The Diocese of the Arctic synod passed several significant motions expressing:
||“…great disappointment as some diocesan synods have decided to move forward with approving the blessing of same-sex civil marriages after General Synod 2007 (made) is clear that this would not be allowed until Lambeth Conference had time to discuss the issues… This then indicates that Canadians are not serious about unity elements that hold the church together.”
||“…strong support… for those in the Southern Cone dioceses, recognizing them as members of the Anglican Communion.”
Bishop Don responded to the news with joy, saying, “We thank God for this courageous diocese and these faithful bishops.”
See the Anglican Journal story.
ANiC welcomed by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) has welcomed the Anglican Network in Canada as an affiliate member. We join 40 other affiliate denominations. EFC also has 86 affiliated ministry organizations, 34 affiliated educational institutions and nearly 1000 affiliated church congregations. Affiliates must sign the EFC’s statement of faith and agree to their objectives.
AEN parishes now number five
Trinity Anglican Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia voted to join Anglican Essentials Network – way back in February. A belated “Welcome” to the people of Trinity and the Rev Stephen Ashton!
ANiC now has a full-time Executive Archdeacon
As of June 1, the Venerable Charlie Masters is our full-time executive archdeacon and the Rev Ray David Glenn steps up to become the new rector of St George’s Lowville. Ray David was previously assistant rector at St George’s.
Conference DVDs in the mail
The professionally-produced DVD sets of our “Compelled by Christ’s Love” conference will be mailed this week to those who pre-ordered and pre-paid. We made lots of extra sets, so we welcome additional orders. You can view these videos on our website (in low resolution) and see the sessions contained in the DVD sets. I think you’ll agree that these DVD sets are excellent value.
New Westminster continues on the offensive
Bishop Michael Ingham has written ANiC clergy in the Vancouver-area telling them they are trespassing and giving deadlines for leaving the church properties. Interestingly, the deadlines vary. St John’s Shaughnessy clergy were given no specific deadline, while the dates given others differed. ANiC Chancellor Cheryl Chang says the Diocese of New Westminster’s action was not a surprise. “Obviously we dispute their claims to ownership and control over the buildings,” says Cheryl. “ANiC clergy are on the church premises with the permission of the trustees and wardens of the incorporated parishes which are the registered owners of the properties. However, because the diocese is unwilling to engage in amicable discussions regarding a settlement of the dispute, we anticipate this matter will be before the courts in due course.” See Anglican Church League and Anglican Journal stories.
Dr J I Packer on Christians in the courts
Dr J I Packer has written a brief paper on Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 6 against Christians taking fellow Christian’s to court. This is particularly relevant in the context of the Anglican Network in Canada’s current legal disputes with the Anglican Church of Canada.
ANiC pursuing appeal of St Mary’s (Metchosin) decision
ANiC lawyers have prepared a Leave to Appeal application for St. Mary’s Metchosin which will be heard on Friday, June 13. The Rev Sharon Hayton and the Rev Andrew Hewlett, report that, effective June 8, the congregation is meeting at Lighthouse Christian Academy about 10-15 minutes away from the church building they have met in through the years. Please keep this matter in your prayers this week and especially on Friday.
ANiC member Ben Buan contemplates orthodoxy and the ACoC
Ben has written two papers, now posted to our website, on the growing intolerance of orthodoxy in the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC). In Orthodoxy – the sacrifice at the altar of inclusivity, he recounts his experience in a hostile parish. And in Orthodoxy in perilous times, he reflects on this hostility to orthodoxy by those who hold inclusivity as a core value.
News shorts – Canada
Diocese of BC postpones decision on same-sex blessings
The Diocese of British Columbia synod narrowly passed a motion to postpone the consideration of motions related to same-sex blessings until after General Synod 2010 decides on the matter.
Archbishop Buckle un-retires
When the delegates from the Diocese of the Yukon were unable to elect a new bishop by a simple majority of votes, despite seven rounds of voting, Archbishop Terry Buckle decided God was saying it was not yet time for him to retire. Read the Anglican Journal story.
Algoma’s Bishop Ron Ferris announcing retirement
Bishop Ron Ferris of the Diocese of Algoma, in northern Ontario, announced plans to retire September 30th. Like Archbishop Buckle, Bishop Ferris is considered to be a theological conservative. See the Anglican Journal story.
Anglican Church of Canada in the red
The Anglican Journal reports that the “national office of the Anglican Church of Canada has reported a deficit for the fifth straight year in 2007, with a shortfall of $777,195; the amount is $290,768 more than the loss recorded in 2006 at $486,427. The deficit would have been $1.97 million had General Synod not received a refund last year of $1.17 million from the federal government as part of the revised Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the financial statements showed.”
Crisis grows in Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)
Solid Ground (the ELCIC equivalent of Essentials) alerts us to a growing crisis of faith within their denomination with the recent ordination, contrary to official ELCIC policy, of a self-professed partnered homosexual man.
