Category : Anglican Church of Canada

(Northeast Now) Last service said at Watson’s Anglican church, congregation to join nearby parish in Humboldt

It was a bittersweet celebration in Watson over the weekend as the St. Bride’s Anglican Church was deconsecrated.

The final mass was said by Bishop of the Saskatoon Diocese, Chris Harper, Rev. Matteo Carboni, and Archdeacon Alex Parsons on Sept. 12 with members of the Watson and Humboldt congregations in attendance.

Carboni resided over the Watson parish before Sunday’s secularization service and those congregants will now be welcome to attend mass at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Humboldt where Carboni also resides.

While the service was a mixture said Harper of celebration and sorrow, with only four members of the congregation celebrating service at the church, Carboni said they were putting in a lot of time and energy into maintaining the parish.

Margaret Henderson, one of the few members of the Watson church, said it was getting hard to justify the resources being spent on four people.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Wycliffe College remembers and gives thanks for the life and ministry of Richard Longenecker

Alumni, faculty, and staff of Wycliffe College were saddened today to learn of the death of Professor Emeritus Dr Richard N. Longenecker. Dr. Longenecker—who made his home in Brantford, ON—died Monday, June 7, 2021. Predeceased by his wife Fran (2016), he was in his 91st year.

Richard Longenecker taught at Wycliffe College for 22 years (1972–1994) and was our Ramsay Armitage Professor of New Testament. He was instrumental in enhancing the academic credibility of the College so that it became a destination for evangelical students seeking to study at the doctoral level. Moreover, his status as an American Baptist layman opened the doors of the College to students beyond the Anglican Church. Professor Alan Hayes writes, “His appointment represents the turning-point for Wycliffe in enlarging its mission from the narrow focus of training people for the Anglican ministry to a more ecumenical and diverse vision for evangelical theological scholarship. He designed a new program (the Master of Religion degree) for students preparing for a diversity of lay and ordained ministries in the wider Church, including advanced research.” Dr Longenecker was also an Associate Alumnus of the College and received Wycliffe’s Doctor of Divinity degree in 1996. We thank God for his life and ministry, and, with many who called him friend and mentor, we pray for his family as they grieve his death.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education

Canadian Anglican Leader Announces the inhibition of Bishop Lincoln McKoen

In keeping with A Call to Human Dignity, the Council of the General Synod of The Anglican Church of Canada expressed a commitment to ensuring that those who hold positions of trust or power in the church do not take advantage of, or abuse, that trust or power. It is with this commitment in mind that I share with you the difficult decision made today by Archbishop Lynne McNaughton to inhibit Bishop Lincoln McKoen from his duties as diocesan bishop of the Territory of the People, effective immediately.

Read it all and there is a letter to the diocese about the matter here.

Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Wycliffe College) Stephen Andrews on the recent discovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children at a former Indian Residential School

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the discovery in British Columbia is the realization that these children were not dignified by the preservation of their names. They were more than casualties of a malign social experiment, they were at one time members of families, each one a beloved child, and child of God. And they had names. As painful as it may be now to hear them, hear them we must. We must spare no effort in helping to discover these precious relics in the wreckage we have created. And when we pray, “those whom we have forgotten, do thou, O Lord, remember,” let us do so shamefully and in the hope that God has recorded for them a new name, shared only by the departed and God alone (Revelation 2.17).

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education

(AJ) Five Regina churches merge to form new parish

A group of five Anglican parishes in Regina are merging in a bid to ensure the long-term sustainability of their congregations.

The combined parishes of St. Luke’s, St. James, St. Matthew, St. Phillip and All Saints Anglican Church—representing five of the seven Anglican parishes in the city—will henceforth be known as Immanuel Anglican Parish.

Archdeacon Cheryl Toth, representing the archdeaconry of St. Cuthbert that administers Anglican churches in Regina, said in an interview with the CBC that the merger’s aim is for congregations “to bring together resources of all kinds, people and otherwise, and be able to work together to engage in the ministry they want to have.”

Bishop Rob Hardwick of the diocese of Qu’Appelle initially brought together leaders from seven Regina parishes in 2018 to consider some form of restructuring. The move was prompted by declining congregational membership, financial difficulties and clergy vacancies.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Parish Ministry

(AJ) Anglican Church of Canada Council of General Synod hears of ‘transformative change’ across church

A first round of strategic planning consultation sessions with Canadian Anglicans has revealed a sense of profound change at hand in the church, the Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard at an online meeting Nov. 6-8.

