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REALIGNMENT in earnest...Williams on Euthanasia...Diocesan news...more

"Now is the winter of our discontent
Made more frigid by this sun of Sin;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our Bishop's House
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried." (Modestly adapted from Richard III)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The realignment of the Anglican Communion, which is now well underway, took yet another turn this week when two bishops of the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) and an archbishop of the Anglican Province of America (APA) an independent Anglican jurisdiction, got a personal invitation to fly to Nigeria and there attend upon the Primate of the world's largest Anglican province.

While no formal concordats were announced they did engage in talks to deepen the relationships between the orthodox Anglican entities. The Most Rev. Peter Akinola is clearly ratcheting up the ante on the US Episcopal Church prior to the Primates meeting in Ireland, and seems to be sending a loud signal that he will do business with just about anybody in North America except The Episcopal Church. (The REC and APA are in concordat with each other.)

Just prior to the last meeting of the primates he whisked into the US and formed CONA - the Convocation of the Church of Nigeria - a parallel church organization for the estimated 250,000 Nigerian Anglicans in North America which brought forth the wrath of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Frank Griswold for crossing diocesan lines and establishing cross jurisdictional churches. The convocation is a companion to the Anglican Network of Communion Dioceses and Parishes, said Akinola at that time.

Very clearly Akinola wants to keep the pressure on Griswold, and clearly he wants it known that he will play ball with whoever is orthodox and speaks for Jesus Christ and the gospel in North America Anglicanism. Who next will he entertain?

THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Bishop Chuck Murphy of the Anglican Mission in America's "inside/outside strategy" clearly caught some of his people unawares, according to sources. But it also says that everybody wants to belong to something bigger than themselves and that, like it or not, the movement together of orthodox Anglicans of all stripes is moving at a rapid rate and that the Anglican Communion Network will clearly get a big boost by the Primates in February. Already Bishop Robert Duncan is recognized by the Global South Primates as the de facto leader of orthodox Episcopalians, and that could be cemented even further after the February meeting.

The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) is fast pulling in all the disparate Anglo-Catholic groups and jurisdictions around the world and Archbishop Peter Akinola might well be doing the same for evangelicals and charismatics. These are interesting times in which we live. Watch for more concordats and what are euphemistically called "talks" with more jurisdictions in the coming months.

WHILE THE ORTHODOX ALIGNMENT continues to grow the revisionists are clearly taking it on the chin with diminishing numbers and closing congregations.

ANGLICANS ACROSS THE WORLD are being asked to pray for the upcoming Primates meeting. Folks are being asked to involve to committed prayer daily as well as times of fasting prior to the Primates meeting next month.

One aspect will be to ADOPT-A-PRIMATE for prayer. If you would be willing to pray regularly and specifically for one (or more) of the 38 Primates for the next few weeks then go to http://lent.classicalanglican.net/index.php?p=493

In the DIOCESE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE this week a flagship congregation closed its doors in Rochester and you can read that story and Bishop V. Gene Robinson's spin on why it closed. Guess what. He doesn't think it has anything to do with his sexual misbehavior. That diocese is already in free fall and will only get worse over time.

The Steenson consecration in the DIOCESE OF THE RIO GRANDE was notable for who did and did not attend and what happened. A source told VirtueOnline that only two Network diocesans attended: John-David Schofield (San Joaquin) and Keith Ackerman (Quincy). They attended "for Jeffrey", but made a very visible point (to Griswold) by neither vesting nor processing, but simply sitting in their street clothes in the congregation. At the moment for the laying-on of hands, they came up in their street garb. Their point was: they were there simply for their friend Jeffrey and by their refusal to vest and by sitting as members of the congregation, Griswold would not be able to produce any photos at the Primate's Meeting and say, "look: even Network bishops have no trouble with me."

While the Archbishop of Canterbury sent his representative, Bishop Llewellin, he told one of the conservative bishops that they should not underestimate Rowan's ability to act firmly and decisively when he felt the time had finally come to do so: the bishop got the impression that, with the English House of Bishops' unanimous backing of the Windsor Report, Rowan would join the call for seriously disciplining ECUSA. Ws shall soon know.

IN THE DIOCESE OF NEW WESTMINSTER thanks to the quick response of the five Primates meeting in Myrtle Beach last week, none of Bishop Michael Ingham's agents turned up to disrupt the various worship services this past Sunday, despite his New West diocesan media pronouncements, reports the Rev. Ed Hird whose congregation, St. Simon's Church was one of those marked for takeover by the bishop. All is well, he wrote to VirtueOnline.

Their attorney Robert G. Kuhn quickly jumped and wrote to the chancellor of the diocese George E. H. Cadman and said this: "We have been led to believe that the Diocese is intent on proceeding without notice with 'self-help' remedies in relation to the Churches' properties. As you are well aware, it is our position these properties are owned beneficially and/or legally by our clients. Apparently, the Diocese and Bishop are purporting to use "Canon 15"in this regard. Please be advised that it is our position that the Diocese and Bishop have no basis upon which to use "Canon 15" in this circumstance. We have relied upon your prior advice that no steps would be taken in this matter without notice being given to us. We continue to rely on that assurance. If you intend to resile from that position, please advise us immediately.

In non legalese, "keep your hands off Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church (formally The Parish of St. Andrew's), and St. Simon's Church, North Vancouver (The Parish of St. Simon's) or face a lawsuit.

Clearly not to be outdone by bad publicity, Ingham announced that a seventh parish within the Diocese of New Westminster will bless the unions of gay and lesbian couples. The other six parishes that have decided to be places of blessing are Christ Church Cathedral, St. Mark's, St. Margaret's and St. Paul's in Vancouver; St. Laurence, Coquitlam; and St. Agnes, North Vancouver. The other 71 parishes in the diocese have not to date requested permission to hold the ceremony.

AT THE INAUGURATION yesterday in Washington, DC, The Rev. Dr. Luis León, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., delivered the invocation for the inauguration of President George W. Bush. Since his ministry began in 1995, León has specialized in building inner city parishes through spiritual leadership, preaching, excellence in worship and liturgical music, stewardship and outreach. Prior to his time at St. John's, he served as rector of Trinity Church in Wilmington, Delaware, and St. Paul's Church in Paterson, New Jersey. Leon began his spiritual journey when he was baptized into the Episcopal Church in Guantanamo, Cuba. He came with his sister to the United States in 1961 at the age of 12 and was supported by the Episcopal Church in Miami.

And in the diocese of CENTRAL NEW YORK the local Episcopal bishop confirmed the diocese is investigating a report of alleged sexual abuse by a priest 30 years ago. Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams would not identify the accused priest, except to say the priest is retired. He would not identify the gender of the priest or the victim. You can read that story today. The diocese also is investigating an unrelated allegation of financial mismanagement at a parish, Adams said. He would not name the parish or name the individuals involved.

IN OTHER WORLD NEWS, the Archbishop of Canterbury has come our strongly against euthanasia and you can read his personal reflection on that today.

I have posted a number of new reflections on the Windsor Report. One, the Fruits of repentance by Andrew Goddard and ECUSA'S GOD by Dr. Philip Turner are both excellent reads.

MY WIFE AND I are going on a brief vacation and there will be no digest next week. However stories will continue to be posted to the website www.VirtueOnline.org by my associate Mr. Robert Turner. You are invited to go their daily if you wish to stay current with the news.

All Blessings,

David W. Virtue DD

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