The irony of this article is that the more the CofE attempts to fit in with the secular culture, the more that culture will call for the CofE to be disestablished.
When the Church is faithful to its calling, the world might argue against it or even persecute it, but it still *respects* it. But when the Church abandons its calling and seeks compromise with the world, ironically that is when the world loses respect for the Church.
Glad to hear re the palpable effect of prayer. May God bless you all.
David Hein - I’m pretty sure that your assessment is correct, and precisely the reason that they wanted to get rid of Bp. Lawrence. God bless him, and give him the rest and refreshment that he needs.
I bet you they’re drafting a “Supremacy Clause” right now, but the tricky part will be getting people to accept after all that has happened.
Waikato and Taranaki bishops the Rev? Dr Helen-Ann Hartley and the Most Rev Philip Richardson
Ah, one of those new-fangled women bishop thingies, backed up by her screaming liberal primate.
A very pastoral response I think - NOT. She just could not wait, could she? Notwithstanding the crocodile tears it looks like she is another one modelling herself on KJS and headed into a stew of her own making. Be careful what you wish for - you will get it and split the body of Christ.
How would she measure up standing alongside these ministers I wonder? The thing is - is the Church in New Zealand making itself fit for purpose, or is it, as it looks like from here, preparing to go down the pan with TEC in a sticky mess.
It is just not good enough. Must do much better - zero out of ten marks for Hartley’s home-made jam.
Of course, you could look at the same evidence as Hatfield and come to a very different conclusion: namely, that nationalism is one of the most virulent forces in our world, and can when it turns pathological wreak great havoc. Still, there is no doubting that when religion and national identity are intertwined in such a way that there is no room for critique of one or the other, instead just a mutual reinforcement, then things can turn ugly.
Viewing the Ukraine horror has made me think of Stanley Hauerwas’s early book The Peaceable Kingdom with its insistence that baptism should make it utterly impossible for Christians to kill one another. He asserts that it was so in the earliest days of the Church. I look at Ukraine and see Orthodox Russian speakers lined up against Greek Catholic rite and Ukrainian Orthodox Ukrainian speakers and think he might have a point.
My impression is that a major problem for TEC here—besides historical fact and legal principle—is that Bp Lawrence is such a rock: trustworthy, sincere, consistent, informed, grounded.
Karen B., we can hope that the two American doctors will fare better than the average ebola victim. It is said that if treatment is begun early survival rates are higher. But that won’t help Africa in general. I echo Jill Woodliff’s cry for God’s intervention and for prayer.
These numbers are through the reporting year 2012, which was prior to the “reuniting” of TEC Quincy and Chicago. TEC Quincy had less than 700 members and less than 400 attendees, so they will have negligible impact on the Chicago figures in future reporting years.
Did you correct for the fact that Quincy was merged in in the above numbers?
Good question, Michael. Let’s take a look:
From 2002-2012, the number of parishes and missions in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago dropped from 133 to 117.
Baptized members dropped from 43,775 to 36,565.
Attendance dropped from 16,280 to to 12,869.
Church school pupils dropped from 7,128 to 4,411.
Baptisms dropped from 797 children and 62 adults to 656 children and 52 adults.
Marriages dropped from 346 to 241.
Funerals held steady at 569 in 2002 and 561 in 2012.
This is about par or slightly better than TEC as a whole—a 31% decline in marriages instead of about 40%. A 21% drop in attendance instead of about 23%, and a membership drop of 16%, which is about consistent with the U.S. church overall. Chicago is probably doing better than most of its peers in the upper midwest, as there is some population growth in the geographic area and a smaller percentage of the diocese is rural.
Hanlon’s razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
We need to keep praying earnestly for the wonderful diocese of South Carolina, its legal team and for the Judge and always with humility, thanks and praise to God for all the blessings he daily grants to those who acknowledge his name. In all this may his name be lifted up and his Kingdom established.
True#6…... or is this a plan to get a “mis-trial” and then a new trial? Their behavior makes me wonder….... really wonder….
