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  ANiC Newsletter: 9 February, 2011 ... pdf version

Handle with prayer!

News – ANiC and AEN

Clergy retreat, March 29-31
Sometimes, in order to advance, you first have to retreat! ANiC’s annual clergy retreat is once again being held at lovely Cedar Springs, WA, just across the border from Abbotsford, BC – on March 29-31. The speaker is the Venerable Michael McKinnon, ANiC archdeacon for New England and rector of Holy Trinity, Marlborough, MA. If you were at ANiC’s Synod 2010, you got a taste of Archdeacon Michael’s sense of humour and deep passion for knowing and teaching God’s Word. His topic will be “The transforming power of the Word of God”. Full information is on the ANiC website including the tentative agenda. You can register online here.

Welcome to Celebration Church in Barrie, Ontario!
The Rev Brian McVitty and the congregation of Celebration Church (Barrie, ON) were welcomed into ANiC by our moderator Bishop Don Harvey on February 2 – and will be welcomed again next Sunday by Bishop Charlie Masters. The congregation worships on Sunday at 10:30am in the Fellowship Hall of Inniswood Church, 460 Yonge Street, Barrie.

Welcome to The Way in Wasaga Beach, Ontario!
A new ANiC project has just taken root in Wasaga Beach on the shores of Georgian Bay, just north-west of Barrie. The people of The Way will meet on Sundays at 11:15am at Zion Presbyterian Church, Sunnidale Corners, Stayner, ON. Bishop Charlie Masters will welcome this forming congregation in person on Sunday, February 27.

New Ginger Group books published!
The popular Anglican Agenda Series has expanded again. The new titles are:
•  Taking Holy Communion Seriously, by the Rev Dr Brett Cane
•  Taking Baptism Seriously, by the Rev Canon Dr J I Packer
•  Taking Marriage Seriously, by the Rev Dr Archie Pell

These and previously published books can be ordered online for $3 per book.

These small books, written by a diverse group of Anglican theologians known as the Ginger Group and edited by Dr J I Packer, cover topics of interest and concern to Anglicans today. The books are intended to address pertinent matters for the church today and are great for personal study or group discussion.

Ottawa settlement pending
A tentative settlement has been reached but the ratification process will not be concluded until both congregations have accepted the settlement – February 12 at the earliest.

ARDFC update
Good news! ARDFC just got its 2010 year-end financial statement which showed generous donors gave $27,793 in 2010 toward the Diocese of Maseno West (Kenya) Malaria Reduction Project. That means we are more than halfway toward achieving the $50,000 goal. Well done!

Short-term mission trips to China and Thailand – Are you coming?
ANiC parishioners from across Canada are welcome to consider joining the two Asian Mission short-term mission trips to China and Thailand – or participating through prayer and/or financial support. The two missions are:
A mission to support the work of the Anglican Church in Thailand, with a focus on ministry to Karen refugees on the Thai-Myanmar border, is tentatively set for June 6-20.
A mission to work with disabled children and encourage their families in Changsha, China is tentatively set for June 30-July 14.

The application deadline is February 26. More details are available on the Asian Mission website. Approximate participant cost for each trip is expected to be around $3000. (Asian Mission is a ministry of ANiC under the episcopal leadership of Bishop Stephen Leung.)

Healing seminar planned for Ottawa area
Vina Sweetman and the Isaiah 40 Foundation team will hold a Healing of the Whole Person seminar March 3-5 – Thursday and Friday evenings, and all day Saturday. The seminar will explore our relationship to God, our understanding of ourselves, and how we relate to others. There will be worship, teaching and opportunities to receive prayer for healing. This will be held at Blackburn Hamlet Community Church, 2598 Innes Road, Blackburn Hamlet. Pre-registration is required. For information on costs see the Blackburn Hamlet Community Church website. To register call 613-837-2422 or email February 24th is the early-bird registration deadline.

Register today! Inaugural conference for Asian Mission in Canada, 21-22 March 2011
Bishop Stephen Leung is organizing an inaugural conference for the Asian Mission in Canada. The conference – which will be held primarily at Regent College in Vancouver, 21-22 March 2010 – will explore the theme:
Discerning contemporary culture: Challenges and Christian ministry in a permissive age. Featured speakers include: Dr Brian Stiller, the Rev Warren Lai, the Rev Ken Shigematsu, the Rev Dr David Pao, Dr Toni Dolfo-Smith, Mr Daniel Komori and Dr James Houston – and more. Registration now before the earlier bird rate expires. Evening sessions at Good Shepherd (Vancouver) are free and open to the public.

