Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

MORE BREAKING NEWS: St. Andrew's Mt. Pleasant votes to disaffiliate from The Episcopal Church and join ACNA

The people of St. Andrew's Mt. Pleasant, in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, yesterday overwhelmingly voted to disaffiliate from The Episcopal Church. Their rector, the Rev'd Steve Wood, has the stats:

Today we received the preliminary vote totals from the CPA firm contracted to oversee the balloting process. There were 722 ballots cast. The results are:

Resolution 1 (to amend our Parish By-Laws): 709 in favor, 13 opposed – 98 % approval.

Resolution 2 (to amend our Articles of Incorporation): 707 in favor, 15 opposed – 98% approval.

Resolution 3 (to disaffiliate with TEC and affiliate with ACNA or some other Province of the Anglican Communion): 703 in favor, 19 opposed – 97% approval.

Steve writes:

The Vestry and I have made arrangements for St. Andrew’s to affiliate with The Diocese of The Holy Spirit, a diocese within the Anglican Church in North America. This affiliation will be effective upon the certification of our vote by the CPA firm at 3.00 pm, 2 April, at the latest.

Our Bishop will be The Rt. Rev’d John Guernsey. Bishop Guernsey is the long-time Rector of All Saints Church in Dale City, Virginia and will be well known to several within St. Andrew’s. I have known +John for over 20 years, dating back to my time at Virginia Seminary. You will discover that he shares many of the priorities that we have as a parish; from our commitment to missions (the Bishop is the Chairman of the Board for SOMA – a well known mission agency) to our passion to see every member equipped for ministry with both Word and Spirit. I have made arrangements for Bishop Guernsey to visit and preach at the Wednesday night service, 28 April 2010, followed by a time of healing prayer led by the Bishop. Please make plans to attend.

Lastly, the departure of this parish from the Diocese of South Carolina was not hastily made nor was it an easy decision. Indeed, this struggle has extended well beyond the past decade costing this parish one well-beloved Rector. Any sense of sadness over our separation is tempered by our joyful sense of the Lord’s forward-looking call upon our lives; by our common love for our Lord and by the common knowledge that our difficulty lay with the spiritual headship of the National Church, of which the Diocese of South Carolina remains, and intends to remain, a part, and not with the Bishop of South Carolina. And so, I must say “thank you” to Bishop Lawrence. From the day I met +Mark in the candidacy process I have spoken with him often about St. Andrew’s costly efforts to remain faithful to the gospel in the midst of the Episcopal Church’s increasing abandonment of the faith as revealed through Scripture and Tradition. These conversations have continued throughout +Mark’s episcopacy and have grown to include the Vestry of St. Andrew’s as well as the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina. I have found in Bishop Lawrence a friend and co-laborer in the ministry of the Gospel. We share a mutual desire to maintain our fraternal relationship and have committed to one another that St. Andrew’s and the Diocese of South Carolina will continue to partner in Gospel ministry as opportunity and circumstance permit. Please remember to pray for the Diocese of South Carolina as we desire nothing less than God’s best for them.

Read it all here. St. Andrew's is a flagship parish in the Diocese of South Carolina. Steve is one of the leading voices for taking the church into the new generation. This is a major moment in the history of church. Meanwhile, consecration plans continue in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles without apparently caution or care for how this impacts the wider church.

UPDATE: Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence shows how it should be done. God bless him.

March 30, 2010
Tuesday in Holy Week
Diocesan House

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I received a phone call from the Reverend Steve Wood, rector of St. Andrew’s, Mt. Pleasant, the day before yesterday, Sunday, March 28, 2010, that the Vestry and members of the parish voted to leave The Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Anglican Church in North America.

Although I am not surprised by this decision, I am saddened by it. In fact there is a poignant irony in the departure of St. Andrew’s from the Diocese and from The Episcopal Church. As bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, I receive almost daily letters and emails from people across this Church suggesting that our stance gives them encouragement to remain and persevere within TEC. Yet here at home we could not hold one of our strongest congregations. The departure of The Episcopal Church from the way of Christ and the Biblically rooted teachings of the Church has become too discordant for them to tolerate any longer.

