Friday, February 29, 2008

BREAKING: JI Packer threatened with suspension

Author: Michael Daley

February 28, 2008

As evidence of the escalating crisis in the global Anglican Communion, today one of the of the world’s most esteemed Christian theologians, Dr. J.I. Packer, received a letter threatening suspension from ministry by the controversial Bishop of New Westminster, Michael Ingham. Bishop Ingham accused Dr. Packer, hailed by Time Magazine as the “doctrinal Solomon” of Christian thinkers, “to have abandoned the exercise of ministry” after the church where he is a member voted to separate from the diocese and join the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone under the oversight of Anglican Archbishop Gregory Venables. Dr. Packer, who was ordained in the Church of England, is the author of the Christian classic, “Knowing God,” and joined Billy Graham and Richard John Neuhaus as one of Time Magazine’s 25 most influential evangelicals in 2005.

Dr. Packer, who received his theological education at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, was ordained a deacon (1952) and priest (1953) in the Church of England. He was Assistant Curate of Harborne Heath in Birmingham 1952-54 and Lecturer at Tyndale Hall, Bristol 1955-61. He was Librarian of Latimer House, Oxford 1961-62 and Principal 1962-69. In 1970 he became Principal of Tyndale Hall, Bristol, and from 1971 until 1979 he was Associate Prinicipal of Trinity College, Bristol. In addition to his published works, he has served as general editor for the English Standard Version of the Bible. He currently serves as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

He will be 82 in July.

Original article here:

BREAKING: JI Packer threatened with suspension

Backing for San Joaquin as Church prepares for battle

February 28, 2008

By George Conger

The House of Bishops of the Church of the Province of Papua New Guinea has joined in a statement of support for the Bishop of San Joaquin, giving Bishop John-David Schofield their backing in his battle with the Episcopal Church.

The pledge of support comes amidst a hardening of positions over the breakaway diocese. The Episcopal Church has set aside £250,000 to confront Bishop Schofield in 2008, and will seek to bring him to trial at the March meeting of the House of Bishops, with an eye to deposing him from the ordained ministry.

On Jan 29 the Primate of New Guinea and his bishops endorsed a statement put forward on Jan 3 by Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker and the leaders of Forward in Faith UK and the evangelical Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Philip Jensen that saluted Bishop Schofield on “the courageous decision of the Diocesan Convention of San Joaquin to take leave of The Episcopal Church and to align with the Province of the Southern Cone.”

The 41 bishops stated that they wanted Bishop Schofield “and the world to know that in this decision for the faith once delivered to the saints, we stand with you and beside you.”

Read it all here:

Backing for San Joaquin as Church prepares for battle: CEN 2.29.08 p 5

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alexander’s Deposition of Arius and his companions, and Encyclical Letter on the subject.

Alexander’s Deposition of Arius and his companions, and Encyclical Letter on the subject.

[Introduction and Chapter I from St. Athanasius' Select Works and Letters]

Alexander, being assembled with his beloved brethren, the Presbyters and Deacons of Alexandria, and the Mareotis, greets them in the Lord.

"Although you have already subscribed to the letter I addressed to Arius and his fellows, exhorting them to renounce his impiety, and to submit themselves to the sound Catholic Faith, and have shewn your right-mindedness and agreement in the doctrines of the Catholic Church: yet forasmuch as I have written also to our fellow-ministers in every place concerning Arius and his fellows, and especially since some of you, as the Presbyters Chares and Pistus and the Deacons Serapion, Parammon, Zosimus, and Irenæus, have joined Arius and his fellows, and been content to suffer deposition with them, I thought it needful to assemble together you, the Clergy of the city, and to send for you the Clergy of the Mareotis, in order that you may learn what I am now writing, and may testify your agreement thereto, and give your concurrence in the deposition of Arius, Pistus, and their fellows. For it is desirable that you should be made acquainted with what I write, and that each of you should heartily embrace it, as though he had written it himself.

A Copy.

To his dearly beloved and most honoured fellow-ministers of the Catholic Church in every place, Alexander sends health in the Lord.

