Bishop David Anderson on getting our AC statistics right

May 7, 2008 by

This is from a recent weekly letter written by David Anderson of the American Anglican Council.  He presents the ‘other side of the news’ and does so well.  Details to subscribe below.  ‘Under the Schori public mantra, we are about at the end of the churches leaving – most of those so disposed to leave have done so. In fact, she is terribly out of touch with the real world; churches are leaving on a weekly basis. Now it is true that as long as one or two people don’t leave with the rest of the parish, and the bishop can hold onto the name and the building (four walls and a janitor) then TEC will claim that they haven’t lost the congregation. The truth is that a viable church has been lost to the diocese, and down the street in a school cafeteria or gymnasium a new orthodox Anglican Church has been formed with most of the former Episcopalians, now under the care of an overseas Anglican province … We have read that the membership in the Anglican Church of Nigeria, using their highly successful 1+1+3 program, has increased in the last three years from 18 million 25 million. This growth has enabled the Province to tell the respective dioceses to stop sending assessments, as they are no longer needed, and to spend their resources on evangelism locally. The churches are encouraged to have fundraising projects, for which the members donate time, to assist in achieving financial independence. Additionally, the Province of Nigeria has been able to raise enough money internally to provide the means for the Nigerian bishops attend the GAFCON Jerusalem Pilgrimage. If the Anglican Communion is supposed to have 77 million members, but of England’s 25 million only 1.6 million can be found, and of TEC’s 2.4 million only 1.6 can be found, then just between those two provinces 24.2 million needs to be subtracted from the 77 million. That leaves a number 52.8 as a more realistic number. If you add back in the new Nigerian increase of 7 million new members, that bumps the total up to 59.8 million. Of that number Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya total 40-45 million or between 66.9% and 75.2% of the Anglican Communion. Dr. Williams, are you listening?’

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Canada: Athabasca synod supports breakaway churches

May 2, 2008 by

Solange De Santis, Anglican Journal May 1, 2008   Archbishop assures his diocese’s commitment to Anglican Communion The archbishop of Athabasca has issued a letter confirming his diocese’s commitment to the Canadian church and the Anglican Communion after its synod passed motions supporting churches that have left the Anglican Church of Canada and criticizing bishops who have gone to court over property issues. The letter was released after the leader of the Anglican Church of Canada asked the archbishop to explain his synod’s motions. According to one resolution, the synod, meeting in High Prairie, Alta. April 24 to 27, voted to “inform the parishes and the bishops who have joined the Anglican Network in Canada and the Province of the Southern Cone that we are in full communion with them.” Fifteen churches, including 10 former Anglican Church of Canada parishes, have joined the network, which is opposed to the blessing of same-sex unions, among other issues. Since they have left the Canadian church, they have allied themselves with the Southern Cone, an Anglican province that includes southern South America, and its primate, Archbishop Gregory Venables. None of the 33 congregations in the diocese of Athabasca, which encompasses the northern half of Alberta, are members of the network and none have voted to leave the Canadian church. A second resolution expressed synod’s “dismay” that bishops “have resorted to secular courts when parishes … have found it necessary to align themselves with the (network) and the … Southern Cone.” In a background information note, the mover and seconder said the issues “should be settled with prayerful negotiation.” Archbishop John Clarke, the area archbishop and diocesan bishop, did not return calls from the Anglican Journal seeking comment. Archdeacon Paul Feheley, principal secretary to the primate (national archbishop), Fred Hiltz, said in an interview that Archbishop Hiltz “sought clarification” of the synod’s intentions. (Archbishop Hiltz is out of the country and did not speak directly with Archbishop Clarke.) In an open letter written after the synod ended, Archbishop Clarke wrote that “there seems to be some confusion over certain resolutions passed at our recent synod. I am also aware that there are those who for their own particular motives have attempted to ‘spin’ our decisions in directions very different than we intended.” The members of the diocese “are committed to being ‘in communion’ with as wide a range of our brothers and sisters in Christ as is possible,” he wrote. “We are also concerned that the term ‘in communion’ is being increasingly interpreted in a legalist sense. Our understanding of ‘in communion’ is more relational. We recognize that some feel we must be in agreement with each other before we can come to the Lord’s Table together. We believe, however, that it is by coming to the Lord’s Table together that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to find the wisdom, courage, and grace to overcome our differences,” he said. As members of the Anglican Communion, both the Canadian church and the Southern Cone...

