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Episcopal Church Stats Reveal Inevitable Collapse * Queering of TEC * Bishop Singh Ripped for Abuse * More TEC Dioceses Sell Headquarters * Sewanee Celebrates First Trans Postulant * CofE Sacks safeguarding Board; celebrates First Trans Archdeacon * More

Episcopal Church Stats Reveal Inevitable Collapse * Queering of TEC * Bishop Singh Ripped for Abuse * More TEC Dioceses Sell Headquarters * Sewanee Celebrates First Trans Postulant * CofE Sacks safeguarding Board; celebrates First Trans Archdeacon * ABC Laments Church Decline, "I am to blame" * Abortion Stats Shocker * AI to Create New Globalized Bible

Holiness and suffering. Biblical teaching and personal experience combine to teach that suffering is the path to holiness or maturity. There is always an indefinable something about people who have suffered. They have fragrance which others lack. They exhibit the meekness and gentleness of Christ. One of the most remarkable statements Peter makes in his first letter is that 'he who has suffered in his body is done with sin' (4:1). Physical affliction, he seems to be saying actually has the effect of making us stop sinning. This being so, I sometimes wonder if the real test of our hunger for holiness is our willingness to experience any degree of suffering if only thereby God will make us holy. --- John R.W. Stott

"He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He has blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can." --- C. S. Lewis: Mere Christianity.

We, in GAFCON and GSFA had earlier declared unequivocally that we no longer recognise the Archbishop of Canterbury as the head, leader or spokesperson of the Anglican Communion. --- Rwanda Archbishop Laurent Mbanda

"What good is freedom to you! If you're free, your faith will soon be choked by thorns! Be glad you're in prison. Here you have time to think about your soul." --- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The Pride flag says "we are here for sex." The Bible says we are here to know, love, serve and be reconciled to God within limits that constrain all our other longings. --- Gavin Ashenden

When it comes to having true friends, the data show that 20% of pastors in 2022 ranked themselves as below average in that area compared to 10% who did so in 2015. Another 7% ranked themselves as poor when it comes to having friends in 2022 compared to just 2% in 2015. While 34% of pastors ranked themselves as excellent when it comes to having true friends in 2015, that share dropped to 17% in 2022. --- Leonardo Blair

Yes, death remains an enemy. But it is a defeated foe, and all who are in Christ will ultimately see its defeat when we are resurrected to life eternal. This is the truth behind what are reported to have been Tim Keller's final words: "There is no downside for me leaving, not in the slightest." And Dietrich Bonhoeffer's, as well: "This is the end -- for me, the beginning of life. -- Quoted from The Stream.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
June 23, 2023

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH is in a parlous state and more serious decline than anyone first thought. The latest 2021 domestic statistics show that there are 1,522,688 who identify as Episcopalians, of which 19.2% show up for weekly church services across 6,294 American churches with attendance under 50 in most parishes. Only 292,851 people warm domestic Episcopal Church pews during any given week. This is the lowest recorded numbers to date. 2022 and 2023 statistics will surely be even lower when we obtain them.

One in four priests in TEC is homosexual. The number of funerals, (23, 127) outweighed the number of baptisms (13,859) by nearly 2 to 1 in the Episcopal Church in 2021. Hundreds of parishes cannot find priests. The Episcopal Church is dying.

By 2040, it will, to all intents and purposes cease to exist. The millions of dollars spent litigating to hold onto properties will be viewed as wasted money as properties will eventually lie fallow. In time, they will become social centers, condos, saloons, bars, arts centers and more. They will no longer be places of worship. The abandonment of scripture as authoritative on all matters of faith and practice is the curse of revisionist and progressive thinking. God is not mocked; The Episcopal Church is reaping what it has sown and it has reaped the whirlwind.

