Archive for March, 2010

Where is the outrage?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

www.anglican-mainstream.net
March 17th, 2010

In the light of the reports of further killings on the night of Tuesday 16-17 March, see here on the Jos Diocesan website, and the continued declension of The Episcopal Church in the USA from Christian faith in the confirmation of the election of Mary Glasspool while Christians in Nigeria are being killed for professing the very faith that TEC is resiling from, we publish Andrew Carey’s article in the current Church of England Newspaper:

The evil, despicable massacre in Nigeria of some 500 Christian men, women and children has excited remarkably little international comment. This despite the fact that three villages were attacked near Jos by Muslim gangs who trapped women, children and the elderly – those who couldn’t run fast enough to escape – then cut them to pieces.

Archbishop Ben Kwashi described the scenes: “I could see kids from age zero to teenagers, all butchered from the back, macheted in their necks, their heads. Deep cuts in the mouths of babies. The stench. People wailing and crying.” Times (‘500 butchered in Nigeria killing fields’, Tuesday March 9, 2010) entire families were killed to the chants of ‘Allahu Akbar’.

Muslim inhabitants of the villages were evacuated before the attackers came in an area which is under a military curfew. Archbishop Kwashi believed a powerful, well-connected grouping must have been responsible.

Where are the statements from the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Pope in condemning this violence that has been meted out to Christian communities in Nigeria time and time again? Similarly mealy-mouthed has been the media describing such events as ‘inter- community is equally responsible for the aggression. Yet there is no equivalence, the vast number of lives claimed over the years have been Christian. Churches have been attacked repeatedly and the triumphant killing slogan ‘God is Greatest’ (‘Allahu Akbar’) has brought shame upon Islam repeatedly.

Christians in the West, and the leadership of Church in particular, have expressed so little concern. All of our major interfaith dialogues have continued as though blithely unaware of these realities over the years. And it is striking that the same Muslim leadership we dialogue with is intimately concerned with the plight of Muslims in Palestine and Kosovo conscious of the wider community of Islam – the Umma. Despite this international consciousness they are all too reluctant to take any responsibility for stains on Islam’s honour.

And the character of Christian timidity is even more striking against this backdrop. We too have an international faith, and possess ecclesiologies of a universal, worldwide nature yet our leaders neglect Christian minorities else- where.

On Premier Radio last year Sheikh Dr Muhammad al-Hussaini, a lecturer at Leo Beck Rabbinical College, blamed churches in the West for barely uttering a whimper about the persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries. He called on church leaders to be a voice for persecuted minorities. To be encouraged to do this by a Muslim leader is a back-to-front state of affairs. The way to encourage a moderate Islam – some- thing the vast majority of Muslims want and desire – is to challenge hypocrisy, extremism, and evil wherever we see it.

END

Where is the outrage?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

www.anglican-mainstream.net

In the light of the reports of further killings on the night of Tuesday 16-17 March, see here on the Jos Diocesan website, and the continued declension of The Episcopal Church in the USA from Christian faith in the confirmation of the election of Mary Glasspool while Christians in Nigeria are being killed for professing the very faith that TEC is resiling from, we publish Andrew Carey’s article in the current Church of England Newspaper:

The evil, despicable massacre in Nigeria of some 500 Christian men, women and children has excited remarkably little international comment. This despite the fact that three villages were attacked near Jos by Muslim gangs who trapped women, children and the elderly – those who couldn’t run fast enough to escape – then cut them to pieces.

Archbishop Ben Kwashi described the scenes: “I could see kids from age zero to teenagers, all butchered from the back, macheted in their necks, their heads. Deep cuts in the mouths of babies. The stench. People wailing and crying.” Times (‘500 butchered in Nigeria killing fields’, Tuesday March 9, 2010) entire families were killed to the chants of ‘Allahu Akbar’.

Muslim inhabitants of the villages were evacuated before the attackers came in an area which is under a military curfew. Archbishop Kwashi believed a powerful, well-connected grouping must have been responsible.

Where are the statements from the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Pope in condemning this violence that has been meted out to Christian communities in Nigeria time and time again? Similarly mealy-mouthed has been the media describing such events as ‘inter- community is equally responsible for the aggression. Yet there is no equivalence, the vast number of lives claimed over the years have been Christian. Churches have been attacked repeatedly and the triumphant killing slogan ‘God is Greatest’ (‘Allahu Akbar’) has brought shame upon Islam repeatedly.

Christians in the West, and the leadership of Church in particular, have expressed so little concern. All of our major interfaith dialogues have continued as though blithely unaware of these realities over the years. And it is striking that the same Muslim leadership we dialogue with is intimately concerned with the plight of Muslims in Palestine and Kosovo conscious of the wider community of Islam – the Umma. Despite this international consciousness they are all too reluctant to take any responsibility for stains on Islam’s honour.

