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Thousands leave ECUSA...Lambeth/Eames Leak...Akinola in America...more

"The Episcopalians don't demand much in the way of actual religious belief. They have girl priests, gay priests, gay bishops, gay marriages -- it's much like the New York Times editorial board". From Ann Coulter's book "How to Talk to A Liberal (If you must)"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Imagine that the Diocese of Colorado disappeared. Better still imagine that the dioceses of Delaware, Lexington, Fond du Lac, and Springfield were to be wiped out. Or imagine that all the Episcopal Churches in both Ohio and West Texas were to be destroyed and not able to hold worship services on any Sunday. According to the latest statistics put out by the Church Pension group recently that is exactly what happened in 2003.

From 2002 -2003, the Episcopal Church lost an estimated 30,221 members, equivalent to the size of the Diocese of Colorado. In that same year, the ECUSA declined 21,640 in average Sunday attendance. That would be like losing all the worshipping Episcopalians in the dioceses of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. This information was released at a meeting of the diocesan administrators meeting recently in New York.

And the revisionists want to spin it that the Episcopal Church's theological and moral innovations have nothing to do with its numerical decline. This is like one blind man leading another blind man across a busy intersection against a red light with an 18-wheeler doing 70mph bearing down on them and they hope the driver will stop in time.

If you add the growing loss in income (not to be confused with Trust Funds that dioceses and the national church may have) then things are clearly getting worse by the day. The hemorrhaging cannot continue forever. Loss of people equals loss of money, means fewer full time clergy with more retired clergy stepping up to the plate, more mission status parishes with more aided parishes.

The latest figures show that 58 percent of those worshipping in the Episcopal Church are women, 36 percent are men over 60.

THIS WEEK saw the ratcheting up of the pain and angst in the Episcopal Church as we have never seen it before.

First of all the PRIMATE OF NIGERIA, Peter Akinola came a calling to the U.S. without so much as a by your leave and announced the formation of CONA - the Convocation of the Church of Nigeria in North America, a parallel church organization for the estimated 250,000 Nigerian Anglicans in North America who won't attend revisionist Episcopal parishes. He then said in the course of sermons in Washington and Northern Virginia episcopal parishes that Griswold must repent to save the Anglican Communion and then he said ECUSA was doomed.

This brought forth an immediate response from the Archbishop of Canterbury who said Akinola had no business setting up cross jurisdictional churches in the US, but Akinola shot back that he was doing so to provide a safe place for his fellow Nigerians to worship.
The convocation will operate as a companion to the Anglican Network of Communion Dioceses and Parishes, he said.

Akinola moved around the country speaking on and off the record, but when he got to New York City to address the folks at St. George's in midtown Manhattan he asked that he not be quoted as he wanted to stay off the record and speak as one family member to another, this being one of a handful of orthodox parishes still remaining in the revisionist DIOCESE OF NEW YORK. Convenors stated upfront that there were to be no photographs, no notes, no electronic recording of the address and no questions. But Jan Nunley of the ECUSA's Episcopal News Service turned up and was caught running a tape recording wire through her coat sleeve, and an REC priest who was there dropped the dime on her and she found herself in a nasty confrontation with Akinola's people. "She was ticked off big time," the priest told Virtuosity.

Akinola did let it drop that he had a great affection for the Reformed Episcopal Church and that he had a brother who was an REC priest! One cannot imagine that in any realignment they would not be included.

AND THEN FOUR U.S. BISOPS along with other overseas church leaders endorsed a submission titled 'Drawing the Line' prepared by the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI) to the Lambeth Commission on Communion (LCC) calling for the expulsion of the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion unless it repents within two years of the decisions taken by the 74th General Convention. The bishops were the Rt. Rev James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas; the Rt. Rev. Edward Salmon, Bishop of South Carolina; the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida; and the Rt. Rev. John Lipscomb, Bishop of Southwest Florida.

These are interesting bedfellows as both Lipscomb and Howe have been reluctant debutantes to the orthodox ball, with neither being quite willing to sign onto the Network.

BUT THE BIG NEWS came when Virtuosity learned that David Booth Beers, the Presiding Bishop's personal chancellor called for a meeting of all the Diocesan chancellors on Oct. 20 two days after the Lambeth/Eames Commission drops its bombshell on Frank Griswold. This is the first time ever that the all diocesan chancellors have been called together in one place that anyone can recall. There can be little doubt that he is doing damage control for his boss and wants to make it clear that anybody choosing to leave the ECUSA better do so without their properties or he will invoke the Dennis Canon and rain down hell with lawsuits on any bishop or chancellor who do not go along with the Episcopal Church's innovations. This leak from the Lambeth/Eames Commission report would indicate that Griswold is in very serious trouble and the dime is about to be dropped on him big time.