The Strategic Planning Working Group (SPWG) was formed in the fall of 2019 to put together a new long-term plan for the church. Since the summer— with the assistance of Janet Marshall, director of congregational development for the diocese of Toronto—it has been holding “listening groups” to invite thought on the church’s future and strategic direction, and hear how Anglicans are coping with the unusual times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Nov. 6, Marshall and members of the working group presented some of the themes that had emerged from the first round of 11 of these listening groups.

The coronavirus pandemic, Marshall told CoGS, appears to be revealing the church’s values but also its areas of weakness, “helping us see the ways that we’re fragile in new and different ways.” One theme that had emerged, she said, is the sense of a “seismic shift” underway—a perception that the Anglican Church of Canada is “increasingly seeing the inevitability of large, transformative change, Pentecost change, on every level and in every way.”

The sense of change does not seem to equate with crisis, she added; there was an understanding that the change could be for the better.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Religion & Culture

(AJ) Edmonton church avoids COVID-19 outbreak after presence of infected person at service

The person contacted the church as soon as they found out they had tested positive. They also provided to AHS a complete account of where they had been and who they had been near, after which AHS contacted the church and investigated the person’s potential contacts there—speaking with people, going through the worship service step-by-step and asking questions about the configuration of the chancel and nave and other details pertinent to the service.

As per instructions given to the church by AHS, Key, the church’s musical director and five choristers all self-isolated for 14 days, and then got tested for COVID-19. The person who had tested positive also followed all AHS’s protocols. By Oct. 27, all the tests had come back negative.

“This is wonderful news and is perhaps one of the only times we ALL wanted to FAIL a test (though we are all still required to isolate until November 2nd),” Key wrote in her Facebook update.

AHS had advised the church, Key added, that no one besides these people were considered to have been in close contact with the person who tested positive, so that there was no need for the rest of the congregation to self-isolate.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry

(AJ) Calgary priest elected 14th bishop of the diocese of British Columbia

The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee, incumbent at St. Laurence Anglican Church in the diocese of Calgary, was elected bishop of the diocese of British Columbia Sept. 26.

She was elected on the seventh ballot during a virtual synod.

Greenwood-Lee says the diocese’s vision of transformation spoke to her. “It felt like my gifts and what they were looking for in terms of their vision lined up.”

Greenwood-Lee points to her interest in social justice, particularly in the creation of the Wisdom Centre, an online network that connects people with events and resources. She also has experience with and teaches courses on congregational development, and teaches courses on the topic. In 2006, when she became the incumbent at St. Laurence, she was given three years to “either turn the place around or close it,” she says. “It’s still here!”

Greenwood-Lee says she has an interest in helping the church try to enter a new stage of its life. “I feel like we’re called to be midwives of what God is birthing in our midst…. Death is a natural part of life, so some parts of our institutional life are dying. But at the same time, I think amazing things are struggling to be born, or are being born in our midst.”

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(CBC) Anglican Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador running out of cash, selling assets in ‘hemorrhage situation’

The Anglican Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador has announced it’s running out of money and may need to stem its losses with layoffs, closures and sale of assets.

In an Oct. 5 letter obtained by CBC News, the diocesan finance committee said COVID-19 lockdown measures — which prevented gathering for worship for months — had a “devastating impact” on the church’s finances.

“While a number of our parishes continued to receive offerings and donations via drop-off collections and electronic means, it is clear that COVID-19 has negatively impacted our stewardship,” the letter says.

Archdeacon Sam Rose told CBC the pandemic has exacerbated previous financial struggles resulting from a reduction in church attendance.

“Like most organizations the onset of COVID accelerated this rapid decline,” he said Thursday.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary for Peter Moore

Age 83, peacefully entered into eternal life May 30 in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Born in Scarsdale, NY, Peter was an innovative leader, mentor, preacher and author for more than 50 years. He currently served as the director of the Anglican Leadership Institute since 2016, training leaders in the world-wide Anglican Church in servant leadership, all the while serving as a scholar in residence at St. Michael’s Church, in Charleston, SC. Peter served as director of the Council for Religion in Independent Schools in New York City and at that time, started FOCUS (Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools) in 1962. FOCUS seeks to bring Christ to students attending independent Secondary Schools along America’s East Coast. He then served as the fourth dean/president of Trinity School for Ministry and as its first president of the board of trustees, before moving to Charleston, SC.

