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  ANiC Newsletter: 17 February, 2014 ... pdf version

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ANiC news

ANiC and ACNA events calendar
February 20-21 – ANiC leaders meet in Vancouver with Archbishop Bob Duncan February 22-23 – Christ’s Church (Oceanside, BC) hosts a conference with +Charlie Masters February 22 – Bible-in-a-Day seminar, Celebration Church (Barrie, ON) March 1 – Bible-in-a-Day seminar, Vancouver (UBC), BC, hosted by Sojourn/University Chapel March 1 – Liveword women’s conference, hosted by St John’s Vancouver, at Broadway Church
March 2 – Missions Sunday in all ACNA churches
March 9 – Bishop Don will ordain George Cooknell of Cornerstone (Sarnia) to the diaconate
March 30 – Christ The King (Toronto, ON) – The Rev Len Finn inducted as rector by Bishop Charlie
April 8-10 – Ontario clergy silent retreat near Orangeville
April 24-26 – Women of the Word workshop for women in ministry in 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 16-19 – BC A4D chapter men’s weekend.
May 29-June 1 – BC A4D chapter women’s weekend.
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

Bishop Charlie’s reflections on GAFCon 2
Be sure to prayerfully watch Bishop Charlie Masters’ nine-minute video on GAFCon 2 and its importance for ANiC. He is calling us to take very specific actions in response.

ANiC is a partner in global reformation: Reflections on GAFCon 2
The Rev Jess Cantelon (St James, Lennoxville, QC) has written two insightful blog postings on his experience at GAFCon 2 last October – here and here. Jess+ reflects on the Christ-centeredness of the gathering and the privilege of being side-by-side with leaders from churches who face intense persecution. He writes, “I felt so humbled being surrounded by such giants who truly consider us their brothers and sisters in Christ, though all we have lost is real estate and reputation.”

Speaking of ANiC’s theological stand, he says, “I was excited to discover that through GAFCon 2 and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans we are not alone in our cause.” Reflecting on the conference final communique, he writes, “I will never forget sitting there, all 1400 of us … combing through this four-page draft document with sweaty palms and beating hearts, wondering if this indeed was what the Lord was saying to us at this conference. And we felt it was! Strong and clear, it was the brave leadership for which I was hoping! The Lord met us at GAFCon2. It was an historic conference and I feel truly honoured and blessed to have been a part of it, and to get to be a small part of investing in this global reformation through church planting in rural Quebec.”

Writing in the Churchman, Professor Gerald Bray wonders if the Archbishop of Canterbury has the courage and foresight to align with the GAFCon led-movement for theological reformation in the Anglican Communion. He writes:

“The archbishop of Canterbury means well and there is no doubt that his heart is with GAFCON in many ways. He told the delegates that he wants its aims to be those of the Communion as a whole and there is no reason not to believe him… [But] GAFCON is not just one more Anglican organisation… It is a renewal movement… It is a wonderful opportunity for [Archbishop Welby] to assume the leadership of the Communion and use the GAFCON base to bring about the kinds of changes that he wants to see, but will he take it?

“What is dividing the Anglican Communion is not a disagreement between Christians who hold different opinions about secondary matters, but a titanic struggle between believers and apostates who want to call themselves ‘Anglicans.’ This is very hard for the English establishment to accept, but it is a fact that cannot be denied. The crisis is particularly acute in the Western provinces, where the corporate culture of the church reflects the prevailing trends in society… The African primates… are calling their erring brothers and sisters in the developed world to repent before it is too late.”

New archdeacon appointed
ANiC’s Moderator, Bishop Don Harvey, upon the recommendation of Bishop Trevor Walters, and with the unanimous consent of the House of Bishops, has appointed the Rev Bruce Chamberlayne, rector of Resurrection Anglican Community (Kelowna, BC), as archdeacon responsible for Alberta and the BC Interior. Like all such appointments, this is effective for a five year term. Please pray for ANiC’s archdeacons and their ministry within ANiC.

