Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Wonderful Wrap-up to a Remarkable Weekend

Dear friends in Christ,

The entire Anglican Network Conference was a very rich and fulfilling way to spend a weekend. The 'piece de resistance' of the weekend was the joint ANiC/ACiC Ordination service on Sunday April 27th at St John's Shaughnessy. With over 500 people present, the service was filled, as David Short+ commented, with "unity, life and joy."

ANiC Bishop Donald Harvey, ANIC Suffragan Bishop Malcolm Harding, and ACiC Bishop Sandy Greene ordained clergy that evening in a significant expression of John 17 unity for the sake of mission.

Archdeacon Trevor Walters presented the Rev. Dr Ken Deeks when he was ordained to the Anglican priesthood/presbyterate. Dr Deeks serves at Christ for the Nations College in the Fraser Valley and at Church of the Resurrection in Hope, BC.

Also ordained was the Rev Jim Salladin who leads the Sunday evening service at St John's Shaughnessy. Standing next to Jim+ is his good friend, the Rev Josh Wilton from St. Simon's North Vancouver (ACiC).

The Rev Randy Forrester, who serves as a Regent College intern at Immanuel Church Vancouver (ACiC), was ordained by Bishop Sandy Greene that evening. Standing next to Randy+ is the Rev David Short, Rector of St John's Shaughnessy, the largest Anglican congregation in Canada.

We were greatly encouraged to have Bishop Bill Atwood (Kenya/Texas) and Archbishop Greg Venables (Southern Cone) present for the joint ANiC/ACiC ordination service. They have given invaluable service to Canadian Anglicans over the past six years.
Some people are confused about the terms 'Southern Cone' and 'Global South'. 'Southern Cone' refers to the South American Anglican Province led by Archbishop Venables, which the Anglican Network in Canada has joined. 'Global South' refers to the faithful Anglican Primates and Provinces in South America, Africa, and Asia which are standing up for what Anglicans have always believed and practised. An example of this would be with the Chinese Anglican Churches. The Rev Silas Ng (AMiA/Africa) and the Rev Stephen Leung (ANiC/South America) are now both part of the Global South, sharing together in our Common Cause Federation.

Thank you for all your prayers as God is realigning his Church.
In Christ, Ed Hird+
Communications Director
Anglican Coalition in Canada

VANCOUVER, BC: Apostolic Gospel Must be at Core of our Beliefs, says Priest Theologian
By David W. Virtue in Vancouver 4/27/2008

The priest of the largest Anglican parish in Canada, who is under ecclesiastical siege from revisionist New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham, says his denomination has lost faith in the gospel. This is evidently revealed in the diocesan newspaper, which gives the impression that the gospel is about being nice, being compassionate, recycling "and we will even bless your pets.""The eternal gospel of redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus' death and the power of his resurrection has been replaced with a gospel which is about approval, affirmation and acceptance. The apostolic gospel of sins forgiven, of rescue from eternal punishment has been smoothed and soothed to be more acceptable and relevant," said the Rev. Dr. David Short, pastor of St. John's, Shaughnessy in Vancouver. To read more click here.
VANCOUVER, BC: New Canadian Anglican Bishops Poised To Lead Church & Country Back to ChristBy David W. Virtue 4/27/2008

After a 6-year struggle, two newly licensed Canadian Anglican bishops, along with 30 licensed priests and four deacons, are poised to win souls for Christ in a country that is fast becoming secularized and post Christian. To read more, click here
VANCOUVER, BC: Argentine Archbishop Says Anglican Communion Now Has Two Gospels --Orthodox will have Diminishing Place and Role at Future Anglican Table
An Interview with the Most Rev. Gregory Venables, Primate of the Southern ConeBy David W. Virtue in Vancouver 4/26/2008

