"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Back from St. Mike's

Well, I have made it back from my week at St. Michael's Youth Conference Southwest at Camp Crucis. It was a wonderful experience! We had well over sixty kids, and I greatly enjoyed teaching my class on Holy Scripture and attending Morning Prayer, Solemn High Mass, Evensong, and Compline daily (with Benediction one night). The vast majority of the kids also made their confessions to one of our worthy priests. It was great learning experience for the kids--and for me.

I also had the pleasure of serving alongside several bloggers there, including MM and Fr.Nelson from Theology of the Body, Fr.WB of Whitehall, Andy from All Too Common, Fr. Matkin of Timotheos Proslogizes, and our Father Director, Fr. Chris Cantrell, author of Apostolicity. That is an outstanding group of Christian intellectuals by any standard, and it warms my heart that these fine folks have such a "heart" for helping young people grow in their love for God and for equipping them to serve His kingdom.

Hopefully pics will be up soon, and I will have more reflections to post after I get some rest. It was a marvelous, though rather tiring week (we endured a flood of one of our boys' cabins and a small fire in the sacristy, but all turned out well. God was glorified and His children spiritually fed).

Friday, June 22, 2007

Uganda Acts: The New Province is Becoming a Reality on the Ground!

The orthodox college of bishops for North America is rapidly taking shape! Today Uganda has announced that a bishop has been elected to serve their North American congregations. And the announcement specifically says this is being done in the "hope this arrangement will be temporary until the Biblically orthodox domestic ecclesial entity in the USA is in place."

The entire text of the announcement has been posted on Stand Firm may be found here (with my emphasis in boldface), but below are some highlights. May God bless the worthy bishops of Uganda, and the new "ecclesial entity" being formed for Anglicans in North America.

Dear Rectors, Clergy, and Lay Leaders of Ugandan Churches in America,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd!

I am writing to share with you a significant decision I and the House of Bishops have made today that I hope will be an encouragement to you. And, I want you, if possible, to hear it first from me.

The Church of Uganda is now providing ecclesiastical oversight to twenty-six congregations in America, and we continue to receive appeals from other congregations. Yet, when we first started responding to such appeals in 2004, I don't think any of us imagined at the time that the American church would be in the state that it is in today, and that the tear in the Anglican Communion would or could become deeper. We always envisioned the episcopal care and oversight we were providing you and other churches as being a temporary measure. Hence, we sometimes referred to this as our "ecclesiastical refugee ministry."

Likewise, we have always said that we will be there for you and not abandon you, and we stand by that commitment and our word. At the same time, we have said that we would do everything we can to work towards a Biblically orthodox domestic ecclesial entity in the USA so that at some point in the future, we could "repatriate" you.

The carefully worked out and unanimously agreed Pastoral Scheme by the primates in our February 2007 Dar es Salaam Communiquk has now been soundly rejected not only by TEC's House of Bishops, but also by their Executive Council. We take their rejection very seriously. The need for a domestic episcopate for our Ugandan congregations grows daily, yet the anticipated, Biblically orthodox domestic ecclesial entity in the USA is not yet available. It has, therefore, seemed good to the House of Bishops and the Holy Spirit for us to take an interim step that acknowledges the need for a domestic bishop while at the same time affirming your full status as members of the Church of Uganda, and, therefore, of the Anglican Communion. In December 2006, the House of Bishops elected the Rev. John Guernsey to be a Bishop in the Church of Uganda, serving our American congregations on behalf of their Ugandan Bishop. Today at our House of Bishops meeting, we reaffirmed that decision and set the date for Bishopelect Guernsey's consecration for Sunday, 2nd September 2007. He will be consecrated in Mbarara along with Bishop-elect George Tibesigwa, the new Bishop of Ankole Diocese. You are most welcome to attend the consecration and we would be very happy to receive you.

What does this mean for you? What are the practical implications?

1. You and your congregation are still full members of your current Diocese in the Church of Uganda.

2. We continue to wholeheartedly encourage the development of mutual mission relationships between your congregation and your diocese. The harvest still remains plentiful, but the labourers are few.

3. At the time of the consecration, your Bishop will transfer his episcopal oversight, but not his jurisdiction, to Bishop-elect Guernsey.

