It is time to mark your Calendars!

The last days of our summer are upon us and it is time to make plans for the fall season. Here are some tentative dates and activities. If these fall in conflict with other events that you know about please let me know so we can change them if prudent.

Meeting with the Bishop on September 8th. This is to discuss the decision of General Synod to change the Canon on Marriage. I believe as does our Bishop that the Synod has made a serious mistake here. The question is, what do we do about it? Come and let’s sit down and have a conversation. 7:00 in the Church for All

Annual Parish Prayer walk Sept 25th (Bridgetown service at 9:30) and Corn boil on the Rectory Lawn. We have done this several times now and always with real results (Renforth Wharf Days, Health Wellness and Safety ministry to Seniors) We will combine this with Bridgetown at 9:30 and follow it up with a Corn-boil on the lawn to discuss our impressions from God after our time of prayer. We will have a short service at 10:30 and then be sent out to pray.

Feast of Francis of Assisi October 4th CBZ. As you know by now things have changed at the Zoo. Largly because of the ministry of Prayer. Last year a small group of us went on this day and sang to the staff and animals as we toured the zoo. The tiger was particularly impacted by the worship songs. Come and join us this year as we bless God’s creation. Time TBA

Alpha Film Series will begin Sunday Evening October 9th. The new Alpha Film series is completed and we will be running it from the Rectory once again. If we have more than 10 sign up we will either split the venue/night or hold it at the Church. Sign up and or invite someone. Watch for my social media boots regarding this.

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What is an Anglican

Anglican Values:
The Sins and Virtues of a Christian Church
Graham Tomlin, Dean of St Mellitus College, London
This article was originally published in the theological journal ANVIL

An email recently arrived in my inbox that read thus:
The ANGLICAN VIRUS: This has no effect whatsoever. It just sits on your computer talking to lots of other computers. By the time it gets round to changing anything, you’ve upgraded your machine and rendered the virus obsolete.

Jokes like this demonstrate that Anglicans don’t have a great reputation for change. However, the world is changing fast around us, and in fact, if we look carefully, the church is changing too – Anglicanism is fast becoming much more varied than it has ever been. The Anglican churches in most British cities display a huge variety in their ways of worshipping and ordering church, and that’s not just to point up the differences between Anglo-Catholics, Liberals and Evangelicals. Evangelical churches, despite an underlying similarity of doctrine, actually express their faith in very different ways: conservative, charismatic, contemporary or traditional. Around the world too, many Anglican churches who don’t have the characteristics we English think of as typically Anglican (for example establishment and a parish system) are also asking what it really means to be Anglican. Again with new ways of being church emerging around us all the time from cell church to youth services, the Minster model to seeker-driven church, there’s a need in assessing all of these to ask whether they are compatible with Anglicanism or should be avoided as unAnglican.

This article seeks to answer this question by going back to a seminal period in Anglican history – the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – a time when the church was reformed (not formed!). It tries to ask what were the central concerns of the Reformers as they re-shaped the church, in a process which has left an indelible mark on Anglicanism ever since. This exercise might in turn help us to identify the particular Anglican ‘style’ of doing church, worship, mission and everything else a church does.

What follows is not an exhaustive list, but identifies six Anglican commitments which at the same time might help us avoid some of our characteristic and besetting sins. It also suggests that there are some tendencies in Anglican history which have contributed to its decline in western societies, and that some of the answers to our predicament may also be found within that very history, especially in these years when the identity of Anglicanism took decisive shape. Perhaps if we had kept more true to our heritage, we might have avoided some of the sins which have sometimes led us into trouble.

1. Scripture

The Anglican church has always been a biblical Church. It has always made an explicit appeal to Scripture, and its laity and clergy are encouraged to read Scripture regularly. If they said morning and evening prayer daily, as they are encouraged to do, then they would probably read more Scripture than that required by almost any other church. It’s worth remembering that one of the first acts of the English Reformation was the placing of an English Bible in every parish church in the land.

