|Handle with prayer!
ANiC and ACNA events calendar
January 20 – 22 – AMMiC meeting of clergy, evangelists and those in-charge of plants/projects
January 25, 2pm – Dr Buzz Onayemi will be ordained a deacon at Celebration Church (Barrie, ON)
January 28-29 – Clergy event near Burlington, Ontario focused on the “Craft of Preaching”
February 7-8 – “Rise up” men's retreat at St Luke’s (Pembroke, ON) with the Rev Garth Hunt
February 15 – Bible-in-a- Day seminar, Richmond Faith Fellowship (Richmond, BC)
February 16, 3:30pm – The Rev Marty Fraser ordained to the priesthood at The Way (Stayner ON)
April 8-10 – Ontario clergy silent retreat (Information to come)
April 24-26 – Women of the Word workshop at St John’s Vancouver.
May 5-8 – Clergy and spouse retreat, Malibu Camp, BC
May 7 – Anglicans for Life conference, St Peter & St Paul’s (Ottawa, ON)
May8 – March for Life, Ottawa, ON
May 9 – Anglicans for Life wrap-up and prayer time
May 31 – "Recovering the Ministry of Blessing" seminar will be held at New Song (Port Perry, ON)
June 25-28 – Anglican Church in North America Assembly 2014 at St Vincent College, Latrobe, PA
November 5-7 – ANiC Synod 2014 in Ottawa, ON
2014 liturgical calendars posted
ANiC's registrar, Canon Tom Carman, has kindly developed three 2014 liturgical calendars - based on the BCP, BAS, and Church of England Common Worship – which now are available on the ANiC website. Thanks Tom+!
Come see us at Missions Fest Vancouver!
Thanks to the foresight of St John’s Vancouver, ANiC will be at Missions Fest Vancouver raising awareness within the Christian community. If you are within driving distance, definitely take advantage of this extraordinary event and, while you’re there, come visit us in the exhibit area. Canon Dr James Packer will be signing books at the ANiC exhibit on Saturday, January 25 at 3:30-5:30pm.
About 35,000 Christians – many of them youth – attend this annual event which features great speakers, dozens of break-out sessions, a Christian film festival, and numerous youth and young adult events. Most events are free; some require advance purchase of tickets. So check out the schedule and peruse the website. You’ll be sure to find something you’ll want to attend.
Christ the King (Edmonton, AB) continues to search for a new rector. Lay leader Bruce Clark writes that although they were “blessed with some solid candidates, the search committee discerned that we need to continue the search”. You can read the church profile and position description on the ANiC website.
St Andrew’s (Delta, BC) is looking for a part-time priest to pastor the parish and lead Sunday morning services. Initially the position is 16-hours per week, but this will grow as the parish grows. You can see full details – a parish profile and a job description – on the church website.
Sanctity of Life Sunday
Churches may observe Sanctity of Life Sunday on either January 19 or 26. Anglicans for Life has prayers, testimonies and educational resources to help shine God's light on the pastoral response the Church is called to provide in the midst of a growing culture of death/
March for Life and Anglicans for Life conference – May 7-9 in Ottawa
Everyone who can is urged to journey to Ottawa for the Anglicans for Life conference (May 7), followed by the annual March for Life (May 8) and a wrap-up session on May 9. St Peter and St Paul's (Ottawa) will host an interdenominational prayer service on the morning of the march. Last year, 25,000 Canadians gathered in our nation’s capital for the March for Life. So plan now to get involved.
If you hope to participate in the Ottawa conference and march, you would be wise to book your hotel now (arriving the night before the conference), as that weekend is busy with many other events in Ottawa.
Invitation to travel “In the footsteps of Paul”
A group of parishioners from St Matthias and St Luke's are working with Shoresh Study Tours, which is part of CMJ Israel Ministries, to organize a “Footsteps of Paul” tour on June 7-21 – and you are invited to join the adventure. The tour will trace the ministry of the Apostle Paul in Israel, then continue to follow his journeys in modern day Turkey and Greece, including visits to the seven ancient churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Many ANiC members have participated in Shoresh Tours in Israel and can attest to the excellence and value offered. Shoresh has not offered ‘Footstep of Paul’ tours in recent years but have graciously agreed to organize this tour for us. For more information see the itinerary posted here and email Zenia Cheng.
Upward and outward bound leaders
Bishop Trevor Walters and Canon Phil Ashey, CEO of the American Anglican Council, are offering Anglican leadership training in Victoria on September 9-11. For those clergy up for a challenge, immediately following the training, Bishop Trevor will lead a 30 mile backpacking trip along the Juan de Fuca Trail on the rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island. He says, “We will explore aspects of Leadership in camp and on the trail. But folk need to prepare physically for a tough challenge.” There is space for eight clergy on the backpacking trip. If you are interested if the either or both the training or the backpacking trip, please email Bishop Trevor by January 15.
