|Handle with prayer!
ANiC and ACNA events calendar
August 28-31 – Youth ministry conference, St John’s Vancouver
Sept 8, 10:30am – Elnora Houston & Phil Varcoe ordained deacons, Resurrection (Brandon, MB)
September 8, 4pm - Trevor Potter
will be ordained a deacon at Emmaus (Montreal, QC)
September 14, 6:30pm – Terry Lamb & Jon Vickery ordained deacons, Resurrection (Kelowna, BC)
September 14, 1-6pm – CMJ Canada seminar on Yom Kippur, St Matthias & St Luke’s (Vancouver)
September 15, 4pm – Marion Karasiuk ordained deacon, Christ The King (Toronto)
September 16-21– Anglican 1000 church planting regional conference, Boston, MA
September 17, 1-6pm – CMJ Canada seminar, Church of Our Lord (Victoria)
22, 5:30-8pm – AMMiC information dinner and fundraiser, Good Shepherd (Vancouver)
6, 6pm – Alastair Sterne, Mike Chase & Geoff Chapman ordained deacons at St John’s Vancouver
6, 4pm – Aretta Hagle ordained deacon, Christ The King (Toronto)
17-19 – Anglican 4th Day Grand Ultreya (Lewes, Delaware)
21-26 – GAFCon 2 international gathering in Nairobi, Kenya
26, 9am – “Sex and spirituality… talking about it” seminar, New Song, Port Perry,
31 – November 3 – ANiC Clergy Retreat in New England
31- November 1 – ANiC Clergy Retreat, St Peter & St Paul’s (Ottawa, ON)
2, 9am – “Sex and spirituality… talking about it” seminar, St Peter & St Paul’s,
16 – ANiC’s electronic synod at 1pm eastern time (Please note revised date and
– ANiC vision/mission trip to partner with Anglican churches in Cuba
- Anglican 1000 church planting regional conference, Toronto, ON
5-7, 2014 – Gathering of ANiC synod at a location to be determined
a new ANiC church plant
St Peter’s Fireside, an
outgrowth of St John’s Vancouver, has joined ANiC as a church plant. The soil
in which St Peter’s Fireside is being planted is the very heart of Vancouver’s
downtown. To date, two “preview” services have been held and a third is scheduled
for September 15 at 10:45am at UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson St. The church
plant is scheduled to launch on November 3.
read about the congregation’s unusual choice of name on their website and about their July preview service here. Also, a Christian Week article gave excellent coverage to the church plant, quoting Alastair Sterne. The
article says “St Peter's plans to offer a church service adapted for a
community that is likely not familiar with more liturgical forms of worship.”
Elnora Houston and Philip Varcoe are to be ordained to the office of deacon (transitional) on September
8, 10:30am at Church of the Resurrection in Brandon, MB by Bishop Donald Harvey.
will be ordained a deacon (transitional) by Bishop Charlie Masters at Emmaus Anglican Church (Montreal,
QC) on September 8 at 4pm. Emmaus meets in the sanctuary of Westmount Park United
Church, 4695 boul de Maisonneuve Ouest. All are welcome!
14 at 6:30pm, the people of Resurrection Anglican Community (Kelowna, BC) have the joy of having two of their members – Terry Lamb and Dr Jon Vickery – ordained by Bishop Trevor Walters to the transitional diaconate
at Grace Lutheran Church, 1162 Hudson Rd, West Kelowna. The Rev Mike Stewart
from St Matthew’s Abbotsford will preach. All are welcome. The following day, Sunday,
the church celebrates its 1st anniversary worshipping at its current location
and is praising God for the growth they are experiencing.
will ordain Marion Karasiuk to the transitional diaconate on September 15 at Christ The King (Toronto,
John’s Vancouver on October 6 at 6pm, Alastair Sterne, Mike Chase and Geoff
Chapman will be ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop Trevor.