The stories of a second American being infected with Ebola are sadly true: A SIM / Samaritan’s Purse missionary, Nancy Writebol, in Liberia has caught the virus. (She works at the same hospital as Dr. Kent Brantly)
The status of all the many new saints that TEC has proposed adding to the calendar is dubious and unclear in Anglican circles outside of TEC, but I (for one) would concur with the addition of these three great musicians to the list. Above all, in the case of J.S. Bach, whose ardent devotion to Jesus Christ is amply documented and beyond the slightest doubt. Just consider Jaroslav Pelikan’s tribute to Bach’s profound theological acumen in his little book, Bach Among the Theologians (Fortress Press, 1986, 172 pages). He even signed his secular work with his customary S.D.G., Soli Deo Gloria. And as for Handel, his famous masterpiece, the oratorio Messiah, is the most frequently performed major musical work of all time. No symphony, concerto, or other piece of comparable scale even comes close to it in popularity. And as for Purcell, well, it’s nice to have a Brit included along with two Germans, even if Handel did live and work for a long time in London.
For the life and witness of these three great Christian musicians, thanks be to God.
“His intervention comes after warnings from traditionalists that the admission of women to the episcopate would shatter hopes of eventual unity between the Church of England and Rome.”
Archbishop Welby obediently does the bidding of the House of Bishops which engineered his election. I really don’t think they give a toss about eventual unity with Rome (one or two exceptions aside, and they probably won’t be replaced when they retire). So this part of the article appears misleading, at best.
Are the article and headline accurate?
The last part of the article seems to indicate that this was an encyclical letter sent by ++Welby to the heads of various churches asking that they all stand together on various issues. That seems a quite different concept to ++Welby asking Pope Francis to keep moves towards the two churches becoming one.
Just more headline digging by an editor trying to sell copy?
Okay, they are not happy with an adverse decision. Fair enough.
Apart from the law suit, how is Dio. Chicago going these days?
“The Hewats wrote to Hartley and Richardson, who as Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses is the country’s most senior bishop, saying they could not sign the declaration of assent to General Synod over Motion 30. The bishops withdrew their licences on Friday. Kimberley Hewat was a youth pastor.”
That confirms a statement already reported from one of the bishops - Revd Hewat stated that he could not sign the declaration of assent, and he was peremptorily dismissed. Dissent, no matter how genuine, will not be permitted.
This is EXACTLY the sort of behaviour one can expect when the liberals start to get power in a church, as is apparently happening in the Anglican Church in New Zealand.
“The bishops, who have declined a Times invitation to write a 500 word comment piece on the situation, also expressed disappointment of media coverage.”
No doubt, but a short look at the way things have gone in USA and England should have warned them that the media don’t tend to fawn all over the liberal position.
“Janikowski said that was due to theological differences centering on the person of Jesus Christ and the fundamental authority of holy scripture.”
Great publicity for the gospel - one of the unseen beneficial effects of these horrid law suits.
Desperation often leads to mis-steps.
What a load!
Following this story closely. Very sad news is that several leading doctors and nurses on the front lines of fighting the virus have now come down with the virus, and one doctor has died over the weekend.
One of the doctors who is now ill is a US doctor with Samaritan’s Purse. It would be good to especially pray for the medical workers battling this virus….
The Samaritan’s Purse doc (working in Liberia) is Kent Brantly - from Fort Worth.
I may have seen reports of a second worker from SIM / Samaritan’s Purse also infected. Not sure…
A doctor in Liberia, Dr. Samuel Brisbane, a Liberian, I believe, has just died:
And the top Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone also has come down with the illness. His name is Sheik Umar Khan:
#3. It is no surprise that The TECSC site has a rather “enraged” Judge Goodstein reprimanding the “mild-mannered” Kostel. The author is not known for his “objectivity”....