1. As there is one body (Eph. iv. 4.) of the Catholic Church, and a command is given us in the sacred Scriptures to preserve the bond of unity and peace, it is agreeable thereto that we should write and signify to one another whatever is done by each of us individually; so that whether one member suffer or rejoice, we may either suffer or rejoice with one another. Now there are gone forth in this diocese, at this time, certain lawless men, enemies of Christ, teaching an apostasy, which one may justly suspect and designate as a forerunner of Antichrist. I was desirous to pass such a matter by without notice, in the hope that perhaps the evil would spend itself among its supporters, and not extend to other places to defile the ears of the simple. But seeing that Eusebius, now of Nicomedia, who thinks that the government of the Church rests with him, because retribution has not come upon him for his desertion of Berytus, when he had cast an eye of desire on the Church of the Nicomedians, begins to support these apostates, and has taken upon him to write letters every where in their behalf, if by any means he may draw in certain ignorant persons to this most base and antichristian heresy; I am therefore constrained, knowing what is written in the law, no longer to hold my peace, but to make it known to you all; that you may understand who the apostates are, and the cavils which their heresy has adopted, and that, should Eusebius write to you, you may pay no attention to him, for he now desires by means of these men to exhibit anew his old malevolence, which has so long been concealed, pretending to write in their favour, while in truth it clearly appears, that he does it to forward his own interests."

Wanna Bet?

From The Times.

"More than a third of Britain’s most influential people think the Archbishop of Canterbury was “misguided” to suggest that some elements of Islamic law might be recognised in Britain. One in seven believes he should resign, according to a survey seen by The Times. But nearly one in three welcomes his views as part of the debate, and one in ten said he was right to speak out."

"Although Dr Williams could remain in office for another 13 years, until he is 70, the furore has prompted bookmakers to start taking bets on his successor. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, as 2-1 favourite, the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres, at 3-1 and the Bishop of Portsmouth, Dr Kenneth Stevenson, at 5-1."

Read it all.

William F. Buckley Jr. (1925-2008)

From the National Review Online
"I’m devastated to report that our dear friend, mentor, leader, and founder William F. Buckley Jr., died this morning in his study in Stamford, Connecticut.

He died while at work; if he had been given a choice on how to depart this world, I suspect that would have been exactly it. At home, still devoted to the war of ideas.

As you might expect, we’ll have much more to say here and in NR in the coming days and weeks and months. For now: Thank you, Bill. God bless you, now with your dear Pat. Our deepest condolences to Christopher and the rest of the Buckley family. And our fervent prayer that we continue to do WFB’s life’s work justice." by Kathryn Jean Lopez


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Anglican maneuvers

From the Christian Century

"The opening in July 1998 of the 13th Lambeth Conference of 800 bishops of the Anglican Communion was an exuberant celebration of multiculturalism, a Eucharist of rejoicing in the many tongues and the crackling fire of a new Pentecost.

But all was not as it seemed. The conference can now be seen as a momentous changing of the guard, when an unlikely coalition emerged, a coalition whose cocktail of scriptural ingenuousness and political sophistication has since come to dominate global Anglicanism."

Read it all.

Three more churches vote to leave Canadian church

"Three more Anglican congregations voted on Feb. 24 to leave the Anglican Church of Canada over theological disagreements, including homosexuality, and request oversight from a South American Anglican church."

Read it all.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Acquiescing to extremism is extremely dangerous by Kathleen Parker

"One doesn't have to be anti-Islam to be concerned as radical Islam clashes with modern Europe.
One does have to be blind - or in dangerous denial - not to be concerned that threats and violence from religionists, coupled with incremental accommodations and submissions by the soon-to-be formerly dominant culture, are leading to a darker age.
Is that the land of Mordor in the distance?
No, it's Denmark, where the cartoon controversy that caused Muslim outrage in 2005 continues to draw fire from the lunatic fringe."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bishop of Rochester reasserts 'no-go' claim

"The real danger to Britain today is the spiritual and moral vacuum that has occurred for the last 40 or 50 years. When you have such a vacuum something will fill it.

"If people are not given a fresh way of understanding what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a Christian-based society then something else may well take the place of all that we're used to and that could be Islam."

Read it all.

Breakaway churches face a new battle

"For 55 years, members of Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church have tithed their 10 percent, money that often went toward maintaining 12 acres of tree-lined church property.

