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"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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The ACC broke camp today and headed south to Ngaruawahia for an audience with the Maori King.
The clouds were heavy overhead as the buses trundled towards Turangawaewae, the majestic marae on the banks of the Waikato River that is the seat of the Kingitanga.
But as the 150 or so ACC members and fellow travellers were called on to the marae for the powhiri, or ceremonial welcome, those clouds parted and the sun broke through.
Read it all.
The process for applying to be recognized as a diocese, cluster or network of the Anglican Church in North America is now available.
Recognized dioceses, clusters and networks will be able to fully participate in the inaugural convention of the Anglican Church in North this June in Bedford, Texas.
In many cases, existing groups of churches, already organized and under the authority of a bishop, will apply for recognition. Those forming new groups will need to begin the process of organizing themselves, selecting leadership and building a common life.
Read it all.
“In 2004, the standing committee had expressed support for the work of the Anglican Communion Network in providing a place within The Episcopal Church were those of a more conservative outlook could find a place of encouragement for their mission and ministry within the church,” the standing committee said. “As the Diocese of the Rio Grande looks toward the future, and particularly as it works toward electing its next bishop, the standing committee felt increasingly that the work of the Anglican Communion Network no longer served the constructive purposes hoped for in the 2004 resolution.
“The support of the Anglican Communion Network for the creation of a separate Anglican church in North America, announced on Dec. 3, served as the catalyst for the action of the standing committee at its meeting this week.”
Read it all
Delegates to the Anglican Communion Network’s fifth annual council meeting in Overland Park, Kansas, voted today to begin handing over ministries as well as financial and administrative support services to the forming Anglican Church in North America.
Network members spoke of how much the organization has meant to them since its founding in 2004. “This has been my lifeline. Without the Anglican Communion Network and you all, I don’t know what would have happened,” said Episcopal Church Bishop Jim Adams of Western Kansas.
During the approximately six months the hand over is expected to take, the Network office will continue to provide key organizational, administrative and other services for Network members and the Common Cause Partnership as it completes the creation of the Anglican Church in North America.
The hand over will not be complete until the summer of 2009. When it is complete, the Network as it is currently configured will cease operation.
Read the whole thing.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams is facing growing pressure to create a new Anglican province for conservatives after a leading evangelical was effectively defrocked in the US.
Six senior Church of England bishops have come out in support of deposed US bishop Bob Duncan, declaring themselves “deeply saddened and shocked.”
Headed by the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, the Bishops of Blackburn, Chester, Chichester, Exeter and Rochester joined in declaring their belief that the deposed Bishop of Pittsburgh remains “a bishop in good standing in the Anglican Communion.”
In an interview with The Times, the Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir-Ali said the time had now come for Dr Williams to create a new province for conservatives in the US.
Another senior bishop, a former primate of the Southern Cone province in Latin America, also wrote an open letter to Dr Williams demanding the immediate suspension of The Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion and for the recognition of a new conservative province.
Read it all.
It does not lay out a timeline or suggest a new way forward to unifying the Anglican Communion around the mainstream Christian consensus on issues of human sexuality. Instead, it offers general support for ongoing initiatives that were first suggested in the 2004 Windsor Report and subsequent meetings of the primates of the Anglican Communion, such as the Anglican Communion Covenant and the proposed moratoria on same sex blessings, the election of bishops in same-sex relationships, and bishops taking foreign parishes and dioceses into their churches.
The indaba document also expresses general support for the creation of the latest in a long line of committees and commissions intended to offer some relief to faithful Anglicans who have been forced into conflict or have had to leave their dioceses or national churches. This latest effort, called the “Pastoral Forum,” has no clear timeline, authority, budget, or membership.
A number of Network bishops attended the Lambeth Conference. Writing after the conference concluded, Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina stated, “I had come to speak a word of hope and perhaps to intervene on behalf of our beloved, but in the last resolve the family refused the long needed measures.”
Read it all.
We, as the Bishops and elected leaders of the Common Cause Partnership (CCP) are deeply grateful for the Jerusalem Declaration. It describes a hopeful, global Anglican future, rooted in scripture and the authentic Anglican way of faith and practice. We joyfully welcome the words of the GAFCON statement that it is now time ‘for the federation currently known as the Common Cause Partnership to be recognized by the Primates Council.’
The intention of the CCP Executive Committee is to petition the Primates Council for recognition of the CCP as the North American Province of GAFCON on the basis of the Common Cause Partnership Articles, Theological Statement, and Covenant Declaration, and to ask that the CCP Moderator be seated in the Primate’s Council.
We accept the call to build the Common Cause Partnership into a truly unified body of Anglicans. We are committed to that call. Over the past months, we have worked together, increasing the number of partners and authorizing committees and task groups for Mission, Education, Governance, Prayer Book & Liturgy, the Episcopate, and Ecumenical Relations. The Executive Committee is meeting regularly to carry forward the particulars of this call. The CCP Council will meet December 1–3, 2008.
Read it all.
Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of The Common Cause Partnership (CCP), appointed a “Collegiate Vicar” for The Association of Western Anglican Congregations. The decision was announced to the Western Anglicans House of Delegates meeting in Newport Beach today. As the Collegiate Vicar, The Rev. Bill Thompson, Rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Long Beach, California, will serve as an ambassadorial link between Western Anglicans — a cluster of 21 orthodox Anglican congregations in Southern California and Arizona — and the Common Cause Partnership (CCP).
“The appointment of the Collegiate Vicar is a wonderful step in the process of unifying orthodox Anglican believers in North America,” said Ron Speers, Western Anglicans President. “We are modeling at the grass roots what CCP is doing at the national and international level.” Thus far Western Anglican member congregations have canonical ties to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America, The Anglican Province of Uganda, and The Reformed Episcopal Church. All Common Cause Partners churches in the region, whatever their jurisdiction, are invited to participate.
Read it all.
In July 2003, I was preparing to enter seminary to study for the Episcopal priesthood. That same summer, the Episcopal diocese of New Hampshire elected a man in an openly gay relationship, Gene Robinson, as bishop. I knew the sparks were going to fly at General Convention a few months later, since the convention had to approve the election. As a “closet conservative,” I was bothered by this, quietly mind you, for fear of getting kicked out of the postulancy process. I was baffled by the lack of concern about Robinson’s consecration at my local seminary, and in the wider Episcopal church. I eventually came to the conclusion that the Episcopal church really was Protestant, and willing to “go it alone” for the sake of its own view of “social justice” (heck, the word “Protestant” was in the official name of the Episcopal church up until a few years ago…that should have been a clue). So I decided to attend local American Anglican Council gatherings, banding together with a few other traditional-minded Episcopalians in the Southern Ohio area. I made quite a few friends during this time. However, in 2004, after concluding that the “Network” of conservative Anglicans was more talk than action, more process than result, I finally became open to the Catholic Church, and became Catholic in August of 2004. Almost five years later, it is interesting to see where everybody in our original group of orthodox Southern Ohio Episcopalians has ended up...
Read it all--another from the long list of should-have-already-been-posted material--KSH.
The Memo is a regrettable effort to justify the unjustifiable. No right thinking person will be taken in by it. Perhaps the Task Force could redeem its work, however, by turning the Memo into a polemic for the amendment at General Convention 2009 of Canon IV.9.2 to require only a mere majority of those present and voting to consent to the deposition of a Bishop of TEC. On the other hand, simplifying the process of deposition for Bishops who disagree with the agenda of those in power may not be in the best interest of the members of the Task Force. After all, tomorrow….
Read it all.
Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, has released a short statement at the conclusion of the meeting of Network diocesan bishops in Chicago on April 24.
