Monday, June 30, 2008

Presiding Bishop responds to GAFCON statement

From EpiscopalLife Online:

Much of the Anglican world must be lamenting the latest emission from GAFCON. Anglicanism has always been broader than some find comfortable. This statement does not represent the end of Anglicanism, merely another chapter in a centuries-old struggle for dominance by those who consider themselves the only true believers. Anglicans will continue to worship God in their churches, serve the hungry and needy in their communities, and build missional relationships with others across the globe, despite the desire of a few leaders to narrow the influence of the gospel. We look forward to the opportunities of the Lambeth Conference for constructive conversation, inspired prayer, and relational encounters.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Check it out. I have to admit, I agree with others who find the use of the word "emission" as odd and jarring. What is she talking about? Very strange.

"The Anglican Communion must change or die"

From Matt Kennedy at Stand Firm, the sentence that sums it all up for me:

. . . The Jerusalem Declaration is not a declaration of independence but it is the beginning of an open spiritual and ecclesial struggle for the heart and soul of Anglicanism. . .

Read it all.

Fr. Russell at GAFCON: Final thoughts

From Fr. Russell Martin of St. Timothy & St. Titus in San Diego (Southern Cone) via email [boldface mine]:

Dear Friends in Christ,

All is well with me. The Conference ended on a wonderfully high note as the amended Jerusalem Statement was approved. This was followed up by a closing Eucharist during which our own Archbishop Venables preached. It was wonderful. This is an extremely important and historic statement. It was marvelous as the Primates present all signed their names to the Statement and thus they began their work of working together to form a global orthodox Anglicanism devoted to faithfulness to Christ and the proclamation of His Gospel. I literally wept as the we all stood their brothers and sisters from every corner of the world united as one in Christ Jesus. It reminded me of the magnificent vision of St. John of the Great Multitude in Heaven. I still have much to process related to this incredible day in the life of the Church but I tell you the Holy Spirit was clearly present and we delighted in Him. It has been one of the most significant periods in my life to be amongst the privileged few to take an active part in this important council of the church. I feel so blessed and thankful to our Father in Heaven.

Following the close of the Conference I set out on the follow up tour with Bishop John Gurnesy et al. Our first stop yesterday was Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls where found. It was a wonderful site and very near the Dead Sea. We stayed about three blocks from the Dead Sea. I took in the Sunrise this morning as it came over the mountains from Jordan and illuminated the Sea with startling pinks and reds--like a beautiful rose unfurling. It was simply stunning. I sat with my feet soaking in the water as I did my morning prayers. It was very special. This morning following breakfast we headed for Massada -- the hill top fort build by Herod the Great and the site of a tragic siege that ended with the Jewish Rebels defiantly committing suicide rather than being captured by the Romans. We then went to the Ein Gedi, the place where King David fled and hid while Saul was seeking to take his life and David then cut off the fringe of Saul's cloak as he was relieving himself in cave in which David and his men where hiding (Cf. 1 Samuel 23 & 24). It was beautiful, and it gave meaning to 'streams of living water bursting forth in the wilderness. We then lunched in modern Jericho at a place named Temptation, no less! We then made our way to our next hotel, a Kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where we will stay and tour from over the next two days.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and I pray that the fire and blessing of the Holy Spirit may embolden you in your witness to Christ and the Kingdom of God!

Russell+

Anglican TV: The Lambeth challenge

From Kevin at AnglicanTV:

From a ATV Viewer:
"O.k. Kevin I got you up to $1,700.00. Ladies and gentlemen I would like to challenge every viewer who is a member of a congregation which is a part of Common Cause to contribute $10.00 each. It is now 0012 hours on 6/30/08. Let's get this done in the next twenty-four hours. Kevin has been there not only for us, but for our children, so that there is a record for posterity of these momentous days that, God willing, may change the course of history not only for the Anglican Church but for the furtherance of the Great Commission to all the World. Kevin doesn't charge subscription fees, perhaps he should?"

Mr Burton and many others have been very generous to AnglicanTV these last two years. To put this in a global perspective for you -- when I am in England I will be filming the Last Lambeth Conference. It will go great with 30 hours of the First Gafcon Conference.

AnglicanTV is a Not For Profit Ministry - 501(3)c. All donations are tax detectable [deductible].

Sunday, June 29, 2008

GAFCON Jerusalem statement

From GAFCON:

STATEMENT ON THE GLOBAL ANGLICAN FUTURE

Praise the LORD!
It is good to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. (Psalm 147:1-2)


Brothers and Sisters in Christ: We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, send you greetings from Jerusalem!

Introduction

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which was held in Jerusalem from 22-29 June 2008, is a spiritual movement to preserve and promote the truth and power of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ as we Anglicans have received it. The movement is global: it has mobilised Anglicans from around the world. We are Anglican: 1148 lay and clergy participants, including 291 bishops representing millions of faithful Anglican Christians. We cherish our Anglican heritage and the Anglican Communion and have no intention of departing rom it. And we believe that, in God’s providence, Anglicanism has a bright future in obedience to our Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations and to build up the church on the foundation of biblical truth (Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 2:20).

GAFCON is not just a moment in time, but a movement in the Spirit, and we hereby:
  • launch the GAFCON movement as a fellowship of confessing Anglicans

  • publish the Jerusalem Declaration as the basis of the fellowship

  • encourage GAFCON Primates to form a Council.

The Global Anglican Context

The future of the Anglican Communion is but a piece of the wider scenario of opportunities and challenges for the gospel in 21st century global culture. We rejoice in the way God has opened doors for gospel mission among many peoples, but we grieve for the spiritual decline in the most economically developed nations, where the forces of militant secularism and pluralism are eating away the fabric of society and churches are compromised and enfeebled in their witness. The vacuum left by them is readily filled by other faiths and deceptive cults. To meet these challenges will require Christians to work together to understand and oppose these forces and to liberate those under their sway. It will entail the planting of new churches among unreached peoples and also committed action to restore authentic Christianity to compromised churches.

The Anglican Communion, present in six continents, is well positioned to address this challenge, but currently it is divided and distracted. The Global Anglican Future Conference emerged in response to a crisis within the Anglican Communion, a crisis involving three undeniable facts concerning world Anglicanism.

The first fact is the acceptance and promotion within the provinces of the Anglican Communion of a different ‘gospel’ (cf. Galatians 1:6-8) which is contrary to the apostolic gospel. This false gospel undermines the authority of God’s Word written and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the author of salvation from sin, death and judgement. Many of its proponents claim that all religions offer equal access to God and that Jesus is only a way, not the way, the truth and the life. It promotes a variety of sexual preferences and immoral behaviour as a universal human right. It claims God’s blessing for same-sex unions over against the biblical teaching on holy matrimony. In 2003 this false gospel led to the consecration of a bishop living in a homosexual relationship.

The second fact is the declaration by provincial bodies in the Global South that they are out of communion with bishops and churches that promote this false gospel. These declarations have resulted in a realignment whereby faithful Anglican Christians have left existing territorial parishes, dioceses and provinces in certain Western churches and become members of other dioceses and provinces, all within the Anglican Communion. These actions have also led to the appointment of new Anglican bishops set over geographic areas already occupied by other Anglican bishops. A major realignment has occurred and will continue to unfold.

The third fact is the manifest failure of the Communion Instruments to exercise discipline in the face of overt heterodoxy. The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada, in proclaiming this false gospel, have consistently defied the 1998 Lambeth statement of biblical moral principle (Resolution 1.10). Despite numerous meetings and reports to and from the ‘Instruments of Unity,’ no effective action has been taken, and the bishops of these unrepentant churches are welcomed to Lambeth 2008. To make matters worse, there has been a failure to honour promises of discipline, the authority of the Primates’ Meeting has been undermined and the Lambeth Conference has been structured so as to avoid any hard decisions. We can only come to the devastating conclusion that ‘we are a global Communion with a colonial structure’.

Sadly, this crisis has torn the fabric of the Communion in such a way that it cannot simply be patched back together. At the same time, it has brought together many Anglicans across the globe into personal and pastoral relationships in a fellowship which is faithful to biblical teaching, more representative of the demographic distribution of global Anglicanism today and stronger as an instrument of effective mission, ministry and social involvement.

A Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, are a fellowship of confessing Anglicans for the benefit of the Church and the furtherance of its mission. We are a fellowship of people united in the communion (koinonia) of the one Spirit and committed to work and pray together in the common mission of Christ. It is a confessing fellowship in that its members confess the faith of Christ crucified, stand firm for the gospel in the global and Anglican context, and affirm a contemporary rule, the Jerusalem Declaration, to guide the movement for the future. We are a fellowship of Anglicans, including provinces, dioceses, churches, missionary jurisdictions, para-church organisations and individual Anglican Christians whose goal is to reform, heal and revitalise the Anglican Communion and expand its mission to the world.

Our fellowship is not breaking away from the Anglican Communion. We, together with many other faithful Anglicans throughout the world, believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism, which defines our core identity as Anglicans, is expressed in these words: The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. We intend to remain faithful to this standard, and we call on others in the Communion to reaffirm and return to it. While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Building on the above doctrinal foundation of Anglican identity, we hereby publish the Jerusalem Declaration as the basis of our fellowship.

The Jerusalem Declaration

In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:
We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.
  • 1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.

  • 2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

  • 3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

  • 4. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.

  • 5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

  • 6. We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

  • 7. We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.

  • 8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.

  • 9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.

  • 10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

  • 11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.

  • 12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

  • 13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

  • 14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.

The Road Ahead

We believe the Holy Spirit has led us during this week in Jerusalem to begin a new work. There are many important decisions for the development of this fellowship which will take more time, prayer and deliberation. Among other matters, we shall seek to expand participation in this fellowship beyond those who have come to Jerusalem, including cooperation with the Global South and the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa. We can, however, discern certain milestones on the road ahead.

Primates’ Council

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, do hereby acknowledge the participating Primates of GAFCON who have called us together, and encourage them to form the initial Council of the GAFCON movement. We look forward to the enlargement of the Council and entreat the Primates to organise and expand the fellowship of confessing Anglicans.

We urge the Primates’ Council to authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations and to encourage all Anglicans to promote the gospel and defend the faith.

We recognise the desirability of territorial jurisdiction for provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion, except in those areas where churches and leaders are denying the orthodox faith or are preventing its spread, and in a few areas for which overlapping jurisdictions are beneficial for historical or cultural reasons.

We thank God for the courageous actions of those Primates and provinces who have offered orthodox oversight to churches under false leadership, especially in North and South America. The actions of these Primates have been a positive response to pastoral necessities and mission opportunities. We believe that such actions will continue to be necessary and we support them in offering help around the world.

We believe this is a critical moment when the Primates’ Council will need to put in place structures to lead and support the church. In particular, we believe the time is now ripe for the formation of a province in North America for the federation currently known as Common Cause Partnership to be recognised by the Primates’ Council.

Conclusion: Message from Jerusalem

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, were summoned by the Primates’ leadership team to Jerusalem in June 2008 to deliberate on the crisis that has divided the Anglican Communion for the past decade and to seek direction for the future. We have visited holy sites, prayed together, listened to God’s Word preached and expounded, learned from various speakers and teachers, and shared our thoughts and hopes with each other.

The meeting in Jerusalem this week was called in a sense of urgency that a false gospel has so paralysed the Anglican Communion that this crisis must be addressed. The chief threat of this dispute involves the compromising of the integrity of the church’s worldwide mission. The primary reason we have come to Jerusalem and issued this declaration is to free our churches to give clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ.

It is our hope that this Statement on the Global Anglican Future will be received with comfort and joy by many Anglicans around the world who have been distressed about the direction of the Communion. We believe the Anglican Communion should and will be reformed around the biblical gospel and mandate to go into all the world and present Christ to the nations.

Jerusalem
Feast of St Peter and St Paul
29 June 2008

Check it out!

GAFCON: Jerusalem Declaration signals new reality for Anglican Communion

From GAFCON:

Anglican leaders representing a clear majority of the world's practising Anglicans, joyously affirmed the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) Statement and the Jerusalem Declaration at the end of the conference on Sunday June 29. The document addresses the crisis gripping the Anglican Communion over scriptural authority. It calls for the creation of a new council of primates overseeing a volunteer fellowship committed to mission and biblical Anglicanism as well as a new structure of accountability based on the Jerusalem Declaration. It also signals the move of most of the world's practicing Anglicans into a post-colonial reality, where the Archbishop of Canterbury is recognized for his historic role, but not as the only arbiter of what it means to be Anglican.

The primates' council will initially be formed by the six Anglican primates participating in the GAFCON from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone, Uganda and West Africa. Also the Anglican Church of Tanzania delegation to GAFCON is in agreement with the statement but will need the endorsement of their House of Bishops before their archbishop join the council. The primates council is tasked with recognizing and authenticating "confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations and to encourage all Anglicans to promote the gospel and defend the faith." From the outset, the statement recognizes the "desirability of territorial jurisdiction for provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion except in areas where churches and leaders have denied the orthodox faith or are preventing its spread." Speaking specifically to Anglican Christians in North America, the statement goes on to say that GAFCON believes "time is now ripe for the formation of a province in North America for the federation currently known as Common Cause Partnership to be recognised by the Primates' Council."

The statement describes those participating in this new movement as "A fellowship of confessing Anglicans." It asserts the intention of all those involved to remain Anglican. "Our fellowship is not breaking away from the Anglican Communion. We, together with many other faithful Anglicans throughout the world, believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism, which defines our core identity as Anglicans, is expressed in these words: The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal."

Finally, the statement makes clear that worldwide Anglicanism has now entered a post-colonial phase. Instead of continuing to rely solely on the colonial structures that have served the Anglican Communion so poorly during the present crisis, it states the movement's intent to accept all those as Anglicans who affirm the Anglican standard of faith. "While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury."

The GAFCON Statement concludes: "The primary reason we have come to Jerusalem and issued this declaration is to free our churches to give clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ. It is our hope that this Statement on the Global Anglican Future will be received with comfort and joy by many Anglicans around the world who have been distressed about the direction of the Communion. We believe the Anglican Communion should and will be reformed around the biblical gospel and mandate to go into all the world and present Christ to the nations."

The Jerusalem Declaration was produced at GAFCON with the participation of all 1148 delegates who came on pilgrimage to Jerusalem June 22 – 29. They represent more than 35 million of practicing Anglicans worldwide.

Read it all.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

GAFCON final statement *Update from Fr. Russell*

Update via email:

Dear Friends of Christ,

The previous email that you have received and is cited below, is not absolutely correct at the present time. The statement below has not officially been ratified by the Pilgrim/Delegates, thus it is by its nature not the final statement until it is. It is very likely to be ratified but until it is it remains nothing more than a draft or proposed statement! Unfortunately, Stand Firm and several others released the statement prematurely. I would encourage your prayers for when we meet this morning so that we do in fact ratify this statement, which I believe to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit!

In Christ's Holy & Unique Name,
Russell+

Original: From Stand Firm [boldface mine]:
. . . A Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, are a fellowship of confessing Anglicans for the benefit of the Church and the furtherance of its mission. We are a fellowship of people united in the communion (koinonia) of the one Spirit and committed to work and pray together in the common mission of Christ. It is a confessing fellowship in that its members confess the faith of Christ crucified, stand firm for the gospel in the global and Anglican context, and affirm a contemporary rule, the Jerusalem Declaration, to guide the movement for the future. We are a fellowship of Anglicans, including provinces, dioceses, churches, missionary jurisdictions, para-church organisations and individual Anglican Christians whose goal is to reform, heal and revitalise the Anglican Communion and expand its mission to the world. Our fellowship is not breaking away from the Anglican Communion. We, together with many other faithful Anglicans throughout the world, believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism, which defines our core identity as Anglicans, is expressed in these words: The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. We intend to remain faithful to this standard, and we call on others in the Communion to reaffirm and return to it. While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Building on the above doctrinal foundation of Anglican identity, we hereby publish the Jerusalem Declaration as the basis of our fellowship. . .