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Venables predicts end of Anglican Communion

May 1, 2008 by

By Anne Fletcher for the Anglican Journal The South American primate who has welcomed dissenting Canadian Anglican parishes into his province says he sees the beginning of the end of the world-wide Anglican Communion. “I believe we’re in the early stages of divorce,” Archbishop Gregory Venables, presiding (national) bishop of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, told a news conference during a meeting of the Anglican Network in Canada from April 25 to 26. “I think there comes a point when a marriage is no longer a marriage and you have to recognize it,” he said. But Archbishop Venables suggested that Anglican churches could still stay together in some form. “Maybe we can have an Anglican federation,” he said. In an interview with the Anglican Journal, Archbishop Venables noted that air travel and the Internet have radically re-structured international networks. “We’re no longer living in a world where everything is done locally,” Archbishop Venables said. “The church is a little late in coming to that.” Instead of insisting on geographical church provinces, “hopefully, this will be resolved so we can realign or restructure so everyone can follow their concerns.” Meanwhile, a former Canadian Anglican bishop who is now licensed by the Southern Cone said that the network contacted other foreign primates as possible leaders but aligned itself with the British-born Archbishop Venables because of his background. “We did talk to a couple of primates of different colours,” said Bishop Donald Harvey, formerly of the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, in an interview. But Archbishop Venables was willing to take on the job, is well respected by other primates, and brings few cultural barriers and no language limitations, he said. (Some Episcopal church parishes in the U.S. have aligned themselves with churches in Africa.) Bishop Harvey, who is moderator of the network, told the conference that Archbishop Venables’ offer of primatial oversight meant the network would be “part of the world-wide Anglican Communion,” and, “without being under his wing, we would simply be a breakaway group,” he said. “Thank you, God,” Bishop Harvey added, to loud applause. “You have freed us from the bondage that has been holding us back …We are free at last.” The conference was attended by about 340 delegates. Network membership includes 15 churches, 10 of which have left the Anglican Church of Canada over theological issues, including the blessing of same-sex unions. The delegates also heard from theologian Rev. James Packer, who focused on the need for deeper Bible understanding; Bishop Albert Vun of Malaysia; youth minister Ken Moser of St. John’s Shaughnessy church in Vancouver and Bishop Bill Atwood of Kenya. Mr. Packer called Archbishop Venables’ presence a “watershed,” telling delegates the “principle of geographical exclusiveness has been breached and I think it has been breached in such a way that it cannot be restored.” Addressing the question of whether the network should encourage more breakaway parishes, Bishop Harvey said, “that is categorically wrong.” He added that the network “has always gone...

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NIGERIA: Anglican Province Now Over 25 Million in Unique Discipleship Program

Apr 16, 2008 by

From Virtueonline The Anglican Church in Nigeria, the largest and fastest growing Province in the Anglican Communion, is growing by leaps and bounds in a unique 1+1+3 program that has seen the church soar from 18 million to more than 25 million with 10 archbishops, 140 bishops and 37 new dioceses birthed in the last two years. "We are not simply making new converts, we are making disciples for Christ," said the Rt. Rev. Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu, Bishop of Umuahia in Eastern Nigeria. His diocese was started 15 years ago and now has 1.2 million practicing Anglicans in five dioceses out of a population of 2.5 million. This is typical of the growth throughout Nigeria. "The 1+1+3 program means that one person leads one person to Christ and disciples them intensively for three years. Every Anglican, from archbishops to bishops to lay people, must fulfill this requirement in order to reach Nigeria’s 120 million. Every Anglican is a one on one agent of conversion. Each must disciple that one person for three years and then that person must disciple someone else. It has had a multiplying effect. This is why the church is growing. Archbishop Peter Akinola (photo above),  Primate of Nigeria started the program in 2004. It was his vision for multiplying the Anglican presence in Nigeria. He did it to effectively combat crime and ills in Nigerian society, which were rapidly increasing at that time. According to the bishop, said the intensified program of evangelism and discipleship, which is promulgated by the Church’s Mission Committee, is done by all the bishops’ clergy and laity of the province. "That is the secret of our success. The House of Bishops and laity are all kept informed about the progress in evangelism and discipleship. As a result, we have needed to create whole new dioceses with the more outgoing evangelical clergy willing to make the sacrifices to do the work at minimal cost. "I carved a new diocese out here (Eastern Nigeria) and I told the primate and he carried it to the HOB. We pioneered it and it has been taken up by other dioceses. We now have three new dioceses." Read the whole article HERE....

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