St. Matthew’s Dunedin ‘to disaffiliate’ from Church — report

“St Matthew’s in Stafford St [Dunedin] this week voted to disaffiliate from the church.

The decision means those in the parish who supported the move — it is understood 79% voted for disaffiliation — will have to find a new place to worship. Bishop of Dunedin the Rt Rev Steven Benford confirmed the move yesterday. …”

– Report from The Otago Daily Times. Photo courtesy St. Matthew’s Dunedin.

Thanks, but no thanks: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal

“A proposal by the Archbishop of Sydney for an overlapping Anglican diocese or province to cater for Anglicans in New Zealand opposed to the blessing of same-sex marriage has been rejected by the leaders of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP).

In May, the ANZP General Synod passed a ‘compromise’ resolution on the blessing of same-sex civil marriages in a move that was designed to allow both theological conservatives and those campaigning for change to stay in the same church. But a number of Anglicans have responded to the vote by saying that they were seeking to leave the Church as a result of the decision. …”

– Report from The Anglican Communion News Service.

In their reply to Archbishop Glenn Davies (PDF file – via Anglican Taonga), Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson, speak of the cultural and colonial background of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia:

“One of the key messages we hoped you would take to your home from our meeting at Hemi Tapu is the unique consequences of our history as Anglicans in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are a Church made up of colonised and coloniser.

We have a difficult history. It is a shared history. We know the language, the face and the consequences of colonisation. For Ma?ori, disenfranchisement, alienation from whenua [Land], racism and poverty are consequences of this shared history. …

To be Anglican in this land requires that we, led by our Lord Jesus Christ, face into this shared history so that we can help shape a common future for all people based on peace and justice and righteousness. …

If those disaffiliating want to be committed to that fundamental consequence of being Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand, then they must stay in these constitutional and Treaty-based relationships.

We cannot recognise a Church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history. ”

Fellowship with New Zealand Appeal

From The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid:

“In May this year the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia decided to allow diocesan bishops to authorise the blessing of same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Following the decision of the General Synod a number of clergy and their congregations decided to leave the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, while still wishing to remain Anglicans. They felt that they could no longer stay in a Church, which had abandoned the teaching of Jesus and compromised the fundamental principles of their faith.

At the end of September, there were nine clergy and four congregations, representing approximately 1000 members who have or are planning to disaffiliate from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, in addition to a parish in West Hamilton, which has already disaffiliated in anticipation of these developments. In taking this step, church leaders have forgone their income and possibly church property.

The Archbishop is encouraging Sydney Anglicans [watch video of his Presidential Address, 15 October 2018] to support these faithful brothers and sisters who wish to remain part of the Anglican family as they seek to establish an extra-provincial diocese. Gafcon Australia, with the support of Synod, has launched an appeal through Anglican Aid to assist them as they set up this new structure. Funds will be disbursed through the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand.”

– Read the details, and donate, at Anglican Aid. (Links added above.)

For some background to what’s been happening in New Zealand: Related posts.

GAFCON Chairman’s Letter September 2018

GAFCON Primates Council Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh turns to the situation in New Zealand in his latest pastoral letter:

“This realignment of the Anglican Communion will undoubtedly continue. Compromise leads to more compromise, but can there be a better way forward than the aggressive legalism practised in the Americas?

New Zealand will be a test. Following the decision in May by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) to allow for the blessing of same sex relationships, contrary to Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, a number of parishes in New Zealand have announced that they can no longer in conscience remain part of the Province, but Gafcon is proposing a fresh approach in order to minimise conflict.”

Read it all here.

Archbishop Davies presents proposal for NZ Anglican future


“Archbishop Glenn Davies has addressed some of the leaders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP), proposing ‘Distinctive Co-existence’ as a solution to the issues facing the Church after their Synod’s decision to allow the blessings of same gender relationships. …”

Read the full story at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Be sure to read Archbishop Davies’ A PROPOSAL FOR THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF AOTEAROA, NEW ZEALAND & POLYNESIA (PDF file – may download to your computer – Alternative link.).

Preferred new Anglican Bishop chosen for Christchurch — name secret

“A preferred candidate has been chosen as Christchurch’s new Bishop – but their name will remain a secret until a vote by the church’s governing body.

The involved and legal process to determine a new Bishop for the city began after Victoria Matthews stood down from the role in May.…” – The Press, NZ.

Reactions to the Gafcon 2018 Conference Statement from leaders in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Australia

The GAFCON Media Team have been busy, and have now uploaded this compilation of reactions from Anglican leaders in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Australia.

Most encouraging.

New Zealand church leaders react to the GAFCON 2018 Statement

Dominic Steele speaks with Michael Hewett, Dave Clancy & Jay Behan, and tell something of their story.

NZ move prompts ‘deep regret’ in Sydney

“A move by the Anglican Church in New Zealand to allow for the blessing of same-sex unions has led to a strong statement from the Diocese of Sydney. …

At its first meeting since the decision, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Sydney passed a motion which ‘notes with deep regret that the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has amended its Canons to allow bishops to authorise clergy to bless same-sex unions’…”

– Read the full story at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Here’s the resolution in full:

Standing Committee conveys to the Primates of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia that it:

a.     notes with deep regret that the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has amended its Canons to allow bishops to authorise clergy to bless same-sex unions;

b.     notes with regret that this step is contrary to the teaching of Christ (Matt 19:1-12) and is contrary to Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference;

c.      expresses our support for those Anglicans who have left or will need to leave the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia because of its abandonment of biblical teaching, and those who struggle and remain; and

d.     prays that the ACANZP will return to the doctrine of Christ in this matter and that impaired relationships will be restored.