Now they've been told that the church where generations have worshipped does not belong to them – but rather to the national denomination they believe has lost its biblical authority and want to cut ties with."

Sound familiar?

Read it all.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The State of the Diocese Given at Every Rural Deanery

Bishop John-David Schofield gave a ‘State of the Diocese’ presentation to the clergy and laity of the Delta Deanery last night.

He gave a historical analysis of the traditional movement within American Anglicanism and the steps that our Diocese has taken to preserve and promote traditional Christian teaching in our churches.

A timeline of +John-David and other North American Bishops’ attempt to find shelter in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, along with that Province’s request to not publicize any invitation until it could be formally ratified at their Provincial Synod on November 8, 2007, put the San Joaquin Diocesan Convention less than a month later into perspective. Therefore, the November invitation left the members of the diocese little opportunity to review and discuss the invitation prior to the December convention

Even though the Diocesan move to align with the Southern Cone was done with less than a month’s preparation, the overwhelming majority vote in favor of accepting the invitation highlighted the Convention’s desire for the spiritual covering of Archbishop Gregory Venables and his House of Bishops.

The Constitution and Canons of the Southern Cone were presented. Also, the Diocese of Fort Worth has utilized the time that San Joaquin was not afforded in order to make a careful analysis of the benefits of aligning with the Southern Cone, and Bishop John-David was grateful in being able to share that analysis with the people of San Joaquin.

Finally, the Bishop shared his grief and shock over movements in Anglicanism to deny Christ as the only way to the Father and the truth of Holy Scripture in its role to discipline and instruct the faithful.

A time for questions was given and the Bishop was met with the warm thanks and support of his clergy and people.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

AMiA Church Planting Initiative Launched

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Matthew 9:37, NIV

Dallas — Plans for an expansive, strategic church planting initiative were launched January 25, 2008 during the Anglican Mission in the Americas’ annual Winter Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Anglican Initiative for Mission (AIM) is a clear and comprehensive program with three distinct phases. Inspired by the Great Commission and challenged by the Anglican Mission’s vision, AIM’s mission is to:

Inspire and Call

Potential church planters will undergo a screening process to help assess their gifts and ability to implement an Anglican model of church leadership. The AIM team hosted a pre-Winter Conference 2008 workshop on “Essentials in Church Planting.”

Train and Equip

Individuals approved for the process will participate in an intensive eight-day training retreat at Christ Church Plano where they will learn best practices for fulfilling their mission.

The retreat will highlight key components for healthy, biblically-driven congregations: Worship, External focus, Discipleship Communications (branding, marketing, informing) Administration (buildings, grounds, vestry, and finance) Pastoral Care (provision and connecting relationally). In addition, participants will develop a mission plan.

Send and Support

Following the retreat, most candidates will be deployed to a residency internship program for one year to 18 months at an Anglican Mission congregation.

The Anglican Initiative for Mission was developed by three Anglican Mission clergymen in Texas who share a call and vision for facilitating exponential growth in the Austin-Dallas-Houston “triangle,” an area expected to boast a population of 22 million by the year 2020. The Rev. Matt Kessler, MESA Community Church, Austin; the Rev. Clark Lowenfield, HopePointe Church, The Woodlands; and the Rev. Canon David Roseberry, Christ Church Plano, form the board and will oversee the initiative. The Rev. Nancy Scammacca, MESA Community Church, serves as Acting Director of the Anglican Initiative for Mission.

“Some 23 years ago, I sensed a call to plant a church, but had no idea what that meant or how to get started,” said Canon Roseberry, now senior rector of the largest Anglican Mission congregation in the United States. “This initiative has been started in response to God’s call for us to reach the 130 million unchurched Americans and to provide a way to help young church planters learn the skills they need to successfully reach out to God’s harvest field.”

“The Anglican Mission has grown from a handful of churches in 2000 to 133 churches today with 62 more in process,” said the Rev. Canon Ellis E. Brust, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Anglican Mission. “As we follow the vision God has given us, the Anglican Initiative for Mission will help equip those who are called to plant churches to do so with excellence for His glory.”

AIM will be funded through Anglican Mission grants, residency support from sponsoring congregations and money raised by each potential church planter.

