Diocese of Huron Dean quits

Imam-at-CathedralWhen Kevin Dixon was installed as cathedral Dean in the Diocese of Huron, an imam read from the Koran to celebrate the occasion.

Dixon has now moved on to become vice-president of operations at International Justice Mission Canada (IJM), an organisation dedicated to protecting the poor from violence throughout the developing world.

When he was employed by the Diocese of New Westminster, Dixon was one of the first rectors to offer blessings to same-sex couples during which time, Dixon was critical of J.I. Packer’s understanding of the Bible:

The Rev. Kevin Dixon, priest at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Kerrisdale, meanwhile believes Packer is adopting a “literalistic” reading of the Bible.

“It’s important for people to understand that the holy scriptures is a very nuanced document. I think we need to allow people room to come to a new understanding,” said Dixon, the local newspaper reported.

“I have not always held the view that same-sex relationships are consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ, but now I do.”

More recently, Dixon has been occupying himself by observing the elections in El Salvador to verify the free exercise of the right to vote.

I’m not sure whether IJM is active in the Middle East or not, but if it is, perhaps Dixon could take his imam along to observe the violence – forgive me for being literalistic – inflicted on the poor by Islamic State.

Anglican priest, Noah Njegovan re-arrested

Noah Njegovan is the son of the Diocese of Brandon’s bishop, James Njegovan. Njegovan senior recently announced his plans to retire.

From here:

A 32-year-old man was arrested after an investigation revealed that he stole more than $200,000 from his former employer, according to Brandon police.

Police identified the man as Anglican priest Noah Njegovan, the son of Brandon Bishop Jim Njegovan. Civil court documents allege that Noah made trips to Sin City, and meals and massages were among the fraudulent purchases using a church credit card.

In total, more than $200,000 in fraudulent purchases were made, documents state — including cash advances, payment of meal, bar and hotel bills and a trio of trips to Las Vegas.

Njegovan junior denies any fraud or misappropriation of funds. No doubt Njegovan’s trips were his way of bringing the good news of the Anglican Church of Canada to ladies working in the massage parlours of Sin City. A generous pastoral response, I think it’s called.

Earth Day Dopiness from the Diocese of Montreal

God dwells in creation, therefore God, in a way, is creation making the earth God’s body; Jesus is God, or the earth, so when we wound the earth we re-crucify Christ. Get it? No, me neither.

This is from the Earth Day sermon delivered by Rev. Elizabeth Welch:

The sins of others wounded Christ’s body and our sins are currently wounding the earth. The theologian Sally McFague writes that one way to approach our relationship to the earth is with the understanding that the earth is the body of God. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda adds that Christianity proclaims a God who dwells in Creation, is not then the earth in some sense the body of Christ which we are continuing to crucify?

Pollinating in the Diocese of Huron

The Diocese of Huron, having given up on the idea of saving men, has turned its attention to saving bees. Unconcerned by the fact that those who have not received the salvation of Christ are eternally screwed or, as Jonathan Edwards put it, unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, they are at least making sure that the rotten covering is well pollinated.

From here:

Doing their part to restore balance to the local ecosystem, Anglican churches throughout the Diocese of Huron have planted pollination gardens to feed area bees as part of the Garden4Bees project.

May 3rd is Sanctity of Life Sunday in ANiC churches

For more information on what pro-life Anglicans in Canada are doing, please go to the Anglicans for Life Canada webpage here and Facebook page here.

As the heading says, in ANiC churches May 3rd is Sanctity of life Sunday.

The Anglican Church of Canada has Earth Day Wednesday instead.

Bishop Michael Bird defends the sale of St. Matthias, Guelph

St. Matthias Anglican Church in Guelph has been sold by the Diocese of Niagara for $2 million to a property developer who intends to build a six story apartment building on the lot. Residents in the surrounding area are less than happy about this and are protesting the sale. The local paper recently published an editorial implying that the Diocese of Niagara is behaving more like a corporation – in an “unflattering sense of the word” – than a church. Developers are expected to be motivated by profit, churches are not:

In the story of what’s next to come to a former church property in south end Guelph, a development firm has frequently been framed as a villain in the narrative.

Whenever that happens, it’s a convenience for the current owner-vendor of the property.

That’s the Anglican Diocese of Niagara.

It’s the stakeholder in this chronicle that decided to put the former St. Matthias Church lands up for sale – and to choose the big-bidding developer, whose intentions could easily have been anticipated by the diocese. The diocese has confirmed that it received two purchase offers from churches but they were “substantially lower” than the offer it tentatively accepted.