While the ramification from their departure has yet to unfold in its entirety, I hope many among us will look for ways to continue our mutual ministry and relationships. The arrangements to be made for those within the congregation who wish to remain within the Diocese of South Carolina and The Episcopal Church will be among the subjects that I will be discussing with Steve and the parish leadership, as well as among our diocesan leaders.

By God’s grace we will keep St. Andrew’s in our prayers and work with them to find ways to cooperate in gospel mission and ministry that honors Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.

Yours in Christ,

+Mark Lawrence
Bishop of South Carolina

Tip of the tinfoil to SF.

BREAKING NEWS: Virginia Supreme Court sets Episcopal Church/Diocese of Virginia appeal

Virginia Supreme Court has now narrowed the date for the Episcopal Church/Diocese of Virginia hearing to April 13th. This is to hear the appeal of Judge Randy Bellows rulings in favor of the churches that voted overwhelmingly to separate from the Diocese of Virginia and remain in the Anglican Communion by joining the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), now a member of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA).

Last month the Church of England also overwhelmingly resolved to "recognise and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family." In addition, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who also voted in favor of the Church of England resolution, asked the Church of England Synod, "What are the vehicles for sharing perspectives, communicating protest, yes, even, negotiating distance or separation, that might spare us a worsening of the situation and the further reduction of Christian relationship to vicious polemic and stony-faced litigation?"

Just this month, the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York made public its intention to sell Good Shepherd Episcopal Church to a Muslim group in Binghamton, New York. The people of Good Shepherd, who also voted to separate from The Episcopal Church, were evicted from their thriving church last year after a court ruled in favor of the diocese.

Even at this late hour, Rowan Williams' question remains on the table.

UPDATE: Here is a statement from the Anglican District of Virginia, by its chair Jim Oakes:
“Our church members are standing firm for the Gospel and will remain in prayer for the church property case that will be heard in a matter of weeks. It’s unfortunate that this matter, which we tried so hard to resolve amicably out of court, has now reached the level of the state Supreme Court. While we remain confident in our legal footing, it’s regretful that we had to defend ourselves in the first place.

“Protecting our religious freedom and our right to stay true to the Gospel has been costly, and we pray for a quick end to the litigation so that we can completely focus our time, money and energy on bringing new believers to Christ and helping those in need. Our doors remain open wide to all who wish to worship with us.

“As we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord this weekend, we know where our real priorities are and we put our trust in Him in all our affairs including the current legal proceedings."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Matt Maher live at Truro TODAY!

Contemporary worship leader and composer, Matt Maher - who wrote Your Grace is Enough - is at Truro TODAY. This is his second visit with us - he was a hit last year and it's so great to have him back.

Truro is located at 10520 Main Street, City of Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Here's the info:

Palm Sunday, March 28th 2010

5:00 pm–6:00 pm:
Matt Maher & Band lead Alive @ 5 worship

6:00 pm–07:00 pm:
The Brazil 2010 Mission Team will be selling $5 pizza meals in the Undercroft, before the 7:00 pm Matt Maher concert. The meal includes two slices of pizza and a choice of soda or water. Walk-in’s are welcome, however if possible please register for this public event by Thursday March 25, 5:00 pm.

7:00 pm:
Concert with Matt Maher & Band Net proceeds from the offering at the 7:00 pm concert will benefit our youth pilgrimages’ and mission teams in 2010

Monday, March 29th 2010

10 am–11 am:
“Worship in Liturgy” talk by Matt Maher, specifically geared for our youth and worship leaders, however all are welcome. (NOTE: Monday, March 29 is a student holiday)
Here are some samples of his work:

If you are in the area - please come and join us! More info here. All are welcome!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Take the Long Way Home: All Saints Pawleys Island puts litigation to rest, negotiates final settlement

As has now finally happened after a decade of litigation at All Saints Pawleys Island in South Carolina, this is what the Virginia Churches who voted to separate in late 2006 hoped to do as well before 815 intervened after Bishop Lee formed his Property Committee to negotiate a similar settlement and forced the Virginia Protocol to be abandoned in favor of massive litigation. From here:

After nearly a decade of legal and personal conflict, the issue of the All Saints Church property has been resolved, thanks be to God. Our Vestry and that of the Episcopal congregation have come to an understanding that ends the case forever and also provides a way for both churches to go forward into the future in faith and service to Christ.

