Anglican Church League, Sydney, Australia Earlier News
Read David Holloways lecture on the life and theology of Bishop J.C. Ryle, first Bishop of Liverpool. This talk was given in November as the Autumn Christian Institute Lecture. David Holloway is Rector of Jesmond Parish Church in Newcastle in the UK.
If you dont know much about Ryle, or havent read his books, this is a good place to start. Read the talk here.
A number of UK evangelical Anglicans, under the umbrella name of the All Souls Day Group has released this statement on Christian leadership - especially in relationship to sexuality, and in the light of the Lambeth declarations on sexuality. In part, it says,
We are united as Christians in our commitment to the norm of lifelong heterosexual marriage. We seek to explore with all who share this concern ways in which this norm can be expressed and commended with both joy and compassion.
We pledge ourselves to work with, pray for and support the leadership of the church both in England and around the world which is faithful to this calling and responsibility, and with those in wider society who share these concerns...
The statement was drafted by members of the councils of Reform and Church Society and the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, and by individuals, including Bishop Wallace Benn (Bishop of Lewes). A growing list of others from around the world, including Archbishop Peter Akinola (Primate of Nigeria) and Dr David Peterson (Principal of Oak Hill College in London) have expressed agreement with the statement.
Read the full statement here.
The Council of Reform UK has met in the light of the confirmation of the appointment of Dr. Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury and has issued a statement calling on those who are committed to the authority of the Bible formally to distance themselves from the new Archbishop of Canterbury and such as his teaching on homosexuality.
Read the full statement here.
At tonights meeting of Sydney Diocese Standing Committee, Archbishop Peter Jensen - with the concurrence of the Standing Committee - announced that the Rev. Ivan Lee will be the new Bishop of Western Sydney.
Ivan will succeed Bishop Brian King at the beginning of February 2003. He is currently Rector of the parish of Hurstville Grove - and previously served as senior assistant minister at St. Judes, Carlton, in Melbourne. Before working in Melbourne Diocese, he served curacies at Manly and Beverly Hills and then became Rector at Merrylands West. He is married to Virginia and they have three daughters.
As Bishop of Western Sydney, he will be the only serving Chinese-Australian bishop in Australia. Ivan is a convinced evangelical and was editor of EFACs national journal, Essentials, while he was in Melbourne. He is currently a member of the ACL Council. We hear that his consecration is scheduled for 20th December at St Andrews Cathedral.
For a full report see Anglican Media Sydney (external link). (Photo courtesy Anglican Media.)
At its meeting on 31 October 2002, the Council of the Anglican Church League issued this statement about the Archbishop of Canterbury designate, Rowan Williams.
For some helpful background to this statement, also download the important new booklet by Garry Williams at Oak Hill College in London. This is a devastating analysis of Rowan Williams theology - especially his theology of revelation.
See also the recent statement from William Taylor, Rector of St. Helens Bishopsgate in London and other links statements from -
Jesmond Parish Church in Newcastle on Tyne,
and Reform Ireland.
Phillip Jensen appointed Dean of Sydney
Dr. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, today announced the appointment of his brother, the Rev. Phillip Jensen, as the new Dean of Sydney.
In a press release from Anglican Media Sydney, the Archbishop said,
Phillip is recognised throughout the diocese, and indeed overseas, as an outstanding leader... He is a very fine preacher, and is a man of extraordinary vision. I am delighted that the Cathedral Chapter voted overwhelmingly to invite him to be Dean of Sydney... I am confident that he will make a significant impact on our city and diocese, not only through his own preaching, but in training many others for ministry."
This appointment is significant in the light of Sydney Synods adoption last week of the Diocesan Mission to reach Sydney for Christ. St. Andrews Cathedral has a strategic position in the central business district of Sydney.
Currently Rector of St. Matthias Centennial Park and Anglican Chaplain to the University of New South Wales, Phillip is expected to take up the new position in early 2003.
Dr. Garry Williams, Tutor in Church History and Doctrine at Oak Hill College, London, has written an important 40 page booklet to outline and critique the theology of the Archbishop of Canterbury designate, Rowan Williams.
Copies of the booklet, which is published by Latimer Trust, are being sent to every archbishop in the Anglican Communion as well as to all Church of England bishops and members of General Synod. It is an important contribution to the debate and is worth downloading and reading carefully.
Visit the home page of Latimer Trust.
Membership Payment form now online
Several members who had lost / misplaced the forms for their membership contribution have asked for a copy to be placed online.
On Sunday William Taylor, the Rector of St. Helens Bishopsgate (one of the largest evangelical churches in the Church of England), responded to the appointment of Rowan Williams to be Archbishop of Canterbury in his sermon, The Church, False Teaching and the Church Leader. In part he said,Let me say straight away, we are not going to leave the Church of England!!
In July I wrote to the Wardens of St Helen's and told them that the ordained staff of St Helen's were not prepared to continue working here unless we placed some distance between ourselves and the new Archbishop.
We too are responsible for upholding the truth against error. We too are responsible for numbers of congregations and 100s and 1000s of individuals.
We need to make clear to the congregations here that the views of Dr Williams are seriously erroneous.
At last nights meeting of Sydney Synod, the decision was made to commit to the Diocesan Mission. In doing so, it was acknowledged that, by ourselves, we can do nothing - and therefore the decision was made in prayerful dependence on the Lord.
Members of Synod were invited to sign a (very) large copy of the summary statement.
See also Anglican Media Sydney.
At last nights ACL Synod Dinner, more than 200 Synod members heard Youthworks CEO Alan Stewart challenge them to take seriously the call to preach Christ to our city.
At this afternoons opening session of Sydney Synod, the Archbishop, Dr. Peter Jensen urged the Synod to debate and adopt a proposed Diocesan Mission.
...we have reached a turning point in our Diocesan life. The Mission offers us a great opportunity to advance together in a focussed and yet flexible way, to serve the Kingdom, to build the churches and to grow the gospel.
Read the full text of Peter Jensens Presidential Address here. (External link to Anglican Media Sydney.)
or Download it as a PDF file.
Debate on the Draft Mission Stategy began in the evening session and will continue on Tuesday afternoon. Read the version of the document as it stood before the debate began here.
In a press release the Church Society in the UK has called on Archbishop of Canterbury designate Rowan Williams to change or go. This is in addition to earlier, similar, calls from Reform in the UK. (scroll down for our earlier report)
The press release, dated Monday 7th October 2002 says -
An emergency meeting of the Council of Church Society was held today in response to grass roots misgivings at the appointment of Rowan Williams as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
Following a meeting of members of the Council with Dr Williams it is clear that he prefers his private judgement to the voice of scripture, to the voice of tradition and to the common mind of the Church.
As such he can only be a focus of disunity in this country and the world-wide Anglican communion. Evangelicals are also disturbed that Dr Williams is a member of the editorial board of a journal (Theology and Sexuality) which has recently published articles in which homosexual pornography and behaviour are commended (March 2002 issue).
In responding to the appointment the Council acknowledged and repented of its own failures and called upon loyal Anglicans to pray specifically that Rowan Williams would see the error in his teaching, change his views, or stand down. (Emphasis added.)
The Council drew up an plan of action which includes:
* Calling on Bishops in the Church of England and the Primates of the Anglican Communion to distance themselves from his doctrinal and ethical position.
* Liasing with and advising parish clergy on how to respond to the appointment in appropriate ways.
* Taking steps towards appropriate direct action.
To see earlier press releases from the Church Society page click here.
The British newspapers are currently abuzz with reports that Reform, the largest evangelical group in the Church of England, is asking Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury designate, to resign even before he takes office.
To explain what has been happening, from Reforms perspective, read this article, A Line in the Sand - Reform and Rowan Williams, by David Holloway, Vicar of Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle. Its from the current Coloured Supplement and is downloadable here as a pdf file (160kb).
It includes last weeks statement from the Reform Council and the reply from Rowan Williams.
(Need the free Acrobat Reader software? Get it here.)
Archishop Peter Jensen has this morning announced that Narelle Jarrett, Principal of Mary Andrews College, is to be the New Archdeacon for Womens Ministry.
This is a significant appointment, and a change of strategy, since Narelle will be leading a team in overseeing womens ministry in the Diocese.
Read the Archbishops letter to clergy announcing the appointment here.
The Church of England is being placed in an impossible position. Its canons require that a Bishop (or Archbishop) must teach and uphold sound and wholesome doctrine and banish and drive away all erroneous and strange opinions... But the Archbishop of Canterbury designate seems himself a source of erroneous and strange opinions.
Read his article from the current issue of Evangelicals Now.
At the ACLs Annual General Meeting on Thursday 15th August, guest speaker Rev Andrew Cameron (left) presented a wide-ranging paper with ideas on how to encourage Christian people to throw their support behind the Diocesan Mission to reach Sydney for Christ.
outlined by Archbishop Peter Jensen, one aim of the Mission is, in dependence on the Lord, to see 10% of the population in Bible-based chruches in ten years.
Read the text of the Presidents Report here.
It is time the churches recognised the true apostleship of Paul and submitted in mind and conscience to his teaching. Unless Pauls explicit teachings are acknowledged as the word of the Lord the modern church will simply disappear.
Paul is saying nothing more and nothing different from his Master, Jesus the Messiah. But he is saying it in a way that many do not want to hear.
Read the paper here on the Anglican Media Sydney website.
In the last two issues of the ACL Newsletter, weve printed an interview with Dr. Ashley Null, whose special area of research is Thomas Cranmer, primary author of the Book of Common Prayer and the first reformed Archbishop of Canterbury.
With the background of the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury, it is enlightening to see what was important to the first Reformation Archbishop who shaped much of the history of the Church of England through evangelical and reformed liturgy.
Theres a great deal we would do well to learn!
Read the interview here. (Will open in a new window for ease of printing.)
In a recent letter to all Rectors and Curates-in-charge of churches in Sydney Diocese, Archbishop Peter Jensen wrote,
It is abundantly clear that we will not be successful in our own strength, but only in prayerful dependance upon our Heavenly Father.
I am writing to ask you, in the lead up to the next Synod, to print this prayer regularly in your church bulletin, and use it in your church services.
You might like to download and print out this mini-poster of the prayer for your church noticeboard or news-sheet.
Read these plain words from a wide-ranging group of conservative and evangelical Anglican leaders to the parishes whose synod reps walked out of the New Westminster Synod after it voted to bless same-sex unions.
The clergy and wardens who received a please explain letter from Bishop Michael Ingham - after they walked out of the Synod that had just approved the belssing of same-sex unions - have now replied.
While stating that they are still part of New Westminster diocese, they warn that if Motion 7 were implemented, we could be put in a position of conflict with our ordination vows of unswerving loyalty to Holy Scripture and the unbroken traditions of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
In a statement released today, Archbishop Peter Jensen and sixteen other bishops from around Australia have called on the bishop of New Westminster not to act on the recent decision of his synod to approve the blessing of same-sex unions. They say,
The innovation threatens the fabric of the world-wide communion and puts in question the nature of our on-going communion with this Diocese.
Read their statement here. (External link to Anglican Media Sydney.)
2.) Generating Confidence in the Bible - Mark Thompson
(PDF file only because the document contains some Greek text.)
New Music Resources for Churches
Sydney Christian musician Aaron Wright has written two songs suitable for congregational use. Check out his website and you can download PDFs of the words and music as well as MP3 demos and MIDI files. The songs can be used in churches with the appropriate CCLI licence.
Ugandan Bishop-Elect blasts the New Westminster decision
In commenting on the recent decision of New Westminster Diocese in Canada to allow the blessing of same-sex unions, Bishop-Elect Nathan Kyamanywa of Bunyoro-Kitara Diocese in Uganda says,
We would like to maintain the unity of the Anglican communion but surely not at the cost of sacrificing truth.
At a press conference on Thursday, Fr. Samuel Edwards, the former rector of Christ Church, Accokeek, Maryland, revealed he is renouncing his ministry in the Episcopal Church to join the Anglican Province of Christ the King, one of the largest continuing Anglican bodies in the United States.
In part he says, Those who leave The Episcopal Church will not be leaving the Anglican Way of being Christian. It is time us to seek affiliation with a jurisdiction of Anglican Christians whose integrity in the faith is secure, and whose regard for the dignity of all the faithful is genuine...
Read the full text of his statement here.
The evangelical Bishop of Fort Worth says, It is a tragedy that yet another traditionalist priest has been so marginalized and persecuted by the liberal establishment of ECUSA... Read his full statement here.
