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12 Parishes form GAFCON Province in NZ * Homosexuals & Transgenders most Judgmental of Others * Nigerian Province to have Dioceses in Nth. America * CANA East Leaves CON for ACNA * Kenyan Primate to Boycott Lambeth 2020 * UK Vicar Resigns over Trannie Ed.

Twelve Parishes form GAFCON Province in Aotearoa * Homosexuals & Transgenders most Judgmental of Others * Nigerian Province to have Dioceses in Nth. America * CANA East Leaves CON for ACNA * Kenyan Primate to Boycott Lambeth 2020 * UK Vicar Resigns over Forced Transgender Education * Colorado Diocese Elects first Black Woman Bishop

Religion is not going away any time soon, and science will not destroy it. If anything, it is science that is subject to increasing threats to its authority and social legitimacy. Given this, science needs all the friends it can get. Its advocates would be well advised to stop fabricating an enemy out of religion, or insisting that the only path to a secure future lies in a marriage of science and secularism --- Peter Harrison is an Australian Laureate Fellow and director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland.

Still, contemporary evangelicalism is in serious trouble. Actually, its crisis is the same one that afflicts all Christianity in America. At the risk of hubris, and the risk of merely adding one more item to the seemingly endless list of crises, I believe that the crisis lies at the heart of what ails large swaths of the American church. Alexander Solzhenitsyn named it in his speech upon receiving the Templeton Prize in Religion in 1968. He was talking about Western culture when he used it. I apply it to the American church, evangelical and not: We have forgotten God. --- Mark Galli of Christianity Today

You don't get to wash your hands of culpability for evil when your refusal to cast an effective vote against a candidate who will bring ruin to the country on sea-change issues (men in women's restrooms, mandatory LGBTQ speech, unlimited abortion with infanticide option, Court tyranny, etc.) leads to the election of that candidate. --- Robert A. J. Gagnon

Judged by our works. The whole New Testament teaches this; although we sinners can be 'justified' only by faith in Christ, yet we shall be 'judged' by our works. This is not a contradiction. It is because good works of love are the only available public evidence of our faith. Our faith in Jesus Christ is secret, hidden in our hearts. But if it is genuine, it will manifest itself visibly in good works. As James puts it, 'I will show you my faith by what I do ... faith without deeds is useless' (Jas. 2:18, 20). Since the judgment day will be a public occasion, it will be necessary for public evidence to be produced, namely the outworking of our faith in compassionate action. Jesus himself taught this many times. For example, 'The Son of man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done' (Mt. 16:27). It is not our salvation, but our judgment, which will be according to our works. --- John R.W. Stott

"Sex Reassignment Surgery" is a euphemism for Genital Mutilation Surgery. If we called it what it rightly is, there would be fewer people promoting it and fewer still suckered into doing it --- Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.

Reparations for slavery a century-and-a-half after the fact forces people to pay for something that they didn't do, to persons to whom it wasn't done. It is an injustice. This is not social justice. It is social extortion by guilt complex and virtue signaling. --- Robert A.J. Gagnon

On a transgender Deacon appointed in the ACoC. "I find myself wondering why an Anglican Diocese whose mission it is to assist each parishioner to find his true identity in Christ, should choose someone so utterly confused about her own identity to help them do it." David of Samizdat in Canada

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
May 31, 2019

Justin Welby is once again the top newsmaker in this week's digest. And once again he finds himself in the cross hairs of the growing, noisy GAFCON primates and bishops who challenge his authority by authorizing new networks across the communion.

They did it again recently when twelve parishes formerly in the province of Aotearoa, (New Zealand), fed up with their province's drift into the formal acceptance of homoerotic marriage, declared their independence. The parishes announced they were installing their own bishop and would head out on their own to reclaim New Zealand for Christ.

