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Breaking: Archbishop Gregory Venables on Canon Bill Atwood’s coming Consecration and Ministry

Thursday, June 14, 2007 • 9:32 pm

via email from George Conger+ of the Living Church. Thank you George+


From Archbishop Gregory Venables

I am extremely pleased that the Anglican Church of Kenya has named Canon Bill Atwood as a Bishop Suffragan. Bill has served as my chaplain and is therefore well known to me both as a colleague and a good friend. He is a Christian priest of character and faithful service. In the painful circumstances of the Anglican Communion I deeply appreciate the bonds which link many primates together. I welcome the prospect of congregations under my care and protection working more closely with those of Kenya and other provinces. In the absence of even a tiny indication of willingness from the Episcopal Church to address the crisis those who wish to remain orthodox within the US cannot be abandoned. Collaboration among Provinces working in the States and the Network is helping build a unified future for those who share the historic Biblical faith.

 


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Comments:

More news than we can all absorb. None-the-less, this was both amazing, gracious and lifesaving.
“In the absence of even a tiny indication of willingness from the Episcopal Church to address the crisis those who wish to remain orthodox within the US cannot be abandoned.”

[1] Posted by AngloTex on 06-14-2007 at 09:42 PM • top

Archbishop Gregory Venables has a wonderful way of hitting the nail on the head.  There’s committment in this statement;
In the absence of even a tiny indication of willingness from the Episcopal Church to address the crisis those who wish to remain orthodox within the US cannot be abandoned.
Thank you Archbishop Venables….we needed that…...

[2] Posted by Dee in Iowa on 06-14-2007 at 09:48 PM • top

It’s all coming together in a Bolt of God’s Lightning .....

[3] Posted by Anglican Observer on 06-14-2007 at 09:50 PM • top

The response of the Executive Council today provides us all with the framework we need to move ahead together. It is rare, given all of our rhetoric, mostly self-serving rhetoric, that a group can assert the necessity for working together and provide a framework for doing so. I hope Stand Firm in Faith, along with liberal blogsites can look past the difficulties to the challenges and the hope which God is providing. Check out a moderate response at:
http://www.episcopalmajority.blogspot.com

As an aside, I very much appreciate Matt’s and others’ attempts to provide the documents we all need for responding with our best to the call of God.

[4] Posted by TBWSF on 06-14-2007 at 09:54 PM • top

It is becoming self-evident that there is no solution that excludes Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Southern Cone.

[5] Posted by rob-roy on 06-14-2007 at 09:57 PM • top

I still don’t get it. How does consecrating Bill Atwood a Bishop any different from AMIA or CANA consecrations of TEC priests? It sounds like more of the same, even the primate support. Help me understand how a Kenyan consecration of a TEC priest to a Kenyan bishop differs from an AMIA or CANA consecration of a TEC priest to bishop. I want to understand, I just don’t. Chapie+

[6] Posted by Chapie+ on 06-14-2007 at 09:59 PM • top

The response of the Executive Council today provides us all with the framework we need to move ahead together.

Tom… you’re kidding, right?

[7] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-14-2007 at 10:03 PM • top

Tom, I’m sorry, but you don’t seem to have a clue about what’s going on within TEC, and what the reasserters really are saying.  You are apparently a strong institutionalist, and have chosen loyalty over voice or exit.  I have chosen voice, for now…

[8] Posted by Charles III on 06-14-2007 at 10:05 PM • top

While I could be wrong, I see that this consecration now provides us with the needed historic “three bishops” to hand on the Apostolic Succession within a new province recognized by the GS Primates and Churches. We have CANA and AMiA, and now the Kenyans. That gives the minimum of three orthodox Anglican Bishops to pass on the succsssion.

Hopefully there will be more, such as San Joachin, Fort Worth, QUincy, Pittsburg, but given the present realities this is good news. The only draw back would be if they cannot work together and then we will only see more fracturing of the orthodox.

Given the EC meeting today, and Rowan’s seeming unwillingness to stand by the Orthodox this may be the last hope of restructuring the Anglican witness in America.

[9] Posted by FrRick on 06-14-2007 at 10:09 PM • top

RE: “Check out a moderate response at:
http://www.episcopalmajority.blogspot.com”

LOL.  The website that purports to call itself the majority of the Episcopal church is in reality a teensy sliver of the very most left-wing portion of a liberal church.

I wonder if Tom actually believes that it is a “moderate” place . . . thus casting the 97% of the rest of the Episcopal church as the “right wing radical fundamentalists” . . . or if he knows how silly the word “moderate” is when it is in any way connected to the web site that purports to be the majority of the Episcopal church.

[10] Posted by Sarah on 06-14-2007 at 10:09 PM • top

What planet does TBWSF live on?  He has been drinking the Kool Aid.

[11] Posted by TraditionalOne on 06-14-2007 at 10:10 PM • top

Chapie+

I am speculating that the primates who want to help the orthodox want to present a strong front by having more provinces involved and then later congregations under different primates will be integrated into one group.  It would be easier for TEC or ABC to say that ONE primate or province working in the US was a renegade or whatever.  If many are working together, they are less likely to get overthrown.

[12] Posted by old lady on 06-14-2007 at 10:10 PM • top

Greg has long been a man of great intergrity and faith—I am thankful that under the leadership and courage of so many primates we have been given the opportunity to reestablsih the historic faith, particularly within the Anglican tradition, where our House of Bishops and Executive Council have other wise abandoned both us, the truth and the church.

[13] Posted by Don Armstrong on 06-14-2007 at 10:12 PM • top

More encouraging words from Archbishop Venables, a man of God under whose leadership I am blessed to be!  I am so very thankful for the steadfast faithfulness of “Bishop Greg” as they call him in Argentina.

[14] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 06-14-2007 at 10:13 PM • top

Charles, Tom has a long history here.  He has a clue; it’s just not one that most of us can, in good conscience, take. 

Greg, I think Tom truly delights in stirring the pot with purposively inflammatory ‘moderation.’  A little rhetorical sleight-of-hand and the theological ground shifts, making principled reasserter dissent seem—oh, such bad form, like a gentleman’s misunderstanding.

Sorry, Tom, ain’t gonna work this time.

[15] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 06-14-2007 at 10:14 PM • top

Collaboration among Provinces working in the States and the Network is helping build a unified future for those who share the historic Biblical faith.

Unity among these Primates is important and sends an ominous message to the reappraisers who have been predicting just the opposite.  God is at work.

[16] Posted by Jerry C. on 06-14-2007 at 10:15 PM • top

[Note to all - it’s probably a good idea to remember that “Greg” and “+Greg” are two very different people smile ... Fr. Don definitely means “plus Greg”]

[17] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-14-2007 at 10:17 PM • top

Regarding Tom Woodward’s post:  “Moderate   response”???!!!!!  All should be aware that Tom co-authored the article.  Shameless plug

Yesterday we were interested in how Jake’s site was handling this…it took all of 2 minutes to remind us L2 that the orthodox could give in until the cows come home (and they are sleeping now in our pasture!) and it still won’t be enough for reappraisers.  If you haven’t read through a thread over there, you really need to, if only once to “experience” the reappraiser side.  It’s eye-opening.

[18] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 06-14-2007 at 10:20 PM • top

I still don’t get it. How does consecrating Bill Atwood a Bishop any different from AMiA or CANA consecrations of TEC priests?

