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"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The Bishop and clergy of Rupert’s Land have completed preparation of a protocol for the pastoral practice of blessing same-sex unions. T h e p ro t o c o l s ay s why same-sex unions may be blessed in Rupert’s Land parishes and how this should be done. It acknowledges the differences of view among faithful Anglicans about blessing of same-sex unions. It directs each parish that wishes to explore this practice to follow a careful process of prayer, study and consultation before deciding to bless same-sex unions.
The protocol arises out of a vote at the 2012 Rupert’s Land diocesan synod.
Read it all (page 5).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
Victoria’s Christ Church Cathedral may soon step up its security system after the May 11 theft of at least $10,000 worth of historical artifacts, some dating back to the 17th century.
Officials think a thief or thieves likely hid themselves in the cathedral before its customary closing at 5:30 p.m.
The missing items include antique coins, gold and silver chalices, a communion plate and a long-handled mote spoon with a sieved bowl, used before the era of teabags to strain loose leaves from freshly brewed tea.
“It’s hard to say what the items are worth exactly, but the historical value for us and the faith dimension are far more than we can put a price on,” says the Very Rev. Dr. Logan McMenamie, rector of the cathedral and dean of Columbia.
Read it all.
As we prepare for the first Joint Assembly of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, we know that there are some who, like our ancestors in the faith, may be just a little dispirited as we face the challenges of our times. But just as surely as God's Spirit inspired the fi rst generation of believers, that same Spirit is working in us to give us the words to speak to one another and to those who are seeking something-dare we say, "Someone"-to believe in.
Our coming "Together for the Love of the World" will be a visible sign of the Spirit working in and among us. It will be time to take counsel together for the common good of both our churches and for the common good of our world. It will be a time to set our fears aside and arise with "bold new decisions."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Pentecost * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Lutheran
I stand before you not in any way a self-made man. I have been a product of a lot of people who have loved me and poured into me in a way that is transformed my life, not only as a small child, but as I’ve grown as an adult, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share . . . with you about that, in the hopes of leaving you with what I feel could be something that you could take and remember in an effort to make a difference in the lives of other people, which you inevitably will be called to do in some capacity.
So to that end, I got to a place where I was in my life about six years ago where I was at the end of myself. I have spent some time — I became a Christian when I was 13, but I didn’t have the follow-through that I needed — but nonetheless I found myself in the fall of 2006 at the steering wheel of a car with all the windows rolled up and a garden hose attached from the muffler to the passenger-side window in the hopes of ending it all. Why? Because I had done some things in my life and come to a place in my life where I had realized that I had made a lot of mistakes, and not only had I made a lot of mistakes, but I had been the victim of some things that are tough to wrap your arms around, a Christian or not. So I was in that place and I was about to turn the key and I really felt the Holy Spirit saying, “R.A., I’m not done with you yet. Don’t do that.” Like literally those words: “Do not do that.” And so as lonely as I felt in that moment at the steering wheel of a Chevrolet Cavalier, I never felt truly alone. I think there’s something to be said in that.
I share that with you and I’m vulnerable with you in this moment because I really believe that God has called me to be here for a reason. I do believe in divine appointments, I believe this is one of them.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Sports * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
The Bishop of Niagara is suing a blogger over online material he claims was fashioned to hold the spiritual leader of 25,000 Anglicans up to ridicule and contempt.
The defamation lawsuit claims that Michael Bird, Hamilton-based bishop for the 90 parishes in the diocese, which includes Hamilton, has been pilloried on the blog as a weak, ineffectual leader, portrayed as a thief, described as having a sexual fetish and labelled an atheist.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Law & Legal Issues Church/State Matters Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada
In 2003, after the Episcopal Church consecrated the first openly gay bishop within the Anglican Communion, the Province of the Southern Cone severed its relationship with the Episcopal Church. It also broke communion with the Anglican Church of Canada after one of its dioceses in 2002 authorized a rite for blessing same-sex unions. Are you still in broken communion with these two provinces?
Yes. In 2010 when an earthquake struck in Chile, I received many, many phone calls from [the Episcopal Church Center in] New York offering us money. But I said no; not out of arrogance but because we had broken communion with TEC and it would not be right to accept their money.
Did you ask permission of the local Anglican Church of Canada bishop to visit here?
No, because I am coming to another, different Anglican church.
n 2003, the Province of the Southern Cone offered Episcopal oversight to conservative Anglicans who had left the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada but who wanted to realign with another province. Does this make you a primate of the Anglican Church in North America along with its elected primate, Bob Duncan?
No. That is over. We provided temporary supervision. When ACNA was founded in Texas in 2008 the very next day I had breakfast with Bishop John Guernsey and said, “My churches in the States will now be under your supervision. Let me know what I should do to pass them to you.” Others like [Bishops] Frank Lyons of Bolivia and Greg Venables may have taken a bit more time but the Southern Cone decided to pass the [North American] churches to the new ACNA primate.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) Global South Churches & Primates GAFCON 2008 Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * International News & Commentary South America Chile * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
In recent years, I often recall the first time I saw my dad pray. It was unsettling. I came upon him in church, where he was kneeling, his hands shading his eyes. He had a type of intensity that, at three or four years old, I had never seen before. Nor had I had ever seen him kneel before his God—or anyone else, for that matter.
My mind drifts back, because what I witness today in times of worship is such a contrast. My father was spiritual, as we might say today, but he was not very religious. It is not the memory of his posture that remains vividly with me; it was the demonstration of an aspect of his heart—a spiritual point of view—that captured my budding spiritual imagination. Today, we may kneel, but so many of us, I fear, have strayed far from the reverence of heart that our elders knew, not so long ago.
Our worship has been deeply influenced by a culture that is immersed in the consumption of media. We bring that point of view to our worship. What will it give me? What will I learn? Is it helpful? The focus has shifted from deity to the consumer.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
A Barbados native has been elected suffragan Bishop of the diocese of Toronto. On 6 April 2013, the Ven. Peter Fenty, archdeacon of York and the executive officer to the Bishop of Toronto, was elected on the seventh ballot. Bishop-elect Fenty, (61) who was born and raised in Barbados and came to Canada in 1992, will be the first person of African descent to be a bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada.
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St. Luke the Evangelist Anglican Church, the 106-year-old church at Brock and Elgin streets, brought in Hudson after months of searching and interviewing.
"It takes a very special individual to work here because we have a lot of ceremony," says parish council warden Jim Blyth.
"We needed an individual who is passionate about living the ceremony and we had a difficult time finding a clergyman with that skill set and passion, but we found Bob."
Hudson, 63, has just shepherded his new flock through the extensive and almost daily services of Easter week but continues to fulfil his duties as the chaplain at the Mission to Seafarers in Hamilton.
Read it all.
St. Luke’s parishioners are renovating their old stone and brick church to reduce energy consumption and maximize their use of the space after an energy audit discovered they were practically throwing money out the front door.
“It was a wake up call more to realize that of course this is a serious issue,” said the minister at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Rev. Gregor Sneddon. “Churches these days, which were at one time almost the fabric of culture and society, are now struggling for their existence and how they’re relevant and meaningful in a secular Western society. So the free lunch is kind of over and we’re wrestling with how do we be efficient and lean in our costs and how we operate.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues * Economics, Politics Energy, Natural Resources * International News & Commentary Canada
Almost half a century ago, the Episcopal Church Foundation’s Pusey Report foretold, among other things, consolidation and radical change among the denomination’s theological seminaries. Such change is finally upon us. Several schools in the United States and in Canada have closed, a number are alive in name only, and others in each country approach their demise. Several years ago I was surprised to hear that a majority of Episcopal ordinands had attended none of the established 11.
In the face of this dire climate, the Episcopal seminaries’ effort at cooperation did not touch on core tasks; similarly in 2010 in the Anglican Church of Canada, when all the stakeholders were gathered in Montreal, the life-and-death institutional issues had to be bracketed and left aside. Simultaneous with a major reordering of our parishes and dioceses, this is a turning point for theological education, but we should not expect some grand compromise or new deal. This is as it should be, since the network of schools was never planned systematically. The remedies sometimes float about as well-meaning generalizations: diversity, lay empowerment, the missional. True enough, but such themes do not get to the heart of the matter....
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An appeal board has overturned an order by the town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's to the local Anglican parish to repair the slowly deteriorating church.
The town declared the old building a heritage structure to prevent the parish from demolishing the building in order to build a new one.
However, the parish, which still has ownership of the building, refuses to make repairs and it has been rotting for three years.
Read it all.
The local diocese of the Anglican Church has gone to Federal Court in a bid to reverse the federal health-care cuts to the refugee program.
In a hearing Wednesday in Federal Court in Winnipeg, the Rupert's Land Diocese made an application for judicial review, effectively asking the court to rule the Harper government cuts are a breach of contract with sponsoring organizations and order the government to keep them in place.
"All we want is a declaration of a breach (of contract)," lawyer David Matas told Federal Court Judge James O'Reilly during a two-hour hearing.
Read it all.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, the Anglican Church of Canada’s first National Indigenous Bishop, Mark MacDonald, will receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal at Queen’s Park, Toronto.
Created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne as Queen of Canada, the medal honours Canadians who have made significant contributions and achievements to the country.
