Welcome to the Anglican Church League Sydney, Australia

Defending gospel truth – Supporting gospel growth

Last updated Thursday 17th January 2008

This is the old website of the Anglican Church League.

The new website is available at: www.acl.asn.au

Thursday 17th January 2008
Jack IkerBishop Iker of Fort Worth Receives Another Letter Threatening Disciplinary Action

“Bishop Jack Leo Iker of Fort Worth informed The Living Church on Jan. 15 that he has received a second letter from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori threatening him with new disciplinary action.

“Unlike her November letter, it did not imply a charge of ‘abandonment of the communion of this church’, but it said that I would be liable for charges of violation of my ordination vows if I continue ‘any encouragement of such a belief’ (i.e. that parishes and dioceses can leave The Episcopal Church),” Bishop Iker said.

Full report from The Living Church.

Thursday 17th January 2008
Bp DuncanBid to depose US Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh backfires

“US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s bid to depose Bishop Robert Duncan before the opening of the 2008 Lambeth Conference has misfired, leaving the Pittsburgh Bishop in office pending a trial at the autumn meeting of the House of Bishops.

On Jan 15, Bishop Schori wrote to the conservative leader saying that although a secret review panel on Dec 17 had found that he had ‘abandoned the communion’ of the Episcopal Church, after four weeks of deliberations the Church’s three senior bishops were not able to agree upon suspending him from office. ...

... Fellow conservative Bishop Jack Iker stated it was ‘tragic and deeply disturbing’ that Bishop Schori would move against Bishop Duncan before Pittsburgh took ‘any final decision’ to separate from the Episcopal Church.”

Report by George Conger on Religious Intelligence.

Saturday 12th January 2008
Bishop SchofieldBishop Schofield of San Joaquin ‘inhibited’

In a move which will surprise few, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Kathering Jefferts Schori has inhibited Bishop John-David Schofield.

“I hereby inhibit the said Bishop Schofield and order that from and after 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, January 11, 2008, he cease from exercising the gifts of ordination in the ordained ministry of this Church…”

He has been given two months to ‘recant’. The inhibition will have little effect since Bishop Schofield and his Diocesan Convention have formally left the Episcopal Church and aligned with the Province of the Southern Cone, although the inhibition is seen as a precursor to legal action by Bishop Jefferts Schori.

Read a report from Episcopal Life.

See also this story – “Episcopal Church bans bishop for 2 mos. after he pushed secession” – from the San Jose Mercury.

Saturday 12th January 2008
Bishop Jack IkerPreliminary Report from Fort Worth on the Invitation to Join the Province of the Southern Cone

“In accordance with the Resolution adopted by our Diocesan Convention, this is our preliminary report on some of the implications of accepting an offer which we received from the Southern Cone shortly before our Convention. ...

Based on our review, we have concluded that the structure and polity of the Province of the Southern Cone would afford our diocese greater self-determination than we currently have under the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. This autonomy would be evident most specifically in the areas of property ownership, liturgy, holy orders, and missionary focus. ...”

Read the full Preliminary Report from the Bishop of Fort Worth and his Standing Committee – on the Fort Worth website.

Friday 4th January 2008
Church SocietyChurch Society analysis of the C of E response to Draft Covenant

“The Church of England has issued its response to the Anglican Covenant first mooted by the Windsor Group and then put out by the Covenant Design Group. The General Synod unwisely gave the Archbishops authority to respond on their behalf and the fears of some in doing so have been realised. In effect the response completely re-writes the original CDG version.”

Read the Church Society’s analysis by David Phillips, Church Society General Secretary.

Friday 4th January 2008
Church of England Response to draft Anglican Covenant

“The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, as Presidents of the General Synod, have submitted a Church of England Response to the draft Anglican Covenant published last year for discussion around the Anglican Communion.

All Anglican Provinces were invited to comment on the text prepared by the Covenant Design Group chaired by the Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Revd Drexel Gomez.

The Response to the draft Anglican Covenant can be read here (rtf file) – linked from this page on the C of E website.

Friday 4th January 2008
“Anglican archbishop spurs opposition to gays”

“Outspoken Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen is galvanising opposition to homosexuality in the church, in the lead-up to an unofficial meeting of conservative bishops in Jerusalem.

