Palmetto Anglican
Monday, May 31, 2004
 
CANADIAN ANGLICANS CHOOSE MONTREAL ARCHBISHOP TO LEAD THEM


News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

ST. CATHERINES, ONT (5/31/2004)--Canadian Anglicans known more for their
passivity and less for their sanguinity chose, on the fourth ballot, a
bi-lingual liberal from the Diocese of Montreal, Archbishop Andrew S.
Hutchison, 65, who failed to win a clear majority on the first three
ballots.

He won decisively on the fourth ballot, defeating the Evangelical Ronald
C. Ferris, 58, Bishop of Algoma.

144 lay members and 117 clergy members voted. A majority in both houses
was needed to declare a winner.

On the fourth ballot Hutchison got 68 clergy votes and 97 laity.
Ferris got 44 clergy votes and 41 laity.

Ferris ran second in the voting, on all four ballots. A flip of eight
votes would have had Ferris as the winner by clergy order. He could not
summon the laity vote.

The voting patterns followed much the same as in the American Episcopal
Church.

"They wanted a middle way to the right of Hutchison but couldn't find
it", said a knowledgeable watcher. What it does say is that Victoria
Matthews, Bishop of Edmonton would have won had she been available. She
is in hospital facing surgery for breast cancer.

Hoping to break the log jam after four ballots, the two houses moved
quickly to choose Hutchison.

On the first ballot Hutchison got 48 clergy and 72 laity with Ferris
obtaining 24 clergy and 38 laity. Caleb Lawrence, 63, Bishop of
Moosonee, got 25 clergy and 38 laity.

On the second ballot Hutchison got 55 clergy and 78 laity, (a majority
of laity but not clergy). Ferris got 39 clergy and 34 laity. Caleb got
20 and laity 28. The Bishop of Moosonee was forced out of the race
following the second ballot.

With no clear winner the chairman called for new nominees. Ninety
minutes later in the Sean O'Sullivan theatre, Bishop D. Ralph Spence,
62, Diocese of Niagara was nominated. His resume, when publicly read
prompted laughter when it was announced that he had one of the largest
flag collections in Canada and is involved in a museum of flags. He was
elected coadjutor bishop in 1997.

The failure of Hutchison to win clearly and decisively was a set back;
albeit temporary, for the more revisionist element in the church, and
another gob smack at Michael Ingham the pro-gay Bishop of New
Westminster, who saw in Hutchison a sleeper candidate for his views. It
was a desperate maneuver to stop liberalism in its track and oust Hutchison.

Clearly the synod was looking for a Victoria Matthews type to hold it
together; someone less ideological than Hutchison. In Ralph Spence, the
portly, moderately liberal Bishop of Niagara, the hope was that he would
provide it.

On the third ballot, Ferris got 38 clergy votes and 33 laity. Hutchison
got 53 clergy and 70 laity votes, Spence got 25 clergy 40 laity. Spence
was gone.

A fourth ballot was called which saw Hutchison and Ferris duking it out
for the top slot.

Two moves from the floor for more nominations were quickly squelched.

The stop Hutchison movement was running out of steam. When the fourth
vote came in Hutchison was the clear winner.

It was a vote for a continuation of, if not an acceleration of, the
policies of former Primate Michael Peers.

An insider with knowledge of the history of Canadian Anglicanism
believes that within a few days Hutchison will reach out to the orthodox
of the church in a gesture of good will. It will inevitably be seen as
too little late.

Few doubt that the new Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada will
continue the liberal tradition of his predecessor Michael Peers, who
resigned as Primate prior to General Synod. Mandatory retirement for a
Primate is 70.

In his acceptance speech, Hutchison said that he, as the Primate elect,
accepted the job with a profound sense of accountability recognizing the
complexity of Anglicanism from coast to coast with its multiplicity of
cultures.

With a nod to the orthodox in the church, Hutchison said he would strive
for unity, citing our Lord's words that we all may be one so that the
world may believe. "More energy needs to be directed but we must ask
what our purpose is? I shall use my every ounce of energy to increase
and build the unity of this church so that the world may believe, so
that people across this land look to us and see how these Christians
love one another."

Chris Hawley a spokesman for the orthodox movement Essentials Canada
said he was disappointed by the result, but said that he believed that
the job of the Primate is to bring both sides together.

"We want to give him the opportunity to connect with orthodox people.
The onus is on him to do so. We can't prejudge anyone, he needs a
chance. The orthodox want to be heard in the councils of the church."

Hawley said Hutchison would be seen as liberal. "It matters more that a
Primate represents both sides of the church. The orthodox view is
significant in the pews but less significant in the leadership.
Essentials would have preferred to see Ferris win."

Prior to the election, Acting Primate David Crawley said, "We stubbornly
gather in General Synod believing that the Spirit will guide us."

The days ahead will prove whether or not that is true.

 
Monday in Whitsun-Week

O GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

 
Church Times - Police evict Sudan Church

by Rachel Boulding

RIOT POLICE have evicted church staff from the office of the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) in Khartoum. On Thursday of last week, three truck-loads of armed police arrived without warning and ordered the building to be emptied, threatening violence to force compliance. Staff organised a rapid evacuation, removing the office’s contents.

The authorities said that the building had been sold to an Arab business, the Amal Company, by Gabriel Roric, who was deposed as Bishop of Rumbek last year. Mr Roric, who was also a minister in the government until 2001 and holds a senior position in the ruling Islamic party, had claimed to be "Archbishop of ECS" when making the sale. He has been accused of acting as a government agent and of undermining the Church, most recently in carrying out illegal consecrations of bishops.

The Archbishop of Sudan, the Most Revd Joseph Marona, issued a statement: "This is a serious day for all the people of Sudan. I call on the government to restore the Church’s property to its rightful owner — the Church." He also urged Christians to be restrained: "As scripture says, it is not by might that one prevails."

The Rt Revd Daniel Deng, Bishop of Renk, whose office was also in the building, called on others in the Anglican Communion to speak out.

The dioceses of Salisbury and Bradford, which are linked to Sudan, have made representations to the Sudanese ambassador in London. The Episcopal diocese of Virginia organised a demonstration in Washington DC on Wednesday.

Hopes for peace
On Tuesday, negotiators announced a breakthrough in the talks between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both sides were due to sign an agreement that could end 21 years of civil war. However, the accord does not cover the separate conflict in Darfur, Western Sudan, where hundreds of thousands have been displaced and genocide is threatened (News, 30 April).

 
Authentic evangelism


=====================================================
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

May 31, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

A Servant Church

763. Authentic evangelism
When God spoke to us in Scripture he used human language,
and when he spoke to us in Christ he assumed human flesh.
In order to reveal himself, he both emptied and humbled
himself. That is the model ... of evangelism which the
Bible supplies. There is self-emptying and self-humbling
in all authentic evangelism; without it we contradict the
gospel and misrepresent the Christ we proclaim.

--From 'The Bible in World Evangelization', in
"Perspectives on the World Christian Movement", ed. R. D.
Winter and S. C. Hawthorne (Pasadena: William Carey
Library, 1981), p. 7.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 320, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Sunday, May 30, 2004
 
Pentecost, commonly called Whitsunday

GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

 
The context of mission


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T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

May 30, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Christian Mission (cont'd.)

762. The context of mission
To go 'into the world' does not necessarily mean to travel
to a distant country or primitive tribe. 'The world' is
secular, godless society; it is all round us. Christ sends
us 'into the world' when he puts us into any group which
does not know or honour him. It might be in our own
street, or in an office or shop, school, hospital or
factory, or even in our own family. And here in the world
we are called to love, to serve and to offer genuine,
sacrificial friendship. Paradoxically stated, the only
truly Christian context in which to witness is the world.

--From "Our Guilty Silence" (London: Hodder and Stoughton,
1967), p. 67.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 319, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Saturday, May 29, 2004
 
Authentic mission


=====================================================
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

May 29, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Christian Mission (cont'd.)

761. Authentic mission
The Son of God did not stay in the safe immunity of his
heaven, remote from human sin and tragedy. He actually
entered our world. He emptied himself of his glory and
humbled himself to serve. He took our nature, lived our
life, endured our temptations, experienced our sorrows,
felt our hurts, bore our sins and died our death. He
penetrated deeply into our humanness. He never stayed
aloof from the people he might have been expected to avoid.
He made friends with the dropouts of society. He even
touched untouchables. He could not have become more one
with us than he did. It was the total identification of
love ...
Yet when Christ identified with us, he did not surrender
or in any way alter his own identity. For in becoming one
of us, he yet remained himself. He became human, but
without ceasing to be God.
Now he sends us into the world, as the Father sent him
into the world. In other words, our mission is to be
modelled on his. Indeed, all authentic mission is
incarnational mission. It demands identification without
loss of identity. It means entering other people's worlds,
as he entered ours, though without compromising our
Christian convictions, values or standards.

--From "The Contemporary Christian" (Leicester and Downers
Grove: IVP, 1992), p. 357.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 319, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.


Thursday, May 27, 2004
 
ARCHBISHOP EAMES CALLS FOR NEW AWARENESS OF ANGLICAN CHALLENGES

5/24/2004

Church of Ireland Press Office

The Chairman of the Lambeth Commission, Archbishop Robin Eames, has
challenged Anglicans to face up ‘to the facts of life’ in the new world
order.

