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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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“Where can we by the power of God make a difference for emerging Anglicanism?” asked Bishop Mark Lawrence, in a day-long gathering of clergy from the Diocese of South Carolina at Saint James, James Island, September 14. “There’s some gravity to our decision. We need to think forward, evangelically, missionally in a way that will make a difference if someone looks back 50 years from now.”
Over 100 clergy were present for the meeting, which focused primarily on discernment issues surrounding the Diocese’s process towards affiliation with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
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James Hobby acknowledges that the first time he ministered in Western Pennsylvania, as a pastor in two Episcopal parishes in the Mon Valley in the late 1980s, things didn’t go very well.
“I was 29, so I was idealistic, zealous and pretty full of myself,” the new Anglican bishop of Pittsburgh recalled last week in an interview. His preaching reflected the scholarship that earned him good grades in seminary, but he laments failing to connect with the blue-collar culture of his parishioners.
“Folks are not really interested in how much I know,” he said. “If they don’t feel loved and respected and cared for, the bridge for the gospel is pretty shaky.”
Read it all.
Spiritual Growth / Worldview Development
Water Walkers: From Secular Careers to Sacred Service by Vince Clews
A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter by Miriam Huffman Rockness
A Blossom in the Desert: Reflection of Faith by Miriam Huffman Rockness - A wonderful devotion for daily use based on journals of Lilias Trotter.
The Awakening of Washington’s Church by J.B. Simmons - A biography of our friends at the Falls Church and how they gave up their building for the sake of the gospel.
Risky Faith by Susan Yates - Susan’s latest on living a life of faith in everyday life.
What Makes a Leader Great by Russ Crosson - Leadership gems for those in positions of influence.
The Songs of Jesus by Tim Keller - A year of devotions in the Psalms.
Not God’s Type by Holly Ordway - An inspiring account of an atheist’s coming to faith....
Read it all (fourth entry down).
In aircraft, like in life, problems fall into two categories. Horrible problems and not horrible problems. There are two different approaches to the issue depending on whether the problem is horrible or not.
If it is a "horrible problem," pilots call that a "Bold Face Emergency." It is so named because the checklists to handle life threatening problems are written in Bold Print. Bold Face emergency procedures must be learned verbatim. Any deviation in wording, punctuation, or even spelling, is punished by getting a failing grade. Before, during, or after a flight, a flight examiner can ask what the procedures are for one of the Bold Face procedures. Any mistake gets an "F."
Other issues that are less critical only require a 70% grade to pass. Those situations can be addressed more leisurely and not quite as critically. Naturally, it is very bad to misdiagnose a situation as non-critical when it actually is critical. It is equally foolish to treat something peripheral as though it deals with essentials.
In the Anglican Communion, we are dealing with many problems. Some are in the category of horrific, and deal with issues of salvation. Other issues are more peripheral, and their pursuit does not result in a loss of salvation. Scripture is clear that there are some things which are so egregious that their pursuit separates us from the redeeming love of Christ. When those things come up, we need to treat them like the Bold Face emergencies that they are, and say, "No!" To do less is not loving. It is not loving to offer to bless that which God says should be redeemed.
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My dear brothers and sisters throughout the Diocese of San Joaquin:There is more detail in an LA Times story there also.
I bid your prayers for the people of the Lake Isabella who are suffering so greatly under the weight of the Erskine Fire, and specifically for the people of St. Peter’s, Kernville. The members of this congregation are grieving the death of Fr. Byron and Gladys McKaig, who were overcome by smoke and flames and perished in this horrific fire. Please pray for Deacon Tom Hunt, who pastors St. Peters, as he ministers to so many in his community as they grieve the loss of property and pets, and still search for loved ones. Please pray for the McKaig children: Susan, Amy, and Lisa, as they grieve the death of their father and stepmother. No firm dates have been set, but we have a tentative date of July 23rd for a memorial service for Rev. and Mrs. McKaig, depending on how long the fire burns and the condition of access to the mountain community. Please continue to pray for the first responders as they battle both the weather conditions and this hellish fire.
For more than thirty years now I have been an observer and sometime participant in what I will here call the conservative Episcopalian mess. The departure of more orthodox Episcopalians from an apostatizing mainstream headed by weak and clownish English archbishops and astoundingly aggressive heretics in North America, contained no real surprises, for this is the predictable fruit of religious liberalism hatched upon an ignorant, passive, and venal laity, that we have seen in other major Protestant churches, and from which modern Roman Catholicism, especially under a Nice Pope, is unlikely to be much of a refuge.
What I have found somewhat surprising, I suppose because my knowledge of the ecclesial geography was not very deep early on, was what a hard time conservative Anglicans have had getting their act (literally) together. Now to be sure, my “geographical” knowledge has increased over the years, so that I understand quite well that “conservative” applies to a number of incompatible or barely compatible attitudes....
Read it all.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
..Parts of the Anglican Communion continue to be in turmoil as the unbiblical theological and moral viruses of Western Churches and the secular culture continue to spread and divide the Church. The revisionist agenda is well-funded, and there is a strategic effort on their part to target under-resourced Provinces of the Anglican Communion.
As you know, the Archbishop of Canterbury called a meeting of the Primates of the Communion last January to discuss the discipline of the Episcopal Church for changing its marriage canon, and to see if we could find a way to hold together as a Communion. I was invited, and with the rest of the GAFCON and Global South Primates, attended the Canterbury gathering in good faith. We left the meeting believing that, while all we had hoped for had not been accomplished, at least something potentially positive had come out of the meeting to restore Godly order and discipline to the Communion. However, since that time the developments have not been positive, and as the Chair of GAFCON, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, said recently, “our hope has been brought low.”
Since the Canterbury Gathering in January, the agreements that were made have not been honored. We in the Anglican Church in North America are committed to remaining faithful to the teaching and fellowship of the Apostles as found in the Bible, to Biblical reconciliation, and we will trust the Lord for the future. We are committed members of the GAFCON movement and remain in partnership with orthodox leaders of the Global South who are seeking to bring repentance, renewal, and reformation to the Anglican Communion.
What is tragic about all of this is not just the divisions within the Anglican Communion. What is most tragic is that because of false teaching, millions of souls will not hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, or they will hear a Gospel that appears to the be the Gospel, but in reality is contrary to the very Word of God – which is no Gospel at all. Souls are at stake. Lives are at stake. Eternity is at stake. It reminds me of what the prophet Isaiah said to the people of his day: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Is.5:20, ESV)
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The congregation of St. James Anglican Church, now in Tumwater, appear to be settling nicely into their new church after a third service at its new location Sunday.
Except it isn’t just “nice,” said church member, Trevor Elliot, it’s “great.”
“This is a church,” he said. “I feel like I’m home.”
That wasn’t always the case for the local St. James Anglican Church, which was founded about 10 years ago and got its start at the Salvation Army in Olympia, said co-founder, subdeacon and resident historian Steve Carmick. The church grew a little and then moved to an office location on Stoll Road in Olympia, where, from the sound of it, it struggled to grow in a hard-to-find location.
A church deacon later discovered that a picture-perfect church building at 219 B St. SW was for sale. About six months later, the church was theirs, continuing a long tradition as a house of worship. The white church on that site was built in 1869, according to county records. Since then, it has been home to Methodists, Unitarians and Quakers — the group that St. James Anglican bought if from.
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“Papa is going to Pittsburgh to be the new Rook," announced one of Jim Hobby’s young grandsons recently.
Hobby, rector (pastor) of Trinity Anglican Church in Thomasville, was recently elected by the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh to fill the office of retiring Bishop Robert Duncan, former — and founding — archbishop and primate of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
Although he clearly got his game pieces mixed up, it’s no surprise the 4-year old budding chess player would assign his grandfather a position just behind the rank and file of the game: it’s where Hobby has faithfully served the last 30 years as an ordained member of the Anglican priesthood. But how does the rector of a relatively new congregation from a small town in south Georgia become the bishop-elect of one of the country’s biggest — some would say its flagship — diocese?
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Delegates to the Episcopal convention last summer approved a marriage equality resolution allowing same-sex couples to be married in an Episcopal church if the local priest is willing. The passage of the resolution came days after the June 26, 2015, ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage for all Americans.
For some, like Mark McCarty, that was the last straw. McCarty was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest for 60 years before deciding to leave over the same-sex marriage issue. To him, it is a matter of biblical interpretation. He says no one has been able to show him a Bible passage that OKs same-sex marriage. He prefers the "traditional biblical Anglican worship" referred to in the newspaper ad.
Deciding to leave Heavenly Rest was painful, McCarty said. He will miss the beauty of the building itself, the bell tower, the music and grandeur of the service. But, McCarty said, he believes staying at Heavenly Rest for those reasons, when he opposes the Episcopal Church's theology, would be wrong.
"That's idolatry," he said. "That's building worship.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Christology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
Monday May 23, 2016, clergy and lay delegates from the Diocese of the Carolinas voted unanimously to elect Bishop David C. Bryan as the first Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of the Carolinas.
Bryan has served as Bishop of the Southeast (PEARUSA) Network since September 2013.This Network, one of three in PEARUSA, is part of a missionary district established by the Anglican Province of Rwanda in the United States.
This June, Archbishop Rwaje of Rwanda will formally hand over all three networks to Archbishop Foley Beach and the Anglican Church in North America. Two of the networks will become dioceses. The clergy and churches in Bishop Bryan’s network will have the opportunity to become part of an already existing Diocese of the Carolinas under Bishop Steve Wood.
Read it all.
The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh elected a Georgia pastor Saturday to be its next leader in a landmark election to succeed the retiring Bishop Robert Duncan, who led the diocese’s break with the Episcopal Church eight years ago.
Clergy and lay delegates elected the Rev. James Hobby, who got his start in ministry in Southwestern Pennsylvania a quarter century ago, on the fifth ballot. Six candidates were originally on the ballot at a special convention, held at St. Stephen Anglican Church in Sewickley.
If his election is ratified by other bishops in the Anglican Church in North America at their June meeting, Rev. Hobby would be consecrated as bishop in September.
Read it all.
On Wednesday April 13, 2016 Archbishop Foley Beach, Bishop Philip Jones, Bishop Bill Atwood, Bishop Sandy Greene, Canon Phil Ashey and the Rev. Allen Hughes met in Dallas to continue conversations about our relationship, history, and ministry.
Our conversations over many months have yielded substantial progress. Poignant times of sharing have led to meaningful expressions of forgiveness and reconciliation. Coming to a good place of personal relationships has allowed us to begin to address our ongoing ministry relationship and foster ways of cooperating.
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Containing over 70 million members in 38 national and regional churches (provinces), the Anglican Communion is the world’s third largest Christian community. Retired Bishop Colin Buchanan defines a province in the Anglican context as a “cluster of dioceses, with an organic (usually constitutional) relationship which forms a province. The minimum is typically four dioceses to constitute a province, thereby conforming visibly to the requirement that, when there is a vacancy in a bishop’s post, there will still be three bishops available to consecrate a new bishop for the vacancy.”1 With rare exceptions all dioceses belong to a province. Prior to its separation in 2012, the Diocese of South Carolina was affiliated with the province called The Episcopal Church (TEC).
In 2014, the Global South Primates Steering Committee announced the establishment of a Primatial Oversight Council. This council provides pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to provide a meaningful connection to the wider Anglican Communion. The steering committee extended an offer for provisional primatial oversight to our diocese, which we accepted. At the diocesan convention later that year a Task Force for Provincial Affiliation was established by vote of a resolution. Bishop Lawrence appointed one clergy and one lay person from each of the six deaneries to serve. The task force began meeting to “design and initiate a process whose goal will be to enable the Diocese and this Convention, along with their parishes, to discern among the options available for provincial affiliation, and in Convention, decide our means of affiliation.”2
For the next several months the task force considered all options, one of which was to remain unaffiliated. While provincial oversight from the Global South Steering Committee is a solid temporary arrangement, to remain disconnected from a province is not a desirable state for a diocese. Lack of affiliation has disadvantages in terms of ecclesiastical fellowship and limits both our ability to shape the larger communion and provide a normal process for episcopal succession. Ultimately, the task force determined that remaining unaffiliated was not a realistic option.
Read it carefully and read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Global South Churches & Primates * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology
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The Diocese of South Carolina is considering affiliating with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
The Diocese’s Affiliation Task Force recommended the association during the 225th annual Diocesan Convention in Bluffton this weekend. Affiliation would require the Diocese to approve affiliation in two future conventions. More than 350 clergy and delegates representing 53 churches across the southern and coastal part of the state gathered for the convention.
Before affiliation the Task Force will host meetings throughout the Diocese to brief clergy and church members about the benefits of affiliation and ask questions about the possible move.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology
..The readings in the lectionary are from both the Old and New Testaments, but it also includes some readings from the Apocrypha. What is the Apocrypha and why is it included in the Daily Office Lectionary?
Both the Anglican and Lutheran Reformations retained the use of books found in the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint), but not found in the Hebrew Bible. Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles states “the Church doth read [these books] for example of life and instruction of manners, but yet it doth not apply them to establish any doctrine.” Two of the most common canticles at Morning Prayer—the Benedicite, omnia opera Domine and the Benedictus es, Domine—come from the Apochrypha.
Past lectionaries have been criticized for skipping over some parts of the Bible that some might find uncomfortable. How has the new lectionary addressed these concerns?
So-called “uncomfortable passages” eliminated from the Daily Office Lectionary of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer have all been restored. Furthermore, the most egregious omission of the Sunday lectionary—the second half of Romans, chapter 1—is now assigned to the Third Sunday of Lent (alongside John 4) in Year A.
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Archive picture from Mere Anglicanism 2016
Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins! His mercy endures forever. Amen.
To the Bishops, Clergy, and People of the Anglican Church in North America:
As we travel our Lenten pilgrimage, repenting of our sins, reconciling with our brothers and sisters, reproducing followers of Jesus, and expressing relentless compassion to those in our communities, I would like to ask you to consider an important project for your community.
