Daily Archives: January 14, 2016

Bishop Mouneer Anis Comments on the 2016 Primates Gathering Statement

From his Facebook page:

Thank you my dear friends for your prayers for me and for the Primates meeting here in Canterbury. God responded, praise the Lord! We affirmed with overwhelming majority the traditional and biblical teaching of marriage which is between a man and a woman for life.
The resolution of the Episcopal Church in America to allow same sex marriage was a fundamental departure from the church doctrine. For this reason TEC is not allowed now to represent the Communion in ecumenical and interfaith meetings. The cannot be elected or appointed in the standing committees of AC & ACC. The cannot participate in decision regarding doctrine and polity of the church for the upcoming 3 years.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Statement from the Anglican Primates Gathering of 2016

Friday Update: the Communique from the Gathering may be read here
Today the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ. This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together.

The Primates regret that it appears that this document has been leaked in advance of their communiqué tomorrow. In order to avoid speculation the document is being released in full. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of all the Primates to continue the life of the Communion with neither victor nor vanquished.

Questions and further comments will be responded to at a press conference tomorrow at 1500.

The full text is as follows:

1. We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding of marriage.
2. Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation.

3. All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.

4. The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.

5. In keeping with the consistent position of previous Primates’ meetings such unilateral actions on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity is considered by many of us as a departure from the mutual accountability and interdependence implied through being in relationship with each other in the Anglican Communion.

6. Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us. This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.

7. It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.

8. We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

(AI) Primates suspend Episcopal Church from full participation in the Anglican Communion

The primates of the Anglican Communion have suspended the Episcopal Church from full participation in the life and work of the Anglican Communion. On 14 January 2016 a motion was presented to the gathering of archbishops and moderators gathered in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral that called for the Episcopal Church to be suspended for a period of three years.

A copy of the resolution seen by Anglican Ink calls for the Episcopal Church to lose its “vote” in meetings of pan-Anglican institutions and assemblies, but preserves its “voice”, demoting the church to observer status..

The motion asks that representatives of the Episcopal Church not be permitted to represent the Communion in interfaith and ecumenical bodies or dialogue commissions, nor serve on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, nor vote at meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council — whose next meeting is this summer in Lusaka. Unlike the recommendations of the Windsor Report, which called for the “voluntary withdrawal” of the Episcopal Church from the life of the Communion, today’s vote directs the archbishop to discipline the American church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Partial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011

Alan Rickman RIP

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry

GAFCON statement on the 2016 Primates Gathering

The Anglican Communion is our spiritual home and the GAFCON Primates traveled to England in the hope that godly faith and order could be restored through renewed obedience to the Bible.

We are pleased that Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America has played a full part in the Canterbury meeting of Primates and that sanctions have been applied to the Episcopal Church of the United States, (TEC) recognising the need for mutual accountability on matters of doctrine within the family of the Communion.
However, this action must not be seen as an end, but as a beginning. There is much that causes us concern, especially the failure to recognise the fact that the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) has also rejected the collegial mind of the Communion by unilaterally permitting the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of those in active homosexual relationships. We fear that other provinces will do the same.

Since the beginning of the crisis in the Communion brought about by the actions of both TEC and the ACoC, the Anglican instruments of unity have been unable to guard biblical truth and restore godly order. There must therefore be doubt about the effectiveness of the sanctions that have been agreed.

In particular, it must be recognised that the continuing brokenness of the Communion is not the result simply of failed relationships, but is caused by the persistent rejection of biblical and apostolic faith as set out in Lambeth Resolution 1.10. We are therefore disappointed that the Primates’ statement makes no reference to the need for repentance.

The need for the GAFCON movement is being recognised by an ever increasing number of people and we are encouraged in our conviction that God has called us to work for an Anglican Communion which is a truly global family of Churches. We long to see a united, confident and courageous witness to God who by the death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ has given us an unshakeable hope and assures us of his unfailing love.

— Released by GAFCON chairman The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala and the GAFCON General Secretary, The Most Rev. Dr. Peter Jensen

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, GAFCON I 2008, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Pastoral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali on the BBC giving Analysis on the Primates gathering

Take the time to watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Update on the Primates Gathering in Canterbury

On the second day of the gathering, I moved a resolution that asked the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw from the meeting and other Anglican Communion activities until they repented of their decisions that have torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion at its deepest level. They would not agree to this request nor did it appear that the Archbishop of Canterbury and his facilitators would ensure that this matter be substantively addressed in a timely manner.

Sadly, after two long days of discussions, I was concerned that the process set up for this meeting would not permit us to address the unfinished business from the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

In accordance with the resolution of our Provincial Assembly, it was, therefore, necessary for me to withdraw from the meeting, which I did at the end of the second day. It seemed that I was being manipulated into participating in a long meeting with the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada without the necessary discipline being upheld. My conscience is at peace.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

Breaking: Primates issue limp rebuke to TEC

More to follow – limits to ecumenical involvement for the Episcopal Church. No restriction imposed on Anglican Church of Canada.

