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  ANiC Newsletter: 12 November, 2012 ... pdf version
    

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ANiC news

ANiC and ACNA events calendar
November 14-16 – ANiC Synod and episcopal election in Ottawa
December 9, 3pm – Ordination of Pastor Ahmed Shafeghat at Good Shepherd Church, Vancouver
[Please note new date and location]
February 16 – Liveword Women’s Conference, Vancouver, BC – Theme: “On eagle’s wings”
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 (date and location to be announced)


Synod, November 14-16, Ottawa
Synod is almost upon us! Registration is now closed; we have reached capacity limits with more than 250 delegates, observers and staff registered.

Guest speaker Bishop Julian Dobbs will address the challenge of Islam. For those interested in this topic, he recommends the book A Christian's pocket guide to Islam by Patrick Sookhdeo. A recent article on Islam in the National Review is also informative.

For those unable to attend synod in person, we will do our best to keep you informed of important developments by posting, as soon as possible, on the ANiC synod webpage both key documents and transcripts, as well as audio (MP3 files) of selected sessions. We also will communicate the results of the election of a coadjutor bishop as soon after the vote as we can. In addition, the AEC blog will post daily summaries during the three days of synod.

Please do pray daily for this important occasion in the ministry of ANiC:
Almighty God, You have demonstrated Your favour and covenant faithfulness to Your people, both in the accounts of Scripture and in the experience of the Church through the centuries. We thank You for Your tender care for ANiC and our local congregations over our brief history. Visit us, we pray, by Your Spirit with Wisdom and Power at our upcoming Electoral Synod. Preside as Lord and King over all that transpires. Grant discernment and unity to all delegates. Protect us from any snares of the evil one, and may all that is decided be in complete accordance with Your perfect will for ANiC. This we ask in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen


Advent calendars and mite boxes
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC) has posted an Advent Calendar and mite box resources. These will engage children in giving to others while they learn about Brazil, where our gifts will help a church in the Diocese of Recife minister to its poor community.


Asian & Multicultural Ministries in Canada (AMMiC) news
Japanese ministry (Vancouver, BC) – The Japanese mission lead by the Rev Shihoko Warren is now holding monthly services in a parishioner’s home as well as ongoing Bible studies. The plan is to move to weekly service in January, to be held at Good Shepherd Church.

Good Shepherd Calgary, a forming congregation led by Bishop Stephen Leung and evangelist Tom Lo, has begun monthly services on Saturday afternoons in a home – in addition to ongoing home Bible studies. Early next year, God willing, they will begin meeting weekly for services. 


ANiC in the news
The Rev Paul Donison was recently interviewed about ANiC’s upcoming synod on an Ottawa radio station, CKCU 93.1 FM. The interviewer was Tony Copple, who is organizing synod transportation needs! You can catch the interview here beginning at the 7 minute mark.


Parish and regional news
Women’s conference (Vancouver, BC) - The 2013 Liveword Women’s Conference, “On Eagles’ Wings”, will be held in Vancouver on February 16, 2013 from 9:30am to 3:30am. Three women speakers will bring the text of Exodus 19 alive as they apply it to our life and faith today. Come and bring your friends. Be prepared to be inspired by the excellent teaching, uplifting music and great fellowship. Registration and other details are available at www.livewordvancouver.com.

Resurrection Anglican Community (Kelowna, BC) celebrated its official launch October 28 with 50 participating in a wonderful celebration of praise, prayer, worship and fellowship over lunch. Bishop Trevor Walters preached and celebrated Holy Communion. Resurrection began as an ANiC project in June 2011, meeting Wednesday evenings. This past September it moved to Sunday worship in the historic 120-year old Benvoulin Heritage Church, a former Presbyterian Church which was restored and has been used primarily for weddings and community events. The Rev Bruce Chamberlayne says “It is a delight to use the sanctuary for its original purpose to worship Almighty God. We are thankful for the work the Lord is doing in our midst to build His church… [and] for the people He has called to plant a Christ-centred, Sprit-led, Biblically faithful and liturgical community of faith in Kelowna.” Photos of the event are on the church website.

Good Samaritan (St John’s, NL) – A team from Good Samaritan, together with Bishop Charlie and Judy Masters are off to Guatemala January 18-25. They are working with the Arms of Jesus Children’s Mission, and plan to build houses, assist with the development of schools, help distribute food and engage in VBS-style children’s ministry. The people of Good Samaritan have a long standing relationship with this ministry. The team would appreciate your prayer support.

