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  ANiC Newsletter: 2 July, 2012 ... pdf version

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ANiC news

ANiC and ACNA events calendar
July 31 – Aug 1 – ACNA Archbishop’s Cabinet meeting, Pittsburgh, PA
August 1-2 - ACNA Executive Committee meeting, Pittsburgh, PA
August 5 - Jared Driscoll to be ordained a deacon (transitional) at Good Samaritan (St.John's, NL)
October TBA – ACNA Bishops, Clergy & Spouse Retreat
November 14-16 – ANiC Synod and episcopal election in Ottawa
March 12-14 – 2013 ANiC Clergy Retreat at Cedar Springs, Washington
May 2013 – GAFCon 2 (specific dates and location to be announced)

Notice of election of co-adjutor bishop for ANiC
ANiC’s Synod 2012 will be asked to elect a co-adjutor bishop who will succeed Bishop Don Harvey as moderator when he retires in July 2014. The Nominating Committee for the ANiC Episcopal Election, appointed by ANiC’s Council and chaired by Claus Lenk, is putting forward three candidates: Bishops Ron Ferris, Charles Masters and Trevor Walters. Further nominations must be submitted to Claus by September 14 to be considered by Synod. For further information, see the notice posted on the ANiC website. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to guide in this decision.

Special synod report
The special electronic synod, held on June 23, passed a resolution which:
Amended the canons, allowing all Deacons who are licensed to parish ministry to have the same voting privileges as other clergy.
Allowed our existing American parishes voting privileges.
Added certain housekeeping provisions to the Canons, which were inadvertently left out of the Canons as presented to Synod in November 2011.

Almost 100 ANiC members participated in the special synod, providing the need quorum. The vote by house was: both bishops and clergy were 100% in favour of the resolution, and the laity voted 98 per cent in favour.

John MacDonald, ANiC’s executive director, reports that overall the electronic technology used for the synod worked remarkably well and allowed ANiC to hold the meeting at a fraction of the normal cost and with little inconvenience to members of synod. Our thanks and congratulations to the staff team which made this possible.

ANiC’s updated canons can be found on the ANiC website.

We are excited to have several churches and clergy currently in the process of joining ANiC. Once these churches have completed the necessary administrative steps, including submitting a Memoranda of Agreement (MOU), we will announce the congregations in the newsletter and add them to the ANiC website.

However, we can announce that Bishop Don has issued an ANiC licence recently to the Rev Bruce Roberts of Hamilton, ON. Welcome Bruce+.

Jared Driscoll is to be ordained a deacon (transitional) in the Church of God at the Church of the Good Samaritan in St John's, NL on August 5. Please pray for him as he takes this step of faith.

We extend our sympathy to former ANiC board member Bill Stewart whose wife Susan passed away on June 20 as a result of cancer. The funeral service was held June 30 at St John’s Vancouver. Please remember Bill and their three children in prayer. Susan’s obituary is online.

Parish and regional news
Saint Timothy’s Anglican Bible Church (Montreal area, QC) has moved to what was formerly Sainte Jeanne de Chantal Church, 1 Avenue de l’Eglise, Pointe Claire, QC. This is currently only a temporary venue, so please join them in praying that God would either give them this place as a permanent home or another suitable place.

St John’s Richmond (BC) has also moved to its new home, Trinity Lutheran Church, 7100 Granville Avenue, Richmond, BC, holding its first service there on July 1. Please continue to pray for the people of St John’s Richmond, as well as for other congregations which recently moved, including St Hilda’s (Oakville, ON) and Good Shepherd (St Catharines, ON).

St Matthias and St Luke’s (Vancouver, BC) – Bishop Don Harvey, Bishop Ron and Jan Ferris, and Bishop Stephen & Nona Leung joined St Matthias and St Luke on June 24 in celebrating the Rev Simon Chin’s many years of faithful ministry and his retirement. It was a wonderful time of worship, thanksgiving and joyful fellowship. You can see photos on Facebook.

Asian and Multicultural Ministries in Canada (AMMiC), which is under Bishop Stephen Leung, is holding a dinner on July 15, 5pm at Good Shepherd Church (Vancouver), to raise awareness and support for its church planting initiatives. AMMiC oversees (or shares responsibility for) ANiC’s ministries among recent immigrants and ethnic groups, including ministries among Sudanese, Chinese, Japanese, and Persians. RSVP by July 10 by emailing Ka Man or calling 604-872-1884.

Please email parish news to Marilyn or call 1-866-351-2642 ext 4020.

Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news

Provincial Assembly videos
All key sessions from the ACNA Provincial Assembly in early June are now available online. These include sessions on church planting and growth, Bible studies from Isaiah, and more. Please check them out. Perhaps there are opportunities to show one or more of these sessions for the benefit of your congregation.

