"A couple of weeks ago I made room for the Advent wreath on our dining room table. Soon I will make room for a crÃ¨che in my study and then for the Christmas tree. Those tasks are a sign of the Advent call to make room in our hearts for Christ, and all those for whom he would have us show his boundless compassion. This year the world has been gripped by the global refugee crisis, especially in the migration of thousands upon thousands fleeing from Syria". "Through the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, our church has a long history of accompanying refugees". "I pray this Christmas be marked by a resurgence of this ministry of radical hospitality. All this we are called to do in the name of the Holy Child whose mother, Mary, and Joseph held him close as they fled and sought refuge in Egypt from the tyranny of Herod". "Pray with me, dear friends, that the room we make for those seeking refuge, and the hope of new beginnings among us, be spacious".
"Congratulations on publishing letters (Sept. 2015, p. 4, 'One rule for readers and another for contributors ?' and 'One-sided') that dared to criticize the lack of balance displayed in an article and a previous letter about Zionism. An anti-Israel bias makes one ashamed to be the recipient of a publication that accepts these submissions. It's worse when one realizes the aim of such authors is to bamboozle Christians while using their very own Christian publications". "We need to search out and present facts in order to balance what is published with an anti-Israel bias all too often".
"Council of General Synod (CoGS) members praised the report of the Commission on the Marriage Canon, released in September , as being both deeply reflective and highly readable -- and are urging fellow church members to give it their time and attention". Positive comments were offered by Archdeacon Lynne McNaughton, the Rev. Norm Wesley and Jennifer Warren. "However, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald, while commending the commission for what he called a careful and well-done report, faulted it for not including the cultural perspective of First Nations people". "Some members voiced a mixture of hope and anxiety about General Synod 2016, when the governing body decides on whether to allow same-sex marriage. 'Both Winnipeg 2010 and Ottawa 2013 were not pleasant, warm, fuzzy experiences. So I do have some fears and anxieties', said Canon Terry Leer of the ecclesiastical province of Rupert's Land. 'Toronto 2016 will be tough', he said, although he said he also expected it would involve processes encouraging face-to-face discussion. 'It is very much harder to be angry with a person that it is to be angry with a position'."
"A London, Ont., church is raising money for Syrian refugees at lightning speed -- thanks, at least partly, to a very Canadian household material. As of September 21 , St. Aidan's Anglican Church had raised roughly $35,000 for refugee sponsorship after 15 days of its 'Red Tape Challenge'. The appeal asks participants, after making their donations, to wear a piece of red duct tape and attach it to their vehicles, rural mailbox or other prominent place. The point of the tape, says John Davidson, the St. Aidan's parishioner who came up with the idea, is to pressure the federal government to reduce barriers to refugees in Canada -- 'to show Ottawa that yes, you can cut through red tape if you have the desire and the wherewithal, and you want to get the job done'. The rector at St. Aidan's, Canon Kevin George, says the appeal began after a sermon he preached on Sunday, September 6  -- the Sunday after the first publication of the photo of three-year-old Alan Kurdi's lifeless body on a Turkish beach". "Immediately after the service, Davidson approached him with the 'red tape' concept. Davidson is an accomplished fundraiser. In the mid-1990s, he pushed his son Jesse -- afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy -- across Canada, then walked across Canada to raise money to fight the disease. Davidson then founded a charity, Jesse's Journey, which has since raised more than $20 million".
Advertisement from the Anglican Church of Canada Resources for Mission Dept. "Welcome to the fresh face of Anglican generosity in support of God's mission through the ministries of the Anglican Church of Canada, 'Giving with Grace'. And thank you for all the ways in which you supported its predecessor, 'Anglican Appeal'. Why the change ? For one thing, the way we think about giving has changed over the years. We believe that people are giving with a deeper sense of purpose and see the church as a way to serve that purpose with their money. You aren't giving to the church so much as through the church. So it's not that we're appealing to you on behalf of something 'Anglican'. Instead we're inviting you to 'give with grace'". "For more information on Giving with Grace or to make a donation, please contact: Jacqueline Beckford, Manager, Annual Giving ... Giving with Grace, The Anglican Church of Canada".