October 6, at 4pm, Aretta Hagle of Living Hope (Scarborough, ON) will be ordained
a deacon (transitional) by Bishop Charlie at Christ The King (Toronto, ON).
join us in praising God for these men and women and asking God’s blessing upon
2013 will meet online
year, ANiC’s annual synod will take place electronically on Saturday, November 16 at 1pm (EST). (Please
note that the date and time have been changed!) This will be the second
electronic synod ANiC has held. Instructions on how to register for this
meeting will be sent to clergy and lay delegates at a later date.
wishing to propose any amendments to ANiC’s canons must submit these by August 23. These can be emailed to the ANiC office.
God is doing through our Asian and Multicultural Ministries
Asian and Multicultural Ministries in Canada (AMMiC) is holding an information and fundraising dinner, September 22
from 5.30 - 8.30pm at Good Shepherd, 189 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver.
of the event is to share AMMiC's exciting vision of reaching out to visible
ethnic communities in Canada, and to promote its growing AMMiC ministries. There
will be testimonies and a chance to get to know those working in these
ministries. All funds raised will go towards AMMiC church plants and other
get a glimpse into the remarkable things God is doing by watching a short YouTube video shown to ANiC’s 2012 synod. For further information or to RSVP, please contact Ka Man Ng.
Vancouver is holding its annual youth and children’s ministry leaders
conference, August 28- 31 at Regent College. The Rev Jim Saladin is the
speaker. See the conference website for more details. The conference will benefit those involved in youth
and children’s ministries as well as those simply interested in learning how to
engage and teach the Bible text with confidence.
term for Ottawa Theological College
Fall Ottawa Theological College is offering courses on: the Gospels, the Pentateuch, Jesus Christ and
Salvation, and Christian Foundations. Learn more about these courses here. Please let others know about
the College. The courses are rigorous, missionary, relevant and biblically
faithful. They are intended to equip Christians, especially church leaders. You
can see the 2013-14 academic calendar on the college website.
New Song Anglican Church (Port Perry, ON) is looking for a Youth and
Children's minister. This position – which can be either part-time or full-time
– begins in September. For full information, please see the job
Church of the Messiah (Ottawa, ON) needs a full-time parish
administrator. For details, see the church’s website.
your congregation’s outreach strategy this year?
your congregation have a strategy for reach your community with the Good News? There
are many opportunities throughout the calendar year that you can leverage –
with some forethought. Like “back to church Sunday” or the start of the school
year, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, etc. But it requires intentionality. ANiC
has a few resources posted on our website that can be adapted and customized at minimal cost. There are also
excellent commercial resources available, such as those at www.outreach.com.
on the Jewish roots of our faith
ANiC churches in BC are hosting the Rev Aaron Eime of Christ Church Jerusalem
who will teach on the significance of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and its
fulfillment through Jesus our Messiah. Aaron+ will also discuss the ministries
of CMJ (Churches Ministry among the Jews) which works among both Jews and Arabs
in Israel. No charge; a free will offering will be taken.
14 (Yom Kippur), 1-6pm in Vancouver at St Matthias and St Luke’s, 320 E 15th Avenue. Call 604-876-4320 or email the church for information. RSVPs appreciated!
17, 6-9pm in Victoria at Church of Our Lord, 626 Blanshard Street. For information you can also call the Rev Sharon
Hayton, ANiC priest and Executive Director of CMJ Canada, at 250 478-3460 or email CMJ Canada.
more on the CMJ Canada website.
you can explore an opportunity to join an upcoming tour to Israel led by Sharon+. Testimonials
from past participants are here.
The Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between member
congregations and ANiC have been updated to align with ANiC’s canons. An email
has gone to each parish, church plant, and church project regarding these
changes and requesting that the new MOU be signed by the appropriate signing
officers and returned to ANiC by September 15. The changes relate to the
definition of “parish” found in the canons. Specially, the canons require that,
to be considered a parish and thus have voting privileges at synod, a church
must be incorporated.