4. Therefore, you should relate to Bishop-elect Guernsey as your overseeing Bishop and to your Ugandan Bishop as a Mission Partner. For example, all matters pertaining to ordinations, deployment of clergy, calling of clergy to parishes, clergy discipline, installation of new rectors, confirmation, planting of new churches, referral of churches for Ugandan oversight, etc. should now be referred directly to Bishop-elect Guernsey and no longer to your Ugandan Bishop. On the other hand, matters pertaining to your joint mission efforts should continue to be referred to your Ugandan Bishop.

Admittedly, this is complex, and we hope this arrangement will be temporary until the Biblically orthodox domestic ecclesial entity in the USA is in place. But, I do ask that all of us - Americans and Ugandans - work diligently to make this work. We will all need to walk in the light with one another; to extend grace, love, and mutual respect to one another; and to be transparent in our communication. Bishop-elect Guernsey is now our front-line Bishop and should be your first point of contact about anything ecclesiastical. When in doubt, contact Bishop-elect Guernsey first and then, together, you can decide if and how your Ugandan Bishop may need to be brought into the situation.

Finally, I want to say how pleased and encouraged I am to hear that Bishop Duncan has called for a Council of Bishops meeting for the Common Cause partners in September. This is the kind of movement toward unity among orthodox entities in the USA that is hopeful for the future of a Biblical North American Anglican witness and must be pleasing to our Lord. We have already been assured that Bishop-elect Guernsey will be invited to that meeting, and we have asked him to work closely with all Bishops serving American congregations that are canonically part of Global South Provinces, and with other Bishops with whom the Church of Uganda is in communion.

As I have said in the past, we are so grateful for you and your costly witness to the unchanging Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be." (1 Peter 5.2)

Yours, in Christ,

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi

Bishop of Fort Worth welcomes Guernsey appointment

The Province of Uganda has chosen wisely in selecting Fr. John Guernsey as the Bishop for their congregations in North America. Fr. Guernsey is a deeply prayerful and spiritual man who has provided solid leadership as a regional dean for the Anglican Communion Network. His commitment to Jesus Christ and his missionary vision for Anglicanism have been a real inspiration during the past several years of unprecedented conflict in our Church.

I congratulate Fr. Guernsey on his election and pledge to him my full support and cooperation as he undertakes this challenging new ministry as a Bishop in the Church of God.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Notable Endorsement of the Atwood Consecration

According to the Rev. Canon George Conger: the Primate of the West Indies, Archbishop Drexel Gomez said the Aug 30 consecration of Canon Bill Atwood could strengthen the Communion by stabilizing the American scene, leading “towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States.” ...

Kenya’s “provision of adequate pastoral care and episcopate oversight constitutes a deliberate and intentional effort to provide stability in an environment in which Anglicanism is being severely tested and challenged,” Archbishop Gomez said.

It signaled a willingness by Kenya “to act responsibly to provide care for persons already under its jurisdiction” he noted and served as a centralizing force within the fragmenting American scene, as “the willingness of the Province of Kenya to collaborate with the other orthodox Anglicans in the United States could serve the point towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States.”

This is big news, since Archbishop Gomez is one of the more irenic of the orthodox Primates. He was a leader on the committee that drafted the Covenant that is under discussion at present, and he has been somewhat critical of other Primates who have started North American missions. Could this be the first sign that "the handwriting is on the wall" for TEC within the world-wide Communion? Note the archbishop's reference to "the creation of a viable, stable orthodox Anglican presence" here (emphasis added). Might not that be the new province we have been hearing so much about? Glory to God in the highest!


(via email)

The Archbishop supports the decision of the Province of Kenya to provide resident Episcopal oversight for the clergy and congregations in the United States who placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Kenya after they had arrived at the conclusion that the Episcopal Church no longer offered them the assurance of continuity with “The faith once delivered to the saints.” The provision of adequate pastoral care and episcopate oversight constitutes a deliberate and intentional effort to provide stability in an environment in which Anglicanism is being severely tested and challenged.