As rifts in the worldwide Anglican Church threaten to become a schism, the Sydney Archbishop said American Anglicans had become missionaries for homosexuality in defiance of the Bible and Anglican teaching. The Global Anglican Future Conference is provocatively timed just before the 10-yearly meeting of all the world’s bishops at Lambeth in London. That meeting must resolve the sexuality crisis or worldwide Anglicans will probably divide into two separate churches. …

Read the full report (with a somewhat inaccurate headline) in The Age.

Thursday 3rd January 2008
Thirty-one bishops stand with Bishop Schofield

Letter of supportThirty one bishops, including Jack Iker (Bishop of Fort Worth), Peter Jensen (Archbishop of Sydney), Robert Forsyth (Bishop of South Sydney) and Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali (Bishop of Rochester), have written a letter of support for Bishop John-David Schofield of San Joaquin in his decision to leave The Episcopal Church and to align with the Province of the Southern Cone.

The letter, posted today on the San Joaquin diocesan website reads as follows –

Dear Bishop John-David,

We, Episcopal colleagues from across the Anglican Communion and across the world, write to salute you on the courageous decision of the Diocesan Convention of San Joaquin to take leave of The Episcopal Church and to align with the Province of the Southern Cone. We know that decision was to a large extent the result of your tenacity and faithful leadership, and for that we give thanks to God. It has been said that you are isolated and alone. We want you and the world to know that in this decision for the faith once delivered to the saints, we stand with you and beside you. May Christ abundantly bless you and your diocese with all the gifts of the Spirit and with joy in believing.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth


The Most Rev. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney
The Rt. Rev. Matthias Medadues-Badohu, Bishop of Ho
The Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester…

Read the letter and see the full list of signatories on the San Joaquin website (PDF file).

Tuesday 1st January 2008
Hugh Latimer“Hugh Latimer – Apostolic Preacher”

The Church Society has published online a helpful article on Hugh Latimer, bishop and martyr of the English Reformation.

“On the morning of 16 October, 1555, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, both formerly bishops of
the Church, were executed for heresy in Oxford. It was then that Hugh Latimer uttered his famous
sermon, Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle by God’s
grace in England as I trust shall never be put out.

Written by David Streater and originally published in Crossway in 1996, the nine page article can be downloaded as a PDF file.

Take the opportunity, this quiet time of year, to learn of and to thank the Lord for Bishop Hugh Latimer.

Friday 28th December 2007
Peter Jensen
Global Anglican Future Conference” – Archbishop Peter Jensen

“A Global Anglican Future Conference is planned for June 2008. The aim of the Conference is to discuss the future of mission and relationships within the churches of Anglican Communion. Those who wish to retain biblical standards especially in the area of sexual ethics have spent much time and effort in negotiations on these issues in the last five years. They want to move on together with the gospel of Christ’s Lordship, a gospel which challenges us and changes lives.  Israel is planned as a venue because it symbolises the biblical roots of our faith as Anglicans.

I want those in the fellowship of our Diocese to know what this is about and why I am involved...

... it is now clear that we will never go back to being the Communion which we once were. There has been a permanent change. We live in a new world. Some American Anglicans are as committed to their new sexual ethics as to the gospel itself, and they intend to act as missionaries for this faith, wishing to persuade the rest of us. The problems posed by the American church are not going to remain in North America. This means that the rest of the Anglican world must be vigilant to guard the teaching and interpretation of scripture.

Bound up in this are other issues such as Anglican identity, fellowship, theological education and mission. How are we going to help each other remain true to the authority of God’s word? How are we going to help each other to preach the gospel of God’s transforming power and grace? These matters require urgent attention.”

Read Archbishop Peter Jensen’s article on SydneyAnglicans.net.

Thursday 27th December 2007
“Global Anglicans Face Test of Strength”

“This morning, Dec. 26, conservative Anglicans announced they will gather in Jerusalem about 6 weeks before the historic Lambeth conference in the UK. Lambeth will start in mid-July and end in early August 2008.

... In recent weeks, there has been speculation about whether Anglican conservatives will put together a rival Lambeth-like event. Many conservative Anglican bishops expect to opt out of the once-per-decade-event in Canterbury, but had hopes of gathering for a global consultation...”