Cuban mission/vision trip planned for March
March, another team of ANiC clergy and church leaders will head to Cuba to
visit the growing Anglican churches planted and nurtured through the ministry
of Bishop Charles & Claudia Dorrington. The Reformed Episcopal churches
(REC) led by Bishop Dorrington have sponsored this work for years and now have
asked ANiC to partner with them – and with these Cuban churches. ANiC’s first
mission trip, led by Bishop Trevor Walters, resulted in three ANiC churches in
BC partnering with congregations in Cuba. Already two ANiC church leaders are
committed to going on the March mission trip, but we are looking for several
more. The trip itself is all-expenses paid and the partnership commitment is
surprisingly affordable. Read more about this opportunity here.
in southern Ontario – Elora-Fergus area
D'Arcy Luxton and the Rev Zena Attwood wrote an article that was published in
their local paper inviting people in the Fergus-Elora area of southern Ontario
to join them on Sunday’s as they meet together. The article targeted those who
have no church home, are feeling adrift, and are looking for a supportive fellowship.
In the article they say, “We invite you to come with your queries about Christianity.
We would like to be of service. The Christian religion is 2000 years old. Our
group is new. You may like the idea of being part of something old that is
brand new. We do.”
and regional news
Faith Anglican (Embrun, ON) is welcoming
a new rector next month, the Rev Neil Stephens. Neil+ has been serving as honourary assistant at St Peter & St
Paul’s (Ottawa). He succeeds the Rev Alex Lewanowicz who is moving to full-time
chaplaincy ministry with the Canadian military.
Church of the Ascension (Langley,
BC) welcomed a new part-time curate. Jonathan Ellis will serve under Bishop Ron
Ferris as curate as well as youth and family minister beginning in September.
Jonathan and his family have been active in The Table Church in Victoria where
he completed an Artizo internship. He is currently finishing his degree at Regent College and is
preparing for ordained ministry in ANiC.
Church of the Good Samaritan (St John’s, NL) – After months of preparation and fund-raising
Archdeacon Darrell Critch and Father Jared Driscoll completed Drop Zone 2013,
rappelling down Atlantic Place, a building in downtown St John’s. They raised
almost $5400 for a good cause – Easter Seals, which helps disabled children. Archdeacon
Darrell starts fast, but can he beat the younger Father Jared? You'll have to
watch the video to
Samaritan and Easter Seals have developed a close partnership with the church
renting Easter Seals facilities for Sunday worship services.
The Table (Victoria, BC) reports
encouraging growth in their multiple ministries. The Revs Josh Wilton and Andy
Withrow write, “There are 134 regulars at The Table, with another 54 in orbit (with potential to become
regulars). This does not include people from two of our clusters [ministries]…
[These two ministries are] The
Marketplace Gathering [which] looks to connect faith and work, and
averages 40/meeting with ~170 in the orbit (90% Christians). Table Conversations aims to help develop relationships over substantial conversations,
and is starting to hit ~40/meeting with ~150 in the orbit (90% NOT
Christians!!!). If you do the math, that's a reach of 500+ people in our orbit and growing.” They ask prayer for “competent
and suitable leaders” to share the burden of ministry. Also for additional
giving to meet an anticipated shortfall. (The congregation of primarily young
people is not yet self-supporting.) Finally, they ask us to join them as they “wrestle
in prayer for those in our midst whom God is calling to Himself”.
St John’s Vancouver (BC) currently
has a mission team in Malawi. Please pray for God’s blessing on their ministry.
Resurrection Anglican Community (Kelowna, BC) will celebrate its 1st anniversary worshipping at
Benvoulin Heritage Church, 2279 Benvoulin Road on September 15 at its 10am
service followed by a lunch. The church is also thrilled to say that the
Lord is building up our children’s ministry with new families and many willing
hands. To God be the glory!!