Read some of the background in our archived news.
In a letter to the concerned parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster, the Archbishop of Rwanda, Emmanuel Kolini, has offered support and to explore ecclesiastical protection on behalf of his own Province and the Anglican Mission in America after the Canadians appealed for such last week.
This was after the synod of their Diocese of New Westminster had voted to approve the blessing of same-sex unions and their bishop, Michael Ingham had given assent to the legislation.
Archbishop Kolini states, Communion has been jeopardised by the schismatic acts of that Synod.
At its meeting last night, Tuesday 24 June, the Standing Committee of the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney issued a strong statement concerning the vote by the Canadian synod of New Westminster diocese to allow the blessing of same-sex unions.
To date 23 ECUSA bishops have signed a letter declaring solidarity with "those faithful clergy and congregations who have dissociated themselves from the Bishop and Diocese of New Westminster for conscience and the gospel."
In an article in yesterdays London Times, Ruth Gledhill writes that the Crown Appointments Commission, as its first choice, has selected Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Wales) to succeed Dr. George Carey as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
This would be a highly controversial appointment to make given Archbishop Williams statements concerning homosexual activity and his ordination of a man he knew to be actively homosexual. (For example see Anglican Media Sydneys recent interview with him.)
Prime Minister Tony Blair is not obligated to accept the name that is proposed by the Commission.
Eight leading evangelical Anglicans in the UK have urgently written an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Dame Butler Schloss (Chairman of the Crown Appointments Commission) warning of the consequences should Arbishop Williams be appointed.
They warn, His appointment would lead to a major split in the Anglican Communion...
Also see a very blunt analysis from US conservative commentator David Virtue. (external link.)
He writes, "Acceptance of William's candidacy is an utter capitulation to the liberal homosexual agenda. It is the worst nightmare scenario possible in contemporary Anglican history."
Thirteen Canadian bishops distance themselves from the decision made in New Westminster.
18 June 2002
ACL President Zac Veron responds to appeal for help from Canada.
"The appeal has been made. A swift supportive response is imperative."
"The Bible-believing Anglican world felt a major tremor on June 15 when the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster in Canada became the first Anglican diocese in the world to vote to approve the blessing of same-sex unions. The vote was carried 215 to 129.
Representatives from nine conservative parishes walked out of proceedings. A statement of dissent from those parishes has been sent around the world:
cannot support the synod and its bishop in their defiance of those
values of the Church we uphold. We abhor the disunity which this
schismatic act of synod has created. We regret the severing of
pastoral relationships which it entails.
We have, therefore, appealed to the leaders of the Anglican communion to provide us with alternative episcopal oversight so that we might abide in the church which we love."
The appeal has been made. A swift supportive response is imperative.
Evangelicals in Sydney must not sit on their hands on this issue. This issue will not go away if we bury our heads in the sand. We may soon have to face it ourselves!
On behalf of the ACL I call upon our bishops to offer the hand of fellowship to our evangelical brothers and sisters in Canada. By so doing we will respond to their desperate plea, and we will signal to the wider Church that this is the schismatic line in the sand that our Diocese will not cross.
Monday, 17 June 2002"
16 June 2002
Crisis in Canadian Church over same-sex blessings comes to a head and has Communion-wide implications
The Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster in western Canada has voted to allow the blessing of same sex couples by the church. It is the first diocese in the Anglican Communion to do so.
In the widely expected vote, of 371 eligible, 344 voted: 215 yes (63% of votes cast), 126 no in favour of same-sex blessings for the Diocese of New Westminster. The motion passed and episcopal assent was immediately given.
After the vote, representatives of parishes belonging to the conservative Anglican Essentials group left the synod and issued this statement -
"STATEMENT FROM THE ANGLICAN ESSENTIALS PARISHES:
In accordance with our obedience to the authority of scripture, the moral tradition of the catholic Church, the teaching of the Anglican communion, and the dictate of our conscience, we, the synod delegates of the undersigned parishes, dissent from the resolution of the synod of the diocese of New Westminster in its authorization of the blessing of same-sex unions.
We cannot support the synod and its bishop in their defiance of those values of the Church we uphold. We abhor the disunity which this schismatic act of synod has created. We regret the severing of pastoral relationships which it entails.
We have, therefore, appealed to the leaders of the Anglican communion to provide us with alternative episcopal oversight so that we might abide in the church which we love. (emphasis added.)
We appeal to the faithful in our diocese to support us "in contending for the faith once delivered to the saints."
We believe that under a new pattern of leadership God will use this current diocesan crisis to enable us to minister more effectively and to continue faithfully to lift high the Cross of Jesus Christ the Lord.Christ Church, Hope
Church of Emmanuel, Richmond
Church of the Good Shepherd, Vancouver
Saint Andrew's, Pender Harbour
Saint John's, Shaughnessy, Vancouver
Saint Martin's, North Vancouver
Saint Matthias and Saint Luke, Vancouver
Saint Matthew's, Abbotsford
Saint Simon's, North Vancouver"
Read a statement from Bishop Ingham, who is strongly in favour of the vote that was taken.
Previously, this letter had been sent to members of the synod by five Primates of the Anglican Communion calling on the synod to not take this step -
"To the members of the Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster, Canada:
We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ.
We the undersigned, who are primates of the Anglican Communion, urge the synod to withdraw or defeat motion 4 calling for the approval of rites for the blessing of same sex unions.
The Lambeth conference of 1998 and successive Primates Meetings have been clear in affirming the traditional Biblical sexual ethic. It is important that you understand that adoption of blessing of same sex unions by your diocesan synod would be viewed not only as a grave affront but will also set in motion deliberations on breaking communion.The Most Rev. David Gitari, Archbishop of Kenya
The Most Rev. Bernard Malango, Archbishop of Central Africa
The Most Rev. K.J. Samuel, Moderator and Primate of South India
The Most Rev. Yong Ping Chung, Archbishop of South East Asia
The Most Rev. Drexel Wellington Gomez, Archbishop of the West IndiesAlso in agreement with the statement:
The Most Rev. Harry Goodhew, Archbishop of Sydney (Retired)
The Most Rev. Maurice Sinclair, Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone (Retired)."
7 June 2002
Order a CD-ROM of MP3 recordings of all the talks from the Keiraville 2001 Spring School
Keiraville Rector, Scott Blackwell, writes about the 2001 Spring School of Theology at Keiraville
David Broughton Knoxs wonderful little book "The Everlasting God" is one of the most helpful and insightful works on the Doctrine of God that I have ever encountered. It is a book that all Christians should have in their libraries.
D. B. Knox was one of Australias sharpest theological minds, and even after his death, he still continues to exercise a profound influence on Christians in Australia and overseas.
In August 2001, St Johns Anglican Church in Keiraville invited a world-class team of Australian theologians and clergymen to help Christians in the Illawarra explore "The Everlasting God" and the issues it addresses - we would also like to share this learning opportunity with other Christians.
Each seminar examined one chapter of "The Everlasting God".
The Issues and the Speakers
The inspiration of the Bible
Mr Tony Payne
The sovereign goodness of God
Rev Dr John Woodhouse
The God who is one and three-in-one
Archbishop Peter Jensen
The supermacy of Christ for salvation
Rev Dr Peter OBrien
Mr Archie PoulosThe multitude of world religions
Rev Dr Peter Bolt
How to get the CD-ROMs?
Order them from David Wilson at Argyle Networks (firstname.lastname@example.org). Cost per CD-ROM is $20+ postage and handling. Remember, these are not audio CDs, but play on your computer with appropriate MP3 playing software. PDFs of the talks are also included. Talks (all three sessions per day) are also available on Cassette tapes at a slightly higher cost.
The 2002 Spring School is examining Peter Jensen's book "At the Heart of the Universe".
Sunday 17 March 2002
New Principal of Moore Theological College Announced
Dr. Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney, has announced today that the Rev. Dr. John Woodhouse has been appointed the 12th Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney.
The position became vacant when Dr. Peter Jensen, who had been Principal since 1985, was elected as Archbishop of Sydney in June last year.
Since that time the Trustees and Council of the College have been searching world-wide for a new Principal.
Statement of support from ACL President Zac Veron
"I most warmly welcome and applaud the appointment of the Reverend Dr John Woodhouse as the new Principal of Moore Theological College.
As a former pastor and lecturer of mine, John has had an enormous impact on my life and ministry. His passion for Jesus and the Scriptures, his exceptional theological discernment and preaching gifts, and his ability to lead a large organization, will all be clear assets not only to Moore and the Anglican Diocese of Sydney but also to the evangelical landscape Australia wide.
With 266 full time students in 2002, Moore College is bursting at the seams. John will provide the clear leadership needed to ensure the College meets its present challenges and opportunities, and as it equips thousands of talented Christian leaders in the next decade to be ambassadors for Jesus, in our nation and throughout the whole world."
The Rev. Zac Veron
President, Anglican Church League
Profile of Dr. Woodhouse
Dr. John Woodhouse was a geologist before entering Moore Theological College in Sydney, from which he graduated in 1975.
After college, he served as Curate at St. Barnabas' Broadway as well as ministering to students at the University of Sydney and lecturing at Moore College.
John earned a PhD on the Psalms at Manchester and served as Curate at St. Mary's Cheadle. He returned in 1982 to lecture at Moore where he specialised in Old Testament.
Since 1991, John has been Rector of Christ Church St. Ives in Sydney's north.
He is well known and widely respected for his clear and gracious thinking and his commitment to the Bible as the Word of God.
John is in constant demand to speak worldwide and already has an international perspective of the strategic role Moore College plays in the wider evangelical Anglican scene.
Our website has two articles written by John -
some comments on A Prayer Book for Australia which was debated at the 1995 Australian General Synod,
and a paper delivered at the joint ACL / Equal but Different conference in 1997.
See also this review by John of the book "D. Broughton Knox: Selected Works, Volume 1: The Doctrine of God" on Anglican Media Sydney's website.
John is married to Moya and they have a grown up family.
Dr. Woodhouse joins the succession of distinguished Principals of Moore College, including -
Peter Jensen (1985-2000), Broughton Knox (1959-1985), Marcus Loane (1953-1959) and T.C. Hammond (1935-1953).
15 March 2002
Diocese of South East Asia continues sponsorship of the Anglican Mission in America
Press Release from the Anglican Mission in America
March 14, 2002
In a major meeting just concluded, the leaders of the Anglican Church of South East Asia voted to recognize their Archbishop's continued sponsorship of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA).
Although the bishops chose not to extend full provincial support to the fledgling missionary movement in the U.S., they unanimously agreed that the Most Rev'd Datuk Yong Ping Chung, Archbishop of the Province of South East Asia (pictured right), could continue his patronage and spiritual covering of AMiA - a relationship they could have sought to undo.
This agreement effectively recognizes the consecrations of six American missionary bishops in AMiA, established under the authority of Archbishop Yong and his predecessor, the Most Rev'd Moses Tay, in partnership with the Episcopal Church of Rwanda.
Anglican Mission in America Bishop Chuck Murphy was elated at the news.
"We thank God for the bishops and delegates of the Province of South East Asia for reaffirming their firm stand on orthodoxy, Biblical authority, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the essentials of our faith as affirmed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference.
We're extremely grateful for the godly leadership, vision and witness of Archbishop Yong, and the prayerful and supportive deliberations of his fellow bishops."
The South East Asian Synod, while weighing how developments related to AMiA could affect unity within the Anglican Communion, expressed their desire that Biblical authority and morality be preserved. They committed themselves to "take a broad based approach to mobilize and link up with like minded Provinces and Dioceses, Primates and Bishops" toward that goal.
The Anglican Mission in America was launched to provide unity in the essentials of the Anglican faith with diversity in the expression of the faith. AMiA's diversity includes the evangelical, catholic and charismatic expressions of Anglicanism.three streams flowing as one river in Jesus Christ.
The sponsorship of AMiA came from the Archbishops of South East Asia and Rwanda who consecrated the first two AMiA bishops in January 2000 in Singapore, with four additional bishops added last summer.
These actions occurred because of a perceived crisis of faith, leadership and mission in the Episcopal Church in the United States. The Anglican Mission in America has an affiliation of 40 churches and 8000 adherents, with new churches planned in the year ahead.
20 February 2002
Sydney Diocese releases new "liturgical resource"
After several years in preparation, The Archbishop of Sydney's Liturgical Panel has released the much awaited "Sunday Services - a contemporary liturgical resource".
