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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Statement by the Church of the Province of West Africa on the state of the Anglican Communion

May 2, 2008 by

From ACNS The Church of the Province of West Africa (Anglican Communion) meeting in Douala, Cameroon, on the 11th day of April, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand and Eight, having considered very carefully, among other pressing and very important issues, the current general state of the Anglican Commuion in the light of same – sex relationship receiving official recognition and approval by some dioceses and provinces, an issue which is seriously threatening the unity of the Communion, do hereby make the following statement: 1 i. That we are resolved to continue to be in communion with the See of Canterbury as we unequivocally and unambiguously remain in the Anglican Communion. ii. In this regard, we reiterate the resolution of Anglican Consultative Council, Hong Kong, August 2002 in response to Archbishop George Carey’s urging that dioceses “that are considering matters of faith and doctrine that could affect the unity of the Communion to consult widely in their provinces, and beyond before final decisions are made or action is taken.” iii. We affirm the importance of showing concern and regard to the rest of the Communion. 2. We, however, out rightly condemn and reject the unacceptable action of some of the members of the Communion in the blessing and formal acceptance of same-sex marriages and relationships, the appointment, election and ordination to ecclesiastical offices of those persons who openly admit and declare that they are homosexuals and lesbians (cf Romans 1:26-27). That such practices of some of the members of our Communion do exist and that they are to be treated pastorally, we deny not. However, that they be given official recognition and acceptance by the Church of God as a standard form of life is quite another stand which we cannot and dare not accept. 3. We reiterate that while we remain members of the Communion, we shall continue to abhor such practices and, therefore, appeal to those members to reconsider their actions in the light of Biblical Teachings and Christian Principles. 4. We wish to commend the Leadership of the Anglican Communion for all the efforts being made in the face of many challenges to keep the Communion intact just as our forebears did down the ages in the midst of numerous controversies. 5. We further urge all members of the Communion to tread very cautiously in these trying and challenging moments of our existence even as we each try hard to uphold the beliefs and practices of the Anglican Communion especially as have been espoused by various Gatherings and recognized Organs which symbolize instruments of Unity within the Communion, and we do urge all to “make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3) 6. In a debate, name-calling should be avoided. Reducing the conversation to Liberals versus Conservatives is not helpful; it only adds fuel to an already inflamed situation. Ends...

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New Anglican Entity Inaugurated in Canada: Archbishop Venables commissions two Bishops and thirty two clergy....

May 1, 2008 by

Before 1000 people, Presiding Bishop Greg Venables commissioned two Bishops, and one of them, Bishop Donald Harvey, then licenced 32 priests and deacons  for the Anglican Network in Canada on Saturday April 27. The Network comprises 15 churches, whose average Sunday attendance is larger than 12 of the 31 dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada (according to the 2001 published statistics, but recent numbers are presumed to be much lower).    The Network was first offered as an ecclesial alternative in Burlington Ontario in November 2007.  Since then these 15 churches have all held votes in which their congregations voted overwhelmingly to join the Network or left their buildings and planted new churches.    The Presiding Bishop commissioned Don Harvey and Malcolm Harding as Bishops with the words " I offer you pastoral oversight and fellowship. I commission you to preach the gospel and love the people."   Bishop Albert Vun from the Diocese of Sabah, representing Archbishop John Chew,  retired Archbishop Yong Ping Chung ( a former chair of the Anglican Consultative Council) and 15 other Bishops from Anglican Jurisdictions in  Kenya, Uganda and in the United States attended.    The service was the climax to a weekend of gathering  350+ orthodox Anglicans from across Canada.  Church gatherings outside the life of people’s own parishes is a rare occurrence for the Canadian churches.  On Sunday evening the first ordination service for the Anglican Network in Canada was conducted by Bishop Don Harvey at St John’s Shaughnessy.      The inclusion and interaction with Chinese culture in the attendance at the service ( 30%) and the platform of the conference was particularly expressed in the presence and contribution of Archbishop Ping Chung and Bishop Vun.  The driving force behind the vision for the Vancouver conference was [del]Rev Stephen Leung, the pastor of Good Shepherd in Vancouver, which was the largest Chinese Anglican Church in the Anglican Church of Canada.   The crossing of boundaries is neither opportunism nor a lifeboat, but an expression of the gospel that brings people together across cultures.  What else could bring North American Christians to be canonically subject to leaders from Africa and South America?  There is the divide. One part of the communion proclaims the superiority and inevitability of the victory of current western secular culture and anathematises African leadership particularly from Nigeria. While in God’s economy, the hegemony of western culture over the church in the west is responded to by God requiring those who are orthodox in North America to be organically part of global Anglican leadership in Southern Cone, Uganda and Kenya.    The most moving part of the service was when Archbishop Venables handed a licence to Rev Dr J I Packer, aged 82, named by Time magazine as one of the ten most influential theologians of the 20th century who had been threatened with deprivation of orders he had held since 1952 by Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster.  The moment was greeted with a standing ovation...

