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GAFCON Approved Anglican Network in Europe Formed * CofE Lesbian Erupts Over LLF Report * Split Threatened in CofE if Homosexual Marriage not approved * Anglican Church of Canada Uses Advent to Denounce Racism and White Supremacy *Truro Church Negotiation

GAFCON Approved Anglican Network in Europe Formed * CofE Lesbian Erupts Over LLF Report * Split Threatened in CofE if Homosexual Marriage not approved * Anglican Church of Canada Uses Advent to Denounce Racism and White Supremacy * Church in Wales Plans Homosexual Blessings * Central Florida Diocese gets $1 million Lilly Grant * Truro Church in Negotiations to be Sold

ON PROPHETIC WORDS: If someone decides to speak on God's behalf, and what they say doesn't come to pass, the word they gave was false. Recent prophesies of COVID disappearing by Easter 2020 (given by a few well-known modern "prophets") and Joe Biden getting a stroke BEFORE the election were clearly false. --- Frank Viola

Nothing whatever, whether great or small, can happen to a believer, without God's ordering and permission. There is no such thing as "chance," "luck" or "accident" in the Christian's journey through this world. All is arranged and appointed by God. And all things are "working together" for the believer's good. -- J.C. Ryle

God is light. Of the statements about the essential being of God, none is more comprehensive than *God is light*. It is his nature to reveal himself, as it is the property of light to shine; and the revelation is of perfect purity and unutterable majesty. We are to think of God as a personal being, infinite in all his perfections, transcendent, 'the high and lofty One ... he who lives forever, whose name is holy' (Is. 57:15), yet who desires to be known and has revealed himself. -- John R.W. Stott

Jesus abolishes the distinction between the secular and the sacred --- Nicky Gumbel

Using feminine pronouns and names for a biological male or male pronouns and names for a biological female is comparable to agreeing with an anorexic that she is indeed overweight. It feeds a gnostic delusion and encourages further abuse to the body. -- Robert A.J. Gagnon

For revisionists and liberals, the afterlife is an afterthought --- Anonymous
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
December 11, 2020

The big news over the past two weeks was the announcement of a new Anglican jurisdiction launched and supported by GAFCON. The Anglican Network in Europe (ANiE) will be a partnership of new and existing church initiatives led by the Gafcon Missionary Bishop for Europe, Andy Lines.

One gets the sense that a noose is slowly but surely being tightened around Archbishop Justin Welby's neck as he watches parishes flee, diocesan revenues plunge and layoffs from dioceses and cathedrals grow.

The new organization is an authentic expression of Anglican church life and mission, authorized and supported by the GAFCON Primates, said a press release.

In June 2020, a resolution was passed recommending that "Bishop Andy Lines be appointed as the Bishop of the Anglican Network in Europe, encompassing two convocations, the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) and the Anglican Convocation in Europe (ACE), and that the bishop be under the primatial oversight of whoever is the Chairman of the Primates' Council for his point of accountability. This is Archbishop Foley Beach.

This initiative follows GAFCON'S previous support for the establishment of AMiE and the Scottish Anglican Network. It also replaces the oversight generously provided up until now by the Anglican Network in Canada and which ends on December 31st.

ANiE is a partnership of biblically faithful Anglicans united around a shared commitment to the Jerusalem Declaration 2008 (a widely recognized statement of Anglican orthodoxy) and to making Christ known in Scotland, England, Wales and across the continent of Europe. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/new-anglican-jurisdiction-launched-supported-gafcon

Of course, this follows the trajectory of what happened here in the US and Canada. With the elevation of the homosexual Gene Robinson to the episcopacy in New Hampshire, the ACNA was born and it has been growing ever since. Sooner or later, when apostasy becomes entrenched, the faithful leave.

***

A theological and ecclesiastical tsunami swept over the Church of England last week when a group of homosexuals and lesbians blasted a 'Living in Love and Faith' "reconciliation" report. They said they would leave the Church if homosexual marriage is not fully embraced by the Church.

The wave of homosexual fury caught Church of England bishops by surprise, stunning the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had just announced a three-month sabbatical in which he planned to study the concept of reconciliation. The issue of reconciliation has dogged the Anglican Communion, roiled by sexuality issues with Global South bishops defiantly opposed to changing the biblical definition of marriage solely between a man and a woman. The Global South has steadfastly upheld the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1:10 as the gold standard for human sexual behavior.

