Thursday, June 18, 2009

Received today! A Note of Encouragement!

To The Bishop and Clergy of The Diocese of San Joaquin
Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America

Dear Brothers,
Greetings in the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to you on the eve of the launch of the new Anglican Church in North America. You are to be congratulated for your faithfulness in the Gospel and in your cooperation with the organization of the new Province. It is likely that it will take some time before the institutional structures catch up to the realities of the present day situation in the Communion. Until that time, you can be sure of your dual status with us in the Southern Cone. This is true not only for Bishop John-David, but also all of the priests and deacons who received licenses under my authority when your diocese came to us.

You may have heard negative things about your ministries and orders from some quarters, but I can assure you of your good standing and favour with me nd this Province under me as Primate.

Last year, even Archbishop Rowan Williams himself assured me of Bishop John-David's status as a bishop of the Anglican Communion. Any other assertions are, in our view, completely unfounded. What is important is that people are brought to saving faith in Christ and to maturity in Him. We need your full energy to be devoted to that task. The harvest is indeed plentiful, and the workers few! Thank you for your faithfulness.

Yours sincerely,
The Most Rev. Gregory J. Venables
Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone of South America

My Dear Archbishop:


In Christ,

John Riebe+

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In Response to Being Deposed

Well, it finally happened...

Just before Pentecost I received a very impersonal form letter (actually it was addressed to my parish) indicating that I - along with 60 other faithful clergy - have been "deposed" from the Episcopal Church for "Abandoning the Communion." Bishop Jerry Lamb, the puppet provisional bishop set up by the Presiding Bishop was the official signatory.

Interestingly enough Lamb was the bishop who ordained me both as Deacon and then Priest in 1995. And now, 14 years later, he deposes me for standing firm on Christ and Holy Scripture and calls it "Abandonment of Communion." The irony is too thick to miss!

Yet the fact remains - and it is fact, mind you - that the rest of the bishops of the Anglican Communion including the Archbishop of Canterbury say that we are STILL priests and clergy in good standing!

So, what does this mean to me? Nothing - except that once again I feel abandoned by those who once proclaimed to be faithful followers of Jesus. It is they who have abandoned the historic faith - not us - not me. in truth it is like the CEO of IBM trying to fire the executive staff at Xerox! It doesn't work because they are not my superiors.

They have NO authority over me! They have NO authority over the real Diocese of San Joaquin and they certainly have NO authority over my parish of All Saints'.

So in response, I have a message to send to Jerry Lamb and the PB. Its a message they just don't get - but I still pray someday they will.