– Source, SydneyAnglicans.net.

Gafcon UK offers support to FCA New Zealand after same sex blessings vote

A statement from Bishop Andy Lines, speaking on behalf of Gafcon UK:

“With this decision, another Anglican Province follows TEC, Canada and Scotland in believing it has the authority to redefine marriage…”

Full statement below:

“We are not surprised, but nevertheless deeply saddened and concerned by the decision by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa to accept Motion 29 and so pave the way for the blessing of same sex relationships.

We note that only those in civil marriages or lawfully recognised partnerships will be eligible for these blessings. This shows that while a short time ago many church leaders around the world were arguing for such blessings but drew the line at same-sex marriage (as in the Church of England’s Pilling Report), now that line appears to have been removed. With this decision, another Anglican Province follows TEC, Canada and Scotland in believing it has the authority to redefine marriage, and offer the Church’s blessing to relationships which the Bible and centuries of Christian tradition clearly teach that God warns against and cannot bless.

It is encouraging that despite the huge pressure to conform to Motion 29 and the secular humanist ideology behind it, many courageous New Zealand Anglicans not only voted against the Motion, but are already looking to the emergence of new Anglican structures, which remain faithful to the Scriptures in contrast to those who have departed from them.

We pray for Rev Jay Behan and others in Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand, and rejoice in their close association with the majority of Anglicans worldwide who continue to preach the biblical gospel of repentance from sin and new life in Christ. Jay and other representatives from FCANZ will receive a warm welcome and full support from all at June’s Gafcon gathering, and ongoing solidarity from Gafcon UK as they plan for the future.”

– From GAFCON UK.

FCANZ Response to the Blessing of Same Sex Relationships

Here’s a response from The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand to today’s decision by the Anglican Church in NZ to allow the blessing of same-sex relationships:

“We believe the General Synod has acted in a way which leaves behind biblical authority, the apostolic tradition, and the doctrine and practice our church has always held. Upon the passing of the motion General Synod members Rev. Jay Behan (Chair of FCANZ) and Rev. Al Drye immediately resigned. …”

Full statement below –

FCANZ Response to Blessing of Same Sex Relationships

“It is with deep sadness that the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand (FCANZ) receives the news that General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui has passed the Motion 29 Report allowing the blessing of same-sex relationships. While we are thankful for the gracious spirit in which the debate was held, we disagree with the final outcome. We believe the General Synod has acted in a way which leaves behind biblical authority, the apostolic tradition, and the doctrine and practice our church has always held. Upon the passing of the motion General Synod members Rev. Jay Behan (Chair of FCANZ) and Rev. Al Drye immediately resigned.

FCANZ believes that God loves all people, from all walks of life, calling each of us to repent and have faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes speaking of this love involves saying difficult things that run counter to the culture of today. However we remain convinced that it is good for all humanity and the only place for the church to stand.

In light of the decision of the General Synod we are ready to support people and parishes that cannot remain within this changed Anglican structure. We will work together nationally and internationally to provide fellowship and support as we look towards new ways and structures of ministering the unchanging good news of Jesus.”

– Source: FCANZ. Photo: FCANZ Chairman, The Rev. Jay Behan.

Related: Yes to blessingsAnglican Taonga, 09 May 2018.

“The Anglican Church this morning has paved the way for the blessing of same gender relationships.

At 11:20 this morning, by majority vote, General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui passed Motion No 7 – which is the motion which accepts the report and recommendations of the Motion 29 small working group.

That acceptance is subject to the appointment of a select committee which will consider and report back to General Synod – before it finishes today – on a range of detail which the Synod must be sorted before the passage of the constitutional and canonical changes necessary to give the decision effect.

The decision, nonetheless, is clear – after almost 50 years of debate about human sexuality, the Anglican Church has created a pathway for the blessing of same-gender couples.

#

There was no further discussion this morning about the principles at stake.

That debate was held late yesterday afternoon – and the convenor of the Motion 29 Small Working Group, the Rev Katene Eruera, waived his right as mover of the motion to respond to yesterday’s discussion.

The better part of two hours, however, was spent in a discussion about the process of voting.

Last evening, Mr Tony Hill called for a caucus by tikanga to consider assent to the proposition.

This church’s canons have an in-built mechanism to allow any one tikanga to veto a proposal before the house.

The three tikanga caucused for some time, and decided among themselves as to whether they would assent to the motion being put to the vote.

Each of the three tikanga assented to the vote being taken – and then by voices, the motion was carried.

#

The Rev Al Drye from Christchurch then called for a show of hands, then for synod representatives to stand – and these visibly confirmed that the motion, by a big majority, had been passed.

By contrast to General Synod 2016, when the Way Forward report and its recommendations were shelved, the reaction to today’s decision was, after a brief burst of applause, quite muted.

Sadness, perhaps, though, that despite the best efforts of the Motion 29 working group, some have said they can no longer stay in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.”

FCANZ response to Motion 29 Working Group Final Report

“This is the formal response to the Motion 29 Working Group Final Report and Recommendations. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand (FCANZ) is thankful for the opportunities the Working Group has provided the Province to offer feedback, and to some extent shape the final recommendations included within the report. …

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans has engaged fully and in good faith throughout the Motion 29 Working Group process. But, we repeat, if General Synod adopts recommendations allowing authorized services which contradict our existing doctrine and practice, many Anglicans will have been abandoned by their denomination and will have no alternative but to seek other ways of remaining authentically Anglican. …”

– The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand has released their response (PDF file) to Motion 29 Working Group Final Report.

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