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  ANiC Newsletter: 1 October, 2012 ... pdf version

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ANiC news

ANiC and ACNA events calendar
October 7 – Celebration & launch of newly merged congregations at Church of Our Lord, Victoria
October 12 – Service in Edmonton to recognize transfer to ANiC of the Rev Robert Gomowed
October 14 – The Rev Denys Scully to be ordained a priest at Resurrection (Brandon, MB)
October 18 -21 – Clergy Retreat for New England Archdeaconary in Kennebunk, Maine
November 4 – Pastor Shafeghat (Christ the Redeemer, North Vancouver) to be ordained a deacon
November 14-16 – ANiC Synod and episcopal election in Ottawa
March 4-6 – ACNA’s 2013 Anglican 1000 church planting summit in Wheaton, IL
March 12-14 – 2013 ANiC Clergy Retreat at Cedar Springs, Washington
April 18-19 – Regional ANiC assemblies in both Vancouver and Burlington
May 13-15 – ACNA clergy women’s retreat in Woodbridge, Virginia
October 2013 – GAFCon 2 (specific dates and location to be announced)

Church merger brings together congregations from two ACNA dioceses
On Sunday, October 7, Bishop Donald Harvey will be in Victoria to inaugurate – with much joy and thanksgiving – a new church comprising two previously separate congregations. The Reformed Episcopal Church of Our Lord and ANiC’s Christ the King are joining together and taking on the name of Church of Our Lord (or COOL for short). COOL will be an ANiC congregation with the blessing of Reformed Episcopal Bishop Charles Dorrington. The clergy of COOL were welcomed into ANiC earlier this summer, transferring from the Reformed Episcopal Church Diocese of Western Canada and Alaska.

COOL’s long-time rector the Rev Dr Rod Ellis will serve as co-rector of the new church together with the Ven Ron Corcoran, who has been Christ the King’s rector since its inception. Over the past few weeks, clergy and staff have been busy moving into – and making room for – shared office space in COOL’s historic building.

COOL has a long and venerable history dating back to 1874. Last year, COOL graciously allowed ANiC to use their historic church building for our synod in Victoria.

A big “Welcome” to all those who have joined ANiC through this merger.

Welcoming a growing Victoria church plant and its priests
The Table, an innovative church plant in Victoria, BC was welcomed into ANiC recently. The rector and associate priest, the Revs Josh Wilton and Andy Withrow were also given ANiC licences by Bishop Don. The Table was previously associated with the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA), but has worked closely with both ANiC and Reformed Episcopal churches in Victoria.

The Table launched about two years ago and now has ten home groups with about 130 members. The congregation, which usually meets as a larger group every other Sunday afternoon in Church of Our Lord’s facilities, is largely comprised of students, young professionals and young families. Many of these have come to Christ through the ministry of The Table. Because of the youthfulness of its congregation, The Table depends on external donors for more than half of its budget. For more information on this exciting ministry see The Table’s website. (Be sure to watch the videos!)

Pray for Synod 2012
The prayer for synod prepared by the Rev Garth Hunt is now available in several formats and can be downloaded from our website. A bulletin insert version is available, as are full-page and small card-sized versions. Bishop Don is eager that everyone keep a copy of the prayer handy to remind us to pray often for this pivotal moment in our history when we elect a coadjutor who will succeed Bishop Don Harvey when he retires in June 2014.

Our keynote speaker at the synod dinner on November 15th will be Bishop Julian Dobbs, who will discuss the rise, radicalization and trajectory of Islam.

An agenda will be posted soon on the ANiC website.

ARDFC launches a new project in the Diocese of Recife, Brazil
With God’s help and the generous support of people across Canada, ARDFC has been able to send $180,000 to fund four projects on three continents since our inception in 2010. Now, with all the funds raised for our two microfinance projects – in Peru and Burma (Myanmar) – we are launching a new project, this time in South America.

Our goal is to raise $61,600 to build a training centre in a poor area of northeast Brazil. This Centre, which will be known as the Anglican Center of Holistic Mission, will be built adjacent to Christ the Liberator Anglican Church, a parish in the Diocese of Recife. Once complete the classroom complex will house an educational and vocational training centre, as well as a mission centre. It will be used to teach unemployed people new marketable skills, provide children and youth with literacy and educational classes, and train lay missionaries to take the Good News to the poor and unreached in the interior of Brazil. Learn more about this project on our website.

