Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Birmingham Al Metro Parish hits hard times.

According to Rector Neil Kaminski of St. Francis of Assisi, located in Indian Springs,
a rather upscale location .... just south of Birmingham

As of Tuesday January 20, 2009, the position of Parish
Administrator at St. Francis has been eliminated. The decision to eliminate the position was driven by budget considerations, and was discussed by the Vestry when we met to build our budget for 2009. Our Parish Administrator Sherri Sexton has been with St. Francis for eleven years, and has done a fine job for us.

One year ago, when building the budget for 2008, the Vestry made the decision to draw upon reserve funds from the prior two years in order to accomplish the goals we had set for ourselves. Our hope was that we would grow enough in members and pledges in 2008 to absorb those added expenses in 2009. While we did gain new members and see pledges increase for 2009, it was not enough to close the financial gap and maintain a balanced budget.

This is a shame to loose an 11 year employee due to financial concerns.... Let this be a warning to vestries, do not over spend, do not use faith budgets, and do not draw on reserves to fulfill current budget issues.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Michigan Elects Buddhist as Bishop

The Diocese of northern Michigan made it official and elected the Episcopal Church's first Buddhist (at least as far as I know) Bishop.

Getting a whopping 88% of the delegate votes and 91% of the congregational votes. This of course happened on the first ballot. Those are Saddam Hussein like numbers, and like Saddam the Buddhist was the only one on the ballot.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What does the Bible Teach About Homosexuality

Dr. Robert Gagnon, What Does the Bible Teach About Homosexuality? S3E2 from Pure Passion on Vimeo.

Dr. Robert Gagnon is associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburg Theological Seminary and the author of arguably the best book ever written by any scholar on what the Bible teaches about homosexual behavior.

Well worth the watching here, a couple of short commercials intertwined ... but this info will help us all witness to this problem in the world and in the Church.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Church Leader Fires back at Diocese

By Caley Clinton Freeman
Waukesha Freeman
February 18, 2009

Citing the Episcopal Church's "decision to move to the extreme left of Christianity" as a primary concern, St. Edmund's Anglican Church member and spokesman Dr. Samuel Scheibler said Tuesday the Elm Grove congregation followed state laws and canons of the church in proceeding to break off from the Episcopal church in December.

The Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee sued several members of the church Monday, arguing they must return all property and control of St. Edmund's parish after leaving to join a more conservative faith.

But Scheibler said the church had its title company, Chicago Title, conduct a title search, and the company found that the church and its property belong to St. Edmund's.

"It's not about the building, it's about our faith," Scheibler said. "The sweat equity (we've put into the church) does not belong to the diocese. We've worked hard to improve the property over the years."

The church property at 14625 Watertown Plank Road includes a cemetery where several parishioners' loved ones are buried, he said. In addition, an Elm Grove preschool rents the church building, and if St. Edmund's is forced out, it will be "devastating" to the preschool, Scheibler said.

Two thirds of the church's 84 parishioners turned out for the December vote on whether or not St. Edmund's should split from the Episcopal Church and it was unanimous among those present to leave, he said. The church held a series of discussions on the matter prior to the decision, all of which were in strict accordance with state laws and canons of the Episcopal Church, Scheibler said.

"The Episcopal Church has become increasingly intolerant of conservatives," he said. "Its creed seems to be 'trendier than thou.'"

Since the split, church members have changed the parish's name to St. Edmund's Anglican Church, a move the Diocese of Milwaukee argues is invalid. St. Edmund's has employed legal counsel locally and nationally in the case, Scheibler said.

The suit names 11 defendants, including five residents of Waukesha County. St. Edmund's denies the suit's claim that church members, including Scheibler, filed documents with the state in early December that sought to change the church's legal incorporation to one that would be covered by a different set of Wisconsin laws. Documents were not filed until late December, Scheibler said.

St. Edmund's was founded in 1874 in Milwaukee and moved to the Elm Grove location in 1947. Since its break from the Episcopal Church, St. Edmund's has grown 24 percent, he said.

