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  Christmas 2016 letter from Bishop Charlie Masters ... pdf version

15 December 2016

hristmas Greetings my dear people of the Anglican Network in Canada,

Once again, it is my great privilege to extend to each of you and your families – on behalf Bishop Stephen and Nona, Bishop Trevor and Dede, Bishop Don and Trudy, Bishop Malcolm and Mary Lou, Bishop Ron and Jan, and my wife Judy and myself – our warm greetings and prayer that the joy of knowing the One who was born in Bethlehem will fill your hearts more and more now and throughout the coming year.

This year, as I reflect on the birth of Jesus, I find myself returning to the words of the angels to the shepherds that first Christmas night:  "And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)

The scope of the good news is for all. "Good news of great joy for all people." And lest we think that means everyone but you or me the angel says: "for unto you is born... a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." He was born to save me and you! Truly we must never ever take that astonishing message lightly or for granted.

But the good news is not for us alone. Jesus was born to be Savior of all people everywhere. Alleluia! No one need miss out. In the Good News of Jesus, we have something that is needed by all, works in every case when received by faith (Romans 1:16), and is available to all. It truly is good news for all people.

In this coming year, we in ANiC will be celebrating our 10th anniversary. On my heart right now is a great joy for every person across the country and in New England who, through the life and witness of ANiC congregations and parishioners, has been touched by the Good News of the Savior who was born in Bethlehem. Stop and reflect on some specific ways God has led and blessed ANiC, and especially your congregation. As you call to mind God's past blessing, be encouraged and respond in gratitude to God.

As God brings examples to mind of His leading and blessing in your congregation, please take a few moments to write these up and email them to us ( so we can share these testimonies of God's faithfulness with the rest of ANiC. Our faith will be strengthened and our courage renewed as we trust God for the future. We want to prepare ourselves for an outpouring of His Spirit, transforming our lives and our ministries, as we seek to be Bold Witnesses, to be Biblically Grounded, to Love Children into the Kingdom, to be On Mission, and to Plant and Grow Churches.
Reflecting on God's goodness and leading is so exciting! Please join me in filling this coming year with thanksgiving to God for all He has done, and will do, in and through us!

But along with this growing joy and thanksgiving I also find myself driven by urgency to proclaim the message of the angels, the message of Good News for everyone. The scope of the message drives us joyfully to do what the shepherds did so very naturally: "And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them." (Luke 2:17-18)

Will you join me this year in praising God for how he is transforming us in ANiC by His Good News? And will you also join me in committing to prayerfully share this Good News, which brings such great joy, to those God's brings across your path?

Finally, I would like to thank you for your part in the amazing thing that God is doing in our midst in these days. Bless you! Thank you to each of you – both clergy and laity – who carry a weight of responsibility within your congregations. Thank you to you who have taken on extra ministries within our Diocese or for our Province. And special thanks to the people of Good Shepherd Vancouver who so graciously and ably hosted our last two synods.

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.

The Apostle Paul was so captivated by the scope and joy of the Good News that he summed up his life mission this way: "Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." 2 Timothy 2:10

May His great joy so fill you that it overflows in blessing to our joy-parched world!

Every blessing to you and all whom you love this Christmas and throughout the coming year,  


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