There was some sort of “tense conversation” between the two. I think Jeremy Bonner and Alan Haley have the best explanation. From my memory (you should be able to find that day’s post over at SFIF)..... The point of contention was the “abandonment of communion” certificate/form was entered into evidence by TECSC as “final decision” by which Judge Goodstein must abide in her decision. However, our Chancellor, Mr. Wade Logan, testified that it was similar to a conviction not a sentence. Ms. Kostel objected to that. Then ensued the conversation between Kostel and the Judge. I suspect there was indeed some *heated* exchange of words. Judge Goodstein mentioned possible sanctions against Kostel for violating Rule 3.1 (SC code that governs attorney conduct or something similar). The Judge asked local TECSC attorneys talk to Ms. Kostel privately and counsel her as to Rule 3.1). There have been many mis-steps by TECSC attorneys. Many wonder if they are wanting a re-trial….. That is just a guess. But they have really been off their game. On the other side, our attorneys have kept their cool, have objected TECSC statements occassionally but never angered Judge Goodstein like Ms. Kostel did.
Met at the funeral parlor chapel. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Taking your flock to greener pastures may protect a few sheep but the larger flock’s defenders are fewer in number. Look for things to accelerate.
Don’t see it - it would mean KJS admitting error.
Numbers 16:47-48 (NKJV)
Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped.
Our Father in heaven,
Jesus has made atonement for the people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
We cry out for Jesus to stand between the living and the dead and stop this plague. Stir the hearts of the intercessors and let their prayers be like Aaron’s incense.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Amen.
I wonder if Quincy, and God-willing, South Carolina and Texas can be the “Gettysburg and Vicksburg” for TEC? Maybe, just maybe, they will reconsider the scorched earth strategy?
The TECSC blogs about the last day of the trial were all wound up claiming that the DioSC counsel had given away the store by somehow showing that Bishop Lawrence was no longer able to lead the Diocese once he left TEC. However, I don’t see this gets them anywhere, because even if the Bishop is (rightly or wrongly) restricted, the Standing Committee always has standing to lead the Diocese.
Good this is over. The Quincy appeal verdict is very encouraging as well.
Magnolia, it goes further: in this culture there are no consequences, for anything. That’s why sin and redemption have become antique and foreign concepts; everything just goes away.
Too and they aren’t on red alert about Boko Haram.
What was all the commotion about on Day 13 between Goodstein and Kostel? It sounds like the latter was judged by the former as ‘instructing’ her on matters of her own discretion. The reports from the TEC side major in pointing to the commotion but don’t give any reasonable explanation for it. They only see the Judge as an intemperate and biased idiot.
In the TX Supreme Ct case I can well recall Kostel acting as if she was the prime authority and bordered on insubordination at one point.
RE: “It is the strengths and fortitude of +Mark and his Diocese that I hope can come to, and strengthen ACNA.”
Yes, I hear that a number of members of ACNA wish that SC would join ACNA in order to help ACNA. But . . . that’s never a good reason for relationships to be joined together. “She’ll change if or after I marry her” is always a bad way of beginning to intensify relationships.
RE: “those primates saw the wisdom in, and urged us to, create what is now ACNA.”
Well . . . actually . . . there was a lot of pressure on those Primates to remove parishes and dioceses/bishops/clergy from their oversight by Canterbury with the carrot being that Canterbury would perhaps kinda maybe think about possibly recognizing the new entity that transpired; I felt at the time that it was a real pity that some fell for that. And quite a few bishops/dioceses—as you know—chose to continue Primatial oversight while they are in ACNA, for some odd reason or other.
But regardless of why certain Primates wished for ACNA to be created [or at least, wished for an *entity of whatever description* to be created], thank goodness that the Diocese of SC is its own organization and may choose to do whatever it pleases, whether to join or not, and so far, fortunately, I’m not hearing any clamor from Primates of other provinces that SC should join ACNA. In fact, it could be argued that their decision to create the Global South Primatial Oversight Council soon after the Diocese of SC departed TEC actually takes the pressure off of South Carolina to choose ACNA: “We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.” It’s interesting phrasing, I think, just as Luke thought “Temporary Emergency Episcopal Oversight” was interesting back 8-9 years ago.
RE: “Surely, you don’t see any basic changes in directions taking place there?”
