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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Do this in remembrance of me


For those who do not understand, this is why it matters to believers.


WARNING: This video shows harrowing images of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Church in Wales: Code of Practice Stage 2, Llandaff




"As part of legislation to ordain women bishops, passed by the Church in September, the Bishops have to draw up a Code of Practice to ensure all members of the Church, including those with conscientious objections to the decision, continued to feel accepted and valued in it." - Church in Wales. [See previous entry here.]

The first of the consultation meetings were held on 22 January in the dioceses of Bangor and Llandaff. I have received no reports on the Bangor meeting but I understand that the Llandaff meeting in Pontypridd attracted well over 100 Church members including around 20 clergy who responded to the Archbishop's invitation "to consult as widely as possible with church members in order to reflect their views as best we can."

The open meetings in each of the six Welsh dioceses are are being held for members to have their say on what provisions the code should include. The meetings will be followed by a discussion at the Church’s Governing Body meeting in April. The next meeting will be held in St Davids Diocese tomorrow, 28 January at 7pm in Holy Trinity Church hall, Aberaeron.

At the Llandaff meeting the Provincial Episcopal Visitor (PEV) was the favoured solution. This was the conclusion of Credo Cymru (FiF Wales) in their written submission: "We consider that the easiest way to achieve such a solution would be to make use of bishops from other provinces and give them limited authority to act within Wales, with clear authority from the diocesans concerned." *

This would be a positive step to ensure that all feel accepted and valued but sadly some still feel that despite the overwhelming desire of traditionalists to reach an amicable solution, the Archbishop is in no mood to give ground and interpret "in order to reflect their views as best we can" as meaning 'as before'. If that proved to be the case the Bench would be guilty of an unforgivable deception. Members should 'keep the faith', go to the meetings, and make their voices heard for the sake of the Church.

* Correction:
Following further enquiries I understand that 'PEV' was used as a shorthand for alternative Episcopal oversight while Credo Cymru did not limit their proposal to Provincial Episcopal Visitors. Their suggestion was 'episcopal visitors' from 'other provinces', a subtle difference. I apologise for the confusion but the inference is the same. What is being asked for is sacramental assurance by whatever means.

Friday, 24 January 2014

The Gospel of the Lord


Commissioning the Twelve Apostles depicted by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1481.                                                                                                         Wikipedia

The Twelve Apostles

13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Mark 3:13-19

To suggest that Jesus was a man constrained by the customs of the day ignores the reality that Jesus rose from the dead and that He called to him those whom he desired, consciously choosing the Twelve including the one who betrayed him.

Now, "1,000 years on, girls sing at Canterbury Cathedral" is being trumpeted around the world as if to suggest that the heart of the Anglican communion has finally caught up with the real world: Canterbury is not the first British cathedral to set up a girls' choir, but as the mother church of the 80 million-strong Anglican Communion — one struggling to define the role of women in its ranks — its move has special resonance. It is understandable that the difference between girls singing in the choir and a woman standing at the altar in the person of Christ would be lost on those constructing media reports but for practicing Anglicans who recite the Nicene Creed the difference should be obvious. 

Let us be clear about this. Only a minority in the Anglican Communion is 'struggling to define the role of women in its ranks' and it is a shame that what is undoubtedly a valued opportunity for these girls should be represented as part of 'the struggle'.  In reality it has nothing to do with the role of women in general but the role of a vociferous, power-seeking minority who persuaded others to depart from the centrality of the Gospel and define their own rules to adapt the priesthood to their own liking. I wonder what their response was today to 'The Gospel of the Lord'?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The US Episcopal Church: the feminist effect






From David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
January 21, 2014

How to spend $30 million dollars:

1. Educate 100 seminary students (average 3-year cost $45,000) for $4,500,000.

2. Plant and build 2,000 churches in Africa for about $6,000 a church. Total cost $12 million.

3. 24,000 children die of hunger each day in the world. An estimated 3.1 million children die every year due to hunger and lack of nutritious food. A single meal costs .22 cents to produce. $2 million would produce 9 million meals and feed more than 3 million children. An estimated 850 million children in the world do not have enough food to eat or do not get a nutritious meal every day.

