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  ANiC Newsletter: 10 December, 2009 ... pdf version
    

Handle with prayer!

News – ANiC and AEN   

Follow up on BC Supreme Court decision
ANiC chancellor Cheryl Chang has written to the four Vancouver-area churches involved in the recent court proceeding reporting on a meeting held November 30 with the leaders of the four churches and their legal counsel. She says that while there are clear grounds for appeal, no decision has been made. “There were views expressed on both sides of the equation and everyone agreed to pray about it and try to discern what God is calling us to do. Unfortunately, this decision has come at the beginning of the busiest month in our church calendars, making it very difficult to properly consult with all the congregations on the long-term implications of such a major decision. The Trustees agreed to consult as widely as possible over the following 2 weeks and they will meet again on December 14 to discuss the matter further and, ideally, make some decision as to whether or not to file an appeal before the end of the expiry of the 30 day time limit… It is important to remember that should we choose to file an appeal, we can later discontinue that appeal, but if we do not file within the 30 day time limit, our decision will be final… I am recommending that we file an appeal… to give the congregations more time to… seek a consensus so that we [can] act in unity… ”


Negotiation with the Diocese of Niagara reaches interim agreement
The Anglican Essentials blog reports that three ANiC parishes in the Golden Triangle of Ontario – St George’s (Lowville), Good Shepherd (St Catharines) and St Hilda’s (Oakville) – have achieved a new sharing arrangement with the Diocese of Niagara. Under the new agreement, which will be in place until ownership of the properties is finally determined, the Diocese will get exclusive use of St George’s facility in Lowville and the two ANiC congregations will have exclusive use of the facilities for Good Shepherd and St Hilda’s.

Assessment weekend discerns God’s leading in pursuing ordained ministry
Over the weekend of November 27-29, 14 ordination candidates and 14 assessors met together, supported and encouraged by Bishops Don and Trevor. This marked the first time ANiC’s systematic discernment process – for those seeking to know if God is calling them into ordained ministry – has come into effect.

Bishop Trevor reports that it was an inspiring weekend listening to the testimonies of the candidates and the way in which they had been called into ministries. The task of the assessors – comprised of male and female clergy, lay leaders, theologians, business people and educators – was enormous, namely to recommend to the bishops ways in which the candidates’ ministries might be guided and enriched in the coming years.

Eight candidates were affirmed and recommended with no reservation to continue on the pathway of ordination to the priesthood or the diaconate. Five were asked to return at various intervals for clarification of the call to ordination.

Bishop Trevor concludes, “ANiC is incredibly blessed to have 14 such gifted and dedicated servants of the Lord. Our future looks very encouraging and very bright!”


Please continue to pray for the ACNA meetings which ANiC is hosting
Our ANiC staff and bishops are hosting the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) House of Bishops and Provincial Council meetings in Toronto, December 9-12. Please pray for ANiC staff members who are coordinating arrangements and for God’s blessing and leading in the meetings.


Deadline for ordering commemorative consecration photo albums approaching
You can order online a beautiful photo album featuring the historic November 13 consecration service for Bishops Charlie, Stephen and Trevor. This bound book will feature about 40 pages of quality photos from the consecration service and synod. You can check out some example (proof) pages on our website, giving you a sense of the quality and appearance of the book. The book can be ordered in hard cover for $60 or soft cover for $45. (Prices include shipping.) The deadline for pre-ordering the books is
December 20. We anticipate the books will be printed and shipped by the end of January.


ANiC online store up and running
ANiC’s online store is now functioning. In addition to the consecration photo book, you can order ANiC pins, pens, satchels, t-shirts, etc The ANiC synod DVD sets will be added soon.


Ginger Group booklets
Three new Anglican Agenda publications are now available:
Taking Fellowship Seriously – by the Rev Jim Salladin
Taking the Church Seriously – by the Canon Dr J I Packer
Taking Prayer Seriously – by the Rev Mike Stewart

The Anglican Agenda series is edited by Dr Packer and written by The Ginger Group with the aim of provoking thought, discussion, prayer and decision among Anglicans. You can order these new books as well as the 15 previously released books on the Anglican Essentials Canada website.


