Palmetto Anglican
Saturday, July 31, 2004
 
The Anglican Communion Network Declares Day of Prayer for Episcopal Church

ACN News
July 14, 2004


Contact:
Cynthia Brust
202-296-5360


The Anglican Communion Network (ACN) has called for a Day of Prayer and Fasting on Thursday, August 5, 2004, in observance of the first anniversary of the confirmation of V. Gene Robinson, the first active homosexual bishop of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). The following Sunday, August 8, 2004, is set aside as a day to recognize and prayerfully support global missions whose ministries and resources experienced the negative repercussions of General Convention 2003.

With the impending anniversary of Gene Robinson’s confirmation to the episcopate, the ACN bishops, at a recent meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, called for a specific date of organized intercessory prayer for the Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church and global witness. The bishops pointed to the growing turmoil within ECUSA as well as the divisive and chaotic fallout from decisions made at General Convention that have plunged the Anglican Communion into a crisis situation affecting both domestic and ecumenical relations.

The flow of support, relationships with host provinces and the integrity of teaching of missionaries around the world has also been damaged by the Episcopal Church’s unilateral decisions to move forward on its social agenda. Participating in the Great Commission has become more difficult now, versus a year ago, for many missionary movements. In an effort to rebuild awareness and commitment to global missions, the ACN bishops are encouraging parishes to dedicate their services on August 8 to recognition of missions through special preaching, prayers, and designation of collections to help meet the needs of missionaries.

###


 
CONNECTICUT BISHOP THREATENS CANONICAL INITIATIVES TO ORTHODOX RECTORS


News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

HARTFORD, CT--(7/30/2004)--Four orthodox clergy in the Diocese of
Connecticut whose parishes have taken part in a 6-parish joint request
for DEPO have appeared before Bishop Andrew Smith in response to a
"pastoral directive." Three have been told that "canonical initiatives"
will be forthcoming unless some resolution is achieved with respect to
their differences with the bishop.

The three who received implied threats from the bishop are the Revds.
Christopher Leighton, rector of St. Paul's, Darien, one of the largest
charismatic churches in the Episcopal Church USA, Allyn Benedict, rector
of Christ Church, Watertown, and Dr. Mark Hansen, rector of St. John's
Church, Bristol.

The rectors of two other parishes taking part in the joint DEPO request
are also under potential discipline from the bishop, having received the
same pastoral directive from Bishop Smith via certified letter. He
sternly insisted that they meet with him individually at his office.
While an original deadline had been set for July 24, conflicting
vacation schedules resulted in a delay.

But three of the priests who have already appeared before the bishop
have issued personal reports that were obtained by Virtuosity.

The Rev. Christopher Leighton met one-on-one with the bishop for 35
minutes and described their talk as "frank".

"He wanted to make sure I understood that the relationship of the six
churches to him cannot continue at the 'impasse'. He sees only three
possibilities for us. The first is that we will leave. The second is
that we will stay, and accept his form of DEPO. And the third is that we
do nothing, thinking that nothing will happen, but that he will take
canonical initiatives against the clergy and their churches."

Fr. Leighton said he listened and then responded telling the bishop that
he obeyed the Pastoral Directive to obey the summons and to be present.
"I have tried to respect Andrew and his office during his years as
Diocesan. I made it clear that St. Paul's and I have no intention of
leaving the Diocese or the Episcopal Church. I let him know that I heard
firsthand from an individual that the diocesan office, explicitly a
staff member, has been saying that "the seven churches are leaving". I
asked Andrew to correct the situation and perception. To my knowledge, I
have not heard of any church saying it was leaving. And in fact, on
behalf of St. Paul's I said, "We're not threatening to leave. We're
threatening to stay."

"I reminded him that I was present as the rector of a parish whose
vestry and parishioners are united. The vestry has made a decision to
redirect funds. The vestry requested Delegated Episcopal Pastoral
Oversight."

Leighton then said there was an untold story in Connecticut, and it is
the impact that his actions were having on the laity. "I was present,
and so proud of my vestry, as they wrote the letter concerning DEPO, and
each member individually signed it." He then asked the bishop if it was
his intention to ignore the needs of these parishes.

The priest said that he thought that the House of Bishops offer of DEPO
for those who disagree with recent actions of the Episcopal Church was
an unusual form of reconciling work to unilaterally impose on an injured
party a take-it-or-leave-it approach. "I can't imagine two estranged
parties in a marriage ever working it out if one had a plan that he or
she insisted would work for the other, without any input from that party."

Leighton said he truly felt like the bishop was coming down the mountain
from the House of Bishops position. "I asked him if he would reconsider
meeting with the vestries together. He became agitated about them being
a power bloc or a mini-diocese. I countered observing that they are in
agreement as to what their needs are, and that HIS version of DEPO
doesn't meet their needs. I asked Andrew to consider putting aside
concerns about power, and just meeting with the group that is fearful
that he will pick them off individually."

Leighton said the bishop was in a hurry. "I asked him what the hurry
was. He said he had had these conversations back in April, and that
there had to be a conclusion. I opined, "You've won. Why don't you just
let things sit for a while?" He said he was soon to go on vacation,
that he was expecting action when he returns in September. I told him I
would communicate what he had to say with St. Paul's. He said he would
call me in early September.”

Fr. Allyn Benedict of Christ Church Watertown, CT also met with the
bishop and reported the following conversation based on notes he took
during the meeting with the bishop.

"Bishop Smith began by saying that he has heard our process described as
an impasse and it must not stay that way. Something’s got to give. We
can’t go on with no relationship at all. He said he wants DEPO to work
but he cannot meet our demands within the Constitution and Canons of the
Church."

Fr. Benedict responded by saying that DEPO did reflect the true needs
determined by the parishes and that Christ Church remains committed to
them in common cause with the other churches involved.

"The bishop said he remained firm about not meeting with the churches
together. Each church is in relationship with the bishop canonically as
a separate unit and each has its own needs and mission and “personality”
and he wanted to work with each one to tailor DEPO to their unique
circumstances."

The bishop emphasized, with a little heat, that he will not in any way
deal with AAC because they have a theological and global agenda, said
the priest.

"I responded that our churches have taken a lot of time, having
seriously considered our real needs and that we, along with the other
churches, find ourselves with a common perspective and a shared
commitment to secure provision for our common needs to be met."

"The Bishop pointed out, with apparent frustration, that it seems we
have applied for DEPO but now refuse to meet with him. I answered that
we have never said we will not meet with him, but we insisted that we
meet jointly rather than severally with him."

Bishop Smith argued that we could not go on in the absence of any kind
of relationship. "We need to make DEPO work."

"He said he saw only two alternatives. First, Christ Church can break
from him; declare our independence—dissolve the relationship. Second,
things could go on as they are but only for so long. We cannot live with
no interaction…we cannot live within the Diocese but not a part of it in
any significant way. At some point he would have to take canonical
initiatives”. He would have to invoke canons concerning jurisdiction,
leadership in parishes…I said that it would seem that either course
would lead to “canonical initiatives” on his part. He agreed. He
hastened to add that he is not in a big hurry to do this.

The priest then asked if there was anything more he wanted to say to me
or the church.

"The bishop said yes. He reiterated that DEPO is his first choice and
that he wants it to work. He said he had talked with two bishops
concerning delegated oversight. One was retired Bishop Jeffrey Rowthorn
(Europe ret.) and the other, the Bishop of Fond du Lac, Russell Jacobus.
The list was not closed he said, it was open to other possibilities and
input from us. Secondly, he said there was a false notion going around
that any church granted DEPO would have to pay its 12.5%. The amount
would have to be worked out and negotiated between the Diocese and the
parish. He said he would not be directly involved. He said this would be
a “fair” amount so that we were not just “freeloading”. Thirdly, he
wanted one contact a year between one of the Connecticut bishops and the
parish. He said a worship service or Episcopal functions was not
necessary. Any kind of a gathering with vestry, people, etc. was
acceptable so long as contact was not completely broken off."

The bishop said he was torn between his desire to be pastorally
sensitive and his ordination responsibility to keep church order,
concluded Fr. Benedict.

The Rev. Mark Hansen, the last rector to meet with Bishop Smith,
expressed concern over the bishop’s “precisely worded invocation of the
phrase ‘canonical initiatives’ in connection with the consequences of a
continued failure to resolve the current impasse.”

In a phone call to Virtuosity, Hansen said he was not hopeful that
anything could ultimately be worked out with the bishop, as “there are
too many crucial issues in our joint DEPO request that the bishop simply
is not willing to consider for discussion.”

“The fact that all three of our active bishops in Connecticut voted
against B001 is also very troubling to me,” said Hansen. The House of
Bishops Resolution B001, defeated during last summer’s General
Convention, would have re-affirmed traditional Anglican teaching that
“every member of this Church is conscience-bound first of all to obey
the teaching and direction of Our Lord Jesus Christ as set forth in Holy
Scripture in any matter where a decision or action of the Church, or
this General Convention, may depart from that teaching.”.