4. $50 can provide a nutritious meal for a child for a year. $5 million would feed 100,000 children for one year.

5. $200 can provide an education for a child including provision of buildings and teachers' salaries etc. for a year. For $5 million you can equip 25,000 children.

6. WFP, the world's largest humanitarian agency, says that it costs 25 cents (US) to fill a cup with porridge, rice or beans and give girls a monthly ration. $1.50 the price of a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts (but not Starbucks) is enough to feed a child through school for one week. For $1.5 million dollars you could feed 1 million children for one week. One development agency leader told VOL there are still lots of hurting people and the numbers keep growing.

7. In one fell swoop you could rebuild the Episcopal cathedral in Haiti and every Episcopal parish that was destroyed by the earthquake in that country.

TOTAL COST $30 MILLION

OR you could spend $30 million Episcopal dollars on law firms like David Booth Beers to endlessly litigate against orthodox Anglicans who only want to proclaim the gospel and to keep properties they bought and paid for. The Dennis Canon might well be the most expensively litigated church law in the history of the world.

The figure of $30 million is a conservative figure. It does not include ongoing litigation, nor the millions of dollars the other side has spent defending church properties. One canon lawyer estimates that the true figure could be well over $60 million, in which case the figures above could and should be doubled.

A.S. Haley of Curmudgeon blog fame wrote on Sept. 2010, "We thus arrive at an estimated total of some Twenty-Six Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($26,650,000) dedicated thus far by the Church of Katharine Jefferts Schori to lawsuits and illegal disciplinary actions. That is quite a negative achievement for someone who has been in office for not even four years yet." He now estimates the figures to be between $30 million and $33 million. "If the spending continues at the same rate, by the time her term is up in November 2015 (and assuming her last budget is like those before it), she will have committed the Church to an impossible-sounding Sixty-Four Million Dollars in legal costs." http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2010/09/just-how-much-has-ecusa-spent-on.html

Think about that the next time you drop a check or cash in the collection plate of your local Episcopal Church. Ask yourself: Where is this money really going?

END

Odd how orthodox Anglicans are represented as the villains by feminists!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The baptism row




Distortion has become a feature of the Anglican Church under the influence of feminist ideology. God's kingdom is regarded as part of a new PC world where dissenters are branded misogynists, homophobes, bigots and the rest. Anything in fact to discredit opposition to liberal excesses.

Unlike the US where the feminist agenda is in control, women are not yet officially running the Church of England but with their feet now firmly on the threshold even some liberal clergy are beginning to question where feminist excesses masquerading as equality are taking the Church. The Pilling Report caused ripples but the proposal to ignore the devil and all his works has caused waves of dissent.

Feminism has used a 'stepping stone' strategy in its use of the Church to reach a political goal. Each step shows a relatively small change from the previous position but looking back the change is obvious especially for those finding themselves in an unintended position.

Small changes may not have appeared to be very important to those willing to be converted until they look back. The watered down baptism service provides a clear example of this. In the latest revision the vicar will simply ask: “Do you reject evil? And in all its many forms? And all its empty promises?” leaving the hearers to make what they will of the question, a far cry from the Book of Common Prayer which has:

"DOST thou renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal desires of the flesh, so that thou wilt not follow nor be led by them?"

There can be little doubt what the original BCP version means. In fact it neatly sums up the work of the devil and the covetous and carnal desires that are wrecking the Anglican Communion.

Hardly surprising the revisionists want rid of it!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Church in Wales: Code of Practice consultation Pt. 2


The Rt Revd Mary Gray-Reeves and (right) Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori from the US Episcopal Church
 Credit: Church Times/AP


In November last year the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, wrote "in God's love" to all members about the procedure to agree a code of practice "making provisions such that all members of the Church in Wales, including those who in conscience dissent from the decision to allow the consecration of women as bishops may have a sense of security in their accepted and valued place in the Church in Wales" (letter here).

The first part of the exercise has been completed where members and groups within the Church in Wales were invited to make written submissions on "the type of provision which might be made giving reasons for such proposals and any other related matters they wished to raise". The closing date for submissions was 31 December, 2013. Members who failed to do so now have a second chance.