In an address to the Church Club of New York where he was honored in
the Harvard Club for his work for the Anglican Communion, Dr Eames has
warned that the Christian Church in the west is in danger of failing to
understand the dramatic changes taking place in the Global South.

He challenged the conviction still prevalent in parts of the west that
scientific progress in Europe and the Americas meant evangelism and
civilization were inter-related. Too often the western Church seemed to
believe that the former third world would always accept western
liberalism as the only alternative to the collapse of communism. The
expansion of western ideologies has ended and the revolt against the
west has begun. Opposition to the secular values of the west was a
potent influence – but only one – on current attitudes within
Anglicanism. Modernity in the north and west still seemed to believe
that modernization brings such benefits that the Global South will
eventually want to embrace it. The explosion of numbers and influence
of Christians in the southern hemisphere compels the Anglican Communion
to challenge many traditional concepts.

A new dynamic theology for the twenty-first century is emerging in
Africa, Latin America and Asia to challenge and find independence from
the Enlightenment.

It is essential as we face widening divisions in the north-south divide
not alone in the Anglican Communion but in world Christianity that we
learn new ways of listening to each other. Too many in the Global South
believe with justification that their voice is not being heard or
understood, he claimed.

Predicted population trends tell their own story. Given current
patterns it is widely believed the twenty-first century could see 150
million Anglicans of whom the vast majority would be in the southern
hemisphere with some 20 million in Nigeria alone. Recent reports spoke
of 100 million Christians in China while a steady decrease of
population would mean that only 10% of the world’s population would
inhabit the northern regions. The contrast to that figure is that
figure is that by 2050 it is thought that India and China will be the
most populated countries on earth.

Monday, May 24, 2004
 
allAfrica.com: Uganda: LRA Abduct Kitgum Bishop LRA Abduct Kitgum Bishop

The Monitor (Kampala)
NEWS
May 20, 2004
Posted to the web May 20, 2004

By Grace Matsiko, Irene Nabwire & Oketch Bitek
Kitgum

The Anglican Bishop, Rt. Rev. Benjamin Ojwang, was on Tuesday evening abducted by LRA rebels. Ojwang was abducted with 11 other people at Mican, about 3km in the outskirts of Kitgum town at around 3:00pm, the army spokesman in the north, Lt. Paddy

Ankunda, said yesterday. The rebels took nine of his goats. "Our patrol unit chased and rescued the bishop, the 11 people and some of the goats. Other goats had been slaughtered," Maj. Shaban Bantariza said later from the military headquarters in Bombo.

Ankunda said the rebels stormed the bishop's residence, took him with the 11 people who are his relatives. He said the rebels looted food and forced the abductees to carry the loot. He said the bishop and the other abductees had moved between five to 10 km away from the scene when the UPDF engaged the rebels.

Military sources said security for the bishop would be beefed up. In an encountered with the LRA on Tuesday morning, the UPDF killed one rebel, captured two and recovered two communication radios, one rifle, an accumulator battery and 90 bullets.

The army also reported that they foiled an attack at an IDP camp at Acet and Lalogi, about 35 km west of Gulu town. Meanwhile, the army has described the rebel raid on Pagak IDP camp in Gulu on Sunday as a revenge attack against women who welcomed Capt. Charles Abora, one of the rebel commanders and his fighters when they surrendered. Of the 22 people massacred, 18 were women.

"Lt. Col. Kwoyelo (one of the rebel commanders) had been given instructions to kill the women for welcoming Capt. Abora home. The women were betrayed by another women in the camp called Acii," Bantariza told The Monitor.


Sunday, May 23, 2004
 
First Same-Sex Union Rite Among
Historic Maryland Parishes Lacks
Congregational Support, Some Charge


By Auburn Faber Traycik
The Christian Challenge (Washington, DC)
May 22, 2004

A homosexual union was blessed today at a Maryland Episcopal parish, over
the objections of some parishioners who say the congregation was not allowed
adequate input on the matter, in accordance with the diocesan bishop's
guidelines.

Washington leaders of the conservative American Anglican Council (AAC-W)
also claimed that the blessing had proceeded "without [the] confirmed
support" of most members of St. Andrew's, Leonardtown, despite Washington
Bishop John Chane's "clear recommendation to postpone."

Though same-sex blessings have been conducted in the diocese since the late
1970s, this was believed to be the first such rite to occur among historic
Maryland parishes in the jurisdiction; St. Andrew's, situated in St. Mary's
County in the Chesapeake Bay peninsula, dates from 1787.

But diocesan officials say that Bishop Chane supported the decision of the
rector, the Rev. Paula Halliday, to permit the rite for two unidentified
female members to be conducted at St. Andrew's by another Episcopal cleric,
also unnamed.

Nonetheless, an open letter from over a dozen upset parishioners spurred a
decision at a tense vestry meeting Tuesday to move the ceremony to the
parish hall. The some 100 persons attending today's blessing service also
were met outside the hall by a small local delegation of conservative
Episcopalians, who distributed flyers and spoke against the gay rite on
scriptural grounds.

And, one of the objecting parishioners, former senior warden Sidney Brookes
Freegard, said the vestry's "compromise" move fell short of his
understanding of where matters stood when the vestry went into executive
session on Tuesday evening. At that point, he said, parish leaders were
talking of seeking written clarification of Bishop Chane's policy on
same-sex blessings.

LAST FALL, Chane announced plans to develop an official rite or rites for
blessing "committed, same-gender" relationships, in order to bring some
uniformity to gay blessing ceremonies that have long taken place in the
diocese. A diocesan task force is due to recommend a ritual and set of
policies in June.

In a letter to the AAC-W last October, Chane also stated, though, that the
same-sex rites would be "an option...left open to the pastoral judgment of
the priest, the vestry and parishioners."

AAC-W spokesman Brad Hutt said the organization's understanding from Chane
was that "the vestry and parish had to agree."

In an open letter two days ago urging Chane to intervene against the St.
Andrew's blessing rite, AAC-W leaders decried an action they said would be
"divisive" to the congregation and hinder "the fulfillment of the mission of
St. Andrew's to bear witness to Christ in the community."

HOWEVER, a diocesan spokesman said he did not know why people seemed to
think that the lesbian blessing did not have the support of both Chane and
St. Andrew's congregation.

Jim Naughton, the Washington diocese's director of communications, told TCC
that, while it would have been better wait for the task force to report in
the first week of June, this was hardly the first same-sex rite to take
place in the diocese. Asked if Chane requested Ms. Halliday to delay until
after the task force's report, Naughton said "I don't know."

Naughton also said that Halliday wrote a letter to all parishioners in
March, announcing her intention to permit the same-sex ceremony at St.
Andrew's Church. (She originally planned to officiate herself, but bowed out
when her husband, the Rev. Christopher Halliday, admitted to an
extra-marital affair and was suspended from ministry at St. George's
Episcopal Church in nearby Valley Lee.)

Naughton asserted that Ms. Halliday received "53 letters of support" from
the parish's some 100 congregants, and noted that the vestry voted to permit
the gay ceremony in the parish hall unanimously, with one abstention. One
vestryman who voted for the compromise was among signers of the open letter,
he said.

"I don't know how else to interpret a unanimous vote of the vestry and
letters from half the congregation in support," Naughton said.

According to Freegard, however, the rector said she had received "53 phone
calls" in support, not letters, so nothing was available on the record. In
addition, he said there was no information on whether those reportedly in
favor were registered (voting) members of the parish. Halliday did not
report any calls in opposition to the gay rite, he added.

There has been "no open discussion" of the matter among parishioners, and
"attempts to promote it have been thwarted," said Freegard, a retired U.S.
Navy Captain. He said he had no clear sense of what percentage of the parish
objected to the same-sex blessing, but felt "confident" that there were
other members upset by it besides those who had made their views publicly known.

It also was not clear whether the vestry had ever given explicit approval
for the gay rite before Tuesday.

Freegard told TCC that he and other parishioners who signed the open letter
said "the ceremony should not take place until the parish had an opportunity
to voice its opinion" and clearly register a yes or no position.

St. Andrew's, said the open letter, "belongs to parishioners, not just to
the rector or a few individuals intent on straying from Scripture" and
historic church teaching.

Freegard said that Tuesday's vestry meeting centered on the "conflicts in
the bishop's position on this. The vestry had received guidance from the
diocese that the only thing a priest had to do was get the support of the
vestry," he said. This guidance was in verbal form, whereas the objectors
had a written indication of the bishop's guidelines, he noted. Moreover, the
minutes of an April 28 meeting between Chane and AAC-W members indicate that
the bishop reiterated then that performing same-sex blessings was optional
and should involve a decision of the congregation, vestry and rector.

The vestry acknowledged that there was a "conflict of communication,"
Freegard said, and asked about going to the bishop to get a written
statement of his policy. After starting an executive session, though, the
vestry opted to allow the same-sex rite to proceed in the parish hall.