Primates’ Council

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, do hereby acknowledge the participating Primates of GAFCON who have called us together, and encourage them to form the initial Council of the GAFCON movement. We look forward to the enlargement of the Council and entreat the Primates to organise and expand the fellowship of confessing Anglicans. We urge the Primates’ Council to authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations and to encourage all Anglicans to promote the gospel and defend the faith. We recognise the desirability of territorial jurisdiction for provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion, except in those areas where churches and leaders are denying the orthodox faith or are preventing its spread, and in a few areas for which overlapping jurisdictions are beneficial for historical or cultural reasons. We thank God for the courageous actions of those Primates and provinces who have offered orthodox oversight to churches under false leadership, especially in North and South America. The actions of these Primates have been a positive response to pastoral necessities and mission opportunities. We believe that such actions will continue to be necessary and we support them in offering help around the world.

We believe this is a critical moment when the Primates’ Council will need to put in place structures to lead and support the church. In particular, we believe the time is now ripe for the formation of a province in North America for the federation currently known as Common Cause Partnership to be recognised by the Primates’ Council. . .

Read it all.

Friday, June 27, 2008

AnglicanTV: GAFCON live feed *Sticky*

From AnglicanTV:

Free .TV show from Ustream

Captain Yips: Whispers of hope

From Captain Yips Secret Journal:

. . . The key will be for the new structures, North American and international, to act as if the old structures don't exist. The international structure's task will be to grow within the current weak Anglican structures to force reform, while offering support for faithful elements who are currently outside the new structure. The North American task will be to revive Anglican Christianity as if the American and Canadian heretical branches weren't there.

Read it all.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shoe Thursday: Shoe house

Yes, it's really a house and really a shoe - the Haines Shoe House, built in 1948 in Hellam, Pennsylvania! You, too, can visit!

Haines Shoe House

BabyBlue: Breaking News

BREAKING NEWS: Judge will issue ruling on constitutionality of the Virginia Division Statute 57-9 on Friday, June 27.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reasonable hope

From Captain Yips Secret Journal [boldface mine]:

. . . So the Anglican Communion has at least two big problems - dealing with the North American apostasy, and wresting power away from the Archbishop of Canterbury and redistributing it into more equitable structures. Among the current instruments of the Communion, surely the Primates Meeting and th Lambeth Conference are the most appropriate settings for dealing with the North American matters. Yet ++Rowan has prevented the Primates from taking any action at all, and has gone out of his way to structure this year’s Lambeth so as to take no action whatsoever. The effect of his blockade has been to make the work of North American conservatives all the harder. The long-term reevangelization of American culture will be impeded so long as those who should do that work are fighting merely to survive. A culture of distrust takes root: laity distrust clergy, faithful bishops distrust the Archbishop of Canterbury.

So at this moment, I think that GAFCON should take steps toward two goals to be considered “successful.” (1) Creation of a faithful and unified structure within the Communion to demand and effect institutional reform and (2) recognition of an alternative Anglican structure in North America. GAFCON can’t produce a final product; it can only take the first steps.

Read it all.

AnglicanTV: Lambeth news

From Kevin:



I received an email from a special new viewer who is willing to donate $1500 toward our trip to Lambeth. His condition is that you come up with the rest. This generous offer is a tremendous opportunity for AnglicanTV and I pray you will take up the challenge. So far, I am disappointed the rate of donations is significantly less than then our global viewership. Please don't assume there is no cost associated with the AnglicanTV Ministry. While I don't take a salary -- I don't own an airplane either!

One view wrote me yesterday and said; “Whenever AnglicanTV is at a conference – I get to be there too.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

DioBytes: eNews from the Diocese of California

Just by chance I happened upon the Diocese of California's DioBytes web page for June 24. It is described as "a newsletter for clergy, lay leaders, and members of the Diocese of California. We welcome submissions that have a connection to the ministry of the diocese and/or the approval of a diocesan department or commission. Inclusion of submissions is at the discretion of the editors."

Interesting that on this page for June 24, 4 out of the first 7 items dealt with areas of interest for Oasis California, including an invitation to join Bishop Andrus in San Francisco's Pride Celebration this weekend, as well as to participate in the Lambeth "Listening" process through their Letters to Lambeth program.

But the most interesting to me was this:

Youth Confirmation Program

Confirm not Conform, the innovative confirmation program developed by St. John's Oakland, is available for your congregation! Already used by St. John's, Ross; Epiphany, San Carlos; and over 30 parishes nationwide, CnC is a 16-session curriculum that encourages youth to claim and articulate their faith while taking action to change the world and promote the Millennium Development Goals. . .

What can I say? No longer a church, but an arm of the United Nations.

++Orombi in May, 2008: The rift has widened . . .

From jamesw in the comments at Stand Firm [boldface mine]:

. . . The liberal fear of GAFCON, is I think, borne out of the liberals’ gradual realization that GAFCON is actually far more “important” then they had realized. The MSM don’t get it - all they want is their “evil conservatives are mean to gays” headlines. But I think some of the liberals are realizing GAFCON’s true “importance”. That is, I think that GAFCON is the first concrete step in creating a true communion within the Anglican federation. GAFCON is not leaving the “Anglican Communion”, they are not formally breaking with the See of Canterbury. Rather they will begin work to reform Anglicanism from within - and the liberal bureaucracy of Lambeth Palace and the ACO will have NO POWER TO STOP IT!!! This, I think is what the liberals fear the most. GAFCON would seem to be creating - within the “Anglican Communion” the engine for the long-term transformation of the Communion. I think that liberals know that despite their rhetoric, theirs is a dying brand. The growing, live Anglican Provinces are joining GAFCON. The dying, liberal Anglican Provinces have controlled the Anglican bureacracy, but GAFCON is bypassing that bureaucracy without leaving the Communion. GAFCON is essentially telling the liberal Provinces that they are now completely irrelevant. . .

And I think this is borne out by what Archbishop Orombi said in my interview with him for AnglicanTV in May:
. . . For a long time we have been spending needless money and time, issues that are going in circles. We want to get out of the circle and get together, think of our mission, what is it that the Lord demands of our church? What is the need of the world? Let's go for it. . .Ever since October 2003, we have been talking about this thing about the American church - we are now all through coming to about five years, how much longer are we going to go on? I think it's a question of stewardship, of time and resources. GAFCON will help us to begin to see how can we now move on. Okay, the Anglican Communion is there, the agendas within the Anglican Communion should shift . . .

Spinning GAFCON: The smell of fear

From Matt Kennedy at Stand Firm [boldface mine]:

The revisionist spin, laid down almost as soon as GAFCON was announced, has been three pronged: 1. Exaggerate every error and portray every move as an error 2. Portray difference as discord and 3. Portray the conference leaders as bent on breaking with Canterbury despite their clear words to the contrary.

Why, you might ask, do revisionists spill so much ink over what they seek to portray as an ineffectual, badly planned, narrow, schismatic conference that will have no impact and mean nothing in the end. Why not simply ignore it and go about your business?

Fear

At least that is what it looks and smells like.

Leftist bloggers and columnists reacting to GAFCON are corporately doing their best impression of a large quivering mass of fear.

I am not sure what, exactly, they are afraid of (they've largely won things after-all) but when all your opponent can do is spew scorn, bitterness, and condescension, you know you've got them.

I hope to address, eventually, all three prongs of the leftist spin but this morning I want to concentrate on the first prong: Exaggerate every error and portray everything as error. The “Gaffe” prong is helped along by the unfortunate acronym of the conference. And there have certainly been mistakes along the way--big ones. I think that it would have been of first importance, for example, to feel out the Bishop of Jerusalem and Archbishop Mouneer Anis before announcing the decision to hold GAFCON in Jerusalem and at least have a prepared response to the inevitable public disassociations that were ultimately and dutifully published by the Episcopal Church’s bishop in Jerusalem.

I’ve been here for about three days and so far GAFCON has been nothing short of a logistical miracle. A conference of this size in this location without the support of the local bishop would normally take at least a year to organize. The GAFCON people have done it in a matter of months and thus far the meetings, talks, transportation, and tours have gone off flawlessly. The supposed PR “gaffes” that Mark Harris discusses here are more figments of fevered leftist tripe and imagination than reality.

