jQuery Slider

You are here

GAFCON Consecrates Diocesan Bishop in Christchurch NZ * Sydney Archbishop Says Homosexuals Should leave the Church * TEC Springfield Bishop to Retire * Bishop Beckwith Dies * More TEC Dioceses Face Possible Merger * 23% of Bishops Leave TEC * More...

GAFCON Consecrates Diocesan Bishop in Christchurch NZ * Sydney Archbishop Says Homosexuals Should leave the Church * TEC Springfield Bishop to Retire * Bishop Beckwith Dies * More TEC Dioceses Face Possible Merger * 23% of Bishops Leave TEC * New TEC Sex Scandal * TEC Leadership wants Divestment from Israel * Global Anglican Leaders Meet in Cairo distancing themselves from Welby

"We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God," ---- 2 Corinthians 4:2-4.

It is no coincidence that the constituent doctrine of the church -- the union of Christ and his church -- trades in marital imagery that is predicated upon God's creation of man as male and female. And thus neither is it mere happenstance that we find ourselves defending this very confession against the powers and principalities of this age. --- Colin J. Smothers

Submissive humility. Submission to the authority of Scripture is *the way of personal Christian humility*. Nothing is more obnoxious in us who claim to follow Jesus Christ than arrogance, and nothing is more appropriate or attractive than humility. And an essential element in Christian humility is the willingness to hear and receive God's Word. Perhaps the greatest of all our needs is to take our place again humbly, quietly and expectantly at the feet of Jesus Christ, in order to listen attentively to his Word, and to believe and obey it. For we have no liberty to disbelieve or disobey him. --- John R.W. Stott

Still, suffering and death are the Devil's work; they are the Devil's mask hiding the divine face, as Martin Luther put it. When suffering and death befall us or befall those we love, we hover between the rage of rebellion and the somber serenity of surrender. We rage against God as if he were the Devil himself. ('My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!') Or we are drawn closer to God and closer to what truly matters in life. ('Into thy hands I commend my spirit.') Often we do both of these seemingly contradictory things at the same time. Ultimately the challenge is this: to recognize God even 'under the mask of the Devil' and to seek to conquer evil with good by sharing in the suffering love of the redeeming God. Joy will follow as surely as Easter Sunday followed Good Friday. --- Miroslav Volf

"The faith to which we are called will always be folly and scandal to the world, it cannot be in the usual sense of the word popular; it is a supernatural faith and it cannot adapt itself to every passing fashion of human thought. But it will be a faith alert to distinguish what is shaken, and is meant to go, and what is not shaken and is meant to remain." --- Archbishop Michael Ramsey

"During the same years in which progressive-minded and politically correct adults have been excoriating Ozzie and Harriet as artifacts of 1950s-style oppression, millions of American teenagers have enshrined a new generation of music idols whose shared signature in song after song is to rage about what not having had a nuclear family had done to them." --- Mary Eberhardt

The Universal Church is one stretching through all time and eternity. The Globalist Church is one married to one time and political thought. --- Michael Voris
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
November 1, 2019

This digest is overdue. Please accept my apologies. I have been travelling and I alighted briefly in Christchurch, New Zealand where I attended and covered the consecration of yet another GAFCON bishop.

It was a glorious occasion with bishops I know in attendance stepping out in faith believing and taking God at His Word, knowing that nothing can stop the flow of the gospel even and especially when it is not being proclaimed by Anglicans who should know better.

The Rev. Jay Behan is now the Rt. Rev Jay Behan and he will lead 12 parishes who left the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia because they insisted on blessing same sex marriages, even though their canons do not allow them to marry two people of the same sex.

It's the thin end of the wedge, and anyone with a functioning cerebral frontal cortex knows where this is going. As in TEC, so it will be in New Zealand. The pansexualists will bide their time and then come out swinging at their next provincial gathering with a resolution legalizing the whole thing. The new GAFCON diocese will feel completely vindicated.

I have written about this at length and you can read my full story here. https://virtueonline.org/christchurch-gafcon-consecrates-new-evangelical-diocesan-bishop

Within a week, there was the inevitable pushback. Progressive Anglican leaders from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand said the action of Anglican bishops who supported the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Jay Behan, was "irregular" accusing them of boundary crossing, saying they are not part of nor in relationship with the New Zealand Anglican Church.

