|Handle with prayer!
ANiC and ACNA events calendar
May 16-19 – BC A4D chapter men’s weekend.
May 25. 10:30am – Deacon Trevor Potter will be ordained to the priesthood & Gregor Cantz to the diaconate at Emmaus (Montreal)
May 27-July 7 – Bishop Abraham Nhial (Diocese of Aweil) ministers to AMMiC Sudanese churches
May 29-June 1 – BC A4D chapter women’s weekend.
May 30-31 – Catechists training for Sunday School & children’s ministers, St John’s Richmond (BC)
May 31 – "Recovering the Ministry of Blessing" seminar will be held at New Song (Port Perry, ON)
June 7 – Ordination of Deacon Robert Cummins to the priesthood, Holy Trinity (Marlborough, MA)
June 21 – Bible-in-a-Day seminar at St Timothy’s (North Vancouver, BC)
June 25-28 – Anglican Church in North America Assembly 2014 at St Vincent College, Latrobe, PA
June 28–July 1 - Good Shepherd (Vancouver) summer conference, including AMMiC church plants
November 5-7 – ANiC Synod 2014 in Ottawa, ON
Anglicans join March for Life in Ottawa
On May 8, Bishop Don & Trudy Harvey, Bishop Charlie & Judy Masters, Bishop John & Meg Guernsey and Canon Jack Lumanog joined 23,000 others – including a number of Anglicans – in the March for Life in Ottawa. Bishop Charlie was invited to open the gathering on Parliament Hill with prayer. St Peter & St Paul’s played a high profile role, hosting an Ecumenical service prior to the March. Photos will be posted to ANiC’s website… soon.
The evening prior, Anglicans for Life Canada launched with Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness campaign, speaking at St Peter & St Paul’s Ottawa.
On Sunday, May 25 at 10:30am, Bishop Charlie Masters will be at Emmaus Anglican Church to ordain Deacon Trevor Potter to the priesthood and Gregor Cantz to the diaconate. All are welcome to come.
And on Saturday, June 7 Bishop Donald Harvey will ordain Deacon Robert Cummins to the Sacred Priesthood at Holy Trinity (Marlborough, MA). This will be the first ordination in the new church building.
Please pray for these men as they take this step of faith.
Brenda Leroux, wife of the Rev Andy Leroux (Living Hope, Scarborough, ON) died on April 19. The funeral was held April 26. In a letter to ANiC clergy, Bishop Charlie Masters wrote, “Because He lives, we know that she lives and has been promoted to glory… I would appreciate you all praying for Andy and the whole Leroux family in their loss and the whole church family of Living Hope.” More information is on the Living Hope website. The Rev Robin Guinness is serving as priest-in-charge while Andy+ is on leave of absence.
Update on visits of Anglican Communion bishops
Bishop Azad Marshall and his wife Leslie have had to cancel their planned trip to Canada at the last moment due to travel problems. ANiC's Asian and Multicultural Ministries will work with Bishop Azad to re-schedule their visit for a later date.
Bishop Abraham Yel Nhial, Bishop of Aweil, South Sudan who spoke at the April 2013 Vancouver regional assembly, is returning to Canada on May 27 for more than five weeks. He will be ministering to South Sudanese Christian communities across Canada, encouraging, teaching and disciplining. Please pray that his trip would bear much fruit. Tentatively, Bishop Abraham will spend the first two weeks, May 27 – June 11, in the Vancouver area; June 12-18 in Calgary; June 19-23 in Winnipeg; June 24-30 in Regina; and July 1-7 in Ontario. For details of Bishop Abraham visit, please email the AMMiC office.
Please pray for the visits of both bishops – for logistics, preparations and fruitful ministry.
Part-time pastor (still) wanted
St Andrew’s (Delta, BC) is looking for a part-time priest to pastor the parish and lead Sunday morning services. Initially the position is 20-hours per week, but this will grow as the parish grows. Full details – a parish profile and a job description – are on the church website. Deadline is 31 July.
Montreal Bible study offered for South Asian community
The Rev Wilson Nazim, priest-in-charge of ANiC’s newest church plant, Bethel South Asian (Brampton, ON), travels to Montreal regularly to lead a Bible study for South Asians. Please pray for this ministry.
Just in time for Mother's Day
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada is offering a way for you to honour the women who are most important in your life by transforming the lives of moms in South Sudan. You can make a donation to ARDFC and then print a special Mother's Day card. See the card on the ARDFC website and learn more about our project to build a pediatric ward in Yei, South Sudan where more than 10 per cent of children die before they reach the age of five – most from preventable and treatable diseases.