MacDonald is being recognized for his “spiritual leadership while serving Aboriginal communities and his contributions to environmental awareness of Canadians,” said NDP MP Craig Scott (Toronto-Danforth), who nominated MacDonald. MacDonald will join 29 other community leaders who will be awarded the medal by Scott. Each Member of Parliament was given 30 medals to present to outstanding constituents in their communities.
“I am very blessed and surprised to receive this honour and very grateful to Craig Scott for his nomination,” said MacDonald in an interview. “It means a lot at a number of levels to me, some very personal, but, most importantly, recognizes and honours the vision of the elders for the future of the People of the Land.”
Congratulations to Bishop Macdonald--read it all (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material).
During her informal 50-minute talk before the ethnically mixed audience, Clark discussed what it means to be a lifelong Anglican, her support for “faith-based” social services, her views on same-sex marriage, her commitment to “kindness” and her approach to the Bible.
“For me it’s been kind of an interesting experience to realize, for the first time in my life, that perhaps being a Christian is something that I should not talk about. But I reject that,” the premier said.
Saying B.C. has more “declared atheists” than any province in Canada, Clark nevertheless said for her “the most important thing is to go to church every week and be reminded, by someone whom I respect, to be kind … to be compassionate.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Canada
The small but mighty congregation at Nobleton’s St. Alban’s Anglican Church is on the brink of losing their church due to steadily declining numbers.
Rev. Sheilagh Ashworth, of the Anglican Parish of Lloydtown (St. Alban’s, Christ Church, Kettleby and St. Mary Magdalene, Schomberg) said the church has been “on the edge for a long time,” and the future of the church has been “dodgy” for more than a decade.
While in a difficult situation, they have until the end of May to turn things around.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada
Read it all and listen to the audio links.
Less reliance on standing committees and more on task forces, a review of the size and function of General Synod, increased partnership with dioceses and other churches, an “overhaul” of the national church’s communications strategy and a review of the national stewardship initiative.
These are but a few of the wide-ranging, as well as immediate and long-term, changes that were identified in the national consultation convened by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, last January 8 to 10 in Mississauga, Ont.
Read it all.
From 1870 to 1996, 130 different residential schools, most run by Anglican and other churches, including Anglican, were built on military models, he said. Indigenous children were taken from their families at about age 5 and returned when they were 16 or 17.
“The purpose was to destroy the family bond, the connection to culture and language, and to make it impossible for indigenous life to continue into the future,” he said. “It was for indigenous people to die out....”
The church’s reaction is “a case study in when evil so swamps and floods a group of people they will deny it,” he said. “The church doesn’t have the capacity to describe or accept within itself what happened. There’s a tremendous amount of denial.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Children Education History Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theodicy
The second myth is particularly applicable for Anglicans. William Vaughan Jenkins and Heather Kayan published a fascinating piece of homiletic research, "Sermon Responses and Preferences in Pentecostal and Mainline churches, in the Journal of Empirical Theology.
Three conclusions from their research stand out. First, “The data showed that Anglicans desired significant intellectual content…compared to Pentecostal members.” Second, “Participants from both churches responded to sermons in a predominantly emotional way.” Third, members of “both churches wanted to hear sermons on grace and forgiveness” above all other topics. Despite our preference for cognitive material, we clearly judge sermons by their emotional appeal, and prefer homilies on personal faith issues. It is a myth that the sermon must be aimed at people’s heads rather than equally at the mind and the heart.
The third myth grows out of the second. It is that a university education is extremely important in preparing one to be a good preacher. If this is true, how does one harmonize the postgraduate education of Anglican priests with the poor quality of the average Anglican sermon? A survey of 20 randomly chosen Anglican sermons from Nova Scotia to British Columbia produced the lowest ratings of any group studied. Apparently the worst preaching in Canada comes from our pulpits!
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Anthropology Pastoral Theology
A move by the Anglican Diocese of B.C. to allow the blessing of married homosexual couples is only a small step, says a University of Victoria political scientist.
Janni Aragon, who has a special interest in gender issues, said for the church to bless couples but not perform or bless their marriages is not enough.
“What you see is some softening of church attitudes to acknowledge these people exist, but to say, ‘;We are going to sanctify them but not their marriage’ is just hair-splitting,” Aragon said Monday.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary Canada
Anglican parishes on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands can now seek permission to formally bless married homosexual couples.
Bishop James Cowan of the Diocese of British Columbia, in a letter dated Thursday, announced the creation of guidelines and a rite to be used in the blessing of same-sex unions. The guidelines and rites took effect Jan. 1.
“It is my hope that those who now have this opportunity open to them may use it as an aid in their growth in Christ and His love for the world in which we live,” wrote Cowan.
The letter affects the 45 parishes with about 10,000 members in what, for historical reasons, is called the Diocese of British Columbia, although it only includes Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary Canada
I come to this New Year's celebration having read a daily reflection through Advent and Christmas by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the Church's most beloved theologians. He was imprisoned for his criticism of the Nazi regime in Germany and hung by order of one of Hitler's final execution decrees in April, 1945. He was just 39 years old. Though his life was short, his legacy as a devoted Christian lives on in the papers he delivered, the entries he made in his diary and in his letters from prison.
Writing to his fiancée, Maria von Wedemeyer, on December 13, 1943, he said, "Be brave for my sake, dearest Maria, even if this letter is your only token of my love this Christmas-tide. ... God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment."
Bonhoeffer described the birth of the Christ Child as "the greatest turning point in history." "Everything past and everything future is accomplished here ... the infinite mercy of the almighty God comes to us in the form of a child."
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At Regina's oldest church, some of its youngest members will be among those shining brightly on Christmas Eve.
Talking about the evolving Christmas traditions at the nearly 120-year-old St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Deacon Michael Jackson reflects on the role of the children as they prepare to celebrate the birth of another child centuries before them.
From the little, five-year-old "boat girl" who will hold the bowl of incense (it used to be shaped like a boat) to a 17-year-old serving on the altar, "we want to have the young people doing as much as we can at that service," says Jackson, explaining that the children assume roles as readers, servers and communion assistants at the 5 p.m. service on Christmas Eve.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada
The leader of the Anglican Church of Canada has emerged from his Dec. 6 meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury-elect, Justin Welby, feeling “very optimistic about his leadership....”
During his meeting with Welby, Hiltz said he mentioned ongoing concern about efforts by the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to be recognized by the Church of England. Composed of Anglicans who have left the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church in the U.S., ACNA describes itself as “an emerging Province in the global Anglican Communion.”
Hiltz said he requested that if bodies of the Church of England are to meet with representatives of ACNA, “in fairness, they should also meet with us to get a better picture.” Welby was “very appreciative” of the place of the Anglican Church of Canada in the Communion and the contributions it has been able to make, added Hiltz.
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The Diocese of Quebec will join about a dozen other dioceses of the Anglican Church of Canada in offering blessings to same-gender couples.
Bishop Dennis Drainville signalled his intention to move forward with the blessing of committed gay and lesbian partners in his charge to the diocesan Synod, held Nov. 2-4 outside Quebec City.
“I would like to proceed in the Diocese of Quebec, as several other Canadian dioceses have done, to provide both a rite of blessing and pastoral support for persons living in committed, same-gender relationships,” the bishop told members of Synod.“This act of blessing is not the performing of a marriage but rather the blessing of civil union that has already taken place,” he added in his monthly pastoral letter....
Read it all (the article begins on page one of the pdf and continues on page eight).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Read it all.
Regina’s oldest church is making some changes.
St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral demolished its hall and is updating its style to match the 21st Century.
The hall was knocked down to make room for a new one that will better serve the congregation and the downtown community’s needs.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada
The Anglican Church of Canada should be prepared to be “turned inside out” and to be a church that gives birth to a Spirit-led “people’s movements at all levels,” said the Rev. Dr. Christopher Duraisingh, a noted South Indian theologian.
Duraisingh, who is a professor at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., spoke about mission at the meeting of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) during its meeting Nov. 15 to 18.
Duraisingh was invited to help CoGS members reflect on what direction the church might take in response to its ongoing challenges with diminishing revenues and declining membership. He will also be the keynote speaker at the July 2013 Joint Anglican-Lutheran Assembly in Ottawa.
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Ottawa’s homeless community has a brand new “living room” in the revamped basement of St. Alban’s Anglican Church at 454 King Edward Ave.
Centre 454, which provides a safe space for people in Ottawa who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, started its life in that basement in 1976, but moved to 216 Murray St. in 2000.
Now, after 12 years and more than a million dollars in renovations, the centre — and all its services — will again be located in St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Ottawa’s oldest surviving church, which was built in 1867 and attended by Sir John A. Macdonald.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Poverty Urban/City Life and Issues
One of the interesting things that has been put in place by the organizers/designers of this meeting has been the addition of Regional Meetings…as a region (in our case, North America), we have gathered now three times to discuss topics from our somewhat common position geographically. So, we’ve been meeting with our colleagues from The Episcopal Church. The discussions have been fruitful and energetic. We have dug deeply into the topics of the agenda, yesterday, into the environmental concerns. We are keeping notes of our work, and have taken the interesting step of seeing whether we can meet as a group mid-way between the ACC meetings, to keep ourselves on track with what we say we might do to respond to these topics. I’m taking on organizing the meetings…many timetables to juggle, including the Presiding Bishop of TEC and the Chair of its House of Deputies. But I think it will give us more of a sense of being active members of this Council, rather than simply people who go to meetings. And when the meetings are every 3 1/2 to 4 years, it’s hard to keep a sense of continuity.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Consultative Council Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ
Starting every day with Eucharist and Bible Study from now on. The Bible Studies are prepared by a team of scholars from this diocese and they are working with 2 Corinthians. Today we had 2 Corinthians 3: 1-6. I find it very moving to be part of a small group of 6 people from all over the globe sharing our faith journeys by considering the Scriptures each day.
