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  ANiC Newsletter: 29 October, 2012 ... pdf version

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ANiC news

ANiC and ACNA events calendar
November 3 – Southern Ontario ANiC men’s breakfast, Saturday, November 3 at 9am
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 with Canon Phil Ashey 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 (tentative)

God’s hand at work…
Victoria, BC – Living Edge, an outreach ministry to the disadvantaged and marginalized in Victoria’s Quadra district, has taken the step of becoming an official ANiC Project. This forming church, which is an offshoot of Church of Our Lord (Victoria), chose its name, with Bishop Don’s blessing, to signify the Gospel message of new life, especially for those living on the margins of society. The name also denotes a fresh sense of excitement and vitality. The congregation’s motto is Transforming community through experiencing Christ.

The congregation is led by Lay Pastor Neil Van Heerden. Each Sunday at 4:30pm the congregation meets in a large school gym at 950 Kings Rd, Victoria. After a service of praise and worship, preaching of the Word and prayer ministry, dinner is served by about 40 volunteers to the rest of the congregation – about 250 community members, often from difficult backgrounds. Mid-week food programs are also offered, and there are plans to eventually offer midweek ministries and worship services to deepen members’ spiritual growth. See the Living Edge website for more.

Edmonton, AB – Bishop Donald Harvey was in Edmonton on October 12 for a “service of recognition of ministry” which welcomed into ANiC the Rev Robert Gomowed and the congregation of Holy Trinity Filipino Anglican Church. More than 70 attended the launch service. Holy Trinity now meets at 3pm on Sundays in the chapel of the West Edmonton Mall with around 33 in regular attendance. The Rev Gomowad was a priest in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches in the Philippines before transferring to ANiC. Holy Trinity is ANiC’s first congregation in Edmonton. 

Winnipeg, MB – On October 14, Bishop Don was in Manitoba to ordain the Rev Denys Scully to the priesthood, install him at St David’s the Faithful, ANiC’s first congregation in the city of Winnipeg. About 70 attended the ordination which was held at Church of the Resurrection (Brandon). Photos are posted on the Church of the Resurrection website

Christmas is coming!
Christmas gift cards – For the third consecutive year, the Anglican Relief & Development Fund Canada (ARDFC), ANiC’s global aid partner, is selling Christmas gift cards to raise money for our current project. That project is helping the Diocese of Recife build an education and vocational training centre in a particularly poor community in northeastern Brazil. The Diocese of Recife plans to use this centre to train its church planters and missionaries in addition to offering basic education, literacy, and vocational training for children and unemployed adults in the community. You can learn more about the project on the ARDFC website.

This year cards come in four options - $10, $25 and $50 cards, as well as a card with no dollar amount printed on it. This "priceless" card is new this year and will allow the giver to choose the amount of their donation to ARDFC. (A minimum of $10 is requested.) 

For many parishes, the Christmas gift cards will be available for purchase through your local ARDFC ambassador. If your parish doesn't have an ARDFC ambassador or the cards aren't available to you locally, please contact Marilyn Jacobson to make arrangements to get cards.

Children’s Advent Calendar – ARDFC will be offering an Advent Calendar that will help children think about giving this Christmas. As they follow the daily activities, they will learn about Brazil and enjoy novel ways to collect “mites” in order to bless Brazilians through our ARDFC project. Watch for these calendars in November. Mite box labels can be printed from the ARDFC website.

Bishop Trevor leaves to minister in South Sudan
Bishop Trevor Walters, ANiC’s suffragan bishop for western Canada will be joining three others on a missions trip to South Sudan with SOMA USA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad). The team was invited by Bishop Abraham of Aweil Diocese in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. They will lead a large clergy conference as well as preach in churches on Sunday. The team will also show by their presence that the people there are not forgotten; we support our Christian brothers and sisters in Sudan and South Sudan. (To see a series of blog reports from another ACNA visitor to Sudan and several other African countries, you can begin with the first post.)

Bishop Trevor leaves October 30 and asks prayer for safety as they travel in a country still beset by violence, most perpetrated by the Islamist government of Sudan. Also please pray for Christians in both Sudan and South Sudan who continue to suffer so much persecution and hardship.

ANiC priest has book published
The Rev Dr Rod Ellis, co-rector of Church of Our Lord (Victoria, BC) has a new book billed as an
“interactive experience in Christian living” drawn from the life of King David in 1& 2 Samuel. For much more information and to order copies of King of Hearts, David: Man of Devotion, Living with Passion, Power and Purpose, see the church website or call 250-383-8915. Books will also be available for sale at synod.

