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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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All Saint's Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya will host the second Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) October 21-26, 2013. Canon Phil Ashey is in Nairobi where the leaders of GAFCON recently held a planning meeting and finalized plans for the upcoming event. The first GAFCON, held in Jerusalem in 2008, was a major step in an organized, global effort to refocus the Anglican Communion around a common confession including Jesus Christ as Lord, the Bible as the Word of God and other central beliefs.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * South Carolina
Amidst allegations that Anglicans worldwide do not recognize the Diocese of South Carolina and its Bishop, Anglican Bishops from East Africa strongly announced their support for the Diocese’s dissociation from The Episcopal Church Tuesday during comments at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston.
The Bishops from Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania proclaimed unqualified endorsement of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese. Their comments seemed to dispute the claims of Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, the newly elected Bishop of the recently formed Diocese - The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. In January, vonRosenberg announced that the Anglican Communion has not acknowledged Lawrence’s Diocese, even though it represents the vast majority of local Anglicans. However the four Bishops, all members of the Anglican Communion in good standing, specifically recognized the Diocese during the gathering.
The four were guests of the Diocese following their participation in the New Wineskins Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, the largest Anglican missions conference in the world.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Anglican Church of Tanzania Church of Rwanda Episcopal Church of the Sudan * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Ordained * South Carolina
On April 9 at 6 p.m. we have the rare opportunity to hear from several Bishops from East Africa. We’ll hear first hand accounts of the vital work God is doing in the Anglican Communion. We’ll also hear how we can pray for their ministries and explore opportunities for further partnerships in “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.” Supper will follow in the Bishop Allison Courtyard, hosted by the Anglican Communion Development Committee. Students are encouraged to attend and to bring their youth leaders. We also welcome The Rev. Dr. Peter Moore who will moderate the conversation with the Bishops. Parking is available in the Cathedral lot and the CPW parking lot on Vanderhorst St. behind the parish house.
Read it all and we ask your prayers; thanks..
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Anglican Church of Tanzania Church of Rwanda Episcopal Church of the Sudan * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * South Carolina
Long queues are reported nationwide as Kenyans vote in an election that observers describe as the most important in the country's history.
Voters are complaining of having to wait under a hot sun for several hours.
There has been a series of violent incidents around the port town of Mombasa, with at least five police officers killed in one attack.
Authorities have urged Kenyans to avoid the widespread bloodshed that followed the disputed 2007 election.
Watch and Read it all
Update: Kenya election: Votes counted in crucial poll
Blow the wind of your Spirit across our land in this season of elections:
A Spirit of wisdom to guide our choosing;
A Spirit of Hope for a new tomorrow;
A Spirit of love, for those with whom we differ;
A Spirit of justice to defend the poor and needy.
In defeat, makes us gracious.
In victory, makes us generous.
And in all things, unite us in your Son, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Read it all and there is more from CSW here and there is an interview with Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on the Sunday Program 24 minutes in here
A Kenyan priest has appealed to Christians around the world to pray for the people of Garissa, a violence-stricken city in the North Eastern Province of Kenya.
The Revd Canon Francis Omondi's plea comes after at least five people were killed and four others wounded by Somali Islamist group al-Shabab who opened fire on guests at one of the city’s local hotels, The Dunes on 16 January.
Al-Shabab—a clan-based insurgent and terrorist group—has continued its violent insurgency in the area with Christians and security personnel being the main targets of the attacks.
Read it all.
As we enter the season of Epiphany we rejoice in the splendour of the light that has dawned upon us in the appearance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Yet it is a great sadness that before the New Year has hardly begun, the life of the Anglican Communion has yet again been clouded by compromise with the secular preoccupations of the West.
The decision by the Church of England’s House of Bishops, just announced, that clergy in Civil Partnerships can be eligible to serve as bishops will create further confusion about Anglican moral teaching and make restoring unity to the Communion an even greater challenge.
The provisions of the UK’s Civil Partnership legislation mimic marriage for same sex couples and are clearly designed on the assumption that such couples are sexually active. While it is true that the House of Bishops require bishops with Civil Partners to be celibate, this proviso is clearly unworkable. It is common knowledge that active homosexuality on the part of Church of England clergy is invariably overlooked and in such circumstances it is very difficult to imagine anyone being brought to book.
However, the heart of the matter is not enforceability, but that bishops have a particular responsibility to be examples of godly living. It cannot be right that they are able to enter into legally recognised relationships which institutionalise and condone behaviour that is completely contrary to the clear and historic teaching of Scripture, as reaffirmed for Anglicans by the 1998 Lambeth Conference in its Resolution 1.10.
The weight of this moral teaching cannot be supported by a flimsy proviso. In his teaching about marriage, Jesus reaffirms that marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman in accordance with the pattern of creation itself when he says ‘from the beginning of creation God made them male and female’ (Mark 10:6). For the health and well being of both church and society we must promote this great God given gift of marriage without compromise and ambiguity.
The Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala
Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairman, GAFCON Primates Council.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of England (CoE) Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The leader of a global group of traditional Anglicans has condemned the Church of England for “compromising with the secular preoccupations of the West” in an attack that significantly ratchets up the latest fallout between liberals and conservative over the thorny issue of homosexuality.
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya and the leader of the influential Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, made the comments in a statement reacting to the recent decision by the Church of England to lift the ban on gay but celibate men becoming bishops.
The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans represents conservative congregations in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia who are vehemently opposed to same sex unions and gay clerics. They formed four years ago and threatened to break away from the global Anglican Communion if openly gay men continued to be welcomed as clerics in more liberal dioceses such as the United States and Britain.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary England / UK
A group of Bishops and senior clerics from Nigeria and Kenya issued a call for the Archbishop of Canterbury effectively to be replaced as leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion by an elected chairman.
Meanwhile the Anglican church in Uganda offered Bishop Welby its support but warned the Church is “fractured” over questions such as homosexuality and the interpretation of the Bible.
The remarks come following a meeting of Anglican leaders from around the world in Auckland, New Zealand, which ended this week, attended by he current Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Church of Nigeria Church of Uganda Global South Churches & Primates
Sadly, I cannot escape the conclusion that this gathering was a missed opportunity and I endorse the report ‘What really happened in Auckland NZ at ACC-15' released today by the ACC representatives from Kenya and Nigeria. It is clear that those controlling the agenda were very reluctant to face the real ecclesiological and theological challenges thrown up by the undisciplined rejection of historic Anglican faith and order by certain Provinces.
In particular the continued treatment of the Episcopal Church of the United States as a Province in good standing, despite its leading role as an advocate for teaching and practice contrary to Scripture, undermines the claim to be allowing the Bible in the life of the Church to actually speak as the Word of God.
Read it all.
The day we give special thanks for James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1885
My dear people of God:
Grace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Primates’ Council has just concluded its October 2012 meeting in Dar es Salaam where we witnessed the blessing of God in a number of key areas:
• In the increase of our numbers
• Through the achievements of our April meeting
• By the testimonies of those who are joining with us
• In the new funding provided for our communication efforts
• Through our decision to meet again in a Global assembly
• By the recognition that we are not alone in this spiritual battle
We gathered in this historic city grateful for the faithful witness of the Anglican Church of Tanzania during these challenging times. The Most Reverend Valentine Mokiwa, Bishop of the Diocese of Dar es Salaam and Primate of Tanzania, welcomed us. We were made aware of some of the current difficulties facing Tanzania and committed ourselves to prayer for protection for the Church and peace and prosperity for all of this nation’s citizens.
During our meeting we were vividly reminded of the costly struggles of so many of our fellow Christians, whether facing violent persecution, natural disaster or spiritual conflict with competing ideologies....
Read it all.
The social transformation work of the Anglican Church of Kenya is in the process of rebranding from Christian Community Services (CCS) to Anglican Development Services, Kenya (ADSK).
Regional directors, programme managers and other staff of the Anglican Church of Kenya development arm attended a workshop to discuss the way forward of the proposed identity.
The workshop held on 25th and 26th Septem-ber 2012 in Nakuru, was facilitated by Dr. William Ogara from Christian Organizations Research and Advisory Trust of Africa (CORAT).
Read it all.
Nairobi’s police commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu reported that an examination of the crime scene indicated a limpet mine or an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) containing nails, ball-bearings and other pieces of shrapnel was electronically detonated alongside the wall of the Christian education building of St Cyprian’s Anglican Church at approximately 10:30 local time. Shrapnel from the blast killed an eight year old boy and wounded several children attending a Bible study. Six children were taken in serious condition to the capital’s Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment.
Popular sentiment in Nairobi lays the blast on al Shabaab...the Somali terror group....
However, the use of an IED might have been a copycat attack designed to drive the church off its land....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Economy Housing/Real Estate Market * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya
Following the explosive attack at Anglican Church of Kenya St. Polycarp Parish on Juja Road in Nairobi yesterday, Archbishop Dr. Eliud Wabukala joined other religious leaders in condemning the explosive attack.
Earlier in the day, Archbishop Wabukala, and Bishop Joel Waweru of Nairobi Diocese visited and prayed with four of the six children still admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital, Children’s Ward.
Read it all.
The Anglican Church has asked President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to ensure national security does not deteriorate.
Maseno West Bishop Reverend Joseph Wasonga and the Synod said Kenyans must embrace peace as the country inches closer to the March 4 General Election.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Anglican Church has challenged Kenyans to be patient with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission amid reports of the commission's integrity waning. Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala, the churh's head, asked leaders and politicians not to be suspicious of the operations of the IEBC since this will cast its credibility and ability to a fair electioneering process into disrepute.
Wabukhala said leaders should embrace the body and advice it accordingly instead of casting blame on a particular group. "IEBC has done well in the past and any slight hitch should not be exaggerated as the end of the world. We should work alongside IEBC as a community and not try to load blames on the group. That will demoralise them and make them confused", said Wabukhala.
The remarks by the clergy comes amid questions raised by various leaders on the biometric voter registration tender awarded to [second highest contract bidder and I.T. Company, headquartered in Nairobi ] Symphony by the election's body.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya
If we know peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, we must in turn be peacemakers and Jesus’ teaching in our second reading from the Sermon on the Mount takes us right to the heart of the matter. The peacemakers are the people Jesus calls blessed and sons of God. As God in Christ loves us, even though we are by nature his enemies, so we, like him, must love even our enemies.
