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The Southern Episcopal Church
234 Willow Lane
Nashville, , Tennessee 37211
United States

Southern Episcopalian

Page 1: Divisions in the Church
Page 2: On the Ordination of Women

The Most Reverend Huron C. Manning, Jr.,
Presiding Bishop,
The Southern Episcopal Church

Seeking God's Will

We often spend a lot of time going in circles trying to determine what is Godís will in our life. We jump from one idea to another for no apparent reason and just go about making tremendous decisions that affect not only ourselves but others. Many men when they make a commitment to the ordained ministry of the Church, are only half committed. They still keep one foot in the what is best for me. It takes a strong man to serve in the Church and be strong and not be lead by pettiness. We have had men who came into the Church knowing what we are, yet they want to change us. God didnít call us to be the same as all the others that are out there, He called us special. He made those who set up this Church a special people who are dedicated to standing for what we know to be right, no matter who comes along with what they think is a better idea. We were blessed with early strong leaders who knew what we were and what our purpose is. We are traditionalist Episcopalians, not of the line that came out of St. Louis. Not of the line that would make all Churches be either high or low. We were called because God wanted a traditional Church of the Anglican Communion that was open to people of all Churchmanships. However, He wanted a Church that was true to the apostlesí doctrine and fellowship and that would continue to be true to His Holy Scripture. The Southern Episcopal Church is and shall continue to be just that. Not prone to the personal prejudiced of those who would come in to tear it apart and make it like all the other Churches. We have never claimed to be like all the others. If we were then we would not be following Godís will for us. We are what we were called to be. I know there are some out there who would like us to be like all the rest. Why? If we were to be like them then we would not be following our calling. There are those in our own ranks who are constantly talking against us. They are trying to create a division among us. Let them be in Godís hand that he may deal with them. St. Matthew 12:30 Christ said, ďHe that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.Ē That means that all the bishops, priests, deacons and laymen who are not dedicated to the Church are causing rifts in the Church. I receive letters and comments from people who have been contacted by those who are not working for the Church. They are the sons of ďSatanĒ, for they only want to work an agenda they have. Men who have signed pledges of fidelity to the Church and are now trying to make the Church something Christ did not intend for it to be. When will these men realize that the Church of Jesus Christ is bigger than them. The Church is not a place to play petty politics to see if they canít make it something to change to another social club. Christ said, ďBy their fruits ye shall know them.Ē That is true because I see very little fruit and a lot of complaining from some of them. They donít seem to know what it is to love God with all their ďheart, soul, mind and spiritĒ, they only know how to manipulate and confuse. Most have been in several other Churches and couldnít work out there either. My beloved brothers, it is time for you to look within for the problem. For if you donít know what you are and how to serve God where He has called you, it isnít God who is wrong, it is you. It is time you repented of all the confusion you have caused in the body and bride of Christ and become the man God called you to be. I know that God has put the wrong man as Presiding Bishop of this Church, in your opinion. Yet I have never questioned His choice and have tried to do my best to walk in His will and not my own. I donít have time for pettiness and bickering and checking out the people God sends me to serve. I can only pray that I do the best I know how. If you donít agree with it that is a problem you must deal with. I spent almost 20 years serving under the old Presiding Bishop and being loyal and faithful to the Church. The Church has not changed. We are still standing firm for all we were called to be and for the gospel. If you are not happy here, remember you werenít happy where you were. Could the problem be with you that you have never truly given yourself to Jesus Christ to be His servant. We are not called to be the ones who are put on a pedestal and adored and served. We are called to be in the trenches and fighting the war against the world and the devil. What have you done for Jesus today? What have you done to bring honor and glory to His name? Who are you that the Lord would choose you to be in the position you are in that you could bring such glory to His Name. Are you really doing all you can, or are you putting down the Church? God will not hold you blameless who know right and fail to do it. God will not hold you blameless who has caused one of the least of these to stumble. Their soul will be on your hands, and like Pilate, you cannot wash it away.

+Bishop Manning

The National Convention will be the 15th, 16th and 17th of October.
I pray that we will see you there.
The Synod 1997
The Southern Episcopal Church
October 15, 16 and 17, 1997
All Saints Cathedral
Nashville, Tennessee
Make reservations today

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