This recent wave of anger is a colossal setback for the Church of England, which has been trying to navigate the sexual waters of compromise with the LLF report, a senior church official told VOL.

Earlier, Church of England lesbian activist Jayne Ozanne lashed out at conservatives, likening their views to "Holocaust deniers" and "rapists". Ozanne stated that she and her pansexual friends would not negotiate with the LLF report if they did not accept her sexual preferences.

Conservatives maintain that Biblical teaching reflects marriage between a man and a woman or singleness and celibacy, teaching that 'LGBT lifestyles are sinful.'

This second convulsive wave of outrage comprised a number of LGBT clergy and supporters, who said they will not attend the 'Living in Love and Faith' (LLF) discussions set for 2021 unless a group of 34 LGBT-affirming bishops openly show their support for gay marriage. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/church-england-reconciliation-attempts-derailed-pansexualists

***

The Church of England's Diocese of Chelmsford, in Essex, is set to cut 61stipendiary clergy posts by the end of 2021. Chelmsford is responding to pandemic-related financial pressures, changing formulas for allocations from central church funds and the pending retirement of nearly half of its active clergy.

Chelmsford's diocesan synod approved a plan on November 21 to reduce its stipendiary workforce by 22%, accelerating cuts previously planned to be staged in over five years. If parish giving does not increase significantly, the report presented to the synod warned, a further 49 posts would need to be cut by 2026.

The Church of England's clergy are paid by the diocese, with compensation based on seniority. Rates are fairly uniform across the church, with some variation from diocese to diocese based on the cost of living. Local congregations play a significant role in calling their own priests, but diocesan authorities control the level at which posts will be funded. The parish share, which supports clergy salaries as well as diocesan staff and programs, make up the lion's share of most parish budgets.

One suspects that this is the tip of the iceberg in failing dioceses throughout the CofE. After all, if your focus is going to be on securing homosexual marriage for a handful of homosexuals and believe the gospel is not enough to overcome sin and evil, then why bother with church!

***

The Anglican Church of Canada, in its pursuit of extinction, has decided to up the ante. It wants to use Advent this year to jump on the latest faddish secular bandwagon and denounce racism and white supremacy.

Advent, as traditionally understood, means 'Coming' in Latin. It is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.

But Canadian Anglicans are now being told by their bishops that the "real meaning" of Christmas is to "dismantle" racism. b How to do that is not explained. One can dismantle creches, a shed, a crane, perhaps the brain of a president or pope, (but I acknowledge that might be harder.) But no, the ACoC wants to dismantle Advent, an opening as Canadian blogger David of Samizdat notes "as a skirmish in their battle to dismantle Christianity."

"This Advent, we feel called to name the truth that the sin of racism and white supremacy is ongoing. People continue to be subjected to and oppressed by these systemic evils, even within our own churches and the ecumenical movement," said their leaders.

"For the sake of our common mission and witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we share a commitment to dismantling racism and combating white supremacy, and we actively seek opportunities to engage more deeply."

So, no mention of Jesus as Savior, of His stepping into space, time and history to redeem a fallen world. No, we are called upon to dismantle something as nefarious as racism and as dubious as white supremacy. You can read more here:
https://virtueonline.org/anglican-church-canada-dismantling-advent-name-dismantling-racism

***

Episcopal Diocese of Virginia officials have announced that diocesan leadership initiated "confidential conversations" in late 2019 with representatives of Truro Anglican Church in suburban Washington about the future of the property, with a potential sale possible.

"The discussions have been productive and are expected to continue," the diocese shared in a December 6 press release on its website. A member of the Truro congregation confirmed to me that the diocesan release "is substantially correct."

I've reached out to Truro's vestry wardens and will update this blog entry as I receive their responses. Truro staff confirmed that a verbal announcement was read aloud to the congregation during a parish meeting but that no written or public statement was released.

Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic Canon for Congregation and Clergy Care the Rev. Mary Maggard Hays noted that ongoing negotiations with the Diocese of Virginia are still confidential, but characterized them as "amicable and thoughtful." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-diocese-signals-truro-anglican-sale-possible

***

The Episcopal Church is doing its level best to infiltrate Africa with its hedonistic gospel and is using money in an effort to do just that. Episcopalians are supporting mission work in Africa through the United Thank Offering and direct connections between dioceses. They recently awarded a $3,600 grant for an emergency campaign against COVID-19 in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan's (ECSS) Diocese of Nzara. The diocese also has a partnership with the Diocese of Iowa, which contributed an additional $3,000. The deeper message is how and when will you accept TEC's version on sexuality issues.

