|Handle with prayer!
ANiC and ACNA events calendar
Sept 27, 5pm - AMMiC will hold its 215 fundraising dinner at Good Shepherd (Vancouver)
Sept 29, 7pm - Ordination of David Pennylegion to the diaconate at Grace Church, Edgewater, PA
Oct 2 – National Day of Prayer for Canada.
Oct 3 & 5 – New Song (Port Perry, ON) hosts workshops on healing
Oct 4, 4pm – Installation service for the Rev Keith Ganzerat Christ The King (Toronto, ON)
Oct 4, 3pm – Ordination of Chris Ley as Deacon at Good Shepherd Vancouver.
Oct 15-17 – Anglican Family Symposium 2015 at Christ Church, Plano
Oct 16-17 – AMMiC-led conference on North American Asian inter-generational issues - Vancouver
Oct 20 – Clergy Day in Vancouver at Good Shepherd
Oct 21-23 – ANiC synod and workshops in Vancouver at Good Shepherd
Nov 8 – International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (www.idop.ca/)
Nov 22 – Danielle Martell will be ordained as a Deacon at St Andrew's (Delta, BC).
Nov 29, 11:15am – The Rev George Cooknell will be ordained a priest at Cornerstone (Sarnia, ON)
Jan 4-8 – ACNA College of Bishops meet in Melbourne, FL
Jan 21-22 – Anglicans for Life holds Summit and US March for Life
Feb 24 – ACNA Executive Committee meets in Phoenix, AZ
April 7-10 – New Wineskins for Global Mission 2016 conference, Ridgecrest, NC
May 12 – March for Life 2016
June 20-22 – ACNA Executive & Provincial Council meet in Mt Pleasant, SC
ANiC synod registration deadline is October 6
Registration is coming along well with 145 people confirmed. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so soon. If you’re sitting on the fence, watch Bishop Charlie’s one-minute invitation here. October 6 is the last day registrations will be accepted.
Agenda posted – The synod, workshop day and clergy day schedules are posted. This agenda will be tweaked and fleshed out as needed. But it will give you a good idea of all the good stuff in store for those who participate
Selecting your workshops – The vast majority of people coming to synod have also registering for the workshops. Check out the workshops offered on the pre-synod “equipping” day. Some, who can’t manage to attend synod, are coming just to the workshops. A number of workshops now have full descriptionsto help you make your selection. Shortly before synod, we’ll be sending an email to everyone who has signed up for workshops, asking you to select which workshops you wish to attend. This will allow us to appropriately assign rooms based on numbers.
Hotel deadline – The deadline for booking a hotel room from the block of rooms ANiC has reserved for synod is September 28. The special Synod rate (which includes breakfast) will be available after the deadline date; however the block of rooms will be released, so procrastinators might have to find a room elsewhere. Book you room now!
With the federal election on October 19, immediately prior to ANiC’s synod, synod delegates – and especially clergy - might be traveling on election day, so you will want to take advantage of advanced polls on October 9,10,11 and12. Or, at any time up until Tuesday, October 13 at 6pm, you may cast a special ballot at the Office of the Returning Officer for your constituency. Learn how and where by going to the Elections Canada website where you can enter your postal code to get all the information you need. (Don’t forget to take two pieces of government-issued ID – including a photo and your address.)
When you call the ANiC office you’ll hear a new voice on the other end of the phone. Please join us in welcoming Mrs Tam Tram who is filling in while Jessica is on maternity leave.
On Sunday, September 13 Bishop Trevor Walters ordained the Rev Roger Revelle to the priesthood at St Peter's Fireside, Vancouver, BC.
Chris Ley will be ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Stephen Leung on October 4, 3pm at Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC). Chris will serve as curate at St Matthias and St Luke’s (Vancouver) focusing on youth, children, young adults and English ministries.
On Sunday, November 22, Bishop Trevor will ordain Danielle Martell to the diaconate at St Andrew's (Delta, BC).
On Sunday, November 29 at 11:15am, Bishop Charlie will ordain the Rev George Cooknell to the priesthood at Cornerstone (Sarnia, ON). A lunch will immediately follow the service.
Please pray for each one being ordained, and, if you are able, encourage and bless them by your presence at their ordinations. Clergy are especially encouraged to attend.
Syrian refugees: What are we doing?
There are said to be as many as 60-million forcibly displaced people around the world. Now, with the current media focus on the plight of Syrian refugees – a crisis that began in early 2011 – many are taking action. So, what is ANiC doing? Through the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC), last year we raised $38,000 for Iraqi refugees. Now, with the Canadian government’s announcement of a $100-milion matching fund specifically for Syrian refugees, ARDFC has responded. You now have the opportunity to give specifically to help Syrian refugees and have your gift matched by the Canadian government.