This is not a new story. The same charges were brought against the Anglican Church in North America when its leaders broke free from the Episcopal Church over the same besetting sin of legitimizing homosexuality by ordaining a non-celibate homosexual to the episcopacy and later affirming homosexual marriage.

The Anglican Communion might be in turmoil, but orthodox Anglicans are not. They know exactly what they believe, and they are relentlessly moving forward across the globe, making and forming new dioceses and bringing into GAFCON those provinces promising to keep the faith and recognize Scripture as fully binding on them. Archbishop Foley Beach dropped into the Seychelles after leaving the Seventh Trumpet Global South leaders in Cairo and said "Archbishop James Wong is with us." The Lambeth conference grows more irrelevant with each passing day while GAFCON grows stronger. You can read my story on the pushback here: https://virtueonline.org/new-zealand-anglican-leaders-decry-gafcon-consecration

*****

But the news that rocked the Anglican Communion came from across the Tasman Straits when the Archbishop of Sydney, the Rt. Rev. Glenn Davies, went on a theological and moral rampage bluntly telling same-sex supporters to leave the Anglican Church rather than "betray God's word".

In his final address to the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Sydney, Davies delivered a scathing denunciation of progressive elements within the church that they had "entered treacherous waters" and called on those who supported same-sex marriage to leave.

"I fear for the stability of the Anglican Church of Australia. These developments have the potential to fracture our fellowship and impair our communion. I have stated this on numerous occasions at the annual National Bishops' Conference, but sadly to little effect," said Davies, who is the Synod president.

"My own view is that if people wish to change the doctrine of our church, they should start a new church or join a church more aligned to their views - but do not ruin the Anglican Church by abandoning the plain teaching of Scripture. Please leave us."

Davies later walked back his statement saying he was only addressing bishops and clergy. When I posted the story on Facebook, I had no idea the impact his words would have. To date, nearly 147,000 people have read the story with 99% saying they were grateful for his words.

He is the first Western archbishop ever to be so declarative, though a number of African primates have berated Western pan Anglican provinces for approving homosexuality and same sex marriage. What if an orthodox Anglican bishop had said this ten to 15 years ago, we might not be in the mess we are in today. Imagine an episcopal Bishop telling his priests, if you don't stand by scripture on matters of sex and marriage then leave. Only one bishop, William Love of Albany has dared to defy the episcopal powers that be saying he will not obey Resolution 012 and allow homosexual marriages in his diocese. He faces an ecclesiastical court who will duly find him guilty and cast him into outer darkness.

*****

The Anglo-Catholic Bishop of Springfield Daniel Martins, 68, announced his retirement last week. Martins wife is very ill and they have moved to the Chicago area for her continued treatment, a source told VOL. He is returning to Springfield for necessary bishoping on the weekends.

Martins is one of nine Episcopal Church Communion Partner bishops (six are diocesan bishops in domestic dioceses) who say they are committed to traditional faith and practice with respect to marriage and to unity with the wider Anglican Communion, but after the passage of Resolution B012 at the 2018 General Convention, he, along with his fellow Communion Partner bishops, decided to permit same sex marriage within their dioceses for parishes who wanted alternative episcopal oversight. The only CP bishop holdout was the Bishop of Albany, Bill Love, who has resolutely refused to allow such marriages or alternative arrangements. None of the CP bishops have joined him, offering mere verbal support but nothing more.

Martins was enthroned in 2011 and retires in 2021. What has happened to his diocese in those years?

In 2011, Baptized Membership was 5,229, in 2018 it had plunged to 3,777 for a loss of 27%.
In 2011, Communicants numbered 4,062, by 2018 that number had dropped to 2,624 for a loss of 35.4%.
In 2011, ASA was 1,945, by 2018 it had dropped to 1,442, a loss of nearly 26%.
In 2011, Sunday School students numbered 453, by 2018 that number had dropped to 226, a drop of 50%. The only rise was in funerals up 5%. Three congregations closed, bringing the total down to 33.

One wonders if there will be enough money coming in to sustain a future full-time bishop. Will the powers that be step in with an interim bishop or put out the call to merge with another diocese. Unlike the coastal areas and the south, the Midwest is hurting the most with declining church attendance.

IN OTHER NEWS, The Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, who served as Bishop of Springfield from 1992 to 2010, passed away October 4, 2019, at the age of 80. Bishop Beckwith was a retired rear admiral in the Navy Reserves, having served as deputy chief of chaplains from 1996 to 1999. He also served as chaplain to Episcopal inmates at Southern Michigan State Prison, Jackson, the Marine Corps Reserve Association, the Illinois State Police, Hillsdale College, and was the National Chaplain for the Navy League of the United States, the diocese said.

