Christ,
It has become very clear to people of faith who hold to the traditional understandings of Christian doctrine and discipline that those who are bent on changing the doctrine and discipline of the Anglican Church will stop at almost nothing. We have repeatedly been surprised by the depth of deception, deceit, and boldness which characterize the planning and execution of recent attacks on the historic faith. In the past as I remember it, there was normally a sense of fair play and honesty, and our apparently erroneous belief that this is still true has cost the orthodox Anglicans.
The core doctrines of the faith, including the miraculous incarnation and virgin birth of Jesus, his sinless life, his miracles, his commandments and his sacrificial death in our place (substitutionary atonement), his actual and real resurrection, the necessity of believing and trusting in Jesus Christ to have salvation, and his eternal presence with the Heavenly Father, have come under attack by the the revisionists, at times subtly and at other times, blatantly.
In today’s environment, we have come to expect that certain Episcopal Church (TEC) leaders will say things heretical, questioning long-held faith, or flatly denying it, or restating it in such a way as to diminish its clear meaning.
However, TEC’s high-level leadership has tried to be more covert in their heresy, and concentrate on pushing the homosexual agenda. It is not enough to seek to overturn traditional views on marriage and family; their goals are to have the opportunity to recruit in the elementary and upper levels of schools, to teach the “normalcy” of homosexuality, and to suggest to teenagers in critical stages of their sexual understanding and growth that they should be more curious and explore their full sexuality, i.e. “Try it and see if you like it” – this at a time when teens are most vulnerable.
Priest and journalist George Conger has reported on the rejection by Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council’s call to block the recent election of a lesbian priest, Mary Glasspool, to be one of two new women suffragan bishops of Los Angeles. Bishop Bruno doesn’t want anyone telling him how to run his diocese, nor does he want to slow down the homosexual juggernaut that he has presided over in L.A.
For “more than the past 30 years” the Episcopal Church has been “working on gradual, full incorporation of gay and lesbian people,” Bishop Bruno said in a statement released on Dec 18, which he entitled “Be Not Afraid,” Conger reports. This is true, because at first it was covert, with a wink and a nod, and the truth pushed aside.
When I was in Los Angeles, for many years I repeatedly heard the story of one of the past bishops of L.A. who was concerned about a gay ordinand and felt he needed to be forthright with the bishop and so, before the service, came and told the bishop that the ordinand was gay. The bishop had been pretending that he didn’t know the obvious, and had wished to maintain the fiction of not knowing. He went ahead and ordained the young man anyway.
Gradually, over the years, the leadership of Los Angeles has been taken over by those who support the full homosexual agenda. So bishop Bruno is truthful in his statement, but the statement itself is telling. It has been a calculated and determined effort to change the mind of the church by changing the reality on the ground. Break the law, and when you have broken it long enough, argue for it being changed because it doesn’t comply with current practice.
The Anglican Communion’s Consultative Council asked the Los Angeles diocese to honor the request for restraint, but the Bishop isn’t having any of it. When pleas for “gracious restraint” fall on deaf TEC ears, is there any action that the Anglican Communion can take NOW to stop the procession through required approvals and then consecration? We have not yet seen any resolve from the Anglican Communion to discipline TEC now or ever, and TEC knows that.
It is reported that Bishop Ted Gulick, who tries to pass himself off as a reasonable centrist, has been deceitful about what he has been quietly orchestrating in his diocese of Kentucky. Sarah Hey, an orthodox blogger who writes frequently for Stand Firm in Faith, and lives in the TEC diocese of Upper South Carolina, has exposed Gulick and his homosexual agenda for his diocese. Please go to Sarah Hey’s full article and read her comments. http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/25304/
On a different subject, Charles Raven posts an informative and challenging article on the new Covenant, and how former Primate of Southeast Asia Moses Tay is taking a different direction on the Covenant than the current Primate, John Chew. Tay has some very significant observations that bear real consideration, and raises the question about where former Primate of Southeast Asia Yong Ping Chung might come down on this – will he side with John Chew or with Moses Tay?
Of additional concern to the American Anglican Council is that the Covenant itself might be linked with the Principles of Canon Law project, which seeks to standardize the Canon Law in a general way throughout the Communion. We have been advised that one of the sections on church ownership of property was authored by none other than one of TEC’s own chief attorneys. The Canon on Property would state that it was normative for Provinces to have the local church own property only in trust for the Provincial Church. At least in the United States and Canada, where TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada have used litigation to deprive the local church of its rightful property, these Canons will be seen as fighting words. Many having lost their property which they paid for once, and after having had to buy and build a second time will be in no mood to risk it yet once again.
I’ve been on the road these past few weeks, spending part of last week with a group of clergy friends. We meet for a week in early January in Florida. Usually, we can take clothes for the beach, but this year I went from freezing in Atlanta to freezing in Florida. Not being a scientist, I am sure that this is caused by global warming.
We have all heard the terrible news of loss of life, injury, and devastation of homes and buildings in Haiti from the earthquake. In North America, those who wish to send help can contribute to Haiti relief at Anglican Relief and Development, and know that the aid will get to those actually in need.
Pray for those who are in Haiti and those going there to help with relief.
Blessings and peace in Christ Jesus,
The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.
President and CEO, American Anglican Council

Anglican Leader Calls for ‘Tougher Church’

Monday, January 11th, 2010

By Jenna Lyle, Christian Today

LONDON – Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey says Christians are too soft and need to toughen up.

