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ANiC and ACNA events calendar
July 13, 3:30pm – Deacon Dave Kemp is ordained a priest at Eternal Hope (Carleton Place, ON)
September 7 – Deacon Tom Lo ordained a priest at Good Shepherd Cantonese (Calgary)
September 16 – AMMiC fundraising dinner in Vancouver
September 16-18 – AMMiC conference in Vancouver
October 19, 3pm – Good Shepherd (Vancouver) celebrates its 125th anniversary
November 4 – Pre-synod equipping seminars, Ottawa, ON
November 5-7 – ANiC Synod 2014 in Ottawa, ON
May 14, 2015 – March for Life 2015 in Ottawa
This past week has seen two momentous changes. ANiC has a new diocesan bishop – Bishop Charlie Masters – and a new Primate – Archbishop Foley Beach.
Bishop Charlie Masters, who was elected in November 2012 to succeed our founding diocesan Bishop Don Harvey, officially assumed leadership in ANiC on June 29 with a service of transfer held at St Hilda’s (Oakville, ON). Bishop Charlie’s official installation will be November 6 at St Peter & St Paul’s in Ottawa as part of Synod 2014. Please pray for both bishops at this time of transition. You can see photos on St Hilda’s website and the Anglican Samizdat blog. And listen to Bishop Don’s remarks at the service posted on the church website.
Archbishop Foley Beach, Diocesan Bishop of the ACNA Diocese of the South, was elected on June 22 by the Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops. He succeeded ACNA’s founding Primate Archbishop Bob Duncan on June 28 at the close of the ACNA Assembly. A formal investiture is planned for October 9 in Atlanta, Georgia. You can learn more about him here and here – or read his blog. If you are on Twitter, you can follow Archbishop Beach at @ArchbishopFoley. There is more about the ACNA Assembly 2014 below.
Vision/goals for ANiC
Bishop Charlie Masters shared his vision for ANiC with the ANiC council at the end of May. The “Reader’s Digest” version of this vision is summed up as five goals (below). You’ll be hearing a lot more about this vision. Synod 2014, for example, will focus on the goals and what we can do to work towards them.
1. Bold witnesses - Every member of every ANiC church will personally have responded to Christ, as well as know how to share the gospel and invite others to come to Christ.
2. Biblically grounded – Every church of ANiC will be known for its strengths in the Bible and expository preaching. Parishioners are able to handle accurately the Word of Truth.
3. Loving children – Every church in ANiC will have a vital ministry to children and youth, leading them to Christ and helping them grow as disciples of Jesus.
4. Mission – We each are intentionally and actively engaging in our communities, nations and world, focused on showing and sharing the love of God and fulfilling the Great Commission.
5. Planting & growing – Every congregation is focused on planting another congregation out of their church family. We are working to plant a church in every major community across Canada.
Bishop Don Harvey talks candidly about his term as ANiC's diocesan
In an extensive and wide-ranging interview conducted by Church of Our Lord members and first published in that church’s newsletter, The Anchor (May 2014), Bishop Don speaks candidly about his eventful tenure as ANiC's founding diocesan. Bishop Don retires (again) at the end of June and Bishop Charlie Masters assumes the mantle of leadership. Read the interesting and informative interview on the ANiC website.
New brochure featuring a few of ANiC’s churches
We’ve put together testimonies from a few ANiC churches, telling how God is at work. Take time to read these stories of God’s goodness and grace – and be encouraged! If you would like to share your congregation’s story, contact Marilyn Jacobson. And watch for more testimonies in the future.
Ordination in Calgary this September
Deacon Tom Lo who pastors ANiC’s Good Shepherd Cantonese (Calgary, AB) will be ordained to the priesthood, September 7, 3pm at Our Lady at Peace Maronite Catholic Church, Calgary. Those in the Calgary area are invited to attend the service.
Boston area church plant forming
I small group in the Boston area, supported by ANiC’s Asian and Multicultural Ministries, is seeking to plant a Chinese church. The May 31st gathering saw 25 adults and seven children attend – 17 of whom had not yet made a decision to follow Christ. A barbeque was followed by testimonials. Praise God for the evidence of His blessing. Pray for conversions and for a strong committed core group to coalesce so it can move to the next level of development.