ARDFC is partnering with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) which has work in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as in Syria itself. Funds raised will be used for housing, health kits, food, water, trauma counselling, children’s education, and winter provisions. You can donate on the ARDFC website or through your church. Please also pray for these and the other estimated 50-60 million refugees around the world.
Myanmar emergency relief for flood victims
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC) recently received an urgent letter from the Primate of Myanmar, who is also an ARDF Global Trustee, Archbishop Stephen Than Myint Oo. Although we’ve heard virtually nothing on the news here in the west, the country of Myanmar was deluged by floods in August, leaving many of the people destitute. Archbishop Stephen is asking for our help. The Church in Myanmar has people and distribution networks in place, but they do not have the financial resources to provide the needed supplies. See the ARDFC website for more details and photos – and to help.
ARDFC has been able to send an initial $5000 US from general funds, but the need is much greater. Please remember Myanmar in your prayers and also please pray that the initial installment will reach the Church of Myanmar quickly. Because the country is under international currency sanctions, it isn’t easy transferring money into the Myanmar.
ARDFC launches new development project in Burundi
We are grateful to God and to generous donors for providing the funds needed to drill three deep water wells in South Sudan. Now, with that project complete, ARDFC has begun to raise funds for a new project, this time in the central African country of Burundi – one of the five poorest nations on earth. We are partnering with the Diocese of Muyinga to train subsistence farmers in better agricultural methods and provide them with farming tools, seeds and goats. Our goals are to improve productivity, nutrition and income so the farmers can become self-sustaining and able to send their children to school. See more on the ARDFC website. If you’d like a better understanding of how ARDFC works, you can watch an excellent new video from our sister agency in the US, ARDF exploring a project in Gambella, Ethiopia where Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy LeMarquand minister.
Report from Bishop Stephen & the mission team just returned from SE Asia
Bishop Stephen and Nona Leung led a mission team to Thailand to encourage displaced Karen people from Myanmar who have been in refugee camps or villages at the Thai border, some for decades. There are a number of Anglican congregations among these Karen people. While in SE Asia, the team: visited churches in Singapore and the Thai border; visited and encouraged young Karen children living far from their parents in boarding houses so they can attend school; and spent time with Karen high school students at a boarding school near the border, both teaching and befriending them. Bishop Stephen also was able to teach Karen Bible School students. Please pray for the Karen people and the work of the church on the border.
While in SE Asia, Bishop Stephen also visited the Dioceses of Singapore, Sabah, and Western Malaysia and met with diocesan and/or assistant bishops and deans. Bishop Stephen also brought greetings from ACNA and ANiC to Archbishop-elect Ng Moon Hing (SE Asia).
Bishop Trevor’s report
This summer Bishop Trevor Walters co-led an Anglican Leadership Outward Bound course in Colorado with rectors of some of ACNA’s larger churches. In mid-October, he will be among the delegates representing the ACNA at the GAFCon Primates meeting in Tunisia. And in mid-December, he is again serving as mediator at the second meeting of ACNA and Anglican Mission (AMiA) leaders in Atlanta, GA. You can stay abreast of our bishops’ activities on the ANiC website.
Southern Ontario ladies gather, October 17
Saturday, October 17, 9:30am to 2pm, St George's (Burlington, ON) is hosting the ANiC Regional Women's Fall Day Apart in Southern Ontario. The gathering is in St George’s lovely new building at 4691 Palladium Way. The speaker, Monica Harper, will discuss the theme “Being the hands and feet of Jesus”. You can register on the St George’s website. The $25 fee includes lunch.
National Day of Prayer for Canada, October 2
Our church planting partner, C2C Network Canada, is calling us to set aside October 2 (10/2) as a National Day of Prayer for the nation of Canada. They write, “Many of you have joined the 10:02 prayer movement by setting your alarms each day as a reminder to pray in response to Jesus’ command in Luke 10:2. As we all know, the Canadian mission-field is an increasingly challenging frontier for ministry, and the need for 1,000s of harvest workers is very real! As we come up to the calendar date of October 2 we invite you to join us for a National Day of Prayer for the Harvest.” You can download a pdf from the C2C website and join us in praying!
Celebrating our Queen
Bishop Charlie Masters wrote ANiC members and clergy this last week asking for special prayers of thanksgiving to God for the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II who, on September 9 became the longest reigning monarch of Britain - and of Canada. He wrote, “As the 'Defender of the Faith" and "Supreme Governor of the Church of England", she holds a special place in the hearts of all Anglicans. God has graciously answered our sung prayer:
"God save our gracious Queen, Long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen .
Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, God save the Queen."