Despite his lofty title and a name that wreaks history, the Archbishop of the Southern Cone, the Most Rev. Gregory Venables, is amazingly humble as he sits and contemplates the future of the Anglican Communion and his role in it. No Archbishop has been more outspoken, tilted at windmills, or been vilified by a fellow Anglican Primate. Yet he still reaches out with love and compassion with firmness of resolve that the Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be compromised and that its life-changing message, valid in the First Century, is just as valid in the 21st Century regardless of time, place, culture, gender, age or education. To read more, click here.
"The broken plate" Archbishop Venables' Sermon to Commissioning service of ANiC
April 26th, 2008

We are glad and sad. Your decision and timing are correct. God will work with us as we walk through the next days and weeks and months and years. The Lord never tells us what is going to happen. He promises to be with us as we walk with him. That is how you will know who your true brothers and sisters are.Now to the future and what needs to be done. To read more, click here.
3) (South Africa) (Yahoo Canada News) (Maclean's Magazine) (The Economist Magazine) (My Telus News) (AM 1150 Radio) (Medicine Hat Newspaper, Alberta) (680 Radio News) (Shaw News) (CBC News) (Montreal, Quebec)
Dissident Anglicans look to South America
Dissident Anglicans look to South America, Africa for guidance
April 28th 2008, Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Dissident Anglicans, frustrated with what they feel are the Canadian church's liberal leanings, have found their salvation - and ecclesiastic authority - in unusual places: Africa and South America.

There, the Anglican faith is rooted in traditional, orthodox teachings and is growing in leaps and bounds.

In recent years, 28 parishes have voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada out of frustration with what they perceive as a gradual departure from core values.

It's a huge change from the traditional structure of the Anglican church, which has been determined through geographic - not ideological - boundaries, says John Stackhouse, a professor of theology and culture at Regent College in Vancouver.

"Frankly, we have not seen this sort of thing in Canadian history, and I'm not sure we've seen it in Anglican history," he said. "With the significant size of these dissenting groups, and the international support for them . . . we may see two different bodies in one geographical territory."

There are two main splinter groups: the 13 parishes in the Anglican Coalition of Canada that are now licensed in the Church of the Province of Rwanda, and the 15 in the Anglican Network in Canada, which are under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone in South America.
The controversy over blessing same-sex unions - in practise at eight Anglican churches in the Diocese of New Westminster in B.C. - is cited as the linchpin issue.

But for Anglicans, there's much more at stake.

"This isn't about just sex," says Stackhouse. "This is about the fundamental question of how we derive any kind of Christian truth.

"What the conservative group is saying is that there is no way to legitimately - that is to say intelligently - interpret the Bible to support same-sex unions. The only way to say that the Bible says that is to do a bad job interpreting the Bible.

"So how do you know what you're supposed to believe if even the bishops of the church are willing to interpret the Bible so badly?"

Rev. Ed Hird of the Anglican Coalition says the thousands of members of the coalition's churches aren't standing in opposition to the Anglican Church of Canada - they're simply getting on with their life.

"We're just happy to be realigned with the healthy expression of Anglicanism from the global south," he said.

The leader of that global south, Archbishop Gregory Venables, caused a firestorm of controversy last week when he arrived in Vancouver to speak at a conference.

The Anglican Church of Canada publicly told him to stay out of this country's affairs. He politely refused, saying those who have left the Canadian church wish to have him in this country.
He says those dissidents are just the first wave. He may be right.

Though few of Canada's more than 2,200 parishes have aligned with the two splinter groups, only a handful of dioceses - essentially a territory governed by a bishop - have opted to allow same-sex blessings.

"We have no idea right now what would happen to the national church if every diocese in the country did what New Westminster had done," Stackhouse said.

"Every diocese in which this has happened - or something like it has happened - churches have split off. This (issue) is very much in play now; this is not the end game at all."

Dissident Anglicans believe their core beliefs - the divinity of Jesus Christ, the sanctity of marriage and the rigidity of the 10 Commandments - are being called into question by the Anglican Church of Canada.

