News and Events

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1st Sunday in Advent 2016

The season of Advent has begun. To help you prepare your hearts for this special season we offer you an excellent series of reflections from Wycliffe College, Toronto ON. 

Advent Reflection: Week 1






November 26, 2016

There is a lot that goes under the mainstream news radar and here is such a story. A  judgement was released on November 24 concerning Steve Tourloukis’ request to remove his children from their classrooms during the teaching of "sensitive subjects, such as homosexuality and abortion.” Tourloukis is a dentist in the Hamilton area, a devout member of the Greek Orthodox faith, who claims his Charter religious rights have been violated by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s refusal to protect his children from exposure to what conflicts with the family's religious views on sexuality.


Wycliffe College Installation Address | The Rt. Rev. Dr Stephen Andrews

Wycliffe College has welcomed a new Principal following the departure of The Rev. Dr. George Sumner to Dallas, Texas as their new bishop in 2015. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen Andrews was formally installed as Wycliffe’s Principal on November 4 in Sheraton Hall where the highlight of the evening was Bishop Stephen’s address. Here it is as a text. Read it carefully to appreciate its richness and depth! The Anglican Communion Alliance is a strong supporter of Wycliffe College where the theological education offered is of the highest quality, all embedded in an evangelical environment that is unwavering in its commitment to biblical truth.


Muslim Refugees Meet Jesus: God at Work in the Midst of Crisis | Eric Metaxas

It is not often that we hear stories about Muslim refugees converting to Christianity, certainly never in the secular press, but this is a story worth repeating. We need to pray for the many refugees that come to our shores and get involved with their settlement in our country. We must keep in mind Matthew 25.35: "For I was hungry, and you gave me food: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in.” In so doing we minister to Christ himself.

Our October Newsletter has been sent. If you missed it, you can read it here!



* one small correction to the newsletter: Anglican Renewal Ministries, not The Anglican Renewal Ministry

Evangelicals Across the Spectrum Are Clarifying Marriage as a Core Belief | Ed Stetzer

Is an understanding of marriage something that evangelicals can "agree to disagree on" or is it a “core” issue? In the article below, Ed Stetzer, clarifies the position of evangelicalism and states the centrality of traditional marriage to evangelical beliefs.


 Gender Issues

It is hard to pick up a magazine these days that does not feature an article on gender. Understanding "gender" as a socially constructed human aspect was a great breakthrough when Simone de Beauvoir described woman as "made" not "born," in her 1949 book, The Second Sex. Who could have guessed the extremes to which this idea would be driven? Here are some thoughts to consider:

The Ridiculous Crusade for Gender-Neutral Toys | Acculturated


So many of the claims about gender neutrality stem from social science articles claiming valid studies. Here is one by Mark Regnerus that offers a more balanced perspective. Mark is a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin and has published extensively in this field. He challenges what is fast becoming normative: 


Hijacking Science: How the "No Differences" Consensus about Same-Sex Households and Children Works | Public Discourse

 


A Statement by the Bishops Mark MacDonald, Lydia Mamakwa, and Adam Halkett

September 23, 2016


One of the highlights of General Synod for the Anglican Communion Alliance was the closer relationship we developed with our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Christ. We were honoured to have opportunities to worship, pray and sing praises together as we had never done before. It didn’t take us long to realize how much we as classical, orthodox, evangelical, catholic Anglicans had in common with those who travelled from the Northern dioceses. Our adherence to the supreme authority of Scripture in the Anglican tradition is a view we share. We heartily endorse this Statement by Bishops Mark MacDonald, Lydia Mamakwa, and Adam Halkett. They have composed it and own it, deriving as it does from their long history of understanding the Land and Creation which establish the essential male and female components in marriage.


       From Left to Right: Bishop Adam Hackett, Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, and Bishop Mark MacDonald

The Bishops' Statement:

We are writing to the Church and our communities in light of the General Synod’s decision to take the first steps towards the changing of the marriage canon. As we wrote to the commission and stated at the Synod, we do not agree with the decision and believe that it puts our communities in a difficult place in regards to our relation and community with the Anglican Church of Canada. This statement was requested by an Indigenous circle that gathered after the final vote on the marriage canon was revealed.


We write this, of ourselves, acknowledging that we do not speak for all Indigenous Peoples, though we have consulted broadly and deeply with many. Although we note some difference between urban and reserve contexts and, less so, by regions, we believe we speak to and from what we have witnessed as a broad consensus of Indigenous Peoples. It is our hope that what we say will ultimately serve all, even those who may disagree.


Our land has a Charter of Rights and our laws support these rights. These rights are recognized and endorsed by the Church in its teaching and practice. These rights that First Nations enjoy and use to reaffirm traditional and inherent rights are the same rights that same sex couples use to be granted marriage rights and privileges. In the case of the Church, these rights grant the freedom to complete its pastoral work in marriages. In regard to Indigenous Peoples, they specially guarantee that they are self-determining with regard to basic cultural and social matters. This is fundamental to the Nation-to-Nation relationship which is at the base of Indigenous Rights, reconciliation and a promising future for all of Canada. 


