Latest Event Updates
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:
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
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:
- that ANiC members become for active with the Anglicans for Life movement and stand for life
- that every ANiC member be able to receive the Lord’s Supper each week
- that we be on guard lest we slip back into former ways
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:
- Bible teaching by Keith Ganzer+,
- presentations introducing synod to churches which have recently joined ANiC,
- opening Eucharist,
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Our new diocesan, Bishop Charlie Masters, has set five ministry priorities that we want to mark ANiC Churches. He has appointed champions to encourage and facilitate each priority and help us make these realities in our congregations.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about ANiC’s five priorities. Synod 2014, for example, will focus on these priorities and what we can do to work towards them.
A primary purpose of this blog is to support these priorities. So stay tuned for priority-related discussions and resources.
Bishop Charlie’s five priorities for ANiC churches are (in brief):
1. Bold witnesses – Every member of every ANiC church will personally have responded to Christ, as well as know how to share the gospel and invite others to come to Christ.
2. Biblically grounded – Every church of ANiC will be known for its strengths in the Bible and expository preaching. Parishioners are able to handle accurately the Word of Truth.
3. Loving children – Every church in ANiC will have a vital ministry to children and youth, leading them to Christ and helping them grow as disciples of Jesus.
4. On mission – We each are intentionally and actively engaging in our communities, nations and world, focused on showing and sharing the love of God and fulfilling the Great Commission.
5. Planting & growing churches – Every congregation is focused on planting another congregation out of their church family. We are working to plant a church in every major community across Canada.
The cause of defending the faith in the worldwide Anglican Church was furthered by the second Global Anglican Future Conference.
It was an historic gathering.
In October, 2013, twenty three ANiC delegates from across Canada traveled to Nairobi, Kenya for GAFCon2. At the meeting, 331 bishops, 482 clergy and 545 laity from 38 countries represented tens of millions of Christians.
A Church in Need of Reform
Anglicans around the world have been praying and working toward finding a way forward for their Church — a way to safely preserve and preach the good news of Jesus and his work of redemption. The concern is that Anglican leadership, worship and practices need to remain faithful to the gospel of Christ and the historic faith, so that the message of salvation may continue to be proclaimed in power through the Anglican Church.
A long history precedes the emergence of the GAFcon2 movement. However, 2008 marked the first official gathering when 1100 Anglicans including bishops, clergy and laity travelled to Jerusalem to confront the Anglican crisis: “to counter a false gospel which was spreading throughout the Communion” (GAFCon2 communique). That step of faith by so many became the historic meeting at which the defining Jerusalem Declaration was formed. Since then, orthodox Anglicans have been on a journey seeking global reform within the Anglican Communion. The Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) and the Global Anglican Futures Conference have developed a structure to that end.
GAFCon2 was a great encouragement to ANiC delegates. They reported their impressions with much enthusiasm and hope for the future:
–– Archdeacon Ron Corcoran, British Columbia
“I was privileged to have attended both the conference in Jerusalem and now GAFCON 2 in Nairobi. Whereas Jerusalem was an event, GAFCON 2 established a movement. I was encouraged that we are now developing the infrastructure for a movement within the Anglican Communion that is all about Gospel. We heard about the East African Revival and how God worked in individuals. We talked about re-evangelising the West and I recognized that I as an individual need to live the Gospel so those around me can see Him.” – ANiC Council Member Claus Lenk, Toronto.
“I was encouraged and it was a huge point of spiritual renewal for me.” — Archdeacon Darrell Critch, Newfoundland
Progress was made at GAFCon2 in terms of refocusing and restructuring. The conference Communique underlined that it “acted as an important and effective instrument of Communion during a period in which other instruments of Communion have failed both to uphold gospel priorities in the Church, and to heal the divisions among us.
“I believe that the naming of GAFcon2 as ‘the 5th instrument of Unity’ to be the most prophetic word of the conference”. — Bishop Trevor Walters, Western Region Suffragan Bishop
A Church Moving Forward
The Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans confronted the accelerating deterioration within the communion. It is committed to “authorize and affirm faithful Anglicans who have been excluded from their diocese or province.” The Global Fellowship will provide oversight and will discern the need for new provinces, dioceses and churches and will authenticate the ministries as Anglican. An example is the commitment made to further the establishment of the Anglican Mission in England.
ANiC’s delegates gave reports about the new and positive direction of the communion:
“(GFCA) is no longer looking back, but looking forward to what God has for us in mission in the future. Related to that is the fact that there is a very strong movement of most of the Anglican communion that will be moving forward in this direction without real reference to the Anglican Consultative Council or to Lambeth, or Canterbury. Strong mission is not going through the old instruments of unity.” — Archdeacon Dan Gifford, British Columbia
“I have been feeling somewhat restless and concerned, that unless we have a global argument of theological realignment in the Anglican Church, ANiC is nothing more than a subculture within the larger and still unrepentant global church.” “I will never forget sitting there, all 1400 of us, with rough draft (of the communique) in hand… Strong and clear, it was the brave leadership for which I was hoping.” — The Rev Jess Cantelon, Quebec.
Four delegates from the Anglican Church of Canada were also in attendance at GAFCon2. The Rt Rev David Parsons, Bishop of the Arctic, wrote:
“I felt that I was with a loving family that I could relate to and that could relate to me. I didn’t feel like an ugly duckling anymore. I loved the passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I saw in Nairobi. I loved being with you, my brothers and sisters and to feel welcomed and at home. Thank you so much for your partnership.”
A Church in Need of Revival
GAFCon2 began with testimonies of the East African Revival, highlighting the church’s need for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit. Primate Eliud Wabukala led the time of testimony, calling on the church to pray and to seek for a move of God that would be marked by true and practical repentance, whatever the cost.
ANiC members described an African Church still alive with momentum and zeal to reach out to a suffering world. Many of the delegates shared that, prior to the conference, they had not fully understood the extent to which so many brothers and sisters in their church were regularly experiencing persecution, intimidation and suffering, and that they were dying for their faith in Jesus. “This is so true” said one bishop to an ANiC delegate at the conference. “We lost 19 of our people last week.”
GAFCon2 declared that it is a movement, which is in pursuit of Revival. This was the only agenda set for the conference. Through the Nairobi communique the Anglican Church has been called back to a focus on Reform and Mission, Proclamation and Revival.
Praise the Lord for his faithfulness. May the Lord continue to establish His Church for the furthering of His Kingdom on Earth.
*Read the Nairobi Communique from GAFCon2