Let’s remember to pray for our lay leaders and clergy as they put in many hours of administrative work in the coming weeks preparing for annual vestry meetings.
Ray David Glenn+ to preach in South Carolina; requests prayer
Ray David+, rector of St George’s (Burlington, ON) reports that he has been “…invited to preach at the Cathedral of the Diocese of South Carolina, Sunday January 19th, 2014.” He will preach at all services and then leading a seminar exploring biblical manhood. He asks for our prayer support.
Christ the King (Edmonton. AB) recently moved its services to the well-equipped facilities of West Edmonton Christian High School – which they love. The problem was no one in the new neighbourhood knew they existed. So, as a first step in reaching out to the community, 15 parishioners visited every home in the surrounding neighbourhoods of Norwood and North Glenora and left a door hanger on each latch – despite temperatures dipping to -37. The door hangers provided parish information and contact details on one side and an invitation to Christ the King’s Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services on the other. As a result, some neighbours accepted the invitation and came to a Christmas service. The congregation is trusting that more neighbours will come in the future. A great first step in reaching the community!
St Luke’s (Pembroke, ON) hosted the Salvation Army Christmas party and had several volunteers involved in the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign and hampers. About 30 parishioners also went caroling to local nursing homes. The Kid’s Church Christmas Pageant and Birthday Party for Jesus was a huge success on December 22 despite poor weather. In that service, we gave thanks for the birth of four babies and said special prayers for them! They held three services on Christmas Eve as well as one on Christmas day. On Christmas Day, they again co-sponsored two free community Christmas Day dinners and parishioners helped serve the turkey dinners to hundreds of people.
Holy Trinity (Edmonton, AB) likely enjoyed the most colourful Christmas festivities. Their Christmas celebration on December 15 was marked by food, fun … and lots of dancing – both traditional Filipino and North American country western. And they have the photo to prove it.
Parish and regional news
Saint Matthew’s (Abbotsford, BC) is hosting a prayer service for Christian unity on Monday, January 20 at 12:15pm. You are invited to join with brothers and sisters of various churches in prayer, song, and witness to unity as followers of Christ. The week of prayer for Christian Unity is an annual global event taking place 18-25 January 2014 in churches of various denominations.
St Luke’s (Pembroke, ON) wrapped its fall Alpha course which was attended by 25 participants and leaders.
Be sure to email your parish news to Marilyn Jacobson.
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news
Highly productive ACNA College of Bishops meeting
Last week ANiC bishops joined the rest of the ACNA bishops for a College of Bishops meeting in Orlando, Florida, January 6-10. The resulting Communiqué summarizes their many accomplishments, including:
Catechism - “Following two years of work by the Catechesis Task Force, the bishops unanimously approved a new Catechism for trial use, with mechanisms for feedback and refinement planned over the next two years.” It is “…written primarily for adults, is designed to speak to those who are exploring the faith, as well as to disciple Christians to greater knowledge and spiritual maturity… We are eager for trained catechists to be raised up to use this wonderful tool, as well as for additional discipleship resources to be developed and shared across the Church.”
Prayer Book – Work continues to develop a full Prayer Book. Currently the focus is on “…on a first draft of liturgies for Baptism, Confirmation and Admission of Catechumens…”
Succession – With Archbishop Bob Duncan retiring as Primate this June, the bishops discussed a process for electing a successor and the subsequent transition. “Seeking to avoid a political process, the bishops committed to a covenant of behavior and a season of prayer as we move toward the bishops’ conclave in June. The College of Bishops will have regular days of prayer and fasting in the coming months, and then gather the week before the Provincial Assembly [in Pennsylvania] to discern in prayer the one whom God is calling as successor to Archbishop Duncan.”
Communion guest – “The Rt. Rev. Humphrey Peters shared with us about ministry in his diocese in Pakistan. It was All Saints Church in his diocese that was attacked by suicide bombers after Sunday worship last September, killing more than 100.”
New bishops – The House of Bishops consented both to the elections of the Rev Mark Zimmerman as first bishop of the Diocese of the Southwest and the Rt Rev William White as Bishop Coadjutor in the REC Diocese of the Southeast . Also, Bishop Todd Hunter was invested as the first bishop of the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (also known as C4SO). More information on Bishop Hunter’s investiture is here.