The diocese had every right to accept whatever bid it wanted to in this process. But it must accept that in making this decision it will be regarded as behaving corporately – in an unflattering sense of the word.

Michael Bird, unhappy at the thought that there are villains at work in all this, has responded:

I strongly disagree with the editorial board’s characterization that there are villains in this story. The Diocese, the developer, members of city council, concerned citizens and others are each playing a role in what has become a very thorough planning process. I continue to have every confidence that the needs and well-being of Guelph citizens will be of primary concern.

[….]

Today our congregations in the city of Guelph continue to proclaim Jesus’s message of love and hope and justice, particularly in this season of Easter.

I note that Jesus’ message of salvation is missing from the list.

Apparently, the reason the building has been abandoned and sold is so the congregation can “focus on ministry”:

In 2013, the St. Matthias congregation voted to take leave of their building to focus on ministry in the community rather than the upkeep of a building and property.

What ministry, you might be wondering? Well, advertising Earth Day, for one. And being a member of Proud Anglicans for another – evidently the massive influx of LGBTQetc Anglicans was insufficient to keep the place afloat.

The organisation of local residents opposed to the sale has its own perspective on how effectively St. Matthias has managed to “focus on ministry in the community” since its closure:

From our perspective, there does not seem to any continued Anglican ‘ministry’ in this neighbourhood. We have not seen a public service, prayer meeting, flyer, social event or any other invitation in the two years since the church closed. The site itself has been vandalized and/or signs empty,  for most of that time.

The Diocese’s director of justice, community and global ministries, Rev Bill Mouse clearly had not been briefed by the bishop when he admitted in an interview that, in the end, it all came down to money:

It came from the congregation’s size and their ability to financially support the ministry and the property.

A United Church minister was “baffled and disturbed at the diocese’s decision”. He approached the diocese to cooperate in setting up:

a spiritual centre — a place where different religious traditions could meet, celebrate in their own tradition but co-operate for the sake of the neighbourhood.

Normally this type of mushy mult-faith amalgam would be right up the Diocese of Niagara’s street but, in this case, there was no response from the diocese. Well, $2 million is a lot of money.

GAFCON Primates Communique

Justin Welby take note: “when the Gospel is at stake there can never be a middle way”

GafconGAFCON Primates Communique

A Communique from the GAFCON Primates Council

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. ~ Isaiah 61:11

This week, from 13th to 17th April 2015, we have met in London for prayer and fellowship in order to help chart the future of global Anglicanism. We are uniting faithful Anglicans, growing in momentum, structured for the future, and committed to the Anglican Communion.

Uniting Faithful Anglicans: GAFCON 2018

We are excited to announce that the next GAFCON conference will be in 2018. This global gathering now serves a critical function in the life of the Anglican Communion as it is an effective instrument of unity which is capable of gathering the majority of the world’s Anglicans.

Delegations representing every continent and all orders of the church (lay and ordained) will again be invited to share in this powerful time of fellowship, worship, and teaching. An organising committee comprising global delegates and local representatives of the likely location has been formed. A further announcement will be made when the details of the venue have been confirmed.

Growing Momentum: Newest Province and Fellowships

We were encouraged to hear reports from some of the newest GAFCON provinces and fellowships.

Province

At the beginning of our meeting, Archbishop Foley Beach of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America was unanimously elected to the GAFCON Primates Council. Archbishop Beach shared about the remarkable growth being experienced in North America, evidenced by the planting of 483 new congregations since 2009.

Fellowships

We celebrated the recent launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Australia (FCA AU), the newest GAFCON fellowship, led by the Venerable Richard Condie, Archdeacon of Melbourne. Over 450 participants attended the inaugural conference in March 2015 and this fellowship is now well positioned to contend for the faith in the years to come.

FCA UK & Ireland, formed at our initiative, continues to welcome and provide support for faithful Anglicans in the British Isles. We are particularly concerned about the Church of England and the drift of many from the Biblical faith. We do not regard the recent use of a Church of England building for a Muslim service as a minor aberration. These actions betray the gospel and discourage Christians who live among Muslims, especially those experiencing persecution.

We support Bishop John Ellison in resisting the unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury, and in view of the Great Commission, we note the sad irony that this former missionary bishop to South America now finds it necessary to defend himself for supporting missionary activity in his own country. We continue to encourage and support the efforts of those working to restore the Church of England’s commitment to Biblical truth. Equally, we authenticate and support the work of those Anglicans who are boldly spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and whose circumstances require operating outside the old, institutional structures.

