TEC Bishop directs his clergy not to use General Convention trial Marriage Rites

Posted on November 12, 2018 
Filed under Anglican Communion, Culture wars, TEC

Bishop William H. Love, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany in eastern New York state, has directed his clergy not to use the trial same-sex marriage rites authorised by the recent TEC General Convention.

In doing so, he writes not only to Christian believers in his own diocese, and to the worldwide church –

“To the People of God in the Diocese of Albany and throughout the World,

I speak to you today both as your Brother in Christ, and as the Bishop, Chief Pastor and Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Albany. As Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Jesus commands us to love God first and foremost with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and secondly, to love one another (Mark 12: 28-31), remembering as Paul points out in (I Corinthians 12:13), we are all part of the One Body of Christ.

What impacts any one part or member of the Body, ultimately impacts the entire body, either directly or indirectly. That is true not only for individuals, but also for congregations, dioceses, provinces, the world wide Anglican Communion and the wider catholic or universal Church. Resolution B012 recently passed at the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church is one of those things that will impact all of us either directly or indirectly. …”

He goes on to explain why he is compelled to act as he does –

“On three separate occasions (my ordinations as deacon, priest, and bishop) I have solemnly declared ‘that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to Contain all things necessary to salvation’ (BCP 513). Upon my consecration as Bishop, I was given a Bible and was issued the following charge by the Presiding Bishop: Receive the Holy Scriptures. Feed the flock of Christ committed to your charge, guard and defend them in His truth, and be a faithful steward of his holy Word and Sacraments’ (BCP 521). I take this charge very seriously.

I share all of this with you in an effort to help you understand the charge and responsibilities that Christ has given to me as I attempt to carry out the ministry entrusted to me as the Bishop of Albany and deal with the various issues such as B012 confronting the Church, particularly as they pertain to this Diocese. By God’s grace and the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, I have tried throughout my 12 years as Bishop of Albany, to be faithful and obedient to the Great Commandment, to God’s Holy Word, and to my ordination vows and the responsibilities entrusted to me as outlined above.

With the passage of B012, the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church in effect is attempting to order me as a Bishop in God’s holy Church, to compromise ‘the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3 ESV), and to turn my back on the vows I have made to God and His People, in order to accommodate The Episcopal Church’s ‘new’ understanding of Christian marriage as no longer being ‘a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God’ as proclaimed in the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP 422), but now allowing for the marriage of same-sex couples. …”

– Do read Bishop Love’s full Pastoral Letter and Pastoral Directive (PDF file).

See also:

+Love’s Last StandThe Anglican Curmudgeon.

Albany Episcopal Bishop outlaws same-sex marriage in his churches – The Albany Times Union:

“Love’s eight-page statement that accompanied his new pastoral directive comes three weeks before a resolution goes into effect that will allow same-sex marriages to be performed in Episcopal churches nationwide. …

Some local Episcopalians strongly disagreed with the Bishop’s letter.

While the letter was being read at St. Andrew’s in Albany Sunday, some parishioners gathered on the church steps to ceremonially burn the letter …”

Photo: Diocese of Albany.

A Greater Peace

Posted on November 12, 2018 
Filed under History, Resources

“Sergeant Philip Ball is an Australian soldier buried in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in France.

He was 21 years old when he was killed in action on 28 March 1918. He was a brave soldier, who was awarded the Military Medal in July 1917.

After the war his parents chose an unusual epitaph for his headstone in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery:

I FOUGHT AND DIED IN THE GREAT WAR
THE WAR TO END ALL WARS,
HAVE I DIED IN VAIN?

I have not found a similar inscription in the thousands of epitaphs I have collected from Australian war graves of the First World War. But it is a question that challenges any reader …”

Moore College Historian Dr. Colin Bale writes at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Related: Bells to ring for Armistice Centenary – SydneyAnglicans.net.

Canberra-Goulburn Elects Dr Mark Short as New Bishop

Posted on November 10, 2018 
Filed under Australian dioceses

This news from the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn:

The Reverend Dr Mark Short has been elected as the eleventh Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn. …

Mark Short is currently National Director, The Bush Church Aid Society, and was formerly Rector of Turvey Park and Archdeacon of Wagga Wagga in this Diocese. …”

More at the diocesan website.

GAFCON Fuel for Prayer — 8th November 2018 update

Posted on November 9, 2018 
Filed under GAFCON, Resources

Here are the latest praise and prayer points from GAFCON.

Asia Bibi released from prison — report

Posted on November 8, 2018 
Filed under People, World news

“Asia Bibi has been set free from her long-term home under captivity at Multan Jail and we confirmed this with media after news from her family. …

Wilson Chowdhry has spoke with the family of Asia Bibi, at 6am UK time on 8th November and they expressed that is of the utmost importance that there be no further speculation on her whereabouts reported by either concerned groups or international media.”

– Report from the British Pakistani Christian Association.

See also:

Aasia Bibi freed from Multan jail, flown to IslamabadDAWN News, Pakistan.

“After her release from Multan’s women prison… Aasia Bibi was brought to Islamabad onboard a special aircraft on Wednesday night, Dawn learnt through reliable sources.”

No truth in reports of Aasia Bibi leaving Pakistan: Foreign Office  – DAWN News, Pakistan.

