|Handle with prayer!
ANiC and ACNA events calendar
April 21-23 – Ontario clergy silent retreat near Orangeville led by Bishop Charlie Masters
April 25, 2pm – The Rev Buzz Onayemi will be ordained a priest at Celebration Church (Barrie, ON)
April 30-May 2 – Simeon Trust women’s workshop in Vancouver at ANiC’s Good Shepherd
May 3 – Sanctity of Life Sunday in all ANiC churches
May 7 – Ryle Theological College-sponsored Clergy Day, Kanata Baptist, Kanata, ON
May 14 – March for Life 2015 in Ottawa and in most of the provincial capitals
May 20-22 – Simeon Trust workshop in Vancouver, BC at ANiC’s’ Good Shepherd
May 26-28 – AMMiC mini-conference in Richmond, BC
June 22-26 – ACNA Executive Cabinet, Council, College of Bishops meetings in Vancouver
June 24 - ACNA reception and worship service at Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC)
Aug 31 – Sept 10 – Mission trip to Thailand, sponsored by AMMiC and Good Shepherd
Oct 16-17 – AMMiC-led conference in Vancouver, BC on Asian immigrant inter-generational issues
Oct 20-23 – ANiC synod 2015 in Vancouver at Good Shepherd
Bishop Charlie’s Easter letter
If you missed Bishop Charlie’s Easter letter, you’ll find it on the ANiC website. From 1 Corinthians 15, he explains that Easter should profoundly transform each of us because “it really happened” and “it really matters”. He concludes: “Knowing our great enemy has been defeated and knowing that Jesus has risen from the dead – He who is Lord and King, the one to whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess him as Lord – is meant to change everything in our lives. Now, instead of living fearfully under the bondage of sin and Satan and death, we now are able to live joyfully and powerfully under the power of the cross and the resurrection. We now are released to live new, holy lives, steadfast in ministry and proclaiming his good news to a world that so desperately needs to hear it.”
New 1552 Holy Communion rite ready for trial use
A team of ANiC members – the 1552 Liturgy Working Group – has completed a modern English version of Thomas Cranmer’s 1552 Order of Holy Communion, and the ANiC House of Bishops has approved it for use in ANiC churches over a two year trial period. You can see the new rite, a Q&A, and the letter sent from Bishop Charlie to ANiC clergy commending the rite on the ANiC website.
October 20-23 – Synod 2015 in Vancouver
Synod 2015 will be held at Good Shepherd Vancouver on October 20-23. Clergy day is Tuesday, October 20, followed by a full-day of workshops for both laity and clergy on Wednesday, October 21. Synod begins that evening (Wednesday, October 21) at 7pm with the opening Eucharist and Charge from our Bishop. Synod continues through to Friday, October 23, concluding at 3pm following the final key note address. Watch for more information and do pray for the planning of this event which has become a highlight for all of us in ANiC.
New church plant taking root in Kelowna, BC
Resurrection Anglican Church (Kelowna, BC) joyfully announces that, by the grace of God, they have multiplied! A second church plant, under the leadership the Rev Dr Jon Vickery, has begun reaching out to the communities of North Glenmore and the UBC Okanagan campus. Christ Church Kelowna, which meets at 3pm on Sundays in a Presbyterian Church building, held its first service on March 1. Let’s join together in praying for and trusting God that this plant with flourish.
Forming congregation meeting in Guelph, ON
A group is meeting Sunday mornings in Guelph. For information, or to refer potential participants, please call the Rev Zena Attwood (519-846-0454) or D'Arcy Luxton (519-846-0483).
Sanctity of Life Sunday, May 3
The first Sunday in May is Sanctity of Life Sunday. All ANiC congregations are asked to mark this Sunday. At Synod 2014, resolutions were approved related to pro-life matters, including Motion 10, part 5 which says, “Therefore be it resolved that: All ANiC parishes be… Encouraged to include a 'Sanctity of Life Sunday' worship service yearly, on the first Sunday of May”.
While there are many resources online, including those found at the Anglicans for Life website, some options and information follows:
Abortion – A helpful article by a post-abortive woman discusses why and how abortion should be addressed from the pulpit. Polls show the public opinion tide is turning with millennials more inclined to believe abortion is morally wrong. Christianity Today offers a helpful article on “The Secret Shame of Abortion in Church”. And, while too long to show in church, do watch this terrific animation of fetal development which shows the wonder of God’s creation in the womb.