It is not, for example, a “gaffe” to put Susan Russell on a do-not-admit list. It’s a feature.

Secondly, the reporting of the exchange between the advocate for gay sex and Archbishops Orombi, Akinola, and Jensen has been atrocious. There is both video and audio of the exchange. It is not difficult to follow the line of inquiry.

When Archbishop Orombi asked for evidence from the advocate of gay sex that any bishop associated with GAFCON provinces advocates violence toward homosexual people, the advocate for gay sex provided none. Instead he put forward an example of people who claim to have been beaten raped in African prisons. Yes, lots of people, gay and straight, have suffered that sort of brutality in both African and American prisons. It is a terrible thing. But the Archbishop asked for evidence of any GAFCON bishop advocating violence against homosexual people, not for evidence of the violence itself. It is understandable that Archbishops Orombi and Akinola were confused at this point. The ground had shifted under their feet. . .

Read it all.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday with G.K. Chesterton

Of all the weak-minded manifestations of the modern cowardice, perhaps the most contemptible is this assumption of a collective sensitiveness, this banding of a class together against its critics. If you think the London drama dull, it is an insult to actors. If you think the London streets ugly, it is an insult to architects. If you suggest that the London streets are dirty, it is an insult to the sacred Guild of Crossing-Sweepers. The whole of our moral indignation is to be reserved, apparently, to those who point out an evil; we are never to insult anybody except when we insult the insulter of wrong. We want to get rid of the whole idea of "insult" in this sense. A state of freedom ought to mean a state in which no man can silence another. As it is, it means a state in which every man must silence himself. It ought to mean that Mr. Shaw can say a thing twenty times, and still not make me believe it. As it is, it means that Mr. Shaw must leave off saying it, because my exquisite nerves will not endure to hear somebody saying something with which I do not agree. Freedom means that we cannot oppress each other. But unless we insult each other we shall never do anything.

G.K. Chesterton
The Illustrated London News March 17, 1906

H/t to Binky at Free Mark Steyn!

Fr. Russell at GAFCON: Blessed but exhausted

From SanDiegoAnglicans.com, on-going posts from Fr. Russell Martin, St. Timothy & St. Titus, as he goes to GAFCON:

. . . Lunch at the main hotel, followed by the opening Eucharistic Service at 2 p.m. which I was graciously asked to be a chalice bearer--it was simply phenomenal Eucharist service. What a terrific honor, praise God! Then a workshop by the renowned Dr. Oz Guinness on Secularism and its challenges to authentic faith. My posts have been spotty, but I have been swamped. I will try to get another Blog/Journal out to you soon. I have been on full thrust from about 16+ hours now between coordinating the pilgrims at my hotel for transport, assisting in the opening Eucharist and being assigned as Archbishop Venables’ Chaplain. It is wonderful and I have been so very blessed beyond belief but I am bushwhacked. . .

Read it all.

AnglicanTV: Gafcon diary day three

From Kevin at AnglicanTV:

Diary Day Three:

"So, I traveled three thousand miles on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and all I got was a Gafcon t-shirt." This is a very real possibility and one of several scenarios that may plague us come Sunday.

Everyone is here for a reason, but I think one of the real problems here is the size of the gathering. I spent four hours this morning descending Mount Olives to the Church of All Nations with 1,100 Anglican Pilgrims. The descent was long, hot, and for the most part chaotic.

If this migration chaos transfers itself into the meetings, teachings, and Q and A sessions this week – we will be going home with only a t-shirt. I doubt this will happen, but it should be noted this would be the worse case scenario.

On the other hand, there is a possibility of some serious discussions regarding the authority and power structure of our church. The leadership is eager to listen to discussion about today's church and tomorrow's church. Gafcon organizers seem genuinely interested in using the discernment of both laity and clergy and are unwilling to leave Jerusalem without a statement written and adopted by both. . .

Read it all.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

GAFCON: Transcript of Archbishop Akinola’s opening address

Posted on Stand Firm, Archbishop Peter Akinola's opening address at GAFCON:

People of the living God, welcome to Jerusalem. Welcome to GAFCON. One of the marks of apostolic ministry is signs, wonders and miracle[1]. There are many in today's Church, who would lay claim to apostolic authority without holding on to apostolic faith nor do they manifest any of the marks of the apostles. In GAFCON, I have seen signs and wonders. That we are able to gather here this week is a miracle for which we must give thanks to God.

There have been many seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but as a testimony that the Lord our God is firmly in control of GAFCON, he has graciously removed them. A conference of this magnitude would normally require several years of extensive planning, consultations and fund raising. We had barely five months to put this conference together. The Lord raised men and women who gladly and willingly offered their time, skill and money to make it happen.

I am very grateful to the members of the leadership team for their selfless and sacrificial roles in helping to deliver this conference, [please stand for recognition] We are deeply grateful to all provincial, diocesan and parish local committees, the donors, the tour agents, the travel agents, the Jordanian and Israeli governments for allowing us to meet here and in Jordan. Brethren, we appreciate the labours of love of the theological resource group. I must also thank in advance all those who will provide leadership in worship, workshops and plenary. We are heavily indebted to the various sub-committees and their leaders. God bless you all.

Why are we here? What have we come to do?

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) holding here in the holy land this week has understandably elicited both commendation and contempt in varying measures from all who claim a stake in shaping the futureidentity or in destroying the traditional identity of the global Anglican Communion.

Those who failed to admit that by the unilateral actions they took in defiance of the Communion have literally torn the very fabric of our common life at it deepest level since 2003, are grumbling that we are here to break the Communion.

Similarly, those who fail, for whatever reason to come to terms with the painful reality that the Communion is in a state of brokenness and lacked the ability to secure a genuine reconciliation, but simply carried on the work of the Communion in a manner that is business as usual are not happy with us.

And of course there are those who argue that while there may be some justification for GAFCON; why not call it after Lambeth 2008.

But thanks be to God that there are millions of people around the world including members of other denominations and those of other faiths who not only share our concerns but have chosen to partner with us and are praying for us.

For those of us gathered here in the Name of the Lord, and on behalf of the over 35 million faithful Anglicans we represent[2]GAFCON is a continuation of that quiet but consistentinitiative, a godly instrument appointed to reshape, reform, renew and reclaim a true Anglican Biblical orthodox Christianity that is firmly anchored in historic faith and ancient formularies.

Be that as it may, we must note that we cannot understand our present circumstance without locating it within the context of the controversies of the past decade. Every responsible historian knows that his task is predicated on the treasury of past events-rightly interpreted, as the compass for the present and guide for the future.For this reason, GAFCON takes its bearings from the tides of varied opinions and equivocations that have characterised our Communion in the last few years and exposed our once robust reputation as children of the Reformation to scorn. We were well-known for our stand on Scripture as the foundation stone of our tradition and reason. . .

Read it all.

AnglicanTV: Gafcon diary day two

From Kevin at AnglicanTV:

It takes some doing to get the portable TV studio we call AnglicanTV across the globe. Traveling oversees is cumbersome and costly and not something we do without plenty of good reasons. Our previous trips to Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda were successful not because we were there, but because these events were so global in scale that not being there would have left void.

GAFCON represents a departure from our regular video coverage because no one knows the outcome (except the press from the UK). ATV has always covered global events where the end results were nearly certain – this even includes the primates meeting in Dar Es Salaam were we knew the primates we going to give the Episcopal Church an ultimatum.

However, at GAFCON it is safe to say even the leadership is clueless about what to expect -- or what (if anything) will be agreed upon or acted upon by next Sunday. I have spoken with almost everyone in the leadership team this weekend and each leader has made it clear that is no formal agenda to produce a specific outcome. They stress this gathering is a time of listening.

Two other notable items set GAFCON apart from all the previous meetings of the Global South or conservative primates. . .

Read it all.

Some links for GAFCON coverage

Check out TitusOneNine for their list of GAFCON links.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fr. Russell at GAFCON: Security check, please!