Prayer requested for Archbishop Bob’s meeting with ANiC leadership this week
Our Primate Archbishop Bob Duncan is meeting with ANiC’s council, bishops and archdeacons, February 20-21 in the Vancouver area. Please pray for these important meetings – particularly on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Pray for travel and logistical arrangements, for all aspects of the discussions, and for God’s hand on our Primate as he leads us in thinking about and planning for the future – a future which could include shifting ANiC into a sub-province within the ACNA comprised of several dioceses.

Parish and regional news
St Andrew’s (Delta, BC) is seeking a pastor, starting at half-time (with full benefits) and, as God grows the parish, moving to full-time. For more information, see the church website.

St George’s (Burlington, ON) broke ground for their new building on February 16.

New Song Church (Port Perry, ON) is hosting a one-day seminar, May 31, on “Recovering the ministry of blessing” led by the Rev Russ Parker of the UK. Russ+ will share his Biblical research and practical application of “making blessing more than a cliché”. For information and to register, see the church website. Register before April 10 for early bird rates.

Ontario clergy event (January 28-29) – Photos from this event are posted on the ANiC website.

Be sure to email your parish news to Marilyn Jacobson.

Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news

ACNA World Missions Sunday – March 2
Our Primate Archbishop Bob Duncan has established a tradition of the last Sunday before Lent designated World Missions Sunday in all ACNA churches. His letter asks ACNA churches to both:
highlight this call to world mission through prayers, testimonies, stewardship and education”
“collect a special world mission offering

Encouraging stories of ACNA growth, church plants, and faithfulness in prayer
Be encouraged! God is planting and growing His Church. Canon Phil Ashey shares encouragement from his recent meetings with parishes, clergy and lay leaders. You can also read about three churches: one in a challenging neighbourhood of Washington, DC; the second embedded within a secular military high school academy in North Carolina; and the third, a Vancouver, Washington-based community of contemplative spirituality for training disciples inspired by St Columba’s 6th century community in Iona, Scotland.

ACNA’s Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic has formed a prayer team of 200 people who are committed to interceding specifically for church plants and asking the Father is send forth labourers. Innovative and creative “risk-taking” church planting works are being birthed – near college campuses, in retirement communities, among new immigrants – often led by lay people. Currently the diocese allots $200,000 a year for church planting work.

ACNA Assembly 2014 in Pittsburgh
Want to experience more fully of the work of God in the reformation of North American Anglicanism? Why not plan to attend our Province’s Assembly this summer in Pittsburgh. It will farewell our current Primate, Archbishop Bob Duncan, and welcome his successor. The theme is
“Thy Kingdom Come”. You’ll find Assembly information here, and resources for communicating the Assembly to you church or on your website here.

Immigrants and the heart of God
Archbishop Bob Duncan is reminding us all that we have “a unique window of opportunity to minister to the nations in our midst.” We can all be involved by learning about God’s heart for the “stranger” in our communities, praying, befriending and advocating for immigrants. Archbishop Bob is particularly challenging US churches to “start 30 legal aid centers… that lead to new church plants”.

Through our Asian and Multicultural Ministries of Canada (AMMiC) under Bishop Stephen Leung, we in ANiC have a very strong advocate for this ministry. Read some stories of new AMMiC church plants here. How can you and your parish partner with AMMiC to reach immigrants in your neighbourhood?

Anglican Communion

The inscrutable Archbishop of Canterbury
A news release issued by Lambeth Palace, containing quotes attributes to Archbishop Justin Welby, congratulates the US Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on being selected to receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Oxford University. He is quotes saying, “This award, richly deserved, reaffirms Bishop Katharine’s remarkable gifts of intellect and compassion, which she has dedicated to the service of Christ.”

While clearly the award, and Canterbury’s endorsement, was timed to support the push for women bishops in the Church of England, the rest of the Communion has reacted with astonishment. Canon Phil Ashey points to a litany of heretical comments, her vicious and unrelenting legal attacks on orthodox US Anglicans, and her arrogant flaunting of Anglican Communion agreements. Canon Ashey asks, “What possessed Justin Welby to say [what he did]?