St Chad’s (Toronto, ON) has postponed its worship
concert, originally scheduled for August
10. The concert
to raise funds for Welcome Home Children’s Centre in Haitiwill be rescheduled.
Be sure to email your parish news to Marilyn
Anglican Church in North America
Forward in Faith North America (FIFNA) declaration of faith stirs
In its recently released declaration of faith FIFNA affirms the teaching of
seven early Church Councils, in addition to other Anglo-Catholic articles of
faith. Others have pointed out statements in, the 7th Council which
seem to run counter to Anglican Articles of Religion.
bond set for St James Newport Beach
California judge has set a staggering $1-million bond for the ACNA congregation of St James
Newport Beach to continue in their current premises while their case was
appealed. As a result, the congregation will move to a new office and meeting
facilities in the interim. They have until September 21 to vacate.
God’s faithfulness in the past as we confront problems today
Two articles by ACNA bishops take a look back to strengthen
us for the challenges today.
Bishop Bill Atwood recalls the cost of faithfulness for Ugandan, Kenyan and North
American Anglicans and reminds us that ” As the
surrounding culture grows more and more hostile to our foundations of faith,
freedom, and fidelity to Scripture, His promise is that as we invest in Him and
open our lives to His Spirit, He will sustain us. He will give us the words to
say, and He will give us the grace to stand, endure, and even prosper in the
midst of the fray.”
Bishop David Anderson looks back over the last 10 years. He begins with the Episcopal Church’s
convention in 2003 which effectively launched the movement, on the US side of
the border, to form what is now the ACNA.
for South Sudan
A new Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) video highlights ARDF’s projects in South Sudan which are drilling
wells that will provide water to whole communities. Speaking in the video,
Bishop Moses Deng notes that water will help bring health and peace to the
community, benefitting 48,000 people. Community members said that water is more
important to them than food.
You can read a report on ACNA’s recent Caminemos Juntos Conference held in
El Paso, TX. One interesting fact mentioned was that “…there are over 60
Hispanic congregations within ACNA, 18 of which are in Cuba!” Those 18 churches
are the Reformed Episcopal congregations with which ANiC churches have the opportunity to
approaches; prayer requested
October Global Anglican Future Conference approaches, we are asked to
local and international organizing team
blessing as delegates stand for God's truth
arrangements and finance
registrations for all delegates
Eliud Wabukala, chair of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and primate
of Kenya, explains in an AnglicanTV interview how the GAFCon 2 conference came to be in Kenya. He also discusses the
East African revival and the facilities in Nairobi to be used for GAFCon 2.
of the Anglican Communion taken to task
in the American Anglican Council’s weekly international newsletter, Bishop Bill
Atwood discusses the Anglican Communion’s tendency to focus on manmade
organizational structures – such as provincial boundaries – rather than on
Gospel integrity. In an article entitled “You can’t repeal gravity”, he writes:
“Right now, there are tragic instances in which structures of the
"instruments of unity" in the Anglican Communion have compromised
their Gospel purpose. As such, they no longer have the moral or spiritual authority
to act. The same is true for us as individuals, for parishes, Dioceses, and
Provinces. When people rebel against God's purpose and will that is revealed in
Scripture, they are fit only for repentance or removal. Those who have charted
the errant and un-redemptive courses that are tragically common may escape
judgment for a time, but it will come. Gravity can't be repealed.”
An example of this push for Gospel-compromise is the recent consultation in Kenya
in which “A group of 27 African Anglicans, 16 Episcopalians and several
ecumenical friends gathered July 29-August 1, 2013 at the Jumuia Conference
Centre in Limuru, Kenya, to explore issues of sexuality in dialogue with
scripture… One of the principle themes of the consultation was how the Bible
has been translated and interpreted in African and North American contexts and
especially how it has been used both to oppress sexual minorities and other
marginalized people and to provide hope for liberation and equality.”