For the second year in a row, the DIOCESE OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA's orthodox Episcopalians who reject the consecration of V. Gene Robinson will be allowed to withhold donations from their national church. At a meeting at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Bradenton on Saturday, a majority of the 300 delegates to the Diocese's annual convention voted to continue the protest. Supporters called it a compromise needed to accommodate parishioners who were uncomfortable supporting the ECUSA's majority decision. "This is a way to keep at the table those who are feeling alienated and
disenfranchised," said the Rev. Fred Robinson of the Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota."

PRESIDING BISHOP FRANK GRISWOLD was in Florida this past week and told the folk in two dioceses that homosexuality was okay because the biblical writers did not know what we know about homosexuality: they thought it was a behavior of heterosexuals acting reprehensibly. Of course Frank, and did you tell them that the Center for Disease Control says that you can get 25 sexually transmitted diseases from anal sex with the 26th being HIV/AIDS and is fatal! Of course not. Griswold said he personally knew a couple of mature men who have been living together for many years, and he could not look into their eyes and say that they are deviant or abnormal. Well the Lambeth/Eames Commission report might just find Griswold's theology "deviant and abnormal" and toss him out.

ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE THIS WEEK, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry installed its fifth dean and president, the Very Rev. Dr. Paul F. M. Zahl in a moving ceremony which saw some 600 of the Episcopal Church's orthodox glitterati show up at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Pittsburgh to make it all official. Trinity is now the No. 1 Episcopal seminary in the ECUSA and it is turning out the next generation of biblically orthodox clergy who may well rescue the ECUSA from extinction. The Rev. Paul Nelson Walker, a 30-something rector preached brilliantly on the occasion. Walker was mentored by Zahl and he is an example of what you can achieve one rector at a time. It is also living proof that seminary training is not enough, mentoring hones and fine tunes a man to his fullest capabilities. You can read the full story in today's digest and his sermon as well.

Trinity is living proof that holding to the fundamentals of the faith no more makes one a fundamentalist than eating ice cream makes one a diabetic.

Outgoing Trinity Dean Dr. PETER MOORE has come up with a brilliant proposal on how the whole Anglican Communion could hang together after October 18. His Modest Proposal for the Future of Anglicanism argues against a divorce in favor of a 15-year trial separation. The newly separated branches will have a “fraternal” relationship rather than a “spousal” one. The limited time range envisioned prevents further fragmentation, and permits the present leadership to retire or die, and a future generation of Anglicans to ponder how to come together. You can read his full proposal in today's digest.

In the DIOCESE OF WESTERN MICHIGAN, a for-sale sign may be sitting in front of the Episcopal Cathedral of Christ the King by this time next year. Episcopal officials say the landmark structure along I-94 near Oakland Drive has become a drain on the financial resources of the Episcopal Diocese. "This is a big deal. There is a lot involved in this," said the Rev. Mark Rutenbar, president of the standing committee of the diocese. "The cathedral is a symbol of the diocese. Unfortunately, there is weak support for it as a building," he said. A proposal to study the benefits and specifics of a sale will be on the agenda of this week's annual diocesan convention in Big Rapids. And the revisionists go on telling you that all is well in the ECUSA. I suppose it is an example of telling the big lie often enough, long enough and loud enough, that the idiot savants in the pews will believe you. Not any more. When the revisionist bishops start selling their cathedrals (and this won't be the first) then you know the end is nearer than you think.

In a news item on THE ANGLICAN DIGEST in the last Virtuosity digest it was reported that the magazine was in serious financial trouble. Not so said Bishop Ed Salmon (SC) to Virtuosity. "We were late in getting out our annual appeal and we have not had our fund raising figures in," he said. Tom Walker, General Manager of SPEAK, Inc. that puts out the Digest reports that the results of the canvass for The Anglican Digest showed revenues of $612,018 and expenses of $318,505. The $113,000 + deficit figure covered not only The Anglican Digest but all of the ministries of Hillspeak. These ministries include Operation Pass Along, the Foland Library, the Anglican Book Club, and the Anglican Bookstore as well as upkeep of 300 acres, maintenance of nine buildings and a water supply system. The bishop said they would have no problem ending the year in the black.

In AUSTRALIA this week the General Synod said ‘no’ to women bishops. The Synod rejected a bill which would have allowed women as bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia. Archbishop Peter Jensen, of Sydney, opposing the bill, said “what is at stake is the whole or our belief system — that is what holds us in place as a church of Jesus Christ. “ Supporters of the move for women bishops could not predict where the debate would go in the future, but it would be three years at least before it could be brought before the General Synod again.