Facebook – For those with Facebook accounts, ARDFC recently established a Facebook page as well. Why not stop by and “like” us? Our thanks to Fr Bill Klock for creating the page.

Board – The ARDFC board welcomed several new members this summer: Ed Lewis (Hamilton, ON), Victoria Huyer (Ottawa, ON) and the Rev Bill Klock (Courtney, BC).

Mission trip planned to explore partnerships with Anglican churches in Cuba
Clergy and church leaders are invited to apply to accompany Bishop Trevor Walters on a mission trip to Cuba, 1-12 February 2013. Bishop Trevor says, “This trip is open to leaders from ANiC parishes which are open to establishing a financial partnership with a Cuban Anglican church.” There is no cost to the individual; Hungry for Life – a mission agency with a heart for promoting direct relationships between Canadian Christians and those in developing countries – is both organizing and fully sponsoring the trip.

The churches in Cuba have been planted through the efforts of the Reformed Episcopal Church Diocese of Western Canada and Alaska and particularly Bishop Charles and Claudia Dorrington’s faithful ministry. Bishop Charles says,
“God has blessed the work in Cuba with tremendous growth and our diocese welcomes the partnership of ANiC churches in sharing with us in both the financial support and spiritual blessing of this ministry.”

Application forms are posted on the ANiC website. For more information email Bishop Trevor.

Parish and regional news
St Aidan’s (Windsor, ON) – The Rev Tom Carman reports that St Aidan’s is going through a rough patch, having recently lost key personnel as well as their rented office space. Please pray for St Aidan’s and that arrangements for new office facilities will be finalized.

St Hilda's (Oakville, ON) has chosen the Community Bible Study International (SBSI) course materials and class methodology in its quest to encourage parishioners to grow as Christ’s disciples. A pilot study of 1st John, offered in the spring of 2012, was very well received by the 20 participating members of the congregation. This fall, 24 parishioners are studying God's Amazing Book, a six-week course.

St George’s (Burlington, ON) will hold its 2012 Fall Youth Retreat on November 9-10 at Faith Mission in Campbellville. The event is for youth between 12 and 18 years old. Youth leaders are also welcome. For more information, see the church website.

Christ the King (Toronto, ON) has just started a podcast on iTunes for its weekly sermons. Check it out!

Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC) – The Rev Eric Thurston, Artizo’s director of training, is now also a part-time priest at Good Shepherd Vancouver, focusing on young adult and youth work, especially evangelism and discipleship. Good Shepherd has also joined St John’s Vancouver in providing spiritual and financial support to the Artizo Foundation and the 12 interns currently in the program. See the Artizo website to learn more about its ministry training 24 young adults for the work of the Gospel.

Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC) is hosting a special event on October 10 featuring the Rev Aaron Eime of Christ Church Jerusalem who will address the topic “The Gospel according to Moses”. All are welcome! For more information see the flyer.
Time: Oct 10 (Wednesday) at 7:30
Address: Good Shepherd, 189 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver

Cross Roads Peninsula Anglican Church (Saanich, BC) is hosting a multi-week study entitled “Why Israel” on Wednesday evenings presented by the Rev Sharon Hayton, formerly rector of The Open Gate, Victoria and now Executive Director of DVJ Canada,

St David’s the Faithful (Winnipeg, MB) now has a pastor. The Rev Denys Scully, who will be ordained a priest on October 14, moved to Winnipeg after completing theological studies at Nashotah House. He asks for prayer for health concerns, for God’s encouragement, for financial support needs, and for a meeting facility for worship services.

Resurrection Anglican Community (Kelowna, BC) will celebrate its official opening on October 28.

Eternal Hope Anglican (Carleton Place, ON) celebrated its first confirmation on September 30.

Faith Anglican (Embrun, ON) hosted the ordination of the Rev Liba Staznicky on September 30. She was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Don.

Cornerstone Anglican (Sarnia, ON) will be officially welcomed into ANiC by Bishop Charlie Masters at a service on October 7. The service will also officially induct and install their rector, the Rev Robert Roe.