You can read Mary Ann Mueller's full report, EXECUTIVE COUNCIL REARRANGES DECK CHAIRS here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-church-executive-council-rearranges-deck-chairs


PRIDE MONTH. My article The Queering of The Episcopal Church looks at just how far the Episcopal Church has slid off the theological rails. If one had any doubt about how far the Episcopal Church will go in adapting to the culture, one need look no further than June -- Pride Month -- commemorating the 1969 Stonewall uprising. Pride started out as a homosexual men's rebellion. Today it has morphed into a spate of LGBTQ+ sexualities which both the culture and liberal mainline denominations celebrate with public displays that border on the pornographic.

The White House and its current president have also cheered it along, embarrassing a vast swath of Americans who feel uncomfortable celebrating a behavior that has taken so many lives.

The Episcopal Church openly celebrates LGBTQ+ events with TEC encouraging parents and their children to celebrate and participate. The rainbow of fashions ranging from bondage to the banal, from near nudity to fashionable haute couture leaves little to the imagination. Children wave "gay" flags from the pavements. The children are cheered along by parents who smile approvingly, unaware of the lifetime damage such indoctrination does to young, sensitive hearts and minds. What is seen cannot be unseen. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/queering-episcopal-church


It is interesting to note that at the consecration of the new bishop of Central Florida, Rev. Dr. Justin S. Holcomb, only a small handful of bishops showed up and they were reasonably orthodox. The Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer, canon to the Presiding Bishop for ministry within The Episcopal Church, served as chief consecrator. The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, PresidingBbishop, was absent, due to medical restrictions. Co-consecrators were the Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen, bishop of Honduras; the Rt. Rev. Dr. John C. Bauerschmidt, bishop of Tennessee the Rt. Rev. Gregory O. Brewer, fourth bishop of the Diocese of Central Florida; the Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio, bishop of Cuba, retired; the Rt. Rev. Matthew Riegel, bishop of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and the Rt. Rev. Dr. George Sumner, bishop of Dallas. Also appearing was former ACC chairman, Nigerian bishop Josiah Fearon. Where were all the usual progressive and revisionist bishops? And why was Holcomb not challenged on his orthodoxy in the way Charlie Holt is being challenged in the Diocese of Florida? Both men have the same evangelical credentials. Clearly, there is not much "diversity" in Central Florida.


The Trialogue Steering Committee that is studying the possibility of a reunion of the three Episcopal dioceses in Wisconsin announced on June 14 that the governing bodies of the three dioceses have voted to place a reunion resolution before each diocese's convention in October. ENS reports that if all three conventions approve, a special joint convention after Easter in 2024 will vote again, before reunion is presented to General Convention in June 2024 for final action.
The committee is made up of clergy and lay leaders from the dioceses of Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Eau Claire.


Across the country, several dioceses are beginning to sell off their headquarters. Their money is drying up as Episcopalians leave, transfer, or die. While it cannot be strictly attributed to TREC -- the Taskforce for Reimagining the Episcopal Church --or other top-down suggestions, the dioceses of Chicago, Newark and Oregon are selling or attempting to sell their headquarters. Various congregations are using their land to grow food for their neighbors or selling their buildings to support their outreach ministries. This is the slow, but inevitable death of revisionist dioceses. One of the burdens is the Episcopal Church headquarters in New York City, a veritable financial albatross hanging around the Church's neck.

Anglican Watch outlines this here: https://www.anglicanwatch.com/episcopal-church-gives-new-meaning-to-the-word-insanity/


SEWANEE: THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH, the Episcopal Church's only university, is celebrating Kelton Riley, T'23, the first transgender postulant from his diocese and the first transgender postulant undergoing formation for the priesthood at the School of Theology.

Riley, who goes by his last name, says that he has felt "celebrated" at Sewanee.
You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/sewanee-university-celebrates-first-transgender-theology-student-and-postulant


MORE ABUSE REPORTED IN TEC. The former Episcopal Bishop of Rochester, now the Provisional Bishop of the dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan, Prince Singh, has been publicly accused of domestic abuse by his two sons. They say they and their mother were repeatedly abused by the bishop over many years.

Writing on Facebook, Ekalaivan Singh wrote, "I could write over a thousand letters describing the horrible things my father, Prince Singh has done. I would like to express my deepest resentment towards the abuse and manipulation my family has had to deal with at the hands of this supposed man of God. Also I want my disappointment in the recent lies and betrayals we have had to endure to be known."