The primates of the Communion at their meeting in Tanzania in February produced a communion response to the embattled state of Anglicanism in the United States in their offer of a provisional pastoral arrangement which provided space for the participation of all the major Anglican entities in the United States . Unfortunately, the unanimous offer of the primates was rejected by the House of Bishops and the Executive Committee of the Episcopal Church. In the face of this unequivocal rejection, the Instruments of Communion must determine the most appropriate response to this unfortunate spectacle of a fragmented Anglicanism within the United States of America .

In this context, the decision of the Province of Kenya signals a willingness on the part of that Province to act responsibly to provide care for persons already under its jurisdiction. In addition, the selection of the Rev’d. Canon Bill Atwood as Suffragan Bishop is highly commendable. Canon Atwood is well suited for this particular ministry given his long association with Kenya and some of the other Provinces in CAPA and his unquestionable knowledge and appreciation of the ecclesial situation in the United States .

Finally, the willingness of the Province of Kenya to collaborate with the other orthodox Anglicans in the United States could serve the point towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States .

18th June, 2007

St. Vincent's to be in the Spotlight Again

The Anglican Communion Network will be holding its third Annual Council at St. Vincent's Cathedral at the end of July. We were honored to host the first such Council three years ago, and I am glad these good folks will be returning. I was fortunate enough to be a gofer at the first meeting, but unfortunately I will still be in Wisconsin attending Nashotah House's summer session while this meeting is taking place. Since this is the last major gathering of the Network before the September 30th deadline for TEC to repent and amend its ways, this promises to be a very important event.

The Most Rev. Greg Venables, Archbishop of the Southern Cone, will be the Council's Bible teacher. (As readers of this blog will know, I admire this man of God a very great deal. I so wish I could hear him teach this summer!)

The photo above is of fourteen bishops (from both the Network and three continuing churches) concelebrating during the closing Solemn Choral Eucharist at St. Vincent's at the end of the first Annual Council meeting in 2005.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fort Worth Responds to Exec. Council Attack of Last Week

I am so honored to serve Christ under the godly leadership of Bishop Iker and Dean Reed (who is the Chairman of our Standing Committee as well as my "boss" at the Cathedral). Here is our diocese's response to the national Executive Council's declaring the preamble of our diocesan Constitution "null and void" last week:

A Statement of the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese of Fort Worth concerning certain actions of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church

The adversarial relationship between this Diocese and the leadership of The Episcopal Church was exacerbated by two decisions made by the Executive Council of TEC at its meeting last week.

I. The Council’s refusal to participate in the Pastoral Scheme developed by the Dar es Salaam primates’ Meeting has deepened our sense of alienation from TEC. Instead of “waging reconciliation,” the Council has failed to respond to the expressed needs of those dioceses appealing for Alternative Primatial Oversight, pushing us further apart from TEC. They have claimed that the Pastoral Council proposal violates the polity of TEC, but they have been unable to substantiate this by citing any constitutional or canonical provisions to that effect.

II. Claiming an authority that our polity does not give, the Council has declared certain amendments to our Diocesan Constitution “null and void.” To this, we respond, first, that it is not within the scope of duties assigned to the Executive Council to render findings as to the legality or constitutionality of actions by the several dioceses of The Episcopal Church; and second, that resolutions adopted by the Council, or even by the General Convention, are non-binding. Therefore, this resolution is nothing more than an opinion expressed by those individuals who issued the statement. It is itself “null and void“ – unenforceable and of no effect. This action is another example of the heavy-handed tactics being used by those who do not have the right to interfere in the internal constitutional process of the dioceses.

While the Council’s resolutions on a range of subjects may excite debate, that does not guarantee their opinions are consistent with the Faith, the law of the land, or the Constitution of The Episcopal Church, much less that they establish precedent. That the Council would attempt to interfere now, nearly 20 years after this diocese first amended its Constitution, is evidence of an illegitimate magisterial attitude that has emerged in the legislative function of TEC. Sadly, the one thing the resolution does show is that there is no desire on the part of the Council for reconciliation with those alienated by the recent actions of General Convention.