Theological Task Force on Holy Orders – The bishops “approved [the task force’s] report on hermeneutical principles (ie principles for the interpretation of Scripture)” and the Communique expressed thankfulness “…for the way that the Task Force is modeling a commitment to full theological inquiry and fidelity… This report will now be released to the Church and sent to the International Theological Commission of [the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans] and our ecumenical partners, seeking their input. It is important to note that this careful, thorough and collegial study into Holy Orders has rarely been done before by Anglicans.”
Now the task force will turn its attention to identifying “…the ecclesiological principles (ie principles of the nature of the Church) of ministry and orders including what the Anglican formularies say about the nature of the church, the general character of ordained ministry, the characteristics of each order, and the relationship between the ordained ministry and Christ and his Church.”
Ecumenical relations – “The College approved an agreed statement on Eucharistic hospitality with the [North American Lutheran Church]. Bishop Sutton also shared about upcoming dialogues with the Polish National Catholic Church and the Messianic Jewish community.”
Archbishop Bob’s Christmas message
You can watch a short video Christmas message from Archbishop Bob. He reminds us of John 1 which clearly proclaims that the Word, who is the Lord Jesus is eternal; that the Word became flesh; that the Word gave us power to be adopted as sons and daughters of God, and that as a result of the Word becoming flesh we can receive grace and mercy.
March for Life in Washington, DC
ACNA bishops will be out in force at the Washington, DC March for Life. If you are in the eastern States considering joining ANiC’s Bishop Charlie Masters, our Primate Archbishop Bob Duncan, and other ACNA bishops in the March for Life in Washington DC on January 22. ACNA members will be out in numbers at a second march in San Francisco on January 25. You can read Archbishop Bob’s letter of invitation here.
Archbishop of Canterbury to visit leader of Orthodox Church
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Archbishop Justin Welby will travel to Istanbul today “…to visit His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. As Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church.”
Recap of Anglican news in 2013
Writing in the Church of England Newspaper, George Conger provides a summary of 2013 news within the Anglican Communion, saying it was a year where “Sex, money and politics” dominated the headlines.
International news in brief
The Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) has announced who has been appointed to the commission which will consider revisions to the marriage canon to accommodate same-sex marriage. For more information on the members and their terms of reference see here.
The ACoC also disclosed that “The Ontario government has approved the Trustees of the General Synod Pension Plan’s request for a three-year window to improve the plan’s funding level and avoid immediate pension reductions of 20 to 30 per cent.”
The South Carolina Circuit Court judge hearing the case has rejected the US Episcopal Church’s (TEC) attempt to expand its lawsuit by adding claims against four leaders of the Diocese of South Carolina. The diocese severed its ties with TEC in 2012 after TEC attempted to remove Bishop Mark Lawrence. TEC’s usual tactic is to expand lawsuits to include individual leaders both as a form of intimidation and to cause as much financial damage as possible. TEC did get some good news however, as an different judge has order an insurance company to pay for its legal bills in the dispute with Bishop Lawrence’s diocese.
TEC’s lawsuit against the bishop of the (ACNA) Diocese of San Joaquin, the now deceased Bishop Schofield, went to trail January 6. Because of the dispute, the diocese’s bank accounts have been frozen for more than five years.
The Church of England (CoE) finds itself at the centre of one controversy after another as it seems headed in the same direction as the US Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. On the heels of the Piling Report which advocated for same-sex blessings, the CoE has now released a trial revised baptism service which eliminates reference to the devil and repentance of sins. The Anglican Communion News Service reports “The new wording – which is being piloted in more than 400 parishes until April – was devised in response to requests to couch the ceremony "in culturally appropriate and accessible language".” You can see the new alternative baptism rite here and read the CoE’s response to media reports here.
You can read a short, pithy critique from the Bishop of Willensden, Bishop Pete Broadbent, here. And the Rev John Richardson (aka The Ugley Vicar) proposes an improved alternative – but traditional – liturgy of child baptism here. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali said, “Rather than the constant 'dumbing down' of Christian teaching, whether for baptism, marriage or death, we should be spending time preparing people for these great rites of passage.”
Robert Lundy of the American Anglican Council has prepared a short compilation of the 2013 “spiritual crises” in the CoE here. Robert notes that while Archbishop Welby has an evangelical background, he has been wobbly in his public statements on traditional marriage and Christian morality.
Anglican Ink reports that “The number of New Zealand Anglicans has fallen by 17 per cent over the past seven years, giving the Anglican Church of Aotearoa/Polynesia the distinction of being the fastest declining member of the Anglican Communion… Anglicans in New Zealand declined from 554,925 to 459,771, or 17 per cent.”