Indigenous churches have these basic freedoms, under Law and under God. Supported by the courts and affirmed by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, our freedoms set the course for our churches and their pastoral leadership in our communities and, specifically, in regard to our pastoral and social ministry for marriage. We are deeply disturbed and disappointed that so little attention was paid to our pastoral and social self-determination and the right to free, prior, and informed consent.


Our elders need to be actively involved with the conversation regarding these changes. Earlier discussions of these matters have never been translated into Indigenous languages, neither has This Holy Estate. That out elders have not been a part of this conversation, it seems to us, is a flaw in the process.


We voted “no” to changes in the Marriage Canon. We do not take this stand as a statement against any person or persons. In this, we simply affirm our right to express our cultural and spiritual understanding of marriage in the context of our own community life and according to God’s holy Word. Though some may see the “opt in” option in the proposed changes to the marriage canon as allowing all to have freedom in this matter, the change in language in the first part of the canon is a deeper problem for many of our communities.


It is our understanding that, while homosexual persons have always had a place in our societies, same-sex marriage, itself, has not. We find in both our reading of Creation and Scripture the unique relationship of Man and Woman. The difference between the two, coming together in the miracle of a unique spiritual communion, is essential to the way we understand marriage – but not only marriage, it is the way we understand the Land, the way we understand Creation.


Without commenting on Canadian Civil Marriage, we assert the unique right that Indigenous communities have to set their own way of life and their own way of speaking of marriage. Although the canon does not force anyone to do anything, the language of the revised canon changes the fundamental meaning of marriage to make it gender neutral. This is both a significant and unacceptable change to our communities, who still find male and female as essential to their understanding of the marriage ceremony.


We will discern what will be our way forward in the days ahead. We do know that we commit to the following:

· We will continue in our conversation with the Anglican Church of Canada in regards to self-determination and mutual cooperation in our Anglican Christian ministry.  We will proceed towards self-determination with urgency. 

· We will seek ways to continue our conversation with the LGBTQ communities and individuals, affirming our earlier statements of love and welcome.

· We call for the Church to seek ways in which to 1) further our self-determination and 2) to specifically address our self-determination in matters of cultural and social matters related to our communities. In this regard, we will seek ways for our communities to pursue and enact their own cultural understandings of when different from the rest of the Anglican Church of Canada.

· We call for the Church to establish an inquiry into the process this decision was made. This was not the best for Indigenous Peoples, we can only believe it is not the best for others. 


We believe that this entire incident calls for a review and rethinking of the ways that the Church conducts its business. We have resolved to work with you to see that we never have to be in this kind of situation again. For many of us, the silencing of our elder at the end of the Synod conversation – though understandable in Western process – was the most painful moment of all. We strongly feel that an apology to our Elder is in order.


We are deeply sad that, at a time in which the Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples of the Anglican Church of Canada warmly embraced each other and a new future, that we came to such divisiveness. We are deeply sorry for any ways that our actions – words and acts of sin by doing and/or not-doing – contributed to this outcome and will seek to do our very best in the future to embody the reconciliation that we see in Jesus. We believe that Christ is present among us, by His own power and promise, and we will look for Him to guide us into a better future. We, finally, pledge our very best attempts to remain brothers and sisters to all Anglicans, living out our baptismal covenant in the bonds of affection and mutual faithfulness."


See Related Article from The Anglican Journal, Indigenous bishops criticize same-sex marriage vote

The Conservative Student's Survival Guide | PragerU


Going to college or university presents many challenges and adjustments with leaving home for the first time often being among them. For the Christian, in addition to moving to a new place, meeting new people and keeping up with studies, there is the matter of being a Christian in a sea of liberalism. Finding a church to attend where you can hear sound teaching and make Christian friends is a good place to begin. Thankfully there are some good guidelines to navigate your way through the ideological environment that is pretty relentless in its secular thrust around social and political issues. Here is a video from an experienced professor that might give you some coping techniques:


Almost Everything the Media Tell you About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is Wrong | The Daily Signal

Ryan T. Anderson
August 22, 2016


With all the books and articles that have been published about same sex marriage it’s hard to imagine that anything new or more authoritative could be said to enhance our understanding. A new study has just come out which sheds fresh light on sexual orientation and gender identity from a scientific viewpoint. Transgenderism is something not everyone is familiar with and how it plays out in our public schools is even less well known as new rules develop to accommodate new needs. Ignorance should not have a role to play here. Knowledge linked with compassion can provide a better perspective for us all. You will find this article to be an excellent source of information on the important topics of gender and sexual preference.

