Synod 2014

The art of synod

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Artist Ann Balch (Moncton, NB) created two paintings which were gifts to Bishop Don Harvey – both exquisite.  The magnificent portrait (measuring  27 1/2″  x  43 1/2″) was commissioned by ANiC, but the artist magnanimously did the work pro bono. The work will initially hang in the ANiC office, but eventually move to the cathedral, when we have one!

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The second painting – a transparent watercolour with acrylic archival varnish – is of Bishop Don’s hands holding the bread of the Eucharist over an intricately detailed challis.

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November 7 – Last day of synod

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The day started, as they all do, with 7am Morning Prayer.  Then our Bible teacher, the Rev Keith Ganzer, delivered the last of his series of sermons on the theme of synod “Now a people: a Bible people, a Gospel people, a Global people”.  Friday’s sermon was on the last portion: “A Global people”.  (Keith’s sermon series was a highlight of synod; providing much to mediate on.)

Keith+ has been teaching on the Kingdom of God, starting from the passages, Luke 24:45-48 and 1 Peter 2:10, then drawing extensively on the context of the preceding passages in Luke and even more from the Old Testament passages which are alluded to in Luke. The result was a rich feast of Bible teaching which we need to listen to again and again to fully absorb these truths and their implications for our lives.

Keith showed how God is acting through out human history to demonstrate His absolute sovereignty (He is the King of the Kingdom) and His chosen people (who are the people of the Kingdom).  In the midst of rehearsing the ways He is Israel’s King and establishing the terms of the covenant, in Exodus 19, God tells Israel that their purpose is to be a kingdom of priests, mediating the presence of God to the world by being a holy nation.

Although Israel fails, God’s promised Messiah, succeeds. “Without the cross, the kingdom would be empty.”  Jesus’ death for our sins, was necessary so the kingdom reality can invade us, changing our hearts of stone by the power of the Holy Spirit so we can live in obedience to our King. This makes us a Kingdom of priests who are to embody the Kingdom of God, live in Covenant obedience to the King, and mediate God to the world. Why do we proclaim the Kingship of God to the nations? To bring about the fullness of His Kingdom so the King will return

” But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV)

“And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” 
(Revelation 15:2-4 ESV)

Following the Bible teaching, Archbishop Greg and Sylvia Venables came to the mic to say their farewells, ask for prayer and exhort us to remain faithful.  (And of course, synod, in turn, expressed heartfelt appreciation for them and the role they’ve played making ANiC what it is.)

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Motions (which will be posted to the website synod page as soon as possible) were passed to:

  • officially remove “moderator” from our diocesan bishop’s title.  (This was not easily done, as some expressed concern that the term was needed to denote ANiC’s “special” role as the largest Canadian diocese in ACNA; others rejected the concept that ANiC was “special”, felt that titles could be easily changed by synod as circumstances required, and/or thought there were better ways of addressing the objectives of those who spoke in favour of keeping the term. In the end it passed decisively, influenced in part by the perception that our new diocesan seemed to prefer the simplified title.)  The constitutions and canons will be appropriately updated to reflect this change in title.
  • the nominations for synod council – new and standing for re-election – were approved unopposed.
  • a motion passed unanimously which strengthened and made “actionable” ANiC’s declared pro-life support
  • a motion supporting the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the GAFCon movement passed unanimously

The financial statements from 2013-14  and a budget for 2014-15 were approved.  The main news was that we were able to eliminate the deficit this year – by the skin of our teeth.  However ANiC’s finances remain very tight and our cash flow is precarious.  We are indebted to Good Samaritan (St John’s, NL) which lent ANiC $100,000 to provide some financial “cushion”.  We have been able to draw from this fund this past year when our cash-flow dipped.

Archdeacon Ron Corcoran reported on the Time to Build campaign.  He noted that tithes only cover about 75% of ANiC’s budget so giving from individuals is critically important – and will continue to be so – if ANiC is to stay in the black.

Before proroguing synod (a bit after noon), Bishop Charlie announced his hope that synod 2015 will be in Vancouver.  Then everyone had to rush off to catch flights or drive home.  [Which is why this posting is late.  Sorry!  Also, apologies for the lack of photos from November 7; the camera was tired! 🙂 ]

 

ANiC synod – November 6

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Well, there have been a number of highlights at this synod, but today saw the highest of the highlights with Bishop Charlie’s official installation as diocesan bishop, succeeding Bishop Don, our founding bishop.  The service – in all its brilliant colour and pageantry took place at St Peter and St Paul’s in Ottawa. You can watch it, courtesy of Anglican TV.

13 bishops in addition to Archbishop Foley Beach, participated in the service, including laying hands on him and praying for him, while the bishops’ wives prayed for Judy, Charlie’s wife.  Then in highly symbolic acts, the Venerable Desiree Stedman presented Bishop Charlie with teh pectoral cross worn by her father, Archbishop Alan Buchanan (Dublin, Ireland); Bishop Don presented him with a cope; and Archbishop Foley Beach presented him with a pastoral staff.