Speakers named for AMMiC’s conference
The Rev Canon David Short is one of the keynote speakers at the Asian and Multicultural Ministries’ conference, October 16-17. The event, which will be held at Regent College on the UBC campus in Vancouver, will also feature the Rev Dr Craig Smith from Carey Theological College (Vancouver) and The Rev Warren Lai from Tyndale University College and Seminary (Toronto). The conference will focus on “Equipping leaders for two generations ministry in the Asian/Chinese Canadian Churches”. For more information, see the AMMiC website.
ANiC’s Catechism task force would love to hear what you are doing in your parish with the ACNA’s new catechism. Currently, the task force is developing and piloting training materials using the new catechism. So, knowing how you are using it would be of great help. Please email the Rev Ben Roberts. For more information on this Catechism task force, see the ANiC website.
St George’s (Burlington, ON) launches its “Centre for Public and Biblical Theology”
On September 27, The St. George’s Centre for Public and Biblical Theology was launched in Burlington, ON under the leadership of the Rev Dr Craig Bartholomew, scholar in residence. The Centre will host international seminars for biblical scholars, as well as workshops for clergy and lay people. According to the St George’s website, it “…will be based on the Kuyperian tradition of Christian faith informing all of life, including the arts, politics, music, and culture.”
Saint Matthew’s School of Life and Ministry begins fall courses
In Abbotsford, BC, Saint Matthew’s School of Life and Ministry begins classes again with an eclectic mix of courses, from Catechism to a course on the influential 19th century author George MacDonald. Guest speakers in the seniors series will include Dr Jim Houston and Bishop Don Harvey. In addition, the October 30-31 weekend features a workshop on “Latino Life, Latino Faith”.
November 8 – International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
It is estimated that, on average, a Christian is martyred for his/her faith every five minutes. For information and free resources to help mobilize your church to pray, see the website: www.idop.ca.
Get involved in 40 Days for Life
Anglicans for Life Canada director, the Rev Vicky Hedelius encourages us to get involved in the 40 Days for Life campaign which has just begun. It is a community-based “focused pro-life campaign with a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil to end abortion.” Learn more on the website and use the drop-down menu to find a location near you.
Good Shepherd (Chinese) Calgary is looking for apart-time evangelist. The position requires proficiency in both Cantonese and English; fluency in Mandarin would be nice too! See more details on the AMMiC website. Applications deadline is October 31.
Saint Matthew's (Abbotsford, BC) is looking for an executive assistant to perform a broad range of administrative functions. Competency online is required and familiarity with Anglicanism is desired. Check the church website for details.
Immanuel (Vancouver) needs a part-time administrator.
ANiC Council is still accepting nominations for two lay positions. Nomination deadline is September 30 – so hurry! See the ANiC website for details.
Parish and regional news
Ascension (Langley, BC) has some amazing – and encouraging – news… as well as a prayer request. The rector, Bishop Ron Ferris, shared with the congregation that an anonymous donor would like to contribute $500,000 to their building campaign, if they are able to undertake a project in the near future. Given the sky-high real estate prices in the Vancouver area, this small congregation is looking for creative ways to move ahead. The congregation will meet on September 24 to pray and consider options. They would really value our prayer support as well.
Church of the Messiah (Ottawa, ON) is marking the congregation’s 150th anniversary on October 22 with a fitting celebration. Rector, Canon George Sinclair, write, “We will mark this occasion by having a special service on Sunday Oct 25 at 10am. We will: use a liturgy similar to what would have been used 150 years ago; sing hymns written prior to 1865; encourage people to either dress as if it was 1865 OR to "dress up in their Sunday best". Afterwards we will have a light meal. All are welcome.” George+ tells the story of the church on his blog.
Good Shepherd (St Catharines, ON) – Please pray for Good Shepherd’s rector, the Rev Jim Carriere, who had open heart surgery September 4. He is now home and recovering. But Jim+ and Jude ask for our prayers. Please remember the congregation as well.
Christ The King (Toronto, ON) will hold its service of institution and induction for its new rector, the Rev Keith Ganzer on October 4 at 4pm – followed by a reception. All are most welcome to come and celebrate with Christ The King. See the invitation for details. Please join us in praying that God will use this parish to proclaim the Good News to Canada’s largest city.
The Table (Victoria, BC) is in need of particular prayer. Just when the church is growing, requiring a branching out into two “Tables” – Table North under the Rev Andy Withrow and Table South under the Rev Josh Wilton, plus The Table’s Peninsula Project in Brentwood Bay under the Rev Jonathan Ellis – the pastors and their families find themselves enmeshed in health and housing concerns. Please pray for the needed increased donations to finance the multiple locations, for good health for the priests and their families, and for God’s provision of suitable housing for all three priests and their families.
