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  ANiC Newsletter: 26 March, 2012 ... pdf version

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News – ANiC and AEN

A report and call to action from our bishops regarding church growth
ANiC’s bishops, western archdeacons and dean of Asian and Multicultural Ministries in Canada (AMMiC) met on March 20, prior to the clergy retreat. They reviewed parishes within ANiC in order to develop a better understand of factors influencing church growth and decline. From this review, they identified seven common factors.

They say,
“We would like to stimulate a dialogue within parishes about these – and perhaps additional – factors so that we can grow in our mission to make Christ known. We challenge each ANiC congregation to discuss these – and perhaps other – factors in the context of your church’s experience; then submit to your archdeacon a brief one or two page summary of your conclusions and how you can address the barriers to growth that you identify.”

Seven factors influencing church growth

1. Conversions to Christ cause the greatest growth
2. Too many changes in quick succession demoralise and discourage people and
    parishes, resulting in member loss.
3. Excellent teaching and preaching creates an attraction and therefore growth.
4. Parishes that reach outside the parish vs waiting for those outside to come in,
    have greater growth
5. Parishes that have members who are risk tolerant cope better and lose fewer
    people in stressful times.
6. Fervent prayer of the parish, in organised sessions, correlates with growth.
7. Defaulting back to old ACoC DNA, vs being mission-minded, is a death knoll.

ANiC bishops’ activities
For your interest and prayer support, these are some of the activities on our bishops’ agendas:

Bishop Stephen Leung was in Calgary this past weekend for the worship service of a forming Cantonese-speaking congregation numbering about 25 – many of whom are still seekers.

Bishop Don Harvey and Charlie Masters will participate in the joint Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter Day service of St Timothy’s (Montreal), Emmaus (Montreal) and St James (Lennoxville).

Bishop Don, accompanied by the Rev Ray David Glenn, will be part of the ACNA delegation attending the GAFCon Leadership Conference in London, England, April 23 - 27.

Bishop Trevor Walters will be in Abbotsford over the Holy Week, leading the Good Friday stages of the Cross and preaching on Easter Sunday at St Matthew's. In late April, he plans to accompany Bishop Charles and Claudia Dorrington to Cuba. Bishop Dorrington leads the ACNA’s Diocese of Western Canada & Alaska and the Mission District of Cuba of the Reformed Episcopal Church. On the diocese’s website, Bishop Dorrington tells of the growth in the Church in Cuba, saying,
“What began in the fall of 2003 with only eight people has now grown by the end of this trip in May to 7 churches and 7 church plants, with a total of 650 people being served by 5 Presbyters, 1 Deacon, and 7 Lay Readers. We are now in 7 of the 12 Provinces of Cuba.”

Prayer requested
Bishop Don asks us to pray for the Rev Paul Carter who suffered another heart attack on March 24 in North Vancouver, BC – as well as his wife Lois and his daughters. Paul+ is a priest in the Anglican Coalition in Canada, which is a ministry partner with ANiC, and is well known to many in ANiC. His first heart attack five years ago resulted in some brain damage. Praise God that immediate medical attention this time, not only saved his life, but prevented further brain damage.

Parish and regional news
St Chad’s (Toronto, ON) has a new meeting location. Effective next Sunday, April 1, the people of St Chad’s will worship at 213 Winona Drive (Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church), Toronto. Service times are: Sunday at 4:30pm and Tuesday at 10:30am.

St John’s, Newfoundland – In the latest edition of the brief Anglican Perspective video, Canon Phil Ashey talks about his time ministering in St John’s to parishioners from two ANiC churches – St Stephen the Martyr and Church of the Good Samaritan. He commends the churches for their focus on Bible study and starting preaching stations elsewhere on the Island. Canon Ashey was in St John’s to teach the American Anglican Council’s Sure Foundation program.

St James (Lennoxville, QC) is marking its 1st year as an ANiC church plant by launching a regular liturgical service on Easter Sunday.

Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC) will hold a special service on Saturday, April 14 at 3pm to consecrate their church building. It will be a time of thanksgiving, witness and rededication as the congregation marks God’s goodness in allowing them to pay off the mortgage. Please join the people of Good Shepherd at the service, if you can, and, if you can’t attend, do join them in giving thanks to God. Good Shepherd’s address is 189 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver.