Do you see how relevant this teaching of Jesus is to the practical matter of a strong democracy in Kenya? If a healthy democracy turns on respect for the law and for one another as created in God’s image, then loving our enemies is a radical way of showing both obedience to God and recognising his image in others, even those who may hate us.
So will you commit with me to take the lead in being peacemakers for our nation in this truly radical way?
Read it all.
The Anglican Church in Kenya has banned politicians from taking political campaigns to its places of worship.
The church, through its leader Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, said the church will not receive gifts from politicians or allow the pulpit to be used to spur animosity among Kenyans.
“We must embrace humility and become wiser as the country nears the General Elections. We will not allow the church pulpits be used by politicians to attack each other,” said Archbishop Wabukala on Sunday after leading a Sunday worship session at the All Saints Cathedral Church in Nairobi.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Economics, Politics Politics in General
Read it all.
The Archbishop of Kenya has withdrawn from the Anglican Mission in America’s (AMiA) College of Consultors. Sources within the AMiA and in the Anglican Church of Kenya tell Anglican Ink Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has written to Bishop Chuck Murphy withdrawing his patronage from the organization.
Read it all.
The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) wishes to announce the marriage between The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala and Rev. Rhoda Luvuno.
The ceremony was held today, 5th May 2012, at ACK St. Peter's Nyali, in Mombasa. It was presided over by the retired Bishop of Nakuru, Stephen Njihia and Bishop Julius Kalu of Mombasa Diocese.
A homecoming luncheon will be held at Archbishop's residence in Nairobi on 17th May 2012, 2.00pm.
Archbishop Wabukala has been widowed since the demise of his wife Mama Caren Wabukala.
We congratulate the couple and wish them God's blessings in their new life together.
In the space of a week we, though from many and varied cultural contexts, were able to agree and receive with great joy and celebration a clear statement of Anglican Identity in the form of the Jerusalem Declaration. We rejoiced that through the Holy Spirit the Lord had given us such unity in the truth and we knew that God was setting us free or a clear and confident witness to Jesus Christ in a way that was simply not imaginable through the traditional channels.
At Lambeth Conference, which many felt unable in conscience to attend, it was a different story. Much talking and conversation, but no shared mind and no attempt to resolve the substance of the fundamental doctrinal and ethical differences which have been so destructive to our unity. At Lambeth there was a loss of nerve and nothing more than conversation, at Jerusalem we boldly reaffirmed our confidence in the faith we confess. There we recovered our genuinely Anglican identity and in the Jerusalem Declaration set out a coherent framework for global witness in the twenty-first century. The Jerusalem Statement, the preamble to the Declaration, clearly sets out Anglican identity.
Read it all.
Please note this older article predates the news about the Congo and AMIA which broke late this week; it nevertheless has important details not found elsewhere--KSH.
The split has fractured the AMiA’s 150 congregations. While no numbers have been released by the AMiA, a majority of its congregations appear to have left Bishop Murphy’s oversight—including Bishop Murphy’s former parish and the AMiA’s headquarters, All Saints Church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.
One faction appears set to join the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a second group has pledged its loyalty to the Church of Rwanda but will seek to operate under the oversight of the ACNA, while a third remains with Bishop Murphy and his bishops. Negotiations to find an accommodation are currently underway between the Murphy faction and the ACNA, however the terms publicly set by Archbishop Duncan include reconciliation between Rwanda and the [Chuck] Murphy group.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of Rwanda Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Departing Parishes * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches * Theology Ecclesiology
The Archbishop of Kenya has criticized idolatry of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) saying faith in Christ, not works performed in his name, is the path of salvation.
The 22 February 2012 letter written by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on behalf of the Gafcon primates chastised Christians who in the pursuit of social and economic change, lost sight of the centrality of the cross and the primacy of repentance and amendment of life. “While it is obvious that such good things as feeding the hungry, fighting disease, improving education and national prosperity are to be desired by all, by themselves any human dream can become a substitute gospel which renders repentance and the cross of Christ irrelevant,” he said.
While the archbishop’s letter stands in contrast to recent Western church endorsements of the MDGs – a series of 8 initiatives adopted by the U.N. member states that seek to address education, healthcare, and poverty issues – the African church, not America is the focus of concern Anglican Ink has learned.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Global South Churches & Primates * Culture-Watch Poverty * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative Core Group was invited and welcomed to St Julian’s retreat centre, Limuru, by the Most Rev Dr Eliud Wakubala, Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya. He presided at the first Eucharist and issued a challenge that in mission Jesus should be at the centre. Each morning’s session began with a biblical reflection and discussion on how Jesus went about his evangelism, and what should be learnt from his approach.
The core group began their meeting by visiting St Jerome’s and the Church Army Africa Urban Mission Centre in Kibera, Nairobi. Kiberais the biggest informal urban settlement in Africa. St Jerome’s, which has planted five new congregations in recent years, is the fastest growing parish in All Saints Cathedral Diocese. This visit introduced the group to an exciting context from which to inform and enrich their discussion.
Read it all.
Anglican church leaders in the North Rift region yesterday decried the increase in corruption and impunity in the country despite the promulgation of the new constitution that was expected to end the vices.
Bishops Stephen Kewasis and Christopher Ruto of Kitale and Eldoret dioceses respectively claimed that grabbing had continued to flourish unabated in the region, saying that the church was one of the victims.
Read it all.
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Thank you for responding to our call to pray for the recent meeting of the Primates’ Council. We received many messages of support, and were aware of the Lord blessing us as a result of your intercessions. The Primates’ Council remains committed to move forward in the work of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and our hopes for a renewed Anglican Communion.
We are immensely aware of being involved in a spiritual struggle. Our Global Anglican movement has made its stand on the gospel of Jesus Christ as expounded in the Jerusalem Declaration. This has united us. It has also divided us from those who promote a different ‘gospel’. Our twofold aim is to promote the preaching and defence of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ and to recognise and have fellowship with Anglican Christians whose spiritual lives are threatened by false teaching.
We are longing for the spiritual reform of the Anglican Communion so that in a united partnership we can commend the Lord Jesus as the one and only Saviour of the world. We have had reports from many parts of the Communion about the deliberate incursion of false teaching accompanied by offers of financial aid. We are aware of the conflict, which continues for so many as they struggle to maintain the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Sometimes this involves legal attacks. We offer our support and encouragement to those who make it clear that they will continue to teach God’s word whatever the opinion of a church which has allied itself to the world.
We praise God for the opening of our London office and the presence of Bishop Martyn Minns as our first full time worker. We continue to plan for a leadership conference in April 2012 and for GAFCON 2 in May 2013. We received encouraging reports of the Anglican Mission in England, a missionary society supported by us though which missionaries can be ordained and encouraged.
We also spent time considering our understanding of Church and Communion in the light of the new realities, which have come upon us. We agree with the recent words of the eleven Primates who visited China with Archbishop John Chew, ‘We are wholeheartedly committed to the unity of the Anglican Communion and recognize the importance of the historic See of Canterbury. Sadly, however, the Anglican Communion’s Instruments of Unity have become dysfunctional and no longer have the ecclesial and moral authority to hold the Communion together.’ Something better must emerge.
At a reception in London for local supporters I made two points. First that the unity of several key provinces and hence their capacity to serve God and their nations was preserved by the provision of GAFCON in 2008. Secondly that the East African revival, with its commitment to scripture and emphasis on repentance was a model for how the Communion as a whole could be blessed by God.
My dear Brothers and Sisters, the Anglican Communion has been and can be an immense force for good in this world. But it needs to be renewed and reformed by the Word of God. The Global FCA exists to help towards that goal. We are blessed by your support. Thank you.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16).
In Christ’s love and service,
--(The Most Rev.) Eliud Wabukala is Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primate's Council
The structures of the Anglican Communion have continued to deteriorate since the 2008 Lambeth Conference. That same year, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) took place in Jerusalem, which gave birth to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, a global movement committed to the renewal and reformation of the Anglican Communion around a common confession (The Jerusalem Declaration). GAFCON was not just a moment; it is a movement. The purpose of the 2012 leadership conference will be to gather existing and emerging FCA leaders – laity, clergy, theologians, youth, bishops, women and men – to promote the ongoing renewal and reformation of the Anglican Communion. These leaders will truly represent this global movement of Anglicans all over the world. We hope and pray this will set the stage for a larger “GAFCON II” meeting to be held in 2013.
The American Anglican Council will be helping the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans develop this conference. We are committed to supporting this global movement of biblical Anglicans and to the renewal and reformation of the Anglican Communion around a common confession. Be sure to monitor our website and emails for more news on these exciting events.
Last night, there was a reception for supporters and those interested in the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairmen of the FCA, Eliud Wabukala, was present, along with the Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, Peter Jensen, the retired Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, as well as the former Bishop of Rochester, England, Michael Nazir-Ali.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia Anglican Church of Kenya Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) Church of Nigeria
Speaking at Kamusinga in Bungoma county, the Archbishop said raging famine in Northern and Eastern Kenya "was the result of government's failure to plan" and the buck stops with the grand coalition government's top leadership.
Archbishop Wabukala observed that occurrence of drought was cyclical and government ought to have put in place emergency measures to counter its negative effects on populations in arid and semi arid areas early enough, but did nothing instead leading to the massive starvation being witnessed in the country.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Culture-Watch Dieting/Food/Nutrition Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya
[Rowan] Williams outlined several challenges churches will encounter this century and urged them to use new means of communication and social media to spread the gospel more effectively.
"There is virtually nowhere you can go in the world where you won't see a mobile telephone. The church needs to learn how use these new means of communications more effectively for the sake of the gospel. If we have social media, they can also be media for communion," he said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Globalization Media Religion & Culture Science & Technology * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya
Speaking about his morning in Kibera, the Archbishop praised the remarkable work being done by the local churches:
"The work being done here is so inspiring because it shows what can be done when people are prepared to identify the problems that they face - not as someone else's issue, not as doing good to someone else, but actually standing alongside as God in Christ stands alongside - that is the beginning and end of all real Christian mission and service."