"Our real hope comes from the Lord,” Hansen concluded. “We are looking
forward to what the Lambeth Commission comes up with in October to
provide real and lasting assurances that our freedom of conscience to
obey scripture will remain intact, not only for us, but for all
biblically orthodox parishes in North America. I see no possibility
outside of a major realignment."


NOTE: If you are not receiving this from VIRTUOSITY, the Anglican
Communion's largest biblically orthodox Episcopal/Anglican Online News
Service, then you may subscribe FREE by going to:
www.virtuosityonline.org. Virtuosity's website has been accessed by more
than one million readers in 45 countries on six continents. This story
is copyrighted but may be forwarded electronically with reference to
VIRTUOSITY and the author. No changes are permitted in the text.

END

Friday, July 30, 2004
 
Love and justice


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

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

Evangelism and Social Action (cont'd.)

823. Love and justice
The cross is a revelation of God's justice as well as of
his love. That is why the community of the cross should
concern itself with social justice as well as with loving
philanthropy. It is never enough to have pity on the
victims of injustice, if we do nothing to change the unjust
situation itself. Good Samaritans will always be needed to
succour those who are assaulted and robbed; yet it would be
even better to rid the Jerusalem-Jericho road of brigands.

--From "The Cross of Christ" (Leicester and Downers Grove:
IVP, 1986), p. 292.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 342, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

 
Thousands witness opening of Cathedral in Rwanda

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

[Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa] Rwanda's President Paul Kagame was
among thousands of Anglican faithful who attended the official opening and
blessing of John the Baptist Cathedral in Ruhengeri, Rwanda, earlier this week.

The colourful event, held on Sunday 25 July, was presided over by the
Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini,
and the Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. John Rucyahana.

An altar call made during the service saw 1,080 people accepting Jesus
Christ as their personal savior. The President congratulated the new
believers and praised the Episcopal Church of Rwanda for its role in peace
building and economic development.

Rwanda was devastated by genocide ten years ago, which claimed close to one
million lives. The Anglican Church has been at the forefront in counselling
victims of the genocide and reconciling the nation.

Kolini told the gathering that the word of God would bring healing to the
nation. He said love was the greatest virtue and that it had the power to
transform any society.

Rucyahana, who was singled out for praise by the President, pledged to
continue working for the good of all the people in the diocese.

For information on the Episcopal Church of Rwanda: www.anglicancommunion.org/tour/province.cfm?ID=R

Thursday, July 29, 2004
 
An aspect of conversion

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

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

Evangelism and Social Action (cont'd.)

822. An aspect of conversion
Social responsibility becomes an aspect not of Christian
mission only, but also of Christian conversion. It is
impossible to be truly converted to God without being
thereby converted to our neighbour.

--From "Christian Mission in the Modern World" (London:
Falcon, 1975), p. 53.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 342, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.




Tuesday, July 27, 2004
 
Parishes urged to test bishops on gay beliefs


Church of England evangelicals intensified their battle over homosexuality
yesterday by calling on hundreds of parishes to reject the spiritual
authority of liberal bishops.

Reform, the conservative evangelical network, announced plans for a
national campaign in the statement to its 1,700 members.

The group called on parishes to test whether their diocesan bishops held
"orthodox" beliefs on homosexuality. If their bishops' views proved
unacceptible, they were urged to declare themselves in "impaired communion"
or to cap their contributions.

Reform said impaired communion - where parishes bar their bishops from
ministering to their congregations - existed in several dioceses following
the furore over the gay cleric Dr Jeffrey John.

The Reform statement warned that the crisis would deepen if the Lambeth
Commission failed to avert schism.

Monday, July 26, 2004
 
Who is my neighbour?


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

July 26, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Evangelism and Social Action (cont'd.)

819. Who is my neighbour?
Our evangelical neglect of social concern until recent
years, and the whole argument about evangelism and social
action, had been as unseemly as it has been unnecessary.
Of course evangelical Christians have quite rightly
rejected the so-called 'social gospel' (which replaces the
good news of salvation with a message of social
amelioration), but it is incredible that we should ever
have set evangelistic and social work over against each
other as alternatives. Both should be authentic
expressions of neighbour-love. For who is my neighbour,
whom I am to love? He is neither a bodyless soul, nor a
soulless body, nor a private individual divorced from a
social environment. God made man a physical, spiritual and
social being. My neighbour is a body-soul-in-community. I
cannot claim to love my neighbour if I'm really concerned
for only one aspect of him, whether his soul or his body or
his community.

--From "Walk in His Shoes" (London: IVP, 1975), p. 16.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 341, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

 
Saint James the Apostle

GRANT, O merciful God, that as thine holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Sunday, July 25, 2004
 
Survey finds Protestants poised to lose their majority in U.S.


The Associated Press

The United States will no longer be a majority Protestant nation in
years to come, due to a precipitous decline in affiliation with many
Protestant churches, a new survey has found.

Between 1993 and 2002, the share of Americans who said they were
Protestant dropped from 63 percent to 52 percent, after years of
remaining generally stable, according to a study released today by the
National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

At the same time, the number of people who said they had no religion
rose from 9 percent to nearly 14 percent, and many are former
Protestants, the survey's authors said.

The study was based on three decades of religious identification
questions in the General Social Survey, which the opinion center
conducts to measure public trends.

The United States "has been seen as white and Protestant," said Tom
Smith, director of the General Social Survey. "We're not going to be
majority Protestant any longer."

Respondents were defined as Protestant if they said they were members of
a Protestant denomination, such as Episcopal Church or Southern Baptist
Convention. The category included members of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints and members of independent Protestant churches.

Among the reasons for the decline were the large number of young people
and adults leaving denominations as the number of non-Protestant
immigrants increased, comprising a greater share of the population.
Also, a lower percentage are being raised Protestant, Smith said.

Smith said it is also possible that some former Protestants are now
identifying themselves only as "Christian," a choice on the survey.

The Roman Catholic population has remained relatively stable over the
period, making up about 25 percent of the U.S. population.

People who said they belonged to other religions -- including Islam,
Orthodox Christianity or Eastern faiths -- increased from 3 percent to 7
percent between 1993 and 2002, while the share of people who said they
were Jewish remained stable at just under 2 percent.

 
The Seventh Sunday after Trinity

LORD of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things; Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
ENGLAND: Bishops plan his and hers Church


By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
THE TELEGRAPH

7/20/2004

Proposals to divide the Church of England into two - one part with
female clergy and one without - are being discussed by Church leaders to
avert an exodus of traditionalists when women become bishops.

The Archbishop of York, Dr. David Hope, has told friends he believes
such a scheme, though highly controversial, is probably the only way to
hold the Church together if it decides to consecrate women.

He has privately won support from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr.
Rowan Williams, who agrees the options facing the Church are limited.

Both are worried that more than 300 traditionalist clergy could quit in
protest, potentially costing tens of millions of pounds in hardship
payments to those who leave.

Dr. Hope is keen to encourage a compromise between die-hard
traditionalists and middle-of-the-road Anglicans that will minimise the
structural divisions within the Church.

The diehards are demanding a "third province", a church-within-a-church
with its own archbishop, bishops and training colleges operating in
parallel with the remainder of the Church, but with no female clergy.

As The Telegraph disclosed in January, the third province option has
been included in the unpublished official report on women bishops by a
working party headed by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael
Nazir-Ali.

But Dr. Hope prefers a scheme which, rather than creating parallel
structures, enshrines the rights of traditionalist parishes that could
find themselves in dioceses headed by women bishops or liberals.

Under such a scheme, parishes opposed to women's ordination would be
able to reject the pastoral care of their diocesan bishop if they found
them unacceptable.

Such parishes could choose to be ministered to by a like-minded
traditionalist bishop, who could visit them, if necessary, from outside
the diocese.

Parishes can already opt for "flying" bishops under provisions
introduced for traditionalists when women were ordained priests 10 years
ago.

At present, diocesan bishops retain their authority over their dioceses
and operate a "gentleman's agreement" that they will not block flying
bishops from operating in their territory. Although this system has
worked satisfactorily, Dr Hope fears it will come under such strain when
women are consecrated as bishops that it will need bolstering.

Critically, diocesan bishops would lose their right to block
traditionalist bishops if parishes opt for them.

The proposals are designed to allay the fears of many conservatives that
liberal diocesan bishops will gradually undermine the current agreement,
and traditionalists will find themselves being squeezed out of the
Church.

The General Synod is within its rights to make no concessions to the
traditionalists, leaving them either to put up with women bishops or
leave without hardship payments.

But the measure will have to pass through Parliament and MPs could
reject the whole reform if there is no adequate package of payments
attached.

Dr. Hope and other Church leaders are convinced that the Synod will
baulk at the sums involved - the Church paid £26 million to clergy
who left over women priests - and his proposals will gain in popularity.


