|Handle with prayer!
ANiC and ACNA events calendar
March 26, 7pm – Installation of the Rev Dr Canon Brent Stiller, St Peter & St Paul's (Ottawa)
April 2, 7pm – Patricia Brewin ordained a permanent deacon, Holy Trinity, Marlborough, MA
April 9, 10:30am – Vince Otten ordained a permanent deacon, Cornerstone, Sarnia, ON
May 6 – Ontario women's retreat, Celebration Church, Barrie ON (more information to come)
May 7 – Canadian Sanctity of Life Sunday
May 11 – March for Life, Ottawa and provincial capitals
May 14 – The Rev Phil Varcoe will be ordained a priest at Resurrection, Brandon
May 15-18 – ANiC clergy and spouse retreat, Malibu, BC
May 18-20 – ACNA Intersection Conference in Costa Mesa, CA on impacting culture
May 26 - June 3 – Mission trip to Cuba to visit ACNA church plants
May 28 – The Rev Gregor Cantz will be ordained a priest at Emmaus, Montreal
June 11, 4pm– The Rev Bob Bailey will be ordained a priest at Saint Matthew's Abbotsford, BC
June 18, 7pm – The Rev Jeremy Graham will be ordained a priest at St John's Vancouver
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, Burlington, ON
Synod is on the move!
Synod 2017 will be hosted by St George's, Burlington, ON. Originally, we'd planned to hold Synod at St Peter & St Paul's Ottawa. But God has made it possible for St Peter & St Paul's to move forward with their long-anticipated building renovation plans. The renovation schedule meant we needed to find a new location for synod. After considering other options in the Ottawa area, we gratefully accepted the gracious offer from St George's Burlington to host this year's synod.
In originally focusing on Ottawa, we were looking at the symbolism of being in the nation's capital to mark Canada's 150th anniversary. But God in His infinite wisdom has led us to believe there are other reasons why it would be significant for us to be in St Georges, Burlington.
The St George's building is the first to be constructed from the ground up during the decade since our diocese was formed. How symbolic is that!? As we look to God to build ANiC, St George's serves as both an encouragement and a concrete example of God's goodness and leading. More than that, it was in Burlington in November 2007 that ANiC became an ecclesial body and thus launched what is now the Diocese of the Anglican Network in Canada.
We – and the people of St George's – look forward to welcoming you to Burlington October 25-27 for our 10th Synod, with Clergy Day on October 24. Please mark your calendars now!
More information will be coming very soon. To help your church plan, we have posted information on costs to the ANiC website.
Welcoming a new forming congregation in Oliver, BC!
Last newsletter we mentioned that a group was forming in Oliver, BC. Well, it is now officially an ANiC project – the South Okanagan Project. If you know anyone in the area who might be interesting in joining this forming congregation, please have them email Archdeacon Bruce Chamberlayne or call 250-860-9561. They meet Sundays at 10:30am at 1116 Fairview Rd, Oliver.
Bishop Charlie Masters asks the entire diocese to pray for those approaching ordination. Next month, the following will be entering into Holy Orders:
Patricia Brewin is being ordained to the permanent diaconate by Bishop Don Harvey on April 2 at 7pm at Holy Trinity, Marlborough, MA.
Vince Otten will be ordained to the permanent diaconate at Cornerstone, Sarnia, ON on April 9 at 10:30am by Bishop Charlie.
The Rev Phil Varcoe will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Charlie on May 14 at Resurrection, Brandon.
The Rev Gregor Cantz will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Charlie on May 28 at Emmaus, Montreal.
The Rev Bob Bailey will be ordained by Bishop Trevor Walters to the priesthood on June 11 at 4pm at Saint Matthew's Abbotsford, BC.
The Rev Jeremy Graham will be ordained by Bishop Trevor Walters to the priesthood on June 18 at 7pm at St John's Vancouver.
Please also make every effort to attend ordinations in your area to bless, encourage and pray for those taking this monumental step.
This is the time of year when congregations are required to report to both our province (ACNA) and our diocese (ANiC). The two required reports cover almost entirely different turf and both are important. Rectors and church leaders, if you haven't submitted your reports, you are already late for the ACNA report (deadline March 1) and the ANiC report (deadline March 15). Information for both reports has been sent by email to rectors and churches. Please check your emails or contact ANiC Registrar, Canon Tom Carman. (Don't make him chase you, because you know he will!)
