A Statement from Archbishop Gregory Venables on the news about Canon Bill Atwood

I am extremely pleased that the Anglican Church of Kenya has named Canon Bill Atwood as a Bishop Suffragan. Bill has served as my chaplain and is therefore well known to me both as a colleague and a good friend. He is a Christian priest of character and faithful service. In the painful circumstances of the Anglican Communion I deeply appreciate the bonds which link many primates together. I welcome the prospect of congregations under my care and protection working more closely with those of Kenya and other provinces. In the absence of even a tiny indication of willingness from the Episcopal Church to address the crisis, those who wish to remain orthodox within the US cannot be abandoned. Collaboration among Provinces working in the States and the Network is helping build a unified future for those who share the historic Biblical faith.

–The Most Rev. Gregory Venables is Primate of the Southern Cone

Print Friendly

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, TEC Conflicts

12 comments on “A Statement from Archbishop Gregory Venables on the news about Canon Bill Atwood

  1. APB says:

    Reading the letters from various primates on this, I am beginning to wonder whether this action is in fact part of a coordinated effort, rather than another individual action. There seems to be some genuine warmth rather than concern or annoyance.

  2. Philip Snyder says:

    Let’s see – the +Duncan supports it. +Akinola supports is. +Orombi supports it. +Venables supports it. It does seem that this has some coordination behind it.

    My biggest fear in the AMiA/Cana/Kenya strategy is that the different groups will never get together to form a unified orthodox Anglican witness in North America and will just become more of the Continium’s “alphabet soup.” May God grant that they become unified in spirit and in His truth.

    YBIC,
    Phil Snyder

  3. William#2 says:

    Phil,
    When catholicity becomes a barrier to salvation, perhaps it should be abandoned. Look, I know the catholic, concilar types “disapprove” of us who are in the US under the oversight of foreign bishops. I would like one, just one of those folks; perhaps Dr. Seitz would be an example, to look me in the eye across the blogosphere and say, “William, my wish is that all of you were no longer in church life altogether, or, in some other orthodox grouping such as Southern Baptists, etc.”
    I really don’t pray that all the groups get together, unless by so doing we enhance our chances of bringing ourselves, and others to relationship with Jesus Christ.

  4. RoyIII says:

    When churches break up isn’t it common that the different factions splinter? They don’t always go two different directions, but three or four? I think that is what is happening.

  5. badman says:

    The original reports said that “at least six” Primates would back the Kenyan consecration. After Nzimbi of Kenya himself, the obvious names were Akinola of Nigeria, Orombi of Uganda and Venables of Southern Cone. They have now all come forward. Any guesses as to who the other two Primatial supporters will be?

  6. Philip Snyder says:

    William (#2) – I will not judge the moves that anyone made in their conscience – particularly if your diocese has a reappraising bishop. I think that there is a need for “lifeboats” in the current crisis.

    However a lifeboat is, by design, a temporary measure. The catholicity of the Church is important and I pray that all the lifeboats can come together on some shore and set out to sea again in a unified ship. A lifeboat that stays out to sea endangers the people in it.

    I was the deacon at Bishop Jecko’s memorial service. Canon Atwood was the preacher. Bishop Stanton was the Celebrant. Canon Roseberry hosted the event at Christ Church, Plano (an AMiA service) and Bishop Minns was there along with numerous ECUSA bishops. If we can worship together to thank God for the life and ministry of a mutual friend, surely we can work out our differences and make plans for some long term solution where we live out Jesus’ High Priestly prayer in John 17.

    YBIC,
    Phil Snyder

  7. Gregory says:

    It is coordinated.

  8. badman says:

    Archbishop Kolini of Rwanda I suppose. When will he speak? And who will make the sixth?

  9. Philip Snyder says:

    In my #6, I meant to say that Christ Church Plano was an AMiA parish. The service itself was straight out of the 79 Book of Common Prayer.

    YBIC,
    Phil Snyder

  10. William#2 says:

    Phil, thanks for your cordial reply to my posting above. And of course, all we have to do to come together is abandon the Gospel and accept TEC’s rebellion against God. Thats my central point, that my job, my building, my ministry, my pension, my friends, my miter, my mama’s grave in the church cemetary, my prayerbook, my beliefs about communion–all are subordinate to being in relationship with the Lord and bringing others to him. When they get in the way of that they must be cast aside. My “fear” is the opposite of yours, that these trifles will be too much for many to give up. Perhaps my luck in boats will be similar to Paul’s.
    Thank you for the salutation, YBIC. You and I are no longer in communion with each other, but I suspect we are brothers in Christ. For now I suppose that will have to be enough. Ironic, don’t you think?
    YBIC,
    William

  11. Philip Snyder says:

    William#2 – I don’t think I made myself clear. I want a unified, orthodox, Anglican witness to Jesus Christ in the United States. I want to do away with the heresy and institutional rebellion against God. (I deal with personal rebellion with my confessor and spiritual director.) I would love to see the Network and AMiA, CANA, Kenya, Southern Cone, etc. join together in an Anglicanism that is anglo-catholic, evangelical, and charismatic. One where the style of worship is not as important as whom we are worshipping and vestments are less important than hearts.

    Before we reconcile the different groups, I believe we need a time of fasting and prayer and confession where we confess to God and to each other our own sins of sloth, pride, envy, and anger. Among such a diverse group with diverse ideas of how to handle the apostacy of TECUSA, there are bound to be some hurt feelings. We should clear the air with God and each other, confess, offer and receive forgiveness in Jesus Christ and be reconciled to God and each other. Then we can move forward in peace as brothers and sisters in Christ.

    YBIC,
    Phil Snyder

  12. William#2 says:

    Phil, what you want would be ok with me, but only if it is truly a means to the ends you describe at #11 and I describe above. Since I left your church, I have come to believe that God probably gently tolerates the denominational alphabet soup that is so important to some of us. I will not claim that the Anglicans have it right and the Baptists have it wrong; that the Roman Catholics are the true church and everyone else is a mere pretender. Are you in a church? Does it follow Christ and bring Him to others? Thats pretty much all I care about. If God wills the new Anglican church you desire, fine. If He doesn’t, fine. We’ll be ok either way.