The Open Gate (Victoria, BC) held a very successful VBS Soccer Camp at a local stadium, August 18-22. The Rev Andrew Hewlett reports “We had 80 Kids registered... We were blessed to have head coach Brian Robinson, a dedicated follower of Christ and a member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame. The kids learned soccer skills and heard the good news of Jesus Christ.”
New Song (Port Perry, ON) is offering a Parent Café – a free monthly drop-in evening for parents to learn from experts and from each other in a supportive environment.
St Peter’s Fireside (Vancouver, BC) has created another great video
St Luke’s (Pembroke, ON) also reports an encouraging VBS this summer with 47 children hearing bible stories, singing and worshiping , enjoying crafts and games and lots of fun and, of course, yummy snacks. About ½ of the children came to the concluding VBS Sunday. The church planned to invite its entire neighbourhood to its church picnic on September 13 for games and a barbeque!
Church of the Ascension (Langley, BC) reports, “Last Sunday [August 30], 54 people came to Ascension in spite of the aftermath of the worst wind storm in 9 years! The Preston Centre [where Ascension meets] was closed due to the power outage, but that didn't stop us. We had a brief service in the sunshine on the patio. Containers of coffee even appeared during our prolonged fellowship time!”
Immanuel Church (Vancouver, BC) is meeting in a new location – the First Church of the Nazarene. Services are on Sundays at 4:30pm at 998 -19 Ave E, Vancouver.
Church of All Nations’ New Eden gardening ministry had a good year despite the drought experience on the west coast. They will be celebrating New Eden’s 3rd harvest with a celebration Sunday, October 4 at Good Shepherd Vancouver. Learn more on the website.
St John’s (Vancouver, BC) just unveiled its new website.
Ottawa area – Another terrific apologetics conference is coming to Ottawa November 13-14.The theme of the 2nd annual Dig & Delve conference is “Being Human:Scientifically? Uniquely? Sexually? Freely? REALLY?” The powerhouse line-up speakers include Dr John Patrick, Biochemist Fazale (Fuz) Rana and Professor John Stackhouse. Check out the website and go!
BC Lower Mainland residents may be interested in a free lecture series this fall offered by Dr Phillip Wiebe (a member of Church of the Ascension and a philosophy professor at Trinity Western University) called "Competing Paradigms: Christianity and Naturalism ". The lectures, which explore the interface between Christian faith and philosophy, began September 15 and will be held every Tuesday evening from 7-8:30pm throughout the fall at Trinity Western University, in the Robert N Thompson building, room 125. For more information, contact PWiebe@twu.ca.
Got parish news? Let the rest of us know about it! Email Marilyn.
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news
More liturgical texts officially authorized
Back in June, the ACNA College of Bishops officially authorized the use of four new working liturgical texts. Links to these new rites for Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation – together with discussion – can be found on the ACNA website. More working texts are being prepared and will come before the College of Bishops next year. Integration of feedback will be the task force’s focus in 2017 and 2018 with the goal of having a new Prayer Book finalized by 2019. ANiC’s Archdeacon Darrell Critch is a member of ACNA’s Liturgy & Common Worship Task Force.
Tracking our Primate
In late August, ACNA’s Archbishop Foley Beach was in Nairobi at Archbishop Eliud Wabukala's Divine Conference and preached at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi. This followed formal ecumenical meetings in Moscow where he and an ACNA delegation received “an extraordinary reception” by Patriarch Kirill and leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church.
United Adoration songwriting retreat
Are you a songwriter or a wannabe songwriter? Checkout the ACNA’s songwriters retreat on September 24-26 in Oak Park, IL. Learn about it from someone who went last year.
Short-term mission leaders’ training offered by SAMS in Pennsylvania
SAMS (The Society of Missionaries and Senders) is hosting their annual Short-Term Mission Leaders’ Training, November 13-15 in Ambridge, PA. Learn more on their website.
PEARUSA transferring officially to ACNA from Rwanda
The Anglican Church of Rwanda will legally transfer the networks of PEARUSA (formerly part of the Anglican Mission in America or AMiA) to the ACNA by June 2016. The networks of PEARUSA will become dioceses within ACNA, while an affinity ministry association will be formed to continue their ministry links with Rwanda. The Province of Rwanda began planting churches in North America in 2000 in response to the crisis the US and Canada. The statement on the ACNA website notes that, “…clergy ordained in the Province of Rwanda prior to June 2016 may remain canonically resident in Rwanda or apply for canonical transfer to the ACNA. Those who remain resident in Rwanda will be licensed by the ACNA and under its singular authority”. Learn more on the ACNA website.
Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and Anglican Communion news
Archbishop of Canterbury rethinks Anglican Communion; Calls Primates gathering
The Archbishop of Canterbury has invited the 37 Primates of the Anglican Communion to Lambeth in January to consider the future of the Anglican Communion. The announcement adds that ACNA's Archbishop Foley Beach will be invited to part of the discussions. You can also read The Guardian's take on this announcement.
