|Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
Handle with prayer!
ANiC and ACNA events calendar
Jan 5, 7:30-9pm – Information meeting for those considering ANiC, 27 Castlefield Ave, Toronto
Jan 9-13 – ACNA College of Bishops meeting in Florida
Jan 26 – Summit for Life, Washington, DC
Feb 26 – ACNA Global Missions Sunday (marked on the last Sunday after Epiphany each year)
May 7 – Canadian Sanctity of Life Sunday
May 11 – March for Life, Ottawa
May 26 - June 3 – Mission trip to Cuba to visit ACNA church plants
June 26 – ACNA College of Bishops meeting, Wheaton, IL
June 27 – ACNA Provincial Council, Wheaton, IL
June 28-30 – ACNA Provincial Assembly, Wheaton, IL
Oct 24 – Clergy Day, Ottawa
Oct 25-27 – Synod 2017, Ottawa
Toronto information meeting, January 5
In response to the increased interest in ANiC over the past few months, we first sent an open invitation to the ANiC synod in Vancouver last November and now are planning an information meeting in Toronto for those from this area who weren't able to get to our synod in Vancouver. See the flyer for full details and forward the flyer to anyone you know who might be interested. And please pray! We want to stand with our orthodox Anglican friends, wherever God is leading them.
Bishop Charlie has written ANiC members and friends a Christmas letter focused on the angel's message, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people". He concludes: "Let's make 2017 a year of calling to remembrance God's gracious leading, of rejoicing in His goodness, and of joining the angels and shepherds in sharing His astonishing Good News... May His great joy so fill you that it overflows in blessing to our joy-parched world!" Read it all on the ANiC website.
Planning ahead for the 2017 ANiC Synod?
Details are "to be determined" but we do know that Synod 2017 will be in Ottawa – in recognition both of Canada's 150th birthday and ANiC's 10th – and will be held at the end of October:
October 24 – Clergy Day
October 25-27 – Synod
Liturgical calendar and Lectionary resources
Canon Tom Carman, ANiC's registrar, has kindly prepared lectionary and liturgical calendar resources for this Church Year based on the new ACNA's new lectionary working texts, which are recommended for use by every ANiC congregation as we work toward the release of a new ACNA Prayer Book in 2019. You can access these helpful resources from the ANiC website. The lectionary resources are here and the liturgical calendar resources are here.
Job – Rector (part-time) – Faith Anglican Church, Limoges, Ontario
The parish of Faith Anglican Church (Limoges, Ontario) invites expressions of interest in the position of rector. This is a part-time position. Applications should be submitted by January 7. The parish profile and contact information are available on the church website.
Silent retreat planned for Southern Ontario clergy
This year's silent retreat for clergy in Central Canada is set for March. Mark your calendar and plan to join in this time of physical and spiritual refreshing. See the flyer for information and registration.
Dates: March 7-9
Location: Valley of the Mother of God Coptic retreat centre
Speaker: The Rev Dawn McDonald
Theme: "Come away with me and rest a while" (Mark 6:31)
Another trip is planned to visit and encourage ACNA church plants in Cuba on May 26 - June 3. For information, email Barclay Mayo+.
Telling our stories
Sharing testimonies has a long tradition in the Christian faith community. And for good reason. When we hear about God's work in others, we are encouraged and our faith is strengthened. In Bishop Charlie's recent Christmas letter, he asked you to submit testimonies of how God has been at work in your ANiC congregation. Please send us your stories so we can share these with others.
Bishop Stephen Leung has submitted the following for our encouragement and prayer:
On Christmas Day, at Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC), Bishop Stephen Leung has the joy of confirming and baptizing three adults, who are new believers, as well as baptizing three children. Bishop Stephen writes, "These all come from three families and have come to faith in Christ through the outreach work to two of our ministries: Awana, a children's ministry, and Thank God it is Friday (TGIF), an adult outreach ministry. All three adult confirmation candidates will give their testimonies on Christmas Eve at the Candlelight Service at 8pm where the usual attendance is about 250-300. Please pray for these adults and children who will be baptized and for their families. Also please pray for others to respond to the Good News. There are still more than 20 non-Christian adults who come to TGIF each month and many children in the Awana ministry who need our Saviour."
