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  ANiC Newsletter: 25 May, 2011 ... pdf version

Handle with prayer!

News – ANiC and AEN

Legal updates
BC court awards costs to Diocese of New Westminster in split decision – The St John’s Vancouver website reports that “…the BC Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge, by a majority of two to one, on our special application on the question of costs.” The document outlining the Court’s reasons for this decision is posted to the courts website. The St John’s report continues, “This decision leaves us pretty much where we were before the application, owing the Diocese in the order $150,000 for their costs. We expect the Supreme Court of Canada will decide any time between now and the end of June whether we will be granted leave to appeal. If leave is granted, it is likely the matter of costs will be put before the Supreme Court for further consideration… Please pray for our church, our many ministries, our legal situation, and our legal funding…” The case involves four ANiC parishes in the Vancouver area: St John’s Vancouver, Saint Matthew’s (Abbotsford), St Matthias & St Luke’s (Vancouver).and Church of the Good Shepherd (Vancouver). The Diocese of New Westminster’s website reports the decision as well.

St Aidan’s (Windsor, ON) case continues – St Aidan’s and the Diocese of Huron have been in court four days in the past 2 weeks and the final half day is scheduled for June 13. It could be several months before we hear a decision. The Rev Tom Carman thanks everyone for praying and asks that you continue to pray for the final day in court, for discernment for the judge as he deliberates on his decision, and for a spirit of peace and joyfulness for the people of St Aidan’s as they await the decision.

More job opportunities: Coordinator of Youth and Family Ministries
The Open Gate Anglican Network Church in Victoria BC is seeking a full time rector. A parish profile is available on the church website. Please send applications to the Rt Rev Trevor Walters. The closing date is June 24, 2011.

Farringdon Independent Church in Brantford, Ontario is seeking a Coordinator of Youth and Family Ministries. The rector, the Rev Paul Tinker, is an ANiC clergy member. This is a full-time position which would be effective August 22, 2011. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2011. For more information, see the ANiC website.

A complete list of positions available in ANiC is posted on our website.

Ontario youth retreat, June 10-11
St George’s, Burlington is holding another weekend youth retreat on June 10-11 at Faith Mission. It is open to youth from any church, 12-18 years old. The weekend will consist of great worship, relevant sharing, fun outdoor activities, hanging out with old and new friends, and excellent food! The retreat theme is
“No Turning Back”, and youth will be encouraged to deepen their commitment to following Jesus without being compromised by our increasingly secular culture. Some of our St George’s youth will be confirmed, Sunday June 12, so this will be a great extra preparation time for them. For information and to register (required) see the church website – where there is also a poster for download.

ANiC’s Theologian Emeritus, Dr J I Packer to be honoured
Renowned theologian and ANiC’s Theologian Emeritus, the Rev Canon Dr James Packer will be honoured by the Word Guild of Canada – representing Canadian Christian writers – for outstanding career achievement. He will be the recipient of the 2011 Leslie K Tarr Award. Dr Packer is said to be
“…among the most influential English-speaking theologians in shaping the character of late-twentieth-century North American evangelical thought."

Parish news
Hub (Ottawa, ON), jointly with Acorn Christian Listening Canada, is sponsoring an entry level Christian Listening Course (Importance of Listening) in Hintonburg on June 15. Acorn Christian Listening Canada’s mission is to bring healing to a broken world through Christian Listening where any person can be transformed through Jesus’ love and care. The course from 6.45pm – 9.00pm will cover the fundamentals of Christian Listening and is foundational to further training within the Healing and Prayer ministries. Further information and pre-registration is available by e-mail to or by telephoning (613) 721-9057. Numbers will be limited, so early registration is recommended.

Calendar of upcoming events – for your interest and prayer support
May 25-27 – Richmond, BC – Anglican Coalition in Canada church leadership conference
May 28 – Moncton, NB church planting workshop
May 28 – St Hilda’s (Oakville, ON) garage give-away event
May 28 - Christ the King (Victoria, BC) – Bible in a Day workshop
June 6-20 – Asian Mission short-term mission trip to Thailand and the Karan refugee camps
June 10-11 – St George’s hosts a youth retreat at Faith Mission
June 11 – Saint Matthew’s (Abbotsford, BC) – Bible in a Day workshop
June 15 – Hub (Ottawa, ON) Foundational Acorn Christian Listening Canada course.
June 25 – St Timothy’s (Montreal, QC) garage sale giveaway and youth barbeque
June 26 – St Alban’s, Ottawa celebrates its last Sunday in its long-time building
June 30 – July 14 – Asian Mission short-term mission trip to China, working with disabled orphans
June (TBD) – Marlborough, MA church planting workshop
July 22-24 – St Matthias & St Luke’s church camp with Bishop Don
Nov 2 – ANiC Clergy Day & laity spiritual life conference – both in Victoria, BC
Nov 3-4 – ANiC synod, Victoria, BC

