Archive for the ‘Anglican Communion’ Category

Bishop Minn’s Pastoral Call

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

by the Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns

It is a great privilege to be able to speak to you at this third CANA Council. I am so very grateful for your prayers and your presence here today. Who would have believed that we would come so far in such a short time? CANA has become a remarkable community of believers stretching across the USA and Canada and you are here as a testimony to the miracle that God is doing. I note with profound gratitude the distinguished guests who are with us at this Council, many of whom have traveled long distances to be with us. Thank you – you honor and bless us by your presence. It has been almost a year since we met together in Ohio and throughout that time I have continued to give thanks for all of you. Your faith and courage have been an inspiration to me and I am reminded again of one of Paul’s prayers in Ephesians, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

This prayer captures much of how I feel about each one of you, clergy and lay members of our CANA community. We are a rather “rag?tag” bunch and yet inspired by the Spirit of God we have been able to accomplish far more than we could have ever asked or imagined. Many of you have paid a high price for this journey of faith and yet your faithfulness has inspired countless others and God has been glorified through you. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your willingness to stand firm on the Word of God. Thank you for your confidence in the Lord and thank you for the many ways in which you bless and encourage me. Thank you!

Read here (pdf)

Gay Unions and blessings

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Gay Unions and blessings

Anglican Bishop of Port Elizabeth, the Rt Rev Bethlehem Nopece made the following press statement today…

PRESS STATEMENT

The Episcopal Church General Convention adoption of resolutions D025 and C056 is a deliberate defiance of the wider Body of the Anglican Communion. We believe this is the choice they make to be politically correct with circular popular opion which seeks continually to destroy the moral fibre of people in general as we see the decay all around us. The blessings of the same-sex unions and the ordination of practicing gay clergy is inconsistence with the Word of God written; it is theologically uninformed, incoherent with the wider church, endorsing schism in the Anglican Communion and threatens ecumenical fellowship and relations.

The statement of their presiding Bishop Katherine Jeffert Schori on salvation of individual seems to strip the gospel of its transforming power of each one of repentant persons when in Christ to be “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). The Episcopal Church has made its choice to journey alone. We as the Anglican Church we still uplift the Biblical standard of guidance in moral behaviour. We do not seek any political correctness, but call upon all people to repentance and change of life and patterns of behaviour for a new character in line with the demands of the Word of God. Our programme is of pastoral care that transforms lives, eradicate poverty, heal the sick e.g. HIV and Aids, remove crime from our streets and build a sound family life in conformity to God’s demands as revealed in the scriptures (Mtt 5:48).

On the issues of homosexuality, we continue to journey on until all people come to the obedience of faith (Rom.15:18). The nation of South Africa must not be deceived, God will bless us only when we seek after righteousness.

Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Anglican Diocese of Port Elizabeth. 31 July 2009AD.

USA – TEC General Convention Dumps Evangelism Resolution

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

GC2009: General Convention Dumps Evangelism Resolution

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
7/13/2009

At GC2000 in Denver, The Episcopal Church passed a resolution urging the church to double its baptized membership by 2020.

The doomed “‘Decade of Evangelism”‘ only got wider with the consecration of Gene Robinson to the episcopacy in 2003. The church has been steadily going downhill since then, losing more than 50,000 active Episcopalians in 2007.

Objections were raised to a numerical goal at that time, but other deputies have argued that the lack of such a goal is what “doomed” the Decade. It began with great fanfare in 1990, but actually saw a decline in the number of Episcopalians for most of its ten-year span.

Now at GC2009, General Convention was called upon once again to Affirm Christ in a Multi-Faith and Non-Faith (C069). The Rev. Dr. Peter Cook, clergy delegate for Western Louisiana, brought the resolution to the floor. Without so much as a by your leave, the House of Deputies voted to accept the Evangelism Committee’s recommendation to discharge the resolution submitted by the deputies from Western Louisiana.

It was a bitter blow for Cook, a British-born evangelical and a priest for nearly 25 years in TEC. He told VOL that if the Church of England House of Bishops could pass a similar resolution in February 2009 affirming the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in a multi-faith world, then why couldn’t the Episcopal Church do the same?

“The Evangelism Committee objected strongly to the resolution and said they thought it was the language of proselytism and exclusivism and they objected to any talk of Christianity superseding Judaism. I was blown away,” Cook told VOL.

Cook said his bishop, Bruce McPherson was “very comfortable” with the resolution. McPherson is one of a handful of remaining orthodox bishops in The Episcopal Church.

Read more ………………….

Presentation from Archbishop Peter Akinola to Be Faithful

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Presented on behalf of Archbishop Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Bendel, Nigeria.

