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

Handle with prayer!

News – ANiC and AEN

Beloved, former St John’s (Vancouver) rector passes away
At 84 years of age, the Rev Harry Robinson, former rector of St John’s Shaughnessy, died suddenly of a heart attack near his home on Mayne Island, BC, on April 4.

Bishop Charlie Masters says,
“The Lord used Harry in a mighty way in two of Canada’s great cities – Toronto and Vancouver. He was of great encouragement in my life and even took the time at one point to encourage me to consider ordination for which I will always be grateful.”

In his tribute to the Rev Robinson, Bishop Tony Burton, former bishop of Saskatchewan, writes on his blog:
“A gentle giant physically and morally, he combined a probing intuitive intelligence with an enormous love of people and focus on the Gospel task.”

The Rev David Short and the Rev Dan Gifford write on the St John’s Vancouver website: “We give great thanks to God for Harry's ministry over the years (he was rector of St. John's 1978 to 1992 and subsequently was a member in his retirement.”

Comments on the AEC blog
also share memories of Harry’s impact:
“… that physical size was dwarfed in contrast to the magnitude of the inspiring vision of the Love of God that came through Harry to all with whom he came into contact….”
“He was the best Canadian Anglican preacher in his generation.”

The funeral is to be held on
Tuesday, April 12 at 1pm St John’s Vancouver (Granville Street and Nanton Avenue).

St Matthias and St Luke’s (Vancouver) invites you to a Seder Meal
One year ago a group of parishioners from St Matthias & St Luke’s (SMSL) journeyed to Jerusalem and participated in a Seder meal hosted by Christ Church Jerusalem. The Seder is the Jewish ritual supper celebrated in remembrance of the Passover. It is likely the meal Jesus shared with his disciples before he was crucified, making it the Christian’s first Communion.

Maundy Thursday, April 21, SMSL is hosting a Seder meal to commemorate Jesus’ institution of the Holy Eucharist. All ANiC parishioners in the area are invited to attend, but please register
before April 11 so adequate food preparation can be organized.
Time: April 21, 2011, 6:45pm
Place: St Matthias and St Luke’s church hall, 680 West 49 Ave, Vancouver (enter by parking lot)
Registration: email SMSL Church at before April 11

Church plants and projects
Plant and Grow conferences across Canada
There are only three
Plant and Grow workshops left for 2011! The sessions focus on both planting new churches and growing established churches. Join rectors, lay leaders, church planters and could-be church planters for exciting, foundation-building sessions. Be encouraged and learn. All welcome. Register with contacts below:
Moncton, NB  May 28  Contact the RevDan Endresen
Marlborough, MA June (TBD) Contact the Ven Michael McKinnon 
Brandon, MB TBD Contact Phil Varcoe

Calendar of upcoming events – for your interest and prayer support
April 12-14 – Gospel Coalition conference, Chicago, Illinois
April 17 – Church of the Epiphany & St Peter by the Park (Hamilton) – Palm Sunday family event
April 26-29 Titus Institute Exponential Conference on Church Planting in Orlando
May 28 – Moncton, NB church planting workshop
June (TBD) – Marlborough, MA church planting workshop
June 6-20 – Asian Mission short-term mission trip to Thailand and the Karan refugee camps
June 30 – July 14 – Asian Mission short-term mission trip to China, working with disabled orphans
Nov 2 – Clergy Day as well as spiritual life conference for laity – both in Victoria, BC
Nov 3-4 – ANiC synod, Victoria, BC

On the front lines: Growing and planting churches
This week, hear about the journey and progress of Christ the King church plant in Toronto, led by the Rev Ray David Glen. Ray David provides leadership to ANiC’s church planting initiatives across Canada and is a director of the Anglican 1000 movement.

Christ The King (Toronto, ON)
“I feel like I’m inside the Book of Acts,” Claus Lenk says as he describes the ANiC congregation he helped found in the heart of Toronto. Less than two years ago, the seed was planted when Claus and his wife Heather opened first their home and then, as the group grew, the board room in their business. It all started in May 2009 with 13 people meeting to discuss the possibilities and seek God’s leading. They began meeting regularly to study the Acts of the Apostles, worship and pray, incorporating Compline. During this time attendance grew to about 18. “Studying the book of Acts really taught us about boldness and living in obedience to God,” Claus says. 