View the AIM video presentation to Winter Conference:

About the Anglican Mission

Established in 2000, the Anglican Mission is a missionary outreach of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda charged with building an alliance of congregations committed to gathering, planting and serving dynamic Anglican churches in North America. Rooted in the history and tradition of East Africa’s revival, the Anglican Mission understands its mission field to be the 130 million unchurched in the U.S. On average, the Anglican Mission has added one new church every three weeks since its formation and has 133 congregations to date as well as some 62 new works in process.

For more information on the Anglican Mission or Winter Conference 2008, visit the website at For more information about the Anglican Initiative for Mission, visit the website at

Anglican split could spread worldwide

Canadians will not be last to leave: Archbishop

Charles Lewis, National Post Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The battle taking place inside the Anglican Church of Canada is a microcosm of a larger problem that could see the worldwide Anglican Communion end in division, said the South American archbishop who has been taking dissident churches under his wing.

In the past week, seven Canadian parishes in five dioceses have split from the national church and have put themselves under the authority of Archbishop Gregory Venables, head of the Province of the Southern Cone, which encompasses parts of South America. This week, the Diocese of Niagara in Ontario said it will replace the clergy at its two churches that voted to separate and went on to say that breakaway parishes "are no longer considered officially Anglican." Two ministers in British Columbia have also been suspended.

ArchbishopVenables, speaking from Buenos Aires, said he is not happy about the potential for a global division, or what is happening in Canada, but he believes the worldwide Anglican Church has been on this course for more than 100 years, and he is becoming less hopeful for a resolution.

"It ends up you have two versions of Christianity," he said. "There are two positions that have moved apart over the last century: the Bible-based orthodox Christianity that goes back to the early years of the Church and a post-modern Christianity that believes everybody can find their own truth. And those two things cannot work together."

[the article continues]

Read the whole article here:

Anglican split could spread worldwide

On Following the Bishop

"See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out through their office the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is administered either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as where Christ is, there does all the heavenly host stand by, waiting upon Him as the Chief Captain of the Lord’s might, and the Governor of every intelligent nature. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize, or to offer, or to present sacrifice, or to celebrate a love-feast. But that which seems good to him, is also well-pleasing to God, that everything ye do may be secure and valid." St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, chp. VIII

Almighty God, may the multitude of the people of the San Joaquin gather around our Bishop, John-David, waiting upon him as our Chief Captain, being prepared to wage a Holy Battle for the sake of your Heavenly Kingdom, that your Name may be glorified by the Holy Spirit working through us, in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Seven More Join the Southern Cone

VANCOUVER — Seven Anglican congregations decided on the weekend to put themselves under the authority of a South American archbishop, as the Anglican Church of Canada disciplined two priests who supported their actions.

"The Anglican Church has changed," Marilyn Jacobson, a spokeswoman for the breakaway congregations, said yesterday in an interview after the votes.

"It is not the same church it used to be. It has moved away from Christian principles."

Last week, St. John's Shaughnessy Anglican Church in Vancouver was the first congregation to break away from the national church and place itself under Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Province of the Southern Cone. As many as 15 parishes are considering the move.

Threats by the Anglican Church of Canada in an attempt to dissuade the dissidents have proven futile, said Ms. Jacobson.

Read it all here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

GAFCON Response to Evangelical English Bishops

An Excerpt From the Church of Nigeria/Anglican Communion Website

To Bishop David James and colleagues


We have received your letter encouraging us to attend the Lambeth Conference with you.

We trust that we are united in faithful obedience to the Scriptures and also to the Anglican Formularies. We understand your desire to continue to support the efforts of the Archbishop of Canterbury. As GAFCON Bishops and primates, we share with you a commitment to the communion and its future. We ask you to understand that we have reached a different conclusion and request you to understand our decision.

We think it is important to let you know our reasons for not acceding to your request, and also to make them public since your letter is public. We have a number of concerns.

First, the Lambeth Conference is not a two hour seminar discussing a contentious issue. It is three weeks in which we bishops and our wives are called to share together our lives, our prayer, our bible study, our meals, our worship and the Lord's Supper, to be a family together.

