Saturday, September 26, 2015

ACNA Archbishop and The Russian Orthodox Church


I have desired to see a restoration of Christian fellowship between the separated portions of Apostolic Christianity. It would be a great benefit to Christ and the extension of Christ's Kingdom if the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Western ones, the Latin and the Anglican, could cease their warfare and work harmoniously together. Nor should we of the Anglican Communion withhold our sympathy from those sectarian bodies that have gone out from us, but pray that the breaches may be healed.”

Charles Chapman Grafton, the second bishop of the (ECUSA now TEC) Diocese of Fond du Lac (Wisconsin), made this statement in 1903.

The Most Reverend Foley Beach, the senior bishop or primate of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), has become a world traveler since his election to that office in 2014. His Christian witness no doubt is his strategic driver but building relationships undergirds his tactics. One of those relationships under construction is his highly visible engagement with the Russian Orthodox Church. Does this budding relationship matter in the grand scheme of things?

Adherents of biblical orthodoxy whether Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican or Protestant, should want to work together to be seen by the world (secular and religious) in a shared Christian witness. In this regard relationship talks with the Russian Orthodox Church are not a waste of time, though perhaps ecclesial relationship discussions run secondary to initial or primary and personal witness to Christ. Leaders of the Church Militant should never shy from efforts at church unity. Talks with the Russian Church, however, are not new.

Before there was an ACNA, Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh (who would become the first Archbishop of the ACNA province) wrote to the Moscow-based Russian Church Metropolitan Kirill in 2006 in response to an initiative by the Metropolitan. At that time other leaders within Episcopal Church dioceses sought alternative provincial oversight (APO) outside the Episcopal Church. In retrospect some will say that this was the beginning of the Anglican Realignment.

The 2003 consecration of the bishop of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church, an avowed and active homosexual man, created problems for orthodox Episcopalians. That 2003 event prompted APO discussions not only with the Russian Church but with Anglican provinces in South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The point noted here is that historically Russian Church leaders have always been willing to talk substantively with orthodox American Anglicans.

In 1867 the Russian government sold Alaska to the United States of America. As a result most residents of Alaska returned to Russia. Those who remained were approximately 12,000 Russian Orthodox Christians in nine parishes. As a missionary diocese of the Russian Church, its headquarters or episcopal seat eventually was moved from Alaska to San Francisco.

In 1898 a young, 33 year old bishop named Tikhon Bellavin, arrived from Moscow. Tikhon had the vision to expand the Russian missionary diocese into an American Church and he formed new dioceses not only of Russian ethnicity, but Arab, Serbian, Greek and Romanian. Shortly after Tikhon’s arrival in America be was befriended by Charles Chapman Grafton, the Episcopal Church bishop of Fond du Lac.

When the Diocese of Fond du Lac elected its bishop coadjutor in 1900, Grafton invited not only the Russian bishop of Alaska and America, but a bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church to participate in the service of consecration. After the service a picture was taken of all the bishops attending the consecration. The gathering depicts American Episcopal bishops donning copes and mitres, a high church or Anglo-Catholic image highly irregular to most low-church Episcopalians. The picture so appalled evangelical Episcopalians it was subsequently referred to as the “Fond du Lac Circus.” The reaction to the picture is interesting, but not the point.

The point is that Episcopal Bishop Grafton and Russian Orthodox Bishop Tikhon were engaged in and worked together on visible Christian unity. Dialogues between the two churches took hold over the next century but came to a sudden halt in 2003 when the Russian Orthodox Church withdrew from their official dialogue with the Episcopal Church.

Given the long-term willingness of the Russian Orthodox Church to remain in dialogue with Anglicans in North America – orthodox Anglicans in particular – it is evident that Archbishop Foley Beach will continue with a Russian-North American dialogue.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Feed Me Till I Want No More

Feed Me Till I Want No More

Solomon’s words in Scripture
Are strong and powerful in truth.
Sometimes reading it seems like a routine fixture
Until its content unfolds in sleuth.

Proclaiming a wife more precious than jewels
The reader John was a head-turner,
When his sacred reading schooled
His head into his heart, impassioned as a fiery burner.