International news in brief
The CBC reports, “The
Anglican Church of Canada is asking members of its pension plan to vote in
favour of a proposal that would buy it more time before having to top up its
underfunded pension plan by hiking premiums or cutting benefits.” The Anglican
Journal has more information as does VirtueOnline.
The latest edition of the Anglican Planet has more coverage of the recent Anglican Church of
Canada / Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada joint assembly.
John Stackhouse has written an
article for the University of Chicago Divinity School based on 2011 Canadian
census data which shows “…the continued falling away of Canadians from the
Christian religion…”and the growth of the segment claiming no religious
affiliation. He concludes, “In sum, Canada as a whole is not yet so much a
multi-religious country yet as it is a Christian/ex-Christian/sort-of-Christian
country, with an ongoing shrinkage of Christian affiliation. (Other polls show
that only Roman Catholics and evangelicals are holding their own—mostly by
retaining youths in much higher numbers than other Christian traditions.)”
VirtueOnline “… has documented more than 700 cases of Episcopal clergy - mostly priests, a few deacons
and at least a dozen bishops - who have been uncanonically inhibited, deposed,
and or released from their ordained ministries as they valiantly strive to
remain faithful to the Gospel even as The Episcopal Church disintegrates into
spiritual decay and temporal anarchy.” Another VirtueOnline article, which compares the TEC to the city of Detroit, notes that
this month another 103 from the Diocese of South Carolina clergy received
letters of inhibition in preparation for being deposed.”
birth of heir-to-the-throne – and future “Supreme Governor of the Church of
England (CoE) – Prince George caused church
bells to ring throughout England. Baby George is expected to be baptized
by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many have commented on the irony of pro-abortion media consistently referring
to the unborn royal heir as a baby – rather than the generally accepted media
rule of referring to unborn children as fetuses. See this LifeSiteNews article as an example, as well as Canon Phil Ashey’s exhortation.
Mail reports that
passage of legislation allowing same-sex marriage has been followed almost
immediately by a threatened court challenge to force the Church of England to
perform these marriages. LifeSiteNews has more,
pointing out that this is exactly what was predicted by Churches opposing the
of Canterbury Justin Welby made news when he condemned “payday lenders” which
charge high rates of interest and suggested the Church should step in to help
non-profit lenders compete. BBC reports that “Earlier this month, Archbishop
Welby launched a new credit union aimed at clergy and church staff. Credit unions charge their members
low rates of interest to borrow money.” The article suggests that independent
credit unions might be allowed to operate out of church buildings to help them
compete with the infamous payday lenders. The Archbishop Welby was later
embarrassed when it was reveal that
the CoE’s investment strategy allowed holdings in firms that profit from payday
lending, arms dealing, pornography, gambling, tobacco and alcohol. CoE’s
investments are managed by the Church Commissioners who are not directly controlled
by the Archbishop.
and the Anglican Mission in England are organizing a conference for Anglican
evangelical leaders in England , November 26 & 27 . The conference
website states: “ReNew will be a two day
conference with the aim of advancing Anglican Evangelical ministries for the
salvation of England.”
newly elected Archbishop of Sydney is Bishop Glenn Davies. Dr Davies will be
installed on August 23, succeeding Archbishop Peter Jensen who reached the
mandatory retirement age earlier this year. You can read more on Anglican Ink and see Dr Davies biography.
Anglican Ink reports that the independent Diocese of Recife lost its court battle with the
Episcopal Church of Brazil over church property. However a subsequent report notes this decision was appealed and stayed by a higher court,
returning custody of church property to the diocese while state high court
judges review the case. Pastor Gustavo, our contact in the Diocese of Recife,
tells us that only five church properties – including the cathedral and
pro-cathedral – are in dispute. The church with which the Anglican Relief and
Development Fund Canada (ARDFC) is partnering to build a multi-purpose education building is not threatened by the dispute.
