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COVID has changed the Church * Episcopal Church OOB by 2040? * Advent Cathedral Priest Resigns * 45 Churches Burn in Canada * CofE Lay-Led Churches set off Ruckus * Winchester Bishop Dakin to Retire * ABC Apologizes Once Again * ACNA Diocese in Turmoil

COVID has changed the Church * Episcopal Church OOB by 2040? * Advent Cathedral Priest Resigns * 45 Churches Burn in Canada * CofE Lay-Led Churches set off Ruckus * Winchester Bishop Dakin to Retire * ABC Welby Apologizes Once Again * CEEC Gets new Metropolitan * ACNA Diocese in Turmoil over Sex Allegations

"Cancel culture is spinning out of control; and Christians, conservatives, and especially conservative Christians, are their primary target. They will not be allowed to have a hearing, they will not be allowed to speak, and they will not be allowed to have a differing point of view." -- Bill Muehlenberg, Culture Watch

"The greatest kindness one can render to any man consists in leading him to Truth." --- St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

The left has weaponized a victimhood culture to force conservatives to bow to their worldview. -- Jennifer Kabbany

Anglican teaching. Although it is sometimes said in Anglican circles that Scripture, tradition and reason form a 'threefold cord' which restrains and directs the church, and although there are not lacking those who regard these three as having equal authority, yet official pronouncements continue to uphold the primary, the supreme authority of Scripture, while accepting the important place of tradition and reason in the elucidation of Scripture. Thus, the report on the Bible issued by the 1958 Lambeth Conference contained this heartening statement: 'The Church is not "over" the Holy Scriptures, but "under" them, in the sense that the process of canonization was not one whereby the Church conferred authority on the books but one whereby the Church acknowledged them to possess authority. And why? The books were recognized as giving the witness of the Apostles to the life, teaching, death, and resurrection of the Lord and the interpretation by the Apostles of these events. To that apostolic authority the Church must ever bow.' -- John R.W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
July 16, 2021

There are five ways COVID has changed the church, according to James Emery White. For good or ill, here they are:

1. Attendance. The Change: Attending church now means either attending in person or online, and for many churches the online attenders will continue to be the larger of the two venues. Currently, in-person attendance is running at about half or less than it was pre-COVID for most of the churches.

2. Unity. The Change: The basis of church unity has shifted from relationships to ideology, and the basis of that ideology has shifted from doctrine to all things politicized. A church's doctrinal statement is less important than a church's "cultural" statement. As a result, incongruence between personal and a church's perceived "cultural statement" is now the grounds for not only the breakup of community, but the permission to act with a lack of civility.

3. Discipleship. The Change: Remote learning, as the WSJ has reported, threatens the $670 billion college-industrial complex. It also threatens traditional approaches to discipleship, which is modeled similarly. Online learning is not only how people learn but, in most cases, how they want to learn.

4. Outreach. The Change: While the essence of effective outreach will always be relational and incarnational in nature, the dynamic of the relational invitation has changed from "come with me" to "you should check this out online." Outreach is no longer a physical invitation, but a digital one. Physical attendance will now be what follows online attendance (if it follows it at all).

5. Expectations. The Change: With the era of big government comes the expectation of big church, not in terms of size, but in expectation of service. A consumer mindset, already entrenched within many churches, is now a given. It has been widely observed that the twin sister of COVID has been a mirroring pandemic of selfishness. When it comes to the church, people will expect to be served rather than to serve. The church is seen to exist as an agency that dispenses services, not enlists service.

None of this looks good for the post pandemic church, but we must face reality. This is what it has come to. Perhaps we should recall what Jesus said: "I did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many"; "Whoever wants to be first must become last"; "Whoever wants to be great among you must become the slave of all"; "Not my will, but thine" (See Matthew 20:25-28; Luke 22:42). We need to respond by reminding people to be more like Jesus. The four-word mantra, "It's not about you," must be upheld. We shall see how it all plays out.


Multiple stories are emerging that The Episcopal Church is in its death throes, with its demise expected by 2040. Aging Episcopalians now in their late 60s can no longer replace themselves. For every 25,000 who leave or die, they are being replaced by 5,000. That is a recipe for disaster and eventual death.

