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Church Officials Prevent Bishop Bruno from Selling Property * South American Anglicans Throw off Colonial Past * Diocese of Guatemala gets Pro-Gay Bishop * CofE Bishop Sex Abuse Scandal has Unintended Consequences * Diocese of Huron on Brink of Collapse

Priest or pastor? It would be helpful to recover the New Testament designation 'pastor'. 'Minister' is a misleading term because it is generic rather than specific, and always therefore requires a qualifying adjective to indicate what kind of ministry is in mind. 'Priest' is unfortunately ambiguous. Those with knowledge of the etymology of English words are aware that 'priest' is simply a contraction of 'presbyter', meaning 'elder'. But it is also used to translate the Greek word *hiereus*, a sacrificing priest, which is never used of Christian ministers in the New Testament --- John R.W. Stott

The alt-right is an evil movement, filled with hate disguised as pride, and needs to be denounced by Christians everywhere - Ed Stetzer, Missiologist, Billy Graham Center, Wheaton

We've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union. We've weathered my breast cancer and melanoma. We've survived the mental illness and suicide of our son Matthew. And now we know. We know we are the best thing that has ever happened to each other. -- Kay Warren, wife of saddleback preacher Rick Warren

Redemptive suffering is when you go through a problem or a pain for the benefit of others. --- Rick Warren

The key to becoming a mature Christian disciple is to remain connected to Jesus so that you are in him and he is in you. It is a daily, hourly personal relationship that enables the life of Christ to flow through you and produce fruit. Jesus said, "By their fruits you will know them." You can tell those who are mature Christian disciples by their lives, by their behavior, by their attitudes, by their conversation. --- Ted Schroder

The best teachers. There is no doubt that the best teachers in any field of knowledge are those who remain students all their lives. --- John R. W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
June 23, 2017

A panel of officials from the national Episcopal Church issued an emergency order Saturday, June 17, prohibiting J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, from selling a piece of prime real estate on Lido Isle, previously occupied by congregants of St. James the Great Episcopal Church.

The sanction came after members of the hearing panel, who presided over misconduct charges against Bruno in March, said they have not received a clear response from the diocese regarding whether the property at 3209 Via Lido has been sold or if the diocese has entered into a sales agreement for the property.

The hearing panel has not yet made a determination regarding the St. James congregation's allegations that Bruno acted in a manner "that was unbecoming of a bishop" when he evicted congregants from the building back in June, 2015, and entered into a contract with a developer to build condominiums on the church property. You can read the full story here: http://tinyurl.com/y9q68w86

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The Archbishop of Canterbury released a statement regarding an attack on Muslims in London: "The freedom to worship without fear is a right we cherish as a nation and was won at great human cost over many years. The appalling attack on Muslims in Finsbury Park is an attack on us all and on the culture and values of our country. At a time when we are all grieving the loss of so many precious people in London and Manchester, this brutal attack can only compound the trauma. Violence only begets more violence -- it serves only the interests of those who would terrorize others.

"This wanton and cruel act can produce no good and cannot be justified or excused. In exactly the same way as previous recent attacks it is a crime against God and against humanity."

The ABC has made it clear that Islam is a peace-loving religion. But VOL writer Jules Gomes believes that the Archbishop of Canterbury says Islam should 'take responsibility' for the London Bridge attack, just as Christianity should for killing Muslims. Really! "So where on God's good earth are Christians killing Muslims, just as Muslims are killing Christians, Yazidis, Pastafarians and other Muslims?" asks Gomes. You can read his piece here: http://www.virtueonline.org/christian-violence-figment-welbys-imagination

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A new day is dawning for South American Anglicans as they throw off old colonial habits. The gospel is taking hold in new and creative ways. Bishop Jorge Luis Aguilar Ocampo, the new Bishop of Peru, believes that mercy as Anglicans express it can be found clearly expressed and embodied in a form not to be found in either the legalistic side of the Roman Catholic Church or in the hardness of the application of the Gospel by Pentecostal groups.

I recently interviewed the new bishop of Peru in Lima and found the bishop ready to move the diocese forward from ex-patriot colonial church history days to a fresh understanding of what it means to be an Anglican, driven by gospel imperative yet liturgical and faithful to Scripture. If there is one thing that defines what it means to be an Anglican, it is God's mercy, he says. You can read my interview with the bishop here: http://www.virtueonline.org/lima-peru-new-anglican-bishop-affirms-mercy-god

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The long sticky fingers of The Episcopal Church and its desire to push the LGBT agenda onto and into as many provinces as it can, found a home in the Diocese of Guatemala. This past week, Guatemala elected an LGBT-friendly Episcopal Bishop in the person of Silvestre Romero, who could (and probably will) usher the pansexual agenda into the Central American Anglican diocese.