ANiC in the media
Two Vancouver ANiC parishes were referenced without being named in the Saturday Vancouver Sun. Religion reporter Douglas Todd, in an article titled, “Chinese celebrate festival despite shift in religious beliefs”, notes that Chinese Christians tend to be “conservative” on moral issues. Then he says,
“That is something the Vancouver-area Anglican diocese has painfully realized after deciding in 2002 to bless couples in same-sex relationships. Two of the four breakaway congregations involved in a bitter legal property battle with the Anglican diocese are ethnic Chinese.”

Calendar of upcoming events – for your interest and prayer support
Feb 12 – Richmond, BC – Effective Youth Ministry Seminar with Ken Moser
Feb 19 – Victoria, BC church planting workshop
Feb 25-27 – Good Shepherd (Vancouver) revival conference
Feb 28-Mar 2 – reFocus Canada, Growing a Biblical Church, (Willingdon Church, Burnaby, BC)
Feb (TBD) – Brandon, MB church planting workshop
March 3-5 – Blackburn Hamlet Church (Ottawa) – Healing the Whole Person seminar
March 5 – Langley, BC church planting workshop
April2– Ottawa, ON church planting workshop
March 21-22 – Asian Mission inaugural conference, Vancouver, BC
March 25-27 – ACiC renewal mission in Vancouver
March 29-31 – ANiC’s 2011 clergy retreat near Abbotsford, BC
March2– Burlington, ON church planting workshop
April 12-14 – Gospel Coalition conference, Chicago, Illinois
April 30– Montreal, QC church planting workshop
May 14– St John, NB church planting workshop [Note new date!]
June (TBD) – Marlborough, MA church planting workshop

On the front lines: Church plant and project profile
Many ANiC lay leaders, priests and even a bishop have taken up the Anglican1000 challenge to share the Gospel in new ways and focus on mission and church planting. This exciting and sometimes overwhelming vision has spurred on ANiC church planters – lay and ordained alike – to work hard as they slog through the trailblazing, excited to see what the Lord will do. With every newsletter we hope to offer a window into this ministry. Our first profile is St John’s Richmond.

Profile: St John’s Richmond – A church plant grown-up
St John’s Richmond (SJR) began as an independent Anglican-styled ministry before the formation of ANiC. The journey began in 2004 with a prayer group. The Rev Sean Love remembers being surprised that it developed more slowly than he anticipated. For a year and a half it met as a weekly prayer group, then morphed into a weekly Bible study accompanied by a children’s program. In 2006, SJR launched with a weekly Sunday morning service. It was the second congregation to be welcomed into ANiC in November 2007.

Sean remembers being terrified in the beginning as he learned how to plant a church as well as become a pastor. He was often driven to his knees in prayer. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, he can see the Lord’s faithfulness throughout the process. The slowness of the journey, with its focus on prayer and Bible study, defined the ministry, drew in new people, and established a good foundation for a Bible-centred church.

About 100 adults and children now comprise SJR. They have a heart for promoting Biblical literacy in church-goers and non-church-goers alike. SJR started a programme called “Bible in a Day”; a one-day seminar that
“offers a clear and coherent overview of the Bible through lectures, exercises, visuals and discussion. It helps people grasp the breadth and depth of the Bible."

Sean and his wife Penny live in Richmond with their three sons, the oldest now in high school, and ask for prayer for the parish of SJR as they focus on evangelism and begin to invest in the training of new leaders.

Please pray for all the plants, projects and new ministries of ANiC, that the Lord would do amazing things that exceed our expectations!

News – Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Church planters get recharged
Nearly 350 ACNA church planters and “wannabe” church planters – including more than 20 Canadians – converged on Plano Texas for the second annual church planting summit, January 25-27. Internationally known keynote speakers, Tim Keller and Todd Hunter challenged attendees to see church planting as an integral part of the Mission of God that is driven by a passion for evangelism and fueled by prayer. When the ACNA was founded in June 2009, Archbishop Bob Duncan challenged us to plant 1000 new congregations within five years in order to reach North America with the
"transforming love of Jesus Christ". From this the Anglican1000 movement grew.