Then we moved on to our final workshop with a Network. I chose the Peace and Justice Network in which we were asked to list the issues in our country. We heard about war, internal fighting, interfaith strife, destruction of environment by transnational companies, lack of drinkable water, and many other problems. This network is now resetting its agenda for future work. After morning coffee, we changed our seating to be in regional groups, to listen to the work of the Anglican Alliance. The alliance was formed by the ACC three years ago at the meeting in Jamaica. It is headed by Sally Keeble, a very able person with background in development and government.
Read it all and check out the Anglican Church of Canada ACC blog for other material.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Consultative Council Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia Anglican Church of Canada * Theology Theology: Scripture
It is with sadness that the Anglican Church of Canada and Augsburg Fortress Canada announce that the Anglican Book Centre at 80 Hayden Street will close on Jan. 18, 2013. Canadian Anglicans will still be able to order resources online and by phone through Augsburg Fortress Canada.
"Religious book and gift stores across Canada have faced significant challenges resulting in the closure of over 120 stores in the past 10 years," said Andy Seal, Director of Augsburg Fortress Canada/Anglican Book Centre.
"Sales at our Hayden St. store have decreased each year since 2009. By 2011 Toronto sales were 28% below the break-even level. In spite of hard work and innovation, the trend has continued in 2012."
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Books Religion & Culture Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending * International News & Commentary Canada
A British-born, life-long Anglican, [Leslie] Buck came to St. Paul’s in 1993 when he and his wife moved here from Ottawa.
“We do things now that would have appalled people 50 years ago,” says Buck citing the ordination of women and same-sex marriage. He also cites shifts in the teaching.
“There was a time when the message was primarily keep your nose clean and don’t worry too much about what you do at work the rest of the week. Nowadays more is made of the social gospel, issues like homelessness and poverty. Which is not to say that one’s individual relationship with God or one’s behavior is not an issue, but the church is also responding to the world.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues * Theology
On September 30, 2012, the Bishop of Saskatoon ordained as deacon an individual who is civilly married to a person of the same sex.
In early September the bishop as a courtesy informed some of the members of Provincial House of Bishops of his intention to do so, The House at its meeting September 28 discussed this situation and issued the following statement:
The House of Bishops of the Province of Rupert’s Land disassociates itself from the decision of the Bishop of Saskatoon to ordain a candidate living in a civilly recognized “same sex marriage” This decision was made without our consent or consultation and will cause division and confusion within our Province.
We hold the Bishop, Clergy, and People of the Diocese of Saskatoon in our prayers and are committed to maintain the highest degree of communion possible.
Of those bishops present, seven voted in favour of the statement, two voted against and as is our custom, the Metropolitan refrained from voting.
When reading this statement it is important to note that the House of Bishops has neither judicial nor legislative authority. It is a venue in which bishops meet for mutual support in their roles as overseers in the church. Clergy ordination as such comes under the authority of the diocesan bishop.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary Canada
Neil Gordon understands the comfort some people feel in having their civil union blessed by a church.
An Anglican priest who was married by a justice of the peace 25 years ago, Gordon was thrilled to have Kent Clarke, the Archbishop of Edmonton, say a simple prayer for him and his Jewish wife at their wedding dinner.
“I can’t tell you how much it meant to me,” Gordon, the rector of All Saints’ Cathedral and dean of Edmonton, said. “It told me the church was pulling for us. It was a wonderful gift.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology
At its May-June meeting, the college council of the College of Emmanuel & St. Chad in Saskatoon made the decision to suspend college operations effective June 30, 2013. Working with other college stakeholders, the council will develop a plan for restructuring Emmanuel & St. Chad, which since 1967 has been the official accredited theological college for the ecclesiastical province of Rupert's Land.
According to Terry Wiebe, college principal, the college sold its historic buildings to the University of Saskatchewan in 2006. It has since been renting space in the Lutheran seminary and using its chapel.
“This decision, which was not easy, was made only after carefully considering the current financial condition of the college, the ongoing decline in student enrolment, and the current and projected costs of operating the college,” said the Rt. Rev. James Njegovan, bishop of Brandon and college council president, in a statement.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
They’d been there, in a quiet spot along the back wall of Victoria’s St. Matthias Anglican Church, for decades — possibly since the parish opened the doors of its new home in the B.C. capital nearly 50 years ago.
But two elegantly designed wooden armchairs, their origin unknown to clergy or even the eldest members of the congregation, may prove to be the salvation of the financially-challenged church — nothing less than a “godsend,” according to St. Matthias’s rector, Rev. Robert Arril.
An antique-furniture buff’s fortuitous visit to the church two years ago for a Bible study session has led to the identification of the chairs as rare and valuable Qing dynasty treasures, expertly crafted in 17th-century China before making their way somehow — thanks to a long-forgotten donor evidently unaware of their significance — to the Vancouver Island parish.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch History
Its latest marquee posting plays on tales of the Arabian Nights, reading “1001 Shades of Grace.” But until recently, the sign outside Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ont. made an even racier play on the title of a contemporary bestselling erotic novel.
The Anglican church’s previous sign read “50 Shades of Grace,” echoing Fifty Shades of Grey--the title of the first book in U.K. author E.L. James’s sexually explicit trilogy.
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The Ven. Adam Halkett, archdeacon of Saskatchewan and priest-in-charge at St. Joseph’s, Montreal Lake First Nations, has been elected the first diocesan indigenous bishop of Saskatchewan. He was chosen July 28 by the diocese's general assembly in Prince Albert.
Read it all and enjoy the picture.
Today, St. Bart’s grapples with the one challenge these hardened servants of God have never faced: the neighbourhood is moving upscale.
A white tower crane today dwarfs St. Bart’s. Workers this week put the last windows on the 26-storey Paintbox Condos, east of the old church and, next door, are busy pouring concrete for a 10-storey condo and a Toronto Community Housing rental building.
“We hope that there are Anglicans moving in and that we can attract them,” says Mr. Buckland, as the growl, whine and clang of construction drown him out.
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Right Rev. Gregory Kerr-Wilson has been elected the ninth bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Calgary.
Kerr-Wilson, currently the bishop of Qu’Appelle, a diocese that covers southern Saskatchewan, was voted the new bishop by members of the clergy and laity from each of Calgary’s Anglican congregations on Saturday.
“I’m looking forward to being there, being with the people and getting on with the work,” he told the Herald on Monday.
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A former Crosslink’s missionary and British Army chaplain has been elected Suffragan Bishop of the Arctic. The Rev. Darren McCartney, rector of Knocknamuckley in the Church of Ireland’s Diocese of Down and Dromore will be consecrated...at the “igloo cathedral” in Iqualit on Baffin Island.
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If she knows anything, Canadian author Jane Urquhart knows the influence of history and the power of place.
Her celebrated novels are shot through with it. She even lives now with her artist husband, Tony, in the 200-year-old house her parents once owned in this Lake Ontario town, between Cobourg and Belleville.
It’s little wonder then that Urquhart became a leading voice of a local group fighting against the controversial deconsecration of Colborne’s historic Trinity Anglican Church....
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An Anglican church is opening its doors to civil servants of any creed and anyone who’s suffering from the stress of public sector layoffs.
St. Andrew’s Church is hosting a noon-hour service of reflection and hope on Wednesday for anyone of any faith who drops by over their lunch hour. Members of the congregation will be on hand after work, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., to offer individual support and prayer.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Canada
It has taken an un-Genesis-like 34 years to create, but Inuit communities in Canada’s Eastern Arctic can now read the complete Bible in their own language.
A consecration ceremony to mark the translation of the King James Version into Inuktitut – the official language in Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut – was held Sunday at the new St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
The project, jointly undertaken by the Canadian Bible Society and the Anglican Church of Canada, cost about $1.75-million, according to Hartmut Wiens, CBS’s director of scripture translation.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Books Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Theology: Scripture
Feuding local Anglicans have closed the book on a four-year legal dispute over ownership of three parishes, including one in St. Catharines.
The Anglican Network of Canada and Anglican Diocese of Niagara reached a negotiated settlement that saw the three congregations that split from the diocese in 2008 turn over the keys to the parish properties.
Read it all and there is more there as well.
At the request of the 2010 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, and with the agreement of the United Church’s Theology and Inter-Church Inter-Faith Committee, this latest series of talks is focusing on “the doctrinal identities of the two churches and the implications of this for the lives of the churches—including understandings of sacraments and orders of ministry.”
The current phase builds on six years of formal conversations, which concluded in 2009. The results of these discussions were reported in Drawing from the Same Well: The St. Brigid Report.
"The first meeting of this new round was very encouraging," says Myers. "Both churches have appointed outstanding individuals who are both steeped in their own church's tradition and also open to real dialogue. During that first gathering, I think we were reminded that despite our differences, there is still so much more that we have in common as churches and as followers of Christ, and that the things that unite us are far greater in number and importance than those things that divide us."
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Andrew Atagotaaluk will retire as bishop of the diocese of the Arctic at the end of the year, after holding the post for 10 years. Atagotaaluk was the first Inuk to serve as bishop of the diocese.