As a result of our agreement, both sides recognize and accept the September 18, 2009, decision of the Supreme Court of South Carolina in which the Court determined that we are the rightful owners of the property and legitimate Vestry for All Saints Parish, Waccamaw. The Episcopal congregation has taken action to withdraw their Petition before the Supreme Court of the United States. As you may recall, the South Carolina decision was truly remarkable in that it clearly refuted any claim that the Episcopal Church might make on our property through the use of the so-called Dennis Canon.

In a desire to bless the work of God in the Episcopal congregation, our Vestry has made the offer of a financial gift of $375,000 to them to assist in their future ministry in our community. In addition, we have offered several items that represent their participation in the heritage of All Saints Church. We also have communicated that those members of their congregation who have historic ties to All Saints will be given the opportunity to use the appropriate buildings in the event of funerals, weddings and other pastoral occasions in accordance with the same guidelines and policies that are followed by our own members.

Read it all here. Prayers for the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina as they meet in convention.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Giving thanks to the Lord, for we serve at His pleasure - and all that we have belongs to Him

Truro has come up as a topic on the HoB/HoD listserve, so thought it might be a good time to repost this video. We may stay, we may go - but it all still belongs to the Lord - ad maiorem Dei gloriam.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Lenten Moment

Lord Jesus, think on me,
and purge away my sin;
from earthborn passions set me free,
and make me pure within.

Lord Jesus, think on me
with many a care opprest;
let me thy loving servant be,
and taste thy promised rest.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
nor let me go astray;
through darkness and perplexity
point thou the heavenly way.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
that, when the flood is past,
I may the eternal brightness see,
and share thy joy at last.

Oh Lord You've searched me
You know my way
Even when I fail You
I know You love me

Your holy presence
Surrounding me
In every season
I know You love me
I know You love me

At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now

You go before me
You shield my way
Your hand upholds me
I know You love me

At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now?

You tore the veil
You made a way
When You said that it is done

And when the earth fades
Falls from my eyes
And You stand before me
I know You love me
I know You love me

At the cross I bow my knee
Where your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now?

Late Night: Dylan and the Clancy Brothers

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Archbishop of Canterbury: Calls election of Glasspool "regrettable" and reiterates that there will be "implications and consequences" to the election

Rowan Williams calls the election of Bishop-elect Glasspool to the episcopacy as "regrettable" and that there will be "implications and consequences" for the decision of The Episcopal Church to elevate to the office a bishop a non-celibate homosexual woman, despite promises to show restraint and pleas from the Anglican Communion to not tear apart the fabric of the communion.
It is regrettable that the appeals from Anglican Communion bodies for continuing gracious restraint have not been heeded. Following the Los Angeles election in December the Archbishop made clear that the outcome of the consent process would have important implications for the Communion. The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion re-iterated these concerns in its December resolution which called for the existing moratoria to be upheld. Further consultation will now take place about the implications and consequences of this decision."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Game Over: Episcopal Church officially consents to make Glasspool a bishop of the Church

BREAKING NEWS: The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church office announced today that a majority of Episcopal diocesan bishops and diocesan Standing Committees consented to the consecration of Bishop-elect Mary Douglas Glasspool as a suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Despite pleas from the Archbishop of Canterbury and Anglican leaders throughout the world to exercise restraint, the Episcopal Church will go ahead and consecrate its second non-celibate homosexual bishop on May 15th.

The statements are starting to come in. Read the AAC statement here. Here is what Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said following Bishop-elect Mary Glasspool's election in December:

The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.

The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.

The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.

Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury

Episcopal Diocese of Central New York intends to sell vacant church building to Muslim Group

Yes, this is Matt and Anne Kennedy's church in Birmingham, NY that the Episcopal Diocese forced Matt and Anne Kennedy and their children and congregation to vacate on extremely short notice.

The Episcopal Diocese at the time told the court in its litigation against Church of the Good Shepherd that the parish was no longer using the property for the purposes for which its Episcopal ancestors had acquired and built it, and had spent money to maintain it over the years.

The property has remained vacant ever since. Now the diocese is intending to sell it to a Muslim group. Read more about it here.

Pope Benedict will visit England and Scotland and the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace

From here:

LONDON — Pope Benedict XVI will visit Scotland and England in September in a four-day visit combining preaching and diplomacy, Buckingham Palace announced Tuesday.

British officials described it as an unprecedented "papal visit with the status of a state visit," though some of the usual trappings laid on for a visiting head of state will not be offered to the pope. An earlier visit by Pope John Paul II in 1982 was a pastoral visit only.

During his visit Benedict plans to conduct a public mass in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park, where some 300,000 people swarmed a mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II during his pastoral visit in 1982. John Paul's visit was strictly to visit his flock — rather than as a head of a state — although he was received by the queen at Buckingham Palace.

In England, Benedict will preside at the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Coventry; in London he will give a speech to leaders of civil society, join leaders of other churches for an ecumenical service at Westminster Abbey and call on Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams at Lambeth Palace. He will not visit Wales, church officials said.

Further details of the papal itinerary will be released later.

"A defining feature of Pope Benedict's teaching has been to remind Europe of its Christian roots and culture and to give us guidance on the great moral issues of the day, and it is my hope that we'll open our hearts to his words," said Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, leader of Catholics in England and Wales, told reporters that he didn't know whether Benedict planned to address the issue of child sexual abuse within the church.

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy said the pope's visit would cost taxpayers about 15 million pounds ($22.5 million) in addition to police costs, which will come from existing budgets. Murphy contrasted that to the 19 million pounds cost of staging a one-day G-20 summit in London.

Newman's beatification marks the first time in Benedict's papacy that he has personally presided at the creation of a new saint.

Newman's journey from being a Church of England priest to becoming a prince of the Catholic Church has a particular relevance now, since Benedict has invited traditionalist Anglican clergy to join a special structure which would allow priests — including married men — to keep certain Church of England rites within the Catholic fold.

It remains to be seen how many Anglicans will accept the invitation.

Archbishop Williams, the spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans, welcomed the papal visit.

"The pope's visit will be an opportunity to cement ties not only between the Holy See and the United Kingdom but also the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian churches in Scotland, England and Wales," Williams said.

The Church of England and state churches in Scotland and Wales were created by King Henry VIII, who had been unable to gain the Vatican's consent to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

The breach led to violent suppression of Catholics, and then Anglicans when Henry's Catholic daughter, Queen Mary, succeeded to the throne.

Catholicism was vigorously rooted out in Scotland. The historian W.H. Murray has written that there were 39 Catholics and 43 anti-Catholic societies in Glasgow in 1798.

Sectarian passions were slow to cool; they live on, for instance, in the intense rivalry between Protestant supporters of Glasgow's Rangers FC soccer team and Catholic fans of Celtic FC.

Benedict's meeting with Queen Elizabeth II will be an encounter between two heads of state as well as two heads of churches.

The Vatican is a state, and the queen is the supreme governor of the Church of England. Catholics still are forbidden to ascend to the throne.

Britain did not resume official relations with the Vatican until 1914, and waited until 1982 to exchange ambassadors.

Read it all here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rowan Williams awarded top Russian honor

From here:

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has been awarded a top Russian honour recognising his love of the country and its literature.

Dr Williams, who has written a book on Dostoyevsky, received the Order of Friendship at a ceremony in London.

He was given a volume of his own poems translated into Russian. It was nearly blocked by a Moscow customs official who mistook it for explosives.

Dr Williams said he was "delighted and rather overwhelmed" by the award.

Read it all here.