2010 Church Calendar (a reminder)
Thanks to the Rev Tom Carman (St Aidan’s, Windsor) we have a church calendar posted to the ANiC website that you can download and print. This will be especially useful for clergy and parish altar guilds. Tom says the calendar,
“…lays out the Sundays of the Christian year, the Red Letter Days (according to the BCP), and a few other Holy Days that I thought appropriate for a church such as ours that has taken its stand on the word of God...”


Closed for Christmas
The ANiC office will be closed from December 24 (Thursday) through January 3 (Sunday).


Parish news
St John’s Richmond will host a Christmas mission along with Vancouver-based Artizo Interns. Events will be held in homes, schools, the community, and the church from December 18-20.   Please pray for those involved and for God’s blessing on this ministry.

St Aidan’s Ministries church plant organizational meeting dates:
Chatham – Thursday January 7 at 2pm and 7pm – Old Bloomfield Schoolhouse (Bloomfield Road and Concession 6, just north of Hwy 401)
Belle River – Wednesday January 13 at 2pm and 7pm – at Seasons Lakeshore Retirement Home, 1700 County Road 22, Belle River, ON
Information – See www.staidansministries.com or call Phil Rutledge: 1-866-351-2642 ext 4011  


Calendar of upcoming events – for your interest and prayer support
Dec 9-12 – ACNA House of Bishops and Provincial Council meetings in Toronto
Dec 14 – Vancouver area ANiC parish leaders meet to discuss possible appeal of court decision
Dec 18-20 – St John’s Richmond Christmas mission
Dec 24 – Jan 3 – ANCA office closed
Dec 25 – Merry Christmas!
Jan 7 – St Aidan’s Ministries meeting in Chatham, ON to discuss a church plant
Jan 13 – St Aidan’s Ministries meeting in Belle River, ON to discuss a church plant
Mar 16 -18 – Annual ANiC clergy retreat at Cedar Springs (near Abbotsford, BC)
Mar 18 – Ministry leadership seminar at Heritage Seminary, Cambridge ON
Apr 7-9 – reFocus Canada – a preaching and theology conference for pastors and seminarians


ANiC and ACNA in the news
VirtueOnline – Nov 30 2009 – Anglo-Catholic diocese would withdraw from ACNA if women are ordained bishops
Canadian Christianity – Dec 3 2009 – Court rules against Anglican conservatives


News shorts – Canada

Ministry leadership day planned for Cambridge (ON), March 18
For clergy from Ontario who can’t make it to the ANiC clergy retreat (March 16-18 near Abbotsford, BC), here’s another option. Heritage Seminary in Cambridge ON is offering a one-day ministry leadership seminar with guest lecturer, Dr John Stackhouse. Dr Stackhouse focuses on analyzing and engaging trends in contemporary culture, particularly those that involve religion and spirituality.
Date: 18 March 2010
Location: Heritage Seminary <http://www.discoverheritage.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=86&Itemid=97> , 175 Holiday Inn Dr, Cambridge ON
Register: Call 1-800-465-1961.


Anglican priest arrested
A self-declared “gay” priest serving in the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. The National Post reports the priest was married and had three children when he announced in 2003 that he was homosexual.


Canadian Anglican news
Parksville Qualicum News – Dec 7 2009 – Same-sex unions to get blessing
Anglican Journal – Dec 2 2009 – General Synod pension plan changes will cost more, pay less
Canadian Christianity – November 2009 – Anglicans must ‘change or die’


News shorts – United States

TEC elects partnered lesbian as suffragan bishop in Diocese of Los Angeles
In clear defiance of the global Anglican Communion, TEC is pushing on with electing homosexually-active bishops. The Rev Canon Mary Glasspool was elected December 5, one of two suffragan bishops elected by the Diocese of Los Angeles. The diocese’s website declares, “Glasspool is… the first openly partnered lesbian to be elected a bishop in the Episcopal Church”.

The election still requires consent from the majority of standing committees of TEC’s other dioceses. Diocesan bishop, Jon Bruno is quoted on the diocese website as saying, “To not consent in this country out of fear of the reaction elsewhere in the Anglican Communion is to capitulate to titular heads." The ordination is slated for May 15.

The Archbishop of Canterbury responded to the news, calling again for “
gracious restraint”. His statement said, “The election… raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole. The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected... That decision will have very important implications.” However, Dr Kendall Harmon reminds us that Dr Williams issued rather similar statement about Bishop Gene Robinson’s election. The Associate Press quotes Dr Harmon saying, “This decision represents an intransigent embrace of a pattern of life Christians throughout history and the world have rejected as against biblical teaching.”