The bishop got divorced in 2021 and now is engaged to be married. Singh says he wants Title IV investigation to exonerate him. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has been accused of inaction by one of the sons. Singh has not been inhibited from ministry at this time. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-bishop-prince-singh-accused-abuse-sons-and-former-wife


The ACNA Provincial Council meeting in Plano, TX released the latest 2022 congregational reporting numbers and they look very good. In the case of attendance, exceptional with a 30% rebound in a single year.

Overall Average Principal Service Attendance in 2022 was 75,583, up 30 percent from 58,255 in 2021. Membership increased 2,549 (up 2 percent from 122,450) in 2021 to 124,999 in 2022. Congregations grew by three to 977 total. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/anglican-attendance-strongly-rebounds


THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND roils from crisis to crisis. The Church of England has sacked members of the Independent Safeguarding Board which investigates allegations of abuse in the church. The CofE said it was "ending the contracts" of board members Jasvinder Sanghera and Steve Reeves, and the acting Chair, former Labour MP Meg Munn, though she will stay on in an interim basis until a new safeguarding structure is created. In a statement, the CofE referred to reports of a dispute between the Archbishops' Council and two members of the board, who told The Telegraph that the church treated them with hostility and interfered in their work, and that they objected to the appointment of Ms. Munn as acting chair. You can read more here: https://religionmediacentre.org.uk/morning-news-bulletin/religion-news-22-june-2023/

The Church of England has appointed its first transgender archdeacon. The Rev. Canon Rachel Mann has been made Archdeacon of Bolton and Salford. She has ministered in the Diocese of Manchester for the last 18 years.

Canon Rachel who is also an author and radio commentator, served her curacy at St Matthew's Church, Stretford before taking on the role of Priest-in-Charge and later Rector at the Church of St Nicholas, Burnage. In June 2021, she left St Nicholas Burnage to take on her current role of Area Dean of Bury and Rossendale.

Ironically, her new bishop is an evangelical. The Rev. Dr Matthew Porter, Bishop-designate of Bolton said: "I am very much looking forward to ministering with Rachel, as we seek to grow Christ's Church, nurture disciples, and serve the people God has called us among."

The English Churchman (which is shortly to go out of business) revealed that Allah was invoked at Newcastle Cathedral, recently. During a regular weekday service in Newcastle Cathedral, the name of Allah was invoked during the prayers of intercession.

Choral Evensong from the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas, Newcastle upon Tyne on Wednesday 7th June was broadcast live on YouTube. During the service, prayer requests from visitors were read by the minister. One such request was read without modification: "A Muslim visitor prays for his son who has died: 'May Allah protect your soul, and grant me passage to be with you in the afterlife.'"

In a moment of self-illlumination, the Archbishop of Canterbury said this week that the decline in church attendance is a 'personal failure'. Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the decline in church attendance during his tenure is something "that I personally I count as failure".

It is not without its significance that this decline comes as the Church of England grapples with division following the landmark move to bless same-sex couples, threats from the worldwide Anglican Communion that it could "formally disassociate" in the aftermath of the vote and concerns that the parish system is under threat amid dwindling congregations.

A sliver of light did emerge this week when it was announced that Bishop Philip Mounstephen of Truro had his report on religious persecutionadopted by the United Nations Security Council, which accepted one of its key recommendations providing deeply detailed accounts of persecution across the world. The U.N.'s Secretary General will offer an annual oral report on threats to international peace and security related to Freedom of Religion or Belief (FRoB).

FINAL NOTE. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, dished out awards to 33 recipients in eight countries who had done noble things for the Anglican cause in 2023. The awards are called the Lambeth Awards.

Recipients are recognized for contributions to community service, worship, evangelism, interfaith cooperation, ecumenism and education. One of them was one of the original founders of Stonewall the homosexual organization that was briefly hounded by the cops. Apparently, VOL did not qualify, yet again. We are, of course, disappointed that 35 years of service to the Anglican Communion continues to go unrecognized. But a Lambeth Palace official did say that a special roll of toilet paper (signed by Welby himself) was being shipped to yours truly. So, I am definitely not forgotten.