 
An unbiblical dualism


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

July 25, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Evangelism and Social Action

818. An unbiblical dualism
The recent debate about the rival merits of evangelism and
social responsibility was never necessary. It expressed an
unbiblical dualism between body and soul, this world and
the next. In any case we are called both to witness and to
serve; both are part of our Christian ministry and mission.

--From "Your Confirmation" (rev. edn. London: Hodder and
Stoughton, 1991), p. 145.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 341, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.


 
THREE ORTHODOX RECTORS RESIGN IN DIOCESE OF EASTERN MICHIGAN
Other Rectors Weigh Options


By David W. Virtue

SAGINAW, MI-(7/24/2004)--Three biblically orthodox rectors in the Flint
River Convocation (Deanery), in the Diocese of Eastern Michigan, angry
and disappointed by the church's consecration of an openly homoerotic
non-celibate bishop; the affirmation of same-sex blessings and other
doctrinal innovations, have resigned from their parishes and one has
renounced his orders in the Episcopal Church.

There departure will leave hundreds of parishioners rootless, without
spiritual direction and nurture and with a theologically and morally
flawed revisionist bishop in the person of Ed Leidel who voted for
Robinson's consecration and who favors same-sex blessings.

"It's a disaster," said one of the priests, "the bishop has no idea what
he is doing. He just doesn't get it. This is a new diocese and he is its
first bishop. He will probably be its last. There is no future here. No
gospel is being proclaimed, and in time it will all die. The diocese was
formed in the Nineties and already has financial problems."

What doubly angered the priests was that Leidel allowed a non-celibate
gay man and his partner to come in as an interim priest at St. Jude's in
Fenton, Michigan. "We were betrayed, the bishop lied to us. He said he
would never do that," they said. Then he did.

The three priests are the Rev. Dr. Greg Tournoux, Christ Church, Owosso;
the Rev. Dave Kulchar, Trinity Church, Flushing and the Rev. Scott
Danforth, St. Dunstan’s, Davison.

The priests who spoke to Virtuosity represent one third of the Flint
River Convocation of nine parishes. The rectors are young, and while
each is in a different space with regard to how they have acted and
their future plans, the Robinson consecration was the last line in the
sand for the three men. "We struggled as to whether we should remain in
the ECUSA," they told Virtuosity. In the end they resigned.

The Rev. Dave Kulchar, 46, of Trinity Church, Flushing took a three
month sabbatical and his parish is discerning their future. "I was told
by Leidel that if I spoke to my parish about realignment I would be
brought up on charges and that DEPO was not an option."

This week Fr. Kulchar was inhibited by Leidel because he would not
pledge loyalty to the bishop. Deposition, though not automatic, could
follow.

"In a season of divided loyalties, you would have thought he could have
adopted a "don't ask don't tell" policy until we heard from the
international community. This means I cannot do marriages, funerals,
supply, preach in any way represent myself as a priest according to his
letter. I am a PBS (Priest in Bad Standing). That is the pastoral
response to those who are walking away from the church? Fortunately the
Kingdom and our God is bigger than human institutions. I am now forced
to look to the Network for foreign oversight or go the way of the AMIA.
For one who wanted to hang in there with other orthodox folks as long
as possible I was pushed out."

Kulchar who recently ended a 3-month sabbatical to discern his future
says his congregation has been torn apart by the actions of their bishop.

"I saw an early copy of the DEPO document before it came out, and I did
not see DEPO as being a viable alternative," Kulchar told Virtuosity.
"Leidel asked me if I saw this diocese as being hostile, and I said not
up to this point. But then Leidel said that if a priest even speaks
about DEPO he will be deposed. How does he know what the priest wants to
do if there is no free choice?"

Kulchar, who resigned June 1, had been asked by orthodox parishes to do
supply work, but Leidel requested a loyalty pledge. Kulchar refused. "It
is a season of divided loyalties, and my hope was that grace would be
given till we heard from the Lambeth Commission, and I had hoped to
serve those people in the interim. Leidel refused. Kulchar said he
briefly did supply work till he was inhibited by Leidel.

Said Leidel, "The canons require the Standing Committee give their
advice and consent...after reading your e-mail, they did not give their
consent on the grounds that you are not willing to uphold your
ordination vows and obey and be loyal to the bishop."

Kulchar said his former parish had 70 souls but it was now down to 30.
Over 80 percent opposed the Robinson consecration but they were divided
over an appropriate response. "I said we needed to align ourselves with
the Network and apply for DEPO. He could not get consensus. I felt in my
conscience I should resign and try and be pastoral as well."

The priest said his future was uncertain but he intended to stay and
live in Flushing, Michigan.

"What the bishop has done to Fr. Kulchar is utterly despicable and
immoral," said Fr. Gene Geromel of St. Bartholomew's in Swartz Creek.
"Here is a priest who served Leidel well and at this point he is going
after Kulchar's livelihood. The priest has children and he will not
allow him to do supply work or any ministry, anywhere," he told Virtuosity.

"They don't just want us to go away they want to obliterate us," said
Fr. Geromel. It is not enough to ignore or go your separate way; it is
to destroy all that we stand for and to make an example of us to others
who might stand up to their agenda. Fr. Kulchar is a case in point."

The Rev. Dr. Greg Tournoux, 45, rector of Christ Church Owosso, resigned
for the same reasons in mid June. "General Convention's blessing of
same-sex unions and Robinson's consecration was the final straw," he
told Virtuosity.

"We had 400 communicants with an average attendance that grew to be the
largest in the diocese. Now it is dying. We were particularly successful
bearing in mind that the church was in a high unemployment area."

"The parish has given me a sabbatical of six months which ends in
December," he told Virtuosity. "I am doing three things - spending time
with my family; working on a second doctorate in Religious Studies at
Trinity in Indiana, and thirdly I am seeking the Lord's direction. I
want to remain a part of the one holy, catholic and apostolic church as
we Anglicans have received it."

Dr. Tournoux said he had been approached by four different
denominations, but had not made up his mind where to go. "I am
evangelical, catholic and charismatic and a member of Forward in Faith,
the traditionalist wing of the Episcopal Church." Tournoux says he
opposes women's ordination and is not unsympathetic with the AMIA. The
rector said that his name has even been submitted for several senior
positions in The Episcopal Church, including a bishopric.

Tournoux said he took his congregation from 70 to 300 and he did it
through establishing 30 cell groups with leadership development using
three distinct Eucharistic traditions. "We were successful bearing in
mind that we were located in a rural small town with an average weekly
attendance of 240 and an 11 percent unemployment rate. After the Vickie
Gene fiasco a trickle of people began to leave."

"One thing is for sure I won't sit around and be a leader of a morgue or
mausoleum," he told Virtuosity.

"I don't believe the bishop gets it. The truth is we are a small dying
dysfunctional, incompetent, inept outfit. I don’t want to spend the rest
of my time that doesn't want to do something great for Jesus Christ,"
said Fr. Tournoux. "Time is short hell is hot and the stakes are high,"
he said.

Since departing, Tournoux said the congregation has divided up with four
different responses. "One group stayed, another group left for other
churches that were not Anglican, a third group left and have not found a
church home and a fourth group comprising a new leadership base have
begun a new work outside of The Episcopal Church."

Despite his departure, Tournoux said he was still excited about the
future, "and I intend to serve in Holy Mother Church."

The Rev. Scott Danforth, 51, rector of St. Dunstan’s in Davison,
Michigan chose to resign and renounced his orders. He is an evangelical
and charismatic from California and has been in the diocese for nine
years. "I have had an ongoing frustration with the direction and
theological path of the church and I saw no hope of its ever changing,"
he told Virtuosity.

"I am looking to teach and have found a non-Anglican congregation that
my family and I now attend. I have left St. Dunstan's and ECUSA." He
said he plans to pursue teaching. He said General Convention was one
symptom of a much larger problem that included theology, integrity and
authority.

"I built a solid core of lay leadership, but the church is fractured
over the issues. People have taken different directions. We lost a
number of people over the issues. We had up to 120 on a Sunday; it
dropped to 60 but is now down around 40. The parish will die."

The priest said he was in a process of soul searching and reflection.

The Rev. Steve Dewey, 55, Grace Church, LaPeer, MI another orthodox
priest in the diocese said he was not threatening to leave ECUSA but was
considering joining the NETWORK. "Bishop Leidel said it was schismatic,
but we have ceased and desisted all funding to the diocese and the
national church," he told Virtuosity.

He said the Diocesan Standing Committee won't harass him about money
till the Archbishop of Canterbury speaks in October following the
release of the Lambeth Commission report.

"We are hoping and praying for the best, but planning for the worst," he
said.

"My parish has sent a resolution to our Diocesan Convention in October
that effectively denounces the actions of Bishop Leidel to affirm the
Robinson consecration and same-sex blessings. We will see how that goes."