Archbishop Beach confirmed that he had received a personal phone call from Archbishop Welby inviting him to the meeting. He said, “If my fellow GAFCON Primates accept the invitation, and I am expecting that they will, then I have also pledged to attend. The challenges facing the Anglican Communion over the last couple of decades are no secret, and it is time to face them. Previous meetings of the Communion, from the 1998 Lambeth Conference to the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, gave clear direction for maintaining and restoring order within the Communion. Unfortunately, these resolutions were not followed which further divided the Communion… I ask your prayers for myself, as well as the other GAFCON and Global South Primates, as we continue to seek to evangelize, proclaim the Gospel, and work for the restoration of the Anglican Communion's life and witness.
The official GAFCon statement which followed Archbishop Beach’s statement clearly said that the discussion that was needed was not one regarding structures and relationships, but one focused on theology and truth. The statement said, in part:
"We [GAFCon] are now a global family standing together to restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion with strength and unity that comes from our common confession of the Lord Jesus Christ, not merely from historic institutional structures… the GAFCON Primates will prayerfully consider their response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter. They recognize that the crisis in the Communion is not primarily a problem of relationships and cultural context, but of false teaching which continues without repentance or discipline.
"Consistent with this position, they have previously advised the Archbishop of Canterbury that they would not attend any meeting at which The Episcopal Church of the United States or the Anglican Church of Canada were represented, nor would they attend any meeting from which the Anglican Church in North America was excluded.
"It is therefore of some encouragement that the Archbishop of Canterbury has opened the door of this meeting to the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Foley Beach. He has already been recognized as a fellow primate of the Anglican Communion by Primates representing GAFCON and the Anglican Global South…”
"In the end, our confidence is not in any structural reorganisation, useful though it may be, but in the saving grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and in the abiding truth of the Bible. That is what empowers us and this is the assurance we bring to our broken world."
Canon Phil Ashey agrees that the division is caused by sin and can only be bridged by repentance. He concludes. “What brings us together as Anglicans isn’t shared mission or endless indaba. What brings us together as Anglicans is a common confession of Jesus Christ as Lord as revealed in the Scriptures”. A Washington Post article by Trevin Wax offers one of the best overviews of the situation, with historical context and clear-sighted analysis.
The Anglican Church of Canada’s Archbishop Fred Hiltz, suggests in an Anglican Journal article that Archbishop Foley Beach’s role would be marginalized to a pre-meeting gathering. The Anglican TV commentators offer an interesting discussion about the proposed gathering. And David Virtue advises the GAFCon Primates that there is nothing to be gained by attending the meeting.
In his September pastoral letter, GAFCon chairman, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala discussed the telling difference between Archbishop Welby’s vision – saving the Communion as an institution by loosening bonds and distancing relationships – vs the GAFCon vision of drawing closer together in love and unity as we all press in to Christ through growing obedience and discipleship.
GAFCon Primates provide episcopal cover for Central American & Mexican churches
In response to a direct request from the Caminemos Juntos 2014 gathering, the Primates Council of the Global Anglican Fellowship Conference have appointed Bishop Miguel Uchoa of the Diocese of Recife to provide episcopal coverage and support for Anglican churches that have left their original diocese over matters of Biblical orthodoxy. This provides connection episcopal ministry for churches that have been isolated and alone and opens the door to church planting in those countries. This news was announced at the Caminemos Juntos 2015 gathering last month. “Caminemos Juntos began with a vision for a church planting movement among Latinos in North America. Now, with the blessing of GAFCON, this vision has expanded to seeing a united movement of Latino churches throughout the Americas.” Learn more about this year’s gathering on the ACNA website. Caminemos Juntos 2016 will be held August 4-6 in San Diego.
Archbishop Justin Welby opposes assisted suicide
England’s Members of Parliament convincingly rejected assisted suicide legislation by nearly a three to one margin. Archbishop Justin Welby was among those opposing the legislation, saying that he was “…concerned that a change in the current law on assisted suicide would have detrimental effects both on individuals and on our society.” In a well-written article in The Guardian, he notes three objections: First it turns on its head societies’ long-held view on suicide and the role of doctors; second, it would put thousands of vulnerable people at greater risk of abuse; and third, over time it would fundamentally alter our society, making it less compassionate.
Canterbury advocates for generous refugee response
Speaking in England’s House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby called the government’s proposed cap of 20,000 refugees a “very slim response” and said that churches in England were working urgently to mobilize a significant response to the refugee crisis. He also drew attention to the discrimination against Christian refugees within the UN’s refugee system.
