Sunday, April 27, 2008

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

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