In an ACNA news release, the Chairman of the Anglican1000 movement, Canon David Roseberry, says,
"Anglican 1000 is a movement that is popping up everywhere! New churches are being planted, older churches are spinning off congregations, and bishops are tilling the field. It is hard to keep up with it. It is an idea whose time has clearly come… The Archbishop spoke a vision that caught hold. It is a future that we all want to be part of. What the Anglican1000 Summit showed me is that there are increasing numbers of younger planters that are presenting themselves. The room was full of 20-30 year old missionaries... each of whom is crying out to God, 'Here I am, send me!'"

The Rev Ray David Glenn (St George’s, Burlington) was the MC and gave a plenary address, while Bishop Ron Ferris brought a field report from the Church of the Ascension (Langley, BC).

TEC ultimatum: Leave ACNA or lose your building
An ACNA congregation of about 400 people has agreed to a settlement with its former Episcopal Church (TEC) diocese so that it can keep its building without going to court. The congregation of St Phillips (Moon Township, Pennsylvania) left TEC in 2008, together with a number of other Pittsburgh parishes, and joined the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). However, the settlement requires the congregation pay an undisclosed sum to the diocese for the building and sever ties with ACNA.

According to lawyer A S Haley, the diocese’s insistence that the congregation leave ACNA and not plant any new Anglican churches for five years, may be unconstitutional. He says, “The conditions being imposed appear to violate the right of St Philip's to exercise its religion freely, as the First Amendment guarantees.” In response, the ACNA issued a news release saying the proposed settlement was “heartbreaking”. Earlier, the standing committee for ACNA’s Diocese of Pittsburgh passed a resolution at the request of St Philip’s leadership allowing the parish to withdraw from the ACNA diocese subject to an affirmative vote by the parish. ACNA’s constitution explicitly states that parish property belongs to the congregation.

Archbishop Bob’s diocese loses latest round of court battle
The ACNA Diocese of Pittsburgh, lead by Archbishop Bob Duncan, Primate of the ACNA, has been handed a legal setback with a court awarding diocesan assets to the Episcopal Church. The ACNA diocese immediately filed for a rehearing citing errors of fact in the ruling. A statement from the diocese reaffirmed a desire to seek a reasonable negotiated settlement with TEC and a pastoral letter from Archbishop Bob appealed for his diocese to stand together, fast and pray. At stake are the title deeds of 24 parish properties and more that $20 million in endowments.

Texas judge revises order, grants ACNA diocese’s requests
The ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth has announced that the judge hearing its case has granted
“…all our objections to the Partial Summary Judgment orders he issued Jan 21. As a result, The Episcopal Church authorities will not succeed in their efforts to force some 6,000 regular Sunday worshipers to vacate their churches any time in the near future - and perhaps never, depending on the results of an appeal of the case… Responding to one of the most serious concerns raised in the objections, Judge Chupp said that he does not "want to see empty buildings."”

Flaunt it!
If you want to flaunt your ACNA “colours”, you can order a variety of items from the ACNA online store – including polo shirts with the ACNA crest, ACNA lapel pins, and ACNA flags. You can also order ANiC items from the ANiC online store – including books, pens, lapel pins and tote bags.

ACNA chaplaincy grows
The Church of England Newspaper reports that “The senior serving chaplain of the US National Guard was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church in North America… Organized in 2007, the Deanery for Chaplains of the ACNA is led by Bishop Derek Jones and has 100 clergy serving in the US military, Bureau of Prisons, Veterans Administration and in the health care industry.”

News – Canada

Renewal mission planned for Vancouver
The Anglican Coalition in Canada is planning its annual renewal mission for March 25-27 at Harvest City Church, 7416 Victoria Drive, Vancouver. Guest speakers are David Macfarlane of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada and Pastors Giulio and Lina Gabeli of Westwood Community Church (Coquitlam, BC). For information and registration, see the brochure.

Terrific conferences for clergy and church leaders
The 2011 reFocus Canada preaching and theology conference is set for February 28-March 2 at Willingdon Church, Burnaby, BC. This year’s theme is “Growing a Biblical Church” and the speaker line-up is outstanding: Mark Dever (Washington DC pastor), Ray Ortlund (Nashville pastor), Rick Reed (Ottawa pastor), Vancouver church-planter Norm Funk, and John Neufeld (Willingdon Church pastor, Burnaby). Past reFocus speakers have included Bishop Charlie Masters and Canon David Short. Topics for this conference include: “What is a biblical church? How do we define successful growth? How does this play out in a new church or an existing church? What part does expositional preaching play? What does effective evangelism look like? What does membership and discipline look like in a biblical church?” For more information and to register see the reFocus website

The 2011 Gospel Coalition conference will be held April 12-14 in Chicago, Illinois. The theme is “They testify about me: Preaching Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament”. The long line-up of speakers includes: R. Albert Mohler, Tim Keller, Alistair Begg, James MacDonald, Conrad Mbewe, Matt Chandler, Mike Bullmoreand Don Carson.