The Archbishop concluded his visit to Kibera by giving a homily at Holy Trinity Church in which he spoke about the meaning of Emmanuel – 'God with us', explaining how God is at work in every human being and every part of the universe, restoring hope to those whose situation may seem hopeless, and being ever present in the face of those we live amongst and serve.
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'If we read on in this Letter to the Hebrews, we find there some very specific, very clear guidelines about moving on and growing up as believers. And we find also the warning that living in this way will not always make us popular. If we seek to make friends out of strangers, perhaps some people will attack us for being disloyal to our own folk. If we try to live honourable lives in marriage, perhaps some others will make fun of us or be angry with us for not following the easy ways of self-indulgence. If we stand out against corruption and money-grabbing or land-grabbing, we may offend powerful people. But in all this, God is with us. He demands that, as grown-up Christians, we should be honest about the problems of our society and seek to show a better way.'
Read or better yet listen to it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics
The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams began his Kenyan tour on Sunday with a plea to the African church to take a firm stand against corruption.
Speaking at Nakuru's ACK Cathedral in a commemoration of the church's 50th anniversary, Archbishop Williams told church leaders they must stand up against land and money grabbers. "It will pit you against some of the most powerful individuals but God is always on the side of the righteous," the principal leader of the Church of England said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Statement from the Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala, Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya and newly elected Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council:
Praise the Lord! It is a great joy to greet all of you as we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Christ was an event that changed the course of history for good and as a result, my life and the lives of millions of others have been changed for eternity.
Yesterday I was elected Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council and I am honored to accept this call to serve the Anglican Communion in this special way. Together with 1200 bishops and leaders from around the Anglican Communion, I was privileged to spend a life-changing week in Jerusalem in 2008 as part of the Global Anglican Future Conference.
Read it all.
Leaders have been told to stop politicising the Ocampo Six trials and warned against public utterances likely to rekindle violence in the country.
Anglican Church Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on Sunday told a congregation at the All Saints Cathedral that inflammatory statements could lead to anarchy as Education minister Sam Ongeri warned against hate speech.
“The Ocampo Six and ICC trials should not be politicised. This is a foundation for chaos in the General Election,” Dr Wabukala warned.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya
In a joint statement issued after a "Consultation of Bishops in Dialogue" meeting held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania the church leaders said they had shared testimonies about partnership mission work. Through this a common thread had emerged "our experience of finding ourselves in each other."
"Across the globe, across the Communion, we actually really need one another," the bishops' statement said. "We are stronger in relationship than when we are apart. This, we believe, is a work of engaging in Communion building rather than Communion breaking. In the words of the Toronto Congress of 1963 we are engaged in living in 'mutual responsibility and interdependence' (Ephesians 2:13-22)".
The bishops hailed from Sudan, Botswana, Malawi, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Canada, the United States and England. They met at the end of February as a group of partner pairs and triads and discussed a range of issues including human sexuality, slavery and tackling poverty.
Read it all.
Update: An ENS article appears here also.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Burundi Anglican Church of Canada Anglican Church of Kenya Anglican Church of Tanzania Church of England (CoE) Episcopal Church (TEC) Lambeth 2008 * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya Tanzania
Church leaders in Kenya have called for calm in the wake of an International Criminal Court prosecutor’s call for the indictment on charges of “crimes against humanity” of six Kenyan political leaders.
On Dec 15, Luis Moreno Ocampo asked the court in The Hague to charge former higher education minister William Ruto, Minister for Industrialization Henry Kosgey and radio broadcaster Joshua Sang with planning a campaign of murder and ethnic cleansing in the Rift Valley against supporters of President Mwai Kibaki.
In a separate indictment Moreno Ocampo charged Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta—son of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta—Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura and former police commissioner Maj. Gen. Mohammed Hussein Ali with murder, deportation, persecution, rape and crimes against humanity committed against supporters of Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
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The wife of Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has died in Nairobi.
Mama Caren Nakhumicha Wabukala collapsed in her house on Sunday at 8pm. She was rushed to Nairobi Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival.
A statement from the Anglican church headquarters in Kenya said news of Caren's collapse reached the Archbishop as he checked in at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on a scheduled trip out of the country.
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Update: There is more there also.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family
“We focused on allowing people to talk of their local frustrations, but tried to show that only by working together with all Kenyans can peace live in our country. No community can be an island. An island cannot grow, you must interact with others to learn, to educate your children, to make things better.”
--The Rev. Maritim arap Rirei, an Anglican church official, as quoted in the CSM
In Mombasa, Anglican Church bishop Julius Kalu said the church has no apologies to make for opposing the new law that was endorsed by Kenyans.
Kalu said they will stand by their position adding that they continue to push for the necessary amendments to be made.
The leaders at the same time commended Kenyans for maintaining peace during and after the referendum. Bishop Kalu was speaking during a harvest service held for ASK show officials.
He said the church had not lost any moral credibility saying that it was only expressing God's law.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya
The head of the Anglican Church has urged Kenyans to have a peaceful referendum.
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said in a statement on Thursday that divisions that now exist could have been avoided had the government heeded religious leaders' calls to revise the draft constitution.
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Evangelical churches have renewed their demands for the postponement of the referendum until consensus is reached on contentious issues.
Led by Bishop Victor Mwangi of the Father’s House Church and Bishop Stephen Ndicho of the Full Gospel Churches of Kenya, they said that it would be pointless to pass the draft constitution as it is and seek to amend it later due to the huge cost involved.
They said that although Christian clerics were not opposed to a new constitution, they wanted the issues of abortion and the kadhi’s courts resolved. Mr Ndicho, a former Juja MP, said the church had the moral authority to point out mistakes in the law.
Meanwhile, the Anglican Church’s move to back the ‘No’ campaign against the draft constitution is raising a storm among its bishops. By yesterday, three bishops had come out in support of the document.
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More than 23 churches have delinked themselves from the Anglican Church of Kenya’s Bungoma diocese.
They have joined the New Anglo Church of Kenya (New ACK). The diocese has more than 200 churches.
The churches which joined the new outfit cited poor leadership and corruption as reasons for their departure.
The Rev Peter Wangwe said he was happy to be part of the new church.
This happened even as 10 churches locked out ACK pastors who had been ministering at the affected churches.
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Church leaders in Kenya have abandoned constitutional talks with the government, announcing that they will rally Christians to vote against the draft basic law for the east African country when it is put to a referendum.
The leaders cited insincerity on the government's part when announcing their withdrawal on April 28.
"We will instead focus energies on educating the people of Kenya on the meaning of the cardinal issues and on campaigning for the rejection of the draft," the Rev. Peter Karanja, an Anglican priest and general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, told journalists in Nairobi.
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The Anglican Church of Kenya has finally declared its position on the draft constitution.
The church which had earlier reserved its position pending further interrogation of the draft has now joined majority of other churches under the umbrella of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), in calling for the rejection of the draft if amendments on the contentious clauses are not made.
The church had been silent on which side it supports after a section of its Bishops and retired head David Gitari publicly declared support for the draft.
"We therefore say No to the proposed constitution as it is unless amendments are effected before the referendum," read a statement by the bishops after day-long deliberations on Thursday at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi.
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Via email from someone with the Archbishop at a meeting--KSH:
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala...would like to make... [the following] absolutely clear.
1. The news report about Abp Wabukala's "break" from other Christian leaders on Kenya is not accurate
2. Abp Wabukala is unalterably opposed to abortion
3. The Anglican Church of Kenya will be meeting later this month to consult together to articulate their position on the new Constitution.
He is deeply concerned that the “experts” who drafted the constitution did not listen to the voice of the people of Kenya. Abp Wabukala believes that a Constitution is desperately needed in Kenya, but it must also be consistent with ethical and moral foundations of our faith.
Anglican Archbishop Eluid Wabukala of Kenya has chosen to differ with other Christian leaders in his country over a draft constitution that would permit Islamic "Kadhi" courts, and authorize abortion.
The archbishop has urged Kenyans to back the law, while suggesting that controversial clauses in it could be revised in future.
"The document is better than the current one. It is my feeling that Kenyans should accept it and amend some clauses later," Wabukala told journalists on April 3 in Nairobi, two days after the country's parliament had passed the law.
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A mobile phone suspended on a belt round the waist or from the neck is a common sight among members of church congregations in Africa.
Now, church leaders are heaping praise on mobile phones, sometimes called cell phones, because they say the instruments help congregations grow.
Mobile phone use increased rapidly in Africa about 10 years ago. At that time, however, some Christians on the continent criticised the phones for being "marks of materialism." Now, that has changed.
"It is as if cell phones have come to revolutionise everything, even Christianity," says Anglican Bishop Charles Gaita of Nyahururu in central Kenya. "They are making things happen quickly."
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Science & Technology
The publication of a draft constitution for Kenya, recognising the presence of Muslim civil courts known as the Kadhi courts, has once again widened the Christian-Muslim split in the East African nation.
Kenyan Church leaders have dismissed the creation of the Kadhi Courts, as currently proposed in the draft constitution, as a ploy to "elevate one religion over the other," while the Islamic clerics ha ve warned that they would mobilise the Muslim community to reject a new draft that omits the Kadhi courts.
Kenyans have been discussing the prospect of a new constitution. The last attempt to have a constitution, in November 2005, ended with a majority vote rejecting the draft constitution, which proposed to create the office of the Chief Kadhi, to enjoy similar constitutional powers as the Chief Justice.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Faiths Islam
The Anglican Church has faulted the government’s Mau Forest Eviction programme saying so far it has been inhumane.
ACK Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said the government had a duty to ensure that the evictees’ basic rights were not abused in the process of restoring the water tower.
“We recognize that the government has duty to protect the environment. To this end the intention to reverse the destruction of Mau complex is noble. However it is grossly inhuman that people removed from the water tower are left to live on road sides. Such people should be given alternative settlements as soon as possible to reduce their suffering,” he observed.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Economics, Politics Politics in General * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Anglican Church of Kenya has created its 31st diocese, raising its Chaplaincy to the Armed Forces to the status of a “Military Episcopate”.