In the fall of 2010, Christ The King was launched as an official ANiC church plant, moving to regular Sunday services at 6:30pm at Blythwood Baptist Church, 80 Blythwood Road, Toronto. The Rev Ray David Glenn serves as rector – in addition to his responsibilities at St George’s Burlington – and the Rev Robin Guinness assists in leadership and in many aspects of church life. Average attendance has grown to about 26. 

Fellowship is a key ingredient in Christ The King’s steady growth. Every service ends with a social time around a light lunch. But eating together isn’t the only way they build community. Recently they began incorporating testimonies into their services allowing parishioners to share their spiritual journeys with each other. One parishioner, a cradle Anglican recounted how he had grown up in the Anglican Church. However, he said, it was only during the last 18 months, as he became involved at Christ The King, that he began to get a deeper understanding of the claims of Christ. During this time, he was reborn and now has a new purpose.
“That”, says Claus, “made all the hard work of church planting worthwhile.”

The parish website states:
“Our passion – and joy – is introducing our neighbours in the urban Toronto community to the redemptive and transforming power of Jesus Christ – through friendship, acts of service, and the faithful teaching of God’s Word.” We pray that God will continue to bless with much fruit as they live out this vision.

Inspiration for planting and growing churches
Anglican 1000 – Audio of the January Anglican 1000 church planting summit in Plano Texas is now posted to the Anglican 1000 website – including sessions by the keynote speakers, Bishop Todd Hunter and Dr Tim Keller. In a session titled: “Anglican 1000 Summit, Anglican1000 Update”, the Rev Ray David Glenn gives a report from Canada and our primate Archbishop Bob Duncan provides a report on progress toward the goal of planting 1000 churches in five years. Archbishop Bob says that among the ACNA and its ministry partners there has been a 38 percent growth in congregations in the first 19 months of ACNA’s existence. While getting accurate information was difficult, he said, there were now 973 churches listed on the ACNA website earlier this year.

Showers help plants grow – Here’s an innovative idea! The Anglican 1000 blog notes that an Anglican church planter in Los Angeles is holding a shower to help launch the parish. The list of needed gifts includes everything from crayons for Sunday School to a drum kit to monthly worship space rental.

Church planting in the media – As our culture becomes increasingly secular church planting becomes more of a novelty. This can create opportunities for publicity in the media – especially community newspapers – where unique “human interest” stories are always in demand. Recently, one BC community paper featured a (non-ANiC) church planter’s story on the cover of the paper, with a two-page feature inside, illustrated with photos.

Can’t afford to buy a church building? Here’s one way… An ACNA church plant in Virginia was able to afford to purchase a building by renting out space for executive offices.

Prayer for ACNA’s church planting – In preparation for the upcoming Exponential Conference on Church Planting in Orlando, Florida at the end of this month, organizers from the Titus Institute for Church Planting invite “pray-ers” to play an important role in ACNA’s church planting movement. The Rev Kathleen Adams from Titus Institute writes: “As you know, (church planting) is a major goal and directive of our Archbishop, Robert Duncan. This year a special prayer room with intercessors praying for the conference, its speakers, workshop leaders and participants will be in place.” Intercessors are invited to pray on site or at their home churches. The conference is taking place Tuesday April 26 – 29.

News – Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Fort Worth cathedral plants a church… in Cambodia
St Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas is working with the Diocese of Singapore to plant a church in the Cambodia province of Pursat. The Anglican Church in Cambodia is a missionary deanery of the Province of Southeast Asia. Together, St Vincent’s and St Andrew’s in Singapore have purchased land and are developing facilities for the church plant. Over Christmas, 1300 Cambodians came to church.

A news story on the ACNA website states that this partnership is
“…one of many that exist within the Anglican Church in North America. Each partnership is a living testament to the Anglican Church’s commitment to mission, to evangelism, to our Anglican brothers and sisters on the other side of the globe, and to planting new, Gospel-centered churches.” Within ANiC, the Asian Mission, lead by Bishop Stephen Leung, has organized two mission trips this summer. The mission to the Karan refugees on the Thailand-Myanmar border is conducted in partnership with the Diocese of Singapore.

Legal updates on disputes involving ACNA dioceses
Fort Worth – The Church of England Newspaper reports that “A Texas trial court has suspended proceedings in the Fort Worth property disputes, until the state’s appeals court rules on issue of whether a diocese may secede from the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.” A S Haley writing in the Anglican Curmudgeon said the judge’s ruling will move the case along more quickly and will “freeze the case so that the Court of Appeals can take up the severed part of the case… now, rather than later. …this was a decision that needed to be made in order to prevent chaos and disorder from taking over.”