Albert Mohler provides needed context for the media headlines which trumpeting Pope
Francis’ comments about homosexuals. The oft quoted, ““If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to
judge that person?” was said in the larger context of a discussion of the
reported “gay lobby” within the Vatican. Dr Mohler says, “Francis was
attempting to explain that a homosexual “lobby” within his church is entirely
unacceptable… Francis told the reporters that he saw gay individuals as
distinct from a gay lobby. [The Pope said] “I think that when we encounter a
gay person, we must make the distinction between the fact of a person being gay
and the fact of a lobby, because lobbies are not good. They are bad.” … The
official Catholic moral judgment… is that a Catholic who struggles with
homosexual inclinations is to remain chaste and celibate, looking to the Lord
for help… the Pope was not talking about those who are involved in homosexual
acts or homosexual relationships. He was seeking to speak with compassion about
people made in the image of God who are struggling with faithfulness against a
homosexual inclination. This explains his criticism of a “gay lobby” within his
church. He acknowledged the fact that persons struggling with a homosexual
inclination are in his church and in the priesthood. So long as they obey
Catholic teaching and live in faithfulness, “who am I to judge that person?” he
asked.” The US Catholic offers more in the same vein.
The Mirror reports that 1.8 million Syrians have officially registered as refugees since
the civil war started in March 2011, fleeing to Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and
Lebanon. The UN states that this is “the worst humanitarian crisis since the
1994 genocide in Rwanda, with more than 93,000 people already having lost their
lives”. The National Post details how defenseless Christians are caught in the middle – often the targets
of kidnapping, extortion and murder – and forced to flee their homes and
Michael Nazir-Ali writes in The Spectator that Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, “could
be our best hope for peace”. Based on his personal experience working with Mr
Rouhani, Bishop Nazir-Ali provides insight into the man and his country. He
writes, “The popular portrayal of Iran as a nation either driven by Islamic
revolutionary fervour or by the periodic welling up of liberal political
dissent does not do justice to the complexity of this society. There is
constant interplay between the ancient civilisation of Iran and Islam in its
political form… For some years, a general ferment has been building in Iranian
society. The different elements that make this up are mutually antagonistic and
finding a resolution among them will be one of the major challenges of this
offers advice to the new president, saying among other things “…prisoners
of conscience should be released immediately and unconditionally. The property
of churches and other religious groups seized at the Revolution should be
returned… Such actions would provide a sound basis for the re-opening of the
dialogue of civilisations… between the different communities in Iran. Let us
pray that the coming regime will be inspired by that rather than the more
recent siren voices which have led it away from its own civilisation.”
Recently Egypt’s leading Muslim Brotherhood clerics incited violence against Copts and other Christians accusing them of collusion with the
military in overthrowing the former Muslim Brotherhood regime. A Yahoo News report quotes a Christian saying “We have never experience the kind of persecution we
suffer now.” Do pray for Christians in Egypt.
Anglican Bishop Mouneer Anis held a celebration to mark the breaking of the Muslim fast of Ramadan which was attended
by more than 130 religious and political leaders, including the Grand Mufti of
Egypt and the Deputy of the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, as well several
A report from
the Bible Society of Egypt offers a perspective not seen in secular media. This
includes the violence of the pro- Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations and the
contrasting peaceful solidarity between the majority of Muslim and Christians
who reject the “political Islam” agenda of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood.
An Anglican Communion News Service article features the extensive, high quality health care services provided by
the Anglican Church in Egypt – including two hospitals known for their
professionalism, kindness and integrity.
Christianity Today reports that, as part of a crackdown on Christians, authorities have arrested 39
high school students, including 11 girls, preventing them from graduating. The
students have endured beatings, forced hard labour, deprivation of food and
water and are being threatened with long imprisonment unless they renounce
Christ. Please pray!
AllAfrica reports that tens of thousands of people have had to flee renewed fighting in
the North Kivu area near the city of Goma. Elsewhere in the country, more than
66 thousand Congolese refugees have fled into Uganda to escape fighting in
their communities. The Anglican Communion News Service
reports that rape of women and girls is
a widely used “weapon” of war.