Asian and Multicultural Ministries in Canada (AMMiC) – Beginning November 21 (10am-2pm), AMMiC clergy who are able to attend will gather at Good Shepherd Church in Vancouver for a monthly fellowship, worshiping and teaching time. Non-AMMiC clergy are welcome as well.

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


Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news

Ecumenical dialogue continues
Members of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Ecumenical Relations Task Force, including ANiC’s moderator Bishop Donald Harvey, recently met with their counterparts from the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). The meeting took place at Nashotah House, October 25-26. For more information see the ACNA website.


Falls Church appeal to go ahead
VirginiaAnglican Ink reports that the large, historic ACNA parish of The Falls Church, in northern Virginia, has had its petition for appeal granted by the Virginia Supreme Court. The lower court decision had awarded trusteeship of the congregation’s property and assets to the Episcopal Church Diocese of Virginia. The Church appealed “the lower court decision for failing to follow US and Virginia Supreme Court decisions applying ‘neutral principles’ of secular property and contract law to resolve disputes about church property. Our Petition also sought review on several other grounds, including some specific to the Historic Church building, where our deed pre-dates the existence of both the Episcopal Diocese and the entire Episcopal denomination…”

To get a sense of the logistical challenges this large congregation has navigated since the lower court decision last spring, have a look at the multiple meeting locations listed on its website. Alan Haley provides a clear analysis of the legal issues to be considered in the appeal – the most egregious being the lower court order to award pledge money collected after 2008 and clearly designated for the Church,
“…regardless of the intent expressed by the Church's donors that none of their gifts should go to the entity that was suing them for their property”.


Fellowship of Confession Anglicans (FCA)

GAFCon Primates Council announces GAFCon 2
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala (Kenya), chair of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) Primates Council, wrote a pastoral letter to all members of the FCA on October 29 following a meeting of that council in Tanzania. The letter confirmed that the next Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCon 2) will be in October 2013 and announced that the FCA Primates Council had expanded to include the Primate of the Congo, Archbishop Henri Isingoma.

The letter also contained some timely reminders. Archbishop Wabukala noted that
“the heart of our calling as the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans [is] to provide an authentic Anglican community for those who have been alienated for whatever reason. As a result of the increased aggressiveness of the revisionists there are now those in every province and beyond who wish to stand with us and who need our help to stand for Christ: in Recife (Brazil), in South Carolina, in the Church of Scotland, in Ireland, in England, in Australia and many more.”

Archbishop Wabukala also asked for prayer that those gathered for the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in New Zealand would
“…avoid compromise and have the courage to declare boldly the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is good news for all people at all times and in all cultures… From our very inception we have always understood that our fight is not with any particular person, political party, program or province but rather we are engaged an age-old battle for the soul of the Church… At its heart we are engaged in a spiritual and theological struggle… “

An Anglican Ink article speculates that Athens is the most likely location for GAFCon 2 next October, although Cyprus had also been considered.


Anglican Communion news

Next Archbishop of Canterbury: Bishop Justin Welby (Durham)
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s website reads:
“The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Justin Welby for election as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. He will succeed Dr Rowan Williams who is retiring at the end of December after ten years as Archbishop. The Right Reverend Justin Welby, aged 56, is currently Bishop of Durham. He will be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury Cathedral on 21st March 2013.”

The announcement of the appointment was made by the government on November 9 following a week of intense speculation that Bishop Welby had the job. The source of the intelligence was Britain’s bookmakers who had closed betting on the appointment due to a flurry of bets being placed on Bishop Welby early in the week.

Archbishop-designate Welby, 56, is said to be an evangelical having been spiritually shaped through the ministry of Holy Trinity, Brompton in London. He worked in the oil industry for years before training for and then entering the ministry in the early 1990s. He was consecrated a bishop in 2011 when he became Bishop of Durham.

The BBC reporting on Archbishop-designate Welby’s news conference noted that he supports women bishops in the Church of England, but wants to find a way to accommodate those who do not. He has, in the past opposed, redefining marriage to accommodate same-sex unions, but at the news conference
“he called for the creation of safe spaces where issues of sexuality could be discussed honestly.” You can listen to his response to questions at the news conference on the CBC website, and you can read his opening statement to the media in The Telegraph.