An Apologetics Canada conference will be offered March 4-5 in Coquitlam, BC at the Coquitlam Alliance Church. Entitled, “Believers thinking, thinkers believing” the conference will hear from a stellar line-up of speakers who will help Christians know what they believe and gain confidence in sharing and defending that faith.

News – United States

Bishop Howe, one of the few orthodox TEC bishops, announces retirement
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Bishop John Howe has announced that he will retire next year. The long-serving bishop of the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Central Florida called for the election of his successor in a special convention on November 19. Although Bishop Howe has been a staunch proponent of traditional moral values and Christian teaching, he has been unwilling to break with the Episcopal Church.

Lutheran leaders try to bar the door as orthodox flee increasingly “liberal” church
The Layman Online reports that
“Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) leaders are proposing new rules that will make it harder for congregations to leave the denomination… The changes are proposed as nearly 300 congregations have completed current departure requirements, and another 140 congregations have begun the process. These congregations represent a loss of 200,000 ELCA members… many congregations are departing due to the denomination’s theological drift away from the Bible – including new policies on same-sex marriage, gay ordination and teachings that contradict Scripture.”

ACA says it will not accept pope’s offer
VirtueOnline reports that “The Anglican Church in America (ACA), one of the largest of the Continuing Anglo Catholic bodies in the US, has issued a letter through its chancellors saying it will not join with its Archbishop, John Hepworth, and accept the Pope's offer of a personal ordinariate.”

Other US news
Church of England Newspaper – Jan 21 2011 – …no let up in Episcopal Church lawsuits

News – International

Chairman of GAFCon tells it like it is
In a fascinating webcam interview with AnglicanTV’s Kevin Kallsen, Bishop Greg Venables, who recently stepped down as Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, talks earnestly and passionately about the false teaching that has torn the Communion. He says, that
“many have become darkened in their understanding… that’s why there can be no dialogue; we’re talking from completely different perspectives… sometimes, sadly, it is because people have turned their back on the Gospel of Jesus Christ… So we have this urgency of preaching the Gospel…” He added that he believes we are under God’s judgement because we have suppressed the revelation of truth we’ve received.

On Dr Rowan Williams, he said, although there is a tremendous amount of love and respect for the Archbishop of Canterbury,
“…we cannot allow one person and a small group around that person to assume authority over the Anglican Communion. That was never within Anglicanism…because it is not in Scripture.” He added that “sadly, we’ve slipped into a western, almost colonialist leadership now” in the Communion.

However, Bishop Greg expresses confidence in the future of the Anglican Communion, saying
“the majority are in love with God… Anglicanism has got a lot of life in it because it’s something God has created and there’s an awful lot to be done yet.”

While the Communion has become dysfunctional, he said that,
“Both the Global South and GAFCon are planning very important activities in the coming days… We are not ashamed of the Gospel… We have to proclaim it which is the principle activity of the Anglican Church worldwide. We just have to get on with it. And that is what both of the Global South and GAFCon together are planning on doing. Working together, working in unity, working in love …”

VirtueOnline offers a fuller report on the interview.

Primates Meeting marks end of an era
The meeting of the Primates called by the Archbishop of Canterbury concluded in Dublin, Ireland on January 30 with a number of statements and letters – including statements on climate change, on the death of a Ugandan homosexual activist, and on Haiti, as well as letters to churches urging action on gender-based violence, and an open letter condemning the persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe. The meeting also produced a working document which attempts to define the purpose and circumscribe the authority of the Primates’ Meeting. Traditionally, the Primates’ Meeting has been seen as one of the four instruments of unity in the Communion. Finally, the Meeting elected a Standing Committee; however the membership of this committee has not been made public.

Only 23 primates, representing less than one-third of global Anglicans, participated in the meeting. Most of the primates who choose to stay away did so largely because of their frustration with the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion Office to implement decisions of past Primates Meetings. The AEC blog has posted a number of discussions on the Primates’ Meeting and its outcome.