The election will take place as part of the Arctic diocese’s synod in Iqaluit. The Anglican diocese of the Arctic includes N.W.T., Nunavut and Nunavik.
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Martha Gardner, partner from the Episcopal Church, spoke about her church's General Convention in Indianapolis in July. She noted that like COGS, General Convention is working to renew church structures. Ms. Gardner said that the convention will consider 58 resolutions relating to structural change. General Convention will also discuss several resolutions relating to the proposed Anglican Covenant.
The Rev. David Pritchard, partner for the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, shared his reflections, emphasizing that PWRDF sees itself as "the mission arm of the Anglican Church of Canada." He described how PWRDF has been successful in working with the Canadian International Development Agency. He commended the work of PWRDF partners and staff and ended by praising the work COGS has done at this meeting.
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Members spent the day working through three questions around finance, governance, and ACIP:
1. How might God be using the current financial situation of General Synod to tell us about our future in carrying out Vision 2019?
2. What might the Holy Spirit telling us about ourselves as we grapple with the complexities of our current governance and structural challenges?
3. How might Jesus be leading us on a journey of spiritual renewal through the presence of Indigenous peoples among us, and their witness in the Mississauga Declaration.
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After nearly 100 years in service, St. Michael's Anglican Church needs literal and figurative support to stay standing for another century.
Audrey Campbell, a member of the church's small congregation, explains that the parish needs the community's help to raise $5,544 for labour, steel rods, and turnbuckles to secure the bowing exterior walls of St. Michael's.
"I never noticed, but people who knew about buildings have noticed for a few years. It has to be pointed out to me," she says.
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This week, Anglican Church officials discussed combining some of the seven eastern dioceses, from Quebec to Newfoundland, in an effort to save on administrative costs.
The proposal includes the amalgamation of two dioceses in the Maritimes.
The discussion took place at a meeting of the seven eastern dioceses, the purpose of which is to give members the chance to prepare to debate issues at the upcoming Provincial Synod scheduled for September.
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The Consecration of a new Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa within the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
In an amazing gathering that brought together bishops and archbishops from the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Coptic Catholic Church, and well as representatives of the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, government officials, Ambassadors, prominent writers, and politicians, the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa celebrated the consecration of The Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand as a new Area (Assistant) Bishop for the Horn of Africa.
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, together with The Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis (Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf), The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Musk (Area Bishop for North Africa), and The Rt. Rev. Ghais Abdel Malek (the retired Diocesan Bishop of Egypt) par-ticipated in the consecration of The Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand.
Many people sent greetings, including The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Other representatives from around the Anglican Communion attended, including: Archbishop Robert Duncan of ACNA; Bishop Peter Tasker of Sydney; representatives of The Diocese of Singapore and The Diocese of South Carolina (our companion dioceses); The Diocese of Pittsburgh; The Diocese of Tennessee; The Diocese of Texas; the Honorary Chairman and Secretary of the Egypt Diocesan Association in the UK; Trinity School for Ministry in Am-bridge, Pennsylvania; The Church Missionary Society, UK; and The Church Missionary Society, Australia.
It was very meaningful to have this consecration on 25 April 2012, on the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, the Patron Saint of Egypt, in the presence of the Orthodox churches that were started in the first century by St. Mark. It was also the same day of the consecration of All Saints Cathedral at its present site in Zamalek, Cairo in 1988.
In his sermon, Bishop Mouneer said, “Grant, today you will walk in the steps of St. Frumentius, the first Bishop of Axum in Abyssinia, who was ordained by St. Athanasius, the Patriarch in Alex-andria, here in Egypt in the 4th Century. In this tradition, we are consecrating you an Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa.” He added that we “need to be ready to stand firm in the faith we once re-ceived from the saints.”
Bishop Mouneer reminded Grant that he “will go to harvest the fruit of the seeds that were sown by many great servants of the Lord, including Bishop Andrew Proud who proceeded you.”
He added that “the church in Africa needs to be grounded in the faith and grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ, so that she can replay the role she played in the first millennium in shap-ing the Christian mind. As you know, the church in Africa is growing numerically in an amazing way however, there is a great need for theological education and making true disciples.”
It is worth mentioning that since their establishment, both Episcopal Areas (North Africa and the Horn of Africa) within the Diocese of Egypt, are flourishing and growing. The installation of Bishop Grant LeMarquand will take place at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 27 October 2012, when the church celebrates the Feast of St. Frumentius.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Latest News Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * International News & Commentary Africa * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Pockets of breakaway Anglican groups in Canada, including their married priests, are joining the Roman Catholic Church in ceremonies across the country.
Conservative Anglicans say their beliefs are more in line with Rome than with increasingly liberal teachings of some of their own bishops regarding hot-button issues, such as female priests and same-sex marriage.
Deborah Gyapong, an Ottawa-based freelance journalist who reports for Catholic and evangelical newspapers, was one of about 40 Anglicans recently welcomed at a rite of reception in Ottawa on Sunday, part of several Anglican parishes across the country that will be entering into "full communion" with the Catholic Church.
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When I received a letter from the President of the Historical Society asking if I would consider being the speaker at this year’s annual meeting I was flattered. Then I read the fine print: would I consider talking about “the position of the third world Anglican churches in the current crisis…it would be helpful to have a clearer picture of the response of the African churches than the rather cryptic press accounts sometimes provided.
” The “crisis,” of course, is the situation we now find ourselves in as a global communion following two events in North America: the decision at General Convention 2003 to ratify the election of a man who is a practicing homosexual to be the Bishop of New Hampshire, and his subsequent consecration, and the decision by the Diocese of New Westminster in Canada to allow the blessing of same-sex unions within the diocese and the production of a liturgy for that purpose. These events have resulted in a perhaps unprecedented negative response by many in the communion. With regard to the letter of invitation I must be fair – the topic was left completely up to me – I was in no way coerced to speak about this subject. But the letter made its point: grave misunderstanding is far too easy if we know little about the context from which a statement is made or a position is taken. Even those of us Anglicans who live within the same culture have had a difficult time communicating with each other recently. How much more confusion is possible if we speak from differing culture contexts? The topic which the President’s letter suggested was both timely and crucial. But I immediately saw the potential landmines.
First, although I have lived in Africa and I love Africa, and although I have spent much of my academic life seeking to comprehend that wonderful place more deeply, I am not an African and I cannot presume to speak for Africa. Africa is an immense, varied, and complicated place. I am well aware that whatever I say some of my African friends will be well within their rights to question my judgement, or even my presumption to render an opinion. There is no one “African position” on the subject of homosexuality; neither is there one monolithic opinion about the wisdom of the actions of the Canadian and American churches, although it is quite clear that there is a majority opinion. Second, I was immediately aware of who my audience would be for this talk, and aware that many in the room would not share my own opinions about the meaning of the present situation. And finally, I am deeply conscious that our present troubles have left many of us emotionally raw. The issues of sexuality with which we have been struggling (and which can now be seen to involve also issues of culture and race, of money and power) touch all of us at deep levels of our being. Anger is not far from the surface of conversations. I have told my students many times that I would much rather be a church historian writing about these events three hundred years from now.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * International News & Commentary Africa
Each winter he would visit small hunting communities spread over 3,000 miles while driving a team of 13 dogs, covering some 50 miles a day; once, when the dogs were struck by illness, he had to take the lead harness of the 18ft sledge himself for 200 miles.
At the same time Sperry was preaching the Gospel and delivering packages and medical supplies. He was ready to meet any emergency: when the only dentist gave up, Sperry took on the task himself, despite having no training in extractions.
Since few members of his scattered flock spoke English, Sperry learned the Copper Inuit dialect, into which he translated the Gospels, the Acts of Apostles, the Book of Common Prayer and some 200 hymns.
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In most parts of Canada, January isn't the greatest time to hang out by open water. It's cold, it's windy, and if you stand still too long, your face will freeze.
Yet it's worth the discomfort if you're there for divine purposes. Such was the case for some Indigenous Anglicans who this year picked up the Eastern Orthodox tradition of the Great Blessing of Water. The outdoor event happens on or close to Jan. 19, the feast of Christ's baptism known as "Theophany."
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(Please note--copied verbatim as received, edited only for format--KSH).
STATEMENT OF HOUSE OF BISHOPS OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SUDAN ON HUMAN SEXUALITY
The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan in its meeting held in Juba from 14-16, November 2011 in the context of General Synod has reaffirmed the statement of the Sudanese Bishops at the Lambeth Conference in 2008 as quoted below:
“We reject homosexual practice as contrary to Biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within ECS. We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in USA and Canada in consecrating a practicing homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships.”We are deeply disappointed by The Episcopal Church's refusal to abide by Biblical teaching on human sexuality and their refusal to listen to fellow Anglicans. For example, TEC Diocese of Los Angles, California in 2010 elected and consecrated Mary Douglas Glasspool as their first lesbian assistant Bishop. We are not happy with their acts of continuing ordaining homosexuals and lesbians as priests and bishops as well as blessing same sex relations in the church by some dioceses in TEC; it has pushed itself away from God's Word and from Anglican Communion. TEC is not concerned for the unity of the Communion.
The Episcopal Church of Sudan is recognizing the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) fully as true faithful Orthodox Church and we will work with them to expand the Kingdom of God in the world. Also we will work with those Parishes and Dioceses in TEC who are Evangelical Orthodox Churches and faithful to God.
We will not compromise our faith on this and we will not give TEC advice anymore, because TEC ignored and has refused our advices.