I would like to invite you to gather with members of our congregations on the steps of your county court house or city hall, and there pray together for your community, your neighborhoods, your country, and your leaders; asking God to pour out His Spirit to lead them to know and honor Jesus Christ. At a time of your own choosing between now and June 30, and I am asking that you take seriously the admonitions of our Lord and the Apostles in Scripture to pray together that “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” Don’t make a big splash about it; just go and claim your neighborhoods and communities for the purposes of God in the Name of Jesus..
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Three theologically conservative church bodies released a report championing progress in their latest round of ecumenical dialogue.
Representatives from the Anglican Church in North America, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Lutheran Church-Canada have been engaging in an ongoing dialogue for the past six years.
Titled "On Closer Acquaintance", the interim report on ecumenical dialogue charts the progress made thus far on conversations between ACNA, LCMS, and LCC.
"The report is intended as an aid for ACNA folk wishing to get a deeper understanding of their counterparts in LCMS–LCC and vice versa, and as a resource that will help us determine the nature and goals of our relationship in the years ahead," reads the report.
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The march itself was barely over before snow began accumulating quickly on every surface in the Washington, DC area. All of the “happy warriors” for Life this year went above and beyond the usual sacrifices they make to come and march because of Snowstorm Jonas, a blizzard of historic proportions.
Among the warriors were dozens of Anglican church members led by the Anglicans for Life ministry along with the Archbishop and a number of other bishops of the Anglican Church in North America.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine History Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Anglican Church in North America has received numerous questions regarding whether or not Archbishop Beach was “a full voting member of the Primates Meeting.” Archbishop Beach did not consider himself a full voting member of the Primates Meeting, but with the exception of voting on the consequences for the Episcopal Church, Archbishop Beach participated fully in those parts of the meeting that he chose to attend.
Prior to Primates 2016 he was informed that there may be certain times when the Primates would move into a formal meeting, and, as the Anglican Church in North America is not an official member of the Communion’s instruments, he would be asked to step out of the room. However, he was never asked to leave the meeting.
While at the meeting, he addressed the gathering and participated in various balloting measures that set the agenda, ordered the agenda, and sought to discern the way those in the room wanted to proceed. He did not vote on the consequences for The Episcopal Church.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Primates Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 Episcopal Church (TEC) * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology
The most significant outcome of that first GAFCON meeting was the invitation extended to conservative Anglicans in North America to form an alternative province: the Anglican Church in North America. The rending of the Communion through the disobedience of Communion liberals had occurred, and the final steps envisioned in To Mend the Net--the suspension of communion and the establishment of a new, alternative province--had become a reality.
In retrospect, the tragedy of this history can more clearly be seen: the painful departure of thousands of North American Anglicans from their church homes, countless millions of dollars spent in litigation. All of this might have been avoided if the three Archbishops of Canterbury under whose watches all this has occurred had provided faithful, godly, unequivocal leadership.
But there is an even greater tragedy: "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8). Of the three great streams of apostolic Christianity--Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism--two stand unequivocally for historic Christian faith and morals. Only Anglicanism has equivocated at the highest level.
The churches of formerly mainline Protestantism have embraced the zeitgeist. Too many Anglican leaders have chosen the path of mainline Protestantism rather than biblical, apostolic, and catholic faithfulness. And damage has been done to countless souls through the ambiguous or downright immoral witness of these Anglican leaders and church bodies.
Many count it a sign of God's grace that, in this week's meeting of the primates in Canterbury, the GAFCON and Global South primates have finally taken an effective stand to restore godly order and discipline to the Anglican Communion. This is a first step--a baby step--that, though it goes in the right direction, does not go nearly far enough. Will this first step ultimately lead to the restoration of the Anglican Communion to historic Christian faith and morals? For that to happen a lot of hearts will have to be changed.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Primates Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby --Rowan Williams Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Departing Parishes * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology
Last week in Canterbury, though many people were amazed that there were finally some consequences for the Episcopal Church, others were disappointed that the consequences were not more stringent. Certainly, after all the years of flouting Scripture, there is ample reason to be disgusted. Certainly, as more than a dozen Provinces recognized, there was ample reason to eject TEC from the Communion. Unable to win the day on the resolution for ejection, they moved to other expressions of discipline, focusing narrowly on last summer’s TEC General Convention decision to change the marriage canon and prayer book to embrace same-sex marriage. The focus turned to what was essentially described as a failure to consult and a decision to move outside institutional norms. There should not be, however, concern about institutional norms and practice. The greatest offense is that the Episcopal Church is engaging in activities that lead people away from Christ eternally. In other words, the Episcopal Church, rather than being the Ark of Salvation, is the instrument bringing spiritual destruction to people it is literally leading away from Christ and into Hell. Although they are more strident than some other Provinces, there are others doing the same thing. Soon, the focus of discipline needs to be on them as well. Canada is a great place to start the next round!
This Primates’ “Gathering” in Canterbury was the first one to gather a majority of the Primates in years. The reason is that since the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007, a deadline was put to the Episcopal Church to return to Anglican faith and practice or “walk apart.” Sadly, following the meeting, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, unilaterally decided to overturn the hard-fought decision of the meeting and let the Episcopal Church completely off the hook. There is no way to describe gracefully what ABp Williams did. He simply unilaterally decided to declare that the deadline for conforming that had been given to TEC was “not a deadline.” Even worse, he invited errant TEC bishops to the 2008 Lambeth Bishops’ Conference, completely taking the teeth out of what the Primates had decided. From that point, it has not been possible to gather the majority of Primates because the Dar es Salaam decision had not been honored. Many Primates said that they would not attend until the Dar es Salaam decisions were implemented.
The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was able to get Primates to come by insuring them that they would have control of the agenda. That is an assurance that several of the Primates I spoke with believe was honored at this gathering. The Archbishops wanted to discuss TEC, and they got to. Sadly, the resolution to completely eject TEC from the Anglican Communion failed, but almost half the Provinces were willing to give them the boot. Though the ejection resolution failed to pass, it was obvious though that the vast majority of Provinces wanted to see TEC disciplined. After lively discussions, the sanctions that were put in place were overwhelmingly approved. I understand that the numbers were 27 voting for sanctions, 3 against, and 6 abstaining. ABp Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America refused a ballot on the TEC vote, saying that although he had been completely included in the meeting and all the other votes that took place while he was present, he did not think it was appropriate to vote on TEC, because the ACNA’s status has not yet been formalized.
Now the question is: Were the sanctions enough? The answer is another question: Enough for what? From a spiritual standpoint, both the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church (as well as several others) having pursued unbiblical activity without repentance deserve to be ejected from the Communion—at least until they repent and demonstrate suitable fruits of repentance. Is it enough that they have been denied voice and vote in some areas? I believe that it is extremely significant and sets the stage for more to happen with TEC and other Provinces.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby --Rowan Williams Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007 Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Episcopal Church (TEC) * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Soteriology Theology: Scripture
Many media reports at the time of Archbishop Welby’s announcement suggested that his intention was to replace the communion relationship of the provinces with a much looser federal relationship in which member churches relate to Canterbury, but not necessarily to one another. The various provinces, these reports claimed, would keep the name “Anglican” but without any attempt to maintain common discipline or doctrine. Such a radical reorientation of Anglican ecclesiology would be a considerable blow to Anglican-Catholic ecumenical relations which have been predicated on the basis of a shared communion ecclesiology. However, Lambeth Palace has strongly rebutted such claims, insisting that no such abandonment of its Communion structures is intended, but rather the aim is to strengthen those structures by reappraising them and encouraging those who are currently disenfranchised to find their voice and be unafraid to offer critique.
At time of writing, the Primates’ Meeting has not yet concluded, however it is possible to make a few observations about the meeting. Firstly, Archbishop Welby has always maintained that he wants the Primates as a group to call the next Lambeth Conference, the ten-yearly meeting of all Anglican Bishops from around the world. All the indications are that the next Lambeth Conference will be announced, though mostly likely scheduled for 2020 rather than 2018, and this announcement in itself will be a strong signal of the primates’ continued desire to work for the unity of the Communion.
Secondly, while the Archbishop cannot sanction the North American provinces, he will be working strenuously to deepen the bonds of communion with those provinces which have been most scandalised by their recent decisions. The strongest protest to the North American provinces comes from those affiliated to GAFCon, a grouping that takes its name from the Global Anglican Future Conference held in Jerusalem immediately before the last Lambeth Conference in 2008. A number of the primates who will attend the January 2016 meeting are members of GAFCon, and claim to represent the majority of the world’s Anglicans. One GAFCon primate, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda has already warned that he will not continue to participate in the meetings unless “godly order” is restored. GAFCon claims not to be in communion with the Anglican provinces of North America, supporting instead a breakaway group called the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). In a strong indication of Archbishop Welby’s intention to reach out to GAFCon, he has invited ACNA’s Archbishop, the Rt Rev Foley Beach, to attend some of the Primates’ Meeting as an observer. Moreover, the Archbishop has worked hard at establishing strong personal relationships with many of these primates, which he hopes will help to avoid a rift.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Christology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology
[Bishop Michael Curry]...rebutted charges the Episcopal Church had been captured by secular culture. “Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.”
Archbishop Beach told CEN the dispute was a salvation issue. “Millions of souls were affected by false teaching.”
Archbishop Welby asked Archbishop Beach what it would take to reconcile the ACNA and the Episcopal Church. Archbishop Beach said the ACNA asked the Episcopal Church to repent of its ungodly innovations, to end all litigation immediately, to give restitution for the millions of dollars in property and assets taken from departing congregations, to “restore to us our pension” and “rescind” the depositions of the over 700 clergy kicked out of the Episcopal Church.
A resolution was brought forward on Wednesday asking the Episcopal Church to voluntarily withdraw from the instruments of communion as it revisits the issue of same-sex marriage — akin to the earlier motion brought by Archbishop Ntagali. Bishop Curry told the meeting the Episcopal Church would not comply with such a request.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Bishop Dorsey McConnell of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh was encouraged that the primates “unequivocally stated their unanimous desire” for unity. “Given recent developments in the Episcopal Church, we can’t reasonably represent the majority opinion of the primates on external bodies or even internally, and that this statement simply acknowledges that reality,” he said.
In 2008, much of the local Episcopal diocese broke away to join the new Anglican Church in North America, whose founding leader was Bishop Robert Duncan.
Bishop Duncan, who completed his term in that leadership role but is continuing to lead the Anglican Church in North America’s Diocese of Pittsburgh until his retirement later this year, called the primates’ decision “stunning.”
“All the price we paid here for standing as we stood, there’s some measure of this decision saying the world stood with us,” he said.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 Episcopal Church (TEC)
We are so grateful for the godly leadership and clear vision of the GAFCon and Global South Primates and for their partnership with us in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Together, we are seeking to spread the Light of the Gospel in a dark and dying world.
We particularly thank God for Archbishop Foley Beach and his humble, prayerful and courageous leadership of our Province, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
Our Primate, Archbishop Beach, fully participated in the Primates’ gathering at Canterbury until today, when he, along with several other GAFCon Primates, left. Along with the GAFCon Primates, Archbishop Foley laboured very hard and patiently, refusing to be deflected. Two things came to a head today - the issues of discipline and an opportunity to speak about ACNA.
Archbishop Beach concluded his time at the meeting with a brief testimony to what the Lord has done and is doing in the ACNA and then provided a gift of our ACNA’s Catechism to every Primate.
The witness to the broader Communion was very significant. I believe some Provinces are being drawn into GAFCon as a result of the witness of GAFCon and Global South Primates at this gathering.
A small but significant step was taken toward restoring Biblical and godly order in the Communion. Although, in the end, only the US Episcopal Church (TEC) was named in the very moderate disciplinary action agreed to by the Primates, the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) and its actions were referred to frequently in the course of the Primates’ discussions.
Archbishop Beach told media here, “The sanctions placed on the Episcopal Church are strong, but they are not strong enough, and to my deep disappointment they didn’t include the Anglican Church of Canada as they should. It took many steps for the Anglican Communion to come to this current crisis. This is a good step back in the right direction, but it will take many more if the Communion is to be restored.”
Once Primates had finally addressed the issue of discipline, it was time for Archbishop Beach to quietly step away from the remainder of the meeting as ACNA had committed itself to only continue at the meeting if TEC and the ACoC had stepped away and until repentance and godly order were restored. The ACoC remained and, although mild sanctions were applied to TEC, its Primate also remained in the meeting.
I, and all of us here in Canterbury, are so aware of the incredible blanket of prayer that has enveloped this meeting. I truly believe God has answered, although perhaps not as we anticipated. The GAFCon movement has been strengthened and broadened and its wholesome impact on the Communion increased. Thank you for praying! Please continue.
For ANiC, we will continue to press on in fervent prayer and with intensified focus on building “biblically faithful, gospel sharing, Anglican churches”. To that end, let us pray that the five ministry priorities we are seeking to apply may become a transformational reality in every congregation of ANiC.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
We unanimously agreed that these changes “represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage,” and we wrestled with what the consequences should be.
The GAFCON and Global South Primates were tremendous in their leadership in the meeting, and made a strong impact in the final decision. I confess that I have mixed feelings about the sanctions.
The sanctions are strong, but they are not strong enough, and to my deep disappointment, they didn’t include the Anglican Church of Canada as they should.
With that said, it took many steps for the Anglican Communion to come to this current crisis. This is a good step back in the right direction, but it will take many more if the Communion is to be restored.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
We expressed our deep gratitude to and profound affection for the clergy and laity of La Province de l’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda, and most particularly to the Archbishop and Bishops of the Province, for their trust, generosity, and partnership in commending the bishops, clergy, and congregations of PEARUSA to be fully incorporated in the Anglican Church in North America. They were among our rescuers in an hour of great need. Now, at another critical moment, they bless us toward ecclesial maturity in Christ.
In our times of prayer and intercession, we have been mindful and keenly aware of the upcoming gathering of Primates in Canterbury next week. While we are grateful that our Primate, Archbishop Foley Beach, has been invited to attend, we recognize the magnitude of the challenge to restore Biblical faith and order to the Communion.