And the character of Christian timidity is even more striking against this backdrop. We too have an international faith, and possess ecclesiologies of a universal, worldwide nature yet our leaders neglect Christian minorities else- where.

On Premier Radio last year Sheikh Dr Muhammad al-Hussaini, a lecturer at Leo Beck Rabbinical College, blamed churches in the West for barely uttering a whimper about the persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries. He called on church leaders to be a voice for persecuted minorities. To be encouraged to do this by a Muslim leader is a back-to-front state of affairs. The way to encourage a moderate Islam – some- thing the vast majority of Muslims want and desire – is to challenge hypocrisy, extremism, and evil wherever we see it.

END

Archbishop Peter Jensen on the American Episcopal Election

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

March 18th, 2010 Posted in News, TEC |

The American Episcopal Election
Media Statement  18/3/10

With the election of the Reverend Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian,as a Bishop in Los Angeles in The Episcopal Church, the AnglicanCommunion reaches another decisive moment. It is now absolutely clear to all that the national Church itself has formally committed itself to a pattern of life which is contrary to Scripture. The election of Bishop Robinson in 2003 was not an aberration to be corrected in due course. It was a true indication of the heart of the Church and the direction of its affairs.

There have been various responses to the actions of TEC over the years. Some have been dramatic and decisive, such as the creation of the Anglican Church of North America, an ecclesiastical body recognized by the GAFCON Primates as genuinely Anglican. For others, however, the counsels of patience have prevailed and they have sought a change of heart and waited patiently for it to occur. Those who have sought a middle course may be found both inside and outside the American Church.

This is a decisive moment for this ‘middle’ group. Their patience has been gentle and praiseworthy. But to wait longer would not be patience – it would be obstinacy or even an unworthy anxiety. Two things need to be made clear. First, that they are unambiguously opposed to a development which sanctifies sin and which is an abrogation of the word of the living God. Second, that they will take sufficient action to distance themselves from those who have chosen to walk in the path of disobedience.

Peter F. Jensen,
Archbishop of Sydney

Update: Statements on Bishop Suffragan-Elect Mary Glasspool

Thursday, March 18th, 2010


March 17th, 2010 Posted in TEC |

From Stand Firm

Following are statements from Bishop J. Jon Bruno, and Bishops Suffragan-elect Diane Jardine Bruce and Mary Douglas Glasspool:

From the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bishop Bruno “I give thanks for the Standing Committees and Bishops who have consented to the elections of Diane Jardine Bruce and Mary Douglas Glasspool as bishops suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles. “The committee members and bishops have offered their consents in prayerful discernment and by doing so have joined the Diocese of Los Angeles in recognizing and affirming the many gifts and skills of these highly qualified and experienced clerics. “Both Bishops-elect Bruce and Glasspool have been clear in stating that their new ministries will be focused on the work of the Diocese of Los Angeles as a priority, and the clergy and laity of this Diocese are eager to begin new collaboration with them. “These historic elections bring the first women to the episcopate in the Diocese of Los Angeles. I give thanks for this, and that the Standing Committees and Bishops have demonstrated through their consents that the Episcopal Church, by canon, creates no barrier for ministry on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, among other factors.” From Bishop-elect Diane Jardine Bruce “I am excited about working with both Bishop Jon and Mary as we move forward in mission and ministry in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Receiving the consents from the Bishops and Standing Committees has been, again, humbling for me. As we begin with this new team, I am encouraged by the support I have received from Bishop Jon and Mary and from clergy and laity throughout the Diocese. Rooted in prayer, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I pray we all grow and flourish in Christ’s love.”

From Bishop-elect Mary Douglas Glasspool “It is a privilege to serve in a Church gathered around the life, ministry, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our Church takes seriously its leadership, and so engages in a process whereby the lay and clerical members of Standing Committees of The Episcopal Church, as well as bishops from each of its dioceses, have the opportunity through prayer and discernment, to confirm the appropriateness of the election to leadership of each bishop. Thus, I am overjoyed that a majority of Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction have given their consent to the elections of both Bishops Suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles. “I am profoundly grateful for the many people — in Los Angeles, in Maryland, and around the world — who have given their prayers, love, and support during this time of discernment. I am also aware that not everyone rejoices in this election and consent, and will work, pray, and continue to extend my own hands and heart to bridge those gaps, and strengthen the bonds of affection among all people, in the Name of Jesus Christ. I am so very blessed to be working with Bishop Jon, Bishop-elect Diane, and the incredible people of the Diocese of Los Angeles; and I offer deep gratitude, as well, to Bishops Chester Talton and Sergio Carranza, whose Christ-centered leadership have moved the Church closer to God’s Reign on earth.”

