In Remembrance

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States of America.

I vividly remember that day when fundamentalist Islam flexed its muscle and inflicted terror, agony, suffering and death upon innocent men, women and children who were living their lives in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Today, we remember all those who were killed, those who still carry scars and injuries from the
events of that day, the courageous men and women who served as first responders and thousands of men and women in our military, some paying the supreme sacrifice, who have fought to defend the remarkable freedoms that undergird our republic.

I believe that is important to remember and never forget our history.

In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons in London, England Winston Churchill paraphrased
George Santayana when he said ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat
it.’

As a result of the events of September 11, 2001, I learned that life, freedom and truth are always
worthy of our defense and sometimes that defense will require us to contend for the freedoms
given to us by Almighty God.

I regularly visit the 9/11 memorials in New York City and at the Pentagon. I do this, not only to
remember the past and the horrific events of that day, but also as a conscious reminder that true
and eternal peace, love and forgiveness will only ever be found in Jesus Christ who was beaten,
stripped naked, nailed to a cross, executed and three days later overcame death and the grave so
that we might know forgiveness of our sins and the reassurance of the everlasting love of God.

On this 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, I invite you to remember,
reflect and pray with me:

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that
we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our
land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure conduct. Save us from violence, discord,
and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties and
fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.
Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of
government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law,
we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our
hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all of which
we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [BCP 2019]

Desperate Afghan Christians turned away at airport, aid groups say

Looming over the deepening humanitarian crisis is a deadline of Friday for civilian evacuation operations at the Kabul airport to give way to the transport of the remaining 5,400 U.S. military personnel in the country in order to meet a target date of Aug. 31, set months ago by the Biden administration, for a complete U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan.

Source: Desperate Afghan Christians turned away at airport, aid groups say

For such a time as this…

One of our priests called me recently and said, “What a strange day…”.  These are indeed very strange days.  In fact, they are quite odd! At a click of a button some people find themselves cancelled, called out, called in and boycotted.

One of the most disturbing trends I am observing amidst these attempts to realign society is the eradication of free speech by tech giants and other individuals.

Even if I disagree with what another person says, I have long believed that freedom of speech is a fundamental human right.

Given that free speech was forbidden under King George III, our Founding Fathers chose to place free speech in the first of the 10 amendments to the Constitution, which we know as the Bill of Rights.  George Washington famously said, ‘If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.’

Our own Christian history reveals that the church has previously traversed seasons where self-centered tyrants have attempted to eradicate this precious freedom and the ability of Christians to proclaim the truth of the gospel has been under pressure, and yet, the church remains very much alive!

I want to urge Christians to remember that the ultimate goal of our freedom of speech is the proclamation of the gospel for the glory of God alone.  Fighting to preserve free speech only for our own benefit shifts our gaze from Christ to us.  The Apostle Paul writes, ‘Focus your minds on the things above, not on things here on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. [Colossians 3:2-3, ESV]. Setting our minds on things that are above contrasts with the things that are on earth.  We are urged to pursue a deeper knowledge of Christ himself and all that belongs to living with and for him.

The centrality of Christ, our desire to be found in him and share the gospel with others is our motivation to safeguard the precious freedom of speech in our generation.

Gospel truths are worth contending for and as the blood of the martyrs in every age down to the present day movingly reminds us, gospel truths are truths worth dying for.  We might be able to imagine dying for people, but not so many of us today consider biblical truths about Jesus so precious that we would contend and maybe even die for them – but the apostles, the reformers, modern martyrs have thought differently and as we reflect on how they contended for precious salvation truths down through the ages of the church, we stand on their shoulders, their blood has been the seed of the church. 

The Old Testament book of Esther tells how a Jewish girl became the queen of Persia and saved her people from a plot to destroy them.  With the possibility of death staring at her in the face, Esther chose to speak up for truth and the result was glory to God and the deliverance of his people.

O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.  [Psalm 51:15, ESV]

A conversation…

At the 2021 Provincial Council for the Anglican Church in North America, I had an opportunity to interview Bishop William Love on behalf of GAFCON. As you will hear, this was a pivotal time for Bishop Love as he was being welcomed into the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word as an Assisting Bishop after having resigned last year from the Diocese of Albany in The Episcopal Church. (Thanks to Ernie Didot of GAFCON for this video).

You cannot ‘try harder’ to please God

Posted: 23 Jul 2021 11:00 AM PDT

You cannot ‘try harder’ to please God and live in His grace at the same time. The one negates the other. The vicarious perfection of Christ needs to be better understood.

© Copyright D. Riddell, 2012 Book Reference: Faith Insights

Announcement of the Formation of the Archdeaconry of Northeastern New York

The Anglican Diocese of the Living Word’s mission is to proclaim Christ faithfully to North America and the nations of the world. With recent developments in the Northeastern region of the State of New York, Bishop Julian Dobbs, after prayer, consultation, and consent from the diocesan Standing Committee is pleased to announce the formation of a new Archdeaconry for this region to bolster efforts for Gospel mission work in this area. Current efforts are placing a strong emphasis on church planting and ministries in the Capital Region and surrounding areas of New York.

To coordinate these efforts, The Very Reverend David J. Collum has been appointed Archdeacon. David has been a member of the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word since 2016 and serves as President of The Pocket Testament League (www.ptl.org). The goal of all such efforts is to lift high the Name of Jesus, proclaiming the Gospel, so that men and women may be drawn to saving relationship with Almighty God.

Bishop Julian will visit the Albany Region on May 2 to celebrate the launch of the Archdeaconry of Northeastern New York. He will officiate services of Holy Communion with the Church of the Resurrection at 9:00 AM and St. Thomas Anglican Church at 12:00 PM. In order to observe social distancing measures, both services will be conducted at the Hilton Garden Inn, 30 Clifton Country Road, Clifton Park, NY, 12065.

O God, by your grace you have called us in this Anglican Diocese of the Living Word to be a good and godly fellowship of faith. Bless our bishops, and other clergy, and all our people. Grant that your Word may be truly preached and truly heard, your Sacraments faithfully administered and faithfully received. By your Spirit, fashion our lives according to the example of your Son, and grant that we may show the power of your love to all among whom we live; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For more information visit us on the web at WWW.ADLW.ORG or email the diocesan Director of Communications, the Rev. Marc Steele, at Marc.Steele@ADLW.ORG

Building His Church

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew chapter 16, verse 18.

Developments in the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word

Welcome to Bishop Bill and Karen Love

Welcome to Bishop Dan and Carol Herzog

A Rector announced for the Church of the Holy Trinity, Syracuse, NY – information here

Welcome to the Community of St. Mary, Eastern Province – information here

Confirmations at Holy Cross, Brookfield, WI

Church of the Resurrection begins at the Halfmoon Senior Center, Halfmoon, NY – information here

Missions Conference and Synod – in person – in June – join us – register now – information here

In the presence of her Lord

Early this past Saturday (US time) a lovely, warm-hearted woman named Valerie Joy Daniels went to be with the Lord Jesus whom she had served her entire life.

Valerie was my mother-in-law. In Brenda’s written tribute to her Mother she wrote, “Mum had two unshakeable foundations in life. Firstly, her faith in Jesus Christ and secondly, her 64 years of marriage with Dad. Together they modeled Jesus whom they served. Caring for the poor, serving in the church and teaching us the Christian faith.”

I invite you to join us in thanking God for this dear Christian woman, for Christ’s redeeming work in her life – at rest in the presence of The Lord.