Earlier that morning, the Bible teaching session with Keith Ganzer showed how the Old Testament points to Jesus and His fulfillment of the Old Covenant.  He says we cannot understand Jesus apart from the understanding the Old Testament.  Jesus is God’s provision for the old covenant dilemma of how sinners can be in the presence of a holy God without being destroyed.

Dr J I Packer and Jeremy Graham then opened up the subject of Catechism.  Dr Packer then quoted Charles Spurgeon, John Calvin and others all stating that apart from a commitment to a regular program of catechism, the church will soon become heretical.   Catechism is necessary to the survival of the church – and the clergy are responsible for introducing and continuing catechesis.  Jeremy then discussed more the practical “how to” of catechizing children.

The afternoon saw a presentation on adult ministry training at Ryle Theological College (formerly Ottawa Theological College) presented by Canon George Sinclair.  This was followed by discussions and roundtable work on the 5 priorities.  The evening saw the installation service.

Bishop Charlie surprised Archbishop Greg by presenting him with a Team Canada hockey jersey.

In addition to the installation service, Anglican TV has posted the following sessions with more to follow:

The news release about the installation will be (soon) posted on the ANiC website here… or read here: New Diocesan Bishop Installed – 6 Nov 2014

St Peter & St Paul’s has been our host church for synod – and the rector, Paul Donison+, local coordinator Raechel Chamberlain, and the entire volunteer team has done a terrific job.  Wish we could afford to send them all on a tropical vacation for a week or two so they could de-stress and recover!

Tomorrow will be focused on the business needs of synod including electing a new council.  Pray for God’s will to be done.  Please also pray for safety as synod delegates, observers and guests and ANiC staff return home.New Diocesan Bishop Installed – 6 Nov 2014

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ANiC synod – Nov 5

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The first day of synod opened with Morning Prayer at 9am – a very civilized hour.  (Tomorrow, Morning Prayer is at 7am!) After a quorum was declared, allowing synod to officially proceed, we moved to the Bible teaching.  The Rev Keith Ganzer ably filled in for Canon David Short who had to bow out at the last minute due to the death of his father in Australia.  Keith spoke to the theme “A Bible people” from Luke 24:36-ff, showing that the apex of the passage is verse 45 where Jesus opens the disciples’ minds to understand the Scriptures.  As our minds are opened and we understand the Scriptures in light of who Jesus is, we are transformed.  (But Keith+ said it much better!)

Six churches, which have joined ANiC since our last face-to-face synod in November 2012, were introduced with short presentations which you can find with links from the ANiC synod page.

  • Bishop Stephen introduced Good Shepherd Chinese (Calgary, AB) telling us of this small church plants heart for evangelism.  Ten adults have come to Christ and been baptised since the work began. Good Shepherd South Asian (Calgary, AB)  was founded as a result of Bishop Stephen’s relationship with Bishop Azad Marshall (Iran, Cyprus and the Gulf).  Bishop Marshall asked Bishop Stephen “Do you have an orthodox Anglican church for my people (in Canada)?”  Shortly after the church started, it hired a priest from Dubai – the Rev William John – who in turn put Bishop Stephen in touch with the Rev Wilson Nazim and that contact soon led to Bethel South Asian (Brampton, ON).
  • Bishop Trevor introduced Christ the King (Edmonton, AB) which he said was a dynamic congregation with big news.  Just days ago, Christ the King hired its first full-time rector, the Rev Lars Nowen.  Sojourn Church, on the edge of the UBC campus, attracts a number of students, even to its 3x/week morning prayer service.  It is a wonderful anomaly; an ANiC church plant sharing a building – and a pastor – with a long-established Brethren church. The Rev Geoff Chapman was recently ordained a priest in ANiC, but is the long-time pastor of University Chapel (Brethren).  Finally, St Peter’s Fireside (Vancouver, BC) was introduced via an excellent video – which you can see here.  Bishop Trevor noted that St Peter’s Fireside had 13 baptisms in it’s first year.

Bishop Charlie introduced a number of VIP guests including Archbishop Greg and Syvlia Venables (Argentina), Bishop Charlie Dorrington (REC), Bishop Peter and Melinda Beckwith and Bishop Todd Atkinson (Via Apostolica). It was announced that ANiC has entered a Common Cause relationship with Via Apostolica – which Bishop Trevor described as a continuing church with bonafide apostolic succession. Synod was told that Via Apostolica has focused on forming young church planters both Biblically and in the Anglican tradition. Bishop Todd, in his brief greetings to synod, spoke of the deep desire for unity felt by Via Apostolica members.  He is attending synod alone with more than a dozen young Via Apostolica members.

Several other ACNA bishops and leaders arrived later in the day, including Bishop John & Meg Guernsey, Bishop Bill Atwood, Bishop Julian Dobbs and Canon Jack Lumonog.

