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Upholding the 'Faith Once Delivered'

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As this tumultuous year draws to a close in the life of the Anglican
Communion we might well reflect for a moment on why it is necessary to
uphold the 'Faith once delivered.'

We are not playing word games here. Words have meaning and they change
how we think and view the world. Think what Das Kapital and Mein Kampf
did to a generation before us.

Words matter. They change the way we think, influence our decisions and
more. We act upon words every day of our life. We make decisions for
good or ill on what we hear and learn, and words influence what
directions we will take, what we support with our money and much more.

Virtuosity's whole purpose is to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ as
it is practiced within the context of the Anglican Way. There is
nothing particularly new or startling about this, no mind-shattering
revelations or illuminations, just the solid, defense of something that
is true for us today as it was 2,000 years ago. It is a message that
has not changed with time, the passage of history, passing cultural
fashions, the findings of science, advances in education, the "new"
morality, or more.

Human nature we now know has not changed appreciably over aeons of
history. Regardless of how well-educated we might be, however advanced
in our understanding of how the mind and body works; that intractable
thing we call the ego rears its ugly head and we sin.

"For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil
that I do not wish," said the Great Apostle, and he is right. The pull
of power, the urge of libidos, and the false security of money pulls us
down to equalize us all. None of us is exempt, including this writer.

I love words. I love what they do, how they influence lives, and more.
Perhaps one day when I come to die someone will carve on my tombstone;
"He used words well." I should be so lucky.

For most of you who have 'endured' VIRTUOSITY for another year, will
note that many of my writers and contributors, essayists and columnists
have used words far better than me, for they are better writers than I
am, and know their subjects better than I do.

I am truly grateful for each one of them. I suffer from the sin of envy
(among other sins), that God has enabled them to put together sentences
more illuminating than my own, more powerful in their ability to
persuade, and so I sit in awe of them. Still we must press on.

Virtuosity is a calling and a ministry and it will go on into the New
Year vigorously proclaiming, defending, and building up, at the same
time pulling down strongholds of satanic influence. We will leave no
stone unturned in the search for truth and exposing the lies and half-
truths, the pomposity and venality of revisionist hegemony found in The
Episcopal Church. We will reveal, expose and bring to the light, "those
things which we have done and those which we ought not to have done."

That does not mean that this writer comes covered in a mantle of
perfection, far from it. I will make my own mistakes and hopefully you
the reader will tell me so I can correct them. I expect that. I would
be shocked if I did not hear from you.

IN TODAY'S LEAD STORY we continue to look at the implications of what a
New World Anglican Order could look like if the Episcopal Church
becomes, in effect, two churches. A 'church within a church' or para-
church, a church that is, that comes alongside the main body, drawing
the good from it and leaving a dead carcass behind.

Events are shaping up fast. Two conflicting views over the future of
the ECUSA is beginning to emerge and you can read the substance of that
in today's lead story.

TED MOLLEGEN, the point man for The Episcopal Church's hoped for growth
with General Convention's 20/20 has written a propaganda piece at those
who opposed Vicki Gene's consecration. I have taken this apart for your
edification. This man has managed to turn truth so violently on its
head that cranial damage has ensued and now seems permanent. His
blasphemous attack on orthodoxy and those who defend it is exposed for
all to read.

ONCE AGAIN, THE DIOCESE OF PENNSYLVANIA LEADS THE WAY. The Rev. Douglas
G. Scott, rector of St. Martin's Church, Radnor has issued a stirring
call to action on page 28 of Episcopal Life. It is an outrage, he
writes, that "Christianity seems to have little tolerance for the
suffering fat". We should "ask the obese to share with their faith
community what it means to be at the margins of societal acceptance and
learn from them."

I kid you not. The obvious solution, Virtuosity believes is to
consecrate an openly fat man who is in a committed relationship with
his refrigerator. "Do you Douglas take Kelvinator to be your awfully
wedded significant other, to have and to hold, till high cholesterol do
you part..." Dear friends, it is utterly impossible to out-satirize
this stuff. With the removal of the twin sins of gluttony and sodomy it
just gets easier and easier to become an Episcopalian. Will we abandon
the Prayer Book in time? Perhaps we will all live long enough to see a
fat bisexual with bestial proclivities who has a hankering for non-
neutered Dalmatians publicly consecrated in a NYC bathhouse. Frank
Griswold will preside. ECUSA has become a lunatic asylum and the
lunatics are in charge.

And our Bible reading today is taken from First Bennison (Pennsylvania
Episcopalian Page B) chapter 1 verse 1: "Moses smashed the tablets
brought down off Mount Sinai to free the Word of God to be heard not
seen." How long will the Standing Committee put up with this lunatic?

IN A RECENT NEWS ARTICLE THE PRESIDING BISHOP Frank Griswold gave some
instructions to his Executive Council on the relationship between truth
and community. This is what he said: "Truth is discovered in communion.
Schism is the shattering of communion. In order to discover God's
truth, everyone has to be at the table."

The Rev. Lawrence D. Bausch, rector of Holy Trinity Church, San Diego,
begs to disagree. He argues the exact reverse. He offers four examples
when "leaving" the table has occurred because truth had been discerned
and not agreed to.

First, the calling out of Abraham and his descendents as followers of
Yahweh, separating them from their neighbors. This is a recurrent theme
throughout the Old Testament. Secondly, the separation of Christians
from Jews over the identity of Jesus. Third, the conciliar definitions
including the creeds and canon of Scripture which determined acceptable
parameters for communion. And fourth, the English reform under Queen
Elizabeth I, which resulted in separation from the Catholic Church.
It's amazing how much rubbish Griswold manages to get away with
unchallenged by his fellow bishops.

RECENT REPORTS in newspapers like the Church of England newspaper and
on the Internet that Anglo-Catholics and groups like the Traditional
Anglican Communion (TAC) are ready to run to Rome are exaggerated and
premature. In discussions with various leaders in Episcopal Anglo-
Catholic circles, word is that while talks and visits to Rome have been
undertaken no one is going anywhere. The TAC under the leadership of
Archbishop Falk and more recently the newly anointed Archbishop John
Hepworth admit that while seeking unity to the fullest degree is
desirable no one is going to abandon the Anglican tradition. Merger
with Rome is not imminent. Furthermore Rome never acts in a hurry, even
to embrace hurting Anglicans under siege from revisionist forces. All
in good time.

THE REFORMED EPISCOPAL CHURCH has had a defection. Bishop Gregory
Hotchkiss has resigned over the REC's stance against gay marriage. Even
the most orthodox of jurisdictions are not immune, it would seem, from
all this craziness over homo-erotic behavior.

SPRINGFIELD BISHOP PETER BECKWITH reports that no presentment charges
have been made against him despite coming under heavy fire from a group
of hard-line revisionist gay and lesbian priests and laity in his
diocese who want him gone. (Virtuosity exposed their tricks in a secret
chat room where they used anonymous names to blast the bishop).
Beckwith wrote to VIRTUOSITY, "I have heard there has been some
interest/desire/attempt to present me for 1) "Teaching against the
doctrine of the Church"; and 2) "Abandoning the Sacrament of the
Church." I'm told "1" is because I will not recognize Gene Robinson's
ministry, allow blessing of same sex relationships or likely to welcome
clergy into the Diocese who would. I'm told "2" is because I did not
visit a new mission initiative in our Monroe County before I "pulled
the plug on it." After 15 months of preparation we were aiming at
having 200 at the first service. 20 showed up. In the seven weeks of
operation, it was reported between 13 and 20 people participated per
service. We had about 80K left to invest after which the congregation
would have to raise the 100K annually to support the operation. That
seeming most unlikely led to my decision. Frankly I consider their
efforts to present me laughable!" Thank you Bishop.

AND IT WILL COME AS NO SURPRISE, that the Religious Newswriters
Association picked the Gene Robinson consecration as the top news story
of the year.

But it is very revealing that not one of the bishops who supported
Robinson has expressed any concern that he accepted a "Person of the
Year" award from a gay soft porn website, PlanetOut, and a gay
magazine, The Advocate.

Second top story is Michael Ingham's attempted slaughter of 11 godly
parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster. They are still open for
business and thriving.

And in the DIOCESE OF COLORADO the bishop there one Jerry Winterrowd
now expresses regret for supporting the election of the nation's first
openly gay bishop. He says the church was not ready. Winterrowd, who
retires on Dec. 31, said he went into August's General Convention of
the Episcopal Church USA intending to vote against the election of Gene
Robinson as New Hampshire bishop. His rationale: Robinson's election
would fly in the face of the church's desire to delay setting policy on
blessing same-sex unions. But Winterrowd said he became convinced that
each diocese had the right to elect its own bishop. "Subsequently, I
would say that I am on very thin ice there," Winterrowd said. Indeed
you are bishop. Very thin.

IN CANADA, the Bully of Vancouver, Michael Ingham closed down the
fledgling mission parish of Holy Cross in Abbotsford, BC. The timing of
the Anglican Bishop's pre-Christmas closure of the church is ironic.
"In attempting to include new ideas, the Anglican Church is making sure
there is no room in the inn for traditionalist thinkers. The
parishioners must defend their faith. If this was happening in another
country, Holy Cross would be listed under "the persecution of
Christians." That it should be persecuted at the hands of its own
infrastructure is alarming," wrote one priest.

The parish priest James Wagner remains committed to his congregation,
saying, "we will continue to worship, even though we're apparently not
recognized formally. We hear a lot about tolerance and diversity and
how diverse views should be respected. It seems to me a strange way to
resolve conflict," said a parish layman.

Holy Cross is a "mission church", which is distinct from an
incorporated parish. Holy Cross voted by overwhelming majority to
accept the offer of Bishop Terry Buckle of Yukon to lead them. The
Bishop later withdrew.

Ten years ago when the small parish of St. George's Anglican Church in
Hamilton, Ontario, was disestablished, it was re-born immediately as St
George's Reformed Episcopal Church and functions as a traditional
Anglican parish. It is flourishing. There is hope.

And this from WASHINGTON BISHOP JOHN CHANE'S KORANIC CHRISTMAS MESSAGE:
"And what was God thinking . . . when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God
to reveal the Law to Moses? And what was God thinking . . . when the
Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the sacred Quran to the prophet
Muhammad? And what was God thinking . . . when the Angel Gabriel was
sent by God to reveal the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God?"

Virtuosity thinks that God thinks that Bishop Chane should be tossed
out of his bishopric for talking rubbish.

DEMOCRATIC FRONT RUNNER HOWARD DEAN was once an Episcopalian in
Vermont. But owing to a squabble about the construction of a pathway on
a nine-mile stretch of land along Lake Champlain opposed by a group of
Episcopalians, he left the Episcopal Church. Apparently the much
vaunted Doctrine of Inclusion hit a snag and the wannabe next president
left the ECUSA.

I WROTE TO CANON PATRICK MAUNEY, the Episcopal Church's Director of
Anglican and Global Relations this week asking if the Episcopal Church
was still planning to go ahead and send money for the poor Gulu's in
Uganda, even though Frank Griswold has been disinvited to attend the
consecration of their new archbishop. I got no answer. Unless
Virtuosity hears otherwise you can safely assume the gift will not be
going out to these poor starving Ugandans, which goes to prove that
money and politics are inextricably twined in The Episcopal Church.

THE BISHOP OF OHIO CLARK GREW went on the offensive this week about a
group of parishioners who left a parish in Hudson, Ohio. This is what
he said on radio WKSU: "I think the tension I feel is, and I don't want
to devalue the authenticity of scripture claim that people make that
this is a matter of scriptural authority, but I think, deep within that
posture is a deep-seeded homophobia and an inability for people to see
gay and lesbian people as children of God." Other members on the panel
took him to task and you can read the he said/she said into today's
digest. He has some very revealing thoughts about a parallel
jurisdiction in the ECUSA.

RE: CHRIST AND CIVILIZATION article. I received a mountain of e-mails
expressing anger and disgust at the turn the article took in the latter
quarter of the four-part series in its attack on Orthodox and Catholic
Christians. Virtuosity regrets such attacks and maintains that the
thrust of the article, which is that without Christ we would not have
Western Civilization, as we know it, still stands. I am publishing a
number of LETTERS reflecting various views on the article, and
Virtuosity invites anyone with a knowledge of the origins of Western
Civilization to write a contra piece for publication.

I HAVE POSTED A NUMBER OF STORIES today for your interest and
edification.

This will be the last digest for the Year 2003. When next I write it
will be in the first week in January with a "YEAR IN REVIEW" story.
With that will come a new website makeover for 2004. It will be easier
to navigate with a full explanation coming from Virtuosity's webmaster,
Mr. Robert Turner.

I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU who contributed so generously to Virtuosity
this past year. By doing so you made it possible for me to travel and
write the stories you needed to read to keep abreast with events as
they unfolded in The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. I am
indebted to all of you who supported me with checks both large and
small. Thank you.

The year 2004 will be even more turbulent Virtuosity predicts than this
past year. It will certainly be break point for The Episcopal Church.
What will all the alphabet soup of groups do within and without ECUSA?
How will they coalesce? Will they? Who will still be standing at the
end of the day? Will it be full-blown schism or a parallel 'church
within a church?' We shall know more in due course. Stay tuned.

Please keep this writer in your prayers, and if you can support this
ministry, please do so either by going to PAYPAL at my website
www.virtuosityonline.org, or by sending a donation via snail mail to
VIRTUOSITY, 1236 Waterford Rd., West Chester, PA 19380. Thank you for
your support

God bless you all and have a very happy New Year.

All blessings,

David W. Virtue DD

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