Full story from Christianity Today.

Wednesday 26th December 2007
GAFCON“Global Anglican Future Conference in Holy Land Announced By Orthodox Primates”

“Orthodox Primates with other leading bishops from across the globe are to invite fellow Bishops, senior clergy and laity from every province of the Anglican Communion to a unique eight-day event, to be known as the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) 2008.

The event, which was agreed at a meeting of Primates in Nairobi last week, will be in the form of a pilgrimage back to the roots of the Church’s faith. The Holy Land is the planned venue. From 15-22 June 2008, Anglicans from both the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings of the church will make pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where Christ was born, ministered, died, rose again, ascended into heaven, sent his Holy Spirit, and where the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out, to strengthen them for what they believe will be difficult days ahead.

At the meeting were Archbishops

Peter Akinola (Nigeria), Henry Orombi (Uganda), Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda), Benjamin Nzimbi (Kenya), Donald Mtetemela (Tanzania),  Peter Jensen (Sydney), and Nicholas Okoh (Nigeria); Bishops Don Harvey (Canada), Bill Atwood (Kenya) representing Archbishop Greg Venables (Southern Cone), Bishop Bob Duncan (Anglican Communion Network), Bishop Martyn Minns (Convocation of Anglicans in North America), Canon Dr Vinay Samuel (India and England) and Canon Dr Chris Sugden (England).

Bishops Michael Nazir-Ali (Rochester, England), Bishop Wallace Benn (Lewes, England) were consulted by telephone.

These leaders represent over 30 million of the 55 million active Anglicans in the world...”

See the newly launched GAFCON website for details.

Monday 24th December 2007
Archbishop Jensen's Christmas message 2007Archbishop Peter Jensen’s Christmas Message

Archbishop Peter Jensen has released his Christmas message for 2007.

Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, the Bible records a prediction by the prophet Isaiah.

He says “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”.

Given the way we now think of governments, this may seem a strange way to put it. After all, the Australian people have spoken to change our national government and we now think of the government as being on Kevin Rudd’s shoulders and the shoulders of his ministers.

But what I once told John Howard is true of Kevin Rudd also – we all have a higher authority to which we are accountable and ultimately, God has placed the government of us all on the shoulders of Jesus, the one the prophet Isaiah spoke about. That is a radical change of perspective!

If we imagine ourselves as independent human beings who do not need God – the world will prove us wrong...

Download Peter’s message (as a two x A5 sheets) in PDF format by clicking on the image at right. With thanks to Anglican Media Sydney for the text.

Friday 21st December 2007
Rowan WilliamsWhat did the Archbishop really say? – read the interview

There’s been quite a fuss over comments attributed to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The UK Telegraph has published an edited transcript of the Archbishop’s interview with the BBC’s Simon Mayo. Read what he really said –

Simon Mayo: It comes round every year that we’re not being Christian enough or people don’t know where Bethlehem is, people have never heard of Mary and so on, so this is a sort of an almost a tradition of Christmas, isn’t it really. But I wonder, if people have got a traditional religious Christmas card in front of them, I just want to go through it, Archbishop, to find out how much of it you think is true and crucial to the believing in Christmas. So start with … the baby Jesus in a manger; historically and factually true?

ABC: I should think so; the Gospel tells us he was born outside the main house, probably because it was overcrowded because it was pilgrimage time or census time; whatever; yes; he’s born in poor circumstances, slightly out of the ordinary...”

Read the transcript from The Telegraph.

Thursday 20th December 2007
John Richardson“The Archbishop’s Egg — what is good (and what is not so good) about the proposals in Rowan Williams’ Advent letter?”

“The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Advent letter has created not just comment but (inevitably in these days of internet blogging) comment on the comment. Interestingly, what is clear so far is that he has managed to annoy both ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’. And this suggests the obvious conclusion that here we have a proverbial ‘Curate’s Egg’ — “parts of it are excellent” to quote the Punch cartoon.

So which parts are excellent and which, frankly, are not? What can those of a Conservative persuasion work with, and what must they work on?