Oh I see lots and lots of basic changes taking place—but not of the sort you’re thinking of. I’ve said that about a thousand times, though, over the past 10 years, so nothing has changed in my viewpoint about changes in TEC. So far, my predictions have met some good fulfillments and we’ll see if that continues.
RE: “If you are still a member of ECUSA, as it now functions, well…why stay?”
Since I’ve answered that question from you about half a dozen times, I don’t see your liking the same answer any better this time around.
I’m a very happy member of TEC and don’t see myself leaving any time soon, though of course, I’m always open to God’s giving *me* a change of direction.
The above is simply my expressing hopes—just as Luke expressed hopes above in comment #13—about the future of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina; I care a lot about it and its people and want the best for it. The Episcopal Diocese of SC and its bishop and clergy/lay leaders are their own people and have shown a lot of good sense over the past very tough decade. I’ve always admired their decision to stay in TEC, while being *thrilled* at the manner and time and trigger for their decision to depart—the attempted inhibition of their bishop by very frustrated, bitter TEC leaders who couldn’t abide Bishop Lawrence’s and the diocese’s continued vocal and clear differentiation from the gospel that current TEC leaders promote. What a dumb mistake that was!
I’m confident that the committee tasked to explore various options will do their research and study and hopefully come to some wise decisions about any future affiliations.
‘he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts’
Prayers for the wonderful Diocese of South Carolina and the judge as she deliberates.
The Rev. James Gibson has a good reflection on the trial at his Locusts & Wild Honey blog:
It was encouraging to read his words about the passion and energy of all those from the Dio of SC involved in the trial. Sounds like there has been much answered prayer in terms of grace and strength and wisdom for all representing the Diocese.
Praying for a good outcome, but above all that these matters would not distract from the preaching of Christ and making disciples…
14. Sarah - It is the strengths and fortitude of +Mark and his Diocese that I hope can come to, and strengthen ACNA.
There are few of us in ACNA who did not have primatial oversight from elsewhere, as I’m sure you are aware, either from an African church or the Southern Cone; those primates saw the wisdom in, and urged us to, create what is now ACNA.
Such primatial oversight was always intended to be there to cope with an emergency situation…in fact, the formal name for it was Temporary Emergency Episcopal Oversight, or something very similar if I recall correctly.
This is what sheltered our parish when we first established it in ‘06. We were very grateful to have it, but always looked forward to having our American coverage, as we now do.
If you are still a member of ECUSA, as it now functions, well…why stay? Surely, you don’t see any basic changes in directions taking place there?
[Just a reminder to commenters - comments suggesting, encouraging or instructing others to leave or join any church or denomination, howsoever expressed or alluded to are not permitted on T19 - please also remain on topic - thanks - Elf]
When the President declares “the border is more secure than ever”, maybe he is thinking of the northern border? For example;
After all, the President has refused Gov Perry’s invitation to see the southern border and admitted the other day in Seattle that he does not look at the news.
Good report Jeremy, many thanks.
Great to hear, a real answer to prayer.
Dr Tighe’s article linked at #13 above is excellent. I recommend it to everyone interested in what actually happened in the patristic church in situations like ours today.
“The theory of the inviolable integrity of diocesan boundaries has underpinned the statements of more than one or two Episcopal bishops in recent years, such as Peter Lee of Virginia and Neil Alexander of Atlanta. The result of the theory that “heresy is preferable to schism” and “schism is worse than heresy” has been the belief among influential conservative Anglicans that the faithful must put up with an unending stream of doctrinal absurdities and moral enormities”
Well said. I would go so far as to say that “heresy is preferable to schism” is a lie of the devil, that has brought great spiritual suffering to those who have believed that lie.
The lessons for the church today go into much more detail, however. Athanasius and other bishops engaged unashamedly in border crossing:
“As time went on, the whole Church became divided over the question, with bishop opposing bishop. Athanasius was willing, as the conflict intensified—in his case, as early as the mid-340s—to intervene unilaterally in dioceses whose bishops were Arians or compromisers. The historians Socrates and Sozomen, writing in the middle of the next century, record that he ordained men in dioceses whose bishops were tainted with Arianism to serve the orthodox upholders of Nicea, and that he did so without seeking or obtaining the permission of those bishops.