The Council’s threats may continue, but we will continue to stand for the historic biblical faith and our Lord Jesus Christ’s call to extend His Kingdom. We regret that a further deterioration in our relationship with TEC has been effected by these decisions.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth

The Very Rev. Ryan S. Reed
President, Standing Committee

June 19, 2007

Congratulations to Andy

Our youth minister, Andy Bartus, has been granted permission to enroll at Nashotah House Seminary next Fall by our COM and Bishop Iker. Readers of this blog may want to stop by All Too Common and congratulate him.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Sermon for the Third Sunday of Pentecost

Two hundred and forty three years ago today, on June 17th, 1764, a hard-bitten, middle-aged Englishman knelt before the Anglican bishop of Chester and was ordained to the sacred order of priests in Christ’s holy Church. His name was John Newton, and he was no ordinary novice priest.

In eighteenth century England, the vast majority of new priests were men in their early twenties, recent graduates of the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge. So it was remarkable for John Newton to be ordained at thirty-nine years of age. And the new Father Newton was no Cambridge man. He had spent his adolescence at sea, having become a cabin boy at the age of eleven. But John was quite an able seaman, and he quickly rose to become the master of his own ship at the tender age of twenty-five.

Of course, if you know John Newton’s story at all, you already know what kind of ships he commanded. Captain Newton was a master of slave ships. He made his living in the Triangle Trade, leaving England with cheap manufactured goods and trading them for a cargo of enslaved human beings on the west coast of Africa. These slaves were then exchanged in the British colonies in the Caribbean and North America for the sugar and rum so much in demand back in England. Newton later recalled that routinely a quarter of his captives, sometimes as many as half, would not survive the trip across the Atlantic. But there were vast profits to be made from the sale of those who did survive. And there was no shortage of Englishmen to finance and carry out this dismal trade, including the young Captain Newton.

At first he made little connection between the moral demands of his nominal Christian faith and his life as a slaver. As he later put it, “Custom, example, and interest, had blinded my eyes.” But eventually God opened John Newton’s eyes to the horrors about him and the young captain’s conscience began to trouble him deeply. His responsibility for the wretched situation of so many fellow human beings was obvious. He took steps to ameliorate the harshest of conditions on his slave ships, but still his soul ached under the weight of his part in that inhuman trade. Finally he returned to England, resigning command of his last slave ship in 1756, and began a quest for forgiveness and peace in his heart and soul.

Of course, John Newton eventually found that forgiveness and peace in the grace of God. And through that grace he became in every real sense a different man. For forty-three years Fr. Newton was one of the most effective preachers and most highly regarded pastors in England. Thousands of people came to know Christ as Savior through his sermons and writings. He joined one of his parishioners, William Wilberforce, as a tireless campaigner to end the English slave trade, a goal finally achieved two hundred years ago this year in 1807, a few months before Fr. Newton’s death. And as you probably all know, John Newton penned some of the most beloved hymns in the English language, including the incomparable “Amazing Grace.”

When I realized that today was the anniversary of Fr. Newton’s ordination to the priesthood and placed that fact up against our Scripture readings today, I could not help but marvel at the providence of God. For John Newton was very like the unnamed woman in our Gospel lesson today. Like him, this woman was also a notorious sinner, not fit for polite company. And like him, her personal encounter with Jesus Christ provoked an astonishing response. Notice that she never says a word, and she isn't even spoken to until the end of the story. Yet somehow Christ’s mere presence draws her in and drives her to her knees, producing a flood of tears sufficient to bathe His feet before she anoints them. Something compels her so strongly to minister to our Savior’s needs that she uses the products of her own body—her tears and her hair—as if they were the wash water and towel of a household slave.

But what is the “something” that drives this “sinful woman” to act so dramatically? Forgiveness: a forgiveness so overwhelmingly powerful it does not even need to be spoken to be tangible. Christ tells his host, a Pharisee, a short parable about forgiven debtors in order to explain her perplexing behavior. The debtor who has been forgiven the most is the most grateful to his creditor. So this parable would explain the woman’s unusual conduct only if she was grateful of Christ’s forgiveness before she acted, despite the fact that the Lord speaks words of forgiveness to her only at the end of our passage: “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Clearly the woman's first encounter with the amazing grace of the Living God in the person of Jesus so overwhelmed her with a sense of both her great need for forgiveness and assurance of that forgiveness that her response could be nothing less than complete surrender to the service of Christ, even before Christ's forgiveness was put into words. John Newton knew that same need for forgiveness and had received that same assurance from the risen Savior. And his response to God’s grace was the same as the woman in the Gospel lesson—he gave the whole of his life to the service of our Lord, surrendering himself completely to the will of God.