In light of the depth of the divisions in the Anglican Communion, we are deeply thankful for the partnership and solidarity we share with both our GAFCON partner Provinces and the Provinces of the Global South. Whatever the results of the meeting in Canterbury, we remain committed to sharing the transforming love of Jesus Christ in North America and beyond. It is our fervent hope that the defiant Provinces of the Communion will return to the historic faith, order, and practice.
We will continue to pray for the upcoming meeting, but, regardless of the outcome, we take joy in the knowledge of the future we share with those who remain committed to historic, Biblical, faith.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury — the figurehead of 85 million-member communion of churches with roots in the Church of England and its blend of Protestant theology and Catholic liturgical traditions — called the meeting and made a major concession to the so-called Global South primates.
Not only did he invite Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, he also invited Archbishop Foley Beach, head of the Anglican Church in North America, whose break with the Episcopal Church was especially significant in the Pittsburgh area. Normally a meeting of primates would only include the top official in each of the communion’s 38 national churches.
In the confusingly overlapping names involved, the Anglican Communion recognizes the Episcopal Church as its U.S. church, rather than the Anglican Church in North America. But the latter has received recognition from Global South Anglicans, made up of primarily non-Western nations.
The primates can’t tell a national church such as the Episcopal Church what to do. But the meeting could see the communion split or redefined as a looser federation.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016 Episcopal Church (TEC) * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
I have been asked many times why I am going. Firstly, as a group the GAFCON Primates all decided together that we would attend in good faith and see if there is a possibility of restoring order to the structures of the Anglican Communion.
Secondly, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, invited me in good faith, and like my brother Primates, I am going in good faith.
Thirdly, the Anglican Church in North America is now a Partner Province of the Global South who are also planning to attend.
Fourthly, to not attempt to bring godly order and unity to the Church would be a sin against the Lord and His bride.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Partial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011 * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The current power struggle is about redefining and recasting the faith of the historic Anglican Communion. Post-colonial Great Britain’s influence declined rapidly after second world war but it took longer for the dominant influence of Canterbury to wane. And it has now waned in the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church has tried to occupy that centre of influence in order to shape the communion according to its vision of the Christian faith, untethered from the authority of scripture. Canterbury under the previous leadership allowed TEC space and even support with its Communion Changing agenda. We expect the present incumbent to resist that agenda and pressure and to restore the role of Canterbury in leadership of the Communion. The battle is not primarily about a theological or ethical issue. It is really about resistance to a section of the western church who are redefining the faith of the Communion in order to be relevant in their context and acting like those who wish to erase and rewrite history; they are reinventing the faith that was protected and preserved historically so that it might be drawn on for the flourishing of the Church and its public witness.
Our call is to Canterbury to recognise that it still has a historic role and, rather than preside over endless confusion, to take a firm stand and move forward. The leadership of the Communion cannot deal with this challenge as a political issue in the way politicians might address it. We are a Church, the Body of Christ that is both part of history and also transcends history. The Church has sought to live out transcendent realities in history and offer to every historical context these realities as its public witness. It cannot allow culture to replace its historical witness. The leaders of the Church must act prophetically, not politically. They must uphold what has been tested in history as their public witness.
The temptation for the African, Asian and Latin American Churches will be to cut themselves adrift from what they sometimes read as an embarrassing past and a compromised present. There is the real possibility that the Communion could split between TEC and its dependencies (often financial) and allies, and the churches of the Global South unwilling to have what they see as TEC’s heresies thrust upon them. The result will be chaos, the end of the communion, and increasing independency among the churches. This temptation must be resisted. Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009 Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Primates Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016
Following their November 25-28, 2015, meeting, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Province of South Sudan and the Sudan, announced that they have formally recognized the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
They also recommended that the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop of the Church of South Sudan and the Sudan, forge a closer relationship with the Anglican Church in North America.
The decision to recognize the Anglican Church in North America was made in conjunction with a decision to end formal ties with The Episcopal Church (TEC). In a letter published following their meeting, the Sudanese House of Bishops pointed in particular to two resolutions passed by The Episcopal Church this past summer that redefine marriage. “In our view such innovations are not in conformity with the Scriptures,” the bishops wrote.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Anglican Provinces Episcopal Church of the Sudan Episcopal Church (TEC) * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
The archbishops at the meeting support Lambeth I.10 – the resolution on human sexuality from the 1998 Lambeth Conference. The Grand Imam raised changes to traditional teaching on the subject by some Anglican churches, saying that the issue in the west was seen from the viewpoint of human rights rather than a moral and ethical issue. “I personally see this as an insult to [the teaching of] Jesus Christ by one of His own churches,” he said.
The issue was also discussed when the archbishops met the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II. “We need to stand firm and keep the Church traditions,” he told them. “If this issue is a human rights one, where is God the Creator’s right?”
In their discussions, the leaders welcomed the latest achievements of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission, and particularly the historic agreed statement on Christology.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Inter-Faith Relations Other Churches Orthodox Church Other Faiths Islam * Theology
Bishop Robert Duncan on Saturday announced he will retire next year as head of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, seven years after leading conservative churches locally and throughout North America in a historic and stormy break with the liberal Episcopal Church and its Canadian counterpart.
Bishop Duncan last year already ended his denomination-wide leadership of the wider Anglican Church in North America, which formed in the wake of the split. He told local Anglicans that at age 67, he is now also ready to let go of his duties in Pittsburgh. His retirement will be effective June 30.
“As I have said my prayers and sought counsel, it has seemed to me like the work I was called to do is as complete as it can be,” Bishop Duncan told hundreds gathered for the diocese’s annual convention at St. Stephen Church in Sewickley.
Read it all.
For background on this please see the 4 posts on ACNA and the C of I on October 12th listed there--KSH.
Over recent weeks, we have published letters on the subject of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the Church of Ireland’s relationship with that Church (Gazette, 2nd, 9th & 16th October; also this week, page 10). ACNA came into being as a denomination in 2009, in particular following disagreement over the theological direction of The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States. It is probably fair to say that both ACNA and TEC would describe each other as ‘breakaway’, ACNA taking the view that TEC had departed from orthodox Anglican teaching, especially over human sexuality, and TEC taking the view that ACNA had separated itself. One could debate that particular question until the proverbial cows come home.
Last month, the Gazette asked the Church of Ireland for an indication as to whether or not it is in communion with ACNA. We published the response in our issue of 2nd October and do so again here for the sake of convenience: “As a Province of the Anglican Communion, the Church of Ireland is in communion with the other Churches or Provinces in the Communion. There has not been a definitive position taken by the Church of Ireland in respect of any Church that has emerged from structural changes or divisions in another Church or Province in the Communion – as in the case of the Anglican Church in North America and The Episcopal Church. Following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for a gathering of Primates in January 2016, it seems likely that a period of discernment will ensue to determine the ways in which Churches within the Anglican Communion and other Churches in an Anglican tradition relate to one another and that this is likely to take considerable time.”
Read it all.
After being without a sanctuary of their own for 2 1/2 years, Trinity Anglican Church members will break ground in December on a new $9 million, 27,000-square-foot complex in the southwest that includes worship space and a preschool.
The ceremony, planned for 1 p.m. Dec. 5 at the northwest corner of Buena Vista Road and Campus Park Drive, will feature a brief prayer service and dedication by Father Karl Dietze, rector at Trinity Anglican Church, and Bishop Eric Menees of Fresno.
It’s just the latest milestone for the congregation, which split from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in a microcosm of the nationwide philosophical schism of the mid-2000s that saw congregations in the valley and around the country leave the Episcopal Church and align themselves with the Anglican Church.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin TEC Departing Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Theology
During the meeting, the Anglican Church in North America was declared to be an official partner province of the Global South. In addition, Archbishop Foley Beach, who earlier in the week had preached at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Cairo, was seated as a member of the Global South Primates Council with both voice and vote; participating fully in the meeting.
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It would appear that the Revd Rupert Moreton (Letter, 2nd October) has failed to realise the changing reality of the worldwide Anglican family. The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is part of the Anglican family, whether he, or even the Archbishop of Canterbury, approves or not.
I recently had the pleasure of hosting the Revd Ted Wood from ACNA at Holy Trinity, Woodburn, and welcomed the opportunity to fellowship with him and to listen to him preach at our morning service.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Departing Parishes * South Carolina
It is unfortunate that, in recent correspondence, the Revd Rupert Moreton demonstrates both inconsistency and ignorance in equal measure (Letter, 2nd October).
He demonstrates inconsistency in that, as a cleric from another province (assuming from the address supplied), he is commenting negatively upon what he suggests is tantamount to a pattern of supposed incursion by another party into another province’s ministry, notwithstanding his having once been in this province. In my view, his actions capture what he criticises another for doing.
He also demonstrates ignorance in that the Diocese of South Carolina is not part of the Anglican Church in North America, as he states. In fact, were Mr Moreton to acquaint himself with the most basic of facts relating to the Diocese of South Carolina, he might understand that that diocese pre-existed the formation of The Episcopal Church (TEC) by a number of years, a point well made during the unsuccessful litigation brought against them by TEC.
Might it be argued, therefore, that the Diocese of South Carolina remains in fellowship with other Anglican Christians across the Communion, whilst not being part of The Episcopal Church – the latter being a later creation?
Read it all.
I was interested to read that the rector of the Church of the Cross, Bluffton, in the Diocese of South Carolina, has just preached at an ordination in Raphoe Cathedral.
The manner of this event’s reporting on the Church of Ireland’s webpages might lead one to suppose that this was an entirely normal event. It was not.
Read it all.
THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT by the Church of Ireland was issued to the Gazette following our enquiry as to whether or not the Church of Ireland is in communion with ACNA:
“As a Province of the Anglican Communion, the Church of Ireland is in communion with the other Churches or Provinces in the Communion. There has not been a definitive position taken by the Church of Ireland in respect of any Church that has emerged from structural changes or divisions in another Church or Province in the Communion – as in the case of the Anglican Church in north America and The Episcopal Church.
“Following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for a gathering of Primates in January 2016, it seems likely that a period of discernment will ensue to determine the ways in which Churches within the Anglican Communion and other Churches in an Anglican tradition relate to one another and that this is likely to take considerable time.”
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland * Theology Ecclesiology
There was a report that the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion office was offering “facilitators” for the January gathering of Primates. He may be planning that, but I would suggest that the facilitators get refundable tickets. There is absolutely no chance that the GAFCON and Global South Primates will stand for another meeting where they are “handled” and manipulated by “facilitators” who have a pre-cooked agenda. This upcoming meeting will either be utterly genuine in all the gritty reality that brings, or it will not happen at all. I think it is truly an important gathering and I pray that it will be effective.
When innovations are introduced, it is done with the expectation that there will be unicorns and skittle rainbows. When they are done thoughtlessly, the result can be catastrophic, as it has been with some Provinces who have discarded the historic Biblical teaching on sexuality. I’m sure that they think all will be well because they want it to be; that there will be rain showers of gumdrops and the pot at the end of the skittle rainbow will be found, but in truth, consequences that they did not anticipate or intend are actually driving the train. Superficial solutions never work more than superficially. This is a time in which we need to actually deal with the departures from Biblical faith, with issues of Christology that are being erroneously embraced, and a disastrous sexual ethic that is not bearing godly fruit.
Here is the bottom line. If the January gathering of Primates does not fully address the real issues, the Communion will not survive—nor should it.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The Synod of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, at its regular meeting on September 23rd, 2015, has initiated a bold move for Anglican unity.
By affirming the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as an Anglican Province, and by holding true to Anglican order, the Synod is calling for the legal transfer of PEARUSA to the ACNA under Archbishop Foley Beach by June 2016. This call includes the PEARUSA Networks becoming ACNA Dioceses.
At the same time, Archbishop Rwaje and Presiding Bishop Steve Breedlove (pictured) have announced that PEARUSA will now transition into Rwanda Ministry Partners, a ministry association within the ACNA.
"Though we release you legally," Archbishop Rwaje said, "We are bound relationally in Jesus Christ. We will continue serving together as we always have with ever increasing strength."
Read it all.
They’ll be discussing what unites them and what divides them; whether the Communion ought to continue as it is presently modelled, and whether the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury needs to change. There will be no ‘Continuing Indaba‘ for the pursuit of “cultural models of consensus”, and no meditation on the mission of “mutual creative action”. The days of fudge, patch and hedge are over – unless, of course, all the gathered Archbishops, Presiding Bishops and Chief Pastors determine to ignore the pleas and prayers of the Primus inter Pares.
But (and it’s a very, very interesting ‘but’), Justin Welby has not only invited the 37 recognised primates of the Wordwide Anglican Communion: according to Lambeth Palace (..and here’s the Guardian headline..) he has also written a letter to Foley Beach. That isn’t a cruise-ship resort in sunny Florida: The Most Rev’d Dr Foley Beach is Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which split from The Episcopal Church (TEC) when The Most Rev’d Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori set her face against social conservatism and theological orthodoxy on matters relating to gender and sexuality. The letter of invitation to Archbishop Foley is significant because ACNA is not a recognised member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion (according to the traditional instruments of communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury).
Yet what credible discussions may take place if he is snubbed, since ACNA is affirmed and recognised by other Anglican provinces, in particular those belonging to GAFCON?
There are clearly provincial fractures and parallel churches already operating throughout the Communion.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) Global South Churches & Primates Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Christology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology
It is also far from clear that such a shift would either get much support (outside some of the liberal Northern primates) or offer a practical solution. Not just GAFCON but many primates from the wider Global South remain of the view that the solution to the continuing crisis (based around a Primates’ Council and Pastoral Scheme for traditionalists in North America) was put forward at the Dar Primates Meeting in 2007 but never implemented, in large part leading to GAFCON forming. The Archbishop has refused to accept their view that this must be the starting point of any new gathering – that meeting will be nearly a decade old once the Primates meet, much has happened, and very few current Primates attended that meeting despite it being one which had a very high number of newly installed Primates. Justin Welby has rightly insisted, following extensive visits and conversations, that the meeting must find its own way forward face-to-face. But in talking of respecting the decisions of previous Primates’ meetings he has shown he is aware how many Primates still think that the proposal put forward there continues to provide a model for how best to proceed.
