|Handle with prayer!
ANiC and ACNA events calendar
November 20-21 – 1st meeting of the new ANiC synod council in Vancouver, BC
November 21-23 – Bishop Charlie holds meetings in Victoria, BC (See website for details)
November 28-30 – Bishop Charlie holds meetings in Montreal, QC (See website for details)
December 6, 1pm – Ordination of Trudy Hardy as deacon at St Luke’s, Pembroke, ON
December 7, 6pm – Canon Andrew White at St George’s Burlington for baptism and service
December 12-14 – Bishop Charlie holds meetings in New England (See website for details)
December 13, 7pm – Jacob Moon Christmas Concert for refugees at St Peter & St Paul’s (Ottawa)
January 22-25 – Bishop Charlie holds meetings in Greater Toronto (See website for details)
February 5-8 – Bishop Charlie holds meetings in Ottawa/Pembroke (See website for details)
February 13-15 – Bishop Charlie holds meetings in St John’s, NL (See website for details)
February 15 – Alex Pryor+ to be ordained to the priesthood at Good Samaritan (St John’s, NL)
February 24-25 – Southern Ontario clergy event at Faith Mission (Milton) – Information to come
April 21-23 – Ontario clergy silent retreat near Orangeville (Information to come)
May 14 – March for Life 2015 in Ottawa
May 26-28 – AMMiC mini-conference in Richmond, BC
June 22-26 – ACNA Executive Cabinet, Council, College of Bishops meetings in Vancouver
Synod 2014 (November 4-7 in Ottawa) in the rear-view mirror…
If you weren’t able to attend synod, you’ll find links to presentations, relevant documents, Anglican TV video, audio and photos all on the ANiC website.
Posted on our website are… the letter of welcome from Prime Minister Harper, our diocesan bishop’s charge, short presentations from some of our newest member congregations, information on new members of council, audio of the second and third days of synod, as well as Anglican TV’s video of key sessions, including Bishop Charlie’s installation service. The three-part Bible teaching series by Keith Ganzer+ was excellent and worth listening to – several times. Also on the recently launched ANiC blog, you’ll find summaries of each day of synod, and more. (Select the Synod tab.)
News coming out of synod included (Others bits of news are covered elsewhere in the newsletter):
||Bishop Charlie announced his appointment of Bishop Don Harvey, our founding diocesan bishop, as ANiC’s Episcopal Vicar explaining that, in this position Bishop Don will be available to serve as a bishop on special projects on behalf of and at the request of the diocesan bishop. So, if a parish would like a visit or mission with Bishop Don, it should contact Bishop Charlie's office with that request.
||ANiC has entered a close working relationship with the Via Apostolica led by Bishop Todd Atkinson, thanks to months of behind-the-scenes relationship-building by ANiC’s Bishop Trevor Walters. Archdeacon Darrell Critch has been appointed to assist ANiC’s House of Bishops in nurturing this “common cause” relationship. Bishop Trevor described Via Apostolica as a continuing church with bona fide apostolic succession and a focus on forming young church planters both Biblically and in the Anglican tradition. Bishop Todd, in his brief greetings to synod, spoke of the deep desire for unity felt by Via Apostolica members. He attended synod along with 14 young Via Apostolica church planters.
||Synod 2015 will be in Vancouver.
We were delighted to have Anglican TV (aka Kevin Kallsen) at synod. You can watch video of the following services and sessions:
Even if you attended synod, you will not have seen – and will want to watch – Bishop Charlie’s 15 minute interview with Anglican TV.
Motions (which will be posted soon to the ANiC synod webpages) were passed to:
• officially remove “moderator” from our diocesan bishop’s title
• strengthened and make “actionable” ANiC’s declared pro-life support
• support the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the GAFCon movement
Special guests at synod included our primate Archbishop Foley Beach; Archbishop Greg & Sylvia Venables (Argentina); Bishop Todd Atkinson; ACNA bishops Charles Dorrington, Peter (and Melinda) Beckwith, Bill Attwood, John (and Meg+) Guernsey, Felix Orji, Eric Menees, and Julian Dobbs; ACNA’s Canon Jack Lumanog; ARDF executive director Bill Deiss; and Anglican Communion Alliance (formerly Anglican Essentials Federation) representative Roger Spack.