During his episcopacy in Springfield, Illinois, Bishop Beckwith served on a committee that led to the formation of the breakaway Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). After retiring in Springfield, he was received into the ACNA College of Bishops in 2014. He was a great friend and encouragement to VOL. He will be sorely missed.

*****

A merger of two dioceses Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan looks to be in the works, though they are not exactly calling it that. The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hoagland, diocesan bishop of Western Michigan, was elected bishop provisional of the Diocese of Eastern Michigan on October 19 in Bay City. The action is intended to begin a "3-5 year period of conversation around relationship and sharing of resources."

Both dioceses have seen significant decline in ASA over the years.

In a letter to both dioceses, Hoagland noted that Eastern Michigan's decision had come after two and a half years of ongoing conversation between the two neighboring church bodies. The process began when Todd Ousley, Eastern Michigan's last diocesan bishop, resigned his position to begin work at Episcopal Church headquarters. Retired Indianapolis bishop Catherine Waynick has been serving as Eastern Michigan's provisional bishop since 2017.

At their last diocesan convention in the fall of 2018, Eastern Michigan had voted to invite Hoagland to assume this role, with the consent of the Diocese of Western Michigan. The two dioceses have been sharing staff and resources in various ways.

According to TLC, the model the two dioceses have chosen to employ is closely based on the relationship begun between the Dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York in 2018, who have been affected by similar rust-belt demographic changes. Bishop Sean Rowe met with leaders from the Diocese of Eastern Michigan early in the process. Rowe, the diocesan bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania, is currently beginning his second year of a five-year term as provisional bishop of Western New York.

While there is no immediate plan for merger between the two Michigan dioceses, it would seem inevitable. All the stats for both dioceses are down. In Western Michigan, baptized membership is down by nearly 20% from 9,732 to 7,857 in 2018. ASA has dropped 16.5% to 3,228 from 3,864. In 2012, Baptisms were 131, down to 78, a drop of 40.5%.

In Eastern Michigan, the 2006 Baptized Membership was 7,709 by 2017 it was down to 4,603 a loss of 3,106 or 40.3%. ASA in 2006 was 3,029, by 2017 it was 1,857, a loss of 1,173 or 38.7%. The diocese lost 7 congregations dropping from 50 to 43.

There seems little doubt that mergers and junctures are in more diocesan futures as TEC slowly wilts and dies.

*****

BISHOPS COMINGS AND GOINGS. If you had any doubt that Episcopal bishops were jumping off the SS TEC then take a look at the unofficial listing of all of the elections for bishop currently occurring in the Episcopal Church (USA).

Upcoming elections
Georgia, electing 15-16 November 2019
Missouri, electing 22-23 November 2019
Oklahoma, electing 14 December 2019
Minnesota, electing 25 January 2020
Chicago, electing 20 June 2020
Oregon, electing 27 June 2020
Wyoming, electing 18-20 September 2020
South Carolina, date to be determined

Retirements or resignations announced
North Dakota, resignation announced, effective 1 May 2019
Virginia, resignation announced, planned for summer 2019
Alabama, retirement announced for 2020
Milwaukee, November 2020
West Missouri, retirement announced for 2021
Springfield, retirement announced, June 2021 consecration planned
West Virginia, retirement announced, election in June 2021
IOWA, retirement announced, election 2012

Completed elections
Texas, Suffragan -- election 22 February 2019; consents received; 1 June 2019 consecration
El Camino Real -- The Reverend Lucinda Ashby elected; consents received. Scheduled consecration 11 January 2020.
Michigan, The Reverend Bonnie Perry elected, consents received. Scheduled consecration 8 February 2020
South Dakota, election 4 May 2019
Montana, election 26 July 2019; consents received; consecration 7 December 2019
Eastern Michigan, election 19 October 2019
Southern Virginia, election 21 September 2019; consents pending H/T to ENS

This is fully 23% of all TEC's diocesan bishops on the move.

A source told VOL that if a bishop has served a full 38-year career, he/she will retire on $10,000 a month with another three or four thousand in social security and a wife's pension on top of that. Not bad going even if you have shown that you haven't made your diocese grow in all that time. In secular terms, these bishops would get jobs as Walmart greeters.

