"The April 8-19  meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Lusaka, Zambia, was marked by a sense of unity and common purpose, according to Canadian delegates Bishop Jane Alexander and Suzanne Lawson". "There had been some uncertainty leading up to the meeting about whether or not disciplinary measures would be imposed on The Episcopal Church (TEC) following a call from the Primates' Meeting in January 2016 for TEC to face 'consequences' for its decision to perform same-sex marriages. But the ACC declined to impose any sanctions. Nor, according to Alexander and Lawson, was there much discussion of Canada's upcoming vote on same-sex marriage -- which, both admitted -- came as a surprise. 'Nobody asked me [about it]', said Lawson. 'I was all ready to engage, [but] no -- I think people were just delighting in the relationships that were being built'". "The meeting saw the election of Alexander to the ACC's standing committee, which means she will be involved in the council's work for the next three to four years until its meeting in 2019".
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and National Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada sent a letter of congratulations to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 4 November 2015 commending "Trudeau's commitment to work closely with all levels of government on issues such as homelessness, lifting children and seniors out of poverty, improving our welcome of refugees, and refocusing development assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable', as well as his promise to implement the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada". "[T]he Anglican church's special advisor for government relations, the Rev. Laurette Glasgow, noted that there is 'a greater synergy between the priorities of our church and those of the incoming government' than there has been in recent years".
"But following years of declining membership and ongoing disagreement among its clergy about how best to adjust to shifting patterns of religious affiliation and church attendance, the bishop and the diocesan executive committee have approved a set of recommendations for reorganization. It adopted, it will lead to the shuttering of 16 of the deanery's 35 churches. 'Particularly in Muskoka .. we have too many churches', former Algoma Bishop Stephen Andrews, who left the diocese at the end of July  to take up the position of principal of Wycliffe College in Toronto, said in an interview" (p. 1, 15). Archdeacon Harry Huskins, administrator of the diocese, said: "We are striking a balance between trying to generate that full-time stipend, and not have too many [congregations]' ... adding that this is not simply about money, but also about ensuring that priests don't spend more time driving around their parish than they do serving it. According to a clergyperson within the deanery who requested anonymity, the problem is exacerbated by an unwillingness among some parishioners to drive to a different congregation if their church is closed". "The diocese if schedule to elect a new bishop October 14 ". "In his February  report, Andrews had stressed the importance of approaching the closure of congregations sensitively, with attention paid to each church's unique circumstances". "Andrews said the future of the cemeteries attached to congregations slated for closure will also need to be taken into account. (The deanery currently has 18 cemeteries under its care.)"
"Bishop Tim Thornton of the diocese of Truro in the Church of England is the co-chair for the Anglican-Roman Catholic Committee in England, and serves on the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Council for Unity and Mission. Last October , he travelled to Rome to observe the Vatican's Synod of Bishops on the Family as one of the 14 fraternal delegates -- members of other denominations invited to observe the synod. In an interview with the 'Journal' he talks about what he experienced. Excerpts".
"The moderator of our small group was an archbishop from Ireland, and he asked some very perceptive questions of some of the Nigerian bishops in the room -- and other African bishops .. We really got into the question of how marriage works in some of the African countries. I think just hearing carefully what is going on in different cultures is clearly very important, and stops you from .. making wrong assumptions about why people are saying what they are saying".
"The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), the Anglican Church of Canada's relief and development agency, is making an immediate contribution of $5,000 to help the Territory of the People (formerly the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior) provide relief to people affected by wildfires in the territory, PWRDF announced July 19 ". "Gordon Light, bishop of the territory until 2008, has been appointed by the territory's current bishop, Barbara Andrews, to oversee how the PWRDF funds will be spent, PWRDF says". "Clergy and lay volunteers, Light said, are working at three major wildfire relief centres in Kamloops, as well as a number of others in Prince George, where evacuees are being registered and houses. On July 12 , 14,000 people including an estimated 1,000 Anglicans, were forced to leave their homes because of the wildfires raging in B.C.'s Central Interior".
