Daily Archives: June 16, 2007

D.C. Toedt: The Diocese of Texas will eventually split from TEC

This past week I saw first-hand how some traditionalist activists in the Diocese of Texas, including many long-time friends in my own big parish, St. John the Divine Houston, are mobilizing under the radar to elect a bishop who will almost certainly lead the diocese out of the Episcopal Church. After yesterday’s events, I see this as pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Many of these activists are fine people who care deeply about the Gospel ”” but they also care way too much about the Current Disputes, and they’re organizing pretty effectively to capture the levers of control in the diocese. I hope I’m wrong, but I think it won’t be long before the Diocese of Texas goes the way of Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, and the like, and that it will eventually leave the Episcopal Church.

[UPDATE: So there’s no confusion about the previous sentence, neither Pittsburgh nor Fort Worth (dioceses) have left the Episcopal Church ”” at least not yet. From my perspective, though, that’s just a matter of time; neither diocese’s leadership seems to be willing to be associated with the so-called heretics and apostates who, they think, dominate TEC, and I think the next bishop and diocesan council of Texas will be of like mind.]

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Dwight Longenecker: The Anglican Right

From Crisis Magazine:

The Pastoral Provision has been in existence for 25 years. Since then, only a handful of Anglican Use parishes have been established, and the number of married Episcopal priests to be ordained is currently less than 100.

Is this really a movement to be reckoned with? Is it the stroke of genius that it seems? Have these first 25 years been a time of quiet foundation-building for a great tidal wave of Anglican clergy and laity into the Catholic Church, or is the whole movement just an interesting idea promoted by a few eccentric enthusiasts?

Much depends on the success of the newly reformed and updated Pastoral Provision Office””whether it will continue to be proactive in promoting the Pastoral Provision; whether it will be able to publicize and promote this creative option successfully, along with committed men like Father Bergman; whether it receives support from the conferences of bishops and the Vatican; and whether it will be given the resources to reach out confidently to the various Anglican groups worldwide.

If so, what it has done so far may well be a solid foundation for an exciting development in the Catholic Church’s relationship with worldwide Anglicanism. If not, the Anglican Use will become merely an interesting footnote in the history of ecumenism.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Roderick Strange: True Forgiveness

From the Times:

To Simon’s embarrassment He compares him with the woman. He is a guest in Simon’s house, but common courtesies have not been observed: there has been no kiss of welcome, no opportunity for Him to wash His feet, no anointing of his head. The woman, on the other hand, has bathed His feet, even with her tears, and has kissed and anointed them. The immediate lesson is not that she is forgiven because of this great outpouring of affection. Forgiveness is not a reward for making a display. It’s the other way round. Jesus concludes that the display reveals that she must have been forgiven already; forgiveness had released the display of love: “Her many sins must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love.” Whereas Simon, all stiff and correct, who had been forgiven little, had shown little love.

What lessons might this episode have for us? There is a lesson about not judging too swiftly. Simon had dismissed the woman out of hand, but then had been found wanting in comparison with her. There is a lesson, too, about the way, when people receive forgiveness, they are freed to love more deeply. And there is a lesson about sexual maturity. The whole scene is highly charged. Jesus’s feet are kissed and caressed and wiped with this woman’s hair. Was He aroused? How extraordinary if He were not. And if we find the question offensive, what does that tell us about ourselves and our understanding of Him and sexuality? Jesus appears to have been completely at ease. Whatever was sexual in this meeting was integrated maturely into the relationship. And the woman’s behaviour was more than sexual display. Of course, it was sexual, but not sexual only. It had matured into love and it showed that she was free.


Posted in Theology

Ruth Graham: The Silent Rock Behind a Famous Evangelist

From Christianity Today:

Despite long separations when Graham was on the road preaching, Ruth, who died Thursday at age 87, remained his bedrock, often speaking up to offer advice, yet just as often staying silent so that he could focus on his mission.

“There would have been no Billy Graham ”¦ had it not been for Ruth,” said the late T.W. Wilson, a key member of Graham’s staff, in A Prophet With Honor, William Martin’s biography of the evangelist.