The diocesan bishop of every Network diocese, as well as a dean representing all the Network convocations, met together in Chicago on April 24. It was an extraordinarily productive meeting. As has happened so many times before in the Network’s five year history, deepened understanding and deeper unity, despite remarkably different contexts and strategies regarding the Episcopal Church, were the fruit of the meeting. The Network’s vision of a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism was again affirmed and embraced,” stated Bishop Duncan.
Bishop Robert Duncan requests prayers for the Anglican Province of Uganda. He received word this morning that there was a fire last night at the Buddo Girls' School in Kampala where 19 girls and two adults died. The fire appears to have been deliberately set. Mama Phoebe (wife of Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi) is presently in Virginia. They will be leaving tonight from D.C. with a 12 hour layover in London. Please pray for the families of the victims, for Mama Phoebe and the Rev. Helen, for Archbishop Henry and for all those involved.
A number of Anglican Communion Network parishes, under the care of Bishop John Guernsey, are members of the Anglican Church in the Province of Uganda.
Read it all.
“This is a bit like saying ‘you can’t quit, you’re fired!’” said the Rev. Canon Daryl Fenton, Chief Operating Officer for the Network. “It will have no practical effect on the ministry of these two godly leaders, but instead makes crystal clear the scorched earth policy that the current leadership of The Episcopal Church intends to prosecute against those who can not in good conscience follow them out of the Christian mainstream.”
“There is no question that both Bishop Cox and Bishop Schofield remain bishops in the Anglican Communion and will continue in ministry. We at the Network are thankful for their willingness to witness for the truth of the Gospel and fully intend to support them in their ongoing ministry,” he added.
The full text of the short statement is here.
Joint Statement on the Resolution of the House of Bishops
Three orthodox Anglican groups, the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Communion Network, and Forward in Faith North America, have issued a joint statement on the recently-concluded meeting of the House of Bishops in New Orleans.
The last seven days have been eventful ones for the worldwide Anglican Communion. The future of our 500 year fellowship has been focused on The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops (HOB). The worldwide Anglican Communion has been looking for clarity, praying for unity, and searching for Christ and His will in our lives. Unfortunately, the HOB has failed the Communion; their continued ambiguity, questioning of basic Christian beliefs, and rejection of obvious Scriptural teaching has widened the gap between them and biblical Christianity.
The Primates’ Dar es Salaam Communiqué required that The Episcopal Church:
# End same-sex blessings at all levels.
# Confirm that no more non-celibate homosexuals will be consecrated bishop.
# Provide alternative Primatial oversight for those who do not agree with The Episcopal Church’s leadership.
# End all lawsuits against parishes and vestries.
To our disappointment, the House of Bishops (HOB) did not meet the request but offered a carefully crafted response that appears to comply but actually maintains the status quo.
# The HOB refused to address the widespread practice of same-sex blessings. Instead, they restated their long-standing position.
# The HOB clarified Resolution B033 as applying to “non-celibate gay(s) and lesbian(s) [among others]”; however, the bishops agree only, for now, to “exercise restraint.”
# The HOB rejected the Primates’ plan for pastoral oversight and offered their own inadequate alternative.
# The HOB ignored the request to end lawsuits against parishes and vestries. To this day, churches and individuals face litigation funded by The Episcopal Church, and guided by its chancellor.
# Fully half of the response is concerned with matters not raised by the Communion that nonetheless press forward The Episcopal Church’s agenda.
We, with others gathered in Pittsburgh for the Common Cause Council of Bishops, are committed to remaining within biblical Christianity even as The Episcopal Church once again has chosen to continue on its own tragic course. We trust that in the weeks and months ahead God will guide us and the entire Anglican Communion in continuing and deepening a faithful path forward.
Posted September 26, 2007
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Organizations Anglican Communion Network Anglican Primates Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007 Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops Sept07 HoB Meeting TEC Conflicts
Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV is in Pittburgh now. He plans a live stream of the Common Cause Bishops Council tonight at 8 pm Eastern (11:00 GMT / midnight London)
Here's the post where the stream from Pittsburgh will be broadcast.
You can read about Kevin's schedule and broadcast plans here.
NOW scheduled for approx 8 p.m. eastern (not 7) since there is no wifi to enable him to broadcast live:
Update: There is no internet in the William Penn Ballroom. There is free internet in the lobby. Sssoooo, I will tape the opening address of Bishop Duncan and then run up to the lobby and broadcast it. I would imagine it would be sometime around 8:00pm.
Read it all.
To the clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth
The Realignment Moves Forward
At our Diocesan Convention in 2003, the following resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority vote of both the clergy and the lay delegates:
We declare our commitment to work with those Bishops and dioceses and those primates and Provinces that will now move forward with a realignment of the Anglican Communion; we reaffirm the authority of Holy Scripture and our intention to continue faithfully to uphold and propagate the historic Faith and Order of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church under the sovereignty of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A lot has transpired in the four years since we made that bold declaration, and a great deal has taken place just this past summer that has reinforced that firm resolve. I am pleased to report to you that the realignment of the Anglican Communion is well under way. Take for example the events of last week, when a number of the primates of Provinces of the Global South took the historic action of consecrating three American priests as bishops to provide episcopal ministry and oversight to former Episcopalians here in the States. These congregations share our commitment to the historic Faith and Order of the Church but have decided that they can no longer remain faithful Anglicans and still remain officially associated with The Episcopal Church.
As you know, in March the House of Bishops voted down a very workable proposal for alternative primatial oversight that the primates’ Meeting had offered to provide for our expressed needs, and no other alternative plan has been suggested. This resulted in the declaration that the Standing Committee and I made on May 16th that we would now have to pursue our original appeal for APO – an appeal that was supported by an overwhelming majority vote at our Diocesan Convention last year – independent of the structures of The Episcopal Church. We have had some very encouraging meetings and conversations over the summer months with a number of Bishops and dioceses and primates and Provinces that share our concerns and our commitment to Christian orthodoxy. The Archbishop of Canterbury has been kept informed of these developments. More about this will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.
One of the most encouraging signs of the realignment that is under way is the first-ever Council of Bishops of the Common Cause Partners which is to meet in Pittsburgh during the last week of September. This is a gathering of all bishops exercising active ministry within the member bodies of Common Cause.* The purpose of the meeting is to explore ways in which we can work together for a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America. I will be among some 60 bishops in attendance, as will be the newly consecrated bishops serving those congregations here in the States that are under the Provinces of Uganda and Kenya.
By the end of this month, the House of Bishops will have decided the future direction of TEC, and as a result we too will have to declare our future as a diocese. I do not expect that TEC will comply with the requests of the primates in their Dar es Salaam Communiqué. In that case, we will see further fraction and division in the Communion during the months ahead. We will then have to choose in favor of the Anglican Communion majority at the expense of our historic relationship with the General Convention Church.
Pray, my brothers and sisters, for the peace and unity of the Church. Pray that the Bishops of The Episcopal Church will turn back, even at this late hour, from the course they have been pursuing, a course that has sown seeds of discord and broken fellowship far and wide. Pray too for the leadership of this diocese as the realignment continues, that we may remain faithful to the received faith and practice of historic, biblical Christianity.
--The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
September 6, 2007
Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi will consecrate two American priests fleeing the liberal US church over a gay clergy crisis.
Nzimbi will consecrate Bill Atwood and Bill Murdoch on August 30, as assistant bishops in the province of Kenya.
This latest move will create more conservative African outposts amid the liberal American mainstream, which sparked off the divisions by its consecration of gay bishops.
"We are not undermining anybody’s authority. We are saving a situation of people who so much need us," Nzimbi told Reuters in response to criticism that African bishops were violating church rules.
Ugandan Archbishop, Mr Henry Orombi, also supported the decision.
"In Uganda, we have provided a home for refugees from Congo, Rwanda and Sudan," said Orombi, who is consecrating John Guernsey of Virginia on September 2. "Now, we are also providing a home for ecclesiastical refugees from America," he added.
