267 bishops say they will attend Gafcon conference

May 8, 2008 by

By George Conger for CEN Organizers of the June Gafcon meeting in Jerusalem report that as of April 25, 267 bishops have registered for the June meeting in Jerusalem. Denounced as a rival gathering to the July Lambeth conference, a detailed agenda has yet to be released. Like Lambeth much of the conference will be devoted to worship and spiritual reflection. However, Gafcon will play host to bishops, clergy and lay leaders, and will also seek to formulate a common approach to the divisions of doctrine and discipline within the Anglican Communion. Approximately 150 bishops and conferees from Muslim majority countries unable to travel freely to Israel along with the Gafcon leadership team will meet at a resort on the Dead Sea in Jordan from June 18-22, while a further 600 are expected to join the self-styled “pilgrimage” in Jerusalem from June 22-29. Organizers note that many of the bishops attending Gafcon will also be among the 625 bishops attending the Lambeth Conference. While the Archbishops of Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda and their bishops have said that as it is currently organized, they will not attend Lambeth, the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone Gregory Venables announced last week that he will go to Lambeth. Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh announced on May 6 that he would attend Lambeth and Gafcon, joining Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker and the other conservative American bishops in attending both meetings.   Read the whole story...

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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?’ http://www.americananglican.org/site/c.ikLUK3MJIpG/b.694127/k.97F5/Email_Sign_up/apps/ka/ct/contactus.asp?c=ikLUK3MJIpG&b=694127&en=nrLNKSOAIaKGIRPELkJLJXMNIiJJITPCKdIQLbMQKvE...

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Bishop Iker to attend 2008 Lambeth Conference

May 2, 2008 by

Bishop Jack Iker of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth confirmed today that he has accepted the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury to attend the Lambeth Conference of Bishops, which is to meet July 16 thru August 3 at the University of Kent in England. Given the strained relations in the Anglican Communion and the role of the Lambeth Conference as one of the Four Instruments of Communion, Bishop Iker believes it is important for him to attend this gathering of Anglican Bishops from around the world that takes place once every 10 years. "I stand in solidarity with all those Bishops who have decided, as a matter of conscience, that they are unable to be at Lambeth," said Bishop Iker. "However, given the situation the Diocese of Fort Worth finds itself in with the unfolding realignment that is taking place in Anglicanism, I think it is important for me to be there to make our case and to face our detractors." In addition to demonstrating a willingness to work with the Instruments of Communion for the unity of the Church, Bishop Iker believes it is important for him to be present to defend orthodox believers who are being accused of abandonment of communion by the TEC leadership, including the Presiding Bishop. "We need to refute the claims that the leadership of this Church is trying to accommodate us and provide a secure place for us, and we need to testify to the fact that TEC is not in compliance with the Windsor Report or the requests made of TEC by the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam," he said. Bishop Iker had previously announced his plans to participate in GAFCON in mid-June to consult and pray with many of the Bishops who have decided against participation in the Lambeth Conference.    ...

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Gospel Grip and Fulcrum Fantasy – a response to Tom Wright's Fulcrum Conference Lecture 'Conflict and Covenant in the Bible'

Apr 15, 2008 by

 By Charles Raven, Virtue Online   http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=297 12 April 2008 Fulcrum seems to take pride in being the voice of balanced orthodoxy, but Tom Wright’s recent lecture is evidence that the real function of Fulcrum – whatever the intentions of its members – is to try and hold the balance between post modern religiosity and the historic biblical Anglicanism which it mimics. Such a position is of course fundamentally unstable and the strained exegesis of this latest lecture shows the extent to which reality, not least in the form of GAFCON, is overtaking the Fulcrum fantasy. We are invited, in a manner reminiscent of Rowan Williams, to consider a middle way which avoids both the ‘shrill functional pragmatism of today’s muddled left’ and ‘the equally shrill and functional pragmatism of today’s muddled right’, those on the left preoccupied with breaking the old rules and those on the right with keeping them. These polarities, we are encouraged to believe, are transcended by an eschatological ecclesiology expressed in covenant community. Wright then quotes at length (in the online version of the lecture) from the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission Communiqué of September 2006 to establish the biblical credentials of this approach, although one looks in vain for any clear statement of the authority of Scripture in its plain sense or any reference to the classic Anglican formularies. Instead, the focus is on the emergence of covenantal beliefs through the development of ‘bonds of affection’ and it is this covenantal perspective which underlies the Windsor Process and the proposal for an Anglican Communion Covenant. So far we have been walking along a fairly well worn path, but things become more interesting when Tom Wright tries to interpret the acute stresses in contemporary Anglicanism in terms of the turbulent relationship between Paul and the Corinthian church. In fact he refers to this as ‘the heart of the matter, the re-enactment today of 2 Corinthians’. This has bizarre and provocative consequences. Firstly, Rowan Williams’ Advent pastoral letter encouraging attendance at Lambeth and the further letters which we are told are ‘in the post’, discouraging attendance on the part of those bishops deemed unsympathetic to the Windsor process, represent Paul’s personal and deeply painful appeal to the Corinthians as he seeks to re-establish his apostolic authority on the basis of an appeal to their shared participation in the New Covenant. It may be that the Archbishop is not quite so committed to this Pauline agenda as Tom Wright thinks because Ruth Gledhill http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2008/04/our-absenting-m.html reports that Lambeth Palace have denied sending such letters. But whatever the case, the parallel is perverse; Rowan Williams’ apostolic authority has ebbed away because he himself has failed to uphold the basis of that authority, the authority of Scripture. He has never repented of his teaching and support for the gay/lesbian movement sustained over many years and it was his willingness to invite the consecrators and supporters of Gene Robinson to Lambeth 2008, a direct affront to the clear mind of the...