The recently established Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order issued a communiqué on December 8 which included a comment on the election of Canon Glasspool. The 21-member international panel,
“…expressed the fervent hope that ‘gracious restraint’ would be exercised by The Episcopal Church in this instance.”

Archbishop Peter Jensen (Diocese of Sydney) declared,
“Confirmation of this election will make clear beyond any doubt whatsoever that the TEC leadership has chosen to walk in a way which is contrary to scripture and… the expressed will of the majority of the Anglican Communion. Further, it confirms the rightness of… establishing the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA)… It is all the more urgent that those who share the aims of the FCA should associate themselves with the movement and express their disapproval of actions which are contrary to scripture and contrary to historic Anglicanism. Further, this gives the Archbishop of Canterbury every reason to act decisively and dissociate from the Episcopal Church and to recognise the Anglican Church of North America.”

In his commentary, Dr Albert Mohler said,
“The real question that confronts the Anglican Communion is whether their churches will bless homosexuality. Liberals see this as the necessary liberation of oppressed human beings from prejudice. Conservatives see the blessing of homosexuality as a direct rejection of Scripture, a violation of Christian tradition, and an act of rebellion against God… A call for "gracious restraint" is no leadership at all.”

The Evangelical Fellowship in the Church in Wales issued a statement saying,
“…We believe that the election of Mary Glasspool indicates a willingness in the diocese of Los Angeles to break those bonds of affection, and that the confirmation of this election, should it happen, will indicate the willingness of The Episcopal Church as a whole to take actions ‘contrary to the mind of the Communion’. Those who have left The Episcopal Church over recent years have, by contrast, shown their readiness to respect the mind of the Communion. Such events in the United States have shown with increasing clarity which groups do and which do not represent the witness of authentic Anglicanism in that country.”

In distancing themselves from the election, TEC’s Communion Partners Clergy Steering Committee stated, “With the election of a non-celibate lesbian priest as Bishop Suffragan, the Diocese of Los Angeles has demonstrated its belief that membership in an international communion of churches is less important than unilaterally proceeding with an agenda of sexual liberation… Where restraint has been respectfully requested by the leadership of the Communion, this action by the Diocese of Los Angeles is provocative, defiant and uncharitable.”

Related news coverage has included:
Times – Dec 7 2009 – Dreams of Church liberals are almost dead
Times – Dec 8 2009 – Friend of Dr Rowan Williams feels ‘betrayed’ by his stance on gays
Guardian – Dec 7 2009 – Election of lesbian bishop divides Anglican community
Christianity Today – Dec 7 2008 – Lesbian bishop’s election triggers new power struggle
Anglican Curmudgeon – Dec 8 2009 – The best of times, the worst of times
Living Church – Dec 7 2009 – Canon Glasspool’s election draws pointed responses
Daily Monitor (Uganda) – Dec 8 2009 – Orombi angry over new lesbian bishop
Beliefnet – December 8 2009 – Anglican panel urges Episcopalians to reject lesbian bishop
Religious Intelligence – Dec 7 2009 – Archbishop… urges rethink on US bishop’s election
Living Church – Dec 9 2009 – Editorial: Think, and Act, Globally
Times – Dec 10 2009 – Canon Mary Glasspool: time for Church to open door to rights for gays
Wall Street Journal – Dec 9 2009 – Pride and prejudice in the Episcopal Church


More heresy from TEC pulpits
VirtueOnline has published a grossly heretical liturgy employed by an Arkansas priest on All Saints Day which included Mohammed, Vishnu, Buddha and Confucius among the saints of the church.


US church in the news
Wall Street Journal – Dec 7 2009 – Episcopal Church tensions stirred
Religious Intelligence – Dec 2 2009 – Christian leaders sign up to ‘Manhattan Declaration’
Anglican Curmudgeon – Dec 2 2009 – Anatomy of a Church property lawsuit (Tennessee) – Part 1
Episcopal Life Online – Dec 1 2009 – Committee sees vitality in Episcopal Church amidst challenges [Putting the best face on recently releases TEC statistics]
BeliefNet News – Dec 7 2009 – Episcopal Church membership drops by 3 percent


News shorts – International

Listening Process desensitizes, reduces resistance
VirtueOnline proposes that the Anglican Communion “listening process” is less about “listening” and more about promoting greater acceptance of homosexual behaviour within the global Anglican Church through systematically desensitizing and breaking down resistance.  Based on an established psychological technique,
“The process is designed to first generate sympathy then empathy and finally acceptance.”