International news in brief
Elections - The Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) has issued an election resource – entitled Compassion, Justice and Reason: An Anglican Approach to Election 2015. Similarly, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has prepared an election kit outlining key issue and how churches can engage in those issues without running afoul of electoral rules. A summary of the dos and don’ts is also posted on the Church for Vancouver website.
Anglican Church of Canada – The Anglican Church of Canada’s Commission on the Marriage Canon issued its report, paving the way for a resolution on the blessing of same-sex marriage to be passed at General Synod 2016. The report creates theological rationale for same-sex marriage and gives three options for General Synod 2016. The draft motion to be placed before synod will include a conscience clause. The resolution must be accepted by a two-thirds majority at two consecutive General Synods, before coming into effect on the following January 1. So, the earliest if would come into effect is January 2020.
Regarding the conscience clause, a statement from the ACoC Council of General Synod notes, “Legal experts informed the commissioners that in their opinion, there is “significant risk” that the proposed resolution would be subject to a legal challenge. However, they argued that the Anglican Church of Canada would have strong defence against such challenges, which would be unlikely to succeed due to the “prevailing jurisprudence” and clear statements by the Supreme Court of Canada in its same-sex Reference.”
When the media asked for comment, ANiC’s Bishop Charlie Masters said:
“It is sad to see the accelerating deterioration within the Anglican Church of Canada, although, for years now, liturgies for the blessing of same-sex unions have been officially authorized in many Anglican Church of Canada dioceses. The commission’s report - including each of the three options offered, however nuanced - will further normalize this false teaching and practice, and undermine those in that Church who are committed to remaining true to the Bible’s clear teaching about Marriage and human sexual expression.
“I pray for those who have struggled to remain faithful within the Anglican Church of Canada and I plead with Anglicans to study the Scriptures and submit to Christ’s call for the church to be a counter-cultural light offering hope to an increasingly dark world.”
For more background, see:
Anglican Journal – Same-sex marriage ‘theologically possible,’ says commission
Anglican Journal - CoGS members react to marriage commission report
Anglican Journal – Read report in its entirety, marriage commission urges Anglicans
Anglican Journal - CoGS drafts resolution to change the marriage canon
Anglican Journal - Hiltz on same-sex marriage: ‘I do not want the church to divide over this’
The ACoC’s Diocese of the Arctic hopes to retire by year-end its remaining $723,000 debt for reconstruction of St Jude’s, it cathedral. The church building was destroyed by arsonist a decade ago and rebuilt at a cost of more that $10-million.
The former Archdeacon of the ACoC’s Diocese of Brandon, Noah Njegovan, has pleaded not guilty of defrauding the diocese. The diocese is suing him for $350,000.
An article detailing the decline in membership in the ACoC Diocese of Quebec notes that there are only five full-time remunerated priests in the entire diocese.
Euthanasia - LifeSiteNews reports that “The Canadian Medical Association has approved a policy allowing Christian doctors to avoid referring patients to colleagues they know would help them die.” However, Quebec’s health minister is reported to have threatened to discipline doctors if they refuse to provide assisted suicide once it becomes legal December 10. And the 29 provincial hospices which have said they would not participate in ending patients’ lives face possible loss of public funding.
Quebec is preparing to make assisted suicide legal December 10. Draft regulations have been released and roundly condemned for offering inadequate safeguards for the disabled and elderly. The regulations also seem to contain no provision for doctors’ conscience rights. Quebec’s professional medical regulatory body has published euthanasia “how to” manuals for doctors, including a listing of the contents of death kits to be issued by pharmacists. The government of Quebec also plans to allow falsified death certificates in cases of euthanasia to hide the true cause of death – removing public accountability, hampering oversight, and increasing the probability of abuse without consequences
You may express your views and make a difference in the current public debate by participating in online surveys. Learn more here.
Abortion – Linda Gibbons, a dogged pro-life activist, is back in prison. She has served close to 11 years – more time than many violent criminals – for the crime of persistently and peaceably walking in front of abortuaries. Christie Blatchford, writing in the National Post, details the absurdity of it all and concludes: “How is it that she can be so harshly punished simply for exercising freedom of expression? Oh yes, because in this country, when people disapprove of what you say, they will criminalize the speech.”
The independent Diocese of South Carolina under Bishop Mark Lawrence was in state Supreme Court on September 23. The case was appealed by the US Episcopal Church and its affiliates after lower courts awarded diocesan property to Bishop Lawrence’s diocese. Read more on the diocese website. The hearing outraged both Canon Phil Ashey and Alan Haley – both lawyers – because of the blatant bias of one judge on the panel who had been part of the group opposing Bishop Lawrence and his diocese. In light of this litigation and other TEC initiated suits, Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council calls on Archbishop Justin Welby to have the courage to call TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada to account.