Thank you St Peter & St Paul’s for hosting ANiC’s Synod 2014
“Thank you” falls terribly short in expressing our appreciation to the people – and especially the many synod volunteers – of St Peter and St Paul’s Anglican Church (Ottawa, ON). Host rector Paul Donison+ and local coordinator Raechel Chamberlain both did outstanding jobs bringing all aspects of synod together and managing the myriad details. Also special appreciate to Paula Valentine, a faithful volunteer in the ANiC office, who helped staff shoulder some of the load of synod.
Bishop Charlie officially installed as diocesan bishop
13 bishops, in addition to Archbishop Foley Beach, participated in the Bishop Charlie’s installation service on November 6. In highly symbolic acts, the Venerable Desiree Stedman presented Bishop Charlie with the pectoral cross worn by her father, Archbishop Alan Buchanan (Dublin, Ireland); Bishop Don presented his successor with a cope; and Archbishop Foley Beach presented him with a pastoral staff.
Mike Chase+, one of pastors and bloggers at St Peter’s Fireside, just wrote about Bishop Charlie’s installation service in a post entitled “A bishop who knocks”. You’ll definitely want to read it!
Bishop Charlie also was featured in an article posted to the GAFCon website which focused on comments he made in an Anglican TV interview the morning after his installation. In the interview, Bishop Charlie had said, “We are so grateful for GAFCON. We want to make connection globally and be part of the global initiative”.
Ministry priority leaders named
To help make the five ministry priorities a transformational reality in each ANiC congregation, Bishop Charlie, at synod, named leaders for each priority:
• Bold witnesses – the Rev Ray David Glenn
• Biblically grounded – Canon George Sinclair
• Loving children – Jeremy and Kimberley Graham
• On mission – Claus Lenk
• Planting & growing churches – the Rev Alastair Sterne
The priority leaders will gather teams around them as they help churches tackle these priorities.
Bishop Don & Trudy Harvey Legacy Fund launched at banquet
In honour of our founding diocesan bishop and his wife of 50 years, ANiC has launched a legacy fund which will invest today in discipling and nurturing children and youth to be faithful leaders in the church tomorrow. For more information on how to contribute – or how to apply for funding – see the ANiC website. Churches are encouraged to download the bulletin insert for distribution to your congregation.
The banquet honouring Bishop Don and Trudy was one of the highlights of synod. They were presented with a large portrait painted by artist Ann Balch – as well as a second work by Ann. You can see the photos of these exquisite works of art on the ANiC blog. The portrait is now hanging in the ANiC office in Burlington where it will stay until ANiC has an official cathedral.
In the black… by the skin of our teeth
Synod was told that ANiC, thanks to generous donors, ANiC was able to eliminate the deficit this year – by the skin of our teeth. However ANiC’s finances remain very tight and our cash flow is precarious. We are indebted to Good Samaritan (St John’s, NL) which lent ANiC $100,000 to provide some financial “cushion”. We have been able to draw from this fund this past year when our cash-flow dipped.
Reported on the Time to Build campaign which he has led, Archdeacon Ron Corcoran noted that tithes only cover about 75per cent of ANiC’s budget so giving from individuals is critically important – and will continue to be so – if ANiC is to stay in the black.
Vicar of Baghdad visits St George’s Burlington, December 7
Canon Andrew White, who is known as the Vicar of Baghdad, plans to be at ANiC’s St George’s Anglican Church (Burlington, ON) on December 7 at 6pm. He will be speaking and baptizing his grandson. Plan to attend the service at the Crossroads Centre, were St George’s meets, to learn more about what is going on in Iraq and how God is at work. All are welcome. The address is: Crossroads Centre, 1295 North Service Rd. Burlington.
Bishop Charlie to visit Vancouver Island and Quebec
After recent visits to New Song (Port Perry, ON) and St Chad’s (Toronto, ON), Bishop Charlie will be in the Victoria, BC area for public meetings November 21-23 and then on to Montreal and Lennoxville QC, November 28-30. He would love to meet with ANiC members and friends in both locations. Please see the ANiC website for meeting times and addresses. There will be special children’s events both weekends.