Decade after decade, Peter was an unswerving, tireless agent of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(AJ) Canadian Anglican Primate: ‘We are building resilience’

A few years ago, “zoom-zoom” referred to a Mazda car commercial. Today people are more likely to think of an online screen filled with small squares of virtual people holding a meeting. In the Anglican Church of Canada, this is especially true for all of the bishops and the Primate!

Prior to the imposed isolation, my calendar was filled with travel to different parts of Canada to share in parish and diocesan celebrations, present the Award of Merit to last year’s recipients, and meet with diocesan leaders, clergy and parishioners to talk about their mission and ministry. Suddenly I was confined to home in London, Ont., with my cat, feeling disconnected and unsure what I could and should do now.

Over these past weeks a new rhythm of life and ministry has emerged—and with it, reflections on what the future might hold. First, many activities prior to COVID-19 have been transformed into virtual meeting opportunities. Church House staff meet regularly online to continue the work General Synod is called to fulfill. This even includes a weekly coffee break to stay in touch with one another in our relationships and share coping strategies. It is good to see and hear colleagues, though it can be mentally exhausting to engage online for hours every day. We are learning to pace meetings, provide breaks and even have online breakout groups for discussion. Our technological learning curve is steep, but new skills are being mastered!

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture

(CTV) Communal cups suspended at Anglican churches in the Toronto area amid the COVID-19 outbreak

Anglican churches in Toronto are changing liturgical practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 ahead of the gathering of large congregations for Easter ceremonies.

Effective immediately, the Diocese of Toronto is suspending the sharing of communal cups at celebrations. It is also advising people to alter the Exchange of the Peace by sharing words and smiles only, as opposed to handshakes or hugs. In churches where holy water is used, the basin will be emptied after every service.

“Our normal liturgical customs are important to us, and we hope to reinstate them as soon as we are advised that the risk of transmission has been better contained,” the Bishop of Toronto Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil said in a letter to the clergy and members.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry

(The Coast) Atlantic School of Theology: Being Ready to Accept the Call

Typically to be accepted into the Master of Divinity program at the Atlantic School of Theology, you must have an undergraduate degree; Dawn-Lea Greer was accepted with an equivalency.

She worked with the AST faculty to submit a 300+ page portfolio of all of her work, courses she has taken and extensive volunteer experiences to be accepted into the program.

“I thought that I couldn’t make this program happen without an undergrad. With the encouragement from Rev. Susan MacAlpine-Gillis and Rev. David MacLachlan working with me to develop the portfolio, and to argue that I have an equivalency, made all the difference,” Dawn-Lea says. “Taking the time to comb through my achievements was validating, and when I was accepted, I rejoiced. Not all of us walk the same path, and that does not make one less or more of a candidate at AST. AST embraces students from all walks of life and many faiths.”

Dawn-Lea is now in her first year of the three-year full-time program, where she is also required to complete three years of formation (denominational formation), chapel and placement time.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Seminary / Theological Education

(The Expositor) Brantford, Ontario, Canada’s oldest church gets some TLC

Since 1857, congregations have been lovingly caring for Grace Anglican Church.

The Gothic revival building, which consumes the corner of Albion, Pearl and West streets, was designed by prolific architect John Turner who, with a long list of the city’s most iconic buildings to his credit, has been called the builder of Brantford.

Some of the city’s most prominent families helped established Grace church and worshipped there over the decades.

And, much later, as congregations dwindled and neighbouring churches closed, they have been taken in by Grace, the Mother Church of Brantford.

It’s no longer just a place for Sunday worship, but for Girl Guide meetings, AA gatherings, a refuge for the hungry to get a meal, and a centre for those involved in various charity projects.

But, when you’re 163 years old, your age starts to show.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Parish Ministry

(AJ) Bishop of Edmonton ‘called away’ from diocesan episcopal ministry

Bishop Jane Alexander, bishop of the diocese of Edmonton, says she will be stepping down from her position July 31, with “no idea” what she will be doing next.

“I have no need to say, ‘What’s the next big thing?’ The big thing is always just serving Jesus wherever he puts you,” says Alexander. “So, I know that’s what I’ll be called to do, but what that looks like? I have no idea.”

Alexander announced her resignation in a letter January 26.

In an interview with the Journal, Alexander said that she had been feeling a change coming for a while. “Sometimes I think we think of discernment as something that happens once and then we go, ‘There, you’re done.’ But that’s never been my experience of it. I think we get called into places and called out of places, and I was aware…easily a year ago, that something different was changing…. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m actually being called out of diocesan episcopal ministry.”