*****

Bishop W. Michie Klusmyer, the VII Bishop of West Virginia called for the election of a bishop coadjutor in 2020 at the diocesan convention at Saint Matthew's Church in Wheeling on October 19. An election is expected in late, 2020. The coadjutor bishop would succeed Klusmyer after his retirement.

Klusmyer, 64, was consecrated in 2011, and is the second longest-serving bishop of a domestic diocese in the Episcopal Church after Bishop John Howard of Florida, (only Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Bishop Francisco Duque of Columbia have served longer). He is the chair of the board of directors for Bexley Hall Seabury Western Theological Seminary and serves on the board of trustees of Virginia Theological Seminary and of General Seminary, his alma mater. Before he was elected as bishop, Klusmyer served as a rector and campus minister in Illinois.

So, what has this bishop achieved in his tenure? He was enthroned in 2001 and will leave on or about 2021.
In 2001, Baptized Membership was 10,754, by 2018, Baptized Membership was 7,510 a loss of 3,344 or 30.2%.
In 2000, the ASA was 4,029, by 2018, it was 2,393 a loss of 1,636 or nearly 60%!!!
In 2001, Baptisms were 219, by 2018, Baptisms were 86 a drop of 133 or 60.7%.
In 2001, Confirmations were 116; in 2018, Confirmations dropped to 62 or 46.6%.
Marriages in 2001, Marriages totaled 96, by 2018, Marriages had dropped to 27, a loss of 71.9%.
In 2001, there were 77 congregations, by 2018, Congregation totaled 62 a drop of nearly 20 percent.

And to think bishops like him get fat pensions for destroying their dioceses. In any other occupation, they would have been fired years ago.

*****

What's going on in the Diocese of Virginia? There has been some odd activity in the Diocese of Virginia in the past two years. The Rev. Canon Pat Wingo, Canon to the Ordinary suddenly resigned to be long-term Interim Rector of the Church of the Ascension, Knoxville, in the Diocese of East Tennessee (not an upward move) and of course, Bishop Shannon Johnston later departed, with no adequate explanation as to why. It was all couched in episcobabble.

Recently the Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Virginia, announced the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson as Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. Bishop Brooke-Davidson had been Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of West Texas since July, 2017.

Locally, John Ohmer from the Falls Church Episcopal will depart next month. He's been around since 2012, so not necessarily a sign of anything wrong, but a source told VOL that Ohmer was not enamored with the diocesan leadership.

Is this just the usual diocesan churning that occurs during a transition period between bishops, or is it a sign of something more serious. Virginia has four times as many members and three times as many attendees as West Texas, so one could see why Brooke-Davidson might make the switch. Suffragan is generally considered to be a higher position than Assistant (elected vs. serving at the Diocesan's discretion). You will recall that lesbian Bishop Mary Glasspool left her Suffragan position in the Diocese of Los Angeles for an Assistant position in New York, and we later learned she was trying to "get the hell out of there" under Bishop Jon Bruno.

Virginia is a mess since Johnston was forced out. They have lost heavily big parishes who have gone to ACNA. Their biggest lost was The Falls Church, now Falls Church Anglican with a new multi-million-dollar structure while the old church lies fallow. God always wins.

*****

The Episcopal Church can't seem to get away from sex scandals. The latest is the Rev. Howard White, a pedophile who pled guilty to multiple counts of child sex abuse. He got 12 years for his sins. But the real kicker in this story is the trail of sex abuse allegations extended back to the Diocese of West Virginia in 1969!

Allegations of sex abuse of minors by White now include an instance before his placement as chaplain at St. George's Episcopal School in Rhode Island. Karen Lee Ziner of the Providence Journal uncovered a circa 1969 case in the Diocese of West Virginia. White's first placement was in that diocese. After leaving West Virginia, he subsequently was chaplain of St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, the first of many moves.

The question is why was he not brought up short and kicked out of the Church back then, inquiring minds would like to know. One victim said that in 1969 White engaged in sexual conduct with him. At the time of the alleged sexual abuse, Albright was approximately eleven years old. Thereafter, at some undetermined point during his adulthood, Albright sought counseling, and ... allegedly recalled the ... sexual abuse during one such therapy session.

Despite the Church apparently having knowledge of White's propensities, the Church failed to alert its parishioners of the potential danger to their children.

*****

The Episcopal Church leadership called for divestment in Israel recently and one has to ask is this just ill-disguised anti-Semitism in the name of Human Rights?