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

Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news

ACNA Catechism
The ACNA website announces that
“The Anglican Church in North America’s Catechesis Task Force is committed to equipping clergy, congregations and families in the Province to meet the challenge of making disciples. “After a four-year process, the group is putting final touches on a draft Catechism and will present the 300-Question and Answer portion [which covers core beliefs] to the College of Bishops later this year so that Bishops can review and then discuss the document at their next meeting in January 2013.”

The Rev Dr Jack Gabig, Chair of the Task Force and Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, says,
“We are committed to the concept of teaching the basic doctrine and discipline of the faith within our Anglican tradition as a progressive journey for all ages, in all stages of life – to those baptized as infants and to those seeking to understand and embrace faith for the first time.” 

The ACNA Catechism builds on the foundation of Thomas Cranmer’s Catechism in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, expanding it to train multiple generations and to better address 21st century needs and our North American context.

Once the Catechism is finalized and approved for use in ACNA, the task force will turn its attention to how the Catechism will be used and will develop curricula for multi-generational use in congregations and church plants across ACNA.

Bronwyn Short, of St John’s Vancouver serves on the task force.

ACNA leaders hold second ecumenical meeting with Biblically faithful Lutherans
Representatives of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) met a second time to further the ecumenical relationship. Topics discussed included possible cooperation in local mission and service, shared involvement in church planting, cooperation in theological education and future work together.

ACNA blazing a trail for other evangelicals in wayward denominations
After hearing Archbishop Bob Duncan speak, a clergyman of the United Methodist Church recounts the history of the Anglican Church in North America and urges others of his denomination to also stand firm for orthodox theology and quickly deepen ties to the global church as they too may one day be forced to seek episcopal oversight from leaders outside North America.

Ecumenical Leadership Summit planned for Biblically faithful denominations
American Anglican Council (AAC) September 28 newsletter announced that the AAC “
…will be hosting an Ecumenical Leadership Summit of 30 Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian leaders on October 22-25 in Dallas, Texas. This October ecumenical summit will gather leaders from Lutheran Core, the Presbyterian Lay Committee, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, the Anglican Church in North America, the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, the Good News Methodists and the North American Lutheran Church. The group of 30 leaders, representing almost 600,000 evangelical and orthodox Christians in North America, is seeking convergence on common theological grounds for partnership and action together in areas of theology, engaging North American culture, mission, church planting and social witness…

“Already we have discerned at least two areas of mutual action: (1) sharing of resources/seminaries to prepare candidates for ministry in locations where they are unavailable to some of us, and (2) sharing of worship space when one of our congregations is displaced due to litigation with revisionist mainline leaders…

“Please pray for us as we come together to lay the foundations for Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians to come together around the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of all, engaging North American culture with a Christian worldview, planting churches and doing social witness and mission together - and all under the lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of his word!”

2013 Anglican1000 Church Planting Summit announces speakers
The next Church Planting Summit will be March 4-6 in Wheaton, IL. Confirmed plenary speakers include: author Alan Hirsch, church planter and pastor Darrin Patrick, and the Rev Dr Joel Scandrett who is involved in developing catechetical materials for ACNA.

Need inspiration? You can read a church planter’s story on the Anglican1000 website.

Testimonials wanted
The ACNA is looking for your perspective on what it means to you to be Anglican. Submissions should be 250 words or less and sent to Selected testimonials will be included in the next edition of the provincial magazine, The Apostle. You can see previous submissions in the May edition of the magazine.

Forming Anglican Campus Fellowship looking for participants
Writing on the Anglican1000 website, the Rev Canon Alan Hawkins, Vicar of Anglican1000, says,
“On September 5th & 6th, a group of eight leaders met in Atlanta to pray, seek wisdom and counsel, and take the steps toward the development of a collegiate ministries plan for the Anglican Church in North America. Our hope is to develop a plan to make inroads for the Gospel on the many campuses in North America, changing lives for Christ, and opening up a leadership pipeline that will provide for a healthy and fruitful future… We see the need and we have a vision, but we need your help. I’d like to invite YOU, laity or clergy, graduate or student, to join the conversation with us. The initial group of eight has already grown to more than 35 people spanning the ecclesiastical and geographic spectrum of the ACNA. We’d love your voice as we dream and scheme about how to effectively reach our college and university students. If you are interested in participating in this conversation, please send me an email. I’d love to hear from you!”