In his analysis, the Anglican Curmudgeon, canon lawyer A S Haley, concludes, “
The documents posted at the close of the recent Primates' Meeting in Dublin tell the story. The takeover of the Instruments of Communion by ECUSA, aided and abetted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is now complete. Anything of substance was carefully avoided at Lambeth 2008; the proposed Covenant itself was derailed at ACC-14 in Jamaica, and then carefully defanged by the newly reorganized Standing Committee; and now the Primates' Meeting has let itself descend into irrelevance -- with the primates of the churches having most of the Anglican Communion's membership absenting themselves, and refusing to prop up the pretense of normalcy any longer.”

The Church Times quotes Bishop Greg Venables saying,
“There was a denial of the serious­ness of the crisis facing the Communion which led to the absence of Primates representing two-thirds of the Anglican Com­munion, and there remains a com­plete lack of trust, which every day is getting worse. The Dublin meeting has just made things worse, as they did not deal with the reasons why people stayed away or the causes of the divisions in the Anglican Church.”

The Anglican Communion Institute’s analysis of the meeting makes the important points that: the Primates at the Meeting represented a “small fraction” of active Anglicans; the Meeting had no continuity to previous Primates’ Meetings, with no follow-up on previous decisions and “seemed to operate in a vacuum”; and, in the most important document produced by the Meeting, the Primates present contradicted “the role repeatedly specified for the Primates’ Meeting by the Communion over the last forty years”.

The writers conclude:
“Those meeting in Dublin staked no claim to continuity with the past, ignoring the will of the most authoritative of the Instruments of Communion—the Lambeth Conference of Bishops. For all these reasons, the group of Primates who met in Dublin cannot be recognized as acting in accord with the accepted Communion understanding of the Primates’ Meeting as an Instrument of Communion. This Instrument thus joins the others as now being dysfunctional and lacking in communion credibility. We are left with a grouping—one can no longer say “communion”—of three dozen or so autonomous churches, many of whom are not in communion with others, without any effective Instruments of Communion to bind them together. This is made no less heartbreaking by being the Communion’s obvious trajectory for several years.

“But we can only proceed from where we are. The first task for those who share a Communion ecclesiology is to begin to re-constitute working Instruments of Communion… the vast majority of the Communion continues to share Anglicanism’s historic faith and order notwithstanding its rejection by two provinces. What is needed as a matter of urgency are Instruments that express that common faith. We call on the Primates representing the vast preponderance of Anglicans, together with their colleagues, to take up the charge of seeing to the furtherance of the Communion and we pledge our prayers to that end.”

VirtueOnline concludes its analysis with the expectation that
“…orthodox Anglicans worldwide will increasingly coalesce around GAFCON and the Jerusalem Declaration as the Covenant flounders and fails to unite Anglicans. It might well be true that Rowan Williams' day is also done with a communion now in total shambles.”

According to the Anglican Journal, Archbishop Fred Hiltz (Anglican Church of Canada) saw the event differently. He told the Journal,
“I think the meeting went very, very well. We had a superb facilitation team who managed the process for us. We had considerable time-sharing with one another… We saw a fair amount of convergence… There was a small writing group…which included me, to prepare the draft of a statement…”

Archbishop Hiltz also offered his view on the Primates who chose not to attend, saying,
“…the primates’ meeting is a given [if] you’re a primate…. I have an obligation to attend the primates’ meeting…” To say, ‘I won’t go’ in some sense is to deny the voice and perspective of your own church that you represent…” And Archbishop Hiltz made it clear that the Primates’ Meeting should have no real authority in the Communion, saying, “… the primates were assuming an authority [that] as a group was never intended.”

George Conger of the Church of England Newspaper notes that, for the first time, the secretary general of Anglican Communion Office was included in the official photo of the Primates. The article then quotes Dr Phillip Turner of the Anglican Communion Institute and former dean of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, commenting on the reports produced by the Primates Meeting.

“These reports are theologically vacuous,” Dean Turner said. “Sadly, they only display the fact thatthis Instrument has become dysfunctional. It has become dysfunctional because neither the Primates as a group nor the Primate who is primus inter pares were willing and able to address the actions” of the North American churches.

The “fabric” of the communion remains torn “because of a failure in leadership,” he said, noting that the “communion as we have known it is gone.”