Kevin Kallsen and legal expert Alan Haley discuss the Supreme Court Oberfeller decision and the jailing of Kim Davis, an elected official who, subsequent to the decision, refused to sign her name to marriage documents. Haley expands on this story, offering a perspective you won’t find in mainstream media.
Anglican Ink reports that “A Brazilian appeals court has upheld a lower court decision granting the property of the Diocese of Recife to the rump group loyal to the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB)… the Bishop of Recife, the Rt. Rev. Miguel Uchoa, said the immediate effect of the ruling would be the loss of four churches. However, he and his colleagues would have to review the ruling and seek a way forward through prayer.”
England’s Parliament rejected a bill legalizing physician assisted suicide, a bill strongly opposed by the Church of England and Archbishop Justin Welby. The CoE issued a statement applauding the vote, saying "We believe that the proposals contained in the Assisted Dying Bill would have exposed already vulnerable people to increased risk. The vote in the House of Commons sends a strong signal that the right approach towards supporting the terminally ill is to offer compassion and support through better palliative care. We believe that all of us need to redouble our efforts on that front."
As the tortuous “Shared Conversations” on sexuality continue in the Church of England, Andrew Symes provides a synopsis of one meeting held in the Diocese of Oxford where Ian Paul made a particularly strong defense for the authority of Scripture.
Anglican Ink reports that the CoE Pensions Board announced it had “…issued £100 million of bonds, giving it access to long-term finance to purchase additional retirement properties, which will secure the future of clergy housing in retirement.”
48 Roman Catholic bishops and 10 cardinals from Africa have written an open letter demanding western powers stop their cultural colonization in Africa by imposing the west’s sexual revolution and “filthy campaigns that promote a civilization of death” as a condition of humanitarian aid. They write, “These political and economic pressures have but one objective: the drastic control and reduction of the African population, the planned destruction of marriage and the family.”
Bishop Moses Bukpe-Tabwaye (Gwagwalada) was kidnapped and on September 3. Although a ransom of about $200,000 US had been demanded at first, he was reported to have been released on September 8 without a ransom being paid.
It is reported that Boko Haran, the Islamic terrorists, target children for capture and conscription. “…nearly a thousand children [have been] abducted in the past 18 months alone… to work as child soldiers and porters, or to serve as “wives” of rebels and bear their children… But the 6-year-old uprising by Boko Haram militants, aiming to create a hardline Islamic state, has killed more than 13,000 people since 2009 and forced some 1.5 million others—half of them children—to flee to squalid and overcrowded camps…” A generation of children is being lost to severe psychological trauma, lack of education, and now growing disease and malnutrition because farming in the affected areas has been abandoned.
An Anglican Ink article offers an overview of the terms of the peace accord reached at the end of August and notes the important role the Church played in bringing about the peace deal and now in enacting the peace and rebuilding the nation.
A World Match Monitor report details the ongoing bombing of civilians in the Nuba Mountain and South Kordofan regions of Sudan by their own government. This area had been in dispute between the North and the South, but was abandoned by South Sudan when it succeeded. Now the largely Christian population has faced four years of indiscriminate bombing attacks, which have killed and maimed many, destroyed hospitals, schools, water wells, churches and homes. Many have fled, but others remain, trying to eke out a living in constant fear – while world powers look the other way.
Although western media is now largely ignoring Darfur – the non-Arab region in the west of Sudan – attacks by government-backed forces continue. The New York Times reports that Human Rights Watch has issued a report documenting the recent atrocities. Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court several years ago on charges of genocide for earlier atrocities in Darfur.
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) website has a good report from Bishop Grant LeMarquand (Horn of Africa) detailing how ARDF’s fundraising has benefited the Church and South Sudanese refugees in the Gambella area of Ethiopia. He details how they have been able to purchase food, clothing and other needed items for refugees, as well as how the local church is helping establish and encourage churches forming in the refugee camps.
Withmore attempts to smear the Ugandan Anglican Church for its support of the countries law regarding homosexual activity, Anglican Mainstream has published some facts to set the record straight. These facts include the Church’s behind-the-scenes role in opposing the death penalty and moderating the bill before it was passed and the fact that the new laws are actually softer than the laws previously in place.
After five months of political unrest and fighting, western aid is being pulled. All Africa reports that, with more than 50 per cent of the nation’s budget derived from foreign aid, the people of this country – which is consistently ranked among the five poorest in the world – face an even harsher future. The president, whose controversial reelection precipitated the crisis, is said to forging ties with China, Russia and Turkey. The Anglican Church in Burundi has been active in seeking to build peace. The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Diocese of Matana is using football (soccer) and discussions in youth associations to advance peace efforts.
Anglican Ink reports that, at the request of Christian leaders in the country, “The President of Zambia has declared 18 Oct 2015 a day of fasting, repentance and prayer for the Central African Nation… in response to the social and economic crisis”.