Read it all.
Read it all.
Read the whole thing.
Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV is making progress getting the audio and videos from this week's Network Council meetings online. You can find those he's posted and those still yet to come here: http://www.anglicantv.org/blog/index.cfm/ACN-Meeting-2007
Here are a few of the highlights and links:
ACN Council Meeting 2007 Moderator's Address
Bishop Duncan's Monday Morning address to the gathering
ACN Council Meeting 2007 PB Venables Bible Study (#1)
++Venables' first teaching to the gathering, Monday afternoon (Abraham, Genesis 12)
ACN 2007 Final Press Conference
Tuesday afternoon's final press conference. Participants: +Duncan, +Ackerman, +Iker, +Sutton, Thompson+ (Dean of Western Convocation), ++Venables
There's more there, and more still to be posted so check it out.
And if these are a blessing to you, leave a tip for Kevin and Anglican TV if you're able!
The exercise of prudence – a virtue which I know from your writings you value highly – always involves making a judgement call. I am making such a judgement call in my Open Letter. It appears you are doing likewise when you state that after September 30, if TEC retains its status unreformed by the Primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury, then the Anglican Communion will have “morphed into another creature altogether.”
So you yourself seem prepared to set a make-or-break date for the completion of the Windsor process and the sealing of the fate of the Anglican Communion. I agree. I do not think there is anything in my Open Letter that conflicts with that timetable. I am quite content to wait until September 30 to see what happens. That date is less than two months from now, and I don’t see what further division can happen in that time anyway. What I do think we need to do is to consider the outcome that the September deadline will come and go and no decision will be made at the Communion level.
That nothing will be done seems likely from two realities: the adamantine stubbornness of the Episcopal Church hierarchy and the apparent unwillingness of the Archbishop of Canterbury to take the necessary steps to discipline it. The House of Bishops, I am sure you will agree, will not change course, even as it effuses about its desire to remain in the Communion. You may be more hopeful than I about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s taking final action after TEC has been given its full measure of indulgence. I see little evidence of willingness from his actions and statements since the February Primates’ Meeting – especially if the recent statement of Archbishop of York reflects the view at the top.
We shall know soon enough. There is nothing in my Open Letter that preempts the Windsor Report as qualified by the Primates’ Communiqué from Tanzania. There is nothing that precludes the Anglican Communion Network and Common Cause partners working within the formal structures of the Anglican Communion if the Episcopal Church walks apart; indeed, it is my hope and prayer that they may be recognized and enabled to do so.
Read it alll.
By George Conger
POISED to fracture over the thorny issue of institutional loyalty towards the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) emerged from its annual council meeting with a degree of unanimity and confidence not seen since the aftermath of the Gene Robinson consecration in 2003.
As the Sept 30 deadline for the US House of Bishops to respond to the Dar es Salaam communiqué approaches, the ACN voted not to take precipitous action and to wait upon the direction of the Primates of the Anglican Communion.
The Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Gregory Venables challenged the delegates ‘not to hold back’ challenging them to choose between a ‘Christian church or a comfortable church.’
He said he had ‘dealt eyeball to eyeball’ with the leaders of the American church and had ‘no illusions’ left. But encouraged their resolve saying, “It ain’t us who left it. We are the Anglicans.”
While the conservative group’s financial position remains precarious and its members face increasing legal and canonical pressure from hostile dioceses and the national church in New York, the factional differences that seemed ready to split the coalition were overcome and a late night compromise reached between those seeking to stay and those seeking to quit the Episcopal Church.
The meeting opened with a somber presentation from the ACN’s moderator, Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan on the state of the Episcopal Church. Seventeen ACN leaders, including four bishops, had quit the Episcopal Church in the past year he said.
Speaking at times directly to the video cameras broadcasting the proceedings to viewers watching on the internet, Bishop Duncan argued that the Episcopal Church was bound for Hell.
He also chided the Archbishop of Canterbury, saying Dr Williams’ efforts had been ineffectual.
The crisis of faith and order within the Church had ‘tested’ the Anglican Communion, he said.
Some had concluded the Anglican Communion was ‘finished’, but he believed the ‘vision of the Anglican Reformation’ was still possible but ‘requires new ecclesiastical structures.’
The ‘American Province’ of the Anglican Communion “is lost, and something will have to replace it,” the Pittsburgh Bishop said. The Episcopal Church’s property litigation campaign showed ‘they were taking their stuff to Hell.’
“Never ever had Dr Williams spoken on behalf of the orthodox,” Bishop Duncan said, adding that his ‘voice has not been used for the things of the Communion.’
A ‘cost of this ecclesiastical revolution’ could very well be ‘his historic office,’ he concluded.
Bishop Duncan acknowledged the bishops of the ACN were divided, saying the ‘principal disagreement is a tactical disagreement’ of how and when to proceed.
During the afternoon business session Dallas Bishop James Stanton expressed unease with proposals before the meeting to form a “Common Cause Partnership” with groups outside the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Stanton argued it was ‘problematic’ to proceed with changes to the language of the ACN charter that could be interpreted as placing the Network outside of the Episcopal Church. The meeting agreed to postpone debate to the next day, and to address structural changes and the proposal for formal alliances with non-Episcopal groups at the same time.
While the public proceedings were cordial, behind the scenes the ACN’s various factions pushed their agendas. Those who had quit the Episcopal Church sought an immediate pull out, arguing that there was no likelihood the US House of Bishops would comply with the Primates’ demands.
Against this, representatives from the dioceses lobbied to work with the Primates’ time line and take no action until after the Primates’ deadline. Proposals for a precipitous withdrawal from the Episcopal Church prompted Dallas to suggest it could be forced to withdraw from the ACN if it adopted a secessionist agenda at the meeting.
However, a compromise was proposed that the ACN would retain language pledging to ‘operate in good faith within the Constitution of the Episcopal Church’ while adopting a bylaw that affirmed that Network affiliates outside the Church were not required to submit to its constitution.
The compromise was accepted unanimously, and the meeting went on to adopt the partnership agreement and to elect Bishop Duncan to a second term as moderator.
--The Church of England Newspaper, August 3, 2007, edition, page 5
The discussion thread on Dr. Ephraim Radner's resignation from the Network is closing in on 200 comments. You can catch up on it here.
Of particular note: Dr. Radner has left a comment here
This elf also found Terry Wong's comment here highly worth reading and considering, for a perspective from a Global South leader.
6. It strikes me that your remarks about the future of dioceses and parishes within TEC and the Mark Lawrence affair provide an example of just such a prophecy. The fact is, however, we do not know the outcome of that affair. Further, we will not know what the future of what are often called "orthodox parishes and dioceses" will be if the Primates back their admonition with sanctions. I confess I agree that if nothing is done to inhibit TEC's outrageous claims to autonomy our parishes and dioceses will be picked off one by one. I also believe that we will find ourselves in a state of anarchy within our Communion. The point, however, is that we do not know as yet this particular part of our future under God, and it seems to me rash to think that we do.