US Episcopal Church fund “facilitated conversations” in the Anglican Communion
Canon Kendal Harman’s blog Titus One Nine reports that TEC is bankrolling indaba/facilitated conversations within the Anglican Communion.

International news in brief

United Nations
LifeSiteNews reports that “A report by a UN human rights committee is a thinly disguised ideological attack on the [Roman] Catholic Church’s teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality – and even the nature of human sexuality – under the guise of a critique of the sex abuse scandals...Commenting on this report, Father Ed Tomlinson says, “In a hubristic moment the UN actually chose to use a document aimed at protecting children to instruct the Church to permit the murder of children in the womb… [and] to drop their insistence on heterosexual marriage as the correct forum for the rearing of children…”

Tax-payer funded Huron College, which is affiliated with the Anglican Church of Canada and the University of Western Ontario, offers in its Islamic Studies program a course called “Muslim Voice: Islamic Preaching, Public Speaking and Worship”. Although supposedly open to all with a bachelor’s degree, a student was kicked out of the course because he was not Muslim. Barbara Kay, writing in the National Post says the course should be open to all or shut down.
With Quebec set to pass euphemistically named “right to die” legislation, talk is now focused on relaxing the safeguards on eligibility. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada – of which ANiC is a member – has written to all members of Quebec’s Assemblée Nationale opposing the legalization of euthanasia. In the letter the EFC cites the experience in pre-WW2 Germany and also in present day Belgium where legislators just voted to permit euthanasia of children. They write, “As legislators, you know that culture can shape legislation; and, legislation can also shape culture, change hearts and transform opinion. To authorize free access to euthanasia has proven to lead to the general devaluing of human life.” More information is available here and here.

Trinity Western University, a highly regarded Christian university in Langley, BC, is once again facing vehement opposition to its application to launch a school of law. Following an arduous process, TWU has received the required approvals for the law school. However, its opponents, a formidable lobby within the law profession incensed by TWU’s code of student conduct – which prohibits sex outside the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman – are now suggesting provincial law societies ignore the approval given by their own national federation and in fact work to overturn the already-given approvals.

You can learn more by reading TWU’s news release, viewing a brief video by the University’s president and reading an Evangelical Fellowship of Canada statement. Learn about the plans for the school of law on the TWU website.

United States
Lawyer Alan Haley provides a comprehensive list of the 90 lawsuits involving the US Episcopal Church (TEC) and departing congregations and dioceses – 83 initiated by TEC. He goes on to tally the cost and finds that from 2007-2012, under Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori the cost to TEC was over $20 million.

The now independent Diocese of South Carolina has grown weary of TEC’s tactics to prolong litigation and maximize legal costs and has askedthe South Carolina Supreme Court to intervene… The diocese argues that TEC’s legal shenanigans are designed solely to “interfere with the purpose of a speedy and inexpensive resolution [having] repeatedly sought to delay action on the core legal issue… The diocese’s court filing effectively asks the state Supreme Court to hear TEC’s appeal in order to get a definitive decision from the highest judicial authority in the state, effectively closing the door to further delays-by-appeal.”

Alan Haley argues that, especially in the case of the Diocese of South Carolina “The utter lack of any probable chance for success in their claims should make Bishop vonRosenberg and Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori liable to charges of breach of their fiduciary duties to their respective organizations: they are wasting their church's assets on a futile attempt to magnify the cost of leaving ECUSA for their opponents.”

Anglican Ink reports that the Church of England (CoE) House of Bishops have taken a stand in a newly released document, upholding “the church’s traditional teaching on human sexuality and reaffirm[ing] the Anglican Communion’s understanding of human sexuality [as] articulated in statement 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. The bishops further noted that they would not sanction clergy entering into same sex marriages nor would they permit those who had contracted same-sex marriages to enter the ordained ministry.”

