VirtueOnline Viewpoints - July 02, 2010

david at virtueonline.org david at virtueonline.org
Fri Jul 2 21:47:58 EDT 2010


God's full revelation. We have much more to learn, but God has no more to reveal than he has revealed in Jesus Christ. --- From "Life in Christ" by John R.W. Stott

The ultimate issue in relation to Jesus Christ is not one of semantics (the meaning of words) but of homage (the attitude of the heart), not whether our tongue can subscribe to an orthodox formulation of the person of Jesus, but whether our knee has bowed before his majesty. Besides, reverence always precedes understanding. We shall know him only if we are willing to obey him. --- From "The Authentic Jesus" John R.W. Stott

One of the characteristics of a human being living with a sense of purpose, and the trouble with many people, is that they take their sense of purpose from people and events and circumstances around them. But just as Archimedes looked for a leverage point from which to change the world, the great sense of calling is that it comes outside of the world, outside of ourselves. So if we start every day by asking how we are living for the Lord, we have something to give us the highest and deepest sense of purpose. --- Dr. Os Guinness, sociologist, Christian apologist and author

Those who hold liberal views about homosexuality hear only condemnation in evangelicals' call for gays and lesbians to change their orientation, but evangelical Episcopalians I talked with describe the temptation to sin as something they share with homosexuals....y time at St. Timothy's showed me that evangelical Episcopalians' responses to homosexuals are framed in the same language of sin and the need for transformation through a relationship with Jesus Christ that they apply to their own lives. --- <I<Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African allies are reshaping Anglicanism, by Miranda Hassett

Try to attain to the full measure of this Name (of Jesus), and you will find it in your mouth and on the mouths of your children. When you make high festival and when you rejoice, cry Jesus. When anxious and in pain, cry Jesus. When little boys and girls are laughing, let them cry Jesus. And to those who flee before barbarians, cry Jesus. And those who go down to the Nile, cry Jesus. And those who see wild beasts and sights of terror, cry Jesus. Those who are taken off to prison, cry Jesus. And those whose trial has been corrupted and who receive injustice, cry the Name of Jesus. --- Shenoute of Atripe, 5th century

When Katharine Jefferts Schori was questioned recently about how to marry the official position of her church with the antipodean position of the congregation that seem more committed to the perpetuation of the rule of law in America, Bishop Schori responded, "The role of the prophetic tradition is to challenge laws and structures that appear to be unjust.... We are meant to see every human being as our neighbor." Apparently, according to Bishop Schori's interpretation of Christian doctrine, treating one's neighbor as himself means allowing the neighbor to break into one's home, steal his belongings, and expect not only no punishment, but reward for the act. ---Joe Wolverton II in The New American

Within a few years  might seek to become an official Anglican province, or the ACNA might instead seek to forge a new communion - apart from the Archbishop of Canterbury - in a bid to unite Anglican provinces that agree on the meaning of orthodoxy. If Canterbury has aligned itself with things that are unorthodox and unbiblical, then should it remain the center ? –-- Donald Roberts, archdeacon for the Diocese of New England.

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org 
July 2, 2010

During his address for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Basilica, the Pope asserted that the "greatest danger" to the Church is not external persecution, but the "negative attitudes" of the world that can pollute and "infect the Christian community" from within. 

One wonders if he might have had The Episcopal Church in mind, bearing in mind Bishop Gene Robinson's hope and desire that there are multiple sexualities the length of the alphabet that TEC needs to recognize. The Pope later called for a vigorous re-Christianization of Europe.

It would be good if the Pope could engage Dr. Rowan Williams in such a European conversion, but then the ABC would have to discard the liberal and revisionist elements in the Communion and get on board with the faith-based evangelism of the Global South. Frankly, I don't see that happening any time soon.

Clearly though, Williams is fed up to the teeth with what he is seeing and hearing. His 60th birthday might see a turning point from all the years of "listening", "conversation" and prevarication that has been going on in the communion and for which he is noted. Perhaps, the days of toleration and talk are over for the Supreme One.

Consider the following statements he has made over the last few months:

In a Daily Telegraph interview, the Archbishop claimed that the UK Government sees religion as a problem and believers as oddballs.

At General Synod, Dr Williams described attempts to relax assisted suicide laws as a "moral mistake" and called Labour's attempt to proscribe church employment practices through the Equality Act as "deeply dangerous for liberty".