Ministry Growth Partners
God has been very good to ANiC. We are gradually getting on a firmer financial footing. But there is a long way to go. Recently our diocese launchedMinistry Growth Partners. We are excited about this approach and we'd love to have you join our team. If you would like to get behind our ministry growth initiatives, please learn more here. You may also want to check out our 2016-17 budget.
ANiC's Asian and Multicultural Ministries (AMMiC) featured at ACNA Assembly
Bishop Stephen Leung and AMMiC have been invited to host a sub-conference program during the ACNA Assembly, June 27-30. Together with his team, Bishop Stephen is responsible for four workshops:
||Christ and culture – featuring speaker Bishop Michael Nazir Ali, respondents the Rev Canon William Beasley (Greenhouse) and Bishop Stephen Leung
||Raising the next generation leaders and children's ministry
||Hospitality and welcoming immigrants to a spiritual home
||The gospel and environmental protection – in response to Japan's experience
We'd love to see a number of ANiC members at this once-every-three-years Assembly. This is the closest it has ever been to Canada. And the Wheaton College campus where the Assembly is to be held is both iconic and historic for North American Christians.
Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada report
Thanks to a significant donation from a foundation and other's generosity, the ARDFC's fund to purchase a van for the growing church plants in Cuba has now reached $10,000 in hand and another $10,000 pledged. Our goal is $60,000. You can participate online here.
With the alarming news of famine in South Sudan and elsewhere in Africa, ARDFC has sent $2000 from its general fund to provide immediate relief. ARDF (US) also sent $8000 to help purchase emergency food in the Diocese of Wau, South Sudan. There is a saying in Africa: "When two elephants fight, the grass gets hurt". Civil war in South Sudan has not only created a huge refugee crisis, but also a man-made famine. You can learn more about the famine in South Sudan and how the Diocese of Wau is responding here.
The ACNA is suggesting we fast and pray one day each week during Lent to remember our brothers and sisters who are starving in South Sudan. Please watch for an emergency appeal from ARDFC– coming soon – that will allow us to participate in sending famine relief.
Wounded Healers extends God's healing to growing numbers
Archdeacon Ron & Deirdre Corcoran held their second, highly successful Wounded Healers conference last month. Bishop Trevor Walters reports on the conference which drew 100 people: "Last weekend I attended the second Wounded Healers Conference… We did not see a single person leave without at some stage in the weekend come to a prayer team for ministry. Ron's testimony, told in frank humorous dialogue format kept us riveted. The great "why" question that Ron wrestled with for years has finally given way to the "what" question, "what" can God do through his abuse and suffering? What God did this last weekend was remarkable..."
Another Victoria-area pastor writes, "It has now been a couple of weeks since this event and, on a nearly daily basis, I continue to hear accounts of people who experienced significant emotional, mental, and spiritual healing during the days of the conference… Our local church congregation is continuing to experience the impact of this conference, and our leadership is considering hosting a Wounded Healers conference on an annual basis."
If you have wounded people in your congregation, who need to be set free from bondage inflicted through emotional, physical, verbal, spiritual, and sexual abuse, and if your congregation would like to be trained to minister effective and lasting inner healing to wounded people, connect with Archdeacon Ron to discuss possibilities.
Funding for ministries of mercy
ACNA's Matthew 25 Initiative – which helps churches reach the poor and needy in their communities – is accepting another round of applications for funding. So if your church-based ministry qualified, do apply! Grants of between $3000 and $25,000 (US) are offered.
Do you have a heart for prayer? Are you longing to see God send revival to your church? Did you know that ANiC's Canon for Prayer Support, the Rev Garth Hunt, is looking for a parish prayer coordinator from each parish to join the growing team? If you are not aware of a prayer coordinator in your parish, and if God is speaking to you about this role, please talk to your rector. If together you agree this would be a good fit for you, please ask your rector to send your name and contact information to Garth+ via email.
Getting behind the training of our next generation of Biblically faithful leaders
At the GAFCon gatherings last week, Archbishop Peter Jensen told us that unbiblical teaching primarily entered the Church through the seminaries. First the seminaries gave way to heresy, then the "pulpit", and finally the "pew". Artizo is a program that was founded to equip and train young people gifted for ministry. In 10 years, the program has trained 66 interns – a number of whom are serving in ANiC churches. Artizo also offers supply preachers.