Euthanasia – This is a public policy matter currently under discussion. Following the Supreme Court decision on euthanasia earlier this year, Bishop Charlie wrote ANiC members and as well as the federal Minister of Justice. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has good information here. Also check out Eric Metaxas’ Breakpoint commentary and Ryan Anderson’s well-reasoned summary of the policy and social dangers of opening the door to euthanasia.
March for Life in Ottawa on May 14 - Let’s turn out in force!
Anglicans for Life Canada has a full slate of activities planned around this year’s March for Life in Ottawa, beginning on the evening of May 13 with a gathering at St Peter & St Paul’s (Ottawa) to hear special guest speaker Daniel Gilman. May 14 begins with a 10am worship service, followed by a gathering on Parliament Hill and the March.
ANiC youth and youth leaders will find that thousands of young people from across Canada journey to Ottawa each year for the March and a variety of activities. Why not join them and take a stand? See the Anglicans for Life Canada webpage for details.
If you can’t get to Ottawa for the national March, join the March in your provincial capital. See the Campaign Life Coalition website for details.
March for Life in Victoria – May 14
The Rev Richard and Jenny Richards are spearheading the participation of Anglicans for Life Canada in the BC edition of the annual March. Dr Will Johnston from Canadian Physicians for Life and an active member of St John's Vancouver was recently confirmed as one of the speakers at the March in Victoria. Richard+ hopes to coordinate transportation for those from the Lower Mainland. For information and to confirm your participation email Richard+.
For details on the March in Victoria, see www.m4lvictoria.ca/. You can also download a bulletin-sized flyer which has much of the information and can be used to promote the March in churches.
Simeon Trust Bible exposition workshops
Simeon Trust offers excellent workshops! If you are responsible for preaching or teaching the Word of God, you’ll want to find the workshop nearest you and plan to attend. Although many locations and dates are offered, the following workshops are in Canada. Check here for details.
April 30 - May 2 – a women’s workshop in Vancouver at ANiC’s Good Shepherd
May 13-15 in Toronto at Maple Avenue Baptist
May 13-15 in Calgary at Southview Alliance
May 20-22 in Vancouver, BC at ANiC’s’ Good Shepherd with two ANiC speakers, Canon David Short and the Rev Eric Thurston. If you are interested contact Eric+.
Rector wanted for Christ The King, Toronto
Christ The King (Toronto, ON) is moving towards a full-time Rector to spearhead ANiC’s strategic vision for growth in the City of Toronto. If interested, see the job description and parish profile on the church website.
Also there’s still time to apply for the half-time youth pastor position at St Matthias and St Luke’s (Vancouver, BC). See the posting here. And watch the ANiC jobs page for future openings.
Women’s Day in Toronto-area, May 2
An ANiC Women's Day event is planned for the GTA, hosted by Celebration Church (Barrie, ON), on Saturday, May 2. The speaker, Pastor Kathleen Greidanus, will address the topic, "Who do you say that I am?”. The event will also feature music, flag worship, breakfast and lunch, and warm fellowship. Cost is $25. Pre-registration is required; register by emailing Heather. Each congregation is invited to bring a tri-fold picture display depicting their church's ministries. The venue is the Ferndale Banquet Hall, 24 Ferndale Industrial Dr, Barrie. See the invitation here.
Venue changed for ordination on April 25 in Barrie
The venue has changed for the ordination of the Rev Dr Buzz Onayemi on Saturday, April 25, 2pm. The new venue is Inniswood Campus, 460 Yonge St., Barrie. Clergy are asked to arrive by 1:20pm and are invited to robe; the stole colour is white. Please uphold Buzz+ in prayer.
ANiC member contributes to soon-to-be-released NIV Study Bible
The Rev Dr Craig Bartholomew, Scholar in Residence at St George’s (Burlington, ON), contributed study notes for the book of Ecclesiastes in the NIV Study Bible which is to be released in August. This study Bible involved a large team of scholars under the general editorship of D A Carson. Learn more here. And see an extended digital sampler here.
AMMiC welcomes first ministry staff member
Valerie Yiu is the new children’s ministry director for Asian and Multicultural Ministries Canada (AMMiC). Valerie has 25 years of experience in Christian education and children’s ministries and is currently pursuing a DMin at Carey Theological College in Vancouver.