The sad reality is that support for something like the Dar approach has increased following the decisions earlier this year by General Convention (and to a lesser degree the Scottish Episcopal Church). These demonstrated that some provinces are now seeking to repeat the pattern of taking provincial action which disregards the mind of the Communion but in relation to the even more important question of Christian teaching on marriage. Some Global South provinces who were becoming more amenable to moving on from the painful history since 2003 and starting afresh (particularly with a new Presiding Bishop) are now clear that the fundamental problem of TEC unilateralism remains a serious one. That is one reason they have sought and secured a place for Archbishop Foley of ACNA during the meeting.
The way forward after January is unlikely to be simply a reversion to an earlier attempted solution, whether the Dar Primates’ model or the Anglican Communion Covenant in its present form. It is, however, even less likely to be an agreement from the Primates that they need to embrace a “federation” model of global Anglicanism.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007 Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
Including Welby, there are 38 primates. With Foley Beach, that makes 39. Foley's inclusion among the world’s primates, which is something conservatives have been wanting for years, is an admission by Lambeth Palace that the Episcopal Church cannot claim to represent all Anglicans within U.S. borders.
Also, the archbishop’s press release adds that Beach will be invited for “part of the time.”
What does that mean? The Atlantic could have inquired about that and about the obvious point that Welby had to have conferred in private with some of the conservative primates before issuing this call and that Foley’s inclusion in this gathering was the non-negotiable they insisted upon if they were going to show up. The Episcopal sites were commenting on this as were the Anglican ones, so The Atlantic should have picked up on these points, which were easy to find with a few mouse clicks.
The Atlantic did note that the only female primate, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, will not be at this January meeting because her successor, Bishop Michael Curry, will have been installed. What should have been added is how her absence clears the way for those of the primates who still oppose the ordination of female bishops to attend. Now they will not have to abstain from Communion with someone they regard as having singlehandedly created a scorched-earth policy toward departing conservatives plus contributed to a 12 percent drop in church membership during her tenure. One wonders if Welby timed his gathering with that in mind.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Episcopal Church (TEC) Global South Churches & Primates * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
The Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Most Rev. Foley Beach, will be visiting the Lowcountry of South Carolina on Saturday, September 19, 2015, 9:30am. He will deliver the sermon at the closing Holy Communion service of the 43rd Annual Synod of the Reformed Episcopal Diocese of the Southeast. Archbishop Beach will speak at the service held in Redeemer Reformed Episcopal Church, 2173 Highway 45, Pineville, SC. All fellow Anglicans/Episcopalians and other Christians are invited to hear the Archbishop.
Archbishop Beach represents orthodox Anglicans/Episcopalians outside of the more liberal Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). Beach has been invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to England to meet with other Primates of the Anglican Communion in January 2016. The Reformed Episcopal Church and the Diocese of the Southeast are founding members of the ACNA. The Diocese of the Southeast is comprised of 90% black congregations which were excluded from the Diocese of South Carolina in 1873, after the Civil War and Reconstruction. Since the Diocese of South Carolina has separated from ECUSA, there has been dialog between Bishop Mark Lawrence (DSC) and Bishop Al Gadsden (DSE) to reconcile and restore a common mission and witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, will soon be replaced by Bishop Michael B. Curry, who was elected this summer and will be installed in the next few months. A spokeswoman for the church, which has 2.1 million members, said Bishop Curry planned to attend the meeting.
Archbishop Foley Beach, the leader of the Anglican Church in North America, which counts 112,000 members in Canada, the United States and Mexico, said Wednesday that he had received a call from Archbishop Welby inviting him to the meeting, and that he planned to go if conservative primates in other countries also attended.
“The challenges facing the Anglican Communion over the last couple of decades are no secret,” the Rev. Dr. Beach said, “and it is time to face them.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Globalization * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology
The statement talks about “space”: “The difference between our societies and cultures, as well as the speed of cultural change in much of the global north, tempts us to divide as Christians. . . A 21st-century Anglican family must have space for deep disagreement, and even mutual criticism, so long as we are faithful to the revelation of Jesus Christ, together.”
The invitation represents a desire by the Archbishop to take a tougher line on division and “start treating people like adults” and “stop messing around with internal rows”, a source said. It is understood that Archbishop Welby spoke to all of the Primates by phone during the summer, and that only three expressed doubts about attending.
One item on the agenda will be the next Lambeth Conference. It is thought to be too late to arrange something in 2018, but the Archbishop is said by a source to be determined that another will take place, perhaps in 2020 — even if those attending could only fill a telephone box.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology
I did indeed receive a personal call from Archbishop Justin Welby inviting me to attend and participate.
If my fellow GAFCON Primates accept the invitation, and I am expecting that they will, then I have also pledged to attend. The challenges facing the Anglican Communion over the last couple of decades are no secret, and it is time to face them.
Read it all.
The Anglican parish formerly associated with what is now St. James the Great Episcopal Church in Newport Beach will move to a permanent location in Costa Mesa in the fall.
The soon-to-be St. James Anglican Church building at 22995 Airway Ave. in Costa Mesa is being remodeled. The one-story space will include classrooms, a kitchen and pantry, a nursery, a multipurpose room, office spaces and a sanctuary. The congregation is expected to move into the building in October, according to a news release.
"St. James church is in a season of growth and new life that opens the doors for people of all generations to experience," said the Rev. Richard Crocker, the senior pastor. "We are building upon our core strengths of strong ministries which continue to serve our parishioners, the local community and global needs as well."
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I think the key takeaway is the following two sentences:
It remains to be seen whether or not the issue of women’s ordination can be resolved in any direction beyond the status quo, apart from making judgments about these divergent views, thereby further defining holy orders for the whole church. The bishops and church will need to consider the tension between the values of liberty and unity in this regard.Read it all.
Update: For those of you on twitter follow #PCVan2015
The Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, on 18 June 2015 released a statement asking for prayer for the families of the victims.
Please join me in praying for the Rev. Anthony Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity REC (ACNA) Church in Charleston, his family, and their congregation, with the killing of his wife, Myra, in the Charleston shootings last night,” he wrote in a message posted to Facebook.
Read it all and there is an ACNA press release there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * South Carolina * Theology
Episcopal Church expansion in the region occurred in three phases—in the nineteenth century, in the 1950s, and in 1980. No new Episcopal churches have been planted in the region since 1980. One of the churches, which was planted in the 1950s, closed in 2005. There is only one self-supporting parish in the Jackson Purchase; the other churches are subsidized missions, except for the oldest Episcopal church in the region. It is a preaching station.
The last Episcopal church planted in the Jackson Purchase, the one planted in 1980, experienced a church split following the election and consecration of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire. The group of conservative Episcopalians that broke away from the congregation affiliated with one of the Continuing Anglican jurisdictions. This group has experienced a number of splits of its own since that time and has been affiliated with three different Continuing Anglican jurisdictions. The Jackson Purchase’s two Continuing Anglican churches trace their origins to this group.
If any conclusion can be drawn from the experience of these two Continuing Anglican churches, it is that traditionalist High Church Anglo-Catholic congregations do not fare well in the region. Among the factors that may have contributed to their negligible growth is that the communities in which they are located are not diverse enough for them to find a niche for themselves in their respective communities. The two churches also have no connection with the communities in which they are located. While the Episcopal churches in the region are not exactly flourishing, they are, with the exception of the preaching station, doing better than the two Continuing Anglican churches.
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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Anglican Identity Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Theology Ecclesiology
Leaders from the Diocese of South Carolina and the Anglican Church in North America, led by Bishop Mark Lawrence and Archbishop Foley Beach, came together at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center, South Carolina on April 28-29, 2015 for prayer, fellowship, and conversation.
We had frank exchanges that examined the possible compatibility of the ecclesiologies of the Anglican Church in North America and the Diocese of South Carolina.
There is a wide spectrum of polities in the provinces of the Anglican Communion and these differences affect the ways in which dioceses relate to their respective provinces. Provinces such as Nigeria are more hierarchical, while provinces such as South America are more conciliar. Our conversations began exploring the practical dimensions of how a diocese and province relate in the structure of the Anglican Church in North America.
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At first glance, a Cadillac dealer’s showroom may not seem like a “mission outpost” of Christianity, but that’s exactly how Holy Cross Anglican Church was described by a visiting bishop when he blessed the congregation last Sunday evening.
Holy Cross Anglican worships at the Gerry Lane Cadillac dealership, in a spacious showroom where SAAB cars were once sold until the Swedish company liquidated three years ago.
Shepherded by the Rev. Ernie Saik, the 70-member congregation began worshipping there in September, but he didn’t want to make it public until the group could be blessed by the Rev. Clark W.P. Lowenfield, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast of the Anglican Church in North America.
“On this third Sunday of Easter we celebrate 1,982 years ago, when 11 apprentices of Jesus stepped off a mountain after being told to go and make more apprentices … and they changed the world,” Lowenfield preached as the sun streamed through the large showroom windows. “They started mission outposts all over the world. Mark went to Constantinople and Thomas went to India … and they began to establish exactly what you have established here — a mission outpost of the kingdom of God.”
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There are no easy answers to the issues that plague our communities, but the spirit of unity that was in our midst this week testifies to the hope that we have through the cross of Christ, which reconciles us to God and one another.
We began with a frank assessment of the current challenges facing the Anglican Church in North America in our mission with and among African Americans. The Book of Revelation gives us the multiethnic vision of the Church in which members of every nation, tribe, people, and language offer up their unified praise before the Lamb (Rev. 7:9-10).
This biblical vision leads us to affirm a deeper commitment to both multiethnic and ethnic-specific expressions of the Church; a change that is critical if we are to remain in step with the Holy Spirit in light of the shifting demographics of North America.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Culture-Watch Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * South Carolina
While I would not go as far saying that it is characteristic of all folks in the Anglican Church in North America, the ACNA does have its share of people who do not want to hear anything that is in their way of thinking even remotely critical of their denomination. They do not want drawn to their attention the areas in which the denomination needs reform. They exhibit a high level of defensiveness. On more than one occasion I have been told in so many words that if I do not have anything nice to say about the ACNA, I should not say anything at all. This is unfortunate because there is a real need for meaningful reform in the ACNA particularly at the denominational level if the ACNA is to be anything more than the latest Anglo-Catholic Continuing Anglican Church in the United States and Canada.
Among the areas in which the Anglican Church in North America is in greatest need of reform is that its most influential leaders evidences no commitment to creating an environment in the ACNA in which all schools of conservative Anglican thought can flourish. The doctrinal statements that the ACNA has produced to date favor the doctrinal positions and related practices of one particular school of conservative Anglican thought over the others. The adherents of the school of thought in question “identify with Roman Catholic teaching and liturgical practices and holds a high view of the authority of clergy and tradition.”  In recent years a number of its adherents have also come to identify with Eastern Orthodox teaching and liturgical practices. While some of its adherents idealize the early High Middle Ages period as a golden age of Christianity, others display a greater affinity with the Counter Reformation and post-Tridentian Roman Catholicism.
The Anglican identity of this particular school of thought has been controverted since the nineteenth century. Adherents of the school argue that it alone represents genuine Anglicanism. Critics draw attention to the numerous ways in which it departs from Holy Scripture and the Anglican formularies, the touchstones of historic Anglican identity.
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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
On Sunday evening...[Foley Beach] asked me to organize a time for him to meet with some clergy and so I organized a dinner that we might have an opportunity to talk to him about our concerns about how things are in England, and hear about how things are developing in the Anglican Church in North America.
Since that time, I have been reflecting on the difference between what is appening in ACNA, and what we are experiencing in our Diocese, and in the Church of England nationally. And what has come to me is this:
what is happening in ACNA is centripetal;
what the CofE is doing is centrifugal.
Let me explain what I mean.
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Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America will be attending the GAFCON/Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Primates meeting in London next week. The gathering set for 13-17 April 2015 is expected to plot the future course of the global Anglican reform movement as well as review the agenda set by its 2013 Nairobi Conference.
Next week’s London meeting is expected to discuss the issue of whether to support a parallel Anglican jurisdiction akin to the Anglican Church in North America for England, and how such support should be shown.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Global South Churches & Primates * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology
Calvinist-inclined Baptists and Presbyterians attending this year’s upcoming national conference of the Gospel Coalition are adding a place at the table for a new constituency: conservative Anglicans who have broken with the Episcopal Church.
Joining mainstays like Danny Akin, Mark Dever, Albert Mohler and Russell Moore scheduled to speak at the April 13-15 gathering in Orlando, Fla., is John Yates II, rector of The Falls Church Anglican in suburban Washington.
Other Anglican leaders are offering seminars and workshops at the Gospel Coalition 2015 National Conference, and there will be an informal gathering one evening for Anglicans to come together for fellowship and encouragement, Yates said in a Gospel Coalition blog titled “Who Are These Anglicans in TGC?”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Baptists Evangelicals Presbyterian * Theology
I still remember a letter I received as a young rector. The letter concluded with, “Always remember, Fr. Mark, the Church primarily exists to serve the needs of its long-time members.” Even in the relatively more churched-culture of the late 1980s it struck me as shocking statement. Former Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, wrote in the 1930s that the Church is the only institution in the world that exists to serve the needs of those who are not yet its members. But there is something more foundational than the recent debates about Missional vs Attractional. The Church by its very nature is missional. It is not that the Church one day decided to have a resolution, brought it forward and voted to be missional. It was the Risen Jesus Christ, whose mission we continue, who commands us—“As the Father has sent me so I am sending you.” The only thing left to ask is to whom, and where, and how He would have us go!