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Dylan with the Dead, 1987. Dedicated to ML.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Episcopal Church prepares to walk away

But we'll see if the diocesan bishops hold back the tide. From here:

An openly gay priest has received more than the required majority of consents to be confirmed as bishop, the Diocese of Los Angeles reported Wednesday.

According to an unofficial tally, the Rev Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool has received 61 nods from standing committees in The Episcopal Church. Only 56 are required for confirmation.

"I give thanks for the Standing Commitees’ prompt action," said the Bishop of Los Angeles, J Jon Bruno. "I look forward to the final few consents to come in from the bishops in the next few days, and I give thanks for the fact that we as a church have taken a bold step for just action."

The presiding bishop's office has yet to verify the count.

Glasspool, who has been with her lesbian partner since 1988, was elected in December to the office of bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Consents to her election would make Glasspool the second openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church, after V Gene Robinson of New Hampshire whose consecration in 2003 caused uproar.

Dr Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion – of which The Episcopal Church is the US branch – had expressed concerns over Glasspool's election in light of the Communion-wide moratorium on the consecration of bishops living in a same-gender union.

Since the 2003 consecration of Robinson, relationships between The Episcopal Church and much of the Anglican Communion have been strained or in some cases, impaired. Just after Glasspool's election, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion called for "gracious restraint in respect of actions that endanger the unity" of the global body.

The Most Rev Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, said earlier that confirmation of Glasspool's election "will make clear beyond any doubt whatsoever that the TEC (The Episcopal Church) leadership has chosen to walk in a way which is contrary to Scripture and will continue to do so".

"This settled path that the TEC chooses is contrary to the expressed will of the majority of the Anglican Communion," he noted.

Despite the calls for restraint from Anglicans worldwide, Los Angeles Bishop Bruno has pushed for support for Glasspool.

"To not consent [Glasspool's election] in this country out of fear of the reaction elsewhere in the Anglican Communion is to capitulate to titular heads," Bruno commented earlier. "At our last General Convention, we said we are nondiscriminatory."

Last July, The Episcopal Church's highest legislative body adopted a resolution opening the ordination process to all baptised members, which would include practising homosexuals.

Pending completion of the consent process, the ordination and consecration of Glasspool is scheduled for May 15.

Read it all here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Late Night at the Cafe: Ave Maria

And don't forget to set those clocks forward by an hour in the United States!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Information Video that might come in handy ...

"If someone thing doesn't feel right, correct it ... otherwise you might focus on the problem rather than on the guests."

And remember, Chucky may need cleaning. More here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If it's Thursday, must be time for TEC to sue

Yes, The Episcopal Church has found someone new to sue. Feel the love. From here:

The Episcopal Diocese of the San Joaquin filed a lawsuit Thursday against St. Columba's -- a Fresno parish that joined dozens of other churches in seceding from the national Episcopal Church in 2007.

The diocese maintains that it and its bishop are the rightful owners of the various parish properties -- including real estate and cash -- within the diocese.

The diocese has filed similar lawsuits against at leat two other churches that also were part of the secession.

Read it all here.

Late Night at the Cafe: Country Roads

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Terrible, terrible news coming out of Nigeria tonight regarding slaughter of Christians

Ruth Gledhill has the scoop here. She quotes Ben Kawshi, simply one of the coolest people on the planet, as saying,"I think it is all Christians killed. The Muslims who were living with them in the villages I heard had left the village. We are hoping now that the government of Nigeria will see that we have a very, very big problem. The kind of cooperation that came into play - that could violate a curfew - that could take the law into their own hands - it is a very strong organisation."

Archbishop Kawshi then continued, "'I worry which village, which town, which area will be next. It affects me deeply. I do not like to see human life destroyed like this. God created life as life, He creates human beings to come into the world. I do not care what religion a person is, it is a matter of life. It is not right that life should be expended like this, for whatever reason."

At that moment, Ruth reports, he was so close to tears he couldn't continue. Please pray for Nigeria and for the Church.

You can also read more from the Barnabus Fund here.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The hour is getting late ...

