Friday, June 18, 2010

A Neo-Anglican Take on Eastern Orthodoxy

'With their insufficient view of the extent and effect of the fall on human nature and their resulting soteriological deficiencies, I am not at all interested in a rapprochement with the Orthodox (especially after Metropolitan Jonah's characterization of Calvinism as heresy at last year's synod).'

A quote from the website Stand Firm regarding the recent decision of the Anglican Church in North America to eliminate the use of the controverted filioque clause when occasion should arise for the ACNA and Eastern Orthodox to worship together - Metropolitan Jonah rightly and correctly rejected Calvinism as 'a condemned heresy' in his remarks to the ACNA meeting in Bedford, Texas held in 2009.

Traditional Anglo-Catholics, who affirm the orthodox soteriology of the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Fathers of the Church and the Ecumenical Councils in opposition to Calvinist error, would beg His Beatitude, and the Orthodox Church in America, to turn their gaze towards us in the Continuing Church for the purpose of establishing a viable dialogue with those Anglicans who share essential dogmatic agreement with the Eastern Orthodox in this matter and who heartily and genuinely desire rapprochement with the Orthodox Church.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Examining Chaplains Report at Synod 2010

When you see the Lord offered and lying upon the altar, and the priest bent over that sacrifice praying, and all the people empurpled by that precious blood, can you think that you are still among men on earth? Or are you not lifted up to heaven? When you see a priest offering the sacrifice, do not think of it as if it were he that is doing this; it is the hand of Christ invisibly stretched forth. For the priestly office is indeed discharged on earth, but it ranks amongst heavenly ordinances; and very naturally so: for neither man, nor angel, nor archangel, nor any other created power, but the Paraclete Himself, instituted this vocation, and persuaded men while still abiding in the flesh to represent the ministry of angels. Wherefore the consecrated priest ought to be as pure as if he were standing in the heavens themselves in the midst of those powers.

Immortal words from Saint John Chrysostom, the Golden-Mouthed Hierarch, regarding the responsibility of the Board of Examining Chaplains, the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. With these awe-inspiring words in mind, it continues to be my greatest privilege to serve as Chairman of the Board and to present once again this year this report to the Diocesan Synod. I am profoundly grateful to the Bishop for the confidence and trust he has continually placed in me by assigning me to this task, and I pray that I have in the past year discharged this humbling charge with fidelity and enthusiasm.

At this time, I wish to thank the other Examining Chaplains of the Diocese, who sacrifice much of their personal time and effort in the essential work of this unparalleled body. Working with them is the highest privilege one could have in the Church, and I remain in awe of their wisdom and their commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have these Reverend Fathers to thank for the superlative standards now in place in our Diocese for the formation of Priests, Deacons and Deaconesses for the twenty-first century. I have never seen a more splendid group of dedicated and hard-working priests: Father David Eastes of Saint Alban’s Cathedral; Dean Douglas King of Saint Paul’s Church, Melbourne, Florida; Father Michael Ward of Saint Mark’s Church, Vero Beach, Florida; and Father Raymond Unterburger of Saint Alban’s Church, Joppa, Maryland. Additionally, we are grateful for Deaconess Tina Jenkins, who assists us in Deaconess formation. It continues to be a joyful blessing for all the Examining Chaplains to serve the Church and Diocese in this ministry, and we again thank the Bishop for our appointment. We pray fervently for Dean Douglas King, who has recently been diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Please continue to keep Father Douglas in your prayers and intercessions.

Since last Synod, one man was ordered to the Sacred Order of Deacons, and one man received conditional ordination to the Diaconate and to the Sacred Order of Priests.

The following men are now Priests of the Diocese: Father David F. Coady received ordination sub conditione to the Diaconate and Priesthood. Father John M. Gibson of Vaughn, Mississippi and Father James Murphy of Christ Church, Cashiers, North Carolina, were canonically received into the Diocese and Province under Canon 10. Father Nicholas Henderson will be canonically restored to our Diocese and Province in future.

Father Paul Rivard of Saint Barnabas Church, Dunwoody, Georgia is now a Deacon in the Church of God. Father Jacob Boyd Baker of Saint Alban’s Cathedral was canonically received into the Diocese and Province under Canon 10 as a Deacon.

Currently and resplendently, there are 17 persons enrolled in the diocesan ministry process, from two in the beginning application mode to others who fall into different stages on the way to approval for Orders. We should be utterly grateful to God for the unabated increase of vocations in our Diocese. Let us continue to pray for a rich harvest of vocations to the Sacred Ministry of the Holy Catholic Church and let us beseech the Lord for truly holy, good and godly Priests and Deacons.

In 2007 we received approval from the Bishop and Diocesan Standing Committee to expand over time the current technology at our disposal for the creation of the Diocese of the Eastern United States House of Theological Studies. This virtual seminary now serves as a training institute for the Diocese in which the training process for ordinands is formalised according to our own standards. A legal corporation was created for the structure and organisation of the House; Dean Douglas King serves as administrator/president of the corporation. We are in the process of formally producing another six courses, Canon Law, Dogmatic Theology, Liturgics, Ascetical Theology, Moral Theology and Anglican Church History which we wish to make available on Webex and in print for the seminarians and clergy of the Diocese. Each course is 12 or 13 hours each, and will ultimately together provide a minimum of 84 class hours of Anglican formation for the student. We have assigned instructors for each course: the content, policies, teachers and texts for the courses and the House in general are determined by the consensus of the Examining Chaplains, which serves to supervise all aspects of the House under the authority of the Bishop. The House was inaugurated in the autumn of 2009 with our first course in Sacramental Theology, which was successfully completed in January 2010. Six students joined Father Douglas and me for the course, for which I was delighted to serve as instructor. The Diocesan House of Theological Studies is now a reality.