Missionalisation on a diocesan level also means to intentionally create a culture within the diocese that cultivates a missional approach to ministry and life. Cultures, as it has been observed, cultivate. To initiate outward thrust in congregational life and witness; to celebrate that which goes out in creative ways to where people gather rather than hunker down in Christian circles; to interact with the unchurch, unreached, uninterested is the challenge we face in today. It is to recognize that Jesus often crossed boundaries in his ministry and once he crossed boundaries he made contact, cultivated curiosity and then touched the place of need in the other person’s life which they hardly knew they had or could even whisper to others. It is, among other things, to take pre-evangelism, as well as evangelism, seriously. What is pre-evangelism? It is conveyed well by what an agnostic said upon the death of Pope John XXIII: “Pope John has made my unbelief uncomfortable.” Missionalization is to have such an aroma of Christ that when we go into the world meeting others we graciously make the agnostic and religiously unaffiliated uncomfortable in their unbelief.
Missionalisation also means for us to practice Big Picture thinking. As your bishop I have been mindful of the need to look at the big picture within the emerging Anglican world. Through the 2008 Lambeth Conference; the Global South gatherings in Singapore or elsewhere; the various GAFCON conferences; and from bishops or primates who have come to us from abroad to sojourn a few days or weeks in the Diocese of South Carolina the challenges and opportunities have been kept before me. Certainly the Anglican Communion Development Committee (ACD) has been a diocesan committee which has strategically looked at the larger world seeking to address what we could do to help shape the Anglican scene in the 21st Century. I am heartened that some of our larger parishes, such as St. Helena’s, Beaufort and St. Michael’s Charleston (which has a vital missional thrust through its Global Impact Celebration) are now seeking input from the ACD Committee as they rethink their missional relationships around the world.
Nevertheless I am often troubled by a recurring personal concern regarding the Big Picture....
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What the Lord showed me as I read history and studied the Bible is that it is crucially important to assess what faithfulness requires. I came to the position that St. Augustine was right and there is the possibility of a just war. Though I had not thought about it consciously, I was also greatly influenced by the Nürnberg War Trials, having grown up there while the echoes of those trials were still reverberating around the city. Eventually, I came to the position that it was possible for me to serve in the military as a Christian, but I also had to monitor orders to assess if they were lawful or not. Righteousness may demand refusing an unlawful order, but then it almost always comes with a terrible price when we stand against unrighteous deeds. Sometimes that prices is our freedom, reputation, or even our life.
The question at the heart of the challenging times I was facing then is much like the question we face in the church and culture today. Each query can be spoken from one of two different—essentially opposite—perspectives. One perspective will say essentially, “Lord, how far can I stray and still keep my salvation.” That is not, however, the way that faithful people are called to live. Instead, there is another way. I was blessed early on in my walk as a disciple to be taught by some very mature and wise Christians. They taught me that faithful Christians say, “Lord, show me ways that I can be more faithful; ways that I can be more closely conformed to your heart and will. Even if it is costly, show me what is right. Show me how I can draw more closely to You and to Your Cross.”
In this fallen world, the easy way is almost never the righteous way. It is also almost never God’s way. Of course, we should not choose a solution just because it is hard, we should choose a path because it is right. Whatever else we might say about choosing a righteous path, it is going to be costly. Those faithful leaders were very helpful in assisting me in taking the first steps of fidelity. They taught me how to weigh my heart in the Kingdom justice balance of Scripture and what to do in repentance when I came up on the wrong side. Over time, I was able to learn some things about how I was called to live.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Theology Christology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
For years, I thought I was called to be an Anglican priest. My wife and I wanted to plant an Anglican church in Minneapolis. To that end, I attended a beautiful Anglican seminary couched in the forests of Wisconsin. There, surrounded by men and women much holier than myself, I was challenged to grow up in Christ. During the course of my studies and discernment, I came to believe that Christ intended his Church to be apostolic—and also that Rome had greatly exaggerated Peter’s role in the apostolic college. I had many opinions about the papacy, most of them clouded by exaggeration and fabrication, and considered myself to be more Catholic than the Catholics.
“Are you Episcopalian?” people asked.
“No, I am Anglican,” I said.
“But aren’t Episcopalians Anglican?” they asked.
And I would try my best to explain how the Anglican communion is full of national churches and independent provinces that are out of communion with one another. By my senior year, I was tongue-tied.
Schism—however sincerely felt, conventional, or culturally imperative—remains schism. Anglicanism has not essentially changed since the moment King Henry VIII had, in the most frightening sense of the phrase, an original idea. Time and habit—together with popular acceptance and the enduring appeal of fresh breaks (I was in the ACNA, a break-off from TEC)—do not transform the Church of England into a “branch” of the Catholic Church. Time’s passage does not a Catholic Church make. In fact, just the opposite happens: the longer Anglicans remain out of communion with Peter’s successor, the pope, the longer the principle of decay can take effect. As in the moment of the original break, the result of schism is something schismatic every single second.
We should not mistake the gradual numbing of our awareness of schism with its disappearance or release from our ongoing responsibility for it; much less should we excuse such visible disunity by appealing to an invisible “unity in Christ”—at least not while we’re praying “on earth as it is in heaven.” The Church is more than a surface-level illusion.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Ecclesiology Theology: Scripture
Christ Church Anglican will end its three-year worship arrangement with Independent Presbyterian Church on Sunday before moving to its own church at a new site on Feb. 1.
The congregation, which left historic Christ Church on Johnson Square in 2011, has gathered to worship at the 207 Bull St. facility since. The congregation will leave the Bull Street site at 10:45 a.m. Sunday and proceed to its new location at Bull and 37th streets.
The first services there will be at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Feb 1, said the Rev. Marc Robertson, senior pastor.
The church’s new home is in the newly renovated 100-year-old church building that was originally home to Hull Presbyterian Church. It most recently was owned by the Christian Revival and Restoration Center.
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A handful of other congregations, including All Saints Anglican Church in Charlotte, NC, Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, NC and Saint John’s Anglican Church of Americus, GA have also announced building plans. This summer All Saints’ Anglican Church in Springfield, MO and All Saints’ Anglican Church in Peachtree City, GA, completed and consecrated new church buildings.
The churches range from a modest colonial-revival brick building in the case of Restoration to a 30,000-square-foot gothic structure built for the congregation of St. Peter’s.
In addition to making the churches more visible in their communities and accommodating growth in the size of congregations, the new structures are allowing for new programs and events. St. Peter’s is partnering with Trinity School for Ministry to offer theological education far from the seminary’s Ambridge, Pennsylvania campus. Other congregations plan to use their news space for conferences, or to begin hosting programs such as Vacation Bible School which were impractical or not possible in leased spaces.
“Our new church is just the beginning of what we hope to build,” explained Fr. Andrew Rowell, associate rector of St. Peter’s Anglican Church.
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The text of the Preface regarding Confirmation is brief enough that I’ll print the text of the first three out of four paragraphs as I go, one paragraph at a time, followed by a few comments. The statement begins like this:
Anglicanism requires a public and personal profession of the Faith from every adult believer in Jesus Christ. Confirmation by a bishop is its liturgical expression. Confirmation is evident in Scripture: the Apostles prayed for, and laid their hands on those who had already been baptized (Acts 8:14-17; 19:6).
I keep toying with this first sentence in my mind. If they mean this to be an accurate description of how the majority of Anglicans think about confirmation, I think they may be correct. But if this is meant to be descriptive of Anglicanism in any historical sense, than it is certainly misleading and probably just flat out wrong. Why?
At least one implication of the practice of requiring both baptism and Confirmation before reception of Holy Communion in the English and American BCPs (until 1979) is that God administers something in Confirmation (as opposed to it being simply a ritual acknowledgement that one is now mature enough to willingly give themselves to the Christian faith). Or at least that there is a sacramental encounter with God in that moment (which, by definition, would mean that it is an encounter unique to that sacrament). Otherwise, why does the bishop pray not only for a strengthening of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, but for the seven-fold gifts of the Spirit? The petition that the candidate be defended “with thy heavenly grace” is also interesting, as it has no parallel in the baptism rites (that is, it’s not a repetition of something already requested in that ritual). In short, what the bishop petitions on behalf of the candidate are things not requested at baptism.
The rest of the ACNA statement reflects in many ways the tension that persists around this controverted rite, a tension that began in the twentieth century and endures into the twenty-first. While the adage that Confirmation is a “rite in search of a theology” is maybe a bit too cavalier, it is true that the intention of Confirmation and its relationship to baptism remain hotly contested.
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I once accompanied a friend to visit a church plant with roots in a non-denominational tradition. He was excited to take me because his church shared the Lord’s Supper weekly and he knew I was “into Communion.” On this particular occasion the Pastor concluded the service with a prayer, the exit music came over the sound system and he walked off the stage. We were gathering our things to leave when he jogged back up on stage, turned his mic on and said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to mention that on your way out we have some bread and juice on a table by the door. Christians call this Communion and have done it for thousands of years. If you are into that kind of thing, we’d love to have you grab some on your way out.”
As an Anglican, my sacramental soul shriveled. I literally stood where I was and said a silent prayer interceding for the people as the words of 1 Corinthians 11 ran through my head, “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died (29,30).” I felt like Moses waiting for a plague to spread like a wave until it stopped at my outstretched hands. It was a profound juxtaposition to hear the lackadaisical language of the pastor “if you’re into that kind of thing” and Paul’s clear language of warning of the importance of approaching the Eucharist with preparation, solemnity, respect and awe, “this is why some of you have died.”
While mistakes like this are common among well-intentioned planters and pastors, new missional works do not always have careless sacramentology. I have celebrated the Eucharist with linens draped over a plastic table in a gym that smelled like sweaty kids and experienced something transcendent and beautiful, something ancient but immediate. What makes the difference in a church plant between an experience of the sacraments that is holy and one that is sloppy?
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We were enriched and strengthened in our apostolic ministries through the inspiring sessions presented by the Rt. Rev. John A.M Guernsey, Bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic and Dean of Provincial Affairs, and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Ray Sutton, Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Mid America (REC) and Provincial Dean.
Bishop Guernsey spoke about the importance of a bishop's prayer life and accented his presentations with powerful testimonies of the ways Almighty God had answered prayers of faith and vision. We were reminded that Jesus himself instructed the disciples to pray earnestly to the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into his harvest (Luke 10:2). Each afternoon the College of Bishops was enriched by Bishop Sutton's outstanding and anointed teaching on the office of the Bishop. He presented an historical survey of the ministry of the bishop, highlighting many godly examples for us as we seek to live, pray, love, and minister.
In surveying seven eras in the history of the Church, from the Apostolic Age of the New Testament to the present day, Bishop Sutton challenged the College to recover the best of the apostolic office as it has been revealed in Scripture and experienced in the life of the Church. His presentation concluded with a tremendously stirring call to us to fulfill our vocations....
We gave thanks for the presence of Bishop Mark Lawrence throughout the meeting. Our prayers continue to be with him and the faithful people whom he leads in the Diocese of South Carolina
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During this year past year, I made a very difficult decision to leave the only church I have known. I grew up in an Assemblies of God (AG) church. My family has been AG since the 1930s and is one of the oldest Pentecostal families in New Orleans. My father is an AG pastor and I have two brothers who are ordained AG ministers. I have held AG ministerial for a couple of years, but with the recent transition of the New Year (2015), my AG ministerial credentials have lapsed. God willing, I will be confirmed on January 25th into the Anglican Church by Bishop Todd Hunter at Holy Trinity in Costa Mesa.
I am not leaving with hurt, bitterness, or resentment. Quite the contrary, I maintain a deep love and respect for the church that taught me the name of Jesus. The last AG congregation I was a part of (in Pasadena, CA) was a wonderful group of people led by a theologically capable pastor that I appreciate greatly. I am excited about the direction of the AG (under George Wood) and I am confident that it will continue to thrive in the decades to come.
Because of my positive wishes toward my friends and family in the AG, I was not planning on sharing publicly my reasons for leaving. That is, I am not trying to convince people to leave the AG or even that it was a good idea for me to leave the AG. I actually want people to stay and make the AG even better. (I tried myself really hard to stay, and finally had to acknowledge that God was calling to the Anglican Church—or perhaps more accurately, God was making me into an Anglican). However, my friend (and fellow AG minister) Dan suggested that I give a public explanation for why I am leaving. His reasoning was that if people continue to leave silently, how will the AG address those issues which led to their exit from the church? I think Dan is right and so I am taking some time to explain how I became Anglican.
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Far worse than death itself is the prospect of being separated from the love of God for all eternity. Of course we should be motivated by love to reach out to people with kindness and to share with them about God’s love. It is not particularly effective to try to preach people into the Kingdom from a fear of Hell, but, nonetheless, a genuine relationship with Christ does deliver people from eternal death. The assurance of His love for us and His relationship with us can carry us through terrible temporal times.
Last week, four young Iraqi boys all under fifteen were captured by ISIS. They were told that they would be killed unless they renounced their faith in Jesus and promised to follow The Prophet. They refused, saying “No, we love Jesus.” As a result, all four were beheaded. Such things used to seem far away from a different land and a different age, but now, the truth is that those same pressures are coming against us. It could be any place and any time that we are challenged.
For decades now we have been fighting the liberal message that there are no consequences from sin, either temporally or eternally. We went so far as to break with those who preach this false Gospel. It is not that we insist on puritanical behavior because otherwise our sensibilities would be offended. We have stood up against the departure from Scriptural faith because the faith that we have received teaches us that to depart from it brings the consequence of eternal death. The battle has been about whether or not people go to Hell.
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Imagine that the bowls of heaven, which are filled with the prayers of the saints (us!), are what God pours out in order to reach those of “every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” As we pray to extend His Kingdom, I imagine those bowls filling up. When they overflow, it is not hard to imagine the grace of the Kingdom pouring out of the bowls and into the dreams of those whose hearts are ripe. Of course we still do all we can to carry out mission, but in this season, more fruit with M**lims is coming from supernatural means.
