Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Three More Dioceses Complain About Bishop's Depositons

Three American dioceses have written to US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori asking her to revisit the deposition of Bishops John-David Schofield and William Cox by the House of Bishops last March, arguing the procedures used violated canon law and common justice.

The standing committees and diocesan boards—the governing bodies of American dioceses-of Central Florida, Northern Indiana and Springfield last month released independent letters raising concerns over the legality of the proceedings.

In a letter dated May 15, and published on its diocesan website on May 22, Central Florida voiced its “strong protest” to the “failure to follow the Canons” by the House of Bishops in the “recent depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox.”

Central Florida said the interpretation of the canons used to punish the two bishops did not conform to church law, citing with approval an analysis of the proceedings prepared by the Diocese of South Carolina, which along with the Diocese of Western Louisiana had earlier registered its formal protest to the proceedings. [article continues]

Read it all on George Conger's blog

Rebel bishop accuses Dr Rowan Williams over ‘apostasy’

June 23, 2008

The Archbishop of Nigeria accused the Western Church of apostasy last night and attacked the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for leading it into error.

Dr Peter Akinola told more than 1,000 conservative delegates at the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem: “We must rescue what is left of the Church from the error of the apostates.”

His comments added to the problems facing the Anglican Church as a result of innovations such as gay blessings and the consecration of an openly gay bishop in the United States.

Several of the bishops in the audience in Jerusalem last night are drawing up secret plans to form a “Church within a Church” in an attempt to counter Western liberalism and reform the Church from within.

Senior sources said that the most likely outcome of the divisions over homosexuality and Biblical authority was an international “Anglican Fellowship” that would provide a home and structure for orthodox Anglicans.

In an incendiary passage, Dr Akinola compared the Episcopal Church in the US and its liberals to those who enslaved Africans in the 19th century.

He continued: “Having survived the inhuman physical slavery of the 19th century, the political slavery called colonialism of the 20th century, the developing world economic enslavement, we cannot, we dare not, allow ourselves and the millions we represent to be kept in religious and spiritual dungeon.”

And he warned: “We will not abdicate our God-given responsibility and simply acquiesce to destructive modern cultural and political dictates.”

Addressing signs of disunity within the ranks of conservatives themselves, he accused the Archbishop of Canterbury and the US Church of a policy of “divide and rule” and said that they had used “money and other attractions to buy silence and compromise from some gullible African and Global South Church leaders”.

In a section of the prepared speech that was omitted from his delivery, Dr Akinola had also raised the issue of Dr Rowan Williams’s recent controversial speech on Islamic law.

He said: “In the face of global suspicion of the links of Islam with terrorism, Lambeth Palace is making misleading statements about the Islamic law — sharia — to the point that even secular leaders are now calling us to order. We can no longer trust where some of our Communion leaders are taking us.”

The speech was greeted with applause and whistles by the delegates, who included 300 bishops, about 200 of whom are boycotting the official Lambeth Conference organised by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Kent University next month.

The new fellowship for orthodox Anglicans would have a leadership of six or seven senior conservative bishops and archbishops, such as the Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Right Rev Bob Duncan, who chairs the US Common Cause partnership that acts as an umbrella for American conservatives, Archbishop Henry Orombi, Primate of Uganda, and the Church of England’s Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali.

The aim is not to split with the worldwide Anglican Communion, which counts 80 million members in 38 provinces, but to reform it from within.

Formal ties will be maintained with the Archbishop of Canterbury but fellowship members will consider themselves out of communion with provinces such as the US and Canada.

Members of the fellowship could attempt to opt out of the pastoral care of their diocesan bishop and seek oversight from a more conservative archbishop, either from their own country or abroad. [the article continues]

Read it all at TimesOnline

Report from GAFCON - Monday, June 23

The following is an abridged report from the Rev Canon Bill Gandenberger in Jerusalem:

The opening session began after dinner. Archbishop Kolini of Rwanda had the honor of introducing Archbishop Peter Akinola as the keynote speaker. ++Peter did a masterful job of outlining how GAFCON came into being – that it is a reaction to the downward slope of theology and morality within the Communion, primarily from the US and Canada. That we are not attempting to split the communion but instead to be a healing force for the continued life and vitality of the Anglican Communion. That statement, and some by other leaders, gives me hope for the Communion, but also frustrates efforts to create a true reformation of the establishment. We’ll have to wait to see what actually is produced here. It has been said by a number that this gathering must not be just another venue for another statement – almost all of the former being ignored by Lambeth, TEC, etc.