God is also at work in Good Shepherd's Taste of Life ministry to restaurant workers and chefs in Richmond, BC. (This ministry meets late at night after the restaurants close. You can read about it in a recent The Apostle magazine.) In early December, Bishop Stephen baptized and confirmed a middle-aged man. Bishop Stephen is praising God that this man, who comes from a very broken background, full of darkness, now by God's grace is born again and has been given new life in Christ.
Here's one from St Hilda's (Oakville, ON) submitted by Kathy Miller:
"In becoming part of ANIC, God has brought our church of St Hilda's incredible freedom in Christ, love for His word in the Holy Scripture, along with great freedom of worship. This has increased our faith, trust, love and obedience to Jesus.
"Also, due to our commitment to the authority of Scripture, along with the transition that we as members of St Hilda's Church went through to experience this freedom and truth, we have developed a rich fellowship in Christ among the members of our congregation that money and size cannot buy. We are known to be a church whose members love, support and help each other during good and bad times. The last ten years, rather than being ones of regret, have been filled with experiencing great joy in the Lord through our church."
Attention artists and art lovers!
A group formed at Synod 2016 is eager to build a support network within ANiC – and throughout the ACNA – of artists and art lovers for the purposes of networking and mutual encouragement. The group, led by artist James Tughan, would like to "restore the arts, and the artists who serve God with them, to their rightful place in the sacred space we call Christian community" and is making plans for the future. Email James to receive the group's newsletter.
Anglicans for Life Canada
Anglicans for Life Canada has its very own new website. Go ahead and bookmark it! And while you're at it, mark your calendar for the March for Life inOttawa and provincial capitals on May 11.
Maintaining your parish website
Does your parish have someone knowledgeable doing regular maintenance on your church website? If not, you may wish to contact someone with website expertise – preferably the one who developed the site for you – to check it out for software updates and to tidy up the content. Websites need constant minding both in terms of software changes and content updates. A regular maintenance arrangement is recommended. Contact Marilyn if you wish to discuss this further.
ANiC is a founding member of GAFCon, but did you know you as an individual can be a members? See the GAFCon website for more information and show your support for this important movement in the Anglican Communion.
In the news
Read about an ANiC lay pastor – and power lifter – in the latest issue of our Province's magazine, The Apostle and on the ACNA website. Mathew Court leads St James, Lennoxville, Quebec.
Bishop Charlie's invitation to Canadian Anglicans who were considering ANiC to come to attend our synod was featured in a recent Anglican Planet story.
A parishioner at St Jude (Guelph, ON) writes a regular column for the local online newspaper in which he is able to share the Good News of Jesus.
ANiC parish and regional news
The next Bible-in-a-Day session will be in Edmonton at Christ the King on January 13 -14 (Friday evening through Saturday). The Revs Lars Nowen, rector of Christ the King, and Sean Love, rector of St John's Richmond, BC are presenting. If you are in the Edmonton area, or know someone who would be interested, check it out!
St John's Richmond (BC) is celebrating its 10th anniversary on January 22! St John's Richmond and Church of the Resurrection (Hope, BC) were the first two churches to join ANiC when it launched as an denomination under the episcopal authority of Bishop Don Harvey and the primatial authority of Archbishop Greg Venables in November 2007. ANiC will celebrate its 10th anniversary at Synod this October.
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)
An ACNA priest is facing criminal charges after he was arrested because he was offering to pray for women entering an abortion facility in San Bernardino, California. The Rev James Linton, a father of two and pastor of Christ's Church in Yucaipa, was standing on public property at the time of his arrest. Please remember him in your prayers.
The ACNA's Young Anglicans Project suggests youths' lives are positively affected by involvement in short-term mission trips. Read a personal testimony on the ACNA website.