AAC Statement on TEC Approval of Partnered Lesbian Bishop

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Mr. Robert Lundy,
AAC Communications Officer
770-595-6979
rlundy@americananglican.org
AAC Statement on TEC Approval of Partnered Lesbian Bishop

The Episcopal Church announced today that it will consecrate its second non-celibate homosexual bishop on May 15. The Presiding Bishop’s office announced that a majority of bishops and diocesan Standing Committees consented to the consecration of Bishop-elect Mary Douglas Glasspool as a suffragan bishop of Los Angeles.

The following is a statement from Bishop David C. Anderson, President and CEO of the American Anglican Council, on the announcement.

“What this means is the majority of The Episcopal Church’s leaders – down to the diocesan level throughout America – are exercising no restraint as requested by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the primates of the Anglican Communion. Despite pleas to the contrary, they have given their consent for a partnered lesbian to become a bishop, not just for Los Angeles, but for the whole church. Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise because The Episcopal Church, at its General Convention this summer, voted in favor of allowing dioceses to determine whether they will conduct same sex blessings using whatever rites they deem appropriate. Even if The Episcopal Church should eventually decide to sign an Anglican Covenant, it has shown time and time again that it will not abide by traditional Christian and Anglican Communion teaching on marriage and sexuality.”

Los Angeles Bishop-elect Glasspool receives church’s consent to ordination

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Bishops-elect

March 17

Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop-elect Mary Douglas Glasspool has received the required number of consents from diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction to her ordination and consecration as a bishop, the presiding bishop’s office confirmed in a March 17 announcement. Full story here. Statements (in English and Spanish) from Bishop Diocesan J. Jon Bruno and the two bishops-elect, Diane Jardine Bruce and Mary Glasspool, are here.

Presiding Bishop Spins Lack of Growth in The Episcopal Church

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010


News Analysis

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
3/14/2010

The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church recently gave the keynote address to the Diocese of New Jersey’s diocesan convention and delivered herself of the following observations.

KJS: The Episcopal Church is growing – in a few places. In the last year, four United States dioceses grew both in average worship attendance and baptized membership: Navajoland, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Alabama. Most of our overseas dioceses are growing numerically. The rest are shrinking, either slightly or precipitously.

VOL: Mrs. Jefferts Schori should be embarrassed to announce that the Diocese of Navajoland has grown, bearing in mind that its last real bishop was accused of and admitted to having sexual relations with his nephew. Bishop Steven Plummer later died.

Here are the actual figures:

Total ASA for all four dioceses was 212. This church growth is worth mentioning? She should be ashamed to even let this bit of news out.

From 1998 to 2008 in Alabama, the overall ASA decline was 863 or -8%. For North Dakota in the same period, it was zero percent. For Wyoming, the decline was 563 or -20% In Navajoland, the loss was 101 or -34%

Total TEC ASA in 2007 was 727822
Total ASA in 2008 was 705257
Total overall ASA net Loss was 22,565

For the last 10 years all dioceses, except South Carolina, declined in membership and ASA. And the Presiding Bishop is proud of those numbers?

………….

KJS: The theme of this convention is “go forth for God.” It’s not “sit here and wait for people to turn up for God.” God tells Abram to “go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land I will show you” – God says, “Leave home.” We have to be willing to leave our lovely churches, and walk out our beautiful red doors and discover God already at work in the larger community. The work that you’re doing here in campus ministry is a great example. Younger generations are an invaluable part of this Church and are assets to it.

VOL: True, but you have to have a message. Mrs. Jefferts Schori and 95% of the Diocese of NJ don’t have one. The priests there might just as well belch loudly in the Pine Barrens with more hope of being heard and understood. By the way, if she really believes in folk leaving “our wonderful churches”, perhaps she might consider selling them to orthodox priests in the ACNA they could use them in their quest to plant 1000 new churches in the next five years.

KJS: A dozen young adults, both women and men, are part of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women – the youth delegation – meeting in New York this week and next. They are asking wonderful questions about how to improve the lives of women, how to ensure women’s reproductive rights. They are talking about the effects on women during wars, they are talking about war in general, they are talking about what to focus on here in the U.S., how the church can be a support for GLBTQ people, and they are talking about a whole raft of other things.

VOL: There you have it. It’s all about women’s reproductive rights, queer acceptance, “no change please, we’re Episcopalians” and war. NO news of the life changing gospel message of Jesus Christ. God forbid.

KJS: When I asked what they would want the larger Church to know about them and their peers, they said things like, “we’re passionate; we value and want to be in relationship with our elders; we are not just interested in technical communication like Facebook and texting – we want face-to-face relationships; we are Episcopalians because we find Episcopal spirituality fits us best, and we need more flexibility in worship.” Many of them have become Episcopalians very recently, either by baptism or conversion from another tradition. They are idealistic and urgently interested in changing the world. Yet almost no one in this room is going to meet them by staying home.