"I have 300 souls and I have to take of all of them and while there is
some division in my congregation, we will do what we have to do to
proclaim the orthodox faith." Dewey said he had lost four families since
the Robinson consecration. "We have done reasonably well helping people
to stay on board doing something."

Fr. Dewey predicts there will be a mass exodus of parishioners and
priests if the decision is not to discipline the Episcopal Church. "They
have denied, delayed and hoped it would all go away. There has been some
success, but it won't go away, the authority of Holy Scripture is not up
for negotiation." Fr. Dewey describes himself as an evangelical catholic.

Both Danforth and Dewey served as deans of the diocese and were the
bishop's right hand men, representing the bishop in their respective
convocations, so the betrayal is particularly hurtful.

Said Fr. Danforth, "We served the diocese faithfully; we gave the bishop
and the diocese committed service and this fuels the irony of the whole
situation."

Fr. Gene Geromel, rector of St. Bartholomew's in Swartz Creek, Michigan
left the Episcopal Church over four years ago and is now an independent
congregation though it remains a Forward in Faith parish. "I have not
been deposed nor inhibited," he told Virtuosity.

He described the departure of the parish as an exceptional circumstance,
and said the bishop would never let that happen again. "I do not
minister sacramentally to any Episcopalians in the Diocese of eastern
Michigan," he told Virtuosity.

Leidel has allowed Bishop Keith Ackerman, Diocese of Quincy to do
confirmations, but he is not sure how much longer that will continue, he
said.

"We have kept our property and Bishop Ackerman has been allowed to
administer, so far. We don't know what the future holds. We have also
signed up to join the NETWORK under the Forward and Faith name."

Fr. Geromel said over 70 % of the parishes now had fewer than 70 persons
on any Sunday. He reiterated that what Leidel had done to Fr. Kulchar
was indeed despicable and immoral. "They want to obliterate us. It is
not enough to ignore us; it is to destroy all that we stand for and to
make an example of us to others."

"They use canons to see to it that they have absolute power. No Roman
bishop has the power that Leidel has seen to it that he has himself. It
is very clear to me that when an organization disintegrates it tightens
its control. This is precisely what is going on in The Episcopal Church."

Another Anglo-Catholic Episcopal priest, The Rev. Darryl Pigeon of
Trinity Parish, Croswell-Lexington, has withheld contributions to the
diocese and has said he would not receive communion from Leidel.

Another priest who asked not to be named, said that the diocese has
recognized that redirecting funds has hurt them, but there was no sense
of panic as yet. The diocese does not receive money to stay afloat, but
the diocese is dependent on part time and semi-retired priests and
mutual ministry teams for Sunday coverage, he said.

In writing about Anglicanism, the bishop said, "The Anglican Church is a
Church that is tolerant of ambiguity," apparently not enough for his
orthodox priests. For them he is anything but ambiguous. Leidel said
that The Anglican Church is a Church that is more communal than
doctrinal, but that too is a fiction.

Bishop Leidel came to the Diocese of Eastern Michigan seven years ago
after it split in the 90’s. He is its first bishop. He will be its first
and last bishop of diocese, said a knowledgeable insider.

Bishop Leidel did not return an E-mail requesting his perspective on
what is taking place in his diocese.

Saturday, July 24, 2004
 
No warmth within


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

July 24, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Proclaiming the Gospel (cont'd.)

817. No warmth within
Some preachers have a great horror of emotionalism. So
have I, if this means the artificial stirring of the
emotions by rhetorical tricks or other devices. But we
should not fear genuine emotion. If we can preach Christ
crucified and remain altogether unmoved, we must have a
hard heart indeed. More to be feared than emotion is cold
professionalism, the dry, detached utterance of a lecture
which has neither heart nor soul in it. Do man's peril and
Christ's salvation mean so little to us that we feel no
warmth rise within us as we think about them?

--From "The Preacher's Portrait" (London: Tyndale Press,
1961), p. 51.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p 336-337, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Friday, July 23, 2004
 
Missionary couple in Uganda asked to seek alternative oversight

In continued commitment to uphold Biblical teaching, the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, sent a recent letter to a husband and wife team serving in Kampala, Uganda, asking them to seek alternative oversight. Expressing gratitude for their “unwavering commitment to the Word of God” and “years of service to the people of Uganda,” Archbishop Orombi encouraged Phil and Jennifer Leber to continue their ministries within Uganda, but made it clear that the relationship with ECUSA under which they operate would have to be severed.



In light of the effects of ECUSA’s departure from Scripture and tradition, Archbishop Orombi stressed the uncertainty facing the Lebers as they seek affiliation with another missionary organization and funding from other sources. He invited Ugandans to participate in the work of the Lebers through financial and prayer support.



The situation facing the Lebers is becoming more commonplace as provinces throughout the Anglican Communion declare broken or impaired communion with ECUSA due to its decisions to invalidate 2000 years of Biblical teaching and church faith and order. As of April 19, 2004, the Primates of the Council of the Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) are no longer accepting support or missionaries commissioned by ECUSA and have called for discipline of the institution.



To learn more about the Lebers’ experience in Uganda and how you can take part in their ministry, please go to
www.ugandamission.org.
 
The gospel appeal


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

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

Proclaiming the Gospel (cont'd.)

816. The gospel appeal
God finished the work of reconciliation at the cross, yet
it is still necessary for sinners to repent and believe and
so 'be reconciled to God'. Again, sinners need to 'be
reconciled to God', yet we must not forget that on God's
side the work of reconciliation has already been done. If
these two things are to be kept distinct, they will also in
all authentic gospel preaching be kept together. It is not
enough to expound a thoroughly orthodox doctrine of
reconciliation if we never beg people to come to Christ.

--From "The Cross of Christ" (Leicester and Downers Grove:
IVP, 1986), p. 201.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 336, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Thursday, July 22, 2004
 
The mark of true preaching


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

July 22, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Proclaiming the Gospel (cont'd.)

815. The mark of true preaching
Persecution or opposition is a mark of every true Christian
preacher ... The Old Testament prophets found it so, men
like Amos, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. So did the New
Testament apostles. And down the centuries of the
Christian church, until and including today, Christian
preachers who refuse to distort or dilute the gospel of
grace have had to suffer for their faithfulness. The good
news of Christ crucified is still a 'scandal' (Greek,
*skandalon", stumbling-block), grievously offensive to the
pride of men.

--From "The Message of Galatians" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: London and Downers Grove: IVP, 1968), p. 137.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 336, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004
 
The offence of the cross


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

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

Proclaiming the Gospel (cont'd.)

814. The offence of the cross
The 'stumbling block of the cross' remains. Sinners hate
it because it tells them that they cannot save themselves.
Preachers are tempted to avoid it because of its
offensiveness to the proud. It is easier to preach man's
merits than Christ's, because men greatly prefer it that
way.

--From "Our Guilty Silence" (London: Hodder and Stoughton,
1967), p. 40.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 336, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
 
Six Episcopal Parishes Seek Conservative Ties


July 16, 2004
By FRANCES GRANDY TAYLOR, Courant Staff Writer

In the latest sign of the stresses tearing at a variety of denominations
over social issues, six Episcopal parishes are seeking to remove their
churches from the control of Bishop Andrew D. Smith, who leads the Episcopal
Diocese of Connecticut.

The parishes want to become aligned with a bishop outside the state, one who
is part of a network of conservative Episcopal churches that have come
together in opposition to the consecration last year of the church's first
openly gay bishop.

This week, priests from the six churches - Christ Church in Watertown, St.
John's Church in Bristol, St. Paul's Church in Darien, Trinity Church in
Bristol, Christ & The Epiphany Church in East Haven, and Bishop of Seabury
Church in Groton - each received a "pastoral directive" and were summoned by
registered letter to meet with Smith.

"At first, I thought I was being subpoenaed. It turned out to be a letter
from my bishop commanding that I meet with him," said the Rev. Christopher
Leighton, pastor of St. Paul's Church in Darien. Leighton said being
summoned to a compulsory meeting with Smith was a tactic that added more
tension to an increasingly strained relationship.

In March, the U.S. Episcopal bishops created a framework for the kind of
alternative oversight the six churches are seeking. Called "Delegated
Episcopal Pastoral Oversight," the procedure was designed to allow churches
that refuse to accept the consecration of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New
Hampshire to become aligned with another bishop, "who neither supported the
election [of Robinson] nor supports the ordination of homosexuals to
ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church."

Robinson's consecration a year ago, which was supported by a majority of
Episcopal bishops, including Smith, has brought the U.S. Episcopal Church to
the brink of schism with the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Smith said Thursday he expects the six churches will get another bishop to
oversee them, though many details still need to be worked out.

"I want the delegated oversight to be implemented," Smith said. "It's
something that is offered in the church, that respects and accommodates the
views of those who have petitioned for it."

So far, only one parish church, in Newark, N.J., has been granted delegated
oversight.