Our partner aid agency, the ARDF, has created a great video on the work of the Mothers' Union around the Anglican Communion. Take a couple minutes to watch it and learn about this remarkable ministry.
Bible-in-a-Day seminar in North Vancouver, BC
If you live in the Lower Mainland of BC and have never taken a Bible-in-a-Day seminar, you will have an opportunity in June. St Timothy’s (North Vancouver, BC) is hosting a seminar on June 21. For more information, see the Bible-in-a-Day website.
Cuba mission video reflections
A team from (mostly) ANiC churches just returned from a mission trip to Cuba. Watch this short video about their experiences and the opportunities they found for partnering with growing Anglican churches in Cuba. We need to get more ANiC churches engaged in these exciting partnerships. Our thanks to Hungry for Life for sponsoring the trip and creating the video. You can also download the Rev Rod Ellis’ report on the trip from the Church of Our Lord website (pages 6-7).
Parish and regional news
Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC) is holding a summer conference from June 28 to July 1 and is inviting AMMiC church plants from Alberta and BC. So far more than 30 people from Alberta are planning to attend. Pray that this summer conference would offer refreshment through the Word of God as well as great fellowship.
Good Shepherd (Richmond, BC) celebrated its 4th anniversary on May 4 with a Eucharist Service and refreshments.
Bethel South Asian (Brampton, ON) – ANiC’s newest congregation has chosen Bethel for its name. You can see photos of the welcoming and receiving service on April 13 on the AMMiC Facebook page.
St Stephen the Martyr (St John’s, NL) – See a photo of the Christian flag flying at Mount Pearl city hall during Holy Week. The Rev Howard Hynes and the people of St Stephen convinced the cities of Mount Pearl and St John’s to fly the flag in recognition of Christian Holy Week and to focus attention on the unprecedented persecution of Christians in countries around the world.
Faith Anglican (Embrun, ON) has an attractive new website.
Sojourn (Vancouver, BC) – You can see photos posted to Facebook of the recent ordinations at Sojourn. The Revs Alastair Sterne, Michael Chase, Jordan Senner and Geoff Chapman were ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Trevor Walters on April 13.
Holy Trinity (Marlborough, MA) was featured in another local newspaper article on the congregation's recent purchase of an old church property which they are restoring. The first service is to be on Mother's Day.
St Aidan’s (Windsor, ON) – Reports on the Supreme Court appeal by St Aidan's recently appeared on the Windsor Star blog and in the Anglican Journal.
Be sure to email your parish news to Marilyn Jacobson.
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news
Praying for our Province and the election of our next Primate
We are all asked to pray for God’s grace and wisdom as the ACNA College of Bishops meets to elect our next Archbishop, on June 20-22, just ahead of the Provincial Assembly. Resources for use in Morning and Evening Prayer and congregational worship, including Litany, Collect and Prayers of the People, have been prepared and are available on the ACNA website. Please use and share!
Honouring the ministry of Archbishop Bob Duncan
Our Bishop Don Harvey, who also serves as Provincial Dean, is inviting all of us in the ACNA to join in a special gift to our Church in honor of Archbishop Robert Duncan. In a letter recounting the way God has working in the ACNA thanks, in part, to Archbishop Bob’s dedication and tireless work, Bishop Don asks us to make a generous gift to the Province to help set it on a firm financial foundation. Read more on the ACNA website. If you need a receipt for Canadian income tax purposes, please send your gift in Canadian funds to the ANiC national office clearly designated for the Archbishop’s Retirement Project.
Stories of ACNA church plants
St John the Divine (Burkburnett, TX) – Read about a tiny, 21-member ACNA congregation which has found that when they tithe to God – both individually and congregationally – their finances just seem to work out. The church treasurer says, “…we have found that if we give God His money first [in parish outreach ministry budget], we never have need to raise funds. All of our needs are met and then some.”
Christ Church (Waco, TX) won’t launch officially until next year but is already ministering to university students. It has found that people, especially students, are “Seeking something very different from shallow or materialistic Christianity seemingly pervasive in current culture, many in Waco were seeking mystery and sacrament, and desired a connectivity to the church's rich legacy”
Legal decisions: Good news in Texas; Bad news in California
The US Episcopal Church (TEC) has received a series of legal setbacks in its efforts to wrest ownership of diocesan property from the Diocese of Fort Worth which left TEC and became a founding diocese of the ACNA in 2009. TEC’s efforts to drag out the case have been stymied and the case will now proceed at trial court. More information is on Anglican Ink and Alan Haley’s blog.