Early information being heard. Confirmation of details to follow when available.

Update:There is an important clue here in those who know how to read between the lines..

There may already be a ban on representatives of TEC particpating in Anglican Communion ecumenical activities – which we do not recollect having been rescinded.

The Archbishop of Canterbury in his May 2010 Pentecost Letter imposed an exclusion on the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church from serving on Anglican Communion Ecumenical Dialogues:

I am therefore proposing that, while these tensions remain unresolved, members of such provinces ”“ provinces that have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria requested by the Instruments of Communion and recently reaffirmed by the Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) ”“ should not be participants in the ecumenical dialogues in which the Communion is formally engaged. I am further proposing that members of such provinces serving on IASCUFO should for the time being have the status only of consultants rather than full members. This is simply to confirm what the Communion as a whole has come to regard as the acceptable limits of diversity in its practice. It does not alter what has been said earlier by the Primates’ Meeting about the nature of the moratoria: the request for restraint does not necessarily imply that the issues involved are of equal weight but recognises that they are ”˜central factors placing strains on our common life’, in the words of the Primates in 2007. Particular provinces will be contacted about the outworking of this in the near future.

However, the ACO ignored the ban in relation to Toronto, Canada and
The Episcopal Church

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

(NPR) Division Over Social Issues Threatens Global Split Among Anglican Churches

JUSTIN WELBY: It is a sense of, hang on; you are telling us whom and what we should be. A senior figure in one country said to me a few years ago – he said, I didn’t go through the colonial period and get rid of you people in order for you to come back in a different form and do the same to me as you were doing before.

[NPR’S TOM] GJELTEN: One more consideration – Christians in the global South often compete with Muslims. Philip Jenkins, a religion historian at Baylor University, says their resistance to same-sex marriage must be seen in that context.

PHILIP JENKINS: If they were ever to waiver on these gay issues, they think that would just hand a massive propaganda victory to Muslims. Christians in those countries would be seen as just toeing the Western line, giving way to Western immorality.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Canada, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Pastoral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Morning Worship Encouragement–Lord of Eternity – Fernando Ortega

Blessed is the man
Who walks in Your Favor
Who loves all Your Words
And hides them like Treasure
In the darkest place
Of his desperate Heart,
They are a LIGHT
A strong, sure Light.
Sometimes I call out Your Name
But I cannot find You.
I look for Your Face,
But You are not there.
By my sorrows, LORD,
Lift me to You,
Lift me up to Your Side.

Lord of Eternity,
Father of Mercy,
Look on my fainting Soul.
Keeper of all the stars,
Friend of the poorest Heart
Touch me and make me whole…

If YOU are my Defender,
Who is against me?
NO ONE can trouble or harm me
If YOU are my Strength.
All I ask, all I desire
Is to live in Your House ALL MY DAYS.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A World Magazine Article on the 2016 Primates Meeting

GAFCON was established in 2008 to restore scriptural fidelity to the Anglican Communion.

And in the United Kingdom, evangelical Anglican pastors have watched with trepidation as the linchpin in the debate””the Church of England””works loose from biblical orthodoxy. Sam Allberry, associate pastor of St. Mary’s Maidenhead, in Berkshire, is same-sex attracted and has championed the cause of similar Christians seeking to live in faithfulness to God’s Word””which means celibate living in singleness.

“God’s Word on this is not only clear, but I think it is good,” Allberry said during a 2014 conference hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from George Appleton

Lord Jesus Christ, who in the offerings of the wise men didst receive an earnest of the worship of the nations: Grant that thy Church may never cease to proclaim the good news of thy love, that all men may come to worship thee as their Saviour and King, who livest and reignest world without end.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

I love thee, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me,
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me,
the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at thy rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

He reached from on high, he took me,
he drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
They came upon me in the day of my calamity;
but the Lord was my stay.
He brought me forth into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.

–Psalm 18:1-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Open Thread: What are your thoughts and prayers for the Anglican Primates Gathering?

[Jesus]..was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Primates, Blogging & the Internet, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Spirituality/Prayer

A Reminder about the use of the Delphi Technique

This Delphi Technique was developed by the RAND Corporation for the U.S. Department of Defense back in the 1950s. It was originally intended for use as a psychological weapon during the cold war. However, it was soon recognized that the steps of Delphi could be very valuable in manipulating ANY meeting toward a pre-determined end.

How does the process take place? The techniques are well developed and well defined. First, the person who will be leading the meeting, the facilitator or Change Agent must be a likeable person with whom those participating in the meeting can agree or sympathize with. It is, therefore, the job of the facilitator to find a way to cause a split in the audience, to establish one or a few of the people as “bad guys” while the facilitator is perceived as the “good guy.” Facilitators are trained to recognize potential opponents and how to make such people appear aggressive, foolish, extremist, etc. Once this is done, the facilitator establishes himself or herself as the “friend” of the rest of the audience. The stage is now set for the rest of the agenda to take place.