They gathered and formed the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand, a new Anglican Diocese standing firmly in Anglican faith and practice, and structurally distinct from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

It was a bold and brave move. Of course, they are not the first to have abandoned the ecclesiastical ship they had been wallowing in. A group of equally brave Brazilian Anglicans had done the same thing back in 2013, abandoning their ecclesiastically and morally challenged episcopal province that had been backed by the American episcopal church. They launched out on their own.

Excommunicated, with their properties ripped from them, they determined to start over, knowing that God was on their side. Today they are self-sufficient and growing rapidly under the leadership of Bishop Miguel Uchoa.

There are other GAFCON outposts in Europe, Scotland and Ireland. More are anticipated.

It is bewilderingly mind-blowing that Welby does not see what is going on, or if he does see it, he continues to blow off GAFCON as nothing more than a "ginger group". GAFCON is stomping all over him from one end of the globe to the other.

Welby is making nice with American Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Canadian primate Fred Hiltz, while ignoring or pretending that ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach, who is now GAFCON chairman, is not a real Anglican at all! Go figure.

Welby will never command respect from anyone in the Global South associated with GAFCON till he repents of his alliance with provinces that embrace pansexuality. That is a done deal.

You can read my full story about all this here: https://virtueonline.org/gafcon-marches-relentlessly-forward-even-welbys-world-withers

*****

Just how bad is homosexual and transgender behavior? Well, it is worse than you think.

Promoters of homosexual relationships and transgenderism are some of the most judgmental people around. If you don't agree with them, they call you homophobic and transphobic bigots and then vote for political policies designed to coerce and indoctrinate those with whom they disagree. They are not against being judgmental; they are just against judgments by God of the behaviors that they promote, says theologian and sexual ethicist, The Rev. Dr. Robert A. Gagnon.

The Episcopal Church has fully embraced the LGBTQ lifestyle and mantra, and, with money wants to push these behaviors onto the Global South in the hope of winning over African Anglican leaders into a new world sexual order that not only violates their own history and consciences about sex, but Scripture as well.

You can read my story about this here: https://virtueonline.org/homosexual-and-transgender-behavior-worse-you-think

*****

In England, a biologist vicar resigned after a clash with his bishop and headteacher over transgender indoctrination in a church school

The Rev. Linsey John Owen Parker, vicar of All Saints, Fordham and Eight Ash Green, in Colchester, resigned after a clash with Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford over the gender transitioning of an eight-year-old boy.

"I was basically told by my bishop that if I wished to faithfully follow the teachings of the Bible then I was no longer welcome in the Church. It felt very much like the Church and the school were silencing me," the Rev. Parker, a conservative evangelical clergyman, told the Daily Mail, a British newspaper.

The vicar was a victim of an arrangement bringing together Bishop Cottrell, Diocesan Director of Education Reverend Tim Elbourne, Headteacher Ceri Daniels and a transgender campaign group called Mermaids, a source from the village school in Essex told VOL.

When an eight-year-old child announced he was transitioning to become a girl, Parker raised concerns that the school had no formal policy on how staff should deal with a child who wanted to change gender.

There was also no guidance on whether the pupil would be allowed to use female toilets or share changing rooms or accommodation with girls during trips.

Parker queried if the transitioning had been approved by a psychologist or a medical professional, but his questions remained unanswered.

You can read two stories about this here: https://virtueonline.org/england-biologist-vicar-resigns-after-clash-bishop-and-headteacher-over-transgender-indoctrination

And here: https://virtueonline.org/church-england-school-endorses-transitioning-8-year-old

You can read the vicar's letter here: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Read-the-letter-from-the-CofE-vicar-resigning-over-the-Church-s-approach-to-sexuality

*****

There has been a delicate political and ecclesial dance of sorts between the Church of Nigeria and several Nigerian dioceses in North America (including Canada) and the Anglican Church in North America.

Three dioceses recently clarified their provincial affiliations, with one saying it would no longer maintain dual citizenship with Nigeria.