Morning Star News reports that the killing of Christians by Muslims continued in July in Plateau
State. Fox News reports on bombings by the Islamist militant organization Boko Haram that killed at
least 12 and wounded many more in the city of Kano. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh,
primate of the Church of Nigeria, visited one of
the states beset by the violence to pray for peace and offer comfort to
government has given approval to the building to an Anglican University in Abuja. Now efforts are
underway to raise (Nigerian) $5-billion to fund the construction.
The Christian Science Monitor profiles Jean Paul Samputu, a musician who learned to forgive his father’s
killer and is spreading the message of forgiveness in Rwanda and beyond.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the controversial retired Anglican leader, received wide-spread coverage for his recent comments that he would “…refuse to go to a homophobic
heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.”
He added, ““If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God.” Other
African Anglican leaders responded with condemnation, on even speculated that Archbishop Tutu was on the
payroll of those advancing the homosexual agenda.
Noting that “The
Chinese government continues to detain more Christians than any other country
in its prisoner of conscience prisons. Human rights and religious freedom
violations are still rampant…” the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada offers a number of specific prayer points. These include prayer for
politicians, prisoners, the reconciliation of the sanctioned Christian church
and the underground churches, continued revival and discipleship of Christians.
LifeSiteNews reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin “…has urged
the world’s political leaders to stop the violent persecutions against
Christians that have erupted in many Middle Eastern countries.” He also urged
the international community to pay attention to this persecution and act. The article adds, “The Russian Federation recently passed legislation
making it illegal to promote homosexuality as normal, a move that, while
condemned by many European leaders, was strongly supported by the Orthodox
of Preaching – An article on The Gospel Coalition website deals with the art of sermon
application. Saying preachers often struggle with good Bible application, the
author offers seven questions to ask of the text to help puzzle out the
application of the text today.
Mistakes young pastors make – A pastor discusses an
area that can often be neglected in ministry – praying for the people. The
writer says, “Pastors must prioritize the ministry of prayer and
give themselves to it in the same way that they give themselves to the ministry
of the word. Our people need our prayers, and we need what happens to us when
we pray for them.”
groups propel church growth– ACNA Bishop Bill Atwood, writing in the American Anglican Council newsletter, outlines the small/cell
group strategy used so effectively in the Diocese of Saba (Borneo). Bishop
Atwood briefly lists the seven cell group principles that have resulted in
amazing church growth. It’s worth reading! Also, you can listen to talks given by Bishop Albert Vun at the combined ANiC west and multicultural
assembly last April in which he outlines the strategy in detail.
Numbers – Dr J
I Packer discusses the danger of playing the “numbers game” in ministry
and highly recommends Liberating
Ministry from the Success Syndrome by Kent and Barbara Hughes.
Seek the peace
of your city – A thought-provoking Christianity Today article challenges us to minister to the practical needs of
the poor, widowed and fatherless in our own communities. The author’s book, Seek the Peace of the City: Ten
Ways to Bless the Place Where You Live,
can be downloaded for
Same-sex couples in church – Christianity Today has an article on “How congregations can reach out to people with
same-sex attraction and remain committed to biblical human sexuality”.
the flock… from (issue-obsessed) Christians – Pastor Ed Stetzer writes about the pastor’s role in setting boundaries and not engaging
issue-obsessed Christians. While he admits this is a touchy matter, he says “…the
mission is more important than special interest groups. Your church needs
boundaries (so that it is focused on its mission and won't be distracted from
that). You need boundaries (so that you won't spend your time trying to keep
"issue Christians" happy and placated). Those boundaries will cost
you a few people, but they will focus your church in powerful ways and free you
to do ministry about the hurting that otherwise will be overlooked.”