Under a DEPO agreement, Smith would voluntarily relinquish many activities
at the six churches, such as performing confirmations, baptisms and rites of
initiation. At the same time, Smith would retain constitutional and
canonical jurisdiction over the congregations, and the parishes would pledge
funds to the diocese at a level that is agreed upon.

Leighton said St. Paul's Church has stopped contributing to the diocese and
instead sends its money to other Episcopal ministries.

"We have felt led by God to continue to give our money - not to a
bureaucracy filled with error - but to people who need help," Leighton said.

The rectors of the six churches wanted to undergo the DEPO process as a
group, but several said Smith has insisted that they do so as individual
churches, which has put the process at something of an impasse.

Smith declined to express his personal feelings about the quest of the six
parishes, except to say "we worked very long and hard at the bishops meeting
to create DEPO, recognizing that it would meet the pastoral needs."

"It's the [Episcopal] Church's attempt to accommodate the pastoral needs of
our parishes and to maintain our unity," he said.

The Rev. Allan Benedict, rector of Christ Church in Watertown, said the
process could take months, since the bishop who would be chosen for
oversight must be acceptable both to Smith and the churches.

But, Benedict added, that will not stop the crisis facing the Episcopal Church.

"I believe that ultimately, the worldwide communion will take action against
the U.S. Episcopal Church," Benedict said. "They will either have to reverse
their decision [on Robinson] or go their own way."

The Rev. Mark Hansen is rector of St. John's Church in Bristol, which in the
wake of Robinson's approval voted in February to affiliate with the Anglican
Network, a new group of "biblically orthodox" parishes.

Hansen criticized the designated oversight plan as inadequate and said it
unilaterally imposes a take-it-or-leave-it approach. He said a number of
specifics still need to be worked out - such as future succession of clergy
at parishes under delegated oversight, which is not spelled out in the DEPO
framework.

Further, it "keeps all the power in the hands of an existing bishop," Hansen
said. "[Smith] doesn't relinquish one iota of power."

The bishops of the U.S. Episcopal Church are refusing to see that "reality
has been radically and irrevocably altered," Hansen said. "A tectonic shift
is going on, and they are trying to manage it in a business-as-usual way.
... There is a power struggle going on that transcends Bristol, a drama
being played on the global stage."

 
The Dark Side of Charles Bennison


By David W. Virtue

PHILADELPHIA, PA 7-19-2004--Charles Bennison, Bishop of the Diocese of
Pennsylvania, has rightly earned his reputation throughout the world as
an apostate and heretical bishop, as well as being a liar.

His “theology” has been deemed so crazy that people find it difficult to
believe that a bishop could say and affirm the things that he does and
still remain a bishop.

He has said Jesus was a sinner who forgave himself and he has changed
the marriage ceremony to a Visigoth rite for same-sex blessings and much
more.

He cannot be trusted to keep his promises. When he ran for the office of
Bishop Coadjutor, he promised to keep the Parsons Plan for Forward in
Faith traditionalist parishes in the diocese. Following his election, he
broke that promise.

He wrote a “Pastoral Direction” to Fr. David Moyer, Church of the Good
Shepherd, Rosemont, stating that the priest would receive a trial if the
demands were not met. He lied; he never intended to give Fr. Moyer a
trial. More recently Virtuosity reported the conclusions of a
“whistleblower” over massive financial irregularities in the Diocese.

Now, in addition to all this, there is something else – a sadistic “dark
side” to Bishop Bennison in which he takes pleasure in inflicting pain
on others.

When Bennison “inhibited” and then “deposed” Fr. Moyer, he issued public
statements about how this “pained” him and “grieved” him. But the “real”
Charles Bennison was revealed on the day of Fr. Moyer’s “deposition”.
The “deposition” was intended by Bennison to expel Fr. Moyer from his
church and from his home – and to prevent the traditionalist priest, and
the national leader of Forward in Faith NA from being a priest anywhere
in the Anglican Communion.

The deposition followed with six months of severe emotional distress for
the Anglo-Catholic priest who had been prevented by Bennison from
functioning as a priest because of the “inhibition” laid on him.

When the “deposition day” came around it should have been a solemn and
sad occasion. Not for Charles Bennison. He summoned two priests to
witness him signing the sentence of “deposition”. To get them in the
mood, he began to tell jokes. When all three were smiling, a
photographer was summoned to take a picture of the smiling Charles
Bennison signing the “deposition”.

When Fr. Moyer’s lawyers demanded to see the picture, Bennison responded
by saying that the picture was “destroyed or was irretrievably lost” and
that Bennison did “not recall with specificity the substance of the
joke(s)”.

As an indication of the state of the diocese, Bennison admitted recently
to another orthodox priest that there had been a major reduction in
pledges throughout the diocese, and that some 70 out of 159 parishes had
serious financial problems. He also said that the Diocese of
Pennsylvania is "over churched in terms of buildings since many parishes
were built before modern transportation. He indicated that 40 parishes
now have less than 40 members.


Monday, July 19, 2004
 
"FOR THE HONOR OF THE HOUSE"
"Closure" For A Troubling Episode At Nashotah?


The Christian Challenge (Washington, DC)
July 18, 2004

AN HONORARY DOCTORATE awarded in 2001 but never yet conferred by the
traditionalist Nashotah House seminary in Wisconsin has been renounced by
the prominent orthodox alumnus who was to receive it.

Episcopal-turned-Continuing Church priest, the Rev. Samuel Edwards, took the
action in a July 16 open letter, he indicated, to definitively remove from
the agenda of Nashotah's board of trustees a matter which had remained in
abeyance, and clouded by poor communication, since trustees tabled the
honorary doctor of divinity degree in November 2002, without notifying him.
TCC carried a report on the deferred honor earlier this year, but Edwards
said he had received no further clarification of the matter following a
Nashotah board meeting some two months ago.

However, Edwards' letter (which follows this report) also responds to
contentions made following TCC's story by Nashotah's Dean, the Very Rev. Dr.
Robert Munday, and revisits other particulars of what transpired since
seminary trustees decided to grant the degree. Among other things, the
priest questions why "holding an institution accountable for its acts and
omissions" should be perceived as an "attack."

The erudite cleric says he thought it necessary to use the means of an open
letter to reach the Anglo-Catholic seminary's 28 trustees, since neither of
his previous attempts to address them through their chairman (South Carolina
Bishop Edward Salmon) ever "received the routine courtesy of an
acknowledgement, let alone a reply."

By his action, Edwards effectively rescinds a November 2001 letter of
acceptance he wrote in response to an October 2001 communication from the
the Rev. Ralph T. Walker, Secretary of Nashotah's board. Fr. Walker wrote
that the seminary "has granted you the degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris
causa" in recognition of "your years of faithful and dedicated service to
the Church in parish ministry, upholding those ideas of catholic priesthood
to which the seminary is dedicated, and as the director of the Episcopal
Synod of America/Forward in Faith, defending the Catholic and Apostolic Faith."

Word of the honor came as Edwards continued his stand for orthodoxy amid
acting Washington Bishop Jane Dixon's unprecedented legal campaign to remove
him as rector-elect of Maryland's Christ Church, Accokeek. Though Dixon
ultimately prevailed in her aim, the Accokeek case and the issues it
presented drew international attention.

Fr. Walker informed Edwards that the board had determined to bestow the
honorary degree at Nashotah's spring commencement or autumn convocation,
whichever came after the end of the litigation involving Edwards, regardless
of its outcome.

"In honoring you in this fashion, Nashotah House brings honor upon herself
for the faithful commitment and trust you have shown," Walker wrote.

In a reply on November 14, 2001, Edwards expressed deep gratitude for "this
unsought...sign of honor," accepting it not only on his behalf and "for the
honor of the House, but on behalf of all those faithful souls whom it is and
has been my privilege to serve in this portion of Christ's one, holy,
catholic and apostolic Church."

By July 2002, all substantive civil and ecclesiastical proceedings involving
Edwards had ended, and Edwards himself had left the U.S. Episcopal Church
(ECUSA) for the Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK), a leading
Continuing Church body known for its focus on theological education and
training for clergy. At the time, he said he had concluded that there was no
reasonable probability that Episcopalians who still profess the catholic
faith would be able to live out that faith credibly and with integrity
within ECUSA.

Despite several attempts by Fr. Edwards after that point to learn the status
of the Nashotah degree, it was not until TCC's inquiries in late 2003 that
it emerged that trustees had tabled the matter of the degree's conferral a
year earlier, a few months after the priest went to the APCK.

On November 14, 2002, Nashotah's board noted (according to its minutes) that
"the litigation in which Fr. Edwards was involved was now finished and since
its completion he had left the Episcopal Church. Fr. [Andrew] Mead moved
that the granting of the honorary degree for Fr. Edwards be tabled. The
motion passed with two votes being cast in the negative."

Speaking to TCC for its earlier report on this matter, Dean Munday, who also
serves on the seminary board, told TCC that the move to sideline the degree
was unrelated to the cleric's switch to the Continuing Church, some of whose
postulants had been and are still being educated at Nashotah. Rather, he
said that Fr. Mead, rector of New York's St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, moved to
table the matter because of confusion among trustees over the status of
legal proceedings involving Edwards.