And in CANADA in Qu'Appelle, BC two priests resigned from the Anglican Church of Canada over their synod's decision to sanctify committed adult same-sex relationships.
Tom Needham, former rector of Holy Trinity church in Qu'Appelle, renounced his orders in a letter to diocesan bishop Duncan Wallace. Bishop Wallace said in an interview that he got a letter from him with his licence. "I wrote him back that I regretted the way that he left." And in Nanaimo, B.C., diocesan bishop James Cowan asked Tom Semper, rector of St. James church, to resign after the priest called for a vestry meeting to vote on a draft petition to leave the diocese of British Columbia and the Anglican Church of Canada because of "the decision to allow the blessing of same-sex unions and our inability to remain in formal fellowship with those who allow such 'blessings.'" The petition also asked for oversight of an alternate bishop "who will declare and defend our convictions" and made a bid for continued use of the St. James building and property plus complete financial and structural autonomy from the diocese of British Columbia.

And to continue the apostasy LOUIE CREW is visiting Sewanee and the School of
Theology this week. Crew, the founder of Integrity (the Gay and Lesbian organization
within the Episcopal Church) and a member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, hopes to keep the flames alive for sodomite acceptance. When Crew has made visits to Sewanee in the past he has made it a point to spend a lot of time with the members of the School of Theology. He again expressed interest in talking to the school this year. However, the School of Theology will not be in session due to Reading Week when Louie is there, so he will hold an open forum for anyone to attend. Mitch Perry President of Sewanee's Gay - Straight Alliance will assist Crew in passing out condoms no doubt.

In the October edition of TOUCHSTONE: A Journal of Mere Christianity James M. Kushiner takes aim at a misleading statement by the National Council of Churches and an ill-conceived editorial in a leading Evangelical magazine with respect to the upcoming presidential election. Kushiner points to a hierarchy in biblical values where others claim that “the Christian conscience is free to choose what [values] it likes in [a] moral and ethical cafeteria. “Christians of goodwill cannot reasonably differ about the obligations of law and government to protect innocent human life against abortion and embryo-destructive biomedical research, or the need to protect marriage by opposing its redefinition to embrace sodomitical relationships. ... If we are serious about a just and humane society, we must defend marriage and human life above all, both in public and in private. All other matters are secondary." Virtuosity invites its readers to go to http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=17-08-003-e and sign up to get this fine journal, now under the editorship of David Mills. Published since 1986, Touchstone is a unique magazine for all Christians — Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox — that provides thoughtful analysis and bold opinion from a traditional viewpoint. (www.touchstonemag.com/merecomments.html).

CORRECTION. In an article UNEASY CALM BEFORE STORM I wrote that the official reception of the Lambeth/eames report will be released on October 18 1.30pm Eastern Daylight Time; 4:30am Pacific Daylight Time. This was incorrect. It is 1:30pm GMT (or 1330 Zulu). As soon as the report is made public it will be posted to the website

Please note that the SPCK in Westminster, London will be the sole stockist of the Windsor Report on behalf of the Anglican Communion. They have created an ISBN for it 6000000057 and it will be available for £4.95 (about $10.00) plus shipping. You can link to SPCK London Bookshop from Virtuosity's website: www.virtuosityonline.org. Fr. Basil Youdell notes that orders are already pouring but copies will only be dispatched by his staff at 12 noon on Monday 18 October. You can also go to SPCK London via london@spck.org.uk

VIRTUOSITY WEBSITE HITS THREE MILLION. This week another milestone was reached when the three millionth hit was recorded at Virtuosity's website. If you know who you are, drop me a line and I will send you a book. CONGRATULATIONS. More than 35,000 pages are read at the website each day.

PLEASE keep Virtuosity in your hearts, minds, prayers and check books. The news you
get from Virtuosity, unspun by the liberals, is only possible if you support it. No financial support and it dies. Stories are posted to the website www.virtuosityonline.org from 6am to midnight seven days a week. This writer is working 12 to 16 hours a day (including Sunday) to keep you informed. There is no orthodox Anglican news service like it and we are reaching a critical juncture in the life of the Anglican Communion. You need the news now more than ever. Don't let just a few (read same) folk support Virtuosity. It's not fair on them and it's embarrassing to me. The news comes to you FREE of charge, and it always will, but it does depend on the goodwill of many more to continue to make it possible. Please sit down and write a check or make a donation through PAYPAL at the website.

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Or you can make a donation through PAYPAL at the website - www.virtuosityonline.org. Your gift will be promptly acknowledged.

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Thank you for your support.

All blessings,

David W. Virtue DD

LATE BREAKING NEWS...Virtuosity has received unconfirmed reports that at the DIOCESE OF MARYLAND clergy conference they had a liturgy where all references to the sacrifice of Christ were removed, including the words of institution. Several members of the clergy walked out a source told Virtuosity. Bishop Robert Ihloff is the revisionist Bishop of Maryland.

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