In one of many endorsements, pastor and author Mark Buchanan writes, “Rod deftly weaves many threads – deep insight, pastoral wisdom, biblical depth, rich experience – on the loom of David’s story and Jesus’ story, and comes up with a majestic tapestry. For anyone wanting to lead better – actually, for anyone just wanting to live better – dwell a while in this wise book.”

Facebook users, it’s “like” this…
As Christians we are commanded to love each other. But, as 21st century Christians living in a world of social media, we also need to “like” each other. If your ANiC congregation has a Facebook page, please let us know so ANiC can “like” you. And please “like” ANiC’s Facebook page… and also ARDFC’s page. We promise not to overwhelm you with posts.

Finally, those managing ANiC congregation websites are urged to place a link to the ANiC website on your home page. If you need an ANiC logo for your website, please contact us.

You can see two cartoons created by the Rev Douglas Patstone. One honours the October 7th merger of the Christ the King and Church of Our Lord congregations. The other is a lighthearted take on ANiC bishops travel plans for synod in Ottawa (November 14-16).

Parish and regional news
ANiC Burlington office – ANiC staff members Jessica and Pat participated in a boot camp to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking in Canada… and they have the photo to prove it. Astonishingly, it is reported that more people are enslaved today than at any time in world history. According to the website, 27 million people are in slavery now – 80 per cent of these are women and children and 70 per cent are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Ottawa-area – If you are in the Ottawa area, tune into CRFA radio at 6:30 on Sunday mornings. Church of the Messiah rector the Rev George Sinclair is one of four local pastors ministering God’s Word on the "Good News in the Morning". The program has more than 6000 listeners.

Perhaps there is a media outlet (broadcast or print or electronic) in your area that might be open to hosting a “spiritual” column or program. Doesn’t hurt to ask!

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

Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news

ACNA task force on Holy Orders appointed
The ACNA website reports that Archbishop Bob Duncan has appointed Bishop David Hicks, (REC Diocese of the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic) to lead a Theological task force that will lead the College of Bishops through an in-depth study regarding the ordination of women to Holy Orders. The article notes that when ACNA was launched
“…it was understood that there were differing understandings regarding the ordination of women… but there existed a mutual love and respect for one another and a desire to move forward for the good of the Church. This commitment was deeply embedded in the Constitution and Canons overwhelmingly adopted by the Inaugural Assembly (2009).”

Under the ACNA constitution and canons, the authority to establish a diocese’s practice with regard to ordaining women to the diaconate and priesthood resides with the diocese. The College of Bishops has given time and energy to this topic during several face-to-face meetings but there is now a desire to address the matter in a deeper more systematic way. Archbishop Bob says, “It is time to appoint a continuing body to help us with the study that was never previously undertaken…
“As a Church we do not avoid our disagreements. Rather, we face them in love and charity and, above all, with a Kingdom mindset.”

In addition to Bishop Hicks, the task force is proposed to include two additional ACNA bishops and four theological scholars. Bp. Hicks has also proposed that at least two members be women. The task force will report frequently to the Archbishop and College of Bishops for review and revision. In addition, Bishop Hicks would like to get feedback from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Theological Resource Group throughout the process, as well as seek comments from our ecumenical partners.

Texas Supreme Court hears ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth argument
Following the brief appeal hearing, The ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth posted a report on its website saying its leaders and legal team “were encouraged… by the thoughtful questioning by the justices of the Texas Supreme Court during oral argument.” A decision is anticipated by next spring.

A S Haley provides a legal analysis of this ongoing church property case. He says, that under the "neutral principles" approach, the question at issue was
“how do courts resolve intra-church disputes over who has control of the entity holding title to the real property? …The central point, then, was what writings, agreed to before the dispute ever arose, vested the religious organizations with that authority?” His view was that TEC’s lawyers were ineffective in their attempts back their claim that TEC has hierarchical authority over its dioceses, while ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth’s legal council argued effectively that TEC had no jurisdiction over the affairs of its member dioceses.

ACNA church planter profiled
The Rev Dr Winfield Bevins, church planter and rector of Church of the Outer Banks, North Carolina, is profiled on the ACNA website. His observation that the “the western Church has not been doing well in making disciples” led him to write Creed: Connect to the Historic Christian Faith. The book ties the needs of our shifting culture to the deeply rooted faith of the church. He says,
“It began as small group Bible study. It’s very simple, readable and… follows the Anglican path of focusing on the Creed, the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer.”