Throughout the troubled sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, although deeply divided over many issues, mainly about church order and ceremonial, the surprising thing is that even into the nineteenth century, the Church of England experienced a basic unity over the supreme authority of Scripture. Whether you turn to the seventeenth century Puritans, the ‘High Church’ party of Archbishop Laud and Henry Hammond, or the Latitudinarians such as Edward Stillingfleet and William Chillingworth, all were committed to the principle of the authority of Scripture. Now of course, they disagreed on the nature of that authority. Some, following Luther and later, Hooker, took the position that Scripture taught all things necessary for salvation, but where Scripture was silent, there was liberty of practice. Hence, ceremonial actions, and liturgical nuances not explicit in Scripture could still be permitted. Others at the more Calvinist end of the spectrum such as Thomas Cartwright, the leader of the Elizabethan Puritans, claimed that what was not in Scripture should not be allowed in the church (it is of course the former of these positions that is enshrined in the 39 Articles). Yet the point is that the dispute was over the extent and nature of that authority, not the authority itself.

Now this is not just an abstract point about dogmatic authority. It is at heart an essentially pastoral assertion. It refers to the question of what Anglicans choose to shape their lives, and on what they will feed their hearts, minds and souls. The Anglican belief in the authority of Scripture asserts that Scripture is good for us – it breeds good healthy Christians. As Cranmer put it in his Preface to the Great Bible of 1540: “In the Scriptures be the fat pastures of the soul; therein is no venomous meat, no unwholesome thing, they be the very dainty and pure feeding.”

As a result, the Anglican church places a great stress upon the private and public reading of Scripture, even before it is preached on. Before we speak about Scripture, we must first listen attentively to it. Bishop Jewel, in his Apology of 1562 boasted: “There is nothing read in our churches but the canonical Scriptures, which is done in such order that the Psalter is read every month, the New Testament four times in a year, and the Old Testament once in a year.” How many of us do anything near that today?

Being gradually imbued with Scripture, steadily absorbing its mindset and its spirit (of course canticles and Psalms are Scripture just as much as the readings from the New and Old Testaments), the aim is familiarity with Scripture and basic Christian doctrine. It aims at slowly cultivated holiness of life, rather than dramatic but short-term spiritual special effects. The Book of Common Prayer commends the patristic idea of reading through the Scriptures every year, so that “the clergy… should by often reading and meditation in God’s Word be stirred up to godliness themselves, and be more able to exhort others by wholesome doctrine… and that the people, by daily hearing of Holy Scripture read in the church might continually profit more and more in the knowledge of God.” Here is a church that sees the reverent, expectant and attentive daily listening to Scripture as the key to holiness. Perhaps the decline of personal daily Bible reading among Anglicans is both a sign and cause of our plight.

Besides its pastoral function, this Anglican insistence on the authority of Scripture is also a polemical assertion. Scripture is the text that is final and constitutive for Anglicans, not papal decretals, canon law, unwritten traditions, nor even psychological theory, sociology, opinion polls or the voice of the media, however important it may be to listen and learn from them. This is an important assertion of the distinctiveness of Christianity as opposed to any other way of life on offer in our culture. Too often in the past, Anglicans have been seen as lukewarm, conformist, socially conservative. Now, along with so many other institutions in the west, we are disdained as part of an old passing established order. If we were more true to our heritage and identity, we might realise that our appeal to biblical authority is a call to live by the story of the Bible, and no other story; it is a call to be different, to live by a different set of rules, to march to a different drumbeat, to avoid the social conformity which has been one of Anglicanism’s besetting sins.

2. Culture

Another of Anglicanism’s more regrettable characteristics is a form of cultural imperialism, which has insisted on imposing forms of worship, architecture and language on alien cultures. Sitting in nineteenth century Anglican churches in Jerusalem or Lahore can feel little different from sitting in an Anglican church in Surrey (though it’s usually a littler warmer in Jerusalem or Lahore). In the arena of worship, we have often clung to forms of liturgical rigidity and correctness which don’t always take into account changing patterns of life or culture.