Associate Priest wanted at St Peter & St Paul’s (Ottawa, ON)
St Peter & St Paul’s (Ottawa, ON) is looking for a full-time associate priest, ideally starting December 1. For full information, see the church website.
Two ANiC congregations presented their ministries at the ACNA Assembly
Both Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC) and Immanuel (Vancouver, BC) were invited to create videos of their ministries for showing at ACNA’s recent Assembly 2014. You can see the Good Shepherd video here.
Update on ARDFC project
Thanks to generous donors, the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada – ANiC’s global relief and development agency is almost half way to our goal for our current project. We have been able to send $30,000 to begin construction on an expanded pediatric ward for Martha Clinic in the Diocese of Yei in South Sudan. You can read more on the ARDFC website about the dramatic difference the clinic is making to relieve the suffering of the people of Yei and how the skilled staff is saving hundreds of young lives. And if you wish to participate in this project, you can donate online.
At the ACNA Assembly last week, ARDF was identifies as one of three areas of concentration along with Anglican 1000 and the ACNA catechism, according to a Living Church article. “Canon Nancy Norton of ARDF reported that the agency has funded 165 projects in 34 countries since its 2004 founding.” ARDF raised $5.6 million to fund these projects in addition to more than $1 million to help with urgent relief needs around the world.
Cuban church partnerships
Is your congregation considering partnering with a Cuban Anglican congregation? Check out the ANiC website for information on other ANiC members’ experiences and the needs in the Cuban churches that have been identified as most pressing.
Parish and regional news
Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC) celebrates 125 years since the founding of Good Shepherd Mission. A banquet and service are planned on October 19 at 3pm.
St Luke’s (Pembroke, ON) reports that the congregation has now completed the three year E100 series studying key Bible passages. A recent women’s breakfast attracted 80 ladies. And the congregation participated on June 28 with other Pembroke churches in a community Bible reading event in which the entire Bible was read publicly in churches around town.
The Table (Victoria, BC) ran the statistics recently and found that average (Big Table) Sunday attendance had grown to 123 people; 20 per cent of the regulars are under six years old, 65 per cent are between 19 and 39 years, and only 14 per cent are over 40 years old.
Be sure to email your parish news to Marilyn Jacobson.
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news
ACNA Assembly 2014 report
While the 2014 ACNA Assembly featured a farewell to our founding Primate, Archbishop Bob Duncan and the welcome of our new Primate, Archbishop Foley Beach, it also offered an array of top-notch speakers. You can see video of many of the key events and sessions on Anglican TV. And the TitusOneNine blog has compiled the Assembly`s schedule and video of key sessions. Documents for Assembly delegates are posted on the ACNA website. The Living Church published a very good article summarizing the first two days of the conference.
Archbishop Bob Duncan provided a State of the Church address in which he reported that the Anglican Church in North America has grown 13 per cent since 2009. Our province now has 112,504 members. Meanwhile ACNA now has more than 80,000 regular attendees, representing growth of 16 per cent. From the ¾ of ACNA congregations reporting their statistics we learned that “Of a total number of 3097 baptisms, 31 per cent, 969, are of those above the age of 16, converts not transfers….There were 3197 conversions reported. There were 6011 new people reported to have been brought into our congregations through evangelism and outreach...”
Perhaps the best summaries of the Assembly – including some behind-the-scenes insight into the College of Bishops meeting – is provided by Bishop Bill Atwood here and by Bishop Stewart Ruch in a five-minute video to the Diocese of the Upper Midwest. Anglican Ink offers commentary on the growth in ACNA.
Prior to the Assembly, Anglican TV did an extensive interview with outgoing Archbishop Bob Duncan in which he discusses the history of the ACNA – both the good and the bad – the process of electing his successor, the role played by ACNA Dean Bishop Don Harvey, the state of the Anglican Communion, and much more.