"We are thriving," Scheibler said.

e Should be praying for these small Parishes and their fight to keep their property. The National Church - has a proposed budget for added litigation - Millions and Millions have been spent on legal fees this past year alone. The National "E" Church has sent families to the curb from their Pastoral Homes, closed food distribution centers and soup Kitchens all in the name of owning a vacant Church building.... which is not Christian .... which is why I guess they are sueing ... Paul instructs the Church that Christians should not sue Christians .... enough said.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First Diocese seems to be forming

A new Anglican diocese is expected to emerge out of talks among former Episcopalians who have either been deposed or left The Diocese of Florida as well as others as part of the on-going realignment in the Anglican Communion.

"We have the options of applying to become a diocese immediately or to become a ‘diocese in formation’ under Anglican Church in North America (ACNA. We hope to have just over 20 parishes represented there when we meet" he told VOL."There are advantages and disadvantages for each option, but there a clear consensus that we will become a diocese as soon as we can do so responsibly. AMiA and REC parishes will be a part of the process, while remaining under their current jurisdictions, with the commitment to allbeing partners in local ministry."

22 Congregations with 47 Clergy presently make up the Anglican Alliance.

A list of clergy and parishes can be found on the following page:


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pics are worth a lot ....

This Pics is from the AAC's report that was given to the Primates in Alexandria ....

This pic is of former Suffragen Bishop of Alabama, now Bishop of California, Marc Andrus ... very photogenic Marc!

One thing I can say about Marc ... you always knew where he stood on the topic....


Archbishop Akinola calls a Spade - a Spade

From Virtue online

The Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola has written an open letter to Archbishop Rowan Williams saying that liberal Primates of the Anglican Communion “trivialized” the historic faith in Alexandria and their actions show they have no intention of backing down from their revisionist behavior and that mediation will not work.

"In our meeting we recommended that you initiate a "professionally mediated conversation which engages all parties at the earliest opportunity." It now seems increasingly clear that without a radical change of behavior on the part of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada the only possible outcome of such a process is acknowledgement of a bitter truth that the differences in the words of (Scottish Primus) Archbishop Idris Jones are "irreconcilable".

The Nigerian leader of the Anglican Communion's largest province of 25 million practicing Anglicans praised Dr. Williams for his handling of "divergent views" and said that discussion of "core theological issues" provided "considerable clarity" with liberals hardening their positions with communion breaking acts even as the Primates met.

Akinola cited the days leading up to the meeting where the Diocese of Virginia declared the "inherent integrity and blessedness" of same sex unions and initiated a process to provide for their "blessing". "While we were meeting, The Diocese of Toronto also announced that it will start same sex blessings within a year and The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia filed further costly legal action appealing the court's decision in twenty cases favoring nine Virginia congregations."

They said the fruits of TEC's new theology included a refusal to reaffirm the historic articles of the Christian faith, syncretism, the promotion of abortion, weakening traditional marriage, promoting same sex blessings and other sexual aberrations, communion for the unbaptized, and accelerating litigation by TEC against the orthodox.

"We conclude with the heresies of the current Presiding Bishop that demonstrates her affirmation of the classic heresies of Pelagianism, Marcionism, Pluralism, Universalism and Gnosticism."

A report from orthodox Canadian Anglicans said heterodox Anglicans had torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion to shreds and highlighted the denial of the authority of Holy Scripture, the pursuit of same sex blessings agenda in the ACoC: "blessings" to "marriages"; hostile actions against dissenting priests and congregations and a refusal to endorse the Windsor Report or commit to the Windsor Report recommendations.

A PDF copy of Archbishop Akinola's letter can be read here. http://www.americananglican.org/assets/Publications/PJA-to-RW.pdf

The American Anglican Council's report on The Episcopal Church that was prepared for the Primates is available here. http://www.americananglican.org/assets/Publications/Primates-Report-Final.pdf

Saturday, February 7, 2009

BabyBlueOnline: An Honest Look at the Primates Communique

Via Baby blue ... a great look at what happened last week ....