At a service at St Paul’s Garrison Church at the Kahawa army barracks outside Nairobi, the Protestant Suffragan Bishop for the Armed Forces, Colonel the Rt Rev Peter Wanyonyi Simiyu was enthroned as Bishop-in-Ordinary for the Armed Forces.
A former British Army Garrison chapel, St Paul’s will serve as the pro-Cathedral of the new diocese, the ACK reports.
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The offer has raised questions whether it will not weaken the status of the Anglican church and reopen the issue of celibate priesthood for the Catholics. Kenyan clergy and scholars argue that the Pope’s move may not augur well for conservative Catholics who view the Apostolic Constitution as a dilution of the traditional Catholic doctrines.
Conservative Anglicans may, however, find the offer appealing as a way of sidestepping the controversies occasioned by the consecration of gay bishops and ordination of female priests. “There is necessity to prepare the Catholic clergy to avoid mass exodus as happened in 1963,” said Father Stephen Mbugua, an Egerton University chaplain.
ACK Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has rejected the papal offer arguing it was ill-timed. But he faces opposition from within as some of his bishops say there is nothing wrong with it. “I do not see why it is necessary at this point in history,” Archbishop Wabukala told the Sunday Nation on the phone.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of England (CoE) * International News & Commentary Africa * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI
However, Archbishop Wabukala told the BBC's Network Africa programme there was "no possibility" of his becoming a Catholic.
"The Protestant family understands faith in different ways, for example, the idea of the Eucharist, the Lord's Supper, the interpretation of ministry," he said.
He said his fellow African Anglican bishops were "deeply evangelical".
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Latest News Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of England (CoE) * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI
Public hearings over Kenyan constitutional reforms lead to a shouting match and police intervention last week in Mombasa. The role of Sharia law within Kenya’s civil code prompted sharp disagreements between the Anglican Bishop of Mombasa, the Rt. Rev. Julius Kalu and Sheikh Khalifa Mohammad, chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK).
The push for constitutional reform in Kenya began in the early 90’s, but took on added intensity following the 2007 elections, that sparked communal violence in what had been one of Africa’s “model democracies”.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations
Newly-installed Kenyan Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has called for unity among the 77 million-member global Anglican Communion, which is threatened by a split centred, as far as many African bishops are concerned, on the issue of homosexuality.
“We are in a state of brokenness because the truth of the Scripture has not been upheld in some provinces,” said Archbishop Wabukala in July 5 homily after his enthronement as the fifth archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya. “We call on all Anglicans to come together again around the Gospel.”
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He is Dr Eliud Wabukala, who is 58, has been Bishop of Bungoma since in 1996, and chairs the National Council of Churches of Kenya. Bungoma has a diocesan link with Peterborough. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Ian Cundy, described Dr Wabukala on Tuesday as “a reconciler both politically in the country and within the House of Bishops”. He succeeds Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi.
Thousands of Christians are reported to have thronged the streets of Bungoma to welcome the Archbishop-elect on his return home from the election. The election process at All Saints’ Cathedral in Nairobi last Friday was described by the local press as “peaceful, joyous and orderly”.
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Eliud Wabukala of Bungoma, who becomes the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya in July, will not likely reverse his predecessor’s opposition to same-sex unions.
This is the view of bishops and church leaders who spoke to Ecumenical News International after Wabukala was on April 24 elected to replace Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, who retires on June 30.
Read the whole article.
Speaking to the press after his election, an elated Wabukhala expressed gratitude to the church for the peaceful transition.
"I would like to thank the Anglican (church) and particularly the electoral college, for the peaceful election they have carried out, and for maintaining the integrity of the church," he told reporters .
He says he is ready to take the baton from where his predecessor, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi left, noting that the challenges are indeed opportunities .
"We know there are challenges to do with building bridges among our community, reconciling people and healing. We shall continue with where he has left. Our aim is to ensure the gospel is preached and taught, and possibly med to make people live it in this country" He added.
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The next head of the Anglican Church in Kenya will be known on Friday when the 150-member electoral college elects the archbishop of Nairobi.
The college members — a diocesan bishop, two priests and two lay persons from each of the 30 dioceses — will gather at the All Saints’ Cathedral in Nairobi at 9am to elect, by secret ballot, the man to replace Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi.
The candidate will be installed and enthroned, the Anglicans say, as the head of the 4.5 million member church in a grand ceremony on July 5.
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The Most Reverend Benjamin Nzimbi, the Primate and Archbishop has created a profile that will linger on long after he has left the ACK hierarchy.
To many people, the Bishop of All Saints Cathedral is a man of many faces. His voice was full of pain and compassion when he joined other clergymen in calling for peace following chaos that rocked the country after the disputed national elections early this year.
Yet, he was forthright and uncompromising when he stated the church’s stand against the ordination of gay bishops in the church. He has never shied away from calling on the Government officials to be more accountable in discharging their services to the citizenry.
Yet away from the glare of the cameras and the pulpit, Nzimbi, is a simple man, who loves eating fish and ugali with his hands, forget modern cutlery.
This, he says is how people ought to see him.
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From the Diocese of Pittsburgh website, here are statements from +Venables, +Gomez, Nzimbi, +Kolini. Also posted there are statements from +Mouneer Anis, +Peter Jesen of Sydney, and +Cavalcanti, Diocese of Recife.
A Joint Statement from Archbishops Venables of the Southern Cone, Gomez of the West Indies and Nzimbi of Kenya.
In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen. We the undersigned are grieved at the violation of catholic order in the declaration of deposition of The Right Rev. Robert Duncan by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church and consider it to be invalid. Legitimate actions of catholic order must rise from Biblical catholic faith. Actions such as this continue to alienate countless Christian people not only within, but beyond the limits of the Communion. We continue to recognize the fidelity and validity of Bishop Duncan's orders, role, and ministry. Without reservation, we continue in full sacramental communion with him as an Anglican bishop. We thank God that by the vote of the Provincial Synod he has been given membership in the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone. Our fellowship and shared ministry with him is not disrupted.
Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev Gregory Venables
The Most Rev Drexel Gomez
The Most Rev Benjamin Nzimbi
From Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda:
September 17, 2008
News is circulating around the United State and the Anglican Communion that the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops is likely to depose the Rt. Rev. Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, this week at a special meeting. I have known and worked with Bishop Duncan for a number of years, and I know him to be a godly man.
As he faces this time of trial, I encourage him to remember that he is not being deposed by God, but only by man. He will remain very much a part of the new work that God is creating within Anglicanism. In addition, he and his family will remain in my thoughts and prayers, and I am confident that the Lord will bless Bishop Duncan in this new season of ministry.
I am reminded of Joseph's words to his brothers that are recorded in Genesis. <
Most Reverend Emmanuel Kolini
Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of Rwanda Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone] West Indies Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh Global South Churches & Primates
Asked about Orombi's statements, Nzimbi told Ecumenical News International, "I don't want to comment on that but what I know is the Anglican Communion surrounds the see of Canterbury, and the Canterbury see is respected by all of us, and we would like the Anglican Communion to continue."
He said, "The archbishop of Canterbury should continue calling [the] Lambeth [Conference] but let us go back to what it used to be." This was understood to mean that there should be a common understanding that homosexuality is sinful and homosexuals should not be in positions of leadership in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Nzimbi said Anglican leaders who took part in a gathering in June in Jerusalem of the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON as it is known, will meet shortly to map a way forward after the Lambeth Conference. GAFCON is widely seen as having been an "alternative" Lambeth Conference that brought together opponents of openly gay bishops and same-sex blessings.
The Kenyan archbishop took issue with remarks by Robinson, according to whom leaders such as Nzimbi are calling for the exclusion from the Anglican Communion of those churches that support the greater inclusion of gay and lesbian people.
Nzimbi said the current problem within the Anglican Communion was not based on who should stay or go, but on compliance to the word of God.
"When you obey the Scriptures you repent of your sins. What is ... bringing problems is the interpretation of the Scriptures," he said. "If we all obey the Scriptures, and what they tell us, I know that inner oneness will make us have the outer form of the Anglican Communion that which we want."
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According to Archbishop [Peter] Akinola, the last major meeting that considered the gay issue was the Primates' Meeting in Tanzania in February 2007. During the meeting, the Episcopal Church was given "a last chance to clarify unequivocally and adequately their stand by 30th September, 2007".
"Strangely, before the deadline, and before the primates could get the opportunity of meeting to assess the adequacy of the response of TEC and in a clear demonstration of unwillingness to follow through our collective decisions, which for many of us was an apparent lack of regard for the Primates, Lambeth Palace in July 2007 issued invitations to TEC bishops, including those who consecrated Gene Robinson, to attend the Lambeth 2008 conference.
"At this point, it dawned upon us, regrettably, that the Archbishop of Canterbury was not interested in what matters to us, in what we think or in what we say," the Gafcon gathering heard.
The upshot is that if African bishops are angry, it is because of Canterbury's and the West's insensitivity and apparent contempt of their collective decisions.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of Nigeria Global South Churches & Primates GAFCON 2008 Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
Kenyan Anglican bishops will, together with a section of their fellow Africans, skip next month’s Lambeth Conference in Britain in the latest twist in the controversy over same-sex marriages that has threatened to tear the 77 million-member church apart.
The bishops, their spouses and other senior clergy will instead attend the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem that runs from June 22 to 29, said Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi.
The decision to boycott the Lambeth conference was due, he said, to the church’s failure to resolve the issue of the ordination of homosexual bishops within the Episcopal Church in the United States.
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Let me get to the point. The Anglican church in Kenya has decided to boycott the so-called Lambeth Conference to be held in July, a periodical spiritual fest of global Anglican bishops hosted in England by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The decision has already been communicated by none other than Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi. Most other African bishoprics had already decided the same, including Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Nigeria. Nigeria's boycott, led by Archbishop Peter Akinola, has been particularly painful for Lambeth. Nigeria happens to host the biggest concentration of Anglicans of any country in the world.
The problem is homosexuality, which the African bishops reject. It all started with the Anglican wing in the United States, who call themselves Episcopalians. Some dioceses there have accepted to bless homosexual and lesbian marriages and even to ordain openly homosexual clergy.