In an article on Christian unity, Phillip Jensen, Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral in
Sydney, says, “Organizational unity instead of
gospel unity is death. The failure of Christian ministries, be they church or
para-church, commences when they lose their direction and become organizations
that demand organizational unity over theological unity in the service of the
short-term mission trip helping or hurting? Several sobering articles posted on
the Gospel Coalition website encourage us to reevaluate and develop more
effective cross-cultural ministry strategies. See here and here.
in church – A youth pastor discussed what he sees as the three common traits of youth who DON’T leave the
church: 1) They are converted; 2) They have been equipped not entertained; and
3) Their parents preached the Gospel to them. Also, an article in the July/August 2013 edition of Faith Today offers great advice on “Keeping our youth in the Faith”.
And you can find free resources for effective youth ministry here.
Campaigners also offers complete
resources for Christian youth and children’s ministries. The UK-based
organization offers an excellent framework upon which to build a comprehensive
and effective youth ministry program. You can get more information at their website or from Mrs Dorothy Brown.
predators – A counselor offers advice related to sexual abuse by those in authority.
revisited – There is an interesting review and analysis of a recently published book which compiles lectures
by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams’. The reviewer, Peter
Sanlon of Oak Hill College (London, England), suggests that “…There is much we
evangelicals could learn by reflecting on Williams's alertness to these
themes-interaction with secularism, complexity of definition, and the
pervasiveness of the market. It is humbling to see how deeply he probes areas
of vital import to the future survival of Christianity in secular culture. So
many of these matters are treated glibly and superficially by others. Perhaps
the reason for this is that Williams's insights have been forged in
conversation with profound thinkers, well beyond the fields normally traversed
are not for liking - Pastor Tim Challies writes, “Don’t like it! Instead, ponder it, meditate upon it, and apply it.” Asking “How did you enjoy the sermon?” is simply the
wrong question”; instead ask “How did the Holy Spirit speak to you through the
sermon?” This “…call[s] upon us to submit to the Spirit as he is present in preaching”.
facial hair – Dallas Theological Seminary has posted a guide to “beards of ministry”.
for Christian living
Family worship – Tim Challies recommends A Neglected Grace for parents initiating family
synopsis – Andy Naselli has helpfully summarized the “dark arts” employed in C S Lewis’ The Screwtape
Marriage – In a hard-hitting article, Professor Stephen Baskerville argues that the destruction of marriage
was accomplished long before the advent of same-sex marriage. He says we have
no moral authority to oppose same-sex marriage if we do not work to address the
destruction the family through divorce.
Metaxas agrees, saying that divorce – and the lack of attention
paid to Biblical teaching – is the real scandal among Christians. He writes, “…our
acceptance of this particular sin while inveighing against other violations of
God’s plan for marriage is hypocritical. My point here is not to pour salt on
the wounds of divorced Christians—they deserve and need our compassion; but
it’s to get the Church to acknowledge the beam in its own eye and, thus, end a
silence that is not only conspicuous but scandalous.”
New beginnings – In We are all virgins now, Tim Challies reminds us that, no matter what we
have done in the past, we can be washed clean in the blood of The Lamb of God.
The UK’s Christianity
Magazine has an encouraging article about three Church of England clergymen who all
struggle with same-sex attraction – but have determined to live in a Biblically
Priscilla Turner tells us she has a new book written in association with Dr J I
Packer called Holy Homosex? It
is available on Amazon – or
bulk orders can be arranged directly with the author. Dr Turner has also
published a spiritual autobiography.
reading - Faith Today magazine
asked the leaders of EFC affiliate organizations to share some of the books
they hope to read this summer. The resulting four-page article introduces
almost 50 books worth reading, from novels to biographies, each linked to a
more detailed listing of the book at Amazon.ca. The entire Jul/Aug issue is
free at faithtoday.ca/digital.
Just for laughs
email of the species is more deadly than the mail. (www.mikeysFunnies.com)
Obedience rendered without
delight in rendering it is only half obedience. ~ C H Spurgeon
a Word from our Sponsor
told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you
do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
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