Containing three forms of services of Prayer, Praise and Proclamation as well as The Lord's Supper and a service of Baptism, the new book is sure to be welcomed in many churches.
Until 30th April, copies of the book are available at a very special price from the publisher for Sydney Anglican churches and schools - the offer is valid for orders of between 25 and 150 books. Contact Anglican Press Australia on 02 8268 3344.
In addition, the full text of the book is available for download from www.sundayservices.net. Please read the notes about copyright and use in Anglican churches in Sydney Diocese.
Archbishop Peter Jensen invites parishes to apply for permission to use the new services -
"These services aim to provide liturgy which is biblical in content, intelligible in language and appropriate for our time and culture.
The collection is an attempt to present services which will glorify the God we serve and build up and encourage his people as we gather in his name.
I commend these services for your consideration and invite parishes within the Sydney Diocese to apply for authorisation to use them."
5 February 2002
Encouraging start to new ministry at Kidderminster
On Sunday the new Christ Church Kidderminster met for the first time - in a community centre not far from St. John's.
On Sunday, The Rev. Charles Raven, whose apppointment as Vicar of St. John's had been terminated on January 31st, met with a considerable number of his former parishioners to form the new independent and evangelical Anglican church, Christ Church.
He reports, "Christ Church got off to a flying start yesterday with over 114 people in the congregation, including some twenty children and young people."
He continued, "After the sad but gracious parting of the ways the previous Sunday at St. John's, yesterday there was a wonderful sense of God's goodness and a rejoicing at the new thing God has brought into being."
See background info and statement from the ACL President below...
1 February 2002
ACL President issues statement on St. John's Kidderminster
The Rev. Zac Veron, President of the Anglican Church League, writes,
"I am deeply saddened to hear that the Vicar and members of the church of St. John's Kidderminster in the UK, after intimidation by their diocesan bishop, have found it necessary to leave and set up an independent Anglican church.
Yet this episode is a timely reminder to us all that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is not tied to any denomination. Denominations and church leaders can stray from the truth. Faithfulness to the gospel is not something that can be taken for granted - here in Sydney or elsewhere.
In the case in question, a godly minister and members of his congregation have been forced to leave the denomination they love. Yet their leaving to form a new, independent Anglican congregation underlines the fact that their first love is the Lord Jesus Christ and his gospel.
I and, I am sure, all members of the Anglican Church League, will pray for the new church of Christ Church Kidderminster as they embark on this next step in their Christian discipleship.
We pray that this new church will flourish, unhindered by liberal bishops who intimidate and persecute.
I also call on all Christian people to pray for godly leadership in the Church of England, and remind us of the continued need to stand firm on gospel issues in our own context."
Rev. Zac Veron
Anglican Church League, Sydney
Friday, 1 February 2002
Please see related material below -
31 January 2002
Kidderminster conflict comes to a head
Congregation leaves Church of England after renewed conflict with bishop.
New church to be set up.
The conflict between St. John's Kidderminster in the diocese of Worcester and the bishop, Dr Peter Selby, over the bishop's pro-homosexual stance, has come to a head with threats of legal action from the bishop and the decision of many at St. John's to start a new church.
Read the Press Release from the evangelical Vicar of Kidderminster, The Rev. Charles Raven.
"Many at St John's cannot, in conscience, accept the spiritual oversight of a bishop who is willing to set aside the teaching of the Bible"
(includes a background chronology),
See also a strong statement of support from the UK's REFORM.
26 February 2002
Anglican Mission in America Bishops write to the Archbishop of Canterbury
The two founding Bishops of the Anglican Mission in America - John Rodgers (left) and Chuck Murphy - have written a straightforward letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury - clarifying the role of the AMiA and the reason it was started - and appealing to him to take action to support biblical Anglicanism worldwide.
"The creation of an Anglican missionary outreach within the United States has taken place only after exhausting every other avenue for Reform and Repentance in the ECUSA..."
A copy of the letter - written on February 6 - has been sent to each of the Primates of the Anglican Communion.
For background, see some of the postings in our archived news section.
21 February 2002
Archbishop Jensen releases pastoral letter on sexual abuse
In the light of current public concern over the handling of allegations of sexual abuse and the abuse of children in the church, Archbishop Peter Jensen has issued a pastoral letter to be read in all Sydney Diocese churches on Sunday 24th February.
Read the full text of the letter at Anglican Media Sydney.
In addition, you may like to read this statement on responding to sexual abuse issued by the ACL Council back in July 1998.
Thursday 20 December 2001
Christmas Message from Archbishop Peter Jensen
A Silent Night?
It was a holy night, but not a silent night. All was not 'calm and bright' the night Jesus was born, despite what we sing in the Christmas carol. In reality, Jesus was born in themiddle of noisy, chaotic human struggles.
The first century world was full of religious conflict, oppression, bloodshed and poverty. It featured a leader, King Herod, who sought to kill all boys in Bethlehem aged two or under in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the boy Jesus. It was a world that knew pain and suffering; it was a world that understood terror.
From the vantage point of Sydney in the summer, it is often easy to lose sight of the mood of that first Christmas. It seems a long way from relaxing on our beaches, holidaying with the family, and enjoying the cricket. However, the events of this year have reminded us that a short step past the pleasures of life there is unrest and conflict and hatred. We all know the conflict and difficulties that lie beneath the surfaces of our own lives. Not all of us have suffered to the extent that some people have suffered during 2001. But all of us can see that there is something terribly wrong with the human spirit, and it affects the way we all treat each other. If only we could live in peace.
Jesus' birth was met with an exuberant outburst from a host of angels who appeared to those famous shepherds on Christmas night. The angels declared, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased" (Luke 2:14). Unexpectedly, God delivered a promise of peace in the form of a child born in obscurity, in shame, in an animal shed. This peace seems a remote dream to us who have lived through this past year. Consider the attacks on the USA and the ensuing battles in the Middle East. Consider our social tensions here in Australia. Consider the conflict we face in our own families and life situations. How can we speak of peace on earth at a time like this?
Hidden beneath the Christmas wrappings lies the answer to that question. For there is another way in which the first Christmas was not a 'silent night'. Christians believe that the gift of Jesus Christ to the world was in fact a loud message from God himself. In the person of Jesus, we receive a word from God. God breaks into the silence with the wonderful gift of Jesus.
One of the Bible's names for Jesus is 'Immanuel'. It means 'God with us'. That is what Christians believe: that the first Christmas brought God to us, in a form we could understand, in a man who walked and talked and demonstrated the power and wisdom of God. With Christmas Jesus arrives; at Easter even more is revealed. We ought to celebrate both with excitement and gratitude.
For the Bible teaches us that 'he himself is our peace'. Jesus Christ is our means of peace with God, and peace with each other. The hope of peace on earth, as the angels announced it, rests entirely in Jesus. God is not distant, and he is not silent. If this year has caused you to wonder whether or not this is so, my prayer is that you might find the answers you are seeking in the story of the child who was born to be God with us', Jesus Christ.
May I wish and all whom you love a very Happy Christmas.
Two new Sydney bishops to be consecrated this week.
Glenn Davies (pictured at left), formerly Rector of Miranda, and Peter Tasker, formerly Rector of Dapto, will be consecrated by Archbishop Peter Jensen at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney at 7:30pm on Friday.
Bishop Davies will be the Bishop of North Sydney, and Bishop Tasker will be the Bishop of Georges River.
Bishops Reg Piper and Ken Short will be the presenting bishops, and Michael Raiter, Head of Mission at Moore College, will preach. Earlier details here.
?? Stuck for ideas for that Christmas sermon or talk? Want something Australian?
The Perspective website has some helpful sermon resources for Christmas. Click on the link, then click "Preaching Resources" and then "Xmas".
Wednesday, 5 December 2001
Archbishop Peter Jensen calls for prayer for the people of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Archbishop Peter Jensen today issued this statement -
"Our whole community must be greatly concerned at the news of the escalation of violence between Muslim and Christians groups, particularly near the town of Poso in Central Sulawesi in Indonesia, our near neighbour.
Already many people have been killed, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and there is increased fear that further disturbance and bloodshed will add to the already massive death toll. Reports say that many Christian churches and villages have been destroyed.
As a consequence, people from this area are fleeing from their homes for safety and they are being joined to a frightening global statistic - the millions of refugees who have been forced to flee their homes, from persecution, violence and war.
According to CNN, the BBC and other press reports, many thousands of people, both Christian and Muslim have fled to the town of Tentena which is threatened by attack from the Laskar Jihad members, who fly flags depicting Osama bin Laden as their leader.
CNN reports that this is the group that has caused this latest violence in Indonesia, and also that some of its commanders received training in Afghanistan. The UN also warned early this week that heavily armed Muslin fighters are preparing to attack Christian villagers in Sulawesi, and that there is an estimated 7,000 Muslim guerillas in the region.
We must all be gratified to see the news that Prime Minister Howard will hold a summit meeting with the President of Indonesia, Megawati Sukarnoputri when he travels to Indonesia in February or March next year. He must express to her our concern at the emergence of Jihad in this region. Let us also remember to pray for her, especially in her leadership in her great but troubled nation.
It may seem from this far distance that there is little that we can do. However the Bible teaches that God hears our prayers when we seek his path and call upon him. We must pray therefore:
* that God will look with mercy on these despairing people,
* that peace will return to this troubled area;
* that the people will seek ways to live peacefully together and in safety; and
* that all of them, whether Christian or Muslim, will be restrained from doing violence to their neighbour.
There are further actions we can take as near neighbours of Indonesia.
We can write to Mr Downer the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and also to the Indonesian Ambassador in Australia, urging them to exert every pressure and to take every possible action to bring this clash of peoples to an end so that the suffering is ended, family and personal security is restored, and religious conflict is no more."
Address for the Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Hon. Alexander Downer MP
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
Address for the Indonesian Ambassador
His Excellency Mr S Wiryono
Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia
8 Darwin Avenue
Yarralumla ACT 2600
fax: +61 2 6273 6017
Editor's note: See also background pieces from Christian Aid and Crosswalk.
23 November 2001
New Evangelical music label launches two new albums in Sydney
In recent years, a great deal of very helpful Christian music has come out of Sydney.
People like Nicky Chiswell, Rob Smith, Bryson Smith, Philip Percival, Mark Peterson, and Philip Swan have brought great blessings to many as they have combined sound and insightful words and great music.
A new Evangelical label, Emu, has just released two new albums and we think they are worth checking out -
The Gospel According to Groove - with James Morrison, Con Campbell, The Idea of North and others. The album features traditional Christian songs and also great modern Christian Jazz - with a very clear gospel message in the form of a "sermon" on 'Freedom in the Groove'. (Hint: Christmas present for someone who loves jazz?)
No Other Name - This is a new collection of contemporary church songs from well-known Christian songwriters Nicky Chiswell and Rob Smith. Great for congregational singing!
(While the ACL doesn't sell CDs, we thought you might be interested in these encouraging developments! You can get the CDs through the Emu website - from Matthias Media, Koorong Books - and in regular record shops in a few weeks.)
Forward in Faith North America responds to Accokeek decision
Forward in Faith Resolutions
Forward in Faith/North America's annual assembly has unanimously approved two resolutions pointing toward the provision of alternative episcopal care for traditionalist congregations and missions outside as well as inside the Episcopal Church.
The assembly, representing FIF/NA's 17,000 members, met in Mundelein, Ill., Oct. 28-31.
Be it resolved, that Forward in Faith/North America adopt this declaration of its intentions:
In accordance with the recommendations of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, 2001 Primates' Meeting in Kanuga, and the stated commitment of the Presiding Bishop, Forward in Faith/North America is committed to providing sustained and secure pastoral and episcopal care to parishes, priests, and scattered laity, both to those within ECUSA and those who have been compelled to leave ECUSA.
One way of providing that pastoral oversight is in the consecration of a bishop for this purpose. It is the intention of FIF/NA to nominate a priest under the auspices of a Province of the Anglican Communion that does not ordain women to priesthood or episcopate.
Contact has already been made with one such Province which is willing, in principle, to do so."
A Press Release from FiF said, in part -
"Forward in Faith/North America is moving to secure as soon as possible the services of a foreign-consecrated bishop who would minister to congregations and missions outside as well as inside the Episcopal Church.
An interim step under contemplation is the delegation of a retired FIF/NA bishop to serve as a missionary bishop. A bishop serving in the United States but responsible to the primate of an Anglican province other than the Episcopal Church would provide traditional Episcopalians the kind of pastoral care the Episcopal Church has long refused them.