Church growth testimonial
On the Anglican1000 website you can read the story of a church that grew from 50 to 800 in average Sunday attendance in just five years. The pastor’s advice includes: Value and develop lay leadership (they now have 100 lay small group leaders); Clergy must get out of the office and “be with the people” wherever they are; Preach the Word. For this ethnic Hispanic congregation in Fresno, California, several years of hard work built trust in the larger community. This allowed syncretistic and superstitious practices to be addressed and, through, catecheses for children and youth, youth families were drawn into the congregations.

Ecumenical dialogue
The ACNA has held discussions and built relationships with a number of denominations including most recently the Polish National Catholic Church. See the news release for more information.

A glimpse into another ACNA church
The ACNA website has posted an article profiling St John’s Stockton, CA – a church in ACNA’s Diocese of San Joaquin. St John’s has a 150+ year history of growth as it ministers in the core of Stockton, an economically depressed community. Although St John’s is one of the nine parishes facing lawsuits brought by the Episcopal Church, its rector says the congregations
“…would gladly walk away if we lost in court. While the building is beautiful and has meant a great deal to the congregation… our mission is to actively interact with the community.”

The church is committed to discipling all generations and supporting parents and families. “Saint John’s also holds firm to the notion that parents are the spiritual leaders for their children, which is why the catechesis ministry offers training for moms and dads whose kids want to be confirmed and baptized.”

Global Anglican Communion news

Name change for Anglican mission agency marks departure from Gospel
The Anglican Communion News Service announces that the former USPG, which was named the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) by its founder the Rev Thomas Bray in 1701, will now be know as the United Society or Us. Saying parts of the old name were out-dated, the organization’s chairwoman said, ‘We are very proud of our heritage and take seriously our remit to work through Anglican Churches to help global communities tackle poverty… There is no “them”; we are all “us”. Our work – in partnership with the churches of the Anglican Communion – is for the benefit of the whole community, regardless of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, age or faith. No-one is excluded.” SPG was the missionary agency which sent John Wesley to the United States – and hundreds of others around the world – to proclaim the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Commenting on this change, Canon Phil Ashey, in the American Anglican Council’s weekly Anglican Perspective, says as important as good works are, this change marks a radical departure from the founder’s original intent.

Other news in brief

The Anglican Church of Canada Diocese of Calgary has elected the current Bishop of Qu’Appelle, Bishop Gregory Kerr-Wilson, as its new bishop. According to the Anglican Journal, Bishop Kerr-Wilson characterizes himself as an
“evangelical, charismatic Catholic with liberal and conservative tendencies.”

The Anglican Church of Canada Diocese of Toronto has sent $250,000 to the Diocese of New Westminster to help off-set legal fees.

United States
The Episcopal Church (TEC) has once again shown itself to be intolerant of any dissent and has initiated disciplinary proceedings against nine current and retired TEC bishops – all theologically “conservative” – for taking a contrary position to the TEC’s presiding bishop and her chancellor in two separate court proceedings.

Bishops Maurice Benitez (retired, Texas), John Howe (retired, Central Florida), Paul Lambert (suffragan, Dallas), William Love (Albany), Bruce MacPherson (Western Louisiana), Dan Martins (Springfield) and James Stanton (Dallas) were charged with misconduct for having endorsed a "friend of the court" brief prepared by the Anglican Communion Institute which contradicted TEC's claim in its case against the ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth. TEC has based much of its legal argument on the claim that it is a hierarchical body with ultimate power vested in General Convention. The ACI and these seven bishops, in a 29-page brief, provided evidence from TEC's own history, constitution and canons that TEC is a voluntary association of autonomous dioceses.

Similarly, three TEC bishops - Bishops Ed Salmon (retired, South Carolina), Peter Beckwith (retired, Springfield) and, once again, Bruce MacPherson (Western Louisiana) - have been charged for signing affidavits which opposed TEC's position in a case involving the property of the ACNA Diocese of Quincy.

In urging ANiC parishes and members to pray for these bishops, Bishop Don said,
"The blatant intolerance of all dissent by those who preach tolerance is startling. Please join me and my fellow bishops in praying for God's peace and courage for these who have dared to stand up to the Episcopal Church revisionists."

Commenting on these charges, canon lawyer Alan Haley concludes that TEC’s canons do not offer a reasonable basis for such charges; they are simply malicious.

For more on this, including the Anglican Communion Institute’s defense of the nine bishop’s position and Bishop Dan Martin’s statement in his own defence, see the StandFirm blog.

The Diocese of South Carolina, one of the few remaining theologically conservative dioceses in the Episcopal Church, issued a declaration signed by its Standing Committee expressing “dismay and great sadness” over the rite for same-gender blessings which will be presented for approval to General Convention later this summer. The Diocese declares:
“Of greatest concern is… the theology which underlies this rite, set forth in the 82 page I Will Bless You document, which patently redefines the Christian faith, subverting the doctrines of creation and baptism, the nature of sin and salvation, and the grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ… We hereby repudiate, denounce and reject any action of the Episcopal Church which purports to bless what our Lord clearly does not bless… we declare that we will not walk with General Convention down the road they are choosing. We will instead continue to partner with Anglican dioceses, provinces and other Anglican entities here and abroad to further the spread of the Good News of salvation for sinners through faith in Jesus Christ.”