After a lovely pack-it-yourself box lunch, the opening Eucharist was celebrated.  You can watch it on YouTube courtesy of Anglican TV’s Kevin Kallsen who drove all the way from Connecticut to cover ANiC’s synod. (Thank you Kevin!)

Then everyone grabbed their coats and walked in procession several blocks to Parliament Hill where the Honourable Jason Kenney spoke at length and several other MPs brought their greetings and encouraged us to be salt and light in society. One specifically mentioned as evidence of the increasing anti-Christian sentiment in society the legal fight Trinity Western University finds itself in over its desire to establish a law school.  The importance of prayer was emphasized repeatedly.  Bishop Charlie prayed and Archbishop Foley Beach spoke briefly. The time ended with the spontaneous singing of O Canada on the steps in front of Parliament.

The evening was another highlight with the banquet honouring Bishop Don and Trudy Harvey.  Archbishop Foley Beach spoke a little of what Bishop Don had meant to the ACNA House of Bishops.

Before Archbishop Greg Venables gave the keynote address, Bishop Charlie announced that ANiC is launching a Bishop Donald and Trudy Harvey Legacy Fund to encourage and support work among children and youth. He also announced that he was appointing Bishop Don Episcopal Vicar of ANiC.  Then Bishop Don was presented with a wonderful portrait of himself painted by the amazingly gifted Ann Balch.  Ann also did a second painting for him of Bishop Don’s hands holding the Eucharistic bread over a chalice.

In his address, Archbishop Greg encouraged us to keep on going, not look back and remember we are “not fighting against flesh and blood”.  He also recounted his experiences as a Bishop and then Primate in the Anglican Communion.  He said that what was considered orthodox in 1998 became dissidence by 2008 due to the theological degradation in the western churches. He added that, after 2002, despite the rhetoric, there was no genuine dialogue, nor even the desire for genuine dialogue by those controlling the levers of power in the Anglican Communion. Indaba, he said, was code for pluralism and relativism.  In his tribute to Bishop Don, Archbishop Greg mention – among many other things – Bishop Don’s uncanny sense of timing and of how and when to act, him perseverance in the face of opposition, him calm demeanor and his unwavering faith.

Bishop Don in his remarks said he had 3 wishes:

  1. that ANiC members become for active with the Anglicans for Life movement and stand for life
  2. that every ANiC member be able to receive the Lord’s Supper each week
  3. that we be on guard lest we slip back into former ways

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November 4

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Most of the synod delegates and observers arrived and registered today… and took in the excellent pre-synod workshops.  Anglican TV (aka Kevin Kallsen) is here and videoed the Catechesis workshop, so hopefully that will be posted to http://www.anglican.tv soon.

A number of photos from today were posted on ANiC’s Facebook page.

When people arrived to register they received something in addition to their synod packages… they each got a copy of the letter sent by our Prime Minister welcoming us.  He writes:  “I’m pleased to extend my warmest greetings to everyone taking part in the 2014 Synod of the Anglican Network in Canada… This year’s Synod – which brings together clergy and laity from Canada and abroad – gives you the opportunity to highlight the Church’s commitment to Christian ideals of faith and service and to discuss important administrative matters while promoting fellowship amongst church members. I am sure that the Anglican Network in Canada will be strengthened by these deliberations, and that participants will leave this collegial gathering with renewed commitment to the church….”

A copy of the Prime Ministers letter – together with other synod documents, photos and, eventually, audio of selected sessions – will be posted to the ANiC website (as we are able).

Tomorrow’s highlights are:

  1. Bible teaching by Keith Ganzer+,
  2. presentations introducing synod to churches which have recently joined ANiC,
  3. opening Eucharist,
  4. procession to Parliament Hill (by way of the war memorial to pay our respects) where we’ll have time to pray for our nation – or in the case of our New England delegates, praying for the nation to the north.
  5. Banquet honouring Bishop Don and Trudy Harvey – our first diocesan

Please continue to pray for synod, for +Charlie as he gives his 1st Bishop’s Charge on Thursday and for his installation service that evening.

Catechesis workshop - Dr Packer - Synod 2014 (22) Catechesis workshop - Dr Packer - Synod 2014 (19) Catechesis workshop - J I Packer and team - Nov 4 2014 (14) P1020949 registration table - rare quiet moment (3) Strategic Ministry Planning Workshop - Joan & Ken Deeks - Nov 4 2014 (11) Synod local coordinator - Rachael Chamberlain - syndo 2014 (1) Myrtle in SPSP office - synod 2014 (3).

ANiC Synod 2014

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We hope to post photos and occasional summaries on this blog during the course of Synod 2014 (November 4-7) to enable those not able to attend to engage in the event and benefit from the speakers.

Also, be sure to watch Anglican TV (www.anglican.tv).  Kevin Kallsen will be in Ottawa webcasting key sessions.

Check the ANiC website (www.anglicannetwork.ca) for the schedule of events.