"The directors of The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) and of Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) have offered hopeful words about the work their relief and development organizations are doing to help refugees, and a dire prognosis for the world's 42.8 million refugees and internally displaced people. 'The refugee situation is not going to get any better', PWRDF director Adele Finney told members of Council of General Synod (CoGS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada's National Council (NCC) on November 13 ". "'What we want to say is, "remember refugees worldwide", said Finney. [Robert] Granke [director of Canadian Lutheran World Relief] noted that CLWR is involved in Central East Africa, helping South Sudanese nationals fleeing to Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya to escape violence in their own country. It is also working in Jordan, where many Syrians have fled, and in Iraq, which has a high number of internally displaced people". "Finney reported that PWRDF has also been involved in aiding refugees in need of long-term care -- for example, in the case of refugees fleeing violence in Sri Lanka, some of whom have been in refugee camps for 30 years. PWRDF also supports the Well Child Clinic in Cairo, which is on the front lines of dealing with the massive influx of Sudanese, South Sudanese and Syrian refugees to Egypt".
From 23 to 27 February 2015, an Anglican "eco-bishops conference" was held in Cape Town, South Africa. National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and Bishop Jane Alexander of Edmonton, joined 15 other bishops at the conference which "was hosted by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, which is dedicated to fighting climate change. On Good Friday, April 3 , the bishops -- representing 15 provinces of the Anglican Communion -- issued a declaration urging Anglican worldwide to recognize climate change as 'the most urgent moral issue of our day'" (p. 10). Bishop Jane Alexander "admitted to being particularly struck by the difficulties illustrated in a story told by the bishop of Fiji, Apimeleki Qiliho, whose diocese includes a number of small islands that, it is predicted, will be submerged within a generation". "But there were challenges inherent in such a diverse meeting as well. Much work still needed to be done to bring everyone onto the same page, according to Ncumisa Ukeweva Magadla, one of the conference organizers. 'I felt like they were coming from two different worlds, the Indigenous churches and the Western churches', she said. 'I really did think that some of the bishops -- especially the ones coming from the Western side -- did not understand the issues that were going on in those Indigenous countries like Fiji, like the Philippines, where they face water literally at their doorstep'" (p. 10).
"In a written response to a statement issue by eight Canadian bishops expressing their dissent from General Synod's decision to move toward solemnizing same-sex marriages, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, pushed back against several of the points they had raised". "'The question you ask is really a question for all members of the church. To what extent can we and will we make room for one another ? To what extent will we pastorally accommodate one another ' Hiltz said in his letter". "Hiltz said that the motion, which was declared to have failed before being reversed the next day due to an error, was 'difficult', but it had allowed many synod members to 'experience the pain of another whose view on this matter is very different' in a 'very powerful way'." "The dissenting bishops' statement was released July 15  by then Bishop Stephen Andrews (Algoma); Bishop David Parsons (Arctic); Suffragan Bishop Darren McCartney (Arctic); Bishop Larry Robertson (Yukon); Bishop Fraser Lawton (Athabasca); and Bishop Michael Hawkins (Saskatchewan). Bishop David Edwards, of the diocese of Fredericton, was not an original signatory, but he added his name to the statement later".
Story is one of a Focus series on the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior.
St. Alban's Anglican Church in Ashcroft, B.C., is a parish that has been pioneering a collaborative approach to ministry over the past few years. "'In the first-century church, everybody that did ministry was recognized by the congregation', [parishioner David] Durksen explains. 'So if you wanted prayers for healing or you needed to learn about the gospel, or whatever, everybody would go to [the individual] who could do that. And if that person wasn't there, there was somebody else who would do that. And that first-century approach is really what's here -- lay gifts and the recognition of lay gifts'. Inspired by this approach, St. Alban's has turned its sermons into opportunities for people to learn and be engaged by the teaching that is happening from the pulpit -- after the sermon (or 'reflection', as they prefer to call it) is given, the entire congregation responds with thoughts and insights".
"While the government tabled legislation April 14  to clarify the laws around doctor-assisted death, responses from some members of the Anglican Church of Canada's task force on assisted dying show that the church -- and Canadian society -- remain divided about how widely available this measure should be. Canon Eric Beresford, the ethicist who chairs the task force, said he felt the government 'tried hard to balance a number of things', and commended the decision to exclude children from the purview of the act. Another member of the task force, however, suggested its restrictiveness is a problem. Julie Guichon, a lawyer and assistant professor at the University of Calgary's school of medicine, argued that in its current form the bill is unconstitutional." (p. 1). "Meanwhile, the government's promise to spend $3 billion over the next five years for homecare and expanded palliative care was received positively by various quarters. Beresford said the announcement was 'wonderful news', and suggested that with assisted dying now an option, strong palliative care is more important than ever" (p. 12).