Many times Scripture infects with stealth,
When unsuspecting readers have no clue
That an approaching truth in spiritual health
Assumes control of what we do.

Praise the Lord for the WORD,
Praise the Lord for His Scriptural readers!
Lord, may your Book never be blurred,
And for our hearts, always be our feeder.

Cwm Rhondda

Monday, September 21, 2015

Early look at a possible DEMOCRATIC PARTY ticket, cabinet & agency heads

A Possible Democratic Ticket
Bernie Sanders – President
George Clooney – Vice President

Hillary – Secretary of State
Obama, B. – Secretary of Defense
Pelosi, N. – Homeland Security
Kagan, E. – Attorney General
Richards, Cecile – Health & Human Services

Geitner, T. – Treasury
Emanuel, R. – Labor
Warren, Eliz. – Interior
Reid, H. – Veterans Administration
Holder, E. – Housing & Urban Development

Durbin, D. – Transportation
Frank, B. – I R S
Axelrod, D. – Education
Stewart, Jon – Justice

Agencies, Bureaus, and newly-created Commissions
Gore, A. – Environmental Protection Agency
Carter, J. - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

Winfrey, O. – Political Correctness Enforcement Commission
Huffington, A. – Progressive Agenda Enforcement Commission
Baquet, D.– Conservative Media Suppression (an FCC unit)
Rice, S. – Women’s Affairs (a Labor Department commission)

Sotomeyer, S. – Minority Affairs (a Labor Department commission

Early Look at a Possible REPUBLICAN PARTY ticket with Cabinet

A Possible Republican Party Ticket
Donald Trump – President
Marco Rubio – Chief of Staff

Carly Fiorina – Vice President
Meg Whitman – Chief of Staff

Bush – Secretary of State
Graham – Defense
Perry – Homeland Security
Christie – Attorney General
Carson – Health & Human Services
Kasich – Treasury
Jindal – Labor
Pataki – Interior
Huckabee – Veterans Administration
Paul – Housing and Urban Development
Santorum – Transportation

I R S – abolished

Education - abolished

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Pathways to Union with Jesus, a new book

Pre-announcement for new book release from Archdeacon Books
Pathways to Union with Jesus
William Wilson, an assisting bishop in the Anglican Diocese of the South of the Anglican Church in North America, has written this book about our day-to-day spiritual life and its necessary disciplines.

The book details practical exercises that believers should use and how “not to overdo it.”
Release date is the first week in November, 2015

An excerpt
With regard to gifts of ministry, the rule for discernment is simple: Listen to the church. Ministry gifts are powers to serve the community of faith given by the Spirit to the individual to build up the church. These gifts will be recognized and encouraged by the church. The church will tell you if you have the gift of teaching, or song, or administration, or liturgical leadership, or spiritual counseling, or healing prayer, etc. There is no need to trumpet your gifts of ministry. The gifts the Spirit gives speak for themselves.

Even if – as sometimes happens – the church fails to recognize and utilize your gifts of ministry, do not become resentful. Accept the humiliation. So doing you will advance in likeness to Christ, whose gifts of ministry the leaders of His people did not recognize. God will open other doors of ministry for you when your church group fails to receive your gifts.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

New Books Preliminary Announcement

The publishing imprint of Woody Norman LLC, Archdeacon Books, will publish two new books in early November, 2015.

KAIROS PRISON MINISTRY is authored by Ken Dawson. Serving in prison ministry for more than twenty-five years, Dawson writes about his ministry and relationships with prison inmates. He also writes about how Kairos Ministry works and its history. A memoir, the book chronicles his own life and the life and death struggle of his youngest son.

THE EVOLUTION OF DECISION MAKING is a book by Jacques L. Austin. A Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, and a Nationally Certified Counselor, Austin is a therapist, speaker and author. Mr. Austin has extensive experience in working with the 6A (Addicted, Adjudicated, Angry, Abusive, Adult and Adolescent) population. He has been lauded for his ability to connect with people offering a perspective for change that is relational and realistic.

Both books will be available for purchase online beginning November 2, 2015 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.