Saint Patrick's Church Schola

Lenten 2006 Class -- Classical Spiritual Disciplines

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Conservative Anglicans Envision Western Hemisphere Alliance

By Auburn Faber Traycik

The Christian Challenge (Washington, DC)

July 26, 2005

IN ANOTHER REMARKABLE CHAPTER in Anglican realignment, a "Covenant of Understanding" has been signed calling for a formal alliance for mission and ministry in North and South America and the Caribbean.

The pan-American fellowship is envisioned as a mechanism to link those of similar theological perspective and could eventually include more than 1.5 million Anglicans in the hemisphere. It is being organized under the guidance of two Primates provincial leaders) of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies and Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone of America.

Inspired by the influential Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), led by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, the new Council of Anglican Provinces in the Americas and the Caribbean (CAPAC) will be open to provinces, dioceses, networks and ministries that are committed to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and to historic Anglican formularies. Given the Communion's current crisis, a call to conform to theological standards outlined in the Windsor Report is also being emphasized.

Initially developed at a recent conference in the Bahamas, the agreement to form CAPAC will be presented to Provincial structures in the West Indies and Southern Cone for discussion and ratification. The alliance is intended to support members and share resources in mission, ministry, and theological education; enable constituents to speak as one on common concerns; and seek to "provide regional solutions to regional needs," including those arising from ongoing challenges to orthodox faith in North America.

Among the chief concerns motivating this initiative is the need for adequate episcopal care for faithful Anglicans "in serious theological dispute" with their bishop or province, a provision endorsed by Anglican Primates. With the international weight it will now bring to any task, CAPAC will seek to promote such care in cooperation with official Anglican structures, notably the Panel of reference charged with monitoring substitute bishop arrangements. "One of the great misconceptions has been the ridiculous assertion that those who remain committed to the faith of the Communion are somehow 'dissidents.' "By providing a mechanism to join together, it makes it obvious that those of historic Biblical faith are part of the overwhelming majority in the Anglican Communion," observed Archbishop Venables. "In addition to addressing the isolation that some conservative congregations experience," Venables continued, "CAPAC will provide a way to work together and reach out more effectively with the Gospel."

THOUGH MODELED on CAPA--a leading orthodox voice amid the Communion's current crisis over homosexuality and authority--CAPAC will differ from it by not automatically including all the Anglicans in the region. This is necessary because of the actions of ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada that do not conform to historic faith and practice. Another difference is that affiliate status is envisioned for those who, though they are outside the "official" Anglican structures, share a common theological perspective and commitment to historic Anglican formularies.

While CAPAC will not be designed to supersede or subsume constituent groups or bodies, it will aim to strengthen ties and cooperation among faithful Anglicans fragmented by history and the ill effects of liberal revisionism, and ultimately "to provide a solution in the context of the wider Anglican Communion."

Archbishop Gomez said, "It is crucial for the future of the Anglican Communion that we find a way to forge links based on shared theological commitments. Despite the fact we have shared some elements of history in the Communion, the current crisis has arisen because we do not share a common theological bond with those who are unilaterally seeking to change the faith."

A first step for CAPAC has been the production of a "Covenant of Understanding." It has been agreed to by the two Archbishops and the Moderators of the Anglican Communion Networks in Canada and the U.S. The next step is for the provinces or any other group desiring membership in the pan-American fellowship to ratify the covenant.

The initiative is drawing support from the Networks' "Common Cause Partners," comprised in the U.S. of Episcopal Church (ECUSA) organizations such as the American Anglican Council and the traditionalist Forward in Faith, North America (which forms a separate convocation within the Network), and at least three bodies outside ECUSA: the Anglican Mission in America, Anglican Province of America, and Reformed Episcopal Church. Allies in Canada include both Anglican Essentials Canada partners (The Federation and the Network) and the Anglican Communion in Canada.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has been kept abreast of developing plans and was notified of the intention to inaugurate CAPAC shortly before this report was issued.

Nigeria's Archbishop Akinola, CAPA Chairman, was among primates who warmly welcomed the new pan-American alliance. "The formation of this new regional body should be greeted with applause and strong support from across the Communion," he said.

CAPAC will not conflict and may eventually link with the convocation that Akinola is launching in the U.S. for expatriate Nigerians unable to find a compatible church home in ECUSA.

Archbishop Yong Ping Chung of South East Asia echoed Akinola's welcome, adding, "What is wonderful is the coming together of many different groups. We are
very encouraged to see this level of cooperation."

Spokesman for CAPAC organizers, Canon Bill Atwood of the international Ekklesia Society, said, "We owe a great debt to CAPA and other global South provinces that are really and truly focused on mission that is based on Anglican theological formularies. Their example has demonstrated that a shared theological perspective can produce a rallying point for mission and ministry. We need to move away from decline and irrelevance into mobilizing to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone in the Americas and Caribbean."