Perhaps the key thing is the distinction between the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican identity. In some quarters recently there has been a tendency to suggest that an invitation to Lambeth confers an Anglican imprimatur, and even that staying away (or not being invited) means seceding from (or being turfed out of) the Communion. Dr Williams has, thankfully, made it clear that neither is true...”

Comment from John Richardson on ‘The Ugley Vicar’.

Monday 17th December 2007
Bishop Schofield“A Pastoral Letter from the Bishop of San Joaquin Read in Parishes [December 16th]”

“Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our one and only Lord and Savior. By an overwhelming majority of nearly 90% (173 to 22), our Annual Convention voted Saturday, December 8th, to uphold the authority of Holy Scripture and thereby preserve our place in the worldwide Anglican Communion and with the See of Canterbury by realigning our Anglican identity through the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of the Americas under the Most Rev. Gregory Venables, Archbishop and Primate.

This historic and momentous decision by our Annual Convention was the culmination of The Episcopal Church’s failure to heed the repeated calls for repentance issued by the Primates of the Anglican Communion and for the cessation of false teaching and sacramental actions explicitly contrary to Scripture...”

Via Kendall Harmon’s TitusONEnine

Sunday 16th December 2007
“Jupiter aligns with Venus and the Star of Bethlehem is born”

“Could the Christmas star that famously guided the three wise men to Jesus Christ’s birthplace have been a comet, a supernova, or an alignment of the planets?

The editor of one of Australia’s top space magazines believes so.

Sky And Space magazine news editor Dave Reneke has thrown his weight behind a spectacular alignment of Venus and Jupiter 2000 years ago as the most likely cause of the beacon that guided the magi...”

Story from The Sydney Morning Herald. (The answer to the question is no – see Matthew 2:1-10.)

Saturday 15th December 2007
Schori to Schofield: Your Pension is at stake

“Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has written to Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield saying that she assumes his declaration that he is now under the authority of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone ‘means you understand yourself to have departed the Episcopal Church and are no longer functioning as a member of the clergy in this Church.’

In a December 14 letter which was emailed to Schofield, Jefferts Schori wrote that she was ‘deeply saddened’ to hear of the San Joaquin convention’s actions.

‘I would like to have confirmation from you of this understanding of your status,’ she wrote. ‘Many interrelated matters depend on that status – for example, your membership in the House of Bishops and the acceptability of pension contributions on your behalf.’...”

Story from Episcopal Life.

Wednesday 12th December 2007
“National Church Will Spend Over $1 Million in Lawsuits in 2007”

“The National Church headquarters of The Episcopal Church is on a legal spending binge as dioceses and parishes exit the denomination.

Figures, VirtueOnline has received, reveal that prior to 2005 there did not appear to be any major expenditures on legal fees until after Mrs. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the new Presiding Bishop, took office.”

Story from VirtueOnline.

Wednesday 12th December 2007
Diocese of SydneySydney Diocesan Standing Committee writes to the Bishop of San Joaquin

The Standing Committee of Sydney Diocese met on Monday evening and unanimously passed a resolution to send these greetings to the Bishop of San Joaquin. This letter has been sent by the Diocesan Secretary on behalf of the Standing Committee. Robert Forsyth, Bishop of South Sydney was in the Chair, Peter Jensen is overseas this week.

“Dear Bishop Schofield,

The Standing Committee of the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney sends warm greetings in the fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ to yourself and the clergy and laity of the Diocese of San Joaquin.

The Standing Committee assures you and the people of San Joaquin diocese of our prayerful support of your historic action in disassociating from The Episcopal Church and becoming part of the Province of the Southern Cone of South America.

We offer our congratulations for your courageous stand for the authority of the Scripture and the faith once delivered to the saints.”

Wednesday 12th December 2007
“Archbishop talks about pressures of job”

“The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, stops work at 6pm so he can watch The Simpsons. He is more afraid of what his wife Jane thinks than he is of the editor of The Daily Mail. And he believes gay clergy should adhere to the Bible and not act upon their sexual preferences.

Dr Williams revealed some of the insecurities and anxieties of high office in the Church of England in an interview with three teenage reporters from the youth magazine Oi!...”

Report from Ruth Gledhill in TimesOnline.