At the Spring 2009 Meeting of the Board of Examining Chaplains, it was decided by consensus that in future, beginning as soon as the DEUS-HTS is fully operational and all foundational courses are in place, all seminarians of the Diocese who offer themselves for priestly ordination will be required to receive one academic year of courses and formation through the Diocesan House of Theological Studies in order that they may be provided orthodox Anglican training in the essentials areas which are rarely afforded in conventional seminaries. Seminarians will be permitted to enter a two-year master’s level theological degree programme, which then must be complemented and fulfilled by the year of Anglican formation through our own House of Studies. Seminarians are still permitted to enter the three-year Master of Divinity degree programme in a conventional seminary, but will also be required the year of Anglican formation before canonical examination.

Also in 2007, we received approval for the official sponsorship of an Annual Seminarians' Support Sunday for the entire Diocese and designated for it the Second Sunday in Advent, Bible Sunday, a most appropriate time of the year to solicit financial support for our men and women. Monies collected that day are sent from all parishes and missions to the Diocesan Treasurer for the Diocesan Seminarian Fund. As a result of your generosity and contributions, the total Diocesan Fund has reached $18,651. The Brian Carlsson Memorial Fund for Seminarians has reached $2,292.

Over the past year, the Examining Chaplains have enjoyed the opportunity of working with a number of men and women in varying stages of formation. Michael Cawthon of Saint Michael the Archangel Church, Charlotte, North Carolina continues the Reformed Theological Seminary virtual campus Master of Arts in Religion programme. Matthew Harlow of Saint Michael the Archangel Church, Charlotte, North Carolina attends the Reformed Theological Seminary virtual campus. Richard Hitchcock of Saint Barnabas Church, Dunwoody, Georgia continues his formation programme for the permanent Diaconate. Jewel Kennington of Saint Barnabas Dunwoody continues her preparation for the Deaconess ministry. Linda Moritz of Saint Mary’s Church, Delray Beach, Florida has reactivated her status as a candidate for the Deaconess ministry. Arthur Walker of Saint Michael the Archangel Church, Charlotte, North Carolina is enrolled in the Master of Arts in Theology track through the Distance Learning programme of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

Allen Bailey of Saint Francis’ Church, Kissimmee, Florida, Robert Shoup of the Appalachian Deanery and Bartol Stone of Saint Alban’s Cathedral are now engaged in the discernment process of the Diocese.

At our official Synod meeting held Monday 7th June and Tuesday 8th June here in Orlando, Florida, we recommended, upon canonical examination, Father Donald Sackett of Saint Matthew’s Church, Weaverville, North Carolina for ordination to the Sacred Priesthood; we recommended Scott Koszalinski of Saint Mary the Virgin Church, Delray Beach, Florida, for Postulancy for Holy Orders; and we enjoyed a pastoral update conference with Father Paul Rivard, who will be priested, Deo volente, at Saint Barnabas Church, Dunwoody, Georgia on 3rd July.

All Rectors and Vicars are reminded that they should have on file copies of the Diocesan Application for Ministry with its cover pages which provide the sequence of procedures for those contemplating a vocation to Holy Orders in this Church. These materials are available for you in an electronic format.

On a personal note, please remember that all members of the Diocese and Province, clergy and lay, are most welcome to contact me at any time regarding any questions or comments concerning the Board of Examining Chaplains and our work. I am at your perpetual disposal to provide whatever you may need from the Board for the formation and training of our future clergy. ‘Chad Jones University’ is always open for you!

Dear Bishop Grundorf, thank you for your loving and ongoing support of our work, and thank you, beloved members of the Synod, for your time and kind attention.

God bless you!

Respectfully submitted:

The Reverend Canon Chandler Holder Jones, SSC, Chairman

Female 'Deacons' for Nigeria?

It appears that the new Archbishop of Nigeria, His Grace Nicholas Oko, has proposed the introduction of the purported ordination of women to the Diaconate for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). Heretofore, the Nigerian Church has been entirely orthodox in the maintenance of the male character of all three Sacred Orders of the Apostolic Ministry, on the basis of which the Anglican Province of America has enjoyed a 'covenant union' with the said Nigerian Church. One only need observe the history of the Church in the United States to know that the introduction of the purported female Diaconate from 1970 to 1973 astonishingly accelerated the 'slippery slope' of error which led to ultimate collapse of orthodoxy in The Episcopal Church. Let us pray that the Nigerian Church will not choose this domino effect, but will remain steadfast in Apostolic Order.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Election to the Sacred Episcopate of Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

With praise to Almighty God and thanks to His people in the Holy Catholic Church in the Diocese of the Eastern United States of the Anglican Province of America, and depending entirely upon the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am humbled and overwhelmed to announce my election to the Sacred Order of Bishops, to serve as Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese. Of your Christian charity, I beg your prayers for my family and me. Lord, have mercy. God bless you all!

May Jesus Christ be praised - and may all be to His glory and honour.

Friday, June 04, 2010

DEUS Synod 2010

Of your Christian charity, please pray for the gathering of the annual Synod of the Diocese of the Eastern United States of the Anglican Province of America, to be held from Wednesday 9th June to Friday 11th June in Oviedo, Florida. Please especially pray for our Diocesan family as it elects our new Bishop Suffragan.

Thank you and God bless you!

Chad+

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