Calling Anglicans to stand for life
Anglicans for Life is looking for churches to take a stand and join other "Life-Affirming Churches" listed on its website.  The organization has seen a recent trend of people contacting them in search of Life-Affirming churches in their communities. Rectors are invited to submit your church for inclusion in the Anglicans for Life church registry. Information is on the website.

ACNA’s work among Hispanics grows
A lively second annual Hispanic Anglican Church Planting Conference was recently held in Fresno, CA. According to the ACNA website, “Currently there are approximately forty Hispanic Anglican congregations with new ones springing up all over North America.” For more information on the Hispanic church planting movement see:

The Falls Church property case to be considered by the Virginia Supreme Court
Anglican Ink reports that, “The Supreme Court of Virginia has directed The Falls Church to present oral argument to a writ panel on 16 October 2012 in support of its petition to throw out a lower court decision turning over its property to the Diocese of Virginia.” If the Court accepts the appeal, it will likely be heard in the first half of 2013.

According to legal expert Alan Haley, October 16 is also the date that “…the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in both the Fort Worth and the San Angelo appeals.

Other news in brief

As veteran Anglican reporter, George Conger notes, there’s more gloomy financial news from the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC). He writes, “A strict regime of cost cutting and layoffs has not cured the Anglican Church of Canada’s cash crunch, the primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz told members of the synod of the ecclesiastical province of Canada last week in Montreal.” Half way through its financial year, the ACoC was running a $900,000 deficit. The Anglican Journal says Archbishop Fred Hiltz attributed the shortfall mainly to lower than expected revenue from dioceses.

The ecclesiastical province of Canada – which is comprised of the ACoC’s seven eastern dioceses – is facing significant cuts and will examine amalgamating dioceses, possibly forming only three.

The Anglican Journal notes that the ACoC theological college in Saskatoon, the College of Emmanuel & St Chad, is suspending operations effective the end of June 2013. The college dates back to 1879. has an interesting article countering the mainline media spin on the recently released Canada census data. It reports, that the data actually shows that the traditional family is alive and well in Canada. “
Married-couple families actually increased 3.1%, and accounted for 67% of Census families… in 2011; most children live in married two-parent families (63.6%); 87.4% of children live with their biological/adopted families (married, common-law or simple step families).”

The article also notes that
“…the supposed “huge” 42.4% increase in same-sex couples since 2006 adds up to only 0.8% of all couples (married and common law). Even this 0.8% is not solid, as Statistics Canada included roommates, one or both reporting as married but to someone other than the roommate. This was a serious error. 67.5% of same-sex couple families are common-law, whereas 16.7% of all families are common-law. Only 12.6% of all couples with children were step families, while 49.7% of same-sex couple families were step families: the children being brought into these latter unions from previous heterosexual marriages.”

United States
Anglican Ink reports that Bishop Mark Lawrence (Episcopal Church Diocese of South Carolina) has written his diocese saying that he and the standing committee of the diocese had come to a decision about the diocese’s course of action – whether to stay aligned with the Episcopal Church – but that it was not prudent to openly discuss the decision. He asked members of the diocese
“…for your continued patience and prayers as we seek to deal wisely and carefully with a fluid situation that requires great discernment and sensitivity on a regular basis.” Bishop Lawrence then promised that he would “...communicate to you the details at the very earliest moment such a communication is prudent”.

The Church of England Nominations Committee tasked with selecting two candidate(s) for the next Archbishop of Canterbury is reported to be deadlocked and has not been able to come to a decision after three meetings. Peter Ould and Kevin Kallsen discuss the implications of this on a 3½ minute video. What will happen now is not known

Andrew Goddard, writing on Fulcrum, provides insight into how the Nominations Committee works, noting that there are 16 members of the committee and candidates requires 2/3 majority support – or 11 votes – to be forwarded to the Prime Minister. Anglican Ink notes that
“Two names will be presented to Prime Minister David Cameron – the recommended choice and an alternate. Unlike past archiepiscopal appointments, the Prime Minister is not expected to exercise a choice over the names and is likely to submit the recommended name to the Queen for approval.”

Time magazine provides profiles on three leading candidates: Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, Bishop Justin Welby (Durham), and Bishop Richard Chartres (London). Anglican Ink reports that it has heard that
“…the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres – whose chances for selection have risen sharply in the past few weeks –has been passed over for the post.”