FIFNA's goal, while similar to that of the Anglican Mission in America, is to gain the wider approval of primates within the Anglican Communion, with prayerful hope for the support of Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.
FIF/NA's annual assembly, in Mundelein, Ill., Oct. 28-31, voted to begin immediately accepting nominations for a new bishop."
17 October 2001
Archbishop Peter Jensen's statement regarding the deployment of Australian Defence Force personnel
"We have arrived at a sober moment for Australia in the present global action against terrorism, with the Prime Minister's announcement that 1,550 Defence Force personnel will be deployed in the US led campaign.
"As an Australian community we are indebted to the Defence Forces for their courage on our behalf. They should leave knowing that they go with our full support, with the assurance of our prayers, and with our hopes for a speedy end to this conflict.
"There is no doubt that action must be taken to deter terrorism and ensure the peace and security of ordinary people from all parts of the globe.
"It is right and legitimate that the United States seek justice in response to the terrorist attacks conducted against its citizens. But such actions must be both measured and effective.
"The Bible tells us that lawful authorities are God's servants, 'to bring punishment on the wrong doer'. For their part human agents must be entirely fair. They must not lapse into the methods of the villainous; they must not punish the innocent or act from ill-considered rage.
"We must also bear in mind that there is no way to conduct war compassionately. War is terrifying and horrendous. It may or may not be good policy for the US-led forces to drop bombs and food at the same time, but this is not an example of compassionate warfare, because no war is an act of compassion. There are always innocent victims.
"As we seek vindication, we need to remember that we too are guilty before God. The roots of evil are intertwined and we benefit from sins committed in our names.
"With this in mind there is now even more onus on the Australian people to assist the refugees fleeing Afghanistan. Pakistan needs help to cope with the hundreds of thousands of people coming across its land border.
"I ask Australians to pray for both the safety and security of our Defence Force personnel, and the people of Afghanistan. We need to pray that evil will be overcome and that peace and justice for all this world's citizens will prevail. Remember also to pray that God will grant our leaders wisdom and that the conflict will be brought to a speedy conclusion.
"A war that is just occurs as a very last resort and always keeps peace as its ultimate prize. As Psalm 34 says, 'Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it'."
30 September 2001
Two new assistant Bishops appointed for Sydney
It has been announced today that Archbishop Peter Jensen has appointed two new assistant bishops - Dr.Glenn Davies, Rector of Miranda, and Canon Peter Tasker, Rector of Dapto.
Dr Glenn Davies, currently Rector of the parish of Miranda, will become the new Bishop of North Sydney, after the retirement of Bishop Paul Barnett at the end of this year.
Prior to his six years at Miranda, Glenn was a member of the faculty of Moore Theological College in Sydney, where he introduced many students to the broad sweep of God's dealings in human history through the Old Testament and into its fulfilment in the New. He gained his PhD at Sheffield in 1988.
In 2000, Glenn was appointed Canon Theologian to the Diocese of Ballarat. He is married to Dianne.
Canon Peter Tasker, currently the Rector of the parish of Dapto in the Wollongong region, will become Bishop of Georges River, succeeding Bishop Ray Smith, who has been the first bishop after the region was formed in 1993.
Peter has been Rector of Dapto since 1992. After he and his wife Joan served with the Church Missionary Society in the Diocese of Singapore and West Malaysia, Peter was made Assistant General Secretary of the NSW Branch of CMS in 1977 and then General Secretary in 1978 until he accepted the appointment at Dapto.
Peter's cross-cultural experience and his heart for the gospel will be of real value as he serves in the strongly multi-cultural Georges River region.
Both Dr Davies and Canon Tasker are current members of Sydney Standing Committee and are also Sydney representatives on the General Synod.
The two new bishops will be consecrated at 7.30pm on Friday 21st December at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney and begin their regional duties on 1st January.
17 October 2001
Archbishop Peter Jensen releases a statement on today's announcement regarding the deployment of Australian Defence Force personnel as part of the global action against terrorism."As we seek vindication, we need to remember that we too are guilty before God."
Read the full text below.
25 September 2001
Helpful background paper on the reasons for much Muslim resentment of the West.by Bishop Tony Nichols, Bishop of North West Australia, former CMS missionary in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Read it here (external link to Anglican Media Sydney).
18 September 2001
Faith in Christ in the Old Testament.Last weekend Dr. Paul Blackham from All Saints Langham Place in London spoke at the Western Region Conference in Sydney - on "Faith in Christ in the Old Testament".
Many wanted to read the text of this stimulating paper at home, however the link on the website advertised at the conference didn't work. If you are interested, the document can be found here. The main website is here.
After you're read it, check out the very helpful response by Dr Graeme Goldsworthy.
15 September 2001
Read Billy Graham's very helpful sermon given at the US National Cathedral after the terrorist attack.
14 September 2001
Speaking about the terrorist attacks on the US
As many of us consider what to say to our congregations on Sunday about the terrorist attack on the US, hopefully these thoughts may be of some help -
* Christians - of all people - should not be surprised at the evil that is found in the human heart. (Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?") We ought to be horrified, but we should not be surprised. Mankind's rebellion against the loving God who made us is at the root of all this.
* The Old Testament teaching of "an eye for an eye" (e.g. Exodus 21:24) is meant to put a limit on retribution - so that it is just. We need to pray that any military response will be a just one.
* When evil seems to triumph, and when justice does not seem to be done on this earth, we need to remember that the judgment of the Last Day before the throne of the Lord is where ultimate justice will be done.
* We need to call all people to repent - see Luke 13:1-5.
* Christians ought to be setting the example in extending hands of friendship to the Islamic community in our country.
* The Lord Jesus knows and understands our suffering - seen most fully on the Cross. We need to talk about the gospel.
* Let us pray that these sad events may cause many people to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith.
Doubtless, there are many other points that could be raised.
In thinking about these things, we could do a lot worse than to take some ideas from the sermon given by Archbishop Peter Jensen at Wednesday night's service in St. Andrew's Cathedral. You can read it on the Anglican Media Sydney website here.
See also this helpful statement from Archbishop Peter Watson in Melbourne.
Two memorial services are planned for next week in Sydney -
* St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, 1:00pm Monday 17th September. The service will be led by Archbishop Peter Jensen, and the Dean, Boak Jobbins, will preach.
* St. John's Parramatta, 1:00pm Thursday 20th September.
Archbishop Jensen releases statement on the terrorist attacks on the US
September 12, 2001
"We are all stunned and horrified at the violent scenes from the US that we watched on our TV screens through the night and this morning. Our hearts are overflowing with sympathy for the American people, especially those in New York and Washington, and above all for the families who are bereaved, and for those who are suffering and injured. It is a fearful tragedy.
We must pray for them, for President Bush and others in leadership positions in the US, and also for leaders of nations throughout the world, including our own. May they seek and find wisdom from the God who is the Creator, and sovereign Lord of the universe.
In such a time as this, when we may all be feeling a measure of fear and uncertainty, we should all turn to our God who is the Rock and the Comforter of those who put their trust in him.
This is not the time for any racist attitudes that attribute blame to new communities in our midst, especially the Islamic people who have come to share their lives with us.
The violence that has occurred is an evidence of the evil that resides in this world. May we all turn for comfort to the loving and gracious God, who is not absent from human suffering, but who is present with us, waiting for us to call upon him for forgiveness, mercy and love.
We may heed and read the words of Psalm 46:
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way...
The Lord Almighty is with us."
Friday 24 August 2001
Daniel Willis appointed CEO of Bible Society in NSWIt has been announced that the Rev. Daniel Willis is to be the new CEO of the NSW branch of the Bible Society in Australia.
Daniel has been serving as Associate Minister at St Andrew's Cathedral Sydney since 1997, where he has been involved in reaching the business community. During the Olympic Games he had oversight of the Cathedral's program of outreach.
He was Rector of St Alban's, Frenchs Forest 1991-1997 after serving a curacy at St Philip's, Caringbah. Prior to entering full time ministry, he was a computer specialist. Daniel has also served on the Council of the Anglican Church League.
He said, "In today's community, fewer people, including Christians, are reading the Bible. The Bible Society is committed to making the Bible available to all people in order that they may come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, so I'm looking forward to working with the existing team at the Bible Society to do that in an effective way."
Daniel will take up his appointment in October. The former State Director, Tom Treseder, retired earlier this year.
Sunday 19 August 2001
Deep Impact: Archbishop Peter Jensen calls for fresh focus on speaking about Jesus
When you ask me to come and minister in your church, or your school, or your club, please ask yourself, 'How can we best use the opportunity for the Lord Jesus?'
I don't want to get involved with mere formalities. I don't want simply to be a symbolic archbishop -
I wish instead to speak for the Lord Jesus Christ at every opportunity - give me that chance!
More than 4,000 Sydney Anglican Christians packed the State Sports Centre at Homebush this afternoon to hear newly elected Archbishop Peter Jensen speak about his priorities as archbishop and about making a "deep impact" for Jesus.
Peter and his wife Christine were welcomed to their new role in Sydney Diocese and interviewed about how they came to Christ. It was at the 1959 Billy Graham Crusade in Sydney that Peter came to a point of personal trust in the Lord Jesus. Both Peter and Christine grew up in Sydney's Eastern suburbs and attended the church at Bellevue Hill.
In speaking about the lack of awareness of the real God in Australian society, Archbishop Jensen set out a statement of mission which he suggested all Christians and churches might consider adopting...
"To glorify God by proclaiming our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ in prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit,
so that everyone will hear his call to repent, trust and serve Christ in love,
and be established in the fellowship of his disciples while they await his return.
Second, give yourself to consistent, persevering, evangelistic prayer for our nation."
In speaking about "putting God on the agenda", he referred to his own role in speaking in churches and at various functions. Would Christian people take advantage of the opportunity to make such events gospel occasions? -
"For my part, let me pledge this -
I intend to take every opportunity that comes to me - to put God on the agenda of our nation...
When you ask me to come and minister in your church, or your school, or your club, please ask yourself, 'How can we best use the opportunity for the Lord Jesus?'
I don't want to get involved with mere formalities.
I don't want simply to be a symbolic archbishop - I wish instead to speak for the Lord Jesus Christ at every opportunity - give me that chance!"
Read the full text here. (Link to Anglican Media Sydney.)
The gathering also had its lighter moments. Earlier, Christian singer Colin Buchanan had the children sing "Isaiah 53:6" with him. Then it was the turn of the adults.
Lastly, it was the turn of "the Archbishops" - much to the delight of the crowd.
New ACL President marks generational shift on ACL Council - Friday, 10 August 2001
The Rev Zac Veron was elected President of the Anglican Church League at the ACL's Annual General Meeting in Sydney last night.
Zac, 39, has been the Rector of St. James' Carlton since 1996, during which time the parish has experienced considerable growth. Previously, he served a curacy at St. John's Parramatta. He completed his theological training at Moore College.
Zac is currently a member of the Standing Committee of Sydney Diocese, as well as a member of General Synod. He is married to Sheree.
A number of new, younger, members have been elected to the ACL Council. See the full list of Council members here.
After seven years at the helm, Canon Bruce Ballantine-Jones said that this was the right time to hand the ACL's leadership to a younger generation.
In speaking of the new Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, he said -
"His task is an immense one. Already he has indicated that gospel outreach is his number one priority.
I hope and pray that we in the ACL, as well as the whole diocese, will give him our complete support for this great task.
I believe we could be at the beginning of an exciting new era for our diocese and church. If the resources of this diocese, both human and material, could be harnessed for sustained and strategically driven gospel work, not only Sydney, and Australia but other parts of the world could be reached for Christ in ways not seen before."
Read the full text of his remarks here.
Mr Robert Tong, who was re-elected as Chairman of the ACL, paid tribute to Bruce's godly leadership. Among others, the Rev. Tony Lamb, former ACL Secretary, added his thanks to God for Bruce's time as President. Bruce will continue on the Council as one of the Vice-Presidents.
ACL President speaks out concerning New York Anglican refusal of funds for Anglican Church of Rwanda
Thursday, 5 July 2001
ACL President, Canon Bruce Ballantine-Jones, has spoken out in response to the decision of Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York, not to allocate funding for a grant request from the Anglican Church of Rwanda.
First, read this press release from Trinity Church... then read Canon Ballantine-Jones' statement.
Trinity Grants Program Declines Support For Rwandan Church
The Grants Program of the Parish of Trinity Church, Wall Street, has turned down a $146,000 grant request from the Episcopal Church in Rwanda, citing the role of three Rwandan bishops in "actively working to promote schism within the Episcopal Church in the United States."