FOUR GLOBAL SOUTH ARSHBISHOPS ARE ITCHING FOR A FIGHT and they are not taking any prisoners. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is coming under increasing fire from orthodox Global South Anglican archbishops for his weak, equivocating stand on human sexuality and his push to make the Church of England homosexually-friendly. This stance is arousing the ire of the Church of England's evangelical wing.

In a blistering attack on Archbishop Welby by the Most Rev. Dr. Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop of Rwanda, (who won't be seen in the same room as TEC Presiding Bishop Michael Curry), Mbanda said Welby had lost every power and authority to dictate to or advise other Primates and Provinces of the Communion who oversee 85% of the Global Communion. "It is pertinent to remind Archbishop Welby that Africa is no longer a colony of the 'British Empire,' and the Church of England has no jurisdiction over the Anglican Provinces on the continent of Africa."

Then Mbanda tore into Welby with this line: "We, in GAFCON and GSFA had earlier declared unequivocally that we no longer recognise the Archbishop of Canterbury as the head, leader or spokesperson of the Anglican Communion."

You can read his full attack along with the archbishops of Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria here: https://virtueonline.org/global-south-anglican-archbishops-ratchet-attacks-archbishop-justin-welby

In an allied story, the Primate of Uganda slapped down the Archbishop of Canterbury over the recent passage of the Homosexuality Act in that country. Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba said; "Homosexuality was already criminalized; it simply reaffirms what was already in the colonial-era penal code, including a maximum sentence of the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality (which the Church of Uganda opposed).

"What is new is specifically outlawing the promotion of homosexuality and same-sex relationships as a moral alternative to God's natural design for marriage between one man and one woman."

Kaziimba then accused Welby of hypocrisy. "We wonder if Archbishop Justin Welby has written to encourage the Anglican Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf to publicly advocate for decriminalizing homosexuality in the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East? Why are African countries like Ghana and Uganda singled out for such virtue signaling?" You can read more here:

Thugs attacked an Anglican Church in Uganda and hacked several Christians to death with machetes. One of the Christians died instantly, while dozens were severely injured and were admitted to hospital. According to police, the incident took place on Tuesday night at Katikara church of Uganda located in Katikara trading center about 160 kms south from the country's capital, Kampala.


One of the best statements on the Transgender hell going on in our society comes from British writer Melanie Phillips: "If the worst aspect of the transgender mass delirium is the physical and psychological abuse and willful mistreatment of vulnerable children, then the very worst aspect of all is the part played in that abuse and mistreatment by adult professionals who are tasked with caring for their welfare.

"People who are genuinely transgender should be treated with compassion and respect. But what we are now seeing is a kind of cult in which children with a range of psychological or other developmental disorders are being encouraged to believe that, by identifying as the opposite sex, they will somehow escape their problems through assuming a cool new sexual identity -- which may involve unalterable changes to their body. This is unforgiveable.

"In addition to those within the medical and psychiatric world who have facilitated this horror, schools have been actively pushing the trans-agenda to their pupils, usually with the assistance of LGBT+ activist organizations.

"This involves validating as true a child's declaration that they are "non-binary," which is in fact a disorder of the mind or personality. Such validation is therefore a form of grooming -- to subvert identity rooted in the reality of biological sex -- in which the school actively colludes. Older pupils may in turn groom younger ones who, in their own confusion and distress, may be vulnerable to the ultra-cool trans role model that's so temptingly on offer."

You can read what the Bible says about transgenderism here: https://virtueonline.org/what-does-bible-say-about-transgenderism


ABORTION remains the single hottest button issue for orthodox Christians, both Catholic and evangelical. Who is the most pro-life president in modern American history? Well, the answer might surprise you. The perceived answer to this question will likely swing the evangelical vote and decide the nomination, writes David French, an evangelical columnist for the New York Times. "Hope, not power, is the key for the pro-life movement," he says. If the most important metric in determining a president's pro-life credentials is the prevalence of abortions performed in the United States during his term, then the title of the most pro-life president in modern American history belongs, remarkably, to Barack Obama.

