"I have recently been introduced to the Sunday Assembly, or as their members like to call themselves, 'the godless church'. One of their more quotable quotes is: 'We need the benefits that church provides without the god element'. The brainchild of two British comedians, the Sunday Assembly began in England in 2013, aiming to provide atheists with all the good things church offers -- all the good things that is, except God". "Humour and acceptance often go a longer way toward conveying the message of Jesus and teaching the tenets of faith than doctrine and exclusion. Hospitality is central to a worldview that includes God and therefore is central to the church. It would be a shame if God is left behind because we are unable to communicate this hospitality in a way that 21st-century listeners can receive".
Author is "dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels", diocese of Kootenay.
Article describes a number of AIDS related outreach projects operated within the diocese of Toronto for local populations and overseas in Africa. Includes the story of the Rev. Doug Willoughby, an Anglican priest who is himself HIV-positive and the diocese's involvement in the Philip Aziz Centre, a non-profit home hospice for people living with AIDS. Describes the work of The Teresa Group, founded by Penelope Holeton, an Anglican lay woman, to help children in Toronto living with AIDS, and also the fundraising work of St. Clement's, Eglinton, which has contributed to the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and which in August 2006 "held a reception for grandmothers from Kenya who [were] in Toronto for the International AIDS Conference and the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmothers' Gathering".
When the judge responsible for the Westray mine inquiry decided to move the hearings from Stellarton to Halifax, the Diocese of Nova Scotia put out a call to its people to offer accommodation to the families of the victims.
"Should we invite persons who are not baptized to receive Holy Communion ? (p. 1)" There is currently debate about whether to invite individuals who have not been baptized to receive the eucharist in Anglican churches in a practice called open communion. "There are good reasons, both missional and theological, for doing so. The Missional Case. Consider the fact that most Anglican churches now celebrate the eucharist every Sunday at every service. Yet many people are not baptized. Do we invite them to church for Sunday dinner and tell them they cannot eat the food ? How can our churches be places of hospitality if we exclude table fellowship with the non-baptized ? (p. 11)" "Open communion increasingly is seen as a way to build a bridge between the church and the unchurched" (p. 11). "The Theological Case. There is another consideration, however. Who is the host of the Lord's Supper ? God. ... God's hospitality is a hallmark of the meal we call eucharist" (p. 11). "Jesus welcomed all to his table. Might we also welcome people with the same openness and acceptance as Jesus did ? After all, it is the Lord's table, not ours" (p. 11).
"The three articles in this Bulletin were given at the Montreal Conference which concerned itself with returning Service personnel, to which we referred in Bulletin No. 117. The substance of the first two addresses was repeated at a conference of city clergy held recently in Toronto under the auspices of the Archdeaconry of York and Chairmanship of the Venerable F.J. Sawers.
The challenge of these addresses runs deep into parish life and Church organization. While we believe that friendship, the spirit of true fellowship, and intelligent interest on the part of the congregation are the fundamental requirements of the crisis, (as always in the Church), we cannot help but think that Diocesan authority, as well as clergy and laity in parishes, must have regard to some of the changes suggested by our contributors. That is not to say that all suggested changes are wise or practicable. Nor does it imply that changes should be made only because returning men and women want them (or at this unusual juncture of their lives as they think they want them). The whole congregation and church must be considered, and age-long teaching and worship values must be retained in spite of the likes or dislikes of any particular group. It does mean, at least, however, that in many places a new spirit must be put into our services and into our congregational attitudes towards the community. As this epochal turn of world events is a crisis in secular history, so it may well be in the externals (at least) of Church organizations and attitudes". -- [Foreword].
Contents: [Foreword] / W.W. Judd -- The Fellowship of The Church / Northcote Burke -- Worship and Evangelism / Elton Scott -- The Social Implication of The Church / E.S. Reed -- Government Booklets Obtainable Free.
The primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, praises a new booklet by John Bowen "From Visitor to Disciple". Bowen is director of the Institute of Evangelism at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. He "explores how people are helped to take steps from first attending church to becoming active disciples of Jesus." "This booklet is a must-read for every congregation. And it is a wonderful companion to the Back to Church Sunday initiative, which began in the Church of England and has now spread through many other churches, including our own. This year, Back to Church Sunday is September 26th . The theme is 'Come as you are'."
The congregation of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Corner Brook, Nfld., raised the money to sponsor a family of Syrian refugees whom they welcomed in February 2016. "The whole family is learning English. One of their teachers is Ruth. She is a very devoted member of the cathedral congregation and supportive of all its outreach ministries. When her spouse who had been in long-term care for several years died she was absolutely lost. And then, in the midst of her grief, this opportunity to teach English emerged. Ruth says she cannot say enough about the deep joy and enrichment that this involvement with the Almaidamis has brought her". "Here is a lovely story reminding us that in extending hospitality to strangers, we may well indeed be 'entertaining angels unawares' (Hebrews 13:2). Insomuch as many would say Ruth has been an angel to the Almadaimi family, they have been all, in their own unique ways, been angels to her".
"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".
"Perhaps you know that feeling. After being away for any length of time, you return to your church family, sit in your favourite pew, participate in the liturgy and think, 'Gee, it's good to be home !'" "The church is a place where people can make a lot of mistakes and still feel loved, accepted and forgiven". "There will always be something to fault in any church. The church is not perfect; no church is. Think of the church as a religious version of AA -- recovering sinners -- for that's what we are". "This November, why not give the church another chance and attend one of the special services that will be offered in most Anglican churches, such as Remembrance Sunday ? Know that you are loved, accepted and welcomed just as you are because God loves us just as we are. Come home to your church family".
"The prime purpose of congregational development is to strengthen the life at the centre of the community, and thereby to strengthen the congregation's ministry. .... Congregational development is thus one of the necessary steps in evangelism. If this work of building up our congregations is ignored, the long range goals of evangelism will be hampered". -- Intro., p. 3.
Contents: Congregational development: An Introduction -- Bible study guide -- Statistical information -- Assessing your congregation's vitality and readiness for growth -- The cost of growth -- Ten ways to invite those without a church home -- Integrating newcomers -- Understanding and ministering to the lapsed member -- One year congregational development plan (blank) -- One year congregational development plan (sample) -- Annotated bibliography -- Evaluation and feedback sheet -- Sharing of resources on congregational development.
OTCH copy: Preconference materials listed in Table of Contents i.e. An introduction to pre-conference material -- Preconference A: Readiness for receiving new members -- Preconference B: Data sheet -- Preconference C: Household record sheet -- Preconference D: Parish structure and organization -- Preconference E: Community Profile not included in this copy. Pocket on inside back cover "Please place pre-conference material here".