Dr J I Packer writes, "Maturity in Christ, and usefulness for Christ are the gains that the Artizo program offers to Christian young men and women. I am enthusiastic about this program. Already, I can see Artizo alumni standing out as leaders."
To continue its ministry, Artizo needs to broaden its financial support base – including both individuals and churches. Would you and our church consider including Artizo in your 2017 giving? If your church leadership would like to meet with an Artizo board member, please email either Joyce Lee or Eric Thurston.
Bishop Ron Ferris re-retires
On March 5 Bishop Ron Ferris stepped down as rector of the church he helped plant in Langley, BC – Church of the Ascension. This marks the second time he has retired. Speaking to the people of Ascension, Bishop Ron recounted the history of the church and the remarkable ways God had lead in the nine years since its founding. You can read his testimony to God's grace here.
Our hearts go out to the Rev Keith Stoddart (Burlington, ON) who is mourning the loss of his dear wife, but celebrating that she is released from earthly suffering and is now experience unimaginable joy in the presence of her Saviour.
Bishop Charlie asks us to pray…
We were deeply saddened to hear that retired ANiC priest the Rev Andre Leroux lost his earthly possessions when his house in Eganville, ON was destroyed by fire last month. Although Andre+ was physically unharmed, this loss is devastating. His neighbours have started a "GoFundMe" campaign to help him rebuild. You can help here: www.gofundme.com/help-andre-rebuild. Thanks.
Prolife in action – for Ontario residents
If you share Bishop Charlie's passion for protecting all human life at every stage of life, and if you are a resident of Ontario, you'll want to take action to plead with the Government of Ontario to honour the protection of conscience rights for health care professional contained in Bill C14 (which decriminalized assisted suicide in Canada). Currently physicians in Ontario are required to refer, and even perform, procedures contrary to their conscience. No other jurisdiction in the world requires this of doctors. Learn what you can do on the Canadians for Conscience website.
Video of GAFCon gathering available online
If you weren't able to be at one of the two GAFCon gatherings last week with Archbishops Peter Jensen (Sydney, Australia - retired) and Peter Akinola (Nigeria - retired) you can watch the informative and engaging session online. (Thanks to St George's Burlington for the video!)
Mission Trip to Fukushima and Pilgrimage to Nagasaki – March 10 -20, 2017
The Rev Shihoko and Ken Warren are currently leading a church team from Vancouver on a mission trip to Fukushima and a pilgrimage to Nagasaki, Japan where there will learn about the history of Japanese Christians, who through their suffering sowed the seeds of the Gospel for all Japanese. Learn more on the Church of All Nation's blog.
We are well into Lent, but if you are still looking for a Lenten manual, the Rev Geoff Chapman and Sojourn Church (Vancouver) have one available for download from the church website as a pdf.
Toronto seminar, March 25
The Anglican Communion Alliance is offering a seminar at Wycliffe College, Toronto entitled, "Where is Unity in a Theologically Divided Church". If interested, see their website for more information and registration.
Halifax information meeting
The Rev Stephen and Cathy Ashton report that the information meeting Bishop Charlie Masters held in Halifax, NS in late February attracted about twenty people, about half or whom were not associated with ANiC. Bishop Charlie's presentation was well received and some people seem to be seriously considering their options.
Silent retreat quietly ministers to Ontario clergy
The silent retreat for southern Ontario clergy held last week ministered deeply to harried clergy as the speaker, the Rev Dawn MacDonald, encouraged them with the words of Jesus, "Come away with me and rest awhile". Participant comments included: "In my experience of attending these retreats, I have always come away deeply touched by the Lord;" "…renewed in Jesus." "Looking forward to next year…"
ANiC parish and regional news
St Peter & St Paul's (Ottawa, ON) – The Rev Canon Dr Brent Stiller will be inducted and installed as rector by Bishop Charlie Masters on Sunday, March 26 at 7pm. All are welcome. Refreshments follow. Clergy are asked to RSVP to Laurie LeChasseur (email@example.com) and indicate if they will robe (white stole).