The second stage involves a series of open meetings "in the New Year - at least one per diocese -" to enable members of the Church in Wales to make submissions in person when "all will be welcome to attend and contribute". For members in the diocese of Llandaff that means a trip to Pontypridd on a dark/wet/cold? January evening. To be precise, 7.30 pm at St Catherine’s Church Hall on Wednesday, 22 January 2014, details here. - Hardly ideal given the age profile of Church members! 

Three meeting are planned for the diocese of St Davids, details of which are set out much more clearly here. Members in the other four dioceses will need to keep an eye on the Church in Wales web site (here) for details. 

It is essential that church members make their views known to avoid claims of lack of interest. Congregations should be able to brief younger members who are better able to get to the venues making it clear that nothing but the episcopal oversight of a bishop who remains true to the teaching and practice of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is acceptable 

Why is this important? The Episcopal Church of the United States has been presided over since 2006 by Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori with devastating results which are spreading through the Anglican Communion except where orthodoxy prevails (read here). It exposes the feminist approach to religion which masquerades as equality but in reality practices exclusion. When women were accepted for ordination in the Church in Wales provision was made for "those who in conscience dissent from the decision" by appointing a Provincial Assistant Bishop, similar to the provision made by the Church of England but unlike the Church of England, the Church in Wales abandoned provision after achieving the objective of ordaining women to the priesthood. Whilst regrettable, congregations have been able to work around the fact that their bishops have departed form Catholic orthodoxy but this will not work with the appointment of women bishops because their legitimacy is not universally accepted within the Church. 

This has nothing to do with equal opportunities for women. In secular terms appointments must be decided on ability but the episcopate is different. It is based on the example of Christ who made a conscious decision to appoint men to be His Apostles. In conscience, dissenters need to be confident that their bishop shares their understanding of the Catholic faith as it has been received and traditionally practiced. The Church in Wales is a relatively tiny province with a top heavy episcopate. While the Church in Wales Review (here) recommends a review of its administrative structure (section 15) it suggests that "there should still be the same number of bishops as at present, namely seven". 

This should provide ample opportunity for the provision of a bishop or bishops from within the existing structure but this approach would lead to complications when women are appointed to the episcopate so a cross-border solution is preferred to provide the pastoral and sacramental oversight needed by those dedicated to keeping alive the traditions of the Apostolic Church in common with the majority of Christians around the world. Under this solution the Church in Wales would continue to be supported financially and dissenting members would have the episcopal support enjoyed by like-minded members of the Church of England. This is in line with the desire of the movers of the amendment to the bishops' motion to "bring Church in Wales legislation more closely into line with other churches in the Anglican Communion who have passed legislation to enable the consecration of women bishops". 

Accordingly, anyone who can get to their diocesan meeting should do so to press for episcopal oversight acceptable to those for whom it is intended "in God's love" and in accord with Christ's example.

Postscript

A full list of venues with dates has now been published on the Church in Wales web site here.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “While we, as bishops, welcome the decision that women can now be ordained as bishops in Wales, we recognise that there are some people who do not. We want to make sure that adequate provision is made for them so that they will still feel valued and accepted in the Church and will continue to worship and minister alongside us.   We have been entrusted to draw up a Code of Practice within a year and we are keen to consult as widely as possible with church members in order to reflect their views as best we can.”

Monday, 6 January 2014

Epiphany


The Adoration of the Magi (detail)                                                                                                                             Gentile da Fabriano (1370–1427) 

"Church of England removes devil from christening service" (here) is the latest in a series of moves by the Church of England to make the Church more worldly rather than spiritual. An earlier report, Surplice to requirement? Church of England may cast off vicars’ robes (here), included the comment: Anglican vicars could soon be allowed to cast off their traditional robes and wear casual clothes at “café-style” communion services. 

To put this another way, "How the Faith was Lost in the Church of England" (here).

But the Faith has not been lost completely in the Church of England. Keeping the faith as it has been handed down is still of paramount importance to many Anglicans who continue to bring their gifts to the Church as the Magi brought their gifts to the Christ Child. They must not be refused.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year 2014



Watch the moments when clean water brought celebration and hope into the lives of people all over the world – moments made possible by your generosity. Thank you from Water Aid

Makes you think about what really matters in the world, doesn't it?

Simple moments of joy. Happy New Year!