Archive for the ‘Anglican Communion’ Category

Anglican Church Adds Two Dioceses, Two New Dioceses in Formation

Sunday, June 26th, 2011


Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic and Diocese of Cascadia Welcomed, Congregations Forming in the Carolinas and Southwest

The Provincial Council of the Anglican Church in North America unanimously voted to grant admission and full diocesan status to two new dioceses today. In addition, the Council also unanimously voted to admit two groups of congregations in the Carolinas and the Southwest (West Texas and New Mexico) to begin to form dioceses in their respective geographic locations.

The newly-admitted Diocese of Cascadia has grown from seven congregations in the northwest region of the U.S. to 21 congregations in a little over one year. The Anglican District of Virginia will become the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic and consists of 31 congregations and 9 mission fellowships.

In discussing dioceses and the role of the Anglican Church in the life of congregations, Archbishop Duncan told Council attendees, “If we are to ‘reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ’ the principal way we will do this is through the local congregation. We understand that congregations are where disciples are formed and that it is through congregations that surrounding environments are changed. Bishops, archbishops, dioceses, structures, programs all exist in order to make the local congregation strong.”

The admission of all four groups into the Anglican Church is representative of the growth that has characterized the province since its inception. The growth of the Anglican Church has been furthered through church planting efforts connected with Anglican 1000 and the Greenhouse Forum, two church planting movements within the Anglican Church. Overall, the Anglican Church has grown from 706 congregations to nearly 1,000.

SINGAPORE: Global South Observers Reflect on Worldwide Anglicanism

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Western Anglicanism declines even as Global South rises
Do not copy Anglicanism from England, said Sydney Archbishop

By David W. Virtue in Singapore
April 25, 2010

Anglican Observers from New Zealand, Australia and the US to the Fourth Global South Encounter castigated Western liberal Anglicanism and urged Global South Anglican leaders to uphold the faith and maintain relationships, even as the Anglican Communion goes through its present upheavals.

The Rev. Dr. Timothy Harris a theologian from New Zealand said that at the time of the New Testament, the “independent churches had a particular phrase to uphold themselves against the culture. Hominoya: to be of the same mind and that mind is the mind of Christ. This is premised on the renewal of the transformation of the mind into the mind of Christ. We have a choice before us in the Anglican Communion, those who pledge loyalty to the institution vs. those who cry out to go deeper: to be of the mind of Christ.”

Harris said the crisis in the Anglican Communion is partly the theological mess we find ourselves in. “It is not just what is preached from pulpit, but clergy, when ask what do you believe, their answers run the gamut.

“I hope the Global South will be a people who have the love and courage to preach the fullness of the mind of Christ, who know God’s word, not guessing what people of God might be doing, but people who know. They have a clarity about God’s purposes and meaning.”

Harris stated that this painful lesson is being learned in New Zealand. “How damaging it is when the theological education of men and women in ministry brings doubt and confusion especially when the word of Scripture is clear. I read the House of Bishops from TEC statements re scriptures that mention homosexuality in the Bible. Passages that are clear came out twisted, until they say the opposite of how they are written.

“The heritage of the future belongs to those who will be a light to the nations, a covenant grounded in God’s word and witness. We stand confident in what God has taught us by his grace, not councils and decisions which are grounded in loyalty to the city, culture and the institution, but the Word of God written.”

Bishop Richard Ellena from the Diocese of Nelson, (NZ) said the Aotearoa Province is at a crossroads. “The Polynesian Islands are electing a new Archbishop this Sunday. Some of their bishops have already taken the slide to oblivion that haunts the West. We are at a crossroads and it seems we may join the downward slide of The Episcopal Church (TEC). We’re the southernmost part of the world, except the very most southern part of South America. Some of our bishops have already moved in line with TEC. The Diocese of Nelson is the only one with an evangelical bishop in New Zealand.

“New Zealand is embracing rugged individualism and rampant consumerism. [It is all about] my needs, what I can get out of church, that’s what people are interested in today.” They say, “I want a sermon that doesn’t challenge me too much and music that is entertainment. They want a first class children’s program that doesn’t make them religious OR Christian. It’s all about my needs; no heart, no sacrificial need. That’s what we struggle with.

“This is the result of 40 years of rubbish taught at our one theological college in New Zealand. Pray for us. One phrase sticks with me and it is a judgment, ‘He saw, he wanted and he went down.’ Please pray for us.”

Bishop Jeffrey Driver of the Diocese of Adelaide said Australia is really two countries. It has contact with the ancient North which is England, but it is also conscious now that they are part of the Asian region. “We have a need to be sensitive to the countries around us and we share their future and destiny. Both north and south feel this way. There is a sense of our relationship with countries here that have also been peopled by immigration and refugees like we are. We have peoples of many colors and many languages, many aspirations, needs and dreams. We have that deep link, in the north and of the south as well.

“One suggestion I would make to you, the people of the Global South. However we think of the structures, the first instrument of Communion is not the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Primates meetings or the Anglican Consultative Council. It is relationship. I encourage each to treasure, nurture and grow the informal links between our provinces. That is where the cohesion of the Anglican Communion will grow. The Church in Australia has most of the tensions in it that the Communion has.”

Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney commented that the Trumpet Sounds of the Global South have been one of the most significant elements in the Communion in the last 20 years.

The evangelical archbishop said he was in a group talking about Covenant (a significant and sacred thing), when a bishop rose up and said, that when dealing with people of the West, we are not sure that they mean what they say. “We are so infected by post-modernism that our word cannot be trusted. It is true and it creates a tension that lies between us that is usually unspoken. We who have been infected by this and we need to repent. The beating heart of the Global South is that you say exactly what you mean.”

Jensen was gratified that this conference was “unremorsefully Scriptural.”

“Every talk, every presentation, came straight out of scripture and we had the Scriptures expounded for us. The commitment of the Global South to Scripture is no platitude. That is a striking thing. You take it for granted. You keep saying to the West, ‘You have to live under the Scriptures.’ I’m not sure they even know what that means.”

Jensen blasted the secularism of the West, which he said is coming to you. “It has made mission in Australia very difficult. Why? At the heart of secularism is censorship. They do not want us to talk about Jesus. That is not true of you. When secularism comes your way, do not submit to censorship. We have to find out what Anglicanism is where we are. Copying Anglicanism from England is no longer an option.”

The challenges require us to dig deeper and higher and broader, said Archbishop John Chew by way of response.

Archbishop Bob Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) rose to say he also represented Canada. “We come to you as two groups in two structures (ACNA and Communion Partners). We are not two; we are one. We are in the same mind of Christ. We’re trying to reach out to our continent with the transforming mind of Christ. Our prayer for you is that grace and peace will be multiplied upon all of you in the Global South. I have four words to describe our reflection on this conference -Gratitude, Privilege, Renewing and Pain.”

Addressing the issue of pain, Duncan said, “We were reminded of the terrible division that is in the Communion. “There is a terrible tension and crisis. We are aware of that. The destructive work of some in our communion continues to challenge the structures and the order. The danger to the Global South is simply to build an association that is based only on geography or history. No one must build an association on anything less than the shared Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sound the Trumpet. It will be heard all over the world.”

The Rt. Rev. John Howe of the Diocese of Central Florida, speaking on behalf of the Communion Partner bishops stated, “The witness and ministry in the Global South and your sense of calling to be the faithful suffering servant in the Anglican Communion is remarkable. Communion Partners bishops are remaining faithful and orthodox in TEC. The majority of Provinces has declared themselves to be in broken or impaired communion by the decisions of TEC’s General Convention. The last time I met with him, I said to the Archbishop of Canterbury, that if he would say to us as a part of TEC that we are not in full communion with Canterbury, we can accept that. We too repudiate their actions.

“Archbishop Chew met with us and asked Bishop Mark Lawrence and I that if the Global South recognizes ACNA, would that harm Communion Partners? We said No. Archbishop Ian Earnest said two weeks ago that the Province of the Indian Ocean would cease communication with TEC, except those bishops who have remained faithful. The Communion Partners have a sincere desire to remain your partners in ministry for Jesus’ sake.”


GAFCON…………… the wisdom of envisaging an alternative focus of leadership for the Anglican Communion?

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

When will gay couples be able to take vows in the Church of England?

February 24th, 2010 Posted in News |

One of the most striking features of the GAFCON Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of June 2008 was the formation of a Primates Council which was urged to ‘authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations’. The radical nature of this step was underlined by a corresponding negative – the rejection of the commonly held assumption that ‘Anglican identity is determined necessarily through the Archbishop of Canterbury’.

Events in England this week have underlined the wisdom of envisaging an alternative focus of leadership for the Anglican Communion. As regular readers of these articles will know, I believe that the current Archbishop of Canterbury is promoting an illusory unity which accommodates false teaching and endangers the whole Communion.

But there is another reason for calling into question the role of Canterbury and the Lambeth institutions which is not so much to do with Rowan Williams himself, but with the relentless erosion of orthodox faith in the Church of England by the deeply secularized culture of the liberal establishment.

A number of leading academics and clergy, including the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd David Stancliffe, wrote to the London Times this week arguing that it is ‘plainly discriminatory’ not to allow gay or lesbian partners to make vows to each other in church and this was obligingly reinforced in that newspaper’s leader comment yesterday in which it called on the government to ‘resolve the legal asymmetry’ which under the 2004 Civil Partnership Act prevents same sex couples from having a Civil Partnership ceremony in church premises.  Read Charles Raven here

Soundbites and Little Else – Liberals and Theological Debate

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

February 17th, 2010 Posted in Theology |

The Revd David Ouldby David Ould, Stand Firm

This lack of proper engagement and even fair representation has led to a theologically illiterate church. But illiteracy is always the preferred option if you don’t like what you read – especially in the Scriptures.