It is not only Africans who are outraged. Many dioceses in Asia and Latin America are equally angry. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is a rather weak man who has proved incapable of healing the rift.
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Members of the Anglican Church in Kenya would like to know why our bishops are not attending the Lambeth 2008 Conference.
Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi is reported as reasoning thus: “Lambeth 2008 should have been about a return to God in view of these realities, yet it’s obvious that won’t be the case. Canterbury has sanctioned homosexuality. We cannot be going there to keep up with its theological gymnastics.”
Is this not missing the point of Lambeth? Isn’t this cowardly?
This conference is central in our church tradition as one of the four instruments of the Anglican Communion.
Read the whole thing.
THE Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has demanded tough action against the outlawed Mungiki sect that has recently terrorized the country.
The Church accused politicians supporting the group of promoting anarchy. Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said the Government should crack down on sect members, as they were engaged in crime.
"The Government has the machinery to crack down on this illegal group yet nothing is happening," the prelate said.
Archbishop Nzimbi was speaking in Kericho on Thursday May 1, 2008 during the consecration and enthronement of the Rt Rev Jackson Nasoore ole Sapit as bishop of the Kericho Anglican Diocese.
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Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi and Catholic Cardinal John Njue of Kenya have welcomed a joint visit by President Mwai Kibaki and his former political opponent, Raila Odinga, now prime minister, to camps for those displaced by recent post-election conflict. But they are also calling for compensation and a speedy resettlement of those who were forced from their abodes.
"This was a very important visit. We praise the leaders for that," Nzimbi told Ecumenical News International in Nairobi. "It shows the leaders are concerned about the plight of these people."
Nearly 300,000 people were forced to take refuge in camps following ethnic violence that erupted after the country's electoral commission announced Kibaki as the winner of general elections held in December. Odinga said the election had been rigged. The conflict ended with the signing of a national peace accord in February. This in turn resulted in the formation of a coalition government between Kibaki's Party of National Unity and Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement.
"It is painful to see innocent people turned into refugees in their own country," said Njue in Embu in eastern Kenya on April 27, while urging the government to create a suitable environment for a speedy resettlement.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya * International News & Commentary Africa Kenya * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
Kenyans have been asked to forgive one another and reconcile as the country heals from the effects of post-election violence.
Religious leaders also thanked God for saving Kenya from the brink of collapse.
Praying in Parliament, retired Anglican Bishop Peter Njenga said: “You saved us from hatred, danger and ethnic violence that had threatened to tear our country apart. We, therefore, ask you to help us remain united and set aside our differences for the benefit of the country.”
Kakamega Catholic diocese Bishop Philip Sulumeti recognised the heavy burden the more than 200 MPs had on their shoulders in ensuring that the country remained united.
Bishop Sulumeti said Kenyans had experienced difficult moments due to the election violence and regretted the loss of lives and destruction of property.
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Accounts of violence in Kenya are more than just news stories to Joseph Ngotho; they are the latest news about the fate of his homeland and his dispossessed family.
"They had homes and businesses. Now they are living in churches or communal compounds," Ngotho said.
Democratic stability in this African nation disintegrated last year when a power sharing agreement between political rivals fell apart.
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The Anglican Church has failed the people of Kenya by not speaking with a “prophetic voice” in the wake of the disputed Dec 27 elections, the former Archbishop of Kenya has declared.
“We did not need Tutu to come all the way from South Africa to solve this crisis. We did not need Kofi Annan...
The Church should have been able to solve this problem.
But they are seen as partisan,” Archbishop David Gitari told the East African Standard.
Kenya’s post-election violence has led to the deaths of over 1,000 people and forced over 350,000 from their homes.
Last week the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) apologised to the nation for the partisan political divisions within the churches, which had muted its prophetic voice. “Religious leaders failed to stay on the middle path, they took sides and were unable to bring the unity needed when the crisis arose,” NCCK secretary-general Canon Peter Karanja said on Feb 13.
In an interview with the Standard, Dr Gitari recounted the church-led campaign to end one-party political rule in the 1990s. “The Church is a reconciler and a reconciler does not take sides unless he is completely sure the side he is taking is the right one,” he said.
However, we are called “the light of the world and salt of the earth. Whoever does wrong has to be challenged, whether that person is your brother or tribesman,” the retired archbishop said.
Kenya’s Anglican bishops either were “not courageous enough or have taken sides,” he charged. The church’s bishops were split down the middle along tribal lines in the current dispute and “it is wrong.”
They were “failing to be prophetic,” and had lost the public’s trust, Dr Gitari said.
Following a meeting in Limeru last week, the NCCK’s executive council released a statement acknowledging that “Church leaders have displayed partisan values in situations that called for national interest. The church has remained disunited and its voice swallowed in the cacophony of vested interests.”
Kenya’s Christian leaders called for a fresh start. “All have failed, including the church leaders.”
In a statement published on the NCCK’s website, church leaders called for the arrest of those involved in inciting violence as well as the disciplining of police officers who had used excessive force in responding to
They also called for the strengthening of the judiciary, Parliament and the Electoral Commission, and a ban on political parties that pandered to tribal interests and sectarian passions.
--This article appears in this week's edition of the Church of England Newspaper
The Anglican Church of Kenya has expressed fears of violence during the countrywide mass action called for next week by ODM leaders.
Consequently, the Church appealed to would-be demonstrators to avoid violence and police to shun use of live bullets to avoid loss of lives.
“We are not against the idea of mass action but our fear is that some people may use the event to engage in violence and to loot property,” the ACK Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, told a press conference at the church headquarters in Nairobi.
“The law enforcers should provide security without excessive force. They should not use live bullets on the people and must avoid being partisan,” said Archbishop Nzimbi who read the statement the bishops had prepared after their two-day meeting.
Read the whole article.
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January 3, 2008
Dear Kenyan Friends and Friends of Kenya,
You may have heard that there is a terrible outbreak of violence in Kenya in the wake of the most closely contested election in Kenya's history. So far probably 300 have been killed. In Eldoret, about fifty were burned to death when an Assembly of God church containing people seeking refuge was set on fire.
I was able to speak with the Archbishop. He and Mama Alice were in good spirits despite the fact that they were unable to leave the house because the streets are so dangerous. He has also been battling malaria, but is feeling better today.
Bishop Murdoch and I are asking that you please re-double your prayers for the Archbishop and for Kenya that peace would prevail. ABp Nzimbi confirmed that the overwhelming majority of Kenyans want peace.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Atwood
Suffragan Bishop for International Affairs
All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi
Anglican Church of Kenya
Four Anglican bishops and two outgoing MPs have asked the Government to move quickly and deal with politically instigated tribal clashes in Kuresoi, Molo District.
The bishops also want the Government to take measures to avert similar conflicts in other parts of the country.
The clerics said that peace and stability were a pre-requisite for free and fair elections and that the church was taking steps to deal with the violence, which had claimed about 12 lives and left houses torched.
A team of peace-builders from the church were in clash-torn areas, they added.
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The Kenyan archbishop said the US church leaders' comments did not go far enough.
"What we expected to come from them is to repent - that this is a sin in the eyes of the Lord and repentance is what me, in particular, and others expected to hear coming from this church," he said.
Correspondents say it was hoped the agreement would help defuse the crisis.
But Assistant Bishop of Kampala, Ugandan David Zac Niringiye, says it was "not a change of heart" and showed the church was already split.
"What this situation has brought to the fore is the malaise - something much deeper - that the entire communion has not dealt with and the consecration of Bishop Gene really brought to the surface something that was there," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops Sept07 HoB Meeting
Mr. [John] Guernsey says his own church, All Saints', voted 402-6 to align with Uganda late last year and avoided a legal battle over property by negotiating a settlement with the Virginia diocese. Late last year, Mr. Duncan, Pittsburgh's dissident conservative bishop, wrote to Ugandan Archbishop Orombi and proposed that he promote Mr. Guernsey to bishop. Mr. Orombi, who says he has no designs on American property, embraced the idea so as to provide "Ugandan" churches in the U.S. with an American-based overseer.
A few weeks before this month's ceremony in Mbarara, the Episcopal bishop of Virginia, Peter James Lee, booted Mr. Guernsey and 21 other dissident Virginia preachers from the Episcopal priesthood.
As he stood amid family members, supporters from Virginia and throngs of African faithful, Mr. Guernsey pledged allegiance to the Church of Uganda and vowed to "banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God's word."
A thin layer of clouds shielded the gathering from a scorching equatorial sun. This, declared Archbishop Orombi, showed the occasion was God's work. "This weather is not normal," he told the crowd. "God has done a good thing."
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of Rwanda Church of Uganda Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops Sept07 HoB Meeting TEC Conflicts TEC Departing Parishes Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
Read it all.
One hundred years ago, Western missionaries were sent to Africa to convert the heathen and spread the gospel of peace. But now the tide has turned, according to conservatives, after a bumper crop of US priests were consecrated in the heart of Africa this month. Their mission? To head back to the States and minister to Anglicans disillusioned with the increasingly liberal Episcopal Church which, they claim, tore the Communion asunder with the consecration of a gay bishop in 2003.Last week the Churches of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda all consecrated their American ‘flying bishops’ on African soil ready to send them back to troubled traditionalist congregations in the US.
The Church of England Newspaper managed to catch up with one of the newly consecrated Kenyan bishops, the Rt Rev Bill Atwood, and asked him a few questions. Bishop Atwood was consecrated alongside Bishop William Murdoch and is now back in the United States ready to commence his ministry. We asked him, in view of the ongoing ‘process’ within the Anglican Communion, whether proceeding with appointing these new bishops was not a little hasty. “The Primates of the Anglican Communion acted unanimously to call on the Episcopal Church to conform to Anglican teaching and practice by September 30,” he answered.
“Well prior to that date the House of Bishops decided that they did not need to wait until September 30 to decline to conform to what was asked. The Executive Council refused to conform as well.” He continued: “In addition, numerous dioceses have already indicated that they intend to proceed with the same agenda that has already caused the ‘fabric of the Communion to be torn’.” He added: “We are, essentially past September 30 already.” But, we asked, if TEC are barred from the Anglican Communion, or similar,will traditionalists not lose some of the moral high ground in the debate? “No,” Bishop Atwood affirmed, “The consecrations were the logical extension of the call in the Dar es Salaam Communiqué for care to be provided for the faithful.