Has anyone been paying attention to the leadership of TEC, especially the Presiding Bishop, since the last call for gracious restraint less than two years ago at the Primates meeting in Dar es Salaam? The leadership of TEC has accelerated litigation against those who fled to other Provinces, suing parishes and individuals at an astonishing rate. We count at least 56 cases TEC has initiated directly and through dioceses. And this does not even take into account the litigation they have yet to file in the dioceses of Ft. Worth and Quincy. When challenged at the Lambeth Conference, revisionist TEC bishops had the audacity to lie through their teeth and claim that local churches were suing them! Where is the humility and integrity in such reckless indifference to the truth? Where is the gracious restraint against such accelerating, costly, punitive litigation?

Where is the gracious restraint and self-limitation of a TEC House of Bishops who have tortured the plain meaning of the canons to depose 12 bishops and 104 priests and deacons for transferring to another province of the Anglican Communion in order to maintain integrity and faithfulness to Communion teaching on human sexuality? Where is the gracious restraint and self-limitation where, without any due process or appeal, the Presiding Bishop deposes a sitting bishop for what he might do? Or where she deposes a bishop ordained and canonically resident in the Church of England? Or where she dismisses a lawfully constituted diocesan standing committee and substitutes her own? Or where she hires a personal litigator to guide the accelerating litigation on the very eve of the Primates meeting?

And the list goes on…

It is no surprise that within minutes of the release of this Communiqué, the Presiding Bishop signaled her own feelings about gracious restraint in the ENS press release: “The long-term impact of 'gracious restraint' is a matter for General Convention.” “We are going to have to have honest conversations about who we are as a church and the value we place on our relationships and mission opportunities with other parts of the communion and how we can be faithful with many spheres of relationship at the same time. That is tension-producing and will be anxiety-producing for many, but we are a people that live in hope, not in instant solutions but in faithfulness to God”(5)

Since she has already announced that General Convention will not even consider the proposed Covenant until 2012 (or 2015 if constitutional changes are required), there will be no gracious restraint to hold the Communion together while the leadership of TEC continues to export a false gospel to the rest of the Communion, and impose it at home. What will happen to the Biblically orthodox, faithful Anglicans in TEC, “dear sisters and brothers in Christ,” who will continue to face inhibition, deposition and other canonical abuses over the next three years, without any recourse to Communion structures? What will happen to the men, women and children in TEC pews who have not received enough sound teaching to recognize this false gospel as a counterfeit?

BabyBlueOnline: <i>An Honest Look at the Primates Communique</i>

Friday, February 6, 2009

An Anglican TV Interview with Archbishop Orombi and Archbishop Venables


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This a 40 minute briefing given after the Primates meeting by two Archbishops of Faith.
There is some of the best clarification of what was really happening behind the closed doors .... you have to listen quickly sometimes - as there are some one line hints thrown in.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Two opposed ideas, Two different Bishops

From the Religious intelligence . com website

There seems to be two very different modes of addressing sexuality in the Church, one of course is humanistic and the other scriptural .... Katie Girl, PB of TEC went with the liberal view and at the end made an emphatic statement ...

Human sexuality was the first order of business at the 2009 Primates’ Meeting at the Helnan Palestine Hotel in Alexandria, Egypt. The primates devoted their first business session to discussions over the effects the disputes over sexual ethics had had on the life and mission of the church.

Following prayers and Bible study, the Primates began work at 11:00 with five presentations from the Primates of Canada, the United States, Uganda, South Africa and Burma. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams had asked each to address the question “What impact has the current situation had on your Province’s mission priorities?”

US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori spoke of the unique polity of The Episcopal Church that had led to the lawful election of a partnered gay man as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. She noted that the issues had been under discussion for many years and had been given a thorough theological airing. She also noted The Episcopal Church could not be bound by decisions made by bodies other than its General Convention.