THE SMALL GROUP of conservative Episcopalians who gathered outside the hall
during today's blessing liturgy handed out copies of AAC-W's May 20 open
letter to Bishop Chane and placed them on cars, speaking to people as they
left the ceremony.

Most of those at the service were not members of St. Andrew's, said Wes
Courtney of Christ Church, Accokeek--the site of a major clash with former
Acting Washington Bishop Jane Dixon a few years ago. Informed by that
experience, Courtney believes today's rite was a deliberate move to
introduce same-sex unions to a historic part of the diocese not open to them
up to now. This will embolden other liberal ministers in the area, he said,
though he believes that the gay blessings are still heavily opposed by local
Episcopalians.

Courtney, who was accompanied by his wife, Melinda, said he assured police
patrolling the area that the group had peaceful intentions. But one person
attending the service charged that he (Courtney) was only there because of
"hate."

"I told him we love them all, and that this had to do, not with hate, but
with the scriptures," Courtney told TCC.

At one point, another in the group, Bill Boniface of St. Thomas, Croom, read
a statement of protest to some persons who poured out from the reception,
also held in the parish hall, onto a porch.

Boniface said in part that "there exists no scriptural foundation" for
blessing a same-sex couple and that no legislative action can change that.

Even the distorted marriage rite used at today's service has no standing in
the Washington diocese, he said.

He made clear that his criticism was not aimed at those for whom the rite
was conducted. "Indeed, I wish them all the best in their search for truth
and the way to salvation through Jesus Christ. But God's promise can only be
brought to fulfillment through Him, not through validation of a behavior so
clearly contrary to scripture by a simple vote of misguided bishops at a
convention in Minneapolis." It was last summer's watershed Episcopal
General Convention that voted to approve an openly gay bishop and same-sex
blessings.

What happens at St. Andrew's now remains to be seen. The open letter from
concerned parishioners indicated that the effects of the 2003 General
Convention and this "unilateral" action to bless a lesbian union had already
spurred a decline in membership and financial support at the parish.

Freegard, who has been a member of St. Andrew's since 1994, said he has
thought about what he will do now, but declined to elaborate.
---
Permission to circulate the foregoing is granted, provided that credit to
THE CHRISTIAN CHALLENGE is retained and there are no changes in the text. To
learn more about the CHALLENGE please visit
http://www.orthodoxAnglican.org/TCC/index.html.

 
Sunday after Ascension-Day

O GOD the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven; We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
 
The Spirit's witness


=====================================================
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

May 23, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Christian Mission (cont'd.)

755. The Spirit's witness
In the Upper Room Jesus emphasized that the distinctive
work of the Spirit whom the Father was going to send would
be in relation to himself, the Son; that the Spirit would
delight above all else to glorify or manifest the Son (Jn.
16:14); and that therefore in the spread of the gospel the
Holy Spirit would be the chief witness. 'He will bear
witness to me.' Only after saying this did Jesus add to
his apostles, 'and you also are witnesses' (Jn. 15:26-27).
Once we have grasped the significance of this order, we
shall have no difficulty in agreeing that *without his
witness ours is futile*.

--From "The Lausanne Covenant: An Exposition and
Commentary" (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1975),
p. 34.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 317, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

 
‘AKRON FIVE’ BISHOP RESPONDS TO COUNCIL OF ADVICE PRESIDENT


Special Report

By David W. Virtue

CHARLESTON, SC—One of the five orthodox bishops who participated in an
irregular confirmation service in the Diocese of Ohio, has responded
with a letter to Bishop Charles E. Jenkins saying he would not meet with
him one-on-one, but he and the five bishops would be willing to
participate in an “open meeting” with the Council of Advice.

The Rt. Rev. C. FitzSimons Allison (SC ret.) wrote the President of the
Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice May 20, saying that the central
issue is one of the substance of the ‘faith once delivered’ not
personality issues or the Church’s canons.

“I sense that you have not yet grasped what we believe to be the issue
before us. It is certainly not a personal one. The issue we wish to
address is the departure from the Christian faith on the part of the
House of Bishops. We believe that the huge loss in the number of
Episcopalians over the last ten years is an indication that others share
this concern.”

Bishop Allison cited what he called “the long retreat from Christian
teaching by Episcopal bishops from the days of Jim Pike. “Frank Griswold
refused to endorse Rowan William’s superb critique of Spong’s 12 Theses
because he said he knew people who would remain Episcopalians only
because of Spong’s teachings.”

“Is there no corresponding concern for those who are leaving because of
our bishops’ failure to uphold the faith which we swore to preserve?”

Allison than excoriated Henry Parsley (Bishop of Alabama) when he was
chairman of the theological committee for the 4th Province for his
failure to act against Spong’s 12 Theses. Parsley said the issue was
“too controversial” for any action.

“Yet [Parsley] doesn’t hesitate to call on the carpet anyone who went to
the conference in Plano and he has attacked with erroneous charges a
parish favoring the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes.”

Allison then blasted Frank Griswold, John Chane, Larry Maze, Bob
Johnson, Richard Shimpfky, “and much of the House, whose actions at
General Convention have caused schism in the Anglican Communion,”
calling them “morally challenged” and “theologically inept.”

The orthodox South Carolina bishop said scholarly works by Dr. Philip
Turner, John Booty and others had been ignored “by our fellow bishops”
and he blasted the bishops for their disdain for scholarly and
theologically appropriate approaches to issues facing the church. “I
believe we are now paying the penalty.”

“It is clear that in this long and lamentable history of our episcopal
unwillingness to deal with faith and doctrine, bishops increasingly
resort to unprecedented use of force to salvage what unity remains by
threats, tyranny, and territory rather than by proclamation and
affirmation of the faith that alone evokes and establishes true unity.”

Allison asked what was left after the defeat of Resolution B001, doing
away with the authority of scripture, creeds, Lambeth resolutions, and
the 39 Articles. “To what can we appeal? Experience? Inclusiveness which
rapidly turns exclusive? By our meeting we hope and pray that some
bishops may assume the responsibility of our vows and begin to turn our
church away from the fast approaching abyss of self-destruction.”

“We believe that an open meeting might elicit from the House of Bishops
the possibility of change and/or the five of us to the possibility that
we are mistaken in believing that faith and order have been disastrously
sundered. We would be relieved if we could be reassured that our
objections and criticism are without substance and that further support
is no longer needed for loyal and faithful Episcopalians in dioceses,
which appear to us to be in defiance of our own sworn faith and to be
out of communion with our Anglican family.”

NOTE: If you are not receiving this from VIRTUOSITY, the Anglican
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Friday, May 21, 2004
 
Christ's universal authority


=====================================================
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

May 21, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Christian Mission (cont'd.)

753. Christ's universal authority
The fundamental basis of all Christian missionary
enterprise is the universal authority of Jesus Christ, 'in
heaven and on earth'. If the authority of Jesus were
circumscribed on earth, if he were but one of many
religious teachers, one of many Jewish prophets, one of
many divine incarnations, we would have no mandate to
present him to the nations as the Lord and Saviour of the
world. If the authority of Jesus were limited in heaven,
if he had not decisively overthrown the principalities and
powers, we might still proclaim him to the nations, but we
would never be able to 'turn them from darkness to light,
and from the power of Satan unto God' (Acts 26:18).
Only because all authority on earth belongs to Christ
dare we go to all nations. And only because all authority
in heaven as well is his have we any hope of success. It
must have seemed ridiculous to send that tiny nucleus of
Palestinian peasants to win the world for Christ. For
Christ's church today, so hopelessly outnumbered by
millions who neither know nor acknowledge him, the task is
equally gigantic. It is the unique, the universal
authority of Jesus Christ which gives us both the right and
the confidence to seek to make disciples of all the
nations. Before his authority on earth the nations must
bow; before his authority in heaven no demon can stop them.

--From 'The Great Commission', in "One Race, One Gospel,
One Task", ed. C. F. Henry and W. S. Mooneyham
(Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1967), p. 46.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", pp. 316-317, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Thursday, May 20, 2004
 
CANADA: Seven ex-gay clergy and laity to make stand at General Synod

CANADA: Seven ex-gay clergy and laity to make stand at General Synod

By David W. Virtue

VANCOUVER (5/17/2004)--Seven ex-gay, celibate homosexual clergy and laity from across the Anglican Church of Canada will make a public stand at General Synod for celibacy or sexual relations within heterosexual marriage.

They have written a letter which will be read by a bishop, saying that they were all once active homosexuals but some are now celibate homosexuals; others have become heterosexuals.

“We all have our stories of redemption from slavery to our flesh. We represent a much larger group than the signatures that appear on this paper. We are united in our commitment to the authority of Holy Scripture, and we reject the resolutions regarding the blessing of same-sex unions sent by the Council of General Synod to General Synod, 2004. We believe that facilitating the blessing of same-sex unions, without listening to the stories of God’s transforming power in our lives, is to act irresponsibly, and without weighing all the facts.”

The seven said that to pass these motions would be to betray and marginalize those of us who have come under the authority of Scripture and entered into a process of exodus from the homosexual lifestyle.