“When one looks at those who were consulted and those that came to Nairobi, it is clear that a consensus among Global South leaders was reached about the consecrations.”
And what about Archbishop Rowan Williams stance in all of this, has he not sided with the traditionalists so far? “Archbishop Williams joined in with all the Primates of the Communion in affirming historic Christian belief in Dar es Salaam,” he replied. “It is interesting (though sad) that all the Primates of the Communion could unanimously agree on the content of the Communiqué in (and from) Dar es Salaam, but that agreement has not produced any amendment of life or change of agenda from the Episcopal Church. “Those in leadership in the Communion (including the Archbishop of Canterbury) have been undermined by the actions of the Episcopal Church.” But, we asked Atwood, has Dr Williams even been consulted about these recent appointments? “I know that his office was informed, but I do not know of any response,” he said. Many critics feel that consecrating these US bishops in Africa is schismatic and separatist. But what does Atwood feel about this view? His answer suggested that there is more at stake here than first meets the eye-it is not just a gay issue. “What is going on is a clash of worldviews,” he answered. “One is an historic Biblical world view and the other is a post-modern progressive worldview. “The Biblical world view begins with God and his revelation to the world in Scripture and in Jesus Christ. We are called to conform to God’s revelation.
“The post-modern progressive worldview begins with ‘us’, and applies moral relativism with man as the judge of propriety.” And how will inter-Anglican relations look after the deadline, set in Dar es Salaam, which called for a response from TEC before September 30 promising not to appoint another gay bishop? Is this the end of the Anglican Communion? “The Communion was torn in 2003,” Bishop Atwood states. “The only way to restore it is to restore Biblical (Anglican) teaching, discipline, and practice; and move forward with those who are willing to consult and mutually submit. There was an unprecedented level of consultation, collaboration, and agreement leading up to the Nairobi and Uganda consecrations.”
He added: “Because of that, we pray that they will be fruitful.” As he returns to the US to prepare for his ministry, together with fellow Bishop Murdoch, he will have oversight of 32 US congregations. Likewise the Ugandan bishops also consecrated last week will oversee 33 US congregations. Times are strange in the Anglican Communion and many are highly critical of these latest appointments. Many Anglicans fear the power of the Global South Church, and feel that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not done enough to deal with them. The Rev Martin Reynolds, a gay priest in South Wales, told this paper that he feared at least 10 more western bishops were lined up for similar African consecrations. He says that the breakaway church has had scant regard for the directions of Canterbury. These latest appointments graphically show an increasing dichotomy between those loyal to the Windsor process and those who, like Bishop Atwood, have simply ‘had enough.'
--This article appears in the Church of England Newspaper of september 14, 2007, on page 12
Watch and listen to it all.
"Some provinces [country branches] are saying they will not attend a meeting where decisions are agreed upon but are not implemented," Nzimbi told Cybercast News Service in an interview. "We agreed [at the last Lambeth, in 1998] that we should delay the consecration of gay bishops but the American church went ahead and did it."
He said the reason given by those thinking about or planning to stay away is that the homosexuality issue has splintered the unity that bound the Anglican Communion together. "Our unity is based on common faith in Jesus Christ but gay priesthood has broken that so we may have nothing in common."
Nzimbi did not name the countries or regions that may refuse to attend.
He said the Anglican Church in Kenya would make its decision by December. He did feel, however, that participating and having dialogue would be better than declining to attend altogether.
Church leaders opposed to the ordination of homosexuals would be eager to meet with like-minded bishops at the conference and decide the way forward on the issue, he added.
"The main issue is interpretation of the Bible. The Anglican Church needs revival because of many issues [in dispute], but consecration of gay bishops was the breaking point," Nzimbi said.
Read it all.
Bishops Bill Atwood, John Guernsey, and Bill Murdoch are personal friends of many years and we are looking forward to working with them in the coming months as part of the Common Cause Partnership. These new initiatives are a dramatic demonstration that we are not alone as we seek to bear witness to the transforming love of Jesus Christ that is rooted in the 'faith once and for all delivered to the saints.'
These missionary and pastoral initiatives by our friends in the Global South also make clear that they will not abandon us to those who seek to silence our voices by pernicious lawsuits and canonical threats. It is my hope that one result of these creative partnerships will be a renewed emphasis on mission and reaching the unchurched with the Gospel.
Read it all.
The subject of Sunday's sermon at St. Stephen's Anglican Church was repentance, and the preacher found an obvious example of the sinfulness of contemporary culture within the branch of his own denomination an ocean away in the United States.
Criticizing the Episcopal Church's embrace of gays and lesbians, the Rev. Samuel Muchiri told the 1,000 worshipers "we in Kenya feel this is not what God wants." An usher advised a visiting reporter to "remember that Sodom and Gomorrah was demolished because there were homosexuals." Another warned that the reporter could be assaulted if he asked worshipers about the issue, and said that America's permissiveness toward homosexuality had led Osama bin Laden to attack.
Those sentiments have been building for years, and now a group of Anglican archbishops is attempting to plant the seeds for a new, conservative Anglicanism in North America that will either transform or replace the Episcopal Church.
"All these people brought Christianity to us, but now the church is growing here [in Africa] like wildfire, it's spreading everywhere, while the church in England is withering, the church in the States is going completely, and there has been a cry, 'Why don't you come? You should have come here a long time ago to evangelize,' " said Archbishop Bernard A. Malango, the Anglican primate of Central Africa. "We need to send missionaries, even to Britain; we need to send missionaries to the United States, and we need to send missionaries to Canada, because those who brought the church here have lost what their intention was, and the same Bible they brought to us is being misinterpreted. We find it very odd."
Malango was one of seven Anglican primates, as the archbishops of regional provinces of the Anglican Communion are called, who gathered in Nairobi last Thursday to consecrate as bishops of the Anglican Church of Kenya two former Episcopal priests, including William L. Murdoch of Massachusetts. Then, many of those same primates, from the developing nations of the Southern Hemisphere, went to Kampala on Sunday to consecrate a third American as a bishop of Uganda.
The significance of the consecrations is hotly debated...
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of Uganda Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
An Anglican bishop in Zimbabwe, who asked not to be identified, said homosexuality is a “sin” and urged gay and lesbian people to “repent”. Pressed for comment, the right reverend of the Anglican Church in Lusaka, Derek Kamukwamba, said the church was engaged in “dialogue” to come up with a position on the issue.
He then described American Anglicans, who ordained Gene Robinson as the first openly gay bishop in 2003, as “stubborn and arrogant”. Kamukwamba said stubbornness was “pushing people like Nzimbi” to consecrate anti-gay bishops. “We will not receive any gay priest in Zambia,” he pointed out.
Bernard Malango, the Anglican bishop for Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Botswana, described the consecration of Robinson as bringing “darkness, disappointment, sadness and grief” to the parishioners in his province.
Trevor Mwamba, the Anglican bishop of Botswana, when asked whether more US clerics would be coming to Southern Africa to be consecrated, said, “I hope not”.
Mwamba recalled the positions reached at the Lambeth Conference of 1998, which recognised that there are people “who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation”. This conference decreed that the church commit itself to “listen to the experience of homosexual persons”.
While it rejected “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture”, it called “on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals”.
The conference, though, could not “advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordain those involved in same-gender unions”.
Read it all.
Read it all.
On the minus side is the guidance from inside Lambeth Palace: 'This is very similar to Cana.' In other words, Martyn Minns isn't coming. Therefore, neither will these two be.
But another insider tells me this: 'The question is genuinely open.' It would of course be an 'easy solution' to extent the AMiA principle to all the 'irregular' consecrations. But it appears this might not in fact happen. No decision has been made. I don't want to risk my reputation on this, but there does appear to be a chance that Atwood might be invited to Lambeth.
How come? Well, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who specialises in nuanced responses, will be aware that each scheme is unique and distinctive. This therefore opens the possibility of a differentiated response. I've not seen the scheme for William Murdoch, but it certainly appears that, with regards to Bill Atwood, he is described in much more traditionally understandable 'suffragan' terms than Martyn Minns is in his scheme. What is certain is that the question of the two new bishops and Lambeth has not been considered in a deliberate way as yet. And all points of view will be taken into account when the Archbishop of Canterbury makes his decision.
Read it all.
Read it all.
"Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? Feed my lambs ...; tend my sheep ...;feed my sheep ...; follow me." (John 21:15, 16, 17 and 19).
In the Gospel according to John, Jesus addressed Peter as "Simon, Son of John" on two occasions. In chapter one, Andrew, Simon's brother, introduced Peter to Jesus. On this occasion, Jesus draws attention to Simon Peter's natural human condition and his future role in the divine dispensation. Andrew brought Peter to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "So you are Simon, the Son of John? You shall be called Cephas (which means Peter). (John 1 :42). Simon, the son of John, is to become, by the grace of God, Peter the rock upon whom Jesus will build the church. Simon, Son of John, does not become Peter the rock by a process of natural development, not by a process of developing his natural potential but by a process of transformation by the power of God.
In a sense this process of transformation which began in chapter one is not completed until chapter twenty-one where we find the second occasion when Jesus addressed him as Simon, Son of John -- Jesus said, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"
Among all the disciples, Peter was the one who had protested his devotion to Jesus most vehemently, promising to follow him even to death. "Peter said to him, Lord why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." (John 13:37)
All the Gospels record the terrible fact that Peter, the leaders of the Apostolic band, denied his master at the moment of crisis. The evangelist John, in line with the consistent teaching of his Gospel, is at pains to show that this did not arise from any moral weakness in Peter but was one manifestation of the necessary fact that the meaning of Jesus' death can in no circumstances be grasped by unaided human nature (flesh and blood), but can only be grasped by the new dispensation of the spirit which is inaugurated by the passion and resurrection of Jesus.