On the front lines: Growing and planting churches
Parish profile: Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church, Moncton, NB
Easter marked the first anniversary of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church in New Brunswick. While the Moncton congregation is the hub of Christ the Redeemer, there are satellite churches in Sussex, Miramichi and Quispamsis – although, on June 1, the Quispamsis congregation will launch as a church plant. As the Rev Don Hamilton, a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia likes to say,
“Aslan is on the move.”

The satellite model is based on the concept of cultivating lay leadership. Both the Sussex and Miramichi congregations are led by lay people, although the Rev Hamilton visits once a month to conduct Holy Eucharist and provide reserved sacrament for the intervening services. These congregations currently meet in a library and a school. The Rev Hamilton says he has been overwhelmed by the hospitality the Moncton congregation has been extended by the Wesleyan Church which has graciously shared its facilities, not only for regular Sunday worship, but also for other events such as Alpha and conferences.

This coming Saturday, Christ the Redeemer is hosting a Plant and Grow conference for those interested in planting new churches and growing existing congregations. The speakers include the Rev Paul Donison from St Peter & St Paul (Ottawa), the Rev William Beasley and the Rev Alex Cameron.

All of the congregations are small in number – with a combined average Sunday attendance of about 35 – but large in vision. In addition to Bible studies, the Moncton congregation is currently offering a well-attended Christianity 101, and twice a year they host Alpha classes with a significant portion of the attendees being from a local addiction recovery centre. The other congregations also offer Bible studies, Alpha and Christianity 101 courses. The vision is to grow – in number of parishioners, in number of congregations, but most importantly in discipleship.

News – Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Anglican 1000 conference focuses on disciple-making
The Ancient Wisdom Anglican Futures Conference focuses on thoughtful catechesis – an essential part of raising up new congregations and communities of faith to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. Trinity School for Ministry and the Robert E. Webber Center for Ancient Evangelical Future are co-hosting the conference on June 16-18, 2011 in Ambridge, PA.

New ACNA diocese forming
The ACNA website announces that 40 churches have joined together to form the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. These are existing ACNA churches in what is currently known as the Anglican District of Virginia and are part of a large ACNA diocese. The constitutional convention meeting that voted to pursue diocesan status also voted to elect Bishop John Guernsey as diocesan bishop. Bishop Guernsey is currently Bishop of the ACNA’s Diocese of the Holy Spirit, which bills itself as a “transitional diocese” since its constituent parishes are scattered geographically. There is a growing trend within ACNA to reconfigure into geographically based diocese.

ACNA Diocese of the South pitches in to help with tornado relief
Working in partnership with Anglican Mission parishes in the region, the diocese has gathered volunteers and two bus loads of food and supplies, delivering these to relief centres in NE Alabama. An inspiring account on the ACNA website quotes Diocesan Bishop Foley Beach saying,
“The tornadoes, which ravaged the Southern United States, left thousands homeless, over 300 dead, and countless lives turned upside down. It is very difficult to fathom 226 tornadoes (a US record) in one day and the destruction they caused. For me it was a privilege to help out in a small way by joining a small team to deliver food and goods.”

Bishop Beach tells how God clearly lead them to two sites in desperate need. He says,
“As we prepared for the trip, we kept praying about where exactly we should go. We wanted to go to places which might have been overlooked... When the Anglican Church bus arrived… [at one center in dire need], the relief center director informed the volunteers that they had run out of food the night before. According to Bishop Beach, “She told folks, ‘The Lord will provide.’ The next day, we showed up with a busload of food.” The entire account is worth reading.

More ACNA news
ACNA website – May 20 2011 – The Anglican Church welcomes newly elected Bishop of the San Joaquin Diocese
Living Church – May 18 2011 – San Joaquin (ACNA) elects new bishop

News – Canada

Diocese of Athabasca Bishop urges patience ask for prayer for Slave Lake evacuees
The Anglican Journal reports that Bishop Fraser Lawton (Athabasca) is asking us to pray for those whose lives have been turned upside down by this tragedy and for the emergency personnel working to make the town safe for evacuees return. Bishop Lawton also told the Edmonton Journals adds that while a number of churches and homes were destroyed in the blaze, he believes the building in which the Slave Lake Anglican congregation met is standing.