AMMiC mini conference, May 26-28
Asian and Multicultural Ministries Canada (AMMiC) is organizing a mini-conference for May 26-28 in Richmond, BC. Like the two earlier mini-conference, this event is designed to equip, challenge, encourage and support AMMiC clergy and congregations across AMMiC. Speakers include Sherman Chan and Dr Joyce Chan and ANiC Bishops Charlie Masters, Ron Ferris and Stephen Leung.
Parish and regional news
St Stephen the Martyr (St John’s, NL) – The Rev Howard Hynes and the mayor of St John’s raised the Christian flag outside city hall on March 30 in the presence of government and various religious representatives. The mayor addressed the gathering and was very supportive. The flag flew over the city during Holy Week.
Two days later, Howard+ was meeting with the premier and several political leaders, together with Christian leaders from a number of other denominations, discussing the possibility of raising the Christian flag on Confederation Hill. While not all the denominational leaders favoured raising the flag, Howard+ reports that:
“Everyone agreed that this morning’s meeting was unprecedented in recent memory, and groundbreaking. Every Christian leader present expressed gratitude to the premier for the opportunity to meet with him. Many expressed gratitude to St Stephen the Martyr for being the catalyst that led to this meeting… It is extraordinarily humbling that God would use our little parish to bring about this morning’s meeting. Something new and exciting is unfolding in our province. We take no credit. We are simply privileged to watch what God is doing… Please be encouraged, my brothers and sisters. “God is able to accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine!”
Resurrection (Kelowna, BC) announces that the Rev Terry Lamb will be its new rector starting May 1. Founding rector, the Rev Bruce Chamberlayne, has felt called to step down after 4 years of ministry, but will continue in his duties as archdeacon for Alberta and the BC Interior.
Emmanuel Anglican (Boston, MA) will co-host an evangelistic event in Boston on May 9 featuring a former pop singer from Hong Kong. Agnes Chiang will share her favorite gospel songs and deliver a message of love and blessing in Christ.
On May 18-20, Emmanuel is co-hosting workshops and gatherings – including a revival meeting – in Boston featuring the Rev Dr Ka-lun Leung, president of Alliance Bible Seminary (Hong Kong).
Saint Matthew’s (Abbotsford, BC) was featured in the local Abbotsford News with an invitation to all local churches to join in a traditional Good Friday Stations of the Cross event.
Church of St James, (Lennoxville, QC) – The Rev Jess Cantelon has announced that he will be leaving May 31 to become associate rector of Christ Church, Atlanta. Mat Court has been appointed to take over leadership of St James as lay pastor-in-charge.
Cross Roads Peninsula Anglican (Brentwood Bay, BC) – The Rev Rodney May has announced his plan to retire at the end of 2015.
Got parish news? Let the rest of us know about it! Email Marilyn.
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news
Primate’s Easter message
You can watch Archbishop Foley Beach’s 4-minute Easter message which focuses on the evidence for Christ’s resurrection and what this reality means to us today.
ACNA co-founds interdenominational network working for freedom of religion
The Common Ground Christian Network is encouraging Christians to stand together in support of religious liberty and of persecuted Christians around the globe. At a recent meeting, the Network issued a statement on persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Nigeria and Sudan, committing to engaging in prayer, “waging spiritual warfare against this evil” and to speaking out and acting in support of those victimized by persecution.
Provincial Canon for Mission appointed
The Rev David Roseberry, rector of Christ Church (Plano, TX) has been appointed by Archbishop Beach as Canon for Missions. In this voluntary role, Canon Roseberry will undertake special projects for the Archbishop.
Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and Anglican Communion news
CAPA Communique rejects heresy and upholds Biblical teaching on morality
The Communique from the recent meeting of the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) came out clearly in support of historic Biblical orthodoxy and in opposition to western churches that have abandoned Anglican teaching. In his weekly commentary on global Anglicanism, Bishop Bill Atwood explains why this is such an important sign that the much touted Anglican Communion “Indaba” process has failed to undermine the orthodoxy of the African Provinces and that CAPA has “pulled back from the brink of self-destruction”. An Anglican Ink article agrees with this analysis and declares that “Indaba is dead”.