From SanDiegoAnglicans.com, on-going posts from Fr. Russell Martin, St. Timothy & St. Titus, as he goes to GAFCON [boldface mine]:

Days 2-3 of My Pilgrimage to Israel and GAFCON June 17-18, 2008:

. . . As I was nearing the gate, I heard a public address announcement reminding all El Al passengers that they would have to have additional screening by the Airline’s Security prior to being allowed to board the plane. After presenting my passport and being asked a whole series of security questions in a relentless staccato. Then the question of my “orphaned” checked bag came up (why was it with me etc.). To which I recounted my tale of lines and a unexpected night’s stay in New York and that the airline had never returned it to me. I was then informed that I would be required to have my carry-on items searched. So Benjamin returned my passport but held on to my boarding pass he then instructed me to wait until I was called. He continued by telling me to take my carry-on bags and be seated until I was called back up for my search.

About 15-20 minutes late, a nice young man named Damien, also an Airline security agent ask me to follow him and bring my bags for their search. We went into a secured elevator and then down through several locked doors and all the while getting farther and farther from everyone else. I will confess I was a bit nervous and would have totally freaked out except that I had seen Damien checking in other passengers. After being led out of the terminal and out near the tarmac, we skirted a portion of the building to arrive at baggage security area and reentered the terminal several levels and blocks from where we started. I was then ushered into a tiny room where once again I was asked to open my bags and then told to go get seated another anteroom while their team went through my bags. So I sat reading my book and waiting. Several times I was asked to come explain some item or another and then told to return to my seat in the other room. About 45 minutes later I was told everything was fine and that I should repack my bags and prepare to return to the terminal. All my stuff was haphazardly strewn over a large counter so I began to repack for the third time that day. I really did not mind them searching everything but I was a bit put off when they then told me to hurry and kept asking me to move things so they could use a part of the counter. I will confess that my thoughts were a bit less than charitable and inwardly I was thinking, “If you had not made such a mess of it, I would not be taking so long!” I simply smiled and nodded. It was as I was repacking there unsupervised that I noted, somewhat ironically, that they had left a box cutter strewn about on the counter well within reach and nearly mixed in with my things. . .

Read it all - and read Day 1 here.

AnglicanTV: Gafcon diary day one

From Kevin at AnglicanTV:

Traveling to Israel for the first time is an incredible experience. As a Christian I have so many expectations of my trip to the Holy Land -- Expectations a strange flight cannot dampen.

As I alluded to in my blog post from yesterday, I had quite a time getting through El Al at the JFK airport. Somehow I got red flagged at the ticket counter during their screening interview and the next 3 hours of my life were pretty miserable. They downloaded an electronic background check, pulled all my equipment and clothes out of my luggage and then interviewed me about what they found online, in my suitcase, and for some reason had a lot of questions about the bandage and cotton ball sticking out of my right ear. It was clear during my second interrogation interview (about an hour after I first tried to checked-in) they had discovered AnglicanTV, my address history, birth place, parents names, Children names, my schooling and they figured out I was an evangelical Christian.

Immediately after convincing my two interrogators I was not a danger to the plane or the soventry of the nation of Israel, I was assigned a security detail. Well I am probably exaggerating a little bit here, but my assigned security escort was a 20-year-old female Israeli (whom had just finished her mandatory Israeli military service). I was not the only passenger red flagged on our flight. My new friend Azzis from Egypt received the same treatment. He is a businessman who flies into Tel Aviv for his work about once a month. He told he is red flagged every trip. I asked why they would red flag someone from Egypt. He told me the country was not the red flag. The name Azzis and his birthplace of Jordan was the red flag. He also told El Al will never tell you what red flagged you. . .

Read it all.

San Diego: Oh, so that's what this was about. . .

Just wondering.

From the San Diego Union-Tribune [boldface mine]:

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego took another step toward the full acceptance of gays with the ordination of its first openly gay deacon.

San Diego Episcopal Bishop James Mathes downplayed the sexual orientation of a newly ordained deacon.

During a month in which thousands of same-sex couples were able to marry in California, Thomas Wilson was ordained to the transitional diaconate by San Diego Bishop James Mathes at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. Wilson, who moved to San Diego eight years ago with his partner of 20 years, is expected to serve as a deacon for six months to a year before becoming a priest, Mathes said.

Yet the bishop downplayed the significance of Wilson's sexual orientation.

Mathes said he was not aware that a press release had been sent by the diocese with the headline: “Openly Gay, Partnered Deacon Ordained! First One in This Diocese Ever!”

“The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego calls and ordains gifted people,” Mathes said. “That's all this is.”

Wilson, 59, also downplayed the significance of his ordination. . .

So much for the "task force to study holiness in relationships" (resolution 08-09 passed at the February diocesan convention) - those relationships have, by this action, been declared "holy." No more "talking" necessary.

Read it all.

Friday, June 20, 2008

GAFCON: The lines, the wallet and my wardrobe

From SanDiegoAnglicans.com, on-going posts from Fr. Russell Martin, St. Timothy & St. Titus, as he goes to GAFCON [boldface mine]:

Day 1 of My Pilgrimage to Israel and GAFCON June 16, 2008:

The day began like most travel days, early and in that mad rush of a fog to get the last few things packed. It was also dark, being only 3:30 a.m. when I awoke. After showering and shaving I gathered my bags which I had finished packing the night before, though against all odds, I had actually nearly completed packing the previous Friday. So having finished packed those last few items I began my review:

1. Wallet, with cash
2. Passport
3. Tickets
4. Copies of Itinerary and other conference materials
5. Snacks
6. Cell phone etc.

Fr. Larry Eddingfield arrived, shortly there after, to pick me up at 4:45 a.m. and of course, he was right on time. We loaded the truck with my bags did another review of tickets, wallet, etc.

We arrived at the airport a few minutes after 5 a.m. Following a wonderful blessing, a prayer, and yes another “light” anointing with holy Oil, Fr. Larry released me with a hug and a tear. I proceeded to my first of many LINES that day as I checked my bag and received my boarding pass. During this process my cell phone dropped and hit the floor with an unhealthy thwack! As Dr. McCoy from the original Star Trek, “He’s dead Jim!” and so it was. I tried everything I could think of and it would light up for a second and then power down and just be dead, dead, DEAD!

My next line was of course the obligatory Security Check point, which surprisingly enough, moved rather efficiently and no real problems from my fellow line mates or me.

It was then I had my first real challenge of the day I went to the B. of A. ATM and as I went to pull out my Debit Card I was horrified to find it was not there and worse yet neither were my credit cards which I had planned to take. Yikes, “Holy Hamburgers Batman”, we have a real problem. I immediately began to pray and ask the Lord’s help and after a few minutes His glorious peace began to fall on me. Panic resurged as I realized that I had no phone numbers except Molly’s Cell memorized as I always rely on my Address Book in my phone that has now given up the ghost. I made change and tried desperately to find a pay phone, almost as extinct as a T-Rex. After a few minutes of searching and an inquiry to one Port Authority Police Officers I found a phone. I proceeded to call my wife who was by now fully ensconced in purveying Latte’s and Scones to the ‘Brew-o-philes” that faithfully migrate to Starbucks each morning. Suffice it to say, she did not answer her phone. . .

Read it all for a great "up-close and personal" view!

Philadelphia: Bishop Bennison will not face charges of misappropriating funds

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

A special committee of the Episcopal Church USA has found no basis to try Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. on charges of misappropriating assets of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

In November 2006, the diocesan standing committee filed a formal complaint with the presiding bishop's office in New York alleging that since 2000 Bennison had used millions of dollars without canonical authority or the required consent of the standing committee. It asked for a church trial to remove Bennison as head of the five-county diocese.

However, the attorney for the review committee concluded that "Bishop Bennison committed no offense in these matters" and the committee voted at its May 21 meeting not to issue any indictment. That decision was announced today.

Bennison's lawyer, James A. Pabarue, today hailed the committee's decision, calling it "an important step in the process of vindicating Bishop Bennison and returning him to the service of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.". . .

Read it all.
H/t to VirtueOnline.

On gay marriage, Justice Antonin Scalia was prophetic

From the BibleBeltBlogger:

In June 2003, when the Supreme Court legalized homosexual conduct in all 50 states, the court insisted its ruling had nothing to do with gay marriage. ‘Baloney,’ Justice Scalia replied.