Here is an excerpt from The Rt. Rev'd James Tengatenga's sermon in Dallas yesterday. Bishop Tengatenga, Bishop of Southern Malawi, is the President of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) who was elected to a six-year term at the last AAC meeting in May 2009. Bishop Tengatenga is a visiting Professor at the Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, TX. He was the keynote speaker at the Diocese of Dallas Special Convention. The following is an excerpt from his sermon, given yesterday in Dallas.
My brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion, we have a Gospel to proclaim! All authority is with Jesus Christ and he has charged us with a task. It may be that we believe that in our fractiousness we are doing it but I am convinced there is a better way. Fractiousness is about us and not about God. The Gospel is about God in Christ reconciling the world to himself and through the Holy Spirit empowering us to do the same. Fractiousness and entrenchment in our (as you say in Texas) “hidie hos” of orthodoxy or lack thereof isn’t. I am persuaded that we are in danger of derailing the mission of God in Christ by our behavior and contentiousness and thus doing the opposite of the charge given here in Matthew. The Gospel is at stake. Jesus Christ is at stake. It is not about us!

We are behaving as if “all authority has been given to us and our click” and Jesus no longer features. The mountains are beckoning for those who would rather run. Self-serving holding on to what is understood to be Anglican seems to be what gives comfort to others and for yet others it is political suaveness. Where is Jesus in all this? If only we can focus on Him who was and is and is to come, we may “have a Gospel to proclaim.” This may sound very naïve and too simplistic a solution to our complex struggle. But as Jesus prayed, “Thank you, O God for you have revealed these truths not to the wise but to the children and innocent!”

Back to the Elijah imagery – it was not in the thunder and fireworks that God spoke. Bob Dylan lends his wisdom:

“No reason to get excited” the thief he kindly spoke.
There are many here among us who feel life is but a joke
But you and I have been through that and this is not our fate.
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.

Time for our games is running out. In fact I believe it has run out already! It is time to focus on Jesus and turn to him in repentance saying, “Fighting within and fighting without but O Lamb of God, I come: I come.” Once we have our eyes on Jesus we can preach nothing less. “We have a Gospel to proclaim” and the Lord is with us even “to the end of the age.” “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you,” says he. It is not about you but about Jesus Christ and him crucified!
Tip of the Tinfoil to Doug.

The Diocese of Dallas held a Special Convention yesterday to vote on two resolutions, one concerning the endorsement of the Anglican Covenant and the other to disassociate from certain resolutions of the 76th Annual General Convention.

The first resolution was passed as amended and the second resolution passed as well.The second resolution was referred to the Special Convention by Diocesan Convention in October of 2009 and proposed a disassociation from certain resolutions of the 76th Annual General Convention. This resolution passed as well.

The first resolution "endorses,
," while the second resolution disassociates the diocese from "The 


The final resolutions passed by the Diocese of Dallas yesterday are here.

Night at the Cafe: The Times ...

From 1964 - he sounded like America then.

From 2010 - he sounds like America now.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Virginia Supreme Court sets the Episcopal Church/Diocese of Virginia appeal hearing date for April 12-16, 2010 in Richmond

The VA Supreme Court has now set April 12th through 16th as the hearing date for the The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia appeals of the ruling by Judge Bellows in our favor. The Circuit Court, under Judge Randy Bellows, ruled resoundingly in favor of the churches that voted overwhelmingly to separate from the Diocese of Virginia and remain in the Anglican Communion after following Bishop Peter James Lee's Special Committee's protocol written by the chancellor of the Diocese of Virginia as well as statute 57-9 of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

To read the Diocese of Virginia Protocol, click here. To read the Commonwealth of Virginia statute click here. To read Judge Bellows final ruling in favor of the Virginia parishes, click here.

Statement from the Virginia churches:
FAIRFAX, Va. (March 5, 2010) - On Wednesday, March 3, the Anglican District of Virginia was notified that oral arguments in the church property case brought by The Episcopal Church and Diocese of Virginia will be heard by the Virginia Supreme Court sometime during the week of April 12-16, 2010.