I have written about this dynamic and you can my latest report on the state of TEC here:


The big news of the past two weeks was the announcement by the Rev. Andrew Pearson of Advent Cathedral in Birmingham, Alabama, that he is leaving the church and TEC. "An evangelical rector quits Apostate denomination", screamed one headline.

The resignation of Pearson as rector of the 1,100-strong Advent Cathedral in Birmingham, Alabama, came as a shock.

The conventional wisdom had been that Advent could ride the storms of liberalism surrounding it, despite many other evangelicals being gradually forced out of America's Episcopal Church over the last decade.

However, the Cathedral's vestry had recently capitulated to the demands of the new Alabama Episcopal bishop, one Glenda Curry, no relation to PB Michael Curry.

Pearson says an ultimatum was put to him by two successive bishops, 'change or leave the denomination.'

Pearson came to realize there was no future for him in the Episcopal Church and that he needed to leave.

He has joined the Anglican Church in North America and will serve under Archbishop Foley Beach. Pearson is making plans to plant a new church in Birmingham.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/advent-has-changed-andrew-pearson-why-he-left-advent-cathedral-dealing-diocese-starting-anglican

The only question now is why any evangelical would want to stay in TEC when they see what revisionist bishops have done to orthodox bishops like Bill Love, the former TEC Bishop of Albany and to a swathe of clergy. The laity, on the other hand, just leave with their checkbooks never to return.


BURN BABY BURN. More churches in Canada, and now one in LA, have burned to the ground and a bishop pleads for an end to burnings, and a closer look at the controversial history of residential schools for Native Peoples.

Another Catholic church and another Anglican church in Canada have been burned down, and a man was arrested for allegedly setting fire to a church in Los Angeles.

At Least 45 Christian churches have been set on fire in Canada as attacks escalate. They are mostly Catholic, with multiple acts of vandalism. The incidents followed news that Native Canadians have used ground-penetrating radar in cemeteries on the grounds of former residential schools, which were part of a Canadian program to assimilate indigenous peoples. The existence of the cemeteries had been known, but the news this spring and summer has put the controversy over the residential schools back in the limelight.

Many of the schools, which stretched across Canada and were in operation from the mid-19th to the late-20th centuries, were run by Catholic religious orders. A truth and reconciliation commission several years ago detailed the ways children were forcibly removed from their families to be educated in European traditions at the schools, forbidden to use their native languages and forced to drop elements of their Native culture.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for Pope Francis to come to Canada to apologize for the Church's role in the schools. Trudeau said last week that he understands the anger behind the church burnings but it was "not something we should be doing as Canadians."


The Church of England will consider an evangelical-inspired proposal for lay-led churches. Facing decline, Anglicans will debate whether the suggestion represents a fresh missional strategy or a radical departure from their theological convictions.

The Church of England's annual General Synod starts today in London. It is supposed to be a joyful occasion. But this year's Petertide has been marred by what many have interpreted as an attack on the future of Anglican priesthood itself.

One of its most senior clerics submitted a paper for discussion arguing that the future lies not with clergy in the pulpit, but with worshiping communities led by lay people.

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell--second only in the hierarchy to the archbishop of Canterbury--first floated his ideas last year in a report from a "Vision and Strategy" committee that Cottrell heads. But its publication last month, just before the laity, bishops and other clergy attended the Synod sessions online, has caused an outcry.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/church-england-considers-evangelical-inspired-proposal-lay-led-churches
And here:
And here: https://virtueonline.org/church-abandoning-its-flock


The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Tim Dakin, announced his retirement, having formally notified HM The Queen of his intention to step down. He will retire as Bishop in February 2022.

Dakin's decision follows the conclusion of a series of facilitated conversations that have taken place over the summer to consider matters raised concerning his leadership and governance.

Dakin's reign was marked by much discord. He faced enormous pushback in his diocese after 25 in his diocese signed an unprecedented motion demanding he quit over a financial crisis and the sacking of more than 20 clergy and other staff. The good news in the CofE is that they can get rid of useless bishops. Adultery seems to be the only sin left in TEC to get rid of bishops or disobeying a humanly manufactured, homosexual, marriage canon.