“As members of the Church, we are witnesses to God’s Holy Spirit and his transforming power. We look to the Church for pastoral care and moral direction, subject to the authority of Scripture, which would empower us in the ordering of our relationships. It is not loving for the Church to encourage us to live in slavery to this mortal flesh. Instead, we look to the Church to empower us to draw closer to God by offering our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing unto God.”

The seven said their voices have been silenced in the Anglican Church of Canada.

“You have not paid heed to us. Today, we ask that you would not betray us by passing these motions allowing for the blessing of same-sex unions within the Anglican Church of Canada without first weighing our voices and hearing our stories. We ask that you would table these motions and commit yourselves instead to listening to our voices before making any move as a Church. Let us all acknowledge the love and lordship of Christ who makes all things new.”

The group cited the passage from the Book of Revelation: "Behold, I make all things new." Revelation 21:5

“Whether we are celibate homosexuals or now ex-gay, what we all share in common is that through Grace, we have been called into a new existence in Christ - to offer our bodies as living sacrifices - holy and pleasing to God.”

The Rev. Dawn McDonald of Holy Cross parish in Vancouver is appealing to all celibate
homosexuals and ex-gays to identify themselves by signing the letter.

The signers include: Rob Goetze, Diocese of Edmonton; Michel Schnob, Diocese of Ottawa; David Colpitts, M. Div, Diocese of Toronto; The Rev. Don Alcock, Diocese of Huron; The Rev. Stephen Emery, Diocese of Huron; The Rev. Dawn McDonald, Diocese of New Westminster; The Rev. Mario Bergner, Diocese of Quincy, (born in Thetford Mines, Quebec).

 
PITTSBURGH RADICALS BLAST ORTHODOX BISHOP



News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

PITTSBURGH,-- A group calling themselves Progressive Episcopalians of
Pittsburgh (PEP) has blasted the orthodox Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Rt.
Rev. Robert W. Duncan for authorizing a retired bishop of the Reformed
Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Cox to celebrate the Eucharist and
perform confirmations at St. Michael’s of the Valley Episcopal Church in
Ligonier, Pa., on May 9, 2004.

“We have now seen a new kind of violation of church law from
conservative schismatics in the Episcopal Church,” said PEP President
Lionel Deimel.

The orthodox bishop shot back saying that there were no grounds to
question the validity of the confirmations performed by Bishop Cox.

Referring to the secretly planned March 14 service near Akron, Ohio in
which six bishops, including five retired Episcopal bishops, performed
confirmations without permission of the Bishop of Ohio, Deimel
continued, “In March, we saw confirmations by bishops of the Episcopal
Church in circumstances unapproved by the bishop with jurisdiction. Now
we see confirmations approved by the bishop with jurisdiction, but by a
bishop not allowed by the canons to act within and on behalf of the
Episcopal Church.”

PEP is a member of the Via Media organization that is sweeping across
the Episcopal Church in an effort to stem the growing orthodox tide
against the church’s revisionists. Their goal is to promote the new
religion of inclusivism that stands in opposition to the biblical
message of redemption.

Christopher Wilkins, PEP Vice President for Operations, commenting on
the Cox visit to St. Michael’s of the Valley, said, “We find it sad and
ironic that people who accuse the church of violating its own faith and
order themselves violate, with apparent impunity, that same faith and
order whenever it suits them.”

Nancy Righter, the wife of Walter Righter the retired Bishop of Iowa is
on the membership committee of the Pittsburgh Via Media. Righter himself
was recently exposed by VIRTUOSITY for functioning without a license in
the Diocese of Pittsburgh but with the full knowledge and consent of Via
Media.

Bishop Duncan responded to the PEP Via Media crowd saying, “We share so
much with our brothers and sisters in the Reformed Episcopal Church. It
pleases me greatly that a church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh was
willing to act on that common heritage in a way that brings us together.”

The orthodox bishop made it very clear that there are no grounds to
question the validity of the confirmations performed by Bishop Cox.
Confirmation, said Bishop Duncan, is primarily a sign of an adult
individual’s relationship with the whole Christian church, not just a
particular portion of it. Episcopalians have acknowledged this for
decades by not requiring individuals confirmed in other denominations to
be reconfirmed when they enter the Episcopal Church. Bishop Cox was
acting under Duncan’s authority when he confirmed at St. Michael’s.

According to preliminary opinions from both the chancellor emeritus and
current chancellor of the diocese, "No provisions of the Constitution or
canons of the Episcopal Church were broken in the authorization for a
Reformed Episcopal Bishop to act," said Bp. Duncan.

However, the bishop and standing committee have asked for a detailed
report from the chancellor.

Reflecting on the occasion, the Rev. James Simons rector of St.
Michael’s, Ligonier said, “It was a wonderful, Spirit-filled morning in
which we celebrated the oneness of the body of Christ. The parish has an
ongoing friendship with members of the Reformed Episcopal Church. We’ve
been strengthened by those friendships,” he added.

Bishop Duncan’s permission for Bishop Cox to be part of the service was
faithful to a decades-long effort by Episcopalians and members of the
Reformed Episcopal Church to heal a 131 year-old breach in the Anglican
family. The REC and the Episcopal Church parted ways in 1873, but still
share the same foundations of Anglican Christianity – the 39 Articles,
the Book of Common Prayer, and the succession of bishops from the
apostles. According to Duncan, the issues that separated the REC from
the Episcopal Church in 1873 present no obstacle to faithful Anglicans
in both churches today.

“Closing the gap between the two churches has recently been complicated
by the theological innovations introduced into the Episcopal Church by
the 2003 General Convention. However we believe that there is still much
that faithful Christians in both churches can do to unify their witness
to Christ.”

The Episcopal Church has commended efforts to establish full communion
with the REC at the 2000 General Convention in resolution D047. That
trend continued during the 2003 General Convention when resolution 006
“received with thanksgiving” the beginning of dialogue with the REC.
Uniting all forms of Anglicanism is also a priority of the 1998 Lambeth
Conference. The international meeting of all the leaders of Anglican
churches in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury requested that
Anglicans begin ecumenical work “with a view to the reconciliation of
all who own the Anglican tradition” (Lambeth IV 11.b).


 
The Ascension-Day

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
 
What finally matters


=====================================================
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

May 15, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Evangelical Tradition (cont'd.)

747. What finally matters
In the end what matters most of all to an evangelical is
not a label, nor an epithet. It is not a party ticket; it
is not even in the end the Bible and the gospel. It is the
honour and glory of Jesus Christ.

--From "What is an Evangelical?" (London: Falcon, 1977),
p. 14.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 312, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.


 
Wandering Shepherds -- Anglicans have had non-Christian bishops for
decades, and heresy is even more harmful than homosexuality


Gene Edward Veith
WORLD MAGAZINE

Gay activists, feeling invincible with all of their victories, held a
summit at the United Nations, in which the next phase of their conquest
of the culture's moral code was announced. The International Gay and
Lesbian Human Rights Commission listed the remaining laws that it wants
changed, including "age of consent" laws. That is to say, the laws
against pedophiles, apparently the next group to come out of the closet
and to insist on the legality and the morality of their sexual
preference.

At the meeting, as reported by the Catholic Family & Human Rights
Institute, Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the IGLHRC, called for
a "showdown with religion." One panel member, Princeton University
professor Anthony Appiah, called for limiting religious freedom whenever
it poses a "challenge" to the homosexual agenda. This would involve
criminalizing as "hate speech" religious teachings and Bible readings
that brand homosexuality as sinful-a measure already on the books in
Sweden and that is being considered in Canada.

Ironically, this initiative to take on religion took place the same week
that the Episcopal Church allowed its congregations to hold services
blessing same-sex unions and elected Gene Robinson bishop of New
Hampshire, the first openly noncelibate and nonrepentant homosexual
bishop in the Anglican Communion.

The United Church of Christ already allows their clergy to be practicing
homosexuals and stages gay weddings. The Methodist Church, the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America have refused to go this far but are wavering, with "study
documents" set to open the door. While the gay radicals are looking for a
"showdown" with religion, it appears that the liberal, mainline
Protestants are getting out of Dodge-or even joining up with the outlaws.

But for all of the fuss over the Episcopalians choosing a gay bishop,
what should have been an even bigger scandal has received scant
attention. For decades, the Episcopal Church and other Anglican bodies
have been electing bishops who are not even Christians.

John Shelby Spong recently retired as bishop of New Jersey. For his whole
ecclesiastical career, he wrote and preached against every tenet of the
Christian faith. Bishop Spong, author of Why Christianity Must Change or
Die, did not believe in the virgin birth, the doctrine of the
incarnation, the deity of Christ, the resurrection, or the existence of
God.

In England back in 1984, David Jenkins scorned the bodily resurrection of
Jesus Christ as "a conjuring trick with bones." This did not prevent him
from being consecrated as bishop of Durham, the fourth-highest post in
the Church of England. Richard Holloway, the former head of the Anglican
Church in Scotland, also dismissed the notion that Jesus rose from the
dead. And these were not the only bishops, entrusted to oversee their
church, who rejected even the most basic tenets of the Christian faith.

But this is old news. These particular bishops have all retired by now,
though others with similar views continue to wield authority. The point
is, the Episcopalian embrace of homosexuality happened only after decades
in which the authority of Scripture was jettisoned and Christian doctrine
became optional.