Honestly, I don’t know. However there is something different about this man. He is listed on the ACN website in an odd spot as if bishop over all APO parishes not in Common Cause and everyone seems to have great praise for this man, more than celebrated +Murphy and +Minns put together. I’m out of the loop to know why so many seems pleased, but Kenya is not hyping him, these accolades are coming from all over.

Proverbs 27:2 is a reality here!!

[19] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-14-2007 at 10:28 PM • top

Tom

You give us family counsellor language when we need the Gospel. You assert that TEC is behaving like the adult in a dysfunctional situation when they are in reality the rebellious adolescent. You call for tolerance and acceptance when what is needed is discipline and mutual submission.

Even without formal training in logic or rhetoric, I can recognize many of the devices used over the years in political speeches to make one side seem more reasonable than their opponents. The sad part is that this is a club with rules; rules that the Executive Council and the majority of the House of Bishops have abrogated by commission or, more usual, omission. When the other members of the club have called you on it, the usual response has been a very adolescent “you don’t understand me” or “it’s not fair” or “you’re mean to me”.

The Anglican Covenant is coming. When your side grows up and is able to understand what a promise is and how to keep it, please reapply for membership.

[20] Posted by Bill in Ottawa on 06-14-2007 at 10:34 PM • top

However there is something different about this man. He is listed on the ACN website in an odd spot as if bishop over all APO parishes not in Common Cause and everyone seems to have great praise for this man, more than celebrated +Murphy and +Minns put together. I’m out of the loop to know why so many seems pleased, but Kenya is not hyping him, these accolades are coming from all over. 

Hosea6:6, I heard Atwood preach yesterday for the first time and based on that and the word of those who have known and worked with him, I believe he is bishop material.  He is solidly evangelical, experienced, and mature in his faith.  His sermon yesterday at Bishop Jecko’s memorial service was personable and inspired by the Holy Spirit.  He told us that he had to keep in mind that he wasn’t in Africa (where preaching is timed in hours not minutes!) so he’d try to keep it brief, but I could’ve listened to him for quite a while longer.  He had some good stories about dear Bishop Steve and was able to tie it all together with the Scriptures chosen for the occasion.  Insight.  Application.  Basic salvation message woven within—just as I’d like to have at my own funeral someday!

[21] Posted by Jill C. on 06-14-2007 at 10:52 PM • top

I havent had a chance to say this before so now is my opportunity.

I am proud and honored to have this man as the primate caring for my parish. Thank You, Archbishop Venables! You are a God-send to us.

I think I probably speak for all those under the care of the GS Primates.

[22] Posted by StayinAnglican on 06-14-2007 at 10:59 PM • top

Chapie,
You are right that the consecration of another Suffragan Bishop by the GS is nothing new. But what is new are the statements speaking of coordination, of a plan. Check out the announcement from Kenya again. This paired with public united support of all the big players in the GS (plus Ft Worth) using much of the same encouraging language is what is news about the announcement to me. They are taking action in concert to protect the faithful. They are also talking about cooperation between these new entities and using other language that makes it clear that this sort of splintering will not simply continue unabated.

The plan is protection now and unity later ASAP. I also think that the suggestion that they are all doing the same thing so that noone gets branded as a renegade sounds probable They are speaking as plainly as they can, probably, without giving the game away. Their intention is encouragement, and I am indeed encouraged.

[23] Posted by StayinAnglican on 06-14-2007 at 11:13 PM • top

Compare the Godly grace of this remarkable Bishop Greg Venables who has given pastoral care to our San Joaquin Diocese since our convention to the venal jackal Stacy Sauls who drools over our properties and exerts ownership logic not unlike Hitler’s lust over the Sudetenland. Easy worship choice for my family.

[24] Posted by Intercessor on 06-14-2007 at 11:18 PM • top

I can’t wait to hear/read what ++Gomez and the ACI crew have to say about this.

It genuinely appears as if at least some of the GS primates are preparing to recognize a new province.  Will ++Gomez be on board?  Or will this represent as divide in the GS?

All of this turns up the pressure on ++Cantuar.  Will he be content to let a large chunk of the Communion break off and form an alternative Anglican Communion structure?  Or will he support a move to recognize a new province?

His past behavior leads me to only one conclusion: he will never acknowledge a new north American province.  Period.  Is that a decision the ACI & ++Gomez is happy to live with?  It may be their lot.

[25] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 06-14-2007 at 11:22 PM • top

Early in this string someone surmised that The Episcopal Majority represents only 3% of The Episcopal Church. That is odd, given the large number of bishops, lay and priestly leaders of the church who are signed on members. We hear from many conservatives as well as liberals—but the heart of who read and respond are from the middle.

Has anyone at Stand Firm figured out how Kenya and other provinces are going to pay the salaries of those they are consecrating—and how to pay for housing the congregational members who leave TEC for such oversight?  Except in California, the right has not been able to take or keep property and there is no reason to doubt that the trend will continue.

Of course, money should not be a factor in making a decision about one’s future in the church, but there are a lot of strikes against doing so—including no property, no deep pockets for bishops and administrative costs (other than the Institute for Religion and Democracy), Church Pension Fund penalties which have always been in place for clergy who leave TEC for other denominations, the drastic reduction in deployment opportunities, the likelihood that CANA, AMiA and the Kenya scheme will always remain outside the Anglican Communion.

I have many friends among those who are leaving TEC and I hate to see the mess they are getting themselves into—who is doing the strategic planning around all this? Or is it a matter of “We’re right so God will take care of us?”

[26] Posted by TBWSF on 06-14-2007 at 11:28 PM • top

There is strength in numbers and the numbers are growing.  It is an army with some able generals. However, eventually there should be some overall centralized leadership.  Having grown up in the Corporate world, I lean toward a structure that has led to the overwhelming success of American industry i.e, the company(Church) with Divisions(Dioceses) with their Vice Presidents (ArchBishops) and Department heads (Bishops/Clergy) reporting to a CEO                 ( PrimeArchbishop), but with all the foregoing reporting to a Board of Directors with a Chairman who set and enforce policy and overall business planning. The RC model approaches this but obviously does not prevent abuses, just as there are bad companies. There is no perfect format.  Companies are not democracies although the more progressive ones do welcome employee and consumer input. Some companies have their own training center where new management is prepped for the job ahead to further company goals and not their competitors.  The Anglican orthodox need orthodox seminaries that don’t teach mythology.
I can forsee the global south and its spiritual allies, wherever, forming their own communion based on Anglican orthodox principles in the model described above. 
Again, there is strength in numbers but they do need organizational discipline.

[27] Posted by FrankV on 06-14-2007 at 11:29 PM • top

TBWSF: 
If you love God and seek the truth, He will send the Holy Spirit to affect the course of events unfolding for believers.  That is why I say there is strength in numbers.  Do we stick with and support heresy just to be safe and comfortable?  Not in my church. Have some faith my friend.

[28] Posted by FrankV on 06-14-2007 at 11:50 PM • top

no property, no deep pockets for bishops and administrative costs (other than the Institute for Religion and Democracy), Church Pension Fund penalties which have always been in place for clergy who leave TEC for other denominations, the drastic reduction in deployment opportunities

“All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.