Permission to circulate the foregoing electronically is granted, provided that there are no changes in the headings or text and this notice is included. To learn more about THE CHRISTIAN CHALLENGE magazine, please visit http://www.challengeonline.org_

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

SUNDAY SERMON COMMENTS (7.24.05)

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Sunday we examined the idea of living as citizens of heaven. We looked at two ideas:
1. Citizens of Heaven live the way of the cross
2. Citizens of Heaven live now in light of eternity -- live the here and the now in light of the there and the then.

Here are some questions:

1. What are some concrete ways we can live for or invest in eternity?
2. What things get in the way of living in light of eternity?
3. Citizenship in a nation involves embracing the defining stories of that nation. Embracing those stories shape how we understand life is to be lived. How might we summarize the defining story of the Kingdom of God? How does the story of the kingdom shape how we live as Christians?

Looking forward to the responses!

Peter

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

FASCINATING ARTICLE

Christianity Vanquished in Britain?
Ed Vitagliano
Agape Press


When Lord Bromley Betchworth returned to the United Kingdom (U.K.) after living in the U.S. for 12 years, he returned to a culture that had dramatically changed.

"I was shocked at how moral values had changed in such a short time and how church attendance in mainstream denominations was in free fall," he said. "Four out of five churches were either declining or simply static."

Betchworth wrote those words in the forward to a fascinating new report that seeks to explain the moral breakdown in a once vibrant Christian nation....

....In order to delve into these issues, the interdenominational Ecumenical Research Committee (ERC), convened in 2002, designed and executed a year-long survey of churchgoers "of every denomination and theological persuasion." More than 14,000 people responded to the questionnaire, which was designed with open-ended questions, instead of the more traditional "check box" format. This was done to allow respondents to elaborate on their feelings, rather than being steered to a limited number of options.

read it all here:

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Monday, July 18, 2005

SUNDAY SERMON COMMENT (7.17.05)

TEXT: Philippians 3:1-14


"Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ"

Anything that blocks us from knowing Christ -- or from being fully connected to him is a loss -- even if on the outside it looks like a gain.

Jeremiah 9:23ff -- there are three areas where we tend to boast/put our confidence in rather than in God -- wisdom, might, wealth.

Part of why we fall into the trap of putting out confidence in the flesh is that we forget that we are sinners and we forget grace.

Here are some questions:
What keeps me from counting all things loss compared to knowing Christ?
What things do I tend to "boast" in other than God?
How can the things of this life -- wisdom, might, wealth, etc. be a means of knowing God/Christ rather than a hindrance?

Other thoughts?

Looking forward to the comments.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

PAN AMERICAN ANGLICAN GATHERING

This is a good thing!
Peter+

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Anglican Pan American Conference Affirms Common Ministry

Biblically Orthodox Anglicans from the Americas and Caribbean meet to promote their common ministry in the Western Hemisphere

Nassau, Bahamas--(July 10, 2005)--The Pan American Conference of orthodox Communion-committed Anglicans met in Nassau, Bahamas, from July 6-8 under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. The meetings were chaired by Archbishop Drexel Gomez and Archbishop Gregory Venables.

The group met for prayer and bible study and to find ways to promote and support our unity and common ministry in the Western Hemisphere. Submitting to one another and to our Lord Jesus Christ, we were greatly blessed by our time together and by the relationships we have established and strengthened.

Those present have committed to furthering the common ministry of the Americas and the Caribbean and to assist the global Communion with finding solutions to the crisis currently afflicting the Anglican churches in the Western Hemisphere which hinders our gospel witness in this region. We look forward to building on the work of the Conference and working with our constituencies to strengthen our ties and promote our traditional Anglican heritage in submission to the Primates and the
Archbishop of Canterbury.

Given the enthusiasm for this preliminary meeting, we are confident of future participation from a broader representation of Communion-committed Anglicans in this hemisphere.

The conference was attended by representatives from the following biblically orthodox and Communion committed groups:

The Province of the West Indies
The Province of the Southern Cone
The Anglican Communion Network (ACN)
The Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC)
The American Anglican Council (AAC)
The Anglican Communion in Canada (ACiC)
The Anglican Communion in New Westminster (ACiNW)
Anglican Essentials Canada (AEC)
The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA)
The Anglican Province of America (APA)
Anglicans United (AU)
Christian Formation Ministries (CFM)
The Diocese of Recife
Forward in Faith America (FIFNA)
The Foundation for Christian Theology
The Reformed Episcopal Church (REC)
Sharing of Ministries Abroad (SOMA)
Ekklesia

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Monday, July 11, 2005

SUNDAY SERMON COMMENT (7.10.05)

Text: Philippians 2:19-30

In this text Paul commends Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Philippians. The key idea I brought out is that they were men who put the interests of Christ before there own interests. Timothy did this by being concerned for -- literally, carrying the weight of -- the Philippian community. Epaphroditus did it by risking his life for the kingdom of God. I argued that Epaphroditus was able to do this because he made dying to himself a pattern for his daily life.