Yet the anticipation here is palpable and the enthusiasm contagious. Many of the pilgrims are housed at other hotels, some more than 20 minutes away, and still there are more people arriving each day. Even this evening Archbishop Greg and Sylvia Venables just arrived due to scheduling and other issues.

This Monday morning we started with a 6:30 breakfast and then went to board buses at the other tower. Our Bishop boarded the bus and was actually placed in the front seat beside the bus driver, a position I’d seen him in on our first tour of Israel. The other available seat was in the center of the rear seat, and I had the pleasure of sitting next to Bishop Peter Smith of AMiA and his wife, and an Nigerian Bishop and his wife. Bishop Chuck Murphy of AMiA, his wife and two daughters, were a few seats ahead. We struggling through heavy Monday morning traffic making our way to the top of the Mount of Olives. Our Israeli tour guide told us that along with approximately 1,000 of us, another group of 500 pilgrims from Russia were to be arriving at there that morning. As the second bus in line it was easier for +John-David to exit the bus and enter the cue heading down a slope towards our meeting place overlooking the whole ancient City of Jerusalem. The Bishops had been urged to bring rochets and shemere and Bill and I found a rock ledge which +John-David could rest against as he was vested. Luckily, we had been encouraged to purchase straw hats the night before, because the sun was extremely hot as we waited to organize for a number of pictures and he eagerly wore his hat (although it did sit tiny upon his head – one size does not fit all!).

We were organized with our backs to the city, while being entertained by the Nigerian Youth Praise Band and Fr. Greg Brewer of Good Shepherd, Paoli, Pennsylvania on the keyboard. That group has ministered to all our plenary sessions. A service from our GAFCON worship booklet was geared to praying for Jerusalem, the dioceses and congregations we had left behind, and those who had not yet been reconciled to God through Christ around the world. It was actually quite moving despite the crowd. Interestingly participants from CANA and AMiA helped lead the worship and were welcomed as equals by all the other jurisdictions present, something that Lambeth has not done. Perhaps that is one of the key victories of this whole event. Just as the Diocese of San Joaquin has been somewhat hidden within the Anglican Communion Office website and directories, our other Common Cause Partners are very present and recognized by the orthodox leaders around the globe. Numerous Diocesans made a point of coming over to our Bishop to acknowledge, congratulate, and enquire how we were progressing in our new found freedom from TEC. Our Bishop and Diocese are well known in the Communion, despite the efforts of the established Church.

Both a still photographer, and then a helicopter arrived to take shots of us. There were certainly numerous TV and news photographers there as well. We were disappointed that the copter seemed to stay so far away, but I believe Israeli air space restrictions may be the problem there. Some of us hoped to feel the wind from the rotors to cool us off, but that didn’t happen. Regardless, after the whole group was “shot”, they were asked to leave the bishops behind and retire until the Purple Pictures were taken. A separate picture for Archbishops only was supposed to be taken, but there was sufficient confusion and congeliality abounding that I don’t know if that was ever accomplished. Herding cats may be easier than directing such a gathering of bishops. I believe proofs will be available for sale tomorrow and I hope to purchase a few of them for display later.

That crowd was then to remove their vestments, and then join the other pilgrims to begin a walk down the Palm Sunday path to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations. We had already decided that we would take a cab back to the hotel instead. Bishop Schofield has been there at least six times and would not have been able to walk that distance anyway. It is a most gorgeous and glorious place to spend some time in contemplation, but surrounded by 1,000 of our pilgrims in addition to other tourists made it seem better to go back another time. Traffic to the hotel was extremely backed up, and for good reason as the French Prime Minister was in motorcade to or from the Knesset and many roads were blocked. Once we had the opportunity to see his vehicles pass by, surrounded by about 20 motorcycles and other security vehicles we had a quicker time getting to our hotel.

Lunch today was followed by the opening Eucharist. A grand procession of bishops took three full songs to accomplish, and then Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda was led to the pulpit. His luggage was somewhere else in the world, but he did have a suit to preach in. His accent is much easier to understand than Akinola and despite the after lunch drowsiness he was able to keep the vast majority enthralled with a sermon from John 5. The man at the Pool of Bethesda was asked if he wanted to get well. We were asked whether WE, the Church, wanted to get well. Since his sermon should be on I won’t go into the details of his message, but it was effective. The praise music was perfectly suited to the eucharist. Most meaningful for me was the use of the Kenyan Rite for this service. The congregational participation was so much more visible, and welcomed in this setting. I’d love to see this Rite used more commonly within our own congregations.