After his encounter with the gracious love of God, John Newton was in a very real sense not the same man he had been before he knew Christ by faith. Everything about him was changed. And our reading from St. Paul today speaks of that change. “I have been crucified with Christ,” the blessed apostle says. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” That is the message that changed John Newton’s life, turning a slaver into a liberator. For death had stalked the heart of the slave ship captain as certainly as it did the fetid holds of his ships until by God’s grace Christ came and filled the dank places in John Newton’s soul with His own divine Life. For the Holy One who emptied Himself and suffered death on the cross in “the form of a slave” is the only source of genuine Life and Liberty in the Universe. That is the fact of God’s amazing grace that turned a wretched servant of bigotry and greed into one of the most beloved pastors and evangelists in the history of Anglicanism. That is the grace that led him home.

You and I, of course, have just as much need of the gracious forgiveness given through faith in Jesus Christ as did that sinful woman in Galilee, Saul the persecutor of Christians, and John the slave ship captain. We, too, would all still be lost in the grip of sin and death had not Christ taken our sin upon Himself and yielded Himself up to death on a cross on our behalf. Yet in as many of us as have been reborn in the waters of baptism and live a life worthy of repentance through faith in His precious blood, it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. And as the lives we now live are in truth Christ’s own Life, may God give us the grace to live them in service to His loving will. Ten thousand years of such service in blessedness will hardly begin to repay our debt of gratitude for His gracious gift of Himself.

In his old age John Newton said to one of his friends these words: ‘I am a very old man and my memory has gone. But I remember two things: that I am a great sinner and that Jesus is a great saviour.’ May you and I always hold in remembrance these same great truths. “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Amen.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

TEC Leaders and Gay Rights

Just in case some leaders among the world's Anglican primates believe there remains a snowball's chance in Hades that TEC will back off of "gay marriage" and the blessing of same-sex unions before September 30th, I hope they notice two news stories highlighted by Stand Firm today.

In one, the TEC bishop of Massachussetts, the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, and other luminaries of that diocese marched in a parade calling for the protection of equal rights for gay marriages in their state.
(See photo above. That is the good bishop carrying the sign in a cassock, while the dean of the TEC cathedral and a faculty member of EDS also grace the picture on the second row.)

In the other, Bishop Chane of Washington, D.C. and folks from the National Cathedral marched in our nation's capital in a gay pride parade. (Actually, the bishop had a car-the only way to travel!) As the Blade reported:

Leading the religious contingent was Right Rev. John B. Chane, the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, who rode in an open car. Official contingents of at least four of the city’s largest Episcopal parishes joined Chane in the parade, including one from the Washington National Cathedral, over which Chane presides, according to church spokesperson Jim Naughton.

“For us, we felt we should not be timid after what our church has been through recently,” Naught said. ...

Naughton said Chane and the gay and straight parishioners joining him in the city’s June 9 Gay Pride parade believe they were carrying our the best tradition of their faith.

“In a way, this is evangelism at its best,” he said. “You reach out to new audiences. Churches have to make themselves visible to the community.”

Tex resumes: Of course, the Executive Council assured the world-wide Communion yesterday that they very much wanted to continue the "conversation" on human sexuality. I suspect they plan on it being rather one-sided!

Meanwhile take a look at KJS and Bonnie Anderson speaking about the just-concluded Executive Council meeting. It is remarkable. Truly remarkable.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fr. Kennedy on the Re-Alignment Underway

Fr. Matt Kennedy at Stand Firm has published an essay on the present Anglican realignment that is worth a read. His prescription for how a new orthodox province could be birthed out of the present situation (see the last five paragraphs or so) matches virtually exactly how I read the present developments. This is a hopeful time for orthodox Anglicanism, brothers and sisters! May God speed the work of the GS primates and the "forward" dioceses of the Network.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Archbishop Venables Approved of Kenya Move