At its synod this past week, the Diocese of CANA East took action to remain solely a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America and to change its name to The Anglican Diocese of the Living Word. The Diocese has also applied for ministry partner status with the Church of Nigeria.

The Diocese of CANA West, and the Diocese of the Trinity, all of which previously had dual citizenship in the Anglican Church in North America and the Church of Nigeria through CANA (the Convocation of Anglicans in North America), would remain with the Church of Nigeria.

According to the Houston agreement, jointly signed by Archbishop Okoh of the Church of Nigeria and Archbishop Beach of the Anglican Church in North America, each diocese will reside canonically in either the Anglican Church in North America or the Church of Nigeria, as it chooses, and can apply for ministry partner status in the other province.

You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/acna-three-dioceses-clarify-their-provincial-affiliations

*****

It comes as no surprise that African primates are speaking up and saying they will boycott the Lambeth Conference in August of next year over the communion's endorsement of homosexuality by a number of Western Primates.

The latest to say he won't attend is the Primate of Kenya, Jackson Ole Sapit. "I will not be at the Lambeth Conference for those reasons. Others are also boycotting," Archbishop Sapit told Religion News Service in an interview. "God's plan of marriage is between a man and woman for procreation. Homosexuality is a sin before God."

Sources said representatives from Nigeria and Uganda, two provinces of the communion with large populations of Anglicans, would also stay home. Both Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria and Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda strongly oppose homosexuality as un-Christian.

Nigeria has the highest number of Anglicans within the communion. Uganda is third after U.K., with Sudan and Kenya following.

*****

The Diocese of Colorado elected its first ever female black Episcopal bishop, following the retirement of Robert O'Neill, whose claim to fame was going after one single parish that left his diocese and TEC for the Church of Nigeria. O'Neill spent nearly $3 million in litigation. Part of O'Neill's legacy is that the diocese has decreased by one third and the diocese was unable to pay their national church assessment.

On Saturday, the church hosted the ordination and consecration of Kym Lucas as its 11th bishop. She is both Colorado's first woman bishop and first black bishop. For the first time in history, the Episcopal Church in Colorado will be led by an African American woman.

When asked if the Episcopal Church of Colorado was a progressive, forward-thinking church, she replied, "I've been in Washington D.C. for a long time so labels like progressive and conservative don't always make sense in various contexts. What I would call this church is a church that is open to the Holy Spirit moving in it. It's an open church. It is open to where God might lead it and that might be to some very strange places or places that we really aren't expecting to go but there is this deep, profound sense of prayerfulness and openness in this church which is beautiful."

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who is also black, has called for more women and people of color to be elevated to the episcopacy in TEC. He is apparently getting his way.

*****

Here is the latest count of women in The Episcopal Church.

There are 35 TEC women bishops

31 have been consecrated.

Four are in the pipeline with consecration dates
Kathryn Ryan -- Texas Suffragan -- June 1
Susan Brown Snook -- V San Diego -- June 15
Megan Traquaire -- VIII Northern California -- June 29
Shannnon MacVean-Brown -- XI Vermont -- September 28

One has died: Jane Dixon -- Suffragan Washington, DC

One defrocked: Heather Cook --- Suffragan Maryland

Six are black:
Barbara Harris -- Massachusetts Suffragan
Gayle Harris -- Massachusetts Suffragan
Jennifer Bakersville-Barrows -- XI Indianapolis
Phoebe Roaf -- VI West Tennessee
Kymberly Lucas -- XI Colorado
Shannon MacVean-Brown -- XI Vermont-elect

One Indian of the Cherokee tribe -- Gayle Gallagher -- Southern Virginia - Suffragan

One partnered lesbian -- Mary Glasspool -- Los Angeles Suffragan, now in the diocese of New York.

Three dioceses have upcoming elections.

El Camino Real has a slate of five -- three are female -- electing June 1

Michigan has an all female slate -- electing June 1

Montana has an all female slate -- electing July 26

Other dioceses electing in 2019 are Southern Virginia; Eastern Michigan; Georgia; Missouri; and Oklahoma. But they have not yet announced a slate.