--(The Most Rev.) Dr. Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop and Primate of Episcopal Church of Sudan, Juba, 12th December 2011
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church of the Sudan Episcopal Church (TEC) Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
Harry’s success in parish ministry must undoubtedly be attributed to his genius as a preacher. While committed to the consecutive exposition of Scripture as the best way to build people up in the Christian faith, his highly original approach to the task reflected an innate creativity and an ability to use insightful narrative to disarm his unsuspecting listeners. He loved presenting Christianity to its wealthy, cultured despisers. Widely read and deeply culturally aware, his preaching combined piercing irony with deep spiritual insight and genuine humility.
Read all that Don Lewis wrote and read it carefully--he was a remarkable man.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals
Young clergy and seminarians from the Anglican Diocese of Montreal are creating an oasis of peace for shoppers who want a break from the stress of a hectic mall as the Christmas rush gears up.
In the Promenades de la Cathédrale shopping centre on Ste. Catherine St. W., along the corridor that runs parallel to Union St., is a quiet area where people can unwind, pray, meditate, or have a spiritual conversation over a hot drink.
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On Nov. 29, the Synod Council of the Anglican diocese of Ontario “suspended” four of its programs and ministries to create a “credible, balanced budget” for 2012. Cuts include the diocesan newspaper, Dialogue, as well as the diocese’s summer residential youth program, Camp Hyanto.
The decision is meant to “relieve the financial load on the diocese,” said the bishop of the diocese, Michael Oulton, in a letter issued to parishes Dec. 3.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- * International News & Commentary Canada
[Ross] Hebb has been priest and rector of the Anglican Parish of St. Peter (Springhill), Woodstock Road since 1996. He spent May and June on sabbatical in England and, while there, he noticed something.
"The 400th anniversary was a really big deal over there," Hebb said. "It is being marked throughout the land in many various ways - talks, displays, readings, lectures and usage.
"Here, in Canada and in New Brunswick - hardly a word. I thought someone should do something and, as St. Peter's is known as a traditional parish, what better place than here?
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Theology: Scripture
“I’m having a blast..." [the Rev. Mel Malton] says. “I enjoyed the training but it’s like lessons in sky-diving; you can’t really know until you’re actually doing it.”
“I remember realizing, wow, this is for real. The parishioners talk to me about the heavy things they are dealing with. It’s a huge responsibility, it’s a blast, it’s a challenge. You get to be in on people’s really important life moments: funerals, weddings. I haven’t been able to do any baptisms yet but we have some coming up after Christmas and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Digby’s deacon grew up in Muskoka, Ont., but was born in England. That accent slips out now and then, usually when she’s telling a joke, but most of the time she uses a gentle Upper Canadian accent.
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In spite of many assurances, some Anglicans evidently still think that the Covenant changes the structure of our Communion or that it gives some sort of absolute power of ‘excommunication’ to some undemocratic or unrepresentative body. With all respect to those who have raised these concerns, I must repeat that I do not see the Covenant in this light at all. It sets out an understanding of our common life and common faith and in the light of that proposes making a mutual promise to consult and attend to each other, freely undertaken. It recognizes that not doing this damages our relations profoundly. It outlines a procedure, such as we urgently need, for attempting reconciliation and for indicating the sorts of consequences that might result from a failure to be fully reconciled. It alters no Province’s constitution, as it has no canonical force independent of the life of the Provinces. It does not create some unaccountable and remote new authority but seeks to identify a representative group that might exercise a crucial advisory function. I continue to ask what alternatives there are if we want to agree on ways of limiting damage, managing conflict and facing with honesty the actual effects of greater disunity. In the absence of such alternatives, I must continue to commend the Covenant as strongly as I can to all who are considering its future.
These questions are made all the more sharp by the fact that the repeated requests for moratoria on problematic actions issued by various representative Anglican bodies are increasingly ignored. Strong conscientious convictions are involved here. No-one, I believe, acts out of a desire to deepen disunity; some believe that certain matters are more important than what they think of as a superficial unity. But the effects are often to deepen mutual mistrust, and this must surely be bad for our mission together as Anglicans, and alongside other Christians as well. The question remains: if the moratoria are ignored and the Covenant suspected, what are the means by which we maintain some theological coherence as a Communion and some personal respect and understanding as a fellowship of people seeking to serve Christ? And we should bear in mind that our coherence as a Communion is also a significant concern in relation to other Christian bodies – especially at a moment when the renewed dialogues with Roman Catholics and Orthodox have begun with great enthusiasm and a very constructive spirit.
Read it all (my emphasis).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Covenant Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology
Cy Pitman, bishop for the Anglican diocese for Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, says he supports the parish's move.
"St. Michael's has a history of reaching out in areas where people are. And that's all about who we are as a church," he says.
When asked if the move has to do with a declining membership, Rose said while numbers have gone down over the years, it's more to do with an aging population and the changing demographics in the area than people not supporting the church.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada
The Council of General Synod (CoGS) has approved a balanced 2012 budget for the national church of $12.698 million.
At its Nov. 18-20 meeting here, a balanced budget was also forecast for 2013 with “no further staffing cuts” before 2016.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that declining revenues coupled with cost-push inflation could mean that General Synod will once again face a deficit budget in 2014. This deficit could balloon to $1 million by 2016, according to a report submitted to CoGS by the church’s Financial Management Committee (FMC).
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- * International News & Commentary Canada
Ms. [Michèle] George emphasized that from 2014 onward, General Synod needs to stabilize revenues. Currently proportional giving from dioceses makes up 67% of General Synod's budget. This giving has been decreasing by 3% annually. If this trend continues, by 2014 COGS may once again face the reshaping of national programs.
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Prospects for better understanding between Anglicans and Roman Catholics in Canada may not seem as bright in some ways as they did 40 years ago, leaders of the two communions implied Nov. 13 at a worship service at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal.
But the liturgy during a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Anglican-Roman Catholic (ARC) Dialogue of Canada expressed a commitment to press ahead, with gratitude.
“Genuine faith is more than assent: it is expressed in action,” said one of the texts read by a “lector” near the close of the bilingual gathering, attended by a few hundred people—nowhere near the capacity of the Basilica Church of Oratory. About five Anglican and 10 Roman Catholic bishops from different parts of Canada attended the service.
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Occupy Toronto protesters cannot use the city's landmark cathedral to evade eviction if the courts rule they have to leave the park they took over more than a month ago, the Anglican dean of Toronto said Thursday.
Rev. Douglas Stoute said the church owns some of the land adjacent to the majestic St. James Cathedral, but the city owns the rest and runs park as a "seamless garment."
"We have no authority to allow them to stay here or not," Stoute said of the protesters.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life Stock Market The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- Politics in General
The fall term at King’s University in Halifax began on a sour note for students and faculty who worship at the college chapel. The Bishop of Nova Scotia sent a letter to the president of the university stating that the diocese could no longer fund a full-time chaplaincy.
And Bishop Sue Moxley went further: “There have been suggestions that this model of chaplaincy is no longer appropriate, that the style of worship is antiquated and the chapel maintains a male-dominated clergy.”
Students, staff and faculty as well as the chaplain himself have all expressed grave concerns about the bishop’s letter.
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Earlier this week, leaders from diverse faith traditions and communities launched a Canadian Interfaith Call for Leadership and Action on Climate Change. The statement represents a convergence of Canadian faith-based traditions around a common conviction that climate change is an ethical and moral issue that requires greater governmental action, both domestically and globally.
The statement aims to strategically pressure the Canadian government as it prepares for the upcoming United Nations’ negotiations on climate change in Durban, South Africa (COP17). Based on the ‘spiritual deficit’ and individualism witnessed within society, communities of faith are reasserting the messages of their respective sacred texts to live in harmony with the earth and be good stewards of creation.
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The Anglican Church is selling seven church properties on southern Vancouver Island to pay down its deficit.
"It's been an extremely hard decision," Chris Pease, asset manager for the Diocese of British Columbia, said Monday. "It's a sad time. People have been part of a community and some of their families actually constructed these churches.
Some feel anger. Some feel sadness because it's part of their community that's dying."
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Bishop Michael had two conversations with Archbishop Rowan who was well aware of the diocese’s situation regarding recent court decisions. Bishop Michael asked him if he would consider casting his eye around the communion for a possible interim appointment for St John’s, Shaughnessy. Archbishop Rowan said that he would and when he bid Bishop Michael farewell he told him that “thoughts were forming.” Since then, he has been very busy preparing for his African trip. Bishop Michael has followed up on the conversation with a letter.
[In September 2011]...the Rev. Jesse Dymond began his work as General Synod's first online community coordinator. A priest in the Diocese of Huron, Mr. Dymond brings a wide range of experience in parish ministry, theological reflection, technology, and communications.
Canadian Anglicans will be seeing more of Mr. Dymond as he tweets, posts Facebook updates, and finds new ways to connect people online. Since the focus of his ministry will be to cultivate online community, we gave him more than 140 characters (the Twitter limit) to introduce himself. Read on for the interview.
What do you do at General Synod?
For now, I'm working behind the scenes: networking, planning, and taking care of our involvement in existing communities such as Facebook and Twitter.
Read it all (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material).
After serving for five years as head of the Anglican diocese of Calgary, Bishop Derek Hoskin, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31 this year.
Bishop Hoskin was elected in 2006 as the 8th bishop of the diocese of Calgary, which includes about 20,000 Anglicans in 92 congregations in the southern part of Alberta.