The worthy Archbishop Gregory Venables strongly endorses the choice of Canon Atwood to serve as Kenya's bishop in North America. The language is so astonishingly similar in these various statments, I can't help but think orthodox forces are sending the message that this is united effort. In fact, ++Venables says this expressly at the end of his message: In the painful circumstances of the Anglican Communion I deeply appreciate the bonds which link many primates together. I welcome the prospect of congregations under my care and protection working more closely with those of Kenya and other provinces. In the absence of even a tiny indication of willingness from the Episcopal Church to address the crisis those who wish to remain orthodox within the US cannot be abandoned. Collaboration among Provinces working in the States and the Network is helping build a unified future for those who share the historic Biblical faith.

TEC Exec. Council Unanimously Rejects PV Plan of Dar es Salaam and Rebuffs Several Orthodox Dioceses

The Executive Council of the national Episcopal church, which governs the national church between General Conventions, has unamimously rejected the Primatial Vicar scheme worked out at the Dar es Salaam primates's meeting earlier this year. “We agree with the bishops’ assessment including the conclusion that to participate in the scheme would violate our Constitution and Canons. We thus decline to participate in the pastoral scheme, and respectfully ask our Presiding Bishop not to take any of the actions asked of her by this scheme." (emphasis added)

In light of the House of Bishops' resolutions of two months ago and PB Schori's subsequent remarks on the topic, there is now no chance at all that anything compliant with the Communique will be done with respect to "alternative primatial oversight" before September 30th.

In addition, The Living Church reports (emphasis added) that: council approved a resolution declaring “null and void” attempts by a number of dioceses to revise their constitution to qualify their accession to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention.“Any amendment to a diocesan constitution that purports in any way to limit or lessen an unqualified accession to the constitution of The Episcopal Church is null and void, and be it further resolved that the amendments passed to the constitutions of the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin, which purport to limit or lessen the unqualified accession to the constitution of The Episcopal Church are accordingly null and void and the constitutions of those dioceses shall be as they were as if such amendments had not been passed,” council stated in Resolution NAC-023.

After the resolution was approved, the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, Bishop of Lexington, said Episcopalians had all agreed to live by certain principles and rules and that council believed it would be “helpful to have an authoritative statement [on the matter] with respect to any litigation that might occur in the future.”

Bishop Iker Welcomes the Consecration of Canon Atwood

This is yet more encouraging news on the re-alignment front. The doom sayers who talk about the woes of further division in North American Anglicanism fail to notice how in sync all the orthodox forces are with this move. (Pardon. Not all the orthodox are applauding. The ACI and its devotees are not pleased, but the train has clearly left the station and it is not on the ACI's track. Hopefully the ACI will now get on board with the actual realignment that is underway and leave their grand but unworkable theories behind.)

Bishop Iker is pleased with Canon Atwood's consecration:

I am delighted with the news today from the Primate of Kenya that my good friend and colleague, Canon Bill Atwood, is to be consecrated as a missionary bishop and will be ministering to those here in the States who have been alienated from The Episcopal Church in recent years. He has the heart of an evangelist and has been the key, pivotal figure in the realignment of worldwide Anglicanism.

The rejection of the Dar es Salaam proposed pastoral scheme by the TEC House of Bishops will lead to further extraordinary efforts such as this to extend episcopal care to faithful Anglicans who believe they have no alternative but to separate from the church they have loved and served for so many years.

God bless Bishop-elect Atwood and this exciting new ministry.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Network Is On-Board With Kenya's Move

Yet more evidence that the move by Kenya is not a problem for future plans for a new orthodox province is provided by this announcement from the ACN.

According to the Network's statement (emphasis added), the new Bishop Atwood "joins Bishop Bill Cox of the Southern Cone as another domestic bishop cooperating in ministry with the Network, which has strong links with many international congregations under overseas jurisdiction through its International Conference. The Network welcomes Archbishop Nzimbi’s actions which also support its “Biblical, Missionary and Uniting” work.

“Anglicans around the world continue to make clear their support for Christ-centered Anglicanism in America in both their words and their actions. We are deeply thankful for this step by the Anglican Church of Kenya. As Archbishop Nzimbi said in his announcement, Canon Atwood’s election and consecration is ‘part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces,’ to provide unity and pastoral care for those who have left or been forced out of The Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Network.