Kissing freedom of speech good-bye in Canada
Last November, the Alberta human rights commission convicted a pastor for writing an article in a Red Deer newspaper concerning homosexuality. Now his penalty has been meted out. Read Ezra Levant’s analysis of this frightening development in Canadian society.
Government Prayer Sunday, June 29th
The Rev Ed Hird, from ACiC, one of our Common Cause Partners, reminds us that June 29th is Government Prayer Sunday in Canada. We are asked to join with churches and Christians across Canada in praying especially for our country and our elected officials. The National House of Prayer website offers a variety of resources, including a letter that can be sent to encourage and thank government leaders.
News shorts – USA and North America
Middle-of-the-road bishops in TEC form new organization
Calling themselves “Communion Partners”, 13 Episcopal Church (TEC) bishops say they are committed to transparency and the observance of diocesan boundaries within the TEC. See Drell’s Descants for more detail.
Five TEC dioceses oppose illegal deposition of bishops
Bishop John Howe of the Diocese of Central Florida has written Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori protesting the “…failure to follow the Canons of our Episcopal Church in the recent depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox.” The other dioceses protesting the TEC’s arbitrary and heavy-handed actions are: the Diocese of Northern Indiana, the Diocese of South Carolina, the Diocese of Western Louisiana, and the Diocese of Springfield. The Chancellor of the Anglican Communion Network makes short work of the TEC’s twisted logic in its efforts to justify its unjustifiable actions.
California churches plan to offer “gay weddings”
With the recent California Supreme Court decision to strike down laws barring gay marriage, some TEC churches have announced plans to “treat all couples presenting themselves for the rite of marriage equally”. George Conger reports that Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno is forming a task force on the matter. The Diocese of Los Angeles has allowed same-sex blessing for some time – though not officially.
Bishop Mary Gray of El Camino Real wrote her clergy expressing her joy at the court decision and providing guidelines for the conduct of same gender marriages in TEC churches: “You may have a same-gender civil marriage and blessing in your church provided an Episcopal priest does not officiate at the marriage itself or sign the marriage license and the Book of Common Prayer is not used. For example, you may have a civil ceremony conducted by someone other than an Episcopal clergyperson, followed by a blessing of that union (which could surely include a Eucharist) by an Episcopal priest.”
Denominations line up in support of TEC in court case
TEC is not the only denomination concerned about congregations walking away. Sixteen other denominations and entities are supporting TEC in contesting a Virginia law that allows congregations to keep their property when leaving their denomination. See the Christianity Today article.
Diocese of Pittsburgh posts resolutions to join the Southern Cone
In preparation for its November convention, the Diocese of Pittsburgh has posted resolutions to be considered, including resolutions related to realigning with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
Southern Cone Diocese of San Joaquin has bank accounts frozen
The TEC has succeeded in getting the bank accounts belonging to the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin (in Central California) frozen. The Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin (not to be confused with the pretender diocese recently created by the Episcopal Church) has issued a statement to address the misinformation and innuendo coming from TEC.
Despite TEC’s claim that Bishop John-David Schofield of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin is no longer a bishop, he has received and accepted an invitation to Lambeth. After much TEC lobbying, TEC’s competing bishop in San Joaquin, Jerry Lamb, also recently received an invitation. See the Living Church article.
News shorts – International
Zimbabwe crisis deepens
As the political crisis in Zimbabwe worsens, the Bishops of Central Africa (which includes Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe) have written a letter drawing attention to the political retribution and violence against Anglican believers in that country. They say in part, “We are alarmed that a government can perpetrate irresponsible acts against its citizens by destroying people’s homes, torturing and killing for the simple reason that they did not vote ‘correctly’.”
The Archbishops of Canterbury and Cape Town met with the Secretary General of the United Nations on the matter and issued a statement decrying the police-led violence and “…brutality towards men, women and children meeting for Christian worship.”
Church of England (CoE) shelves debate on evangelism
The Telegraph reports that the CoE General Synod in July will not debate evangelizing people of other faiths, shelving a duly proposed motion on that topic in favour of discussing promoting churches as tourist attractions.
Police in UK order Christian preachers out of Muslim community
The Telegraph reports that two Christian ministers handing out leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham were threatened with arrest and told they would be beaten up if they returned. Recently, the Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, created controversy when he said there were parts of Britain that had become “no go” areas for non-Muslims.
GAFCon, June 22-29 in Jerusalem
Over 1000 delegates are registered for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCon), including 280 bishops, representing 17 provinces and 35 million church-going Anglicans.
Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney, the chair of the Programme Committee says, "Our programme will focus on the transforming love of Christ. We will be drawing from the scriptures of the Old and New Testament in our pilgrimage and their relevance to the challenges facing the church globally today…” See the agenda for GAFCon.