During his after dinner speech at Mansion House, the Archbishop made a catty aside about the Pope, claiming they are similar because they both have a fondness for cats... and for "cultivating the company of Anglican clergy".

In a radio discussion, Dr. Williams unexpectedly proclaimed that the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has lost "all credibility" because of clergy abuse scandals and cover-ups.

He used his Pentecost Letter to make the first sanctions against Anglican provinces that have broken agreements not to ordain gay clergy or poach priests from other areas, banning them from voting on a doctrine committee and from taking part in ecumenical dialogues.

Then he refused to let US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wear her mitre in Southwark Cathedral because the Church of England does not yet recognize women bishops.

In a sermon delivered to the new Parliament, he described the excesses of recent Tory and Labour governments as the "delinquent children of Milton Friedman and Sidney Webb".

The gentle Rowan's meek and mild days seem to be over.

Then, with his fellow English Primate, the Archbishop of York, Dr Williams set the tone for July's critical General Synod debate on women bishops by swooping in to propose a new class of "nominated bishops" who could serve in "co-ordinate jurisdiction" with female prelates and so prevent traditionalists converting to Rome.

One VOL reader wrote and said, "It looks as though the Ordinariate won't amount to a single Tiger Tank - more like a motorcycle with sidecar, for the former Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Richborough."  

Perhaps the ABC's counter offensive is to prevent any more (RC) tanks being parked on Lambeth lawn. Or perhaps the ABC is developing a serious spine as he watches the Church of England sink beneath secular waves (one in 60 Brits goes to church), or perhaps he is waking up to the reality that homosexuals and lesbians don't make churches grow (they have a problem breeding) and that even the advent of women bishops does not necessarily guarantee the CofE will jump start itself. The CofE is looking less like a thoroughbred horse and more like a rusty Jaguar that someone left in a used car lot with an unusable engine simply for kids to play in.

*****

Early Thursday morning, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York submitted their amendments to the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure, which will be considered at the forthcoming July sessions of the General Synod of the Church of England.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (UK and Ireland) welcomed the Archbishops' proposals, but said further clarity was needed.

Dr's. Chris Sugden and Paul Perkin put it thusly, "To secure the honoured future of those who in conscience cannot accept the ministry of women bishops, there will need to be further elaboration as to their powers of ordination, appointment and licensing. There also needs to be further elaboration on how consistency between the dioceses will be achieved. A scheme that derives authority from the whole church should have arrangements also provided by the church as a whole.

"As you will be aware there is much interest amongst us in the concept of a mission society. We are continuing to explore this concept which, if carefully crafted, will provide the necessary fellowship for the bishops, clergy and people so affected, would give much of what is necessary in a clearly Church of England framework, and provide a strong impetus for mission."

It will be interesting to see how all this shakes out. Will the pope's offer be worth the paper it is printed on if the equivalent of DEPO is offered parishes by the Church of England that can't abide women in miters?

The General Synod debate over the proposals of the Manchester Commission on women bishops will take place in York on July 9th to 13th. Alasdair Paine has written a very helpful briefing paper for his own PCC that can be downloaded from the Reform web site - http://www.reform.org.uk/pdf/womenbsps.pdf

Lorna Ashworth has written a booklet, "Beyond Equal Rights. Women and Men in the Church", that has been sent to all members of General Synod. She writes, "With regards to this issue, I have come to firmly believe that this is not about gender injustice, but about how God, in his perfect wisdom, has chosen to order His Church. For me, this has been a liberating discovery; something that goes beyond equal rights." This booklet is an ideal summary of the various arguments and advocates on the complementarian position. To order a copy, contact the Reform office (administrator at reform.org.uk).

"Why are there objections to women bishops?" is a short booklet written by Mark Burkill in 2007. The booklet is in a "question and answer" format with a helpful bibliography at the end. It is designed to help discussion in PCCs and Synods. It also addresses the question of how the Church of England can be kept together. It can be viewed at: http://www.reform.org.uk/pages/bb/objections.php . To get copies, contact the Reform office (administrator at reform.org.uk).

The Big Question on BBC 1 on Sunday July 4 at 10.00am will include a discussion on women bishops.

*****

Mitregate redux Those who are wittering about the "discourtesy" to Jefferts Schori over the ABC's refusal to let her wear her miter in Southwark Cathedral should take the time to read what canon law requires in the Church of England. When they are finished, they should e-mail her to ask about the discourtesy involved in attempting to ban any number of bishops and archbishops from speaking in the USA.