Reporter Mary Ailes reports that the Episcopal Church general convention will be held July 5-12. She says:
Next week Episcopalians will be gathering in Indianapolis, IN for the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Meeting July 5-12, they will be facing a challenging agenda that includes authorizing liturgies for same-gender "lifelong covenants" as well as a likely rejection of the Anglican Covenant proposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams… Bishops and Deputies of The Episcopal Church General Convention are also facing a divided church over the final authorization of a national budget, where in an unprecedented step earlier this year, both the Presiding Bishop and the House of Deputies President presented two competing budgets to the Executive Council, the interim body assigned the task of oversight for the church between General Conventions.

The most recent edition of the Anglican Unscripted video newsmagazine also offers commentary on the upcoming General Convention which may bring to a head the simmering conflict within TEC’s leadership over the governance structure of that body. The video commentators also discuss developments in Egypt, legal decisions in the US, and the election of a new primate for Uganda

The Rev Dr Ephraim Radner of Wycliffe College (Toronto) has written a satirical article for General Convention entitled
“How to kill a Christian Church in four easy steps”.

The Church of Uganda has elected the Rt Rev Stanley Ntagali to succeed Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi who has been a leader in the GAFCon and Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans movement. Archbishop-elect Ntagali is expected to be installed on December 16 in Namirembe.

Following a meeting he and other Egyptian Christian leaders had had with the newly elected Islamist President, Bishop Mouneer Anis (Diocese of Egypt) reported he was very encouraged. The President had assured them that Christians would be treated as equal citizens and promised to
“do his best to ensure the rights of Christians”. President Mohamed Morsi also has promised that he will stand for minority and women’s rights and will appoint both a woman as well as a Christian among his vice presidents.

However, writing in the Telegraph, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali warns that we should
“be wary of cosmetic gestures” by the Islamist president. The real test, he says, will be how Sharia law is interpreted and implemented and what effect it will have on minorities such as the large Christian population in the country.

Middle East
Writing for the Church of England Newspaper, George Conger reports that a conference of Middle Eastern Christians and Messianic Jews, meeting in early May in Jerusalem,
“has pledged to work and pray for the conversion of the Middle East through building the “kingdom of God” in the Middle East and fostering peace and harmony amongst Christians, Muslims and Jews”. The conference brought together Christians from countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Former Muslims were among the speakers, witnessing to the power of God to transform lives and reconcile enemies.

South Sudan
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the desperate need for humanitarian relief in the violently disputed regions between Sudan and South Sudan. The New York Times reports that one refugee camp in South Sudan is growing by 1000 people each day – many unaccompanied children. Many more are gunned down attempting to reach the camp and escape the atrocities inflicted on the civilians in the border area.

Soul food

Recognizing the prosperity gospel
ACNA clergyman and StandFirm blog contributor Matt Kennedy offers a very helpful description of the so-called prosperity gospel which ties the exercise of God’s power to the strength of our faith. It claims that
“God wants you to be physically healthy, materially wealthy, and emotionally happy” and that if you have enough faith, you will get all you ask for in prayer. This counterfeit gospel can to difficult to spot, he says, because it distorts God’s truth and misapplies Scripture texts. Matt+ says that, because the prosperity message has so much in common with “positive-thinking” spirituality and is preached by so many high-profile Christian celebrities, many Christians have “unknowingly adopted some prosperity gospel thought patterns and prayer habits”.

Church websites
Are you responsible for your congregation’s website? If so, you should have a look at the research posted on Christianity Today’s blog regarding visitors to church websites. Read the comments too for helpful suggestions.

Among the findings are:
16 percent of non-church-going American adults visited the website of a church (or local place of worship) within the past year (over 17 million adults).
The most popular reasons for visiting the website were: checking service times, activities offered, looking for directions or a map, watching streaming video or audio, checking to see what the church believes and requesting prayer.

Just for laughs
Five-year-old Johnny squealed with delight as he opened his birthday present from Grandma. It was a water pistol! He promptly ran to the sink to fill it.

"Mom," Johnny’s Dad chided, "I'm surprised at you. Don't you remember how we used to drive you crazy with water pistols?"

Smiling sweetly, the older lady responded, “Why yes. I remember it well!”

A friend is someone who thinks you're a good egg even though you might be slightly cracked.

Always keep several get-well cards on the mantle. That way, if unexpected guests arrive, they'll think you've been sick and unable to clean.

And now a word from our sponsor
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Matthew 6:19-24 ESV

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