I think what disappoints me most in what passes for theological debate on the interweb and related media is the paucity of actual engagement with what the other side are arguing. A classic example can be seen in the recentGuardian: Comment is Free piece by Christina Rees, chair of WATCH (Women and the Church) entitled, “Faith in the future“.Just check out this sample of blatant misrepresentation:

It is a testament to the women who sit on the revision committee that they have listened with graciousness to some of their colleagues earnestly arguing for places of sanctuary where they could be protected from the ministry of women. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

The observation is made repeatedly that if one were to replace the word “women” in these discussions with “black” or even “French”, the breathtaking offence of these views would become obvious. This verbal offence indicates a much deeper issue: females are still considered by some to be unable to represent Christ at the altar and as not being made fully in the image of God.

Of course, this is denied by the men and women who oppose women’s ordination. They cite tradition, as if that has remained static over the past 2,000 years, and ecclesiology, as if the Church of England’s relationship with some other churches is more important than what it understands to be true.

Where does one start? I think at the end, since it demonstrates the real issue going on here. Rees argues that the conservative position is an appeal to tradition – but it’s not, is it? It’s fundamentally an appeal to Scripture – which is bolstered by the testimony of tradition.

Read here

A first reaction to today’s publication of Anglicanorum Coetibus

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

From Forward in Faith

The Holy See has today published the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which will provide for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. The text of the Apostolic Constitution, and its Complementary Norms, can be read here.

The Chairman of Forward in Faith, Bishop John Broadhurst, has issued the following interim statement to those clergy who look to him, as Bishop of Fulham, for episcopal care at the present time and he is happy to share it with the membership of Forward in Faith worldwide.

I had thought the original notice from Rome was extremely generous. Today all the accompanying papers have been published and they are extremely impressive. I have been horrified that the Church of England while trying to accommodate us has consistently said we cannot have the jurisdiction and independent life that most of us feel we need to continue on our Christian pilgrimage.

What Rome has done is offer exactly what the Church of England has refused. Indeed it has offered the requests of Consecrated Women? with the completion of its ecumenical hopes. We all need now to ask the question ‘is this what we want?’ For some of us I suspect our bluff is called! This is both an exciting and dangerous time for Christianity in this country. Those who take up this offer will need to enter into negotiation with the Church of England about access to parish churches and many other matters. This situation must not be used to damage the Church of England but I do believe we have a valid claim on our own heritage in history.

The doctrinal standard demanded by Rome is the New Catechism which most of us use any way. We would be allowed to use Anglican or Roman rites and our ordinaries would have jurisdiction. We will all need to meet and talk. I would hope that this could take place in collaboration with the PEVs and other Catholic bishops. It is not my style to give a expansive analysis of a document that I have only received today nor will I answer the question ‘What are you going to do?’ That is something we need to work out together.

Every Blessing,

+John Fulham

Response from the Council of Church Society to the plans by the Church of Rome to receive disaffected Anglicans

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

November 9th, 2009 Posted in Roman Catholicism |

According to its own doctrinal standards and history, the Church of England’s true nature is that of a Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and catholic (in other words, universal) church. Orthodox Anglicanism is therefore defined by reference to these characteristics only, which are set out in the Thirty-nine Articles and the Church of England’s submission to the over-arching authority of Scripture alone. Church Society seeks to defend and promote these defining characteristics, especially the Gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone which is at the heart of the message and mission of the Church of England.

While acknowledging the correct stand taken by Anglo-Catholics against theological liberalism (the features of which do not represent true, Biblical Anglicanism), it should also be noted that the true doctrine of the Church of England does not embrace any of the teachings or practices which characterise the Church of Rome. For instance, the Church of Rome is fundamentally flawed in its claims about its own nature and authority and in its teaching about the means of salvation.

A proper rejection of theological liberalism should therefore not be accompanied by a turning to the Church of Rome and its unbiblical teachings and practices. Rather, both theological liberalism and the unscriptural teachings and practices of the Church of Rome are contrary to the Bible and to the historic doctrines of the Church of England as a Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and catholic church. Read the rest of this entry »

We are underdeveloped and “only” 50 Behind the enlightened Episcopal Church – Bp Schori

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Episcopal leader holds firm on gay rights

Says N.H. bishop’s election a blessing

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori held a coffee hour at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul. (GEORGE RIZER/GLOBE STAFF)

Saying “I don’t believe that there is any will in this church to move backward,” the top official of the Episcopal Church USA said yesterday that the election of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire has been “a great blessing” despite triggering intense controversy and talk of possible schism.

In an interview during a visit to Boston, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori compared the gay rights struggle to battles over slavery and women’s rights, and said she believes that it has become a vocation for the Episcopal Church “to keep questions of human sexuality in conversation, and before not just the rest of our own church, but the rest of the world.”

Jefferts Schori said that it could take 50 years for the debate over homosexuality to be resolved, but that she believes it will happen. She said she hopes that the Anglican Communion, an umbrella organization including the Episcopal Church and the Church of England, will stay together.

Where the protesters are, in some parts of Africa or in other parts of the Anglican Communion today, is where this church and this society we live in was 50 years ago, and for us to assume that people can move that distance in a year or in a relatively instantaneous manner is perhaps faithless,” she said. “That kind of movement and development has taken us a good deal of pain and energy over 40 or 50 years, and I think we have to make some space so that others can make that journey as well.”

Read the whole story here……..