ACNA leaders join other denominational leaders in first ecumenical summit
An ecumenical leadership summit met recently to seek ways to work together – particularly in the areas of church planting and theological education and training. The group included leaders from various Biblically faithful organizations, including branches of the Lutherans, Presbyterians, Reformed, Methodist and Anglicans.

Other news in brief

Anglican Consultative Council
(ACC) – The governing body of Anglican Communion is meeting in New Zealand October 27 – November 7. The last meeting, held in 2009 virtually ensured the demise of the Anglican Covenant. In his weekly commentary, Canon Phil Ashey predicted this meeting of the ACC would take the official structures of the Anglican Communion even further “down that road of a false gospel” and try to redefine Anglicanism in terms of a unity and identity based on good works, a unity that is “absolutely divorces from the Bible”. Quoting Ephesians 2:19-20, Canon Ashey says that true Anglican identity, by contrast, continues to be based on the authority of Scripture, the historic Creeds and Councils and the 39 articles.

David Virtue, reporting from the meetings in Auckland, writes that the Nigeria delegation – Archbishop Ikechi Nwosu (Aba), Archdeacon Abraham Okorie, and ACNA/CANA Bishop Julian Dobbs – declined to take Holy Communion at the opening Eucharist of the ACC meetings due to the irreconcilable doctrinal chasm dividing those present.

The Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) ecclesial province of Rupert’s Land posted the following statement on its website. (The ACoC organizes its dioceses into four groups called ecclesial provinces.) “On September 30, 2012, the Bishop of Saskatoon ordained as deacon an individual who is civilly married to a person of the same sex… The House at its meeting September 28 discussed this situation and issued the following statement:

The House of Bishops of the Province of Rupert’s Land disassociates itself from the decision of the Bishop of Saskatoon to ordain a candidate living in a civilly recognized “same sex marriage” This decision was made without our consent or consultation and will cause division and confusion within our Province.

Seven bishops voted in favour of the above statement, two were opposed, and the Metropolitan abstained, as is customary.

Pastor Stephen Boissoin was vindicated when the Alberta Appeals Court dismissed an appeal of a lower court decision which, in turn, had ruled he was not guilt of “hate speech” in his letter published in a Red Deer, Alberta newspaper in 2002. A provincial human rights tribunal had found him guilty in 2007 and ordered him to stop expressing his views on homosexuality in any public forum, pay thousands in damages, and issue a public apology.

Reporting on the ACoC Diocese of Edmonton’s decision to allow same-sex blessings, the Church of England Newspaper notes that seven ACoC dioceses now allow
“gay blessings”.

LIfeSiteNews reports that
“The Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, took Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to task at an international summit in Quebec City for his remarks criticizing Uganda’s ban on same-sex “marriage”.” She accused him of colonialism, arrogance and ignorance in his efforts to impose western sexual values on other sovereign nations.

LifeSiteNews also reports that a Saskatchewan Member of Parliament
“…is standing by his decision to nominate two jailed pro-life activists for Canadian national awards, despite being hounded by the mainstream media… In a release sent to various Canadian media outlets Maurice Vellacott compared the two women to civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr., and denounced abortion as “butchery” and “savagery.” Linda Gibbons and Mary Wagner were among 60,000 recipients of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded by the Governor General of Canada.

United States
The Episcopal Church (TEC) Diocese of South Carolina website reports that,
“…Bishop Mark J Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina was notified by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, that on September 18, 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified his abandonment of The Episcopal Church. This action by The Episcopal Church triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the Diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the Diocese from The Episcopal Church and called a Special Convention. That Convention will be held at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, on Saturday, November 17, 2012... We feel a deep sense of sadness but a renewed sense of God’s providence that The Episcopal Church has chosen to act against this Diocese and its Bishop during a good faith attempt [to] resolve our differences peacefully. These actions make it clear The Episcopal Church no longer desires to be affiliated with the Diocese of South Carolina.”

In his brief history of events, Canon Kendall Harmon asks for prayer. “We encourage you to pray for the Bishop, Standing Committee, and diocese in a focused way between now and the special Convention.” Full information and documentation is posted on the diocese’s website.

It is widely thought that TEC “shot itself in the foot” with this action. North Carolina is one of its larger, more vibrant dioceses and one of the few that is growing rather than shrinking. However, it appears that TEC leadership will not brook public dissent within its ranks – despite its proclaimed inclusivity. In a brief but insightful commentary on the action of TEC in deposing Bishop Lawrence, the Rev Matt Kennedy reflects on the nature of good and evil.