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(AJ) Former primate Hiltz to serve as assisting bishop of Moosonee

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, former primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, will serve as assisting bishop for the diocese of Moosonee throughout 2020.

With current assistant bishop Thomas Corston retiring at the end of 2019, Hiltz took over as assisting bishop for one year starting on Jan. 1.

In this role, Hiltz is supporting Archbishop Anne Germond—currently bishop for the dioceses of Algoma and Moosonee, as well as metropolitan for the ecclesiastical province of Ontario—to help Moosonee navigate what Germond calls “a year of Holy Discernment.”

“I’m very excited to be working with [Hiltz] because he’s a man of great stature and credibility in the church,” Germond says. “He’s well-loved and well-respected. He has an incredible depth to him, both in his personal spiritual life and in the way he leads…. As Moosonee enters this new time of discernment, he is absolutely the perfect person to be working with me.”

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(AJ) Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to retire

Archbishop Ron Cutler, diocesan bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Canada, will resign from both posts July 31, with the intention of entering retirement.

In an email news update from the diocese dated Jan. 8, Cutler said he had made the decision after a recent time of prayer on his future role in ministry. His decision was based, he said, both on personal reasons and on the fact that the diocese had recently begun the process of developing a new mission action plan.

“Since April 2014, I have tried to lead the diocese in ways that would open up new avenues and resources in which to enter into God’s mission for this time,” Cutler said. “It is time for someone else to lead in the new vision for the diocese.”

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(AJ) Orvin Lao–Recapturing our lost virtues—mission and evangelism

We need to recapture and embody our lost and forgotten Anglican virtue of mission and evangelism.

Our church’s biblical convictions have cooled, and most of our parishes are theologically confused, malnourished and erroneous, and have lost creedal confidence in the supernatural power of God’s Word, in God’s Holy Spirit, and in the historic person of Jesus—his virgin birth, his theanthropic life, death, bodily resurrection, bodily ascension, and bodily return. Our church does not need to be more culturally relevant or to be “with the times.” We need to “hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” God’s Word. We need to take seriously and be especially convinced of Jesus’s death on the cross as our only means of being reconciled to God and to each other. We need to take seriously and be especially convinced of Jesus’s bodily resurrection as our only means towards cosmic justice and transformation. Clergy need to preach and teach these things in their homilies and sermons. Parents must teach these things to their children who are baptised in the church. We are not God’s people if we are not people who believe and trust His Word.

I am hopeful that the Anglican Church of Canada will persist 20 years from now. God has granted us still the management of enormous resources, assets, materials and real estate. But those are not our most treasured possessions. We have the creeds, our Bible, our common prayer, our history of missionary and theological enterprise, our liturgical heritage, the beauty of biblical language and sacred music, our global presence and ecumenical relationships, our sacramental conviction and participation—these are our Anglican conduits through which the Holy Spirit still chooses to work. Let us therefore step up, stand up and live up to the historic, apostolic, and catholic richness of our Anglican heritage to declare Christ crucified, to make Jesus known and glorified, to call all people to repent and believe His Holy Gospel, first in our parishes and throughout the places that we are in.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(AJ) ‘Coming to God without freedom is not coming to God’: Philosopher Charles Taylor on seeing God in church decline

Why are fewer people going to church?

It’s very hard to put your finger on this, but this is what I’m trying to work out: that there’s another kind of spiritual life, spiritual searching, going on to a great extent in our contemporary West—sometimes it’s in totally different religions, or totally non-religious—and that this somehow is taking off at the expense of an earlier way of expressing one’s spirituality, which involves being members of national churches or in the case of a very diverse country like Canada, at least a church which you know is very big and solid in some parts of the country.

It’s not that religion is disappearing, or spirituality is disappearing; it’s taking different forms. If you put yourself in the mindset of people, in particular of younger people, who are concerned about the meaning of life, concerned about becoming better people, more loving, more open, etc., and are seeking in some way some discipline—it could be meditation, it could be various things—if you put yourself in the mindset of these people, when they go to the pews the least bad thing is that they don’t feel it’s very relevant! The worst thing is they feel that their whole way of approaching this is not really appreciated and it may be seen as threatening the people in the pews. Now of course this is perhaps more the case—I’m a Catholic—in the case of the Catholic church [laughs], where you have these very backward-looking people who are screaming abuse at [Pope] Francis and so on [laughs]!

That’s the extreme case, where you actually feel, “I’d better rush out of this place [laughs]! Or I’m going to be badly treated.” But the least worrying or problematic [for those outside the church] is just that this is not a concern that people [in the pews] recognize, this searching concern. “Everything is all settled, and we’re all together in these pews affirming it.”