"Tali Folkins, a writer with extensive experience in print journalism, joined the 'Anglican Journal' as a staff writer on September 9 . The 'Anglican Journal' is an important witness to the work of the Spirit in Canada', he said. 'I would love to put my skills and enthusiasm to work, giving its readers food for reflection and inspiration'. Folkins said he was excited about working for the Journal because of the chance to 'focus my writing career on spiritual issues'. Folkins has worked as a staff writer for the 'Law Times' and the 'New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal'. His writing has appeared in 'The Globe and Mail' and the 'United Church Observer'. He has also worked for 'Atlantic Progress' (not 'Progress Magazine') and 'U of T Magazine', and as communications manager for the Royal Bank of Canada. In addition to his experience as a reporter and feature writer, Folkins has a strong background in academia, in particular medieval philosophy and the work of Italian medieval poet Dante Alighieri, and is a fluent French speaker. He holds a BA in classics and a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and an MA in classics from Dalhousie University". [Text of entire article.]
Michael Coren, a well-known writer and commentator, when asked about his decision to leave the Roman Catholic Church to become an Anglican said: "The separation was gradual, of course. While I never swayed from Catholic theology -- and continue in my adherence -- I began to question, then doubt, then reject Roman Catholic teaching on papal supremacy, authority, contraception and especially homosexuality and equal marriage. On the latter, I simply could no longer glue myself to a church that described gay relationships as sinful and disordered and caused so much pain to so many good, innocent people. It was rather like a ball of theological wool unravelling. As soon as it began, it was difficult to stop it". "Around 18 months ago, I began to quietly worship at Toronto's Cathedral of St. James, to meet with various Anglicans and to read Anglican theology. Then I started to regularly attend my local Anglican parish, then I was formally received". "Within Anglican Catholic orthodoxy, I could pursue socially liberal ideas; within a church of mingling theologies, I could be respected as a Catholic and respect those with different ideas and call them brothers and sisters; within Anglicanism I could reach out in Christ's beauty to all people, irrespective of sexuality or religion and love everything about them".
Brief listing and description of 13 Anglican affiliated high schools, universities and university programs: Havergal College, Trinity College School, The Centre for Christian Studies, Atlantic School of Theology, Huron University College, Montreal Diocesan Theological College, Queen's College, Renison University College, Saint Paul University (Anglican Studies Program), Thorneloe University, Trinity College, Vancouver School of Theology and Wycliffe College.
"In tandem with the global outpouring of sorrow over the death of three-year-old Alan Kurdi on September 2 , the Anglican Church of Canada issued a statement [entitled 'A call to prayer and action'] calling Anglicans to a threefold response to the refugee crisis by bolstering aid, sponsoring refugees and petitioning the government to increase its own efforts. 'In times past Canada has taken extraordinary measures to welcome refugees in crisis', said a statement signed by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Adele Finney, executive director of the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), the church's relief and development arm. 'It is time for us to do so again'" (p. 1). "Canada has so far resettled 2,500 Syrian refugees since 2013, 1,600 of whom were privately sponsored by various groups, including churches. In January , the government pledged to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next three years, of which 6,000 would be private sponsorships. Of the already 1,300 processed this year, a majority of them (1,100) have been private sponsorships. Anglicans could give practical help to Syrian refugees, through the PWRDF's food aid partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (which allows those donating to specify Syria as the destination for their aid) and through private sponsorship of refugees, said the statement" (p. 2).
Advertisement from the Resources for Mission Dept. "Change the lives of Anglicans across Canada, now and in the future. A legacy gift from you provides the Anglican Church of Canada with a sustainable resource that can be used to change the lives of Anglicans across Canada, now and in the future. The decision to leave a gift in your will to the Anglican Church of Canada may take place at any stage in your life. Talk to your family; talk to your financial planner and talk to us. For a confidential discussion about your will, your donation options, and potential recognition opportunities, please contact Gillian Doucet Campbell, Manager, Major Gifts and Legacy Giving". [Text of entire article.]