In a pastoral letter issued Oct. 1 to members of his diocese, Bishop Hoskin said he decided to retire because 2012 marks the 40th year of his ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada and he will be turning 69.
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2. The same-gendered couple, civilly married, must be in an existing pastoral relationship with the clergy and parish.
3. At least one of the couple must be baptised.
4. Consistent with the moratorium and reflecting gracious restraint, no formal liturgy will be outlined or sanctioned by the Episcopal Office. However, the following guidelines must be observed:
a. The act of worship, prayer and blessing will be entered in the Vestry Book only.
b. The service of Blessing may not occur at the same occasion or day as a civil marriage so as to allow each event to be distinct and clearly understood.
c. Introductory remarks must be made that reflect the theological difference between the act of blessing and the sacrament of marriage.
d. The blessing of the commitment may include a statement of commitment and symbolic expressions of that commitment but these may not resemble those typically used in a marriage liturgy.
e. Celebration of the Eucharist is encouraged but optional.
f. In order to distinguish the act of blessing from marriage, it is not appropriate to ask for an exchange of consents. As well, blessings typically used in a marriage liturgy will not be used nor will a declaration of union be made. The act of blessing consecrates before God the partnership that already exists between the couple; mutual love and lifelong commitment one to the other in Christ.
Read it all (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material) and please take the time to note what is said about the communion of the unbaptized, not only in the letter but also in the appendix by the Canon Theologian of Ottawa.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings Windsor Report / Process * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship * Culture-Watch Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Theology
In an historic move, the Anglican diocese of Rupert’s Land has appointed a Lutheran pastor – the Rev. Paul Johnson – as dean of the diocese and incumbent for St. John’s Cathedral in Winnipeg.
This is the first time that a Lutheran pastor has been appointed dean in an Anglican cathedral in Canada. A dean is the priest in charge of a cathedral (“mother church”) and occupies a senior position in a diocese.
The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have been in full communion since 2001, which means that their clergy may serve in one another’s churches.
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St. John’s Vancouver Anglican Church, the largest Anglican congregation in Canada, will begin Sunday services at a new location after moving from its historic location on Granville Street and Nanton Avenue. The congregation, through a lengthy legal action, chose to leave their buildings rather than compromise their beliefs.
St. John’s Vancouver, which had been meeting at the Granville Street location for almost 100 years, will begin Sunday services on September 25 at Oakridge Adventist Church, at West 37th Avenue and Baillie Street in Vancouver.
Disagreement over basic Christian beliefs has separated Anglican congregations around the world into two camps, usually labeled orthodox and liberal, with those holding to historic, Bible-based values and beliefs in the vast majority. The St. John’s Vancouver Anglican congregation has aligned itself with the mainstream global Anglican Church, rather than continue as part of the local, more liberal Diocese of New Westminster.
“It is remarkable to be part of a Christian community which is putting faith into action in a way that seems inexplicable to those who love the world,” explained Canon David Short, Rector of St. John’s Vancouver. “We are doing something countercultural and counterintuitive for the truth of God’s word, losing something very valuable for the surpassing worth of Jesus Christ, holding the unity of faith by acting together as one, and joyfully accepting the confiscation of our property.”
The underlying, central issues of belief are: the authority of God’s Word in the Bible, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, and the need to be saved by Him. St. John’s, along with the majority of Anglicans worldwide, joyfully upholds the historic biblical faith, expressed in the founding Anglican affirmations.
The move was the result of a court action to determine whether the Diocese of New Westminster or the St. John’s Vancouver congregation was conducting the ministry for which the buildings were intended, and is a result of an on-going world-wide upheaval in the Anglican Communion, the 80 million member Christian Protestant denomination formed 500 years ago.
St. John’s Vancouver’s final Sunday services at the Granville Street location on September 18, attended by over 1,100 congregants, included prayers to bless the Diocese of New Westminster and those that would occupy the buildings after the congregation had left. Congregation members both wept and smiled as they left the church to travel the short distance to the new location. There, they joyfully sung hymns and prayed together.
“It is inexpressibly sad that we are forced to choose between God’s final word and these wonderful buildings,” said Canon Short, “but we feel relief and much joy in God’s faithfulness and provision for us.”
St. John’s Vancouver will continue to be led by its present clergy, Canon David Short, Rector, Venerable Daniel Gifford, Associate Minister, Rev. James Wagner, and Rev. Aaron Roberts, assisted by Canon Dr. J.I. Packer, Honorary Assistant Minister and a world-renowned published theologian, a staff of 15, and by the Trustees of St. John’s Vancouver Anglican Church.
The new location secured by St. John’s Vancouver is at West 37th Avenue and Baillie Street and belongs to Oakridge Adventist Church, which has graciously offered to share its building. St. John’s Sunday services will start in Oakridge on September 25, 2011 and all other mid-week activities are planned to continue as normal in the new location.
All those who visited St. John’s Granville Street location in the past, new neighbours in the Oakridge location, and all visitors and residents in Vancouver are welcome at the services, prayer times and church events. Special events are planned during the transition period and special welcoming services will be held. (My emphasis--KSH)
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An Anglican congregation in Vancouver is abandoning a historic church...after losing a court case spawned by divisions within the church over same sex marriages.
The St. John’s congregation says it's giving up the Granville Street church, which it's used for almost 100 years, and moving its Sunday services to another location.
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Some GO Transit commuters will get a gesture of good faith as the Anglican Church of Canada welcomes Barrie residents back to all congregations.
In conjunction with the church's international Back to Church Sunday event, members of the clergy will be on GO train platforms early Thursday morning with a token for city residents.
"This Sunday is Back to Church Sunday and we just want to encourage everyone of every faith to visit their place of worship this weekend," said. Rev. Stephen Pessah, from St. Margaret of Scotland Anglican Church in Barrie.
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There may be good reasons for opposing the adoption of the proposed Anglican Covenant but an appeal to the perpetual independence of the Episcopal Church and a characterization of the Anglican Communion as an incursion of ambitious archbishops of Canterbury seeking to snare unsuspecting Americans certainly is not one of them. On the contrary, American Episcopalians should look with pride on the role that they have played in the creation of the Anglican Communion. The repeated American initiatives over the middle decades of the 19th century have much to do with the existence of the Anglican Communion. And the idea that Anglican Communion bodies might be appropriate fora in which to discuss matters of common theological concern is hardly a new concept created in order to combat American views on sexuality; it was an idea already present in the thinking of some American Episcopalians well before the first gathering of the Lambeth Conference in 1867.
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[Archdeacon Michael] Thompson succeeds Archdeacon Michael Pollesel as chief operating officer for General Synod on Nov. 1. The Council of General Synod (CoGS) ratified Thompson’s appointment by an e-mail vote on Sept. 2.
“Michael brings a lot of gifts to the ministry,” said Archbishop Fred Hiltz when he announced the appointment to Church House staff in Toronto on Sept. 6. The primate of the Anglican Church of Canada then went on to describe Thompson as a gifted communicator and noted his contribution as the principal author of Vision 2019, the church’s strategic plan. In tandem with the primate, the General Secretary “represents the heart and the voice of the church,” Archbishop Hiltz told the Anglican Journal.
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They will be hard to miss in their pointy hats and long robes, standing at a train station at 5:00 a.m.
On Sept. 22, Archbishop Fred Hiltz and Bishop Michael Pryse (ELCIC) will visit the Brampton, Ont. train station—wearing copes and mitres—and invite commuters to Back to Church Sunday (B2CS). They will join thousands of Canadian Anglicans who are inviting friends to check out church Sept. 25.
2011 is the third official year of Back to Church Sunday in the Anglican Church of Canada. Founded in 2004 in the Church of England, "B2CS" encourages people to invite just one person to church, whether a friend, neighbour or co-worker.
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After an almost decade-long rift among Anglicans that led to a breakaway group trying and failing to gain control of a Windsor church, Rev. Robert Bennett says the diocese is ready to move on and "regrow."
Bennett, the bishop of Huron, conducted a healing mass at St. Aidan's on Sunday along with seven local Anglican priests.
"This is a time where we're just celebrating hopefully a new beginning," he said before mass. "People have to get on with things."
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A proposed pipeline to convey oil derived from "tar sand" in Canada across the American heartland is facing strong opposition from environmentalists – including faith-based groups – staging nonviolent sit-in protests this week in front of the White House in Washington D.C.
Since the protests began Aug. 20, some 150 activists have been arrested, according to 350.org, one of the organizations involved in the demonstrations, which are planned to continue for two weeks.
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"The other thing that John was concerned about was to banish apathy from the hearts of those to whom he ministered. Starting with his own congregation at All Souls, Langham Place in London and extending to all the congregations to whom he ministered quite literally all around the world.
Banishing apathy, what did that mean in positive terms? It meant that John summoned us to learn our faith and not be sloppy in terms of our doctrine, and equally not to be sloppy and casual in terms of our service of the Lord whom we love and honour as our Saviour."
[We are grateful to a T19 reader for providing this unofficial transcript. Please let us know if there are any improvements which can be made.]
Unofficial Transcipt of the Sermon the Rev Canon Dr JI Packer preached at a memorial service for the Rev John Stott on Friday 5th August 2011 at the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd, Vancouver, Canada
For a moment, let us pray together:
Gracious Father, we ask you to open your word to our hearts and our hearts to your word, that we may understand what you have done and what now, in your strength, we must seek to do, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.
