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The latest news about Resurrection - are we leaving the Episcopal Church? [many links]
Church of the Resurrection, Chicago ^ | 2/11/2007

Posted on 02/11/2007 8:01:40 AM PST by sionnsar

From Pastor George: Before you delve into all of this news, and these resources and links, we'd like you to know that God has given us enormous peace about this crisis - He will use it, like all things, for good. At Resurrection we now are focused on growth: in our lived-out faith, and in our numbers, both as led by the Spirit. A New Resurrection is emerging, like a butterfly from a cocoon, like children growing into adults, and we must focus on what God is doing in our midst, and through us for our surrounding community. THAT is where our attention is now turned. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

A vital part of this will be Resurrection remaining a part of the Anglican Communion, which is a vibrant and faithful worldwide church.

The Episcopal Church believes that it is doing "a new thing" led by the Holy Spirit, and that it is being prophetic in the decisions which it made in 2003 and 2006 at its General Conventions. We respectfully disagree, and believe that this new path that it is taking is incompatible with scripture and the long tradition of the church, and so we cannot go with it on this journey.

This looks like Resurrection is leaving the Episcopal Church, but that is the same kind of illusion experienced while sitting on a stationary train as another pulls away. It feels like you're moving, but you aren't. We believe that we are being true to the core beliefs of the Anglican Communion, and that the Episcopal Church has departed from them. It is leaving. We are not.

Therefore, in conscience, on December 12, 2006, the Vestry of Resurrection voted to begin negotiations with the Diocese of Chicago to disassociate from the Episcopal Church and seek other Anglican oversight. It is a difficult and agonizing decision, but we believe it is right and necessary.

June 2006: To read the background of what made it necessary, click here:

The Future of the Episcopal Church following General Convention 2006.

December 17, 2006: A letter was sent to the Bishop of Chicago and the Standing Committee (the Vestry of the Diocese) asking to be allowed to present proposals to them on how to separate in a grace-filled manner. Their response will then be submitted to the congregation for a vote. The text of that letter can be found by clicking here.]

December 26, 2006: Following the letter to the Bishop, Pastor George talked to him again, and he asked that we put our full request in writing for his review. That request can be read

by clicking here. The full request has also been sent by the Bishop to the six members of the Standing Committee.

For what it is worth, discussions on this topic of separation between the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, and the impact on Resurrection, have been underway between us and the Bishop since 2003, though we struggled to avoid the need by working within, praying and calling the Episcopal Church not to walk apart. When the Episcopal Church made clear its intention to do so in June of 2006, this was followed by a quiet but serious meeting with the Bishop in September of 2006, and then the formal letter of December 17, noted above.

January 17, 2007: The Bishop and Standing Committee responded in a letter dated January 17. Their letter can be read by clicking here. The tone of their reply is gracious and hopeful. The Bishop also called to let us know this letter was on its way, and his tone also was gracious. In this letter, they asked if they could come to Resurrection and worship and meet with us. Our positive reply, suggesting a date, is here.

February 1, 2007: The Standing Committee and Bishop Persell came to Resurrection for worship and a meeting with us. Following this, we sent a letter to them summarizing our meeting. This is an important letter, because it sets forth a different approach to this whole crisis than we have seen in most places.

It can be read here. In it we said, among other things, "We believe the best outcome would be a mutually kind settlement, that what we agree to in this way in Chicago could be a model of how Christians treat each other even in deep disagreement, and that this could stand as an alternative to the fury which seems to have engulfed the church elsewhere." Please do read the entire text.

February 4, 2007: Pastor George's Sunday morning sermon is a complete summary of the Standing Committee meeting, and a key to the scriptures that MUST inform our actions and decision-making. We really want every single member of Resurrection to have heard this vital presentation.

Click here to listen to it. About 26 minutes.

The Standing Committee meets next on February 10. We hope to have a definitive reply from this meeting. Please keep the Standing Committee, Bishop Persell, and Resurrection in your prayers!

We will keep you posted as these important events progress.

-Pastor George



Note that the presence here of any specific document does not indicate either endorsement or rejection by Church of the Resurrection. These are here for reference.