Heresy is even more harmful to a church than homosexuality. Choosing a
bishop who is gay is bad enough, but choosing a bishop who rejects
Christianity is surely even worse. And it should not be surprising that a
church that has rejected the authority and the truth of the Bible would
take the far lesser step of saying that sexual immorality is OK.

And those who no longer believe in Christ-His deity, His cross, His
resurrection-can no longer offer homosexuals and other sinners the gospel
that their sins are forgiven in Christ. Instead, they can offer them
nothing stronger than the fiction that they have no sins that need
forgiving.

There are believing Christians in the Episcopal Church, a tradition that
has given us John Donne, T.S. Eliot, and C.S. Lewis. The ruling liberals
are confident that they will not revolt, saying that the conservatives
made threats when the ordination of women was instituted but didn't do
anything about it. This time, with the support of Anglican bishops in
Africa and Asia, it may be a different story.

But such controversies all go back to the battle for the Bible. The
church bodies that rejected the inerrancy of Scripture in the 20th
century now have no basis for resisting the homosexual agenda or any
other cultural pressure. They have been sliding down the slippery slope
and now they have nothing to grab onto to stop their fall.

If the gay activists want a "showdown" with religion, those Christians
who hold to the Bible will be like Gary Cooper in High Noon, abandoned
even by their friends and family members, outnumbered and outgunned, but
refusing to back down.

Saturday, May 15, 2004
 
Blogging Temporarilly Curtailed

My computer is in the shop -- not fun -- so my blogging is hindered at the moment. The following are the Collects for tommorow and the Rogation Days that follow. D.V., things will be back to normal by the middle of the week! DC

The Fifth Sunday after Easter commonly called Rogation Sunday

O LORD, from whom all good things do come; Grant to us thy humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.



The Rogation Days
Being the Three Days before Ascension Day
ALMIGHTY God, Lord of heaven and earth; We beseech thee to pour forth thy blessing upon this land, and to give us a fruitful season; that we, constantly receiving thy bounty, may evermore give thanks unto thee in thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Tuesday, May 11, 2004
 
Bishop of splinter faction conducts service in Ligonier Episcopal
church


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

By Steve Levin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A confirmation ceremony Sunday in Ligonier of 13 adults by a retired
bishop of a splinter Episcopal group was a historical first for the
denomination.

The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. Cox of the Reformed Episcopal Church performed
the confirmation after receiving permission from the church's rector
and from the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Rt.
Rev. Robert W. Duncan Jr.

The service at St. Michael's in the Valley unsettled some members of
the Pittsburgh Diocese, who believed -- wrongly -- that it violated
canon law of the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church USA.

Attorney Charles B. Jarrett Jr., former chancellor of the Pittsburgh
diocese, said that Cox's ordination and Duncan's permission for him
to perform a sacramental act satisfy church law. Duncan is out of the
country and the diocese's assistant bishop was presiding at another
confirmation Sunday.

But not everyone was happy about it.

"We are certainly not in full communion with the [Reformed Episcopal
Church] and so I do not believe it is appropriate for one of their
bishops to confirm," said the Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, the
national church's deputy officer of ecumenical and interfaith
relations.

"That is not the way we do ecumenical work."

The Reformed Episcopal Church split from the larger church in 1873
over scriptural issues. It has a U.S. membership of about 14,000.

Les Fairfield, a professor of church history at Trinity Episcopal
School for Ministry in Ambridge, said it was the first time such
a "distant" member of the greater Anglican family had conducted a
sacramental service in the Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Jim Simons, rector of St. Michael's in the Valley, wasn't
sure such "an esoteric historic moment" was worth any extra attention.

"They're not going to make a stamp about it," he said.

Monday, May 10, 2004
 
Virginia diocese split over gay bishop

By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

5/10/2004

Six months after the Nov. 2 consecration of V. Gene Robinson as the world's first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop, the issue divides the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia more than ever.

After Virginia Bishop Peter J. Lee became one of 62 bishops who voted last summer at a church convention to approve Bishop Robinson's consecration, 24 parishes staged an economic boycott of the diocese.

That resulted in a $900,000 budget deficit. The diocese produced a "task
force on giving" that will begin hearings this month, aimed at coaxing
churches into giving far more to the Richmond-based headquarters.

But in the 89,000-member diocese, the country's largest, many churches already have cut back budgets, frozen their building campaigns and lost members over the contentious issue. And just before diocesan clergy left for their annual retreat last week, word came out of a retired Episcopal bishop, 87-year-old Otis Charles, "marrying" his 62-year-old partner in an Episcopal church in San Francisco.

"The Gene Robinson thing has really caused a lot of people to stop and
reflect and figure out what their options are," said the Rev. Chuck Nalls, a canon lawyer who is a priest in one of many breakaway Episcopal
denominations, the Diocese of Christ the King.

"There are two choices," he said. "You declare there is a level of sexual
deviance you have to accept to stay in an institution. Or you have to
leave."

Some church conservatives have left Episcopal parishes, taking their funds with them, while a few homosexual-friendly parishes have actually prospered from the increased polarization within the church.
The historic Christ Church in Alexandria, which draws 800 to 1,200 people on Sunday mornings, lost a $900,000 donation to a building fund because of the Robinson consecration.

In recent months, 10 families have left the church, 104 persons have not renewed their annual financial pledge and two parishioners say they have been told giving is down 20 percent.

The Rev. Pierce Klemmt, rector of Christ Church, said people are giving less because they fear "the future" on sexuality. "Homosexuality is not a sin," he said. "It is a gift from God, and I see this issue on the same issue as civil rights. Our brothers and sisters with the homosexual orientation should be supported and celebrated as any person should be."

Some of the dissatisfied have made their way to St. Andrew and St. Margaret of Scotland Anglican Church in the Del Ray section of Alexandria, which has gained 75 members over the Robinson affair.
Collections are so good, said the Rev. Nick Athanaelos, that he has added a third service and is looking for an assistant.

"We get calls every week," Mr. Athanaelos said. "A lot of folks are hurting and they feel their church has abandoned them. We knew there would be fallout, but we didn't know to what extent."

Others have ended up at the largest church in the diocese: The Falls
Episcopal Church in Falls Church, which opposed the Robinson consecration.

So many people are joining that the parish has drawn up a $3.9 million
budget for 2004, outstripping the $3.8 million budget for the diocesean
headquarters.

The church also decided to restart a $25 million capital-funds campaign,
which was put on hold last year. The money will go to building an education center known as "Southgate," which will be across East Fairfax Street from The Falls Episcopal Church's 12-year-old, $7 million sanctuary.

On May 2, church leaders announced a sermon series outlining the
2,200-member church's goals and desire to expand into a "church of our dreams."

"We will have to ask the congregation to get behind [the campaign] in a
renewed fashion," church administrator Bill Deiss said.

The Falls Episcopal Church, which is part of the economic boycott, is
remaining in the diocese for now. Canon law mandates that all its assets and property revert to the denomination if it leaves.

Mr. Deiss said church leaders understand the risk of potentially losing
everything.

"The ministry team and the vestry feel that to wait while our church is
continuously growing is to ignore what God has laid on our lap," he said.
However, "other bishops have emptied churches and sold the proceedings, removed the rector and vestry," Mr. Nalls said. "Bishop Lee may be holding off for now, but [if new church laws are passed], he'll say, 'Pay up or we'll come get you.' "

At St. George's Episcopal Church in Arlington, a homosexual-friendly parish that favored the Robinson consecration, giving rose by 4 percent and attendance went up by 30 persons.

The Robinson consecration "was fiscally a nonissue for us," senior warden Missie Burman said.

The church is an anomaly compared with churches such as St. Stephen's Episcopal in Richmond, which draws 1,000 people Sundays.
Budget losses at the parish, which was split over the Robinson consecration, were just 2 percent, said the Rev. Thom Blair.

Twenty families left over the issue, but the parish managed to gain 80 new ones.

"All of us are struggling down here in Richmond," he said. "Everyone here is trying to hold their congregations together."

All Saints Episcopal Church in Dale City, a conservative parish, says its
budget stayed the same this year at $1.2 million, but attendance is up 10 percent.

"I can't see over the horizon," said its rector, the Rev. John Guernsey, but the parish's $5 million capital-funds campaign is still on hold.


 
FIVE BISHOPS CHALLENGE PRESIDENT OF PB’S COUNCIL OF ADVICE OVER DOCTRINE



Senior Bishops Respond to Meeting Request from Presiding Bishop's Council of Advice

American Anglican Council
Washington, DC

May 3, 2004

On March 14, 2004, Bishops C. FitzSimons Allison, retired Bishop of South Carolina; Maurice Benitez, retired Bishop of Texas; William Cox, retired Assistant Bishop of Oklahoma; Alex Dickson, retired Bishop of West Tennessee, and William Wantland, retired Bishop of Eau Claire confirmed 110 individuals at a multi-congregational Service of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist in Akron, Ohio. Subsequently at the March 2004 House of Bishops Meeting, those Bishops gathered noted that they “repudiate and deplore the unilateral actions” of the five but decided not to seek disciplinary action against them. In a statement released March 24, the House of Bishops accused the five of using confirmation “as an instrument of division and defiance.”