The Guttmacher Institute reported that the American abortion rate (the number of abortions per 1,000 women) and abortion ratio (the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies) rose sharply in the years after the Supreme Court decided Roe in 1973. These figures essentially plateaued and then dipped slightly under Ronald Reagan's presidency, and then began a long decline under each president since then ... until Donald Trump.

No president saw sharper decreases in the abortion rate and ratio from the first to the last year of his presidency than Barack Obama. In 2016, at the end of a presidency dominated by pro-choice policies and judicial nominations, there were a total of 874,080 abortions -- 338,270 fewer than there were in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush presidency. That's a remarkable decline of 28 percent. The rate and ratio of abortions at the end of Obama's second term was actually lower than it was in 1973, the year Roe was decided.

Yet that long trajectory toward lower abortion rates and ratios changed during Donald Trump's single term. In spite of allegedly being the most pro-life president in American history, Trump presided over the first overall increase in the abortion rate and ratio during a presidency since Jimmy Carter. As a result, there were 56,080 more abortions in the final year of Trump's presidency than there were in the final year of Obama's. And no, this was not a Covid-induced blip. You can read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/22/opinion/abortion-law-reality.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare


Two Anglican missionaries who are working in the ME and Africa (but who cannot be named for obvious reasons) sent the following report to VOL, saying that 15 leaders from Syrian Kurd, Iraqi Kurd and Yezidi are meeting to plan missionary strategies in their countries. "It wasn't long ago we didn't even have 15 Believers," wrote one of the missionaries.

"We are now reporting 250 churches and discipleship groups, reaching the 7th generation. 80 new group members are ready for baptism! This is two years of focused work. God is moving!"

"Now we're working on a Kurdish liturgy. Using Acts 2:37-47. The Anglican in Jerry wants a common liturgy for the movement. We're asking them to look at what the Bible has to say and then structure a liturgy that works and speaks to them culturally."

"We don't use written texts for anything so that the tools and teaching can be simply replicated and passed down the line. And many, especially the women, are illiterate. Women are some of our best leaders. One tiny woman with cancer launched all of this Syrian work. We have five hand symbols for celebrating the Lord's Supper." God is indeed at work.


A top official with the World Economic Forum (WEF) has called for religious scripture to be "rewritten" by artificial intelligence (AI) to create a globalized "new Bible."

Yuval Noah Harari, the senior advisor to the WEF and its chairman Klaus Schwab, argues that using AI to replace scriptures will create unified "religions that are actually correct."

Harari, an influential author and professor, made the call while giving a talk on the "future of humanity."

According to Harari, the power of AI can be harnessed and used to reshape spirituality into the WEF's globalist vision of "equity" and inclusivism.

Speaking with journalist Pedro Pinto in Lisbon, Portugal, Harari told the elitist audience: "It's the first technology ever that can create new ideas.

"You know, the printing press, radio, television, they broadcast, they spread the ideas created by the human brain, by the human mind.

"They cannot create a new idea.

"You know, [Johannes] Gutenberg printed the Bible in the middle of the 15th century; the printing press printed as many copies of the Bible as Gutenberg instructed it, but it did not create a single new page.

"It had no ideas of its own about the Bible: Is it good? Is it bad? How to interpret this? How to interpret that?"

Harari then revealed that he and his allies at the WEF have a solution to the supposed problems he'd just highlighted.

"AI can create new ideas; [it] can even write a new Bible," he declared.

"Throughout history, religions dreamt about having a book written by a superhuman intelligence, by a non-human entity," he added.


VOL. Dear friends. In a couple of months, the DRUPAL platform I have been using for over 30 years will no longer be supported by the company. I need to move to WORDPRESS or some equivalent platform. This is an expensive transition and I will need significant financial support to make the move. I am hoping VOL's readers will come to the aid of VOL to make this transition possible.

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