Archbishop Foley Beach, together with colleagues from the Diocese of Singapore, visited Nepal recently where they confirmed 317 people in one church and 219 in another. The Anglican churches in Nepal have seen significant growth since the devastating 2015 earthquakes which also destroyed 30 of 58 Anglican church buildings.
The Rev Dr Henry (Laurie) Thompson has been appointed dean and president of the Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.
You are invited to Disciple 2017, a conference within ACNA that seeks to encourage all Christians in their vocation as disciples of Christ. It will be at St Peter's Anglican Church, Tallahassee, Florida, January 27-28. More information is online.
Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCon) & Anglican Communion news
Sexual ethics resources – The GAFCon website has posted resources particularly suited to the "cultural battles" that now are hottest in the Church of England (CoE). You'll find a three-minute video by the Rev Sam Allberry, a CoE priest who declares himself to be same-sex attracted but committed to the historic Christian view of marriage and expression of sexuality. Also posted there is an article by the Archbishop Peter Jensen, General Secretary of GAFCon, in which he explores the term 'homophobia' and argues that the term is being wielded as a weapon against anyone who fails to heartily endorse the homosexual lifestyle and agenda.
Chairman's message – In discussing the growing tension in the Church of England, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh (Nigeria) and current Chairman of GAFCon, writes in his Advent letter, "GAFCON is a movement of spiritual awakening in a Communion standing at the crossroads… Much of the Anglican Communion owes its existence to missionary pioneers who were ready to lay down their lives because they were confident in the promises of God, however difficult their circumstances. Now, the same courage is needed to guard that legacy and re-evangelise the increasingly secular West."
He adds, "I am greatly encouraged by what has already been achieved. GAFCON pioneers new structures where old ones have failed, we are recognised as the leading voice for orthodoxy in the Communion, we are equipping key leaders, in the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration we have given the Communion a contemporary standard of historic Anglican confession and every five years the Anglican Communion has a taste of what it can become as faithful Anglicans gather in growing numbers from around the world in worship and fellowship around God's Word..." But he adds, "…there is much yet to do" and requests we financially support GAFCon here.
International news in brief
It has been announced that the next Bishop of Woolwich in the Diocese of Southwark will be the Revd Dr Woyin Karowei Dorgu, a Nigerian. He is consecrated on St Patrick's Day, 17 March 2017
The Anglican Mission in England, a mission society affiliated with GAFCon, has prepared a five-minute video which explains its purpose, profiles some of its churches, and outlines its goal of planting 25 more churches by 2025 and 250 churches by 2050.
While the Church of England (CoE) has seen a steady decline in attendance, theologically conservative CoE churches have been growing, many dramatically, reports Christian Today.
In light of the CoE Bishops Reflection Group on Sexuality, GAFCon UK prepared a paper on the Church of England and the teaching of Lambeth 1:10 – a definitive resolution from the 1998 Lambeth conference on human sexuality. Quickly, the secretary general of the CoE's Archbishops' Council responded in a letter which downplayed the importance of Lambeth 1:10 as a standard for sexual ethics. And the debate intensified with many voices joining.
GAFCon UK responded with a thorough critique of Mr Nye's (and the Archbishops' of Canterbury and York) position, saying, "Underlying [Mr Nye's] letter is an institutional mentality which does not locate ecclesial authority with the unchanging Scriptural principles of apostolic Christianity, as affirmed by the global Church. Rather it puts confidence in legal process, with the effect that what is not 'legally binding' can be disregarded or relegated to the respected status of a historical curiosity."
The Rev Dr Stephen Noll, who was present at Lambeth 1998, dissects and rebuts Mr Nye's letter. He defends the Biblical and Anglican Communion standard for human sexuality represented in Lambeth Resolution 1.10, and notes that Mr Nye's position – which must be assumed to be the position of the Archbishops of York and Canterbury – seems to pave the way for the Church of England to abandon Lambeth 1:10 with the introduction of same-sex blessings.