Alan Haley reports that the legal news out of California is disappointing once again. A tentative decision sides with TEC and against the ACNA’s Diocese of San Joaquin. Also, the TEC Diocese of Los Angeles has reached a settlement with three departed parishes: All Saints (Long Beach) will rent back its former building from the diocese; the former building of St David’s (North Hollywood) is to be used for a school; and the people of St James (Long Beach) have accepted an undisclosed “consideration” in exchange for abandoning its appeal of the decision awarding its property to the TEC diocese. In his letter to his diocese, TEC Bishop Jon Bruno noted that the litigation cost the Diocese of LA $8-million.
ACNA builds ties with Messianic Jewish leaders
The ACNA has been building ecumenical relationships with Messianic Jews. Messianic and ACNA leaders have met and exchanged papers exploring their respective views on important theological matters. You can learn more on the ACNA website – as well as link to some of these papers.
GAFCon Primates meet in London
The GAFCon Primates issued a communiqué following their meeting in London, England. The communiqué expresses concern for several countries which are experiencing violence and other difficulties. It also commends ACNA Archbishop Bob Duncan who is set to retire this summer. But the focus of the communiqué is on the Church of England, calling on it to take a clear, Biblical stand in keeping with historic Anglican practice, rather than succumb to the growing internal and external pressure to compromise.
International news in brief
Religious liberty is under threat. The regulatory bodies which license lawyers in Ontario and Nova Scotia have voted against accrediting graduates from Trinity Western University’s law school. Trinity Western (TWU) is a Christian university in Langley, BC. The concern is over TWU’s Community Covenant which among many other things pledges students to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman”. TWU’s law school had been accredited earlier by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, but opponents then took the fight to the provincial accreditation agencies. TWU’s community covenant was tested in 2001 in the Supreme Court of Canada which ruled then that the BC College of Teachers had no legal grounds for refusing accreditation to TWU education grads.
While a number of provincial law societies have approved TWU’s law school, TWU has determined to go to court in BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia to respond and reestablish the right for lawyers who hold Christian values to practice law across the country. Canadian Christians practicing law should also be aware that in BC, for example individual lawyers are seeking to overturn the decision of the Law Society of British Columbia to accredit TWU-trained lawyers. A special meeting of all BC lawyers and articling students has been called for June 10. BC lawyers are asked to see details of this Special General
Meeting and take a stand. Read more on the TWU website and in The Cardus Daily. Please support TWU in prayer.
The Anglican Church of Canada is soliciting submissions on the Marriage Canon and the proposed changes to allow same-sex marriages. The Anglican Journal reports that there has been controversy over those selected to be on the Commission on the Marriage Canon. Bishop Larry Robinson (Yukon) expressed his concern that the commission is weighted towards those favoring a change to the canon to allow same-sex marriages in the ACoC. Also Bishop Lydia Mamakwa (of the proposed Northern Ontario indigenous diocese) noted that there was no First Nations representation on the committee. She advised commission members, “Keep this in mind that the church and the Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman...Our elders are very strong in that belief and they would like to see that continue, so please keep this in mind for our First Nations people, as they are part of the Anglican Church of Canada.” Pray for Biblically faithful members of the ACoC seeking to stand for Truth.
The ACoC is proposing a new indigenous diocese in northern Ontario and Manitoba – subject to the approval of General Synod. They also plan to close the existing Diocese of Keewatin. A subsequent statement from the ACoC says the new indigenous diocese is to be called Mishamikoweesh and will launch on June 1 – prior to General Synod on July 3-7.
The son of ACoC Bishop James Njegovan (Brandon), who was once executive archdeacon of the Diocese of Brandon, is being sued by the diocese to recover the $350,000 he is accused of embezzling. Noah Njegovan, who was made archdeacon, is only 30 years of age.
Leader of the federal Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, declared that all Liberal candidates in the 2015 election must support the party’s pro-abortion position – unless they are sitting MPs.
TEC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori recently visited and spoke at Nashotah House Theological Seminary. Former Nashotah House Dean Robert Munday writes: “The "Pax Nashotah" that came to exist during the latter half of my deanship at Nashotah House was one in which Anglicans of different jurisdictions could live, work, and worship together respectfully, not in spite of "theologically diverse views," but precisely because they shared a unity in Christian faith and teaching… It is the theological unity that undergirded the Pax Nashotah that has been challenged by the current administration's decision to invite Katharine Jefferts Schori (and a procession of bishops whose views approach Jefferts Schori's in varying degrees) to preach at the House… It is the soul of Nashotah House that is at stake in the invitation to Katharine Jefferts Schori and the direction of the House that this invitation represents.”