"For some, the Bible is no longer seen as definitive; it's maybe just seen as a symbolic resource book," Hird says. "We see it as definitive in faith and practice."

This departure from traditional teaching is being noticed around the world, Hird says.
"The vast majority (of Anglicans) have expressed real discomfort . . . that's part of the reason they've offered alternative oversight."

But while Hird takes issue with a plurality of liberal views being welcomed within the Anglican church, an official with the Anglican Church of Canada says that's one of the faith's virtues.
"The Anglican church at its best is a broad representation of different views; that's what separates us from the Roman Catholic Church," Archdeacon Paul Feheney said in an interview. "We don't have one way of thinking on issues.

"For some group to say, 'we're the orthodox and you're not,' is a misnomer of the highest regard."
Canadian diocese declares: in full communion with Anglican Network
Posted on April 28, 2008 Filed under News reports that the Synod of the diocese of Athabasca, in northern Alberta, has broken ranks with the leadership of the national Church by declaring it is “in full communion” with the parishes and bishops who have left the Anglican Church of Canada to join the Anglican Network in Canada.
The Synod reportedly passed these resolutions –
Resolution # 2008-11 – BE IT RESOLVED that the Synod inform the parishes and the bishops who have joined the Anglican Network in Canada and the Province of the Southern Cone that we are in full communion with them.
Resolution # 2008-12 – BE IT RESOLVED that the Synod of the Diocese of Athabasca express its dismay that bishops of dioceses have resorted to secular courts when parishes within those dioceses have found it necessary to align themselves with the Anglican Network in Canada and the Province of the Southern Cone. (emphasis added)
With thanks to

Heroes of the Faith at the April 25th-27th Anglican Network Weekend

Dear friends in Christ,

I was so pleased to see the Venerable Dr. Trevor Walters be licensed by Bishop Don Harvey into the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone with Archbishop Greg Venables. Standing beside Archdeacon Walters is his South American Deacon, the Rev. Donald Gardner. Archdeacon Walters, Rector of St Matthew's Abbotsford, led the charge six years ago when we walked out of the June 15th 2002 New West Synod and appealed to alternative episcopal oversight. As the first assistant priest at St. Matthew's Abbotsford with Archdeacon Jack Major (1982-1987), I have a real heart for the people of St Matthew's who taught me much about moving in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Two other Canadian heroes of the faith are the Rev Ray David Glenn, associate priest at St George's Lowville, and the Rev Paul Charbonneau, Rector of St Hilda's Oakville who have both recently taken bold and costly stands for the Gospel. We hold them up in our prayers, as the court cases over their church buildings unfold.

One of our long-term Canadian heroes of the faith is the Rev Canon Charles Alexander from The Timothy Institute in Calgary, the first Chair and Co-ordinator of Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, which I later chaired. Charles+ was the first guest speaker at our initial Renewal Mission at St. Simon's NV over 20 years ago. We enjoyed Charles+ so much that we are now gearing up for our 22nd Annual Renewal Mission in March 2009 with the Rev William Beasley and the Rev Doc Loomis, both AMiA Network Leaders.

Charles+ led two of his former congregations into the Renewal of the Holy Spirit, St James Calgary and St Mary's Metchosin. Standing next to Charles is Bud Boomer, a courageous lay leader at St Mary's Metchosin where they were recently thrown out of their building for a day by their ex-diocese.

Naturally I was pleased that our ACiC/AMiA Bishop Sandy Greene was able to be present for the whole conference. Bishop Sandy and Bishop John Guernsey both served on a panel about 'Evangelism in a western post-modern culture'. Both Bishops Sandy and John are very committed to the John 17 Common Cause/Anglican Awakening vision of unity in Christ for the sake of mission.