Graham was the first to acknowledge his wife’s importance. “Your counsel, advice, encouragement and prayer have been my mainstay and at times I have almost clung to you in my weakness, in hours of obsession, problems and difficulties,” he wrote in a 1963 letter to Ruth from Los Angeles, according to Patricia Cornwell’s biography, Ruth, A Portrait.

In a statement issued Thursday, Graham, 88, praised his wife as his “life partner” and said “we were called as a team.”

“No one else could have borne the load that she carried. She was a vital and integral part of our ministry, and my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support,” he said.

Read the whole thing and consider praying for and thanking the clergy spouses you are in touch with–it does not happen enough–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

Anglican Communion moves closer to schism

From Religious Intelligence:

Responding to the announcement, the Rev Dr Chris Sugden, Executive Secretary of the Anglican Mainstream group, criticised the Episcopal Church for rejecting the Primates’ authority.

He said: “When the authority of the Primates was introduced at the Lambeth Conference in 1998 to deal with the issues in Rwanda, everybody agreed.

“But now something that was regarded as acceptable when dealing with Africans is not acceptable to the Americans. It sniffs of racism.

“They are saying the Primates are not representative of them, but the Primates do represent each of their provinces, yet the Americans are forcing their polity on others.”

Relations between the Episcopal Church and the rest of the Communion were further strained earlier this week when the Church of Kenya announced it is to consecrate the Rev Canon Bill Atwood as a missionary Bishop for the United States, following the Episcopal Church’s rejection of the Pastoral Council.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

In Canada Church leaders brace for battle over the soul of Anglicanism

From the Toronto Star:

The blogs have started and the 24-hour prayer vigil is accepting emails as the Anglican world turns its eyes to Winnipeg.

Canada’s Anglicans gather this week in Manitoba to pick a new leader and decide whether to allow same-sex marriage blessings. But that narrow debate only touches what is truly at stake. For all those involved, on either side of the issue, what is really at issue is the definition of Anglicanism itself ”“ and the possibility of schism.

“The nature of Anglicanism is that it has been from the beginning a movement that tries to be comprehensive,” says retired U.S. Bishop Arthur Walmsley, who has studied and lectured on church history.

But the trait that for more than 400 years has been its strength ”“ an ability to reflect varied theological perspectives and practices ”“ may yet prove its fatal flaw as the gap between conservative and liberal grows too wide to bridge.

“Even if there was a way to solve the same-sex issue satisfactorily to all parties tomorrow, we would still have a major problem on our hands,” says Newfoundland Bishop Don Harvey, spiritual head of the conservative Canadian group Anglican Essentials. “It’s so much deeper than that.”

Already, the church in the U.S. faces expulsion from the Worldwide Anglican Communion if it refuses to recant by Sept. 30 its support of gay marriage and homosexual clergy ”“ a fate that could await Canada if it votes to allow an accommodation of gay marriage within the church. With so much at stake, the Anglican world will be watching what happens in Winnipeg.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Frederick Quinn: Globalization and the future of the Anglican Communion

From Episcopal Life:

In reality, globalization has been an active historical force since at least the 15th century when growing numbers of European merchants, military, and missionaries began making voyages to the earth’s ends. But trade with distant people and the intrusiveness of new religious ideas really belong to much earlier times. The Acts of the Apostles, considered as travel literature for a moment, reflect many of the tensions facing the contemporary global church. In the century after Christ’s death, his followers around the Mediterranean literal compiled various oral traditions about Jesus as Messiah and prayerfully applied them in their own widely diverse settings. Understandably, sharp disputes arose, both among Christians, and with enthusiasts for Greek, Roman, Jewish and other religious expressions. Globalization is never friction free.

Fast forward now to the present. The deeper causes of current tensions originate less in talk about sex than in unresolved frictions in the postcolonial encounter. Until now, the model of inter-Anglican relations has been an export-import one. The United Kingdom and North America were major exporters of their versions of Christianity; Africa, Asia, and Latin America were the willing importers. As such, the latter were expected to reject much of what had been important in traditional religions, such as ancestor veneration, and unilaterally adopt western dress, culture, and religions. One example of this incongruous process: I once entered an isolated small Vietnamese church and was greeted by the local priest who showed us the church’s prized possession, a large 19th century plaster statue of the Joan of Arc, arrayed with sword, shield, and full body armor.

New times demand new approaches.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Globalization, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

South Carolina Standing Committee Announces Final Plans for August Episcopal Election process

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina met on June 9, 2007, immediately following the Diocesan Convention held at St. James Episcopal Church on James Island, South Carolina.
At its meeting, the Committee unanimously agreed:

1. To call for a Special Convention to elect a Bishop. The Convention is to be held at ten o’clock a.m. on Saturday, August 4, 2007 at St. James’ Church, James Island, South Carolina.

2. The Standing Committee unanimously nominated The Very Reverend Mark J. Lawrence to be the next Bishop of South Carolina.

3. Because of the necessity for background checks, no nominations from the floor will be allowed at the Convention. In lieu thereof, the Committee has established a petition process, with the following guidelines:

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Two More Articles on the recently concluded Executive Council Meeting in New Jersey

The Los Angeles Times article is here, and it includes this:

During a teleconference, [Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts] Schori said the panel’s action was “neither go back to the drawing board nor a complete rejection,” suggesting that the “conversation” could continue at the U.S. bishops meeting in September in New Orleans.

But the Rev. Kendall S. Harmon, editor of the Anglican Digest and Canon Theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina, disagreed.

“It’s a clear rejection of any sense of commitment to the Communion and any attempt to engage seriously with the request of the primates,” Harmon said. “They are not interested in any aspects of what the primates have requested. That’s all autonomy and no communion. It’s certainly making a very bad situation worse.”

Read the whole article, and also read the Reuters article there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Robert Steven Duncan: A Short Interview With Anglican Bishop Henry Scriven

Please note that Robert Duncan is a journalist and ombudsman for foreign press in Spain. He is an Executive Board Member and Vice-President for the Organización de Periodismo y Comunicación Ibero-Americana, and Vice-President of the energy and telecommunications association, APSCE–KSH.

What is the state of the Anglican Church in the US and world, and the ongoing talks between the Anglicans and Catholic Church?

I don’t know a lot about the official conversations between the Anglicans and the RC Church, but I think the relations are still cordial, and we have received encouragement from our local bishop and from Pope Benedict XVI when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, to keep up the defense of the orthodox faith in the face of the revisionism in the Episcopal Church.

Has the crisis (related to the Robinson ordination) accelerated talks, etc. There has been some talk that this may be happening with other related groups, such as those in the Continuum?

This is certainly true here in the USA as the continuing Anglican Churches, which are not in the Anglican Communion, are very excited about meeting with the Anglican Communion Network.

There were several of the Common Cause partners at the conference last month and a great sense of hope for the future.

The key in this process is the figure of Bob Duncan as they all respect him and his leadership.

But of course it is a lot more work for him.

Really in fact the CAN has three different groups that make it up: the Common Cause, the Network dioceses and the Network parishes, which are in dioceses where the bishop is more or less unfriendly (some of these of course are no longer part of ECUSA and now come under the oversight of an African or South American bishop).

It’s quite a mess and we long to see some order restored, but have to conclude that God is doing a new thing, and this includes bringing many different denominations together in a new way. We have no idea how it will work out, but we know it is in God’s hands….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Massachusetts Episcopal churches won't merge

From the Daily News of Newburyport:

West Newbury’s All Saints Episcopal Church may move to a spot just down the street from Amesbury’s existing Episcopal church, but the two churches are unlikely to merge, the assistant rector at All Saints Church said yesterday.

All Saints Episcopal Church wants to buy and move into the Sacred Heart parish building on Friend Street, which the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has offered for sale. It’s almost within sight of Amesbury’s St. James Episcopal Church, on Main Street.

The Rev. Michael Morse of All Saints said yesterday a merger of the two Episcopal churches is unlikely if the move happens. The leaders of All Saints have had “cordial” discussions with St. James officials about their possible move, he said.

Contacted yesterday, the Rev. Susan Esco Chandler of St. James declined to comment on the situation, saying she doesn’t know much information about it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Parishes