Meanwhile, Jefferts Schori is on a charm offensive in New Zealand or Aotearoa (the Land of the Long White Cloud), as it is also known. One wonders if the cloud got a little dark with all the talk of gay sex she is plying in one venue after another.

The one thing she did say concerning the Covenant will undoubtedly leave Rowan Williams apoplectic. The Presiding Bishop described the Covenant as nothing more than a type of "cheap grace", an "enlightenment response to postmodern" era disagreement. It is a legal move to avoid the harder "work of the heart" and of "building relationships in the face of diversity."

She drew chuckles when she told how, in the face of pressure from some Global primates for the immediate adoption of the covenant, some of her younger bishops had urged her: "Let's do it. Now." If The Episcopal Church had signed up to the covenant, she suggested, other once enthusiastic provinces might now have second thoughts about it.

Is this enough to get Rowan's back up? Will the inevitable non-invitation to the next Primates' meeting be made official and signal that the end of The Anglican Communion, as we know it, is closer than we think?

Following her visit to New Zealand, Jefferts Schori will head to Australia. She will preach July 4 at Christ Church St. Lucia in the Diocese of Brisbane, where liberal Archbishop Philip Aspinall of the Anglican Church of Australia serves as bishop.

*****

The ACC announced the resignation of Archbishop Justice Akrofi of West Africa from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Justice was the "alternate" from Africa for Archbishop Henry Orombi who has also resigned.

Akrofi is the fourth archbishop to resign. Recently, Bishop Azad Marshall, Bishop of Iran, resigned as did the Archbishop of the Middle East, Mouneer Anis.

*****

Here at home, the main news flowed from the Diocese of Ft. Worth where Bishop Jack Iker claimed victory over his claim to church properties while the Episcopal Church suffered a procedural setback in the Fort Worth lawsuit.

The 2nd Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the group's attorneys, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of "The Corporation" and "The Fort Worth Diocese," cannot represent those entities because the entities are also associated with Bishop Jack Iker, the defendant in the lawsuit.

The appellate court noted that there is only one corporation and diocese to which both sides are staking claim.

The opinion, written by Justice Anne Gardner, says that "a corporation cannot sue itself" and that a judge would be "unnecessarily confused by presentations from two opposing factions who claim to be the 'The Corporation' and 'The Fort Worth Diocese.'"

The opinion also states that the work performed by the attorneys, Jonathan Nelson and Kathleen Wells, in the name of the corporation and the diocese, should be thrown out, but that the attorneys can represent the individuals who hired them.

What happens next remains to be seen. The group can ask the court to rehear the case, appeal to the Supreme Court or restyle the lawsuit and put it back before Judge John Chupp in the 141st District Court, where it was originally filed.

Bishop Iker responded to the ruling saying, "We rejoice in this favorable decision by the Court of Appeals, and we give thanks to God for the expertise of our legal team in enabling us to prevail in this critical issue of who can represent the Diocese and the Corporation. While we realize that our opponents will continue to pursue litigation against us, this successful first step reinforces the soundness of our legal strategy to protect our identity, our property, and our assets."

What is particularly interesting is that for four days after the ruling, The Episcopal Church said nothing. No one on the left could trust these sources, so their notice of the news had to await the publication of an official press release on Bishop Wallis Ohl's website, nearly 72 hours later. Only then did the Episcoleft start to blog about it, taking the press release word-for-word as their interpretation of what the decision actually said.

Bishop Ohl's press release offered quite a spin on the story. http://tinyurl.com/2e6p5ea You can read the news story and attorney Allan Haley's commentary on all this in today's digest.

*****

Bishop C. Andrew (Andy) Doyle of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas has written a letter to the Diocese concerning the Archbishop of Canterbury's May 28, 2010, Pentecost letter to the Anglican Communion. In his letter, he also discusses the response to the Archbishop contained in a June 2, 2010, pastoral letter written by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. 

The problem with fence sitters like Doyle is they want to have their cake and eat it, too. Doyle says that he strongly supports the Anglican Covenant. His expression of support is clouded by his apparent belief that agreement with the direction of TEC on the matters at issue is not inconsistent with support for the Covenant. So he is trying to go both ways and say TEC's direction is okay and we can have a Covenant. The Law of Non-Contradiction says that is impossible. A full account of this can be read in today's digest.