*****

Queen Elizabeth II has accepted the nomination of three women to suffragan sees in the Church of England:

The Venerable Sarah Bullock as the next Bishop of Shrewsbury, in the Diocese of Lichfield.
The Venerable Joanne Woolway Grenfell as the next Bishop of Stepney, in the Diocese of London.
The Reverend Canon Dagmar Winter as the next Bishop of Huntingdon, in the Diocese of Ely.

Women have been consecrated as bishops in the Church of England only since 2015. But at the time of the consecrations of these three nominees this autumn, the total number of women in the Church of England's House of Bishops (22) will be significantly larger than that of other churches in the Anglican Communion, including provinces like the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, where women have been consecrated since the 1980s and 1990s, respectively.

In the Church of England's 42 dioceses, the majority of women serving as bishops are suffragans. At the moment, only five women lead English dioceses:

The Rt. Rev. Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol
The Rt. Rev. Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle
The Rt. Rev. Libby Lane, Bishop of Derby
The Rt. Rev. Sarah Mullaly, Bishop of London
The Rt. Rev. Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester
Source: TLC

*****

JAMAICA has a new Anglican Archbishop. He is Howard Gregory and he will be the new Anglican Archbishop for the West Indies Province.

Archbishop Gregory previously held the posts of head of Anglican Church in Jamaica and Cayman Islands.

He succeeds Barbadian Dr. John Holder, who retired in February 2018 and has become the first Jamaican to head the Anglican Church in the Caribbean since Archbishop William Hardie vacated the post in 1949.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/jamaica-new-anglican-archbishop-appointed

*****

Will Sex Affect Episcopal-Methodist Communion? An article in The Living Church suggests it might, owing to the fact that in the wake of the Methodists' bitterly contested Special Conference in St. Louis in late February, the UMC reaffirmed its stance barring "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" from ordained ministry and toughened sanctions for clergy who officiate at same-sex weddings.

So, what is TEC to do, having embraced the cultural sexual order. In May, United Methodist bishops cleared the way for a 2020 General Conference vote on a full communion agreement that would allow the two churches to share clergy. If the Methodists approve the proposal, the Episcopal Church could take it up at General Convention in 2021.

But the proposal faces new obstacles. Some now worry full communion could become a casualty of tense, politically charged times in churches at risk of breaking apart. But others say it is time to keep building on ecumenical momentum and not let sexuality debates interfere with a larger witness.

Efforts to break up the United Methodist Church are already underway, and not just from progressives whose agenda was defeated in St. Louis. Conservatives are now drafting proposals to divide the United Methodist Church into two or more separate bodies at next year's General Conference in Minneapolis. For example, the Wesleyan Covenant Association has chartering documents ready for a new denomination that would affirm Methodists' traditional sexuality standards, said its president, Keith Boyette. Some want to form new bodies, even though they prevailed in the General Conference in February.

"Some people do want to leave because theirs are evangelical churches in very liberal areas," said Renfroe, pastor of discipleship at The Woodlands United Methodist Church in Texas. "It's hard to say These are my colleagues in ministry, this is my family, when you're looked down upon and dismissed at every meeting that you go to."

Boyette said he would like to see partnership of some type emerge, but he warned that such an effort might backfire and stymie the ecumenical project.

Yup, it will. TEC will never countenance ecumenical talks that do not embrace full body (homosexual) contact. If it does unite, it will be with a small part of the UMC, with the rest remaining of the Methodists remaining diametrically opposed to sodomy in all its bizarre forms.

"If the United Methodist Church splits and there's a schism there, who are we going to be in communion with?" said Rania, a lay ministry associate at Christ Church in Dover. "Would it be with the conservative folks that remain or the break-off churches? ... There are a lot of unknowns here, and we really need to wait and see."