Read Article

Where are we now? The aftermath of the January meeting of the Primates
GAFCON

August 4, 2016

It is not so long ago that our newspapers were alive with reports of the Primates’ Gathering in Canterbury last January. During that meeting our Primate, Archbishop Hiltz, seemed pleased to announce that the Anglican Church of Canada had not proceeded to same sex marriage. He thus avoided the censure that was the lot of The Episcopal Church in the US. Our General Synod has to wait until its next session of 2019 to complete the change to our Marriage Canon to include same sex couples that it voted to enact at its first reading. Here is some commentary by the General Secretary of GAFCON, Archbishop Peter Jensen. Click here to read more about GACON. 


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Does French Culture Have a Future? | First Things

August 1, 2016

On July 26, Father Jacques Hamel, an 86-year-old Roman Catholic priest serving the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, was murdered by two radicalized 19 year old youths under the banner of ISIL. Fr. Hamel’s funeral took place in the 15th-cntury cathedral of Rouens where thousands attended to mourn this act of terrorism that reached a new low as this aged priest administered the sacrament in all his vulnerability at the altar of Christ. This secular state now participated in the ancient liturgy of death in the very town where Joan of Arc also had died for her beliefs. France again was grieving for a martyr of the Christian faith.

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Mourners watch the funeral service outside the cathedral. (Reuters) Photo found at the BBC News website




A Statement from Seven Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada

July 15, 2016


The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has passed the first vote of a 2-stage process on a Resolution to change Marriage Canon XXI to include same sex couples in the same way as opposite sex couples. A two-thirds majority in each of the three orders—bishops, clergy, and laity—was required to pass the Resolution. This majority was reached by one vote in the clergy, by two votes in the House of Bishops, and by a larger majority of the laity, 71.96%. It has been learned since the Synod that one of the bishops’ votes was accidentally not counted, a fact that would not have altered the two-thirds majority but would have reduced their majority to one vote also. So then two of the orders would have reached their two-thirds majority by precisely one vote, hardly a robust number.


In response to the General Synod’s decision on marriage (only the first of a 2-part process), seven bishops have produced a Statement on this potential change to the Marriage Canon:


Bishops' Statement July 15, 2016.pdf Bishops' Statement July 15, 2016.pdf
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ACA Statement on the Change to the Marriage Canon:

July 12, 2016


Events of the afternoon of Tuesday, July 12, have produced a different result from what we posted last evening. It was discovered that The Ven. Dr. Michael Thompson, General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, was incorrectly categorized with the laity when, in fact, he is a clergy person. This additional one vote from the clergy produced the two-thirds majority necessary to pass A051-R2, the resolution to change the marriage canon to include gay and lesbian couples. 

How will the one-third clergy who voted against amending the canon respond? It is early days and this new doctrinal transformation needs time to sink in. We invite you to continue in earnest prayer for the bishops, clergy, and laity of our Anglican church. 

A Prayer for those Affected by the Orlando shooting

June 14, 2016

It is with shock and grief that we heard of the mass killings in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.  We are appalled at this outrageous violation of life, and pray that families and friends may find comfort in the outpouring of love and support from so many. We join in prayer for those now injured and in hospital, for the many traumatized by this senseless act, and for the loved ones grieving their terrible loss.  We remember also the family of Omar Mateen who also suffer in his great tragedy.  May God be a balm for all these deep wounds.

Covenant Bloggers' Response to This Holy Estate

At the General Synod this July 7 to 13, we approach a milestone in the Anglican Church of Canada—a Resolution that would change the Marriage Canon to include same sex couples in the same way as heterosexual couples. We are here posting a series of articles from the Covenant Blog associated with The Living Church Magazine that engages with This Holy Estate, the document produced by the Marriage Commission and submitted last September to the Council of General Synod to assist the church in making this decision. It favours this change to the Canon and we are all encouraged to read and discuss This Holy Estate. ACA presents for your careful reading these excellent blog entries as part of this larger discussion.

Evaluating 'This Holy Estate'

 

What It's Like to be Gay at Wheaton College | Christianity Today

Wesley Hill recently completed his PhD in Theology and Religion at Durham University, UK. He is currently teaching at Trinity School of Ministry in Ambridge, PA. His book, Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality, is an outstanding account of his journey as a gay Christian who has struggled with depression and isolation until he was able to go public with remarkable candour and honesty about his exclusive attraction to men. His straightforward stand as both gay and biblically grounded is an inspiration, one that charts the ongoing struggles to be faithful to the Gospel while living with joyful engagement. This article reflects on his years as a student at Wheaton College.


Protecting Conscious Rights

As you may know, the physician assisted bill framed by the Liberal government in response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling is about to be passed in the House of Commons and will soon be sent to the Senate for debate. It is truly a ground-breaking piece of legislation, marked by much controversy and wide disagreement among the parties and individual members.


We ask that you pray in earnest for a good response and much publicity for the work initiated by health care professionals, staff, and facilities found at The Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience 


Canadians for Conscience represents a coalition of various organizations "including 5,000 physicians across Canada, as well as more than 110 healthcare facilities representing 18,000 care beds and 60,000 staff” who are committed to protecting conscience rights for health practitioners. 

