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  ANiC Newsletter: 10 September, 2011 ... pdf version
    

Handle with prayer!

News – ANiC and AEN

Register now for ANiC’s annual synod and conference, November 2-4 in Victoria
Registration is now open for ANiC’s synod and conference in beautiful Victoria, BC, November 2-4. This year’s theme is Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, and today, and forever – Hebrews 13:8. Take advantage of current airfare sales and plan to attend. For information on the synod and conference see the ANiC website. To register go to www.onlineregistrations.ca/synod.


Please pray for synod
Recognizing that ANiC is utterly dependent upon God, those planning and preparing for Synod 2011 are asking you to join them in praying for this important annual meeting. We would be very grateful if ANiC churches offered the following prayer each week during Sunday worship services after the collect. Could you also please print the prayer in your bulletins so that parishioners can use it at home? Thanks!

May this prayer ignite a fresh wave of dependent prayer across ANiC from coast to coast, in parishes small and large, so that our synod may be a launching pad for deep renewal in our churches and revival in our land. How we desperately need both!

A New Prayer for Synod 2011 in Victoria, BC
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, whose only Son, our Lord Jesus, never wavers or changes, but is constant and steadfast in His covenant love and mercy toward the Church, meet with us in power at our upcoming synod we pray. Give wisdom and strength to those who are seeking You for direction and strategy. Endue our bishops with the courage of the Apostles as they seek to lead Your people in the power of the same Spirit that was given at Pentecost. Protect us from making any decision that is not in keeping with Your perfect will for ANiC, and forgive us for the many times in the past year that we have ignored the promptings of the Spirit and relied on our own strength and human wisdom. May our eyes be firmly fixed on Your blessed Son, the author and finisher of our faith – who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. This we fervently ask in the name of that same Son, our Saviour and Coming King, Jesus the Christ. Amen


Welcome!
To the Rev Dr Brent and Karen Stiller of Port Perry Ontario. Bishop Don Harvey recently welcomed and licenced the Rev Dr Brent Stiller of Port Perry Ontario. Dr Stiller and his wife Karen, a well-know Christian writer, would like to plant a church in the vicinity of Scugog Township on the shore of Lake Scugog about 75 kms north-east of Toronto. They would very much appreciate your prayer support as they seek God’s direction and provision.

To the Rev Bruce and Marcia McCallum of Oshawa, Ontario. Bishop Don also gave the Rev McCallum an ANiC licence this week. The Rev McCallum has been retired but continues very active in ministry and is part of a church plant team.


Updates and thanks for praying
Ceri Hynes – The Rev Howard Hynes, rector of St Stephen the Martyr, wishes to convey his gratitude for your prayers for his wife Ceri. She recently had a large tumor removed. Praise God, the surgery was successful and much less complex than anticipated. Ceri is recovering at home.

All Saint’s (Rutland, Vermont) – Following the devastating floods caused by Hurricane Irene, many of the roads serving Rutland, Vermont where ANiC’s All Saint’s Anglican Church is located, are washed out and or closed. Many residents in the area have been forced out of their homes. Others are without power and phones. Stores and businesses have closed – some permanently. However, the Rev Dwight McPherson writes, “We have made contact with our All Saints’ flock and, thanks be to God, everyone is fine. Thank you for all your love, prayers and support.”

The people of All Saints are pitching in with the relief efforts. Parishioners are providing bottled water, drinks, non-perishable food, cleaning materials and clothing for those in need. They also are helping their neighbours with cleaning up flooded basements and first floors. Please continue to pray for them.


ANiC priest requests prayer for grieving Sudanese diocese
The Rev Emmanuel Sadarak (St John Surrey) asks that we join him in prayer for the people of his home area of Wonduruba, Sudan who are grieving the death on August 24 of their bishop, the Right Rev Francis Lugga. Please also remember Bishop Lugga’s family.


Good Shepherd Vancouver embarks upon an ambitious fall program
All are invited to the special events at Good Shepherd Vancouver, 189 W 11th Avenue, Vancouver.

September 18 – Gospel Sunday evangelistic service at both 9am and 11am – and again on September 20 at 10:30pm for the restaurant workers fellowship at Good Shepherd Richmond. The speaker is Peter Wong. Peter was born in Hong Kong and lost his sight when he was fourteen. He holds three master degrees and has worked in Microsoft for many years. He is now chairman of Rainbow Missions and a licensed marriage and family therapist.

