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Community of Acts

Date: 8/7/03

From Rev. Eric Goldy +

I have been answering a lot of questions over the past couple of days from brothers and sisters in the Community of Acts, and those in Pueblo that are attending Episcopal churches that know of my calling to be a servant in Gods house. They question what is happening in the Episcopal Church this week in Minneapolis. First, "Do not let your hearts be troubled, Trust in God." John 14:1. Jesus used these words to comfort his disciples during his last night with them in Jerusalem. The Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA) actions to me are a validation of the leaving that many of us wrestled with, then acted upon three years ago. At the same time, I feel a great sorrow for those that believe that they still had a voice in ECUSA, and thought that they had Scripture as their foundation in dealing with the issues of the world that have now overtaken ECUSA. To those whose hearts are troubled in ECUSA I share from John 14:6 these words of comfort: "I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." I pray that you will always find your Way, and the Truth, and Life in our Fathers love in the days ahead.

As I have shared on many occasions, we are not to judge others, that is Gods job. However, we are called to hold up the mirror so that we, and all others, who are willing to reflect and look into our own eyes, can see ourselves, as we truly are -- sinners, in need of the loving forgiveness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is not a wrong time to get right with God!

What we are seeing in Minneapolis this week are a motivated few in ECUSA that have taken these world issues, and tickled the ears of many, and placed themselves and their agendas at the center of the altar, as a model for all to accept and emulate. We in the Anglican Mission in America and the Community of Acts believe that these models, beliefs, and lifestyles need to be taken off of the altar and brought before it, standing with the community in front of the altar with the rest of us sinners asking for Gods loving forgiveness.

These questionable agendas and actions did not happen overnight. Most, if not all, of these worldly issues have been in ECUSA over the past 30 plus years. The membership, and followers of ECUSA have been, and are being, distracted by the world, and they continue to focus inward on themselves. I know, I was sitting there with them until leaving three years ago, of which I thank God for showing me, through servants in his house like Fr. Jim and many others that I respect and love, the Truth and the Way and a new Life.

Some in ECUSA say that they will cut off their financial support to the national Episcopal Church as a response to the actions of this week. Almost all monies first go to the local church or parish, then a percentage of that goes to the Diocese, and finally a percentage goes on to the National Church, a very small amount of any plate or offering ends up at National. I would remind all that the week is not over yet. I fully expect a non-binding non-decision on the issue of blessing of same-sex unions before the end of the week that will be left up to each bishop in what they will allow or support. In doing this, ECUSA will take an Anglican tradition of "via media", which in Latin means "the middle", as a final destination, instead of a starting point in which to engage the world using tradition, reason, and Scripture in which to make the hard decisions that we deal with as a faith community. This motivated group of clergy and laity in ECUSA will not be satisfied after the events of this week in their efforts to further change church doctrine. The events of this week are by no means a finish line for them. This brings me back to the true dilemma for those in ECUSA: it seems that they believe that money will bring control, stability, and possibly correction to the actions taken in Minneapolis, in the name of church doctrine. Where are faith and the Holy Spirit?

Our leadership in the Anglican Mission, led by Archbishop Kolini of Rwanda, along with our Bishop Sandy Greene, and our other Bishops, stand in the light of Truth. Our beliefs and our church doctrine are sound and have always been based on Scripture. These, along with many others, left the money and buildings and prestige when confronted with difficult choices three years ago, to follow their hearts, minds, souls, and belief in Scripture along with the 39 Articles of Religion. Stay and fight a distraction of the world, or focus on Jesus and follow the Holy Spirit to go in the world in the name of Jesus Christ making disciples of those in the world, not vice-versa.

Some will say that these actions in Minneapolis place ECUSA in "apostate" which means in rebellion, no longer in communion. This will be greatly discussed and then acted upon at the archbishop level in the next few months in the Anglican Communion. It is very purposeful that those in ECUSA are conveniently now wrapping themselves in the blanket of the Anglican Communion. There is a reason: to bring their worldview into the whole Anglican Community, hoping to continue to tickle the ears of anyone that will listen. It is also their hope to claim this larger brotherhood so to dismiss any possible separation or rebuke between ECUSA and the Worldwide Anglican Communion. Again, do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God, and focus on Jesus Christ.

So what does this mean to us at ACTS in Pueblo West? We will continue to focus on Jesus, and our call to Act in the world, Call the world, and Teach the world, and in doing so we Serve the world along with our Lord Jesus Christ in His mission field that we call Pueblo West, Colorado

This Sunday the Community of ACTS will be sharing and talking about the Gospel of John, and the Bread of Life, focusing on Jesus! At the same time the churches in ECUSA will be explaining, excusing, mourning, and yes, some will even be celebrating their inward focus on themselves as to where they will go from where they now sit. We in the Anglican Mission and at ACTS will continue to be focused, looking outward into the world in how we will be sharing the good and loving news of Jesus Christ in the mission field, and always trusting in God.

May you walk in the Light and Love of Jesus Christ always!!!

The Rev. Eric Goldy+

 

+++++++

From the Anglican Mission in America:

Part of the worldwide Anglican Communion as an outreach of the province of Rwanda, has weighed in on the Episcopal Church's decision to confirm the first openly gay bishop in the history of the Christian Church.

In voicing its disapproval, the Anglican Mission contends that the central issue is not, at its core, about homosexual practice or lifestyle, although the1998 global meeting of Anglican bishops [Lambeth Conference] unambiguously declared the practice and lifestyle to be incompatible with Scripture.

"The real issue before us is a church, the Episcopal Church in this country (ECUSA), that is in direct conflict with the Scriptures" declared the Rt. Rev. Chuck Murphy, the Anglican Missions Chairman.

Murphy cited a December, 1997 interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine in which the Episcopal Churchs Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, acknowledged as much, by stating:

"Broadly speaking, the Episcopal Church is in conflict with scripture. ... (One) would have to say that the mind of Christ operative in the church over time ... has led the church to in effect contradict the words of the Gospel."

Murphy notes that "it is this kind of confusion and presumption from the very highest levels of leadership in the U.S. Episcopal Church that has now produced both this latest vote to confirm the election of Gene Robinson, and the severe crisis of Faith and leadership that now exists within the worldwide Anglican Communion. The situation now before us within the U.S. Episcopal Church demands correction, and invites the outside intervention that will, I am sure, be forthcoming."

The Anglican Mission in America is a missionary outreach of the Anglican Province of Rwanda, established three years ago in response to the crisis of faith and leadership that exists within the Episcopal Church, to focus on reaching out to the 130 million spiritually-disconnected people in the United States. The Anglican Mission is a growing movement of churches now stretching throughout the United States.