St John’s Vancouver is planning a short mission trip to India, August 17-31.

Hamilton-area A4D Ultreya meeting is set for Friday, March 30 at 7:30pm at St Peter's by the Park (ANiC), 55 Victoria Avenue North, Hamilton, ON.

Celebrating baptisms and confirmations
Church of the Ascension (Langley, BC) – Three adult parishioners will be confirmed on April 22 with Bishop Ron as the celebrant.

Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC) – On Easter Sunday, Bishop Stephen will baptize three adult parishioners and three children. Later, on April 17, he will baptize two adults and one child, as well as confirm three adults, all involved with the restaurant workers’ ministry in Richmond, BC.

Please email parish news, including upcoming baptisms and confirmations, to Marilyn or call 1-866-351-2642 ext 4020.

ARDFC report from the Congo
Georges Bisoga, from the Diocese of Kindu in the Congo, has provided the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada with an interim report from our most recent fundraising project. This project is helping reestablish returning refugees in their communities by providing the means to earn a living through farming. Mr Bisoga reports that, in implementing the project to date, they now have almost 48 of 60 hectares under cultivation, are in the process of rehabilitating 10 fishes ponds, distributed over 1000 kg of rice and other seed as well as farming tools such as machetes, axes and hoes. In addition, agricultural training is being provided, along with training in peace building. Photos are also posted on the ARDFC website. ARDFC has now sent all the funds needed to complete this project to the Diocese of Kindu.

Photos from Congo showing the implementation of the project – distribution of seed and farming tools, agricultural training, and fish farm development – are posted on the ARDFC website.

ARDFC is has now begun to raise funds for micro-finance projects run by our field partners in Myanmar and Peru that help impoverished women start small businesses to support their children. More details are on the ARDFC website.

In the news
Ramesh Ferris was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation recently. He was “down under” in his role as a Rotarian advocating for the eradication of polio. Ramesh is the son of Bishop Ron and Jan Ferris. Bishop Ron is rector of Church of the Ascension, Langley, BC.

ANiC and ACNA events calendar
April 14 – Good Shepherd, Vancouver celebration and consecration service
April 23-27 – GAFCon Leadership Conference, London, England
June 7-9 – ACNA Provincial Assembly, Ridgecrest, NC
June 11-12 – Asian & Multicultural Ministries in Canada (AMMiC) conference, Vancouver
November 14-16 – ANiC synod, clergy day and lay conference in Ottawa

News – Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Youth program added to ACNA Provincial Assembly
You don’t have to be an official delegate to attend the June 7-9 ACNA Provincial Assembly in Ridgecrest, North Carolina – the first gathering of the entire Church since the ACNA was founded. Like ANiC synods, the Provincial assembly will be a time of inspirational teaching and wonderful fellowship. A special youth gathering will run in conjunction with the ACNA Assembly on June 7-9. The cost for youth is only $100.

Search for a vicar for the Anglican1000 movement
The Anglican1000 ministry office will be moving to Pittsburgh where ACNA is headquartered and ACNA is searching for applicants for the position of Vicar (Director) for Anglican 1000. The Anglican1000 office is
“the provincial catalyst for making church planting the central enterprise of the Anglican Church in North America”. Archbishop Duncan asks us to pray and think about who might be able to fill this role. A job description is posted online. Application deadline is April 8.

Audio and resources from the third annual Anglican1000 church planting summit attending by nearly 400 church planters and potential church planters, are now online – as well as resources from the previous two summits. These resources include:
Audio of plenary sessions and sermons (under the Audio tab)
Recaps from Scot McKnight and Bishop John Guernsey
Transcripts of field reports from some church planters
Notes from Paul Loyless' communication workshop
Live blog of sessions
Archbishop Bob Duncan’s closing homily

Call for Church of England to recognize the ACNA
In a letter to the Church of England Newspaper, Canon Michael Green recounts his observations of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) based on his time in the US. He notes the growth of the ACNA. He says,
“…the ACNA is on the move. Many of its congregations are small, meeting in gymnasia, large homes, or borrowed buildings from other churches. Their attitude is positive, their aim is outreach, and their sacrifices are impressive. No wonder 75 per cent of the Anglican Communion recognise them (while half the Provinces of the Communion are in broken or impaired communion with the Episcopal Church). Surely it is high time for the Church of England to give them the recognition they merit.”