[29] Posted by allergic_to_fudge on 06-15-2007 at 01:16 AM • top

I think the commenatrix’s hammer should come down on the “Rev.” Thomas B. Woodward with the “this is your only warning.” His off-topic posting was an immoral, duplicitous, mendacious siren call to dupe people to peruse his essay, which unfortunately I fell for. Filled with bad is now called good, immaturity is now maturity, etc. Shame Mr. Woodward. Shame.

[30] Posted by rob-roy on 06-15-2007 at 02:46 AM • top

TBWSF - Satan often whispers in our ears “You can’t do this” or “it wouldn’t be prudent to do that.” 

God whispers “take up your cross and follow me.”

Peter and the other 10 Apostles were unlikely candidates to change the World and challenge the Roman Empire, but they succeeded (through the work of the Holy Spirit).

Athanasius was exiled at least 5 times, but he succeeded in keeping the Church Trinitarian.

Francis challenged the mindset of his day and reformed the Church.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I trust God and I trust the leaders of the Network and men like +Akinola, +Orombi, +Nzimbi, and +Venables not because of their personal qualities, but because they are continuing in the Apostles teaching and fellowship, the breaking of the bread and the prayers.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

[31] Posted by Philip Snyder on 06-15-2007 at 02:47 AM • top

You break the geographical province link now and allow more than one province in North America, and the outcome could be requests for multiple provinces elsewhere and the effective creation of two churches - hardly a sustainable situation
You throw out the liberals in America and Canada, but what about the liberals elsewhere including within the CofE - the ABC is hardly going to want to alienate them
You do nothing and some leave anyway
Either option will produce schism, so if its going to happen, then why not sit down and plan for the inevitable?

[32] Posted by Merseymike on 06-15-2007 at 03:13 AM • top

I see the Seer of Santa Fe has weighed in with his usual preoccupation with Money and Daft Proposals Which No One Takes Seriously. I would like to say “Nice to see you again Woodward” but I cannot.  Of all of the Worthy Opponents, you are the one who most disturbs me. What happened to you? You are a priest.  Have you never had a glimmer of doubt that maybe you got all this stuff wrong? Never a little twinge that maybe you are doing great spiritual damage to some unsuspecting souls out there? Clever advancement of error does not lessen the responsibility for its ill effects. Anyway, this is all off thread, and I am aware that nothing said at this late stage in your spiritual formation is likely to have much of an impact, for which I am genuinely sorry.
There are great events happening which will shape the lives of millions of Anglicans. I have more interesting and fruitful things to do than muse over the differences between two old men. Later.

[33] Posted by teddy mak on 06-15-2007 at 04:24 AM • top

I think the commenatrix’s hammer should come down on the “Rev.” Thomas B. Woodward with the “this is your only warning.” His off-topic posting was an immoral, duplicitous, mendacious siren call to dupe people to peruse his essay, which unfortunately I fell for. Filled with bad is now called good, immaturity is now maturity, etc. Shame Mr. Woodward. Shame.

Shame, indeed.  Trying so hard to call holy what God has clearly said is sin.  Tom should be nominated for the Millstone of the Week award.  Luke 17:2

[34] Posted by hanks on 06-15-2007 at 06:25 AM • top

Tom’s last post in this thread reveals the true strategy…the institution holds the finncial club over the heads of those who would otherwise easily flee.  Unfortunately it works.
doug

[35] Posted by aacswfl1 on 06-15-2007 at 07:02 AM • top

In response to earlier questions about the significence of +Atwood, he has long standing and productive relationships with a number of Global South primates.  That and the statements that have come out make me think he has been chosen as a pointman for orthodox Anglican efforts in North American.

[36] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 06-15-2007 at 07:40 AM • top

I would be the last to trade material success for faithfulness to the Gospel. I asked no one to make that trade. I have many friends who are logged on to SFIF regularly and I am concerned about them and for them. I asked if there were provisions being made to protect your bishops and clergy. Jesus asked us to be “wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” Wisdom and foresight are not anti-gospel. It is odd that I am being told “Shame, shame” when asking about the welfare of those in your group I care about.

There are ways of addressing the issues I raised—a couple of your folks and I are working to find ways of addressing them and hope to have something out in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, it may feel good to rant, but it is probably more productive to look at the real and possible consequences of leaving TEC. I am not urging any SFIF person to stay—we both will probably be far better off without the other (I’m speaking institutionally). As Jesus Christ constitutes the church, we will never be completely cut off from one another.

[37] Posted by TBWSF on 06-15-2007 at 07:42 AM • top

You throw out the liberals in America and Canada, but what about the liberals elsewhere including within the CofE.

Trouble yourself not about this point.  We have studied the issue well, learning much from our worthy opponents, and are able to answer you in short: re-education and assimilation.  For those who respond well to the loving hand of the magisterium, there will be great,...shall we say, fellowship.  For those who do not, well, as I mentioned before, we have learned from our worthy opponents…bwaaahaahaahaaa.

wink

[38] Posted by tired on 06-15-2007 at 07:43 AM • top

Part of me wonders whether all the fuss over Atwood’s consecration may be because they are thinking of making him the Primate that unites AMiA, CANA, ACN, etc..  I personally would have thought that +Duncan would have been the first choice for that position, but maybe they wanted a new person that all groups could agree on.  This is just pure speculation…..

[39] Posted by Hindustaaniwalla Hatterr on 06-15-2007 at 07:56 AM • top

It is not about liberals and conservatives and dividing up our Communion.  It is about and only about one very small province who ignored everything the rest of the Communion said and its conventions and steamed off to do their own thing.  In doing so they broke their bonds with a large part of that Communion.  There is a process in place for them to come back into the fold and they have to respond by 30/9.

All the signs are that instead of applying the brake they are stamping down on the accelerator.

That is why the incursions have and apparently will continue.

Absolutely Mad!

[40] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-15-2007 at 07:56 AM • top

TBWSF: It is really not at all about money. I am confident these godly men would work for free and worship in the open fields if necessary.  You betray your own earthly concerns by your blather.

[41] Posted by An Anxious Anglican on 06-15-2007 at 07:58 AM • top

Or 9/30 to my cousins.

[42] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-15-2007 at 07:59 AM • top

This is very good news.

The ABC seems to think that he can allow TEC’s raging defiance to be excused, or at least papered over, and also keep the conservatives in the GS and elsewhere inside the Communion. The ABC will define victory to be a Lambeth conference that everybody attends even though TEC continues (and accelerates) its follies.

The most important action to take now is to make the ABC realize that he cannot attain that goal. The ABC must be persuaded that (1) the break up of the Communion is inevitable now; and (2) the only open issue is who will remain inside the Communion after it breaks up. The ABC cannot stop (1), but can influence (2). 

The primary significance of the decision to consecrate Canon Atwood is to be a blunt warning to the ABC that the GS will not allow TEC’s defiance to be excused or papered over. Implicitly, the Atwood consecration also indicates that if TEC attends Lambeth, the “Atwood group” will not. By my count, this makes five Provinces (Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone) that imply that if TEC attends Lambeth, they won’t. If we reasserters can force the ABC to choose between TEC and a big, perhaps growing portion of the GS, we will have moved the ABC onto ground favorable to us.