September 23-25 Cantonese Revival Conference with Dr Stephen Lee, on the topic of “I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church: Church Doctrine of the Gospel”. Services are from 8-9:30pm on both Friday and Saturday and from 11am -12:30pm on Sunday.

October 1, 7:30pm – Short-term mission trip reports. Both the Thailand and China teams will report on their missions this past summer. Pot-luck at 6pm, team reports at 7:30pm.

October 22, 7:30pm – From Thy Bounty fundraising concert. The musical program will include instrumental, voice and choral music. As well, there will be presentations by members of two short-term mission teams which visited the projects for which money is being raised. Good Shepherd hopes to raise $20,000 for:
A project to help the Karen refugees in the Thai border area, working in partnership with the Anglican Church in Thailand.
Care for disabled orphans in Changsha, China, working with the International China Concern Community Outreach Project.


Asian Mission in Canada (AMiC) welcomes first staff member
AMiC is welcoming its first full-time staff member. Kaman Ng will begin working with Bishop Stephen Leung in AMiC on October 1.


First Canadian joins Anglican 4th Day board
The Rev Gary Stobbs of Saint Matthew’s Abbotsford is now on the ACNA Anglican 4th Day (A4D) board of directors. A4D just completed its annual Grand Ultreya conference in Pennsylvania. This time of spiritual refreshing and challenge featured Bishop John Rodgers of the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) speaking on the importance of holding fast to the Truth of God’s Word.


Anglican 4th Day Ultreya in Hamilton
An Anglican 4th Day (ACNA’s version of Cursillo) Ultreya is planned for St Peter’s by the Park, Hamilton on Friday, September 23 at 7pm. This regional gathering, under the leadership of the Rev St Clair Cleveland, is open to all Christians. For more information, call Marg Gordon at 905 545-8681 or email Zandra Pennylegion. Ultreya is a term used in the Cursillo movement for Christian gatherings for inspiration, fellowship and mutual encouragement in your walk with God.


Parish news

Saint Matthew’s (Abbotsford, BC) asks that you note the new contact information for the church:
Address: 2087 McMillan Road, Abbotsford, BC V2S 4Y3
Phone: 604.853.6746 Fax: 604 853-9606
Email: office@stmatthewsanglicanchurch.com

St John’s Vancouver is on the move. The parish recently issued a news release updating media on the congregation’s plan to begin meeting at a new site – 5350 Baillie Street, Vancouver (near Cambie & 37th Ave) – effective September 25. Their last services at their current location will be on September 18. Full information is available on the St John’s Vancouver website.

St Aidan’s (Windsor, ON) – Immediately upon the release of the unfavorable court decision, the Diocese of Huron changed the locks on St Aidan’s facilities. Since that time the people of St Aidan’s have been holding their services in church buildings graciously provided by Christian churches in Windsor. On its website you can find St Aidan’s statement upon being locked out.

Celebration Church (Barrie, ON) has an arresting new “welcome” video posted on its website and also on Vimeo. Check it out!

Emmaus Church (Montreal, QC) proudly announces the launch of its new website.

Christ’s Church Oceanside, BC also has an attractive new website. The congregation will hold their second annual “Great Garage Sale Give-Away” on September 10 where “Everything is free like Jesus' love for you!”

Christ The King (Toronto, ON) is holding its first anniversary service on October 16 at which Bishop Charlie Masters will induct the Rev Jonathan Wong as priest-in-charge and the Rev Robin Guinness as associate priest. All are invited to celebrate with them.

Church of the Ascension (Langley, BC) is looking for a college or university student to join the pastoral team as a part-time, short-term ministry intern. For information, see the ANiC website.