Paradoxically, a liberal US “think tank”, formerly led by the ultra-liberal Rev Katherine Ragsdale, is alleging that the African Churches’ opposition to homosexual behaviour has been generated by manipulative North American conservative interests. The report, which downplays the role of Islam, charges that western conservatives are using African churches “as a proxy force in their U.S. culture war” and that African homosexuals have become “collateral damage”. It recommends revisionists build relationships with the next generation of African church leaders, “educating” and “enlightening” them.


The suffering church
China – The Associated Press reports on the systematic abuse of pastors and Christians in China by the government, with church leaders thrown into prison or labour camps simply for meeting as a church. The report states, “Chinese law allows police to sentence people to up to three years in "education through labor" camps without any trial….”


News from around the Communion
Zimbabwe – Conflict continues between supporters of a rogue bishop – former Bishop of Harare Tolbert Kunonga – and those loyal to the Province of Central Africa. Kunonga, who was ousted from the Province several years ago is a close supporter of the country’s dictatorial president Robert Mugabe. The Voice of America News reports that clashes occurred last weekend over which faction retains use of church properties in the diocese.

UgandaBloomberg reports that the government of Uganda will redraft proposed legislation governing homosexual behaviour to drop the harshest penalties – life imprisonment and the death penalty – in order to gain support from national religious leaders. The revised bill is expected to be introduced before the end of the month. The Anglican Church in Uganda and Archbishop Henry Orombi has experienced severe pressure from international activities due to this legislation.

Cuba – The Anglican Journal reports that a new Bishop of Cuba will be appointed in January by a triumvirate of TEC’s Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Shori, ACoC’s Archbishop Fred Hiltz and the acting primate of the West Indies Archbishop Errol Brooks. Two diocesan special electoral synods failed to elect a bishop. The Journal reports that “The Cuban diocese has not elected its diocesan bishop for more than 20 years because of internal divisions.”


Soul food

About Saint Nicholas
A National Post article on St Nicholas, the fourth century Bishop of Myra whose reputation morphed into Santa Claus, reminds us, “
Nicholas was not martyred, although he was persecuted and imprisoned for his Christian faith. In this way, it is Nicholas’ life, rather than his death, that informs his legacy… Nicholas demonstrated how to live. A wealthy man, he decided to make kindness his currency.”

The Rev Ed Hird (Anglican Coalition in Canada,) writing for his community paper, also recalls the legacy of St Nicholas. He says, “During [Nicholas’] time, many church buildings were destroyed, bibles were burnt, and priests were murdered. As a result of his faithful suffering, Nicholas ended up being made Saint, the Patron Saint of sailors, Russia, and children. His symbol became 3 bags of gold, the dowry he was supposed to have given to three girls to save them from embarrassment. That, of course, is the origin of Santa bringing presents at Christmas.”


Just for fun



Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc - www.reverendfun.com


Resources
Taylor College of Mission and Evangelism (located in Saint John, NB) is offering a 3 month online course for clergy and laity designed to develop a “missional mind”. The course is based on the book 'The Forgotten Ways" by Alan Hirsch and is instructed by Alan Hirsch and Reed Fleming. Hirsch’s vision of church growth is based on the model of the early church. Taylor College is a ministry of the Church Army.


Made in God’s image, marred by sin
Euthanasia – The Montreal Gazette reports that the Quebec Liberal government – goaded by the Parti Québécois is beginning a public debate on euthanasia.

The Daily Mail reports that the architect of Holland’s legalization of euthanasia has admitted that
“…medical care for the terminally-ill had declined since the law came into effect”. This revelation comes in a recently published book by Dr Anne-Marie The who demonstrates that “…palliative care was so inadequate in Holland that patients 'often ask for euthanasia out of fear' of dying in agony because care and pain relief is so poor.”   The book also alleges that “'The pro-euthanasia campaigners set out to smash the hospice movement. People can no longer get palliative care when they need it - they just get an injection.'”