Resurrection's own resources for the crisis:

Where do we stand on gay clergy? A brief statement of Resurrection's position in this debate. By the way, though gay clergy and same sex marriages seem to be the focus of most of the media attention, we see them only as symptoms of a mistaken understanding of scripture, and the departure from the normative understandings of the church throughout history.

For a fuller statement, read Sex Overtakes the Church (Where Resurrection stands: a careful look at Gay bishops, sexual variety, scripture and related controversy.  Long and thorough, with links.)

The Future of the Episcopal Church following General Convention 2006. Also cited above.

Pastor George's Talk to the Convention of the Diocese of Chicago on November 11, 2005 (about 17 minutes)

Pastor George's report to Resurrection on the results of the Convention: Will There Be a Split in the Anglican Communion? (about 37 minutes)

The Windsor Task Force Summary Report is here. A PDF version is here. A Word version is here. This is the report from the Task Force that Pastor George talks about in 1. and 2.  He and Rev Sam Portaro were the co-chairs of the Task Force. Catharine Phillips was the Chaplain.)

The actual Windsor Report is here.

How to think through issues of communion and doctrine, using biblical principles - a resource for individuals and congregations from Pastor George.


News for Around the Globe:

Other parishes leaving the Episcopal Church

The most recent news is that the Diocese of Virginia, with an intervention from the national Episcopal Church, has ceased negotiations with parishes wishing to leave the Episcopal Church, and apparently will see them in court.

Read about it here. Or just do an internet news search (Google News, for instance) with the key words "Anglican" and "Episcopal."

All Saints Church in Dale City, Virginia

Falls Church and Truro Church in Virginia also

here from the Living Church

Two in Olympia, Washington, part in agreement between congregations and diocese


Websites and blogs for following what is happening in the Anglican Communion: 


Stand Firm in Faith: 

Anglican Communion Network:  (Resurrection is a member) 

American Anglican Council: (Pastor George is a founder, Resurrection was one of the first member parishes) 

American Anglican Council Blog: 



Original Materials (2005 and older) Behind the Separation that Is Underway:

House of Bishops adopts 'Covenant Statement' in response to the Statement from the Primates (just below).

Statement from the Primates (regional leaders) of the Anglican Communion, in response to the Windsor Report, published at the end of their meeting in February, 2005.

Main Anglican Communion website, with news.

Link to the Windsor Report from the Lambeth Commission on the crisis in the Anglican Communion. Interview with N. T. Wright, one of the authors. Very worthwhile reading.


More information, history, news:

The basics of Anglicanism:

    What it means to be an Anglican
    The Archbishop of Canterbury (the head of the Communion)
    Instruments of Unity (what holds the Communion together?)
    The Churches around the world that belong to the Anglican Communion
    The Membership numbers of those churches (pretty surprising!)

The Crisis background: for some years now the US and Canadian churches in the Anglican Communion have been working to include individuals who consider themselves homosexual into the life of the church as both members and ordained clergy. While most of the Anglican Communion churches would agree about membership, they would consider any sexual intercourse outside of marriage

between a man and a woman to be sinful and contrary to the teaching of scripture. As the wider Communion has watched the United States and Canada advance to the approval of intercourse between same-sex individuals, it has warned these churches that to do so goes against the plain sense of scripture, and threatens the unity of the whole Communion. These following documents spell out the warnings, and also the response of the Presiding Bishop of the United States, others who favored these changes, and the Bishops of Chicago:

The 1997 Kuala Lampur and Dallas Statements of Bishops and Anglican Primates
The Resolution of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting in Lambeth in 1998
The Archbishop's warning to the Episcopal Church
Letter from President of Integrity (Pro-gay advocacy group within the Episcopal Church)
Statement in favor of same sex blessings by Bishop Swing of San Francisco
Biography of Gene Robinson
The Approval of the election of Gene Robinson by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, August 2003
Statement about this by the Assistant Bishop of Chicago