Fighting between factions rebel factions has resulted in about 500 deaths recently. USA Today reports that the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and a-Sham (ISIS) has been fighting other factions for control of the rebellion. The others accuse ISIS of attempting to hijack three-year their rebellion against dictator Bashar Assad. Christians have been particularly victimized in this civil war.
RT reports that “Bomb attacks at Christmas that targeted Christian areas of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, have left at least 37 people dead… The assaults included a car bomb that went off next to a Christian church in the Doura district of the Iraqi capital after a Christmas service, a police officer confirmed, according to AP. The attack killed at least 26 people and wounded 38 others. Most of the victims were Christians.” In addition, “…two bombs exploded simultaneously at an outdoor market in the same area of Doura, killing 11 people and wounding 21 others. The figures were confirmed by a medical official.”
The Bible Society of Egypt newsletter speaks of the violence that has overtaken Egypt as the government clashes with the Muslim Brotherhood and Muslim Brotherhood supporters attempt to intimidate the population – often targeting Christians. “As we prepare for a national referendum on a new Constitution, the violence continues in an attempt to intimidate the general population and scare them from going to the polls on January 14 and 15.” And yet, “In spite of the constant interruption of normal life due to months of curfew, demonstrations and strikes, and the resulting traffic nightmare, we have distributed more Scriptures than ever in 2013!” Christianity Today reports that the new Egyptian draft constitution would give greater freedom to Christians and mark “a significant move away from the fundamental Islamic laws that have dominated in the past”.
International Christian Concern reports that 12 Christians were “…brutally murdered by suspected Boko Haram militants in northern Nigeria…” in late December. “…These Christians were killed in two attacks on separate Christian villages in Nigeria’s Muslim majority state of Borno.” Days later, BosNewsLife reported that “At least 30 people were feared dead… after suspected Islamic gunmen attacked a Christian village in central Nigeria… The fighters…opened fire on residents and torched dozens of homes in Shonong village… "Hundreds" of attackers stormed the Shonong early Monday, January 6, when most of the villagers had gone to farms, killing mostly children, women and the elderly...”
The Nigerian Observer reports that, despite the ongoing killing of Christians by the Islamic militant Boko Haran, Archbishop Nicholas Okok urged Christians to not respond with violence but to trust God. The Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking on a BBC program commended Nigerian churches, saying that while they are suffering, they are “determined and full of faith”. VirtueOnline reports that “The Archbishop, who regularly speaks with contacts in Nigeria, described its Anglican Church as an 'extraordinary powerhouse'.”
Anglican Ink reports that “The former Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Rev Peter Akinola, and his driver were kidnapped by gunmen on 24 December 2013, but released unharmed later that day after he convinced his captors he had no money to pay a ransom.”
The Guardian reports that violence, which broke out on December 15, is unravelling the world’s newest country. Tribalism has turned into a civil war, forcing thousands to flee their homes over Christmas and seek refuge wherever they can find it. Christian Today cites UN sources saying as many as 180,000 have been displaces and thousands killed. A BBC report suggests that the violence, rather than being a political coup as stated by the President, was instigated by the President as a way of disposing of political opponents within his own party. The Primate of Sudan and South Sudan, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul has called on the Anglican Communion to help and to pray.
Local Islamic authorities raided the Bible Society of Malaysia, seized hundreds of Bibles and arrested staff members. Primate for Southeast Asia, Archbishop Bolly Lapok called this raid “treason” as it violated the country’s constitution and assurances given to Christians in Borneo.
The World Watch List for 2014, prepared by Open Doors Australia, names the 50 worst countries in terms of persecution of Christians. The top ten are: North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen. The Christian Post recounts six instances of horrendously violent attacks on Christians this past year.
Church planting – A new church planter offers the top 10 tips he has received.
Genesis – The Rev William Klock of the Reformed Episcopal Church, a diocese in the ACNA, has written an expositional and devotional commentary on Genesis
Seminars – The Canadian Council of Christian Charities is offering two seminars in communities across Canada. The first is “Social Media for Christian Ministry”; and the other is specifically for Church Treasures and offers help with the complexities of government regulation and financial oversight.
Income tax tips – The Canadian Council of Christian Charities has helpful tax information on the clergy residence reduction provision.
Pastors’ vulnerability – Writing as a pastor for pastor, Jared Wilson addresses the “profound sense of insecurity” that bedevils virtually every pastor.
Resources for Christian living and activism
Free audio Bible – Christian Audio offers the entire ESV Bible as a free download this month.
Just for laughs
You don’t realize how boring your life is until someone asks what you like to do for fun.
You’ll enjoy a humorous cartoon about different Bible translations here.
If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.
And now a Word from our Sponsor
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isaiah 60:1-3 ESV
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
Isaiah 61:1-4, ESV
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