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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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Perth decision ‘adds a new level of difficulty’ to Anglican relationships: ACL President...

Apr 12, 2008 by

From Anglican Church League The ACL notes with sadness the decision of Archbishop Roger Herft and the Perth Diocesan Council to nominate Ms Kay Goldsworthy as a bishop within the Diocese of Perth. While a deeply flawed Appellate Tribunal opinion in 2007 suggested there was no legal impediment to this move (and Archbishop Herft himself sat on that tribunal), it remains at odds with the Bible’s teaching on the appropriate relationship of men and women in and amongst the congregations of God’s people. This action adds a new level of difficulty to the relationship between the various dioceses in the Anglican Church of Australia and raises a series of significant issues of conscience for those committed to living out the teaching of Scripture, rejoicing in that teaching as God’s good word to us. In a time of turmoil within the Anglican Communion we could have hoped for more restraint. Mark D Thompson President Anglican Church League 11 April 2008....

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BRAZIL: Bishops protest Southern Cone archbishop's unauthorized visit

Apr 10, 2008 by

From Virtueonline Episcopal News Service April 09, 2008 The bishops of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil issued an open statement April 9 expressing their "strong repudiation" of a recent unauthorized visit by Southern Cone Archbishop Gregory Venables to Recife "where he took part in and celebrated at official occasions outside his Province without the knowledge and consent of the Archbishop of the Province of Brazil and this House of Bishops." The full text of the statement, dated April 3 and released on April 9, follows. The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil gathered in Curitiba unanimously express their strong repudiation of the recent visit by the Archbishop of the Southern Cone to the city of Recife, where he took part in and celebrated at official occasions outside his Province without the knowledge and consent of the Archbishop of the Province of Brazil and this House of Bishops. This disrespectful and arrogant attitude against the Province of Brazil, is another element of discord caused by the Archbishop of the Province of the Southern Cone since the ecclesiastical court hearing and deposition of Robinson Cavalcanti. As it is known by all the Anglican Communion, Mr. Cavalcanti was deposed through a lawful and canonical process due to his breaking of ordination vows. The action of the Primate of the Southern Cone represents an attack on the pillars of the Anglican tradition, which include respect to Provincial autonomy and collegiality among the Primates of the Communion. Equally, this attitude, unheard of in the Communion, clearly contradicts the Windsor Report and the resolution by the last Primates meeting in Tanzania in February 2007. The Primate of the Southern Cone has repeatedly violated those boundaries through official acts as he invites, receives and cares pastorally for the dissident clergy, bishops, communities and dioceses from other Provinces. This is also exemplified by what has been happening recently with our sister provinces of the United States and Canada. What at the beginning of those regrettable events of the schism in Recife was seen as a pastoral care provision for the deposed bishop and those who followed him, has become a formal primatial reception of those deposed. It has also been transformed into unacceptable acts of primatial nature within the jurisdiction of our province. We appeal to His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Primates of the Anglican Communion to consider this vehement protest by the Province of Brazil in order to avoid a serious rupture with our Anglican tradition. The consequences of such unilateral and disrespectful gesture of Archbishop Gregory Venables to a sister Province represents a serious breach of the bonds of affection and loyalty, respect and interdependence in the Anglican Communion. Let us remember that arrogance has never been, and will never be, a wise companion for relationships! Yours ever in Christ, ++ Maurício...

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