[43] Posted by Publius on 06-15-2007 at 08:00 AM • top

Has anyone at Stand Firm figured out how Kenya and other provinces are going to pay the salaries of those they are consecrating

Well it should be obvious by now, Tom - the IRD will be shipping huge chests full of unmarked bills to them. Duh.

[44] Posted by Greg Griffith on 06-15-2007 at 08:04 AM • top

Gee, one small province that broke ranks. Where was the uproar when we permitted remarriage after divorce? Isn’t SFIF working actively against that? Probably mean that you will have to kick out a good part of your leadership, lay and ordained. Now the prohibition of what David Roseberry and so many others have done is a gospel prohibition—in Jesus’ own words.  Are you going to allow Jackie and Susan to post here? That seems to be a clear violation, not of Leviticus but our own Scriptures.

The Global South has been wrong before - so have we. It’s probably good not to stick with stuff we’ve found it wrong (like prohibiting women from speaking in church)—it is OK to move ahead.

[45] Posted by TBWSF on 06-15-2007 at 08:06 AM • top

By the way The Enlitigating Church knows full well that its plans rely on following the course of Integrity.  They know that they are going to have to spend a lot of money in building their Chancellor’s lawyer partners into the world’s largest law firm.  They know that more congregations are likely to want to leave.

That is why they are concentrating on trying to control diocese and apply the thumbscrews to congregations to cough up more funds.  They need your property and money.

Ghandi realised that the way to freedom was to restrict the funds flowing into the Indian empire’s coffers.

Something to think about.  You and your fellows are funding all this.

[46] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-15-2007 at 08:07 AM • top

Where was the uproar when we permitted remarriage after divorce? Isn’t SFIF working actively against that?

Boy, Tom+ you really do need to check out SF more often. Last time I went of that kick I had quite a few join me. grin

Now I’m depressed you didn’t read all my wonder posts on the topic, they were beautiful, some of my best ...  hmmm

[47] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-15-2007 at 08:12 AM • top

Who is Susan?  GRRREEEEGGGGGG!

Tom,
Have you ever read one thread on Stand Firm that advocates divorce?  Or one that advocates a blessing for divorce?  How about obesity?  No?  Well, the day you see the Orthodox stand up and ask that these things be blessed by the Church, you be sure to let us know.  Until then we can only assume you are confused.  I guess you forgot about the New Covenant and all.

[48] Posted by JackieB on 06-15-2007 at 08:13 AM • top

The rules on property in TEC are really pretty clear—at least the courts have found so. TEC is proceeding on the assumption that the rules are the rules—no need for law suits or involvement of lawyers unless someone wants to leave the church and take the church’s property with them.

Do you know of Roman Catholic congregations where a good number of parishioners decide to become Episcopalian and then try to take the church property with them? They can cry “heresy,” “abomination” and all the other words, but that property stays with the diocese. It is no different here. The only ones driving up legal costs are those leaving and trying to take the church’s property into some other church group. The Constitution and Canons are available on line.

[49] Posted by TBWSF on 06-15-2007 at 08:35 AM • top

This Tom guy posts under false pretenses to draw people over to read his essay which states wrong is the new right, minority is majority, immaturity is maturity, etc. (if you are going to lie then lie big), and no remorse but smugness. Despicable behavior.

[50] Posted by robroy on 06-15-2007 at 08:37 AM • top

TBW-
Let’s get back to those EC resolutions you praised so highly on your blog.  From the ENS:
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_86899_ENG_HTM.htm

“The Council passed Resolution NAC023, reminding dioceses that they are required to “accede” to the Constitution and Canons, and declaring that any diocesan action that removes that accession from its constitution is “null and void.” That declaration, the resolution said, means that their constitutions “shall be as they were as if such amendments had not been passed.”
“Resolution NAC023 names the dioceses of Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, San Joaquin and Quincy….”
“Lexington Bishop Stacy Sauls, who helped to draft the resolution, said it was important to name the dioceses, in part because a judge in any future legal action connected with the dioceses’ actions might ask why the Church never made a statement against those constitutional changes.”

My own comment (from another thread):
In essence, they are planning to seize the property of those 4 dioceses should they indeed do something in concert with the Network and Common Cause, and they are hoping that this ex post facto resolution will give them more standing in court when they sue said dioceses.

Way to wage reconciliation there good buddy.  This is the work of your beloved executive council.  This is your idea of a how TEC “provides us all with the framework we need to move ahead together. ”  (quoted from your post above) Thanks, I can do without your framework, thank you very much.
TJ

[51] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-15-2007 at 08:37 AM • top

RE: “Early in this string someone surmised that The Episcopal Majority represents only 3% of The Episcopal Church. That is odd, given the large number of bishops, lay and priestly leaders of the church who are signed on members. We hear from many conservatives as well as liberals—but the heart of who read and respond are from the middle.”

OH . . . I think we’re all aware of the type of folks who have signed on to the website that purports to be in the majority of the Episcopal church.

Why?  Because this handy blogsite profiled quite a few of the members who purport to be moderate.  ; > )

It’s The Episcopal Majority expose website  and it is most gratifying.  It profiles, for instance, Lisa Fox, and . . . [drum roll] our beloved some-time commenter Tom Woodward.

Yep—thanks to the great people who did The Episcopal Majority expose website, we all know just how “moderate” the some 300 Episcopalians are who have signed on to the website that purports to be in the majority.  Read for yourself.  Are Lisa Fox and Tom Woodward adequate representations of “the majority” of Episcopalians?  ; > )

[52] Posted by Sarah on 06-15-2007 at 08:37 AM • top

Jackie asks off-topic: “How about obesity?”

God answers off-topic: Proverbs 28:25 (KJV)
He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

[53] Posted by Chazaq on 06-15-2007 at 08:39 AM • top

Tom,

Amazing that you would claim such clarity on the rules. The courts in California disagree with you. TEC has a perfect record, it has lost every case.

There was a dust up in the Catholic Church in England under Henry VIII. A bunch of Catholic Churches left over a disagreement of theology and kept the property, and even established their own Arch Bishop in Canterbury. Under your reasoning, I guess we need to give it all back, and become Catholic again.

[54] Posted by BillS on 06-15-2007 at 08:41 AM • top

I still don’t get it. How does consecrating Bill Atwood a Bishop any different from AMiA or CANA consecrations of TEC priests?

I wonder if the game plan of the primates isn’t to slowly consecrate a number of American bishops, all with different functions within groups (CANA AMiA, etc.) with the aim of developing a college of bishops here in the U.S.  Ultimately the goal is to release this Anglican college of bishops to function independently (but in communion) of the GS provinces that are nurturing and preparing them.

It wouldn’t surprise me to hear of another one, two, or maybe three, bishops beyond Canon Attwood to further develop the Anglican Province in North America.  I think, for example, that a Canadian Anglican bishop might be next.  Don’t forget that some of these ‘foreign’ primates oversee several countries within their province (Southern Cone, for one).  All of these actions would further legitimize the founding of the new province.  In addition this provides the necessary framework to bring together the disparate ‘splinter’ groups that have formed over the last fw decades.

I also think that the Network bishops have a different job.  Ultimately, they will perhaps/very likely/most certainly leave TEC (perhaps leaving their entire diocese, perhaps taking them with them).  But for now they have responsibilities to minister to, nurture and support their own congregations.