Dumped fuel has a tremendous impact on the atmosphere. It is profound and negative. It should only be done when there is no other way to save lives. Joining in prayer for the extension of the Kingdom and the conversion of hearts and souls to Jesus Christ through all manner of means both natural and supernatural has a tremendous impact on the spiritual atmosphere. It is profound and life giving. It does not cost anything but time, and it pays tremendous dividends.
By the way…you might wonder why I chose to spell M**lim or Isl*m with “*” instead of just spelling it out. It’s because of search engines. Radical M**lims can Google for articles that mention both Christ and Isl*m looking for ways to identify those whom they view are committing apostasy. A simple thing like an * in the spelling is just a safety net for our brothers and sisters in Christ who came from a M**lim background.
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Grace and peace to you in the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord!!! I hope this email finds you well and walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. I am writing from Sydney where I just arrived after an incredible time of ministry in South East Asia (Singapore, Kuching, and Yangon). More on that another time.
I am writing to you because there has been alot of discussion in recent days about taking “The Marriage Pledge.” If you have not been following the online conversation, you can read the Pledge here at First Things, as well as a critical commentary here on Doug Wilson’s blog.
Some of our bishops and clergy have been in favor of signing this pledge, some are not in favor of signing the pledge, while others need more time to consider the consequences of making such a commitment.
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On November 8th, 2014 Archbishop Foley Beach met with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, Chairman of the Department of External Relations for the Russian Orthodox Church.
The meeting, welcomed by Metropolitan Hilarion at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York, was an opportunity to meet Archbishop Beach, as well as continue the ecumenical dialogue between faithful Anglicans in North America and the Orthodox Churches.
Bishop Ray Sutton, Provincial Dean and Dean of Ecumenical Affairs was also present at the meeting, and was encouraged by the extension of ecumenical continuity, “Metropolitan Hilarion was with us when we met together for dialogue at Nashotah House in 2012, at which time he expressed a desire to continue Anglican/Orthodox dialogue through the Anglican Church in North America, and this meeting tonight with Archbishop Beach further encourages the strengthening of ties between the Anglican Church in North America and Orthodox churches in this part of the world.”
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Shortly after the TEC House of Bishops met in Taiwan, a group went to West Malaysia. They announced that they had heard the consecration of a new assistant bishop was about to take place and they were there to participate. Leaders in the Anglican Church in Malaysia said, “You are welcome—to our country. You cannot participate in the service however, because of the actions you have taken to tear the fabric of the communion and you remain unrepentant. We are not in Communion with you, so you cannot participate in the service.”
The visit was part of TEC’s initiative to demonstrate that they are fully part of the Communion and are in relationships with other Anglican Provinces. The tactic has been used in a number of places in Africa where they visit, are received with hospitality (because that is the culture of those people), and then take pictures to demonstrate that there are no significant issues even though there may be disagreement over things like sexuality.
In this case, the TEC plan did not work in Malaysia. The leaders in the Diocese of West Malaysia are very well informed and steadfastly faithful. Not only did they turn TEC away, they knew I was traveling in South East Asia so they sent me a message. “Can you change your travel plans to be at the consecration we are having in Kuala Lumpur? We want to demonstrate that we are not in Communion with TEC, but we are in Communion with the ACNA. If you can get here, we’d like to make your visit highly visible.”
I was able to change my itinerary and arrived in time to participate in the Consecration including the laying on of hands for Charles Samuel, consecrated as Assistant Bishop for the Panang district of the Diocese of West Malaysia.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary - Anglican: Latest News Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby --Rowan Williams Episcopal Church (TEC) Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Listen to it all (the clip lasts just over 9 minutes).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
9th October 2014
Though our contexts vary in our different parts of the globe, the heart of our calling is to share the transforming love of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We celebrate that the Anglican Church in North America shares in that same mission and purpose. We and our Provinces will continue to share in Gospel work together, and pledge our continued partnership with the Anglican Church in North America to pursue the work of Christ.
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Chairman of the Anglican Global South; Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa; President Bishop of the Anglican Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala
Archbishop and Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans
The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh
Archbishop, Primate, and Metropolitan of All Nigeria, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Vice-Chairman of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali
Archbishop and Primate of Uganda; Bishop of Kampala
The Most Rev. Dr. Onesphore Rwaje
Archbishop and Primate of Rwanda; Bishop of the Diocese of Kigali
The Most Rev. Stephen an Myint Oo
Archbishop of Myanmar; Global Trustee of The Anglican Relief and Development Fund
The Most Rev. Hector (Tito) Zavala
Archbishop of the Southern Cone and Bishop of Chile
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Other recent related posts:
Archbishop Venables’ Message and Greetings from Pope Francis to Archbishop Foley [Transcript] - October 14, 2014
Prebendary Charles Marnham’s Greetings from the UK and Ireland to Archbishop Foley [Transcript] - October 13, 2014
Phil Ashey: Anglicanism at Its Best - October 10, 2014
WCC staff member appointed Unity, Faith and Order Director for the Anglican Communion - October 10, 2014
[Anglican Ink] ACNA is Anglican - October 10, 2014
(Anglican Ink) Papal greetings for newest ACNA Leader Foley Beach - October 10, 2014
A Local Paper article on ACNA, Anglicanism+Archbishop Justin Welby’s recent interview - October 10, 2014
The Investiture Sermon of new ACNA Leader Foley Beach - October 10, 2014
The Investiture of Foley Beach as new ACNA leader on Thursday Evening - October 9, 2014
Phil Ashey: Anglican Identity? Canterbury’s loss, not ours - October 8, 2014
Mark Thompson: Who or what defines the Anglican Communion? - October 8, 2014
All About Canterbury [Video] - October 8, 2014
(ACNS) Abp Welby: “Next Lambeth Conference a decision for the primates” - October 6, 2014
(Anglican Ink) Has Archbishop Welby buried the instruments of Anglican unity? - October 4, 2014
The Audio Link to the Full Interview of Justin Welby by Canon Ian Ellis of the C of I Gazette - October 4, 2014
(David Ould) Diocese of NW Australia Recognises ACNA as Anglicans - October 4, 2014
(Telegraph) Tim Walker—Archbishop Justin Welby snubs the Royal College of Organists - October 3, 2014
Archbishop Justin Welby sends good wishes for Yamim Nora’im - October 2, 2014
Archbp Justin Welby—Survivors of abuse are never the ones to blame - October 1, 2014
[Note: On 25th May Archbishop Greg and Sylvia Venables surprised intruders in their house who savagely beat and kicked him. Pope Francis phoned to see how they were]
Well I do want to assure you all, that I’m very much alive. [Applause]
And so is Sylvia, who is down at the ends of the earth where it’s been our privilege for many years to serve God and of course she sends her warm greetings to you Foley, and to your precious family this evening. She says to tell you, darling, (addressing Archbishop Foley’s wife, Allison) to follow the advice she was given when she began to walk with me many years ago. It was a hymn with two words: Go on go on go on go on – Go on go on go on – Go on go on – Go on go on – Go on go on go on, and there are I forget how many verses. [laughter] So darling, go on!
Can I say also that it is a wonderful privilege: when we began this whole process, many of you here will remember when this was, some of you didn’t have white hair in those days and I had some hair.
And today we are celebrating that not only am I still very much alive, but the Anglican Church is still very much alive! [Applause]
This is a celebration of true Anglicanism, and remember what Foley said earlier on this evening: this evening, meeting in this place is the majority of the Anglican Communion. This evening here the vast majority of the Anglican Communion is represented, because the vast majority of the Anglican Communion: believe that the word of God is true; believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God; and believe that he is our only hope as we move forward. Amen [Applause]
Now I am here also this evening as a messenger, and I will try and fulfil my responsibility as well as I can and as briefly as I can...
When I was nearly dead, in May, as some of you might have heard, and I was lying there wondering if I ever wanted to be alive again, the phone rang. And I picked the phone up and said [I’ll do this in English, it’ll be easier for most of you] – I said: “Hello”
And a voice said: “Hello, Gregory, how are you?” – not with that accent of course.
And I said: “Yeah, who is this,” and he said: “Francis”.
And I was thinking, Francis, Francis, Francis: “Francis who?” – and he..[laughter]
And he said with a wonderful degree of humility and patience which marks him as many of you now know: “No, it’s Father Jorge” – Father George.
Now many of you know that in Argentina up until last year we had a very, very, very wonderful personal and close working relationship with Cardinal Bergoglio. It was our joy and privilege to work with him and walk together with him in the Gospel, because our brother is a Bible-believing, born again, Christ-centered Christian.
And he has asked me this evening, in fact he wrote to me just a few days ago and said: when you go to the United States, please in my name give my personal congratulations and greetings to Archbishop Foley and assure him of my prayers and support at this moment and in the future as he leads the church in this very important moment of revival and mission.
So if you will come and stand here, I’ve got to do this the way we do it in Argentina: God bless you. [passes on greeting to Archbishop Foley]
Thank you very much
Archbishop Gregory Venables has served as Primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone and is Bishop of Argentina
Firstly from the Executive of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in the United Kingdom, that is Wales, Scotland and England – and Ireland too. [laughter] They are not part of the United Kingdom - Northern Ireland is – my wife is Northern Irish. The Primates of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans recognises this regional body as the expression of orthodox Anglicanism in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
I have been asked Secondly to bring the greetings and prayers of the Executive of the Church of England Evangelical Council, whose existence owed much to the late Dr John Stott.
And Thirdly the recent ReNew Conference of Anglican clergy and leaders, consisting of members of three organisations: the Anglican Mission in England, which is the mission society of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans UK and Ireland, Reform and Church Society. They also wanted me to convey their good wishes at this key moment in the life of the province. You and fellow members of this province of the Anglican Church of North America should be in no doubt that you have many friends in the Church of England who admire and respect your costly, courageous and principled stand in recent years.
You have taught us valuable lessons as we respond to the challenges of a collapsing culture in the United Kingdom both within and outside the Church...
Outside the Church the redefinition of marriage by a government without a manifesto commitment or mandate caused a great shock, not only within the Christian community, but wider nationally.
Within the Church of England the Pilling Report recently submitted to General Synod of which I am a member, recommended that the subject of sexuality be addressed through facilitated discussions. However it states that it has not found the arguments from Scripture, theology, science or social trends to be conclusive, either for or against the Church’s current teaching.
In his minority dissenting report, the Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair who sends his personal greetings to you too today records that as far as the Report is concerned the jury is still out. But he wrote:
“that is a conclusion and a rationale and basis for further discussion which I do not share. No one who reads the signs of the times will be reassured that the foundations are secure as the tectonic plates are already shifting.”
We have learnt at least two valuable lessons from you:
In particular, ‘united we stand, divided we fall’. We can spend a great deal of wasted effort focussing on where we disagree. It is Satan’s best weapon. You are here today because you have worked so hard on maintaining unity. I am encouraged that I have come with greetings from a number of bodies from the United Kingdom which demonstrates a greater understanding of our need for unity at this time.
The second lesson: ‘make the main thing the main thing’. Guarding the Gospel is a priority, but its twin is Proclaiming the Gospel. We note how urgent you are in mission and discipleship, and recognise that we must follow your lead.
But this is a moment of celebration, and we rejoice with you and thank God that He has brought you safely thus far. Never think for a moment that you don’t have many friends and admirers in the Church of England who hugely respect your integrity in the face of provocation and persecution.
This year marks the Centenary of the beginning of the First World War and I am reminded of the remark by Marshall Foch to Marshall Joffre during the first battle of the Marne in September 1914:
“My center is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent – I am attacking”[laughter and applause]
Our attack, if it be so called, is the message of the transforming love of God in Jesus Christ, and nothing and no one can defeat it. Archbishop Foley, may that be your constant inspiration and we will pray for you but we also ask you to pray for us.
May God bless you all. [Applause]
The Reverend Prebendary Charles Marnham is Vicar of St Michael's Chester Square in London, member of General Synod and the originator of the Alpha Course.
Pope Francis has signalled his blessing to the breakaway traditionalist American church at the centre of the split which has divided the 80 million strong worldwide Anglican Communion over the issue of sexuality.
He sent a message offering his “prayers and support” to Archbishop Foley Beach, the new leader of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the conservative movement which broke away from The Episcopal Church after the ordination of the first openly gay bishop.
His message underlines the pressure facing the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, as he attempts to avert a formal schism in worldwide Anglicanism.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Francis
Pope Francis has communicated his personal greetings and blessings for the new ministry of the Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America [ACNA].
Speaking to the congregation of over 1500 gathered at the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta on 9 Oct 2014 for the installation of Archbishop Beach as leader of the ACNA, the Anglican Bishop of Argentina, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Venables stated that he had received a telephone call last week from "Fr Jorge", the former Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Bergoglio -- now Pope Francis. Bishop Venables noted that he had long had a warm personal relationship with Pope Francis from his days as leader of the Argentine Catholic Church, and added Anglicans should rejoice in the current occupant of the chair of St Peter as he was a "Bible-believing, born again Christian."
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In essence, [Justin] Welby's comments have re-stirred a critical question: Is being Anglican about being in communion with Caterbury, or is it about holding certain shared theological views?
Wood noted that Welby also said in the interview, "There is no Anglican Pope," and that "decisions are made collectively and collegially."
"The status of the ACNA within the Anglican Communion would, by extension of the same logic, be dependent upon the decisions of the primates and not solely upon the personal opinion Archbishop Justin," [Steve] Wood said.
Read it all.
What is the kind of Church that He wants us to be? I’m sure there are many things we could say in answer to this question, but I am going to have the audacity to use an historic term to help us move forward together in the power of the Holy Spirit, as we seek to make the Father famous, and glorify Jesus Christ.
I will call these the “Four Marks of Continuing a Spirit-filled Movement” or rather “Four Marks of Modern Anglicanism.”
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With many thanks to Anglican TV
Read it all and note the livestream link. Also, a brief Atlanta Journal-Constitution article is there.
