In The News


The Diocese of Fort Worth Gets its Churches Back: Six churches have been returned to the traditionalist Diocese of Fort following a ruling by the Tarrant County trial court in April. The buildings had been occupied by Episcopalians who broke from the Diocese of Fort Worth after it left the Episcopal Church (TEC) in 2009.

The churches are: St. Luke’s in the Meadows, All Saints, St. Christopher’s, and St. Elizabeth & Christ the King in the Fort Worth area, and St. Stephen’s, Wichita Falls and St. Mary’s, Hillsboro.

The recent ruling follows on from the Texas Supreme Court’s decision in favor of the traditionalist diocese last May. This recognized the Diocese of Fort Worth as the owner of its property and assets as opposed to the Episcopal Church. A further hearing to decide ownership of contested bank accounts is expected this summer.

Church in Wales Declares Climate Emergency: Leaders of the Church in Wales declared a state of climate emergency at a meeting of the Church’s governing body in April. They also voted for the Church to achieve “net zero carbon emissions” by 2030. According to the Church’s environmental group, CHASE (Church Action for Sustaining the Environment):

“We acknowledge that that an urgent and rapid global response to global warming is now necessary. We welcome the fact that solutions to alleviate the climate crisis are widely available including renewable technology, sustainable transport options and zero-carbon buildings. We support the decisions of governments, councils and organisations across Wales to pass motions declaring a climate emergency and setting net zero carbon emissions targets for their local areas. We should endeavour, through an action plan, to reach a net zero carbon emission position for the activities of the Church in Wales as soon as is practically possible.”

The average human exhales about 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide on an average day. How the Church in Wales intends to reduce this to zero remains to be seen.

Polish Pastor Harassed: Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski, in Calgary, Alberta, was furious when a Canadian health inspector and police interrupted his services on Easter day and later in April. In video footage, Pawlowski accused the officials and their police escort of being “Nazi Gestapo” and “Communist”: 

“I do not cooperate with Gestapo, I do not talk to the Nazis. You came in your uniforms like thugs. That’s what you are. Brownshirts of Adolf Hitler. You are Nazi Gestapo, Communist, Fascists. I do not cooperate with Nazis. Talk to my lawyer. You are not allowed here, you are not welcomed here, and I’m not going to cooperate with Gestapo like you, okay? So is that fair enough for you?”

The pastor’s forceful language caused the inspector to leave along with police. Pawlowski explained:

“They could come any day of the week. No, they want to do it during the church service because they have a purpose, they have an agenda. If you’re not seeing it then you’re plain either stupid, blind, and deaf. Either you’re going to keep pushing as hard as you can or you’ll be swallowed by those people. They’re going to keep coming, keep taking your rights, one after another. Destroying you by thousands of cuts. One cut at a time.” 

Pawlowski was arrested in May for refusing to stop church services. Pray for him.

Alberta Church Fenced Off: GraceLife Church in Parkland County, Alberta, was fenced off by order of the Alberta Health Service (AHS) after holding two large services on Easter weekend.

The church’s shuttering came after it held two packed services over Easter weekend, in violation of a closure order issued in January for previously flouting COVID-19 restrictions. Pastor James Coates, who has led several services in recent months, was ticketed in December and then jailed in February for 35 days after refusing to follow court orders.

According to the province’s website, “Faith services are limited to 15% of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance: Physical distancing between households must be maintained. Mask use is mandatory.” Singing is allowed as long as singers wear masks, but meeting for worship in homes is forbidden.

Nuns Join ACNA: The American Sisters of the Community of St. Mary, Eastern Province, voted to leave the Episcopal Church in April, and entering the Diocese of the Living Word in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) under Bishop Julian Dobbs.

The Community of St. Mary is the oldest Religious Order in America in the Anglican tradition. Founded in New York City in 1865, the Sisters of St. Mary sought to live a full monastic life while ministering to poor and elite alike. 

The Sisters of the Eastern Province include a thriving daughter foundation in Malawi, Africa, which is growing rapidly in the Diocese of Northern Malawi. 

Forward in Christ congratulates the sisters on their move and urges your prayers for this faithful community of religious.

Copt Executed by Islamic State: A 62 year old Coptic Christian, Nabil Salama, was executed by Islamic State terrorists on April 18 in Egypt’s Sinai desert.

Salama was abducted in Bir Al-Abed town last November. He was murdered by the Jihadists after his family refused to pay a 5 million Egyptian Pounds ransom (approximately $300,000). Mr Salama’s son Peter told the Egyptian newspaper, Watani: “My father was tortured by the terrorist group because his teeth appeared broken.” 

Forward in Christ

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