*****

Kearon redux. When Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, was in Maryland talking to Executive Council, he told Bishop Katharine that he wanted the session to be private with staff and press put out of the room. He talked about how the press was everyone's enemy, and that bloggers would take anything that was said and distort it. So once again, the liberals, fearing we orthodox media might get wind of what was really said, wanted it all done in secret. But he got nixed and out it all came. And no, we did not distort anything, we just quoted exactly what was said including the questions asked of him. He just plain sank himself without any help from us. He floundered, unable to answer any of the questions, while hoping and praying TEC would still pay 40% of the ACC's tab at the end of the day.

On an ecumenical note, Kearon dropped word that relationships with other churches are at an all time low with TEC. They just got lower this week when the Russian Orthodox Church blasted "Protestant Groups in America" who had bought into homosexuality. The Patriarch is clearly not amused by Western pansexuality. TEC should not be looking to break bread any time soon with the Orthodox churches or Roman Catholic Church. It ain't gonna happen.

*****

QUEER RITES. The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) is soliciting views, opinions and feedback for "Holy Women, Holy Men", a major revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts. So, people who commit homosexual fornication will now get their own rites in the name of (are you ready) "Holy Women, Holy Men." Talk about distorting language.

This project was mandated at General Convention 2009 with Resolution A096. The Rev. Ruth Meyers, Ph.D., Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific and SCLM Chair, explained that "Holy Women, Holy Men" is currently in trial use, and that comments are welcome through the SCLM blog, "We want to hear about people's experiences with Holy Women, Holy Men," she said. "It's important that everyone have an opportunity to review and provide input on this major work. That includes individuals as well as congregations and dioceses."

"Do you Freddy take Guido to be your awful wedded other...and will you promise to have and to hold until you both get bored with each other and need to find stimulus outside of your committed partner relationship in order to sustain what you have for the sake of your pensions and Medicare...or until one of you needs a permanent crutch or is dying of AIDS?"  

*****

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, has launched a book to guide the nation in prayer for next year's general polls at Deliverance Church, Makerere Hill in Kampala. The election prayer diary is designed to help prayer leaders and individuals pray for future leaders who are honest and of high integrity. Orombi urged churches to unite to face challenges ahead of the elections.

The co-ordinator for Intercessors for Uganda, Dr. James Magara, said, "Righteous and just leaders play an important role in advocating for justice and truth in our society." The diary was compiled by Magara and Ronnie Bbosa, the chairman of Intercessors for Uganda.

*****

The Queen was dragged into a bitter row over the appointment of a black woman as Chaplain to the House of Commons. Commons Speaker John Bercow has refused to give the job to the candidate picked by the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the Very Rev Dr John Hall, who answers to the Queen.

He has chosen instead the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Jamaican-born vicar in one of the poorest parts of East London. Sources say he objected to appointing "another predictable middle-aged white man".

Mr. Bercow is so determined to win the power struggle that he has cut ties between Parliament and the Abbey, where state ­funerals, weddings and coronations take place - effectively splitting the Chaplain's historic role in two.

The Abbey authorities have responded by refusing to give Mrs. Hudson-Wilkin the palatial "grace-and-favour" apartment in the Abbey cloisters where the current Commons Chaplain lives.

The man snubbed by Bercow, 46-year-old Andrew Tremlett, currently a Canon at Bristol Cathedral, is to be made a Canon at Westminster Abbey as a "consolation prize" by the Queen.

*****

The vestry of St. Martin's Church in Houston, Texas, the largest congregation in the Episcopal Church recently affirmed the Anglican Communion Covenant. What was glossed over was that St. Martin's, founded in 1952, began experiencing explosive growth during the tenure of its second rector, the Rev. Claude E. Payne, who later was elected Bishop of Texas in 1993. The orthodox parish now has nearly 8,500 baptized members and more than 6,000 communicants.

If you want to see what 8,500 baptized members and 6,000 communicants looks like on a national scale, consider this. The Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) in TEC's eleven lowest attending dioceses comes to 7, 379 - less than this one Episcopal parish - and for this they need 11 bishops.

On any sort of reckoning, St. Martin's should or could have its own full time bishop.