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Windsor 'Compliance': More from BabyBlue

Apr 14, 2008 by

LATER:  If this is the real deal and Bishop Wright is not just whistling Dixie, how audacious will Rowan Williams actually be? What would cause him to finally pull the proverbial plug on the one big happy tent and actually say to a group of personally-selected, no money back guarantee group of bishops "here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?" Does he think this will help keep GAFCON at bay? "You can’t boycott Lambeth if I say you can’t come," or some other kind of whine. And how about those 815 lawsuits? Thing (sic) aren’t going so well at the moment – might they need a little foreign intervention?  From:  http://babybluecafe.blogspot.com/2008/04/bishop-tom-wright-reports-that-rowan.html Thanks too, BabyBlue, for naming the entire list of the almost two dozen Windsor-compliant bishops!  Given the low to almost non-existent profile of the Windsor-To-The-Rescue project, I had forgotten that so many had originally signed on.  One just wonders where most of them have been in recent days.  It is also good to have a list of those who consecrated Gene Robinson.  Lots of names there too… For Tom Wright  see here:  ...

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Smear Campaign against Nigeria and GAFCON

Apr 10, 2008 by

From Virtueonline Two Anglican homosexual leaders from a group called Changing Attitude say they were threatened with murder and one was assaulted in Nigeria. They blame the Anglican Church of Nigeria and a group called GAFCON for the assaults. The Rev. Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude England (CA), said he received a text message calling him an "evil homosexual promoter". Mr. Davis Mac-Iyalla, leader of the Nigerian arm of CA, said he was savagely beaten in an attack outside a funeral home. Both men pointed the finger at the evangelical Anglican Church in Nigeria. They have been supported in those charges by twenty Church of England bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the pansexual American Episcopal organization called Integrity……   …….In their Open Letter to the Leadership Team of GAFCON, they wrote, "You may know that there were several instances of actual physical violence and threats of violence and death enacted against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) leaders of Changing Attitude in Nigeria over the Easter Weekend 2008. The leader of a Changing Attitude group was violently beaten. Subsequently, death threats have been issued against the Directors of Changing Attitude in Nigeria and England. The Archbishop of Canterbury immediately weighed in saying, "The threats recently made against the leaders of Changing Attitudes are disgraceful. The Anglican Communion has repeatedly, through the Lambeth Conference and the statements from its Primates’ Meetings, unequivocally condemned violence and the threat of violence against gay and lesbian people. I hope that this latest round of unchristian bullying will likewise be universally condemned." The unofficial pansexual Episcopal organization Integrity, through its leader the Rev. Susan Russell, applauded the archbishop’s statement. "Integrity thanks Archbishop Rowan Williams for his statement today-which condemned recent violence and the threats of violence against LGBT Anglicans. In too many provinces of the Anglican Communion, the LGBT faithful live in fear of violence and even death because of who they are and whom they love. More often than not, Anglican bishops have been silent about-and sometimes complicit in-bullying and brutality directed at the LGBT children of God." HOWEVER, there is not one shred of evidence that evangelical Anglicans in Nigeria had anything to do with the attack on Davis. According to the homosexual leader, he was attacked by two men and a woman who drove up in a car and assaulted him with a knife, slashing his hand. They then tried to inject a syringe into him. He was later treated at a hospital and released. Painting GAFCON and orthodox Anglicans as the culprits in this attack, without proof, is a smear campaign of the highest order that will only further widen the divide between orthodox Anglicans who now make up GAFCON and the liberal dominated Lambeth Conference. For the Archbishop of Canterbury to have weighed in so quickly begs a number of questions and observations.   Read the whole article HERE. Changing Attitude’s letter to the GAFCON leadership can be read HERE. Commentary by Peter Ould HERE and HERE.  ...

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