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Books, Canada, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Secularism

(VN) Vancouver Island’s Anglican bishop retires this spring

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(GR) Terry Mattingly–Why it matters that Canadian Anglicans are having a near-death experience

When I located a condensed versions of the Elliot report (entire report here and raw data here) there was another angle to this story that I was stunned was not discussed in the RNS news report.

Can you spot the story in the following bullet list that would deserve a large-font headline here in the United States?

— The average Sunday attendance has dropped to 97,421.

— A previous report published in 2006 predicted the last Anglican would leave the church in 2061. That number is now 2040.

— The rate of decline is increasing.

— New programs adopted by the church have done nothing to reverse the decline.

— The Anglican Church of Canada is declining faster than any other Province other than TEC, which has an even greater rate of decline.

— The slowest decline is in the number of priests.

The only other province in the global Anglican Communion that is declining faster than Canada is the “TEC”? Did I read that right?

What, readers may ask, is the “TEC”? Last time I checked, those letters stood for The Episcopal Church here in the United States of America.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Media, Religion & Culture

In Newfoundland, the Oldest Anglican Parish in Canada Performs Its First Same-Sex Marriage

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(AJ) “You have to look in the mirror”: CoGS wraps up with reflections from partners, general secretary that stress racial justice, church’s future

[Noreen] Duncan told the group, “I know you invited [me] here to do these little nice reflections, and I didn’t do that. I’m not apologizing; it’s what I’m seeing. If we are to staunch the bleeding of the denomination, the numbers, we’re going to have to look to the new…Anglicans among us. That’s where we’re going to work. That’s where we’re going to grow.” Referencing a conversation that was brought up the previous day during a racial justice exercise, she said, “As we pointed out yesterday…it’s not just a question of wondering when are the African, Asian and Caribbean members of the congregation going to volunteer. You have to point them out. Bring them out for a tea…and ask them, please help us.”

When she first read the statistical report prepared by Rev. Neil Elliot (discussed at CoGS the evening of Nov. 9) she felt disheartened, Duncan said. But after spending time at the meeting, she said, she was convinced that “as a denomination, as a church, we’re not dying. And that’s not to say that I distrust statistics and numbers—I don’t. But we have to know we are not dying. We have to stop, however, and assess who we are and how we’re going to continue.”

In a report following Duncan’s reflection, General Secretary of General Synod Archdeacon Michael Thompson thanked the Episcopal Church’s representative for her words.

“Your truth in our midst is disturbing, and at the same time welcome,” said Thompson.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(Winnipeg Free Press) ‘Dire’ report projects near end of Anglican Church in Canada

Geoff Woodcroft, Bishop of Rupert’s Land (which includes parts of Manitoba and northwestern Ontario) called the report “dire.”

“We need to take it very seriously,” he said.

According to the report, there has been an almost 3.5 per cent decline annual decline in attendance since 2001 and a 2.5 per cent decline in giving in the diocese.

While that’s a cause for concern, it’s not a “death knell for the church, Woodcroft said, as it can’t account for “the vitality of the ministry being done by Anglicans” across Canada.

Anglicans in Manitoba are responding to their communities and neighbourhoods, together with thriving churches such as St. Margaret’s and St. Benedict’s Table (both in Winnipeg), Woodcroft said, calling the efforts a “credit to those people and those communities.”

As for church leaders, they are “taking (the report) incredibly seriously,” he said.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Religion & Culture

(AJ) ‘Wake-up call’: CoGS hears statistics report on church membership decline

The Anglican Church of Canada’s first reliably-collected set of statistics since 2001 show the church running out of members in little more than two decades if the church continues to decline at its current rate, the Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard Friday, Nov. 9.

“We’ve got simple projections from our data that suggest that there will be no members, attenders or givers in the Anglican Church of Canada by approximately 2040,” the Rev. Neil Elliot, a priest for the diocese of Kootenay seconded in 2016 by the national church to collect a new set of statistics, told CoGS. Elliot, who reported on 2017 data collected from all of the church’s dioceses, also told the group about ongoing efforts to expand and diversify data collection.