The metaphor of a reference letter was used to illustrate what Paul was doing in commending Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Philippians. I tied this to our lives by arguing that we are each composing a reference letter -- with our lives -- that we will each present to the Lord when we stand before him. The goal is that each of our reference letters will state that we put the interests of Christ before our own interests.

I look forward to the discussion.
Peter+

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

INDIA UPDATE 7.10.05

Greetings in the name of OUR Lord Jesus Christ,

God is so very good to US, His children, this a universal statement,we are not the only "blessed" in the states, this is one of the many lessons that I thought I already knew…but I am learning in a whole new way here. I praise the Lord for all the lessons He has taught. But like any good student, some times our lessons are learned by default. It is difficult to come into a new setting and not have presuppositions about the culture. I have found myself stopping and thinking a lot about how I have treated people or how I would feel the need to be in control sometimes. The truth is people deserve so much better than the way I treat them, so in humility... I apologize.

The people here…yes in the villages they have an odor, no they do not own a tooth brush, yes they work 12 hour days for a couple of fish and a hand full of rice, yes they bath once a week maybe depending on the rain fall or the local pond. YES they have hearts like lions and faith that would make the mountains shake. I was in a village three days ago with men and women that were digging a ditch in 90 degrees, not with a back hoe or mechanized equipment, but with shovels and a pick ax. The women’s job was to carry the dirt off in a dish, one load at a time on their heads. The ditch was to be eight feet in width and two feet in depth. Why were they digging such a ditch? That is a good question. The ditch was to direct the water to the empty whole in the earth they dug the year before, which was about twenty feet deep and the size of an Olympic pool. Why would they dig a whole like this? Another great question. Almost three years ago the rain stopped, during the rainy season for the last two year s they have received none, but in faith last year they dug this whole,knowing that the Lord would provide rain, and nothing came. This year they dig a ditch to direct the rain to the whole, it has not rained yet,
but these people after almost a three year drought has increased their faith every year. Did you know that one cow in a village will support the whole family. Just a cow, the money they get paid for digging these wholes and ditches, after a 12 hour day, about 50 rupee, which is about $1.14 usd. Do they give up or even become depressed no they lift their hands and continue to praise the Lord. AMAZING!!! They are beloved children of OUR Lord Jesus Christ and they know He will provide, as do I.

I want to share one fishing story real quick, and this is not one of those exaggerated stories. I am half way there to being a certified Indian fisherman. Yesterday while eating lunch I saw some fishermen coming in after being out since 4:00am. They were in a home made fishing boat this thing was amazing. It was five coconut trees tied together, there oars were bamboo shoots split in half and in the middle of five guys on the boat was a small cast of fish. As I watched these men come closer I noticed the waves were much larger than the boat and was wondering how
they were going to get this boat to shore. Has they crashed over the first wave and it turned the boat sideways has they road it in, the second wave crashed over them, flipping them over the guys saw it coming and grabbed the fish. Three bailed and the other two lay on top of the fish. Once they surfaced the others grabbed the boat they all simultaneously flipped the boat upright. Turn the boat back into a straight position the next wave took the boat a shore. They saw me sitting there watching all of this and they were not going to have it. They called me to come and help, my doctor friend was like no that is a bad idea, but of course guess where I
was with in seconds. They started telling me what to do I was in the ocean up to my waste pushing, grunting do everything in my power to get this boat out of the water. Now this boat weighed 1,000 kg, which is over 2,000 lbs. They wanted to drag this thing about thirty yards it to shore up hill, I am not kidding. I have never seen team work like this before.

About thirty minutes later we had this boat on the rack. And they were counting their gain for the day. It was one of the most exciting things I have ever done. There are a lot of details left out but I can fill you in later.

Besides me playing in the ocean with the local fisherman, the Lord in moving in major ways in the villages. The Lord allowed me the honor of praying for healing in many people. There have been a few come to me and ask for prayer for healing or for others in their family. I praise the Lord for doing all the work and showing me how to pray for these people. I know the Lord is doing His will in their lives, if they walk away healed or in the process, I know the Lord is being glorified. I am in
KanyaKumari for 4 more days and then I will go back to Madurai to start my second practicum which will be in a clinical setting. I have been assigned to a couple of different positions, one will be in an in-patient ward, where I might stay over night a couple of nights. I really have no idea what to expect, but that would be the theme of this trip, "What next Lord". Yes…so keep on praying, and let us see what the Lord is to do next. You are all a very important part of this. The prayers that have been given have been received here, so thank you.

