Month: July, 2013

Resources: ANiC 2013 Church Calendar

Here’s a handy resource:  the ANiC website has a page where you can download a current Liturgical Calendar.  In fact, there are three choices:  one following the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), one following the Book of Alternative Services (BAS), and one following the Church of England’s Common Worship.

We’ve added the 2013 ANiC Church Calendar – BCP Version – click on the link to download the PDF file.  Or visit the ANiC Liturgical Calendar page to download one of the other two versions.

Get Posting!

This blog post is aimed particularly at ANiC churches with websites that include blogs, but it applies to online-savvy believing Christians in general, too.

I have subscribed to a number of Christian blogs, with the idea of “hearing” good Christian information and discussion online.  So far I’ve subscribed to six blogs.  Five of them are ANiC blogs, and one is J. Warner Wallace’s “Cold Case Christianity” (an excellent blog, by the way – I highly recommend it, and his book “Cold Case Christianity” as well!).

Of the five ANiC blogs, two put up new posts about once a month, two more add posts occasionally (one last posted in June, the other last posted in April) and one hasn’t had a new post in almost a year.

“Cold Case Christianity” features new posts – good, solid, readable posts – two or three times a week.

So what’s my point?

The point is, blogging is a great way to reach the world with Christian thought – and this very usable (and accessible) tool is being woefully under-used by ANiC Anglicans.  Blog posts let Christians show and share their knowledge and understanding of God.  They also attract new people, since there are millions out there who regularly turn to blogs for information.  And – of particular interest to churches and ministries with websites – blog posts help your website show up better in search engines, because the posts add regular fresh content (which Google and other search engines love).

So what do you put in a blog post?  Here are a few examples:

New ANiC Church In Edmonton” – a straight informational post, very short but makes an announcement of definite interest  to Anglican orphans in the Edmonton, AB area.

Does Belief In God Encourage Criminal Behavior?” – a fairly long discussion post that quotes a case study that is often used by atheists attempting to demonstrate a connection between religious belief and criminal behavior – with actual quotes from the study which show that, in fact, “The criminals interviewed for this research repeatedly displayed an inadequate or theologically incorrect view of Christian teaching”.  This kind of post is tremendously useful for Christians being called upon to give a reason for their faith.

New Song: Be The Fire” – a good example of a resource-type post, this blog post introduces a new Christian song, with sound sample and downloadable lyric sheet.  It also talks about where the inspiration for the song came from.

Christ did something or other, which, somehow or other, had some connexion or other with salvation” – a combination resource and discussion post.  It features a connection to a post of a sermon by F.W. Robertson (1816 – 1853), about the need to make sure that we make the Gospel clear in our preaching.

Perspective” – a report-type post that makes a point.  The report is on a mission visit to Cuba, and thoughts about cultural perspective, especially as applied to North Americans visiting a foreign culture.

An important thing to remember about doing a blog is this:  the more frequently you post, the more interest people will have in following your blog.  If you only post once a month (or less), it’s easy for people to simply not bother checking your blog.  If you have good, new content every couple of weeks (or even every couple of days), people will turn to your blog to see what’s new.

So come on, all you faithful Anglicans out there – get posting!

 

MORE THAN A FAMILY

We all know about the dislocations and problems leading to, and resulting from, the creation of the Anglican Network in Canada  (ANiC) as an alternative for Canadian Anglicans who “believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading” (Jerusalem Declaration).

To date (July 2 2013) there are 74 ANiC parishes across Canada (including 5 in Massachusetts and Vermont, USA).  Many of these are former Anglican Church Of Canada (ACOC) parishes that made the decision to be “fully Anglican, biblically faithful, evangelizing and discipling communities”; an increasing number are new church plants.

Of course, the ACOC still has a  great number of parishes with a great many members.  Many of those members are, no doubt, happy with the theoligical stance of the ACOC.  Many others, however, feel uncertain, uncomfortable with the theological changes, and even feel definite disagreement – yet they remain.

Why?

Each person has their own story, of course.  I think, though, that one reason for the reluctance to change may be found in this:  belonging to an individual church (as opposed to a denomination) is very like being a member of a family.