If we really want to follow Jesus, we are going to have to leave home. That’s a good part of what he means by saying, pick up your cross and follow me. It doesn’t just mean you’re going to have to suffer. It means get on the road, see new territory, and experience God in new situations. Leave your comfortably padded pew. Pick up your cross and see the world – from a new perspective. Have you ever thought about Jesus as a travel agent or tour guide? He is interested in leading us into new places.

VOL: “Travel agent”….”tour guide”. Is she promoting an eco-tourist message of salvation? What about being evangelists and telling people the Good News about Jesus, or would she prefer the message of Ms. Ragsdale, president of Episcopal Divinity School and outspoken advocate of abortion and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender), who shouted “abortion is a blessing” in her first sermon to students and faculty. Perhaps that’s the new Episcopal evangelism. Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs with a distinct message concerning His Father’s kingdom. If the people would not listen, they were to shake the dust off their feet and go on to the next village. This is not the same message Mrs. Jefferts Schori is promoting. She wants acceptance by the culture.

KJS: One of the more effective evangelical tools right now does just that – it goes into the places where people spend time, at work and at leisure, and it gathers people who want to ask significant spiritual questions. Asking questions is actually something that sets Episcopalians apart from a lot of other traditions, particularly the ones who say there’s only one right answer and doubt is a sin. Remember that bumper sticker, “Question Authority”? I’ve never been sure whether it’s a description of somebody who’s good at asking questions or a challenge to keep asking difficult questions of the powers that be. But asking questions is a central part of our tradition. We don’t insist that doubt is a sin; we see doubt as necessary to growth.

VOL: Yep, question authority. And if you do question the authority of KJS and The Episcopal Church, you will hear from her attorney David Booth Beers and it won’t be pleasant. Just ask Bishops Bob Duncan, Henry Scriven, Keith Ackerman, Jack Iker, John-David Schofield, Mark Lawrence, to name just a few. Four dioceses have questioned her authority. They are now spending millions of mission dollars questioning HER authority over property ownership.

KJS: Young people are hard-wired to ask questions – why? is the most characteristic word out of the mouth of a healthy developing child. ‘Why should I do that, why is the stove hot, why aren’t girls and boys always treated the same, why are some people poor, why has your generation left the world in such a mess, how can we bring peace to the world?’ When we stop asking questions like that we begin to die – spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and probably physically.

Building communities where young people can ask the really big questions is one of the most important kinds of evangelism we can do – and the other important kinds of evangelism are about building communities where others can do the same thing. Theology on tap is a prime example – it offers welcome and hospitality, including a brew (caffeinated or spirited), conversation, and community. It is happening in bars. It is happening in coffeehouses. It is happening where people gather. There are ways to gather questioners, a number of them focused on faith in the workplace. We have always gathered to ask questions. The women’s guilds and men’s guilds in the church did similar work, but they expected people to show up in the church building to gather. We need to leave home and go out there to provide hospitable places for questioners.

One of the most powerful witnesses to going forth is what’s happening right now in Haiti. Almost all of the church buildings in the Diocese of Haiti have been destroyed in Port-au-Prince. The people of the Diocese are ministering to their members and their neighbors in the open air, offering hospitality to all comers. They haven’t just been sent forth, they’ve been propelled, shaken out of their homes and churches, and Bishop Zache tells us so. He said in a letter that he sent out today: “Despite the difficulties we face, many of our parishes have grown larger since the earthquake, because more and more people trust our Church and are turning to us for help spiritually, socially, and morally.”

VOL: We have questioned ourselves to death. No one has any answers at the national church level except to endorse pansexuality, abortion rights, MDGs. Furthermore, if it takes an earthquake at 815 Second Ave., NY, NY, to get the church back on track and thinking about the gospel, then bring it on.

KJS: Since 1785, the Diocese of New Jersey has provided transformative leadership and helped countless Episcopalians to live faithful lives. If you’re going to be here 225 years from now, it means taking up your cross and following Jesus down the road. There are an awful lot of people out there who need an opportunity to ask important questions – young people, Spanish speakers, Chinese and Russian immigrants, and many people who need to know they are loved whether they ask questions or not. We have something very important to offer all of them. Even an esteemed elder of 225 years isn’t too old to go out there and offer that kind of love and hospitality.

VOL: The Diocese of New Jersey will have long since ceased to exist 225 years from now. Churches will be archeological exhibits or the future equivalent of Starbucks and art stores…unless of course they have been bought by the ACNA where you will hear what the real gospel is. The rejoicing will be heard all the way to Nigeria where the same gospel is also being proclaimed.

Read full article here