Frankly, after that service I felt jet lag kicking in and went up to close my eyes for just a bit prior to a presentation by Dr. Os Guinness, a presentation entitled “The Gospel and Secularism.”. I woke up a half hour after he finished, and hurried down to join the crowd. Our Bishop and others present thought it was outstanding and I do hope to be able to see it later on video.

Please keep us in your prayers. Pray that our efforts as a Diocese, and those of our Common Cause Partners, will produce both a structure for effective work for the Lord and formal recognition within the world-wide Anglican Communion. And pray for the effective use of this time for all the participants, as well as our delegation, here at GAFCON in Jerusalem. May we make a difference that translates to our home congregations as well as our Diocese and the surrounding territories.

More to come.

Yours faithfully,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bishop Schofield's letter to Bishop Lamb

The Diocese of San Joaquin: June 16, 2008

The Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb
P.O. Box 7606
Stockton, CA 95267

Re: St. Andrew's Anglican Mission

Dear Bishop Lamb:

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This will reply to your June 1, 2008, letter to Father Charles Threewit concerning St. Andrew's Anglican Mission in Taft, California.

Our records indicate that St. Andrew's Mission validly adopted Anglican bylaws on March 23, 2008. These bylaws cannot be amended without my consent (which was not requested and not given) and without a properly called meeting of the Bishop's Committee. Title to the Mission's real property is held by the Anglican Diocese Holding Corporation.

We do not have any first hand knowledge about the meeting you conducted where you say "an overwhelming majority vote" was recorded by those present to remain with the Episcopal Church. We do know that whatever meeting took place was not properly noticed and that a voting quorum of the Bishop's Committee was not present. Following your meeting, you apparently caused the locks on the Mission doors to be changed and you and your agents have taken physical possession of the building. These actions are all very irregular and, in my opinion, unlawful.

On top of it all, you apparently asked one of our priests who holds Anglican orders, Father Upton, to conduct services. Father Upton has asked my permission to conduct services on a temporary basis and I have granted his request to stabilize the situation for the time being. The Anglican contingent of the Mission can be ministered to by our three thriving Anglican parishes in Bakersfield until we can sort this matter out.

It is not our intention to rush back in and change the locks, as you have done, and cause further upheaval in this small mission. Our actions, however, are not to be construed as a waiver of any rights on our part. The civil courts and our ongoing investigation will ultimately settle the matter of title to the real and personal property of the Mission. To this end, it would be helpful if you would forward to us the minutes of the meeting you conducted so we can review them.

We will also permit your use of the Mission computer under the same reservation of rights and with your implicit agreement that it will remain at the Mission until a final decision is made by the courts or by our agreement. Father Threewit, the priest in charge, temporarily removed the computer because he suspected something was afoot but he did not know what it was. He thought it wise under the circumstances to remove the computer so its contents could be copied. That has been accomplished and we will make arrangements to get it back to the Mission.

While I in no way agree with or condone your actions, nevertheless, may the peace of God be with you

In Christ,

The Rt. Rev. John-David M. Schofield, SSC
Bishop of San Joaquin


Monday, June 16, 2008

Anglican Military Chaplains Form Bond

Paoli, Pa.--The peaceful grounds of Daylesford Abbey retreat center outside Philadelphia were the setting for an inaugural spiritual formation conference May 12-16 for traditional Anglican chaplains to the Armed Services.

Read it all.


Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of The Common Cause Partnership (CCP), appointed a "Collegiate Vicar" for The Association of Western Anglican Congregations. The decision was announced to the Western Anglicans House of Delegates meeting in Newport Beach today. As the Collegiate Vicar, The Rev. Bill Thompson, Rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Long Beach, California, will serve as an ambassadorial link between Western Anglicans -- a cluster of 21 orthodox Anglican congregations in Southern California and Arizona -- and the Common Cause Partnership (CCP).

Read it all.