Peter had been among the first to be called by Jesus to follow him. And he had followed faithfully in his way. Peter is ready to lay down his life for Jesus, just as Jesus had said that the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. And Peter's word was proved true when in the darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane Peter drew his sword and proposed to fight single handedly against a whole company of soldiers. But that act of the impetuous - Peter brought only a sharp rebuke from Jesus. "Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?" (John 18:11). Peter is eager to follow, but he cannot because "the way" has not yet been opened. No one can follow until Jesus has done what he alone can do. Only he can "offer for all time a single sacrifice for sin." (Hebrews 10:12). Jesus does this as an act of loving obedience to his Father - "Not my will but your will be done." When Jesus has accomplished his saving work, a way will be opened along which Peter can and will follow, along with all who take up the cross and follow Jesus. Now he sees through a glass darkly and has to come to the realization that his human and loyal determination to follow Jesus leads him to act in his own strength without reliance on the will and power of God.
So in chapter twenty-one, Peter, who had promised to follow even unto death comes face to face with his friend and master whom he had three times denied. On this occasion, he is addressed by his old name, the name he had before Jesus met and called him to discipleship. Once again, as on that night of his threefold apostasy, Jesus looked at him across a charcoal fire and challenged him three times with the simple yet painfully searching question, "Simon, Son of John, do you love me more than these?"
Three times Peter answers with an affirmation of his love - but an affirmation which rests its confidence not on the strength of his own love but on the sureness of Jesus' knowledge. "Lord you know everything, you know that I love you. And three times Jesus solemnly gives to the grieved and humbled disciple the commission to be the shepherd, guiding, guarding and nourishing the flock which belongs to Jesus. "Feed my lambs;" "Tend my sheep;" "Feed my sheep" are three commands included in the overriding command of Jesus "follow me."
In the light of the Resurrection, Peter has learned what following Jesus really means. In the past, he had tried to follow according to his own desires and in his own strength. Now he will learn that following Jesus means going the way of the cross. "When you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go." (John 21 :18-19). After this he said to him "follow me."
This following along the way of the cross will glorify God, for just as Jesus manifested the glory of God in his death, so the same glory will be manifested in the disciples whom he sends out into the world. "The glory that you have given me I have given them."
So Peter receives the good news that the threefold denial is wiped out and forgiven in the threefold commissioning. "Feed my lambs;" "Tend my sheep;" "Feed my sheep." An important element in the good news is the fact that the flock which belongs to Jesus consists not of the righteous but of sinners called to repentance. We need to remember that the primacy which Peter holds among the apostles is the primacy of a forgiven sinner. "You are Peter" is said by Jesus to the one to whom in the next breath Jesus will say "get behind me, Satan." (Matthew 16: 18, 23). It is to the fisherman overwhelmed by the realization of his sinfulness that Jesus says "Do not be afraid, henceforth you will be catching men." (Luke 5:8-10). It is to the disciple who will fall away that Jesus says, "when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren." (Luke 22:31).
Peter is to be both a fisher of men and shepherd as he answers the call of Jesus to "follow me." Peter can only serve as fisher of men and shepherd in so far as he is first a disciple - one who is following Jesus along the way to the cross.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, as disciples of the same Christ who continues to invite persons everywhere to follow him, we have assembled to participate in the solemn liturgy for the consecration of Bishops in the Church of God. It is only fitting on this occasion, to reflect on the nature of Christian ministry with special emphasis on Episcopal ministry.
As Anglicans, we identify with the growing ecumenical consensus on the nature of ministry reflected in the document issued by the World Council of Churches entitled "Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry" (BEM). All ministries in the church, including the ordained ministry, are gifts (charisms) of the Spirit for the building up of the body of Christ. "For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members of one another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness." (Romans 12:4-8) "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses." (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) "The Holy Spirit bestows on the community diverse and complementary gifts." (BEM, Ministry, 5) This charismatic understanding of ordained ministry is reflected in BEM's interpretation of the meaning of ordination: "Ordination denotes an action by God and the community which through long tradition takes place in the context of worship and especially of the eucharist ... The act of ordination by the laying on of hands of those appointed to do so is at one and the same time invocation of the Holy Spirit (epiklesis): sacramental sigh; acknowledgement of gifts and commitment. Ordination is an invocation to God that the new minister be given the power of the Holy Spirit in the new relation which is established between this minister and the local Christian community and, by intention, the Church universal." (BEM, Ministry, 40-42)
Ordained ministry is not only a gift of the Spirit. It is also a representative ministry. While all baptized Christians represent Christ and the church, the ordained ministry represents Christ and the church in particular ways. In his book, “A Ministry Shaped by Mission,” Paul Avis explores the concept of representation as applied to the ordained ministry. According to Avis, the ordained ministry represents Christ to the community which is already united to Christ in baptism. The ordained ministry acts as the representative and organ of the whole body in the exercise of responsibilities which belong to the body as a whole.
The understanding of ordained ministry as a gift of the Spirit and a representative ministry together with the language of "sign" and "symbol" used in ecumenical agreements in connection with the ordained ministry challenge a purely functional understanding of ordained ministry, including episcopal ministry. Because Christ's ministry is present to us only through the Spirit, ecclesial ministry is necessarily charismatic. For the same reason, it is relational. The nexus of relationships established by the Spirit creates a new way of being, which transforms both the one ordained and those for whom he is ordained, making it futile to debate whether ordained ministry in the church is functional or ontological in nature. BEM points in this direction when it speaks of ordination as establishing a "new relation" between the ordained minister and the local and universal church. Ordained ministry is neither a status nor a set of functions, but a charism of the Spirit which is to say that it is a sacramental reality.
Already in the early paragraphs of the Ministry section of BEM, the sacramental and not merely functional aspect of ministry, and indeed of episcopal office, is implied and assumed:
"The chief responsibility of the ordained ministry is to assemble and build up the body of Christ by proclaiming and teaching the Word of God, by celebrating the sacraments, and by guiding the life of the community in its worship, its mission and its caring ministry. It is especially in the eucharistic celebration that the ordained ministry is the visible focus of the deep and all-embracing communion between Christ and the members of his body. In the celebration of the Eucharist, Christ gathers, teaches and nourishes the Church. It is Christ who invites to the meal and who presides at it. In most churches this presidency is signified and represented by an ordained minister." (BEM, Ministry. 13-14) In the Anglican tradition it is primarily the bishop as eucharistic president who is the sign of communion.
In IASCER's response to the Lutheran document The Episcopal Ministry within the Apostolicity of the Church particular note was taken of the patristic tradition concerning episcopal ministry:
"Historians commonly agree that there are three principal images or models of the office of a bishop in the pre-Nicene church, which are best exemplified in Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus, and Cyprian. For Ignatius, the bishop is primarily the one who presides at the eucharist. This is central for Ignatius because of his understanding of the nature of the church. For Ignatius, then, the bishop is ... the one who presides at ... the eucharistic liturgy.
Irenaeus, on the other hand, while echoing the eucharistic teaching of Ignatius, places primary emphasis on the bishop's role as teacher of the faith. The context here is the conflict with Gnosticism. For Irenaeus, the bishop is above all the one who preserves the continuity of the apostolic teaching in unbroken succession from the apostles. It is through the bishop's faithful proclamation of the Gospel in each local church that the unity of the church and the continuity of the church in the apostolic tradition is preserved.
For Cyprian, the bishop serves as the bond of unity between the local church and the universal church. Here the collegial aspect of the bishop's role comes to the fore. The Bishop is one member of a worldwide ‘college’ of bishops who are together responsible for maintaining the unity of the churches. Cyprian’s primary emphasis, therefore, is upon the bishop as the bond of unity between the local church and the church universal.
In each of theses models, therefore, the bishop is the sign of unity between the local and the universal church, either through the maintenance of eucharistic communion, continuity in apostolic teaching, or common oversight of the churches.
My brothers, you are entering the Episcopal ministry within the Anglican Communion at a time when the Communion is being severely challenged in each of the three related areas of the patristic tradition concerning Episcopal ministry. I refer to:
* The maintenance of eucharistic communion
* Continuity and apostolic teaching.
* Oversight of the churches.
The present impaired state of the Communion is due mainly to actions taken by the Episcopal Church of the United States of America in respect of human sexuality with special reference to the consecration of a bishop living in an opened homosexual relationship. The actions of the Episcopal Church have created a situation in which some Anglicans in the United States and throughout most of the Provinces of the Communion are convinced that the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is clear in its teaching and must take precedent over culture. Holding fast to this belief, they cannot accommodate those who believe the contrary. The issue is not primarily on of sexuality but one which seeks to answer the question "which relationships correspond to God’s ordering of life, and violate it?" It is a division of opinion between those of us who firmly believe that homosexual practice violates the order of life give by God in scripture and those who seek by various mean to justify what scripture does not hounour. We, in the Global South, whole heartedly support the position outlined by Richard Hays in "The Moral Vision of the New Testament:"
"Paul singles out homosexual intercourse for special attention because he regards it as providing a particularly graphic image of the way in which human fallenness distorts God’s created order. God the Creator made man and woman for each other, to cleave together to be fruitful and multiply. When human beings ‘exchange’ these created roles for homosexual intercourse, they embody the spiritual condition of those who have ‘exchanged the truth about God for a lie.’"
We believe that faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ prevents us from compromising the truth so clearly revealed in holy scripture.
While the Anglican Communion struggles through the present impasse you, as bishops of the church, will be required to give sound and faithful leadership to the people of God committed to your care and charge. In faithful obedience to Christ, you must endeavour to "build up the body of Christ by proclaiming and teaching the word of God, by celebrating the sacrament, and by guiding the life of the community in its worship, mission and its caring ministry." You cannot fulfill this ministry in your own strength. You must continue to meet the Lord in prayer as you seek to discern his will for his flock. You must love the flock of Christ as he loves us, and you must be a true shepherd "guiding, guarding and nourishing the flock which belongs to Jesus." As you grow in apostolic ministry, always remember that you are sharing tin the ministry of Jesus the Good Shepherd and never forget that in all you say and do your aim must be to follow Jesus who is indeed "the way, the truth and the life."
Stand Firm has posted an excellent report from Hank Steenstra, packed full of details re: yesterday's consecrations in Nairobi. Of particular interest, the transcripts of statements by bishops Atwood and Murdoch towards the conclusion of the service. Here are a few excerpts, but you really should read the whole thing, says bossy elfgirl!