That is the comprehensive view that I suspect will unfold.  At some point the ABC will be faced with a choice.  Into the picture comes the possibility of schism.  I think it is unavoidable.  How can the GS possibly remain in a religious organization that includes provinces with such are moving further and further from scriptural beliefs?  They can’t, and the coming months or years will see the impossibility of avoiding schism grow.  It is already on us -or just about.

[55] Posted by Bill C on 06-15-2007 at 08:43 AM • top

Oh Tom,
I mean to add in my last post a comment about your own comment about finances.
Biblical history is replete with examples of organizations and individuals for whom the financial needs of their ministries have been met in one way or another by the Lord.  Bishops don’t need palaces.  American bishops don’t need to stay in expensive resorts or hotels.  Plenty of bishops (and priests) live within modest, humble means.  Many, many missions are carried out with absolutely minimal expenses.  I know that well.  Growing up in Peru, I knew godly men and women who ministered with means that most of us couldn’t even begin to contemplate.  And, I am just speaking of the present.  St. Francis began his ministry with bare skin.    red face
Bill

[56] Posted by Bill C on 06-15-2007 at 08:51 AM • top

Actually, Tom, the law of most states of the United States assumes, unless proven otherwise, that property belongs to the person named in the deed, or to their heirs or assigns.  Canon law of the church is 3rd in line after Federal and State statutes. Depending upon state laws, the diocese may or may not be deemed to be the assigned, based on various canons passed and the acceptance of those canons by the vestries or congregations of the church.  Now, for any church built after the 1970’s, TEC has a pretty firm claim.  For those built before 1970, the claim is less sure.  In the case of the Falls Church, which organization predates the foundation of the Episcopal Church, you could actually construct a rational argument that Falls Church owns a substantial portion of the diocese of Virginia, and not the other way around.  If TEC isn’t careful, they will make their point too well, and end up ceding Trinity, Manhatten back to the bishop of London, from whom it was seized by act of war.
As to the Roman Catholic Church….well, as old as the Spanish missions are, I think I can catagorically state that there is no RC church or congregation in the Americas that predates the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church.  The Roman Church does from time to time make changes, but they have been remarkably consistent on marriage, the Nicene Creed, Incarnation, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the size of the box, and I am almost positive (Dr. Tighe please correct me if I am wrong) that they would certainly recind the orders, and possibly excommunicate, any priest who was an active member of an Islamic congregation.  So there is really no comparison to be made between the RC Church and ours in terms of hierarchy or consistency of doctrine.

[57] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-15-2007 at 09:01 AM • top

This has now become the thread about Tom rather than about the headline. He keeps injecting new stuff that keeps us from even discussing his original sinister line that the Exec has given *all of us* a beautiful peaceful framework for getting along.

I suggest that we have celebrated Venables’ encouraging statement adequately. Further discussion of Tom’s herrings will only encourage him to throw more in the path.

[58] Posted by Gator on 06-15-2007 at 09:01 AM • top

Pretty tough to stay on topic on this TBWSF-dedicated thread.

[59] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 06-15-2007 at 09:11 AM • top

Archbishop Gregory Venables is a very nice guy and tells it like it is, especially when his wife is not around to temper him (his words) and if he says Canon Bill Atwood is a great guy and will be a wonderful bishop, I’ll believe him (and the chorus of MANY others).

[60] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-15-2007 at 09:15 AM • top

I think Tom (who appears meanspirited for a priest - and if he thinks that article is from a moderate position he needs to tour the country - the part about reaffirming the “love for ourselves” I initially thought was satire) is widely optimistic about TEC’s legal strategy.  TEC is (or was) a church - a church needs the good will of the vast majoity of its members to survive - if TEC is forced to sue between 5-10 entire Dioceses to take property that was paid for by the parishoners and their ancestors - it will be nothing but bad press for years.  This will awaken the real Episcopal Majority which really isnt caught up in the debate of the last 30 years.  The liberal activists like Bruno, Shori, Interity and “Episcopal Majoirty”  think they can win this fight however big it gets- but when the squishy left say in La, Miss, Ala Ohio NC etc etc start screaming for a ceasefire because the Bishops there are tired of the chaos it is causing in their fiefdoms - a deal will get cut.  As a lawyer,  I know all too well that litigation is often a phyric victory. I have also read the Virgina staute and if all that is utimately needed is to show that TEC is dividing (which it is) - it should be a victory for the Anglican District of Virginia churches to keep their properties.  If Turo and Falls Church prevail - panic will ensue at 815 and in the HOB.

[61] Posted by chips on 06-15-2007 at 09:20 AM • top

Well, to combine both the on topic and off topic, I think ++Venables statement a much more accurate appraisal of the way forward than Mr. Woodward’s

In the absence of even a tiny indication of willingness from the Episcopal Church to address the crisis, those who wish to remain orthodox within the US cannot be abandoned. Collaboration among Provinces working in the States and the Network is helping build a unified future for those who share the historic Biblical faith.

The EC has blinders on.  And has clearly given up, regardless of rhetoric to the contrary, any pretense to commitment to the Communion.  We are blessed to have the good Bishops of the GS to aid us in repairing the damage we have allowed to happen in the Church here in the US.  And I personally repent of my own role in the disintegration of the Church- the role of one who sat idly by, even though he could clearly see what was happening.

[62] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-15-2007 at 09:21 AM • top

Sylvia says she doesn’t need to do any tempering and that she also thinks Bill+ is a great guy and will be a wonderful bishop.

[63] Posted by Gregory on 06-15-2007 at 09:21 AM • top

For clarity: when we pledge to a church and claim a tax deduction, then we have relinquished all interest in the ways the money is spent.

For clarity: no one is “taking property away from dioceses. Dioceses would not be dioceses unless they were established as such by the national church, with accession regrding property, etc.. Likewise parishes are such because they exist as part of the diocese, which exists only as part of the national church. Our canons are very clear about that—as is history.

The California cases have not gone up on appeal—around the country, the dissidents have not won any cases on property, have they?  Most States do not want to be involved in dealing with church/synagogue issues. New Mexico just turned down a move by right wing Presbyterians to change the State from a deferential State.

Interesting how the posters, above, believe that TEC is being unfaithful by holding on to the property that belongs to it—the language is the same, but it comes down to “If you were really a faithful, loving body you would give us whatever we want and leave those who are loyal to you with nothing.”

TJ:  dream on. The relationship of Falls Church to the national church was established when Virginia became a diocese. That has all been documented. You can’t become part of a church which is heirarchical and remain a congregationalist. Wishing does not make things true. I wish those who leave TEC well—may you find your new homes rich spiritually and may you find many ways of serving God in your new groupings. I don’t know many people in TEC who do not wish you well. We just don’t want you taking property that doesn’t belong to you and we will be glad when the unwarranted accusations of “heresy” and the like are over.

[64] Posted by TBWSF on 06-15-2007 at 09:53 AM • top

TBW- I did not mean to imply that TFC could make a legal argument to claim part of the diocese of Virginia, just a rational one.  I do however find it interesting that TEC maintains that it is a hierachy in matters of property, but not of doctrine (when, of course, it would be subject to the will of the broader communion).

[65] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-15-2007 at 10:13 AM • top

Commentatrix, a little help from this Tom “who appears meanspirited for a priest”?

[66] Posted by robroy on 06-15-2007 at 10:26 AM • top

For clarity: when we pledge to a church and claim a tax deduction, then we have relinquished all interest in the ways the money is spent.