Robinson and Same Sex Blessings approved

This last action caused the Archbishop of Canterbury to call an emergency meeting of the Primates, including Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, in October of 2003. They issued a unanimous resolution:  Primates statement  This emergency meeting was called because of Canon Robinson's election as bishop of New Hampshire, and General Convention's approval of it, and of same-sex blessings. Our Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, was one of those present and signed the document. The other primates believed that he promised not to go ahead with the consecration of Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire, and saw his agreement and signature as that promise. They felt betrayed when he returned to the US and immediately proceeded with the consecration:

Frank Griswold's interpretation of the Primates Statement

The Primates statement was followed up by the Archbishop:
Creation of the Lambeth Commission to deal with this crisis

Some of the work they have done thus far

The report from this commission was released in October, 2004, and is now know as Windsor Report.

An careful analysis of this by David Roseberry is here, and we commend it for your study.

A number of reform movements have arisen within and outside of the Episcopal Church over many years, some more recently in response to this and related issues. Here is a short review of some of them:

Reform Groups

Most recently a number of congregations and individuals have left the Episcopal Church and become part of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA). It was begun when some overseas bishops and a couple of retired American bishops, consecrated "missionary bishops" and sent them to the United States. They then started the Anglican Mission in America. Here is information on it:

Singapore Consecrations

Frank Griswold's reaction to these consecrations

Anglican Mission in America

Within the Episcopal Church, the leading reform group for the last several years is the American Anglican Council. Resurrection was one of the first members and Pastor George was one of the founders.

American Anglican Council

There has also been a push by many people to get alternative bishops for orthodox parishes in liberal dioceses (called variously Alternative Episcopal Oversight, Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight, Flying Bishops, etc.)  Here's what the AAC says about it:

Other bishops with oversight

Here's what our bishop (Persell) says about it:

A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy

A new organization is being formed of congregations and clergy who desire common cause with orthodox churches and clergy in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion. This is an offshoot of the AAC, which some hope will become either a second Province of the Anglican Church within North America, or which would replace the Episcopal Church as the representative of the Anglican Communion, IF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH LEAVES or IS EXCLUDED FROM THE COMMUNION. This new organization is here:

Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes

Some congregations have decided that they can no longer be under the oversight of a bishops who approves of same sex blessings or gay ordinations, nor under an alternative bishop which such a bishop might delegate, and want a change now. Here's an example of three such congregations in the Diocese of Los Angeles:

Churches Leaving ECUSA (the Episcopal Church)

Statement of the Archbishop of Uganda accepting them

Statement by Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop, about these leavings

Latest Statement about Lambeth Commission from Bp Griswold to other bishops.

Statement from Archbishop of Uganda rejecting ECUSA funds.

A that's a summary of where we are. Please pray.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
[Folks, in response to FReeper Ray'sBeth posting on another thread yesterday: --sionnsar]

Well, now it's out in the open. This is our church. You can read much more on our website--

Please pray for us. This is a time of grief, not celebration. We want a grace-filled leaving.

The letters sent to the Bishop and the Standing Committee are also posted on the website and bear reading. I'd be glad to dialogue with anyone on this.

1 posted on 02/11/2007 8:01:47 AM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Way4Him; Peach; Zippo44; piperpilot; ex-Texan; ableLight; rogue yam; neodad; Tribemike; ..
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:
More Anglican articles here.

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 02/11/2007 8:04:38 AM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar


3 posted on 02/11/2007 8:04:50 AM PST by PatrickF4 (Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. - JP II)
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To: sionnsar

Good move.

4 posted on 02/11/2007 9:05:25 AM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: sionnsar

"The Basics of Anglicanism" links give "This document does not exist on this server."

5 posted on 02/11/2007 1:36:59 PM PST by RonF
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To: sionnsar

So do a lot of the others.

6 posted on 02/11/2007 1:38:00 PM PST by RonF
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To: RonF

Ron, these are links from our website. Please go to the original link--

7 posted on 02/11/2007 3:17:19 PM PST by Ray'sBeth
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To: RonF
Many times sites give "local" links, as Ray'sBeth notes.

You might also look at An Anglican Bookshelf and check the site in tag line for other materials.

8 posted on 02/11/2007 4:30:23 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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