Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Legal Analysis and Opinion on San Joaquin Lawsuit

A.S. Haley has provided a detailed analysis and update on the lawsuit in San Joaquin on his blog: "Anglican Curmudgeon"

The entire article is here.

Black Bishop Rips Episcopal Lesbian Leader for her Views of Rick Warren and Intolerance

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

A leading Black African Bishop, the founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC) and senior pastor of the 3,000-member Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C., ripped the lesbian leader of the Episcopal Church's Integrity organization describing her condemnation of Dr. Rick Warren as "intolerant" and typical of the Left's "mischaracterization" of the views of the Saddleback pastor.

Bishop Harry R. Jackson butted heads with the Rev. Susan Russell on FOX News Channel. In a Sunday segment subtitled "President-elect Obama under fire for inviting Rick Warren to speak at Inauguration.", Jackson said that Russell slandered Warren's name in order "to advance their cause and their PR and wanting to sound tolerant about being so aggressive."

Jackson, who was named one of the top 50 most influential Christians in 2005 by the Christian Post, believes that the church and its leaders must lead the way to protect America's moral compass and heal the nation. A transcript of the " Fox News Sunday" segment on the controversy over President-elect Obama's invitation to Pastor Rick Warren to offer the invocation at his January 20th Inauguration appeared on Russell's blog:

Bishop Jackson: This controversy is a clear example of just how intolerant the gay community is about anyone they disagree with. They've mischaracterized what they've said about Rick Warren. He was not calling gay people pedophiles or anything of that nature and they've been putting out a false story for PR purposes.

MODERATOR: Joining us now on the phone is the Reverend Susan Russell, a priest at All Saints Episcopal Church in California where Prop 8 has been a hotly contested issue. What say you about the invitation to Pastor Warren to speak?

REVEREND RUSSELL: I think it's an unfortunate choice, I think it's a disappointing choice. As I said in my open letter to the President-elect, I applaud -- I applaud. -- his efforts to bring the evangelicals back to the table.-I think that's exactly the sort of post-partisan leadership we're looking for in our president-elect, but we could have done better than Rick Warren.

And I want to rebut your guest. This is not about gay intolerance. This about pointing out that Rick Warren as a pastor has compared a woman's right to choose to the Holocaust, who doesn't believe in evolution, he has said that the Bible would condone the assassination of the President of Iran. These are ideas that are way outside the mainstream of American religious thought.

What I'm saying is rather than seeing gays as being "intolerant," we're serving as the canary in the coal mine saying we deserve better - the American people deserve better - and if you're going to ask someone to pray a blessing on America on Inauguration Day, please select someone who speaks for all Americans.

MODERATOR: Bishop Jackson?

BISHOP JACKSON: Well, I think this is part of the PR spin. Your guest is mischaracterizing the statements of Rick Warren. He is the new Billy Graham. He represents American. The Purpose Driven Life ... everybody knows ...has sold multiple millions of copies ... and he's given millions of dollars to help people who are HIV/AIDS ... he is not intolerant ... he's helped the gay community. I just resent that they're slandering his name to advance their cause and their PR and they want to sound tolerant about being so aggressive.

MODERATOR: Let me point something out to both of you. Last night, Rick Warren spoke for a gathering of Muslims in Southern California - about 800 there. Melissa Etheridge opened up the event, performing there as well, and she of course is openly gay. She went on to say that Pastor Rick Warren is a great guy, someone that she enjoys talking to despite their differences. President-elect Barack Obama has said the same thing.

And then [Warren] also gave a quote here. He said, "Let me just get this over very quickly. I love Muslims, and for the media's purposes I happen to love gays and straights." He said people ask him what he prays for when it comes to the President-elect Obama and he said (quote): "I pray for the president the same things I pray for myself: integrity, humility and compassion." Reverend Russell, what's wrong with that?

REVEREND RUSSELL: There's nothing wrong with that. Our issue is, we want to see the actions meet the words. This is a person, Pastor Warren, who preaches family values and practices discrimination against gay and lesbian families. This is someone who fundraised and advocated to take civil rights away from California regarding civil marriage. We want to see the actions that meet the words and what we're asking is that rather than Rick Warren, the President-elect should look at evangelicals like Tony Campolo or ...

MODERATOR: Reverend Russell, we're running out of time here. I understand your point -- point well taken.