The decision was conveyed in a letter from Trinity's program associate for the Global South, Judith M. Gillespie, to the Rev. Martin Nzaramba, co-ordinator of the Theological Education by Extension (TEE) program of the Province of Rwanda.
Ms. Gillespie indicated that Trinity's decision was made with considerable difficulty and after long consideration. She said Trinity did not believe its partners had to agree with it theologically, but that in the case of the Province of Rwanda, "we have now gone past a point of disagreeing on theology... Trinity Church cannot provide support to a church that undertakes such divisive activity within our own church."
Trinity's Grants Program provided a grant of $132,000 in 1998 to support a three-year provincial TEE project in Rwanda. Earlier this year the Province requested a further three-year grant totaling $146,282.
Ms. Gillespie said: "It troubles me deeply to write that the Trinity Grants Program will be unable to consider a grant for further support of the Rwanda TEE program. We have talked this through and prayed about our response to this request for some weeks. It was not an easy decision to reach.
"For many years Trinity Church has tried to articulate and follow a policy of making grants throughout the Communion regardless of whether we were in agreement with local churches on points of theology. We have always felt that we do not have to totally agree with our partners in order to work with them around common mission concerns.
"With the Anglican Church of Rwanda however, we have now gone past a point of disagreeing on theology. Your Archbishop and two of your bishops are actively working to promote schism within the Episcopal Church in the United States. We have reached the difficult decision that Trinity Church cannot provide support to a church that undertakes such divisive activity within our own church."
-- Trinity News
ACL President's Statement - Thursday, 5 July 2001
"The decision by the wealthiest Anglican Church in the world, Trinity Church, New York, to cut off funds to the struggling church in Rwanda because of the Colorado consecrations is one of the saddest and cruelest things I have ever seen in church affairs.
The Rwandan church is poor beyond description. They suffered their own holocaust and racial genocide in 1994. The Church has no resources to help local pastors and leaders. Yet because their bishops were involved in the Colorado consecration those Christians are being made to suffer.
Is this not a form of punishment? Is this not rightly to be seen as blackmail? Is this not rightly to be seen as a warning to bishops in other provinces not to act like their bishops did? Is this not an ecclesiastical equivalent of economic imperialism so characteristic of the United States government to third world countries?
Trinity Church compounds their sin by stating that 'theological differences were not involved, or don't matter'. What was worse as far as they were concerned was to have their bishops break the house rules of the Anglican Church in order to support Bible-believing Christians in the Episcopal Church who are being driven out by the heresy and pro-homosexual policies of its leaders.
In effect what they are saying is that 'it doesn't matter what you believe, we'll give you money, but don't take on the power structure of the church'.
It is bad enough that ECUSA rejects the authority of the Bible and flouts the Lambeth Conference resolutions, now they are using their financial clout to punish ordinary Christians.
Reprisals such as this bring no credit on that church, only shame."
The Statement was endorsed by the Council of the Anglican Church League this evening.
See also a report by Anglican Media Sydney.
Archbishop Jensen calls Christians back to their "Standing Orders"Friday, 29 June 2001
Preaching at his service of consecration as bishop and inauguration as Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen called a packed cathedral back to The Great Commission of Matthew 28 - the Christian's "Standing Orders".
Asking what he might do as Archbishop, and what his agenda might be, he said -
"... I accept this office knowing that I too am accountable to [Jesus Christ], that I need his mercy and that I am under his command.
What I plan to do flows not from the devices and desires of my own heart, but from his standing orders in the Bible; obedience is the beginning of spirituality. To hear what those standing orders are, let us focus on Matthew's version of Jesus' last words to his followers. Being his last words, they are, in a special way, words for me; they are words for you."
In speaking about Matthew 28 and the uniqueness of Christ, he reaffirmed the place of the Bible in the life of Christian people."There is no need to seek for Jesus in the dark places, no need to wait upon mystery in the hope of a whisper from God.
For busy and practical men and women he is close at hand, for his words are close at hand. The Christian life is founded upon and regulated by the word of God.
The words of Jesus are a fundamental part of the Scriptures, the word of God. We believe that it is the duty of all, pastors and people alike, to listen to the word of God, to build our lives upon it, to regulate our churches in conformity to it, to test all things by it.
I believe that our failure to do this helps account for our spiritual weakness. If we will not be led by the word of the Lord, we will be disobedient to him, and forfeit the blessing of walking in his way."
Read the full text of the sermon, courtesy of Anglican Media Sydney, at www.anglicanmediasydney.asn.au/archbishop/sermon.htm.
Inauguration of new Archbishop of Sydney Friday nightFriday, 29 June 2001
Dr. Peter Jensen will be consecrated as a bishop and inaugurated as Archbishop of Sydney at 7:00pm this evening at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney.
Two former Archbishops of Sydney, Sir Marcus Loane and Bishop Donald Robinson will be the "presenting bishops" and Archbishop Jensen will preach.
It is expected that 35 bishops will be present, including bishops from Chile, Singapore, Sabah and Africa. As well, Prime Minister John Howard, Leader of the Federal Opposition Kim Beazley and Governor of NSW Dr Marie Bashir are expected to attend.
Can't get tickets for the Cathedral? Don't worry - Anglican Media Sydney will have the text of Archbishop Jensen's sermon and photos from the service on their website late Friday night.
ACL President Bruce Ballantine-Jones expresses support for the Denver ConsecrationsTuesday, 26 June 2001
Canon Bruce Ballantine-Jones OAM, President of the Anglican Church League, this morning indicated his support for the statement made yesterday by Bishop Paul Barnett commenting on the consecration in Colorado on Sunday of four new bishops for the Anglican Mission in America.
Canon Ballantine-Jones said,
"It is disappointing that the Archbishop of Canterbury and others seem to place a higher value on the internal rules and traditions of the Anglican Communion than they do on fundamental issues of faith and practice.
The Anglican Communion is faced with one branch, ECUSA, that to a significant degree, has crossed the line to heresy and sanctioning immorality.
They have rejected the Lambeth Conference Resolutions on homosexuality and have compounded their guilt by oppressing those who resist.
It is understandable that godly Christian people would seek redress through looking to orthodox ministries. Rather than criticising the Archbishops of Rwanda and Singapore, the Anglican Communion should be addressing the cancer that is eating away at the Episcopal Church of the USA."
Sydney Bishop Paul Barnett comments on the Denver ConsecrationsMonday, 25 June 2001
Bishop Paul Barnett, Administrator (i.e. Acting Archbishop) of the Diocese of Sydney, this afternoon commented on the AMiA consecrations in the US.
"We note the consecration yesterday 24 June, in Denver, Colorado of four bishops for ministry and leadership in AMiA congregations in the United States. We understand the extreme situation and disarray that exists within the Episcopal Church in the United States.
While we regret division and the appearance of disunity, these are inevitable consequences of the failure of so many clergy and laity within ECUSA to uphold Christian orthodoxy and clear Biblical teaching."
AMiA Consecrations go ahead in Denver
"These four men being consecrated are pledging to submit themselves to the authority of the Bible, and to uncompromisingly preach the Bible" - Archbishop Yong Ping Chung charges the new bishops
On Sunday night 24th June, four more bishops were consecrated for ministry in the Anglican Mission in America.
Archbishop Yong Ping Chung, Primate of South East Asia and Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, Primate of Rwanda, presided at the service.
Some 50 clergy took part - including one Asian bishop, three African bishops, two retired American ECUSA Bishops, two active AMiA bishops and more than 35 AMiA clergy and several ECUSA priests, with the largest group coming from within the Diocese of Colorado.
After hearing the Bible reading from 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5, Archbishop Yong Ping Chung structured his sermon on the word "bishop" - b for Bible, i for "I", s for service, h for humility, o for obedience, and p for power of the Holy Spirit.
Archbishop Yong urged his hearers to go and make disciples of all nations.
"Thank God for His leading and guidance of AMiA. The Holy Spirit has led his people all over the world to this day. We pray for those who cannot be with us but are praying for us," he said.
However, he also spoke to those who opposed the consecrations -
"I also know many people in different parts of the world who are dismayed, bewildered, angered and hurt by our actions. It was never our intention to offend or hurt them. As Christians we must seek to please the Lord and do his will. I want to apologise to anyone who has been offended at this time by our actions tonight. Loving merciful Father hold us together in your love."
"All Scripture is God breathed. The Bible is life, has life and gives life. The enemy is trying to destroy the church by using the [form] critical approach to the Bible and reduce it to a common document devoid of God's own breath."
People look to the world for answers, said Yong. "The Bible is the only truth. It held the truth yesterday, it holds it for today, and it will hold truth for tomorrow and forever. God's promises are sure, His standards never change. The Bible is relevant today. It is a word of life and a word of hope. The church will lose its mission if it looks to the world for answers."
"These four men being consecrated are pledging to submit themselves to the authority of the Bible, and to uncompromisingly preach the Bible," said Yong.
The Southeast Asian Primate said that at the Lambeth Conference the bishops reinforced the authority of the Scriptures. "Unity is found in truth, the Holy Spirit and in God. When the Authority of the Bible is not honoured we face division in the body of Christ. The Bible contains all that is necessary for salvation in Jesus Christ."
"The gospel has the power to change life. If we don't tell people, we are cheating them. Many of our leaders don't know Christ. The challenge is for you to present your body as a living sacrifice."
Archbishop Yong urged the new bishops to be servants. "You may not be recognised by anyone else. Jesus Christ recognises your ecclesiastic authority. You are always and will remain servants of God."
"I challenge you to be a community of love. Every lost soul
can be claimed for Jesus Christ."
He also said that despite tremendous pressures, "We are going ahead with the consecrations tonight."
"We submit ourselves to Him. We want to affirm the authority of the Bible. We are called to become the servant of servants and surrender ourselves under the power of the Holy Spirit. Here I am, send me."
"Mission is the what we are all about," said Bishop Chuck Murphy, AMIA's first bishop. "Now we have a way forward into that mission more fully and more effectively. This witness is the way forward," he said.
(With acknowledgements to David W. Virtue for some of the text and to Dick Kim for photos.)
AMiA Bishop Chuck Murphy comments on the Archbishop of Canterbury's responseAhead of Sunday's consecrations in Denver, one of the two pioneering AMiA bishops, Churck Murphy, issued this comment.
"The June 19th response of the present Archbishop of Canterbury is yet another example of the growing crisis of faith and leadership that is facing the Anglican Communion.
When challenges to turf and territory produce a stronger outcry than the relentless challenges in recent years to the basic tenets of our Apostolic Faith and witness this crisis is only exacerbated.
The present Archbishop of Canterbury was able to remain in full communion with the recently retired Archbishop of Scotland, the Most Rev. Richard Holloway, who states publicly that he no longer believes Jesus was the Son of God. (Read the article from the London Daily Telegraph)
He was able to remain in full communion with Bishop John Spong, who declared publicly that he no longer even believed in any personal God (Theism.) (Read Bishop Spong's 12 theses.)
Yet the present occupant of the See of Canterbury apparently finds that he cannot recognize or be in communion with bishops who would publicly step over institutional boundaries. This is sad. (Read the letter from the Archbishop concerning the Denver consecrations.)
In the 1999 gathering of the AAC bishops in Orlando, I shared my belief that we have now come to a moment in which the entire Anglican Communion is facing a realignment along the fault line of biblical truth. While we in the AMiA have made our stand for Truth over institutional unity, it is regrettable the present Archbishop of Canterbury has chosen to take the opposite position." (Read a quote from the Archbishop.)
(Note: for those who would like to follow the events from the AMiA perspective, their website has just been updated.)
March 2001 ACL Newsletter available for download
approx 250kb pdf
Featuring the full text of the talk given by Archbishop-elect of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen at the ACL's Synod Dinner in October 2000.
Also, ACL President Bruce Ballantine-Jones writes of the legacy left by Archbishop Harry Goodhew, who retired in March.
Reform (UK) issues statement of support for four new AMiA bishops
Statement from the Steering Committee of Reform
regarding the consecrations of four bishops to serve as
missionary bishops of the Provinces of South East Asia and Rwanda
1) In the light of manifest heresy in sections of the church in the Anglo-Anglican world and not least in the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA), the Steering Committee of Reform -
is encouraged to learn that Archbishop Kolini of Rwanda and Archbishop Yong of South East Asia are consecrating four new bishops to work with the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA);
assures Archbishop Kolini and Archbishop Yong and the new bishops of their prayers.