Calendar of upcoming events – for your interest and prayer support
Sept 12-14 – Simeon Fellowship annual gathering in Dallas, TX (of ACNA clergy & church planters)
Sept 15-17 – ACiC national conference in North Vancouver, BC
Sept 17 – Bible-in-a-Day seminar, St John’s Vancouver, BC
Sept 18 – St John’s Vancouver last service in old building
Sept 22-25 – A traditional silent retreat is planned for ANiC’s clergy in New England
Sept 23-25 – Good Shepherd Vancouver revival conference with Dr Stephen Lee
Sept 25 – St John’s Vancouver first service in its new facility
Oct 1, 7:30pm – Good Shepherd Vancouver missions evening with reports from Thailand & China
Oct 8 – Bible-in-a-Day seminar, Christ’s Church, Oceanside, near Parksville, BC
Oct 22, 7:30pm – Fundraising concert for missions at Good Shepherd Vancouver
Oct 29 – Bible-in-a-Day seminar, St John’s Richmond, BC
Nov 2 – ANiC Clergy Day, Victoria, BC
Nov 2 – ANiC lay conference, Victoria, BC
Nov 3-4 – ANiC synod, Victoria, BC
Nov 10-11 – Anglican1000’s Liturgy & the Arts conference, Durham, NC
Mar 6-8 – Anglican 1000’s 2012 Church Planting Summit in Plano, TX.
June 7-10 – ACNA Provincial Assembly, Ridgecrest, NC


ANiC in the news
Church of England Newspaper – August 24 2011 – Damages paid in New Westminster case
Church of England Newspaper – August 25 2011 – Court loss for Ontario parish in property fight


On the front lines: Growing and planting churches
ANiC parish profile: St John’s Surrey, BC
St John’s Surrey is unique among ANiC parishes. Most of its parishioners are refugees from Sudan or South Sudan. The Anglican Church is strong in South Sudan – a land that has seen decades of war and persecution – so many refugees have Anglican roots.

St John’s parishioners are faced with the challenges of first generation immigrants, struggling to learn the language and adapt to the culture while working in entry level jobs and living in a high cost region. Yet, with all the hardship, the Rev Emmanuel Sadarak emphasizes how grateful they are to live in Canada. Like most of his parishioners, Emmanuel came to Canada, having gone through terrible times, with nothing but hope for a better future for his family.

Currently the congregation meets in rented facilities in Surrey on Sunday afternoons. Although discouragement seems to have dogged the parish and attendance has declined. A recent development is lifting spirits and offering hope of a better future. “We are going through difficulties,” says Emmanuel, “but God is doing good things for us.”
Encouraged by ANiC’s multi-cultural ministries dean, Dean Archie Pell, Emmanuel will begin full-time studies at Christ for the Nations Bible College in Surrey, BC, where ANiC priest the Rev Dr Ken Deeks is academic dean. Emmanuel, who has had to hold a full-time job in addition to his pastoral work at St John’s Surrey, was kindly allowed by his employer to take a leave of absence. This will be the first formal Bible training Emmanuel has been afforded. Such training wasn’t available in Sudan and since coming to Canada, he has had neither the time nor the means to further his pastoral training.

“I am praising God. This is such an encouragement, not just to me and my family, but to so many people in the church,” says Emmanuel. It has created a “buzz” in the Sudanese community, says Emmanuel. By providing their pastor with the opportunity for Bible training, parishioners see that ANiC cares for this very special parish with its unique struggles.

Please pray for St John’s Surrey; for God’s blessing, provision and encouragement. And pray that this community will grow together in grace and spiritual maturity.

Bishop Stephen Leung, ANiC’s suffragan bishop for multi-cultural ministries, asks that those wishing to contribute to Emmanuel's education fund do so by sending contribution to the Anglican Network Church of the Good Shepherd and specifying that it is for "St John’s Surrey Fund".


News – Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Gaining perspective
The two-minute weekly Anglican Perspective videos offer great insights and mediations by Canon Phil Ashey, who will be a keynote speaker at ANiC’s synod and conference November 2-4.
The August 24 video talks about the need to take time with God in the business of life.
The September 1 video promotes the vital ministry of the Clergy Leadership Training Institute.


Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic launched; Bishop Guernsey installed
Today in Truro Church, Fairfax, Virginia, Bishop John Guernsey was installed as the first bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, formerly the Anglican District of Virginia. Bishop Guernsey had led the Diocese of the Holy Spirit until its member congregations were transferred recently to geographic dioceses within the Anglican Church in North America.


Anglican Worship conference will focus on liturgy, formation, mission and art
Anglican1000 is hosting a truly exciting line-up of speakers at its first ever, Anglican Worship conference in Durham, North Carolina, November 8-10. The event is designed to equip church leaders – lay and clergy – with a deeper understanding of the formative power of Anglican worship. The website states:
“We will unfold the ethical, missional, theological, doxological, and artistic beauty of Anglican liturgy and put it to practice through worship.” You can learn more and register on the Anglican1000 website.