When initially queried about this matter, Fr. Mead, while citing high praise
for Fr. Edwards, conceded that a minority of trustees do object to the
Continuum. However, he asserted that the larger issue in the board's action
was trying to avoid sending a message that Nashotah was not interested in
being a seminary for ECUSA, from which, despite its radical revisionism,
most Nashotah students still come.

While the school wants to serve tradition-minded persons from other bodies,
"we have to define ourselves as a seminary in ECUSA and make that credible,"
Mead told TCC.

Consequently, "you could see that votes [for Edwards' degree] weren't there
because [trustees] did not want to make a statement that this is the course
we would sympathize with," he said. However, Mead noted that he made the
motion to table to avoid outright recission of the degree, and to allow the
possibility for its reconsideration later.

Critical reaction to TCC's account of the shelved degree focused partly on
the alleged discrimination against Continuers, but also on what was seen as
the seminary's poor handling of the matter. And, both Mead and Munday agreed
that ECUSA's current situation in relation to wider Anglicanism now made the
move to defer the honor for the articulate and scholarly orthodox cleric
appear more discordant.

Fr. Edwards' open letter to trustees follows.

----

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE TRUSTEES OF NASHOTAH HOUSE

July 16, 2004


Members of the Board:

This letter concerns the honorary Doctorate in Divinity that you awarded me
in October 2001 and your corporate failure to arrange for its conferral even
after all the conditions attached to the original grant were fulfilled.
Since neither of my previous addresses to you on this topic - made through
your Chairman on the instructions of the administration of the House - ever
received the routine courtesy of an acknowledgement, let alone a reply, it
seems reasonable for me to conclude that it is necessary to use the means of
an Open Letter to reach you. Additionally, since in my letter of November
14, 2001 accepting this honor I wrote that I did so, "not only on my own
behalf and for the honor of the House, but on behalf of all those faithful
souls whom it is and has been my privilege to serve in this portion of
Christ's one holy catholic and apostolic Church," I believe I owe them an
explanation for the decision I now have made, and this is the most efficient
way to apprise them of my reasons for making it.

Since it now has been over seven weeks since your last meeting and I have
received from you no communication on this matter, it seems reasonable to
assume that you have no plans to bring this episode to closure. By default,
then, it would seem that the burden of doing this falls upon me.

Before proceeding to address some important issues raised in the course of
this matter, I want to ensure that the issue of this degree's formal
conferral is legitimately off your agenda. Therefore, I hereby resign and
renounce the degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, of whose grant I
was notified in a letter from your Secretary dated October 29, 2001.

The letter from the Dean of Nashotah House published in the April 2004 issue
of The Christian Challenge -- presumably written under your authority even
if not under your explicit direction - requires a direct response from me
for the sake of clarity and truth in the historical record: That letter
contains elements which, if allowed to stand unchallenged, will lead to a
permanent misconstruction of the issues involved in your decision not to
fulfill your stated intention to confer a degree that you had already granted.

In his letter, the Dean twice refers to my having been nominated for the
degree. Although this spin is now more than two years old (having appeared
in a letter to the Alumni Association dated February 20, 2002) it is
inaccurate and misleading. That the degree actually was awarded to me is
plain from text of the original letter of notification, which says that,
"the Board of Trustees of Nashotah House has granted you [emphasis added]
the degree of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa." Under any rational
construction of the text, this means (1) that someone nominated me for the
honor and (2) that a majority of you agreed to grant it. The letter then
goes on to speak separately of the degree being "bestowed." The bestowal or
conferral of a degree is commonly understood to be the public
acknowledgement by investiture of an action already conclusively taken by
legitimate authority. It therefore is analogous to an enthronement, not to
an ordination.

Furthermore, the Dean's claim that the "conferral of the degree would depend
on the resolution of pending litigation" is flatly contradicted by the text
of the letter of notification. That document specifically states that, "the
degree is to be bestowed on you at either the Spring Commencement or the
Autumn Convocation at Nashotah House immediately following the complete
settlement of the present litigation in which you are involved, regardless
of the outcome of that litigation." [Emphasis added.]

Dean Munday writes that discussion of the matter at the November 2002
meeting of the Board of Trustees was characterized by "a great deal of
disagreement and confusion about the outcome of both the civil and
ecclesiastical trials." It is difficult to see how the discussion could have
been over the question whether the legal proceedings were concluded.
Ecclesiastical proceedings were terminated at the time I renounced the
ministry in ECUSA. Apart from the formality of the lifting of the federal
injunction in the Accokeek case on July 11, 2003 (since which time you have
met at least twice) all civil proceedings clearly were at an end well in
advance of your November 2002 meeting. Given the fact that several
experienced attorneys serve on the Board, it is not likely that you could
have been confused about this.

Beyond that, if the "disagreement and confusion" were about the outcome of
the legal proceedings, then you were discussing something that you
previously and explicitly had declared was not to be a factor in the
decision about formal conferral of the degree. Unless we are dealing with
the unlikely possibility of a case of corporate institutional amnesia,
something appears to have happened to put some other issue having to do with
"outcome" on the agenda.

The question inevitably arises whether the "outcome" that was really at
issue in your discussion of the matter in November 2002 was my decision
(announced on June 27 of that year) to leave The Episcopal Church for the
Province of Christ the King. On that occasion, I made the recommendation (to
which I still adhere) that those in ECUSA who still profess the catholic
faith also come out of that institution, since it was then (and now remains)
clear that there is no reasonable probability that they will be able to live
out (confess) that faith credibly and with integrity within ECUSA. It would
be understandable and unsurprising that my position and recommendation would
cause discomfort to many - even to most - of you and so make you reluctant
to risk giving the appearance of approving it as a legitimate option. It
would also be understandable that no one would wish to say this publicly,
since it might call into question the genuine extent of the House's
professed willingness to train people for Anglican ministry without regard
to their jurisdictional affiliation.

Whatever may have been the reasons for the decision made at your meeting in
November 2002 to "table" the conferral of the degree, I was not made aware
that you had taken any action at all on the matter for over ten months. In
point of fact, you never communicated this decision to me, in spite of the
fact that during the following year I made two requests to the Chairman of
the Board (on May 16 and August 5, respectively) for an update on the status
of the matter.

It is doubly regrettable that there is distress concerning what is perceived
as an "attack [on] an orthodox seminary such as Nashotah House over a matter
that concerns one individual." First, it is regrettable that holding an
institution accountable for its acts and omissions is perceived as an
"attack." It also is regrettable that this particular matter is perceived
(and has been since at least February 2002) as concerning only "one
individual." It does not: It concerns the honor of the House.

Please note that I did not choose this vocabulary - you did, for in the
letter of notification sent to me under your authority nearly three years
ago, it was stated that in granting me this degree, "Nashotah House brings
honor upon herself." It should not be difficult to determine what is
brought upon her by your default.

The Dean hopes that I wish the best for Nashotah House. Even though this
debacle has brought me to the point where I no longer either desire for
myself or can recommend for others any association with the House or with
its adjunct institutions - apart from the historical one represented by the
M.Div. that I earned there - I do wish the best for the House. But you must
remember that, in genuinely orthodox faith and practice, the ability of any
person or community to appropriate "the best" and thus move it from wish to
fulfillment is predicated upon obedience to the truth and, when indicated,
penitence and a lively purpose of amendment.

Sincerely,

Samuel L. Edwards +

(The Rev'd) Samuel L. Edwards
Master of Divinity, cum laude, 1979

 
The preaching of the cross


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

July 19, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Proclaiming the Gospel (cont'd.)

812. The preaching of the cross
Of this we are clear: man's salvation rests on the fact of
the cross, and neither on the preacher's interpretation of
it, nor on the hearers' understanding of it. Our desire is
that men should believe that fact, not accept our
explanations. 'Christ died for our sins' is enough without
any further elucidation. Moreover, our appeal is never
that men should accept a theory about the cross but that
they should receive a Person who died for them. To this
end we shall continue to preach Christ crucified, because
what is folly to the intellectualist and a stumbling-block
to the moralist, remains the wisdom and the power of God (1
Cor. 1:23-24).

--From "Fundamentalism and Evangelism" (London: Crusade
Booklets, 1956), p. 37.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 335, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Sunday, July 18, 2004
 
The Sixth Sunday after Trinity

O GOD, who hast prepared for them that love thee such good things as pass man's understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that wee, loving thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 
Law and conscience

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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
=====================================================

July 18, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Proclaiming the Gospel (cont'd.)