St Matthias and St Luke (Vancouver, BC) is hosting its annual Seder Dinner on Maundy Thursday, April 13 at 320 East 15th Ave, Vancouver, in the parish hall of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. (Please enter by side door.) Doors will open at 6pm and dinner will start at 6:30 sharp. Advance registration is required to facilitate food planning. There is no charge, but donations will be gratefully accepted. Please register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 604-876-4320.
St Luke's (Pembroke, ON) – Archdeacon Tim will be leading a day long workshop on healing, Saturday, March 25 from 9am - 4pm. All are welcome! Come and bring a bag lunch. Coffee and snacks are provided.
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)
Diocese of South Carolina votes unanimously to join ACNA
The 226th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina has voted to affiliate with our Province (ACNA). The vote was unanimous in both orders – clergy and laity. The Anglican Church in North America will formally receive the Diocese of South Carolina at the ACNA Provincial Assembly in Wheaton, Illinois this June.
Bishop Mark Lawrence told the Convention, "I cast my vote to affiliate with the ACNA with eager and expectant faith. I believe God has called us to this and I believe we will find a deeper richness in our vocation, fuller fellowship in the Spirit, a more zealous thrust in mission… But most of all, I believe a door will be opened, the fresh winds of the Spirit will blow, and a caged eagle will soar."
The Diocese of South Carolina, one of the nine founding dioceses of the US Episcopal Church (TEC), disaffiliated from TEC in 2012, after TEC attempted to remove Bishop Lawrence. In 2014, the diocese was granted temporary primatial oversight from the Global South Primates of the Anglican Communion while it explored permanent affiliation options.
Provincial Assembly, June 27-30, near Chicago
Are you planning to participate in our Province's 2017 Assembly in Wheaton, Illinois? You don't have to be an official delegate. It promises to be a wonderful time of worship, fellowship and teaching, and a terrific wonderful way to learn about what God is doing in our Province and our nations! But you have to act fast! Early bird registration closes this Friday (March 17).
New ACNA Prayer Book texts available
Nearly all the remaining working texts proposed for the Book of Common Prayer 2019, approved by the College of Bishops in January, are available on the ACNA website. Texts include the proposed rites for Holy Week.
The ACNA Liturgy Task Force invites comments on these newly released texts, as well as all texts were previously made available. The Liturgy Task Force now is beginning to consider, evaluate, and incorporate the 400+ emailed comments received and catalogued over the last three years. By the end of 2017 the texts for the offices and Eucharist's should be finalized, with the remaining Prayer Book texts finalized by the end of 2018. The ACNA Book of Common Prayer is anticipated in 2019.
Archbishops of Canterbury and York declare ACNA orders valid
A short statement on the Church of England website announced that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have recognized the validity of ACNA clergy orders "…under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967".
International news in brief
Anglican Communion news in brief
In connection with the Archbishop of Canterbury's invitation to the Primates to an official Primates Meeting this fall, Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office once again assured the Primates that their decision – to discipline the US Episcopal Church (TEC) – had been honoured. However, both TEC leaders and some Primates immediately stated this was not true; contrary to the Primates' decision, TEC leaders have fully participated in Anglican Communion decision-making. TEC insider, Mark Harris, comments on how the Anglican Communion Office is playing games with the truth, and Anglican Unscripted commentators discuss who is likely behind the falsehoods.
Work has begun to plan a Lambeth Meeting of all bishops in the Anglican Communion for late July 2020 in Canterbury, England. But who will come?
At the end of February, Archbishop Justin Welby toured East Africa, meeting with the Primates of Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Kenya. He also attended a meeting in Nairobi of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA).
Together with His All-Holiness Bartholomew of Constantinople, Archbishop Welby signed a joint declaration condemning modern slavery at a forum in Istanbul.
Canterbury is encouraging all Christians of every denomination to join in a ten-day global prayer initiative "Thy Kingdom ome" from Ascension Day to Pentecost, May 25 – June 4.
Freedom of religion – The National Post reports Trinity Western University (TWU) will appear before the Supreme Court of Canada over its "efforts to have future graduates from its proposed law school accredited as lawyers." The dispute revolved around the school's "community covenant, which bans sexual intimacy outside of heterosexual marriage". Law Societies in three provinces opposed TWU, claiming this covenant discriminates against the LGBTQ community, with TWU winning in both the BC and Nova Scotia provincial courts, but losing in Ontario.
Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) – Virtue Online has an overview of the decline in the ACoC. Although the ACoC has failed to publish statistics since 2001, estimates of its membership range from about 320,000 to around 540,000. The sale of church properties is keeping some dioceses solvent. Pray that the Truth of God's Word will be proclaimed once again from every ACoC pulpit.
Diocese of the Arctic (ACoC) – The Anglican Journal has a lovely article about the Revs Rebecca and Jared Osborn, graduates of Trinity School of Ministry in Pittsburgh, who are serving in the Anglican Church of Canada's Diocese of the Artic in Iqaluit, Nunavut under diocesan bishop David Parsons and suffragan bishop Darren McCartney – who was a guest at ANiC's 2016 synod.
Abortion – The Liberal government has responded to the US decision to cut funding for overseas abortions, by announcing a further $650-million to advance "sexual and reproductive health" in developing countries – fundamentally abortion. Cardinal Collins of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warming him against the arrogance of powerful, wealthy nations dictating priorities to developing countries and engaging in "ideological colonization". He concludes, "Surely we can do better than imposing a distorted vision of the empowerment of women on the people of [other] countries…"
Bishop Stacy Sauls, former chief operating officer of the US Episcopal Church (TEC), is suing over his dismissal last year. Lawyer Alan Haley discusses this in an Anglican Unscripted video (along with other legal matters) – exposing the inner machinations and poisoned relations within TEC's head office and among key staff. His opinion is that Bishop Sauls has been treated shabbily by TEC and that he has a strong legal case.
Bishop Phillip North, bishop of Burnley, has turned down his appointment to become the new bishop of Sheffield. As a member of the Anglo-Catholic wing of the CoE who opposes the ordination of women, he had been mercilessly hounded in the media and vociferously opposed by those with more "progressive" views.
Susie Leaf, Director of Reform, stated that this demonstration of intolerance calls into question of the principles undergirding the 2014 settlement opening the door to women in the episcopate, and even the future of conservatives in the CoE. She said, "I have lost count of the number of times conservatives have been asked to trust that we can flourish in the Church of England…"
Gavin Ashendon, in discussing this situation, writes, "Bishop Philip North's election to the Diocese of Sheffield was a litmus test… The North appointment was a serious test for the much vaunted 'Good Disagreement' that Archbishop Justin Welby has staked his archiepiscopal strategy on. It has all gone badly wrong. 'Good Disagreement' turned out to be a euphemism for 'bad bullying'… Behind all the pleasant cosmetic words like inclusion, equality, and diversity lay a ruthless will-to-power that will not brook a different value system… Inclusion means exclusion. Diversity means monopoly… The Philip North crisis has shown us what the end game always was. The monopoly of a sub-Christian, neo-Arian, power-driven heterodoxy that was infuriated by Christian orthodoxy… Since it has become clear that orthodox Christians will not be allowed the privilege of following their consciences, living out biblical paradigms and challenging the secular culture from within the Church of England, they will either have to adopt a separate orthodox jurisdiction of their own, or leave…"
Anglican Unscripted commentators discuss how this plays into the current same-sex marriage debate as the CoE pursues the "progressives" agenda.
Bishops' "double-minded" report on marriage and same sex relationships rejected
Following intensive lobbying by the LGBT lobby, the CoE has been rocked by the refusal of General Synod to "take note" of a report submitted by its House of Bishops on human sexuality – thanks to a narrow defeat in the House of Clergy. This report, while ostensibly holding to the historic Christian teaching on marriage also attempted to open the door wider to affirming same-sex relationships. Following this rebuke, the Archbishops of York and Canterbury issued a statement which Archbishop Nicholas Okoh (Nigeria and chair of GAFCon) said faced both ways; continuing on the same theologically incoherent trajectory as the report, the archbishops tried to both uphold Biblical teaching on marriage but called for even more "radical Christian inclusion" and maximum freedom in affirming non-Biblical sexual expression based on our cultures views of sexuality.
In the Archbishops' statement they called for:
1. "…a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church."
2. "… based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual."
3. "The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ – all of us, without exception, without exclusion."
Former Chaplain to the Queen, Canon Gavin Ashendon says this concept of radical inclusion constitutes "a distortion of Christianity". In his devastating analysis he states, "They preference a non-Christian ideology that gives us a sub-Christian or even perhaps an anti-Christian version of the faith… Welby talks as if there is no repentance, no sin, no turning required. So, this is radical, but only in that it is radically different from the teaching and example of Jesus. It is not Christian."
