Palmetto Anglican
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Letter to THE STATE - SC newspaper & Response

On Nov. 2, Christina Lee Knauss introduced your readers to the Church
of the Apostles, a congregation affiliated with the Anglican Mission
in America, whose members, according to the article, seek to bring a
new direction to the ancient tradition of Anglican worship.

I must clarify that this congregation is not part of the worldwide
Anglican Communion. The spiritual leader of the Communion, the
Archbishop of Canterbury, alone decides questions of communion
membership, and he recognizes only the Episcopal Church USA as the
Anglican presence in America.

The article also gives the impression that the Anglican Mission in
America offers the only available solid, biblically grounded worship,
preaching and teaching. But traditional Anglican worship, faith and
practice (in other words, what the Church of the Apostles advertises)
is offered daily in 65 congregations in the Diocese of Upper South
Carolina and, indeed, in Episcopal churches across our state.

Bishop of Upper South Carolina (Episcopal)

Provided via email


To the Editor:

I read the recent letter from the Rt. Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson, Jr.,
Episcopal Bishop of Upper South Carolina, regarding Anglican
alternatives in the Upstate and Midlands with considerable interest.

While Bishop Henderson is technically correct in stating that the
Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) is the only
body within the United States currently recognized by the Archbishop
of Canterbury, his letter is apt to give an incorrect picture of
fellowship as it currently exists within the Anglican Communion.

With the departure of the majority of ECUSA from historic Anglicanism
(as attested to by the consecration of V. Gene Robinson, a
non-celibate homosexual man) as Bishop of New Hampshire, many of the
primates (heads of national churches) within the Anglican Communion,
particularly in Africa and Asia, have reconsidered the nature of
communion that they are able to have with ECUSA.

Some have declared themselves to be out of fellowship with ECUSA,
others have stated that they are in impaired fellowship, while still
others have taken the bold step of sending missionaries to the United
States (for example, the Anglican Mission in America, about which
Bishop Henderson writes). There have also been efforts made, fully
consistent with resolutions of both the Lambeth Conferences and the
General Council of ECUSA, to re-establish fellowship with bodies who
had left what might be called "official Anglicanism."

In recognition of the latter option, there have recently been talks
between the Most Reverend Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria, and the
Bishops of the Reformed Episcopal Church, a body that departed ECUSA
some 125 years ago. Archbishop Akinola, a decided evangelical who has
chastised ECUSA for its departures from the faith, is the head of a
church that numbers between 17 and 18 million -- more Anglicans than
currently live in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada
combined! New St. Thomas Reformed Episcopal Church in Columbia is but
one more witness to faithful Anglicanism in the Midlands.

While I would disagree with Bishop Henderson that traditional Anglican
worship, faith and practice are offered in all 65 of his churches, I
am thankful for those that do maintain the faith and pray that God
will uphold all faithful Anglicans in the coming days.

Soli Deo Gloria!

(The Rev.) Charles A. Collins, Jr., S.B.R.
Assisting Presbyter, New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church
Charleston, South Carolina

Saint Andrew's Day

ALMIGHTY God, who didst give such grace unto thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he readily obeyed the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him without delay; Grant unto us all, that we, being called by thy holy Word, may forthwith give up ourselves obediently to fulfil the holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Andrew's Day

ALMIGHTY God, who didst give such grace unto thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he readily obeyed the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him without delay; Grant unto us all, that we, being called by thy holy Word, may forthwith give up ourselves obediently to fulfil the holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, November 29, 2004
The First Sunday of Advent

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

This Collect is to be repeated every day, with the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas-Eve.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Conservative Anglicans Call on Leaders to Scrap Windsor Report

The members of the Church Society called on Anglican Communion leaders
to scrap the recently released Windsor Report and take decisive action
to `discipline' those who `undermine the historic nature of Anglicanism'

Monday, Nov. 8, 2004 Posted: 11:52:20AM EST

The Church Society, an ultra-conservative group within the Anglican
Communion, said it was "bitterly disappointed" with the recently
released Windsor Report on homosexuality and called on leaders to
scrap the report during their upcoming gathering.

"We are bitterly disappointed with the recent report of the Lambeth
Commission. Despite the effort that has gone into the report it does
not effectively address the serious underlying issues nor does it
provide proper pastoral care to ECUSA and Canada," the Church Society
wrote in an Nov. 8 statement.

The Windsor Report, released on Oct. 15, is the yearlong project
undertaken by the Lambeth Commission to study ways to maintain unity
within the Anglican Commission at the wake of a churchwide theological
crisis on homosexuality. The homosexuality debate, which strained
relationships between liberal and traditional Anglicans for decades,
erupted last year upon the ordination of an openly gay man as bishop
to the U.S. Anglican church – the Episcopal Church USA.

In essence, the Report rebuked the ECUSA for its schismatic action,
and encouraged those involved with the ordination to "express regret"
for the consequences of their actions.

Gene Robinson, the gay bishop at the center of the debate, heeded to
the advice but only at a superficial level. Robinson said he regretted
the rift created by his ordination, but was not sorry that he was elected.

The Report also chided the conservative churches for breaking
fellowship with the ECUSA, and called on the traditional churches to
apologize for their actions.

African bishops, the vast majority of whom broke "communion" with the
ECUSA over the past year, rejected this call for repentance, calling
it "offensive."

"To call on us to 'express regret' and reassert our commitment to the
Communion is offensive in light of our earlier statements. If the
Episcopal Church USA had not wilfully 'torn the fabric of our
communion at its deepest level' our actions would not have been
necessary," the African bishops wrote in their statement.