“Secretive in its planning, their action was discourteous, disruptive and a willful violation of our Constitution and Canons,” the statement continued. The Bishops also emphasized that further “infractions” would result in unspecified “consequences.” “At the same time, we hold these five bishops, and one another, accountable for the good order of the Church, the Body of Christ,” the statement said. “Therefore, in the future any bishop performing Episcopal acts without the permission of the diocesan bishop will be subject to discipline under our canons.”

Recently, the five senior bishops received a letter dated April 16, 2004 from the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Jenkins, Bishop of Louisiana and President of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice. In the letter Bishop Jenkins wrote, “The House of Bishops invites you to meet with the members of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice to discuss the reasons for your actions, and, to share information with you about the work we continue to do as Bishops to embrace the ministry of reconciliation for the mission of the whole church. I therefore invite you to meet with the Council of Advice in Atlanta, GA on Thursday May 27 at All Saints Church. We will begin at 9:00 AM and work until the late afternoon. The cost of travel will be your own responsibility but I will provide lunch for you on this day.”

Referencing the crisis situation in which the Church is immersed, Bishop Jenkins wrote, “As a pastor, it is my hope that each priest that is in disagreement with his or her Bishop will continue to share personal views with the diocesan Bishop. I am convinced the Bishops of this Church are committed to responding generously to requests made in accordance with our plan for Caring for All the Churches.” Emerging incidents in several dioceses suggest this often is not the case, however. Bishops Jenkins’s letter repeated warnings against further actions, saying, “The House of Bishops also stated clearly that in the future, now that we approved a plan of pastoral care, any Bishop performing Episcopal acts without permission of the bishop diocesan will be subject to discipline under the canons of this church.”

The five bishops today released a letter to Bishop Jenkins in response to the request. The letter in its entirety appears below:
May 3, 2004

Dear Charles:

We thank you for the invitation to meet with the Council of Advice. Each of us has sworn to uphold the faith of the Church, the same faith that gave birth to and provides the unity of our Church. Only secondarily and derivatively do territory and canons hold us together. Since we believe this faith should be the first priority of the Episcopal Church we would be glad to meet with the Council of Advice with this as the first and foremost topic of discussion.

These are our concerns:

1. Does the House of Bishops intend to hold responsible those bishops who have publicly denied or attempted to rewrite the faith?

2. Is there any intention to hold accountable those 84 bishops who voted against the House of Bishops Resolution B001? For in so doing, they refused to affirm the authority of Scripture, the Creeds, the Sacraments, and the Apostolic Ministry, thereby denying the vows they made at their consecration as bishops.

3. Does the House of Bishops seek restoration of full communion with the 21 Provinces of the Anglican Communion by responding to their request to repent?

4. Does the House of Bishops seek to reclaim our broken ecumenical relations with Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and other Christian bodies?

Issues of polity cannot be resolved until we are unified in the faith which we have sworn to guard and pass to future generations.

We believe it necessary for any meeting to be an open one so that nothing will be regarded as done in secret. Not all of us are available on May 27 as you suggest, but if you agree that our first priority for discussion is the need of the House of Bishops to treat the essential issue of faith and doctrine before we move to the derivative issue of polity and territory, we will seek with you a suitable date to meet.

In His Name,

The Rt. Reverend C. FitzSimons Allison
The Rt. Reverend Maurice M. Benitez
The Rt. Reverend William J. Cox
The Rt. Reverend Alex D. Dickson
The Rt. Reverend William C. Wantland

Cc: The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold
ECUSA House of Bishops
Anglican Communion Primates

 
AMERICAN ANGLICAN COUNCIL COMMENTS ON OTIS CHARLES' REMOVAL AS ASSISTANT BISHOP OF CALIFORNIA

We note with great interest that Bishop William Swing of California has
revoked Otis Charles' license to officiate and also dismissed him from his position as assisting bishop in the diocese.

Details of the story, reported by The Living Church last evening, are sketchy with regard to why the measures were taken, but it appears to be a result of Charles' "marriage" to Felipe Sanchez Paris on April 24, 2004.

The Executive Office of the Diocese, the Rev. Michael Hansen told The Living Church that same sex-blessings must be approved by the Bishop of California and should not "resemble a marriage."

He also noted that the matter is "under investigation" with regard to possible clergy violations of diocesan guidelines.

If the punitive measures reported reflect an attempt to restore some
semblance of order and discipline in ECUSA, we welcome such action,
particularly if it represents a new trend in the Church. Such a trend
might extend to the Diocese of New Hampshire which elected a practicing homosexual as bishop, and to the Diocese of Washington where Bishop John Chane has proposed moving far beyond General Convention's resolution on same sex blessings, proposing such rites be extended to couples for whom marriage is not an appropriate or desirable step.

While a new trend toward moral discipline in ECUSA would indeed be
encouraging, is it likely? We are left with numerous questions in the
California situation. Were the grounds for Charles' dismissal centered in morality or authority? Did he simply irritate Bishop Swing because he
didn't get permission and go through the right channels or is it possible that the enormity of the crisis following actions of General Convention 2003 has had an effect? In the current climate in ECUSA with the report of the Lambeth Commission looming, was Charles' ceremony simply too hot to handle?

Are the decisions in the Diocese of California based on expediency rather than a moral outcry? We at the American Anglican Council continue to call on ECUSA to repent - laity, priest and bishop, diocese by diocese that this beloved church might experience renewal and restoration.

END

 
Church may Split into a Federation


May 3, 2004

By Ruth Gledhill
THE LONDON TIMES

PLANS for a formal split in the Anglican Church are being considered in an attempt to resolve differences over attitudes towards homosexuality.

A proposal to turn the Anglican Communion into an Anglican confederation is to be considered by the Lambeth Commission, the international body of 18 members set up last year by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.


A confederation, modelled along similar lines to the Geneva-based World Lutheran Federation, would loosen the ties between the national provinces in the Church, to the extent that they would be free to adopt almost any practice or doctrine they wished.

The churches at the conservative and liberal ends of the spectrum would still describe themselves as "Anglican" and remain in communion with the mother Church of England through the Archbishop of Canterbury.

But where a national church went too far in embracing modern secular mores, it could be reduced to an observer status or not invited at all to meetings such as the Lambeth Conference, held every ten years.

Such a system would placate the conservatives who have been demanding disciplinary measures against churches such as those in the United States, which ordained an openly gay bishop, and Canada, where same-sex blessings have been authorised.

It would permit provinces effectively to excommunicate each other by refusing to recognise their priests or bishops, but they would remain tied in a loose international Anglican confederation by remaining in communion with Canterbury.

Already it is proposed severely to reduce the number of bishops invited to the next Lambeth Conference in 2008 in South Africa.

The previous Archbishop, Dr George Carey, invited every Anglican bishop, nearly 800 in total, to the last Lambeth Conference in Canterbury in 1998. Sources indicated that, if only for reasons of cost, the number would be reduced in South Africa. Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay American bishop recently consecrated in New Hampshire, is unlikely to be on the guest list.

According to a source close to the Lambeth Commission, canon lawyers are preparing for its second meeting next month in Kanuga, North Carolina, by studying the set-up of the worldwide Lutheran church, which embraces wide degrees of theological and ecclesiological difference, to see if this model could be adapted to suit the Anglican Communion.

The source said: "The quality of the communion depends on how far the Western Church is willing to sacrifice its lesbian and gay members." The source indicated: "The primates will be circulated with the recommendations
late July.

"The sort of federation we can expect will probably mirror the Lutheran model, with full members, non-voters and observers, depending on what they¹ve been up to."

The Lutheran model is particularly appropriate because Anglicans and Lutherans are already in a "shared fellowship" agreement with each other through the Porvoo declaration, a British-Nordic-Baltic initiative signed by the Church of England in 1995.

The Anglican Communion is made up of 38 provinces, which account for nearly 70 million Anglicans in 164 countries.

In a letter sent over the weekend to all the primates and moderators of the Anglican Communion, Dr Robin Eames, the Primate of Ireland, who chairs the Lambeth Commission, pleads strongly with conservatives not to split by forming new provinces or dioceses until the commission has completed its work at the end of this year.

He acknowledges the divisions that exist but urges dissenting groups not to break from their parent churches.

"It would be my hope that once the report is published we can take such decisions as necessary in a manner which is unrushed, in Christian charity and by means of due process." Dr Eames writes.

"It is my prayer and earnest hope that the report we are preparing will enable the Anglican Communion to move forward together in ways which will stand the test of time whatever difficulties may arise in future years for our world family."


 
Alabama - Parsley opposes NACDP

To: The Clergy of the Diocese of Alabama
A Statement and Pastoral Direction by the Bishop of Alabama

May 5, Eastertide 2004

On April 20 I was advised that the vestry of one of our parishes voted
on April 19 to join the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and
Parishes. This decision was taken in spite of my clear and public
counsel that I did not support the work of the Network and would not
support their joining it.