Bishop from Nigeria appointed secretary-general of the Anglican Communion
The Bishop of Kadun (Nigeria), the Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has been appointed secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, succeeding the Rev Kenneth Kearon. Although a bishop of a diocese in Nigeria, Bishop Idowu-Fearon lives much of the time in London, reports David Virtue in a helpful analysis, and is an authority on Islam.
The appointment of Bishop Idowu-Fearon, who is known to be a strong supporter of Archbishop Welby and the reconciliation agenda, was likely intended to mollify the orthodox, especially in the Global South, while being acceptable to the revisionist western churches. However, it may not satisfy either. Bishop Idowu-Fearon is reported to have alienated his fellow Nigerian bishops and has made enough statements in the past in support of traditional and Biblical morality that the liberal western churches, which largely finance the Anglican Communion structures, are alarmed.
In response to the sexual activists’ protests, Bishop Idowu-Fearon issued a statement clarifying his earlier comments. He concludes: “…my position is clear. For the majority of African Christians, the Bible judges culture, including African culture. As African Christians we must accept other cultures and the way they also understand the Bible’s relationship with culture. I accept and promote a culture of respect for such differences.”
The Titus One Nine blog provides a transcript of Bishop Idowu-Fearon’s address to a Wycliffe conference in Toronto in 2013 in which he defends the current Anglican Communion structures and says that, apart from the “extreme liberals” and “extreme evangelicals” in the Anglican Communion, the 70 per cent in the middle are interested primarily in unity. “Unfortunately what I perceive as happening today, is that the 15% Extreme Evangelicals want to impose their ecclesiology and theology on the 70% and the 15% Extreme Liberals want to do the same.” Interestingly, he also presented specific ideas on the Anglican Consultative Council and the position of Secretary General. First he said that the Secretary General should be a bishop [unlike Canon Kenneth Kearons, then Secretary General] and, second, this position should report directly to Canterbury, and not act as “as the executive running the entire Communion; that’s how we see it now.” Bishop Idowu-Fearon concludes: “The Conservatives have been very arrogant, the Liberals have been very despotic, and I believe we both need to ask the Lord for forgiveness.”
The Anglican Unscripted commentators conclude that Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon’s appointment is intended to bring an end to the Anglican Consultative Council.
GAFCon Primates meet in London, April 13-17
In his Easter pastoral letter, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, GAFCon chairman, discusses the challenges to global Christianity, as well as developments within GAFCon and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. He also asks us to pray for the GAFCon Primates, including our Primate Archbishop Foley Beach, as they meet in London, England, April 13-17 where they will attend to GAFCon business as well as meet with Anglican leaders from Britain and Ireland, including the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE). AMiE could potentially develop into the equivalent of the ACNA on the other side of the Atlantic.
Anglican Communion news briefs
Archbishop Justin Welby will visit China May 27- June 5.
International news in brief
Christian leaders held a news conference on Parliament Hill in late March to draw attention to attacks on religious freedom in Canada. Three concerns dominated: the persecution of Trinity Western University, led by the Bank of Montreal and others in the corporate sector; the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons’ decision to force doctors to refer patients wanting abortion against their conscience; and the intolerance on university and public school campuses of Christian and pro-life views. According to LifeSiteNews, one leader said, “If this creeping barrage continues Canada will become a nation far removed from the values that have made it great.” Another stated, “I don’t blame the people who are doing this. I blame the Christians who are silent about it. In the absence of light, the darkness rules.”
CBC reports that, “Christian medical professionals are challenging Ontario's College of Physicians and Surgeons in court over a policy that requires doctors to provide or at least refer medical services, even when they clash with personal values.”
Trinity Western is also fighting for religious freedom – specifically the right to open a law school – in the courts of three provinces – BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) Bishop of Brandon James Njegovan has announced his retirement effective July 31, noting that, to some, this news “…will not be entirely unwelcome...”
The ACoC Bishop of Montreal, Barry Clarke has announced he will retire August 31. The election of his successor is set for June 6.
Charisma News reports that more than 34,000 churches are breaking ties with the Presbyterian Church USA after the latter voted to embrace same-sex marriage. .
Diocese of South Carolina – A federal court has reversed – and returned to the lower court for retrial – an earlier district court decision which favoured the now independent Diocese of South Carolina in one of several lawsuits involving the US Episcopal Church. However lawyer Alan Haley explains why this may not be such a bad thing. In court action involving the same parties but in a different court case, TEC is appealing an earlier court victory for the now independent Diocese of South Carolina under Bishop Mark Lawrence.