The Episcopal Church's Executive Council at the recommendation of Council's Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, (CCSR) wants the church to disinvest three companies from the Church's investment portfolio and placement and put on a No Buy List.

They include Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and the Israel Discount Bank. Further, Council asks CCSR "to pursue continued engagement with Facebook, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor, urging them to address human rights violations through complicity in the occupation of the OPT, and seeking to assure that the companies take all necessary steps to end their complicity in the occupation."

Now this is not the first time Episcopal Church deep thinkers have called for the Church to disinvest from Israel. In July of 2018, The Episcopal House of Bishops shot down Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) over Judea and Samaria. However, the House of Bishops, by a large majority, voted down a measure overwhelmingly favored by the House of Deputies that would have sought to end what they believe is the church's financial complicity in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, putting to rest for at least another three years one of the church's most divisive issues. You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-church-leadership-call-divestment-israel-ill-disguised-anti-semitism-name-human-rights

*****

Some 100 global Anglican leaders met in Cairo recently and delivered themselves of a communique in the form of a New Covenant that stands in direct opposition to the structures of the presently being followed Anglican Communion and the Lambeth Conference.

The Global South leaders "adopted in principle" a "covenantal structure" for their mutual relationships that pretty wall supplants the failed 2009 Anglican covenant of Dr. Rowan Williams.

These bishops have committed themselves to orthodox teaching and common discipline similar in type to the Anglican Communion's instruments of communion. But clearly different. This all stems from the work of the Global South Anglicans' Study Group on Enhancing Ecclesial Responsibility, which was commissioned at the sixth Global South Conference in 2016.

Most of those present, including all seven members of the newly elected Primates' Steering Committee, are involved in GAFCON, who stand opposed to the present Anglican Communion structures. You can read the full document here: https://virtueonline.org/seventh-trumpet-communique-7th-global-south-conference-cairo-2019

Now what is truly amazing is that of the thirty points in the communique, No. 6 says, "We received with thanks greetings from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, and the Most Revd. Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, which were conveyed by the Rt. Revd. Dr Graham Kings."

But then No.22 says this: "We continue to uphold Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference with regards to human sexuality. We are also happy to see the wider acceptance of the joint-document addressing human sexuality that was issued at the GS Conference in 2016."

This begs the question did Archbishop Justin Welby even read the document? This is the elephant in the room at the upcoming Lambeth Conference next year, and will conflict sharply with the homosexual partners of bishops who will be attending the conference. Welby just stepped into a trap he cannot easily extricate himself from.

The official record of the Cairo gathering, the seventh in the series, is entitled, "The Seventh Trumpet."

****

There is a new dean for Kenya. The Bishop of Meru has been elected Provincial Dean of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK). Meeting at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi on 25-26 Sept 2019, the biennial meeting of the Kenyan synod elected the Rt. Rev. Charles Mwendwa in succession to the Rt. Rev. Joseph Wasonga. Bishop Wasonga retired on 1 Sept 2019, creating a vacancy for the number two spot in the church. According to the provincial website, the Provincial Dean "is a sitting Bishop Elected by the Standing Committee of the Provincial Synod from a list of Bishops recommended by the House of Bishops. He acts as the Archbishop when he is absent from the Church or is Incapacitated by illness or any other cause from carrying out his duties."

*****

My new book, THE SEDUCTION OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH is out and if you would like a copy, I would be happy to send you an autographed copy for a donation of $100.00. The money will not line my pockets, but allow me to send copies to Global South bishops who would not otherwise be able to obtain a copy. My hope is to put this book in the hands of every bishop in the Anglican Communion so they will never again be fooled by anything a sitting Presiding Bishop says about The Episcopal Church. This book represents nearly three decades of reporting. I hope you will buy it.

You can send a check to:
VIRTUEONLINE
570 Twin Lakes Rd
P.O. Box 111
Shohola, PA 18458

Or you can hit VOL's PayPal link here: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=66yVctdRJfn56ObJTxNqRn37s81ca3TxyKoR_-1iSo1u2jIy86mIBsCow1RhWJMBFAV5KW&country.x=US&locale.x=US

Please don't forget to add your return address.

All blessings,

David

Subscribe
Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Prayer Book Alliance
Trinity School for Ministry

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Drink Coffee

Do Good

Sustainable Ministry

Coffee, Community, Social Justice

DrinkCoffeeDoGood.com

Go To Top