Here is a small sampling of highlights from the Assembly which featured the recurring theme of “conversion, compassion, courage”:
||In the video of evening honouring Archbishop Bob and Nara Duncan, Bishop Don Harvey who has served as Dean of the ACNA, speaks beginning at the 2 hours, 48 minutes and 40 second mark.
||The Rev Canon Dr J I Packer spoke about the paramount importance of catechesis in our churches. He said that regular catechesis for all ages in each of our parish churches is integral and necessary for the health of the Church. The abandonment of catechesis in the past century has led to our current crisis in the western churches. . “We need a catechetical revolution of the 21st century, where this ancient and vital discipline is brought back into the heart of church life.” The ACNA’s (draft) catechism is available on the ACNA website and is already being translated by a number of other Anglican Provinces for local use.
||Archbishop Ben Kwashi of Jos, Nigeria – who ministers near Boko Haram territory – and his wife Gloria gave a powerful and engaging presentation of how God is at work. They tell of their own brushes with death, of God’s leading to take in orphans – 30 currently – and of Muslims coming to faith in Christ. The video is worth watching!
||The Bishop of Chester (England) brought greetings to the ACNA Assembly on behalf of Archbishop Justin Welby.
Who is Archbishop Foley Beach?
In a Q&A session, Archbishop Foley Beach talked about himself and his background which included a broken home and being raised by a “hippy” mother until she was arrested for selling drugs. He started his Christian life as a Baptist. You can watch the 30 minute Q&A video here.
Regarding Canterbury… In response to a question, Archbishop Foley stated that our mission was to reach people for Jesus Christ. Being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury was not a priority. In fact, he said, given what is happening in the Church of England, he wasn’t sure we wanted to be communion with that church.
Women’s ordination… While Archbishop Foley does not himself ordain women to the priesthood, he is committed to doing nothing to undermine the process of theological study underway within the ACNA. He also said that he has the highest respect for other bishops in the College of Bishops who are on the other side of this issue and noted that ACNA’s constitution protects the right of dioceses to practice either position on this matter.
Speaking to reporter David Virtue, Archbishop Beach disclosed that he will be based in Atlanta where he will remain the bishop of the Diocese of the South, however the provincial office will, at least temporarily, remain in Pittsburgh. In response to questions about ACNA priorities and evangelism in our post-Christian culture, Archbishop Foley said, “… I expect that we will continue to grow numerically, but what I get fired up about is people growing spiritually. We have too many Church-Christians, and not enough Real-Life Christians… The best way to transform the culture is for Church people to become disciples of Jesus and live out their faith in the market place, schools, and social gatherings. We have let the culture intimidate us and shut us up. It is time to repent and stop being ashamed of the Lord and his Word.”
In an interesting interview with The Living Church, our new Primate spoke of the need to “… leave the comfortableness of our church environments and cliques and get involved in the communities around our churches, build relationships with people, and be the living presence of Christ in those communities. If that is happening, the kingdom is going to grow and the church is going to grow.”
A blogger has compiled historical information on our new Archbishop which you can see here.
Ancient Evangelical Futures Conference sessions available online
You can watch sessions from Trinity School of Ministry’s 2014 Anglican Evangelical Futures Conference on Anglican TV. Dr Edith Humphrey who is well known to many in ANiC was one of the speakers. More information on the conference is available on the school’s website.
Never-ending litigation for ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth
Not liking its chances in the district court, the US Episcopal Church has appealed to the US Supreme Court. In the meantime, the case will proceed in the district court. Anglican Ink has more.
Equipping clergy, transforming ministry
Bishop Kevin Bond Allen of the ACNA Diocese of Cascadia testifies to the transformation in ministry experienced by the clergy and leadership of his diocese as a result of the ministry of the Clergy Leadership Training Institute – which is offered by Canon Phil Ashey and the American Anglican Council. ANiC has also benefited from Canon Ashey’s ministry. Bishop Bond Allen reports, “…their clergy leadership training and church revitalization workshops have transformed our clergy’s parish and small church Ministries.”
Other ACNA news
The group of Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) dioceses within the ACNA has elected a new presiding bishop, Bishop Royal Grote.
A six-minute video explores the Christian symbolism of the gothic architecture of a recently completed ACNA church building for St Peter’s in Tallahassee, Florida.
Following the ACNA Assembly, the Gospel Coalition posted a primer on Anglicanism for its Evangelical, largely non-Anglican readership.