Two more women have been appointed bishops in the Church of England. The Rev Canon Alison White, wife of Bishop Frank White who is assistant bishop of Newcastle, has been appointed bishop of Hull. The third woman appointed to the episcopate is Rachel Treweek who, as Bishop of Gloucester, will become the first female diocesan and the first to sit in the House of Lords.
The presiding bishop of the US Episcopal Church was invited to preach and lead services at the Salisbury Cathedral during Holy Week this year.
Baroness Caroline Cox writes about Islam in Britain, specifically “the suffering of women oppressed by religiously-sanctioned gender discrimination; and a rapidly-developing alternative quasi-legal system which undermines the fundamental principle of one law for all.”
The Irish Times reports that Roman Catholic bishops will not allow civil aspects of weddings to be undertaken in churches if the government redefines marriage to include same-sex unions.
Brietbart reports that anti-Semitism in Europe is said to be reaching 1930s levels due to the growth of radical Islam, resulting in a significant exodus of Jews from European countries.
Anglican Ink reports that Bishop Victoria Matthews, bishop of Christchurch and formerly of Edmonton Alberta, has resigned from a General Synod study group looking at implementing same-sex blessings. She wrote, “I am aware that this matter in the Diocese of Christchurch is causing a high level of angst on all sides. I decided I would be unable to minister effectively in this Diocese and also have membership on the Way Forward Working Group…”
With the ruthless Islamic State launching a renewed offensive against Christians in Syria, World Watch Monitor reports that Turkey has closed its borders to the desperate refugees. About 220 Christians kidnapped by the Islamic State in an attack on villages are still being held.
ACNA’s Bishop Bill Atwood provides excellent insight into the Islamic State which unabashedly embraces every aspect of the all-encompassing worldview dictated by Mohammed before his death in 632AD. He also provides brief insights into the history of Islam and the penchant for violence. And he offers advice on how we should respond.
Anarchy and fierce fighting in Aden’s civil war has forced the closure of both Christ Church and its hospital in Aden.
Meanwhile, Barnabas Aid reports that Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti “…has called for all churches in the Arabian Peninsula to be destroyed in accordance with Muhammad’s command to rid the region of all Jews and Christians.”
Orthodox Christians commemorating the 21 young men martyred in Libya recently were attacked by a mob violently opposing plans approved by the president of the country to build a memorial church in the home village of 13 of the martyrs.
The woman nicknamed the Mother Theresa of Cairo for her work educating thousands of impoverished children often living in the garbage dump, told Fox News that seven of the 21 martyrs were educated in her schools.
The Guardian reports that the recent general election saw former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, return to power. Praise God for a peaceful election and transfer of power.
Military offensives against Boko Haram have had some success; however the militant Islamist terrorists continue their violent attacks. The Wall Street Journal reports that fleeing terrorists abducted more than 400 people in one area – mostly women and children. And as the Boko Haram cedes territory, advancing troops are reportedly finding mass graves and evidence of wide-spread murder and atrocities. All Africa reports that fleeing Boko Haram fighters have killed their wives – including the enslaved Chibok schoolgirls – rather that allow them to be saved by the military.
Three young women, who escaped Boko Haram captivity, spoke to Al Jazeera about their lives in captivity where they were frequently beaten and forced to watch the executions of men who refused to join Boko Haram.
A former US congressman is accusing President Obama of refusing to help Nigeria combat Boko Haram because of Nigeria’s opposition to same-sex marriage. Former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman, who was among a delegation sent to Nigeria following the mass kidnapping of Chibok schoolgirls a year ago, “…confirmed that during his June 2014 delegation to Nigeria, top U.S. brass told him they had intelligence to aid the Nigerian military to “crush” the terrorist group Boko Haram, but were blocked from doing so by the Obama administration…. [because of] Nigeria’s stance against same-sex marriage.”