Reform, a Biblically faithful fellowship within the Church of England has resolved, together with its members of General Synod, to oppose the current draft measure on women bishops that will come before synod in November. They said that the measure as currently worded, offers inadequate provision for those who believe the Bible teaches male headship in the family and in the Church.

MercatorNet reports that
“Two attempts to legalise same-sex marriage failed in Australia's Federal Parliament this week. On Wednesday, a private member's bill sponsored by a Labor MP, Stephen Jones, was defeated by 98 votes to 42 in the House of Representatives. And today, the Senate defeated another bill sponsored by three Labor Senators by 41 votes to 26.” Both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition voted with the majority against the bill.

New Zealand
According to an the Church of England Newspaper, the Diocese of Dunedin in the south of New Zealand could be forced to close more than half the parishes in the diocese.

The Diocese of Recife – where the ARDFC’s current project is located – has just elected a new diocesan bishop. Bishop-elect Miguel Uchoa will succeed Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti who was tragically murdered in February. The Diocese of Recife is a signatory of the Jerusalem Declaration and has suffered significant persecution by the revisionist Province of Brazil. ANiC’s moderator Bishop Don Harvey intends to attend his consecration on December 7.

Middle East
Responding to the violence in the Muslim world triggered by an obscure film which is reported to insult Muslims, Anglican bishops in North Africa and the Middle East, including Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis, have called on the UN to adopt an international declaration against religious defamation.

Commonweal magazine reports that the horror in Syria could intensify. It says,
“Syria is poised for the kind of tribal and sectarian bloodbath that followed the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, but on a much broader scale. And while this will be horrific for all segments of the Syrian population, it will likely be the final blow for Syria’s embattled Christians… In the political struggles of the Middle East, Christians—all too aware of their minority status—historically have survived by supporting whatever group has come to power. This has put them in the position of being reliant on the protection of ruthless dictators, a fact not lost on the Islamist extremists who have infiltrated the Syrian insurgency. UN observers have documented attacks against Christians singled out for retribution as a result of their pro-Assad affiliation. Along with other minorities who enjoyed the government’s protection, they have been expelled from their ancestral lands, and in some cases kidnapped, raped, and murdered.”

Prompted by the pleas of Bishop Bahati Bai-Busane Sylvestre from the Diocese of Bukavu, the Anglican Communion News Service is calling for more attention to the continuing humanitarian crisis in northeastern Congo as
“Thousands of people have fled from their homes, escaping violence: killings, rapes, looting, property destruction, and child recruitment… According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of humanitarian Affairs there are 320.000 people displaced only in North Kivu since April 2012.”

ACNA Bishop Julian Dobbs (Convocation of Anglicans in North America) has just returned from Nigeria where he witnessed the suffering of Christians who have been repeatedly targeted by Islamist attacks. VirtueOnline reports that he found whole congregations had been whipped out by the “butchery” and that 25 churches in one diocese had been destroyed, Bishop Dobbs, who will be a speaker at ANiC’s synod in November, created a 5-minute video report on the situation in Nigeria.

Anglican Ink reports that
“A Muslim mob has set fire to a church and looted its school… the Church of Pakistan and the security services police have confirmed the assault and looting of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and St Paul’s High School in Mardan… The Diocese of Peshawar reports the church was set alight and the homes of its two priests and the school’s headmaster were destroyed. The school, which serves the Christian and Muslim community, was ransacked and newly installed computers taken away by the mob.”

The Church of England Newspaper reports that “The Chin people of western Burma are denied religious freedom and are being coerced into abandoning their Christian faith and forced to convert to Buddhism by the state…” A report on the regime’s abuse of religious minorities, has documented “forced labour, torture, church demolitions, banning of Christian worship services and forced conversions to Buddhism.” While some conditions in Burma (Myanmar) have improved recently, religious oppression continues.

West Africa
West Africa has elected a new Primate, the Right Reverend Dr Solomon Johnson, who succeeds Archbishop Justice Akrofi.

The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Islamist terrorists hurled an explosive into a Sunday School classroom at St Polycarp Parish in Nairobi kiling one child and wounding six. Archbishop Eliud Wabukala appealed to Christians to overcome evil with good.