And he was not alone. Other orthodox bishops acted similarly.
Theodoret of Cyrrhus, yet another historian (and bishop), tells us in his Ecclesiastical History that a contemporary and collaborator of Athanasius, Eusebius of Samosata, traveled around many of the eastern portions of the Roman Empire disguised as a soldier, and where he found Arian or Arianizing bishops, he ordained deacons, priests, and even bishops to care for the orthodox and oppose the official bishops and their supporters. He names five bishops Eusebius consecrated.
Another bishop, Lucifer of Cagliari, wandered throughout the Mediterranean world in support of those who upheld Nicea. Both Socrates and Theodoret record his intervention in the divided church of Antioch. In 362 he consecrated the leader of one of the orthodox groups, the leader of the other, larger group having early on in his career appeared to compromise with moderate Arians. The uncompromising orthodox group had never been willing to accept him as their bishop, and the consecration embittered the break between the two and led to a schism that was not to be healed for over fifty years.”
Many today who are comfortable in their established churches will be filled with foreboding, and even anger at these lessons. But they have to be told. This modern liberal heresy is as pervasive as Arianism, and it will take just as many decades and just as much prayerful conflict to resolve.
The orthodox Anglicans, whether evangelical, anglo-catholic or broad church, should also realise that they stand in the shoes of their patristic forebears, and take comfort and guidance from them.
Relations with the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches will not make the slightest difference to the thinking of the Church of England bishops. They will give them a few nice-to-hear comments, but really not be concerned how they react.
I am not saying that is a good thing, just the harsh reality for orthodox (small “o”) Christians in CofE
Does this mean the ROC statement was a waste of time? Not at all.
The Orthodox Church, like all churches is responsible to their Lord to witness to the truth. They have done so. The CofE almost certainly won’t listen, but the CofE will have to answer to the Lord for that.
I think there is a lot of research showing that those who go into a relationship thinking it won’t last, act in such as way that they actually make it not last.
This news from the Illinois Court of Appeals about the Diocese of Quincy and the trial being over here in SC make for the beginning of a nice weekend.
I can’t speak for any of the other jurisdictions but the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) broke off all dialogue with TEC a few years back. The ACNA is the only Anglican body they currently talk with on any kind of serious basis. I recall former Met. Jonah’s very frank speech to the ACNA’s inaugural convention. It created quite a stir if memory has not failed.
I believe the statement I referenced is the latest on the subject, and it is, so to speak, direct from the horse’s mouth as we say.
I have just been watching Bishop Sutton [here thanks to Anglican TV] talking about the burgeoning ecumenical talks with the Orthodox, including the Moscow Patriarchate, as well as with the Roman Catholic Church and the various N. American Lutheran bodies. It appears that currently ACNA is the only Anglican body in fruitful ecumenical talks in the Communion and the only one the Russian Orthodox are taking seriously, and as I say the Global South will have to decide whether they will permit Canterbury to lead them into the dead end they have unilaterally made for themselves, or take direct control of those talks back from Canterbury and its rotting instruments.
Pageantmaster, #17, the Anglican Ink article says that the Kenyans will soon change their canons to allow female bishops, whereas, Dr Tighe #16, the Kenyan statement says they can do nothing without action from Synod. I rather suspect they will go ahead, but I have no inside information at all. The last time I checked on the issue, the Diocese of Egypt and North Africa continues to refuse female ordination in part in consideration of the very good relationship it has with the Coptic Church. I only wish that the CofE had been similarly observant of the wider Christian world over the past decades.
here’s the latest research on the real reason most of them are coming; after all, violence has been happening for years and this surge is recent.
true, no.1 however this culture ceased caring about consequences to children about 50 years ago.
Sarah, LOL! love it. The Diocese’s missionary reach into other states…. there is a concept! Perhaps…... in the near future but probably not while we are in the midst of lawsuit with TEC that could go on for several years if other lawsuits involving dioceses are any indication.
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