The current projection should be taken especially seriously by Canadian Anglicans, Elliot said, because it is suggested by five different sets of church data, all collected in different ways: older data from 1961 to 2001; Anglican Journal subscriber data from 1991 to 2015; and three sets of data from his own survey of the dioceses as of 2017: the number of people on parish rolls, average Sunday attendance and regular identifiable givers.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Religion & Culture

(AJ) “A searching world” still needs the church, new Canadian Primate Linda Nicholls reassures CoGS

In the face of falling membership and financial challenges, Canadian Anglicans should feel encouraged that there remains a role for their church in the world—and that their God will always be faithful to them, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said Thursday, Nov. 7, in her first address as primate to the Council of General Synod (CoGS).

When General Synod’s planning and agenda team met to consider the work of CoGS for the next triennium—the three years until the next meeting of General Synod—it didn’t take long to come up with a theme, said Nicholls, who was elected primate at General Synod in July, succeeding Archbishop Fred Hiltz.

“We fairly quickly settled on… ‘A changing church. A searching world. A faithful God,’” she said. “For that theme sums up both the challenges and the possibilities that we will be encountering.”

The Anglican Church of Canada, the primate said, is changing in many ways, and it is declining in both membership and financial resources—a fact, she said, which should not come as a surprise, given a number of contemporary trends.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(West Central Online) In Saskatchewan, Rosetown’s Anglican Church Celebrates 100 Years

Rosetown’s St. Andrew’s – Trinity Anglican/Lutheran Church celebrated its 100th anniversary over the weekend.

The church has a long history in Rosetown. The building itself began as a mission for Anglican workers who followed the railways out of Regina. The mission house was purchased in 1912 followed by the building of the first church. The early years of the church saw a Sunday School, a ladies group, a choir, and a vestry to oversee the operation of the church.

The first church was then destroyed in a fire in 1918. The church that was built in its place is the same one that stands there today on the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street, and held its first service on October 19th, 1919.

Festivities for the church’s 100th anniversary were quite simple, with a 2 o’clock service, followed by coffee, cake, and snacks in the hall.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Parish Ministry

(Vancouver Sun) Vancouver-area bishop approves same-sex marriages, despite national vote

The Anglican bishop for the Metro Vancouver region has approved same-sex marriages in her diocese, beginning Thursday.

Bishop Melissa Skelton made the decision despite delegates of the national Anglican Church narrowly defeating the proposal during a July 12 vote at their general synod in Vancouver.

In the latest move in a worldwide Anglican conflict that has gone on for decades, Skelton seized on a compromise that the national church’s bishops offered a few days after the defeated vote, which would allow individual dioceses to adopt a “local option” on same-sex marriage rites.

Many of the country’s Anglicans had been bitterly disappointed when the motion to allow same-sex marriages lost by the slimmest of margins earlier this month.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

(TGC) George Sinclair–The State of Orthodoxy in the Anglican Church of Canada

In 2016 the Chancellor of the ACoC made clear that just because something is affirmed does not mean that alternatives are rejected. He pointed out that there is nothing in the current Canons that forbids same-sex marriage. He said the same thing this year.

The General Synod then overwhelmingly passed a series of affirmations which made clear that it agrees with the Chancellor’s ruling. Listen to this, “We affirm that, while there are different understandings of the existing Marriage Canon, those bishops and synods who have authorized liturgies for the blessing of a marriage between two people of the same sex understand that the existing Canon does not prohibit same-sex marriage.” The House of Bishops made a similar statement.

It gets worse. The Synod overwhelmingly passed “Affirmations” that say that both views on marriage are held “with prayerful integrity;” that all sides on this issue hold their convictions “in good faith” and that “we hold dear their continued presence in this church;” and that “we affirm our commitment to walk together and preserve communion.” In other words, different views on marriage are at best a third-order issue.

This means that biblical orthodoxy has lost the war. To make the Canons clearly biblical, the ACoC will have to change the Canons to add something to the effect that they reject same-sex marriage as biblical and that this is a first-order issue. This is not possible.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Anthropology, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Sudbury.Com) In the Diocese of Algoma, No decision yet on same-sex marriage: Bishop says more consultation needed

Anglicans in this area who belong to the LGBT community and wish to be married in the church will have to wait a bit longer to find out whether or not that’s going to happen.

Earlier this month, a motion to add same-sex unions to Anglican Church of Canada laws was narrowly voted down at its General Synod.

To pass, the resolution required “yes” votes from two-thirds of each of three orders — lay, clergy and bishops.

Eighty per cent of the lay delegates voted to adopt the motion, as did 73 per cent of the clergy. But the bishops were two votes shy of what was needed to enter the proposal into law.

But at the same national gathering, the church also decided to allow individual dioceses — including the local Diocese of Algoma — to make their own determinations on the matter.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)