The Archbishop of Canterbury can't seem to stop apologizing. He's reached a record breaking nine apologies and more may be on the way. It is now so absurd that I was forced to write a satirical essay on his latest -- an apology to the expulsion of Jews in the 13th century! I kid you not. Here is what one scholar wrote to me and said; "Apologizing today for the expulsion of the Jews in the 13th century? When Britain and Christians in general and Evangelicals in particular have done more to promote the restoration of the Jews to Israel than anyone -- and were even 'Zionists' in the original sense before most Jews were, and long before Theodor Herzl was!" There you have it. Welby, Apologizer-in-Chief! You can read it here:


Forward in Faith North America (FIFNA) announced the election of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Eric Menees of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin to be the next President of FIFNA. A press release says Bishop Menees brings to the role an impressive resume of leadership experiences and a love for the Catholic tradition in the Anglican Church.

The 2021 FIFNA Assembly was held at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Communion in conjunction with the Anglican Way Institute Conference, with representation from throughout the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The representatives includedBishop Keith Ackerman (bishop vicar of the Diocese of Quincy and Assisting Bishop of Fort Worth), Bishop Jack Iker (retired Bishop of Fort Worth), Bishop Eric Menees (Diocese of San Joaquin), Bishop Ray Sutton (Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church) and Bishop Walter Banek (Suffragan Bishop of Mid-America), along with clergy and lay members of various ACNA dioceses such as the Missionary Diocese of All Saints and the Diocese of Western Anglicans.


Stunning revelations of sexual abuse and child sexual abuse in the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Midwest (ACNA) by an Anglican layman have forced Bishop Stewart Ruch to take a temporary leave of absence.

In a letter to his diocese, Ruch said significant concerns had been raised about his response to allegations of abuse in his former diocesan congregation, Christ Our Light of Big Rock, Illinois. "I understand that my leadership and my handling of these allegations have been called into question."

"I feel like the best way to walk in integrity now is to step aside as this process moves forward and as efforts are made to serve any survivors of abuse." Ruch said that ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach had granted his request. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/upper-midwest-acna-bishop-takes-leave-absence-following-revelations-sexual-abuse

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach weighed in on the situation and you can read his take here on the Diocese of the Upper Midwest.
You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/group-letter-lament-and-solidarity-acna-women-clergy-survivors-abuse-diocese-upper-midwest

However, abuse prevention advocates say they want input into the ACNA investigation of Bishop Ruch. The advocates named #ACNAtoo wants input on an investigation into how allegations of abuse were handled. They say there are serious questions about the future of Ruch who is accused of mishandling the abuse allegations. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/abuse-prevention-advocates-want-input-acna-investigation-bishop

You can read the ACNATOO Open Letter to Archbishop Beach here: https://www.acnatoo.org/news/openletter


Archbishop Robert Gosselin was installed as the new Metropolitan Provincial Archbishop for the CEEC CHURCH's Province of Reconciliation. Bishops responsible for CEEC jurisdictions in South America and Africa joined CEEC Bishops from the United States and a large contingent of clergy, as well as VIP guests from several other churches and denominations to celebrate the bishop's investiture at the Church of the Redeemer -- Anglican in Jacksonville, Florida.


WORDS MATTER or how the left is strangling the church and culture by redefining language.

Malcolm Muggeridge once described himself as a vendor of words. He was probably the most renowned journalist of the Twentieth Century and used words better than most writers of his time. He was a words man par excellence. Mercifully, he did not live to see the debasement of language that has become the mantra of the left.

Take the word "gay". It used to mean someone who is happy, perhaps funny, but then it was co-opted by the homosexual community, and now it describes a behavior that has systematically killed millions of men. But "gay" stuck and now you can no longer use it to describe how you feel because it has changed its definition. The word gay softens harsher sounding words like homosexual or sodomite to make it more acceptable and palatable to the ear. To even suggest that anal sex might be the cause of AIDS is to invite cries of hate and homophobia.