Observe the following facts:

Dioceses with fewer than 1,000 ASA in 2008 according to TEC's latest figures (2010 figures will be even lower):

Micronesia (Foreign):  	138 	24.8% 	ASA 
Navajoland:  	200 	32.6% 	ASA 
Venezuela (Foreign): 	489 	61.3%	ASA  
Northern Michigan:  	653	36.7%	ASA 
Taiwan (Foreign):  	680  	68.2%	ASA 
Western Kansas:   	801  	37.9%	ASA 
North Dakota:   	804 	30.9%	ASA 
Litoral Ecuador (Foreign)  891	11.1%	ASA 
Eau Claire:  	        892  	42.1%	ASA 
San Joaquin - rump:  	896	39.8%	ASA 
Quincy -- rump:  	935 	51.3%	ASA

Total: 7,379

Just for good measure, toss in the Diocese of Utah, which has fewer than 1,500 active worshipping members and recently elected a new bishop.

Now, try to imagine where all these dioceses will be five years from now.

*****

The Bishop of Durham, Dr. N.T. Wright took a thrashing this week. A furious gay clergyman, the Rt. Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, angrily condemned the appointment of Wright, who famously opposed the ordination of gay churchmen, to his new post at St Andrews' School of Divinity in September. He slammed Scotland's oldest university for giving a top professor role to an "anti-gay" bishop saying he wouldn't give any more money to the university. Tut Tut. "I hope other alumni keep their hands firmly in their pockets," he said. A St. Andrew's spokesman commented, "The charges made by Holdsworth are unsubstantiated and unfair."

*****

Mitre-gate revisited. Well apparently the press is to blame for the hue and cry. We do appear to have set the cat loose among the pigeons with recent revelations that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, barred Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the US church, and the first woman to lead an Anglican province, from wearing her mitre or carrying her bishop's crosier during a sermon at Southwark Cathedral.

The agreed approach of most English bishops, says the archbishop's chaplain in an explanatory letter, is that women bishops appearing as Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori did at Southwark "should do so without the insignia of episcopal office so as to avoid possible misunderstandings". Be assured, he says, "that the archbishop, and those of us who support his ministry, had no intention to slight the presiding bishop. Indeed, by ensuring that the legal formalities were observed it was hoped that she, and the dean of Southwark, might be spared the embarrassment that might have flowed from any challenge to her presiding and preaching at the cathedral. The media interest provoked over the issue of vesture has, of course, undermined that hope."

I think he's blaming us. Aw, shucks.

*****

Mexico has become the first Communion Province to adopt the Anglican Communion Covenant following its VI General Synod in Mexico City. Secretary General Kenneth Kearon said he was delighted at the decision and labeled The Anglican Church of Mexico's decision as a "significant step" in the life of the Communion.

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams described The Anglican Communion Covenant, a document that outlines the common life and values of the Communion, as "Something that helps us know where we stand together and also helps us to intensify our fellowship and our trust." It includes a section that proposes how to address significant disagreements within the Anglican Communion.

In 1958, the fourth missionary Bishop of Mexico was the first Anglican Bishop to be consecrated on Mexican soil. The Church became an autonomous Province of the Anglican Communion in 1995. http://www.iglesiaanglicanademexico.org/

*****

The Exodus International Freedom Conference 2010A, conference in California offering freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ, received a hostile welcome last weekend as 160 protestors picketed outside its doors.

Protestors held posters decorated with peace signs and rallied near Concordia University in Irvine, Saturday, where Exodus International hosted its annual Freedom Conference June 23-26. Prior to the event, activists gathered at Irvine United Congregational Church on June 19 to blast Exodus International's belief that homosexuals can be freed from their lifestyle, arguing that homosexuality is not a choice.

Exodus International president Alan Chambers, who shares "his own story of breaking free from the unwanted same-sex attraction with audiences around the world" and has written "God's Grace & the Homosexual Next Door and Leaving Homosexuality", was a featured speaker at this year's conference.

*****

Around one in nine listed places of worship in England could be at risk because they are in poor or very bad condition, according to a survey released this week. English Heritage surveyed 2,215 buildings and found that 11% were in a poor or very bad state.

Those in rural areas were, overall, more likely to be run-down, but in certain urban areas the proportion at risk was significantly higher. In Tower Hamlets and Hackney, in London, 21% were judged poor or very bad. In inner city Birmingham, the figure was even higher at 28%, including 11 of the 32 listed synagogues.

English Heritage said an estimated £925m of outstanding repairs was needed over the next five years. It also reported that 89% of sites are in a good or fair state, largely thanks to the hard work of congregations.

*****

Although today we talk about the importance of the separation of church and state, this week's insert for Sunday's service is a reminder of the church's role in the formation and maintenance of the US Congress.

On July 28, 1787, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin addressed the president of the Constitutional Convention, General George Washington.