The Rev David Holloway, reminded Mr Nye that the standard in the CoE remains a resolution passed overwhelming in 1987 which upholds the historic, Biblical understanding that sexual expression belongs only within heterosexual marriage. A Church of England priest, the Rev Sam Allberry, posted a three-minute video which outlines his conviction that outlines Bible teaching on sexual ethics and his commitment to chastity despite his own same-sex attraction. Canon Phil Ashey provides a good summary of the entire debate and provides some history.
Most recently, GAFCon UK issued a statement which notes Archbishop Nicholas Okoh's pastoral letter which discussed the breakdown of discipline in the Church of England as to the standards for human sexuality" which runs against the majority in the Anglican Communion. The statement goes on to reiterate the Rev Holloway's point – regarding the 1987 General Synod motion upholding the Biblical standard on human sexuality – and added a discussion of a 2007 General Synod motion which reaffirmed the CoE commitment to Lambeth 1:10. The statement concludes: "Those two Motions, reflecting accurately, as they do, the teaching of Holy Scripture, are authoritative and remain the position of the Church of England… any attempt to suggest otherwise would simply be to ignore the express will of the General Synod and thereby to significantly undermine Synodical Government in the Church. Likewise, if the substance of those Motions are to be revisited, the same should be done expressly and only in open debate on the floor of Synod and in conjunction with the rest of the Communion."
On December 11, the Wall Street Journal reports that at least 25 Christians – mainly women and children – were killed and a further 49 injured when Islamic terrorists detonated a bomb in the main Coptic Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt.
The wife of the general secretary of the Church of Nigeria was kidnapped, but Anglican Ink reports she was released after a ransom was apparently paid.
A lengthy and disturbing World Magazine article alleges that wealthy foreign – mainly Nigerian – donors were able to influence US policy decisions while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, preventing US assistance in combatting Boko Haram. This, the article argues, resulted in the deaths and kidnappings of thousands in Northern Nigeria.
The Church of Uganda sadly announced earlier this month the death of Archbishop Stanley Ntagali's 28-year old son who was the father of two young girls after a short illness.
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that drought in Madagascar, Malawi and Zimbabwe has resulted in severe food shortages and widespread hunger.
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) reports that the Anglican Church in Nepal grew from 9000 to 12,000 people since the 2015 earthquakes. ARDF is planning a trip – a mission pilgrimage – to Nepal in February and inviting anyone interested to get in touch.
Resources for ministry
A recent Canadian academic study has sparked a number of stories in the media recently, trumpeting the (not so new) news that Biblically faithful theology is the key to church growth while churches with "liberal" theology are likely to decline. A news release from Wilfrid Laurier University states, "Now, in the first empirical study of its kind, researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University and Redeemer University College offer compelling evidence that conservative theological belief among mainline Protestant clergy and church attendees leads to the growth of a congregation." You can read about it in The Star, the Vancouver Sun or the Anglican Journal.
Never enough time? Feel like you could accomplish more if only…? Ligonier Ministries is offering an online course for only $15 based on the book by Tim Challies, "Do More Better". The course write-up says: "It really is possible to live a calm and orderly life, sure of your responsibilities and confident in your progress." Sounds like a good way to start 2017!
So much to read, so little time?
There is a resource that offers summaries of Christian books.
You can access, at no charge, 80 Puritan authors and their works – many of which were digitized from Dr J I Packer's private library.
More free ebooks
Monergism offers online access to hundreds of "theologically sound" Christian books – in a variety of formats.
Raising up Timothy's
Canon Phil Ashey relates from personal experience the kind of leadership that raises up the next generation of church leaders.
Can't attract millennials?
Maybe you're trying too hard. Read this Patheos article.
What does a pastor do?
This is how one pastor explained it to his child's 15-year-old classmates.
In a challenging and encouraging article, Pastor Ken Smith describes how Christian leaders can disciple others by sharing their lives, just as Jesus did using the "with him" principle.
