"The Rt. Rev. Morse Robinson, known to many as a 'servant bishop' and strong advocate of mission and ministry, died on Dec. 7  after a brief illness. He was 92. Robinson was a 'creative visionary who served generously' according to Marilyn Malton, director of the Renison Institute of Ministry in Waterloo, Ont. Robinson founded the Renison Institute in 1987 in response to the need for skilled lay ministries, and served as its director until 2001. Robinson's priority was strengthening and equipping parish ministry teams through mentoring and 'pastoral and practical' courses/workshops. His mantra: 'Shepherds don't make sheep, sheep do'. At Robinson's request, a memorial service will take place at St. Mark's Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake, on May 25, 2013, at 2 p.m." [Text of entire article.]
"The diocesan program committee in New Westminster is creating a special unit to encourage and support lay leadership. The unit is being formed following a report from a task force commissioned to look at the recruitment, training and nurture of lay leaders."
Contents divided into four main sections: Local and Shared Ministry -- Urban and Community Ministry -- Indigenous Ministry -- A Theology of Ministry.
Contents: Introduction / Maylanne Maybee -- The Kokanee Story / Dirk T. Rinehart-Pidcock -- Non-Stipendiary Ordained Ministry / David Fletcher -- Lay Leadership Comes Alive / Michelle Moore -- Parishes without Full-Time Clergy / Robin Duffield -- Ecumenical Shared Ministry / George Pell -- The Border Parish / Granvyvl G. Hulse -- Educating for Mutual Ministry / Donald Phillips -- River North Anglican Parishes / Maylanne Maybee with Peter Flynn -- The Industrial Cape Breton Experiment / Jack Risk -- From Charity to Justice / Pat Connolly and Sue Garvey -- Tradition and Transformation / Michael Batten -- New Westminster Reachout / Kimiko Karpoff -- Mile Endd Community Mission / Roslyn Macgregor -- God has Moved into the Neighbourhood / Mark Kinghan -- Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Resource Centre / Maylanne Maybee with Aileen Urquhart -- Keewatin and TAIP / David N. Ashdown -- The Henry Budd Experience / Fletcher Stewart -- Thirty Years of Change and Development / John A. (Ian) MacKenzie -- The Bread Will Rise / Maylanne Maybee -- Bringing the Light of Christ into Places of Darkness : The Diaconate in the Anglican Church of Canada / Maylanne Maybee -- Priestly Ministry / Michael Thompson -- The Episcopate / Michael Ingham -- Biographical Sketches.
The Anglican Church of Canada has just completed a through-going self-criticism in the presence of third world critics. A four day "Partners in Mission" consultation wound up on Tuesday, May 29 at the University of Toronto.
The concept of Partners in Mission is an accepted one in the Anglican Communion throughout the world. It involves one of the twenty-seven independent, self-governing churches which constitute the Anglican Communion, in a process of critical examination of its programmes, life, structures and priorities in the presence of "Partners" from other countries, churches and cultures. Canadian Anglicans have acted as Partners in such consultations in several African churches and in Ireland, the USA, the Caribbean, South America and Asia.
During the past week more than a hundred Canadian Anglicans, representing the Church's thirty dioceses from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, and north beyond the Arctic Circle, gathered in the nation's Capital. They were joined by Partners from Burundi, West Africa, the Sudan and South Africa, from the West Indies, New Zealand, Ireland and England, the USA and Asia. There were also representatives from the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches in Canada.
In their final report to the consultation, these Partners said, "We have come from continents which have experienced poverty, despair, effects of nuclear holocaust, inhuman racist regimes, military dictatorships, trampling of human rights and division of nations on ideological grounds. We have come too, from countries which are rich and affluent, and from sectors in the Third World which share in those riches and those who do not. In these situations we have experienced sufferings of all kinds - the rat-race of consuming more and more, of being bored, lonely and fearful. Yet we know that through these sufferings we also experience hope for we worship the crucified and risen Lord. In this spirit we share four examples of challenges we see based upon what we have seen and heard at this Consultation."
Their four areas of challenge were the Natives of Canada, the French Fact, the Ministry of the Laity and the Ecumenical Dimension.
The Partners observed, "The Natives of Canada have suffered through hundreds of years of genocide. Entire tribes and people have vanished from the face of the earth. Many of them today live in poverty, illness, early death rates and little or no education. To correct these wrongs requires a change in attitude, a death to the old ways and a rebirth under God." They agreed that they "must commend the Anglican Church of Canada for its long history of ministry to the Native People," but questioned whether native people have been trained for or allowed to assume positions of leadership in the church's structures.
They declared that "lumping the Native problem with the white rural or white isolated area problem will not work." The Partners had all travelled fairly extensively in Canada prior to the Consultation. From that experience and from their discussions in Ottawa, they concluded that there is a "strong undercurrent of prejudice against the Native People in Canada." They acknowledged that there are no simplistic answers, but urged the creation of a more adequately staffed Native "desk or portfolio" on a national basis.
