Colour illustration of three kings with "Prayer at Epiphany. January 6. God of pilgrims, teach us to recognize your dwelling-place in the love, generosity and support of those with whom we share our journey and help us to worship you in our response to those who need our care; for all the world is your temple and every human heart is a sign of your presence, made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Book of Alternative Services, p. 818." [Text of entire article.]
"A desire to stay together as a church, despite a diverse range of understandings of what marriage is and should be. The theme arose consistently during discussions across three sessions at the November  meeting of Council of General Synod (CoGS) regarding the proposed amendment to the marriage canon". But exactly how this 'theme' or aim, may be fulfilled is more complicated. In a session titled 'Marriage Canon: Way Forward, Next Steps' on November 25 , CoGS members began to consider the potential for an acknowledgement of a variety of understandings of marriage within the Anglican Church of Canada" (p. 1.) "According to Canon (lay) David Jones, chancellor of General Synod, after being passed at General Synod 2016, the resolution (A051) to amend the marriage canon must go into its second reading with the same language. However, the constitution does provide that the resolution can be amended at its second reading" (p. 8). "Some in the church have lamented the need for a parliamentary system at all for the issue" (p. 8). Chancellor David "Jones, speaking at CoGS in response to [Anglican Indigenous Bishop] MacDonald's presentation, said that he is 'not discouraged at all by our legislative process', saying. 'There is some wisdom in the declaration principle that requires two readings at two successive General Synods', which gives the church the opportunity to 'listen and hear' the concerns of different groups" (p. 8).
"General Synod can be expected to vote in July  on a proposed 'gradual exit strategy from print' for the 'Anglican Journal' and other church print publications, as well as a revised mandate for the Journal that might not include editorial independence, following a series of votes by Council of General Synod (CoGS)" (p. 1). "One of the concerns the report expresses about printing the newspapers is the cost, including postage. Postage, the report states, has been rising in recent years, and in 2017 total postage expenses reached $920,000. .... The net cost per subscriber of producing ten issues per year of the 'Anglican Journal' was $5.28 in 2017, the report adds. The fourth motion deals with the 'Anglican Journal's' mandate and governance. It calls on CoGS to instruct the working group to complete, before the next meeting of CoGS in March , an editorial mandate and set of journalistic guidelines for the newspaper, taking into account views expressed at the current meeting of CoGS" (p. 9). "The fifth motion calls on CoGS to ask the group to prepare an amendment, to be brought before General Synod in July , to the section of the national church canons dealing with the Anglican Journal Committee -- currently the newspaper's publisher" (p. 9). "Also at CoGS, Meghan Kilty, the Anglican Church of Canada's communications director, presented a report to CoGS outlining a new communications strategy for the church .... It envisages ... moving 'to a single digital channel for stories and news about the church'" (p. 9).
For about three years, Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, the founding and current rabbi of City Shul, a Reform Jewish synagogue, and Canon Gary van der Meer, incumbent of St. Anne's Anglican Church and interfaith officer for the diocese of Toronto, have been doing a preaching exchange between their Toronto congregations. "In early 2013, van der Meer met Ilyas Ally, the son of Shabir Ally -- imam at the Islamic Information and Dawah Centre International, a nearby mosque, and former host of 'Let the Quran Speak', a Toronto-produced television show on Islam -- and the two discovered they shared an interest in interfaith relationships" (p. 13). "The strong links that already existed among the three places of worship ... have made it possible for them to quickly lend support to one another in the aftermath of violent attacks. After the mass shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec on Sunday Jan. 29, 2017 ... St. Anne's and City Shul organized a 'ring of peace' around their friend's mosque" (p. 13). "Tragically, Dawah Centre congregants had the opportunity to send a similar message to City Shul this fall , after a gunman opened fire on worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Penn., October 27 , killing 11 and injuring seven" (p. 13).