Tuesday 11th December 2007
“Archbishop of Canterbury Aware of Realignment”

“The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, seems prepared to let the American Episcopal Church (TEC) work out its problems with parishes and dioceses leaving the denomination without interfering in their internal affairs.

Dr. Williams is being kept appraised of the situation in the United States and will apparently not comment publicly on the situation, but is letting events unfold, VirtueOnline Was told by Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone.

Newspaper reports suggesting that there is a split between Southern Cone Primate Gregory Venables and Dr. Williams are not true, he told VOL...”

Story by David Virtue of VirtueOnline.

Monday 10th December 2007
“Pope approves Lourdes indulgences”

Some news from late last week...

“Pope Benedict XVI has authorised special indulgences to mark the 150th anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s reputed appearance at Lourdes.

Catholics visiting the site within a year of 8 December will be able to receive an indulgence, which the Church teaches can reduce time in purgatory.

Lourdes has drawn pilgrims since Mary was said to have appeared in 1858 to shepherdess Bernadette Soubirous. The waters of the French shrine are said to have miraculous healing powers...”

Report from BBC News.

Sunday 9th December 2007
Archbishop Gregory Venables“Response from the Archbishop of the Southern Cone”

“Welcome Home. And welcome back into full fellowship in the Anglican Communion.

‘But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death; if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.

Not as though I had already attained either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus. My brother (and sisters), I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ [Philippians 3:7-13]

Your Father in God.
++ Gregory”

via the San Joaquin website.

Sunday 9th December 2007
“Presiding Bishop Eyes New Leadership for Diocese of San Joaquin”

“The Episcopal Church will continue in the Diocese of San Joaquin, albeit with new leadership, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said after she learned that clergy and lay delegates to the diocese’s annual convention voted today to approve the second and final reading of a constitutional amendment to leave The Episcopal Church and accept an offer of affiliation from the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone...”

Read the full report form The Living Church.

Sunday 9th December 2007
“San Joaquin Joins the Southern Cone”

“Clergy and lay delegates to the annual convention in the Diocese of San Joaquin voted Dec. 8 on the second and final reading of a constitutional amendment to leave The Episcopal Church and following introduction of a canonical amendment from the floor, convention voted to accept an offer of affiliation from the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone...”

Read the full report from The Living Church.

Sunday 9th December 2007
Bishop Schofield addresses Diocesan Convention of San Joaquin

Bishop John-David Schofield has addressed his Diocesan Convention in Fresno, California, and argued that the way forward is to support constitutional change – leading to a dissociation from the Episcopal Church.

“... For those of us who are facing the unknown, Provinces and Property seem to be among the top concerns. As bishop, I would like to suggest to you that a ‘NO’ vote at this convention will not provide the imagined protection needed to get on with our lives uninterrupted. Many do not realize that for 40 years, with the first twenty under Bishop Victor Rivera, and now nearly twenty years with me, as bishops we have been able to provide a buffer for our people from the innovations that abound in dioceses all around us. A quick trip north, south, east or west is all that it takes to wonder if we’re in the same church with those folks. ...

A ‘NO’ vote would require my retirement in two years. No reasonable person could expect an orthodox successor. One has only to look at what happened to South Carolina when our own Mark Lawrence, bless him and Alison, went through two separate electing conventions and were close to being unanimously elected at each convention on the first ballot.

The Lectionary, where we draw our biblical lessons from for public services, has already been changed. The fact that you may not have noticed a difference is due directly to the permission I have given to our clergy to continue to use the Lectionary we all know. This along with many other innovations not only would – but will – come about under a new bishop...”

Read the full text at the San Joaquin website (PDF file). Anglican TV plans to stream video of the proceedings.

Update: 0720AEDT: The Convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin has voted to join the Province of the Southern Cone. The vote in favour was 70-12 in the clergy and 103-10 in the laity.

Friday 7th December 2007
“Canadian Orthodox Networks show solidarity”

Press Release from the Reformed Episcopal Church in Canada and the Anglican Coalition in Canada:

“... We greatly respect the Southern Cone Primate Archbishop Greg Venables and fully agree with his reasons for rescuing Anglicans who are part of the Anglican Network in Canada. As Archbishop Venables succinctly put it, “Structural norms cannot be equated to the eternal gospel which determines our eternal destiny.  These are sad but significant days. It has been heartbreaking to recognize that we have reached such a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion. What has been perpetrated has indeed torn the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level.’...”