In its place the Dublin primates have adopted an ecclesiology where “we are all friendly and we do good works, but we need not share commonly recognized forms of belief and practice,” Dean Turner said.

Blogger Peter Carrell from New Zealand suggests that the Anglican “Minority” Communion – comprised primarily of those represented at the recent Primates Meetings – should now be called the Global Forum of Independent Anglican Churches. He goes on to recall former Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie’s thoughts on independence:

"But we have reached the stage in the growth of the Communion when we must begin to make radical choices, or growth will imperceptibly turn to decay. I believe the choice between independence and interdependence, already set before us as a Communion in embryo twenty-five years ago, is quite simply the choice between unity or gradual fragmentation." [Cited S66, Windsor report; R Runcie, Opening Address, reproduced in The Truth Shall Make You Free, The Lambeth Conference 1988, CHP (1988), p.16.]

The Church Times reports that Dr Williams will now
“engage in… shuttle diplomacy in an attempt to improve relations with the Global South primates who boycotted last week’s primates’ meeting”.

Charles Raven has an interesting analysis titled “Dublin and the Art of Dishonest Conversation”. He says,
“We might well ask ourselves what sort of Communion we are in when the chief passion of the Archbishop of Canterbury and those still willing to work with him is for ‘conversation’... Afitting way therefore for the absent Primates to follow through their principled negative decision would be by the positive action of sponsoringthe GAFCON/Global South equivalent of the Anglican Ordinariate in England itself, mounting a challenge to ‘dishonest conversation’ at its source in the mother church of the Communion itself… [A]s the Communion undergoes its present convulsions it must be wise to make provision for a faithful Anglican future that is not subject to the institutions which are now exposed as serving the wider Communion so badly.”

Additional commentaries on these meetings are available from:
The American Anglican Council – February 4 2011 – Whitewashed Tombs
VirtueOnline – February 2 2011 – Dublin: The Primates Meeting – A review and analysis
The Anglican Communion Institute – January 26 2011 – The Dublin ‘Meeting’

Around the Communion and the globe
West Indies – The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the West Indies has adopted the Anglican Covenant. It is the third province to do so, following the lead of Mexico and Myanmar.

Rwanda – The new Primate of Rwanda, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, has been installed. He takes over from the high-profile, retired primate, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini.

EgyptFront Page Magazine reports that Christians in Egypt are deeply concerned that the growing revolution could open the door for an extremist Islamic regime. Christians in Egypt have been the target of growing violence including the New Year’s Eve bombing of an Alexandria church that killed 23 and badly wounded more than 100. Fox News reports that 15 more Christians were recently murdered in a town 150 miles south of Cairo. Fox reports that “Egyptian Christians fear what will become of the already persecuted minority should Muslim extremists take control.”

Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis (Jerusalem and the Middle East) said in an interview published by the American Anglican Council,
“…we pray and hope these demonstrators will go back home and give an opportunity for the new government and new vice president to continue to work on the fulfillment of all these promises they have made… We in the church here would like to see a very gracious transfer of authority. We don't want our president to go in a non-gracious way. I think the Western administrations don't understand well the situation on the ground here. They don't know that if the president left suddenly there would be a vacuum (like what happened in Iraq), and this will give an opportunity for extreme groups to fight and divide and to play around. So I'm sorry that these administrations asked the president to step down immediately. They don't understand the situation… We are heartbroken because of what's happening to our beloved country. Do pray for Egypt to recover from this crisis...”“ He added that the churches are safe (so far) and that they have been having daily services in the cathedral for all who can come.

In a follow up email on Saturday, Bishop Anis quoted 2 Chronicles 20:12b,
“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." Then he specifically asked us to “Pray for wisdom for all those who are in authority. Pray that the spirit of fanaticism and extremism would not penetrate our society. Pray for the financial needs of the people in general, and the staff of the diocese.” And yesterday, he reported a return to some normalcy and thanked people for praying.

The American Anglican Council offers a 2-minute video with thoughts on how to pray for Egypt.

Iran – The National Post reports a wave of executions in Iran and Compass Direct News reports that as many as 120 Christians have been rounded up and imprisoned as the government tries to stop the house church movement. Many have been forced to sign statements saying they would no longer attend church as a condition of their release. “…those who tend to remain detained are the leaders of the groups. While in prison, many Christians undergo harsh treatment that may include solitary confinement, prolonged interrogation, threats and verbal insults, pressure to recant and beatings, according to the Elam report.” One young pastor has been sentenced to death.