Learn More

"The Coalition has put forward a proposal that will respect the conscience rights of doctors and health care facilities, without interfering with the patient’s choice for assisted death.”


Please add your signature to this request so that it might make an impact upon this significant ethical dilemma before our law makers. 

Even Very Sick Children Deserve Medical Care: Why Every State Needs "Simon's Law | The Witherspoon Institute

By Grace Stark
May 31, 2016

Parents of very young, very sick children deserve the right to make medical decisions for their sons and daughters, no matter how difficult those decisions may be.


Read Article

Melinda Gates: 'I'm Living Out My Faith in Action' | Christianity Today

We hear a lot about Microsoft as a software giant. It is not unusual for Bill Gates, Microsoft’s famous inventor, to be in the news. More and more we associate his name with the enormous amounts of money that the Gates Foundation gives to the poor. Here is an article that hears from Melinda Gates and the role of her faith in their great undertaking to alleviate poverty:

'This house is resting gently on the Earth' | Anglican Journal

Have you ever dreamt about having a house so energy efficient that you could slip of the grid without undue hardship by just building smart? An Anglican couple have achieved this dream house and it is something beautiful to behold! But Will and Bev Eert were not exactly amateurs starting with wishful thinking. "Will, a retired power engineer, and Bev, a retired architectural designer, poured their combined expertise and passion into the project.” Have a look and see what you think:


Inspired by a desire to preserve the Earth, Manitoba Anglicans
Will and Bev Eert designed and built an energy self-sufficient
home. Photo: Contributed 

Anglicans reach out to Fort McMurray Wildfire | Anglican Journal

ACA would like to encourage contributions to the fires sweeping through Ft. McMurray where we have 2 Anglican Churches. Please read reports of the Ft. McMurray fire in The Anglican Journal here.


This is an urgent matter that calls upon all of us to step forward and support those experiencing this tragedy. Our ACA Board has just sent a contribution off to assist through the PWRDF and we ask that you would consider making a contribution also.


Please donate through the Anglican PWRDF by clicking the button below

 

or you may send a cheque marked "Ft. McMurray” and address to:

80 Hayden Street
Toronto, ON , M4Y 3G2



Prayer Bulletin #3 has been sent out!

Didn't receive one? Don't worry, click here to read it and don't forget to join our mailing list above to receive monthly newsletters.

Primates' Gathering

Together: the official photo from the Primates' gathering 
in Canterbury | CREDIT: CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL


group of Primates that includes Huron suffragan bishop, The Rt. Rev. Linda Nicholls, will convene to provide follow-up conversation to the gathering of Primates in Canterbury last January:

Task group appointed to 'maintain conversation' among Anglican primates | Anglican Journal


Meanwhile some dispute has emerged from the Anglican Consultative Council regarding its endorsement of the consequences for TEC:

Group of ACC members, secretary general dispute meaning of resolution | Anglican Journal



Even Canadians Admit that Squaring Circles Is Theologically Impossible!
Peter Carrell 

March 2, 2016

Blogger Peter Carrell uses the image of “squaring the circle” to demonstrate the impossible nature of defying God’s created order in changing marriage. Squares and circles have an essence that cannot be violated without altering what they intrinsically are. It is noteworthy that this analysis hails from “Down Under” where even there, the Canadian action by its bishops will have an affect .


House of Bishops Report

It is with gratitude that we at ACA receive this report from the House of Bishops’ meeting this February 23rd to 26th. It was an attempt to interpret the Primates’ Gathering in Canterbury on January 11th to 16th in light of the Canadian context of previous discussions among the bishops surrounding the change to Marriage Canon XXI. 

 

“Not so fast,” is the CoGS response. Are they forgetting that we are an Episcopal church?

CHAIRMAN’S FEBRUARY 2016 PASTORAL LETTER

To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council

We have gathered some important resources and responses to the Primates' Gathering as news unfolds. Click the button below for more information:

Bruce Jenner's Transformation is a Lose-Lose for Gender Ideology | The Federalist

One of the prominent guiding principles of feminist theory is that gender is not a biological entity given at birth but is determined by society. In other words, gender is a "social construct.” The advantage to this definition is that it challenges the notion that work, behaviour or social roles are governed by one’s biological sex. Women can be doctors, drive cement trucks, and be prime ministers just as men can be nurses, teach kindergarten, and enjoy knitting. However, these ideas do lead in some strange directions when taken to their logical conclusions. It’s one thing to affirm gender isn’t everything but quite another to insist it has no grounding in biology whatsoever.

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Family Policy Institute of Washington | College Kids Say the Darndest Things: OnIdentiy

Gender identity is becoming a hotly contested topic. An either/or answer to your gender will no longer satisfy. Here is a short video that highlights college students’ responses to categories formerly considered to be pretty straightforward. 

"From the Family Policy Institute of Washington comes this amusing video, where a conversation about gender-neutral bathrooms turns into something a bit more interesting."