Beloved in Christ,

I bring you sincere love and greetings from my family and the Church of Nigeria, in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, the Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. I count myself blessed to be part of this remarkable event in this great city, even though only through my representatives Archbishop Nicholas Okoh and Bishop David Onuoha.

Permit me to use this medium to express my profound gratitude to all of you who were part of the planning, sponsoring and execution of GAFCON 2008 in the holy city of Jerusalem. Those of us in the leadership of GAFCON owe you an incalculable debt of gratitude for daring to stand with the rest of orthodox Anglicans at a time when it was too costly to do so.  Some of you were deliberately misquoted, misunderstood, vilified and sidelined.  This clearly demonstrates the continuing effect of the fallenness of man, and the stark imperfection of the Church. In the words of St John’s gospel, “in the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16.33).  Your contribution to the success story of GAFCON, Jerusalem, and the continuing story of the GAFCON movement is hereby acknowledged with humility and deep appreciation.

This great gathering is significant in several respects:

i)    It is a clear demonstration of the fact that the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) held in Jerusalem from 22-29th June 2008 was divinely mandated;
ii)    That the organization, execution, decisions and declarations which came out of it were inspired by the Holy Spirit and they reflect the mind of God for our dear Anglican Church in this generation;
iii)    It shows that the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) is divinely chosen and called to be the channel of continuing this work of reviving, reforming and transforming the Anglican Church in the UK and Ireland in particular, and in God’s wide world in general.  This is  with a view to repositioning it to restore “what the locust had eaten” in this great land, for the salvation of mankind, and all of God’s creation. Read the rest of this entry »

A response to Rt Rev Dr Graham Kings – by an ordinary Christian planning to attend FCA

Monday, July 6th, 2009

July 4th, 2009 Posted in News |

Rev Andrew Symes

Dr Kings in his recent article states that true Anglicanism puts its faith in the Covenant Process to eventually solve all the problems within the Anglican Communion, and dismisses the new initiatives of the Anglican Church in North America and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. The points he makes deserve careful scrutiny as this debate moves forward.

First of all he deals with the ACNA. Dr Kings agrees with the conservative position on sexuality, but disagrees with the way that different groups have gone about protesting against the actions of the Episcopal Church. He thinks that the ecclesiology of ACNA is not right, and that ultimately it will secede and become just another ex-Anglican sect. Meanwhile Dr Kings is optimistic and convinced that the leaders of TEC will draw back from the brink and take resolutions and actions which gradually move them more back in the direction of the rest of world Anglicanism, in which case the Covenant will gradually be seen to work.

Two comments should be made. Firstly, anyone who has followed the twists and turns of this saga over the last seven or eight years as I have can surely not fail to see the continued bad faith of the TEC leaders; the reneging on agreements, the slippery doublespeak of their resolutions and statements, the continued appointments of radical liberals to key positions, the persecution and harassment of clergy and Bishops who simply want to be faithful to their vows and to preach the biblical Gospel. But for such as Dr Kings, this does not appear to matter: TEC must be regarded as the true Anglicans. Any movement set up against them, however Anglican in theology and worship, must be considered beyond the pale by the English Anglican establishment. This shows the clear position of the “institutional centre” of our church: ecclesiology is not related to theology (faithfulness to the biblical witness) but to loyalty to the processes of diplomatic manoevering within the institution.. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome the FCA – Andrew Carey

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

July 3rd, 2009 Posted in Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) |

Church of England Newspaper July 3

So why should anyone support FCA and why should it be launched now? Firstly, it’s a way of supporting Anglicans in North America who are struggling to remain Anglican in very difficult circumstances.

Secondly, it’s a direct link to the Global South provinces.

Thirdly, this is hardly a time to be wringing your hands about who you want to mix with. The urgent need is to be organised now, not leave it far too late, as it was in America.

For myself, the Rubicon was crossed in the Church of England when the Bishops’ guidelines accepted civil partnerships among clergy. Despite the pretence that these conformed to the 1991 document Issues in Human Sexuality, it opened the door to the acceptance of non- marital sexual relationships. While these had been anomalous before hand, their acceptance meant that the teaching of the Church of England was now muddied and confused.

Fourthly, liberal Anglicans are lobbying the government through measures such as the Equalities Bill to ensure that the exemptions previously guaranteed to the churches are narrowed dangerously. Freedom of speech, freedom to employ those who conform to the teaching of the church in key positions, could be affected. In opposing efforts such as these, the FCA will be working with the church’s leadership, not adopting an outside strategy.

So why FCA, and why now? In the American Church too little was done by conservatives, much too late. Sniffily holding the FCA at arm’s length, as Fulcrum seems to want to do, is to repeat the mistakes made by Americans.