Ashendon+ concludes: "It is a shock to hear a rallying cry to the Church containing such vacuity and such a distortion of Christian teaching and insight. The Archbishop has swallowed some poor theology that has distorted his understanding of both the human condition and the antidote to it, the Gospel. He has taken half the truth and turned it into a pseudo whole truth, which is the way of all heresy." DrMartin Davie also offers a theological critique of the new CoE buzz phrase "radical inclusion".
Anglican Unscripted commentators provide insightful analysis of the CoE synod's rejection of the House of Bishops report on sexuality and suggest the defeat of the report is positive in that it has brought into the open diametrically opposed positions which cannot be held together.
And GAFCon UK offers a vision of what faithful Anglican Christianity in England would encompass.
News in brief
Students training for the CoE priesthood at Westcott House in Cambridge recently hosted an evensong service with wildly altered liturgy to mark LGBT history month. The "queered" liturgy, for example, referred to God as "the Duchess".
The commentators at Anglican Unscripted discuss Freemasonry in the Church of England. Although Anglicans, like Roman Catholics, generally oppose Freemasonry (for a number of reasons), Canterbury Cathedral recently hosted a joint private service with Freemasons. Apparently the Freemasons have offered to pay for repairs to the cathedral. The CoE produced a report in 1987 on the incompatibility of Christianity and Freemasonry. This report was approved by a large majority of General Synod. See this Anglican Ink article for more background.
The Anglican Communion News Service announces that "the Most Rev David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church has announced he will retire at the end of July." BBC adds that "His departure will take place one month after the Church Synod - its ruling body - holds a vote on whether to allow same-sex marriage within the Church." Archbishop Chillingworth is a proponent of same-sex marriage.
The Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan, Dr Daniel Deng Bul, has announced he is stepping down in November.
Sudan will soon become a separate Province in the Anglican Communion. Currently, it is an internal province within the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan. Since South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, Archbishop Daniel Deng has had the challenge of overseeing churches in two countries. With the tremendous challenges facing South Sudan – civil war and famine – and the intense persecution in Sudan – Archbishop Deng formally requested that the internal province of Sudan to be granted autonomy. Most of the 4.5-million Anglicans in the existing Province are in South Sudan.
The Guardian reports that "Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan where UN agencies warned… that war and a collapsing economy have left 100,000 people facing starvation. A further 1 million people were classified as being on the brink of famine [due to] three years of civil war"
Please watch for an emergency appeal from ARDFC that will allow us to participate in sending famine relief. Coming soon!
Refugees – The UN is also reportedly "…extremely alarmed at the ongoing pace of displacement in South Sudan, where more than 1.5 million people have been forced to leave the country and seek safety since conflict erupted in December 2013. An additional 2.1 million people are displaced inside South Sudan."
Violence – Bishop Paul Yugusuk, of the Anglican Diocese of Lomega, has accused the South Sudan army of mass rapes and violence against civilians in the state of Eastern Equatoria. Earlier this week, an Anglican priest was found brutally murdered on the outskirts of the town of Yei (site of a recent ARDFC project to build a pediatric ward for a local Anglican-run clinic).
The Primate of Tanzania has had two bishops in his Province arrested. Anglican Ink reports that "The Bishops of Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar have been arrested by police in Western Tanganyika after an angry exchange erupted at a meeting of bishops of the Anglican Church of Tanzania. The Rt Rev Valentino Mokiwa of Dar es Salaam and the Rt Rev Michael Hafidh were taken to a police station in the Kibondo district and held..." Anglican Unscripted commentators discuss the disgraceful back story and the problem this presents for GAFCon.
Ahram Online reports that "Over the past two weeks, eight terrorist attacks have targeted Christians in North Sinai, including the murder of three people in Arish on Wednesday and Thursday… The Anglican Church in Egypt's Ismailia has received almost 30 Christian families, including 150 people, who escaped North Sinai's Capital Arish after several terrorist attacks targeting Christians in the city..." Please pray for Christians in parts of Egypt who face unrelenting persecution.
The Nigerian military is accused of mass murders of unarmed civilians. In their zeal to root out the Boko Haram, the military has been wiping out civilian populations, victimizing again those who have suffered so much at the hands of the terrorists.