Two US ACNA parishes apply to the Supreme Court
Canon lawyer A S Haley reports that,
“In a well-coordinated move, Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia and Bishop Seabury parish in Groton, Connecticut have each filed a petition for review of the decisions in their respective cases by the United States Supreme Court.” A third case involving a Presbyterian church was filed earlier. A S Haley concludes, “For now, we may take heart that the United States Supreme Court has three petitions in front of it, each of which raises the identical question for it to resolve.” However, he notes that the US Supreme Court has not accepted a church property case for 33 years.

Other news in brief

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans
In a letter from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), Archbishop Peter Jensen (Sydney, Australia) asks for our prayers for the upcoming leadership meeting in London, England on April 23-27. More than 200 delegates from 30 Anglican Provinces are anticipated. The purpose of the event is to build on the work of the 2008 Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCon) held in Jerusalem and “help turn the present crisis moment into a visionary future”. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is the ongoing ministry begun by GAFCon. The two ANiC members participating in this “by invitation only” event are Bishop Don Harvey and the Rev Ray David Glenn. We are asked to pray for conference preparations, travel safety, conference finances, and God’s guidance in the sessions and outcomes. If you wish to join the FCA, you can do so online.

Anglican Church of Canada
The Anglican Journal reports that former Archbishop of Toronto Terrence Finlay participated in a public service of reconciliation with the priest he frocked in 1992 for refusing to leave a homosexual relationship.
“In his apology, Archbishop Finlay said that although he had personally wanted to be supportive of Ferry, he was obliged to follow the policies of the church as they were back in 1991…Ironically, since his retirement in 2004, Archbishop Finlay has found himself on the receiving end of disciplinary action. After he married two friends who were lesbian, he received a reprimand and his licence to officiate was temporarily suspended.” Current Toronto Archbishop Colin Johnson had already restored the priest’s licence and made him an honourary assistant.

The Anglican Journal reports that Huron College’s new chair in Islamic Studies, Dr Ingrid Mattson, a convert to Islam, will join the Anglican Church of Canada’s London, Ontario-based college faculty of theology on July 1.

The Anglican Samizdat reports that the Diocese of Toronto will host a gathering of “close to 20 bishops” from the US Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church and several African countries – Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Ghana and Sudan – with the purpose of
“building better relationships between national churches”.

Dr Rowan Williams has announced that he will step down as Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of this year in order to assume the position of Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge. Many have commented on this development.

In reflecting on Rowan Williams’ legacy, Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council argues that GAFCon, with a clear focus on the Lord Jesus, is the way of the future for Bible-believing Anglicans. He says,
“I suggest that it doesn’t really matter who the next Archbishop of Canterbury is… Anglican beliefs and practices are based on the supremacy of Christ in the life of the believer and in the life of the Church as He revealed in scripture. It is Christ that holds us together and Christ that always will. No other man or office can take His place.”

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh Primate of the Church of Nigeria bluntly states that Dr Williams is leaving
“a Communion in tatters: highly polarized, bitterly factionalized with issues of revisionist interpretation…” George Conger explains in his insightful article that Dr Williams was hampered by an ineffectual staff, but also, and more importantly, he was seen by Primates as being untrustworthy. He says, “These sentiments are not based on single events. They came as the cumulative effect of a belief in the systematic betrayal of their concerns coupled with a feeling that Dr. Williams was patronizing them.”

Last week’s edition of the Anglican Unscripted video newsmagazine focused entirely on Dr Williams’ term in office and the appointment of his successor.

A New York Times article says of his leadership,
“The result has been a depressing public ineffectuality for a man charged with leading the world’s third-largest Christian body… Williams rarely missed an opportunity to soft-pedal around an important debate.”

Singapore theologian Canon Michael Poon came to a radically different conclusion. He told the Christian Post that
“Dr Rowan Williams is arguably the most sensitive and erudite theologian in the Anglican world… This, sadly, makes him an elusive leader for those who demand theological certainty and swift ecclesiastic action at times when patience and moderation are needed.”