Full text via Anglican Mainstream.

Thursday 6th December 2007
Bishop Schofield of San Joaquin responds to the Presiding Bishop

Dear Bishop Schori:

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our one and only Lord and Savior.

I have read your letter of December 3, 2007 and thank you for your prayers. There is a pastoral tone to this letter which is much appreciated. Informing me that you are not writing with any threats is most encouraging also. One would hope that this indicates your serious consideration of the Primates’ specific request that deposition and litigation under the present circumstances be abandoned as unacceptable behavior among Christians. ...

... Hopes were raised in February 2007 when leaders of the Anglican Communion met in Dar es Salaam. The direction given by them for the formation of a pastoral council would have provided the protection we requested and would have averted the need for the Diocese to seek sanctuary from another Province. You were in Dar es Salaam, and in the presence of the assembled Primates you verbally signified your agreement to this direction. By the time you returned to the United States, however, you denied your public statement and declared you had only meant to bring it back for further consideration. It was no surprise, therefore, when the Executive Council and the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church later denounced the plan for a pastoral council that you went along with them. This was a clear signal that our religious freedom to practice the Historic Faith as this Church has received it would not be protected by The Episcopal Church..”

The complete letter is available as a PDF file from the Diocese of San Joaquin website.

Thursday 6th December 2007
Dr Paul Barnett“Non-Biblical Evidence for the Historical Jesus”

Each Wednesday afternoon, Sydney radio presenter Richard Glover – on ABC Radio 702 – hosts a spot called Self Improvement Wednesday. The idea is to invite an expert to help broaden the general knowledge of listeners. A previous segment on the Rosetta Stone had Dr. Karin Sowada as guest teacher.

This week’s topic is “Non-Biblical Evidence for the Historical Jesus” – and the teacher is Dr. Paul Barnett, new Testament scholar and retired Bishop of North Sydney.

The segment is now available (in mp3 and RealAudio formats) on the ABC website.

Wednesday 5th December 2007
“San Joaquin bishop asked to ‘reconsider, draw back’ from withdrawal efforts”

Another ‘pastoral letter’ from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori...

“Dear John-David,
As you approach your next Diocesan Convention, I would like to remind you of my prayers, and those of many other Episcopalians, for you and for the Diocese of San Joaquin. I continue to be concerned for your health, and for your evident sense of isolation.

Read the text of her letter and a report from Episcopal Life.

This comes after the Diocese of San Joaquin was invited to join the Province of the Southern Cone last month. On the San Joaquin website, Bishop John-David Schofield writes about the upcoming vote for constitutional change at the diocesan Annual Convention next weekend –

“Should the second reading of the Constitutional changes receive the necessary two thirds of each order voting affirmatively next month, this will mean that the Diocese is free to accept the invitation of the Province of the Southern Cone. This enables us:

1) to receive the protection contemplated by the Primates in Dar Es Salaam that was originally agreed to by the Presiding bishop, but later rejected by the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church;

2) to remain a diocese with full membership within the Anglican communion where the orders of our clergy are recognized; and,

3) to assure that we remain within the Anglican Communion through a Province in full communion with the See of Canterbury. According to well-informed sources, the Archbishop of Canterbury has been fully informed of the invitation of the Province of the Southern Cone and described it as a “sensible way forward.”

Tuesday 4th December 2007
Al Mohler“Revising the Revisionists – New Controversy over ‘The Gospel of Judas’”

“Just last year, the National Geographic Society announced the discovery of a third-century Gnostic text called ‘The Gospel of Judas.’ The Society timed its announcement to support the commercial success and maximize the media impact of a book and television program dedicated to the text...

... The most controversial aspect of this text, at least as claimed by the National Geographic Society and its associates, was the claim that it denied that Judas had betrayed Jesus and instead presented him as a hero.

Now, it is these claims about the text that must be revised. Writing in The New York Times, Professor April D. DeConick argues that the official story last year was based in serious flaws in translation – an inexcusable mistake...”