"Reintroducing the spiritual practices of ancient Christian traditions to those within and outside of the church community is the focus of the new Centre for Spiritual Growth, with workshops on topics like the Enneagram -- a self-discovery aid based on the studies of ancient Christian monastics -- Christian mindfulness and the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. The centre, supported by and housed in St. James' Anglican Church in Orillia, Ont., is the brainchild of Wendy Passmore, a spiritual director who says it represents ideas that have been percolating in her mind for years". After completing a master's degree in ministry and spirituality at Regis College, the Jesuit college at Toronto School of Theology, Passmore became a spiritual director herself, and helped lead a retreat center for Capuchin friars, a Franciscan order. Her experience with retreat centres led Passmore to a new vision: how to bring the spiritual depth and contemplation of retreats into parish life. 'Can we have sort of a retreat ministry happening out of a parish ?' The workshops and programs offered at the Centre for Spiritual Growth explore this integration with daily church life. Starting this January , Passmore will be co-leading, with the Rev. Elizabeth Morley, a 'Franciscan Retreat in Daily Life', a six-week series that includes an introductory session on Franciscan spirituality and weekly meeting with a spiritual director". "The centre also has an advisory group made up of Morley, who is a spiritual director and retired Anglican priest, and Faye Oei, a lawyer who 'brings a more global/universal perspective of how to reach out to those who are seeking a spiritual path'." "Information on upcoming workshops at the Centre for Spiritual Growth is available at stjamesorillia.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org".
"Steve Tustin is the new editor of the 'Anglican Journal'. He is a former senior editor at 'The Globe and Mail' and a former assistant managing editor of 'The Toronto Star'. In addition, he served as city editor, weekend editor and sports editor at The Star. 'I'm looking forward to hearing from Journal readers across all our platforms (digital/social media/print) regarding Journal content, and in particular the kind of stories they like and where and how they like to read them', says Tustin. He can be reached at email@example.com". [Text of entire article.]
Advertisement/notice from Anglican Journal Circulation Dept. "Dear Reader: Contact us with your name and address and we'll ensure you continue to get your Anglican newspapers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, phone number and ID# (from label, if available). Mail: Fill in and mail to Anglican Journal, 80 Hayden St., Toronto, ON M4Y 3G2. Yes, I would like to continue to receive my Anglican newspapers". [Text of entire article.]
Hanna Goschy, General Synod treasurer, addressed the Council of General Synod (CoGS) in a budget presentation on 23 November 2018. "Over the course of 2018, she said, several dioceses let the national church know that they would not be able to contribute as much money as initially planned. As a result, the church is expecting that proportional gifts from dioceses -- the source of more than 90% of its core revenue -- will be down in 2018 by about $303,000 from what had been projected, bringing total revenue for the year to a currently forecast $10,629,000". "A budget document released to CoGS shows projected deficits of $205,024 and $244,382 for 2022 and 2023 respectively". Apart from the possibility of falling revenue from dioceses, the national church is also facing uncertainty around the cost of the planned self-determining Indigenous church, Goschy said. It seem likely the Anglican Church of Canada will have to make significant changes in the way it does things to prepare financially for 2022 and 2023".
The author reflects on the food magazines she receives and their emphasis, every January, on physical exercise and fitness. When she was younger she participated in aerobics classed. "It didn't take me long to figure out that these classes were quite similar to the church services I presided over on a Sunday morning. While one is fitness for the body and the other is fitness for the soul, both instill similar responses and encourage similar results. Not surprisingly, however, our society is much more inclined to focus on physical rather than spiritual fitness. While we can see our bodies deteriorate before us, our soul remain a hidden mystery, one that, too often, we seem to ignore. If the January message in food magazines encourages physical fitness, then the church message at this time of year might also encourage fitness: spiritual fitness. Souls, like bodies, need nourishment". "Church worship is much the same [as physical fitness], also flourishing through routine and consistency. Perhaps this is the time of year to give thoughtful consideration to the care and feeding of our souls, and regular church worship might be a good place to start".
Author is "dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels, diocese of Kootenay".
The author describes her encounter with an anxious man, asking for her help, in a thrift shop who had been sent by a demanding wife to find six pasta bowls. "I started to wonder what kind of scolding was in store for this man if he dared to go home without a perfectly matched, nearly free, set of six pasta bowls. It got me thinking about my own experience with domestic tyranny -- equal measures giving and receiving -- and the variety of forms it takes. There's the classic My Way Is the Only Way, reloading the dishwasher reorganizing the couch cushions, rewashing the laundry because the right scent wasn't spun into the wash. Do these behaviours qualify as sins of pride and arrogance ?"