You will know that some of us have not been able to take communion with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church since February 2005, - a period of about three years. The reason is that TEC took an action to consecrate Gene Robinson as Bishop in 2003 contrary to the resolution of the Lambeth Conference, an action of which they have not repented. The consecrators of Gene Robinson have all been invited to Lambeth, contrary to the statement of the Windsor Report (para 134) that members of the Episcopal Church should "consider in all conscience whether they should withdraw themselves from representative functions in the Anglican Communion".

You will know that some of those who objected to this consecration in the United States and have made arrangements for orthodox oversight from other provinces including ours have been charged with abandonment of communion. Their congregations have either forfeited or are being sued for their properties by the very bishops with whom you wish us to share Christian family fellowship for three weeks. . .

Read the rest of the article here:
[Read details]

Signed by the Archbishops of Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda & Southern Cone

Still a Bishop

Excerpt from

Still a Bishop by the Reverend Canon John Heidt, D.Phil., (Oxon)

. . . Every bishop's certificate of consecration begins with the awesome words: "To all the faithful in Christ Jesus throughout the world, greetings," and then proclaims to the world that a duly ordained priest has been ordained and consecrated "into the sacred office of a bishop in the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God," according to the prescribed order of the Episcopal Church and in conformity with its canons.

They are ordained in conformity with the canons of the Episcopal Church, but the authenticity of their orders does not depend upon those canons. The divisions within catholic Christendom must not trap us into believing that the Episcopal Church has absolute and universal authority either by constituting the whole church of God, or, by being a totally self-governing denomination. Our bishops ordain other bishops according to the rules of the Episcopal Church but they do so as apostolic representatives of the whole catholic church throughout the world. And those they ordain, though specifically authorized to function in the Episcopal Church, are likewise ordained bishops of that same catholic church. . . .

Read it all here:
Still a Bishop

Uganda to Boycott Anglican Meeting

Article from the AP - Uganda to Boycott Anglican Meeting

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Uganda's Anglican bishops will boycott a once-per-decade gathering of church leaders from around the world because of a fierce debate over homosexuality and scripture in the 77 million-member fellowship.

Splits between Anglican liberals and conservatives reached a crisis in 2003 when the U.S. Episcopal Church — the American wing of the global Anglican Communion — consecrated its first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson. Problems mounted in 2006 with the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori, who supports ordaining gays, as the first female leader of the U.S. church.

"We are not going for the Lambeth Conference," Aron Mwesigye, a spokesman for the Ugandan church, said Thursday — referring to the meetings scheduled July 16-Aug. 3 in England for all the bishops in the Anglican world. "The consecration of gay bishops in the USA is unacceptable."

Supporters of ordaining gays believe the Bible's social justice teachings take precedence over its view of sexuality. However, most Anglicans outside the U.S. believe gay relationships are sinful, and they are distancing themselves from the U.S. church.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the communion, has struggled to hold off one of the biggest meltdowns in Christianity in centuries, but he lacks any direct authority to force a compromise.

Whether Williams can persuade bishops to attend the Lambeth Conference will be a measure of the strength of the communion.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

St Andrew's Communique

An Anglican Covenant - St Andrew's Communique

The Covenant Design Group (CDG) held its second meeting at the Anglican Communion Offices, St. Andrew’s House, London, UK, between Monday, 28th January, and Saturday, 2nd February, 2008, under the chairmanship of the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the West Indies.

Read it all here:

St. John's Shaughnessy Joins So. Cone

News article from the Vancouver Sun:

Anglicans vote to split over same-sex blessings

Chantal Eustace
Vancouver Sun

Members of what is described as the largest congregation in the Anglican Church of Canada voted strongly Wednesday to split with Vancouver-area Bishop Michael Ingham over his support for same-sex blessings.

"It means that the community speaks with one mind," said St. John's Shaughnessy Anglican Church spokeswoman Lesley Bentley, after a preliminary count showed that out of 495 ballots cast, only 11 opposed the split and nine abstained.

"What it is is very uniting."

The vote means the church, which has more than 700 members, will break with Ingham and join with the conservative Anglican bishops of the Diocese of the Southern Cone, which includes Argentina and Paraguay.

It was a move that Ingham, who is out of the country this week, had earlier warned would be "schismatic."

He said if the church tries to operate under the authority of a South American Anglican bishop or anyone else, it will not be legally able to hold onto the church property.