In my judgement the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and
Parishes is a divisive organization outside the canonical structures
of the Episcopal Church, the charter of which is undermining of the
good order and mission of this church. There are several reasons for
this judgment, as follows:

o The Network charter states that it will "operate within the
Constitution of the Episcopal Church," a statement that conspicuously
omits reference to the Canons. The Canons enable the Constitution and
are essential for the good order of the church. Its charter also seeks
to appeal directly to the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury
and of other Anglican provinces, rather .than the Episcopal Church.
This is not in keeping with historic Anglican polity.

o The Network charter further states that the congregations within it
"shall come under the spiritual authority of a bishop approved by the
Steering Committee [of the Network]." This is a violation of the
Constitution and Canons of our church, as well as the repeated
resolutions of the Lambeth Conference supporting the geographical
boundaries of dioceses, each under one bishop, in the Anglican Communion.

o The theological statement of the Network, "Confession and Calling of
the Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes," is of a confessional
nature foreign to Anglican tradition and beyond the scope of the Book
of Common Prayer and its adherence to the historic Creeds and doctrine
of the Church.

o Its Charter states that "all assets, of every kind and nature, held
by the Network are and shall be dedicated and inured to the benefit'
of the Network. This has the effect of diverting finds from the
Episcopal Church and could potentially be interpreted to alienate
property, contrary to the Canons of this church.

o A letter written by the Rev. Geoff Chapman of Sewickley, PA about
the emerging strategy of the Network reveals its plans to undermine
and attempt to supplant the Episcopal Church with "a 'replacement'
jurisdiction with confessional standards." This letter has not been
officially disclaimed by the network leadership, even though there has
been adequate opportunity for them to do so. Many of the essential
points of Chapman's letter are reflected in the charter. I have no
choice but to believe that it accurately describes the Network's
intentions.

o The Network consistently exhibits a disturbing pattern of secrecy
that is in conflict with the great tradition of our church, which is
committed to face to face, prayerful discussion of the tough issues of
Christian faith and life.

As you can see, the above concerns have serious implications, which
must be addressed.

The resolution passed by the vestry does affirm that they continue 90
submit our parish to the canonical authority of the Bishop of the
Diocese of Alabama and to engage our parish as an active member of our
diocese." This is an encouraging word and I acknowledge the vestry's
good intention and faithfulness in stating this. Certainly this
commitment is my desire and expectation for every parish in this
diocese. Nevertheless some of the implications of the charter of the
Network are in troubling conflict with this stated intention.

I wish to be clear that I do not welcome or support the work of this
Network in the Diocese of Alabama. Neither this diocese nor I have
presented any cause for such affiliation by our votes at the General
Convention or by the policies and practices of this diocese on matters
of human sexuality being debate4 in this church. We have striven to be
faithful to the counsel of the 1998 Lambeth Conference and the
established teaching of the church in these matters, and to respect
the dignity of all.

While I well understand the disagreement within our church over
certain actions of the General Convention and support open discussion
at all times, I do not believe that the Network is a canonical or
helpful response. A special commission appointed by the Archbishop of
Canterbury is presently addressing these matters.

This and the next Lambeth Conference will give us important guidance
and significant work is being done in many quarters to address the
important theological and moral questions that our church and society
are facing. Our Lord promised that the Holy Spirit will teach us all
things (John 14: 26), and 1 trust in the time tested structures of the
church to help us discern the mind of Christ.

In the days to come I will be taking prayerful counsel to seek ways to
work with this congregation and its rector and vestr to ensure its
health and good order as a parish of this diocese. It is my hope that
they will reconsider their decision to join the Network and be an ever
more faithful and vital parish in full communion with this diocese. At
Clergy Conference I was unexpectedly informed of another parish that
has joined the Network without my knowledge. I will be addressing them
in a similar way. I ask for your prayers in these efforts.

Furthermore as provided in the Canons, I give Pastoral Direction to
the rectors of the parishes of the Diocese of Alabama that they are
neither to join the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and
Parishes in their capacity as rector, nor as rector to sign a parish
application to affiliate with the Network, and, if they have done so,
to remove their signatures thereto. I also direct any priest who may
have an inclination to join the Network to speak to me before making
any decision or taking any action to do so. Finally, as the Bishop of
Alabama I cannot support the decision of any vestry to affiliate with
the Network.

Please know that I am always available to talk with any and all of you
about these important matters. Let us all pray, in the words of our
Prayer Book, that our Risen Lord will fill his beloved church with all
godly union and concord.

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Henry N. Parsley Jr

 
Ex-bishop says he told church of gay spouse


Posted on Sun, May. 09, 2004

Ex-bishop says he told church of gay spouse

By Beth Fouhy

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO - A retired Episcopal bishop sanctioned by the Diocese of
California for marrying his same-sex partner says he informed the state's
bishop of his plans to marry days before the ceremony and followed the
church's rules governing the blessing of gay and lesbian unions.

The comments of the Rev. Otis Charles, who married his partner in a San
Francisco church ceremony last month, conflict with those of a diocese
spokesman who said Charles had not notified Bishop William Swing of his plans.

Charles told Associated Press on Saturday that he had received a letter
from Swing informing him that his license to officiate at church services or
preside over the church's sacramental ceremonies, such as weddings or
baptisms, had been revoked.

Charles, who served as Episcopal Bishop of Utah for 15 years, married his
partner of two years, Felipe Sanchez Paris, on April 24. Charles came out as
gay following his 1993 retirement at age 67 and married Paris on his 78th
birthday.

Charles said he believed an article about his wedding that appeared in the
San Francisco Chronicle April 29 had provoked the disciplinary action by
Swing. Charles said he had informed Swing, who is considered one of the
faith's most outspoken proponents of gay marriage, days before the wedding
took place.

"It was done with the bishop's knowledge and done according to his
protocols," Charles said.

The San Francisco diocesan office, where both Swing and executive officer
the Rev. Canon Michael Hansen are headquartered, did not return calls for
comment Saturday.

Although the Episcopal Church does not officially encourage same-sex
unions, churches in some American dioceses routinely bless gay couples in a
ceremony that differs from traditional marriage. That has long been the case
in California.

In an article in The Living Church, a magazine for Episcopalians, Hansen
said that Charles had not contacted Swing before his marriage. He said that
couples who want to have same-sex blessing celebrations in the Diocese of
California must have their requests preapproved and ensure that their
celebrations do not resemble traditional marriage ceremonies.

The diocese was investigating if any other clergy violated church policy by
presiding at the couple's nearly-three-hour wedding at St. Gregory of Nyssa
Church, Hansen said.

Charles said that despite the consequences, he was glad he was part of the
Chronicle's story, which described a joyful celebration involving several
hundred guests, including his own 8-year old grandson.

"I think the article touched many people," Charles said. "That gift of
being present as who we are and the love that we share -- allowing that to
be a gift to others -- I think it was a right and a good thing."

Charles, who was married for 42 years and has five grown children, was dean
and president of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., between
1986 and 1993. He has remained active in California's ministry for gay and
lesbian Episcopalians and served as bishop-in-residence at an Episcopal
church in San Francisco.


 
allAfrica.com: No HIV Test, No Wedding - Anglican Church

P.M. News (Lagos)
NEWS
May 5, 2004
Posted to the web May 5, 2004


Couples seeking to be joined in holy wedlock in the Anglican Diocese of Osun, in Osun State, will have to produce their HIV and AIDS test results to be qualified.

The Bishop of the diocese, the Rt. Rev. James Popoola, stated this on Tuesday at the end of the sixth Synod of the diocese held at the Cathedral of All Saints, Osogbo.

He noted that the Anglican Communion was seriously concerned about the rate at which HIV and AIDS scourge was spreading.

He said that the Synod took the decision with the aim of ensuring that all members of the church, particularly new couples remained faithful in their marriage.

Popoola pointed out that the experience of the church in recent times had not been palatable, adding that "fornication of whatever ramification or guise should be abhorred by all Christians and churches".

He advised that young people should learn to preserve themselves and reserve sexual intercourse only for matrimony.

According to him, the church should preach total abstinence from immorality, adding that condoms should not be recommended for all singles and to married Christians.

According to him, "the Synod objected to the obnoxious traditional widowhood practices which are prevalent in our society such as forceful marriage of the widow to a sibling of the deceased".

The bishop warned that the Anglican Church would no longer proceed on marriage services where such couples were indecently dressed, saying that reading of newspapers and use of cell-phones must be discouraged in the church.

Popoola said that the Synod had vehemently rejected the consecration into the Episcopate of gay priests.

He commended the courage of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) the Most Rev. Peter Akinola, for condemning the unbiblical practice.


Sunday, May 09, 2004
 
ANGLICAN COMMUNION MOVES TOWARDS PRECIPICE


News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

A leak from the Lambeth Commission this week suggests that the Anglican
Communion must face the inevitability of a formal split because it
cannot agree on the rightness or wrongness of homosexual behavior by
segments of the Communion, and the fulfillment of the latter in the
consecration of an avowed homosexual to the American episcopacy.

The unidentified source told Ruth Gledhill of the TIMES that a proposal
was on the table to turn the Anglican Communion into an Anglican
confederation.

What apparently is now on the table is a confederation, modeled along
similar lines to the Geneva-based World Lutheran Federation.