Thanks to this ruling, Bishop Jack Iker and the ACNA diocese are now preparing to file a Notice of Appeal directly to the Texas State Supreme Court. The announcement on the diocese’s website says,
“It is within the Court's discretion to take the case directly, or to require that we go first to the intermediate Court of Appeals. Since all parties agree that the case will come inevitably before the high court, we hope to save both the time and expense of an intermediate appeal as we seek resolution to the litigation brought against us, which has been so distracting from our mission for the past two years.”

Pittsburgh – Archbishop Bob Duncan’s Diocese of Pittsburgh plans to petition the State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for a hearing after a lower court issued an order denying its request for a re-hearing. The Pittsburg Post Gazette reports that “the appeal will not stop parish property negotiations. “What we are really looking for is a settlement or settlements which allow our parishes not only to survive but to thrive,” [ACNA Diocese of Pittsburgh spokesman] David Trautman said. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review states that “Negotiations over property issues are expected to take place on a parish-by-parish basis, church leaders said…”

San Joaquin – A judge has denied a request by the Episcopal Church (TEC) to consolidate the lawsuits it initiated against nine individual churches and church leaders.

More news about ACNA
ACNA website – April 6 2011 – Anglican conference focuses on the Holy Spirit  

News – Canada

Merger of ACoC and Lutheran offices in Ottawa proposed
The Anglican Journal reports that a proposal to establish shared offices in Ottawa for the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCC) has received a lukewarm reception at a recent ACoC Council of General Synod meeting. Currently the ACoC office is in Toronto, while the ELCIC is headquartered in Winnipeg. The AEC blog also reports that the ELCC and the ACoC are “becoming increasingly intertwined, to the extent that they are adopting similar policies on homosexual clergy and the blessing of same-sex couples”.

Tips for churches during the election
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) offers tips for church conduct during an election, saying
“given that many churches are registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as charities with the ability to issue income tax receipts, there are certain considerations and policies that must be considered. The government has set out specific guidelines that outline the allowable political activities of charities.” The EFC also offers fact sheets on various election issues, how to organize an all-candidates meeting and a call to prayer for Canada– all available from the EFC website.

More news from Canada
AEC blog – March 30 -- Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island: same-sex blessing motions to be presented at its May Synod
Anglican Journal – April 8 2011 – Bishop George Bruce to retire after 24 years

News – United States

Survey of Episcopal Churches finds most congregations are small and old
A survey of congregations in the Episcopal Church (TEC) by the Church’s national statistics office reveals that the average age of congregants is significantly older than the general US population, with 30% over 65. It also found that churches continue to shrink with
“…the median parish having 66 persons at Sunday worship…” The Church of England Newspaper report (posted on the Anglican Mainstream website) also states that “The proportion of parishes in financial difficulty rose sharply over the past decade. Only 28 per cent of congregations reported being in “excellent” or “good” financial shape in the survey, compared to 56 per cent in 2000.”

More US news
Church of England Newspaper – April 1, 2011 – “Life sentence” for abuse for US priest

News – International

GAFCon congress “almost certainly in Jerusalem” in 2012
Nigeria – The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh told the Church Standing Committee that “Gafcon is alive and well. There will be leaders meeting this year in New York, which will have an ecumenical character. Church leaders other than Anglicans who share our stand on the contentious issue of human sexuality and same-sex unions will be invited. The full Gafcon Congress will hold almost certainly in Jerusalem again in 2012. We ask for your prayers, for effective planning and execution.”

He added that
“The Global South Primates have arranged a meeting with Chinese Government to discuss the issue of the Christian faith. This meeting will take place in September 2011.”

Archbishop Okoh also reported that he led a delegation to the England in February which visited the Archbishop of Canterbury. He reported that they asked Archbishop Rowan Williams to allow Nigerians living in England to worship “the Nigerian way” either in unused Church buildings or in their own services in parish churches. They said that Nigerians found worship in the Church of England cold and many were leaving for other denominations where they could express themselves unreservedly in worship.