The 2014 Easter edition of the Anglican Planet offers two articles on the new ACNA Catechism, including an informative interview with both Dr J I Packer and Bronwyn Short.
Anglican Communion news
GAFCon, the story so far
An excellent GAFCon video was recently posted online. The 11-minute video recounts the story of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans which began with the first Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCon) in Jerusalem in 2008. It includes interviews with two ANiC members and cameo appearances from others. Watch the whole video and be encouraged about what God is doing in the Anglican Communion and in the world.
International news in brief
LifeSiteNews reports that “Quebec became the first Canadian province to legalize euthanasia today [June 5] as the National Assembly voted 94 to 22 to allow doctors to kill their patients as “medical aid in dying”.”
The Vancouver Sun reports that, despite significant opposition, the Vancouver School Board approved a policy designed to “accommodate” transgender students – including a string of new pronouns touted as alternatives to he/she, him/her and his/hers. These new pronouns include xe, xem and xyr. “The vote may be the knockout blow in a bitter and protracted fight over the controversial plan to put gender-neutral washrooms in schools and support students in expressing their preferred gender identities.”
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, of which ANiC is a member, is commending the federal government for its proposed legislation, Bill C-36, “…which targets the demand for paid sexual services and prohibits profiting from the sexual exploitation of another person. In crafting this legislation, the government has taken a big-picture view of the issue of prostitution and courageously challenged the belief that men are entitled to paid sexual access to women’s bodies; or that any person’s body can be considered a consumer good to be bought, sold or traded… [this legislation] will help to reshape societal attitudes about prostitution, making a stronger statement that in Canada we will not tolerate or condone sexual exploitation.”
On June 30, the US Supreme Court issued a decision – nicknamed the Hobby Lobby decision – which is considered “a huge win for religious liberty” and a defeat for the Obama Administration’s unrelenting assault on religious liberty and the historic Christian family values. In ruling by a 5-4 majority that the government had trampled constitutionally guaranteed rights by forcing “closely held” private corporations to fund contraception and birth control, the Court revealed the deep divide among the justices.
Lawyer Alan Haley reports that the US Episcopal Church (TEC) parties have filed yet another “frivolous” appeal in the case involving the now independent Diocese of South Carolina, attempting to add four individuals to the lawsuit.
The July11-15 sitting of the Church of England General Synod will, once again, consider the matter of women bishops. Details of the synod agenda are here. A statement to members of General Synod from the Archbishops of York and Canterbury is giving hope that a concerted effort will be made to finally appoint at least one bishop who holds the conservative evangelical view on headship.
The Guardian reports that “A second priest [the vicar of St James in West Hampstead, London] has defied the Church of England's official line to marry his same sex partner… The wedding took place as the first priest to marry his partner… confirmed that he had been stripped of the permission to work as a priest in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. Church authorities face difficulties if they try to prevent clergy from contracting perfectly legal marriages…”
As the Church of England considers same-sex blessings, a paper was posted outlining the “process for shared conversations on Sexuality, Scripture and Mission”.
Anglican Ink reports that “The Church of Ireland has extended apostolic succession of the episcopal ministry to the Methodist Church of Ireland… Last month the Church of Ireland’s General Synod approved an agreement signed with the Methodist Church that provided for the interchangeability of clergy… Methodist ministers may henceforth be considered for clerical positions within the Church of Ireland…”
Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier was elected to succeed Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, as Primate of Australia. Dr Freier was elected by a special synod of laymen, clergy and bishops from across the country, convened in Adelaide on June 28.
Fox News reports that “…approximately 550 [Egyptian] Coptic Christian girls and women… have disappeared in Egypt over the last three years… [but] police are typically indifferent to reports of missing [Christian] girls… Of the 550 missing females… only 10 have returned home and offered testimony. But the 10 who made it back tell a familiar tale that… reveals an organized effort by [Muslim] Salafi extremists to kidnap, marry and convert Coptic women and girls.”