But an ACNA bishop had this to say about that; "There are 64 dioceses in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan. Most are solidly GAFCON. Some of the young Bishops hardly have internet so are completely uninformed. They are excited about partnering with anyone because of extreme poverty, but they are solidly orthodox. Of the eight regional archbishops, a couple want to partner with TEC for the $$. We (XXXXXXX) have done a lot more than UTO. The ECSS is overall heroic!"

***

I have written a piece titled The Soft Totalitarianism of the Episcopal Church focusing on the slow but steady seduction of the Episcopal over the past 40 years. You can read it all here:
https://virtueonline.org/soft-totalitarianism-episcopal-church

***

Southern Ohio Episcopal Bishop Thomas Breidenthal, 69, said he is retiring after 13 years leading the diocese, citing that he was in recovery for alcoholism. He was among the first revisionist bishops to permit the blessing of homosexual unions in the diocese back in 2010. He said he had spent the past month in a residential treatment program for "a problem with alcohol." He follows numerous other bishops caught in this disease, the most prominent being Gene Robinson the former homosexual bishop of New Hampshire who soared to fame briefly for being the first homoerotic bishop to lead a diocese. Perhaps Breidenthal will discover a "higher power" which might lead to Jesus and salvation. One can but hope.

***

The Rev. Kim Jackson, 36, vicar of Atlanta's Church of the Common Ground, a ministry to homeless people, in the Diocese of Atlanta, was elected Georgia's first out LGBTQ state senator, with nearly 80% of the vote.

***

The Diocese of Central Florida was awarded $1 Million by Lilly Endowment Inc. as a grant for Leadership Development. Here's the spin; "....to support leadership development as a part of its nationally-competitive Thriving in Ministry Initiative. The grant funds the vision of The Rt. Rev. Gregory O. Brewer, diocesan bishop, for the raising up of new leaders and for helping existing leaders to grow and thrive. This grant supplements and expands the diocese's current programs and initiatives. "We are fostering leadership and are committed to doing so with time as well as finances for both clergy and laity," Brewer said.

Another news service said the diocese had an uptick in attendance, which might account for the grant. That, however, is not borne out by the facts.

TEC's own figures show that Central Florida has steadily declined since 2009 to the present day. Here are the figures:

Since 2009 till 2019, Average Sunday Attendance has gone steadily downhill. In 2009, the figure was 14,059. In 2019, it was 12,112 a drop of 13.8%

Central Florida 14,059; 13,494; 13,477; 13,294; 13,318; 13,085; 13,114; 12,992; 12,922; 12,336; 12,112 ‐13.8%

Between 2018 and 2019, it dropped by another 1.8%. (In all other areas like weddings, baptisms etc., the figures were also down.)

So, the question must be asked why would the Lilly Endowment give $1 Million even assuming a mild uptick in 2020? Why did Lilly buy into a single Episcopal diocese when 98% of TEC is in decline and by its own estimate, the future of the denomination looks "dire".

Brewer did a brilliant snow job on Lilly with a lot of fancy language about "fostering leadership" and a "diocesan residency program," whatever the hell that is, even as the median age of their priests is now well into the sixties! Tragically, Lilly has bought into the delusion that TEC has a future, when clearly it doesn't.

ACNA, which is growing, should ask Lilly for a grant of two million because it has demonstrated growth.

A fool and its (Endowment) money are soon parted.

***

The Church in Wales is planning to allow services to bless same-sex couples after they are married, saying it believes the Church will also have to consider its teaching on marriage.

The Church in Wales' Governing Body has proposed a new bill which would change the Book of Common Prayer and allow clergy to bless a same-sex couple who have already made a legal commitment elsewhere, whether through marriage or a civil partnership.