2) In the light of the historic teaching of the Christian Church that separation over secondary matters is schism while separation over fundamental doctrinal heresy is required, the Steering Committee of Reform -
notes the recent letter of the Archbishop of Canterbury (19 June 2001) to Archbishop Kolini and Archbishop Yong that reasserts his refusal to recognize the bishops working in AMiA "as bishops in communion with me unless they are fully reconciled to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church";
is saddened that this letter appears in itself to be schismatic because AMiA's impairment of communion with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is over fundamental doctrinal heresy (for example, in the area of same sex relationships), while the Archbishop of Canterbury's separation over the consecrations of Bishops John Rodgers, Chuck Murphy and the new four is over a secondary matter of regularity as it is recognized that the consecrations are valid in terms of Anglican order.
3) Nevertheless, the Steering Committee of Reform concurs with the reported remarks of Dr J.I.Packer, who at the June 2001 ESSENTIALS conference in Canada said that the present emergency requires that the AMiA exist and "I am glad that its Episcopal resources are being enlarged in this way. I expect that what usually happens in these cases is that sooner or later they will be recognized and become part of the rich diversity of Anglicanism."
20 June 2001
Two Primates set to consecrate four more bishops for the Anglican Mission in AmericaThe Anglican Mission in America will consecrate four new bishops on Sunday, June 24 in Denver, Colorado.
The Primate of Southeast Asia Archbishop Yong Ping Chung, and Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, Primate of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda will be conducting the consecrations.
The four men to be made bishops in AMiA are The Rev Thad Barnum of Pawleys Island, South Carolina; The Rev Sandy Greene of Denver, Colorado; The Rev T. J. Johnson, of Little Rock, Arkansas; and The Rev Doug Weiss of San Jose, California.
Joining the two Primates will be Bishops John Rodgers and Chuck Murphy from the AMiA, and Bishop John Rucyahana of the Diocese of Shyira in Rwanda.
Two retired ECUSA Bishops, the Rt. Rev. Alex Dickson and Rt. Rev. C. FitzSimmons Allison are also expected to be present. Most of the 72 clergy from 36 parishes that form the core of the AMiA will also be in attendance.
On hearing the news, Anglican theologian Dr. James Packer is reported to have said of AMIA, "I am glad that its episcopal resources are being enlarged in this way. I expect that what usually happens in these cases is that sooner or later they will be recognized and become part of the rich diversity of Anglicanism."
However, both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA have condemned the move, claiming it threatens the unity of the Anglican Communion.
Readers may care to ponder the different perceptions of "unity" in this disagreement.
Does genuine gospel unity come through denominational structures or does it come from faithfulness to the gospel? And what should happen if the denominational structures are no longer faithful to the gospel of the Lord Jesus - as critics of the ECUSA hierarchy claim?
Read the letters from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA here. For a rather different perspective, see David Virtue's comments here. Also see earlier reports in our archived news section and the AMiA website.
"I want to stake my life
on the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead."
Peter Jensen sets the tone for his archiepiscopacy at media conference.
Thursday, 7 June 2001
Archbishop-elect Peter Jensen made this statement as he began his first media-conference - in St. Andrews House, Sydney, this morning. He said,
"I want to make this brief statement to begin.
First, I want to stake my life on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That's the agenda; that's the news as far as I'm concerned.
The main contest today, in the world in which we live, is a contest between the men and women who think that this world is all there is - and therefore there is no hope, no eternal life, no God, no forgiveness of sins, no Holy Spirit - and those who believe, as I do, that God is true, that his Kingdom will come, that there is eternal life and that angels exist.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, and angels, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
And that's what I'm on about.
Flowing on from that as a second point, I believe there's a link between that first position of not believing and the grave social difficulties we are experiencing in our community.
I think a lack of hope infects our young people, and it contributes to such evils as the gambling mania that is such a prominent part in our society today.
I think that as a community, we should be intensely worried about gambling. I think we should be worried about the volume of pain and suffering that this and, of course, other materialistically-dominated activities, bring in our community, and think we ought to be sorry for the way in which our governments have incorporated so much gambling revenue into the state revenues, for we're all living on the suffering of other people.
Third and last, if we want a real test for the humanity and the civilisation of our community, we must always look to the way in which we treat the lonely, the dispossessed, the vulnerable, and especially how we, as a community, treat prisoners and captives.
Any Archbishop must first of all declare, as I am declaring today, an interest - a prior interest - in those who are most vulnerable, in order that our consciences may be quickened.
And I want particularly today to call attention to the whole question of so-called 'illegal immigrants'. The very name itself begs the question. Very often, these people are legitimate asylum seekers, and there is a question before our community today, I believe, about our treatment of such folk and how we handle the situation of their coming here. I believe that we are playing on some of the fears of the Australian community in an unfortunate way.
I'm very sympathetic to the government, and its grave difficulties in handling this issue. I don't believe there are simple solutions. But I believe if we want to know whether our community is travelling well, we need to go to places like Villawood and other places like this and ask ourselves how we are treating the alien and the stranger in our midst.
All this flows, I think, from the resurrection from the dead. I believe that Jesus is alive, he is with us now, and I believe it's my business to tell people about this and to share that news with them."
Read excerpts from the media conference.
Topics covered include: Refugees, Politics, Sydney staying within the Anglican Church of Australia, Lay Presidency, Reconciliation, Homosexuals at Holy Communion, Gambling, Personal reaction to the appointment.
Tuesday, 5 June 2001
Tonight, Canon Dr Peter Jensen, Principal of Moore Theological College, was elected as Archbishop of Sydney.
Please uphold Peter and his wife Christine in your prayers - and also the candidates who were not elected. Please pray for strengthened relationships between all concerned that will adorn the gospel of Christ.
Peter Adam Appointed Principal of Ridley College, Melbourne
9 April 2001
Media Release from Ridley College
"After nineteen years as rector of St Jude's, Carlton, the Rev Dr Peter Adam is to become the next Principal of Ridley College.
He replaces the Rev Dr Graham Cole, who leaves at the end of 2001 to take up a position in Chicago. Applications came from around the world for this position and the Council interviewed a number of excellent shortlisted candidates.
Dr Adam is a former resident and graduate of the college and will be its first alumnus to be Principal.
He is well known as a fine preacher, lecturer in systematic theology and preaching, as well as trainer of students, curates and people considering ministry, lay and ordained, male and female.
For the past nineteen years he has been the rector of St Jude's, Carlton, which has grown significantly in those years with a variety of ministries, not least to students and the housing estates of Carlton.
Dr Adam has extensive experience in theological education, having taught for several years at St John's College, Durham and been a regular visiting lecturer at Ridley College. He has lectured and preached in England, Pakistan, India and Canada and throughout Australia.
He has written a commentary on Hebrews, a book on Preaching and several articles and chapters for books on church history, preaching and spirituality. He is well known and respected in the diocese of Melbourne, serving as a Canon of St Paul's Cathedral and having been formerly an Archdeacon and member of Archbishop in Council.
His concern for overseas mission is reflected in his appointment as a Vice-President of CMS (Australia). Mrs Beryl Coombe, Chairman of the Ridley Council, said that the Council was delighted to appoint Dr Adam. "He has a remarkable combination of excellence in theological thinking and scholarship with vast and effective pastoral experience in parish ministry. He is eminently suited to further strengthen Ridley College."
Dr Adam commences as Principal in January, 2002."
7 March 2001
Tribute to the Rev. Bruce Smith
Long time lecturer at Moore College, and lecturer at Sydney Missionary and Bible College, Bruce Smith, died in Sydney on Saturday 3rd March after a long illness.
St. Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney was packed for Bruce's funeral on 7th March. Former Archbishop of Sydney Donald Robinson officiated and Bishop Paul Barnett spoke from Colossians chapter 3. Principal of Moore College Peter Jensen, Neil Chambers from SMBC, John Sheldon from Sydney Grammar and one of Bruce's sons, Andrew, also spoke during the service.
Another former Archbishop of Sydney, Sir Marcus Loane, officiated at the burial service.
Generations of ACL members have been blessed by Bruce's life and teaching since he joined the Moore College staff in 1955. In 1975 he took up a position at Sydney Grammar School, but continued as a Visiting Lecturer at Moore. In 1999 he was honoured with the title "Visiting Fellow", and also lectured at SMBC from 1993.
One former Moore College student, now serving overseas, writes:
"[in the 1970s] Bruce would regularly speak at Barnies, and his erudition was only matched by the precision and conciseness of his expression. He had a huge impact on me as a young believer... I enjoyed his lectures to us in 4th year. His eloquence was astounding, and yet his notes were just that tattered old school exercise book! Like DBK, he will be sorely missed."
Anglican Media Sydney has an obituary by Dr Peter Jensen online at http://www.anglicanmediasydney.asn.au/2001/21.htm.
1 January 2001
Statement of Support for American Clergy
Several dioceses of the Episcopal Church of the USA have moved to depose clergy who have been received by the Anglican Mission in America on the grounds that they have abandoned the Anglican Communion (even though none of the clergy in question have renounced Anglican doctrine). This raises the question of what it means to be "Anglican" and what it means to be "in communion".
Below is a letter of support from a number of American conservative bishops - followed by an earlier open letter from the Primates of Rwanda and Southeast Asia.
Stay tuned for developments!
Text of the Statement of Support
We, the undersigned Bishops of The Episcopal Church, mindful of the depositions and pending depositions of clergy who have affiliated, through the Anglican Mission in America, with the Anglican Church of Southeast Asia and the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, constituent members and duly recognized Provinces of the Anglican Communion, and mindful of the Statement made by the Primates of Southeast Asia and Rwanda in response to those actions, make this statement.
We note that the depositions made and proposed charge the clergy in question with abandonment of Communion under the provisions of ECUSA Title IV, Canon10. We note further that none of the clergy involved have either renounced the doctrine, discipline or worship of the Church, affiliated with a Church not in Communion with The Episcopal Church, or taken any other such action. The clergy have simply moved from the jurisdiction of one Province of the Anglican Communion to another. Any attempt to depose clergy for such a movement is void on its face and contrary to the canons of this Church and the principles of Anglicanism.
We therefore support, and totally concur with, the Statement issued by the Primates of Southeast Asia and Rwanda. Moreover, we cannot recognize such actions of deposition in violation of our own canons.The Rt Rev Terence Kelshaw The Rt Rev Jack L. Iker The Rt Rev William Wantland The Rt Rev Maurice Benitez The Rt Rev Fitz Allison The Rt Rev Alex D. Dickson The Rt Rev Alden Hathaway The Rt Rev Keith Ackerman
[Attached is a copy of the Primates' Statement on Depositions]
Letter from the PrimatesProvince of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda The Most Rev Emmanuel Kolini BP 61, Kigali, Rwanda Province of the Anglican Church in Southeast Asia The Most Rev Datuk Yong Ping Chung PO Box No 10811 88809 Koga Kinabalu Sabah, Malaysia
December 5, 2000
To Whom It May Concern
We understand that certain dioceses in the Episcopal Church in the USA have moved to depose members of the clergy who have been received by the Anglican Mission in America on the grounds that they have abandoned the Communion. Such actions are without credible foundation and will not be recognized by the Province of Rwanda and the Province of Southeast Asia.
We reject the notion that these members of the clergy have abandoned the Anglican Communion. In no case have we been shown evidence that any such person has renounced the doctrine, discipline or worship of the Anglican Communion. Each of these individuals remains in good standing as a member of the clergy of the Provinces of Rwanda or of Southeast Asia, under the episcopal oversight of our Missionary Bishops and, through that association, a member in good standing of the Anglican Communion. We affirm the right and authority of these clergy to exercise their gifts and spiritual authority as ministers of God's Word and sacraments.
These punitive actions demonstrate yet another dimension of the pastoral emergency that led to the formation of the Anglican Mission in America. We will neither accept nor recognize this use of the Canons and structures of the Episcopal Church USA to intimidate and silence orthodox voices and witness. We thank God for these clergy of conscience and welcome them warmly into the Anglican Mission in America.
In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Most Rev Emmanuel Kolini
The Most Rev Datuk Yong Ping Chung
30 November 2000
Latest moves to call liberals to account
In an extraordinary move, bishops from around the world, last Sunday, conducted a Confirmation in a Pennsylvanian church where the local bishop is not welcome to confirm or preach.
Ray Smith, Bishop of Liverpool in Sydney Diocese, was one of the three celebrants at the service held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pennsylvania.