7. It is in the light of this remark that I wish to comment on your call to the Network Bishops not to wait for "Windsor Bishops" but to unite under the leadership of Bob Duncan in fellowship with one another and with Common Cause Partners. It is a source of constant sadness to me that the Bishops within our Church who do not support the direction taken by its current structure have often been either too cautious to speak and act or too quick both to declare defeat and to begin constructing what appears to be an escape pod. However, once again you anticipate the future in ways that seem to me uncalled for. Your primary reason for despair is the sad history of attempts to organize among our Bishops a credible opposition to the progressive juggernaut that controls the structures of TEC. This is a sad history indeed, however, its baleful quality has more to do with problems of relationship among these Bishops (many of whom are in the Network) than it does the machinations of the progressive clerisy that governs us. That being said, it remains the case that the Windsor Bishops will meet again in August, all Network Bishops have been invited, and (most of all) these Bishops will face a clear choice. Are they willing to stand and be counted, as neither the Windsor Bishops nor the Network Bishops nor those involved in Common Cause were when last the House of Bishops met? This question means concretely are they now willing to give public support to the proposals made by the Primates; and are they willing themselves to seek ways to address the pastoral crisis of our Church that has provoked the multiplication within our midst of other jurisdictions. In short, the question is whether or not the Windsor Bishops (whose number includes the Network Bishops) are willing in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury to show that there is within TEC an alternative presence to its current structure. I am unwilling prematurely to declare all hope for such eventualities to be no more than a chimera.
Read it all..
During a press conference after the Anglican Communion Network’s two-day council meeting, the Most Rev. Gregory Venables of the Province of the Southern Cone challenged the notion among some Episcopalians that the primates are claiming curial powers for themselves.
Because Anglicans worldwide are led by locally elected bishops, he said, “Common sense and biblical concepts would say that the primates are at that highest level of authority, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”
The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, said the primates’ increased authority is in direct response to Resolution III.6 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. That resolution said, in part, that the primates’ meeting should “include among its responsibilities positive encouragement to mission, intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving of guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity in submission to the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture and in loyalty to our Anglican tradition and formularies.”
Read it all.
All THREE talks are now available as Word Files for downloading.
Now, time for this elf to be my sometimes very bossy self! Go read them!! Do more than read them. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them! And that's an order
Archbishop Gregory Venables Bible Study Monday - transcription
Anglican Communion Network, Archbishop Venables Final Post
Here is an excerpt from ++Venables' Tues. afternoon teaching:
I see people under incredible spiritual attack. I remember that moment in the end of the Screwtape Letters and the man the demons are trying to win is killed in the air raid in London. As he is departing this world, the man sees who has been dogging him for so long. He finally realizes what has been happening to him. It was a poignant moment.
We are not fighting flesh and blood. Read Ephesians 6. This battle is Big. Because it is about God’s honor and God’s name and God’s Word. It is not your battle, dear people. It is God’s battle. Let that comfort your hearts. Let that settle your mind.
I see people burdened and weighed down. Some of you are carrying very heavy burdens indeed. And I see people suffering grief. Grief in the sense of loss: bereavement. Something precious and that means so much to us is “going down the tubes”. That creates grief. It is heart breaking. Don’t go into denial. Don’t be British. Stoicism is not good. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and carry on, but not for long. Recognize the grief and deal with it. Don’t deny it.
Let me give you a few words from Scripture. 1 Peter 4:12: “Beloved do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you.”
When you stand up for Jesus, this is what happens. At the end of the day, it isn’t Anglicanism you are standing up for. It is Jesus. That’s why Anglicans do what we do. Rejoice that you have been thought worthy. You must be getting something right or you wouldn’t be in this battle. [...]
James 1:2 “Count it all JOY my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”
Be careful of fear. God will put you there again and again so you have to look at it and bring it up close and then you will see who He really is. Count it all joy. Read Paul’s account of what it was like to minister for Jesus. 2 Corinthians 11. Paul had a sense of humor, didn’t he. That’s what Paul got for serving Jesus. Not a Harry Potter world, not Tolkien world; the real world.
Are you getting it? If you really want to follow Jesus and serve him, this is what happens. I know a lot of you here are not surprised. Count it all joy and a privilege to show that Jesus is still Lord. To be on this world stage - With your smile and your joy and your forgiveness of all of “them”. Show them that Jesus is still Lord.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Primates Anglican Communion Network Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone] * Christian Life / Church Life Biblical Commentary & Reflection
Dissident Episcopalians from across the nation approved a plan Tuesday aimed at creating a federation of Anglican groups opposed to liberal church decisions, such as the U.S. church's election of a gay bishop.
Eighty delegates to the annual council meeting of the Pittsburgh-based Anglican Communion Network took the initial steps to form a federation of Anglican groups still in the Episcopal Church, along with other groups that have left.
The actions came at a two-day meeting at St. Vincent's Episcopal Cathedral.
"This will begin the gathering of fragmented bodies into one unified body of traditional orthodox Anglicans in North America," Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker said.
Read it all.
Delegates to the Network’s Annual Council have stated their “unconditional commitment to the unanimous urging of the Primates of the Anglican Communion that all existing litigation between The Episcopal Church (TEC) and those who have left TEC or are otherwise engaged in litigation involving claims of TEC, be suspended.”
The resolution, passed on July 31 in Bedford, TX, goes on to declare the Network’s willingness on behalf of its affiliates and partners “to engage in mediation” with TEC to find a mutually agreeable way forward.
Read it all.
Kevin Kallsen has posted a nice set of pictures from the Network Council meetings.
Video stream archives can be found here: http://ustream.tv/channel/acn-council-meeting-2007
See: "Past Clips" -- recommended: last night's press conference (2nd clip from left); Venables III (3rd clip from left).
Imagine the better quality MP3 recordings will be posted at Anglican TV within a few days.
Note, yesterday's "Open Thread" on the Network Council has a lot of info and links in its comment thread, including identification of the bishops in the press conference, etc. http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/4758
UPDATE: We're playing "name that bishop" -- need some help with 2-3 bishops. Input welcome
Delegates to the annual council meeting of the Anglican Communion Network declined removing the organization from under the authority of the constitution of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church during a plenary session July 31.
The proposal would have deleted language from the group’s organizational charter that the Network “shall operate in good faith within the Constitution of the Episcopal Church.”
Instead, the council adopted a bylaws resolution that says Network affiliates outside The Episcopal Church are not required to submit to the constitution of The Episcopal Church.
The decision followed a plea by the Rt. Rev. James Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, that the council not act prematurely. Bishop Stanton pointed out that the General Conventions of 1964 and 1967 defined The Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.
Read it all.
It is with sorrow and deep disappointment that I tender my resignation from the Anglican Communion Network. Since the time I assisted in its founding, its leaders, members, and mission have been dear to me, even when I have disagreed with some of its corporate actions. The recent statements by the Moderator of the Network, Robert Duncan, however, so contradict my sense of calling within this part of Christ’s Body, the Anglican Communion, that I have no choice but to disassociate myself from this group, whom I had once hoped might prove an instrument of renewal, not of destruction, of building up, not of tearing down.
Bishop Duncan has now declared the See of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference -- two of the four Instruments of Communion within our tradition – to be “lost”. He has said that God is “doing a new thing” in allowing these elements to founder and be let go. I find this judgment to be dangerously precipitous and unfair under circumstances when current, faithful, and hard work is being done by many to bolster these Instruments as servants of our common life in Christ. The judgment is also astonishingly self-confident and autonomously prophetic in a mode not unlike the baleful claims to visionary authority of those who have long misled the Episcopal Church. Finally, the declaration in effect cancels out the other two Instruments of Communion that also uphold our common Anglican life – the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. It is the entire Anglican Communion, therefore, that Bp. Duncan is declaring to be “lost”. The judgment is far too sweeping.
Bp. Duncan has, in the end, decided to start a new church. He may call it “Anglican” if he wishes, though I do not recognize the name in these kinds of actions that break communion rather than build it up – for such building is what I have long perceived to be the “thing” God was “doing” with the earthen vessel of our tradition. In founding his new church, furthermore, he is, I fear, not working for the healing of our broken Body, but repeating the mistakes of Christians in the past, whose zeal has not only brought suffering to themselves, but has wounded the Church of Christ. It is not only his own diocese that his statements and actions will affect; it is many others, including parishes within them, many of which have worked for faithfulness and peace, truth in love, for some time, and for whom new troubles and divisions are now promised. Enough of this. I cannot follow him in this way. There is great work to be done, with hope and with joy, if also with suffering endurance for the faith once delivered, in the vineyards of the Anglican Communion where the Lord has called us and still maintains His calling; just as there has been in the past, and all for the glory of the larger Church Catholic.