The current edition of Anglican Unscripted thoroughly discusses Archbishop-designate Welby and his appointment. You’ll also find informative articles in The Telegraph, on the BBC website, and in the Daily Mail where you’ll learn, among other things, about his past role in dangerous peace negotiations between warring factions in Africa.

In a published statement, ACNA
Archbishop Robert Duncan assured Archbishop-designate Welby of our prayers and of his commitment to work with him and others for the good – and good order – of all Anglicans. He said, “With my colleagues of the GAFCON Primates Council and with all who are part of the movement which is the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, I share the conviction that submission to “the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.”

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, writing on behalf of the
Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Primates, welcomed the news of Bishop Welby’s appointment, saying: “I know him as a deeply committed servant of Jesus Christ who honours the Scriptures as the Word of God and as a courageous peacemaker.”

Archbishop Wabukala continued,
“After the Primates of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans met earlier this year in London, we said we were praying for a ‘godly leader of God’s people’… and I believe our prayer has been answered. However, it would be unfair and misleading to suggest that one man can resolve the crisis which has beset the Anglican Communion… [We believe ‘that in the future development of the Anglican Communion the chair of the Primates Meeting should be elected by the Primates themselves’… [O]ur identity as Anglicans stems first and foremost from adherence to the faith we confess. It is this which gives substance and integrity to our bonds of affection and our efforts to relieve poverty and promote development.”

There have been growing calls from the Global South, which now accounts for the vast majority of global Anglicans, to alter the leadership structure of the Anglican Communion. The growing sentiment is for members of the Primates council members to elect their own chair, rather than have the Archbishop of Canterbury automatically assume this role. Nigerian Primate Archbishop Nicholas Okoh criticized the politicized selection process which leaves the final appointment in the hands of the national secular government. Others have expressed concern about the archaic process and secrecy surrounding the selection process. Some would like to see the Archbishop of Canterbury elected openly rather than selected secretively.


Anglican Consultative Council meeting suppresses substantive discussion
The just concluded Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Auckland, New Zealand managed to avoid all contentious and substantive issues, projecting an aura of peace and unity. The ACC, one of the four “instruments of Unity” in the Anglican Communion holds meetings only once every three years.

Reporting from Auckland, Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council and an observer at the meeting, provides fascinating insights on the Anglican Unscripted video newsmagazine. He said the meeting had only about 70 in attendance and was tightly – even heavy handedly – choreographed by Communion bureaucrats, allowing little time for discussion or dissent and ensuring predetermined outcomes were achieved. He also notes that US Episcopal Church leaders supposedly censured by the Archbishop of Canterbury a year ago were not only actively involved but given exalted positions.

Following the meeting the members from the Churches of Nigeria and Kenya – the two largest in the Anglican Communion, issued a statement pulling back the curtain on this carefully orchestrated event. They say,
“We are grieved that this meeting… avoided the real crisis in the Anglican Communion… a crisis of Gospel truth, not only regarding matters of human sexuality but the authority of Holy Scripture as the Word of God written and the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ the Son of God… The current crisis over Gospel truth and the confusion and conflict in Anglican identity, faith and order is a result of a failure of governance by the Instruments of Communion. This is a failure and, at times, subversion of leadership at the highest levels... For this reason, we believe it is time for the Primates themselves to elect one of their own who will call their meetings with an enhanced responsibility to guard the Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion.

They go on to express particular concern about the "The Bible in the Life of the Church" report and ACC’s resolution which maintains
“that the context in which people interpret the Bible is considered as important as what the Bible actually says… [W]e heard Anglicans from the west say that this conclusion requires us to honour any interpretation of the Bible-since every context from which the Scriptures are read is to be honoured…

The ACC adopted a Code of Conduct that, according to VirtueOnline condemns “…discriminatory behavior, harassment and sexual harassment” that, combined with the new understand of the primacy of cultural context in Biblical interpretation, could stifle all opposition to the embrace of moral and sexual standards that are condemned by time-honoured Biblical teaching.

The ACC also elected new members to the ACC standing committee, ensuring it continue to be dominated by those from theologically “liberal” churches.


Other news in brief

Canada
The Anglican Journal reports that pews and other furnishings from deconsecrated Vancouver Island churches have been put to good use in northern Saskatchewan Cree nation churches.


The Victoria Times Colonist reports the Diocese of BC, on Vancouver Island, managed to pay off its $1.2 million debt thanks to the sale of five church properties. Several other churches have not yet attracted buyers. However, one church that had been on the market is now leased to “the Ordinariate Parish Society, a traditional Anglican congregation under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church.”