The Catholic Herald’s perspective was:
“The Church of England being what it is, no Archbishop of Canterbury can succeed: but Rowan Williams has failed more disastrously than most. He is supposed to be a theologian: but his actions have been theologically incoherent.”

The process for appointing Dr Williams’ successor involves a Crown Nominations Commission selecting and submitting a preferred and an alternative candidate to the Prime Minister of England who in turn sends the name to the Queen. A more detailed description of the process is posted on the Archbishop of Canterbury website. Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney advises, “With the majority of Anglicans now from theologically conservative churches of the Global South, the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the future will demand a deepening appreciation of their place in the Communion.” The Church Times profiles some of the leading candidates. The Telegraph reports the Crown Nominations Commission intends to consult broadly by using social media such as Twitter as well as by consulting “senior figures in other faiths, the secular world and the life of the nation”.

Anglican Covenant
Because the majority of Church of England (CoE) dioceses have voted against the Covenant now, the motion to approve it can not be debated by the CoE General Synod until at least 2015. In reporting this news, Anglican Mainstream quotes Bishop Michael Nazir Ali saying,
“I am disappointed that the Anglican Communion Covenant, even in its watered down version, has failed to gain the support of the Church of England. This now means that the Jerusalem Statement (2008) is now 'the only game in town.'"

Writing on the Fulcrum Forum website, Dr Andrew Goddard explores the ramifications of this latest development. He says,
“Neither the Communion nor the Church of England can remain unchanged by this development which makes it harder for Anglicanism’s distinctive historic tradition and global communion of churches to “survive with all its aspects intact”.”

The Anglican Communion News Service reports that eight Provinces have approved or subscribed to the Covenant – Ireland, Mexico, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, South East Asia, Southern Africa, the Southern Cone and the West Indies. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, says,
“Consideration of the Covenant continues across the Anglican Communion and this was always expected to be a lengthy process.”

Writing on the Anglican Ink website, Dr Stephen Noll concludes that the Anglican Covenant will not save the “marriage” of the theologically estranged members of the Anglican Communion. He reasons, “
…from my pastoral experience, denial is the worst possible basis for marital reconciliation, and denial is what we are dealing with in a Covenant that involves no repentance and no discipline.”

Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis, Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East, has expressed his sorrow at the passing of Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Egypt, saying he was a great example, teacher, patriot and defender of the rights of Christians. Bishop Anis adds,
“Our relationship to the Coptic Orthodox Church is the strongest among the different denominations in Egypt.” The pope’s death comes at a time of increased persecution of Christians in Egypt. Christianity Today has full coverage of Pope Shenouda’s life and a recent history of the Orthodox Church in Egypt.

The Daily Mail reports that the European Court of Human Rights has rules that same-sex marriage is not a human right. The article also notes that
“The ruling also says that if gay couples are allowed to marry, any church that offers weddings will be guilty of discrimination if it declines to marry same-sex couples.”

Compass Direct News reports that Christians and churches are being targeted by the government and military in Sudan in what some characterize as ethnic cleansing. It says, “The United Nations estimates the conflict has displaced 400,000 people, with 300,000 in danger of starving within a month. Additionally, the U.N. Commissioner for Refugees estimates there are 185,000 refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile in South Sudan and Ethiopia.” Please pray for Archbishop Daniel Deng

Soul food

Culture matters
Revisionists’ tactics – The StandFirm blog outlines the pattern of revisionist subversion in a Church and how Churches can prepare for and defend against such subversion of the Faith.

Easter invitation
Sydney Anglicans website suggests using social media to invite people to church at Easter. See their website for examples of effective uses of social media.

Free digital copies of Faith Today
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, of which ANiC is a member, is offering free access to four digital issues of its Faith Today magazine. Anyone can sign up: Just send your name, mailing address and phone number to with the words “risk-free digital” in capital letters in the subject line.

Just for fun
A policeman pulls a man over for speeding and asks him to get out of the car.

After looking the man over, he says, "Sir, I couldn't help but notice your eyes are bloodshot. Have you been drinking?"

The man indignantly responds, "Officer, I couldn't help but notice your eyes are glazed. Have you been eating doughnuts?"

We cannot prevent the storms in our lives, but we can dance in the puddles.

And now a word from our sponsor
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Isaiah 55 ESV

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