And so the string of inanities from this author continues.

[67] Posted by Phil on 06-15-2007 at 10:29 AM • top

Reverend Tom,
It’s off thread but this baloney about the Episcopal majority is just more propaganda. The national church is run by political activists who have their own agendas. At every turn, the members in the pews have been disregarded. No secret ballot referenda have been conducted to determine an actual majority view.  In fact, in many churches, including some of the largest churches, clergy have used every device to prevent members from voting their views on the sanctity of marriage. The reason: the clergy know their direction is unpopular.
The consecration of Gene Robinson and all of its ramifications will never be put to a national plebiscite. The left knows the outcome in advance. But who can argue that this moment lacks sufficient gravity to go to every member, in a secret ballot, and seek their view? TEC is decaying, lawsuits are flying and threatened, schism is imminent. Yet few clergy and no national leaders are willing to even ask, what does the Episcopal Majority really believe and desire?

[68] Posted by AngloTex on 06-15-2007 at 10:34 AM • top

Do you know of Roman Catholic congregations where a good number of parishioners decide to become Episcopalian and then try to take the church property with them? They can cry “heresy,” “abomination” and all the other words, but that property stays with the diocese. It is no different here.

Actually, it is different here.  Roman Catholic dioceses hold title to their parishes - I mean real, legal title, not the fantasy-land title ECUSA thinks it holds by virtue of being the dictator of who may plant new churches in its imagined territory.

[69] Posted by Phil on 06-15-2007 at 10:34 AM • top

Another difference one can note in the RC and the ECUSA is that the RC actually uses Scriptural authority and recognizes it as the Word of God.  There was another thing—- what was that….. oh yeah, discipline.

[70] Posted by JackieB on 06-15-2007 at 10:38 AM • top

Dear TJ,
Thanks for your irenic response - I agree with you about the legal and rational claims by TFC.

Regarding the heirarchical position on doctrine—none of our provinces nor of our “instruments of unity” serve as an appeal court on doctrine. Our doctrine in TEC resides in several documents—which from time to time may contain some contradictions or differences in interpretation. We look to the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, etc. and we do our best to express the diversity within them and the limits they impose.

One of the ways of looking at our struggles now is in the context of the reformation of TEC—a recalling of the church to its call to holiness, both as a body and in its members. You and I may disagree about the content or shape of that holiness—but we certainly agree that such reformation is always critical for a church that lives in different cultures, each of which wants to subsume Christian morality into its own.

[71] Posted by TBWSF on 06-15-2007 at 10:39 AM • top

Mr. Woodward,
You are off-topic.  If you wish to continue commenting here you must remain on topic.  Warnings are a courtesy imposed at the direction of Mr. Griffith.  Take his gift and use it wisely.

[72] Posted by commenatrix on 06-15-2007 at 10:43 AM • top

Just a quick question about Tom Woodward, for anyone familiar with his personal history. Is he, perchance, any relation to Bob Woodward (you know, the one with the Washington Post)? Oh, well, maybe I am just noting a similarity in the degree to which both seem epistemologically challenged.

Blessings and regards,
Martial Artist

[73] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 06-15-2007 at 10:51 AM • top

We just don’t want you taking property that doesn’t belong to you

Why?  What are you going to do with it?

[74] Posted by CarolynP on 06-15-2007 at 11:24 AM • top

TEC . . . it’s all about the money. Follow the money.

[75] Posted by Laytone on 06-15-2007 at 11:41 AM • top

In response to the question just raised. I am the Tom Woodward who was endorsed by the Network for the Church Pension Fund and who was, for years, a frequent preacher at Nashotah House as well as an instructor there for short courses dealing with liturgy and the arts. Bob Woodward is not my relative.

[76] Posted by TBWSF on 06-15-2007 at 11:43 AM • top

One of the ways of looking at our struggles now is in the context of the reformation of TEC—a recalling of the church to its call to holiness, both as a body and in its members.

That’s the way I look at it.  Unfortunately, ECUSA is moving in the opposite direction, taking as it’s motto, “I am holy, so you be degenerate.”

[77] Posted by Phil on 06-15-2007 at 11:50 AM • top

Phil, you are better than that. One of the things that is happening around this country and in more and more other countries is that Christians are beginning to meet partnered gay and lesbian people whose lives mirror the spiritual aspects Paul notes in Romans and Galatians as marks of the Holy Spirit. Paul is pretty insistent that we cannot manufacture the Gifts of the Spirit. They are God-given.

Abomination is a very strong word. You use it mistakenly about gay and lesbian Christians absolutely devoted to Jesus Christ. I would use it incorrectly if I applied to your slur on a significant part of the Body of Christ, though other words come to mind.

[78] Posted by TBWSF on 06-15-2007 at 11:56 AM • top

Tom:  Yes, yes, I’ve heard your story before - anyone who has ever met nice gay and lesbian people can’t possibly see it as a sin.  Wrong.  That is a very narrow-minded view you are espousing.  I know and like many partnered homosexuals - nice people and some do nice things.  That doesn’t mean that they commit no sin.  Nor does it mean that the Church must suddenly declare that sin is not sin.

The good that these people do is IN SPITE of their sinful sexual relationship, not BECUASE of their sinful sexual relationship.

And another thing, Tom, how can you say with a straight face
“The response of the Executive Council today provides us all with the framework we need to move ahead together”?  I mean I can grant that you support the liberal agenda of TEC, but you really do need to stay within the world of reality.  It seems to me (as a GenXer) that the new liberal power base in TEC is comprised mostly of aging white liberals who are making increasingly absurd, self-pitying, and frankly, ridiculous comments that are very hard to take seriously anymore.

I look at official TEC and ask myself “would I follow them into battle?”  My clear answer is NOT!  They aren’t addressing reality, they have no real vision other then re-warmed 1960’s spritual pablum, and they are incredibily hypocritical talking “peace” but threatening and carrying out “war”.

Then I look to Orombi, Venables, Akinola, Duncan, Schofield and ask the same question?  And my answer is “YES!  These guys are solid, they talk sense, they address reality, they have a vision.”  I would trust these people with my spiritual well-being.

[79] Posted by jamesw on 06-15-2007 at 12:16 PM • top

The California cases have not gone up on appeal—around the country, the dissidents have not won any cases on property, have they?

So, TEC will continue to sue and sue and sue and spend money, and spend money and spend money, to break the Orthodox Churches/Diocese until they can claim the left overs.

TEC . . . it’s all about the money. Follow the money.

It sure is!
And I am most grateful and beyond thankful to the GS Primates and AB Veneables+ for his continued support of all the Orthodox faithful that have come to be kicked to the curb and to the courts in the liberal take over by the likes of KJS, Beers, Griswold, VGR, Spong, etc…. It is refreshing and encouraging to hear from these Godly men who have taken their priestly vows and obedience to God and His Word as His faithful servants to the Kingdom and the flocks they have been entrusted! They and all are in my prayers <><

[80] Posted by TLDillon on 06-15-2007 at 12:17 PM • top

I didn’t use the word “abomination,” Tom.  I said “degenerate”: immoral or corrupt.  As a practical matter, and within a Christian frame of reference, this is really unquestionable, as we have an institution that denies the centrality of the Gospel, offers no answers, only questions, and advises people the only doctrine not open to debate is the affirmation of the erotic.

