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Upholding the Faith and Order of the Church
Thursday August 24th 2017

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CofE rejects Bishops’ Report: The Church of England’s General Synod has rejected a report by the Church’s bishops which restated the Christian belief that marriage was between a man and a woman.

The report failed to gain approval in all three Houses of the General Synod, losing in the House of Clergy with 93 voting in favor and 100 against. The report was approved by the House of Bishops and the House of Laity and is now barred from being discussed until the end of the current Synod in 2020.

Following the vote in General Synod, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued a statement urging “radical inclusion.”

“To deal with that disagreement and to find ways forward,” stated the Archbishops, “we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church.”

GAFCON UK has condemned the Archiepiscopal recommendation, claiming that the language of “radical inclusion” will encourage further violations of the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality and that “Orthodox Anglicans across the country will be increasingly dismayed and confused by this.”

Bishop of Sheffield: The traditionalist Forward in Faith, Anglo-Catholic Suffragan Bishop of Burnley, The Rt. Rev. Philip North, has declined his call to become Bishop of Sheffield.

North’s decision followed outspoken criticism of his appointment by supporters of the ordination of women. It was claimed that North, who believes in an all male priesthood, would not be able to minister to the women priests in the Diocese of Sheffield.

Bishop North’s decision and the circumstances that led to it, have called the Church of England’s ability to respect the ministry of those who do not support the ordination of women into question.

ACNA Meets With PNCC: Representatives of the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) met for the Tenth Ecumenical Dialogue Meeting at St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas, on February 15-16, 2017.

Bishop Paul Sobiechowski, Bishop John Mack, Father Senior Robert Nemkovich, Father Senior Augustus Sicard, SMOP, and Father John Kowalczyk, were in attendance representing the PNCC. Bishop Ray Sutton, Bishop Richard Lipka, Bishop Keith Ackerman, Bishop Jack Iker and Father Thomas Vece, FSJ, were in attendance representing the ACNA. Papers were presented concerning Apostolic Succession, the Synods of the Church, and the Unity of the Church. The Eleventh Ecumenical Dialogue Meeting is scheduled for September 18-20, 2017 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Glitter Ash: In a new variant on the traditional imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, the Gay advocacy group, Parity, is offering Glitter Ash. According to Parity’s website, Glitter Ash is a symbol of repentance as well as not giving up:

“Ashes are a statement that death and suffering are real. Glitter is a sign of our hope, which does not despair. Glitter signals our promise to repent, to show up, to witness, to work. Glitter never gives up — and neither do we.”

According to Parity, Glitter Ash is also a symbol of resurrection and hope, “Glitter+Ash exquisitely captures the relationship between death and new life. We do not live in fear of ash – of death – we place it on our foreheads for the world to see.”

The sparkling ash can be bought for a “donation” of $10.

Bishop Sutton Becomes Presiding Bishop: Forward in Faith North America Council member, Bishop Ray Sutton, has become Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC).
Sutton takes over from the REC’s previous Presiding Bishop, Royal Grote, who died last year. Bishop Sutton will remain Ordinary of the Diocese of Mid America as well as taking on his new duties as Presiding Bishop. Sutton has stated that he is “honored and humbled” by his new appointment.

“As your Presiding Bishop and Ordinary of the Diocese of Mid America, although sad for the reason these transitions have had to take place at this time, I am honored and humbled to serve the Reformed Episcopal Church that Susan and I love so much.”

Forward in Christ congratulates Bishop Sutton and urges your prayers on his behalf and that of the REC as he takes on his new ministry.

Continuing Church Unity: A joint synod is planned for October, 2017, at which four Anglican Continuing Church groups hope to work towards greater unity.

The synod will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 2-6, at which the Anglican Church in America (ACA), the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), the Anglican Province of America (APA), and the Diocese of the Holy Cross (DHC) plan to sign an agreement establishing full sacramental communion. The four churches also intend to pledge themselves “to pursue in a determined and deliberate fashion increasingly full unity.”

According to their press release, the Churches are united by commitments to credal orthodoxy; to traditional Anglican worship; to the three-fold Apostolic ministry of male bishops, priests, and deacons; and to traditional morality in issues affecting the sanctity of life and human sexuality. The four jurisdictions claim some 300 churches in North America and more overseas. Please pray for the success of the October synod.

Annual Assembly: Forward in Faith North America’s Annual Assembly will be held in Hurst, Texas, July 26-28, on the theme: “Celebrating God’s design for marriage, family and the single life.” Save the date!

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