"In November last year , I was in Amman, Jordan, for the Majma (synod) of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. While there, I had the privilege with other members of the Canadian Companions of that diocese to visit the beautifully preserved site of our Lord's baptism. From the Jordanian side of the river, the walk to the water's edge is a simple gravel path. The river itself is considerably shallower than it would have been at the time when John was preaching and baptizing. On the west bank of the river in the Palestinian Territories, a number of people were being baptized, all of them surrounded by family and friend supporting them in their decision". "On the Jordanian side of the river where we were, a number of pilgrims were wading into the water, too. Some drew handfuls to their face, a sign of their yearning for renewal in the manner of life to which baptism calls us all. It was not long before I found myself among them .. The water was cool and refreshing. I felt renewed. It was an experience that I will never forget".
Bishop Mark MacDonald reports on the medical response to what is called "breaking technique" i.e. becoming open to infection, non-sterile error in a medical situation. MacDonald's friend "used this illustration to describe the situation of the church in the modern world. The church has broken technique and must step back and begin the procedure of cleanup and hygiene that will allow it to proceed with its work. The pressure to resist this need is intense and almost irresistible. But the church must do it for the good of all". "We have hurt many people in the process: the victims of clergy abuse, Indigenous Peoples and others who are in marginalized ethnic groups or categories, as well as women and those who are members of sexual minorities -- to name just a few. It is clear we must begin again. Certainly, it is a call to treat 'the other' better, but it is also a thoroughgoing call to repentance. This is not just a call to try harder. It is, I think, a call to trust more deeply, listen to the gospel more simply and carefully, and to turn to Jesus with a child-like trust and with admittance of a child-like need".
"I am writing from Mountain Institution, where I am serving a five-and-a-half year sentence. I work as the chaplain's clerk. .... Since my incarceration I have done very well. I have grown closer to God. I am enrolled at Thorneloe University in Sudbury, Ont., working on my bachelor of theology [and] hope to get a degree in pastoral care and addictions counselling. With these tools, I hope to reach out to others and bring them in a relationship with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Within prison, it is very hard to get the help one needs. The government and the church should step in and help the healing process by properly funding chaplaincy within prison. People who are cared for learn to care for others, and what better way to show people they are loved than to share the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. If there is any advice, help or inspirational literature you may be able to offer, I know Mountain's spiritual community would be forever grateful".
"Canon Nancy Ford, deacon to the city at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, B.C., was well-acquainted with the concept of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) thanks to years of working as a counsellor" (p. 6). "For about the past five years, the cathedral has been offering an answer to this question through a weekly Twelve Step Recovery Eucharist" (p. 6). "Inspired to create a bridge between church and recovery communities, Ford developed the liturgy for the Twelve Step Eucharist, collaborating with Anglican priest and psychologist Martin Brokenleg. She also consulted with then-Christ Church Cathedral dean Logan McMenamie (now bishop of the diocese of British Columbia) and current cathedral dean Ansley Tucker" (p. 6) "The liturgy also differs from a traditional Eucharist in that instead of a homily, there is a time for discussion and conversation, which Ford says often leads to some quite deep theological reflection. Ford notes that whoever is presiding each week makes clear that 'to receive communion in one kind is to receive it in both', a consideration particularly for those in recovery from alcohol use" (p. 6). "Chris Pitman worships at Christ Church Cathedral. He has been in recovery for a few years, with three years of sobriety under his belt. About a year ago, he saw an advertisement in the church for the Twelve Step Eucharist. Serendipitously, around that time a close friend who was going through his own struggles with addiction came to Pitman asking if he could join him at church" (p. 6). "Through connections with a local organization that supports people with substance abuse issues, Ford connected with Taryn Strong, a yoga teacher who now teaches a weekly yoga-for-recovery class at the cathedral after the service. Strong and her mother, Dawn Nickel, are the founders of SheRecovers, a 'recovery and empowerment platform for women'" (p. 7). "The Twelve Step program was created by Alcoholics Anonymous, which was started in the 1930s in Akron, Ohio. The steps have since been adapted for support groups for those in recovery from other substances and abuses" (p. 7).