Two Anglican churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Christ Church Plano and All Saints Dallas, recently partnered in hosting the Rev. Canon Dr. Andrew White, Vicar of Baghdad, at their churches, raising more than $200,000 for Canon White’s ongoing missionary efforts in Iraq. “The wonderful links we have in the Anglican world brought us all together and gave the people of our two churches a common purpose: to uphold and support a vital ministry,” said the Very Rev. Canon David H. Roseberry, rector of Christ Church Plano.
Canon White is the Vicar of St. George’s Church, just outside the Green Zone, in Baghdad, Iraq. This congregation is the only remaining Anglican church in the country. He is also the President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which promotes peaceful relations and mutual respect amongst religious groups and their members, as well as provides humanitarian aid and assistance to persons and communities in need.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Stewardship * International News & Commentary Middle East Iraq
The Diocese of NW Australia, meeting in synod this weekend, passed the following motion,
That this synod:
welcomes the impending investiture of the Most Reverend Dr Foley Beach, the Archbishop of The Anglican Church in North America;
recognizes the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) as a member church of the Anglican Communion, in full communion with Diocese of North West Australia; rejoices that the orthodox faith is proclaimed in word and deed through ACNA and its member churches...
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What unites members of this fledgling congregation, many of whom have migrated from evangelical Christian churches, is not necessarily ritual and dogma. It is the church's mission, based on a passage from the Book of Jeremiah, to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city" in which they live.
"What draws them together is the love of the neighborhood, and the desire to be in mission here," said Ryan Boettcher, one of Christ Redeemer's three lay pastors, who lives in Riverwest with his wife and infant son. "There's this community vision that our welfare as a church is so tied to the neighborhood that, unless our neighborhood is flourishing, we can't see our church as flourishing."
Christ Redeemer, which has grown to about 45 families, worships in rented space at the Holton Youth + Family Center, at 510 E. Burleigh St. It is one of about 500 new churches planted by the Anglican Church in North America...
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[...]There is nowhere in the Church where there is more vulnerability for the Gospel to be undermined than in the Anglican Communion. Certainly, there are other churches and denominations where the historic faith has been more fully and formally abandoned by the official decisions of institutional leadership, but the current vulnerability in the Anglican Communion is that the historic faith and Gospel commitment which has driven missionary zeal and Biblical fidelity for centuries is being de-emphasized in order to “get along.”
Right now, there are countless initiatives at the institutional level to attempt to convince people that the “cut-glass crystal punch bowl” is so beautiful that when it is polished, preserved, and appreciated the recipe of the punch it contains is unimportant. The challenge, however, is how much adulteration to the punch is acceptable. I addressed the House of Bishops in one of our Anglican Provinces and pointed out that the soup that was being made (to switch metaphors) has lovely carrots, beautiful potatoes, succulent chicken, and tasty broth. “How much manure can be added to the soup before you no longer can consume it and stay healthy?” I asked them. Not surprisingly, they did not want to have any manure added to the soup, and yet, quite a number of them were participating in conferences sponsored by liberal entities that completely undermined the Gospel, replacing it with institutional focus and uncritical acceptance of sin.
While I was tremendously excited at the selection of Justin Welby as the Archbishop of Canterbury, and had hoped and prayed for his selection believing that he was the best of the available candidates, I have been concerned at what appears to be a perspective that everything can be reconciled with everything else. While most relational disruptions can be reconciled, theological positions are another matter. It is impossible, for example, for the position “Jesus is Lord of all” to be reconciled with “Jesus is not Lord of all.” While theological disagreements may not seem to be that stark, it is precisely that revelation that is at stake in the Anglican Communion. The Lordship of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture, and how He viewed Scriptural authority is very much in play.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture
ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has called for special prayer this Sunday, August 24, for those suffering in Iraq and Syria, and the ACNA has put together a special prayer resource.
The short prayer service includes: A responsive reading from Psalm 83; An Opening Prayer; Time for personal or corporate prayer (with optional prayers provided) and a Closing Prayer.
The optional suggested prayers include prayers: For Our Enemies, For Muslims, Against Evil, Against Jihad, For Those Martyred, For the Church Catholic
You can find Archbishop Foley's exhortation here
The prayer resource is available as a PDF file or as Word Doc. Please pray and please share this widely! The elves
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Spirituality/Prayer * International News & Commentary Middle East Iraq Syria * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam Muslim-Christian relations Religious Freedom / Persecution * Resources & Links
The YouTube link is here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained
Here is the YouTube link should you need it.
UPDATE: There is an excerpt of a letter from Archbishop Beach at the ACNA website which explains a bit more about these appointments.
[H/T to Pat Dague at Transfigurations]
Here's an excerpt:
Jacob: “How would you define the “Anglican identity”? What does ACNA distinctively have to offer both Christians and non-Christians in America? Should Anglicans have more of a “confessional” identity? Is the new catechism an attempt to develop a more confessional identity, especially given Dr. Packer’s recommendation to teach it in ACNA parishes at the Provincial Assembly?”
o Abp. Beach: “Let me answer that last question first. I think a lot of us get in trouble when we think we have the Anglican identity, because we’re a diverse lot. From our formation days back in the Reformation, we’ve been a diverse group. Currently – and this is something I think that’s very distinctive about who we are – we are a group that is Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, and Charismatic. Some call that the ‘Three Streams,’ and that’s a simple way of explaining it. But, even some of our most Anglo-Catholic folks would be more charismatic than I am. All of us tend to have those three streams somewhere in our mix. I think that’s very unique for American Christianity today. All of us have our core; my core would be evangelical. Although I have the other two pieces, my core or default is evangelical. But, these streams enable us to bring the richness of the breadth of Christianity, and it’s truly powerful when these streams are together.
Jacob: “Should Anglicans have more of a “confessional” identity? Is the new catechism an attempt to develop a more confessional identity, especially given Dr. Packer’s recommendation to teach it in ACNA parishes at the Provincial Assembly?”
o Abp. Beach: “Anglicans are pretty confessional already. If you say Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, we confess the Apostles’ Creed. On Sundays, we confess the Nicene Creed. The Anglican Church in North America is a product of the Jerusalem Declaration, which is a very confessional statement. I would say we’re already very confessional. The purpose of the catechism is to introduce Christianity to a culture that is no longer a Christian culture, and the intent is to bring the basic teaching of the faith this culture.”
Jacob: “Does this catechism represent a more ‘missional outlook,’ would you say?”
o Abp. Beach: “More than any other catechism we’ve had in history, our catechism very missional. All of the other catechisms were written for cultures that were already Christian. Ours begins by describing how you even become a Christian. And then, all throughout it, there are references to the faith and prayers to pray. With the online version, there will be links to deeper articles. Again, the intent is to be missional. But at the same time, we want Anglicans to be disciples. We want Anglicans who understand not only what we believe, but why we believe it.”
Read the full interview at Juicy Ecumenicism
Archbishop Foley Beach: I think first of all we should respect the See of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Canterbury. I would say though, history in a few weeks, months, maybe the next year or so – what’s happening in the Church of England I’m not sure we want to be in communion with just to be honest with you, and so.. [large and long applause]. As I have expressed it to folks in our diocese, we are in communion with 50 million of the 70 million Anglicans around the world, and if Canterbury chooses to recognise us - I mean I hope that will happen one day - I am not going to do anything to stop that from happening - but that’s not the goal – our mission is to reach people for Jesus Christ, and we’ve got to stay focused on that
AB Beach: Let us pray together please:
Father, we ask in Jesus’ name that you would use this time for your glory; that you would give us better insight and understanding on your church and what you are doing in our lives together. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Before I say a few words I wanted to introduce my wife, Allison. Many of you have seen her around. Allison and I have been married 31 years and we have 2 children. James is 25 years old and is a senior at an American university getting his masters in International Relations and Arabic; and our daughter is getting ready to be 23 and she is entering the University of Georgia to get her masters in Children’s Literacy. And so we are very blessed to have a wonderful family. Allison, do you want to say anything?
Allison Beach: I just thank God for you all and I thank you for the prayers that we already feel. You know there is so much power in prayer and this is a high calling and a high privilege and you all are right there with us and we thank you for what you are going to do for this whole movement to grow closer to the Lord and to bring others to Him. And I just thank you and we both thank you from the bottom of our hearts for what you are doing.
AB Beach: Thanks [Applause]
I thought I would begin by just telling you just a little bit about myself, so that you kind of know some of my history. People keep saying, ‘we don’t know anything about you.’
I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and was living what I thought was a normal childhood until about age 8 when...
my dad happened to be home one day, when I got home. I rode my bike home back from school. Yes back in those days we could ride our bikes as an 8 year old to school. And he was in the little garage area where we would park our bicycles, and he said, “I need to talk to you.” And he began to share that he and my mother were going to have a divorce and that he would be leaving. And of course, I was devastated, didn’t quite understand what was going on. Later I did some study and discovered that my mother had been running around sleeping with all kinds of men – she had issues with alcohol – and he just couldn’t take it any more.
Well back then the courts always gave custody to the mother and so my five brothers and sisters went to live with her, and she immediately got involved, at that time in the culture, the drug movement and the hippy movement [you all remember the wildness of the late 60’s] swept through our town, and my mother became what you would call a hippy. Some of you all may remember that, some of you may not remember that, but you should remember that.
And for the next five years, four and a half years or so, we moved all over the place. I went to five different elementary schools, and it wasn’t uncommon to have people doing drugs in our house or I would go to bed at night and some stranger would be in my bed - I had no idea who they were. I remember one time in the fifth grade, we lived in an apartment and it had a screen porch, and so I went to the hardware store and bought some plastic and a staple gun and stapled up the screen so it wouldn’t go to the outside, put a little heater in there and I made that my bedroom because things were so wild in the house.
I was pretty much a street kid on the streets of Atlanta, rode the bus everywhere, had no supervision. But somehow in the midst of that God protected me. On my 12th birthday [and I now view that as a birthday present from God], my mother was arrested for selling drugs: narcotics and for harbouring runaways was the charge, and my younger sisters and I went to live with DFACS [Division of Family and Children Services] for a while until my dad was given custody. As part of the custody deal we were not allowed to see our mother for the next five years, it was in the court order.
So I went to live with my father and all of a sudden I had somebody buying me clothes. I didn’t have to baby-sit to earn money to have things I wanted. The food was good and I got haircuts. I mean it was just a whole different world.
And he was involved in the Baptist Church, and so we started going to church on Sundays. And I remember going to youth camp, and sitting around the camp fire and the associate pastor was preaching, and he was talking about Hell and what Jesus did for us on the cross. And of course, I didn’t want to go to Hell, so I asked Jesus into my life, and it was a real meaningful experience.
Then High School hit – and nobody ever explained to me that my relationship with the Lord is supposed to grow – and I was not discipled - and so on Sunday morning I would be in church; during the week I would be just like everybody else – the perfect chameleon.
Then I got involved, someone invited me to the Ministry of Young Life and I began to go to Young Life meetings. And I remember during my senior year, a Young Life leader getting up [we had become very good friends] and he gave a talk which basically said something like this: he said our life is like a chest of drawers, and in your chest you have your school drawer, your religious drawer, your family drawer, your party drawer, your dating drawer, your working drawer, your athletic drawer, all these. And I remember thinking, yeah, that’s me – I’m well balanced, I’ve got all these different drawers. [laughter]. And he goes on to say: what most people do is they put God in a drawer marked ‘religious’ – and when they want him around they open the drawer, and when they don’t they close the drawer. He said, ‘God doesn’t want to be put in a drawer, he wants the whole chest’. And that got me – and he began to talk about Jesus being Lord and what that meant – and that got my head spinning because he was describing me perfectly.
A few weeks later a friend of mine invited me to spend the night at his house, and that Sunday we went to his church. And the Pastor preached a sermon and I still remember the title and the details. It was called Jesus Christ: the Lord or my Lord. And the first part of the sermon was all about the lordship of Jesus being lord of creation and lord of the earth and lord of the heavens and all these aspects of the lordship of Jesus. And then last part was what it meant to have him as my lord, my boss, the one driving the car of my life.
And I realised at that point that yes, I had asked Jesus into my life, but He was not my lord - I was. I was in charge of my life.
So that night I went home and I got down by my bed and knelt, and I said: ‘Lord, I just surrender it to you. I want you to truly be my Lord’. Now I didn’t have a lightening bold experience, but all of a sudden when I would read the Bible, it would speak to me. When I would pray, I didn’t feel like my prayers were bouncing off the ceiling. And then I had this incredible peace, which I now know is that ‘Peace of God which passes all understanding’. That Peace just was always with me. That began a journey that has just been an incredible, incredible journey.
So before I go any further, we have been talking a lot about conversion and compassion and courage this week, and if you are here this week and you have never experienced conversion, please don’t leave here without bending the knee of your heart and allowing Jesus to come into your life and to forgive you of your sins, please don’t do that.
Well during College, I got involved in the ministry of Young Life. And Young Life began to form me, shape me, disciple me, teach me how to live the life of a Christian, but also how to do ministry. And after four years of, really five years of doing that, a search committee approached me from the Cathedral of St Philip in Atlanta, Georgia, that is a very large Episcopal Church there, asking me to be their youth pastor. Well, I am still a Baptist at this point [laughter], but I went through the interviewing process and they wanted to hire me. And so in my final interview with the Dean of the Cathedral, David Collins, he was all excited about me being willing to come and he finally said: ‘well do you have any questions for me?’ And I said: “well does it bother you that you have a Baptist working as your youth pastor?” He said: “No, we are looking for God’s person, and God’s person may not be an Episcopalian.” Well I was just stunned at that kind of freedom in the Spirit to be open to what God was going to do.
Well, I served there for seven years. After three years I was confirmed, with the confirmation class that I taught. [laughter] But in that process I really felt God calling me into the Anglican world, it was just so many things worked together to do that.
But I remember when we had confirmation classes with the kids, we would ask them who their godparents were because we would want to get them involved in the process of their confirmation. And so it comes time for my confirmation and I’ve got godparents, but because of my childhood, I didn’t know them. And so after a few calls I discovered that as a child, as a baby, I had been baptised in the Episcopal Church, in a church in Atlanta, and so it is like God did this circle, and brought me home.