The Confirmation is the result of continuing concern by many evangelical and conservative Anglicans over what has been termed "the pastoral emergency" in the Episcopal Church of the USA.
"The day of reckoning has begun," said the Rev. David Moyer, Good Shepherd's rector and president of Forward in Faith, North America. The visiting bishops and archbishops were "calling for an end to the secularizing trends and false teachings" in ECUSA.
Participating at the service were -
Archbishop Maurice Sinclair of the Southern Cone;
Archbishop Patrice Byanka Njojo, Archbishop of Congo (whose sermon in French was interpreted to a packed church of more than 750) and
Bishop Ray Smith representing (we understand) the Archbishop of Sydney.
Other bishops present included the Rt. Rev. Peter Njenga, Bishop of Mount Kenya South, Bishop Samuel Ssekkade, Bishop of Namirembe, representing Uganda; the Rt. Rev. Edward H. MacBurney, Bishop of Quincy, (ret.) and the Most Rev. Herbert M. Groce, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Anglican Rite Synod in America.
Although we understand that the Pennsylvania diocesan Bishop Charles E. Bennison was not himself invited to the service, Bishop Bennison smoothed the way by sending an invitation to Archbishop Maurice Sinclair of the Province of the Southern Cone and others to participate in the service.
Below is an extract from one US report -
Episcopalian archbishops from abroad conduct a service in Rosemont.
In an unprecedented challenge to the authority of the American hierarchy, conservative Anglican archbishops from Africa, South America and Australia who are disturbed by liberal trends in the Episcopal Church USA yesterday conducted their own confirmation service at a parish in Rosemont.
Archbishop Maurice Sinclair of southern South America, Archbishop Patrice B. Njojo of Congo, and Auxiliary Bishop Raymond G. Smith, of Sydney, Australia, marched in solemn procession up the center aisle of the Church of the Good Shepherd, while Bishop Charles Bennison of the Diocese of Pennsylvania sat in the pews as a spectator.
The three celebrants, who were joined by bishops from Kenya, Uganda and several other dioceses in the United States, object to the American church's liberal policies regarding the ordination of active homosexuals and the blessings of same-sex unions.
They were invited here by the Rev. David Moyer, rector of Good Shepherd, who refuses to accept the Episcopal authority of the liberal Bishop Bennison, whom he calls a "radical revisionist."
But the participants used their august presence, not rhetoric, to challenge the authority and policies of the American prelates. In his homily, Archbishop Njojo simply called on the approximately 90 confirmands to "help other people" and "recognize the Lord as our savior."
The only overt acknowledgment that this was no ordinary confirmation service came from Archbishop Sinclair, of Argentina, who called it a "historic occasion."
Bishop Bennison, who arrived early and greeted many of the approximately 700 people as they arrived at the stone, Gothic-style church, wore his purple vestments and the pectoral cross of a bishop, but sat in the 10th row by the center aisle and did not participate.
Although he recently described the archbishops' usurpation of his traditional authority to confirm a "canonical crisis," he decided allow the irregular confirmation to proceed to avoid a confrontation and "to maintain the unity of the diocese," which has about 70,000 members, he said.
Archbishop Sinclair thanked him early in the two-hour ceremony for his "generosity" and "for welcoming us and making this a happy occasion." Bishop Bennison declined to participate in a brief press conference after the service, but mingled at the reception.
Five other traditionalist parishes in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, which includes Philadelphia and four surrounding counties, decline to recognize Bishop Bennison's authority and will not to allow him to preach or administer sacraments. Those parishes sent members to be confirmed at yesterday's service.
"We believe that faith does not recognize geographical boundaries" - Archbishop Kolini of Rwanda defends his support for American mission
In a letter to Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, Archbishop of Rwanda Emmanuel Kolini responds to Bishop Grisworld's letter written in May, and explains his support for the episcopal ministry of Chuck Murphy.
The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church, USA The Episcopal Church Center 815 Second Avenue New York, NY 10017-4594
17 October 2000
My dear brother Frank,
Than you for your letter dated May 4th, 2000, referring to the letter written by me to the Archbishop of Canterbury on February 17th, 2000.
This letter is written in order to express our understanding of the consecrations of Bishops Charles Murphy and John Rodgers in relation to our Constitution and Canon law and in relation to the Body of Christ. In the following lines I want, in all humility and with due respect, to share how these issues have been resolved in the Province of Rwanda.
In our Constitution and Canons, the primary obligation of the House of Bishops of the Province of Rwanda is to:
Defend the faith and biblical authority as the supreme rule and ultimate standard of Faith and practice.
This is our guiding principle in all matters.
You are aware of the situation in the ECUSA, the Province you lead, which has come to bear the likeness of John Spong who, in his twelve theses, has denied and denigrated our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his Incarnation and redemptive grace upon us. Toleration and even celebration of Spong and others like him as bishops within ECUSA strains the ability to have meaningful communion and genuine unity with other Christians who have adhered to the Word of God and its demands.
The communique of the Primates in Oporto to which you refer is the very one that states, "The ordination of gay priests and blessing of same sex union threatened the unity of the Communion in a profound way." Yet as quoted by our brothers from the Province of South East Asia in their response to your letter, the ECUSA House of Bishops continues to condone this practice in contravention to the spirit of Oporto as well as in defiance of the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution on Human Sexuality 1.10. Actions taken by ECUSA bishops in light of this overwhelming agreement of the Communion on these matters causes me to question the genuineness of the call for reconciliation and communion.
The actions of ECUSA bishops and diocesan conventions in rejecting the spirit of the Anglican Communion as expressed in the Lambeth Resolution as well as their consecration vows to "guard the faith, unity and discipline of the Church" have necessitated the consecrations of the missionary bishops. In our view, this vow is properly ordered in that the faith comes prior to unity and the faith of the Church in these matters has been expressed in the Lambeth Resolution. Unity follows from having guarded the faith, and is bound up in that shared faith.
We see that a departure from the tradition, teaching and faith of the church has occurred in ECUSA without repentance by the church and without discipline. Our understanding of unity requires a common faith or else that unity is fragile and superficial. In our view, we not dividing the Communion but rather calling back and providing refuge to those who are otherwise leaving the Communion in order to seek unity with those Christians of other denominations of independent churches with whom they share real unity. The missionary bishops are an expression of our concern for the unity and witness of the Anglican Communion grounded in the historic faith of the Christian church in the incarnate Word of God as passed on to us in the written word of God. We are keeping these faithful Christians within the fold of the Anglican Communion in loving relationships until the differences can be resolved rather than seeing them continue to depart due to the actions of the ECUSA bishops and General Conventions to marginalize them.
The House of Bishops of the Province of Rwanda is committed to the defense of the faith and the pastoral compassion and care of those who are under any form of persecution, physical or spiritual. We believe that these suffering brothers and sisters have a Divine right to protection by caring Shepherds who share their faith.
We believe that faith does not recognize geographical boundaries. The first responsibility is to the local church, but not in isolation, as we belong to one another through Christ as an ecumenical community of faith. Wherever the faith we share is questioned we feel responsible to respond either positively or negatively by challenging whatever challenges the faith. With regards to the Constitution and Canons of the Province, on some matters the Constitution is silent and the House of Bishops is therefore not prohibited from action.
The House of Bishops has affirmed Bishop Charles Murphy's consecration on 21 March 2000. He has been charged by the Province in the name of Jesus to preach Christ crucified for the sins of the world, risen from death unto life, and to uphold and guide those under persecution who seek his episcopal oversight wherever they may be geographically located. Our position as a Province of the Anglican Communion is that Bishop Charles Murphy's status as a bishop of the Province of Rwanda has been ratified as valid and the need for this ministry is apparent given the reality that we have witnessed in parishes leaving ECUSA in the past several months.
We as a Province furthermore affirm the Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality of February 15, 1997 and Lambeth Resolution 1.10. We also agree with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who in our August 9, 1998 meeting of the Primates at Lambeth that the 1958 Lambeth Conference Report on Scripture should be drawn to the attention of clergy and laity as the prevailing understanding of the Communion.
I would encourage you to speak with Bishops Murphy and Rodgers and share your concerns over their ministry with them and attempt to work out the differences and find a way forward.
The Most Rev Emmanuel M. Kolini
Archbishop of the Province of Rwanda
More local churches join the Anglican Mission in America
This press release gives information on one of the latest churches to join the Anglican Mission in America.
PRESS RELEASE: 16 October 2000
New Anglican Congregation Formed
A Monument [Colorado] pastor has decided to take early retirement from the Episcopal Church over matters of conscience and is heading up a new congregation, allowing others in his former parish to follow him. The new congregation will come under the authority of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), a growing traditionalist movement in the United States.
"We want to remain faithful to our Anglican heritage, which the Episcopal Church has abandoned," said the Rev. Robert J. Bryan, former Rector of St. Matthias Episcopal Church. With a majority of his former congregation, he has formed Christ the King Anglican Church, which offers an alternative for those who believe in the Word of God and love their Anglican heritage, but no longer want to be identified with the recent decisions made by the Episcopal Church at its triennial General Convention in Denver in July. The new congregation joins three other newly formed churches in Colorado and nearly 90 throughout the United States, which have left the Episcopal Church.
Bryan, 64, and his flock object to the Episcopal Church's replacement of the Bible as the ultimate standard of faith and morality with the subjectivistic and relativistic norms of our secular culture. By joining the Anglican Mission in America, under the jurisdiction of African and Asian bishops, Christ the King will remain a constituent part of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide body with some 75,000,000 members.
"At its recent General Convention in July 86% of the bishops of the Episcopal Church voted to change the three thousand year Judeo-Christian teaching on sexuality," Bryan said. "Now long-term committed relationships outside marriage are to be encouraged and affirmed as 'holy.' For us the issue is not primarily about sexuality. It's about The sovereignty of God.
Who's in charge and who makes the rules? We believe we must do what we are doing in order to remain obedient to our Lord."
Christ the King Anglican Church will be holding Sunday services at The Church at Woodmoor, 18125 Furrow Road, Monument, at 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday 18th October 2000
On its final day of sitting for 2000, the Synod of Sydney Diocese overwhelmingly passed this resolution.
Contrary to some media reports (notable ABC Radio's AM on Wednesday, 18 October 2000), the resolution was not a personal attack on the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia (or anyone else), but was rather a clear re-statement of biblical truth in the light of the current crisis in the Anglican Communion (see reports further below).
The text of the resolution is -
"Synod supports the Sydney Standing Committee in its request to the Primates -
(a) to affirm in the face of current denials -
(i) the uniqueness of Jesus as the only name for obtaining salvation;
(ii) our redemption through his full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world whereby he reconciled his Father to us;
(iii) the resurrection of Jesus in which he took again his body with flesh, bones and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature; and
(iv) the sufficiency and authority of Scripture; and
(b) to reject current advocacy of -
(i) heterosexual immorality; and
(ii) homosexual practice."
See the Sydney Diocese Standing Committee motions here.
Wednesday 11th October 2000
This afternoon, in a show of support for conservative Anglicans in the USA and elsewhere, the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney passed this Resolution..."Synod endorses the media release dated 22 August 2000 of Archbishop Goodhew and the assistant bishops of this Diocese, calling for a broad-based US conservative coalition, and requests that the Diocesan Secretary communicate to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America, and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia this Synod's support for missionary episcopal ministry."
The Resolution, moved by the Rev. Phillip Jensen, was passed without dissent.
The Synod heard of some of the woes facing the Episcopal Church of the USA and a brief report was given of its National Convention in Denver.
Synod also heard something of the background to the consecration of the two American "missionary bishops" in Singapore and the recent meeting in Nassau (see items below) which led to the setting up of the Anglican Mission in America.
A number of speakers stood to support the Resolution in the strongest possible terms.
Text of the media release mentioned above...
22 August, 2000
Archbishop Harry Goodhew, the Archbishop of Sydney, looks for "a broad-based US conservative coalition"
Conservative archbishops and bishops from around the Anglican Communion will be meeting in Nassau in the Bahamas this week to continue their discussions on future moves in relationship to difficulties in the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA). Archbishop Harry Goodhew from Sydney is unable to join them for the meeting, but he has expressed his hopes for the outcome of their deliberations. The Archbishop calls for a broad-based US coalition that will be an entity that will be readily recognised by the wider Anglican Communion.
Archbishop Goodhew met privately with Bishops John Rodgers and Chuck Murphy when they were in Amsterdam for the Amsterdam 2000 Congress. Contrary to some overseas reports, Archbishop Goodhew was not present at any meeting of Anglican conservatives in Amsterdam.