The Most Rev Henry Orombi spoke to his Province’s adherence to the ‘clear words’ of Scripture and the unbroken tradition of the Christian Church through the ages on human sexuality, saying the innovation proposed by the US and Canada on homosexuality was not a faithful witness to the world. The issue could not be tested against the vagaries of culture, he argued, but against the immutable words of Scripture.

I give B. Orombi a thumbs up .... as for Katie Girl ??? She may have put her finger at her nose to the AC - sounds to me like you guys can pass whatever you want, I have my people and the AGENDA to answer to....

Monday, February 2, 2009

A PB goof

Below I linked to a situation where the PB of the TEC had removed an Anglican Bishop under authority of the Church of England as a Bishop ... appears this may be more than just a misunderstanding....

Hell hath no fury like a Church scorned, it would seem. The story is that Bishop Scriven became Assistant Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 2002. After the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003 this diocese became increasingly estranged from the direction and policy of the Episcopal Church. This resulted in the deposition of the diocesan bishop, Robert Duncan, under the charge of ‘abandoning communion’ last year, even though at the time he was continuing to actively serve as a diocesan bishop. The majority of churches in the diocese under the continuing leadership of Bishop Duncan are now under the auspices of the Province of the Southern Cone — thus retaining their link to the Anglican Communion, in a highly unsatisfactory way for all concerned. The planning for the future is to form an alternative province of North America under the initial leadership of Bishop Duncan.

Bishop Scriven of course had written to the Presiding Bishop to inform her of his move back to England, which she had then cavalierly and tendentiously interpreted as a ‘renunciation’ of his ministry. According to the Anglican Communion Institute: “Those ‘Ordinations’ of which she purports to deprive him were conferred on Bishop Scriven not by TEC but by the Church of England, including by the Archbishop of Canterbury personally. The Presiding Bishop has no authority to deprive him of the ministry conferred on him by his ordination in the Church of England.

The Anglican Communion Institute again comments: “The Presiding Bishop’s action has profound consequences for TEC’s status as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion and its communion with the Church of England.” Her Declaration of Removal touches upon the ‘ordinations’ conferred on him by the Church of England, not by The Episcopal Church, and therefore she is going down a very dangerous road by pretending to have the authority to pronounce on them. Furthermore, by prohibiting a bishop in good standing within the Church of England from ministering in The Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Schori is opening up the way for a diplomatic row.

Read it all here

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Meeting begins in Alexandria, Egypt

Great thanks to David Virtue, who has traveled to Egypt to observe and report the goings on.

Archbishops of the Anglican Communion have assembled at the pristine (Helnan) Palestine Hotel on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, nervously eager and expectant as the life of the communion roils in crisis, eerily reminiscent perhaps of a theological crisis that rocked the Christian world 18 centuries ago and which almost tore the church apart.

This morning, the Primates met for Eucharist with no apparent absentees or rancorousness over who takes Communion with whom. All is sweetness and light, at least in the early stages, as the Primates gather. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has not yet arrived, but is expected tomorrow (Monday).

But it will be hard to avoid sexuality issues, even if Dr. Williams wished he could. The Windsor Continuation Group is set to address the recommendations of the Windsor Report. Williams and the Primates will not be able to avoid news today that the Diocese of Toronto will proceed with same sex blessings, a position that Canadian Primate Fred Hiltz will have to answer for. Mrs. Jefferts Schori will have to answer for the Bishop of Colorado, Robert O'Neill, who recently ordained a partnered lesbian to the priesthood. These are Windsor violating actions.

The elephant in the room will be, of course, the new North American Anglican Province, (ACNA) where tempers are expected to flare from western pan-Anglican liberals like Jefferts Schori, (US) Fred Hiltz (Canada) and Barry Morgan (Wales) who oppose any such innovation.

The GAFCON primates, lead by the unflinching Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola, will have something to say about this. Akinola will take the contra position along with other solidly evangelical archbishops like Gregory Venables, Henry Luke Orombi, Benjamin Nzimbi and Emmanuel Kolini to name but a few. A row can be expected.