811. Law and conscience
It is often said that we should address ourselves to
people's conscious needs, and not try to induce in them
feelings of guilt which they do not have. This is a
misconception, however. Human beings are moral beings by
creation. That is to say, not only do we experience an
inner urge to do what we believe to be right, but we also
have a sense of guilt and remorse when we have done what we
know to be wrong. This is an essential feature of our
humanness. There is of course such a thing as false guilt.
But guilt feelings which are aroused by wrongdoing are
healthy. They rebuke us for betraying our humanity, and
they impel us to seek forgiveness in Christ. Thus
conscience is our ally. In all evangelism, I find it a
constant encouragement to say to myself, 'The other
person's conscience is on my side.'

--From "The Message of Romans" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: Leicester: IVP, 1994), p. 88.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 335, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Saturday, July 17, 2004
 
Beverly Lake Barge, RIP

The Rev. Beverly Lake Barge of Fredericksburg died late Tuesday afternoon,
July 13, 2004, at Mary Washington Hospital. Father Barge was the founding
rector of Episcopal Church of the Messiah, Chancellorsville, as well as the
Church of the Holy Spirit (Episcopal) in Tulsa, Okla. He also served at St.
Dunstan's, Tulsa, Okla., and St. Peter's, Lake Mary, Fla., from which he
retired in 2001.

Fr. Barge is survived by his wife of 54 years, Elizabeth Anne Reeves, a
native of Durham, N.C.; his four children and spouses, Stephanie Keitel of
Montpelier, Vt., Bev and Mary Barge of Bozeman, Mont., Marlisa and Brad Cox
of Lawton, Okla., and Tom and Renee Gibson of Laurinburg, N.C.; one
brother, Walter S. Barge of Buies Creek, N.C.; and 12 grandchildren.

Born in Charlotte, N.C., in 1929, he was educated in the Durham city
schools, Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg and Riverside Military
Academy in Gainesville, Ga., from which he graduated in 1947 with a
classical diploma. He enlisted in the Air Force in September 1950 in order
to serve in the Korean War. Upon completion of this enlistment he completed
his undergraduate work at Wake Forest College, magna cum laude, in June
1956, at which time he was commissioned second lieutenant, United States
Army. For the next two decades, Fr. Barge served his country, including
tours in Korea and Vietnam. During the latter, he was awarded the Bronze
Star, the Air Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with First Oak Leak
Cluster and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

Subsequent to his tour in Southeast Asia, Fr. Barge was selected by the
Army for graduate study in literature prior to teaching in the English
Department of the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. In
1969, he was awarded the Master of Arts in English from the University of
North Carolina in Chapel Hill. From 1970-1972, he was at West Point,
teaching and serving as the administrative officer of the English
Department. His last military assignment was as Commanding Officer of the
Officers' Candidate School Battalion at Fort Sill, Okla. He retired from
the Army in August 1975, and entered the Episcopal Theological Seminary of
the Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Fr. Barge received the Master of Divinity in 1978 and was ordained to the
priesthood at St. Dustan's, Tulsa, in March 1979. He was founding rector of
the Church of the Holy Spirit (Episcopal) in Tulsa in 1978, shepherding it
to full parish status, and remaining until 1988, when he was called to
Fredericksburg to establish the Church of the Messiah, Chancellorsville, in
the Diocese of Virginia. In 1990, his ministry of nurture of church
congregations reached new dimensions in his call to St. Peter's Episcopal
Church, Lake Mary, Fla., where he remained until he retired in 2001. For a
decade while at St. Peter's, Fr. Barge led an annual medical/dental
missionary outreach to Honduras, where he was made Honorary Canon in 1994.

After he retired to his home in Fredericksburg, Fr. Barge re- mained active
part time both in the Episcopal ministry and as Chaplain to the regional
Civil Air Patrol. Flying was an intense avocational love, as was
parachuting. While in the Army, he earned both U.S. and Vietnamese
parachutist qualification.

During over a half century of service to others, his life was devoted to
the church, to his family and to many in the communities where he lived.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in
Fredericksburg, Saturday, July 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a reception in
the parish hall. A service will be held, with full military honors at Old
Post Chapel, Ft. Myer, Oct. 8, 2004, at 1 p.m. Interment will follow in
Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Mountain
of Hope, c/o St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 700 Reinhart Road, Lake Mary,
Fla. 32746.


 
Preaching the law


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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
=====================================================

July 17, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Proclaiming the Gospel (cont'd.)

810. Preaching the law
Before we preach the gospel we must preach the law. Indeed
this has never been more necessary than it is today when we
are witnessing a widespread revolt against authority. The
gospel can only justify those the law condemns. These are
the respective functions of law and gospel; as Luther puts
it, it is the work of the law to 'terrify', and the work of
the gospel to 'justify'(1). Thus every man's spiritual
history becomes a microcosm of God's dealings with the
human race. God did not immediately send his Son; nor can
we immediately preach him. A long programme of education
and preparation came first, in particular the giving of the
law to expose the fact and gravity of sin. And the law
still performs the same function. 'It is only when one
submits to the law', wrote Dietrich Bonhoeffer in prison,
'that one can speak of grace ... I don't think it is
Christian to want to get to the New Testament too soon or
too directly.'(2) To bypass the law is to cheapen the
gospel. We must meet Moses before we are ready to meet
Christ.

(1) "Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians" (Clarke,
1953), p. 423.
(2) "Letters and Papers from Prison" (ET SCM Press, 1959),
p. 50.

--From "Our Guilty Silence" (London: Hodder and Stoughton,
1967), p. 98.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", pp. 334-335, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.


Friday, July 16, 2004
 
The price of preaching


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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
=====================================================

July 16, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

Proclaiming the Gospel (cont'd.)

809. The price of preaching
It seems the only preaching God honours, through which his
wisdom and power are expressed, is the preaching of a man
who is willing in himself to be both a weakling and a fool.
God not only chooses weak and foolish people to save, but
weak and foolish preachers through whom to save them, or at
least preachers who are content to be weak and seem foolish
in the eyes of the world. We are not always willing to pay
this price.

--From "The Preacher's Portrait" (London: Tyndale Press,
1961), p. 109.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 334, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.


 
Anglican leaders' summit for Ulster

By Alf McCreary
newsdesk@belfasttelegraph.co.uk
15 July 2004
A major international conference of world leaders of the Anglican Church under the chairmanship of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is scheduled to meet in Northern Ireland next February.

The Belfast Telegraph has learned that primates from all 38 provinces of the Communion will meet in Newcastle, Co Down, to make crucial decisions on the future of the worldwide Church following the report of the Anglican Commission on the divisions caused over sexual issues within Anglicanism.

The historic Primates Meeting in Newcastle is likely to be one of the most significant Church gatherings to take place in Northern Ireland, with its outcome charting the way forward for the future of the entire Anglican Church, which has some 70 million members around the world.

The current Commission on Anglican Structures, headed by the Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Robin Eames, is scheduled to deliver its highly significiant report in October to Dr Williams. This was set up by Dr Williams after the international upheaval within Anglicanism in the wake of the appointment of the openly homosexual Dr Gene Robinson as a bishop in New Hampshire last year.

It is understood that once the report is delivered to Dr Williams it will be analysed in depth within the Communion in order to help the primates come to definitive decisions about the way forward for the Church as a whole at their meeting in Newcastle next February.

The fact that this historic meeting is coming to Ulster is a reflection of the high standing within worldwide Anglicanism of Archbishop Eames.

He is senior primate in the Church and previously chaired with success two other important Anglican commissions - on women's ordination and also on theological issues.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "I am very pleased that the Primates Meeting will be coming here in February. A number of venues were considered and Northern Ireland was deemed to be the most suitable on this occasion."

It is understood Dr Williams personally indicated the suitability of Northern Ireland as a venue.

The Commission on Anglican Structures has already held plenary sessions in Windsor, England, and at Kanuga in North Carolina.

The third and final formal session will take place in Windsor in September, but a considerable amount of detailed and important work is being carried out between the scheduled meetings.

The report of the latest Eames Commission is expected to be a weighty document, outlining the hard choices facing the Anglican Communion, and suggesting ways in which the Church can handle fundamental divisions within its worldwide membership, not only on sexual ssues but on other subjects which may cause schism in the future.



Thursday, July 15, 2004
 
Preaching and election


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

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

Proclaiming the Gospel (cont'd.)

808. Preaching and election
The doctrine of election does not dispense with the
necessity of preaching. On the contrary, it makes it
essential. For Paul preaches and suffers for it
(literally) 'in order that' they 'may obtain the salvation
in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory' (2 Tim. 2:11). The
elect obtain salvation in Christ not apart from the
preaching of Christ but by means of it.

--From "The Message of 2 Timothy" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: London and Downers Grove: IVP, 1973), p. 62.

----------------------------------------------------
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 334, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
 
CONNECTICUT BISHOP ORDERS SIX ORTHODOX PRIESTS TO SEE HIM OVER DEPO


Special Report

By David W. Virtue

BRISTOL, CT., 6/13/2004--Six orthodox priests in the Diocese of
Connecticut are under fire from their bishop Andrew D. Smith over their
request for DEPO, and he has ordered all of them to appear before him on
or before July 24th.