"We reject the moral equivalence drawn between those who have
initiated the crisis and those of us in the Global South who have
responded to cries for help from beleaguered friends," they added.

The recent statement by the Church Society reflected the sentiments of
the African Bishops.

"If the report's recommendations are followed it will allow immorality
to fester. In time it will destroy the churches of the Anglican
Communion and the spiritual lives of their members," the statement read.

The Church Society recommended that the leaders of the Communion "set
aside the Windsor report" during their annual meeting in February, and
rather take "decisive action."

"What is needed is clear action and discipline without creating
international structures that will undermine the historic nature of
Anglicanism. We hope that when the leaders of the Communion meet in
February they will set aside the Windsor report and take decisive
action," the statement read.

"There must be a clear rebuke to the provinces of the United States
and Canada, together with a call to repentance. Christian repentance
always involves putting right what is wrong. Until this is done the
provinces concerned should be declared to be outside the Communion.
They must not be involved in any of its central bodies."

Pauline J. Chang

Mark Dyer's Departure from Theology and

By C. FitzSimons Allison

Special to VirtueOnline

GEORGETOWN, SC (11/8/2004)-- "ECUSA was only guilty of a breach of
manners but the people who have crossed boundaries have violated the
fundamental foundation of Anglicanism." - Mark Dyer

The sole Episcopal representative on the Windsor Commission was Mark
Dyer, erstwhile bishop of Bethlehem and now teaching at Virginia
Seminary. No one better personifies the denigrations of theology and
the elevation of polity in ECUSA'S leadership than he. He seems to
have been the first to express this substitution of unity over truth,
polity over principle and territorial autonomy over biblical faith
with his infamous dictum: "Schism is always worse than heresy."

This claim comes from one who left the Roman Catholic Church for the
Anglican Communion whose very identity is based on the doctrinal issue
of biblical faith that resulted in separation from Roman Catholicism
at the Reformation. Obviously Mark has left Rome for no reasons of
faith and doctrine. It is something of a puzzle as to his reason when
he claims that issues of doctrine can never justify separation. It is
an impossible position for authentic Anglicans to take. Separation
from Marcianism, Arianism, Donatism, etc. is simply a part of the
history of the Christian Church, each over issues of heresy.

His claim, that ECUSA's responsibility is the current threat of (or
actual) schism in the Anglican Communion is merely a "breach of
manners," echoes the House of Bishops' theological amnesia in the case
of Bishop James Pike. Pike had denied the creeds' affirmation
concerning Jesus Christ and the Trinity. The House of Bishops censured
him for his "tone and manner," not for the substance of his attack on
the creeds.

Mark Dyer is not alone in this atmosphere of relegating theology to a
question of "manners" but this process undermines the foundation of
our unity, our common Christian faith. What is left to hold us
together is territory, property, endowments, canons and coercion.
After giving up faith and doctrine as the foundation of unity it is
logical to claim the autonomy of ecclesiastical boundaries to be the
"fundamental foundation of Anglicanism." It is also inevitable that
without a common faith as the foundation of unity the latter must be
imposed by tyranny.

Dyer's attempt to substitute ecclesiastical unity for biblical truth
leads him to deny our very history. He falsely claims that Anglicanism
has never had any overlapping jurisdictions when the scholarship is
abundantly clear and available that there are at least six examples of
current and historical overlapping jurisdictions.

One of the weaknesses of the Windsor Report is its failure to
acknowledge the tragic examples of faithful Episcopalians who hold the
classical Anglican faith yet are excluded by a leadership that does
not hold to Anglican faith and doctrine. The failure is largely due to
the presence of Mark Dyer as the only representative of the Commission
who could have let the members know what was actually going in the
ECUSA. Unfortunately he has become a part of the very problem that
seeks to maintain unity without the faith that gave birth to our church.

Mark was at one time a member of the Irenaeus Fellowship and was its
official spokesman when it numbered 106 bishops committed to the
historic Anglican faith. However, at General Convention, 1990, he
voted with those who defeated the resolution which asked that bishops,
priests and deacons refrain from sexual intercourse outside of
marriage. He voted against his expressed conviction and no longer
participated in, or was associated with, the Irenaeus Fellowship. He
was, however, immediately put on several desirable committees by the
Presiding Bishop.

The examples of Athanasius ministering in Arian jurisdictions, and
Catholic bishops doing the same in Donatist dioceses, are
incomprehensible to those suffering from willful theological amnesia
concerning the crucial importance of faith and doctrine. Such
advocates of unity over truth cannot comprehend the action of African,
Asian, and Latin American bishops and primates who minister in
dioceses where the leadership has voted against the faith expressed in
their own ordination and consecration vows when Bishop Ackerman's
resolution B001 was defeated at General Convention in 2003.

One cannot but feel a certain sadness observing the frantic compulsion
to elevate "boundaries" as the "the fundamental foundation of
Anglicanism" when those very "boundaries" are historically and
obviously derivative from the Christian Faith now being denied and
called into question.

William Langland, a 14th Century poet warns us of the danger in the
Church to let derivative gifts (like territory) replace the very faith
that gave birth to the Church.

"When the kindness of Constantine gave Holy Church
Endowments in Lands and Leases, lordships and servants
The Romans heard an angel cry on high above them
'This day endowed Church has drunk venom
and all who have Peter's power are poisoned forever."

--The Rt. Rev. Dr. C. FitzSimons Allison is the retired Bishop of
South Carolina.

This article comes from VirtueOnline

The URL for this story is:

Monday, November 01, 2004
All Saints' Day

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for them that unfeignedly love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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