I can now look back at my childhood and see how wherever we were living, something drew me to a church. I can’t explain why, it is varieties of types of churches, but wherever we were moving, I would take my younger sisters and we would go to church.
How are we doing on time? I’ve got to leave some time for questions. OK a few more things:
I went to the University of the South for cemetery [laughter]. It took about three years to recover, but praise the Lord he taught me a lot while I was there. When I graduated seminary, the bishop said: “Foley, if you are willing, I am willing to send you as a deacon in charge, until you are ordained a priest to this little church out in Monroe, Georgia.’ I think he was thinking: ‘you know, he will be out of my hair out there and won’t bother me.’ And so I agreed to do that and we were there about eleven years. And we had a fun time taking a small little parish in a rural area that was quickly becoming suburban and watching the Lord transform lives and change things.
Then 2003 hit, and the events of the Episcopal Church General Convention that year and our church was really devastated. And I remember running one night after that decision and I know you are going to think this is crazy but I was wrestling with: Lord, what do we do Sunday? What’ll I tell the people? Because they felt like their church had been taken from them; that the church that they grew up in no longer existed. And so what came to me was, do the burial office for The Episcopal Church – and so I did [laughter and clapping] and the press here, you all don’t have to advertise that please. But we did the liturgy with the Pascal candle and all and it was so cathartic that the Holy Spirit was so powerful it ministered – because of the grieving people felt. And by the way they did change their name after that - I don’t know those who know that, they actually did.
For the next four months I was so booked with weddings and speaking events that I really couldn’t decide what to do, so we put our church in a prayer-mode. We asked folks to just seek the Lord, we did some teaching, but after Christmas that year was the first time I was really able to put some serious thought and prayer as to what Foley Beach is supposed to do. And so I had a prayer retreat scheduled, and I hadn’t been with the Lord 15 minutes and it was just clear – I knew I could not stay, I would lose my soul if I continued to do ministry under that authority.
And so I knew I had to go, but I did not know where - and a few days later I was invited to a dinner at a friend’s house and two folks were there, Bill Atwood who many of you know, and David Anderson. And I was sharing with them my dilemma and they said something like this:
‘Let us suggest something to you new. The Primates had met in emergency session and offered overseas Primates to do emergency pastoral temporal care, something to that effect, for folks in the States. What about going under Bolivia?’
And so in a few minutes we had the Bishop of Bolivia on the phone. He interviewed me, I interviewed him, and in a few days I was canonically resident in the Diocese of Bolivia under the Southern Cone. [Applause]
I stood up at our church a few weeks later and resigned. I didn’t ask anybody to come with me. I basically told folks it was their decision before the Lord what they should do: some would be called to be a part of this; some would not. And then when we has our organisational meeting when 154 folks showed up, I knew at that point we were going to have a church, I’d have a job, the Lord was going to do wonderful things and the rest is history.
I’ve only got 10 minutes left, so that is enough of my story. I am just so grateful for the Lord - what he has done in my life, and how he has used us all together to begin to transform North America.
Let’s just open this up for questions, we have a couple of mics here and I will see if anyone would like to ask me anything before I run out of time. Anybody?
Question: Where did you meet your wife?
AB Beach: Where did I meet my wife – very good. Well one of my best friends from high school I prayed with him to receive Christ, in a bar just before he went off to college at the University of Georgia. And he became involved in ministry leadership there. Well Allison came to know the Lord at the University of Georgia and got involved in his ministry. So she graduates and is looking for something to do and she wanted to do youth ministry.
So he sent her my way, and so we actually met when she showed up to do a training thing I was doing for leaders, for high school kids. The next part of that story is the kids ended up setting us up on our first date [laughter] – and we actually doubled on our first date with a couple in the youth group which is kind of bizarre, but its – yes.
Question from Debbie Colgard from the Diocese of Western Anglicans: Looking forward in the next five years, how would you, what’s your vision for the role of the laity in our churches?
AB Beach: Laity is the key. If you guys aren’t doing the ministry we are in trouble and so it’s a great question. I could give a 30 minute talk on the importance of lay ministry. I’m going to do my best to build on what we have, but to see how dioceses can equip congregations to empower the laity to do the ministry. That’s the key – I mean you guys are out in the market place – you guys are out in the schools and the communities to be able to reach people. What happens to too many of us clergy is we get insulated by Christian people all the time, our members – you guys are the key to winning North America for Jesus Christ, so laity are important.
Question from Mr David Virtue, Virtue Online: Archbishop Foley, the Archbishop of Canterbury steadfastly refuses to recognise the ACNA, however you are recognised by the GAFCON Primates, especially the Primate of Nigeria the largest province of the Anglican Communion. What do you see or how do you think that log-jam is going to break or will it break in the coming months or years? Clearly you are growing, TEC is dying, so what do you see as the way forward with the Archbishop of Canterbury in the light of the recognition by the GAFCON Primates?
Archbishop Foley Beach: I think first of all we should respect the See of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Canterbury. I would say though, history in a few weeks, months, maybe the next year or so – what’s happening in the Church of England I’m not sure we want to be in communion with just to be honest with you, and so.. [large and long applause]. As I have expressed it to folks in our diocese, we are in communion with 50 million of the 70 million Anglicans around the world, and if Canterbury chooses to recognise us - I mean I hope that will happen one day - I am not going to do anything to stop that from happening - but that’s not the goal – our mission is to reach people for Jesus Christ, and we’ve got to stay focused on that. [Applause] Thank you:
Question: My name is Mimi, I’m here with Greenhouse movement with Father William Beazley. It’s my first time here actually and it is a privilege to be here. Just looking around this room and this week I’ve noticed that there is a lack of more diversity in terms of demographics, in terms of the ethnicity and race which I understand is part of the ACNA just in America. My question is: what are we doing as the Anglican Church in North America to bring more diversity in terms of age group, demographics, social economic class, ethnicity, race and things like that?
AB Beach: In order to be more diverse, really to me the key is – I mean let me back up: This church has been awesome with missions, and we are going to continue to emphasise missions, but God has brought the mission field to our countries – and in every urban area, now even many rural areas, people from all over the world have come here, so we have got to send folks into those groups to love them, to care for them, to serve them, to lead them to the Lord, and start churches in those areas. So to me that is going to be the key, is to go where people are, build relationships with them and serve them and lead them to Jesus. So that is what I am going to be about or at least trying to do. Thank you.
Question from Canon Norman Beale, Jurisdiction of Armed Forces and Chaplaincy: You have given us the perfect segue to my question which is: Tell us about your vision for the work of missions beyond the borders of Canada and the United States?
AB Beach: Well first of all I want to stay out of the way. I mean there are such good things happening right now I don’t want to mess it up. But I would like to be a catalyst and a spark to help things even get better. I think that working with our global Anglican partners, especially the GAFCON Primates, what they need there in their countries, we can be doing wonderful things to assist them.
But then there’s all these people groups that haven’t been met, and there are some tremendous ministries that are doing that and I think we ought to have our people involved. There’s even now an incredible mission ministry online called Global Media Outreach, I believe it is, and literally millions of people are being exposed to the Gospel through internet technology. And we ought to have online missionaries, these folks who can’t get out of their house, they can sit in front of their computer screen for a couple of hours and disciple new believers in other parts of the world. There’s just incredible things happening that I think we ought to be supportive of – the potential is wonderful so I don’t know if that helps with your answer
Canon Beale: Thank you
Question from a member of the Diocese of the Mid Atlantic: As you look at the next five years what are you most excited about … and what do you see as the biggest challenge?
AB Beach: Well, I need to say this too, I have been the Archbishop-elect, five days – four days – so much is coming at me. First of all, I think it is exciting for me personally to be a part of such a wonderful movement. I think this Anglican movement is going to reach a lot further and a lot deeper than most of us realise, so I am very excited about that. I’m excited about the young people. There’s some tremendous things happening with young people but the challenge, and this is a real challenge, as I go around the churches and visit, I don’t see too many children in a lot of places, or teenagers.
So how are we going to reach children and teenagers? Some places are doing it well, but a lot of places there are none. So that is going to be a tremendous challenge.
I’m not so much worried about the unity thing that gets worked up in the press all the time because I have been walking with these bishops, and I see their heart, and I see their love for the Lord, and I see a commitment to keep this thing going and to work. So I am not worried about that – it’s going to be a challenge because we do have differences on a lot of things but we are in the same stream and we are all going in the same direction. We may not be in the same part of the stream but we are in the stream.
Question from Matt Webb, Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic: Who are your Christian heroes, particularly from the past?
AB Beach: Wow. Obviously Wilberforce, Nicholas Ridley, Latimer, [John] Chrysostom, one who doesn’t get a lot of credit is E.M. Bounds – he wrote a lot of books on prayer, and that’s really affected me – that’s just scratching the surface.
Question from Thomas Mackenzie, Nashville, Tennessee: I want to first of all just testify that you are looking at a wonderful pastor in Foley Beach [AB Beach: thank you]. My question is, there is some anxiety about women’s ordination and I just wondered if you would like to make a comment about what would you say to that anxiety?
AB Beach: ‘Be anxious for nothing for .. with everything’ – Philippians 4. I don’t want to be flippant but as I shared with David Virtue, I approach this from really three different perspectives. One is from the College of Bishops, we have put a process in place and I don’t feel called to usurp that process and force things. We are going to let that unfold, and part of that process is it goes to the GAFCON Primates who, their theological committee on all of this, and they are divided on it too. And so it is an issue that is not going to go away real quickly. The whole Anglican Communion is divided on it.
From a personal perspective what I have tried to say to folks is we need to.. Well first of all, where I’m at, I do not ordain women to the presbyterate, I just make that clear so everybody who doesn’t know that knows now. But for the people on the other side of that issue, for me I feel we need to honor them and respect them and treat them royally. We do not need to be doing this to each others [hits his fists against each other]. I’ve often when asked about this, and I am not going to embarrass folks in front of you all, but when I am asked about this I will quote other bishops in the college, their name, and how I respect them and honor them and some of them are my heroes literally but we are on different places on this - and I am not going to let it divide fellowship, or break fellowship with them because we disagree on that issue. We have agreed to disagree.
And then there is just one last thing. When I signed up to be part of the ACNA I knew that in the Constitution it said each diocese would have its own policy on this and so I knew that there would be people that would disagree. Where we end up down the road I don’t know but that is the framework I am coming into this with – that there are Godly people on the other side of the issue from me.
I am out of time and so I hate to stop us here, we are just getting interesting but let me close us with a prayer and then I would like us to go quickly because we only have a few minutes before the service starts.
Anglicans seem to be hopeful about their flocks in the United States, even if the warring factions in their Communion keep moving further and further apart.
That was a common theme in two upbeat recent sermons preached by leaders in the progressive and orthodox Anglican bodies now competing in the marketplace of American religion.
In the first sermon, Father Cameron Partridge became the first openly transgender priest to preach at Washington National Cathedral. The June 22 liturgy was part of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride month....
Two days later, an archbishop on the other side of this doctrinal divide [Robert Duncan] spoke for the American Anglicans who believe they have been punished for their defense of 2,000 years of Christian orthodoxy on matters of marriage, family and sexuality.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
You have a long-running relationship with Young Life. What could an Anglican parish relationship with Young Life or similar parachurch ministries look like?
Young Life has church partnerships with congregations where they work together trying to reach high school kids in that area. The bottom line is that we can learn a lot from these people about how to reach people in that demographic. Young Life and some of these other organizations are just so skilled in how to reach the youth culture, and we’re oblivious to it.
People will tell me, “We don’t have any teenagers in our church” and don’t know how to get any. Yet there is a high school down the street with 2,000 teenagers in it and it’s like come on now, wake up, they are right there. But they don’t know how to go there and get involved in youth culture. The same could be said with children’s ministry. I think we have a lot of work to do there, and part of the role of the province is to help the dioceses be good at equipping their churches.
We have a lot to learn from parachurch ministries, and many of them theologically are right where we are and are opening to sharing ministry and doing things together.
What do you do in your spare time that is not church-related?
I run, ride a Harley, work in the yard. My son and I have taken up kiteboarding, we actually went to kiteboarding school in Honduras....
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The importance of regular, intentional, systematic teaching of the truth in our churches was underlined by Dr Jim Packer who was given a standing ovation after being introduced by Robert Duncan. It was the first time I had heard the revered theologian whose books helped form the Christian understanding of so many over the years. He famously had his licence to preach in the Church of Canada removed by Bishop Michael Ingham, one of the seismic shocks which brought about the formation of ACNA. Now in his late eighties, Packer was as sprightly as ever as he responded graciously to the standing ovation and delivered his message.
“I’m here to advocate all age catechesis as necessary for healthy church life”, began Packer...
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Back in April I posted about a friend of mine who is doing a good work over in the USA (the Pacific NW), Rev Aaron Burt of Advent Anglican. But on the other side of the USA there is another man who is doing a great work also. The Church is the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd, Binghamton.
The Rector is Rev Matt Kennedy. Matt is a bloke who is a veteran of the wars and has been at the forefront of what happens when one puts fidelity to Christ and the Scriptures before the revisionist agenda of a denomination that has jettisoned the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Several years ago Matt and his family lost their Rectory, the congregation lost their building (which The Episcopal Church sold to Muslims) and it was a very unsettling and painful time for Matt and his family and his church family. You can read Matt’s own reflection of it entitled ‘Leaving Home’ Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
But God has been (and still is) doing wonderful things! Matt’s ministry has been blessed. I have personally been very encouraged by Matt’s ministry over many years, not just from his sermons (which I watch regularly on line, but also from his writing ministry, he blogs at a website entitled Stand Firm, and he also writes a lot on Facebook (and in my view is one of the rare people who can use FB quite well to engage). So do give God thanks for Matt and his ministry, pray for him. If you are passing through Binghamton, visit his church and say ‘G’day’ (I would love to, but being on the other side of the pond makes it rather difficult). Better still, if you are looking for a church that is faithful to Christ and his Word and you live in the area, join his church.
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