You can read my take on the language game being played out here: https://virtueonline.org/words-matter-how-left-strangling-church-and-culture-redefining-language


Can Britain survive the woke wave? Conflicts over national identity have the potential to tear the fabric of civil society. Matthew Goodwin, professor of politics at the University of Kent and co-author of National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy (Penguin) says that back in 1963, a landmark study by academics Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba called, The Civic Culture, looked into why the British did not follow the Germans and the Italians into the abyss of fascism, and why communism has similarly failed to take root here. They concluded that the country's political culture made it inhospitable to radical ideologies. The British didn't do ideology.

Decades later, and Britain seems a more hospitable place for foreign ideologies, importing America-style culture wars over "wokeism". Or at least, this is the finding of a major study released this week by American pollster, Frank Luntz. Based on three nationwide surveys and two focus groups, Luntz argues that post-Brexit Britain is rapidly following America into the abyss of highly-polarized culture wars over populism and wokeism.


AROUND THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION. The former Bishop of Port Moresby, Denny Bray Guka was found guilty of misconduct by a Church provincial Court and was dismissed from Holy Orders. The Archbishop of Papua New Guinea, the Most Rev Allan Migi described it as a very sad moment in the history of the Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea and especially in the Diocese of Port Moresby.

VOL's African correspondent Godfrey Olukya sent news that security at Anglican Church premises in Kenya needs improvement. A cross section of Anglicans in Kenya have called on the Anglican Church of Kenya leadership to ensure that the security at Church premises is improved. There have been several incidents of trespassing and misuse of Church property on the rise in the country, the latest being the dumping a new-born baby in a church toilet. There are also reports that some youth hide on Church land and smoke opium. This is common where churches have large pieces of land with gardens and trees.

In Ghana, Regina Baadu has become the first woman ever to be ordained to the priesthood for the Anglican Diocese of Cape Coast, Ghana. The ordination ceremony took place on July 3 at St. Mary the Virgin Church. Bishop Victor Reginald Atta-Baffoe of Cape Coast encouraged Baadu and her fellow newly-ordained priests to offer selfless and dedicated service that will attract more people to Christ.

Tensions flared this week over an Anglican church burned down on Gitwangak First Nation, this week. A 108-year-old Anglican church was destroyed by a fire. It is the latest church to burn down after the discovery of unmarked graves of Indigenous residential school children. Indigenous leaders are condemning the vandalism.

In Nigeria, the Anglican Bishop of Orlu Diocese, Imo State, The Rt. Rev. Benjamin Chukwunedum Okeke, has inaugurated a special institute for training of the wives of the clergy and laity. The Institute, named, Orlu Diocesan Women Training Centre (Ama Nwanyi), was the vision of the bishop's wife, Nneobioma Uloma Okeke.

Okeke said the institution is a platform to train young women, especially Church workers' wives. "This institute has been designed to inculcate tenets of managerial principles with appropriate spiritual standards to enable them to succeed in their calling as clergy wives. Church work is a platform that requires some knowledge of rubrics and liturgical expertise."

AUSTRALIA: A same-sex married couple claims they were discriminated against and had to leave their leadership roles and a paid job at a small church in northern NSW.

Organist and church musical director Peter Sanders, 57, and his husband Peter Grace, 61, who held an unpaid leadership role at St Mary's Anglican Church, were told they would need to separate, be celibate and receive religious counselling if they were to continue in their positions in the West Armidale church.


The IRS has decided to back down, granting tax-exempt status to Christians Engaged, a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers Christians to be civically engaged while praying for America and our elected officials.

The reversal comes after a national backlash against the IRS's initial rejection of Christians Engaged's nonprofit status. The IRS had claimed at the time, "Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican party and candidates."

First Liberty Institute, a religious rights law firm, represented Christians Engaged and successfully appealed the IRS's decision.


The Church Pension Fund revealed this week that it had $17.3 billion in portfolio assets and paid out $420 million in benefits to clergy and lay employees. One wonders what it will do with all its money when the Church disappears in the next 20 years.


Is the end near? Prophets and soothsayers of one stripe or another believe we are in the End Times. But the End Times have been proclaimed for nearly 2,000 years and still we continue despite fire, famines, floods and war. If you read enough history, you know we have been here before. An excellent take on all this is by Archbishop Cranmer, a UK Blogger, which you can read here: https://archbishopcranmer.com/flood-fire-famine-and-pestilence-the-end-is-nigh-maybe/


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