The Anglican Communion Network remains committed to its International Conference representing parishes in relationship with the provinces of Kenya, Uganda, Southern Cone, and Central Africa as it also remains committed to working with its partners in CANA, AMiA and the broader Common Cause Partnerships. Following its mission to be a uniting force in the ongoing Anglican realignment, the Network continues to build relationships among all faithful Anglicans, those that have left the Episcopal Church and those within."

Not surprisingly, CANA is also 100% on-board with Kenya's move. As Bishop Minns of CANA said, “I look forward to continuing to work with Bill in his new role. I anticipate that this development will result in new creative partnerships with CANA and the wider Common Cause cooperative.”

With CANA, the Network, and six overseas provinces backing the action, this is not some small "break-away" or "schismatic" action. It is part of the wider Anglican re-alignment we have been awaiting for years. I know that the "Communion conservatives" of the ACI will decry this move, but the more I read the more excited I become. Things are finally developing to fruition. The re-alignment is gathering steam!

Kenya to Create an Anglican Jurisdiction in North America

This press release has been issued by the Anglican Church of Kenya (hat tip to Stand Firm):

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ.

God in His mercy has granted us a great salvation in Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit. The foundations of that faith have been celebrated and shared through many centuries and cultures. In particular, we rejoice in the godly Christian heritage of this faith that we have received in the Anglican Communion.

Now, the fabric of the Anglican Communion has been torn by the actions of The Episcopal Church. The damage has been exacerbated by the failure of the House of Bishops there to provide for the care called for in the Windsor Report and to reject the Pastoral Council offered through the primates in their Communiqué from Dar es Salaam.

Tragically, the Episcopal Church has refused to provide adequate care for the faithful who continue steadfastly in “the faith once delivered to the saints.” Following months of consultation with other provinces, the Anglican Church of Kenya is taking steps to provide for the care of churches under our charge.

As a part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces, the ACK will consecrate The Revd Canon Dr. Bill Atwood as Suffragan bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi of the ACK to support the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya, including support of Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America.

Our goal is to collaborate with faithful Anglicans (including those in North America who are related with other provinces). A North American Anglican Coalition can provide a safe haven for those who maintain historic Anglican faith and practice, and offer a way to live and work together in the furtherance of the Gospel.

Yours sincerely,
The Most Rev. Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi

NOTE: Archbishop Akinola has endorsed this move by Kenya, and pledges full cooperation between CANA and the new Kenyan bishop's organization.

Uganda is also on board with Kenya's announcement.

This is starting to sound like the core of a new province, is it not? CANA, the Kenya affair, AMiA, the most "forward" Network dioeses, the REC, and the APA--now that would be a formidable province from Day One!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Massive News--If True

I am assuming the "parallel Church for conservatives in America" referred to in this story from The Daily Telegraph is the new North American province that the blogosphere has been buzzing about for the last few weeks. But the reference to "the consecration of a prominent American cleric as a bishop" puzzles me a bit. Does The Telegraph mean the creation of a new metropolitan archbishop? Any way, this story does merit some attention. Let us hope that the fact it has been reported in the media does not derail plans for the new province.

From the Daily Telegraph:

A powerful coalition of conservative Anglican leaders is preparing to create a parallel Church for conservatives in America in defiance of the Archbishop of Canterbury, provoking the biggest split in Anglican history, The Daily Telegraph has learned.According to sources, at least six primates are planning the consecration of a prominent American cleric as a bishop to minister to Americans who have rejected their liberal bishops over the issue of homosexuality.

The move will send shock waves through worldwide Anglicanism and may prove to be a fatal blow to the efforts of Dr Rowan Williams to hold together what he described last month as a "very vulnerable, very fragile" Church.

The initiative is understood to have been co-ordinated by senior African archbishops, including the Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, who represent the core of the so-called Global South group of conservative primates.

But the group has a wider base and is also thought to include several relatively moderate primates from outside Africa.

The size of the group - its leaders represent well over 10 million Anglicans - will alarm Lambeth Palace as it could eventually evolve into a powerful rival Anglican Church.

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