“Our parishioners have exercised their religious freedom by staying true to the Gospel, and have tried to do so in a way that avoided the need for government interference in our affairs. We continue to regret the necessity for defending ourselves in secular court, but remain fully prepared to do so and are confident in our legal position,” said Jim Oakes, Chairman of the Anglican District of Virginia.

“In the meantime, our doors continue to be open wide to all who want to worship with us. We are ready to put this litigation behind us so we can focus our time, money and effort on the work of the Gospel,” Oakes said.

All in ADV are encouraged to continue to be in prayer for the members of the Virginia Supreme Court as they review the briefs that have been filed in advance of the oral arguments.

“The Lord has blessed us time and time again throughout the litigation, but we must remain faithful in prayer not only for the members of the state Supreme Court, but for our own legal team while resting in the knowledge that ultimately He is in control and is ruling over the entire situation,” Oakes concluded.
Statement from the Diocese of Virginia:
The Supreme Court of Virginia has notified the Diocese it intends to hear arguments during the week of April 12-16, 2010 in the case The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia v. Truro Church, et al. The Diocese is challenging the constitutionality of Virginia's one-of-a-kind division statute (Va. Code § 57-9(A)) and the rulings of the Circuit Court, which allowed former Episcopalians to claim Episcopal Church property as their own.

"We welcome this news and the opportunity to appear before the Court a little more than a month from now," said Henry D.W. Burt, Secretary of the Diocese. "We believe this law is clearly unconstitutional and there is too much at stake - for all churches in Virginia - to let it remain in effect. 15 other churches, dioceses, judicatories and national denominations, both hierarchical and congregational in structure, have submitted briefs as amici curiae, or 'friends of the Court,' in support of the Diocese's position on the need to strike down the Division Statute. We are deeply grateful for their support."

Mr. Burt noted further, "For more than 200 years, the Episcopal Church has had the freedom to govern itself without government interference. We look to the Court to protect the religious freedoms upon which this Commonwealth and our nation were founded."

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Communion Governance: The Role and Future of the Historic Episcopate and the Anglican Communion Covenant

The "Communion Governance: The Role and Future of the Historic Episcopate and the Anglican Communion Covenant," by the Rev. Dr. Stephen Noll, Vice-Chancellor of Uganda Christian University has now been released.

Phil Ashey of the AAC writes that Dr. Noll's essay "is characterized by meticulous research into the history of Communion Governance, the history of the role of bishops meeting in council together at Lambeth and through the Primates' Meetings, the history of other Instruments of governance (such as the Anglican Consultative Council), and the relative merits of three different models of governance: pure autonomy, executive bureaucracy (with an enhanced role for the See of Canterbury), and the conciliar authority of bishops."

Phil Ashey goes on to give an overview of Dr. Noll's conclusions regarding the Anglican Communion Covenant:
  1. The conclusion of this essay is that the one matter of principle that cannot be abandoned without abandoning our particular catholic and Anglican heritage is the responsibility of the ordained and bishops in council in particular, to rule and adjudicate matters of Communion doctrine and discipline.

  2. If this is true, then the Lambeth Conference and the Primates' Meeting (with the Archbishop of Canterbury presiding as primus inter pares) must be seen as the primary organs to deal with articulation of the faith, as happened at Lambeth 1998, and with breaches of the faith, as has not happened since then.

  3. There must be only one track: those who adopt the Covenant are members of the Communion; those who do not adopt it are not. Bp. Mouneer Anis is right: when a sufficient number of Provinces have adopted the Covenant, the ACC and its Standing Committee should stand down and be constituted solely from Covenant-keeping Provinces. (pp. 48-49)

Dr. Noll states clearly what his findings are:

The method of the present essay is to review the failure of Communion governance, especially since 1998, and to ask whether the problem has to do with the persons in leadership or with the constitutional order itself. I shall argue that bishops-in-council - the Lambeth Conference and the Primates' Meeting - who are the guardians of Communion doctrine and discipline, have exercised uneven authority to date but are the proper instrument to restore order to the Communion. Finally, I ask whether the Anglican Communion Covenant can be an effective part of a reformation of Communion governance.