The Montreal area “Kids Konference” is on November 29 (Saturday) from 10am to 1pm. It will be hosted by St James in Lennoxville: 45 Queen St, Lennoxville, QC. The program includes arts and crafts, a sing-a-long, fun and games, a Bible lesson with Bishop Charlie and the “world record power lifter”. Lunch is provided.
Church of Our Lord (COOL) in Victoria is also hosting a children and families event on November 22 (Saturday), 9:30-11:30am. You can learn about the Victoria-area events on the COOL website.
News from new churches
A tradition at synod is the presentation of churches which have recently joined ANiC. You can see these churches’ slide presentations – with photos, prayer requests and details of the ministries – on the ANiC website. Six churches, which joined ANiC since our last face-to-face synod in November 2012, were presented. Here are a few highlights:
Good Shepherd Chinese (Calgary, AB), with assistant priest the Rev Tom Lo, reports that 10 adults have come to faith in Christ and were baptized. Usually 1/3 of those attending are pre-Christian. The ministry started in 2012 with Saturday potlucks in a home and later added Sunday services; however the potlucks remain a focus of the church.
Good Shepherd South Asian (Calgary, AB) got off to a rocky start when it took six months to secure a working visa for their pastor, the Rev William John who came from a pastorate in the Middle East. A fascinating aspect of Good Shepherd South Asian is how it came to be through connections in the Anglican Communion. Through his relationship with Bishop Azad Marshall (Iran and the Gulf), ANiC’s Bishop Stephen Leung heard of the need for an evangelical Anglican church to minister to South Asians in Calgary
Bethel South Asian (Brampton, ON) was an existing congregation which was looking for a denominational family to join. The pastor, Wilson Nazim+, heard about ANiC via his connection with William John+ (now pastoring Good Shepherd South Asian in Calgary). In addition to pastoring the church, Wilson+ has a ministry to South Asians around southern Ontario and into Quebec.
Christ the King (Edmonton, AB) formed when parishioners left an existing Anglican Church of Canada congregation in the spring of 2013. This energetic congregation averages 100 on Sunday’s and recently hired a youth pastor. Their big news at synod was that, after many months of faithful ministry by their interim priest Roy Dickson+, a full-time rector will be joining them in March. The Rev Lars Nowen comes to the church from his currently ministry in Algarve, Portugal.
Sojourn Church (Vancouver, BC) is a fascinating story of how God is building bridges across Christian traditions. It is the result of a partnership between St John’s Vancouver and University Chapel, a Brethren church. The rector, Geoff Chapman+, pastors both University Chapel as well as ANiC’s Sojourn church plant. Sojourn was launch a year ago and, because of its location on the edge of the University of BC campus, attracts a number of students, with an average of 30-40 at Sunday evening services. Several have come to faith with one now baptized.
St Peter’s Fireside (Vancouver, BC) showed a video of their ministry which you can see here. This vibrant ministry is also a year old with average Sunday attendance of 115 and 13 recent baptisms. 35 guests signed up for their recently launched Alpha course.
Central Canada silent retreat for clergy, April 21-23
Bishop Charlie will be the director of silent retreat for clergy to be held at a Christian retreat centre near Orangeville, ON. This 2nd annual silent retreat is April 21-23 (Tuesday – Thursday). The cost will be approximately $74-144 depending on the type of accommodation requested. Details will be available after Christmas, but mark your calendars now!
Boston Chinese congregation takes root
Bishop Stephen Leung was recently in Boston, MA to support a new Chinese congregation which is being planted under the care of ANiC’s Asian and Multicultural Ministries (AMMiC). The forming congregation is now called Emmanuel Outreach Mission. Photos are posted on Emmanuel’s Facebook page.
Cuban church plant partnership update
Praise the Lord! More ANiC churches are stepping up to the plate, partnering with Cuban church plants. A new list of partnership needs has now been posted to the ANiC website. Barclay Mayo+, who leads this ministry for ANiC, is planning a mission trip to Cuba in the New Year for those interested in exploring opportunities for partnership. For information, please see the ANiC website.