Read the whole article below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anglicans in the US: a new Church is born.

Friday, June 26th, 2009

ACNA3

FROM Ruth Gledhill’s Blog

Please welcome guest blogger Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream,reporting live from Texas on the first assembly of the Anglican Church in North America. For any readers baffled, bewildered or simply bored by Anglicans,Reuters have very helpfully published a Q&A on where we are and how we got here. For Chris, a member of the General Synod which meets in York soon, where traditionalists in England will continuetheir battle over women bishops, this group is the 39th province of theAnglican Communion. Although formal recognition awaits, new Archbishop Bob Duncan is in regular contact with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. Read about his ‘I am’ statement on VirtueOnline.

ACNA5Chris writes: ‘Many will be quick to find fault with the launch of the Anglican Church in North America, a church representing a Sunday attendance of 69,000 Anglicans in 23 dioceses across the USA and Canada.

‘It will to all intents and purposes be the 39th province of the Anglican Communion.

‘Already the Anglican Churches of Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South East Asia, and Rwanda, representing over 30 million Anglicans have stated that they are in full communion with ACNA. But everyone should have their opportunity to have their say before being undermined without proper review of the evidence. That’s only fair.

‘So what has happened? The Episcopal Church has pursued a determined path to oppose and overturn Christian teaching and practice. An English clergyman now in the USA told me that many TEC clergy and bishops only regard the creeds as purely historical statements of what used to be believed, not statements of Christian truth today that they believe.

‘Many orthodox clergy and congregations who have resisted TEC’s practice and direction have been driven out of their churches and buildings. Some individual church members have been sued for upwards of half a million dollars.

‘What were the faithful bishops and clergy who cared deeply for their people and the teaching of the faith to do?

‘They have formed a new Anglican church and a new Anglicanism in North America. Their leaders are those who experienced the charismatic renewal movement in the 1970s and 1980s. Leaders of the world church here in Bedford, Texas this week have publicly recognized them as upholding the Christian faith as understood by the Church for the last 2000 years.

‘Archbishop John Chew of South East Asia sent a personal representative to present a letter in which he said: “Today you are making a historic and apostolic stand. You have paid a price. Be assured of our deep communion to the Lord. We are right behind you.”

ACNA1‘Most surprising was that the senior Orthodox Archbishop of the Orthodox Churches in the USA, Metropolitan Jonah, announced that over 30 years after they had broken off dialogue with The Episcopal Church, the Orthodox Churches in America were ready to begin dialogue again, but now with ACNA.

‘ACNA claims that far from promoting division, it is building unity by making it possible for other Churches to recognize in an Anglican Denomination in the USA the marks of a Christian church.

‘Visitors from the Church of England included Bishop John Ellison, assistant bishop in the Diocese of Winchester. Greetings were read from the Bishops of Rochester, Winchester, Chester and Chichester. The three day assembly included sessions to ratify their canons and constitution and inspiring talks on Christian mission by, among others Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church who had offered the prayer at President Obama’s inauguration, inheriting the mantle of Billy Graham as the USA’s chief pastor.

‘The formal canons establishing the Anglican Church in North America were adopted by acclamation over two short plenary sessions. Explaining how these canons differed from those of The Episcopal Church of the United States, one bishop indicated to me that they made it more difficult for bishops to depart from the teachings they were publicly supposed to uphold, while continuing to exercise office and jurisdiction in the church.

“Ways of calling them to account have been instituted”, he said.

‘A strong focus of ACNA is mission. Archbishop Bob Duncan insisted that the structures only existed to support and encourage the mission of the Church to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Would the structures of this new church enable mission in ways that their previous jurisdiction had not?

‘Canon John Macdonald, with long experience of overseas mission work and support for it, claimed that their previous jurisdiction had defined mission solely as charitable responses to poverty and hunger, allied with the concept that you did not want to impose your faith on another faith system.

“ What we have seen is an understanding of the whole gospel”, he said. “We have within our intention to reach the lost with the gospel.”

ACNA4‘The assembly was crowned with a service to install Archbishop Bob Duncan as their Archbishop. His anointing by the Archbishop of Kenya was formally witnessed by primate of West Africa, and representatives of the primates of Uganda, Rwanda, Southern Cone, South East Asia, Myanmar, and Nigeria along with Bishop John Ellison.

‘In his sermon Archbishop Duncan insisted that the past was behind them; they had left behind conflict with TEC ; there should be no bitterness. Their task, like that of John the Baptist, was to prepare the way for Jesus to come to those in the wildernesses of US society who are without any sense of being loved and forgiven. The service demonstrated another difference from the direction of TEC: Jesus Christ was enthusiastically worshipped as the risen Son of God who is ready and able to transform lives and situations.’