Speaking in New Zealand, Dean Peter Elliot of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Diocese of New Westminster claimed that “gay marriage has strengthened Canadian society”. As blogger Anglican Samizdat points out the casualty changing the definition of marriage has been freedom of speech. He notes,
“…there have been between 200 and 300 proceedings against critics of same-sex marriage” in the Canadian courts and human rights tribunals since same sex marriage was legalized in Canada.


The Anglican Church of Canada Diocese of Niagara Diocesan Synod Council decided to
“proceed formally to disestablish St. Hilda's Anglican Church in Oakville and Church of the Good Shepherd in St. Catharines” as well as “approved in principle the sale of St. Hilda's Rectory”. These church buildings were the long-time homes of ANiC’s St Hilda’s and Church of the Good Shepherd congregations.

Ironically, the same council minutes conclude by noting that council “extended sincere thanks and deep congratulations on behalf of the Diocese, to Bishop Michael Bird and Archdeacon Michael Patterson for their generosity, deep commitment, grace under pressure, wisdom, and determination in the successful recent conclusion to our deliberations, through the courts, with the Anglican Network in Canada “ [h/t Anglican Samizdat blog]


United States – Diocese of South Carolina
Astonishingly, US Episcopal Church (TEC) supporters are resorting to subterfuge in efforts to sabotage the recently seceded Diocese of South Carolina’s upcoming special convention at which decisions will be made about the diocese’s future. Two emails, purporting to be from the diocese, were sent to clergy calling them to a
“clergy day for the diocese” presided over by a retired bishop from Tennessee. In its official response, the diocese said, “The sender intentionally impersonated the diocese with an unauthorized use of our Diocesan seal and by stating that the sender was the Diocese of South Carolina.” Anglican Ink has details.

Anglican Ink later reported that TEC’s Presiding Bishop
“has declared the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese of South Carolina vacant” and removed the existing standing committee from office. A small group from within the Diocese of South Carolina wishing to remain in TEC has formed a steering committee and arbitrarily assumed the identity of the Diocese which in fact had earlier disaffiliated from TEC. This newly formed steering committee “…writing in the name of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and acting under its seal, has called a diocesan convention for 8 March 2013 to “begin the work of selecting a bishop, a new standing committee, and forging ahead with our missions and ministry.”” This scenario, with minor differences, played out earlier when the Dioceses of Fort Worth, Pittsburg and San Joaquin each disaffiliated from TEC. A couple of those earlier cases and the issue of which group legally constitutes the genuine continuing diocese, are still before the courts.

And once again the Anglican Communion Institute has written a paper demonstrating how the Presiding Bishop is over-stepping her authority and acting in flagrant violation of TEC’s canons. The ACI writes that “the actions aimed at replacing Bishop Lawrence and the diocesan leadership before a resolution to his disciplinary investigation—and perhaps even before he was even informed of the Board’s certification—is flagrantly in violation of TEC’s canon.”

Please pray for Bishop Mark Lawrence and the (real) Diocese of South Carolina as members gather for a Special Diocesan Convention on November 17. Decisions will be made regarding the diocese’s future affiliation. In October, the diocese severed ties to TEC in response to disciplinary action against Bishop Lawrence.


England
In response to the concerted campaign by the Archbishop of Canterbury and others to pressure general synod members to abstain from voting on the women bishops legislation rather than vote against it, Anglican Catholics in the Church of England have created the Fair Measure website. It compiles support for the contention that the measure is
“…unfair, unstable and incoherent; it does not command consensus; there is a better way forward.”


Bishop Michael Nazir Ali, writing about the push for women bishops, expresses his concern that a theological and ecclesiological debate has been bypassed. The Rochester Report was commissioned for this purpose but was then ignored. He calls for more accommodation for those who in good conscience cannot accept the ministry of women:
“…if there is not to be theological totalitarianism… a structured place has to be provided for those who disagree in a way that respects their integrity. Such a process will ensure not only that minorities are accommodated but that the Church will genuinely be seen to be seeking for God’s will to be done rather than relentlessly pursuing an agenda based merely on secular assumptions.”