The Partners described the French Fact as, "A people under the threat of losing its identity, its right to live according to its culture, can hardly act as a partner and may become, as a consequence, a burden to the country instead of taking its place as an enriching part of the cultural mosaic of Canada." They continued, "In a word, a whole mentality must be surrendered in order to communicate within the new milieu," and urged that "The Church must study this matter in the spirit of Christ, that is, in a spirit of love, detachment and sharing."
They added, "while fighting for the rights of this or that group, we must not forget that rights are first and foremost human rights; they are not French, they are not English; they are human, but they apply to French or English or Indians or West Indians."
An "inherited clericalism...which is still accepted as the norm" came under sharp criticism in the section of the Partners' report on the Ministry of the Laity. "The real participation of the laity in the mission of the church may pose a threat to the clergy" but that participation must not be "considered a privilege, a temporal innovation or a concession to the spirit of modern times." "A multitude of habits, ready-made judgements and reactions need to be stripped away from us before we can expect to progress very far in dealing with the key issue of the ministry of the laity."
In discussing the Ecumenical Dimensions, the Partners declared, "The general impression given is that the Anglican Church of Canada is self-sufficient and does not naturally look outside itself, whether to other churches in Canada or to other Anglican churches around the world, for working partners in the process of developing the issues which face them in their common service of the Mission of Christ to the world."
Although in principle the Anglican Church of Canada is committed to the "Lund Declaration" (that churches should not do separately what it is possible from them to do ecumenically), the Partners suggested that should mean "looking first to see what things can be done together and not regarding ecumenical cooperation as an optional extra."
The over-all report from the total membership of the Consultation is wide-ranging and lengthy. The discussions gradually crystallized into eight areas in the life of the church today:
- Mission: Theology and Practice
- Christian Lifestyle
- Commitment and Stewardship
- Ministry: Lay/Clergy
- Social Justice and Action
- Ethnic, Cultural and Linguistic Groups
- Communications and Structures
In each section there was a thorough evaluation of the present situation in the Anglican Church of Canada and an attempt to discover strengths and weaknesses in its life. Strategies for the future were also developed.
These reports will now receive wide distribution in the Dioceses and Ecclesiastical Provinces of the Church and in various national committees of General Synod, for study and discussion. They will have a major influence on the Church's National Programme Committee and National Executive Council when they meet this fall, and on the General Synod of the Church which will be held at the University of Trent in Peterborough in June 1980.
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For copies of the reports or further information, please contact:
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 number of people studying theology as a step to ordination has been declining for years, Halifax's AST [Atlantic School of Theology] has discovered a growth industry in theology for lay people.
The Rt. Rev. H.R. Hunt stated that Mr. E.G. Freeman had resigned as Supervisor of Laymen's Work. In view of the restructuring of the Departments, the Executive Committee feels it would be undesirable at this particular time to appoint a replacement and will carry this item forward. In the meantime, appropriate arrangements are being made for this aspect of the Church's work to continue.
That this National Executive Council expresses its deep appreciation of the valuable services rendered to the Church by Mr. Eric G. Freeman during the years that he occupied the position of Supervisor of the Division of Laymen's Work, and wishes him God's blessing in his new work. CARRIED
"All the essays in this volume were initially written in response to an invitation from Renison College at the University of Waterloo to come together to reflect on where Anglicanism in Canada finds itself as one century ends and another dawns. Thus, these essays were first presented at a conference hosted by Renison College, `Challenges Facing the Anglican Communion at the End of the Twentieth Century'. Held in May 1999, the conference was part of the fortieth anniversary celebrations of Renison College." -- Intro., p. [iii].
Contents: Introduction / M. Darrol Bryant -- Challenges Facing the Anglican Communion at the End of the Twentieth Century / Michael Peers -- Anglicanism in Canada : A Sociological Sketch / Roger O'Toole -- The Anglican Church of Canada Among the Social Scientists / David A. Nock -- The Anglican Church and the Cultural Wars : Transcending Ethical Tribalism / Ron Dart -- Anglican Women : A Future / Wendy Fletcher-Marsh -- Honouring Fallibility / Tom Settle -- Native and Christian : A Search for an Authentic Spirituality / Laverne Jacobs -- Ecumenical Vision, Concerted Action / Frank Thompson -- A Parish Response to Cultural Diversity / Patrick Yu -- The Shapes and Forms of Ministry and Liturgy : Some Underlying Principles / Barbara Liotscos -- Challenges Facing Anglicans in Shaping and Forming Ministry / Eileen Scully -- The Challenge of Lay Ministry : The Renison Institute of Ministry / Patti Carlisle -- The Anglican Church and the Challenge of Higher Education : The Utility of History / William Westfall -- Anglican Church Colleges : What Do We Have to Offer ? / Gail Cuthbert Brandt -- Anglicans and Higher Education / Don Thompson -- Challenges at the Frontier of Medical Ethics : Medicine, Technology and the Sense of Self / Dalice A. Sim -- Anglicans and the Ecological Crisis / M. Darrol Bryant.