What do you think? How did this happen? Does political correctness take us to strange places? Are we losing touch with reality or is this simply kindness for others? 

Gender Ideology as a Consequence of Secularism | Virtue Online

Secularism has had a serious impact on gender roles and the reception of this change has been mixed. As activism progresses it may be harder for those who hold to other views to disagree without consequences. This is not what was promoted at the onset of new equality marriage rights. Is there an end in sight?


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Israeli & Middle Eastern followers of Jesus unite to care for their hurting region
At The Crossroads


It seems that every day we hear new reports of tragedies in the Middle East. It is good to be aware of some signs of light as Christians from various ethnic groups come together in the name of Jesus.

Read Article

As news of conflict swirls through the Middle Eastern countries, here is an encouraging report of new shoots finding fertile soil in this region.


CHRISTIANITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS NOT DYING – IT’S RADICALLY CHANGING
GAFCON 

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Most of us feel great compassion for the poor but rarely get close enough to feel the impact of real poverty. Let this account sink in and see what you can do in your neighbourhood nearby.

Charismatic movement gains as Church of England sputters | Religious News Service
By Trevor Grundy


Photo Courtesy of Hillsong Church, London


There is hope among new sprouts in God’s church. Here is an example of church growth in London, England—new groups along side declining churches:



A Plea for a Radical Christian Wartime Lifestyle in the Retirement Years
Interview by John Piper | Desiring God

You’ve waited a long time for the “golden years” of retirement. Now that they are here, how will you spend them? Pastor John Piper has some thoughts that might inspire you:


The Gospel Coalition | You are What - And How - You Read
By Rosaria Butterfield

Rosaria Butterfield, formerly a Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University, was an outspoken activist in the LGBTQ community before her conversion. This is her thought-provoking story:


Morocco Declaration: Muslim Nations Should Protect Christians from Persecution Christianity Today

Published in Christianity Today by Morgan Lee on January 27 2016, this article addresses the violence of Muslims against Christians in a surprising way. Muslim leaders draw on their own history of peaceful living with Christians among them to implore an end to violence. We need to hear about this serious work of Christians and Muslims working jointly to end persecution wherever it is practiced.


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Where are all the Christian Refugees? | Voice For Justice UK

We are all keen to assist with the Syrian refugees landing in Toronto and Montreal. There has been lots of encouraging and warm media coverage of these welcome events. But there is something amiss. While not wanting to diminish the importance of bringing Muslims from refugee camps, it must not be forgotten that Christians fleeing Syria are the most persecuted religious group in the world at this time. Where are they and why, given their great vulnerability, are they not especially given the protection they need in the West through immigration? This question needs to enter our discussions in our newspapers and media channels. Churches sponsoring refugees may want to ask this question of our government. The following article addresses this issue:


Read Article Here



Compassion to Refugees, Not Capitulation to Islamic State | Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

The human tide of refugees, economic migrants, young men fleeing conscription and others who have arrived on Europe’s shores shows no sign of receding. As always, there are heart-rending stories of why people have undertaken hazardous journeys by land and sea. The human toll in terms of suffering and loss of life is enormous. There is also the seamier side of this huge migration, with traffickers making fortunes out of human misery. How then should we respond to this new reality on our doorsteps?

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Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali was the 106th Bishop of Rochester, for 15 years, until 1 September 2009. He is originally from Asia and was the first non-white Diocesan Bishop in the Church of England. He was appointed in 1994. Before that he was the General Secretary of CMS from 1989-1994 and prior to holding this position was Bishop of Raiwind in Pakistan.

Canada has just welcomed its first group of refugees from war-torn Syria. Many of these, if not all, adhere to the Muslim faith. As Christian Canadians we need to welcome them into our hearts and homes. Being acquainted with some of the features of Islam will facilitate better understanding.

Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About Islam | Zane Pratt

Holy Trinity Brompton, Home of Alpha, to Breath New Life into Montreal Anglican Church

Something new is happening in an old Anglican Church in Montreal! Yes, Montreal, that super secular city where church attendance has been winning the race in going to the bottom. The Anglican churches have shared in these steep declines such that many beautiful historic churches have moved from being hallowed halls to ones hollowed out of liturgy, music, and people. Visit St. James Montreal to see an introduction to an amazing story of God’s grace and wonderful creativity in a rich combination:


"Our vision is to love Jesus, build community and transform lives. We hope to do this in active learning partnerships with friends from all parts of the church – evangelical, sacramental, charismatic and more. Led by Rev. Graham Singh and Céline Singh and a growing team of volunteers, we are particularly inspired by a new movement of church planting from London England and led by a church called Holy Trinity Brompton, home of Alpha. Alpha is a 10 week course including a meal, short talk and time for questions. We will be running Alpha regularly in both English and French.” 


St. James Montreal has opened its doors to HTB and placed The Rev. Graham Singh as the Rector to revitalize a beautiful building with shrinking numbers. This short YouTube video outlines the model that St. James plans to follow:.