More Canadian news
Saanich News – May 16 2011 – St Philip’s spared closure under Anglican restructuring

News – United States

Communion without baptism gains traction
The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Episcopal Church (TEC) Office of Congregational Vitality has posted a video to TEC’s website in which a clergyman enthusiastically tells of his church’s habit of inviting everyone to partake in Communion regardless of belief or baptism. Officially, TEC’s canons still prohibit this practice.

Church asked to invite Muslims into teachers of other religions into their pulpits
Ethics Daily reports a joint initiative by two organizations – Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First – is encouraging Christian churches to invite Jewish and Muslim clergy to read their sacred text from the pulpit. The initiative is promoted as countering fear of Muslims. A number of Episcopal churches seem to be joining the initiative. The Montclair Patch reports that the Muslim call to prayer was to ring out in St John’s Episcopal in Montclair, New Jersey this past Sunday in an interfaith service involving a local assistant Imam. The report says
“During the service, verses from the Holy Qur’an will complement verses from the Holy Bible. Passages from Qur’an will be part of the Communion service as well.”

July marks dangerous change in TEC canons
Bishop David Anderson of the American Anglican Council reminds his readers that in July new canons come into effect in the Episcopal Church (TEC) which dramatic shift power from the local parish to the bishop and from dioceses to the Presiding Bishop, centralizing power. He says,
“…changes to the disciplinary canon (Title IV) go into full force and effect, and revisionist bishops will be able to remove parish leaders on the flimsiest of charges. Likewise, if a bishop doesn't fully go along with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori's agenda, she will be able to remove the bishop on the flimsiest of charges… Rectors will no longer be able to protect their flock, nor will bishops, for the long arm of the national church will reach down even into the pew where Mom and Pop sit… The immediate problem is how the change in Title IV will redistribute authority and power and strip away safeguards and protections previously available.”

Series of video interviews with three TEC bishops discusses issues in their church
Anglican TV has posted a series of 10 videos in which “three long-time veterans of the struggle to maintain an orthodox theology in the Episcopal Church”. The three bishops interviewed are: Bishop Fitz Alison, Bishop Bill Wantland and Bishop Alex Dickson.

More US news
Fort Worth Star-Telegram – May 15 2011 – A legal dispute with Episcopal Church hierarchy sends the wrong message

News – International

From around the Communion and the world
England – Despite his earlier statement saying Freemasonry was incompatible with Christianity, the Telegraph reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury appointed “the Rev Jonathan Baker as the next Bishop of Ebbsfleet despite knowing he was an active and senior mason.” Although Bishop-elect Baker initially defended his Masonic membership, he later said he would leave the masons.

Syria – The Barnabas Fund reports the Christians in Syria are being strong-armed into joining the protests against the Syrian government. It says:
“Christians are coming under increasing pressure to join the uprising - or leave. In one Christian village outside the southern city of Deraa a home came under fire by a group of masked men on motorbikes, while Muslim residents in the village of Hala have issued an ultimatum to their Christian neighbours either to join the demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad's regime or to leave. Their demands are making life extremely difficult for the Christians, who have closed their shops and are considering what course of action to take. Churches have also received threatening letters…

“Christians have largely stayed away from the protests, having generally been safe and well-treated by the secular Baathist government, which has allowed them a considerable amount of religious freedom. They are fearful of what may replace it as Islamists attempt to hijack the demonstrations, which were originally concerned with political and economic change.

“In a letter to Western leaders, a senior Syrian church leader appealed for them to "Ask the Heads of State of Arab countries to work for real development... But don't encourage revolutions". He said:
“The situation has deteriorated into organised crime, robbery, fear, terror being spread, rumours of threats to churches... Fundamentalist groups are threatening citizens and wanting to create ‘Islamic Emirates'... Christians especially are very fragile in the face of crises and bloody revolutions! Christians will be the first victims of these revolutions, especially in Syria. A new wave of emigration will follow immediately.