In a note explaining their desire to introduce the service, the Bench of Bishops say: "Scriptures condemn 'porneia', unbridled lust, in which sexual activity is divorced from faithful and mutual commitment. It is true that in Scripture such faithful commitment is always portrayed as between a man and woman in covenanted union (marriage), and all other sexual activity, including references to same-sex activity, is portrayed as an expression of porneia. However, with new social, scientific and psychological understandings of sexuality in the last one and a half centuries, we believe that same-sex relationships can be understood in a radically different way, and that the teaching of Scripture should therefore be re-interrogated."

They add: "Approval of this rite would be stating that the Church in Wales accepts that the loving and faithful commitment of two persons of the same sex, aspiring to life-long fidelity and mutual comfort, and who have made a commitment in civil partnership or marriage, is worthy of acceptance by the Church by asking God's blessing upon their commitment.

"The Bench believes that, in the fullness of time, the Governing Body will have to consider whether it wishes to consider a change in the Church's teaching concerning marriage." Source: Premier Christian News

***

In its trajectory towards oblivion, the Diocese of Huron will hold a Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20. Sydney Brouillard-Coyle (ney/nem) is the Co-Chair of the Proud Anglicans of Huron and is very excited by this.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by a transgender advocate named Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998.

Since last year's Transgender Day of Remembrance, there have been 326 reported deaths of transgender and genderqueer individuals, consisting of individuals from 31 different countries.

That's the equivalent of 225 dying each HOUR of COVID across the globe. Some
5,400 die each DAY of COVID. There is no report if the Diocese of Huron is planning a Day of Remembrance for them.

***

During the hardest moments of a particularly difficult year, Bible searches soared online, and a record number of people turned to Scripture for passages addressing fear, healing, and justice. The popular YouVersion Bible App saw searches increase by 80 percent in 2020, totaling nearly 600 million worldwide.

Isaiah 41:10 ranked as the most searched, read, and bookmarked verse on the app: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

"Through every hardship, people continue to seek God and turn to the Bible for strength, peace, and hope," said YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald. "While 2020 is a year so many say they'd like to forget, we see it as a year to remember how God used the Bible App to help so many people who are searching for answers."

Bible searches spiked corresponding to major events, with "fear" becoming the app's top search term in the first few months of the year, "justice" in the spring, and "healing" trending throughout the year.

The Bible Gateway site reported similar search trends. Pandemic-related verses about God taking away sickness got around 90 times more queries than average when US COVID-19 lockdowns began in March.

***

A group of progressive United Methodists announced they are forming a new Methodist denomination, the Liberation Methodist Connexion, or LMX.

For half a century, the United Methodist Church has debated the full inclusion of its LGBTQ members. It pushed any discussion of sexuality from its quadrennial General Conference meeting in 2016 to a special session in 2019, where delegates voted against allowing the church to ordain LGBTQ clergy or perform same-sex marriages.

A new plan has been proposed since then to split the denomination according to beliefs on LGBTQ ordination and same-sex marriage. The split was to be decided upon at the 2020 General Conference, but due to COVID-19 shutdowns, the conference was cancelled and the decision was postponed until next fall at the earliest.

This stands in contrast to TEC and the ACNA. In the case of the ACNA, orthodox Anglicans left the Episcopal Church over pansexuality; by contrast, revisionist Methodists have left orthodox Methodists behind.

Plans to split into two will come later this year, church officials said. The schism follows years of contention over whether the church should end its ban on same-sex marriage and gay clergy.

The plan, if approved at the church's worldwide conference in Minneapolis in May, would divide the third-largest U.S. Christian denomination into two branches: A traditionalist side opposed to gay marriage and the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clergy, and a progressive wing that will allow same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy.

The split would affect the denomination globally, church leaders said. The United Methodist Church lists more than 13 million members in the United States and 80 million worldwide.

***

Walter Hooper, the secretary who dedicated his life to the work of C. S. Lewis, died yesterday at the age of 89. Hooper, gave his life to C.S. Lewis's legacy, kept works in print, edited new collections, and spent a lifetime meditating on everything written by the beloved British author. H/Tchristianitytoday.com

***

VOL is beginning its end of year drive for funds to carry us forward into 2021. As the Anglican Communion continues to roil in controversy and renewal of ancient heresies, we will, with our correspondents, keep you informed of the news. There is also plenty of good news. ACNA is growing, GAFCON is growing. The Global South is flexing its muscles, demanding that its voice be heard, even as the Church of England looks to fully embrace homosexuality and homosexual marriage. The actions of the CofE will be a game changer.

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In Christ,

David

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