Sydney Anglican Schools – Media Statement

Posted on November 8, 2018 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Media Statement

The Archbishop of Sydney has apologised to anyone distressed by a letter to Federal MPs about religious freedom, saying the issue has led to hurt and pain.

Here is the statement from Archbishop Davies:

The letter was addressed to Federal MPs and the intent was to promote religious freedom for Anglican schools but I realise that it had the unfortunate consequence of affecting many gay students and teachers in our schools, for which I am deeply sorry.

I have been told by the Heads of our schools of the distress the letter has caused. There were fears that gay students were going to be expelled or gay teachers sacked. This really saddens me. Our schools do not expel students or dismiss staff on the basis of their sexuality, nor have they ever wanted this right. All people are created in God’s image and valued in his sight, and in the sight of our schools. Our schools are open to everyone, without discrimination, for parents who desire an education for their children in the Anglican tradition.

The Heads, councils and staff of our schools are committed to the welfare of students and have been tireless in addressing the concerns expressed by their school communities. I commend them for the statements they have made and their caring responses.

This past week has demonstrated it is untenable that religious freedoms be expressed as exemptions in discrimination acts. Some exemptions, such as those relating to sexuality, we do not use and have no wish to preserve. But the mere fact these remain on the statute books has alarmed people. Therefore, I have approached the government and the opposition for an immediate bipartisan approach which would remove these exemptions and create legislation which provides a positive protection for freedom of religion.

Dr Glenn N Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, 8 November 2018.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net

Update on Aasia Bibi and her current needs

Posted on November 8, 2018 
Filed under World news

“According to present information, Aasia Bibi is still in prison, as this is the only place where her safety can be guaranteed while she remains in Pakistan. Her husband and children are still in hiding, moving from place to place, and can no longer be contacted …”

Barnabas Fund has the latest, including the note that there is no reason for any organisation to request donations to help Aasia Bibi and her family leave the country.

How to Pray about Your Life

Posted on November 7, 2018 
Filed under Resources

“Our lives and ministries are often combinations: encouragements and discouragements, joys and frustrations, pleasures and pains, successes and failures, sanctification and sin, health and sickness, abundance and want, joys and suffering, support and opposition.

This may be the case in our personal or family life; in our own ministry; in the immediate context of our ministry; or in the broader context of our ministry.

Negotiating all this complexity requires wisdom, patience, and hope. It requires godly contentment and godly discontentment. I often think of Reinhold Niebuhr’s prayer …”

Encouragement from Peter Adam, at the Gospel Coalition Australia.

Aasia Bibi still in gaol after government cut deal with hardliners, as husband appeals for UK asylum

Posted on November 7, 2018 
Filed under World news

“Aasia Bibi remains in jail in Pakistan after Imran Khan’s government bowed to threats of civil unrest, agreeing a deal with Islamic hardliners to end nationwide street protests following her acquittal. …“

– Report and photo from Barnabas Fund.

Real freedoms will end the broken chain of exemptions

Posted on November 7, 2018 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion, Sydney Diocese

“Bad legislation is made in a rush. But when it comes to religious freedom we already have bad legislation and there seems to be no urgency to fix it properly – just a rush to create more. …

Let’s be very clear, before you read any further. Anglican schools in Sydney do not expel students for being gay and do not sack teachers for being gay. It is an absurd proposition and it strikes at the very heart of our faith, that all people are created in God’s image and valued in his sight and in our schools.”

– SydneyAnglicans.net has published the full text of Archbishop Glenn Davies’ open letter in The Australian of 6th November 2018.

Do take the time to read it – and share it widely.

Real Faith

Posted on November 7, 2018 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

“The simple goal of evangelism is for people to believe in Jesus and be saved. This is our mission.

Whether it is through our personal relationships, large-scale events, evangelistic courses or the regular preaching of the word on Sunday—we want to see people come to faith in Christ and remain in Him.

But if we want people to come to faith, we must first be clear on what real faith is. We may have gathered a crowd or filled a church, but have we made real disciples with real faith? Real evangelism must seek real faith. …”

– Tom Habib writes in the most recent issue of The Australian Church Record’s Journal.

Schools’ letter misinterpreted as homophobic, Anglican Archbishop says

Posted on November 6, 2018 
Filed under Culture wars, Sydney Diocese

“The Archbishop of Sydney says Anglican schools did not ask for and do not want exemptions from the Sex Discrimination Act but are seeking ‘a positive right to religious freedom’.

Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies said that a letter to federal MPs asking for exemptions for religious schools under the Sex Discrimination Act to be maintained until alternative forms of legal protection are brought in has been misinterpreted as being homophobic. …”

– Story from The Sydney Morning Herald.

See also:

Real freedoms will end chaos – Archbishop Davies opinion piece in The Australian. (Subscription)

“Bad legislation is made in a rush. But when it comes to religious freedom we already have bad legislation and there seems to be no urgency to fix it properly — just a rush to create more. …”

Faith school freedoms ‘broken’ – The Australian. (Subscription)

“The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has warned that existing legal protections for faith-based schools are ‘broken’ and urged the ­government to fundamentally reframe them in its response to the Ruddock review into ­religious freedoms. …”

And the Letter from the Heads of Schools. (PDF file)

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