The Dennis Canon Dead in Texas

“With its denial of certiorari (review) this morning to two of the Episcopal Church in the USA’s (“ECUSA’s”) groups in Fort Worth, Texas, the United States Supreme Court has put to rest the multiple adverse claims made for the last twelve years against the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

All of those various claims, and the stages of their ups and downs, have been chronicled on this blog, which began just before the legal disputes emerged.

It is gratifying, therefore, to report that this blog has managed to outlive, along with (retired) Bishop Jack Iker and his faithful flock, the Machiavellian intrigues of the schemers at 815 Second Avenue to hound and intimidate them into surrender of their properties…

The success in Texas leaves just one long-standing ECUSA dispute still festering: its pursuit of Bishop Mark Lawrence and his Diocese of South Carolina.”

– Read it all at The Anglican Curmudgeon, the blog of Christian lawyer A. S. Haley.

And much earlier, on our website …

Diocese of Fort Worth: Living with litigation – Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker, September 2013.

“Living with litigation has become a way of life for us as members of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. For the past 4 ½ years, we have been under the cloud of a lawsuit brought against us by The Episcopal Church and its local supporters, seeking to deprive us of our buildings and assets.”

Also, most of these post are relevant to Fort Worth.

And on South Carolina, most of these posts are relevant.

Archbishop Davies calls for prayer for Myanmar

Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, has posted this message on Twitter:

“Please pray for wisdom and grace for Abp Stephen Than Myint Oo after the army coup in Myanmar.

I have assured him of our prayers for the nation and for our brothers and sisters in distress.

‘If one member of the body suffers, every member suffers with it..’ 1 Cor 12:26.”

Anglican Reality Check updated

GAFCON’s Anglican Reality Check has been updated for the start of 2021.

Check it out here – with the 2021 entry, “Bishops Gear Up For Long Lambeth Walk”.

Review of ‘Peter Akinola: Who Blinks First? Biblical Fidelty Against the Gay Agenda in the Global Anglican Community’

“In the early 2000s, Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola was twice recognized by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People” on earth. He had distinguished himself as the leader of the Global South’s revolt against the normalization of homosexuality by the Global North’s contingent within the worldwide Anglican Communion.

As the decennial Lambeth Conference loomed in the summer of 2020, Nigerian journalist and media consultant Gbenga Gbesan was enlisted to tell the story of Akinola’s campaign, which spanned his decade of service as archbishop, 2000-2010. …”

– At Books at a Glance, Mark Coppenger reviews Peter Akinola: Who Blinks First? Biblical Fidelty Against the Gay Agenda in the Global Anglican Community.

Availability.

Church in Wales issues draft Bill for same-sex blessings

“The Bishops of the Church in Wales have published their proposals to authorise formal blessings in church of same-sex partnerships and marriages.

A draft Bill that would permit the blessing in parish churches of same-sex couples after a civil partnership or civil wedding has been circulated to members of the Church’s Governing Body ahead of a debate in April. …”

– Report from The Church Times.

Image: Archbishop of Wales John Davies, from his 2020 Christmas Message.

See also:

A Bill to authorise experimental use of proposed revisions of the Book of Common Prayer (service of Blessing following a Civil Partnership or Marriage between two people of the same sex) – Church in Wales website.

What do Anglicans Believe? – Review by Mark Thompson

The latest issue of Global Anglican (formerly Churchman) has been published by Church Society.

From Church Society:

In the last issue of The Global Anglican in 2020, editor Peter Jensen writes about True Forgiveness, a much talked-about but little-understood subject of critical importance to the gospel.

There are two articles on the subject of baptism. First, from Peter Nyende, “Prepared to Believe: The Evangelism of Preschoolers and Infant Baptism in African Anglican Churches” and second from Lee Gatiss on “The Anglican Doctrine of Infant Baptism”.

Stephen Noll considers the ecclesiology of an important figure in the Australian Anglican church in “Canonicity, Catholicity, Apostolicity: Archbishop Donald Robinson on the Church.”

We also have two review articles in this issue. Colin Reed reviews Bishop Mwita Akiri’s “Christianity in Central Tanzania: A Story of African Encounters and Initiatives in Ugogo and Ukaguru, 1876–1933” from the perspective of one who spent many years working and teaching in Tanzania.

While most of the content is only available to subscribers, Dr Mark Thompson’s review of the Anglican Communion document “What Do Anglicans Believe?” has been published for everyone to read.

“The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO), working with the Anglican Communion Office’s department of Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC), has produced a short 45-page study guide entitled What Do Anglicans Believe? (2020). It has been distributed widely, in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, with a particular focus on institutions providing theological education within the Anglican Communion.

It is presented as a working draft, with the goal of assisting readers in “deciding how doctrine in general, and specific doctrines, should play a more contextually authentic and inspiring role in our worship, mission and discipleship, and then resolving to make those changes” (p. 7). But it is seriously misleading and points us in the wrong directions.”

Read Mark Thompson’s probing review here. (PDF file.)

When to take a stand

“From time to time, faithful Christians have been called on to take a stand for the gospel.

In the 1st century it was over circumcision and Gentile inclusion in the church.