ACNA bishop appointed chief justice of the Seminole Indian Nation in the US
The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Rt Rev William Wantland assisting bishop in the ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth has been named Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Seminole Nation. Bishop Wantland is a member of a Seminole Nation band and is a trained lawyer. He assisted in drafting the tribe’s constitution in 1969 and served as Attorney General of the Seminole nation from 1969 until 1977.


Other ACNA news
Pittsburg Post-Gazette – September 1 2011 – …church in Anglican Diocese abandons its building


News – Canada

ACoC Diocese of Montreal clergy protest ordination

The AEC blog notes that six clergy in the Diocese of Montreal appealed to their bishop to not proceed with a planned ordination. They write:
“One of the candidates for ordination is in a same gender civil marriage which is incompatible with scripture and with our canonical definition of marriage which is to be between a man and a woman. It is also inconsistent with resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference of 1988 and does not respect the Archbishop of Canterbury’s request for, among other things, restraint in these matters for the sake of the Unity of the whole Church. We therefore believe his manner of life to be unsuitable for the exercise of this ministry, and ask you not to proceed with his ordination.”

The bishop responded,
“As there is no canonical impediment, it is my intention now, as Bishop, to proceed with this ordination.”


8th ACoC diocese defies Lambeth, Communion and Scripture
The Anglican Journal, the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) magazine, notes that
“The blessing of civil marriages between same-sex couples can now take place in the Anglican diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island… Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island becomes the eighth diocese within the Anglican Church of Canada to move forward with same-sex blessings.” The diocese’s May synod cleared the way for this action.


Shrinking churches
VirtueOnline has summarized past news from both the two largest dioceses in BC which seem to be on a trajectory of declining attendance.

In a similar article on the decline in the US Episcopal Church (TEC), David Virtue writes,
“A month long investigation by VirtueOnline into the numerical state of The Episcopal Church reveals that more than one third of all 6825 Episcopal parishes in the U.S. have an average Sunday attendance (ASA) of 40 or less… The study undertaken by VOL staff reveals a church in sharp decline with 2219 churches having congregations of aging parishioners in their mid 60s with little or no chance of turnaround in the foreseeable future… What this foreshadows is that within the next 3 to 5 years more than 2,000 churches across the country will be forced to close, merge or be sold regardless of cash reserves or endowment because there will simply not be enough people in them to keep the doors open.” His research reveals that 38 TEC dioceses have average Sunday attendance of less than that of the Anglican Network in Canada (4000).


ACoC appoints new general secretary
The Anglican Church of Canada has announced the appointment of the Ven Dr Michael Thompson, rector of St Jude’s Anglican Church in Oakville, Ontario as its next General Secretary, effective November 1. He will replace the Ven Dr Michael Pollesel.


Diocese of New Westminster takes up residence in former ANiC church buildings
The diocese of New Westminster website reports that clergy have been appointed and it has begun services in St Matthias and St Luke’s former building in Vancouver, as well as Saint Matthew’s building in Abbotsford. Also, it will begin services on September 25 in the building still occupied by St John’s Vancouver. Both the ANiC congregations of Saint Matthew’s and St Matthias and St Luke’s are worshiping in facilities graciously provided by Christian churches of other denominations.


News – USA

Cathedral suffers quake damage
The August 23rd earthquake in Virginia caused damage to the Washington National Cathedral, particularly to its pinnacles; but since the damage was mostly to the decorative stone work, 9/11 services were set to proceed. However, the 9/11 vigil planned for the cathedral – which pointedly excluded evangelicals and Catholics from participation – had to be relocated after a crane working on the quake-damaged cathedral toppled onto other church buildings.

The now relocated vigil will showcase clerics from a range of small US religious organizations. According to The Daily Caller,
“Among the invitees were two Episcopal bishops, a rabbi, a Tibetan monk, a Buddhist nun, a Buddhist lama, a Hindu priest and a controversial Muslim imam from a mosque whose former leader was charged with a terror offense shortly after 9/11… This emphasis on religious diversity resulted in the exclusion of representatives from mainstream religious groups, including evangelicals and Catholics. Roughly 35 percent of American believers say they are evangelicals. Roughly 25 percent say they are Catholics. The clerics invited to the cathedral represented roughly 5 percent of American believers...” The Washington Examiner adds, “It is a sad commentary that in a memorial service for the entire nation remembering a day that brought us all together, some leftist religious leaders have decided that half of the country is not welcome.”