In Lawrence v. Texas, Scalia wrote in dissent that the court’s decision “leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. …Today’s opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned. …This case ‘does not involve’ the issue of homosexual marriage only if one entertains the belief that principle and logic have nothing to do with the decisions of this Court.”

Scalia foresaw the “judicial imposition of homosexual marriage” in the wake of Lawrence v. Texas.

By overturning Bowers v. Hardwick, the 1986 decision upholding the states’ rights to criminalize homosexual conduct, the court was making gay marriage all but inevitable, he suggested.

He was right.
Five months later, in November 2003, the highest court in Massachusetts ruled that laws barring gay marriage were unconstitutional. Earlier this year, California followed suit.

Dozens of states have passed constitutional amendments barring the recognition of same-sex marriage. But these laws will soon be tested.

I’m not arguing for or against gay marriage in this post — that’s a thornet’s nest for somebody else to poke with a stick. I’m just pointing out that Scalia was right about the consequences of Lawrence v. Texas.

Barring a constitutional amendment, it may be inevitable that gay marriage will, eventually, become legal in all 50 states. Here’s why. . .

Read it all, and realize that if states cannot determine who gets married, they certainly have no grounds to determine how many get married.

AnglicanTV update - from Jerusalem!

From Kevin at AnglicanTV:

Arrived Jerusalem

It is 9:30am here. That means 2:30 am est. I need to do some more investigating of the internet here to see if I can do streaming. Stay tuned.

Kevin

and
Comment Moderator Update

Ok -- I have about fifteen volunteers lined up from around the world. This is more than enough. I am going to test a live stream from here at 5:00 pm Jerusalem time. You can watch the sunset. If the test works and I can live stream from Jerusalem I will create a quick "how to moderate" video for volunteers.

Thanks again for your help.

Kevin

So, what is this about . . . ?

From Julia at jde.blogspot.com (a San Diego blog):

. . . But the big news of the night is that I shook hands and awkwardly small-talked with a man who was just ordained into the Episcopal church last week. I know, a bar full of episcopal priests and seminarians: wild. And also, I want you to know that (to quote this dude), being ordained a priest (or a deacon) is always "significant." This man, though, just happened to be the very first homosexual ordained in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, ever*. And this happened last week. I don't want to be awestruck, because this really shouldn't just be starting to happen here in 2008, but I was nonetheless. I mean, I was just standing there with a piece of history while poking the leftover ice in my glass with the three little straws. . .

. . . * = according to Mike, apparently, years ago, our Not Confrontational At All former Bishop once stepped aside and left the building so that the Definitely Confrontational At All Bishop Spong could fly in from Liberal!Newark! to ordain a gay man from another diocese in our cathedral. I don't think that really counts as being the diocese of San Diego's first; it was just kind of like renting out the building for an out of town wedding or something. But I still love that that happened here. Bishop Spong is a FORCE, man.

Check it out. Now, I'm sure that someone with same-sex attraction has been ordained in San Diego before, so does she mean someone unmarried living in a non-celibate way? Not sure, don't care, but curious.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Send BabyBlue to Lambeth

Check out BabyBlue's post on her Lambeth invite and her request for donations.

Shoe Thursday: Dog edition I

As a society, we have entirely too much money!

Mary Janes for dogs

May Janes for dogs

Cowboy boots for dogs

Cowboy boots for dogs

And turtle slippers for dogs!

Turtle slippers for dogs

Who would like to try to put any of these shoes onto this dog (all 66 pounds of him)?

12 months

San Diego: A culture of self

From today's San Diego Union-Tribune Letters to the Editor page, a letter that perfectly captures what I thought when I saw yesterday's UT front page, complete with carefully selected pictures of same-sex couples getting "married," most with very young children in tow [boldface mine].

The front-page image in Wednesday's Union-Tribune is the saddest I can imagine. Two women holding two babies and getting married. This is truly awful. We can now see where the “tolerance” mindset has led us. It has led us into a moral and ethical wasteland, where moral judgments no longer hold any sway, and where everyone does whatever “is right in their own eyes,” to borrow a biblical passage.

Almost everyone agrees that a traditional two-parent family is the bedrock of society. And yet we have abandoned this for tolerance sake, and to make sure that no one anywhere is ever offended.

This kind of accommodation has led us down a path that is very wrong. It is God's design for children to be raised in an environment where they spend their formative years in the presence of a mother and father serving in their natural roles. This is the environment where the soul and psyche of a person should be developed. Now we are embarking on a grand experiment – with our children as the subjects – and who knows what is going to come out at the other end.

For the state to have allowed same-sex couples to wed is wrong, and to allow them to raise and adopt children is even worse. We have sown to the wind and we are going to reap the whirlwind, I'm afraid.

JIM KENNEDY
Normal Heights

GAFCON: The Way, The Truth and the Life

The Way, the Truth and the Life is the official study document for the GAFCON Jerusalem Pilgrimage. Download it here (pdf file).

AnglicanTV: Boarding El Al for Tel Aviv and Help needed

From Kevin at AnglicanTV:

Boy... did I throw up some red flags for El Al Airlines. It may have been all the equipment I am traveling with or the passport with a England, Uganda, Tanzania combination. But they searched everything -- just short of a cavity search (whew). Maybe it was the cotton sticking out of my right ear.

UPDATE: I have my own security person assigned to escort me to the gate. She is even sitting with me in at the gate until I board the plane. The benefit is I get to be first to board the plane. The downside is I am not allowed to leave the gate for any reason(even to use the rest room) without security.

And he needs your help - he's looking for chat moderators.
I have a live chat stream included with my live video stream. I am looking for a couple people to moderate the live chat. You will have the ability to block abusive commenters and control other aspects of the chat.

Email anglicanTV@gmail.com Subject: Chat volunteer

If you are interested. Please included the hours you are available and the time zone you are in.

Thanks
Kevin

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jordan: Pre-GAFCON consultation relocated

From David Virtue today (6/18):

In a surprise development, conveners of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) were told last night that a principal figure in the pre consultation in Jordan, Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola was not given a visa to Jordan, even though he holds a diplomatic passport, thus throwing the leaders of the consultation into dismay because of the important role he was to play at this assembly of orthodox Anglicans.

"The time in Jordan was very valuable for prayer, fellowship, and networking," said Peter Jensen, a chief GAFCON organizer. GAFCON speaker Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone was also not able to be in Jordan. Both, however, are expected to play significant roles at GAFCON in Jerusalem.

Leaders scrambled to find an alternative way forward allowing the inclusion of everyone expected to attend the consultation. As a result GAFCON leaders decided to move their consultation to Jerusalem and will leave on buses Thursday morning instead of Sunday as originally planned.

"We originally planned to do everything in Jerusalem, but logistical problems forced us to have the pre-consultation in Jordan," said the Rev. Dr. Arne Fjeldstad, GAFCON communications head.

"We will now have a more efficient and productive preparation for the conference in the land where Jesus was born."

The 100 participants left Jordan in high spirits many of whom made a moving visit to the baptismal sites at the Jordan and also visited Mt. Nebo where Moses looked into the Promised Land. Jordanians have undertaken major excavation and restoration at the Baptismal site which is to be the site of a church for each major Christian denomination with the full support of the Jordanian Government, this exhibiting a striking example of Christian ecumenical endeavor in a supportive Muslim country. . .

Read it all, and also Ruth Gledhill:
. . . Sources at the conference tell me that the Nigerian delegation landed in Tel Aviv and went to the northern crossing point. Archbishop Akinola was travelling on his diplomatic passport. After being questioned for four hours, he was turned back, although the rest of the Nigerian delegation was allowed in. He got his passport back, and apparently was told that they needed a particular clearance on a diplomatic passport which he did not possess.

Gregory Venables is not in Jordan because his wife is in hospital after complications following a hip operation. He is hoping to join Gafcon in Jerusalem.

So as they say, if Mohammed won't go to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed. The entire Gafcon is moving to Jerusalem, where rooms have suddenly become available in hotels, because their leader Peter Akinola cannot come to them. . .