GAFCon has three objectives:
||Provide an opportunity for fellowship as well as to continue to experience and proclaim the transforming love of Christ.
||To develop a renewed understanding of our identity as Anglican Christians.
||To prepare for an Anglican future in which the Gospel is uncompromised and Christ-centred mission is a top priority.
In calling for 40 days of prayer and fasting for GAFCon, Common Cause Partner bishops (including Bishop Don) specified that the Daily Office, the Great Litany and the Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) be used. These resources are posted on the prayer blog.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced that the Lambeth conference will feature a massive walk on July 24 by hundreds of Anglican bishops and other religious leaders through Central London. This walk, “a poignant public act of commitment”, is intended to support the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals – eight goals made by world leaders to cut world poverty in half by 2015 – and will culminate with a rally on the grounds of Lambeth Palace, the home and office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In the news
The Christian Challenge, which bills itself as the “only worldwide voice of traditional Anglicanism”, has published an article on Canadian Anglicanism and ANiC, called Canada: Wave Of Defections Sparks Disciplinary, Legal Actions. (Scroll down the page to see the article.)
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (see above) publication, Faith Today, published a recent interview with Dr J I Packer. Another article in the May/June issue, on how churches shape culture, draws on a presentation by ANiC member and long-time Essentials leader, Dr George Egerton, a history professor at the University of British Columbia.
Time magazine has an article on Bishop Gene Robinson and Martyn Minns (of our Common Cause Partner CANA) – both of whom were not invited to Lambeth.
Anglican Agenda series
Summer is almost upon us – although you wouldn’t know it by the weather in Western Canada. It’s time to stock up on good summer reading! If you haven’t read the Anglican Agenda booklets (edited by Dr J I Packer), now is a great time to start. They are informative, concise and inexpensive. Soul-nourishing morsels for Anglicans! The order form is on our website. The price is only $3/booklet or $28 for all 12 – plus shipping.
Dr J I Packer has written a piece for VirtueOnline recounting and commenting on the history of the growing divide in the Anglican Church of Canada and specifically the Diocese of New Westminster.
In an article in Standpoint magazine titled “Breaking Faith with Britain” Bishop Nazir-Ali explains how the collapse of Christian influence and culture has created a moral and cultural vacuum that may be filled by radical Islam. Or see the Life Site News summary of the article and other’s comments on it.
The Anglican Church League has reposted a paper written by the Rev David Short in 2004, because of its relevance in 2008. See A Crisis in Koinonia.
Just for laughs
A man is walking by the lion’s habitat in a zoo, when he sees a little girl fall into the enclosure and the lion grab her. He instinctively jumps in, fights off the lion and returns the girl to her hysterical mother, scratched but otherwise unharmed. A reporter happens to see the entire incident and exclaims to the man, “Sir that was the most courageous thing I’ve ever seen! I notice a Bible in your pocket. Are you a Christian?”
When the man confirms that he is, the journalist says, “Well, I’m a journalist and I’m going to make sure this gets on the front page of tomorrow’s paper!”
The following morning the page one headline read: Right-wing Christian fundamentalist assaults African immigrant and steals his lunch
Food For Thought
It’s not the load that wears you out, its how you carry it.
Failure is the path of least persistence.
Answer to prayer
The Rev Archie Pell thanks everyone for praying for his wife, Barbara. Since an April 1 emergency CT scan discovered four cancerous tumours in her brain, she has had both surgery and radiation. On June 18, following a CT scan and blood tests, the indomitable Barbara plans to go with Archie and other Canadian delegates to GAFCon. Just a week ago, she delivered an academic paper and chaired a session at a Humanities and Social Sciences conference. Praise God for the health Barbara has regained and continue to pray for full healing. Praise God also for Archie’s restored health.
Zimbabwe – Let us cry out to God on behalf of our Christian brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe who are experiencing increasing harassment at the hands of their government.
Sylvia Venables, wife of our Primate, Greg Venables, was hospitalized Saturday with extreme pain in her hip – the same that had been replaced last year. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors and for healing.
ANiC churches – Please pray for ANiC congregations adjusting to unfamiliar facilities as well as for ANiC church plants facing “start-up” challenges. Thank God for the courage of these faithful Anglicans which has been a great witness around the world.
St Mary’s (Metchosin), just “kicked out” of their church building, would like us to pray for the development of their home group ministry and for wisdom in planning ministries, such as Vacation Bible School. Pray for those who used to benefit from St Mary’s ministries, ministries that have now been cancelled due to the eviction of the congregation from the premises.
GAFCON – Please pray for GAFCon: for unity of spirit, purity of heart, and wisdom from above for leaders and organizers; for our Canadian delegates as they prepare to go and for their families who will stay behind; for safety for all delegates as they travel; and that the LORD will be glorified and His Kingdom advanced as a result of this conference. May GAFCon be used by God to build His Church, purify His Bride and advance His Kingdom.
The Common Cause Partners cycle of prayer is focused on GAFCon.
And now a word from our sponsor
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. Our soul has had more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.
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