Religious freedom under assault
An article in USA Today explores the extent to which religious freedoms in the world are under attack – particularly in the United States. It reports
“…we are seeing a marked erosion of what America's Founding Fathers considered the "first freedom": the liberty of religious conscience… Placing religious groups under special legal disadvantages, and forbidding them from operating according to their own beliefs, is certainly not what the Founders had in mind…”


News – International

Covenant
In a paper posted on the Living Church, the Rev Dr Andrew Goddard argues in favour of the Covenant but says, “The weakness of the Covenant lies not in the text and its alleged centralization but in the fact that many of the Covenant’s drafters and supporters now doubt that the standing committee and the instruments are sufficiently “fit for purpose.” Numerous resignations from the standing committee, concerns about the ACC’s new constitution, and the principled refusal of many to attend both Lambeth 2008 and the Primates’ Meeting in Dublin indicate that major reforms of the instruments are now urgent, not just for their own sake but for the sake of the Covenant.” While he hints that these reforms are in the works for the instruments (which constitute the governance of the Communion), the Rev Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, the Anglican Communion's Unity Faith and Order Officer, has indicated that a working group is developing discussion paper on the historic roles and responsibilities of the instruments which should not affect the Covenant


Speculation that Rowan Williams will step down next year
The Telegraph writes that the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams plans to step down next year in order to return to academia – possibly Trinity College, Cambridge. The article notes that
“…the 61-year-old archbishop… is not required to retire until he is 70… After presiding over one of the most turbulent periods in the Church's history, the archbishop has told friends he would like to give his successor adequate time to prepare for the next Lambeth Conference – the summit of Anglican bishops held once every decade… Another well-placed source said Dr Williams plans to take part in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next year, but will announce his resignation soon after that… Next year will mark the tenth anniversary of Dr Williams's promotion to Canterbury, which would represent a similar period in office to his predecessor, Lord Carey of Clifton.”


Archbishop Rowan Williams recounts his 9/11 experience in New York City
In the current edition of the Anglican Unscripted news video there are interesting items on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s experience of being in New York on September 11, 2001, as well as more about the persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe.


From around the Communion and the world
Horn of Africa – Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya, in a video interview about the famine and drought engulfing the Horn of Africa, says “The Church is the only institution that really remains in our society when everything else fails.” In African society the faith groups which are established at the grassroots level are the ones the people turn to in a crisis. He says the Anglican Church has been working hard and is using its extensive network to distribute food. However the Church in Kenya needs financial help to continue its work.

SomaliaAccording to the International Christian Concern, the brutal terrorist al Shabab which controls parts of the country is intentionally denying humanitarian aid to Christians. Reportedly at least 18 have already died of starvation. Christians in Somalia are now thought to number fewer than 1000 due to years of systematic killing.

Zimbabwe – Persecution of the legitimate Anglican churches and clergy in Harare continues with police, acting on the instruction of ex-communicated bishop and crony of dictator Robert Mugabe, Nolbert Kunonga, arresting clergy on false charges. Other clergy have been severely beaten. A recent court ruling, which has been appealed, has emboldened Kunonga’s thugs to illegally, and sometimes violently, evict clergy from their homes and churches. The Bishop of Harare, whose clergy have come under attack, was himself the victim of a robbery and home invasion in which four men stole his money, computing equipment and cell phones. The Archbishop of Canterbury is traveling to Africa and has requested a meeting with Robert Mugabe. The Washington Examiner provides background to the situation in Zimbabwe.

NigeriaChristian Today reports that violence against Christians in the region of Jos is rising. The latest victims, a family of eight hacked to death by Muslim youths, brought to at least 40 the number of people who have been killed in the area just in the last few days. The Islamic extremists hope to drive the Christians out of the area. Earlier violent attacks on Christians are reported to have been carried out with support of the local military,

Malawi – Because of its stand on homosexuality, this small African country was threatened with the withdrawal of foreign aid. According to LifeSiteNews, “This year, close to $350 million dollars of US financial aid was rescinded due to amendments in the country’s penal code criminalizing sodomy. Ultimately, Malawi acquiesced to bring its sodomy laws in line with those of the progressive West, but not without grave concerns about the new cultural imperialism on this issue.”