". . . God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? . . . I therefore beg leave to move - that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service."

Since that time, the Senate and the House of Representatives have continuously appointed clergy members to lead them each day in prayer. Other duties include spiritual care and counseling for the senators, their families, and their staff, and discussions, prayer meetings, and a weekly senators' prayer breakfast.

The first chaplain elected by the Senate in 1789 was Samuel Provoost, Episcopal bishop of New York. After a year, William White, of Pennsylvania, was elected. 10 years later, he was followed by Thomas John Claggett of Maryland. All but 1 of the first 9 chaplains were Episcopalians. In all, 19 Episcopalians have served.

In the House of Representatives, only 4 Episcopalians have served as chaplains. The position is currently held by a Roman Catholic priest, Daniel P. Coughlin.

*****

O, The Gall Of It All. Fr. David Wilson, a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh under Bishop Robert Duncan, said he couldn't believe his eyes when he was told by the Church Pension Fund that he had been terminated. Then they turned around and asked him if he wanted to buy an annuity. "I can't believe the nerve. Today I received a mailing from the Church Insurance Corporation. This is a corporation affiliated with the Episcopal Church (TEC) of which the Church Pension Group is a part. This is the second communication I have received since my last pension assessment notice received in September 2009. 

On October 12, 2009, I received a personal letter from TEC bishop Ken Price, the Provisional Bishop of the TEC Diocese of Pittsburgh telling me that unless I informed him otherwise, he would assume that I wished to renounce my orders as priest. I did not respond to his letter, so I received a subsequent letter on October 28 informing I, along with 102 others, had been "released" from my ministry as a priest according to TEC Canon Whatever. This letter was signed by two former colleagues and Price. It was copied to the Church Pension Group. On October 30, 2009, I was terminated (termination is their term) from further participation in the Church Pension Group. This came to me via my parish in the form of a termination notice, my last communication from them after paying into their 8 billion dollar fund for 14 years --- no personal letter to me ala Ken Price.

"Now this same corporation writes me a 'Dear Friend' letter, dated June 2010, inviting me to buy an annuity from them - a Church Life IRA. This is thoroughly amazing. I wonder if they've offered a Church Life IRA to ACNA Bishop John Guernsey who amassed over 29.5 years in the pension fund and who was not permitted by Bishop Lee of Virginia to stay in the CPG to reach his 30-year threshold in order to retire with tens of thousands of dollars of additional pension benefits?

"I am utterly agog that they want the very money that I am not permitted to continue my pension with to be spent on purchasing an annuity from them. It is signed 'Best Wishes' by James Thomas, the General Manager of the Church Life Insurance Corporation. What Hypocrisy. I don't know what they're smoking up there at 445 Fifth Avenue in NYC, but it sure ain't Marlboro Reds." 

Fr. Wilson is senior pastor of St David's Anglican Church (ACNA) in Peters in Township, PA.

*****

For an uplifting end to this digest I would point you to this video: CREDO-Christ is made the Sure Foundation, sung by the choir of Canterbury Cathedral. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BiAjsIgrjI&feature=related

*****

VOL's website found itself blocked this week in England. An American professor and Anglican visiting London who is an avid VOL reader wrote to say that a public computer in the executive lounge at the London Hilton, Paddington, blocked him from getting to VOL's website. "I was shocked," he wrote VOL. It seems this was very localized. Readers could still get on to VOL's website through Microsoft, Google, Internet Explorer and all other major Internet providers.

*****

The Presiding Bishop Goes to London and visits the Queen. For a piece of Episcopal Theater, watch it here. http://themcj.com/?p=9731 It comes courtesy of the "Midwest Conservative Journal".

*****

For an excellent commentary on the Ground Zero Mosque: Watch this: http://dotsub.com/view/305b06a0-b4ac-469e-8394-789d3d827fc4

*****

VOL welcomes new readers today from Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Thank you for dropping by VOL's website. We do hope you gain more knowledge and spiritual refreshment than you had before you came. Please know that you are always welcome to drop us a line to let us know how things are with you. If we can pray more intelligently for you, let us know. If you have news we should broadcast to the world, let us know. We will respect your confidentiality.

*****

This week we e-mailed VOL's readers our thrice annual appeal for funds. We don't do this lightly. Please take a moment to read and reflect on it and think how you might be able to support VOL. Your support is vitally needed to keep us going and growing.

In Christ,

David 




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