TEC Seizes Property in Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin

Bishop Schofield is grieved by the aggressive and disturbing behavior exhibited by Bishop Lamb, his agents, and the leadership of the Episcopal Church in the USA. Despite having signed new by-laws in March 2008 declaring themselves an Anglican Mission of the Diocese of San Joaquin, and confirming that within a document sent to the Diocesan Chancellor from the Bishop’s Committee Clerk, we are informed that some eleven members of St. Andrew’s Mission, Taft, held an unpublicized meeting in late May with The Rev. Canon Mark Hall, Canon to the Ordinary for Bishop Jerry Lamb, wherein a majority apparently illegally voted to join the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Neither the Priest, nor the Wardens nor Bishop Schofield were advised of this meeting, and therefore the gathering, held on church property, was without the authority reserved to the Priest in Charge. We are told that the Jr. Warden discovered that the meeting was to take place only one hour prior to its occurrence.

Subsequent to that meeting the Junior Warden and Treasurer each resigned, although for differing reasons. Soon thereafter, a phone call was received by the Priest in Charge (appointed there by Bishop John-David Schofield many months earlier) from Canon Hall, informing him that his position was terminated at St. Andrew’s. That priest immediately notified Bishop Schofield of that conversation. Letters written by Bishop Lamb, dated June 1, 2008, were soon delivered to the Priest’s home and the Senior Warden’s home informing each that they were no longer appointed to their prior roles, and that Bishop Lamb had appointed new Wardens and an entirely new Bishop’s Committee. He also re-appointed the Treasurer who had resigned just days before despite the fact that this individual is no longer a member of St. Andrews having transferred her membership to the Diocese of Hawaii.

On June 4th Bishop John-David Schofield, Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, a recognized member Diocese of the Province of the Southern Cone of South America, was informed that some of the members above changed the locks on the doors without any court order, thereby seizing the property and preventing Anglican members from entering freely as they had been able to before. Additionally, we were to understand that Canon Hall was to preside at services held on that Sunday, June 8th, at the direction of his Episcopal Bishop.

Bishop Schofield is grieved by the aggressive and disturbing behavior exhibited by Bishop Lamb, his agents, and the leadership of the Episcopal Church in the USA. Established protocols exist within the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin to assist churches to rightly discern the mind of their members, yet none of these seem to have been considered and Bishop Lamb appeared to follow no protocol at all as he reached out to seize this Church. It might be considered abusive behavior that many of the members of St. Andrews received no knowledge of that meeting about to take place. This was not an informed congregation nor could an informed decision be made as, apparently, two strong personalities within their body manipulated the situation so that only those who could be counted upon for affirmation were notified of the meeting and called upon to vote accordingly. No Canons or By-Laws were followed to provide the congregation proper notification of a Parish Meeting (normally 30 days notice), to confirm the qualifications of those voting, minutes of said meeting, or any other ecclesiastical standards. While this is a very small congregation averaging only 18 in attendance on a Sunday (according to 2007 parochial reports submitted), it appears that a vote of 9 to 2 is not a simple majority of those qualified to vote, but only a majority who had the select knowledge and opportunity to be present at this secret meeting of church members.

On December 8, 2007, the people of the Diocese of San Joaquin exercised their democratic right reserved to them under their Constitution to withdraw from membership in the Episcopal Church and to realign with another province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Province of the Southern Cone. The vote of the people of the Diocese of San Joaquin at a duly noticed and convened Annual Convention was overwhelming; nearly 90 percent were in favor of the realignment. Special provision was made for those who disagreed with the majority’s decision: each parish in the Diocese was given an indefinite period of discernment and the option of staying with the Episcopal Church, and those who did so were permitted to keep all of their real and personal property with the blessings of the Diocese and its elected bishop of nineteen years, The Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield.

No decisions have been formally made concerning future actions of the Bishop, Standing Committee, or Diocesan Council regarding this matter. Many here rejoice in the graciousness of Bishop Schofield to the people and clergy who have determined to remain part of the Episcopal Church, and to those at St. Andrews Mission, noting the contrast of his behavior to the divisiveness of the appointed Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese who verbally claims to seek reconciliation while actions say otherwise. We mourn the fact that leaders within The Episcopal Church continue to behave in ways that cause damage to the Body of Christ by initiating ecclesiastical actions and litigation against Bishop Schofield and this Anglican Diocese, and proceed to further tear the fabric of the world-wide Anglican Communion.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Anglican dispute sees two rival bishops invited to Lambeth Conference

Monday, 9th June 2008. 5:05pm

By: George Conger.