Sydney, Australia – A member of the Diocese of Melbourne has written a polemic against the Diocese of Sydney. Dr Muriel Porter’s book is entitled: Sydney Anglicans and the Threat to World Anglicanism: The Sydney Experiment. Recently, the Australian Broadcast Corporation published an excerpt. In her book, Dr Porter attempts to portray Sydney Anglicans as deviant because of their evangelical, reformed theology. Commenting on this vitriolic attack, Julian Mann writes, “But Dr Porter's ungodly whinge about Sydney Anglicans is not merely an attack upon an individual diocese that seeks to uphold the biblical doctrine of the 39 Articles but upon all in the world who aspire to practice confessing Anglicanism.”

In his response to the book, the president of the Anglican Church League (Australia), Dr Mark Thompson, notes that
“Muriel Porter has been attacking Sydney Anglicans for years… Unfortunately, [her book is] littered with factual error, half-truth and the attribution of false or hidden motives to those with whom she disagrees. Sydney Anglicans might think they are taking a stand on the teaching of Scripture but in reality, she repeatedly asserts, their motivation is much more sinister… that Sydney’s experiment with radical Protestantism… represents a serious threat to faithful Anglicanism in both Australia and throughout the world. In order to support this contention, Porter needs to recast the doctrinal, ethical and ecclesiastical innovations of the past thirty years in global Anglicanism… as faithful discipleship and the decisions of Sydney’s synod and archbishops… as aberrant, unAnglican and ultimately a misuse of Scripture… What she casts as a threat, many others around the world would welcome as a beacon of hope.

South Africa – Following the move by the Anglican Church of South Africa to begin same-sex blessings, the Byzantine Catholic Patriarchate, wrote a declaration of God’s anathema upon that Church and called on “every member of this Church to be converted, to repent and to go out from that spiritual Babylon.”

Writing on Anglican Mainstream South Africa, Father Dave Doveton, Vice Provost of the Cathedral of St Mary the Virgin in South Africa’s Diocese of Port Elizabeth, denounces the decision to invite Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the US to the Church of South Africa’s synod of bishops. Calling the US brand of Anglicanism
“increasingly apostate”, he says, “Eager to cement relationship with the Anglican leadership in Southern Africa, and in the face of very severe objections, these false prophets are taking full advantage of the opportunity to distribute largesse and sow their teachings… the Episcopal Church of North America has placed the authority of human experience, human desire and human passion above the clear and unambiguous teaching of holy scripture…

“While other African Primates have taken a stand against their heresy, Southern Africa has not. There can be no compromise with clear manifestations of heresy. The scripture commands us not to invite false teachers into our home… broken fellowship is the only response. If this is not done they will keep spreading their poisonous teachings until the whole body of the church is infected.”


Kenya – The Anglican Communion Office has announced that it will hire a communicator to be located in Nairobi. The position will be financed by the Trinity Wall Street, an extremely well endowed church which strategically uses its largesse to gain influence. The position is intended to help “Anglicans across Africa share their stories”

Ireland – A senior lay leader in the Church of Ireland has warned that the church’s sanctioning of a cleric’s civil same-sex partnership could result in a split in the church.

New Zealand – The diocese of Auckland synod has approved a motion opening ordination and all offices in the church to those in same-sex relationships


More international news
Church of England Newspaper – August 19 2011 – Anglican clergy under siege in Harare
Religion and Ethics – August 29 2011 – Sydney Anglicans and the threat to world Anglicanism
Time magazine – August 31 2011 – New Zealand cathedral to be rebuilt with cardboard. Seriously.


Just for fun
A little boy came home from Sunday School and went into his room to change clothes. When he came out again, he asked his mother, "Is it true that we came from dust?"

His mother replied, "Yes, dear. God made us from dust."

The boy’s eyes widened, “Mom, I just looked under my bed, and there's somebody either coming or going down there!"