Each of us who belong to a church are in this situation.  We know the other people in our parish.  Many of them are our friends; many more are at least known to us (depending on the size of the church, of course!).  We have a history together.  The people, the relationships are familiar.  We even have an affection for the physical plant of the church, for the “house” that holds our “family”.

Separating yourself from your family is very difficult.  It’s wrenching.  It feels disloyal.

Jesus knew this.  And Jesus said:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple… So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.  Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?  It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 14:26-27, 33-35)

Jesus knew the Law – who better?  He knew the commandment, “Honor your father and mother”.  But He knew also the first and greatest commandment:  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

The Lord continued, “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  (Matthew 22:39-40).

We are more than just a family; we are the Body of Christ, and Christ is our head.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

And be prepared to renounce all that you have to be His disciple.

News: July Message from Archbishop Wabukala

[from an email from the Global Fellowship Of Confessing Anglicans]

To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends
from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council
July 2013
My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Here in Nairobi we are preparing with great anticipation for our second Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON 2013, and this is the first of what I intend to be monthly pastoral messages as we move forward together in the unfolding purposes of God.

I am confident that this great gathering of over 1,300 delegates will touch the lives of you all, whether or not you are able to be present, and will be a decisive moment in a movement which will shape the future of the Anglican Communion for generations to come.

The reason I have such confidence is not simply because of the commitment and energy that is going into the planning of this great occasion, but above all because God is faithful. At the heart of our gathering will be the Lord Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) and as we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to that purpose, we can trust in the promise that comes with the command, the promise of his presence ‘to the end of the age’ (v20).

Here in Kenya, we know the reality of this promise because we are a nation which has benefited profoundly from the East African Revival.  The fires of revival spread spontaneously through East Africa in the 1930’s at a time when many of the churches were cold and formal, deeply shaping what it means to be a Christian and an Anglican here today.

Out of this revival came a huge upsurge in spontaneous mission by ordinary church members throughout East Africa, some of whom were tested by violent persecution in subsequent decades. Despite the challenges of nominalism and tribalism, its legacy of evangelistic drive and resilient discipleship continues. At a meeting of Church Army Africa here in Nairobi last month, the GAFCON vision was strongly affirmed by its leaders as they rededicated themselves to reaching this continent for Christ. Indeed, revival has been described as ‘a reforming of the Church’s battle line’ in its work of claiming the world for Christ and so we have experienced it in Africa.  But sadly, in some parts of the Anglican Communion we are seeing the process in reverse – the Church of Christ is being claimed by the world through compromise and false teaching.

The need to take action to establish a clear and undiluted biblical witness to Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit is very great. We will gather to proclaim the gospel with clarity and confidence and set in place structures that will facilitate rather than frustrate that great aim. The Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of 2008 gave us our biblical basis and in the Jerusalem Statement we spoke prophetically of three ‘undeniable facts’:

1. ‘The acceptance and promotion within the provinces of the Anglican Communion of a different ‘gospel’.’
2. ‘The declaration by provincial bodies in the Global South that they are out of communion with bishops and churches that promote this false gospel.’
3. ‘The manifest failure of the Communion Instruments (its international institutions) to exercise discipline in the face of overt heterodoxy.’

While we give thanks for much that has been achieved, especially in the emergence of the Anglican Church of North America and our Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, we are painfully aware that the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada continue to promote a false gospel and yet both are still received as in good standing by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Furthermore, the Church of England itself, the historic mother church of the Communion, seems to be advancing along the same path. While defending marriage, both the Archbishops of York and Canterbury appeared at the same time to approve of same-sex Civil Partnerships during parliamentary debates on the UK’s ‘gay marriage’ legislation, in contradiction to the historic biblical teaching on human sexuality reaffirmed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

In these circumstances, attempts to achieve unity based merely on common humanitarianism and dialogue, without repentance, sacrifice the transforming power of the gospel. The seeds of the East African revival were planted through years of faithful bible teaching and were brought to life by the Spirit of God, with deep conviction of sin and the irrepressible joy of sins forgiven. This is the core of the transforming power of the gospel and in this we delight. Let me conclude by quoting Clause 9 of the Jerusalem Declaration:

“We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.”

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
The Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala
Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans