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Women African Ordinations to Episcopacy Test GAFCON Resolve * Texas Court Orders TEC Diocese to Return Property Contents * South Carolina Supreme Court sets new hearing date * Two Continuing Churches Merge * Two Former ABCs Split over Assisted Suicide

Women African Ordinations to Episcopacy Test GAFCON Resolve * Texas Court Orders TEC Diocese to Return Property Contents * South Carolina Supreme Court sets new hearing date * ACO Sec. Gen. to Retire * Two Former ABCs Split over Assisted Suicide * Continuing Church Merger * More TEC Bishops Retire

God and the individual. Psalm 139 is arguably the most radical statement in the Old Testament of God's personal relationship to the individual. Personal pronouns and possessives occur in the first person (I, me, my) forty-six times and in the second person (you, yours) thirty-two times. Further, the basis on which God knows us intimately (verses 1-7) and attaches himself to us so that we cannot escape from him (verses 7-12) is that he formed us in the womb and established his relationship with us then (verses 13-16). --- John R.W. Stott

The gospel is less about how to get into the Kingdom of Heaven after you die, and more about how to live in the Kingdom of Heaven before you die. -- Dallas Willard

"Any reasonable person with a basic sense of morality and inkling of decency cannot but shudder in horror at such a heinous evil (abortion) being codified in law." --- San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

"We call on everyone, whatever their belief or world view, to endeavour to listen to the 'cry of the earth' and of people who are poor, examining their behaviour and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth, which God has given us." --- Joint Statement by: Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

The origin of human rights is creation. Man has never 'acquired' them. Nor has any government or other authority conferred them. We have had them from the beginning. We received them with our life from the hand of our Maker. They are inherent in our creation. They have been bestowed on us by our Creator. --- John R. W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
September 24, 2021

THE definition of crazy is watching the same thing being repeated over and over with the anticipation that something better will emerge from the morass of bad decisions.

Consider events in these past two weeks; Kenya ordained yet another woman (its second) to the episcopacy, despite a moratorium on such actions by GAFCON. The Welsh Church okayed homosexual blessings, even though this has never proven to grow churches and just follows what The Episcopal Church has done with disastrous consequences. The Church of England is moving inexorably towards blessing same sex unions and going woke over homosexuality with the LLF report. American evangelicals are the largest group of vaccine deniers even though hospitals in some parts of the country don't have enough beds to cope with the new variant pouring patients into their ICU's. PB Michael Curry admitted in a message to the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops that the Church is in a state of crisis. He called it a "Narthex" moment, with vague talk of "reformation", finally admitting, "I don't have any answers yet."

Episcopalians in the Diocese of Ft. Worth tried yet again to keep all the stuff from churches they lost in a court ruling, but a judge told them to give it all back including the bank balances and icons they took from frames in one church. "Enough is enough," cried Bishop Ryan Reed. The Texas Appeals court agreed with him. The court ordered them to return the lot. Clearly the Episcopalians missed all of Michael Curry's "way of love" talk. This ends the 12-year, $100 million property battle over properties...hopefully. https://virtueonline.org/ft-worth-tec-diocese-appeals-court-ruling-return-all-property-contents-updated

This just leaves the Diocese of South Carolina in legal limbo waiting for yet another court ruling on who owns what. $500 million worth of properties are at stake. Meanwhile, the Anglican diocese is calling for a new bishop following the announcement by Mark Laurence that he is out the retirement door.

And you wonder why 60 million Nones have no interest in the gospel. The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public -- and a third of adults under 30 -- are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.

In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).

A very disturbing piece of news is the rise in "grey" divorces, that is men and women that have been married 30 years or more who are now getting divorces. These include a large number of pastors. The precipitating event is the confinements of Covid; however two-thirds of all U.S. divorces are initiated by women!


The growing number of women being consecrated to the episcopacy in Africa is causing heartburn to GAFCON leaders, especially ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach who is chairman of GAFCON. Six consecrations have now been recorded. They have taken place in the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, South Sudan and Kenya. The trend seems unlikely to stop any time soon despite a moratorium that was supposed to prevent this from happening. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/gafcon-primates-grapple-consecration-women-bishops-africa-0

Archbishop Beach was forced to put out the following statement: "The Anglican Church of Kenya recently consecrated a female diocesan bishop, and there has been speculation about how this development might affect our fellowship. At our meeting, the GAFCON Primates agreed we have not come to a consensus on the issue of women in holy orders, and specifically women in the episcopate. At its founding, GAFCON articulated in the Jerusalem Declaration the centrality of the Gospel message of salvation while acknowledging differences in secondary matters and pledging "to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us." Such matters will certainly stretch our fellowship, but our unity in Christ remains strong.

"I recognize that this decision will come as a deep disappointment to some. I share in that disappointment. I wish GAfCON were of a common mind on this topic, but the reality is that we are not. However, let us remember that GAFCON founded the Anglican Church in North America, and these orthodox leaders in the Anglican Communion sacrificially put their lives on the line for the Gospel of Jesus Christ every day. This decision does not change how our Province operates as our constitution and canons are clear. GAFCON is not an ecclesial jurisdiction; it is a conference. Nevertheless, we will continue to stand with these brothers and sisters to the greatest extent possible to maintain the Biblical Faith in the Anglican Communion and proclaim the saving Good News of Jesus Christ." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/pastoral-message-archbishop-beach-regarding-gafcon-and-women-episcopate

This did not stop Ryan Reed the Anglo-Catholic Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Worth from weighing in on the irregular ordinations, urging "restraint" and saying this; "This standing committee, together with our bishop, believes that the same principle of restraint should be applied locally as well as in the global church. In our view, the way forward toward our global Anglican future lies in faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures and the received tradition, not in a theological innovation which would seek to overturn created order by attempting to consecrate women as spiritual fathers." https://virtueonline.org/ft-worth-diocese-urges-restraint-consecration-women-bishops

Some believe this will cause GAFCON to unravel, but that is speculative at best. There is no immediate danger of GAFCON coming apart.

GAFCON leaders continue to forge ahead and they announced this week a Strategic Plan for the future which includes seven focus areas:

1. A decade of discipleship, evangelism and mission
2. A focus on the next generation of leaders
3. A focus on youth and children
4. A focus on the ministry of and to women
5. A focus on mercy ministries
6. A focus on bishops -- their role and ongoing training, and
7. A focus on the primates of the GAFCON movement


The South Carolina Supreme Court announced a hearing date of Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at 9:30 A.M., concerning the appeal filed by the Episcopal diocese and The Episcopal Church in regard to the June 19, 2020, order by Judge Edgar Dickson that is contrary to the Supreme Court final judgement from August 2017. In that 2017 ruling, a 3-2 majority of the South Carolina Supreme Court reversed, at least in part, the declaratory judgement of the lower court, deciding that diocesan property and 29 parishes should be returned to the parties affiliated with The Episcopal Church. The Dickson Order, however, essentially reinstated much of the lower court ruling that had been reversed by the high court.

"We are pleased that the South Carolina Supreme Court has set a date for this hearing and we look forward to the opportunity to present our appeal," said Thomas S. Tisdale, Jr., Chancellor of The Diocese of South Carolina.


New figures projected about the future of the Church of England reveal that of the 16,000 churches' Sunday attendance, a recent graph reveals that by 2045, each parish church will have, on average, an attendance of 14 people. By 2055, it will be 3. The viability point is probably about 20 people. That's in 2039. 18 years left? So, should the CofE take on any further stipendiary curates? One observer noted, "any clergy with 20 or more years to go until retirement should start planning to retrain immediately."


The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Josiah Idowu-Fearon says he plans on retiring and will return to Nigeria after stepping down in August 2022. He plans to work with the educational institute he founded in 2004: The Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian-Muslim Relations, according to The Living Church.

Fearon's tenure in London came under scrutiny because of unsubstantiated media reports that he had supported making homosexual activity a criminal offense.

His claim to fame was as a "bridge-builder in the Anglican Communion," but that came to grinding halt with the birth of GAFCON. Many primates backed away from this London-based Instrument of Unity over the direction the Lambeth Conference was taking concerning homosexuality.

As a result, most African primates will probably not attend the next Lambeth Conference. As Secretary General, Fearon saw a significant staff reduction of the Anglican Communion Office (ACO). In January, an independent review recommended that the ACO move away from managing programs to operate more as a secretariat, forming connections and sharing knowledge among the 42 provinces.

Idowu-Fearon's positive view of Islam, of which he is a scholar, is hardly in line with Nigerians Anglicans who are watching Boko Haram and Fulani tribesman kidnap and kill many of their people.

Christian-Muslim relations are a life-and-death matter in Nigeria, a majority-Muslim country of 211 million people that has long been plagued by violence. An average of 17 Christians were murdered for their faith every day in the first 200 days of 2021, according to a report by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law in Nigeria.

Fearon is on record as saying, "I do not see a Muslim as someone who is going to Hell, as I have no right to do that. I see the Muslim as a human being. We are all created by the same God."

Evangelical Nigerian Anglicans would not agree with him.

The truth is Fearon and his Nigerian brothers will always be at odds. Fearon served his master Justin Welby. Neither Archbishop Ben Kwashi of Jos nor Nigerian Primate Henry Ndukuba will be beating a path to his door when Fearon returns to Nigeria. He will always be seen now as a pariah.


Two former archbishops are split on assisted suicide, and there's no Anglican via media to resolve it.

In the red corner is George, Lord Carey of Clifton, Archbishop of Canterbury 1991-2002. He favours the legalisation of assisted suicide (or assisted dying, if you prefer) because "there is nothing holy about agony". In the blue corner is Rowan, Lord Williams of Oystermouth, Archbishop of Canterbury 2002-2012. He opposes assisted suicide (or assisted dying, if you prefer) because of "the unacceptably high price of a change in the law".

There is no good old CofE via media between these two extremes: either the law permits assisted suicide, or the law prohibits it. If there were a middle way, Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury 2012-today) would have found it. But he is firmly in the blue corner: he opposes assisted suicide (or assisted dying, if you prefer) because "a change in the law to permit assisted suicide would cross a fundamental legal and ethical Rubicon".

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/former-archbishops-split-assisted-suicide-and-theres-no-anglican-media


The Bell Society wants to clear the name of its beloved Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, Ecumenist and Peacemaker. Bell was charged with sexually abusing a young girl when he was bishop in 1995. The society claims the charges are false and wants them overturned. Archbishop Welby is in no mood to do that.

The society recently got support from Lord Lexden who quit the Ecclesiastical Committee over safeguarding errors. One of the reasons was the injustice meted out to the Bishop of Chichester.

"Passion and anger" and "total despair" at the Church's unfair and unjust system are not just felt by this Conservative peer - he is not alone, said Society leaders.

It would appear Divine intervention is the only means by which the injustice inflicted against the wartime bishop can be made just, they said.


In an historic moment for the Continuing Church, the Diocese of the Holy Cross (DHC) voted to join the Anglican Catholic Church as a non-geographic diocese. DHC clergy already serve in the ACC but have now been included in ACC governing bodies. The move transforms what has been commonly known as the G-4 Anglicans into the G-3.

Representatives from the other members of the group (the Anglican Province of America and the Anglican Church in America) were present in support of the move as the next step towards organic unity. All three groups have pledged to continue the process as they prepare for another joint synod in 2023.


'Tis the season of resignations. TEC bishops are resigning from their dying dioceses in order to collect their well-funded pensions.

Dan Martins, Bishop of Springfield recently retired; it was just announced that Ian Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut will retire from his post.

The Diocese of Springfield is no catch for any wannabe bishop. The average age of a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield is 61, with 40% over the age of 65. The percentage of priests aged between 55-64 is 37%. Most of the parishioners are geriatric, with few young people entering their churches.

The diocese closed three parishes (36 to 33) between 2011 and 2019, with more expected to follow post Covid. Baptized membership plunged from 5,229 to 3,666 between 2011 and 2019, a loss of 30%. Communicants dropped by a whopping 36.4% from 4,062 in 2011 to 2,583 in 2019, a loss of 1,479.

Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) in 2011 was 1,945; in 2019, it had plunged to 1,348 a loss of 30.7%! (St. Martin's in Houston has a larger ASA than this entire diocese).

Now the decline in the diocese is commensurate (or at least not different from) that in other dioceses.

The only reason to want this job as the diocese fades into the sunset or is merged with the Diocese of Chicago, is the excellent pension. The Midwest is an ecclesiastical graveyard for the Episcopal Church. Three dioceses are merging in Wisconsin, with several dioceses now being served by one bishop or interim bishop. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/why-diocese-springfield-no-catch-any-wannabe-bishop


The Diocese of Connecticut's bishop Ian Douglas has announced he will retire. Under Douglas the diocese dropped precipitously by over 34% in ASA from 17,857 in 2009 to 11,751 in 2019. Sixteen parishes closed during his tenure. He was responsible for the ongoing litigation with what became known as the CT 6, a group of orthodox parishes that came together in 2004, They wanted to remove their churches from the control of then Bishop Andrew D. Smith following the consecration of Gene Robinson. The diocese won the parishes in legal dogfights, but those legal battles cost the diocese dearly. They had to sell off most of the parishes to other churches. St. Paul's, Darien, the leading charismatic church in TEC was closed. Christ Episcopal Church in Avon closed.



The eminent theological thinker and author, Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison, former Bishop of South Carolina has written an excellent piece on What's wrong and how to fix it which you can read here:

From NZ, Confessing Anglican bishop Jay Behan has written a brilliant refutation on his government's attempt to prohibit conversion practices. He says it is a case of unwarranted state intrusion with the Bill contrary to fundamental rights and personal autonomy. You can read it here:

A new study finds many self-identified Christians don't believe the Holy Spirit is a real, living being. You can read more here:

In THE GREAT AMERICAN EVANGELICAL TRAGEDY, I argue that we are forced to think globally about the faith and not just from an American perspective. The danger of an American-centric understanding of the gospel is that we think God will act over what is happening here when, in fact, God sees the big picture and the end of history, which might involve his Church in gospel growing countries like China and Africa. You can read here: https://virtueonline.org/great-american-evangelical-tragedy

Uninformed Consent: The Transgender Crisis. Children cannot make these choices and should be protected from them by Paul McHugh and Gerard V. Bradley is an excellent read:

The Turning Tide of Intellectual Atheism can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/turning-tide-intellectual-atheism-0

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, discusses COVID-19 vaccinations. He is frustrated with evangelical denial of vaccine amid COVID-19 vaccine push. You read more here:


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