Wishing for God's Plan: Mary's fiat in Luke 1:38 | First Things

By Sarah Klinetic Wear


"Mary’s response in the Annunciation highlights her supreme, humble obedience to God’s plan. But in this humility lies something earth-shattering. Mary’s response to God’s plan is nothing short of radical. For, she does not merely accept this plan—a plan so terrifying its messenger finds need to warn her “be not afraid”—but she prays for it. Mary’s holiness lies in not merely accepting God’s path for her, but in wishing for it."


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Dr. Sarah Klitenic Wear is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Steubenville, USA, where she navigates with ease in that world so removed from most of us, classical languages and literature. As a Christian she also brings the Spirit’s gaze to her reading of the Greek New Testament and the Latin Vulgate in a manner that is amazingly enlightening. In this Advent Season, we are especially drawn to the Annunciation and the grace of Mary’s reply to Gabriel. Sarah writes as an academic of course so take up the challenge of this short article and be blessed!

Photo taken from the Franciscan University of Steubenville website

CLIMATE SCIENTIST KATHARINE HAYHOE ON FAITH, CLIMATE CHANGE & UN PARIS SUMMIT

Climate Scientist Katherine Hayhoe shares on what it's like to be a Christian scientist, climate change and what's at stake at the upcoming UN Paris Summit.


Related: Watch an interview with Katharine Hayhoe on Climate change.



Katharine Anne Scott Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and associate professor of political science at Texas Tech University, where she is director of the Climate Science Center.

COLSON CENTERBREAKPOINT

Breakpoint Daily | Helping Syrian Christians: The U.S. Must Act

November 23, 2015

By John Stonestreet

In all the confusion over the Syrian refugee crisis, one thing is clear: Christians are targets of genocide. Yet our government refuses to acknowledge it.

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Honor Your Inner Monk: An Update for the St. Meinrad Archabbey Prayer App 

If you love this prayer app you'll want to get the update! Click the box below and follow the link to update yours today. 

Honor Your Inner Monk - Saint Meinrad Archabbey Prayer App


The Chuck Colson Centre for Christian Worldview | Breakpoint
A Time for War? Isis and the Attack on Paris | Eric Metaxas

November 18, 2015


It’s been a dark few days. In the wake of historic bloodshed, we need to pray ceaselessly. And then we need to ask ourselves whether being a peacemaker might mean taking up arms.

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Thank You, Toronto Star, For Ignoring My Work |Dr. Miriam Grossman miriamgrossmanmd.com

The full article below was taken from Dr. Grossman's blog, found here.


Thank you, Toronto Star, for ignoring my work.

A few weeks ago, at the invitation of several parent organizations, I traveled from New York to Toronto and addressed a crowd of almost one thousand people. It was dinner time and mid-week, but we ran out of chairs. When the topic is graphic sex education for children, people show up.

The sex ed portion of the curriculum imposed by liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, I explained, is not about health, but about molding the attitudes of children. The goal is to produce students who respect and affirm nearly any type of sexual lifestyle. Teachers will promote an ideology which has nothing to do with disease prevention and everything to do with sexual license.

My talk (watch it here) and accompanying PowerPoint included lots of hard science: the immature cervix, the physiology of the vagina and rectum, the differentiation of the embryonic brain, and the prefrontal cortex of the adolescent.

You see, Premier Wynne’s curriculum omits all that. It fails to provide students with the science they must know, especially the biology that explains the dangers of sexual activity in adolescence.

Instead, it instructs students: there are three types of intercourse. Wait until you’re older, and always use a condom.

There are lots of problems with that, but I focused on the “wait til you’re older” portion.

For a seventh grader, “older” can mean eighth grade. In seventh grade he didn’t have sex. In eighth grade he did. He waited til he was older, right? Just like his teacher said.

We can’t just tell kids “wait til you’re older”, I explained. We must say “the urge is healthy and wonderful, but sex is a very serious matter and even with protection, carries high risks for a teenager. One encounter can change your life forever. Sex is for adults.”

I stated that the curriculum first and foremost fails to protect boys who are attracted to other boys. Because of the high risk of transmitting HIV through anal intercourse (even with a condom) and because gay males on average have a higher number of partners and therefore more exposure to infected individuals, boys must be warned.

It was clear to the audience: these are facts that cannot be denied. This is science that students must know. It could save their lives.
Why, then, is it missing from the curriculum? Because, I explained, they undermine the notion of sexual freedom upon which it is based. When science contradicts the dreams of social activists, they’re ignored. They don’t exist.

The audience, the most diverse I have ever addressed, appreciated my words. They gave me a standing ovation.

While the event was certainly newsworthy, it was covered only by conservative media. So I was surprised when I got this email:

I am a reporter with the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation daily paper. Working on a story about sex-ed protests here in Ontario over the new curriculum, and I understand you have been speaking to groups here about your concerns about it. I will need to speak with you today 416 xxx xxxx. Many thanks KR

A journalist from Canada’s equivalent of The New York Times! Could some balanced reporting come from her? I doubted it. If she acknowledged my biology-based arguments, it would be a first.