Read it all.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gay rights vs. religious freedom

From GetReligion.org, a post on a story written and broadcast by National Public Radio’s Barbara Bradley Hagerty [boldface mine]:

. . . It is so nice when a reporter can let conflicting sides put the conflict in their own terms, as Hagerty does. Efficiently and clearly, Hagerty explains that the couple filed a complaint with New Jersey’s Civil Rights office alleging unlawful discrimination. They made the case that religious beliefs are not a defense. The Methodists responded that their First Amendment rights protect them from such a case. The lesbians won and the state revoked the Methodist’s tax exemption for the worship space. The Methodists are appealing.

The third part of the story looks at the issue nationwide:
As states have legalized same-sex partnerships, the rights of gay couples have consistently trumped the rights of religious groups. Marc Stern, general counsel for the American Jewish Congress, says that does not mean that a pastor can be sued for preaching against same-sex marriage. But, he says, that may be just about the only religious activity that will be protected.

For now, but look at Canada if you want to see what can happen (and yes, you read it right - the pastor has been ordered to remain silent on homosexuality).
“What if a church offers marriage counseling? Will they be able to say ‘No, we’re not going to help gay couples get along because it violates our religious principles to do so? What about summer camps? Will they be able to insist that gay couples not serve as staff because they’re a bad example?” Stern asks.

Hagerty mentions other cases — Yeshiva University was ordered to allow same-sex couples in its dormitory for married couples. A Lutheran school has been sued for expelling two lesbian students. Catholic Charities abandoned adoptions services in Massachusetts after it was told to place children with same-sex couples. A psychologist in Mississippi who refused to counsel a lesbian couple lost her case and a doctor who refused to provide in vitro fertilization to a lesbian in California is likely to lose his case before the California Supreme Court. The stories, such as this one about a wedding photographer, are riveting:
On January 28, 2008, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission heard the case of Vanessa Willock v. Elane Photography.

Note, this is not a court of law - this is a "Human Rights Commission" - they are not bound by the requirements of a court of law, yet they are able to levy fines.
Willock, in the midst of planning her wedding to her girlfriend, sent the photography company an e-mail request to shoot the commitment ceremony. Elaine Huguenin, who owns the company with her husband, replied: “We do not photograph same-sex weddings. But thanks for checking out our site! Have a great day!”

Willock filed a complaint, and at the hearing she explained how she felt.

“A variety of emotions,” she said, holding back tears. “There was a shock and anger and fear. . . . We were planning a very happy day for us, and we’re being met with hatred. That’s how it felt.”

And it's all about feelings . . .
Willock declined to be interviewed, as did the owners of Elane Photography. At the hearing, Jonathan Huguenin said that when he and his wife formed the company two years ago, they made it company policy not to shoot same-sex ceremonies, because the ceremonies conflicted with their Christian beliefs.

“We wanted to make sure that everything we photographed — everything we used our artistic ability for, everything we told a story for or conveyed a message of — would be in line with our values and our beliefs,” he said.

The defendants’ attorney, Jordan Lorence at ADF, says that of course a Christian widget-maker cannot fire an employee because he’s gay. But it’s different when the company or a religious charity is being forced to endorse something they don’t believe, he says.

“It’s a very different situation when we’re talking about promoting a message,” Lorence says. “When it’s ‘We want to punish you for not helping us promote our message that same-sex marriage is OK,’ that for me is a very different deal. It’s compelled speech. You’re using the arm of the government for punishing people for disagreeing with you.”

In April, the state human rights commission found that Elane Photography was guilty of discrimination and must pay the Willock’s more than $6,600 attorneys’ fee bill.

Hagerty speaks with legal experts who predict gays will easily win future battles between religious rights and gay rights.

It’s a really good story, complete with a lengthy sidebar detailing how same-sex couples are successfully challenging policies of parochial schools, parachurch organizations and Christian business owners. There’s also an interactive map of the United States showing different laws by states. . .

Read it all.

Let us not become weary . . .

weary

The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Galatians 6:8-10

Monday, June 16, 2008

GAFCON schedule

From the Global Anglican Future Conference, the schedule (or as they say, the Programme):

Saturday, June 21
  • 4:00pm – 6:00pm GAFCON Registration Desk Open

Sunday, June 22
  • 11:00am – 5:00pm GAFCON Registration Desk Open

  • 3:00pm – 5:30pm Optional Tour at participants’ personal expense:Israel Museum, Shrine of the Book (Dead Sea Scrolls)

  • 7:00pm Welcome Dinner

  • 8:00pm Welcome Session

Monday, June 23
  • 7:00am - 12 noon Pilgrimage to the Mount of Olives / Gethsemane

  • 1:00pm Lunch 2:00pm Opening Service of Holy Communion

  • 5:00pm Focus Topic The Gospel and Secularism

  • 7:30pm Dinner

  • 9:30pm End of day of Prayers

Tuesday, June 24
  • 8:30am Worship and Exposition - Genesis 12: The Promise of God

  • 9:45am Discussion and Prayer

  • 11:00am Workshops

  • 1:00pm Lunch

  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Optional Seminar: Addressing HIV/Aids (Optional tours at participants’ personal expense.)

  • 5:00pm Focus Topic: The Anglican Communion

  • 7:30pm Dinner

  • 9:30pm End of day of Prayers

Wednesday, June 25
  • 8:30am Worship and Exposition - Exodus 24: The Presence of God

  • 9:45am Discussion and Prayer

  • 11:00am Workshops

  • 1:00pm Lunch

  • 2:00pm Pilgrimage to Old City, Tower of David, Jewish Quarter, and homes of the Sadducees

  • 4:00pm Pilgrimage gathers at Ophel Gardens

  • 7:00pm Dinner 8:00pm Focus Topic The Gospel and Religion

Thursday, June 26
  • 8:30am Worship and Exposition – 2 Samuel 1 – 17: The King of God

  • 9:45am Discussion and Prayer

  • 11:00am Workshops

  • 1:00pm Lunch

  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Optional Tours at participants’ personal expense.

  • 5:00pm Focus Topic Enterprise Solutions to Poverty

  • 7:30pm Dinner 9:30pm End of day of Prayers

Friday, June 27
  • 8:30am Worship and Exposition - Luke 24: The Son of God

  • 9:45am Discussion and Prayer

  • 11:00am Workshops

  • 1:00pm Lunch

  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Plenary Session

  • 5:00pm Pilgrimage to Church of the Holy Sepulchre OR Tour of modern and biblical Jerusalem by coach

  • 7:30pm Dinner

  • 9:30pm End of day of Prayers

Saturday, June 28
  • 7:30am All day pilgrimage to Bethlehem and Galilee

Sunday, June 29
  • 8:30am Worship and Exposition - Revelation 21 The Throne of God

  • 11:00am Closing Service of Holy Communion

  • 1:00pm Closing Lunch

Details of the plenary sessions will be broadcast shortly.

Check it out.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Group says Georgia case highlights problem of coerced abortions

From LifeNews.com:

Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) -- A leading post-abortion group for women who have had abortions and regret their decision says a recent Georgia case highlights the problem of coerced abortions. Representatives of the Silent No More Awareness campaign say they know women who have been pressured into abortions they don't want.

As LifeNews.com profiled, 44-year-old Cindi Cook is headed to jail for one year for lying about being the mother of a teenager girl supposedly seeking an abortion. However, Cook had talked the girl into having an abortion she otherwise didn't want.

Janet Morana, co-founder of the post-abortion group, told LifeNews.com, “This Georgia case shows just how far reaching the pressure to abort can be.”

“The claim of the pro-abortion lobby that terminating a child’s life is ‘a choice between a woman and her doctor or her God’ is empty rhetoric to the countless women I know who were intimidated or threatened by boyfriends, husbands, or relatives,” she added.

Georgette Forney, another co-founder, told LifeNews.com the burden should fall on abortion centers to make sure women are not pressured or coerced.

“Abortion clinics will not voluntarily ask girls or women if they’re being coerced into ending their children’s lives,” she explained.