World Watch Monitor discusses a new report which states that the media focus on Boko Haram’s terrorism in the north has overshadowed the wide-spread persecution of Christians in the central Nigeria. “Nigeria lies on the Christian/Muslim fault-line across Africa…” With northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani herdsmen moving south seeking better pasture for their cattle “…there are a growing number of well documented instances of violence against indigenous, predominantly Christian farmers. These in-comers are burning farms, raping women and attacking houses and churches... this is… part of a political strategy that is inspired by the Islamic doctrine of darul Islam… [which] describes the obligation to bring the non-Islamic under the rule of Islam.” In a recent attack, Muslim herdsman from the north slaughtered at least 100 Christian villagers as they slept in the “middle belt” state of Benue.
On April 2, in a well-organized and systematic attack, al-Shababa gunmen stormed Garissa University campus killing 147 people, mostly Christian students. The attack was not entirely a surprise. The Los Angeles Times reports the Christian students on campus had warned government officials the campus, inexplicably built near the Somali border and opened just a few years ago, was vulnerable and lacked effective security. The largely Christian student population came to Garissa only because they could not get spots in other Kenyan universities. Prior to the attack, credible intelligence reports warned of an impending assault and a nearby teacher college responded by sending students home for their safety two days prior to the massacre. Furthermore, reports from survivors indicate that the army and police delayed many hours before responding to frantic calls for help, allowing the gunmen to proceed unimpeded.
The Jerusalem Post reports that, following the attack, Kenyan churches hired armed guards to protect their congregations and buildings during Easter services.
In a letter to the Anglican Church of Kenya, Archbishop Eliud Wabakula wrote, “These young people died because they were Kenyans and they were Christians. This attack was a calculated manifestation of evil designed to destroy our nation and our faith, but on this Good Friday we are reminded that the very worst evil can do is not the last word… Jesus death upon the cross was not in vain. By his death, death has been destroyed. The stone rolled away and the empty tomb of Jesus assures us that death does not have the last word… We call on the government to do all in its power to protect the lives of its citizens and we call on the world community to recognise that this latest outrage is not just an attack on Kenya, but part of an assault on world peace. The time has come for the world to unite as never before in defeating this growing menace.”
Visiting Kenya shortly after the massacre, Bishop Bill Atwood writes, that Muslims comprise only 15 per cent of the Kenyan population however, until now have dominated much of the public discourse. This is changing as a result of Garissa. He says,
“There was certainly an “unintended consequence” from the carnage; there is great resolve to deal with it… of course there are calls to deal with al Shabaab, but there are also many wanting to deal with the causes… [the] root causes of unrest. Today there are countless articles and speeches about two things: Corruption, and lack of economic opportunity.… In order to turn the tide in this, not only will there have to be economic opportunities, but there will also have to be pathways to significance for the young people… The Church must rise and speak to the hopelessness and disillusionment that many young people feel. Of course, the best thing to speak to that is the Gospel; not platitudes and institutional life, but robust faith that is worthy of capturing the imagination and commitment; worthy of inspiring a commitment to sacrificial life in Christ…
“Archbishop Wabukala has been asked by the government to take a lead in fighting corruption. Of course, what he is bringing is not just platitudes, but character and discipleship. Those actions will yield a better society, one that is less prone to be able to recruit vulnerable young people… We need to be praying for them. We also need to realize that we are knee deep in the same struggle, and learn from what they are doing right.”
Following the suicide bombing attacks on two churches in mid-March by Muslim extremists, Asia News reports that the police arrested about 200 Christians, most unjustly. The bombings killed 14 and injured 70 others. We are asked to pray for the injured and bereaved.
In his Easter letter, Bishop Humphrey Peters writes that, “…the various Political Parties along with some religious extremist groups and some non-State actors are involved in point scoring games, and personal vendetta against the Christian community of Youhanabad, Lahore. So far, hundreds of Christians have been arrested and tried at the various courts, for the crimes they never committed… At one hand, all these threats, incidents of violence and targeted persecution dishearten the Christian community of Pakistan, but on other, it has strengthen[ed] the faith and refurbish[ed] their commitment of faithfulness with Lord Jesus Christ.”
Resources for ministry and Christian living
New book – The Rev Rico Tice, minister for evangelism at All Souls Langham Place and founder of Christianity Explored, has written Honest Evangelism. Rico+ discusses the book in a short video and Andrew Symes offers a glowing review on Anglican Mainstream.
Man’s need and God’s redemption retold – A three-minute video designed to speak to youth offers a unique approach to telling the Easter story.
39 Articles – Canon Phil Ashey continues his series of short videos on the 39 Articles with videos on Article 19 on the visible Church. See part 1, part 2 and part 3.