What’s more, the Episcopal Church’s first, second, third and fourth priorities, to which all else is sacrificed, is the glorification of unfettered sexual gratification.  When we compare this to Our Lord who told us to deny ourselves and take up our cross, the thing really speaks for itself.

[81] Posted by Phil on 06-15-2007 at 12:22 PM • top

Actually, it is different here.  Roman Catholic dioceses hold title to their parishes - I mean real, legal title, not the fantasy-land title ECUSA thinks it holds by virtue of being the dictator of who may plant new churches in its imagined territory.

Phil is absolutely right.  The Roman Catholic parishes’ properties are owned by the diocese.  Furthermore, the money that is collected belongs to the diocese as well.  The diocese designates the pastor as the one responsible for paying the bills and maintaining the building.  For example, in my community the local RC parish was planning to remodel the kitchen in the rectory which was built around 1970.  The pastor asked parishioners to form a committee to decide how to remodel.  The pastor approved the recommendations that he wanted and modified the recommendations that he didn’t like.  The bottom line was that the pastor had the authority to do what he wanted to do regardless of what the parishioners thought.  There is no vestry in an RC managing the checkbook.  The rectory’s kitchen got stainless steel appliances and a Viking range.  Those are nice but it’s the hired woman who cooks that spends most of the time in the kitchen and the parish has three priests living there.  There was nothing scandalous but some folks grumbled about the pastor finding the money for this but not for other perceived needs.

[82] Posted by Piedmont on 06-15-2007 at 12:29 PM • top

Here! Here! Phil….Well said. And there is one more thing that seems to be of a dangerous hypocritical nature in one of Tom’s questions/statements:

Where was the uproar when we permitted remarriage after divorce?

I must ask the question…....Where was your uproar when the divorced VGR who is living with and considers himself married in a civil ceromony to another man (against scripture by the way) was consecrated bishop? Be careful where you throw stones Tom!

[83] Posted by TLDillon on 06-15-2007 at 12:31 PM • top

The Cavalry is coming, folks. The guys in the white hats are on their way.

Huzzah!!!!
& Amen

[84] Posted by StayinAnglican on 06-15-2007 at 12:42 PM • top

oops! meant to post in another thread.

All the same…....

[85] Posted by StayinAnglican on 06-15-2007 at 12:43 PM • top

Sylvia says she doesn’t need to do any tempering and that she also thinks Bill+ is a great guy and will be a wonderful bishop.

That’s because she was not at Plano-East Part 2 where this was told to us, also some bit about not having a watch and Sylvia not around to say when to quit tongue wink

I’m glad Bill+ has even more important endorsement!  grin

[86] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-15-2007 at 01:35 PM • top

Woz i @ Plano-East Part 2?

[87] Posted by Gregory on 06-15-2007 at 01:39 PM • top

++Venables spoke to us about importance of evangelism. Then you were at COA on Sunday (I didn’t make that one).

[88] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-15-2007 at 01:43 PM • top

There was a formal name (‘Surviving to Thriving’ maybe?) but Plano-East part 2 was the working title which is was commonly known by also.

[89] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-15-2007 at 01:45 PM • top

One of my clearest memories of Plano East was +Venables telling us all in his straight-talking style that he and the other orthodox GS primates would not abandon us.  We’ve been told the same thing by Archbishops Akinola, Orombi and Nzimbi—and now they are taking the actions to match their promises.  Thank God for such faithful and self-giving leaders.  There’s not one of them who wants anything out of this except our protection and the furtherance of the faith once delivered.

[90] Posted by hanks on 06-15-2007 at 01:47 PM • top

Right! I didn’t know the working title. Well nothing’s changed!
“The darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.”

[91] Posted by Gregory on 06-15-2007 at 01:53 PM • top

My clearest memory is the one about the visitor who wanted to know how to say Lord Archbishop in Espanol when kids on bicycles ride by and shout “hola Greg.” ¹ I’ll say you put in practice, for the night before you approach some scruffy long hair gentleman, startling him a bit but had a nice conversation with me until your car arrived.


¹(actually I think its ‘Chi Greg’ - unsure and enough difference in Guatemalan and El Salvadorian Espanol and unsure so writing the one I know (close to a slang I don’t want go there—translation for ‘pick ax’ can get you in trouble by differences in the dialects)).

[92] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-15-2007 at 02:01 PM • top

It’s “che” which in Argentine porteno (Italian port area) slang means the same as “oi you”, “‘ere mate” in East London or “Hey mack” or “Listen man.” Hence Che Guevara.

[93] Posted by Gregory on 06-15-2007 at 02:14 PM • top

I think that Carolyn P. asked Tom the right question.  What is TEC planning to do with all the empty (or worse, NEARLY empty) churches if all the orthodox and right-of-center-moderates walk out and leave them?  hmmm 

Tom, you are the one concerned with money.  Why does TEC WANT all these old buildings, many in poor repair or needing big budgets for upkeep?

I think it would be sad if TEC sold all the buildings where people have prayed over the years just to get the money.  Why not let people continue to pray in them rather than sell them?  Why not make equitable deals with the congregations so they can purchase their own churches at a reasonable cost?  Think of all the MONEY TEC could save by not filing law suits.  The only people who will win in these law suits are the lawyers.

[94] Posted by old lady on 06-15-2007 at 03:50 PM • top

Mucho gracias, señor.  Dios ta bendiga

[95] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-15-2007 at 03:53 PM • top

We are big fans of Sylvia here at Resurrection in Flower Mound, Texas.  In the spirit of our Argentinian connection, we have even named a tango after her. 

Archbishop Greg and Sylvia are a great blessing to us!  We pray how we can be a blessing to them and to our adopted diocese.  You see, Archbishop Greg has not shown the least interest in receiving money from us.  For him, this is not about picking up property (we left ours); neither is it about receiving our assessment (he merely asked us to give that money toward Christ’s mission).  His purpose is to provide spiritual sanctuary for those who can no longer remain a part of a withered branch of Christ’s Church and want to be about Kingdom ministry. 

Christ’s promise in Matthew 16:18 that “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against the Church implies that we are to be advancing and claiming territory in the name of our Lord.  Gates do not attack, they are to be stormed.  Through his ministry to us, Archbishop Greg has given us the freedom to advance in the name of our King without having to keep looking back over our shoulder to see how much of our own platoon has gone over to the enemy’s side.

Canon Atwood has been a friend for many years.  He has taught and ministered to us, leading us closer to our Lord.  The work he is doing across the globe for the cause of Christ, and in ministry to the poorest of the poor, goes far beyond the few things that find their way into printed reports.  It is a blessing that Canon Atwood’s apostolic ministry is being recognized and confirmed. 

Contrary to those who see this move as a continuing fragmentation of the orthodox, I am persuaded that it actually signals the beginning of a comprehensive plan to restore order and unity to Anglicans in the U.S.  This is not the unilateral action of one province, but is being done in consultation with a number of primates

I believe it is difficult for us in this country to understand the widsom, depth of personal sacrifice, and love for Christ and His Church that empower the ministry of many of the Global South primates.  Their spiritual integrity is the very reasons we can trust them.