Two bishops of San Joaquin have been invited to next month’s Lambeth Conference. The former Bishop of Northern California, the Rt Rev Jerry Lamb, announced last week that on May 27 he had received an invitation from the conference organizers to attend Lambeth 2008 as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
Anglican dispute sees two rival bishops invited to Lambeth Conference

“This a clear sign from the Anglican Communion that the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is the only Anglican diocese in all of inland Central California,” Bishop Lamb said on his diocesan website. “I received this invitation because I am your bishop and, therefore, entitled to attend the Lambeth Conference as the Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

However, Bishop John-David Schofield of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin has also been invited to Lambeth. “Bishop Schofield received and accepted his invitation to Lambeth shortly after the invitations were first issued,” Canon William Gandenberger told The Living Church magazine. The invitation has not been withdrawn, he noted.

A spokesman for the Conference confirmed to that Bishop Lamb had been invited to Lambeth. However the presence of two bishops of San Joaquin, may present problems of protocol and ecclesiology for Archbishop Rowan Williams.

Last October, Dr Williams wrote to Central Florida Bishop John W Howe reaffirming the traditional view that the diocese, not the national church or province, was the primary ecclesial entity within the Anglican Communion.

“The organ of union with the wider Church is the Bishop and the Diocese rather than the Provincial structure as such,” Dr Williams said. “The Bishop and the Diocese” were the “primary locus of ecclesial identity rather than the abstract reality of the ‘national church’,” he noted.

While US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori nominated Bishop Lamb to be interim bishop of the Episcopal diocese, and called a special convention to ratify his nomination, a growing number of US dioceses have issued formal protests against her actions, and do not recognize the appointment.

Bishop Schofield’s actions have further complicated matters. While he resigned his membership in the Episcopal House of Bishops, he did not resign his see --- transferring it and the diocese to the Province of the Southern Cone. Bishop Schori declined to recognize this transfer and sought to depose Bishop Schofield at a meeting of the House of Bishops this spring. The legality of this action is likely to be tested in the California courts.

This article is from Religious Intelligence

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin has fully complied with California State Law

The Diocese of San Joaquin: June 4, 2008
Fresno, California

The following facts are given to correct and clarify recently published misunderstandings and misstatements regarding legal claims against the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin

All actions taken by the Diocese of San Joaquin were authorized by its governing bodies, namely, its Standing Committee and its Diocesan Council, along with Bishop Schofield. These actions were done in complete compliance with California law and were done to secure the property until a California court can rule on the issue of ownership. One of these actions was to retitle accounts held at Merrill Lynch; assets were not moved from Merrill Lynch. The property in question is owned by the Diocese and its parishes and not the Episcopal Church. The Diocese expects a favorable ruling by the California court on the issues of property ownership.

The Diocese of San Joaquin is a California unincorporated association that is governed by the California Corporations Code and its own internal Constitution and Canons (akin to bylaws). The Diocese is a corporate person; a legal entity recognized by the civil courts. In California, an unincorporated association is governed by majority vote of its members. There is nothing in the governing documents of the Episcopal Church which forbade or limited the right of the Diocese of San Joaquin from withdrawing and taking its property with it.

On December 8, 2007, the people of the Diocese of San Joaquin exercised their democratic right reserved to them under their Constitution to withdraw from membership in the Episcopal Church and to realign with another province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Province of the Southern Cone. The vote of the people of the Diocese of San Joaquin at a duly noticed and convened Annual Convention was overwhelming; nearly 90 percent were in favor of the realignment. Special provision was made for those who disagreed with the majority’s decision: each parish in the Diocese was given the option of staying with the Episcopal Church and those who did were permitted to keep all of their real and personal property with the blessings of the Diocese and its bishop, The Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield. Ultimately, some seven parishes decided to stay with the Episcopal Church.

Unwilling to abide by the decision of the majority, the seven stay-behind parishes, in concert with the Episcopal Church, purported to hold their own “re-vote” to reverse the 90 percent majority decision of the Diocese and have filed papers proclaiming themselves to be the “true” or “real” Diocese of San Joaquin and seeking all of the diocese’s real and personal property. These assertions are not legally tenable.

Bishop Schofield remains a fully ordained bishop and is a member in good standing of the House of Bishops of the Province of the Southern Cone, a constituent member of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Furthermore, at least five dioceses within The Episcopal Church have rejected or questioned the legality of the Presiding Bishop’s actions in deposing Bishops Schofield and Cox.

Bishop Adams: Why some may say that the Episcopal Church is no longer a member of the Anglican Communion

June 2, 2008

A very interesting and disturbing phenomenon has occurred due to a reinterpretation of the Canons of the Episcopal Church. The decision was made to use a Canon formed to ease the transition for a priest to leave the Anglican Church (of which The Episcopal Church is a part) and go to another Apostolic faith community without trial or expenses, non-necessary paperwork and meetings, which a regular renunciation would have required.