I called KR and gave her an abridged version of my lecture, including a good amount of hard science. She asked, “Are you anti-gay?” I said, “To the contrary – I’m trying to save their lives. The curriculum fails to warn them of risks, that’s one reason I oppose it.”

She thanked me and agreed to send a link to her article in the morning, but there was no email the following day, so I went to the Toronto Star website. Maybe it didn’t run yet? I wrote KR and got this:

It ran today — the quotes from you were trimmed because of space — but thank you so much, I will keep them on file for future stories. I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me.

Here is her article. As expected, not a word about the inaccuracies of the curriculum, or the omissions that place young lives at risk. No mention of my lecture, my professional credentials, the huge audience. Poof! None of it happened.

“The quotes from you were trimmed because of space”? I think not.

First of all, “trimmed’ is the wrong word. KR, you are a journalist and should know about words. “Trimmed” means pared or edited. What I said was ignored.

Why? Because I exposed the curriculum as an ideologically-driven house of cards. Sadly, the Toronto Star is a mouthpiece for activists who sacrifice children on the altar of social agendas. Just like I stated at the event: if what’s seen under the microscope undermines their beliefs, it doesn’t exist.

KR, you had a chance to act with integrity and provide your audience with life-saving information. The readers of the Toronto Star may support the premier, but herpes, chlamydia and HIV infect their children too. These horrific bugs do not discriminate between conservative and liberal — you can trust me on that one.

Toronto Star, I wish your journalist had the courage to report the inconvenient truths I described. But in her failure to do so, I am validated. And for that, I thank you.


Aslan is on the Move: The Growth of Christianity in the Muslim World | Break Point
By Eric Metaxas

June 10, 2015



A Washington Post article tells the story of a tiny Baptist church near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The congregation had dwindled to just fifteen members. With bills stacking up, Deacon Larry Montgomery told the congregation, “We’re just not going to make it.”


Montgomery then told the people of Scenic Drive Baptist that there was a congregation who might want to buy the church. This congregation had been meeting in homes and had a pastor whose business card quoted John 4:35: “Look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”


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Six Ways Your Phone is Changing You | Desiring God

By Tony Reinke


Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at Macworld Expo 2007, and I got my first one a year later. I can’t remember life without it. For seven years an iPhone has always been within my reach, there to wake me in the morning, there to play my music library, there to keep my calendar, there to capture my life in pics and video, there for me to enjoy sling-shooting wingless birds into enemy swine, there as my ever-present portal to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. My iPhone is such a part of my daily life, I rarely think self-reflectively about it. That’s precisely what concerns David Wells, 75, a careful thinker who has watched trends in the church for many decades.



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Flash Mob in Beirut Mall Sings 'Christ is Risen!'

From Orthodox Christian Network

 

 The Pope is a Christian! | The New York Review of Books

By Gary Wills


At a recent I talk I gave about Pope Francis, a man asked me, “Why do more non-Catholics like the pope than Catholics do?” He was wrong, of course. A Pew poll two months ago found that 90 percent of Catholics like what the pope is doing—and the number is even higher (95 percent) among the most observant, Mass attending Catholics. The percentage of non-Catholics who view the pope favorably does not get above the 70s.


Read more

Should Britain Become a Secular State? | The Big Questions


Click the video to the right to listen to an interesting debate about whether or not Britain should become a secular state. The video was published to YouTube on February 26, 2014.


What ISIS Wants | The Atlantic
By Graeme Wood

March 2015

"The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it."

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Metaxas Article Elicits the Largest Response in the history of The Wall Street Journal (online).


"Eric Metaxas (born 1963) is an American author, speaker, and TV host. He is best known for two biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer."  (Source: Wikipedia)

Find his Wall Street Journal online article here
Click here to watch a Fox Business interview with Eric Metaxas

Re: Physician-Assisted Deaths

On February 6 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s laws banning physician-assisted deaths. Here is testimony concerning physician-assisted deaths practices given before the British Parliamentary committee last July by Dutch Professor Theo Boer who has been a Member of a Netherlands Regional Review Committee since 2005.  In the past 9 years he has studied almost 4000 such cases. Click below to read the letter.


Archbishop on the Commission's Challenges and the Way Forward | Episcopal News Service


Photo: Church of England


November 17, 2014

[Lambeth Palace] In his presidential address to the General Synod on Nov. 17, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke about the issues faced by the Anglican Communion and possible ways forward.

Read more

Christian Principles Hold Steady as the System Worsens, New York Times

By James K.A. Smith, June 25, 2014

Christianity isn't incompatible with free markets. But it may be incompatible with modern capitalism and its growing inequality and exploitation.