"The Rev. Steven Maki is part of a long tradition of cross-border religious reciprocity. He's an American Episcopal priest serving in an Anglican parish in Newfoundland. .... Maki is one of three U.S. Episcopal expatriates making up for the scarcity of Anglican clergy in the diocese [of Western Newfoundland]". "Maki likes the friendliness, the strong basic connections between people in the Anglican church in rural Newfoundland and the informal way things get done. 'In the U.S., The Episcopal Church is seen as the church of the elite, of the Mayflower bluebloods who go way back, but here in Newfoundland, it's the church of the people', he said". "For decades, U.S. Episcopal priests, many from EDS [Episcopal Divinity School in Boston] and some from other New England seminaries, have been recruited to all three Newfoundland dioceses to serve congregations lacking Anglican clergy. Facilitating that vital recruitment is the Rev. Alexander "Randy" Daley, a retired Episcopal priest from the diocese of Massachusetts ... who himself served in Western Newfoundland's Stephenville parish after leaving the military". "[A]ccording to the Rev. James Pratt, a cradle Episcopalian and Boston lawyer-turned-priest who was ordained in Canada by Bishop [Leonard] Whitten and spent more than six years in Western Newfoundland's parish of Cow Head, the ecclesiastical culture is somewhat different. 'In The Episcopal Church, there's more of a tendency toward congregationalism in terms of polity. So there's a little more independence in the parishes and a bit less power in the bishops', he said. Hence, the relatively loose organization and less structured way of doing things in Cow Head suited him well".
"In 1986 the United Nations awarded the people of Canada the Nansen Medal, its highest distinction for aid to refugees, for their 'major and sustained contribution to the cause of refugees in their country and throughout the world for years. The honour came, in large measure, because of a national campaign that saw more than 60,000 Indochinese refugees resettled to Canada between 1979 and 1980". "Today the world us witnessing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). At the end of 2013, there were 51 million refugees, half of them children. The numbers exploded in 2015. Each day, thousands are fleeing the cauldron of conflicts in Syria, Eritrea, South Sudan and Afghanistan ...". "Rich nations, including Canada, have behaved apathetically. ... all Canada could commit to was, welcoming 10,000 more refugees fleeing ISIS and the Syrian war, over a four-year-period (2017-2020). That ism is the Conservatives get re-elected, according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. What Harper has failed to mention is that the new plan would again hinge on private sponsorships". "Driven by a moral obligation -- and for Christians, a biblical imperative -- to care for the vulnerable, many Canadians continue to sponsor refugees and support emergency relief for those in refugee camps. Fourteen Anglican dioceses are Sponsorship Agreement Holders .... But Ottawa needs to show leadership and compassion by upholding a principle outlined in the sponsorship program that privately sponsored refugees are over and above, not in place of, government-assisted refugees".
"I am encouraged by Marites N. Sison's editorial ('What do they want now ?' May 2015, p. 4). In naming how frequently and yet inappropriately this question is voiced by Christians of European descent, she is effectively showing the enormous ignorance that continues to be a part of the Christian churches in their lack of understanding of the enormous negative impact that the Doctrine of Discovery and Christian colonization has had on the culture, identity, livelihood and well-being of Indigenous communities. The editor also clearly positions the challenge where it belongs: namely in the laps of all of us who call ourselves Christians".
"I look forward to receiving the 'Anglican Journal' ( and the 'Saskatchewan Anglican') every month and actually do read it from cover to cover". "I really want to comment on a sentence in the article 'A remarkable journey through the years' (June 2015, p. 3): 'The common thread from [editor Gordon] Baker's arrival in the late 1950s up to the present day is that of a paper that is very much of the church, but unafraid -- seemingly duty bound, it sometimes appears -- to challenge it'. How wonderfully true !"