Hard doctrines – The doctrines of hell and judgment and the Old Testament accounts of bloody wars are addressed in a new book by Joshua Butler called, The Skeletons in God's Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War. You can read a review on the Gospel Coalition website.
Teaching children about prayer – A new, ACNA-endorsed book, The Little Kneeler that Could, teaches children about the power of prayer and the meaning of emblems of our faith.
Praying for your kids – Tim Challies beautifully explains how he prays for his children.
How to pray – Tim Challies, in another short article, tells us to pray specifically, in light of God’s goodness, expecting an answer, and expecting God will prompt us to act. Another writer gives six keys to experiencing God’s power in prayer: prepare your heart; ask the Holy Spirit to show you what to pray for; apply God’s Word and promises to your prayer requests; ask others to join you in your petitions; keep a prayer journal; and celebrate and praise God.
Praying all day – Scripture tells us we are to prayer constantly. Tim Challies offers insight into the Puritan Matthew Henry’s wisdom on this challenge: begin the day with God; spend the day with God; close the day with God. “This life of communion with God, and constant attendance upon him, is a heaven upon earth.”
Is your mission trip helping or hurting? Short-term mission trips should be about blessing without causing unintended harm. To achieve this, westerners often need to rethink the purpose of the trip and our attitudes. The authors of Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions, say that, rather than focus on alleviating poverty (which is generally a long-term, systemic issue that can’t be appropriately addressed in a matter of weeks), short-term trips are “an opportunity to learn from, encourage, and fellowship with believers in the context of long-term engagement with God’s work, focusing on understanding His body and our role in it more fully.” Read more here.
A New York Times article, written from a secular perspective, urges more respect for Christians, noting, “In liberal circles, evangelicals constitute one of the few groups that it’s safe to mock openly.” The article focuses on the work of a Christian missionary doctor – Dr Stephen Foster – laboring in obscurity in Angola for 37 years. It is very worthwhile reading.
Catechesis at home – In a Robert Webber Center video, the Klukas family share their practice of family devotions. They express the importance of four parts of this practice; reading scripture, teaching, singing, and praying. The Catechism of the Anglican Church of America (ACNA) plays an important role, and by joining the Catechism with sung Compline they seamlessly accomplish their family’s Christian education and worship.
Alternatives to Boy Scouts and Girl Guides – Organizations founded in response to the shifting moral foundations of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides are enjoying tremendous growth according to this LifeSiteNews article.
Helping children learn from sermons – A pastor and father offers excellent suggests that parents and pastors can use to help children benefit from the Sunday sermon.
Living in a digital world – Pastor and father Tim Challies offers sound counsel on parenting well in a digital world. For example, he writes, Today we are handing our children power tools and then acting shocked when they cut off their hands. This is absurd, and we should expect that our children will make serious mistakes if we do not guide them. So parent, you don’t need only to educate yourself, but also your children. You need to have a plan for introducing new technologies to your children and for monitoring them as they use them. This is your responsibility…”
And in yet another article, Challies discusses principles for “Living well in a digital world” based on the Biblical concept of “put on” and “put off”. He briefly expounds three principles: Reject distraction, embrace focus; Reject isolation, embrace visibility; Reject indulgence, embrace self-control. You can also listen to a talk he gave on Purity in a Digital Age.
William Tyndale – Adam Ford offers a brief visual summary of William Tyndale’s which brings alive the tremendous impact this man had on church history. This is a great vehicle for starting to introduce younger people to church history.
Emotional blackmail – John Piper writes, “I have seen so much emotional blackmail in my ministry I am jealous to raise a warning against it. Emotional blackmail happens when a person equates his or her emotional pain with another person’s failure to love… Emotional blackmail says, ‘If I feel hurt by you, you are guilty.’ There is no defense… Truth does not matter. All that matters is the sovereign suffering of the aggrieved.”
Calling out evil – Canon Gavin Ashendon discusses atrocities in the news and why we don’t like to call evil by its rightful name, so we look for material, non-spiritual causation.
Just for laughs
The true test of our worldview is what we find entertaining. —Albert Mohler
There is no sin so prevalent, so insidious, and so deep as the sin of fearing people more than we fear God. —Kevin DeYoung
And now a Word from our Sponsor
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
Romans 8:13- 24a ESV
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