The Rev. Romero, is priest-in-charge at an Episcopal Church in Salem, Massachusetts, and was elected bishop coadjutor, following in the footsteps of Bishop Armando Guerra Soria as the second Bishop of Guatemala.

Even though the Diocese of Guatemala is not jurisdictionally a part of the Episcopal Church -- it is the Anglican Church in Central America (Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de America) -- it has deep roots and ties to the American church. Therefore, it was not unreasonable for the Central American Anglican diocese to reach out to The Episcopal Church for its next bishop.

The Episcopal Church should not whine about the inroads GAFCON is making into the Global South when TEC is doing precisely the same thing from a liberal/revisionist perspective. The Anglican Communion is slowly being carved up and there is little Archbishop Justin Welby and his reconciliation cohorts can do about it. He can push all his notions of reconciliation, but they are clearly falling on deaf ears.

Recently, the new primate of Bangladesh was seen in a photo op with ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach and ACNA ambassador Bill Atwood. Clearly lines are being drawn up.

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Archbishop Justin Welby has said an independent report into sexual misconduct by a disgraced Church of England bishop makes for "harrowing reading." Archbishop Justin commissioned the report -- An Abuse of Faith -- after Bishop Peter Ball was convicted in 2015 of misconduct in public office and indecent assaults against teenagers and young men. Peter Ball is a former Bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester.

The report's author, Dame Moira Gibb, states:

"This report considers the serious sexual wrongdoing of Peter Ball, a bishop of the Church of England who abused many boys and men over a period of twenty years or more. That is shocking in itself, but it is compounded by the failure of the Church to respond appropriately to his misconduct, again over a period of many years. Ball's priority was to protect and promote himself, and he maligned the abused. The Church colluded with that rather than seeking to help those he had harmed, or assuring itself of the safety of others.

"We were asked to consider changes necessary to ensure that safeguarding in the Church is of the highest possible standard. The Church has made significant progress in recent years in its understanding of abuse. We have no doubt that the Church has a genuine commitment to meeting its responsibilities towards the victims of abuse. However, we can see how difficult it is to make change across the complex structures of the Church. Progress has been slow and continuing, faster improvement is still required. It is the leadership of the Archbishops and Bishops which will determine whether change is effective."

The report has 11 recommendations for the Church, focusing on a range of issues including focusing on getting the right support in place for survivors, the leadership of bishops, strengthening guidance, reviewing the Archbishops' Lists and the effectiveness of disciplinary measures with regards to safeguarding related cases.

Both the BBC and TIMES reported that Archbishop Justin Welby wrote to his predecessor, George Carey, asking him to consider his position as an honorary assistant bishop in Oxford over criticism of his conduct in the case of the former bishop and convicted abuser Peter Ball.

The letter was written ahead of publication of a damning report into the handling of Ball's case, by the respected former social worker, Dame Moira Gibb, who concluded that the Church of England 'colluded' in abuse by Ball.

At a press conference, Dame Moira confirmed that Archbishop Welby had 'written directly' to Lord Carey asking him 'carefully' to consider his position.

Bishop Hancock said that 'this is now a matter for Lord Carey and the Bishop of Oxford' who have been having conversations on the telephone and are set to meet in the next two days.

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A Church in Wales deacon has spent the day prior to her ordination fasting at a mosque to commemorate Ramadan.

In the spirit of the modern, kowtowing spirit of the CofE, Sara Roberts said that there were "many reasons" why she did this, not least to "to show solidarity to our Muslim neighbours" and to "share in this powerful testament to faith". Goodness, what praise.

Maybe if Sara spent less time hanging around with her new mates and more time putting in the hard yards to increase her Christian congregation, then the pews would be a heck of a lot fuller than they are.

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If you want to read what the future of the Diocese of Huron, Canada looks like, read this piece by the departing Ven. William Harrison. Things are so bad in the diocese, that in the future congregations won't have buildings, people will meet in coffee shops and private homes, all in the name of "fresh expressions."
file:///C:/Users/David/Downloads/logan.pdf

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Increasingly in England, Christians are being ridiculed and vilified in the public arena before the relentless drive of Secular and LGBTQ activism. It is time for the intolerance, bigotry and intimidation of so-called liberals to be exposed.

Tim Farron was hounded out of office because of his faith. The BBC openly ridiculed supporters of traditional marriage in its election coverage. Expressions of outrage come from both the Labour and Tory parties when anyone dares express the view there are health risks attached to the practice of homosexuality. The DUP is pilloried for its Christian position and robust defense of traditional morality ... Unremitting pressure on the Church to reinterpret core values so that its teachings align with current morality. Where will it all end?