The Rev Canon Chris Sugden of the Oxford Center for Mission Studies has been strategic in the preparations for the Jerusalem GAFCON conference on June 15th to 22nd. We are very grateful to listen to a Kingdom-minded Brit who is able to see beyond his own island, and sacrificially make a stand for the Global South Anglicans, and for the future of the Anglican Church worldwide.

Once again, as with the March 2nd Pacific Coast Anglican Awakening: first steps, there was a large number of Anglican clergy and bishops from many Common Cause jurisdictions at the 1,100 to 1200-strong Saturday afternoon celebration service.
We are encouraged that now all the Chinese Anglican Churches in Greater Vancouver have realigned with the Global South. The Rev Silas Ng, Asian Initiative Network Leader and Rector of Richmond Emmanuel Church, who has one of the largest Anglican Chinese Churches in Canada, is pleased to see the new unity being expressed among Chinese and Caucasian Anglican Churches. Silas+ is currently planting two new Chinese Anglican churches, one in San Francisco and one in Toronto.
God is clearly on the move in Canada.
In Christ,
Ed Hird+
Communications Director
Anglican Coalition in Canada

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Visual Reflections on the April 25th-26th ANiC Conference

Dear friends in Christ,

It was a real joy to spend time, as Common Cause Partners, with our Anglican Network friends on the April 25th-26th 2008 Conference held at South Delta Baptist Church.
Bishop Donald Harvey and Archdeacon Charlie Masters have been working with great dedication in helping Anglicans across Canada to step into a new level of freedom with the Global South.

We are very much looking forward to the ordination tomorrow Sunday April 27th 6:30pm at St John's Shaughnessy of Jim Salladin, shown here with another Regent College grad, the Rev Ken Bell, Rector of St Timothy's North Vancouver (ACiC). Jim preached at our St. Simon's NV congregation two years ago, and now leads the Sunday evening St John's service.

We were also pleased to have Archbishop Yong Ping Chung, one of our AMiA/ACiC sponsoring primates, present for the entire conference. Standing next to Archbishop Yong is the Rev Stephen Leung, Rector of Church of the Good Shepherd who walked out of New West Synod 2002 with us almost six years ago. Stephen+ was just relicensed today along with dozens of other ANiC clergy by Bishop Donald Harvey and Archbishop Greg Venables of the Southern Cone.

The Rev Dr JI Packer, author of the best-selling book 'Knowing God', was also relicensed today. His courageous theological leadership over the past number of decades at Regent College is deeply appreciated. The Anglican Studies Program at Regent College has proved to be a real god-send in this time of Anglican transition and realignment.

Bishop Charles Dorrington of the Reformed Episcopal Church was among many bishops and archbishops who joined us for this historic conference. The Reformed Episcopal Church in Canada recently celebrated their 133rd anniversary of realigning towards biblical orthodoxy. The REC are vital partners in the emerging Common Cause Federation.

The prolific Anglican reporter David Virtue with Virtueonline was present interviewing key leaders like Archbishop Venables and Dr JI Packer.

Bishop Albert Vun of the Diocese of Sabah, where Archbishop Yong was the predecessor, spoke about the remarkable church growth and evangelism being experienced in South East Asia.

We were also grateful for strong Common Cause Partners being there like Bishop John Guernsey of Uganda/USA, Bishop Bill Murdoch of Kenya/USA, and Dean Bill Thompson of the Anglican Communion Network.

Bishop Suffragan Malcolm Harding led two of our 21 St. Simon's NV Renewal Missions, as well as our BC Christian Ashram Retreat. He is standing beside a longterm friend, retired Bishop Len Whitten of Newfoundland.

The closing service, which had 1,100 to 1,200 people present, left many of us with tears of joy and expressions of deep thanksgiving. God is continuing to give faithful Anglicans a deeper realization of Jesus' John 17 prayer that we may be one for the sake of mission.

All in all, a great Kingdom weekend.

In Christ, Ed Hird+
Communications Director
Anglican Coalition in Canada/AMiA (Common Cause Federation)