Bishop Jackson, I understand your point as well and of course it's up to the President-elect. He can choose who he wants to for the Invocation, and he says his choice is Rick Warren.

Russell is not the only pansexual proponent critical of President-elect Obama's choice. The openly homogenital Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson condemned Warren saying that the God Warren is praying to is not the God that he knows.

Washington Episcopal Bishop John Bryson Chane said he was "profoundly disappointed" by Obama's choice, accusing Warren of being "homophobic, xenophobic, and willing to use the machinery of the state to enforce his prejudices-even going so far as to support the assassination of foreign leaders."

Russell was angered and deflated by the recent passage of Prop 8 in California, vowing to push the California Supreme Court into reconsidering the issue."No one has the right to write their theology into our constitution," Russell said. This of course begs the question: If Prop 8 had lost, it would have been her pansexual theology written into the Constitution. Apparently, it is okay to write her version of theology into the California State Constitution, an apparently untenable position to most Californians.

The original article is here at VirtueOnline.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Anglican Coalition in Canada Welcomes New Province

Written by aciccom

Saturday, 06 December 2008 18:06

Dec 6th 2008- Vancouver, Canada

The Anglican Coalition in Canada is pleased to announce its full participation in the emerging Province called the Anglican Church in North America. This new province was called into existence by the GAFCON Primates, representing the vast majority of the Anglican Church worldwide.

The Rev Barclay Mayo, National ACiC Network Leader, commented: “Who would have believed 10 years ago when we were in the midst of painful challenges that we would see the day when faithful Anglicans would be working together in unity? We were told repeatedly that it couldn't be done, that we were too divided, that our differences were too great. God has shown the impossible to be possible.”

Peter Turner, a Canadian member of the Provincial ACiNA Council which just met in Chicago, said that “we are excited to be full founding partners with our other Canadian Anglican jurisdictions, including ANiC, CANA, and the Reformed Episcopal Church. We are committed to working together in unity for the sake of blessing Canada and North America.”

Over 700 congregations representing around 100,000 faithful Canadian and American Anglicans have come together in the birthing of a new Anglican Province for North America. We are uniting across theological, ethnic, and cultural lines that many thought would not be possible. Bishop Bob Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh is functioning as the leader of this new province. A unique feature of the new Provincial constitutions and canons is that they are driven by mission rather than structure.

This new province is bringing order out of the recent Anglican chaos, and ensuring a vibrant united Anglican voice in North America. Eleven founding Anglican partners are coming together, some of which have been in existence for over 130 years. The gracious Provincial leadership is allowing for greater unity in essentials, while respecting appropriate diversity in non-essentials.

Provisional Canons http://www.united-anglicans.org/about/provisional-canons.html

Provisional Constitution http://www.united-anglicans.org/about/provisional-constitution.html

The original article is here.

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Massive Decline In Average Sunday Attendance - 1997-2007

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

More than 60% of dioceses in the Episcopal Church USA suffered double digit decline in Average Sunday Attendance from 1997 to 2007 with predictions that the figures will only escalate in 2008 with even greater hemorrhaging.

An official report, drawn from the Episcopal Church's own figures, shows that the Episcopal Church drew 841,445 Episcopalians in 1997, but in 2007 that figure was 727,822, a drop of 113, 623. In 2008 the estimated loss is about 1,000 Episcopalians weekly. With whole dioceses leaving, that figure could well reach 1,200 now that a new North American Anglican Province has been formed. Recently, nearly 7,000 Episcopalians left the Diocese of Ft. Worth.

From 1997 to 2007, the dioceses of Rhode Island, Central New York, Rochester, Western New York, Eastern Michigan, West Tennessee, Northwest Texas, Northwestern Pennsylvania, Navaho Missions, and Northern Indiana declined more than 20 percent in congregational attendance.

Those losing between 10% and 19% of their congregations include Connecticut, Massachusetts, Western Massachusetts, Albany, Long Island, New Jersey, Newark, Bethlehem, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Southwestern Virginia, Virginia, West Virginia, Central Gulf Coast, Florida, Lexington, Southeast Florida, Chicago, Eau Claire, Indianapolis, Michigan, Milwaukee, Northern Michigan, West Tennessee, Ohio, Quincy, Springfield, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Missouri, Western Kansas, Western Louisiana, California, Eastern Oregon, El Camino Real, Northern California, San Joaquin, Spokane and Utah.