In the 4th century it was over the nature of God and the divinity of Christ.

In the 16th century it was over the authority of Scripture and justification by faith.

In the 18th and 19th centuries it was over the possibility of miracles and the historical reliability of the Gospels.

And in the 21st century, it is over marriage, gender and sexuality. …”

– Tom Habib writes plainly at The Australian Church Record.

No Love in the Episcopal Church

“The Right Rev. William Love, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, will step down on Feb. 1 after a disciplinary panel earlier this month determined he had violated church rules when he told his clergy not to perform same-sex marriages. …”

– Story from The Times Union, Albany, New York.

See also:

Resolution Reached In Disciplinary Matter Involving Bishop of Albany – Episcopal Church Public Affairs Office

“Presiding Bishop Michael Curry expresses sadness for the pain that has been experienced across the theological spectrum and also his continuing support for the Church’s intention that all persons have access to marriage rites authorized by the Church. …”

And earlier posts:

1. A Pastoral Letter and Pastoral Directive by the Rt. Rev. William H. Love Bishop of Albany, November 10, 2018 – PDF file.

2. TEC Bishop directs his clergy not to use General Convention trial Marriage Rites – November 12 2018.

“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.

3. A trial that should shame all Anglicans – March 8, 2020.

Update:

Bishop Love Resigns – GAFCON.

“With Bishop Love, we continue to call on the Episcopal Church to return to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures and to order its life and practise in obedience to God’s revealed word.”

New Bishop of Singapore installed

“In a ceremony steeped in tradition, the Reverend Canon Dr Titus Chung was installed as the new bishop of the Anglican Church in Singapore yesterday evening. …

The 55-year-old was previously priest-in-charge of St Andrew’s Cathedral’s Mandarin congregation and takes over as bishop from Right Reverend Rennis Ponniah, 65, who retired last month.”

– Report from The Straits Times. Photo: Diocese of Singapore.

A Thin Gruel For The Soul

“The great Christian philosopher and theologian, Dallas Willard, once wrote that every compelling and coherent worldview must address four questions:

What is reality?
What is the good life?
What is a good person?
How does one become a good person?

Christianity, including the Anglican way of following Jesus, has answers to these questions. Reality is the unshakeable Kingdom of God (Hebrews 12:18-29). The good life is not about consumption, but rather righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). The one who is blessed by Jesus (in every counter-intuitive and counter-cultural way he names in Matthew 5:1-12) is the good person. And one becomes such a person, a “disciple” according to Jesus, by denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:24).

Sadly, you will find no answers to these questions in What do Anglicans Believe: A Study Guide to Christian Doctrine from Anglican and Ecumenical Statements, published by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) last week …”

The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey points to a better way than a new book which has just been published.

Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba enthroned as 9th Archbishop of Uganda

“The Most Rev. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu was enthroned as the 9th Archbishop of the Church of Uganda on Sunday, 1st March 2020, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe.

More than 3,000 people attended the colourful ceremony, including His Excellency the President, political leaders, the Nnabagereka and Katikkiro of Buganda and other cultural leaders, business leaders, and all the Bishops of the Church of Uganda. …

Greetings were brought by Anglican representatives from global regions – The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England, brought greetings from England, the UK and Europe. …

The Rt. Rev. Malcolm Richards from Sydney Diocese, Australia, brought greetings from Asia and Oceania. …”

– from The Church of Uganda.

GAFCON Chairman’s Pastoral Letter for February 2020

Archbishop Foley Beach has published his February 2020 Pastoral Letter:

“Christian discipleship and leadership calls us to make disciples of all nations and it requires us to protect the flock from false teachers. Encountering false teachers is nothing new in the history of the Church. The New Testament is filled with exhortations regarding false teachers. …”

He also recommends the new GAFCON resource, “Anglican Reality Check”.

Anglican Reality Check

GAFCON has launched a new website – Anglican Reality Check – subtitled, “What’s happened since Lambeth 1998?”.

In the midst of PR releases coming from Lambeth Palace, this website is a great help in remembering how far the Anglican Communion has slid since 1998. It would be good to work through the timeline to be clear on why GAFCON is needed.

GAFCON’s Acting Operations Manager, Canon Charles Raven, discusses the new website, and other matters, with Bishop Julian Dobbs at the Living Through The Word podcast.

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Related:

And here is a summary we posted in May 2018:

Every so often, media reports warn that the current situation (whatever it is at the time) might provoke a split among Anglicans. The truth is that this is nothing new – but each ‘crisis’ is no less serious or tragic.

From our archives, here are five articles which are well worth reading. Among other things they provide context for the formation of GAFCON:

– all from our Resources section.

From Dr. Mark Thompson’s paper, The Anglican Debacle: Roots and Patterns:

“The first thing to note about the crisis the Anglican Communion is facing today is that it has been coming for a very long time. …

That background might lead you to ask, ‘So what’s changed now?’ If the denomination has long been compromised in these ways, and evangelicals have always struggled within it, why are we arguing that we have now reached a moment of crisis where decisive action needs to be taken? What is different about what’s happening at the moment? …”

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