"These are the Twelve Steps used in Canon Nancy Ford's program at Christ Church Cathedral, each with an appropriate prayer. STEP 1 We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable. We ask the Holy One to disturb us with truth, comfort us in our afflictions and unite us in love. .... STEP 8 We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Encircle all who suffer from any grief or trouble. We offer all those on our hearts and minds to you".
"In a November 24  session [at Council of General Synod] headlined as dealing with the relation of the marriage canon to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald delved into what he saw as the reasons both for the opposition of many of the church's Indigenous members to same-sex marriage, and the inability of many of their non-Indigenous counterparts in the church to understand this" (p. 8). "Indigenous understanding of marriage, he said, is more complicated and sophisticated than most Canadians realize. Unlike wider society, which sees marriage as essentially involving two people, Indigenous people traditionally see it as a communal rite reflecting a shared understanding of creation. 'The emphasis in this is on the ceremony, not the couple', MacDonald said. 'It is a ceremony in the community, in which some of the most important ideas about the universe are portrayed. The male and female represent difference principles. That's why in that understanding of the ceremony, the two being different is so essential'" (p. 8, 11) "'We aren't demanding a veto' MacDonald said, 'What we're claiming here is the right to decide in an Indigenous way, and to work these things through on our own, and we are asking, I think, to be somehow bracketed in this discussion'" (p. 11). "'I'm deeply glad that I'm here and that I heard that, and I wish I'd heard that in 2016', said Canon David Harrison, rector of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto" (p. 11). Ron Chaplin, a long-time member of General Synod and an advocate for LGBTQ Anglicans said, after MacDonald's talk that it "seem to make clear that the desire of Indigenous Canadian Anglicans is not to dictate doctrine to the rest of the church, but to be free to have 'their own pastoral process, their own process of recovery and reconciliation and finding themselves. It's not to be equated with the debate among us in the South, where it has been about doctrine', he said" (p. 11).
"The Anglican Church of Canada should apologize to the country's Indigenous people for having 'demonized' their traditional spirituality, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, told Council of General Synod (CoGS). 'There's a need to do something by way of an apology, and we need to do it carefully and prayerfully, and we need to do it well so that it's meaningful', Hiltz said. 'There is a need to do this'. The Rev. Norm Wesley, co-chair of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), which guides Indigenous ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada, said the notion that traditional spirituality should not be discussed is widespread among many Indigenous elders, because their religion was 'demonized' by European churches. But this attitude is a barrier to the establishment of an Indigenous Anglican church, he said, because, traditional Indigenous spirituality ought to play a role in it. The church, he said, has an opportunity now to apologize to Indigenous elders while they're still alive". [Text of entire article section.]
"CoGS approved a list of members of the Jubilee Commission, tasked with finding funding for the future Indigenous Anglican Church. Proposes for the commission by Archbishop Hiltz, and approved by CoGS, are: Riscylla Shaw, area bishop of Trent-Durham in the diocese of Toronto; Judith Moses; Canon Laverne Jacobs; the Rev. Pamela Rayment; Larry Beardy, Indigenous suffragan bishop of the Northern Manitoba Area Mission; and Archdeacon Jim Boyles". [Text of entire article section.]
"The planning committee is considering options for how votes will be taken at the meeting of General Synod in July , Dean Peter Wall of the diocese of Niagara told CoGS. Wall, who is chair of the committee, reported that they were not yet ready to make a recommendation on how the vote would take place, including whether and how electronic voting would be used, but that it would be doing so at the next meeting of CoGS in March ". [Text of entire article section.]
"As a small organization in terms of staff, there is immense value in working together with partner organizations, executive director of Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) Will Postma told CoGS. 'We can go so much further in our work together'. Postma gave a presentation in which he highlighted several projects that PWRDF is funding and overseeing in partnership with organizations such as Anglican Alliance, Episcopal Relief and Development Agency, ACT Alliance and Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Together with Anglican Alliance, PWRDF was able to respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa and the earthquakes in the Caribbean over the past few years, Postma said". [Text of entire article section.]