Myanmar, a predominately Buddhist nation, has passed a new law restricting religious conversion.
South East Asia
The Rt Rev Datuk Ng Moon Hing has been elected Primate of the Anglican Church of South East Asia, effective February 2016, succeeding Archbishop Bolly Lapok. While serving as Primate, he will continue to serve as Diocesan Bishop of West Malaysia.
The Clarion Project reports that Christians left destitute due to devastating floods have been ignored by the government and told by Muslim aid agencies to either convert to Islam or become bonded servants (modern-day slaves). In many other ways, Christians are persecuted and denied justice. Mission Network News reports that, each year, thousands of Christian and other minority girls and young women are kidnapped and forced into marriage and conversion to Islam. The families get no support from the policy and no justice in the courts.
The Gatestone Institute reports that Christian leaders in Pakistan have been warned by the military that Islamic State-affiliated terrorists are planning mass attacks on Christians and Christian institutions in the near future. These are thought to be counterattacks in response to the success of the Pakistani military’s campaign to week out the terrorists. While on heightened alert, Christian leaders are encouraged with the improved relations with the military.
While the world’s attention is focused on the flood of Middle Eastern refugees, South Asian Christian leaders are begging the west to open the doors to persecuted Pakistani Christians.
Elam Ministries, which focused on Iran,reports that the church there is among the fastest growing in the world. Estimates of the number of Muslim-background Christians in Iran range from hundreds of thousands to nearly one million – including a number originally from Afghanistan. In 1979, when the Shah was deposed, Christians in Iran were thought to have numbered around 500. This report lists reasons for the growth.
Christians remaining in areas captured by the Islamic State are forced to abide by stifling rules or face death. Christian Today reports that “These commandments, directly issued by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, specifically prohibit practising the Christian faith, including the establishment of churches, the displaying of crosses, and saying Christian prayers out loud.” Christians must pay the crippling jizyah tax which is imposed on non-Muslims and the women must dress according to Islamic dictates. In spite of this, the Catholic Herald reports that Syria’s Christian leaders are urging Christian young people not to flee the country, fearing the exodus will mark the end of the Church in the region. A reported 4-million Syrians have fled over the last four years. Other estimates place the number of Syrian refugees at 12-million.
The Christian Post reports that “Anglican leader Justin Welby, as well as Christian persecution watchdog groups, have warned that U.K. government policies on granting asylum are discriminating against Christians who are avoiding entering formal refugee camps populated by Sunni Muslims amid fears of attacks by Islamic radicals.” Lord Carey also is concerned that the British government’s policy “…inadvertently discriminates against the very Christian communities most victimised by the inhuman butchers of the so-called Islamic State."
Queen Chaplain, the Rev Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden offers a different perspective, expressing the concern that the influx of Muslims may have long-term unintended consequences for Europe.
Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad, meanwhile, is concerned that the most needy refugees are overlooked. He said, "I am disappointed by Europe's response to the refugee crisis. Not enough is being done to help the most vulnerable, particularly those who have fled religious persecution… I would like to see more being done for the thousands of refugees, particularly Iraqi refugees, who are stranded in Jordan and other countries without any hope for the future." His view is shared by the Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad, Louis Raphael I, who says, “I can confirm that it is not just displaced people who are fleeing. Priests tell me that there are also people who aren't too badly off financially, people who work at banks for example, who are leaving. People who don't really need to leave. They feel that a window of opportunity has opened up and they fear this window will soon close so they take advantage of it. Meanwhile, those who are poorer aren't even considering leaving."
Resources for ministry
Those in Ontario will be interested in two full-day conferences on preaching, both sponsored by Heritage Theological Seminary. Ramesh Richard, author of the well-regarded Preparing Expository Sermons, will speak October 1 in Cambridge and October 2 in Ottawa. For registration and information see here. There will be companion events for ministry wives as well.
Resources for Christian living
Bible study series
Dr J I Packer is editor of a new series of Bible study guides, each covering a book of the Bible in 12 weeks. So far, 12 study guides have been completed.
Omar Khadr: the rest of the story (to be continued)
You likely know the name; now learn about the connection to a Christian college in the latest edition of Faith Today.
Tim Challies says the app PrayerMate revitalized his prayer life and “made all the difference”.
Canon Dr Chris Sugden talks about what is really driving the push for assisted suicide. (No, it’s not fear of pain.)
A violent God
Most of us struggle with the wrathful God seen in the Old Testament. This article helpful walks us through to a better understanding.
When should I leave my church?
Tim Challies offers advice.
How should Christians vote?
Bishop Bill Atwood pulls no punches in this article.
Just for fun
"We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because He holds tightly to us." ~ R C Sproul
And now a Word from our Sponsor
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17 ESV
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