ACNA – Lutheran talks in St Catharines, ON
As part of the ongoing dialogue between the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Lutheran Church of Canada and the Anglican Network in Canada, a meeting took place in St Catharines, ON at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (Brock University), October 16-17. Participants included ANiC's Bishops Donald Harvey and Charlie Masters. Bishop Don was one of the speakers. See the photos (courtesy of Marty Fraser+).
Artizo offers curacy seed funding
The Artizo board has renewed its program of offering seed funding for a curacy for one of its graduates in 2015 and 2016. ANiC churches with potential curacy position openings are invited to email the Rev Eric Thurston or call (778) 834-2771, Artizo director of training, for more information. The application deadline is January 16.
Eric+ reports that, “Over the last two years, St John’s Richmond and Artizo have partnered together to fund a ‘seed’ curacy for Ben Roberts. The great news is that SJR has been able to raise the financial support to keep Ben on as an assistant minister when the Artizo financial assistance ends this December. This was a very encouraging outcome for the first Artizo seed curacy partnership… Please continue to pray that God will raise up workers for the harvest in Canada.”
Job opening at the ANiC office
The Anglican Network in Canada is looking to fill the executive administrator position in the national office in Burlington, ON. This position is covering a one year maternity leave. For more information please go to the job postings on the ANiC website.
Parish and regional news
Ottawa, ON – St Peter and St Paul’s, 152 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, is hosting a Jacob Moon Band concert on December 13 at 7pm with part proceeds donated to the ARDFC to aid Iraqi and Syrian refugees. Read more here and plan to attend. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
Christ the King (Edmonton, AB) has just hired its first full-time rector, the Rev Lars Nowen, who comes to the church next March after ministry in Algarve, Portugal.
Church of the Messiah (Ottawa, ON) participated in the "40 Days for Life" campaign in Ottawa by taking one day of the vigil (October 30). For the 12 hour period (7am - 7pm) at least one parishioner was praying across the street from the abortion clinic.
New Song (Port Perry, ON) is hosting a Christmas Day meal for the parish and community (around noon hour). There will be a planning meeting held tomorrow in the parish hall at 6.30 pm (not at the Stiller home as previously announced) All ages are welcome to participate...
Church of All Nations Japanese (Vancouver, BC) celebrated both its second anniversary and the end of another growing season at New Eden Garden Ministry with a final harvest and clean-up of the fields. Calling it a “multi-ethnic foretaste of heaven”, the Rev Shihoko Warren reports that 51 people from 16 different national/ethnic backgrounds participated in the gardening ministry this year – Canada, Japan, USA, Thailand, Syria, China, Malaysia, South Africa, Lebanon, Jordan, Singapore, Mexico, India and the Caribbean Island. New Eden ministry will continue over the winter with worship gatherings for the gardening volunteers.
St George’s (Burlington, ON) hopes to move into its newly constructed church building in late December. You can see a recent video on the church website showing progress on the building.
Church of the Resurrection (Brandon, MB) and Church of the Redeemer (Dauphin, MB) share a brand new website.
Got parish news? Let the rest of us know about it! Email Marilyn.
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news
ACNA – Russian Orthodox ecumenical dialogue
On November 8 ACNA’s Archbishop Foley Beach met in New York with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev who chairs the Russian Orthodox Church’s department of external relations. This is a follow-up to a 2012 meeting and according to the Russian Orthodox Church’s news release, “The participants in the meeting discussed prospects of cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church in America.”
The ACNA website reports that “During the meeting, Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America warmly invited Archbishop Beach to the Orthodox All-American Council meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in July 2015.
“Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of [the Orthodox] Saint Vladimir’s Seminary remarked, “The re-birth of Anglican/Orthodox relations is now a reality with the official exchanges between the ACNA and the OCA and clearly now with the Russian Orthodox Church through the leadership of Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. The historical significance of this meeting of Archbishop Beach with His Beatitude Tikhon of the OCA and Metropolitan Hilarion is truly significant as a sign of this refreshed dialogue.”