"On reading this very sad story of how our Indigenous people were treated ('Residential schools a form of 'cultural genocide', says TRC [Truth and Reconciliation Commission] report', anglicanjournal.com, June 2, 2015), I keep thinking how things could have been different. In 1943, my father, Archdeacon Henry Alderwood, was almost coerced by his bishop to accept the position of superintendent of the Anglican schools. He, of course, had to travel across the land to visit the schools, and he soon realized how wrong the whole concept was. When his office moved to Ottawa in 1946, he began to confront the government officials who were really in charge. One thing he found most distressing was forcing the children to speak English only; most knew no English when they arrived but were expected to know it somehow. The officials would not listen to my dad, or agree to any changes. This broke his heart (he compared those children with his own seven happy youngsters). He died of a heart attack at age 58, missing out on 23 grandchildren to come. He tried his best, but all in vain". [Text of entire article.]
"I would like to highlight [some of the points raised in the recent Anglican Journal Appeal letter] that I feel are essential, but are not necessarily. You state that 'an open and transparent church makes a stronger church'. Unfortunately, transparency is often in short supply in the church". .... "You state that the Journal's mission is 'to inform, educate, illuminate and challenge its readers'. So keep it up. One item for your serious consideration is that when a letter is received by the Journal editor or diocesan editor, and it raises issues, it would be in keeping with its mandates to attempt to get replies from those in authority rather than have the item appear in the newspaper and then die".
"The wider church could learn a lot from the diocese of Yukon's experience ('"Ministry of presence" alive in the Yukon, Sept. 2015, p. 7). The ministry of presence is a good step forward, as is the bishop's intention that he also work within a parish. It's a good use of scarce resources and a creative use of others' skills and commitment. Northern church life in its present state of adaptation and change is clearly challenging now, as it was then". [Text of entire article.]
"I'm especially mindful, in the midst of a federal election campaign, of our freedom to vote. To help us exercise this right responsibly, our church has produced a resource for our engagement with those who are offering themselves for election. Entitled 'Compassion, Justice and Reason: An Anglican Approach for Election 2015', it addresses three broad themes we think are critical in this campaign. 'Bridging Divides' calls us to grapple with issues of child poverty, intergenerational inequalities and affordable housing. 'Restoring Right Relations' draws us into conversation about the journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples .... 'Promoting Peace and Stability' summons us to serious conversations about our levels of international assistance, the way we welcome and accompany refugees and build partnerships for peace in the Middle East".
"The church as the body of Christ, is to be influenced by culture and to influence it. The church has a vocation in the Spirit's work to make the gospel living and real in particular places, times and peoples and, at the same time, to challenge human culture with the claims of God on all creation, as they are revealed in the love and healing of the Good News". "As the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process has demonstrated in Canada, churches all but abandoned both aspects of their gospel in their participation in some of the worst aspects of the colonial occupation of Turtle Island. .... The church, as an institution, appears to have been hypnotized into believing that the progress of Western culture was also the progress of its own work".
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada "spoke to about 40 priests, scholars and other liturgy specialists from such places as Canada, the United States, Britain, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Uruguay and the South Pacific during the 2015 International Anglican Liturgical Consultation (IALC), held August 3-8 [in Montreal, Que.]. The IALC is a network of the Anglican Communion" (p. 6). "The Rev. Eileen Scully, director of faith, worship and ministry for the Anglican Church of Canada and chair of the liturgical consultation, said there has been something of a consensus in that consultation to 'continue to talk about reconciliation and not rush to a statement'. National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald said he is convinced that it is in liturgy that issues such as reconciliation 'become real in the life of the church'" (p. 7). "The Rev. Michael Lapsley, and Anglican priest and social justice activist in South Africa who lost both hands and was blinded in one eye in 1990 in a letter-bomb attack, also warned against hasty approaches to forgiveness in a talk" (p. 7). "Continuing the healing and reconciliation theme of the 2013 Dublin meeting, the Montreal gathering concluded that the journey toward reconciliation should include 'ritual moments and symbolic enactments'. To that end, the consultation committed to producing appropriate guidelines for these by exploring relevant biblical texts, the theology of reconciliation and baptismal identity, and liturgical frameworks for rites of corporate reconciliation. In this area, the group expects to work in partnership with the Archbishop of Canterbury's [Justin Welby] Consultation on Peace and Conflict Prevention" (p. 7).