However, Anglican Mainstream points out that the document undermines Christian teaching. It says same-sex behavior is “at variance with the teaching of the church” but fails to identify it as sin and fails to bring the grace of God to bear by the Gospel of forgiveness through the work of Christ and transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit. For a more thorough analysis see this post by Thurstan Stigand. He summarizes: “Overall, therefore, the pastoral statement is untheological, incoherent and unhelpful. It will do little to help those in the Church of England to bear a clear and faithful witness to our culture. The bishops need to think again.”

Responding to Archbishop Welby’s presidential address to General Synod in which he called for a tolerant church which enable “human flourishing”, Church Society director Lee Gatiss called on the Church leadership to appoint 12 conservative evangelical bishops to ensure conservatives are able to remain in the CoE. General Synod, which was held last week, advanced the legislation to allow women bishops. It is anticipated that this legislation will be passed by the end of the year. The Archbishop’s presidential address is here and a helpful analysis is here.

The current edition of the Anglican Unscripted video newsmagazine focuses on developments in the Church of England and in particular the surprise statement from the House of Bishops affirming the traditional Christian and existing Anglican Communion understanding of marriage.

In the spotlight for the country’s homosexual propaganda laws, Russian president Vladimir Putin, has positioned Russia as a defender of “traditional values” in contrast to the moral degradation in the west. The Washington Times reports “At the height of the Cold War, it was common for American conservatives to label the officially atheist Soviet Union a “godless nation.” More than two decades on, history has come full circle, as the Kremlin and its allies in the Russian Orthodox Church hurl the same allegation at the West…

Mr. Putin’s views of the West were echoed this month by Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow, the leader of the Orthodox Church, who accused Western countries of engaging in the “spiritual disarmament” of their people… “The general political direction of the [Western political] elite bears, without doubt, an anti-Christian and anti-religious character,” the patriarch said in comments aired on state-controlled television. “We have been through an epoch of atheism, and we know what it is to live without God,” Patriarch Kirill said. “We want to shout to the whole world, ‘Stop!’”

Global Research reports that the Christian village of Saidnaya – including its large orphanage – is now under attack by Islamist rebels intent on cleansing the country of its significant Christian population. Western media have bought into the rebel’s propaganda and western nations are supplying weapons to rebel groups.
The article concludes “Saidnaya’s Christians, and all religious and ethnic minorities currently being targeted for genocide by the Syrian rebels need true and accurate reporting of their plight now more than ever. If real and lasting peace, the goal claimed by the Geneva Conference, is ever to be established in Syria, it must begin with a realistic assessment of not just the regime’s crimes and brutalities, but of the unambiguous intention to commit genocide on the part of the rebel opposition.”

The Baptist Press reports that “January 2014 was Iraq’s deadliest month in nearly six years. More than 1000 people died at the hands of gunmen and bombers last month. A total of 200 deaths were recorded during the first week of February… The international Christian community has been silent. Iraq needs the prayers of Christians, for peace to come there so that Iraqi Christians can stay and those who have left can return home”

Fox News proclaims the “Vicar of Baghdad”, Anglican Canon Andrew White a 21st century hero. He has ministered at St George’s in Baghdad for more than 10 years and has seen nearly 1100 of his own parishioners killed just in the last five years. Fox reports:

“Yet despite these horrific statistics, St George’s continues to provide food and clothing for the neighborhood, and it maintains a clinic offering medical and dental help. And the church’s numbers have not diminished… But the same cannot be said for Iraq’s greater Christian community. Christians are vanishing, going the way of the Jews before them.
“There were once 135,000 Jews in Iraq; according to White, only six remain. And Iraq’s Christians have fled by the hundreds of thousands in recent years. Out of 1.5 million in 2003, only around 200,000 remain. “There are more Iraqi Christians in Chicago than in Iraq,” White said… In fact, Iraq’s Christian community is one of the oldest in the world, dating to the first century...”

An article in the Church of England Newspaper reports on the joy of Egyptians as they voted in the recent referendum which affirms equal rights for women and freedom of belief, although Islam remains the state religion.

Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis (Diocese of Egypt, which includes North Africa and the Horn of Africa) recently visited recently visited St George’s Church in Tunis and Holy Trinity Church in Algiers. He reports that “The Holy Spirit works in an amazing way… Young people see Jesus in visions and dreams. With open hearts they come to Him being ready to pay the cost. They long to know Christ and go to the depth of His knowledge. They enjoy praise and worship.”

On the March 7 people in 170 countries throughout the world will be praying for Egypt during the World Day of Prayer. See Bishop Mouneer’s prayer requests on the Diocese of Egypt’s website.

In a gut-wrenching article, The Guardian describes how “Hundreds of Eritrean refugees have been enslaved in torture camps in Sudan and Egypt in the past 10 years, enduring weeks or months of violence and rape and extorted by traffickers often in collusion with state security forces. Some of the refugees have died, and many have been scarred for life – both physically and psychologically – as a result of mutilation, burning, beatings and sexual assault, according to dozens of testimonies collected by Human Rights Watch in a report [entitled]… I Wanted to Lie Down and Die: Trafficking and Torture of Eritreans in Sudan and Egypt

According to HRW, more than 200,000 Eritreans – most of them Christians - have fled repression and destitution [in Eritrea] since 2004. Some of those quoted in the report said they paid people smugglers, but were sold on four or five times to different traffickers.”

Many of the Eritrean slaves end up in the Sinai desert. “In June last year, the US state department reported that "human trafficking, smuggling, abduction, torture and extortion of migrants" in the Sinai was increasing. Victims were "brutalised, including by being whipped, beaten, deprived of food, raped, chained together and forced to do domestics or manual labour at smugglers' homes".”

Like most ANiC churches, “Only 20 out of the 79 Anglican congregations in Gambella, Ethiopia have a church building,” according to the Diocese of Egypt website. But unlike our North American experience, there are no other suitable buildings in their communities in which to meet. In Gambella, “Those without a church building meet under a tree, braving the scorching sun in the dry season, and heavy rain during the wet season… The need for buildings for church communities is acute because these buildings are often the only public meeting space for the community.”

South Sudan
Christian Today reports that, in the tribally based civil war that has thrown the country into turmoil, “Scores of female church workers were massacred last month… The women, several of whom were elderly, had fled rebel attacks to hide in the St. Andrew's Episcopal Church compound, when rebels descended on them, raping several of them before shooting them at close range... The fighting has pitted army forces loyal to President Kiir, who is a member of the Dinka tribe, against rebel forces aligned to [former vice-president] Machar, a member of the Nuer tribe… The United Nations said on Wednesday that up to 7 million people, nearly two-thirds of the country’s population, were at risk of some level of food insecurity, with 3.7 million facing emergency or acute levels. About 900,000 people have fled their homes since December.”

CBN News reports that “the Islamist government [of Sudan] has stepped up attacks against [largely Christian] civilians in the Nuba Mountains… for the past 25 years Sudanese President Omar al Bashir has waged war against the people of the Nubas and South Kordofan state… They believe he [Bashir]… wants to kill them and seize their oil.” In the three years since South Sudan gained independence, the war against the people of this region – which remains in Sudan – has intensified. "Every day, there's air bombardment, destroying the schools… health centers, churches, and everything…”

Particularly alarming is the Sudanese military’s new method of attacked, designed to kill as many as possible: 800 pound parachute bombs. “These weapons are more deadly because they are much quieter and less noticeable when they fall from the sky.” The ACNA’s Bishop Bill Atwood explains: “People run for cover when the aircraft is approaching, but when the airplane noise dissipates, people come out. The bombs that have been falling silently from high altitude don’t reach the ground for a long time after the plane is gone. As a result, people have come back out and are injured or killed when the bombs reach the ground.”

Bishop Atwood says it is time for Christians in the west to “fill the bowls of heaven (which Revelation 5:8 describes as heaven’s incense bowls filled with the intercessions of the saints) for these “leaders” [who perpetrate or tolerate this evil] to repent or be removed.