What this means is that relations between provinces would be freed up,
with new loyalties based on differing theological and moral principles.

The one unifying principle for both conservative and liberal Anglicans
is that they remain in communion with the mother Church of England
through the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Furthermore, where a national church went too far in embracing modern
secular mores, it could be reduced to an observer status or not invited
at all to meetings such as the Lambeth Conference, held every ten years.

Such a system, the source said, would placate the conservatives who have
been demanding disciplinary measures against churches such as those in
the United States, which ordained an openly homoerotic bishop, and
Canada, where same-sex blessings have been authorized.

It would permit provinces effectively to excommunicate each other by
refusing to recognize their priests or bishops, but they would remain
tied in a loose international Anglican confederation by remaining in
communion with Canterbury. Canon lawyers are preparing documents they
will present next month in Kanuga, NC to see if the Lutheran model is
viable.

In a letter sent over the weekend to all the primates and moderators of
the Anglican Communion, Dr Robin Eames, the Primate of Ireland, who
chairs the Lambeth Commission, pled strongly with conservatives not to
split by forming new provinces or dioceses until the commission has
completed its work at the end of this year.

In a subsequent article by Jonathan Petre of the TELEGRAPH following
another leak, or perhaps a continuation of the trial balloon being
floated, an all-powerful "star chamber", headed by the Archbishop of
Canterbury would be created under proposals to avert the collapse of
worldwide Anglicanism over homosexuality.

The blueprint drawn up by advisers, would grant Dr Rowan Williams
significant new powers, though not enough to transform him into an
Anglican "pope".
The archbishop would preside over a final court of appeal, allowing him
to exercise the "judgment of Solomon" over warring factions in the
77-million
strong Church.

Now the idea of a federation is not entirely new. A paper drawn up last
year by Professor Norman Doe, a commission member and the director of
the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University had already
suggested that provinces should be prevented from acting unilaterally
against the greater good of the communion as a whole.

Doe’s commission paper argued that when disputes arose, a final appeal
could be made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by a "bench" of
senior churchmen and theologians. Any province acting in defiance of the
archbishop's judgment could be expelled.

So what does all this mean?

Clearly, at one level, liberals and revisionists would be the obvious
losers in any break up of the Communion.

Pansexualist Anglicans have become the most aggrieved group since they
aired their feelings at Lambeth ‘98, and any attempt to discipline them
will be met with great resistance. In provinces like the ECUSA and
Canada they will demand that they are autonomous with provincial and
national canons and constitutions that are not subject to international
discipline.

On the other hand, Western orthodox Anglicans would see a plus because
it would enable them to recognize only these provinces, individual
dioceses and parishes that are faithful to the received doctrine and
teaching of the church and reject those “pluriform” dioceses that have
rolled over to the secularizing forces of post-modernity.

Interestingly enough some 21 provinces have already declared themselves
to be in impaired or broken communion with Frank Griswold and the
American Episcopal Church over the Robinson consecration, and this would
be codified, legitimizing what has de facto occurred.

Another plus is that the formation of the Network (NACDP), in hindsight
a brilliant move by Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, would be recognized
by the Archbishop of Canterbury as the authentic voice of Anglicanism in
North America, in effect isolating the bulk of ECUSA’s bishops who are
liberal and revisionist.

The Anglican world could then watch as they slowly withered and died
with an inclusive “gospel” built on the foundation of diversity and
pansexuality.

Another plus for the orthodox in the United States and Canada would be
the break up of geographical lines and the ease with which bishops and
archbishops will be free to cross diocesan lines to minister to those
persecuted parishes in revisionist dioceses like the Diocese of
Pennsylvania.

Some problems will still persist.

If there is no uniform canons and constitutions that can be agreed upon
by the whole communion, and clearly this is not in the Episcopal
Church’s best interests because it is run by revisionists who view the
glue of the church in terms of monies and properties, then it will
require a brave orthodox parish who is prepared to sue his diocese over
the validity of the Dennis Canon.

The issue of who owns the properties will need to be confronted, and the
validity of the Dennis Canon will need to be challenged.

One parish, The Church of the Good Shepherd in St. Louis is doing just
that in the Diocese of Missouri, and it will be interesting to see how
that all plays out both in St. Louis, their State Supreme Court and
ultimately the Supreme Court – the Rev. Paul Walter is ready to go to
the mat with Bishop Wayne Smith.

There is also another problem and it is this.

Will the African bishops remain in communion with the Archbishop of
Canterbury if he still remains in communion with the likes of Frank
Griswold? The jury is still out on that, but I wouldn’t bet ECUSA’s
Trust Funds that a merger of pan-African bishops, Southern Cone bishops,
South-East Asian bishops, doesn’t just up and pull the plug on the
Anglican Communion and reject Dr. Williams leadership altogether.

Impossible you say? Perhaps, but a realignment is underway that not even
Dr. Williams can stop, and the growing momentum by the orthodox in the
ECUSA has made it clear that business as usual with ECUSA’s revisionists
is well and truly over. Both Canon David Anderson of the American
Anglican Council and Canon David Roseberry, facilitator of the Plano
gatherings, are way beyond arguing with Griswold, their only question is
what a future Episcopal Church will look like.

Whatever finally emerges from the leak, and the possibility of a new
confederation, one thing is for sure, the Anglican Communion is moving
closer to the edge of the abyss and unless the revisionists repent of
their moral apostasies and theological heresies, then one way or another
it is all over for the Anglican Communion.

 
'Doing the truth'


=====================================================
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
=====================================================

May 9, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Evangelical Tradition (cont'd.)

741. 'Doing the truth'
We evangelicals tend to be strong in piety and weak in
praxis ... All of us will agree that theological reflection
is indispensable; I hope we agree that it is equally
indispensable to translate our theology into action.
Knowledge of Scripture can never be an end in itself. We
are called not only to 'believe' the truth, but to 'do' or
'obey' it.

--From 'Tasks Which Await Us', epilogue to "Essays in
Evangelical Social Ethics", ed. D. F. Wright (Exeter:
Paternoster, 1978), p. 181.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 310, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

 
The Fourth Sunday after Easter

O ALMIGHTY God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Friday, May 07, 2004
 
Mariners' Church of Detroit: Press Release

FAITHFUL PRIEST CONSECRATED BISHOP

Detroit -- May 2, 2004 -- The faithful parish priest, celebrated in song for ringing a church bell twenty-nine times to commemorate the loss of all hands aboard the Edmund Fitzgerald, has been consecrated to the Holy Office of Bishop.

Father Richard W. Ingalls, Rector of historic Mariners' Church of Detroit, joined the Apostolic Succession on Sunday, May 2, at a 10:00 a.m. service there, attended by a packed church of well-wishers. Mariners' Church, "The Maritime Sailors' Cathedral," is located in Detroit's Riverfront Civic and Renaissance Centers at 170 E. Jefferson Avenue. The Consecrating Bishops were the Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert J. Godfrey, of Atlanta, Michigan; the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Morley, of Fairhope, Alabama; the Rt. Rev. Melvin H. Pickering, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and the Rt. Rev. Vincent V. Thakore, of Atlanta, Georgia.

Several Bishops of the Anglican Communion had long urged Father Ingalls to assume full sacramental authority for the congregation. After many years of prayerful consideration, the Rector accepted the call to be consecrated, with the Trustees of the Church heartily concurring. Now he will be able to conduct those services reserved for Bishops, such as Confirmation and Ordination.

"I was reluctant at first because I thought the focus should be on the parishioners of Mariners' and not on me," Fr. Ingalls said. "I was persuaded over time that the New Testament model of a bishop survives in many parts of Christendom. So this step will enlarge my service to the congregation, the community, and the Will of Julia Anderson."

The Will he refers to is the 1842 founding document of Mariners' as a free and independent church, not subordinate to any ecclesial hierarchy. Mariners' is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees under the Act of Incorporation, No. 142 of 1848 by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Michigan, which Act has neither been amended nor repealed. Services at Mariners' follow the traditional Anglican liturgy of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.

In the New Testament model, each house-church congregation had its own bishop-overseer. He was the chief pastor of his flock, and the administrator and dispenser of its charity. He was also responsible for all preaching and teaching, and was also the guardian and representative of his people in relations with the non-Christian community. This role as priest, pastor and administrator of his congregation is in almost every respect identical to that of a Rector/Priest at an autonomous church such as Mariners'.
Father Richard Ingalls became Rector of Mariners' Church in 1965, and since then has become well known in Detroit's maritime and civic communities for creating annual public services such as the Blessing of the Fleet, Navy League Sunday, and the Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service. These services bring congregants and the community together in remembrance of God's love and care throughout their daily lives. The Blessing of the Fleet, which he celebrated for his fortieth consecutive year at Mariners' on March 14, is the prototype for similar annual services such as the one at Faith Lutheran Church in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan which celebrated its tenth anniversary March 21.

The Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot immortalized Fr. Ingalls' bell-ringing at Mariners’ Church in his 1976 song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," and he has been known to return to Mariners’ for the annual service. During a savage Lake Superior gale on November 10, 1975, the Great Lakes ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank near Whitefish Bay with all 29 hands aboard. It was the largest ship ever lost on the "Inland Seas."



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