Why aren’t our churches growing?
An intensive research project in the Diocese of Sydney has found that the diocese is doing well, accounting for about
“one-third of all Anglican church attenders” in Australia, although it is one of 27 dioceses in the country. However, the study found that parishes could be doing better. It found:
A high percentage of visitors do not return because services are boring and they are not given a compelling reason to return.
There is a lack of genuine spiritual growth among congregation members. “Churches where congregation members report strong levels of personal spiritual growth – of growing in prayer, in knowledge of God, in depth of discipleship – are also churches which succeed in retaining newcomers. And vice versa… This relates to the quality of the discipling in our congregations. How effectively is each member being pushed forward in Christian maturity?”
Follow-up is inadequate. “…ongoing personal follow-up of visitors is rare – phoning and/or visiting them, sticking with them over time, seeking to understand where they are ‘at’ spiritually and helping them to make progress, personally inviting them to our homes and to our small groups, and so on. This sort of intensive personal follow-up is highly effective, but clearly cannot be undertaken by the pastoral staff alone – which is why it often does not get done… The lack of personal follow-up of newcomers, then, is a problem not really of organization but of training. We have not trained our members for this ministry.”


Resources
Churches and social media - An article in Faith Today discusses “How Evangelicals can change the world with social media”.

Discover God’s purpose for your church – Writing in the September 2nd American Anglican Council enewsletter, Canon Phil Ashey addresses challenges congregations face, such as an aging demographic, meeting in rented facilities, a lack of church volunteers, and low levels of tithing. He writes, “One of the most helpful leadership and discipleship resources in the last decade is Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God (Lifeway, 2007). One point in particular stands out: If you and I want to know and do God's will, discover where He is already at work and join him in that work.” In order to discover where God is already at work in your congregation, look at your church’s ministry commitments and core values – “the unique commitments and priorities that a particular congregation has.”

CallingDr Tim Keller discusses discerning God’s calling in our vocation. Among his themes are:
“All forms of work are participation in God’s work”
“All work according to God’s design is service” to others… “Work is taking the raw material of creation and developing it for the sake of others… We are God’s ministers in our work…”
“All forms of work are based on God’s gifting.”

He proposes a three-part method for discerning a call – to “secular” or church work: knowing what “people needs” resonate with you; realistically assess your abilities and limitations; and listening to my leaders / community when they tell me of opportunities where I am needed.

Making church more accessible – Writing on the Sydney Anglicans website, Steve Kryger encourages us to think through how we can make our churches more accessible to non-church-goers. And he provides some suggestions on how we can give them a preview of what to expect.


Food for thought
A stingy man hastens after wealth, and does not know that poverty will come upon him. Proverbs 28:22 ESV

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:24-25 ESV


Please pray...
For the people of
All Saint’s, Rutland, VT who have been devastated by flooding and are helping their neighbours clean up and recover from Hurricane Irene.

For ANiC churches in Ontario involved in property disputes:
St Aidan’s (Windsor). St George’s (Burlington), St Hilda’s (Oakville) and Good Shepherd (St Catharines).

For
ANiC’s Vancouver area congregations in transition, leaving long-time church buildings and settling into new facilities. Praise God for His provision and for the generosity and outpouring of love from other Christian churches in their communities.

For ANiC
synod planning and preparations.

For our
bishops, clergy and lay leaders, and their families – especially those in need of healing.

For
ANiC projects, church plants and parishes, and for their proclamation of the Good News to those in their communities who desperately need new life in Christ.

For
ARDFC’s new Congo project which is helping war-torn communities become reestablished and promoting peace-making. May God use it to bless Congolese and bring many to Christ.

For peace and an end to the killing in the
Sudan. For God’s hand of protection to cover His Church. For comfort for the people of Wonduruba who are grieving the death of their bishop.

For
persecuted Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Zimbabwe and China – and especially for those suffering unimaginable abuse and atrocities in North Korea, Eritrea & Somalia.

For those ministering in the
famine areas in the Horn of Africa. Pray that the Islamist militias in Somalia will relent and allow aid to safely enter territories where people are starving.

For the nation of
Israel. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

For the
GAFCon Primates & Fellowship of Confessing Anglican leaders as they plan meetings of Biblically faithful Anglicans in 2012 & 2013. Pray also for the new Anglican Mission in England.

For all those in positions of leadership and influence in the
Anglican Communion, that they would seek to honour and obey God above all else.

For repentance and revival in
our hearts and in our nation, for a hunger for God and His Word.


And now a word from our sponsor
“…scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace… You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen


2 Peter 3: 3b -18 ESV



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