--The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner
The fourth annual council meeting of the Anglican Communion Network began July 30 with a somber address in which the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Network, stressed that reforming The Episcopal Church is a lost cause. Later, during a question-and-answer session, he criticized the Archbishop of Canterbury for not intervening more forcefully.
“The American province is lost and something will have to replace it,” said Bishop Duncan, who has served as the Network’s elected moderator for three and a half years.
That message also took a visual form as Bishop Duncan showed portions of a video. The video, backed by discordant piano music, depicted The Episcopal Church as a large blue circle. Several smaller blue circles, labeled Common Cause Partnership, emerged from the large circle. The Episcopal Church’s circle faded, and the Common Cause circles formed into one new and equally large circle.
Bishop Duncan expressed his disappointment that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not supported Network members in ways that he and other Network leaders had hoped.
“Never, ever has he spoken publicly in defense of the orthodox in the United States,” Bishop Duncan said of the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, adding that “the cost is his office.
“To lose that historic office is a cost of such magnitude that God must be doing a new thing,” he said.
Read it all.
Bishops Duncan, Iker and Ackerman discuss the Archbishop of Canterbury, women's ordination, accession to TEC's constitution, and the balance of autonomy and catholicity in the Episcopal Church. (This post originated at Stand Firm).
Video archives can be found here: http://ustream.tv/channel/acn-council-meeting-2007
NOTE: Tonight's press conference is second box from the left under "past clips"
We also recommend "Venables III" -- third box from left
More will eventually be posted at Anglican TV, I'm sure: http://anglicantv.org/blog/
We'll keep this thread on top until tomorrow so folks can find the various news tidbits below.
You can read some of what happened this morning in the comments below.
The Live Feed for the Anglican Council Meeting can be viewed here: http://ustream.tv/channel/acn-council-meeting-2007
Also at Anglican TV here: http://anglicantv.org/blog/ which has LIVE CHAT (text) going on.
Update: Matt K+ has a summary of this morning's session posted now on Stand Firm.
Given the Technical Problems with comments at Stand Firm, we thought it would help to start an open thread for Comments on the Network Council meeting here. So... comment away.
The Live Feed for the Anglican Council Meeting can be viewed here: http://ustream.tv/channel/acn-council-meeting-2007
(Also at Anglican TV here: http://anglicantv.org/blog/)
Or at Stand Firm. Note: I believe articles at Stand Firm are now accessible. It is just comments that are broken
Clips of yesterday's video coverage are online here. See our post below for time stamp details of ++Venables address.
Also, it appears Peter Ould is hosting a chatroom on the live feed of the video over at Anglican TV: http://anglicantv.org/blog/
Go here: http://ustream.tv/channel/acn-council-meeting-2007
And look for the 3 "Past Clips" boxes.
It appears that some of the early morning videos (Bp. Duncan's speech) are still missing.
The box on the far left is the final session of the afternoon and includes Abp. Venables sermon/Bible study in the late afternoon (HIGHLY recommended)
++Venables begins speaking at 41:22 (Slide the button on the play bar to the right to advance the video time count to 41:22)
In an interview with a reporter for The Living Church Canon Daryl Fenton, chief operating officer for the Network, acknowledged that the distance between The Episcopal Church leadership and the Network has grown to the size of a chasm, but he downplayed the likelihood of a formal departure occurring during this meeting.
“Even in safe dioceses the level of dissatisfaction is growing,” he said. “People are becoming radicalized and less patient. We really are concerned about catholicity, however. We consider ourselves to be under the authority of the primates and we will not do anything which would undercut the careful agreements they have already worked out.”
In their February communiqué, the primates requested a response from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church by Sept. 30. The deadline falls five days after the conclusion of the fall House of Bishops’ meeting. During his address, Bishop Duncan said the Network bishops had agreed to attend the House of Bishops’ meeting in order not to abandon the wider coalition of ‘Windsor’ bishops in what Bishop Duncan said was “their last stand.”
Read it all.
Stand Firm has posted them
The Theological Statement was just voted on, accepted unanimously by all dioceses present:
Albany, Central Florida, Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy, RioGrande, San Joaquin, Springfield
and the Convocations:
Mid-Atlantic, Mid Continental, NorthEast, SouthEast, Western, FiFNA
and the Anglican Global Mission Partnership
-- South Carolina is not present.
-- Pittsburgh noted a reservation on their vote to accept the Theological Statement re: the issue of women's ordination.
There is also more on the ACN website, Common Cause page.
It lists the Common Cause Partners, and also lists the 4 Covenant Declarations that are referred to in the Common Cause Articles that are now being
The Common Cause partnership articles are NOT being voted on today. The discussion just completed was to give people a chance to raise questions and suggest proposed revisions. It is this elf's understanding that these articles will be voted on tomorrow afternoon.
The speech is now on the ACN website, and there you can watch the two videos that were shown as part of Bishop Duncan's remarks.
ADDRESS of the Right Reverend Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes to the Fourth Annual Council at Bedford, Texas, 30th July, A.D.2007.
I will save my flock, they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them and be their shepherd. [Ezekiel 34:22-23]
David Anderson, John Guernsey, Andy Fairfield, Dave Roseberry, Martyn Minns, Dan Herzog, Alison Barfoot, Bill Cox, John Yates, Bill Attwood, Bill Cobb, Valarie Whitcomb, Dwight Duncan, Ron Jackson, Dave Bena, Bill Murdoch, Don Armstrong… What do these believers all have in common? …Great leaders, all. Yes, of course. One other thing, at least… Each was a priest or bishop (four bishops in fact) of the Episcopal Church at the Network Council one year ago… None is a leader of the Episcopal Church today. This seismic shift is the context in which we meet for this fourth Annual Council of the Anglican Communion Network.
One of the young, creative staffers in our Pittsburgh office, Chad Whittaker (many of you will know his Dad, who teaches New Testament at Trinity Seminary), produced a brief video last Holy Week. It begins with words of a written prophecy I was handed at Hope and a Future (November 2005) and then it shifts to early April 2007. I want to show it to you now.
[Good Friday Video Clip]
Ever so many of us have found ourselves living through an extended Good Friday. None of us, of course, have lived through anything like our Lord’s excruciating and singular Passion, but the emotional and spiritual depths of the present season have, for most of us, been like few other seasons of our lives. I shall never forget the darkness of the days and weeks beginning with last March’s House of Bishops Meeting. It was during those days at and after that Camp Allen meeting that I truly came to grips with the unavoidable fact that the denominational Church that had – from infancy – raised me, captured me, formed me and ordained me, no longer had any room for me, or any like me. How bitter the rejection! How total my failure!
Yes, we are all at different places on the Calvary journey as concerns our ministries in the Episcopal Church. But I suspect I can speak for all when I say that where we are is not where we had hoped to be. God, in His wisdom, has not used us to reform the Episcopal Church, to bring it back to its historic role and identity as a reliable and mainstream way to be a Christian. Instead the Episcopal Church has embraced de-formation – stunning innovation in Faith and Order – rather than reformation.
In whatever way God’s call on our lives is to be lived out in the months and years ahead, few in this hall anticipate that the Episcopal Church will turn around in the last days before September 30th, or that the Episcopal Church has any intention of leaving room for those of us whose commitments to “the Faith once delivered” created the Anglican Communion Network and have sustained its vision and its witness. Because our sense of order is such that we have always sought to be Christian first and Episcopalian next , we find ourselves on this present Way of the Cross. Such is the increasing de-formation of the denomination whose priests and bishops, whose laity and deacons, we have so faithfully been, whose vision once upon a time was like the one we still hold, of a Church that is truly evangelical, truly catholic, and truly pentecostal. This is the context in which we meet for this fourth Annual Council of the Anglican Communion Network.