We remain confident in the great good of gospel ministry, and we see what happens when actions impacting the Communion are taken without the priorities of the faith once delivered.

Wherever they are and whatever their circumstances, GAFCON continues to unite faithful Anglicans under a common confession of Christ’s Lordship and a desire to make disciples.

Structured for the Future

We have planned for the expansion of our movement in order to touch the lives of many more Anglicans with gospel fellowship. As part of this we have identified a clear need for theological education and the training of leaders, especially bishops, and we have started work on both of these priorities. We also recognise an increasing need to be able to respond both to calls for affiliation from other provinces, and requests for support from emerging fellowships where the biblical gospel is under threat.

In order to carry this forward we have put in place the necessary operating structures, people, and financial resources. We invite all of our supporters to be involved in this work.

Committed to the Communion

We are not leaving the Anglican Communion. The members of our churches stand at the heart of the Communion, which is why we are committed to its renewal. We belong to the mainstream, and we are moving forward.

GAFCON embodies an inclusive and confessionally grounded orthodoxy in continuity with the Scriptures, apostolic tradition, and ethos of the Book of Common Prayer. There is much room for variety within the boundaries of Christian orthodoxy, but when the Gospel is at stake there can never be a middle way. As followers of Jesus we know that it is the narrow way that leads to life.

We invite all faithful Anglicans to join us in renewing the Communion so that united by a biblical and apostolic faith we can defend and proclaim the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

Primates

The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America

The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop, Anglican Church of the Congo

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Uganda

The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Nigeria

The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda

The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya (Chairman)

The Most Rev. Tito Zavala, Presiding Bishop, Province of South America

Advisors

The Most Rev. Peter Akinola, Archbishop (ret.), Anglican Church of Nigeria

Emmanuel Kampouris, Esq.

The Most Rev. Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney

The Most Rev. Donald Mtetemela, Archbishop (ret.), Anglican Church of Tanzania

The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Archbishop of Myanmar

The Rt Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester (ret.)

The Rt Rev. Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes (ret.)

An Earth Day message from Fred Hiltz and Susan Johnson

From here:

Let us remember our first calling as human beings is caring for the Earth. So sacred is this calling that as Lutherans worldwide mark the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017 with an overall theme “Liberated by God’s Grace,” one of the subthemes is “Creation—not for sale.” So sacred is this calling to Anglicans worldwide that they hold among their Marks of Mission a commitment “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth.” This mark of mission is now reflected in the vows made in baptism.

I don’t dislike pollution any less than Fred Hiltz but, surely, “our first calling as human beings” – or, at least as Christians – is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the unsaved, not to “care for the earth.” The earth is not a sentient living thing made in God’s image, possessing a soul whose eternal destiny rests on whether or not it has received Christ’s free gift of salvation. It is just like the rest of the universe, a system which is subject to entropy; it is running down, degenerating gradually into disorder until God remakes it as part of the New Heavens and New Earth.

That is, unless, as appears to be the case for the purveyors of this Earth Day Statement, your god is Gaia.

Diocese of Niagara is demolishing churches because everyone is doing it

Rev. Bill Mous, possessor of what can only be an antonymic title – director of justice, community and global ministries – justifies turning St. Matthias in Guelph into a six story apartment building by telling us it is “a story that’s playing out in communities across the country”.

I await, with considerable anticipation, the same story playing out for the diocesan cathedral.

From here:

GUELPH — The story of St. Matthias Anglican Church is a story that’s playing out in communities across the country, says a spokesperson for the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, which oversees Anglican ministry in Guelph and the surrounding area.
The decision to sell the church, located at the corner of Edinburgh and Kortright roads, came about from a variety of factors, said Rev. Bill Mous, director of justice, community and global ministries in a phone interview.

“It came from the congregation’s size and their ability to financially support the ministry and the property,” Mous said. “And it didn’t happen overnight. The congregation made many attempts to engage the community in the ministry of St. Matthias. But in 2013 they faced reality and voted to leave their building.

“It was difficult, and bold.”

When the church went up for sale, several offers were received including offers from two churches, but theirs were “substantially lower than the others,” Mous said.

It just goes to show that difficult and bold social justice in the church is mainly concerned with maximising profits – just like capitalism but less honest.