Dr Albert Mohler, commenting on Barna Group research, argues that Biblical teaching and preaching is urgently needed. He concludes: "We will not believe more than we know, and we will not live higher than our beliefs. The many fronts of Christian compromise in this generation can be directly traced to biblical illiteracy in the pews and the absence of biblical preaching and teaching in our homes and churches. This generation must get deadly serious about the problem of biblical illiteracy, or a frighteningly large number of Americans–Christians included–will go on thinking that Sodom and Gomorrah lived happily ever after."
Wisdom for preachers
Drawing from great preachers of the past, The Masters Seminar offers 10 nuggets of wisdom for preachers.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary offers a free, downloadable resource called "A Guide to Church Revitalization". The editor, Dr Albert Mohler writes, ""One of our central tasks in the present generation is to be bold in our vision of replanting churches — helping existing churches to find new vision, new strategic focus, new passion for the gospel, new hunger for the preaching of the Word, new love for their communities, and new excitement about seeing people come to faith in Jesus..."
Resources for Christian Living
Canon Phil Ashey continues his series of short videos on the 39 Articles. In the last few months, he has now released:
Article 28, "Of the Lord's Supper" - Part 6 and Part 7 (see previous newsletters for links to earlier videos)
Article 29, "Of the wicked which eat not the Body of Christ…"
Article 30, "Of both kinds [of Communion]"
Article 31, "Of Christ's one oblation" – Part 1 and Part 2
Article 32, "Of the marriage of priests"
Article 33, "Of excommunicate persons…"
Ministering to your minister
While 98 per cent of ministers say pastoring is a privilege, it is a demanding and emotionally draining. A Christianity Today article offers six simply ways to minister to your clergy. And here are more practical ways we can care for and bless our pastors.
Praying for your church
Here is a list of 18 things you should be praying for your church.
You can make your church better and stronger
How? Here are seven things your church needs from you in order for that to happen.
Read some ideas on how you can become more engaged in global missions whether you are a "goer" or a "sender".
Loving children and families
Are special needs children and their families an "unreached people group"? And how can our churches serve and welcome them? Read this excellent Christianity Today article.
The pursuit of holiness
Sinclair Ferguson's new book, Devoted to God, is getting rave reviews. This meaty book thoroughly explores New Testament passages focused on God's work in us, conforming us to the character of Jesus Christ and the important role of the church in this process.
Be very afraid
What is the fear of the Lord? A new book argues that it is central to the Christian life and includes both terror/dread as well as awe/honour. "One of the accurate measurements of true spiritual growth is the measure to which one increases in walking in the fear of God." Are you growing in the "fear of the Lord"? Here are "eight specific directives for maintaining and increasing the fear of God in our hearts".
A call to manhood
Every man needs to see this inspiring 10-minute video from the Roman Catholic Church which challenges men to be so much more.
How can a loving God send people to hell?
Tim Challies explores this question and concludes that when we ask this question we demonstrate a low view of God.
Crisis in science
This puts new light on the science vs religion argument. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, it turns out much of what passes for science is really science fiction. And NSNBC, an online newspaper, reports that the editor of the world's most respected medical journal, The Lancet, has declared that "Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue… science has taken a turn towards darkness." He indicates that studies sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry are particularly subject to manipulation. The former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal agrees. She states, "It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine."
Top books of 2016
Tim Challies has compiled a number of "top 10" lists of new Christian books.
Playing the lottery
Is it harmless? Read this article posted on the Desiring God blog.
Just for fun
A priest was invited to attend a house party. Naturally, he was properly dressed and wearing his priest's collar. Shortly after arriving, he noticed a little boy who kept staring at him and continued to do so for most of the evening. Unsettled, the priest finally asked the boy what he was staring at. The child pointed to the priest's neck. The priest proudly asked, "Do you know why I am wearing this collar?" The boy nodded affirmatively, "It kills fleas and ticks for up to three months!"
"Do not have your concert first, and tune your instruments afterward. Begin the day with God."
~ Hudson Taylor
And now a Word from our Sponsor
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126 ESV
... back to "Newsletters" main page