The BBC reports that “Suspected Islamist militants have raided [year another] Nigerian village… The gunmen reportedly rounded up a group of men in Izghe village and shot them, before going door-to-door and killing anyone they found. Officials said they suspected the Boko Haram group was behind the attack… 106 people - 105 men and an elderly woman trying to protect her grandson - were killed in the latest attack… around 100 Islamist militants attacked Izghe for five hours on Saturday evening, without any intervention from the army.” It is reported that, in 2012, “70% of all Christians murdered worldwide” were slaughtered in northern Nigeria.

The Gatestone Institute provides fascinating historical background to the present day crisis in Northern Nigeria, laying the blame squarely on the British colonial masters who – before their departure in 1960 – worked with the Muslim Fulanis to take the land of the ethnic minority groups in North Nigeria and “handed it over to Muslim rulers… They gave us [non-Muslim groups] an inferior social and political role in the colonial hierarchical system in northern Nigeria, and that is exactly where we are right now.

All Africa reports that about 1000 delegates from the Anglican Church of Nigeria’s 178 dioceses began a week-long meeting February 17 to deliberate on church matters, the economic malaise in the country, high level corruption and fears that the country could break apart in 2015 when national elections are to be held. With the potential for increased ethnic tension and violence related to those elections, the Primate Archbishop Nicholas Okoh is calling on Nigerians to strive for peace and have confidence in God because He “…has always rescued us in times of difficulties and anxieties… Nigerians should look forward with confidence because God is in charge,” he said.”


Resources for ministry
Common Prayer – Paperback copies of the ACNA’s Texts for Common Prayer: Together With The Ordinal of the Anglican Church in North America can be ordered from Amazon. Or you can download the document from the ACNA website.

Evangelism – The Gospel Coalition offers an article on “how to create a culture of evangelism”.

Preaching wrath – Steven Lawson, in an article on the Ligonier website writes “Faithful pulpit ministry requires the declaration of both judgment and grace… It is upon the dark canvas of divine wrath that the splendor of His saving grace most fully radiates. Preaching the wrath of God most brilliantly showcases His gracious mercy toward sinners… Tragically…Preachers have become apologetic regarding the wrath of God, if not altogether silent… But to omit God’s wrath is to obscure His amazing love. Strangely enough, it is merciless to withhold the declaration of divine vengeance.

Sermon ownership – Who owns the copyright on preacher’s sermons, the pastor or the church/employer? This can be a thorny legal issue especially when sermons are repackaged as books. To avoid unpleasantness, an agreement can be hammered out at the onset of the employment relationship. This Christianity Today article explores the issue and offers options.

Ex-clergy – A new website devoted to ex-pastors and those thinking of leaving the ministry offers insight into the (perhaps surprising) reasons for the high rate of defection. It also notes that “50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years. 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form. And 4000 new churches begin each year while 7000 churches close. The statistics speak for themselves. Working in ministry – whether you’re a full-time pastor or a lay minister balancing a job and a church – can be challenging. Families suffer; discouragement and depression – amongst a gamut of other things – runs like a river in the lives of those who sacrifice their own life to the cause of the church”.

QR code –
You can create a QR code – enabling people with smart phones to easily access your church website. QR codes can be used for many purposes, such as on your Sunday handout to direct people to your church website. You can also post a QR code allowing those entering the service to directly access an electronic version of the service handout, saving printing costs.

Seminars – The Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) is offering regional seminars on Social Media for Christian Ministry, as well as seminars for church treasurers.

Epiphany – A blogger points out the connection between the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon and the magi’s visit to Jesus Christ.

Resources for Christian living
Article 5: The Holy Spirit – In two short videos, Canon Phil Ashey discusses article five, of the 39 Articles, which is on the Holy Spirit. In the first video, he emphasizes that the Holy Spirit is fully God, and in the second, Canon Ashey focuses on the Holy Spirit being a person, not a “force”. Great Anglicans you should know – George Whitefield, a Church of England clergyman, preached 18,000 sermons in his life and was used by God in the Great Awakening, a revival that swept the United States, in the 1740s. Read the rest of the story here.