[96] Posted by HLP on 06-15-2007 at 04:18 PM • top

Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Southern Cone!  It is reasonable to expect a couple of other African Provinces, and perhaps one or two non-African Provinces, to similarly express solidarity with these moves.  Look up the latest estimated Province membership and do the math!

The divide is forming, and at this stage only the ABC can prevent it by doing what he should have done from the beginning, using his authority to support the actions of the Primates, most recently and significantly the Communique, by not inviting the disobedient TEC Bishops to Lambeth until, and unless, they comply with the Communique, in total, by the Sept. 30 deadline.

My hope, actually my prayer, is that the Most Rev’d Drexel Gomez, a long-standing and faithful defender of the Faith, will reassess the changing landscape and add his name to those Primates supporting this consecration and refusing to attend Lambeth in a business as usual mode.

[97] Posted by Going Home on 06-15-2007 at 04:21 PM • top

Timothy,
Whether primates and their bishops attend Lambeth or not, I think “business as usual” is a thing of the past.  With the level of “co-operation” shown by the exeutive council, I would not be shocked to hear that a “highly placed official currently on sabbatical” may show more support for the position taken by these several primates than has previously been the case (at least in public).

[98] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-15-2007 at 04:42 PM • top

Paul notes in Romans and Galatians as marks of the Holy Spirit. Paul is pretty insistent that we cannot manufacture the Gifts of the Spirit. They are God-given.

Gifts, or marks?  And by ‘marks,’ I think you really mean to say ‘fruit’.  Let’s ask Paul:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”

Gal 5:22,23

Sounds pretty good so far.  Let’s examine the context a bit more (just for giggles), though:

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
  v 19-21
(emphasis mine)

Ouch!  Paul doesn’t seem to be favorably disposed towards sexual sin. 

...and in v 24:
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

I.e., crucified the works of the flesh. 

... and in v 25:
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

In other words, the text makes a clear disinction between walking in the Spirit and living in the Spirit.  It’s an indicative / imperitive structure:  Since God’s Elect have this new life in them, they ought to act like it. 

Your argument relies on ignoring this distinction:  ‘Gays and lesbians are nice people, so therefore they have new life within them.’

Paul would argue, ‘Gays and lesbians, if they have new life in them, ought to act as such, and cease and desist from all sinful homosexual activity.’

Our responsibility to observe the Law doesn’t stop with our being freed from the curse thereof.  On the contrary, our being freed from the curse of the Law becomes a basis for our obediance to it. 

Finally, I find more tyranny in your approach than in the so-called conservative approach.  You say that you know a lot of gays and lesbians that have the works of the Spirit.  Does it really follow, Tom, that if you can’t see the works of the Spirit in them, that they don’t have the life of the Spirit? 

From my point of view, I would always grant that someone involved in sexual activity outside of God’s covenant design, could in fact, be Elect.  I would deny however, that homosexual behavior is consistent with the fruit of the Spirit. 

The grand irony is, your approach to sanctification condemns (in the worst possible sense of the word ‘condemns’ ) homosexuals. 

And “mine” does not.

[99] Posted by J Eppinga on 06-15-2007 at 04:42 PM • top

Typo nightmare here:

I believe it is difficult for us in this country to understand the widsom, depth of personal sacrifice, and love for Christ and His Church that empower the ministry of many of the Global South primates.  Their spiritual integrity is the very reasons we can trust them.

Let’s make that wisdom and reason.

[100] Posted by HLP on 06-15-2007 at 04:47 PM • top

There seem to be several dimensions to discussions (recent and farther into the past) about the activities in the US of the GS primates:

1. Why is each of them taking action to help us?

2. Can the GS primates be in coordination or will they be in competition?

3. Are the GS primates saying “x”, but do they “really” intend “y” (“x” being the obvious issue of the moment, “y” being some sub rosa plan)?

I would submit that much of this discussion arises because we are so used to the extremely warped image of bishops we generally see in TEC.

We see bishops who seem to admit no higher authority than the institutions of TEC - although they in reality do not even consider themselves under that pseudo-authority.

We see bishops who use fine-sounding words - although bereft of the Gospel and the Lordship of Christ - then do not even act in alignment with their own fine-sounding words.

We see bishops who act as if territory and property is sacred and the flocks within the various parish facilities are irrelevant or labeled as rebels because they want to uphold scripture.

Here is what we are not used to:

Bishops and primates who hold the Lordship of Christ as sacred and of infinitely more importance than the Anglican instruments of unity, who know that they first vowed to follow Jesus before all else.

Bishops who do not seek territory, or property, but who seek to save souls and guide and guard flocks, bishops who believe that they are called to protect Christian congregations from harm.

Bishops (and primates) who can work in coordination to do the saving, guiding and guarding.

Bishops who at various times in in various places said they would not abandon us and are not abandoning us, bishops who believe that a person’s “yes” should be “yes”, and bishops whose own word is trustworthy.

Bishops who may have been slow to act against TEC’s erroneous behavior, mainly because they could not initially conceive that another bishop or primate would not be true to his or her word.

Bishops who are accustomed to aiding the spread of the Gospel, not merely in talking and institution-building.

These GS primates and the bishops they are inserting into the US are not perfect, but they know who is and they intend to follow him and protect those who are doing likewise, and they understand their calling and their vows and consider us to be part of the flock that needs protecting. That kind of behavior is a wonderful affirmation of what it means to live out the faith once received.

[101] Posted by Bill Cool on 06-15-2007 at 09:01 PM • top

Gregory Venables title is “presiding bishop”, not archbishop.

[102] Posted by Lapinbizarre on 06-16-2007 at 09:38 AM • top

I so agree with you, BillC.  Those of us who have resided in progressive-style diocese (whether we new it at the time or didn’t!), have no idea what we’ve been missing until we start to receive pastoral care from a Gospel-centered bishop.  When Bishop Bena arrived to care for the churches in the Anglican District of Virginia it was stunning.  I was at a meeting where we were discussing the latest news on the TEC lawsuits against us and noticed that as one of our chancellors was briefing, Bishop Bena was looking through his Bible and reading (stunning alone!).  Then, when it was time on the agenda to go to the next topic, Bishop Bena interrupted (can a bishop actually interrupt?) and suggested that we all go to prayer - but first he wanted to read a passage of scripture to us as encouragement.  It is painful to be sued by an institution we have loved, which includes the current bishop of Virginia, and we also need wisdom and discernment as we go through this process.  Bishop Bena recognized that our help is in the Lord and our encouragement comes from His Word.  So we listened to him read the passages and then he led us through an extended time of corporate prayer, encouraging others in the room to pray for one another.

When the meeting ended, I watched as Bishop Bena went around to the different folks who had gathered, coming from all over Virginia (it included both ADV and Diocese of VA folks) and spoke to each, checking in to see how they are all doing and he was one of the last to leave.  I was just completely stunned.

I can’t even imagine such a thing in the Diocese of Virginia in the past twenty years.  Bishop Bena led by serving his flock - it was amazing.  We didn’t even know what we were missing until we found it.

bb

[103] Posted by BabyBlue on 06-16-2007 at 01:05 PM • top

Atwood’s response to an inquiry as to why he turned from a strong proponent of an “inside” strategy to a leader among the “outside” group: “any strategic differences have just been overwhelmed by the state of things in the Episcopal Church and the need to move forward together.”

[104] Posted by Going Home on 06-17-2007 at 02:51 PM • top

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