Between 2003 and 2007 the following dioceses lost more than 20% of their flocks: Western New York, Virginia, Florida, Eastern Michigan, Northern Indiana, Northern Michigan, Springfield, Dallas, Kansas, Northwest Texas and the Rio Grande.

The most serious losses between 2003 and 2007 were in the Navaho Missions 34%, Florida 29%, Virginia 21%, Eastern Michigan 22%, Northern Michigan 22%, Springfield, 22%, Dallas 22%, Kansas 26%, Northwest Texas 25%, Rio Grande 21%, El Camino Real 19%, San Diego 18%, Taiwan 19% and Ecuador-Litoral down 16%.

For the years 2006-2007 the following dioceses lost 10% or more of the faithful. They include Lexington, Northern Michigan, Quincy, Springfield, Colorado, Central New York, Western New York, Kansas, Northwest Texas, Oklahoma, Rio Grande, West Missouri, Taiwan and Puerto Rico.

All indicators are that the losses will only increase in 2008. More parishes will leave as the new Anglican Province in North America takes shape. There is now overwhelming evidence that the consecration of V. Gene Robinson, a non-celibate homosexual to the episcopacy, has been a huge net loss to the church. His much vaunted "God is doing a new thing" is emptying, rather than filling churches. The Diocese of New Hampshire lost 12% of its parishioners between 2003-2007 and a further 6% in 2006-2007. Losses are expected to escalate in 2008.

In total, The Episcopal Church lost 10% of its parishioners between 2003-2007 and 5% between 2006-2007.

For the full report click here:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New American Province Looms

by George Conger

The Third Province movement in North America will be the topic of a special meeting at Lambeth Palace today (Dec 5). The Archbishop of Canterbury is scheduled to meet with the Gafcon primates’ council and will be briefed on plans to form a province for traditionalist Anglicans in the United States and Canada.

On Nov 11, Kenyan Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi told The Church of England Newspaper that a meeting had been tentatively set with Dr. Rowan Williams in London for Dec 5. He said the timeline under which the Gafcon primates were working was that on Dec 3 the leaders of the Common Cause Partnership would gather in Wheaton, Illinois to endorse a draft constitution for the emerging province.

The Gafcon archbishops: Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Peter Akinola of Nigeria, [Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda] Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, Valentino Mokiwa of Tanzania, Henry Orombi of Uganda, Justice Akrofi of West Africa would then meet on Dec 4 in London to receive and endorse the agreement and bring it to Dr. Williams the following day.

Speaking to the congregation of Truro Parish in Fairfax, Virginia on Nov 30, Bishop Martyn Minns publicly confirmed the proposed timeline adding that the Gafcon primates were also planning on briefing the primates standing committee the day before the start of the Jan 31-Feb 6 Alexandria Primates meeting-however, US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will likely miss the pre-conference session as she is scheduled to attend the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council meeting from Jan 29-31.

A Lambeth Palace spokesperson told CEN that Dr Williams would meet Archbishops Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone and Henry Orombi of Uganda at the Old Palace in Canterbury today. The meeting had been set “at their request” the spokesperson said. However, she declined to describe the proposed agenda.

Read the entire article at George Conger's blog

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

WHEATON, IL: North American Anglican Province Formed As Rival To The Episcopal Church

Provisional Constitution and Nine Canons Approved

By David W. Virtue in Wheaton, Illinois

A new Province of the Anglican Church in North America, a rival province to The Episcopal Church USA complete with a provisional constitution and nine canons was birthed today with 700 churches and 100,000 church-going members. A formal ratification of the constitution and canons will take place in a provincial assembly in six months in Bedford, Texas at St. Vincent's cathedral in the diocese of Ft. Worth.

It is historic and unprecedented, said Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan moderator of the Anglican Communion Network. "It is an extraordinary day for us. We have reversed 40 years of Anglican history and years of division among The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada. Today we bring together 11 jurisdictions in Canada and across the US. Today marks 5 years of labor and attempts to come together."

Duncan said the Provisional Constitution is a response to what 7 Primates of the Anglican Communion asked us to do. "They (archbishops) represent the majority of the worlds' who met recently in Jerusalem recently. They asked us to form a provisional province that would be recognized by the bulk of the Anglican world. Today we have done that."

Duncan said the new province was a work in the spirit of unity and mutual submission and was as fine and as great as "I have ever known." The nine canons put in place were unanimously adopted by all the partners of Common cause, he said.

The article continues here on Virtue Online