I describe the performance of the Global South bishops and Primates in Communion governance as a tide which has ebbed and flowed over recent years. In particular, they have risen to the occasion in crises at Lambeth 1998 and again in 2003 with the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson but then have seen their influence subside after the immediate crisis has passed. I argue that their diminished status may become permanent, with the most recent top-down reordering of Communion structures, unless they stand firm for a conciliar role under an effective Covenant" (page 2)

Read the entire essay here.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Holy Cow

Church of England Newspaper reports via e-mail:

Episcopalians should pay no heed to the views of conservative scholars and bishops, but should place their trust in her, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said this week.

Her remarks came as a new front opened in the Episcopal Church’s civil war over homosexuality, with the national Church sending out skirmishers for an impending legal assault against the traditionalist Bishop of South Carolina, the Rt. Rev Mark Lawrence.

On Feb 9 Bishop Lawrence announced he was postponing the diocese’s annual synod from March 4 to March 26 to permit him time to respond to the “unjust intrusion into the spiritual and jurisdictional affairs of this sovereign diocese of the Episcopal Church” by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

With his announcement he provided copies of letters showing that the former chancellor of the diocese, Thomas Tisdale, Jr., had written to the current chancellor Wade Logan III seeking copies of the minutes of all standing committee meetings held since he took office. He also wanted a copy of oaths of conformity given to the new clergy, and the parish by-laws and other documents from four parishes that have indicated they may quit the Episcopal Church. In the lawyers’ exchange, Tisdale, who styled himself “South Carolina counsel for the Episcopal Church” told Logan, that it was his understanding that Bishop Lawrence would not take any legal action in response to “recent and ongoing actions by some congregations in our diocese that threaten to ‘withdraw their parishes from the diocese and the Episcopal Church.”

Logan responded that no parishes had quit the diocese during Bishop Lawrence’s tenure, and that “the bishop, was the sovereign authority in this diocese. Logan added that “it seems transparent that the Episcopal Church is trying very hard to find a reason to involve either the bishop or the diocese, or perhaps both, in an adversarial situation.”

Following the July General Convention’s vote to end the moratorium on gay bishops and blessings, on Oct 24 the Diocese of South Carolina held a special meeting of synod that declared the moratorium votes “null and void” in South Carolina. The synod also authorized Bishop Lawrence to begin withdrawing the diocese from national Church bodies that approve “actions deemed contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this church has received them, until such bodies show a willingness to repent of such actions.”

A spokesman for the Presiding Bishop declined to comment on the South Carolina letters when questioned by The Church of Eng- land Newspaper, but at the meeting of the national Church’s Executive Council in Omaha, Nebraska on Feb 19, the Presiding Bishop addressed the issue.

According to reports, the Pre- siding Bishop told the Executive Council that Bishop Lawrence had delayed the South Carolina annual synod in response “supposedly to my incursions in South Carolina.”

“He’s telling the world that he is offended that I think it’s impor- tant that people who want to stay Episcopalians there have some representation on behalf of the larger church,” she said, and asked for prayers for the diocese.

Asked at a press conference held on Feb 22, what prayers should be offered for South Carolina, Bishop Jefferts Schori said she “would hope that Episcopalians in South Carolina have a clear understanding” of the church’s polity and “not rely upon erroneous information.”

The focus on South Carolina arose from pleas to her office from distressed members of the diocese. “My understanding is that Episcopalians in South Carolina are concerned about those who have departed and are attempting to keep the Episcopal Church’s property,” she said.

Asked by CEN whether she was referring to the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI) as the source of this “erroneous information” the presiding bishop said that “Episcopalians, like many others, often seek information from the internet. They are looking at sources that are not peer reviewed, or rely on opinions. The representations on the theology of the church as a whole are inaccurate.”

The President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church, Mrs. Bonnie Anderson added that there was an “influx of information coming from sources outside the official bodies” of the Episcopal Church.

“The national Church should be the source of information on the polity and structures of the Episcopal Church,” Mrs. Anderson said.