In addition to the Islamist Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast, residents in central Nigeria have increasingly been terrorized by heavily armed Fulani herdsmen, who are attempting to drive the largely Christian farmers from the land so it is free for grazing their cattle. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh recently called on the government to disarm the Fulanis and restore security in the area.
For an interesting read, see a short 9Marks article on "The Triumph and Tragedy of Anglicanism's First African Bishop" – Bishop Samuel Crowther. A contemporary of Charles Spurgeon, Nigerian Ajayi (Samuel) Crowther, escaped slavery to eventually become an Anglican bishop, building the church in Nigeria. But later in life he was subject to race-based defamation by British missionaries with a colonial worldview who could not tolerate being under an African's authority.
China has reportedly expelled 60 South Korean Christians who were working with North Korean refugees who were being exploited by sex traffickers in northeast China. China gives little or no protection to North Korean refugees, often deporting them to North Korea where they face concentration camps or death. Watch a powerful short video of a young North Korean girl telling her story.
Anglicanism is not well-regarded in Hong Kong thanks to the pro-communist, Chinese nationalist ties of Archbishop Paul Kwong who is seen as a puppet of the Chinese government. Writing in Anglican Ink, Andrew Tam says "The current collaboration between western Anglican bishops and the Chinese Communist Party does not improve the freedom of religion in China. Instead, these bishops are merely endorsing the legitimacy of [a government]… who destroy the liturgical and theological traditions of different Christian denominations."
Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church have been seeking to tighten ties with the Anglican Church. First, on February 26, the Pope visited All Saints Anglican Church in the heart of Rome, presiding over an evensong service with Bishop Robert Inner of the Anglican Diocese in Europe. Then, on March 13, for the first time ever, Anglican Choral Evensong was celebrated in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
The UN is warning that it is facing the "…largest humanitarian crisis since the organization's creation [after WWII]… without the necessary funding and full, safe and unimpeded access for aid workers, people will die… Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine. Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death." The countries most affected by this largely man-made disaster are Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Northeastern Nigeria – all areas affected by war, terrorism and political instability.
Resources for ministry
If your church is considering electronic giving options, you'll want to read this resource prepared by the ACNA Diocese of the South, as well as their guide to service providers.
Ed Stetzer says that, if your church has plateaued, you need to get advice. "It's crucial that you network with other local, like-minded churches and pastors. Find someone else who can help you get unstuck. Remember, your best thinking got you where you are."
Youth walking away
A millennial explains why 59% of church-raises 22-35 year olds have walked away … and what the church can do to change that.
Resources for Christian Living
The 39 Articles
Canon Phil Ashey continues his series of short videos on the 39 Articles. New additions are:
Article XXXIV: Of the Tradition of the Church (part 3)
Article XXXVI: Of the Consecration of Bishops and Ministers (part 1) (part 2)
Religion vs science
Justin Taylor, writing on the Gospel Coalition blog delves into history to expose the who, how, and why of the manufactured myth of incompatibility between science and religion. Turns out two truth-challenged 19th century US academics are responsible.
Does the LGBT narrative hold up to scrutiny
Read what the scientific research says.
Stop saying you're "blessed"
Read how you may be communicating – to yourself and others – the prosperity gospel unawares.
What to pray for your children?
The Desiring God website offers seven suggested prayers.
TV and movies teach us doctrine and morals. Be an informed consumer. Tim Challies argues that The Shack is a story meant to teach doctrinal. What doctrine exactly? The author's latest work of non-fiction answers that question clearly: It is meant to teach heresy. In his latest book, the author "…systematically discusses and denies tenet after tenet of the historic Christian faith."
Former National Post religion reporter Charles Lewis, who suffers horrendous physical pain due to a debilitating spinal condition, has written an article, posted on the Wycliffe College website, on "Why we should care about euthanasia".
In a written brief to the House of Commons Health Committee, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has recommended public health measures to reduce the impact of violent Internet pornography on Canadians.
Just for fun
Kids today don't know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV to one of five channels.
A dollar may not go as far as it used to, but what it lacks in distance, it makes up for in speed.
As the social cost of claiming to be a Christian increases, the percentage of nominal Christians decreases. ~ D A Carson
And now a Word from our Sponsor
Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted.
Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, "You will not call to account"?
But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.
The LORD is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land.
O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart;
you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
Psalm 10:12-18 ESV
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