“Some fear that for Christians a post-Assad Syria could deteriorate like post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. Saddam, like Assad, restrained the influence of militant Islamists, but after his fall they were free to wreak havoc on the Christian community; hundreds of thousands of Christians were consequently forced to flee the violence. Many of them went to Syria, which has a long-standing history of welcoming Christia
n refugees, but the current unrest is driving some back to their dangerous homeland.”

EgyptChristian Today reports that “at least 78 people have been injured in another round of clashes between Christians and Muslims in Egypt”. The violence started when gunmen shot at Christians as they continued a sit-in outside the state television building in Cairo. The sit-in was held to call for equal rights and greater security after recent Muslin attacks on Christian churches.

The Church of England reports that heads of Christian churches in Egypt, including Bishop Mouneer Anis, Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East, met with Muslim leaders in an effort to head off further attacks. The religious leaders have formed
“…the Beth el-Elia group (House of the Family), composed of senior Muslim and Christian clerics that seeks to end the religious violence plaguing Egypt… The Beth el-Elia group was seeking to find ‘a real strategic plan’ to combat sectarian violence, to ‘transform this difficult situation’.”

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali and Baroness Caroline Cox are calling the world’s attention to the growing attacks on Christians in Egypt. In an open letter they, together with others, note that:

“The collapse of the powerful state apparatus and the subsequent power vacuum this created, however, quickly opened a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of social problems that the Mubarak regime had either maintained or failed to address. As anticipated, we are now witnessing political struggles for power and influence in the new Egypt. While most of this is a necessary part of the emergence of true democracy in Egypt, the increase in and intensity of attacks on Christians are indicators of imminent civil unrest and the potential for widespread ethno-religious violence that demands an immediate response.”

IraqWriting in the Guardian, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali recounts how the savage attacks on Christians and churches in Iraq have not stopped the work of St George’s Anglican Church in the heart of Baghdad. He writes:
“Every day of the week St George's hums with activity: the clinic is full to capacity with patients receiving primary medical care that the hard-pressed state hospitals are unable to provide. Most are Muslim, and most of the staff is Christian but it seems not to matter a whit. Unemployed and disabled people can collect a weekly ration that just about enables them to survive. There is a small school for children, and, in the desert of war, a bookshop. Most of all, there are people to listen, to give advice, to help with food, clothing and shelter.”

He adds,
“While politicians, diplomats and soldiers seek to bring some sort of order to society, a gathering of leaders from all the different faiths has succeeded, at least for the time being, in halting the worst violence against Christians and other religious minorities… There are now plans, with the support of a number of religious leaders – Muslim, Christian and others – to move from "top-down" dialogue to local dialogue in the towns and cities of Iraq about the building of peaceful and secure communities.”

Sudan – There are reports that the Sudan might be on the brink of war again. On the weekend, Northern Sudan seized control of a disputed oil-rich region – the Abbey district. Under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, both the north and the south were required to keep troops out of this region until a vote on its future could be held. Southern Sudan is to become an independent country in July. Please pray for a peaceful and just resolution.

More international media coverage
Living Church – May 12 2011 – SE Asia Accedes to Anglican Covenant
Anglican Church of Canada – May 16 2011 – Two more provinces affirm Anglican Covenant
Church Times – May 20 2011 – Church of Ireland ‘subscribes’ to Anglican Covenant
Church of England Newspaper – May 20 2011 – Ireland backs Anglican Covenant

Soul food

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. – C S Lewis

Just for fun
Q – How dry is it in Texas?
A – It's so dry…that the Baptists are starting to baptize by sprinkling,
the Methodists are using wet-wipes,
the Presbyterians are giving out rain-checks,
and the Catholics are praying for the wine to turn back into water.

To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Please pray...
For our
bishops and clergy and their families – especially for a good rest for Bishop Charlie

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

St Aidan’s (Windsor), its legal counsel and the continuing court case

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 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 Anglican Church of Canada dioceses pursuing eviction of and legal costs against ANiC congregations, clergy and wardens

For donations
to the ANiC legal defense fund which supports parishes involved in disputes with their former dioceses

For the implementation of
ARDFC’s new Congo project seeking to help war-torn communities become reestablished and promote peace-making. May God use it to bless Congolese and bring many to Christ

persecuted Christians especially in China, North Korea, Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Malaysia and other Muslim and Communist lands

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

For peace in the
Sudan and a speedy, just resolution to the dispute over control of specific regions.

For Christians, churches and aid agencies working in Japan and for the victims of the disaster there

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

And now a word from our sponsor
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

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