A fellow servant of the Lord Jesus Christ,
Luke

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Saturday, July 09, 2005

SUNDAY READINGS 7.10.05

The readings for this Sunday:

Isaiah 55:1-5
Psalm 65:1, 9-14
Philippians 2:19-25 (sermon text)
Matthew 13:1-9

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

SUNDAY SERMON COMMENT (7.3.05)

Text: Philippians 2:12-14

We looked at two main ideas.
1. 2:14-18: Paul was banking on the mission of God to move forward through the common life of the Philippian church. The themes that have already surfaced converge in this passage. A harmonious Christian community that is like a light shininig in the darkness. Community for the good of the world.
2. 2:12-13: This is what God is working in the Philippian church (and by implication all churches). Our job is to cooperate with what God is doing in humble dependence upon him. Personal, passionate devotion to Jesus Christ is the dynamo that enables the kind of community life Paul is envisioning for the Philippians/all churches.

I am looking forward to this weeks discussion.

Peter+

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Monday, July 04, 2005

MORE NEWS FROM INDIA

To the servants of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, Greetings.

The trip to Cape KanyaKumari was amazing, it was a four hour drive down and a six hour train ride back. In the traveling alone the Lord did great things. On the way to the cape we stopped by a small village where there was an orphange, supported by our ministry. We picked up an elder nun to take her to another orphange around 100 km away. At the pick up spot I was able to speak with a team of ministers that were in the process of planning for the upcoming school year. The enrollment of children was the lowest it had ever been and there are more children in the village than ever before. This is a problem. They decided they were going to go door to door and speak with the parents, explainng the opportunity their children have and what schooling will bring their family in the future. What boldness. The Lord allowed me the honor of praying over them and then praying over the key leaders again later. It was an emotional expereince for us all.

After leaving the school and heading to the orphanage with the elder nun, we were able to talk about her ministry. She has invited me to come and work with her orphanes, about 300 kids. She told me, we are going to do a puppet show together and she wants me to teach the children Western Worship songs (not country western). I beleave this was a divine appointment.

When I arrived at the cape, the team there asked if I would speak with some of the adults. The first village I visited did not have many deaths. But the deaths that did occur were of elderly people, their children were adults. The local counselor felt overwhelmed with the work load and asked me to talk with some of the families that were not recieving counsulation very well. (Okay timeout, this is my first time counseling anyone coping with this type of tragidy and they give me the ones that do not want to recieve counseling. Alright not that we are all caught up) Our Lord is great, it was nothing He could not handle. I spoke with three families
and they were all encouraged and asked if I would come again. I would like to share a specific situation with you. One of the people I met was Mr. Lawrence, he lost his wife and mother-in-law, he witnessed their deaths right in front of him. They were both sucked into the second wave, his wife washed ashore a couple days later, his mother-in-law never was found. Mr.Lawrence and his wife were involved in their church and would daily pray and read scripture. Since the crisis he has not prayed or read scripture (7 months have passes). As we spoke the Lord filled my mouth of
words to share with him, the tears began to pour and by the end of out time together he was broken in front of the Lord. He rededicated his life and promised to get involved in the church again, pray and read scripture.

I share this with you to brag on the Lord, He is doing great things here. There is revival in the hearts of the people, Praise you O' Lord.

Okay one last thing and then I got to go. The train ride back was an experience. WOW, talk about personal space, you had to check it at the door there was no such thing. Once you entered the train you became part of the train. People would use you as a seat, a prop, a table or even a pillow. Six hours on this train and when I got off there was not a try spot on me, it was a sauna.

Anyway, the Lord was on the train as well. The Lord placed me between a Christian and a Hindu. The Christian spoke little English, but the Hindu was a chatter box. He wanted to know everything about America. He asked me if I knew people he knew in Cali. all the way to N.Y.. Adventually he asked why I was there... and just like that there were thirty Indians listen to every word I said. The Lord once again filled my mouth with words that I would never of thought of. I shared three bible
stories and spoke of hte love that Jesus had for them all. Every ear was tuned into the next words the Lord would speak. It was so refreshing for these people to hear the Love of Jesus Christ, they did not know how to respond. But I know the Lord moved in the hearts of many on that train.

Think about it two years ago there was a conversion law, where if anyone was caught converted to Christianity they would be put in Prison. Now there are stories of Jesus and his Glory being told on trains. I cannot comprehend the abiblity of God, but I ask that we all pray it continues. I proclaim this in the name above all other names, Jesus Christ our risen Lord.

James 5:19,20
Luke

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