[Video Clip on Network Mission]
Our Work in This Council
Since the earliest days of the Network, God has given us a clear vision of who we are to be: A biblical, missionary and uniting presence in North America. At last year’s Annual Council in Pittsburgh we focused on the first of the three words of our oft-rehearsed vision: biblical. Our theme was “A Reformation of Behavior,” and we looked at personal holiness as a hallmark that must come to characterize our life as faithful North American Anglicans. At the first Bedford Council two years ago, we focused on the second of the three words of our vision: missionary. We gave most of our time at that meeting to our Anglican Global Mission Partners and to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, and we accepted a special partnership with the Diocese of Singapore for evangelization of some of the most unreached areas on the globe. This year our work in Council – Bedford II, if you will – has much the same focus as our very first Council at Plano, three and a half years ago. We focus on the third of the three words of the vision our God gave us from the beginning: uniting. Much of the work of this Fourth Annual Council focuses on our call to unity with other orthodox fragments – virtually all of whom were once, like ourselves, mainstream Episcopalians. Proposals are before us to formalize, to ratify, a series of relationships that have come to be known as the Common Cause Partnership.
Three decades of fracture and disintegration characterized the life of orthodox Anglicans up until the Plano Council of January, 2004. None who were present at that organizing Council will ever forget the unity that permeated the decisions of that assembly. Every article of the Charter was unanimously approved. None of us had any expectation that anything like that would be possible. It was all God-given and God-breathed. None will forget the moment when a respectful way forward on the ordination of women emerged – surely the high-point of God’s grace in that Council – and we stood to sing the Doxology.
The charism God bestowed on us in that Plano Council has not departed. Thanks be to God! It has, of course, been sorely tried from time to time, not least in the crisis of Good Friday. But the charism has not been just for us. (God’s gifts never are “just for us.”) Confident that it was central to the vision of the Network – and deeply moved by the blessings of the Council that chartered the Network and encouraged by my Episcopal colleague Ed Salmon – I invited conversations with other jurisdictional and organizational leaders beginning in March of 2004. In June of 2004, six leaders pledged, in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, “to make common cause for a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America.” Initially six in the United States, Common Cause now has ten Partners in the U.S. and Canada. Five leadership roundtables have met and a first-ever Council of Bishops has been called. Key documents have been developed between the partners. Most of the partners have already approved the documents. Now it is our turn. The proposals do not yield jurisdictional autonomy, but they move us into more intentional federation. They move us closer to the longed-for day of a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America, to the kind of “new ecclesiastical structure” called for by the primates of the Global South, and yearned for by the faithful Anglicans of this continent.
Last summer the Pittsburgh Council had a first look at the Theological Statement of the Common Cause Partnership. Here at Bedford II the Steering Committee has placed that document and the Articles of the Common Cause Partnership before us for ratification. I heartily endorse these documents. They are not perfect, but they do take the next step. It has been the particular privilege and challenge of your Moderator to serve as Chair of the Common Cause Partnership since the beginning. A Common Cause Roundtable V in March the partners asked me to continue in that role, and I agreed to do so, with God’s help.
The Articles we are being asked to approve create a federation. None of our jurisdictional autonomy is ceded. The primates of the Anglican Communion have asked the American Episcopal Church to make an answer concerning the Windsor Report and the Dromantine Communique. What the Common Cause Partnership does together is some part of this response. The Episcopal Church is walking apart. We propose to walk together. Little better communicates our message, and the reality that there is a recognizable and uniting partnership of mainstream Anglicans in North America, than the actions we are being asked to take.
In this context a word about the Windsor Bishops Coalition also seems appropriate. Again, in fulfillment of the Network’s vision, I asked Ed Salmon, after last year’s Network Council, to do what he could on the Network’s behalf to build a larger coalition of Episcopal Bishops, in hopes that the Episcopal Church might be turned back at the eleventh hour. During this past year, the Network Bishops have done everything we could to work with a broader Windsor Coalition within the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops. In order not to abandon the wider coalition in its one last stand, the Network Bishops have agreed to take part in the upcoming meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the primates Steering Committee and Anglican Consultative Council. We do so, some of us at least, without any implied recognition of or submission to the American primate, without any diminishment of our appeal for Alternative Primatial Oversight, and without any expectation that the Episcopal House of Bishops will turn from the course so unequivocably embraced at their March meeting.
Achievements and Failures
So where are we?
Anyone reading the minutes of the Pittsburgh Council [included in your packets] will recognize that many of the hopes we expressed for the nature of our work this past year were not realized. Some of what we imagined the Steering Committee might do in peopling committees to look at liturgy and discipleship and such routine matters of normal church life was predicated on a hope for more ordinary times. Transitions in jurisdiction – like those described as I began – were among the factors that made this past year among the most tumultuous for our movement. Financial challenges – largely occasioned as our most generous parish supporters faced their own challenges in transitions, lawsuits and loss of facilities – were constant. Similar financial challenges have affected all our AGMP agencies. Many of us also found ourselves just worn down and worn out by the continuing struggle. As the Deans are fond of quipping: “It is good that we don’t all want to quit on the same day.” But we didn’t quit. As always, we helped each other. God helped us. Even in the darkest times, the work went forward.
A Finance Committee was organized during the course of the year and senior statesman Bill Roemer of Pittsburgh became our Treasurer. At last there are budgets and audits to look at together. Anglican Relief and Development Fund was spun off and has become the Relief and Development agency of most of the Common Cause Partners. Succeeding Dr. Peter Moore, its Chairman is now an Anglican Mission priest, Mike Murphy. Can. Nancy Norton remains its Director.
In the spring, the weekly meeting of the Moderator’s (Network) Cabinet was suspended in favor of a Common Cause Cabinet meeting, necessary to preparations for the September Common Cause Bishops Council. The Steering Committee has continued to meet, though most often without my presence. The stretching for us all is tremendous. Strains, more than ever, affect the workings of the Network Bishops, though we are not divided in our assessment of a failed Episcopal Church. The Network Deans have continued their extraordinary leadership, though as we end this year between Councils only one of the six – the Forward in Faith Dean – remains within the Episcopal Church.
The staff in the Pittsburgh office, like the staff assistants in the Convocations, have done extraordinary service. Can. Daryl Fenton, who has kept me and countless others in good humor and on track in the toughest of times deserves, with all the others, our deep gratitude. The ministry initiatives in Children and Youth, in Evangelism, in International Mission and in Church Planting have been the best of works in the worst of times. New churches continue to be planted. The Children and Youth initiative has developed a cutting edge program for training lay workers on-line with Cambridge University. The evangelism initiative has presented three regional conferences, already helping hundreds to better share the good news in daily life, with seven more conferences – coming to a neighborhood near you – this fall and winter.
The remarkable thing is, we have had the leaders we have needed for the challenges we have faced. One can only conclude that our God has been in this.
One great triumph of this past year is the provision of a domestic episcopate for the clergy and congregations that have left the Episcopal Church and moved into the Network’s International Conference, now numbering well over one hundred congregations across the United States. Bp. Bill Cox was the first. He serves the congregations of Oklahoma under Southern Cone. Bp. Andy Fairfield was next. He became a bishop of the Church of Uganda in June. He serves those ICon congregations that call on him. More significant still are the decisions of Kenya and Uganda to make new bishops for the work in the United States: Bill Attwood, Bill Murdoch, and John Guernsey. These join the AMiA and CANA bishops in service to what are now several hundred Anglican congregations in the U.S. (and Canada), all of whom will be at the September Common Cause Council. To all of this we expect to see our brother Bill Illgenfritz added. Forward in Faith North America has reaffirmed their nomination of Fr. Bill to serve that constituency as a flying bishop, and I have committed myself to working to find a Provincial ally to make it so. In the choice of these bishops we also see some who are clearly in favor of the ordination of women and some who are opposed to it, and the unity and commitments forged at our first Network Council shapes our ongoing life without reduction.
