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FIFNA re-energized...two bishops duke it out in PA..NH...Newark...news

"Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed
Yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song."
"The Church's One Foundation." (Verse 3)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

For too long the Episcopal Church's traditionalist wing has lived in the shadow of the monolithic mother Church.

Over the years they have had various names - the Coalition for Apostolic Ministry (CAM), Evangelical Catholic Mission, (ECM), Episcopal Synod of America (ESA) and now Forward in Faith North America (FIFNA). FIFNA is part of a worldwide organization - Forward in Faith International with headquarters in the UK.

But at the 16th Annual Assembly in Bedford, Texas this week, FIFNA emerged re-energized, re-invigorated and hopeful, no longer sensing that they are alone. They have the ear, not only of the Archbishop of Canterbury but the Global South bishops as well. And because of the INTERNET their voices are heard not in days and months but in minutes and hours.

"It is a new day for us," said Fr. David Moyer, FIFNA president to Virtuosity. "Our conference theme, "Orthodoxy, Unity and Mission" says it all. "Our voices are being heard in the counsels of the Church, we are no longer in a backwater and we are no longer ridiculed and despised."

"We are charged and revived, our mission is strong. We have a new alliance with the Anglican Province of America (APA), we are one of six convocations of the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) and we are in full communion with the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), which daily is being joined by parishes and now dioceses of the Anglican Communion.

There was an air of rebellion and excitement in the cathedral. Everyone is waiting on tenterhooks for the Lambeth Commission to complete its work and deliver its findings to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

How it will all play out is still anybody's guess. But Canon Dr. Bill Atwood of EKKLESIA delivered himself of the view here that the Global South bishops will never again recognize revisionist Western bishops, as they consider the issues of Robinson's consecration and same-sex unions to be salvation issues. Furthermore the African bishops are ready to pour numerous missionaries into North America to convert Americans, especially North American Episcopalians, he said.

Speaker after speaker ripped into The Episcopal Church's heresies and apostasies, with Reformed Episcopal Bishop Ray Sutton blasting homosexual behavior saying that it was "repugnant to the almighty" and arguing that "we are to image in our societal and familial relations the Holy Family in heaven."

"God took a bride, the church. The groom did not take unto Himself another groom, which is the image portrayed by homosexual union. It is the inversion of the family of God and therefore Satanic," said the Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton. "I agree with the Primate of Nigeria. It IS Satanic."

Fr. David L. Moyer, FIFNA president and a priest in the revisionist diocese of PA Bishop Charles E. Bennison was particularly buoyant, urging his hearers, "We have no faith of our own, but only that which is Biblical, Evangelical, Catholic and Apostolic - the revealed religion of historic Christianity". Moyer said that because of the growing apostasy of the ECUSA, many are now moving (some kicking and screaming) towards the historic faith as it is found in "sacred Scripture and sacred tradition. We have come to the point (I believe), and the Global South leaders have been the clearest about this, to state that the new morality being advanced, celebrated, and codified by the revisionists is a salvation issue. Portions of the Church are leading people to hell."

And it didn't lighten up. Church of England Bishop Keith Newton (Richborough) said, "We are called to be faithful not publicly credible. Jesus wasn't publicly credible, He died before a jeering crowd. The Early Church was not publicly credible. The Confessing Church was not publicly credible, and the church today should not be publicly credible. If the Church organizes itself without God why on earth should it be publicly credible?"

Women's Ordination is still the important issue for these traditionalist Anglicans. To their minds it precedes the homosexual issue; the capitulation on women's ordination leads to the slippery slope of pansexuality, they argued. They were buoyed by the recent Anglican Mission in America paper on women's ordination which basically repudiated it, thus affirming their ancient theological and historical position.

A panel discussion by three ECUSA bishops on the newly formed Anglican Communion Network offered real hope to parishes under siege by revisionist bishops.