Now retired Bishop Gene Robinson has announced that he is divorcing his husband. Bishop Robinson’s consecrated in 2003 by the US Episcopal Church (TEC), despite Communion-wide objections to his being in a same-sex relationship, was a watershed moment for the Anglican Communion. This will be +Robinson’s second divorce. He has several children from an earlier heterosexual marriage. +Robinson was honoured last month when he was chosen by President Barack Obama by to give the closing prayer at the annual White House Easter Prayer Breakfast.
The Diocese of South Carolina, which is now under the GAFCon Primates’ jurisdiction, has received good news. The South Carolina Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the US Episcopal Church (TEC) ending the latest attempt to delay the trial over diocesan property. The trial has now been set for July 7-18 before Judge Diane Goodstein.
The diocese’s news release notes, “TEC has a long history of dragging out legal battles, apparently in hopes of draining the resources of parishes and dioceses it seeks to punish for leaving the denomination. It has spent more than $40 million on litigation in the past few years. TEC routinely appeals court decisions in hopes of wearing down its opposition – and to intimidate parishes and dioceses that wish to leave the denomination.”
With the first Church of England (CoE) clergyman to marry his same-sex partner, the Church’s ban on such marriages has been tested. Earlier that House of Bishops had ruled that "It would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same-sex marriage, given the need for clergy to model the Church's teaching in their lives."
Two large Church of Scotland congregations have left the Kirk over its theological departure from historic Christian teaching and a number of others are said to be considering the move. Other congregations had walked away earlier.
On May 5, Boko Haram attacked and killed at least 300 people in a busy market in a northern border town Gamboru Ngala which is near the border with Cameroon and Chad. In mid-April, more than 200 were killed in a terrorist attack on a bus terminal outside the capital city of Abuja. Then, on April 16, Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist linked to al-Qaeda, abducted close to 300, mostly Christian, schoolgirls from their boarding school. While some escaped, it is estimated that around 230 remain enslaved, and some are reported to have been sold into forced marriages.
Social media campaigns and mass demonstrations have finally raised the profile of Boko Haram’s criminal acts and the Nigerian government’s impotent responses. The hash tags on Twitter are #BringBackOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters. While the mainstream media is finally being forced to pay attention, there is hesitancy to address the underlying religious motivation of the terrorists and a failure to acknowledge that Christians are targets of the violence. Good background on the Boko Haram, the kidnapping and international reaction is provided here and here. Bishop Bill Atwood notes that: we Christians have been slow to call for prayer and fasting; the news media ignored this atrocity for three weeks; and Muslim leaders still have not denounced the kidnapping.
Open Doors reports that more than 2073 Christians have been killed for their faith in Nigeria in the last 16 months. It offers three things we can each do to help: pray; spread the word; and learn more about the Muslim extremists’ treatment of Christians and especially females. Another article provides even more tips on how we can help persecuted Christians. In brief, it recommends: “Be as informed as possible”, “Support organizations that reach out to the persecuted”; Pass the word via email and social media”; “Try to form a network”; “Put it in writing”; and “Work the system”.
It is reported that a ransom of about $65,000 (Cdn) was paid last year for the release of the kidnapped dean of the Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, and his wife. Three men accused of the kidnapping are on trial.
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Church Army in Africa has set the ambitious goal of planting 1500 new churches by 2015. The Church Army also aims to raise up missionaries, evangelize, disciple Christians with the goal of transforming Africa.
Anglican Ink reports that the Primate of South East Asia, Archbishop Bolly Lapok, “has warned Islamist extremists that Christians would not be silent in the face of demands that they be forbidden to use the word Allah.”
It is reported that every year as many as 700 Christian girls and young women are kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, and then married to Muslim men – often their abductors. They are subjected to rape, domestic abuse and even forced prostitution. The police and courts make it almost impossible for parents to rescue their daughters. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has issued a prayer alert as intolerance and the vulnerability of Christians grows in Pakistan. The number of Christian girls abducted and enslaved is growing. The poverty of the Christian minority in Pakistan – which comprise only 1.6 per cent of the population – and the intolerance of non-Muslim minorities further impede justice.
The state-order demolition of a massive Christian church building in Wenzhou could mark the escalation of persecution in China. Some are estimating that China could soon have more Christians than any other country, a trend that is making government officials nervous.