We would remind the people of this nation that the Church of England is the established Church of this land, and the laws of this land since before Magna Carta are founded upon Christian faith and belief. More than that, in the coronation oath, the monarch undertakes to maintain the established Protestant religion in the UK, and to uphold the laws of God, while Members of Parliament are required to swear allegiance to the Crown while holding the Bible in their upraised hand before taking office.

Standing on Articles 9 and 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 -- respectively protecting the rights to freedom of thought, belief, and religion; and the freedom to hold and express your own opinions -- we assert the right to follow and practice without impediment or restraint our Christian faith, and to express without fear of condemnation or intimidation the core beliefs on which our faith is founded and as set down in the Bible. We call for freedom of belief and of speech for all.

And we call for all political parties to uphold the right of both current and future MPs to express support for traditional Christian belief, without fear of intimidation by activist groups seeking to silence dissent by unjustified accusations of bigotry and hatred.

READ AND SIGN PETITION HERE: http://www.citizengo.org/en/signit/71584/view

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The son of a former Church of Ireland Bishop, musician Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy, has backed the campaign for gay marriage equality in Northern Ireland. The Londonderry-born singer has called for the introduction of equal civil marriage rights for same-sex couples, saying: 'I am one hundred per cent behind the fight for marriage equality in Northern Ireland.'

The musician, who is the son of the former Bishop of Raphoe, sent his best wishes to everyone who will be marching for equal marriage in Belfast on Saturday 1 July. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK or Ireland without equal marriage laws.

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Most religious groups support gay marriage, with the exception of white evangelical Christians, according to a report in CHRISTIAN TODAY.

An extensive survey has found that most US religious groups now support gay marriage, but white evangelicals still oppose it. It also found that in no major religious group do adherents believe businesses should refuse services to LGBT customers because of their religion.

The findings come from the 2016 Public Religion Research Institute survey, in a study published this month, titled 'Who Sees Discrimination? Attitudes on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race, and Immigration Status'.

The study explored contrasting perspectives on the discrimination of different groups, by different social, religious and ethnic groups in America.

Most US religious groups, the survey says, support gay marriage -- but white evangelical protestants, by and large, do not.

The study said: 'A majority of white mainline Protestants (63 per cent), Catholics (62 per cent), and Orthodox Christians (59 per cent) favor same-sex marriage. At least two-thirds of Hindus (67 per cent), Jews (73 per cent), the religiously unaffiliated (78 per cent), and Buddhists (85 per cent) favor same-sex marriage. Equal numbers of black Protestants favor (45 per cent) and oppose (45 per cent) same-sex marriage.

'Similarly, Muslims (44 per cent vs 41 per cent, respectively) and Hispanic Protestants (41 per cent vs. 46 per cent, respectively) are about as likely to support same-sex marriage as oppose it.'

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The Diocese of British Columbia is desperately seeking same-sex couples to marry, according to David of Samizdat, a conservative Anglican blogger.

The dioceses of Niagara, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and British Columbia are proceeding with same-sex marriages ahead of the final vote to approve them in 2019.

"But, having scoured the province for likely candidates, poor Bishop Logan McMenamie has yet to find any men willing to marry another man; or a woman to marry another woman. If Anglicans in BC don't get with the program soon, McMenamie will have to resort to compelling some of his eligible male clergy to tie the knot.

A report said this: Bishop Logan McMenamie, of the diocese of British Columbia, announced at a diocesan synod in autumn 2016 that he will "move forward with the marriage of same-sex couples in the diocese" on a case-by-case basis. When the Anglican Journal contacted McMenamie's offce in March 2017, no same-sex couples had yet approached the diocese about the possibility of marriage.

Niagara's Bishop Michael Bird currently has the competitive edge in the same-sex marriage scavenger hunt: he has four couples under his belt.

"Bird, however, may have an unfair advantage since he has widened the net by including bisexuals, who, presumably, would only be satisfied with a menage à trois, counting as 1.5 couples. Of course, if both candidates are bisexual, we would need a menage à quatre, a bonus that would qualify as two couples. Transgender couples are also part of the Niagara strategy. I'm not sure exactly how that would work, but I estimate that, depending on the mood of the moment and assuming part-time transgenderism, it would make a total of four possible copulative combinations, one for each week of the month: man-man, man-woman, woman-man and woman-woman. That's at least two couples.

"Bird said his thoughts on the matter have not changed and that he was committed to continuing "to walk along the path of full inclusion and to immediately proceed with marriage equality" with LGBTQ2 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Two-Spirited) Anglicans in his diocese."

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Next week I will be attending the ACNA Assembly in Wheaton, Il. It is also the beginning of summer and income is usually low. We must have funds to continue, so I can travel to these conferences for you our readers.

Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution through PAYPAL at the link here: http://www.virtueonline.org/support-vol/

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In Christ,

David

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