An interesting note on language. Many now sense that the term Anglo-Catholic might not be useful to describe ECUSA's orthodox faithful. Increasingly the term Evangelical Catholic seems to be catching the imagination. The word 'Evangelical" recognizes the church's gospel mission, the word 'catholic' establishes its historical lineage. With the coming together of Forward in Faith NA and the American Anglican Council, (the latter's leaders were at this FIFNA conference), there is a growing sense that old labels don't easily fit. This writer had a brief discussion with Nashotah House President Dr. Robert Munday, who is very driven by evangelical mission (he had a busload of students attend New Wineskins last year) and his graduating ordinands are easily being placed in revisionist dioceses by sympatico bishops. He cited Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles as a case in point. It might be desperation by revisionist bishops, but at least there is the recognition by more some of them that without men who know what the gospel is, and who understand where the church is coming from, then ECUSA is finished. Most liberal/revisionist dioceses are in financial and numbers free fall...and they just don't get it.

I will have an exclusive interview with TAC Primate John Hepworth in the next digest. Here is a man shaking the foundations of Anglicanism worldwide.

And in what might be the most farsighted observation yet offered, senior ECUSA Bishop William Wantland (Eau Claire, ret.) said that if Rowan Williams fails in his stewardship to discipline The Episcopal Church over faith and morals then he himself should be declared unworthy to run the Anglican Communion and the Global South Bishops ought to give serious thought about abandoning the present communion and forming a new communion with headquarters in Jerusalem or Alexandria (Egypt). If they did they would probably carry 90 percent or more of the Anglican Communion with them. It was Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola who recently observed, that "we don't need to go through Canterbury to get to Jesus." Indeed.

I have posted a number of stories in today's digest on this historic conference.

In the DIOCESE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE this week, Episcopalians at Church of the Redeemer are starting a new church rather than accept the leadership of openly homosexual Bishop V. Gene Robinson. Thirty-six out of 39 parishioners walked out of the Church of the Redeemer to launch a new church outside the control of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. They are asking the Archbishop of Canterbury, to take the unprecedented step of accepting them as Anglicans separate from the Episcopal Church. The parishioners' decision to break away from the revisionist Episcopal diocese came after a meeting with Robinson at the church Wednesday night. Robinson says he will try to rebuild the parish with the remaining three members. He hasn't a prayer.

In the DIOCESE OF NEWARK revisionist Bishop John Croneberger granted DEPO to St. Anthony of Padua in Hackensack N.J. this week. The revisionist bishop who followed Spong, said they could have Bishop William J. Skilton, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. The vestry unanimously accepted this offer. "We strongly reject Bishop Croneberger's opinion that those who support the historic all male priesthood of the Church Catholic violate the canons of the Church, and that Forward in Faith Bishops are some how unsuitable to be Visiting Bishops. Yet we are thankful for the opportunities that Delegated Oversight will afford us", said Jay W. McAnn, church warden.

And in the DIOCESE OF WEST TENNESSEE Bishop Don Johnson deposed three priests earlier this month. Johnson signed a “Sentence of Deposition” for Fathers Noland L. Pipes, Jr., Herbert H. Hand, and Stephen M. Carpenter. The document states that each of these three priests are “deprived of the right to exercise the gifts of spiritual authority conferred in Ordination, for reasons of Abandonment of the Communion of This church by a Priest.” Fathers Hand and Pipes, priest and associate priest of Faith Anglican Church, Cordova, respectively, are now part of the Province of Rwanda under the authority of Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini. They were received as presbyters in good standing by Bishop Thomas J. Johnston, Jr. Faith Anglican as part of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), a missionary outreach of the Province of Rwanda. Fr. Carpenter and his congregation established St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Memphis, which is part of the Anglican Church of Kenya in the Diocese of Thika and is under the oversight of Bishop Gideon Githiga. Though all three priests left ECUSA for different provinces in the Anglican Communion, all of them deny Bishop Johnson’s charges of “Abandonment of Communion”. The revisionist Moloch will brook no opposition.

And in the DIOCESE OF OKLAHOMA there was one of those wonderful, Spirit filled moments in Oklahoma City this week at St. James Anglican Church. In the midst of their Sunday service in their borrowed Baptist Chapel, having walked out on their building and Bishop Robert Moody, the Senior Warden was leading morning prayer when suddenly the doors were opened and a large group of people marched in, totally unannounced and unexpected. They surrounded the little congregation, singing hymns and offering prayers of support. It was a significant portion of the congregation of Holy Spirit in Tulsa. They had chartered a bus and come to Oklahoma City specifically to offer their prayers and support for this new Anglican church. The touching part of this is that Holy Spirit church is apparently on the verge of following St. James lead. They voted overwhelmingly a few weeks ago to join the Network, much to the displeasure of Bishop Moody. He has not yet acted and they have not yet made the final break. But the scene of the two faithful congregations hugging and smiling through their tears was something to behold. "We just came to love you" the Holy Spirit people said.