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First Indigenous Diocese Celebrated, Anglican Journal

ByLeigh Anne Williams, June 6, 2014

On June 4, Bishop Lydia Mamakwa was installed as bishop of Mishamikoweesh, the new indigenous diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada.   Photos: Anglican Video 

It was a historic day for the Anglican Church of Canada as it celebrated the birth of the first indigenous diocese and the installation of its first bishop in Kingfisher Lake, Ont.

The Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh’s installation service for Bishop Lydia Mamakwa was held in a school gymnasium that had been transformed for the occasion with red and white banners, garlands and a profusion of flowers around the altar. Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, offered the homily. Archbishop David Ashdown, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land, formally seated Mamakwa as bishop and blessed the episcopal chair. National Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald participated and offered a reflection. The service was in English and Oji-Cree. Bishops from across the country attended, along with many members of the 400-person Kingfisher Lake First Nation, which is located 350 km north of Sioux Lookout, Ont. 

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Andrew White: Being Jesus in the Kill Zone Christianity Today

May 6, 2014


Image: FFRME


Iraq is worse than ever. So says Andrew White, vicar of St. George's Anglican Church in Baghdad, where he pastors the only Anglican church in Iraq. Since March, 2,100 people have died in sectarian violence. With 260,000 Christians left in the country, where 1.5 million Christians used to live, White works for reconciliation between religious and political factions in one of the world's most volatile areas.

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Staying Put | First Things

Peter J. Leithart, May 23, 2014


When tensions grow among us, many consider their church environment as less than ideal and ask themselves, "Should I go or stay?" Here is an article by a well-known Presbyterian clergyman, Peter Letihart, that will give you pause for thought.


Find the article here


Image: Rumlin/Wikimedia Commons


In recent days, the Crimean peninsula has been at the heart of what some have described as the greatest international crisis of the 21st century. But this is not the first time the region has been so critical to international affairs. Many educated people have at least heard of the great struggle known as the Crimean War (1853-56), although its causes and events remain mysterious to most non-specialists.

If the conflict is remembered today, it resonates through the heroic charitable efforts of Florence Nightingale and the foundation of modern nursing. Actually, that earlier war deserves to be far better known as a pivotal moment in European religious affairs. Without knowing that religious element, moreover—without a sense of its Christian background—we will miss major themes in modern global affairs, in the Middle East and beyond.


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Marriage Canon Commission Members Announced - Anglican Journal

January 6, 2014

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, today announced the appointment of the members of a commission that will carry out a broad consultation about changing the marriage canon (church law) to allow same-sex marriage. 

Read more...

"The 160-Year History Behind What's Happening in the Ukraine Today" - Philip Jenkins, Christianity Today

March 5, 2014

10 Things I like about Going to An Anglican Church

By Erin Ortlund

 

My family has been part of St. Aidan Anglican Church in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, for over 5 years now. I grew up Presbyterian, with a foray into the Vineyard Christian Fellowship during my college years, so I’m rather surprised to find myself here! I can’t say much about the wider Anglican Communion, or even other congregations in the Anglican Church of Canada, but here are 10 reasons I like worshipping with our specific body of believers:

 

The liturgy: Our church uses the Book of Alternative Services (BAS), which is similar to the Book of Common Prayer, but with more modern language. I have grown to love it, as the liturgical prayers have become familiar and soul-nourishing

 

The Eucharist: The Eucharist (communion) is the central part of the worship service, and it happens every week. It starts with one of several Eucharistic prayers, either spoken or sung. 

 

The gospel focus: Our church focuses on the essentials of the Christian faith. Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ working through us in the world. There is very little emphasis on secondary theological issues that, at least for me, can be more distracting than inspiring. I have never detected any arrogance or sense of superiority in relation to other Christian denominations. Of course, this may be due to general Canadian politeness!

 

The music: There’s a nice mix of hymns, contemporary worship choruses, Taize songs, and traditional Anglican music. Many parts of the liturgy are sung as well.

 

Emphasis on Scripture: Every week, we hear passages from the Old Testament, New Testament, Gospels, and the Psalms. The sermon always relates to one or more of these readings.

The children’s ministry: 
The preschool and elementary age children at our church use the Godly Play program for Sunday school. Every few months, St. Aidan has an intergenerational worship service, where the kids stay for the whole service, participating in music, prayer, skits, and Scripture reading. We also have an Advent Brunch every year.

 

Connection to history: I like being part of a church that’s been around for a very long time. Also, many of my favorite authors are/were Anglicans: C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, Madeleine L’Engle, and Alister McGrath.

 

Connection to the world: The Anglican Communion is worldwide. Our church has a special relationship with dioceses in Malaysia and England.

 

Outreach to the world: Our church has done a wide variety of outreaches, such as Operation Christmas Child, clothes drives, Vacation Bible School, outreach lunches after our church service, Habitat for Humanity projects, and ministry to immigrant high school students.

Diversity: 
We have college students, singles, families, and many elderly people. Some are lifelong Anglicans, and others have come from other faith traditions, or from none at all.

 

The original post can be found at Cheesewearing Theology