Bishop Ray Sutton, ACNA dean of ecumenical affairs noted that the meeting “…further encourages the strengthening of ties between the Anglican Church in North America and Orthodox churches in this part of the world.”
New books endorsed by ACNA
Ekklesia Society has four new books, two by Bishop Bill Atwood. The books are:
Here and Coming… as it is in heaven, by Dr Bill Atwood
The Spiritual Journey, by Dr Bill Atwood
A Cloud of Witnesses... great theological insights for today’s Church, by Joe Thomas, PhD
Psalms and Proverbs: Spiritual Life Prayer Guide, by Dr Lee Ligon-Borden
The ACNA website recommends Celebrate Anglicanism, “For any who want to understand the basics of Christian Faith and the way that Faith has come to be handed on by those who would describe themselves as Anglican Christians this book covers all the basics. Celebrate Anglicanism is written by a layman for the laity of the Anglican Church.”
ACNA participates in Anglican Communion Missions Roundtable in Singapore
Bishop Bill Atwood reports that he, Archbishop Foley Beach and a large team of ACNA members representing various mission agencies participated in the recent roundtable hosted by the Diocese of Singapore to discuss and advance that diocese’s vision for reaching nations in SE Asia for Christ: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Nepal.
Good news for ACNA’s Diocese of Forth Worth
In early November, the US Supreme Court denied the US Episcopal Church’s (TEC) request for a reversal of a lower court decision which favoured the ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth because it stipulating that neutral principles of law govern the Texas church property disputes. The Diocese of Fort Worth’s Bishop Jack Iker said, “We are pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed with our position that the TEC petition for a review was without merit. We now move forward to a resolution of this case under neutral principles of law as applied in the State of Texas.” TEC’s legal success has come when courts have bought their argument that the national church’s Denis Canon created a trust over local church property. For more, see Allan Haley's analysis or this Anglican Unscripted interview.
More ACNA news
The Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy is sponsoring the Centurion Project retreat, December 10-13, at Saint Simon’s Island, Georgia.See more on the ACNA website.
Archbishop Foley Beach offers teaching on how to study Scripture based on a Collect from the Book of Common Prayer which tells us to hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Holy Scripture.
Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and Anglican Communion news
Communion alive and well – but “incredibly diverse” says Canterbury
Speaking to the Church of England General Synod, Archbishop Justin Welby said his extensive travels, meeting Primates of the Anglican Communion, have highlighted that the Anglican Communion is active but fractured with immense diversity which is “both gift and challenge… A flourishing Communion but also a divided Communion… Our divisions may be too much to manage.” His prescription was to work with and listen to those with whom we disagree – in Christian love.
His conclusion was: “So, the good news. The Communion exists and is doing wonderful things. The bad news. There are great divisions and threats. The challenge. There is a prize of being able to develop unity in diversity and also with deeper and deeper ecumenical relations demonstrating the power of Christ to break down barriers and to provide hope for a broken world.”
You can also listen to Archbishop Welby’s address on YouTube.
GAFCon and the Instruments of Communion
In the November 11th edition of Anglican Unscripted, the commentators discuss the official Anglican Communion Instruments of Communion, saying they are ineffective. However, they also say that GAFCon is not yet fully and functionally an instrument of unity either. They also discuss how the US Episcopal Church is trying to “buy” Global South churches which were once considered to be in the GAFCon camp. They say that GAFCon does not have money to counter this, and call us to pray. However, they note that it is GAFCon leaders, those who hold to historic Christian doctrine and Anglican practice, who are increasingly being sought out by ecumenical partners when they invite Anglicans to the table.
Five African Primates recently met with US Episcopal Church leaders, including Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori. The meeting is described as “groundbreaking”. Discussing this meeting, the Anglican Church of Canada’s website states that “the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) emerged in the Communion, threatening to derail the 14th Lambeth Conference. The movement quickly became a place of refuge for schismatic groups in The Episcopal Church and The Anglican Church of Canada. It would subsequently claim to be a global alternative to the Anglican Communion itself.