Speaking in Sydney about the meeting in Nassau, Archbishop Goodhew made the following observations.
"My reading of the recent Resolution DO39 passed by ECUSA on sexual relations outside of marriage clearly indicates that ECUSA has crossed the line in the defining of acceptable sexual relationships in the Christian Church. In so doing it has openly abandoned the Scriptural and Church-held tradition that relates to marriage.
"My hope is that we would be able to form the broadest coalition possible with orthodox Episcopalians within the US and with Primates world-wide that would ensure either some appropriate arrangement with ECUSA for orthodox people to exercise their life and ministry, or for some alternative arrangement that has the full recognition of the Primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
"Consequently I believe Bishops Rodgers and Murphy are exercising a missionary episcopal ministry in an area of the Church where an increasing number of conservative people will find themselves unable to associate with ECUSA. This position would normally be considered to be irregular but, in the present circumstances, understandable.
"However it is very important that traditional and orthodox groups in the US form a united front that has the broadest membership possible, so it is recognised by the wider Communion."
Four of the Regional Bishops of the Diocese of Sydney join with Archbishop Goodhew in this statement and give it their full endorsement. (Bishop Reg Piper from the Wollongong region is overseas until early September).
the Most Rev Harry Goodhew, Archbishop of Sydney, and Metropolitan of NSW
the Rt Rev Paul Barnett, Bishop of North Sydney
the Rt Rev Brian King, Bishop of Western Sydney
the Rt Rev Ray Smith, Bishop of Liverpool
the Rt Rev Robert Forsyth, Bishop of South Sydney
Conservative American Bishops set up the structures for a parallel denomination
A broad based coalition of Anglican Archbishops, bishops and leaders met in Nassau in the Bahamas in late August to discuss the growing state of Pastoral Emergency in the American Episcopal Church. They issued the attached letter which was sent to the most senior leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The resolutions of the Board of the American Anglican Council set the scene -
Press Release from the American Anglican Council August 28, 2000
AAC Launches New Anglican Missionary Structure within ECUSA
The Board of the American Anglican Council (AAC) at its August 2000 meeting committed itself to the creation of a new domestic and foreign Anglican missionary structure, within and parallel to the existing structures of the Episcopal Church (ECUSA). The Board pledged to begin immediately the effort of gathering together in a united effort those orthodox, biblical, evangelical, anglo-catholic, and charismatic Anglican bodies that "share a vision for the propagation of the Gospel in a faithful expression of Anglican Christianity."
"It is increasingly clear that the Episcopal Church suffers profound divisions and that traditional views are in a minority in the power structures," said AAC president the Rt. Rev. James Stanton. "Responding to that reality, we seek to explore a new orthodox structure within the Episcopal Church, and will work to unite orthodox Anglican bodies in the USA under the banner of mainstream Anglicanism."
The Board of the American Anglican Council passed the following resolutions at its recent Nassau meeting.
Resolution Number 1
Resolved, that Board of the American Anglican Council, meeting in August 2000 recognizes the consecrations of the Right Reverends Charles H. Murphy III and John H. Rodgers, Jr., and their deployment and ministry as Missionary Bishops from the Provinces of Rwanda and Southeast Asia to the United States of America, and be it further
Resolved, that the American Anglican Council shares with the Provinces of Rwanda and Southeast Asia their concern for supporting and expanding within the United States of America a faithful, orthodox expression of biblical Anglican Christianity.
Resolution Number 2
Resolved, that the Board of the American Anglican Council, meeting in August 2000, rejects and condemns the action of the 73rd General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America in passing Resolution A045 which seeks to impose a particular understanding of the ministry of women on the Dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy, and San Joaquin, and be it further
Resolved, that the American Anglican Council declares this action to be contrary to the polity and practice of the Anglican Communion, contrary to the promises made at the 1976 General Convention that authorized the ordination of women with the stipulation that no one would ever be penalized for disagreeing with that decision, contrary to the recommendations of the Eames Commission that the period of discernment and reception should not be prematurely brought to closure, contrary to the Resolutions of the Lambeth Conference of 1998 that insisted that dioceses not yet (and perhaps never) ready to accept the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopacy should not be forced into compliance with that practice, and contrary to the Season of Jubilee as called for by the Presiding Bishop and affirmed by the 73rd General Convention, and be it further
Resolved, that the American Anglican Council recognizes the right of the bishops, clergy, and people of the Dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy, and San Joaquin to respectfully decline to meet with any uninvited "task forces" sent in the name of the General Convention to "assess and assist" these dioceses in a "compliance" with a theology and practice they do not accept, and be it further
Resolved, that the American Anglican Council, while many of us support the ordination of women, declares its solidarity with the Dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy, and San Joaquin in resisting such coercion as uncharitable, illegitimate, and unAnglican.
Resolution Number 3
Resolved, that the Board of the American Anglican Council, meeting in August 2000, calls for, and commits itself to, the creation of a new domestic and foreign Anglican missionary structure, within and parallel to the existing structures of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, to gather together in a united effort those orthodox, biblical, evangelical, anglo-catholic, and charismatic Anglican bodies that share a vision for the propagation of the Gospel in a faithful expression of Anglican Christianity.
Resolution Number 4
Resolved, that the American Anglican Council urges that the Primates actively work for regularizing the status of the bishops consecrated in Singapore as envisioned in the Oporto Statement.
Resolution Number 5
Resolved, that the Board of the American Anglican Council, meeting in August 2000, affirms the sanctity of Marriage as instituted by God and affirmed by the church over the course of two millennia. We deeply regret and deplore the ambiguity of Resolution D039 of the 73rd General Convention of the Episcopal Church which appears to support sexual partnerships outside the bonds of marriage.
The Nassau Declaration on the Pastoral Emergency in ECUSA - 23rd August, 2000
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF THE WEST INDIES
PRIMATE AND METROPOLITAN AND THE BISHOP OF NASSAU AND THE BAHAMAS INCLUDING TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
The Most Rev'd. Drexel Wellington Gomez, B.A., C.M.G.
23rd August, 2000
A CIRCULAR LETTER TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AND THE OTHER PRIMATES OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION
My Dear Brothers,
I am writing to you on behalf of "The Nassau Coalition - A Broad Based Consultation on Anglican/Episcopal Essentials"
We greet you in the name of our Triune God, The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit.
SUBSIDIARITY, ACCOUNTABILITY AND INTERDEPENDENCE
"The Holy Catholic Church is fully present in each of its local embodiments. Decisions about the life and mission of the Church should be made in that place and need only be referred to wider councils if the matter threatens the unity and the faithfulness of teaching or practice of the Church Catholic, or where the local church encounters genuinely new circumstances and wishes advice about how to respond." (The Virginia Report, page 39)
Conscious of our responsibility to exercise faithful stewardship in our respective roles in the Anglican Communion, we Primates, bishops, leaders and scholars have gathered in consultation in Nassau, 21st to 23rd August, 2000.
The first meeting, hosted by the Primate of the Province of the West Indies, gathered at the initiative of a group of Primates of the Communion representing The Caribbean, Southern Cone of America, South East Asia, Africa, as well as the Diocese of Sydney.
Primates present were:
The Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, The Most Rev. David Gitari, The Most Rev. Maurice Sinclair.
The ECUSA bishops present were:
The Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy, The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, The Rt. Rev. Stephen H. Jecko, Bishop of Florida, The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., Bishop of South Carolina, The Rt. Rev. John David M. Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin (represented by his Canon), The Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, The Rt. Rev. Daniel W. Herzog, Bishop of Albany
Leaders present included representatives from:
Scholarly Engagement of Anglican Doctrine (SEAD), Forward in Faith, First Promise, The American Anglican Council, The Prayer Book Society, Episcopalians United, Ekklesia, EFAC USA, ABAE/EFAC Brazil
Other bishops present included
The Rt. Rev. Robinson Cavalcanti, Bishop of Recefe, Brazil The Rt. Rev. John CHEW Hiang Chea, Bishop of Singapore The Most Rev. Louis Falk representing our friends in continuing Anglican churches.
We are aware of our own frailties, our dependence on God's redemptive grace, and how our own actions have contributed to the crisis in Anglicanism. In the midst of this, we recognize that our primary concern is a call to be faithful to the integrity of Anglican Christianity. We view the present controversies in the ECUSA as symptomatic of a breakdown of Anglican doctrine and discipline. Although concerned with controversial matters, we draw deep encouragement from our participation in the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ and are deeply aware of God's challenge to us all to be more faithful to His calling.
Careful study of the 73rd General Convention documents, and first hand accounts of ongoing practices in the ECUSA demonstrate a clear departure from historic Anglican practice as articulated in the Virginia Report and re-affirmed by both the Lambeth Conference and the last Primates meeting.
The passage of resolution A-045, which mandates enforcement procedures for women's ordination in all dioceses, by the Convention, constitutes a repudiation of the consensus of Anglicanism as expressed at the 1998 Lambeth conference (See Resolution III:2) It also ignores the recommendations of the Virginia Report and the Eames Commission.
The passage of resolution D-039 together with the frank admission on the convention floor that "local option" (with respect to the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the blessing of same sex unions) is the present practice in many dioceses, seeks to normalize a new sexual ethic. According to Resolution D-039, recognition and support must be given to an unspecified number of sexual relationships which are placed alongside Christian marriage. This resolve departs from historic Christian teaching and practice, and represents a decision beyond the competence of a single member church in the Communion. It willfully disregards the central concern of the Lambeth resolution I.10 on sexuality and shows no adequate respect for the warning against divisive teaching and practice issued by the Primates meeting in March 2000.
These departures have created a situation of Pastoral Emergency in the ECUSA. Many Christians seeking to remain loyal to Anglican teaching and practice, do not believe they have a future in the ECUSA in its present condition. Many have already left; many more are leaving. This Pastoral Emergency clearly effects the ECUSA, but it also threatens the integrity of the Anglican Communion. It entrenches impaired communion.
In the absence of an appropriate arrangement within the ECUSA for traditional Anglicans to exercise their ministry without let or hindrance, an alternative arrangement with the full recognition of the Primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury needs to be provided as a matter of urgency.
In the mean time, the Pastoral Emergency is so serious special Episcopal visitations become necessary. In our opinion, this will involve the crossing of diocesan boundaries in appropriate circumstances.
This coalition humbly requests all primates of the worldwide Anglican Communion to give this letter serious and prayerful consideration.
Rest assured that this letter comes with our most cordial greeting and intent.
Sincerely in Our Lord,
The Most Rev'd. Drexel Wellington Gomez
ARCHBISHOP OF THE WEST INDIES
For the latest, see -
The Anglican American Council's website http://www.episcopalian.org/aac/News
See also "The Dallas Statement" (September 1997) at http://www.episcopalian.org/aac/News/dallaslg.htm
The Communiqué from the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Portugal, 22-29 March 2000
An initial response to the Primates meeting from the Bishops of the Diocese of Sydney
The Editorial from the March 2000 ACL Newsletter.
A letter from retired Bishop Fitz Allison of South Carolina - one of the bishops who took part in the consecrations in Singapore - giving his perspective on the state of the Episcopal Church of the USA and the recent consecrations.
The text of the address given by the Rev David Holloway at the Kampala Primates' meeting in November 1999, in which he calls for immediate action.
Read the complete text of the Come and See Report on the state of the Episcopal Church of the USA.
The Standing Committee of Sydney Diocese has passed three motions relating to the Singapore consecrations and the upcoming meeting of Primates in Portugal. Read it here.
Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa not very happy with the consecrations in Singapore.
The Kampala Statement - issued after the meeting of Primates in Kampala, 16-18 November 1999.
The Kuala Lumpur Statement of February 1997
In St Andrew's Cathedral Singapore on Saturday 29th January 2000, an international group of Anglican Archbishops and Bishops consecrated two Americans, the Rev. Charles H. Murphy III and the Very Rev. Dr. John H. Rodgers Jr., as Bishops to be released to minister in the United States.
The official Press Release said,
Read a statement of support from English clergy.
Read a statement from one of the men who was conscerated, Bp Charles Murphy.
Read a statement from Reform Ireland repsonding to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Read the letter written to the Archbishop of Canterbury by Archbishops Tay and Kolini, who took part in the consecrations.
For background, see the First Promise website.
also a Pastoral Letter from Robert Wm. Duncan , the Bishop of Pittsburgh.
Anglican Church League, www.acl.asn.au