Sudan – The New York Times reports that student protests have spread to Northern Sudan, however numbers of protesters have been relatively few and ineffective so far. The Sudan is facing increased uncertainty and economic turmoil with the impending separation of the south with its petroleum wealth.

The National Post reports that, 98.83 per cent of the votes cast in the South Sudan independence referendum were in favour of succession. Please continue to pray for a peaceful negotiation of the terms of separation. On 9 July 2011, the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, is to come into being.

Israel – Arrests have been made in the December stabbing death of CMJ staff member Kristine Luken. The accused are Palestinians who were allegedly seeking revenge and mistook Kristine and fellow CMJ staff member Kaye Wilson, who survived the attacked, for Jews. CMJ is an independent Anglican ministry working in Israel.

Somalia – A 36-year-old Christian mother of four, ages 4 to 12, was publicly killed by Islamic extremists on the outskirts of Mogadishu. The Islamists slit her throat in front of the villagers. The extremists control much of Somalia and are determined to irradiate the few remaining Christians.

England – The Guardian reports that Church of England attendance continues to fall – down to an average Sunday attendance in 2009 of 944,000. The number of baptisms, marriages and even funerals also fell.

Brazil – Since it was expelled from the Anglican Province in Brazil (IEAB) five years ago and came under the Primatial care of the Southern Cone, the evangelical Diocese of Recife has more than doubled its congregations, clergy and members. In 2010 alone, the diocese confirmed 363 – most of whom were new converts. The diocese now has a presence in nine Brazilian states.

Soul food

Just for fun – Valentine’s Day humour
After she woke up, a woman told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine's Day. What do you think it means?" "You'll know tonight." he replied thoughtfully.

That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it, to find a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams."

From Mikey’s Funnies

Of interest
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who addressed ANiC’s most recent synod, has written an article discussing the Roman Catholic and Anglican views of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Edward Tingley of Augustine College (Ottawa) has provided a resource addressing fuzzy thinking about marriage: “22 Mistakes about Marriage”, which explains why legitimizing same-sex marriage requires a total redefinition of marriage.

An audio lecture also posted on the Augustine College website explains postmodern thinking and how post modernists reject rational argumentation. (Select “Faculty & Associates in the left-hand menu. Then select the first lecture “Recognizing post-modernism”.)

Worth reading
The Anglican Church League (Australia) recently revisited a message delivered by Canon David Short (St John’s Vancouver) to the National Canadian Anglican Essentials Conference – “The Way Forward” – in Ottawa on 31 August 2004. In that message, Canon Short drew on the teaching of 1 Corinthians to address issues of sexual morality and Christians.

Please pray...
For our
bishops and clergy and their families – especially those battling illness

ANiC projects, church plants and parishes, and for their proclamation of the Good News of Christmas to those in their communities who desperately need new life in Christ

For the legal counsel for the
four ANiC parishes in the Vancouver area as they await the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on their application for leave to appeal.

For other ongoing legal challenges faced by ANiC parishes, including:
The settlement ratification process involving St George’s & St Alban’s (Ottawa) and their former Anglican Church of Canada diocese
The ongoing litigation involving St Aidan’s (Windsor) and the ANiC parishes that were formerly in the Diocese of Niagara – and their mounting expenses

For all the congregations involved in court proceedings and disputes. Pray for a continued focus on, and blessing upon, their ministry in the midst of this turmoil. Pray for peace for the wardens and trustees who are on the front lines and bear the burden of risk and responsibility

For the
leaders and parishioners of the ACoC dioceses pursuing eviction of and legal costs against ANiC congregations and wardens

For donations
to the ANiC legal defense fund which supports parishes in disputes with their former dioceses

For funding of the
ARDFC’s malaria prevention project in Kenya

persecuted Christians, especially in Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and other Muslim lands

the Sudan and the implementation of independence for the South.

For repentance and revival in
our hearts and in our nation, for a hunger for God and a thirst for His Word

For all those in positions of leadership and influence in the
Anglican Communion, that they would seek to honour and obey God above all else

For the
GAFCON and Global South Primates of the Anglican Communion as they plan for meetings of orthodox Anglican leaders

And now a word from our sponsor
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears...
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!...
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry…
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all…
The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned

Psalm 34

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