The bishop has refused to meet all six clergy and their vestries
jointly, demanding that they meet with him separately, compelling them
to meet at Diocesan House. He has also refused to address all the issues
of DEPO the six priests and their vestries unanimously raised in their
letter to him.

In an exchange of letters that has clearly crossed the line from
"conversation" to "compulsion", Smith sent a terse one paragraph letter
to Hansen saying, "In my capacity as canonical overseer, I issue you a
Pastoral Directive. You, as Rector of Saint John's Church, Bristol,
shall meet with me in my office at Diocesan House, Hartford, Ct. This
meeting shall take place on or before July 24, 2004. I expect that you
will contact my office to set up an appropriate appointment."

On May 27, the six priests including the Rev. Ron Gauss from Bishop
Seabury Church, Groton, the Rev. Allyn Benedict, Christ Church,
Watertown, the Rev. Mark Hansen, St. John's Church, Bristol, the Rev.
Christopher Leighton, St. Paul's Church, Darien, The Rev. Donald
Helmandollar Trinity Church, Bristol, and the Rev. Gilbert Wilkes,
Christ & The Epiphany Church, East Haven, sent a letter to Bishop Smith
saying that the Clergy, Wardens, and Vestries of the six churches had
jointly signed a letter voting unanimously to apply for Delegated
Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO).

The priests said they had reviewed the House of Bishops plan entitled
"Caring For All Churches," and they failed to find any requirement that
prohibited joint DEPO discussions for multiple parishes. They further
requested that a record of the conversations should be taken in order to
prevent misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

"We cannot envision anything that any of us might say regarding DEPO
that should not be a matter of public record," argued the priests.

The priests called on Smith to repent of his action in the consecration
of V.G. Robinson and also called on him to repent "for your ordination
of other unchaste homosexuals to the ordained ministry in this diocese;
and an acknowledgement that your actions have done serious damage to the
worldwide Anglican Communion."

The priests argued in their letter that if the bishop showed due
repentance there would be no need for DEPO. They suggested the Parish
Hall at Christ Church, Watertown, as the venue for all parties
involved.

"We intend to have transcripts made of all proceedings by a third party
professional transcription service," they said.

The six priests said they wanted immediate care and pastoral oversight
of a bishop "acceptable to us who affirms Holy Scripture, the ancient
creeds, and the 39 Articles and upholds the 1998 Lambeth Resolution on
human sexuality and who did not support the election, consecration and
ministry of V. G. Robinson as bishop, nor supported the ordination of
any unchaste homosexuals to ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church."

They also asked for suspension of assessment of funds to the Diocese of
Connecticut mission and ministry.

They further requested a one-year review of the DEPO agreements in
consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates
of the Anglican Communion or their appointed designee.

With the liberal bias of the diocese, the six clergy demanded written
agreement that guarantees the future succession of clergy in their
parishes rest in the hands of their vestries, search committees, and the
DEPO bishop, and not the diocesan bishop.

They also asked for a written agreement that all decisions regarding
future candidates for ordained ministry from these parishes rest in the
hands of the rectors, discernment committees, vestries, the DEPO bishop
and not the diocesan bishop.

They then sought a written assurance that Smith and the Diocese of
Connecticut would not foster a ministerial environment that was hostile
to their parishes' mission and ministries.

"We are concerned not just for the present situation of faithful,
orthodox priests in this diocese, but for the future of our
congregations when we are no longer here," said Hansen to Virtuosity.
"We want to preserve the 'faith once delivered' for our successors and
allow it to thrive continue after we have gone."

On June 15, Smith wrote Hansen recalling the visit he made on December
14, 2003 saying there were tensions in the air, "but we did worship and
proclaim Christ as brothers and sisters, and we engaged in what I
believe were charitable and beneficial conversations together."

Smith then said that a review of the "spirit and intent of the House of
Bishops plan" made it impossible for a number of their expectations to
be met within the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.

Smith stipulated there were three major items that needed to be
addressed - "the appointment of a bishop for the exercise of the
delegated oversight: a pledge for the contribution of funds for the
mission and ministry of our diocese, and scheduling appropriate ways
that we, your bishops, can regularly visit with you."

On June 28 Hansen wrote back to Smith saying that it was unanimously
resolved that they would "stand firm" with regard to all the terms set
forth in their letter of May 27.

"Therefore, your request to meet with us separately as representatives
of an individual parish is rendered moot," Hansen wrote, adding that
this reflected a unanimous decision by the vestry.

"It is clear to us that the bishop has crossed a line between
collegiality and a raw exercise of power, and any claim on his part to
be acting in a conciliatory fashion will be much harder to sustain," he
said.

"His pastoral directive has gone from pseudo friendly to outright
legalistic," he told Virtuosity.

On July 7, The Rev. Allyn Benedict Rector, Christ Church, Watertown
wrote the bishop saying that his vestry and congregation remained
committed to acting jointly with other parishes in Connecticut to secure
adequate provision for their common need concerning Episcopal oversight.
"In view of your refusal to exercise your option to meet with us
jointly, we seem to be at a stand still with you regarding that issue."

"Beyond that, you characterize the meeting of our expressed needs as
incompatible with the Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Church.
In view of the fact that those are still our needs and that we remain
committed to securing provision for those needs to be met, we can only
conclude that we are also at an impasse with you concerning the
substance of any DEPO offer you might make: it would clearly not be
sufficient. We see no reason to pursue the matter any further with you."


"As a result, though we appreciate your offer of a date for a meeting
between you and Christ Church alone to discuss our joint DEPO
application, we must respectfully decline."


NOTE: If you are not receiving this from VIRTUOSITY, the Anglican
Communion's largest biblically orthodox Episcopal/Anglican Online News
Service, then you may subscribe FREE by going to:
www.virtuosityonline.org. Virtuosity's website has been accessed by more
than one million readers in 45 countries on six continents. This story
is copyrighted but may be forwarded electronically with reference to
VIRTUOSITY and the author. No changes are permitted in the text.

END

 
Evangelicals to shun Bishop of St Albans


Church of England Newspaper

July 8, 2004

Evangelical clergy are making plans to keep the Bishop of St Albans out
of their parishes following last Friday's controversial installation of
Jeffrey John as Dean of St Albans.

The service to install Dr John last Thursday took place with only minor
protests outside but many evangelical clergy boycotted the service.

The Bishop of St Albans, Christopher Herbert remained defiant, declaring
in his sermon that the reality of the call to Christian service is
'confused'.

Moses was a murder, he pointed out, and St Paul a religious thug before
his conversion. The calling, he said, hung on a word 'yes' or 'no'.

The consequences of the call he argued were "a daily struggle with the
questions that trouble all of us - about purpose and meaning, about
whether what we are doing is really God's will."

Bishop Herbert said that his own role in the appointment of Dr John
"third in the combination of Prime Minister, Crown and bishop, also
rested on the word 'yes' or 'no'.

"Jeffrey John's courage in saying his 'yes' should never, ever be
underestimated - knowing what the reactions in the Church and media
might be."

He said he was aware that reactions to the appointment would be mixed.
"There are very, very many who are absolutely thrilled; and there are
some of my fellow Christians who have been (and remain) deeply upset,
angry and dismayed."

Bishop Herbert suggested that the answer was to "listen deeply and
patiently to each other".

But evangelicals in the diocese complained this week that the Bishop
wasn't listening and hadn't even replied to a recent letter from a group
representing the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship which met with him last
month.

They believe that he is intent on downplaying the strength of feeling in
the diocese believing that the controversy will die a natural death. To
this end, according to sources in the diocese, Jeffrey John has been
ordered not to give any interviews to the media.

Canon John himself made an unscheduled plea for a return to "normal
Christian service" at the service of installation to a 2,000-strong
congregation. He said: "Over the last year or so I have sometimes hardly
recognised myself in some of the things that have been said about me.
So, I would like to say what a huge privilege and joy it is for me to be
here. This is where God hopes and intends me to be and this is now home
for me."

He added: "I hope that from this point on, normal Christian service can
be resumed in my life and in the life of this place."

Canon Nick Bell, the Vicar of St Mary's, Luton, and leader of the
Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship, said that there was a great deal of
anger in the diocese. He said: "It's incumbent on us having made a stand
for Biblical orthodoxy to continue on this line."

But he called it a 'dreadful distraction'. He said: "We're not in a
position of strength anyway, but what has happened has reduced even
further the standing of the Church of England in the community,
especially in a multicultural situation like Luton."

Dr Philip Giddings, the convenor of Anglican Mainstream, said that the
installation had intensified the sense of alienation from Church of
England structures which an increasing number of parishes and clergy are
feeling.

"This growing estrangement of parishes from dioceses will, sadly, impair
the Church's wider mission to our society and make the task of
leadership at all levels of church life all the more demanding."

He added that 'evident disunity' was always a hindrance to mission and
evangelism, at a time when the need was even greater than ever.


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