The liturgy was for the most part a very traditional Anglican service with some Kenyan touches. One was that a bishop-elect is escorted in and out of the cathedral during the service by a bishop on either side who is holding his hand. This was based on the history of martyrs and the fear that prospective bishops might be inclined to run rather than be consecrated. The service included great quantities of glorious music from traditional hymns to anthems by the great cathedral choir to praise music with African melodies and harmonies led by the Praise Band. To capture an event of worship of this length and variety required one to be present to hear, absorb and join in. The Anglican TV recording may help capture the flavor.
Among the assembled throng were nine primates of the Anglican Communion or their representatives. Those personally present included Archbishops Benjamin Nzimbi (Kenya), Henry Orombi (Uganda), Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda), Gregory Venables (Southern Cone), Drexel Gomez (West Indies), Bernard Malango (Central Africa), Justice Akrofi (West Africa) and Ian Ernest (Indian Ocean). Archbishop Peter Akinola (Nigeria) was represented by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh. Total support but regrets for being unable to attend came from Archbishop Donald Mtetemela (Tanzania), Archbishop Dirokpa Fidele (Congo) and Archbishop Joseph Marona (Sudan).
In addition to this assembly of the major players in the Global South, the following US bishops were present: Bishop Robert Duncan (Pittsburgh), Jack Iker (Fort Worth), Martyn Minns (CANA) and Chuck Murphy (AMiA), plus Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti (Recife) and Bishop Donald Harvey (Canada). There were about 20 Kenyan bishops also present. All of this episcopate presence contributed to a dramatic sense of great importance surrounding the otherwise ordinary church business of consecrating bishops. No one I spoke with knew of any occasion in the history of the Anglican Communion when so many primates were present to lay hands for the consecration of bishops. [...]
Comments from Bishop Bill Murdoch included the following:
This is an urgent mission moment. So, who better to lead the way than the ones who still know that the Mission is urgent and the Message is the word of God and the gospel of Christ, and the Price to be paid is everything for the love of Christ and his Cross. Who better to remind us that it is not about us, it is about Jesus, the only Lord, the only name by which men can be saved. Who better than the Kenyans, the Africans, the churches of the Global South, whose blood, sweat and tears, whose smiling eyes shine with the light of souls overflowing with the glory of this great salvation. Who better to tell us? The Mission is urgent.
[And Bishop Atwood's remarks included the following]
Second, I owe a great debt to the East African Revival. I bear its mark deep in my heart and spirit. It has provided a profound resonance with my spirit and encouragement for my soul. In it I found a people who have discovered the lengths to which God is willing to go to demonstrate unconditional love––a love so rich and deep it demands response.
I also owe a great debt to many Archbishops who have been mentors and friends. Each has freely shared their redemptive gifts with the church and the world and, thankfully also with me over the years. It is my hope to apply some of what I have learned from them and eventually to become something like them.
I long to have something of the precise theological vision of Drexel Gomez,
the Spirit of Henry Orombi,
the courage of Emmanuel Kolini,
the Gospel passion of Greg Venables,
the clarity of Justice Akrofi,
the servant's heart of Bernard Malango,
the strength of Peter Akinola (represented today by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh - a great leader in his own right),
the willingness of Bob Duncan,
the humility of Donald Harvey,
the conviction of Ian Ernest, and
the distilled simplicity of Joseph Marona,
and the joy of Fidele Dirokpa.
While these and other friends here have been spiritual fathers and inspirational examples for me, I owe a particular debt to Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi...
The full text is here. Do read it all!
I’m not convinced about either the need for more mitres, or about the timing of all these consecrations. I’m not greatly sympathetic however to the official Anglican Communion response that the consecrations create ‘increased confusion’. The confusion came with the consecration of Gene Robinson, and the subsequent inability of the Episcopal Church’s leadership to respond adequately to the clear voice of the Anglican Communion, and also to find a way to accommodate parishes and clergy who could no longer identify with their own diocesan bishops. Some kind of alternative oversight scheme should surely have been worked out which responded to the need of those congregations. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the Episcopal Church desires nothing more than conformity to its own mores and canons at the expense of theological and ecclesiological diversity.
Equally problematic however is the expectation of West Indies Archbishop, Drexel Gomez, that these consecrations could lead “towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States.”
Read it all.
"It is a division of opinion between those of us who firmly believe that homosexual practice violates the order of life given by God, and those who seek, by various means, to justify what Scripture does not," said Archbishop Drexel W. Gomez of the West Indies, the main preacher at yesterday's service. In his sermon, Gomez accused the Episcopal Church of "aggressive revisionist theology" and said the idea that homosexuality is permissible for Christians is "a lie."
"[The apostle] Paul singles out homosexuality in the Gospel for special attention, because he regards it as providing a particularly graphic image of the way in which human fallenness distorts God's created order," Gomez said. "We believe that faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ prevents us from compromising the truth so clearly revealed in Holy Scripture."
Read it all.
Stand Firm has identified many of the bishops in the picture below here. If you know some of those not yet identified, please leave a comment over at StandFirm. Also, someone who was present at the service in Kenya has left a comment at SF identifying the participating Primates. Here's the link.
The story accompanying the photo is here.
UPDATE 2: Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV has a large collection of photos online here. This one below is my favorite. NICE WORK KEVIN!
Other pictures include these two from AFP:
BBC: Photo, Story
TurkishPress.Com -- Photo, Story
As many of our readers know, Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV is in Africa to record the consecrations of Bill Murdoch and Bill Atwood in Kenya (today) and John Guernsey in Uganda (Sunday Sept. 2).
His one-hour long broadcast (of a portion of the 4 hour service) from Nairobi today will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern. You'll find it at Anglican TV.
If you appreciate Kevin's service in filming these events, please consider donating to help Kevin's internet costs.
The BBC has the story about today's consecrations of Bill Murdoch and Bill Atwood as one of the lead stories on its world news page. Since it's just a short story, we include it here in full.
Kenya's Anglican Church has consecrated two US bishops in a move likely to deepen a bitter row over homosexuality.
Bill Murdoch, of Massachusetts, and Bill Atwood, of Texas, will be answerable to the Kenyan Church, although they will serve in the US.
They left the US branch of the Anglican Church - the Episcopal Church - after it consecrated an openly gay bishop.
There are growing tensions within the Anglican denomination around the world, mainly over the issue of homosexuality.
The two Americans were consecrated at a service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi by Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi. The ceremony was expected to be watched by a huge congregation of Kenyans, by archbishops and bishops from across Africa, and by the men's friends and supporters from the US.
Archbishop Nzimbi said the consecration was not intended to widen the gulf in the church, but was a Christian response to a plea for help and pastoral care from Anglicans in the United States.
Gay people, he said, did not have a place as leaders in the Anglican communion. "We need to love them, we need to preach to them, but not to make them lay readers, pastors, bishops," he said.
Last year two US churches, unhappy with the Episcopal Church's stance on homosexuality, voted to place themselves under the authority of the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria.
The Anglican Church in Africa is conservative and deeply opposed to the ordination of gay priests.
In February, Anglican bishops meeting in Tanzania issued an ultimatum to the American church, demanding an end to the appointment of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex couples. US bishops have until 30 September to respond.
Meanwhile, the Episcopal diocese of Chicago on Tuesday included a lesbian priest among five nominees for bishop.
The link is here.
"The church is now trying to bless what God always said in the Scripture he wants to redeem," [Bill] Atwood said.
After Thursday's ceremony, Atwood and Murdoch will return home to minister to their congregations with Kenyan Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi as their spiritual adviser. Because they are no longer affiliated with the Episcopal Church, the men will have to find new church buildings and funding in the United States. Several U.S. churches whose priests have switched to a foreign diocese are embroiled in lawsuits over church property.
Nzimbi said 30 U.S. congregations have asked to become part of African dioceses in the last four years. Six other U.S. priests have been consecrated as bishops in the Rwandan church and one has also been consecrated in Nigeria. Another American priest is scheduled to be consecrated in Uganda on Sunday.
After Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola set up the Convocation of Anglicans in North America in 2005, some U.S. liberals accused African archbishops of breaching protocol by trying to create rival churches on their territory. Akinola administers his convocation from Nigeria.
The day before his consecration in Kenya, Murdoch said: "When American or British missionaries come to Africa currently it's missionary work, but when Africans come to the United States or Great Britain, it's boundary crossing," he said. "We ought to be clear that this is about the mission of the gospel."
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Update: A (London) Times article is here which includes the following:
Today’s service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Kenya. It will be attended by ten primates – or their representatives – from the Global South coalition of conservative bishops.They were at pains to emphasise that the consecration of American bishops in Africa was a temporary measure..
Archbishop Greg Venables, of the Southern Cone, said: “The major struggle we are going through is how to resolve a conflict of this nature, where there is a group of people who want to go in a new direction while the rest of the Church is resisting that.”
Another update: A Reuters article is there in which we find this:
The two clerics to be consecrated on Thursday -- William Atwood and William Murdoch -- are among a growing number of conservative U.S. Anglicans pledging alliance to traditional African bishops who take a tough line against homosexuality..
The U.S. Church has accused Africans of invading their territory by consecrating Americans. But conservative Africans say they only want to provide refuge for orthodox believers who are at odds with liberal views.
"This is a missionary action brought to this point by four years of frustration," Murdoch told the news conference.
The Anglican Church of Kenya is today expected to ordain two American bishops in a bid to counter a splinter group advocating for gay marriage.
The head of ACK, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, said the conflicts in the church had left members without pastoral direction. Nzimbi told the Press at the ACK headquarters in Nairobi that the ordination of Mr Bill Atwood and Mr William Murdoch was the church's way of providing a temporary solution.
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"We are not invading other people's territory as such but preaching the gospel, the way it was brought to us, the way it is written," [kenyan Archbishop Benjamin] Nzimbi said.
And he said the only way to bridge the schism was for the liberal churches to repent: "The way we can have one understanding is through repentance, that is the key word."
The primate denied the Africans were motivated by monetary gain to consecrate American priests.
"It is not a question of finances," Nzimbi said. "Here in Africa we are used to living under difficult situations and we are not ready to compromise because of finances. No."
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