*****

In the Anglican Church of Canada, the madness over sexuality continues at a pace that might surpass even the Episcopal Church.

The Anglican Diocese of Rupert's Land ordained its first openly transgender deacon, one Theo Robinson, who said he felt called by God to help heal the rift between LGBTTQ people and the church.

"I want to show people who are afraid to go to church (because of their sexuality) they are welcome," said Robinson, 40. "I want to help heal the wounds of those who have been rejected."

Robinson, who works in spiritual care at Misericordia Place, was ordained May 1 to serve as a transitional deacon -- someone on the path to priesthood.

Theo Robinson was born Theresa Jennifer Robinson, but now describes herself as a man, in spite of the fact that she possesses no Y chromosome.

Writes David of Samizdat, "I don't doubt her sincerity or wish her anything but God's blessings. Nevertheless, I find myself wondering why an Anglican Diocese whose mission it is to assist each parishioner to find his true identity in Christ, should choose someone so utterly confused about her own identity to help them do it." Amen to that.

*****

This June, the Anglican Church in North America celebrates its 10th Anniversary with Assembly 2019: Renewing Our Call to the Great Commission, an assembly centered on discipleship and moving forward into our next 10 years as a province.

The Assembly will be held in Plano, Texas, June 17-19, 2019 and hosted by Christ Church, Plano, the site of Archbishop Bob Duncan's installation as the inaugural archbishop in 2009.

Keynote speakers Archbishop Foley Beach, Archbishop Laurent Mbanda, James Bryan Smith, Russell Moore, and Ravi Zacharias will join us as we celebrate and help us go deeper into discipleship.

To commemorate the occasion, attendees will receive a special edition of The 2019 Book of Common Prayer and will be mailed a revised Catechism. Both will be officially released at Assembly.

Visit disciple2019.com now for more information and to register.

Your servant will be present at this august occasion and I will file reports from Dallas, Texas

I hope as many of you as can will be present on this auspicious occasion.

*****

A chapel named for retired Episcopal Church Bishop Gene Robinson was dedicated Thursday by Robinson as part of the consecration of a newly redeveloped Washington, D.C. church building.

St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish chose to honor the former New Hampshire bishop who was the first openly partnered homosexual to be consecrated a bishop in the Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion. The chapel is envisioned as a pilgrimage site for youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Robinson's 2003 consecration as bishop was one of several contested actions fueling a broader Anglican realignment in North America and beyond.

Robinson, now divorced, (from his male partner) resides in Washington and serves as bishop-in-residence at St. Thomas. The church has declined precipitously in the past decade, shrinking from 350 to 140 members (-60%) and from a weekly attendance of 150 down to 50 (-66%). In 2018 Dyer cited the ongoing construction of the new church sanctuary and a purge of the parish membership rolls as contributing factors to the congregation's diminished size. Asked about the decline in attendance, Dyer commented via Twitter "ASA is one measure. @StThomasDC is one of the most best parishes I have served. Check back in 5 years and the story will be different." In their dreams. You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/gene-robinson-chapel-dedicated-retired-gay-episcopal-bishop

*****

If you think that decline is only being felt in liberal mainline denominations, think again. The Southern Baptist Convention is experiencing further decline despite its solid evangelical credentials.

A report in Christian Today noticed the decline in membership and worship attendance in 2018, but also an increase in financial giving, according to recently released numbers.

SBC's newly released Annual Church Profile report noted that from 2017 to 2018, membership in the country's largest Protestant denomination went below the 15 million mark, declining by 192,000 people to about 14.8 million members.

Weekly worship attendance also declined, going from approximately 5.32 million in 2017 to approximately 5.29 million in 2018. Attendance for small group and Sunday School also declined, from about 3.34 million in 2017 to 3.24 million in 2018.

Ronnie Floyd, president of the SBC Executive Committee, said on Thursday that the ACP report shows it's "time to press reset spiritually and strategically in the Southern Baptist Convention."

*****

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All Blessings,

David

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