False teachers – Tim Challies is embarking on a series on false teachers, beginning with Arius who lived around 256-336. Arius taught that Jesus Christ was created by God the Father and is not co-equal or co-eternal with God the Father. Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses hold to this teaching.

Bible in 20 minutes – If you haven’t taken the Bible-in-a-Day seminar, you really should. But in the meantime, you can watch these two videos which cover the Old Testament New Testament in about 10 minutes each.

J I Packer’s newest book – Dr Packer’s most recent book, Finishing Our Course with Joy is a challenge to press harder into God as we grow older.

Holiness – You can watch a 51 minute message by Dr Packer, given in January at Trinity School for Ministries, on the subject that is now the focus of his energy: the renewal of personal holiness.

Atheism – Read an interview of Professor Alvin Plantinga on the topic “Is Atheism Irrational”? An apologetics conference is coming to the BC Lower Mainland March7-8. See the website for details.

Evolution – Is evolution “settled science”? Dr Albert Mohler explores this question and the relationship between belief in God and belief in evolution. He concludes both are matters of faith.

Christians in debt – TheJanuary/February edition of Faith Today offers an article that explores causes and solutions for Christians in debt. Until the end of February, Faith Today is giving away a copy of Weakness is the Way by Dr J I Packer’s with subscriptions to their print edition.

Work – Tim Challies explores how to find joy in our jobs: by seeing the intrinsic significance of work and recognizing that, no matter how tedious or menial, it is an opportunity to bring glory to God.

Marriage – Find out the six deadly enemies of Christian marriage – and consequently how to strengthen your marriage.

Cohabitation – Comparing cohabitation to ancient concubinage, an article in Salvo Magazine concludes that cohabitation, rather than being a good “trial marriage” actually raises the risk of divorce by 50 per cent.

Abortion – Lawyer Faye Sonier of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada writes eloquently about being six months pregnant while researching the reality and devastation of abortion. It is a potent reminder of why we in ANiC advocate for the sanctity of life. You can make a difference for the approximately 275 babies killed by abortion each day in Canada. On May 7, Anglicans for Life will hold a conference followed by the May 8 March for Life, both in Ottawa. Learn more here.

Dr Albert Mohler discusses the racist underbelly of the abortion industry. He writes, “…one of the dirty secrets of the abortion rights movement is that its earliest momentum was driven by a concern that was deeply racial. Leaders such as Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, argued quite openly that abortion and other means of birth control were necessary in order to limit the number of undesirable children. As she made clear, the least desirable children were those born to certain ethnically and racially defined families. Sanger, along with so many other “progressive” figures of the day, promoted the agenda of the eugenics movement — more children from the “fit” and less from the “unfit” …[R]acial, economic, and ethnic discrimination… [were] at the very heart of the push for abortion on demand throughout much of the 20th century.”

Parenting – Citing the epiphany experienced by the creator of Veggie Tales, Barrett Johnson explores “raising a pagan kid in a Christian home”. Saying we teach the wrong things because we have the wrong objectives, he concludes that “If your goals are focused on your kids’ behavior, their happiness, or their accomplishments (but don’t include a dependence upon Christ and a submission to His will and work)” then you might be raising a pagan. Rather we need “…kids who fully grasp the reality that they have nothing to offer, but who intimately know a God who has everything they need.”

Soul food

Just for laughs
February 14th Emma woke up and told her husband Jim, "I just had a dream that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine's Day. What do you think it means?"

"You'll know tonight," Jim said.

That evening, Jim came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, Emma opened it… and found a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams."

Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God. ~ John Piper
To forsake Christ for the world, is to leave a treasure for a trifle, eternity for a moment, reality for a shadow. ~ William Jenkyn

And now a Word from our Sponsor
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
Psalm 19:7-11, ESV

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