SBTS President Al Mohler tackles the claims made about ‘the Gospel of Judas’ in his blog for December 3rd.

Monday 3rd December 2007
Food for thought: “Just in CASE”

The blog run by Professor Trevor Cairney, Director, Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education at New College, provides food for thought on issues such as “So which one was God’s party? Any post-election lessons?”.

See the Just in CASE blog.

Sunday 2nd December 2007
John Calvin“Calvin the Theologian”

The Church Society has posted online a classic essay by J. I. Packer on “Calvin the Theologian”.

“...it is really staggering to observe how persistently, from his day to ours, Calvin and his teaching have been misrepresented and traduced. The common idea of Calvin is still of an irritable misanthrope who projected his dislike of the human race into a malevolent theology of which the main point was that most men are irremediably damned.

It is still widely fancied that the main feature of his thought was predestinarian speculation—as if his theology was ever other than aggressively biblical, or as if he ever asserted anything about predestination for which he did not offer proof from Scripture and precedents from Augustine!...”

If this was true in 1959 (when Packer’s article was first published in volume 73 issue 3 of Churchman) it is just as true now. Read this helpful essay (160kb PDF file) from the website of The Church Society.

Saturday 1st December 2007
Archbishop Venables“South American archbishop sees ‘denial’ and ‘hypocrisy’ in Canadian leaders’ statement”

“Canadian Anglican leaders are practicing ‘either denial or hypocrisy’ when they criticize bishops who want to cross national and diocesan jurisdictions to minister to congregations that are conservative on the issue of homosexuality, said Archbishop Gregory Venables, primate, or national archbishop, of the South American Province of the Southern Cone.

They have broken historic agreements – the Lambeth Conference agreement and the Windsor Report – to go ahead with blessing same-sex relationships. To use that argument against us is a bit odd, to say the least,’ said Archbishop Venables in a telephone interview with the Anglican Journal...”

– Report from The Anglican Journal, Canada.

Saturday 1st December 2007
Rowan Williams“Archbishop presides over ‘gay’ Eucharist”

“The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, today presided at a “secret” Eucharist for lesbian and gay clergy in the Church of England.

At the service, in London, he gave a talk on “present realities and future possibilities for lesbians and gay men in the church.”

Conservatives condemned the Archbishop for the move, warning that it will make him the “focus of division”.

The venue, originally at St Peter’s Eaton Square, was switched to another location in London to avoid media attention after news of the meeting emerged on the Church Society website earlier this year...”

– Report from Ruth Gledhill in The Times. See also this report from Ekklesia.

See Archives of earlier news


Helpful teaching

John Woodhouse
Broughton Knox
David Short

The Babylonian Unity of the Church

John Woodhouse
Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney

The Church and the Denominations

D. Broughton Knox
former Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney

(Classic article: external link)

1.) Are we stronger than He?

2.) A Crisis in Koinonia:
Biblical Perspectives for Anglicans

David Short
Rector of St. John’s Shaughnessy, Vancouver.

Mark ThompsonVision for the Long Term: Planning for the middle of the century

ACL President Mark Thompson’s Address from the ACL’s 2007 Annual General Meeting –

“We are told that by the year 2050 there will be a billion African Christians south of the Sahara. ... Already the mostly untrained pastors in that part of the world are overworked! How are these people to be cared for? How will they be rooted and established in the truth and nurtured as they run the race towards the goal of a faithful end as well as a faithful beginning?

... Can we afford to ignore them? ... What they are doing and the need they have is not something distant from us anymore. It has drawn very close. And if we don’t see that God has given us precisely the kind of resources that they need so very desperately and if we do not take up the opportunity that stands before us, undoubtedly others will.”

Download the text of Mark’s talk as a 120kb PDF file.

Archbishop Peter Jensen“Communion in Crisis: the Way Forward for Evangelicals”.

Two stimulating and helpful talks given by Archbishop Peter Jensen at the 2006 Latimer Conference in New Zealand.

(Documents in PDF format.)

pdf 1 pdf 2

See also
for quick links to select sites that are “Sydney” and Anglican

Communion in Crisis 1 pdf 1 pdf 2