In the letter to the Hebrews Chapter 13, verses 7 and 8 read as follows:
“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange doctrines”
John Stott was the most modest of men; compliments embarrassed him. He would shrug them off and try to change the subject just as quickly as he could. If he could have briefed me in advance for this message that I am to give now, he would most certainly have said to me: ‘focus on Christ, don’t focus on me.’
Well this text helps us to do just that.
It is the word of a pastor, at the end of a weighty pastoral letter that he has written. He is suffering, this pastor, from a two-fold anxiety. He is concerned on the one hand about the hostility that his addressees are facing, you see they are converted Jews and the Jews who were not Christians were hostile to them, hated them one might say and they were making life very difficult for them, saying I suppose: ‘you come back to the Synagogue with us or else.’ Well, they had to live through that and there was in addition, not just hostility around them, but apathy within them. The writer has spoken of that once or twice, calling them to pay attention to the Gospel message, telling them that by now in their discipleship they ought to be teachers, and in fact they are still babes needing milk – they’re not learning, they’re not advancing, they are sluggish, they are stuck! And he is burdened about that too, and as a good pastor so he should be.
Well, into a situation where that is the condition of the people he is addressing, he writes: ‘remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God’. Remember who they were – clearly they belong to the past history of this congregation. One supposes that the people of whom he is writing are dead now. The verb in the next clause should be translated ‘those who used to speak to you the word of God.’ – implication: they have been taken from you so that their ministry to you has ceased to be, but remember them, and remember the ministry they fulfilled. ‘Consider the outcome of their way of life’, consider what it added up to for them, ‘and imitate their faith’.
And that leads him straight into verse 8 ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ What’s the link? Clearly in his own mind the link is that Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, was the burden of the ministry of the word of God which these leaders had fulfilled when they were with the congregation. He’s your Lord, says he to the church, just as he’s my Lord, he is our Lord and he doesn’t change, and he wants to be everything to us that he was to them. He’s the same yesterday, today and always will be and this of course is actually what the writer has been affirming and elaborating all the way through the letter.
If you know the letter to the Hebrews, cast your mind back: chapter one Jesus is proclaimed as divine; chapter 2 he is proclaimed as human and as saviour; chapter 5 and on he is proclaimed as high priest; chapter 8 he is proclaimed as bringing in the new covenant, the better covenant, better that is than Old Testament believers knew; chapters 9 and 10 he is proclaimed as the new high priest who brought in the covenant by sacrificing himself at the Father’s will; and now he reigns at the end of chapter 4, and in a number of other places the writer has referred to the Lord Jesus Christ as being now on the throne in the power of his atoning death and resurrection, and one day he will return bringing salvation to those who look for him, ‘though coming to judge and therefore to be feared by those who are not already his disciples.
It all works out to what he said in chapter 10, just let me read you a bit of it: - Chapter 10 verse 12:
When Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
“this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days declares the Lord, I will put my laws in their hearts and write them on their minds”
then he adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these there is no longer any offering for sin.
Therefore brothers … [I jump down now to verse 22] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience’ – let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful, [he will keep his word to us] and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
That is the summary of the message of Jesus Christ who is the same today as he was yesterday and will be forever, and the writer’s concern is that the folk he is addressing don’t lose any part of this message. He wants them to live in the energy and joy of the full Gospel, and he doesn’t want them to change, or allow people around them to change any part of the message because that would move them to a false Gospel.
And those concerns get us straight to John Stott whose ministry we celebrate this evening for there too, if ever, was a man concerned with every breath he took that everyone to whom he ministered should enjoy the fullness of the full Gospel in its truth and in its power, and should not change any part of it, because that would mean exchanging the true Gospel for a false one. And throughout the years of his ministry these were the two concerns that he pursued tirelessly and powerfully in just about every sermon that he preached and every book that he wrote.
Positively, we could say, his ministry was concerned to lead us into the fullness of faith, and so into enjoyment of the fullness of Christ and negatively, he was as concerned as anyone ever has been to counter hostility to this Gospel and, yes, he faced hostility just as all of us today still face hostility. Today it calls itself liberalism, but the essence of liberalism is that something different is believed about Jesus from what you have in the New Testament. Something different is affirmed therefore, about Christian discipleship from what you have in the New Testament. And one of the things that marks our liberal friends over and over again is, how can I say it, pride, is that the word to use, obstinacy perhaps is the word that I had better go for, obstinacy in holding on to these false notions and declining to come back to the true ones. Says the writer: ‘don’t be led astray by diverse and strange teaching’; but that alas is what has happened to many people in our church today, and we all of course know it very well.
Well all through the Anglican Communion when John started his ministry that was going on and well, John stood as a faithful witness against it.
Then the other thing that John was concerned about was to banish apathy from the hearts of those to whom he ministered. Starting with his own congregation at All Souls, Langham Place in London and extending to all the congregations to whom he ministered quite literally all around the world.
Banishing apathy, what did that mean in positive terms? It meant that John summoned us to learn our faith and not be sloppy in terms of our doctrine, and equally not to be sloppy and casual in terms of our service of the Lord whom we love and honour as our Saviour.
John himself as we all know was, well, I call him a 15-talent man of God. 10 the number in our Lord’s parable really doesn’t seem enough. John Stott one sometimes felt could do anything and everything in ministry. He had all the gifts that make up a teacher and a carer and a unifier. He lived in a way which displayed the freedom of self-discipline. I am thinking there of the kind of freedom which in a different department of life a solo pianist or violinist will display. He or she has accepted the self-discipline of learning to master the instrument. Now he or she is able, if one may put it this way, to relax with the instrument and with the sort of inner ease to make it sound and sing out all the music that is there in the notes and which as a soloist the musician wants to convey.
Well, that is a picture an illustration of what I mean by freedom with self-discipline at its heart and you saw that in John as a preacher and teacher and influence in the church. And the self-discipline that lay at the heart of it was a discipline of constant Bible study, constant prayer, constant self-watch and constant refusal to go wild - John never went wild. John observed his own discipline so that he might always be at his best for ministry. And well we know, all of us I am sure, know something about the quality of that ministry, marked as it always was by love and wisdom in whatever form the situation demanded.
I remember back in the early 1950’s, when I was casting around actually, for a church in which to serve as an assistant to start my ministry, I wrote a letter to John to enquire whether there might be a position for me on his staff. Well there couldn’t have been more of love and wisdom in the letter he wrote back to me. What he had to say to me was, absolutely not… [laughter] but the way that he said it and expressed it, you might have thought he was congratulating me on something, But that was John, always with wisdom he showed love, and people loved him for it. Over and above the admiration that they felt for his gifts, they loved him for his Christ-like character.
Oh yes he was a wonderful person, and let me just list some of the things in which he excelled:
During his 25 years as Rector of All Souls, Langham Place in London, he pioneered something which, and I can tell you because I was part of the scenery at that time, something which just wasn’t happening in other evangelical churches: John trained the congregation in ministry - he did! And so the folk in the congregation became that much more able in their witness, and that much more useful to their Lord. And he made All Souls a centre of evangelism, and it was very fruitful evangelism all the time that he was there.
His ministry extended to the Church of England as a whole. I am thinking back now to the years in which he was Chair of the strategising body called the Church of England Evangelical Council; the years in which he chaired the council of an institution that I was deputed to manage called Latimer House; and I am thinking of the way in which he chaired the first and most fruitful National Evangelical Anglican Congress at Keele University in 1967, a congress which put English evangelicalism pretty much on the map, whereas for the previous 50 years, those who were not evangelicals had got into the habit of ignoring it – it wasn’t on their map. But after Keele, evangelicalism was on everybody’s map. And at Keele, John was the leader, the moving spirit, the person through whom the change was brought about.
And his influence did not stop of course with the Church of England. All through the Anglican Communion, he functioned as what we might call an unconsecrated bishop, a senior pastor, who pastured the pastors, who expounded the Bible, who encouraged, celebrated, who envisioned, advanced, and shared his vision so that others came to share it too.
Yes, that was John. And the Langham Organisation exists now as a continuance of all of that. And you don’t need me to tell you I don’t think, the Langham Organisation, the Langham Trust is a very powerful player in the world evangelical fellowship, powerful that is at clergy level, because the key activity of the Langham Trust is to provide scholarships that bring clergy to universities where they will get evangelical instruction, and so become weighty figures when they return to their own part of the world. Well that, I am sure you knew, was a major part of John’s ministry for the last 30 years of that ministry.
And then he was a university evangelist. There were very few English speaking universities in the world, quite literally, where John Stott did not at one stage or another manage a mission, and John’s missions were very fruitful missions evangelistically, which is why the organisers of Christian ministry in the universities lined up in order to book him up and to get the blessing on their own campus.
And then of course he was an educator. He wrote nearly 50 books not counting pamphlets. He lectured on contemporary issues. He founded the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. He encouraged the study by evangelicals of social ethics, problems of communal behaviour in society, which evangelicals for well 50 years, something like that, had been neglecting. John insisted that we get educated in these matters.
And then in world mission - the largest [what shall I call it?] - the largest sphere of all. John was throughout his ministry the close friend of Billy Graham, and as he had been the pioneer at Keele in 1967 for evangelical Anglicans, so he was the pioneer at the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation, at which the declaration, which still to my mind is the classic evangelical declaration on the agenda for world mission - that agenda was produced, and it is common knowledge that John virtually wrote it himself, just as then straight away he wrote a book expounding it, and as he continued to expound its themes as long as his ministry lasted.