Divorce – A study released by the Vanier Institute entitled Divorce: Facts, Causes and Consequences shows divorce rates declined in Canada after peaking in 1987, and levelled off in the late 1990s. Couples marrying today have a 38 per cent probability of divorce. However, the study found a correlation between religious commitment and marital happiness. In summarizing the study, Canadian Christianity reports that the factors identified as contributing to divorce included: “…liberalized divorce laws; the decline of religious belief leading to the "desacralization" of marriage; and individualism's emphasis on personal choice, happiness and rights rather than duties”. The study also found that children of divorce “…are more likely to suffer from emotional disorders such as anxiety or depression; to exhibit behaviour problems; to become young offenders; to do less well in school; and to experience more relationship problems”.

Marriage and family values The Interim reports on a newly released book, Fearful Symmetry: The Fall and Rise of Canada's Founding Values, by Brian Lee Crowley which “…persuasively argues that the future prosperity of Canada depends on a revival of marriage and the family. For Crowley, this is a new understanding. Until last year, he was living in a casual, common-law relationship. It was only during a recent stint as the Clifford Clark Visiting Economist at the federal Department of Finance that he finally came to realize that common-law relationships, single-parenthood and rampant marital breakdown are jeopardizing the economic and social well-being of Canadians.”

In the preface, Crowley says that,
“I quickly began to realize that I couldn’t think about marriage and family on a grand scale without also thinking about marriage and family for myself and the critical things I had to say about the decisions Canadians had made in this regard over the past few decades applied just as much to me as to anyone else. I asked Shelley to marry me in February 2008 and we are about to celebrate our first anniversary as this book is being prepared for the printer. My only regret is that it took me so long to get around to it; my great joy is that Shelley would have me in spite of everything.”

Human trafficking - By a vote of 239-46 the House of Commons passed Bill C-268, a private members bill which provides a minimum five-year sentence for traffickers of children. Most Bloc Quebecois MPs and three NDP MPs voted against the stricter penalties for child traffickers. Some MPs, including Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, abstained. Read the story in The Interim.

AbortionDr Albert Mohler discusses a New York magazine article that admits (regretfully) that a growing majority of Americans oppose abortion. The writer even goes so far as to say that the current generation, "is the most pro-life to come along since the generation born during the Great Depression."

LifeSiteNews reports
that today there are 713 abortion clinics in the US, compared to 2200 in 1991. Operation Rescue has coordinated a campaign of prayer and pursuing legal means to get these clinics shut down. The Operation Rescue website says,
“As public opinion shifts toward the pro-life position and as access to abortion services decreases, women are increasingly rejecting abortion in favor of life for their babies.”

Pornography – Citizens for Community Values and the Family Research Council have released a study supporting the view that pornography distorts relationships, undermines marriage and family life, and erodes values. In addition to having a higher tolerance for other forms of sexual immorality – including rape, aggression and promiscuity – men exposed regularly to pornography become less emotionally attached to their wives.


Food for thought
Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgment.
Great spirits always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds -
Albert Einstein


Please pray...
For our
ANiC projects, church plants, parishes, bishops and rectors.

For the
ministry of ANiC congregations to our communities during Christmas – especially the mission planned by St John’s Richmond and the Artizo interns in the community of Richmond, BC.

That we would
share the Good News with those around us who need to meet our Lord & Saviour.

For the legal cases
For the four Vancouver area ANiC parishes and their lawyers who are reviewing the decision issued by Mr Justice Stephen Kelleher and seeking God’s clear leading. May God grant clarity and unity as they discern whether or not to appeal the decision. Pray especially for the December 14 meeting of the leaders of the four churches as well as the special vestry meeting of St. Matthias and St. Luke on December 20.
For the Windsor case (involving St Aidan’s) which is being dealt with in London, Ontario.
For all the congregations involved in court proceedings and disputes. Pray for peace for the wardens and trustees who are on the front lines and bear the burden of risk and responsibility.
For sufficient contributions to the Legal Defence Fund so that legal costs can be covered and the churchwardens and trustees are not at personal financial risk. The Ontario parishes, in particular, need greater financial support at this time.
For the leaders and parishioners of the dioceses pursuing eviction of and damages against ANiC congregations and wardens in court.
That God will be glorified in all court proceedings and may people who would not otherwise attend a church hear the good news and turn to Jesus.

Praise God for the interim negotiated agreement with the Diocese of Niagara providing stability for St George’s, St Hilda’s and Good Shepherd.


And now a word from our sponsor
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


Isaiah 35


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