Another significant development since last Annual Council are the deepening Common Cause regional alliances. I have been privileged to meet with four of these regional groupings since last December. Over and over the message is the same: “We all want to be one again.” A biblical, missionary and uniting vision for Anglicans in North America, by God’s grace, is owned by countless believers and fellow-workers, as well as by those who meet in this hall.
I have served as Moderator for three and one-half years. My term ends with this Annual Council. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Your efforts and your prayers have sustained me. And our God has been good to us beyond measure.
David Anderson has served as Network Secretary during these same three and one-half years. His term also ends with this Council. None of us will forget, and the history of the movement must record, his leadership in bringing the financial and administrative resources of the American Anglican Council to enable the first eighteen months of the life of the Anglican Communion Network. Few acts of generosity in organizational life have a parallel in this great act of benefaction to birth the Network.
We must also elect a treasurer and one half of our Steering Committee. To all who have served we express our gratitude and appreciation: whether on Cabinet or Steering Committee or in any capacity for the good of the whole. The sacrifice represented in the efforts of those who have served us is remarkable in the extreme. To those who have stood with us as congregations, vestries, dioceses, colleagues, friends, confessors, intercessors, families and especially spouses we express a similarly vast thankfulness.
I began with words from the prophet Ezekiel. God is judging shepherds and is judging between sheep. His promise is to save His flock. His promise is that His sheep will no longer be a “prey,” either to unfaithful shepherds or to fat sheep (or to wolves). His servant David, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the true and trustworthy shepherd. We, in the Anglican Communion Network, propose to follow Him, even through the valley of the shadow of death. For Jesus is our Way, our Truth, our Life. We can do no other.
COVERAGE WILL RESUME TUESDAY AT 9:15 AM CDT (3:15 PM LONDON)
It's been quite an amazing privilege to watch much of the ACN Meeting on Monday coverage live. Abp. Venables' sermon at the end of the day was fabulous. Must watching if at all possible. Note: Anglican TV will be posting MP3 files of most of Monday's coverage as soon as they can. So those who missed the live feed should be able to listen soon.
There is no hope and a future for any diocese or parish that remains connected to TEC. The Mark Lawrence case and various abuses of the canons should make this clear. This is a spiritual fact: TEC is terminally ill and the cancer will eventually spread to every part of the body.
Network bishops must prepare for separation as best they can and stay united in fellowship with each other and their Common Cause partners. Don’t wait for the “Windsor bishops.” Once there were 60 Irenaeus bishops, then 40 AAC bishops, now there are 20 “Windsor Bishops” and a dozen (and counting down?) Network bishops. Unless you are prepared to act and act in concert, you and your clergy and dioceses will be picked off one by one.
Network bishops and dioceses must be prepared to lose their rank and property. Many faithful priests have already paid this price as a matter of conscience and been summarily deposed. Congregations have walked away from their sanctuaries and now worship in schools. It is now time for the Network bishops and dioceses to take this risk by breaking communion with false and lukewarm colleagues in TEC. Remember the fires of Oxford!
Read it all.
The Rev. William Murdoch, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, was an early and sharp critic of the 2003 ordination of an openly gay man as bishop of New Hampshire. Next month, Murdoch will become a bishop himself, in a conservative Anglican group that is embracing congregations dissatisfied with the Episcopal church's position on homosexuality and other issues.
Murdoch says the current crisis in the Episcopal church has deep roots that extend beyond the ordination of gay clergy, an issue at the center of a growing global divide in the worldwide Anglican communion, of which the Episcopal Church is a part. Murdoch blames what he terms a "lack of clarity" from Episcopal leaders on the direction of the church.
But he's clear in the direction he'd like for himself and his parish. It includes remaining part of the worldwide Anglican communion, made up of nearly 80 million members in 38 regional or national churches, but not necessarily the Episcopal church.
On Aug. 30, Murdoch and an Episcopal priest from Texas will be consecrated suffragan bishops by the Anglican Church of Kenya's Provincial Synod, to provide oversight for congregations in the U.S. that place themselves under Kenyan jurisdiction.
Murdoch will remain rector of All Saints Church even as he takes on this nationwide role.
Read it all.
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Area residents will get a close-up look this month at the decades-long rift that is continuing to tear apart the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church.
About 80 representatives of the Anglican Communion Network, of which Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker is a leading member, will meet July 30-31 in Bedford at St. Vincent's Cathedral.
The network -- formed three years ago by Episcopal members appalled by church actions such as the 2003 consecration of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire -- likely will be a sounding board for more attacks on leadership of the U.S. church.
The Rev. Ryan Reed, dean of the Bedford cathedral, said network representatives will discuss how to work more closely with other conservative Anglican groups. Archbishop Greg Venables, a conservative who leads the Anglican province that includes Venezuela and Bolivia, is the main speaker. Some sessions are not open to the public, but general gatherings are open.
The Anglican Communion Network and similar conservative groups contend that the American church no longer represents those abiding by the historic faith.
Read it all.
The concerns I have listed above do not diminish the respect and support I give to the Network and its leadership, of which I remain a member. My concerns, rather,derive from my desire that we hold our witness together, and that we do so in away that not only maintains but garners trust. We have a work and a witness we are called to do together,and I pray it is together that we do it.
But concerns are still concerns. From my own perspective, I cannot see any way through the current disputes and threatened divisions other than persistent and good-willed common counsel on the part of the Communion’s representative leaders done openly and with as wide a reach as possible. If Lambeth cannot meet and agree, then who will listen? If the Primates cannot meet and agree,in conjunction with Lambeth, nothing will be done together. If the ACC cannot consider and respond to the executive desires of the Primates, there will be no common following. If Primates do not take counsel and seek agreement with all their bishops, and bishops with all their dioceses, there is nothing but individual conscience and passion determining all things. And if, in all these things, the Scriptures of Christ are not placed at the center of prayer, discussion, and discernment, there is nothing about which to counsel that will bear the mark of the Spirit’s direction. And other than this last – and most important! – element, we already have the structures by which to carry through with such common decision-making, if we but discipline ourselves to submit ourselves to them in faith, hope, and love. Then perhaps we shall have made room to listen to the Word of God.
As I said, I believe these kinds of concerns need to be aired and debated openly, by those whose names are known, by those who have a stake in the outcome, and by the full gathering of those granted authority to take counsel and make decisions for the church. They should be debated, but they should also and even more be subjected to the wisdom of gathered representatives of our churches, and not pursued by one group or another regardless of the views and decisions of others. The Episcopal Church as a whole has been an egregious model of such brazen disregard, and the model is one to be rejected wholly and utterly.