“Since then, tensions have been gradually receding. We have seen a growing number of bishops and Primates around the globe reaching out to one another, seeking to restore good working relationships among themselves. Most of this has been happening through small groups of leaders meeting outside the formal structures of the Communion.” The ACoC credits their initiative. ”The Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue”, which brings together African and western bishops.
Anglican – Oriental Orthodox reach agreement on long-divisive theological issue
Anglican News reports that, “Senior theologians in Anglican Communion and Oriental Orthodox Churches recently made history by signing an agreement on their mutual understanding of Christ's incarnation” – how Jesus Christ’s human and divine natures were united in one human being. “This was not just a minor point of theology; rather it was a subject that divided the Church following the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, leaving the Oriental Orthodox Churches separated from the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Church of Rome.”
Tell the Anglican Communion what qualities you want in the next Secretary General
The Anglican Communion Standing Committee, which is tasked with selecting the next Secretary General of the Communion, is inviting Anglicans worldwide to offer their thoughts on what ministry priorities and personal qualities should be considering in looking for candidates. Send your thoughts to the Standing Committee via email at SGcomments@anglicancommunion.org, or by letter to The Standing Committee, c/o The Anglican Communion Office, 16 Tavistock Crescent, Westbourne Park, London, W11 1AP, UK. The deadline is November 27.
International news in brief
The Anglican Journal reports that, as the Anglican Church of Canada considers redefining its Marriage Canon, the Commission charged with this task has said that its final report will incorporate both submissions received “but will also reflect consultations about how changing the church’s law to allow for same-sex marriage might affect relationships within and outside of the Anglican Church of Canada.”
Trinity Western University has had approval of its proposed Law School rescinded by the BC Law Society after intense pressure from those who see the school’s Christian code of conduct – which prohibits sex outside traditional marriage – as discriminatory to homosexuals. The case will likely end up before the Supreme Court.
LifeSiteNews reports that the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is challenging Quebec’s landmark law allowing euthanasia, saying that the law “contravenes Canadian criminal homicide laws and represents a dangerous step towards a patchwork quilt of provincial regulation of serious criminal conduct”. They argue that this issue must be handled federally.
Canada’s new prostitution bill became law on November 6 making it illegal to buy sex or advertise the sale of someone else’s sexual services. The law recognizes that the majority of those engaged in prostitution do not do so by choice; they are victimized and exploited by others.
The US Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington, DC recently hosted a Muslim prayer service. Brietbart News reports that some of the organizers of the event have direct ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and the event took place “on the 100th anniversary of the last Caliph’s call for Jihad against nonbelievers”.
Faith McDonnell of the Institute on Religion and Democracy has written an open letter to Global South Anglicans calling attention to this Muslim prayer service in the US National Cathedral and noting the many reasons this – and the other heretical activities and teaching in that cathedral – should concern the global Anglican community. It’s worth reading.
The Church of England General Synod has finalized acceptance of women bishops. The New York Times speculates that the first woman could be appointed within weeks. The BBC provides in-depth coverage and background.
The Church of England General Synod was addressed by a Muslim on November 18 – the first time someone of a non-Christian faith has been invited to speak to the assembly. Fuad Nahdi, director of the British Islamic group Radical Middle Way, is said by some to have ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organizations. He reportedly began by recited an Islamic prayer and noted that non-radical Muslims “…have borne the brunt of… [persecution by] extremists.”
The Telegraph reports that a survey of Church of England clergy found more than 40 per cent would like to see loosened or severed ties with government and many would support breaking up the Anglican Communion (28 per cent) and even dividing the Church of England (21 per cent) along doctrinal lines.
Anglican Mainstream has called out the Bishop of Oxford who is leading the process of “shares conversations” within the Church of England on sexuality and same-sex marriage. Andrew Symes of Anglican Mainstream explains how the ad clerum issued by the bishop to guide discussion about sexuality is far from neutral but steers to the conversations towards abandoning traditional Christian views of sexuality and marriage.
The National Post reports the continuing slaughter of civilians – including Muslims – by the militant Islamist who have taken control of parts of Iraq.
Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad is reported to have said that western intervention in Iraq has created the current chaos. Speaking recently in Washington State, he said, "Are we worse now than under Sadam? A million times worse.” He was critical of President Obama’s decision to pull troops out of Iraq in 2011, saying, “The reason we have this tragedy now is because you came in and you left us too soon. We weren't ready to be left. Your military gave their lives, they worked to save our country, and then they left us. And I said, within three month, we will have terrorism ... and we did."
An impoverished young Christian couple were brutally murdered in Kot Radha Kishan, Pakistan when they were beaten and then thrown alive into the brick kiln where they worked as indentured labourers. Reports vary on whether the murders were motivated by allegations they desecrated the Quran or because of unpaid debts – or more likely rumors of desecration started by the lender – their employer – as revenge for not being able to collect the debt. See a report in the World Watch Monitor or the Anglican News.
The Financial Times Magazine has a lengthy, but insightful, story on “The rise of Christianity in China” and the escalation of repression and persecution, especially in the highly Christianized region of Wenzhou
Barnabas Fund reports that at least 47 people – mostly students at a Christian secondary school – were killed by a suicide bomber as they gathered for morning assembly. The Boko Haram is also reportedly torturing and killing Christians trapped in communities captured by the terrorists. Boko Haram’s strategy now appears to be focused on capturing territory rather than simply engaging in hit and run attacks as in the past. One of the cities they recently captured, at least temporarily, is the city of Chibok where they kidnapped more than 200 mostly Christian schoolgirls in April. While the Nigerian government claims to be negotiating for the girls' release, the leader of Boko Haram is reported to have stated that he has “married off” the girls to his fighters. He also claimed the girls had been converted to Islam.
On November 12, Archbishop Ben Kwashi, who is the senior Anglican archbishop in northern Nigeria, wrote to refute claims in The Times “…that insurgency in the North of Nigeria is fueled more by poverty than by Islamic extremism…” saying this “…is to undermine the truth with the same old story we hear again and again from those unwilling to face the connected and organized global jihadist network we face today. Poverty does not explain the death by suicide bomb of 40 school children - Muslim children - in Potiksum yesterday. It does not explain the abduction, forced conversion, and forced marriage of some 200 girls in Chibok. To say that this is the result of poverty and corruption is to play down the evil of Boko Haram, and their form of Islam… Boko Haram and their kind delight in massacres, slaughters, rape and murders - this is not the face of poverty, but the face of radical Islamist jihad.
“As a Christian bishop, I deplore the poverty and corruption of my country- though I wish those co-conspirators in the West would take their lion share of the blame for the stolen monies and disgraced leaders they harbour. Further, I can attest that the Muslims of my childhood were certainly poorer than those of today, yet they never bought arms or slaughtered innocents. Poverty is real, corruption is global, complex and also real. But so is the global terror ideology of which Boko Haram is a practitioner, and the global terror network of which it is a part. It is both untrue and unhelpful to conflate and confuse these issues.”
Anglican News reports that the Anglican Church in South Sudan, together with other stakeholders, has trained and mobilized a team of about 80 carefully selected members of communities from across the country to be peacemakers. The faith-based team members will work in their communities to promote healing and reconciliation, as well as train others to do the same.
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, in a recent university lecture, said the “insidious cancer of corruption” is a great threat to South Africa’s democracy, noting that westerners are generally the corrupters, while African elites are the “corruptees”.
LifeSiteNews reports that “Kenya’s Catholic bishops are charging two United Nations organizations with sterilizing millions of girls and women under cover of an anti-tetanus inoculation program sponsored by the Kenyan government. According to a statement released Tuesday by the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, the organization has found an antigen that causes miscarriages in a vaccine being administered to 2.3 million girls and women by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Priests throughout Kenya reportedly are advising their congregations to refuse the vaccine.” A Nairobi doctor reportedly sent six samples of the vaccine to be tested in South African labs and all tested positive to the antigen.
Roman Catholic Church
An Anglican Ink article reports that the Vatican recently held an International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman attended by 350 academic, religious, and civil society leaders from over 14 religions and 23 countries. George Conger provides background to the conference is “round two of the Catholic Church’s debate on human sexuality” and comes “Less than a month after proposals to change the Catholic Church’s doctrines of marriage, human sexuality and conciliar authority brought conservatives to the brink of open revolt…” Christianity Today has more coverage of evangelicals’ participation in the event.