In an interview on BBC 5 Live’s breakfast program this week, he said Christians needed to speak up about their beliefs.

“I think we need a tougher church,” he said.

“We Christians are very often so soft that we allow other people to walk over us and we are not as tough in what we want, in expressing our beliefs, because we do not want to upset other people. We have got to be more outspoken.”

Lord Carey went on to stress the importance of preserving the country’s Christian heritage and democratic values.

His comments follow those of his successor, Dr. Rowan Williams, who said last month that the government treated religious believers as “oddballs.” Williams, considered the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, called on politicians to be more outspoken about their religious convictions and defend faith in the public square.

Lord Carey is a member of the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration, which this week called for a cap on the number of migrants coming to the United Kingdom.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anglican Church Launches New Website

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

“Our new online home helps us by connecting seekers with every one of our 765 congregations.”

January 7, 2010

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The Anglican Church in North America is now online athttp://www.anglicanchurch.net.

“We are committed to the mission of reaching North America with the Transforming Love of Jesus Christ. Our new online home helps us do that by connecting seekers with every one of our 765 congregations, telling our story and supporting our goal to plant 1,000 new churches in the next five years,” said Mr. Brad Root, the Chief Operating Officer of the Anglican Church in North America.

One of the key advantages of http://www.anglicanchurch.net is its potential for future growth. Some projects, such as robust support for Clergy Deployment and a Job Board, are already underway and will be added to http://www.anglicanchurch.net in the coming weeks. Other additions will be added in the months ahead.

The site also provides other useful information for the Anglican Church in North America and its members. For example, the site connects users to the full range of insurance, pension and benefit programs available for Anglican churches and clergy. A newly redesigned store streamlines the ordering process for church flags, pins, DVDs and other items.

“While there is more to come, http://www.anglicanchurch.net represents another significant step forward for the Anglican Church in North America. We hope people find the new Provincial website useful and informative,” said Archbishop Robert Duncan.

The Anglican Church in North America was launched with 703 parishes in June of 2009, uniting 12 distinct Anglican groups into a single province. Over the last six months, 62 additional parishes have formed or joined the Anglican Church in North America.

“We continue to give thanks and glory to Almighty God as we anticipate the great things to come in this New Year,” said Root.


Anglican Covenant ‘Whitewashes’ Denomination’s Immorality: Retired Archbishop

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Monday, Jan. 4, 2010 Posted: 11:39:36PM HKT

A screen shot from a documentary ‘For the Bible Tells Me So’ showing the consecration by then U.S. Anglican Church Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold (middle right) in 2003 of openly gay bishop V Gene Robinson (middle left) as bishop of New Hampshire, a move which began an internal split among archbishops worldwide lasting till today.

As the worldwide Anglican Communion moves fullspeed toward a full implementation of a covenant held out as a means of restoring unity, an influential evangelical retired archbishop is not overly enthusiastic.

On the contrary, he has advised fellow Anglican leaders not to waste their time on church structures which the Bible describes as dung and instead to concentrate on the supreme tasks of evangelism and discipleship, which he has succeeded in doing in America.

“To me, at best, it (the Anglican Communion Covenant) is whitewashing so the Church remains one and is not split; a lot of crack underneath is not shown,” said The Right Reverend Moses Tay, the immediate past Singapore Anglican bishop and retired first archbishop of the Anglican churches in Southeast Asia and Nepal.

Speaking today in an exclusive interview with The Christian Post, the retired archbishop said the covenant will not solve the essential problem of the Anglican Communion, which he identified as a crisis of biblical orthodoxy where the historic Anglican counterpart in America has embraced immorality and refuses to repent of it

The Anglican Covenant, which calls upon archbishops and presiding bishops leading the 38 Anglican provinces worldwide to promote unity within the denomination, “will not help convert the sinful,” he said.

Ultimately, it is the Anglican leaders themselves, not a committee, who have to be responsible for the spiritual life of their churches.

“It’s (the success of the Anglican Covenant) dependent on their willingness to repent, but they (the leaders of the American Anglican Church) have no fear of God,” he said, comparing them to Eli, a priest in the Bible whose sons died because he failed to discipline them.

“None of the resolutions have worked. None of the committees have worked,” said Archbishop Tay. He described the Anglican Consultative Council, a ‘major decider’ in the Anglican Communion, as ‘U.S.-controlled.’

The retired archbishop depicted the covenant as an attempt to “draw a bigger circle to include both the gays and the non-gays.”

Some sincere evangelicals support the idea, he said, on the premise that Christians have a responsibility to facilitate the conversion of the liberals, something that cannot be done if they are to cut the latter off from the denomination.

They justify their view by highlighting that Jesus Christ Himself made friends with sinners and so should Christians.

“But Jesus accepting them (sinners) as friends is different from condoning their sins,” said Archbishop Tay, adding that in spite of the attractiveness of human reasoning the Bible is consistent in its warning that no mortal sinner, apostate, homosexual will enter the Kingdom of God.

Even without church membership liberals have “plenty of chance to study [the Word of God] on their own,” he said.

Filling with passion, the retired archbishop said: “The Anglican Covenant cannot be of God because if you try to keep the light and darkness together, righteous and immoral together, to say we are a church, it’s disparaging the meaning of covenant… the covenant is a very sacred thing… [It is] God saying, ‘You will be Mine.’ … If you are using the sacred word to include dirt; that use of the word is an abomination.

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Read the whole story here…..