Bentley said that despite a letter from the Anglican Church of Canada on Wednesday stating that if a parish decides to separate, property disputes will be costly, congregants are prepared to fight.

"We don't see why we should have to go," said Bentley, adding that churchgoers have been supporting the parish since 1932.

She said the church had a commitment from people to pay legal fees should they need to defend the property in court.

In Wednesday's letter, the archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada urged people to reconsider the idea of separating.

"In our Anglican tradition, individuals who choose to leave the Church over contentious issues cannot take property and other assets with them," wrote Archbishop Fred Hiltz.

"My hope is that no parish will take action that would compel parish or diocesan leaders to resolve property disputes in the civil courts. Such actions would not only be costly in terms of financial resources but also destructive of the witness of the Church in the world."

Among the people who flocked to the neo-Gothic church to cast their votes Wednesday night were Ken and Stella Ting.

"I think it's really important for us," said Ken Ting. "We don't want to be under the Bishop any longer. We think he is wrong."

The meeting was closed to the public and media. Voters had to sign in in order to even enter the church, located in Shaughnessy, one of the city's most affluent neighbourhoods.

Shortly before 10 p.m., Bentley emerged from the meeting to tell the media that only one person spoke out with concerns about the motion. Otherwise, she added, there was overwhelming support.

"We've been looking for a solution for almost six years now. People are looking to move on," said Bentley, describing the tone of the meeting as "serious but anticipatory."

The motion accepted an offer of a 'realignment,' meaning the church will operate under the authority of conservative Anglican bishops of the Diocese of the Southern Cone, which includes Argentina and Paraguay.

The diocese's representative, Rev. Peter Elliott, said in an interview before the vote that for most Anglicans, the same-sex issue is a secondary issue, not a primary one, and not one they would leave the church over. He noted St. John's Shaughnessy is only one of 80 Anglican churches in the Lower Mainland.

"The majority of Canadian Anglicans want to be part of a church that is inclusive and diverse and welcoming and committed to missions, you know, and don't want to spend a lot of our time on disputes within the church," said Elliott.

He said whatever the outcome of the vote, it is not legally possible for a parish to leave a diocese because "a parish is created by a diocese." He likened the idea to that of a B.C. municipality voting to become part of Alberta.

Anglican theologian James Packer, a member of the congregation, said the issue has caused divisions within St. John's Shaughnessy since 2002, when Ingham first supported same-sex blessings.

Speaking before the vote, he said he expected many people would support the motion because of a belief that same-sex blessings run counter to gospel teachings.

"The Bible rules out homosexual partnerships as outside God's will," said Packer, in an interview Wednesday afternoon. "In view of decisions made in previous years with regards to this issue, I would think there's a fair consensus on this issue."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On the Presbytery and the Bishop

From St. Ignatius of Antioch's First Epistle to the Ephesians:

"3 I do not give you orders as if I were somebody important. For even if I am a prisoner for the
Name, I have not yet reached Christian perfection. I am only beginning to be a disciple, so I address you as my fellow students. I needed your coaching in faith, encouragement, endurance, and patience. But since love forbids me to keep silent about you, I hasten to urge you to harmonize your actions with God's mind. For Jesus Christ—that life from which we can't be torn—is the Father's mind, as the bishops too, appointed the world over, reflect the mind of Jesus Christ.

4 Hence you should act in accord with the bishop's mind, as you surely do. Your presbytery, indeed, which deserves its name and is a credit to God, is as closely tied to the bishop as the strings to a harp. Wherefore your accord and harmonious love is a hymn to Jesus Christ. Yes, one and all, you should form yourselves into a choir, so that, in perfect harmony and taking your pitch from God, you may sing in unison and with one voice to the Father through Jesus Christ. Thus he will heed you, and by your good deeds he will recognize you are members of his Son. Therefore you need to abide in irreproachable unity if you really want to be God's members forever."

Sovereign Lord, look with favor upon the clergy of the Diocese of San Joaquin, driving far from us all thoughts and desires that are not in accord with your will; dress our wounds with your healing Holy Spirit that we may be re-bound to our Godly Bishop, John-David, as a Holy Instrument, through the intercessions of St. Ignatius and the blessed Ephesians and in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. AMEN.