Letters of encouragement and support for the diocese and Bishop Lawrence have been poured in, including from: the Global South Primates Steering Committee, the ACNA’s Archbishop Bob Duncan, TEC Diocese of Springfield’s Bishop Daniel Martins and Bishop William Love of TEC’s Diocese of Albany.

In his letter, Bishop Martins says,
“…it strains every notion of common sense to apply the charge of “abandonment” in this case… He [Bishop Lawrence] has abandoned nothing, and to accuse him of doing so is ludicrous on its face.” Bishop Love said, “Sadly, we seem to have reached a point… that any action taken by a conservative bishop or diocese to uphold their understanding of Holy Scripture and the traditional teaching, polity and Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church risks having charges brought against them if their actions are deemed to threaten or challenge the majority view, particularly in regard to polity issues and the control of Church property and assets.”

Writing to a local newspaper, retire diocesan Bishop FitzSimons Allison notes, “With all its claims to inclusion, the increasingly intolerant Episcopal Church has excluded this diocese from its fold.” He then details the many ways in which TEC has abandoned the Christian faith and its own canons and constitution.

The situation in the Diocese of South Carolina is discussed at length on the always interesting Anglican Unscripted video newsmagazine – both on the October 19th edition and again on the October 26th segment. The Church of England Newspaper reports that the diocese has 29,000 members.

Canon law expert A S Haley notes that two of the three charges against Bishop Lawrence were dismissed in 2011. He predicts Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will follow the same path she took with Bishop Jack Iker and other orthodox, dissenting TEC bishops and declare that Bishop Lawrence has voluntarily renounced his orders, thus dispensing with the need for a meeting of the House of Bishops to deal with the matter.

Anglican Ink reports that a TEC reference panel has found that a case of misconduct can be made against nine serving and retired TEC bishops under that Church’s controversial Title IV disciplinary canons. The case against these bishops proceeds from two separate actions: 1) having endorsed an amicus brief presented to the Texas Supreme Court which contradicted TEC’s legal argument in the case involving the ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth; and/or 2) or having given court testimony in a proceeding involving the Diocese of Quincy that was contrary to TEC’s legal position.

Legal expert A S Haley argues here and here that the entire process is fraught with hypocrisy and conflicts of interest, and “there is no reason to expect a fair outcome”. He concludes
: “…these kangaroo [court] proceedings… would be laughable, were they not so tragic for the future of our Church”.

In an interview with David Virtue, ACNA Bishop David Bena calls TEC’s actions
“atrocious” and “vicious”. He says, “This whole thing was cooked up by the Episcopal establishment to wipe out any orthodox bishops who speak their minds… It is simply a very dangerous time for any orthodox believer, lay or clergy, to remain in the Episcopal Church. One by one, these orthodox bishops will be picked off. And no one will support them. The Episcopal Church will continue to dwindle while its members leave for Anglican churches or churches of other denominations.” He concludes by assuring Biblically faithful Episcopalian that “Crossing over from TEC to ACNA is like crossing the Red Sea to freedom. Whether you take your property or not, you will find a whole new freedom to preach the Gospel and stand for biblical truth.”

The draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure is due to be debated by the Church of England General Synod on 20 November 2012. You can see discussion papers which show that the measure is unjust in its treatment of significant minorities within the Church.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s website says that he “has begun a campaign to persuade General Synod members to back the new women bishops legislation”. He seems to urge those who are not theologically bound to oppose the measure but who are not satisfied that it is just to simply abstain from voting. He argues that, if the measure is defeated it would be “
publicly embarrassing” and would result in “internally draining indecision” and conflict.

The Church of England Evangelical Council has expressed its concern at Dr Williams pressuring synod members. Its chairman, the Ven Michael Lawson, issued a media release saying
"Many evangelicals, both supporters and non-supporters of the ordination of women to the episcopate, are deeply concerned about provision for those who in good conscience cannot accept women bishops. We believe it is a matter not just of justice but of godliness to treat well this minority of those with whom God has joined us together in fellowship and mission”.

Reform, a network of those committed to reforming the Church of England, has stated that its members in Synod will
“…oppose this measure and urge those who want to see a strong evangelical presence continuing in the Church of England to join us in doing so." A resolution passed by a recent Reform conference stated that the measure “…represents a step in an unbiblical and therefore wrong direction for the Church of England. Its provision is entirely inadequate for those who believe the Bible's teaching of male headship in the family and the church.