From around the Communion and the world
Ivory Coast – The Church of England Newspaper reports that “Over a 1000 Christians have been killed by Muslim soldiers at a mission station in Duékoué in the Ivory Coast…” Reportedly, thousands of refugees had sought shelter in the Roman Catholic mission station, fleeing the civil war in the country.

Uganda –The Archbishop of Uganda recently laid the foundation stone for the new All Saints Cathedral in Kampala set to be completed by Christmas 2012. He said the church is to be paid for by the people of Uganda, for the people of Uganda. The 10,000-member congregation currently meets in an overflowing 800-seat building, using tents for extra space. The cathedral holds three Sunday morning services drawing more than 3600 people each week.

The Church of England Newspaper also reports that the dioceses of eastern Uganda plan to build a church-affiliated multi-disciplinary university. It is an initiative of the Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC), a committee that works closely with the Archbishop of Canterbury and reports to the Primates’ meeting. Church affiliated universities are currently being built in Tanzania, Ghana and other African nations.

Israel – The case involving the revocation of the Bishop of Jerusalem’s residency visa by the Israeli government is ongoing. The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Foreign Office in Britain issued a complaint to Israel, saying it is “very concerned” about the situation. The Diocese of Jerusalem reported on the ACNS website that Israel’s government wrote in a letter that Dawani “acted with the Palestinian Authority in transferring lands owned by Jewish people to the Palestinians and also helped to register lands of Jewish people in the name of the Church”. “There were further allegations that documents were forged by the Bishop. The letter also stated that Bishop Dawani and his family should leave the country immediately”. The bishop denied the allegations, chose to take his case to the Israeli courts, and awaits a court date to be set.

South Africa It is reported in the Church of England newspaper, that “five men armed with guns arrived at Bishop Seoka’s Pretoria home, declaring their intention to kill the bishop and his wife.” The Bishop also received death threats by phone. The suspects and motives are still unknown but he South African Council of Churches said the bishop “…has long been an outspoken advocate for social and economic justice and a courageous opponent of corruption and unethical business practices in his capacity as a leader of the ecumenical movement.” In January the bishop’s lay chaplain, a prominent property developer, was found murdered in her home.

England – Writing on the Anglican Spread website, the Rev Charles Raven, chronicles some of the recent evidences of New Age heresy taking root in the Church of England. He begins, ”The success of the nineteenth century Tractarians and their successors in promoting the idea that the Church of England represented a ‘via media’ between Protestantism and Catholicism was such that it is still accepted by many today as one of Anglicanism's main defining features. But this mythology is being replaced by another and it is not a change for the better. It is what we might call a ‘via medium’, a project which is already well under way in TEC, to reshape Anglicanism into a New Age style spirituality which bypasses the cross and promises personal fulfilment through connection with a mysterious and many faceted world of ‘the Spirit’.”

More international news
Church of England Newspaper – April 1 2011 – Kenyan call to combat the “vice” of corruption
Anglican Mainstream – April 7 2011 – Warriors fighting for a new nation [Southern Sudan]

Soul food

Preaching tips – The Proclamation Trust is offering a free download of a short paper by Sinclair Ferguson on how to preach Christ from Old Testament texts.

Keeping the faith – Do you have a child headed to university this fall? The newly released book, Thriving at College: Make Great Friends, Keep Your Faith, and Get Ready for the Real World might be helpful to them as they wrestle with standing firm in faith on the university campus.

Lenten meditation – An excellent meditation on the Communion Partners website reminds us that we, like cars need to be realigned. It concludes, “Like driving a car with seriously misaligned wheels is dangerous, a misaligned heart is a critical threat to our spiritual health and eternal well-being. Lent is the time that we are reminded of our need to take our focus off ourselves and return to God as the center of our lives, for he is our true and everlasting treasure. As Jesus said, “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.””

Just for fun

Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc -

Please pray...
For our
bishops and clergy and their families

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

For the four Vancouver-area ANiC parishes and their legal counsel 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 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 involved in disputes with their former dioceses

For the implementation by the Diocese of Maseno West (Kenya) of the malaria prevention project, sponsored by the
ARDFC. May God use it to bless Kenyans and bring many to Christ

For the people of
Japan and Christchurch, NZ. May they turn to God and find comfort and hope

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

For countries in
Africa and the Middle East where radical Muslims are seeking to leverage the political instability to gain control

For repentance and revival in
our hearts and in our nation, for a hunger for God and 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
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "O Lord GOD, you know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord."

Ezekiel 37:1-6

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