Well I just mention these things. Again I expect you knew something about all of them. I haven’t time to go into them but you can see perhaps from the words I use that I want to celebrate each single one of them. I want to say John was magnificent in all these spheres – a 15 talent man of God: who loved the Bible and believed in its trustworthiness and expounded it accordingly; who loved the Lord Jesus and believed in the Gospel that proclaimed salvation in Jesus and leads us into the life of communion with Jesus and experience of the power of Jesus.
Thank God for John, that’s what we are doing this evening. Well I say it explicitly: thank God for John right now and don’t stop thanking God for John. He was one of the supreme gifts of God for the renewal of the church in the 20th century. And don’t hesitate to take to heart the words of our text: ‘consider the outcome of the way of life of those who spoke to you the word of God and imitate their faith’.
Yes, for John, the Bible was supreme; Christ was supreme. I say to you, in the Lord’s name, imitate both those emphases: they are truth; they are wisdom; there’s power in them; they are there for us to follow.
It is a joy to be able to say incidentally that since John’s ministry ended about 10 years ago, the things that he started and the vision which he communicated, those things have continued and gained power in the Anglican Communion. If I just say GAFCON, you will know what I am talking about. The Lord’s people, Anglican people, all round the world, are one feels coming to life, a mighty army in these days. And I am sure that as John lived out his last days, in his retirement home, he knew all this, and rejoiced in it.
It is a wonderful privilege to start something that goes on and grows after you have given to it all that you are able to give. I believe that the kingdom zeal - if I may use that phrase - of evangelicals all around the world, and most certainly Anglican evangelicals, has been greatly increased through John’s ministry. I think that his vision for a renewed church, which was there right from the very start of his ministry - that vision has been picked up and is being maintained and is still exciting people, just as it began to excite people when John expounded it.
Yes, John, by the Grace of God, started something, something wonderful, something rich and comprehensive, and evangelical - if I may say it this way - evangelical to its fingertips.
And, now it’s for us to pick up the torch, and in our own situations, our own churches, our own districts, our own homes, and wherever we go, it’s for us to carry on what John began.
One last thing, John had an amazing gift of friendship, and I am going to leave you with this thought, a thought which sometimes I think pricks rather painfully in evangelical consciences when it is mentioned, ‘friendship’. Do people find us friendly? In our churches Sunday by Sunday, do people wander in and find themselves ignored at coffee time, or do they find us friendly? Do we make friends easily, do we work at it until we can make friends easily, or do we allow ourselves, for whatever reason, to stand apart: ‘We are the evangelicals, we are special, we are different, so we don’t come too close to you, and we don’t expect you to come too close to us.’? I see something satanic about that attitude. I beg you, brothers and sisters, take your cue from John Stott, one of the friendliest men I have ever met, and show friendship in Christ as part of your witness and your work for the Saviour.
And so, God enabling us, following up John’s vision, and the things which he began, we go on. Yes, I trust so, God grant it,
Sermon Videos from Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd, Vancouver to whom we are grateful from here
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Speaking to the 8th Philippine General Synod on 2 May, the Church’s Prime Bishop, the Most Rev Edward Malecdan, argued the best way forward through the crisis of faith and order dividing Anglicans was to keep talking while taking no action that would cause irreparable harm to the fabric of the Communion.
“I think most of us know that there are problems besetting the Communion,” he observed, noting that “one of this is the practice of The Episcopal Church USA, or TEC, in consecrating practicing homosexuals and lesbians to the episcopate. The other is the acceptance of same-sex marriages in both TEC and in the Anglican Church of Canada or ACoC.”
The responses to these breaches of Communion by the US and Canada had led some provinces to call for the isolation of “these two North American Churches. They express in no uncertain terms that the Church in Canada and TEC should be out of the Communion.”
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Centre 454 has long been associated with the Anglican Church. The group provides social services to the homeless, helping them with everything from dental appointments to applying for financial programs. They offer a cup of coffee and a place for those living on the streets to socialize when shelters are closed during the day.
For a quarter of a century, the centre was housed at the St. Alban's Anglican Church and had its own entrance at 454 King Edward St....
An internal rift with the Anglican Church led to the centre being summarily dismissed from the parish, and its home has been at a decidedly dismal storefront on the east end of Murray Street.
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It was what Rev. Mike Stewart, rector of St. Matthew's Anglican Church, had referred to, in the service that preceded the march, as an "historic occasion."
The event was the culmination of a years-long battle between St. Matthew's – as well as three other Vancouver churches – and the Diocese of New Westminster, stemming from the issue of same-sex blessings.
St. Matthew's broke away from the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) to join the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) in 2008, maintaining that allowing the blessings is contrary to core Anglican doctrine.
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It was a historic moment in Ottawa as a subdued crowd of about 300 filed out of St. Alban’s Anglican Church on King Edward Avenue on Sunday, leaving behind a place where some have roots going back to Confederation.
Founded in 1865, the church where Sir John A. Macdonald worshipped has been in the spotlight ever since a showdown over same-sex marriage and other issues led the congregation of St. Alban’s to leave the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, and, after a bitter battle, the building they have called home for 146 years.
“This is kind of historic. We’re in a new era,” said Sheila Lang, 79, as her grandchildren — the seventh generation of her family to attend the church — played in the reception hall of the Ottawa Little Theatre, where the congregation, now called the Church of the Messiah, will meet until it finds a permanent home. Meanwhile, the diocese will establish a new congregation at St. Alban’s, with a relaunch planned for Friday.
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Jim Cowan, liaison to Council from the Anglican Church in Canada, reflected that he found the conversations concerning the Dioceses of Quincy and San Joaquin intriguing. He asked, "How do the dioceses that have suffered as a result of schism compare with those dioceses that are marginal? There are real concerns about viability, but where do these concerns mesh with plans for the extended mission of the Church?
He also observed, "We have talked about 'pruning for growth.' What does this mean to us? Pruning, whether for maintenance or for growth, hurts."
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The Members of the Governance Working Group are:
Canon David Jones, Q.C., Chair (Province of Rupert’s Land)Read it all (33 page pdf).
Canon Dr. Randall Fairey (Province of British Columbia and Yukon)
Cynthia Haines Turner (Province of Canada)
The Ven. Dr. Harry Huskins (House of Clergy)
(The) Rt. Rev. Sue Moxley (House of Bishops)
Monica Patten (Province of Ontario)
"I pray that in time these sad divisions may be healed," the Anglican Bishop of New Westminster, Rev. Michael Ingham, said in a statement released... [this week]....
"Obviously, this decision is extremely disappointing and should be of great concern to all Christian denominations," she said. "While these congregations have remained steadfast in their faith, and have not changed the traditional teaching of the Christian church, they have now been called to sacrifice all their assets, including their church properties, for the sake of their faith."
[Special counsel to the ANiC Cheryl] Chang added: "We always said that given a choice, we would choose our faith over our properties, and we have been willing to make that sacrifice if called upon by the courts to do so."
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[Christopher] Papps and his partner, Chris Moret, 37, are gay. And, despite the diocese’s provisional authorization of same-sex blessings, they can’t be married in the chapel.
Unlike adjoining Trinity College, which is affiliated with the university, the chapel is the jurisdiction of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. And it hasn’t yet been allowed to offer same-sex blessings.
“Regrettably from my standpoint, they can’t,” said Trinity’s chaplain, Rev. Andrea Budgey. “The inclusion of same-sex couples in the church is something that’s the subject of pretty much constant conversation . . . I’m one of the people in the Anglican Church who would very much welcome the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people and that’s why I’ve been part of this conversation for a long time.”
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A group of Catholic and Jewish parents is taking the province of Quebec to court to challenge a government ban on religious teachings at subsidized daycare centers.
The parents say a Quebec policy that prohibits religious instruction in government subsidized daycare centers contravenes the federal and provincial charters of rights, according to a lawsuit filed [last] Tuesday.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Children Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada
Fr Bill Foote, appointed by Archbishop Collins to visit and mentor groups of Anglicans and Catholics who wish to enter the Ordinariate, visited the Toronto Group on 29 May. As Fr Foote put it, in guiding groups of Anglicans toward entering into the full communion of the Catholic Church, his job is to be “the horse’s mouth.” Here is what we heard from the horse’s mouth:
Anglicanorum Coetibus does not propose to establish a kind of uniate structure, where entire jurisdictions “unite” with Rome. Rather, the Apostolic Constitution provides a bridge or doorway, so that individuals and groups may journey together to enter into the Catholic Church, and find room within the Latin rite for former Anglicans, now Catholic, to preserve their liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions, a gift for the whole Church.
Fr Foote emphasized the necessity of personal choice and commitment. To enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church – to become Catholics – each person must make a profession of faith, to the effect that he or she believes everything that the Catholic Church believes and teaches. If an individual is already baptized, he or she will then be confirmed....
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI
St. Matthew's Church in Abbotsford is among four Anglican churches that have lost an appeal on a ruling that they pay court costs to the Diocese of New Westminster.
Two of three justices on a B.C. Court of Appeal panel on May 19 upheld a B.C. Supreme Court decision from June 2010. That decision said the four parishes were responsible for paying approximately $120,000 in court costs to the diocese.
The two sides have been in conflict over the issue of same-sex blessings and who is entitled to the church properties.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada
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