A good Canon constructed to work as Christians together in one faith: when spiritual disciplines change and new callings and discernment lead us apart. But now that same Canon has been reinterpreted to mean that a bishop may depose a priest when they disagree or when that clergyperson sees that they can no longer remain in the Episcopal Church, but she/he may be called to another Anglican entity (Province, Church, Ministry) which shares, supposedly, the same faith and Holy Orders.

It has been used nearly 300 times in the past six years. The words have been reinterpreted to speak to a Bishop and his/her clergy instead of a Holy Order within the whole of the Anglican Communion. The interpretation now leans to saying that people are ordained to this Church (TEC) and not to the worldwide Communion.

This has been extended to bishops for the first time and now all pretence of investigation, trial, evidence and Anglican identity can be ignored to solve problems that should be dealt with pastorally. [the article continues]

Read the rest of the article at VirtueOnline.

Anglican Province in legal moves to admit others

Monday, 19th May 2008. 10:21am

By: George Conger.

The Province of the Southern Cone has begun work to amend its Constitution and Canons to permit parishes and dioceses outside of South America to affiliate with the church.
Anglican Province in legal moves to admit others

In an address to the Diocese of Fort Worth on May 3, Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of Argentina said his province had agreed to accept the diocese of San Joaquin into the South American church as a “pastoral” and interim response to the divisions within the US Episcopal Church. Work was now underway to alter the church’s constitution, removing language that limited membership to dioceses located in South America.

The “Anglican Communion in the United States has been hijacked,” Bishop Venables said, by a liberal clique that is less concerned with theological integrity than with power. They do not “mind what happens as long as they control it,” he said according to a report prepared by the diocese’s communications officer. Bishop Venables told Fort Worth that the question before them was “whether or not you can stand with a group of people who have denied that Jesus is the Son of God and that the Bible is the Word of God.”

He conceded that the invitation to the Diocese of San Joaquin made following its December decision to quit the Church and affiliate with the Southern Cone was irregular. However, “if we don’t do something,” he said, we would be “complicit” in their oppression.

Read the entire article here at Religious Intelligence

Monday, June 2, 2008

Re-Published Statement Regarding Lawsuits

Diocese of San Joaquin: April 25, 2008

Statement from the Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin to Clergy and Parishioners

To the clergy and parishioners of San Joaquin -

We recognize that the news of a lawsuit from the Presiding Bishop and the representatives of Remain Episcopal in Stockton may be unsettling. However, please be assured that we have been expecting this litigation and the contents contain no surprises. Please know that our legal team has been at work for some time. They are optimistic and remain unperturbed by The Episcopal Church's most recent action. What our legal counsel has accomplished on our behalf is already proving most helpful in defense of property and assets despite the fact that this preparatory work had to be done without the benefit of seeing what the Episcopal Church intended to do.

Furthermore, I want to remind you that in spite of the claims by The Episcopal Church, nothing in their current Constitution and Canons prohibits a diocese from leaving one province and moving to another. Also, just as we stood together for the sake of our witness to the Gospel at our Convention in December, so now will we continue to stand together for that same witness. I will continue to respond to those who disagree with us in a Christian and charitable manner and I trust that you will, as well.

Thank you for the trust that you have placed in me as your bishop and senior pastor, and know that I will continue to honor that trust with God's help.

Faithfully, yours in Christ,


Episcopal Church, San Joaquin diocese amend property dispute

Read it all.

Faith Today Interviews J.I. Packer

J.I. Packer has been described as one of the most important evangelical theologians of the late 20th century. In 2005 Time magazine dubbed him the “doctrinal Solomon” of Christian thinkers and named him one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in North America.

Dr. Packer is the Board of Governors Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, a school he has served for 28 years. Considered a Christian classic, Packer’s Knowing God (one of his more than 40 books), was released in 1973 and has sold over a million copies.

Today, J.I. Packer, 81, is embroiled in the same-sex blessing controversy rocking The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). Packer is honorary assistant in the largest congregation in the ACC, a church that voted to leave the ACC and realign with a more orthodox branch of the Anglican Communion based in South America.

In response, New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham sent Packer and other clergy a “notice of presumption of abandonment of the exercise of ministry.” Packer (JP) talked to Faith Today’s Karen Stiller (KS) a little about his life so far and what is to come.

Read it all.