Yielding to international pressure, Sudan has released a Christian woman from death row, condemned sole because of her faith. However, the release was quickly followed by a re-arrest when she, her husband and two children attempted to fly out of the country. Released on bail, the family has taken refuge in the US embassy, but are not free to leave the country as they now face possible charges of attempting to use false travel documents – a charge that carries a seven-year prison sentence. You can read the full story on LifeSiteNews.
Anglican Ink reports that Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul “…has written an open letter to the people of South Sudan detailing a joint peace plan authored by the church and civic groups to end the nation’s civil war.” Thousands have been killed in the past six months of civil war and around a million have had to flee their homes. The UN is warning of a dire food crisis with four million at risk of starvation.
The Sudan Tribune reports that The Bishop Moses Deng (Wau Diocese) blames the country’s leaders for the current conflict, saying “The Country is ruled by former rebel generals… [who are unwilling] to change from rebel commanders to politicians”. The bishop said, “The Church has been playing a great role in peace and reconciliation. Had it not been for the Church, South Sudan would not be where it is today, but could have been worse than Somalia … The Anglican Church cuts across ethnic divides and we are working hard to ensure that the Church remains united as it is the only institution which will facilitate reconciliation of our people.”
The Montreal Gazette carries the story of a young Nigerian girl who was married, starved and brutalized – first by her husband and then by her father when she fled her husband – and then divorced, all by the time she was 14 years old. And this child is only “one of thousands of divorced girls in Nigeria, children who were forced into marriage and have since run away or been thrown out by their husbands. They are victims of a [Muslim] belief that girls should get wed rather than educated, which drew the world’s attention after Boko Haram terrorists abducted more than 200 schoolgirls two months ago and threatened to marry them off. Most are still missing…” Nigeria has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, despite the legal age of consent being 18. The UN reports that one in five Nigerian girls is married before the age of 15. But in the north, where Islamic law is in force, that number is one in two.
The Archbishop of Canterbury made a quick visit to Nigeria in early June where he and the Primate of All Nigeria met with the country’s president to pray and offer condolences for the recent violence and kidnappings.
The International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law reports that more than 258 northern Nigerians – most Christians – have been killed by Boko Haram in the last seven days of June. They went on to say, “…in 66 days (April to first week of June), Nigeria lost 1,296 innocent citizens to Boko Haram terror campaigns… the ongoing ethno-religious cleansing is carefully planned and executed against Christian populations in northern Nigeria.”
The BBC reports that 60 people – mostly Christian men – were killed in mid-June near the coastal town of Mpeketoni. Many others were injured in the rampage. Although the Islamist terrorist organization al-Shabab claimed responsibility, the government indicated the attacks were instigated by local political groups from Muslim tribes.
The BBC reports that the US has imposed sanctions on Uganda for its homosexuality laws, cutting funds to a number of aid programs and joint military exercises. Earlier, the World Bank postponed a $90 million load to Uganda which was earmarked to improve health services. A number of European countries have similarly cut aid to Uganda.
However, the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam) reports that “Western pressure on African countries to liberalize policies on homosexuality has had a boomerang effect… Last week the United Nations elected a Ugandan as president of the General Assembly over last-ditch efforts by activists who, along with the Obama administration, have condemned Uganda’s recently enacted law against homosexual acts… Kutesa is Uganda’s foreign minister and defended the law internationally, stating promotion and exhibition of homosexuality “is wrong for our young people and it offends our culture.”
Fox News reports that as the al Qaeda affiliated terror group ISIS sweeps through the north of Iraq, the Christian stronghold of Mosul – ancient Nineveh – has fallen to these brutal Islamists known for their beheadings, crucifixions, rapes, tortures and mass executions. As many as 500,000 people have fled the city. Since 2004, Christians have been under severe attack in Iraq – with church bombings, assassinations and kidnappings. A million Iraqi Christians have been driven from the country in what is seen as a campaign of religious cleansing. Canon Andrew White, in a plea for help, says the situation in Iraq is the worst it has ever been.
Resources for ministry
Leading millennials – Here are 20 things you need to know about leading the 20-somethings – the leaders of tomorrow.
Videos you can use in church – These church-oriented videos, for special occasions and on various themes, are short, make the point well. And the licencing fee is reasonable. Scripts for use in your own drama presentations are also available.