In the DIOCESE OF KANSAS the new bishop there, William E. Smalley has taken to sending out personal letters appealing for money. A family wrote Virtuosity saying they had received a letter from the bishop saying the diocese is $200,000 short and he, the Bishop, needs more money, even relating in his letter to little old ladies passing him $20 bills. Truly pathetic.

And in the DIOCESE OF PENNSYLAVNIA Virtuosity takes you right inside the headquarters of the diocese where revisionist Bishop Charles E. Bennison gets into a verbal fighting match with visiting PEV Church of England Bishop Edwin Barnes...and loses. You can read Virtuosity's exclusive "inside" report.

And in VANCOUVER, BC two Anglican priests have vowed to fight "eviction" from their West Coast churches, as the battle over same-sex unions heats up. The Rev. Barclay Mayo and Rev. Ed Hird notified Vacnouver Bishop Michael Ingham that they were severing their ties to the New Westminster Diocese and the Anglican Church of Canada over same-sex blessings. Now, Ingham has sent the priests letters they call ‘eviction notices’. “I would invite you to seek out alternative worship space for those whom you lead,” Ingham said in his letters dated June 23. “He’s invoking Canon 15 on us,” said Mayo of Christ the Redeemer, the Anglican Church in Pender Harbour, on the Sunshine Coast. “It’s a diocesan regulation that allows a bishop to take over a parish if, in his own opinion, it’s not running properly. This is all vindictiveness. He will probably have to go to court. We’re expecting a fairly significant fight.”

And if you had any doubts about the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY then you should read Canadian writer Ian Hunter on the man. Here's the headline: ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY GROWS MORE FOOLISH BY THE DAY. "If the Archbishop of Canterbury did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. Not, I hasten to add, for any spiritual or even ecclesiastical reason; spiritually he is as necessary to the propagation of the Christian faith as tiaras are to whales; ecclesiastically, he presides over an often ribald institution in terminal decline." That might be true of the CofE but not the global south.

The Mid-Atlantic Convocation of the ANGLICAN COMMUNION NETWORK will hold its conference for clergy, seminarians, spouses and their families on August 16-19, 2004 at Sandy Cove Conference Center in North East, MD. Featured speakers include Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Green, world-renowned evangelist and lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University. The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, ACN Moderator, and his wife, Nara, will be present. Duncan will share the latest news and information about ACN and the Lambeth Commission, and will address questions about our
future together. REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JULY 15, 2004. Inquiries may be directed to Betsy Robson at The Falls Church, Falls Church, Virginia, at (703) 532-7600.
For more information and to download the Registration Form, please go to:
http://www.anglicancommunionnetwork.org/news/dspnews.cfm?id=48. A registration form is also at the conclusion of this email.

And in the DIOCESE OF RECIFE, Brazil, Virtuosity has received word that orthodox Bishop Robinson Cavilcanti has transferred 10 clergy who decided to declare themselves as liberals and he tossed them out. "We are much better off now after GC2003 USA because as you know, we have been able to transfer 10 licensed clergy who decided to reveal themselves," said an orthodox priest in that diocese. Perhaps there is a lesson here for orthodox ECUSA bishops.

A NEW BIBLE TRANSLATION which promotes fornication is being praised by the Archbishop of Canterbury who says it is a version for 'extraordinary power'. The new translation of the Bible flatly contradicts traditional core Christian beliefs on sex and morality. Titled "Good as New," the new Bible is translated by former Baptist minister John Henson for the "One" organization, to produce what the group calls a "new, fresh and adventurous" translation of the Christian scriptures. The translation is rubbish. It caves into post-modernity and is precisely the kind of thing that has Global South bishops and the Roman Catholic Church in apoplectic fits. It is also one more reason why the vast majority of Anglican bishops might go their own way.

On the subject of that new translation, EKKLESIA, USA, an organization run by Canon Bill Atwood, says he is getting creamed by people who are mad that ekklesia.co.uk has backed the new ONE bible (Rowan's project!). He wants to make it clear that his organization by the same name is not behind this project.

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All blessings,

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