Among the invited speakers were three prominent Anglicans:
||Theologian N T Wright is reported to have “summed up the entire “history of salvation” from the Old Testament through the New to show that the schema of creation unites two into one… He describes how the marital union is a crucial symbol of God's intention and the possibility for a “new creation.” The Church’s teachings about marriage are a signpost in a stormy world, reflecting Jesus’ sacrifice to bring about the uniting of heaven and earth and reminding us why each married couple must struggle daily to die to self.”
||Archbishop Nicholas Okoh (Primate of All Nigeria) said African Christianity rejects accommodating the Gospel to cultural norms. Revisionist western churches’ reinterpret of marriage is incompatible with the authority of Scripture.
||Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali was also invited to speak, but no report was found on his comments.
In an interesting article, Bishop Bill Atwood discusses his work behind the “Sharia Law curtain” in this week’s American Anglican Council newsletter.
CNN, reports that “The second annual edition of the Walk Free Foundation's Global Slavery Index has found that globally, almost 36 million people are subject to modern slavery.” The analysis identified specific countries as culprits, but found people enslaved in every one of the 167 countries surveyed. Five countries – India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Russia – accounted for 22 million of those enslaved, with India having more than 14 million.
Resources for ministry
Christmas gift kit – Power to Change is offering Christmas gift kits which can be hung on doorknobs around the neighbourhood or given to church visitors. For just $1.99 each, the kits include the Jesus Film DVD, A Christmas mini-magazine and a tract.
Preaching workshop – In light of Bishop Charlie’s priority that “every church of ANiC will be known for its strengths in the Bible and expository preaching”, clergy on the Prairies might like to investigate an upcoming preaching workshop offered by Cypress Hills Ministries and led by Dr Marty Culy. This workshop will offer a careful study on preaching 1 Peter and will be held January 27-30 at the Cypress Hills Camp near Maple Creek, SK. Information on this and other upcoming workshops is on the Cypress Hills Ministries website.
Training for clergy – Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA is inviting ANiC clergy to take advantage of its course offerings. If you register before November 30, you’ll receive the discounted price of $50US for either of two intensive two-day courses in January. For the reduced rate, enter the code NOVCLERGY when you register online. Space is limited.
The two courses are:
A full listing of January term classes and events is available at www.tsm.edu/intensives.
Resources for Christian living
OMG is not OK – A relatively new believer explains visually why Christians should never use the popular expression “OMG” – or, worse, the phrase for which it stands.
Hell – The doctrine of hell is increasingly rejected and even those who hold to the clear teaching of Scripture are uneasy with it. A slim new book entitled “The Most Encouraging Book on Hell Ever” attempts to change that. The author, a pastor, teacher and former stand-up comic, winsomely and with humour, shows the logical and theological integrity of the doctrine within the whole of God’s revelation of Himself.
Cross references in the Bible - A great visual shows the 63,000+ cross references in the Bible. (Just one of the cool things you learn from the Bible-in-a-Day course.)
Resisting irresistible temptation – Tim Challies offers Scriptural steps for escaping enticement.
Accountable friendship – If you truly want to be accountable to someone in your Christian walk, answer this question and ask you friend to hold you accountable for your area of weakness. The question, courtesy of Vaughn Roberts, is: “If you were the devil where would you attack yourself?”
November is adoption awareness month – The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) reminds us that “Adoption and quality fostering are justice issues for all Canadians and everyday challenges [for the] 30,000 adoptable children and youth in Canada.” The EFC offers free video downloads, prayer suggestions, and ideas for congregations.
Just for laughs
Our minister over-heard his 5-year-old son and his playmates conducting a funeral service for a dead robin they’d found. The robin was in a small box, cradled in cotton batting and a hole had been dug. The minister's son, imitating his father, was conducting the service. In sonorous dignity he intoned: "Glory be unto the Father, and unto the Son… and into the hole he goes."
No one who is a man-pleaser preaches the whole counsel of God. ~ R C Sproul
And now a Word from our Sponsor
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
I Timothy 4:7-10 ESV
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