Abortion clinics are in business to make money and the more abortions they perform, the richer everyone involved becomes; everyone, that is, except the woman who’s just had her life shattered and the baby who’s just had his life ended," she added. . .

Read it all. Georgette Forney is the national president of Anglicans for Life! Anglicans for Life will be at both GAFCON and Lambeth this summer, so any and all donations are appreciated.

Shoe Thursday: Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all!

From The Manolo:

Finnish dancing shoes

Manolo says, yes, these Finnish dancing shoes are silly, but the Manolo loves them, for they remind him of one of his favorite poems, Theodore Roethke’s My Papa’s Waltz.

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother’s countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.


And now you must click on this link and listen to the poet read it.

I have always loved this poem.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Conservative Anglicans in southern Ohio. . . almost 5 years later

From Per Christum, a blog started in 2006 by a group of Catholic converts. This post is by David Bennett, who in July of 2003 was preparing to enter Episcopal seminary and by August of 2004 had become a Roman Catholic:

. . . Why did I write this post? The other day I was thinking back to those times, and how much I was struggling with my place in the Episcopal church, and within the Church in general. I didn't struggle alone, but with friends and companions in the fight for orthodoxy. Nonetheless, I realized that over the last (soon-to-be) 5 years, most of us have left the Episcopal church, and many of us have left Anglicanism. It is kind of depressing in a way, but I know for a fact that many of our little group that have left are happy with the decision, and those who have stayed are joyful in their calling as well. It also shows just how many self-described orthodox in Southern Ohio have left the Episcopal church; If this is happening all over the country, TEC is most certainly moving even more leftward by default. . .

Read it all.
H/t to TitusOneNine.

Why I left ECUSA, Part 5: A new beginning . . .

The fifth (and final) in a series outlining why my family and I believe it is time for us to leave the Episcopal Church (read Part 1: A brief history, Part 2: A crack appears, Part 3: The deluge, and Part 4: The end). UPDATE: And don't forget the Addendum: Roma รจ chiamata.

So, we decided we needed to leave the Episcopal Church sooner than I had thought we might. The problem with leaving a church is that you are not just leaving a building and a service style, you are leaving people and a culture, an ethos if you will, that, if you have been brought up in ECUSA like I have, is very grounded in your soul—a certain way of doing “church.”

And now it is gone.

There are a few things I do know, however, that have become the parameters and priorities for my family (every person and family making this move or deciding to stay in ECUSA will have their own priorities, so please don’t think I’m criticizing anyone’s decision—I know how difficult this can be):

  • To be biblically sound

  • To have a discipline structure in place

  • To offer youth programs that emphasize Christ

  • To be part of a greater Christian community

  • To be fairly close by
I am not interested in joining another mainline Protestant denomination. If the idea of an Anglican Communion (which has had some groups leave, but no official splitting) is important to me—to feel part of a larger global Christian presence—then joining the Presbyterians, the Lutherans, the Baptists, the Methodists, etc. would be a step backwards. Fragmentation is not a gift of the Holy Spirit, and the breaking apart of these denominations over various reasons seems to me to show that they are not a full expression of God’s Spirit in this world. I'm beginning to have serious doubts about the long-term efficiacy of the Protestant Reformation.

Also, all of these denominations seem to be just a few years short of finding themselves where ECUSA is now on the issues of biblical authority and church discipline.

I also, for better or for worse, am not interested in joining one of the continuing Episcopal churches (APA, REC, etc.), even though it seems as though there has been great movement to start bringing those together with Common Cause and the Anglican Communion Network. For a family with children, these churches seem awfully isolated and small, and they are not technically part of a greater global Christian family.

So, with those parameters, that leaves us with several options:
We started our exploration at our local community church, which has great youth programs and a lot of outreach (and is very close by). We knew there might be a problem when we walked into the “church” (really an auditorium) and our son said, “Where’s the altar?” I will say, it was a great Bible study, but not a church service as we recognized it. The service consisted of about 30 minutes of praise music from the band on stage, a few prayers, a great “sermon” (talk) from the pastor (very committed and Bible focused), then another song, another prayer, and we were done.

We decided it would make a great Wednesday night Bible study, but left something lacking for a church service. I also feel community Christian churches are sometimes too personality driven. A particular pastor develops a following that starts a church. What happens when he retires? Or deviates from the Christian path? There is nothing behind a community church to keep it focused on anything other than what the pastor wants.

In San Diego, we have quite a few Anglican churches up and running, under the Southern Cone and Uganda, thanks to Bishop Mathes’s pastoral skills. The churches have worked hard together to create an Anglican presence here. One of the churches, St. Timothy & St. Titus, has taken the lead in organizing the youth and has done a great job in putting together retreats and programs that draw all of the Anglican kids in the area, including from Orange County. Unfortunately, St. TnT is quite a ways away and one of our priorities is proximity. My husband commutes every weekday down to San Diego and the last thing he wants to do on a Sunday is have another commute. It also makes it difficult for us to get involved in weekday activities if the drive is too far. There are two Anglican churches somewhat closer to us and we are looking at both.

But my concern with the Anglican churches, which I am still working through, is two-fold.

First, even though these churches have left ECUSA, there is still a lingering miasma of hurt and contention, within the churches and sometimes the clergy. These churches were part of the failed institutional structure of the Episcopal Church. That is not so easy to discard even though they have moved under another Anglican entity. I will say that the service with ++Gregory Venables at St. Anne’s Anglican in Oceanside was a joyous, forward-looking event that all of the local Anglican church participated in. If that feeling of moving on and focusing on God can eventually become the dominant thrust in these churches, that would be wonderful indeed.

My other concern is the overriding one of discipline in the Anglican Communion. Right now, there is none. Will that change? What is to keep what happened with ECUSA from happening again with another group? There is no there there to look to. The Instruments of Communion are broken and ignored. How will that change?

Lambeth seems geared towards keeping anything from happening or any decision from being made definitively. And I don’t believe an Anglican Covenant will fundamentally change anything. We have our Covenant Agreement, it’s called the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. If a covenant does end up being adopted at some point, I think one of two things will happen. Either the covenant will be so anemic as to be pointless or the covenant will be ignored. Neither of these outcomes will bode well for the Anglican Communion.

So that moves us down to the Orthodox Church. I’m the first to admit I don’t know that much about it except that it strives to remain as the closest idea of the early church. Other than that, it seems to be present in this country divided into ethnic groups. We have the Greek Orthodox, the Russian Orthodox, the Armenian Orthodox, etc. With the last name of Coletta, I’m looking for the Italian Orthodox and I don’t see it (well, actually I guess that’s the Roman Catholic Church). There are Antiochian Orthodox churches in the area but they are way down in San Diego and too far away. We do have friends who left ECUSA and now go to the Greek Orthodox Church nearby who have invited us to visit with them (thanks, Jeff and Claudia!) which we will have to do before we make any final decisions.

And now we’re at our last possibility—the Roman Catholic Church. First off, there is one right up the street—less than five minutes by car (so how shallow can I be? Hey, try me!). We have been a few times, and to see the number of children there makes you realize right away that you’re not at an Episcopal Church! My main concern here is that there are areas of doctrine I’m not sure about (although I’m willing to give the church the benefit of the doubt—after years of ECUSA doing its own thing, there is something nice about admitting that I personally don’t have all the answers and that maybe, just maybe, the greater Church does know a thing or two that I don’t, since she has been thinking about them for 2,000 years).

But going to the Roman Catholic Church in a sense closes the door on being Anglican. You don’t just start going to a Catholic church—you join a Catholic church. You become Catholic. You can’t get away with saying, well, we’re just going here for a while. No, you have to commit to becoming a Roman Catholic. That’s a big step and not to be taken lightly.

So here’s my chart:











































PrioritiesChurches
CommunityLocal AnglicanOrthodoxRoman Catholic
To be biblically soundYYYY
To have a discipline structure in place??YY
To offer youth programs that emphasize ChristYY?Y
To be part of a greater Christian communityNY?Y
To be fairly close byY?NY


(I have no idea why there is such a big gap here-sorry!)

So, we are still in discernment and will be visiting churches over the summer and I will be doing more reading on various doctrinal and theological differences . . .

and we will see where God directs.