Fulcrum, which claims to represent the evangelical centre, states that it “fully supports women bishops and hopes that the Measure passes…” They recommend that those opposed to the measure abstain from voting,
“…recognizing that it is clearly the will of the Church to proceed…” (For further disturbing analyses of theological positions taken by Fulcrum leaders, see the Stand Firm blog and the Rev John Richardson’s Ugley Vicar blog.)

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s most recent book is now in print. Anglican Mainstream notes,
“In Triple Jeopardy for the West: Aggressive Secularism, Radical Islamism and Multiculturalism, Bishop Michael argues that these three seemingly diverse pressures are a profound threat to British life.”

The Church of Scotland is seeking to seize the property of one of the most prominent churches in Glasgow, St George’s Tron, after that congregation quit its denomination over growing evidence of theological apostasy.

The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Church of Ireland House of Bishops has elected another “centrist” and “liberal churchman” as that Church’s Primate. Bishop Richard Clarke will succeed Archbishop Alan Harper.

Bishop Rennis Ponniah was installed as the bishop of the Diocese of Singapore, October 20. Bishop Ponniah was the Bible teacher as ACNA’s general assembly last June.

The Jerusalem Post reports that 80 rockets were fired by Hamas from Gaza into Israel’s western Negev on October 24,
“…in the second day of one of the most severe rocket barrages on southern Israel in recent years”.

International Christian Concern reports that as many as 400 evangelical Protestants have been arrested in the last two weeks by Iran’s intelligence service. It says that arrested church members are typically tortured and pressured to confess to crimes they did not commit. Please pray for these persecuted Christians.

Bishop Peter Majeed is appealing for aid to rebuild the church, bishop’s house, school, library and principal’s house severely damaged on September 21 when inflamed mobs protested against an online movie they considered blasphemous.

Another 30 Christians are reported to have been killed in their village in central Nigeria on October 17 and at least seven more were killed by a Boko Haram suicide bomber on Sunday while at Roman Catholic mass. These attacks follow the murder of 40 Christian university students several weeks ago. Hundreds of Christians have been brutally murdered this year.

The Church of England Newspaper reports that “
…monsoon rains have caused the Niger River to flood, forcing tens of thousands from their homes” and killing at least 148 others. An Anglican cathedral has been flooded and several churches destroyed.

Anglican TV interview an Anglican missionary that has fled the intensifying violence in Zanzibar, where Muslims are attacking churches, Christians and now the historic cathedral. He says that Christians, who comprise less that two per cent of Zanzibar’s population, live in fear. International Christian Concern reports that “Poor Muslim coastal areas in Kenya and Tanzania have proved fertile recruitment ground for Somalia’s al Shabaab [Islamist] militants… threatening stability along the east African seaboard. Tanzanian police suspect that Arab money is behind the violence in Zanzibar.

AllAfrica reports that the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has dismissed all legal appeals launched by
“The ex-communicated Anglican Bishop, Nolbert Kunonga… in his controversial campaign to take over Anglican Church properties from the main church (CPCA).”

Soul food

Is Christianity dying in America?
Ed Stetzer, an author, researcher and church planting expert who has been featured at ACNA and Anglican1000 gatherings, writes that reports of Christianity’s demise in America a grossly exaggerated. He says that the increases in those claiming no religion in survey’s simply reflects a decline of nominal and cultural Christians. However, the number of devote Christians is holding strong. He concludes:
“Christianity in America isn't dying, cultural Christianity is. I am glad to see it go.” Stetzer wrote a similar article posted on the USA Today website.

Redeeming the time – Redeemer Church in Ajax, Ontario is offering a free app to help busy workers “redeem the commute” with courses on marriage, parenting and other topics, as well as information on basic Christianity. Redeem the Commute is the brainchild of a church planter and pastor who was a high tech entrepreneur before entering pastoral ministry.

Youth ministry – Resources for effective youth ministry can be found online here.

God’s love and puppies – In his brief weekly Anglican Perspective video, Canon Phil Ashey quotes C S Lewis and reflects on the depth of sacrifice God made in order to reconcile us to Himself – using the analogue of his new puppy.

Just for laughs
I was visiting my son and daughter-in-law last night and I asked if I could borrow a newspaper.

"This is the 21st century, old man," I was told. "We don't waste money on newspapers. Here, you can borrow our iPad."

I can tell you, that fly never knew what hit it!

I have learned to kiss the wave which dashes me against the Rock of Ages. ~ Charles Spurgeon

And now a word from our sponsor
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James 1:19-27 ESV

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