At this point, the audience is generally broken up into “discussion groups” of seven or eight people each. Each of these groups is to be led by a subordinate facilitator. Within each group, discussion takes place of issues, already decided upon by the leadership of the meeting. Here, too, the facilitator manipulates the discussion in the desired direction, isolating and demeaning opposing viewpoints. Generally, participants are asked to write down their ideas and disagreements with the papers to be turned in and “compiled” for general discussion after the general meeting is re-convened.

THIS is the weak link in the chain which you are not supposed to recognize. WHO compiles the various notes into the final agenda for discussion? AHHHH! Well, it is those who are running the meeting. How do you know that the ideas on YOUR notes were included in the final result. You DON’T! You may realize that your idea was NOT included and come to the conclusion that you were probably in the minority. Recognize that every OTHER citizen member of this meeting has written his or her likes or dislikes on a similar sheet of paper and they, too, have no idea whether THEIR ideas were “compiled” into the final result! You don’t even know if ANYONE’S ideas are part of the final “conclusions” presented to the re-assembled group as the “consensus” of public opinion. Rarely, does anyone challenge the process since each concludes that he or she was in the minority and different from all the others. So, now, those who organized the meeting in the first place are able to tell the participants AND THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY that the conclusions, reached at the meeting, are the result of public participation. Actually, the desired conclusions had been established, in the back room, long before the meeting ever took place. There are variations in the technique to fit special situations but, in general, the procedure outlined above takes place.

Read it all and there is more here. Prior uses by Canterbury of this technique were noted in the Dublin Primates Meeting where Justin Welby acted as a Facilitator; the CofE Synod; the Shared Conversations on Sexual Immorality where Canterbury hopes that this Primates Meeting will clear the way for changes in CofE teaching in the General Synod according to David Porter

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

Telegraph Wednesday evening article on the 2016 Primates Meeting

Up to 15 of the 38 prelates taking part in the talks are also understood to have withdrawn from joint prayer services in Canterbury Cathedral in a sign of the depth of the divisions over issues such as homosexuality.
But sources claimed that fears of a dramatic public walkout on the first few days of the talks had been avoided by negotiation tactics involving separating people into small groups, unable even to communicate with each other for most of the time.
Clerics are understood to have been asked to hand in mobile phones for much of the time during the talks, overseen by two trained “facilitators” specialising in “reconciliation” tactics.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Partial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011

Mary Ailes on Canterbury's use of the Delphi Technique

Reading George’s report, including the report that the Delphi Method was introduced into the Primates Meeting on Tuesday, brought back memories of years of meetings in the Episcopal Church before we experienced the division, where the Delphi Method was also employed regularly in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. I attended many of those meetings as President of Region VII in the Diocese of Virginia and it was how George describes it in his article. It was clear that it was manipulative and designed to produce a particular result. If this method was used by the leadership from the Anglican Communion Office and Lambeth Palace, that would be a significant blunder.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

George Conger on Canterbury's use of the Delphi Technique

However, when the question was put to the group on Tuesday, the trajectory of the meeting shifted. Though details remain unconfirmed, it is believed Archbishop Welby attempted to use a technique he brought to the 2011 Dublin primates meeting.

In Dublin, Archbishop Welby — then the Dean of Liverpool — served as a facilitator of conversations amongst the primates using the Delphi Method. Developed by the RAND Corporation in the USA, the Delphi method is structured communication technique, where participants break into small groups and discuss set questions. A facilitator or change agent provides an anonymous summary of the discussions as well as the reasons for the participant’s judgments. Participants are encouraged to revise their earlier answers in light of the replies of other members of their group — during the process the range of answers decreases and the group converges towards a “correct” answer.

Use of the Delphi method at the 2008 Lambeth Conference and other pan-Anglican gatherings has been sharply criticized by non-Western clergy, who see it as a paternalistic attempt to manipulate them and achieve a predetermined outcome, by adopting a “divide and conquer” approach. It is believed this method of discussion was resisted by some primates who wished to proceed as a committee of the whole.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

Peter Ould on Wednesday Night's Evensong at the 2016 Primates Gathering

From here:

If Monday’s Evensong was the Spirit led Perfect Storm of Scripture and Tuesday’s was the despondent depths, tonight’s was the subdued but significant. With barely a minute to go there were the same number of Primates as yesterday and then suddenly Foley Beach joined them and sat down. The number of Primates in the Quire then doubled as in the remaining leaders processed in full choir robes, liberals and conservatives alike.
Clearly unity has been achieved for the moment and the Cathedral listened to Amos 3 teach us of punishment for sin and the saving of a remnant, and 1 Corinthians 2 speak of the power of proclaiming Christ crucified.
From conversation and prayer afterwards I discerned that the conservative Primates have neither caved in nor achieved their goals. I’m sure many will be frustrated by this, but we are not in the room and we do not know the dynamics at play.
Continue to pray for God to be glorified. There are two more days to go and tonight’s full house is clear evidence that our LORD is in the business of miracles. Pray also for the Archbishop of Canterbury and his wife (who is here supporting him) – the emotional and spiritual strain must be enormous.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Primates, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016