Avoiding burnout – Christopher Ash offers advice on maintaining pastoral zeal while avoiding burnout.
Getting publicity – Does your church or ministry know how – or even why – to use the media to communicate your message? Faith Today has an online article to guide you through getting free publicity. Or you can contact ANiC’s communication director Marilyn Jacobson for support.
Resources for Christian living
39 Articles – Canon Phil Ashey’s video series continues with Article X – Free Will.
Historic vs liberal Christianity – St Peter’s Fireside (Vancouver, BC) has a blog worth following. Recently, the pastoral team penned a series of blog posts responding to each of the 10 points made by a local religion writer advocating liberal views. You’ll find the first post here and links at the bottom of the page to subsequent posts. You may not agree with everything but you’ll learn for much of it.
Apologetics for families – Apologetics Canada has begun a Thinking Families series to help families talk through profoundly important questions like the meaning of life and does God exist. Each post provides an introduction to the topic, questions to open the discussion in the family and resources to better equip you for the task.
Are you young people adequately prepared to stand firm in college? Both Breakpoint Ministries and the Gospel Coalition provide excellent insight and resources to help your young adults stand confidently in the Lord.
Coming to grips with sexual brokenness in all its forms
Sexual revolution and Christianity – An insightful article in The American Conservative explores the clash between the Christian cosmology and today’s dominant cosmology of hedonism. Notable quotes include: “Paul’s teachings on sexual purity and marriage were adopted as liberating in the pornographic, sexually exploitive Greco-Roman culture of the time—exploitive especially of slaves and women… Christianity, as articulated by Paul, worked a cultural revolution, restraining and channeling male eros, elevating the status of both women and of the human body, and infusing marriage—and marital sexuality—with love… [In western society today] Gay marriage signifies the final triumph of the Sexual Revolution and the dethroning of Christianity because it denies the core concept of Christian anthropology.”
Living together weakens marriage – A National Center for Health Statistics study found “First that cohabiting is now the norm for younger adults. Second, cohabiting makes divorce more likely after eventual marriage.” Dr Albert Mohler notes that those who live together apart from marriage “miss the essential wisdom of marriage — that the commitment must come before the intimacy, that the vows must come before the shared living, that the wisdom of marriage is its permanence before its experience. Cohabitation weakens marriage — even a cohabiting couple’s eventual marriage — because a temporary and transitory commitment always weakens a permanent commitment. Having lived together with the open possibility of parting, that possibility always remains, and never leaves.”
Happy marriage – A couple who have been happily married for 67 years offer seven tips for a happy Christian marriage. Charisma Magazine offers another seven tips.
God, the Gospel and the Gay Challenge – Dr Albert Mohler and several other prominent Christian leaders have collaborated on a free e-book which addresses the Biblical, theological, historical and pastoral issues related to challenge activists are putting to the Church. On his blog, Dr Mohler writes: “The church has often failed people with same-sex attractions, and failed them horribly. We must not fail them now by forfeiting the only message that leads to salvation, holiness, and faithfulness. That is the real question before us.”
Practical suggestions are offered in an interview with John Freeman for how clergy and churches can bring the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform the lives of those affected by sexual sin of all sorts.
Testimony – This 84-minute video is well worth watching. Rosario Butterworth tells of her journey from radical feminist professor and entrenched lesbian to pastor’s wife and home-schooling mom. The catalyst was a pastor and his wife who sought her out and doggedly built, over many years, a deep friendship. She articulately and humorously advises us how to care for those who identify as homosexual as we seek to demonstrate Christ’s love.
Testimony 2 – Matt Moore, a Christian blogger, helps us understand the why “gay pride” is so seductive for those with same-sex attractions.
Just for laughs
Wife: "There's trouble with the car. It has water in the carburetor."
Husband: "Water in the carburetor? That's ridiculous."
Wife: "I tell you the car has water in the carburetor."
Husband: "You don't even know what a carburetor is. I'll check it out. Where's the car?"
Wife: "In the pool"
"Any theology that does not lead to song is, at a fundamental level, a flawed theology." ~J I Packer
And now a Word from our Sponsor
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.
Philemon 1:4-6 ESV
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