Tanzania
The Church of England Newspaper reports that Christ Church Cathedral in Stone Town on the island of Zanzibar was attacked at the end of October by militant Islamists.
“Anglican leaders were warned to evacuate as Islamist militants had issued death threats against Bishop Michael Hafidh and foreign clergy serving on the island. Unconfirmed reports from Stone Town sent to Dar es Salaam report militants had attacked the cathedral after the bishop was evacuated and attempted to burn the coral stone building. Built on the sight of the former slave market of Zanzibar, the Nineteenth century cathedral is one of the island’s leading tourist attractions.”


South Sudan
An article in The Independent reports that the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is playing out as a proxy war between Iran and Israel.
“Israel has emerged as an influential military and commercial ally of South Sudan since its independence last year, while Iran has strengthened its links with the Khartoum regime… The impact of the increasing confrontation between Iran and Israel over the former's nuclear ambitions could further destabilise the conflict between the Sudans. The former civil war foes returned to brink of an all-out war earlier this year and recently signed a peace deal that some observers regards as a temporary truce. No clear border has been demarcated between the two countries and both governments accuse the others of backing armed rebels inside their respective territories.” Please pray for peace and for Christians in both Sudan and South Sudan.


Nigeria
International Christian Concern says the death toll in north and centre Nigeria caused by Islamist terrorists known as Boko Haram has reached 3000 since 2009. Christians and churches have taken the brunt of the attacks.


Anglican Ink reports that Archbishop Nicholas Okoh called on church members to fast and pray for a week, seeking God’s intervention, saying that
“…prayer should be the first response in the battle against terrorism.” The Nigerian delegates to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting expanded this request, asking Anglicans throughout the Communion to join in the prayer and fasting. They said, “Churches are being bombed every Sunday, especially in the northern part [of the country]… people are afraid to worship.”


Speaking at the 2012 Divine Common Wealth Conference, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh addressed threats to Christianity in Nigeria and all of Africa. The threats are from both within and without. From within, these include: disunity among Christians; Christians who are untaught and so are easily led astray; and the wide-spread “prosperity doctrine”. From outside the threats are primarily: from “
violent expressions of Islam represented by Boko Haram”; from pagan religions promoting syncretism by masquerading as traditional African culture; and socio-economic and political issues including poverty, war, and wide-spread corruption.

He also mentioned that there is growing disunity among the African Anglican Churches thanks to
“the rich Western powers employing effectively the divide-and-rule tactics by literally buying consciences of church leaders”. However, he concluded “The Christian faith is something which must be defended. Every Christian is a defender of this Faith. Every Christian of every generation must defend it. It is the duty of every generation to pass it on uncorrupted and unperverted”.


Egypt
A new Egyptian Orthodox pope has been selected and will be installed November 18. Bishop Mouneer Anis, Anglican Primate for Jerusalem and the Middle East, met with the pope-designate to begin forging strong relations and work together to transform Egyptian society.


Roman Catholic Church
Anglican Ink reports that the Vatican is considering “
…creating an ecclesial jurisdiction for Lutherans who wish to join the Roman Catholic Church but preserve aspects of their liturgical and ecclesial patrimony…” similar to the Anglican Ordinariate.


Soul food

Cultural imperialism
A new video,
Cultural imperialism: The Sexual Rights Agenda is “a hard-hitting documentary exposing how Western donor nations are now using financial aid as a weapon to force smaller nations to comply with a radical sexual rights agenda”. It is designed to support these developing countries in their struggle against the Obama administration and UN agencies which are forcing on them moral and sexual ethics foreign to their countries. You can see the full documentary online at the Stand for Families Worldwide website.


What is Mormonism about?
With Witt Romney’s run for election as the President of the United States, Mormonism has been high profile in the news. For an interesting (audio) discussion of Mormonism and its origins, as well as other resources, see The White Horse Inn blog.


Resources
Mission of the church – This month’s free audio book from ChristianAudio.com is What is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert.


Simply Christmas – There are excellent resources at the Advent Conspiracy website including a great 2½ minute video that could be shown in church to promote the concept of de-commercializing Christmas and redirecting our gift money to do real good in the world. The video advocates giving to water development, but the same concept applies to other worthy projects like ARDFC’s project in the Diocese of Recife, Brazil.


Just for laughs



Dog Matticks is created by the Rev Douglas Patstone, an ANiC priest in BC


Thought
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” ― John Piper


And now a word from our sponsor
The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around.
His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness and all the peoples see his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!
Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD.
For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
O you who love the LORD, hate evil!
He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 97 ESV



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