Soul food

Ministry resources
Giving – Bishop John Guernsey, who was a speaker at ANiC’s 2011 synod, has produced a DVD of his workshop on Christian Stewardship. The six-hour workshop is designed to equip church leaders and help them develop effective local stewardship programs as a key element of Christian discipleship. You can learn more on the ACNA website.

Preaching – Canada’s premier preaching conference will be held in the Vancouver area on November 26-29. You can learn more about the reFocus Preaching Conference which will be held at Willingdon Church in Burnaby on the conference website.

Discipling – The Gospel Project , led by general editor Ed Stetzer, is “a Bible study resource that invites Adults, Students, and Kids of all ages to dive deeply into God’s story of redemption through Jesus Christ”… The Gospel Project is designed to unify an entire church under a single Christ-centered curriculum with separate study plans for adults, students, and kids to ensure the appropriate depth and focus for each age group. In his endorsement video Matt Chandler explains the importance of the approach taken by the Gospel Project which understands the Bible, not as a collection of stories, but as a single story, “the story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. And it’s our story, too.”

Reading Calvin in a whole new light – Pastor Tim Keller, who has been a featured speaker at a recent Anglican1000 conference, recounts his surprising discoveries reading through John Calvin’s four-volumn,1500-page Institutes this year. He says, “I was amazed by several things. First, it is not just a textbook, but also a true work of literature… Second, it is nothing if not biblical. Even if you don’t agree with what Calvin is saying, you will always have to deal with one or two dozen texts of Scripture, carefully interpreted and organized as he presents his case to you… Third, the Institutes are, I think, the greatest, deepest, and most extensive treatment of the grace of God I have ever read… Last of all… Calvin’s writings are astonishingly “doxological.”… [D]espite the close reasoning of so many parts of the material, Calvin was all about the heart. … To furnish our hearts with more of that assurance [of God’s astonishing love for us] is the ultimate purpose of the Institutes, and I can say, personally, that it is fulfilling its purpose in me this year.”

Responding to persecution – Canon Phil Ashey has written a meditation on how Christians should respond to the growing persecution globally and in the west.

Conference on impacting your community – ReconneXions, a one-day Billy Graham Association seminar for church leaders, is coming to three Ontario communities: Brampton (October 31), Burlington (November 1) and Kitchener-Waterloo (November 2). For more information and to register, see the seminar website.

Muslim ministry conference – A Loving Muslims Together conference is planned for October 25-27 in Toronto. This conference is built around learning how to effectively introduce Muslims to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Courageous mothers, children of destiny
An interesting blog recounts the circumstances around the births of three high profile men: Ludwig van Beethoven, Justin Bieber and Tim Tebow and asks what the three have in common. The author summarizes, “Decisions to keep babies in circumstances in which many might opt for an abortion resulted in Beethoven, Justin Bieber and Tim Tebow.”

Biblical sexuality
A prominent evangelical discusses his decision to remain celibate in the face of same-sex attractions, as that is the clear Biblical teaching. Vaughn Roberts says that he is not defined by his sexual inclinations. Rather, he says his fundamental identity, is same as all Christians.
“All of us are sinners, and sexual sinners. But, if we have turned to Christ, we are new creations, redeemed from slavery to sin through our union with Christ in his death and raised with him by the Spirit to a new life of holiness, while we wait for a glorious future in his presence when he returns.”

A national survey conducted in England and reported by the Mailonline, found that
“Only one in every 66 people say they are gay or bisexual… The numbers are in contrast with the decades-old and widely accepted 10 per cent figure for the gay population… The Office of National Statistics survey found that 1.5 per cent of men say they are gay, 0.7 per cent of women say they are lesbian, and 0.4 per cent of people identify themselves as bisexual.”

Just for laughs
Two guys were fishing on a river. One catches the biggest catfish either one had ever seen. He says to his buddy, "We need to remember this spot so we can come back here again."

His buddy pulls a pen out of his pocket and makes a big 'X' on the bottom of the boat.

The first guy looks at his buddy, shaking his head in disgust. "What are you think? What if we bring a different boat next time?"

"There is a choice you make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you." ~ Coach John Wooden

And now a word from our sponsor
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

Hebrews 12:3-17 ESV

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