It is not that the gathering together of traditional Anglicans in North America is not a worthy and evangelical goal. It is, and many of us would welcome and are willing to work for such a goal. The AMiA, for instance – and one can say analogous things about other parties represented in Common Cause -- has had for several years now a strong witness in evangelism and church-planting that is needed by all of us, and their full integration back into the Communion would prove a spiritual gift for mission that all of us need and that would do honor to the Gospel. But there are realities on the ground that require serious resolution for this to happen fruitfully, and that resolution requires the engagement of many parties and peoples in honest and common discussion on the basis of shared prayer and humble listening within the context of the Scriptures. What is one to do, for instance, of a long-standing lawsuit between a current Network bishop and a current AMiA bishop? How resolve the disagreements and even bitterness that exists between conservative bishops and AMiA plants and splits within their borders? What of the deep theological and ecclesiological differences that exist between many Network bishops and those of the AMiA, let alone other non-Network traditionalists? And this pertains to North America only, and has not yet touched on the divides and disagreements and misunderstandings that exist, on this matter, around the Communion, and with Lambeth in particular, where a trail of bitter denunciations cannot simply be papered over. It is not enough for this or that group to formulate position papers and declare their views and commitments apart from the whole (this includes the Network, ACI, Camp Allen, Common Cause or anyone else), and then to expect that these views will persuade or bear converting authority. The cause we have in common at present is the cause for common consultation, discernment,decision, and only then, action, so that our work “side by side” for the Gospel is founded on the “common mind” of the Church in Christ (Phil. 1:27).
Read it all.
from the Anglican Communion Network website
The leadership of the Anglican Communion Network welcomed news that the Anglican Province of Kenya has elected The Rev. Canon Bill Atwood Suffragan Bishop of the All Saints Cathedral Diocese in Nairobi. Among other duties, Bishop-elect Atwood will be initially supporting Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America. He joins Bishop Bill Cox of the Southern Cone as another domestic bishop cooperating in ministry with the Network, which has strong links with many international congregations under overseas jurisdiction through its International Conference. The Network welcomes Archbishop Nzimbi’s actions which also support its “Biblical, Missionary and Uniting” work.
“Anglicans around the world continue to make clear their support for Christ-centered Anglicanism in America in both their words and their actions. We are deeply thankful for this step by the Anglican Church of Kenya. As Archbishop Nzimbi said in his announcement, Canon Atwood’s election and consecration is ‘part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces,’ to provide unity and pastoral care for those who have left or been forced out of The Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Network.
The Anglican Communion Network remains committed to its International Conference representing parishes in relationship with the provinces of Kenya, Uganda, Southern Cone, and Central Africa as it also remains committed to working with its partners in CANA, AMiA and the broader Common Cause Partnerships. Following its mission to be a uniting force in the ongoing Anglican realignment, the Network continues to build relationships among all faithful Anglicans, those that have left the Episcopal Church and those within.
The full text is here (including Abp. Nzimbi's letter)
Bishops from the Anglican Communion Network, the Anglican Mission in the Americas (including the Anglican Coalition in Canada), the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Anglican Province of America, Forward in Faith North America and the Reformed Episcopal Church are invited to attend the first-ever Common Cause Council of Bishops in Pittsburgh, PA, September 25-28. Two of the Common Cause Partners, the American Anglican Council and Anglican Essentials Canada, are not ecclesial jurisdictions and do not have bishops. Several other Anglican jurisdictions are currently in the membership process.
Since its formation in 2004, Anglican bodies connected to each other through Common Cause have committed to working together for “a Biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America.” Together, they have crafted a common theological statement and articles of federation. Both are being considered and adopted by each Common Cause Partner.
“By the time we meet, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church will have given its response to the Anglican Communion as to its decision to ‘walk apart.’ By contrast, I expect our gathering to signal a new level of ‘walking together’ both with each other and with the wider Anglican world,” wrote Anglican Communion Network Moderator and Common Cause convener Bishop Robert Duncan. The meeting, said Bishop Duncan, is the result of many years of work toward Anglican unity, work responding to resolutions of both the Lambeth Conference of Bishops and The Episcopal Church’s General Convention.
Bishop Duncan went on to describe the purpose of the gathering as fivefold.
1) to take the Common Cause Partnership to the next level of development in mission together;
2) to showcase ministry initiatives of any of the partners that might be shared with all the partners (e.g., The Anglican Relief and Development Fund);
3) to share understandings of the purpose and role of bishops such that some common guidelines for the making of bishops relative to numbers of communicants and congregations might be developed;
4) to consider whether a permanent Common Cause College of Bishops might be created, in order that ever greater levels of communication, cooperation and collaboration can be built; and
5) to initiate discussion of the creation of an “Anglican Union” among the partners, moving forward the vision of the Primates of the Global South for a new “ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican Communion in the USA.”
“The Council of Bishops lacks the voice of the laity. It is not a full synod of the Common Cause Partners, but it is the next step agreed upon by the Common Cause Roundtable. While it is not the end of our journey, it does continue the trajectory of ever greater unity and ever closer cooperation between those of us who know Jesus as the only Lord. In the challenging weeks and months ahead, let us say our prayers, do the work before us and trust ‘that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new,’” said Bishop Duncan.
Our Sunday Visitor: Would you describe the movement to realign the Episcopal Church with the traditional doctrines of Christianity?
Bishop Robert Duncan: The movement that I lead has been called the Anglican Communion Network. The Episcopal Church, during the last four decades, has been headed on a path of innovation. As these years have passed it’s become clearer and clearer that the Episcopal Church, if it hadn’t previously stepped outside the boundaries, it would at one point do that clearly enough for all to recognize.
That point of great clarity came in August 2003, when the Episcopal Church agreed to a bishop who had been married, divorced and was in a long-term same-sex relationship. The movement that I lead is a movement that’s attempting to hold to the truth that the church has received and has always taught, as opposed to the innovations that are being held up now.
We’re in the midst of a reformation of our tradition, and, in fact, we think we’re actually in the midst of a major Christian reformation. Pope Benedict XVI wrote, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, that the Western church will not be fruitful again until it was severely pruned – referencing John 15. We’re in the midst of a significant pruning, and not only of the Anglicans but also of the whole of the Western Christian church.
That’s what we’re in the midst of. And again, it’s affecting all of the churches in the West, it must do so because God always reforms his church, and in the words of our lady, in her song, which we sing daily at vespers, he’s always casting the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly, because the mighty think somehow they’re God, and so God always realigns his church.
Our Sunday Visitor: You are considered by many to be a leader of a “conservative” faction of the Episcopal Church. Is what you stand for a “conservative” viewpoint, or do you see it in a different light?
Bishop Robert Duncan: My understanding is that it’s simply what the gospel says, and that it is what the mainstream of Christianity has always held. All of the great Christian traditions, all of the major streams of Christianity would teach precisely what we teach on these issues. And again, it’s what the ages have always taught as well.
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Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Standing Committee, Board of Trustees and Diocesan Council discussed the future path of the diocese at Antiochian Village May 20-21. Speaking at the beginning of the retreat, Bishop Robert Duncan told diocesan leaders that “we’re here together…to discuss our way forward in light of our failure to obtain Alternative Primatial Oversight.”
Diocesan organizational consultant Cynthia Waisner helped the leadership identify a number of different choices in the light of the rejection of the 2006 appeals and, more recently, the House of Bishops’ rejection of the pastoral plan put forward by the Primates of the Anglican Communion. The diocese could simply keep doing what it has been doing, remaining on the periphery of The Episcopal Church, but not attempting to reach a concluding moment in the conflict. It could submit to the will of the Episcopal Church in its majority, reversing the diocesan convention’s actions over the last four years. It could attempt to separate as a diocese from The Episcopal Church, an option a number of Anglican Communion Network dioceses are considering. It could attempt to create space for conserving parishes to negotiate an exit from the diocese.
Regardless of what option is ultimately adopted, the diocesan leadership was clear about several things. There is no path forward for the diocese that will not involve significant costs and pain. Staying with the Episcopal Church in the light of its rejection of mainstream Christianity will force members of the leadership, individuals and congregations to consider cutting their ties to the diocese. Separating from the structures of the Episcopal Church will force others to reevaluate their relationship with the diocese. Regardless of the choice, parishes and the diocese are likely to face financial challenges.
“We are facing something that we never thought we would face. We thought we would prevail. We thought that what we believed and what the majority of the Communion believed would be provided for,” said Bishop Duncan.
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