False teaching and sound doctrine
How to destroy a church – Drawing from 2 Timothy, Tim Challies outlines four steps to a church’s implosion, beginning with rejection of Biblical truth and ending with the embrace of false doctrine. The way to protect a church from this fate, he writes, is to preach the Word – expositorily, persistently, practically, patiently and doctrinally.
Denny Burk adds that pastors must also refute false teachers and unbiblical ideas. He provides six characteristics to help identify false teachers: they contradict sound doctrine, tend to promote immoral living, downplay sin and judgment, are motivated by personal gain, cause division, and wear the guise of Christianity.
Unity and truth – As this cartoon depicts, Christian unity can only exist within the context of Truth. Similarly, this short article, entitled “Division begins with the departure from the Truth”, succinctly summarizes why ANiC members, and others, had to leave our previous denomination when Truth was compromised.
Moralism – Dr Albert Mohler discusses perhaps the most seductive of all false gospels. He writes: “Indeed, one of the most insidious false gospels is a moralism that promises the favor of God and the satisfaction of God’s righteousness to sinners if they will only behave and commit themselves to moral improvement… The deadly danger of moralism has been a constant temptation to the church and an ever-convenient substitute for the Gospel. Clearly, millions of our neighbors believe that moralism is our message… Hell will be highly populated with those who were “raised right.” The citizens of heaven will be those who, by the sheer grace and mercy of God, are there solely because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.”
Resources for ministry
Welcoming the disabled – The March/April edition of the Faith Today contained an article on making the church more welcoming for those with disabilities.
Cheat sheets for preachers – See two helpful lists for navigating the arduous work of preparing sermons. The first list is eight ways to pray during sermon preparation. The second is a checklist to use as you near the end of the sermon preparations.
When to take a stand – Bishop Bill Atwood, writing for the American Anglican Council newsletter, discusses how and when to defy institutional authority – both religious and secular. He draws on examples from church history and from other countries then concludes, “In Western Churches, people have had to grapple with leaders who range from Gospel indifference to radical departures from Scriptural faith and practice. When is enough, enough? ...Maintaining institutional cohesion when the institution is diverging from Christ is not fidelity… Heresy is belief or practice which engaged and maintained will lead people away from Christ, and therefor away from redemption. Following those who believe and practice those things is eternally folly... We are called to reject action that is outside God’s plan and revelation in Scripture.”
Resources for Christian living 39 Articles – Canon Phil Ashey’s video series on the 39 Articles continues with a brief look at Article 9, Original (Birth) Sin.
Apologetics - Dr Paul Chamberlain, Director of the Institute for Christian Apologetics and a speaker at ANiC’s 2011 synod in Victoria, will teach a course on Christian Ethics and Apologetics, on the evenings of May 12, 13, 14 at Willingdon Church in Burnaby, BC. For more information see the Willingdon website. If you are interested but not able to attend, the lectures will be recorded and available online for those who register.
Heaven tourism – Confused by the plethora of “Christian” books by those who claim to have visited heaven? This short video – less than five minutes – explains why these accounts of the afterlife may not fully accord with the Bible’s teaching.
A Canadian William Wilberforce – Breakpoint calls Member of Parliament Joy Smith a “modern-day William Wilberforce” who is working “to change Canada’s laws and abolish modern-day slavery”. Consider that Canada is notorious as a haven for predators; the average age a girl enters into prostitution is 13; a woman can be bought by a pimp for perhaps $10,000 and within a week he will have recovered his “investment”. Learn more about sex slavery in Canada and get involved!
Beauty – A new book helps young women understand beauty from God’s perspective and equips them to deal with often overwhelming cultural and peer pressure.
Forcing kids to go to church – Read this wonderful post about taking kids to church even when they don’t want to go.
A Baptist church in the Anglican tradition – There’s an interesting story on the Associated Baptist Press website about a Baptist church in Virginia that looks, feels and acts very Anglican.
Kids and porn – Here is excellent advice on what to do if you discover your kids have been looking at pornography. And another article on helping your family stay porn-free.
Just for laughs
An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor who was able to fit for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100%.
The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, "Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again."
The gentleman replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!"
“Christian love… disposes a man to be public-spirited. A man of a right spirit is not a man of narrow and private views, but is greatly interested and concerned for the good of the community to which he belongs… and for the true welfare of the city in which he is a member.” ~ Jonathan Edwards
And now a Word from our Sponsor
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
on the land allotted to the righteous,
lest the righteous stretch out
their hands to do wrong.
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
and to those who are upright in their hearts!
But those who turn aside to their crooked ways
the LORD will lead away with evildoers!
Peace be upon Israel!
Psalm 125 ESV
... back to "Newsletters" main page