The early sixteenth century in particular was a time of great cultural change. As the Renaissance re-introduced the virtues of classical culture into European minds and burgeoning urban life, and as new worlds and continents were being discovered through the explosion of travel and exploration, so this was a period in which those at the cutting edge of developing thought, including the reformers, were very aware of the shifting sands of culture.

As a result, we find in the writings of those very reformers, a refusal to prescribe too closely forms of worship and order for everyone. There is a recognition that the form in which the gospel is expressed, both liturgically, and ecclesiastically is not fixed and must change with changing culture. They tend to see in the silence of Scripture on these kinds of questions, a mandate for flexibility and adaptation. John Calvin had some important things to say on this, for example, in book four of his ‘Institutes’:

“But because (God) did not will in outward discipline and ceremonies to prescribe in detail what we ought to do (because he foresaw that this depended upon the state of the times, and he did not deem one form suitable for all ages), here we must take refuge in those general rules which he has given, that whatever the necessity of the church will require for order and decorum should be tested against these. Lastly, because he has taught nothing specifically, and because these things are not necessary to salvation, and for the upbuilding of the church ought to be variously accommodated to the customs of each nation and age, it will be fitting (as the advantage of the church will require) to change and abrogate traditional practices and to establish new ones.”

The same principle is present among Anglican reformers as well. Article 34 of the 39 Articles (it was present in Cranmer’s original articles as well) reads:

“It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one and utterly like; for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversities of countries, times and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s Word.”

This is all down to two particular aspects of Anglican theology. One is the Anglican view of authority: that Scripture alone has authority, not any particular interpretation of Scripture, or cultural reading of it, however compelling or contemporary that reading may be. Such a view of authority is very liberating: as a result, Anglicanism has an inbuilt flexibility to respond to different cultures and people, as long as this does not run counter to Scripture. The other is the Reformation doctrine of adiaphora, the belief that there are central gospel issues which are not negotiable, and others that are secondary and changeable. Of course it is not always easy to discern which category some doctrines or practices fall into, yet as Oliver O’Donovan points out, ‘the point of a good theory is not to save us the task of thinking, but to organise our thoughts fruitfully’.

In the 1960s, it was common amongst Anglicans as well as others to hear the opinion that in response to a changing culture, we need to change the gospel message, yet leave the rest of the church intact. Now perhaps we can recognise that this approach has not worked. Instead perhaps we are rediscovering that there is little wrong with the gospel. Instead it is the forms in which the gospel is presented, lived and expressed which need to change. Anglicanism is in fact entirely happy with this approach – from its (re)formation, it has always believed that in changing cultures, customs and habits need to change, and it therefore has an ability to create new forms of Christian living and belonging and worshipping.

If innovation and Anglicanism have often seemed unlikely bedfellows, then perhaps it’s because we have been untrue to our roots. New emerging forms of church and evangelism such as Alpha, Cell Church, Café church, Alternative Worship, so long as they are within the boundaries and under the authority of the Scriptures and relevant church authorities (see point 4 below!), must not necessarily be assumed too quickly to be unAnglican. Instead they must be tested, then if they meet with the deeper essences of Anglican faith and practice, welcomed and embraced. Again Calvin gives us good advice: “love will best judge what may hurt or edify; and if we let love be our guide, all will be safe.”

3. Modesty

Another of Anglicanism’s besetting sins has been arrogance. Ecclesiastically, we have often been condescending to other churches, especially those who have seceded at different times from the established church. We have even disparaged, or even created other churches by our casting out of different groups, such as the Puritans, Wesley’s Methodists or the non-Jurors. Yet again this assumption of superiority is outlawed by the reformers. For example, take the position taken up by Anglicans over episcopacy.

After the Reformation, all churches in Europe faced a choice over what to do about bishops. Some (for example the Roman Catholics and conservative Anglicans such as William Laud) retained the idea that bishops were of the esse of the church, guaranteeing continuity from age to age. Others (‘free’ churches and Presbyterian puritans within the Church of England) argued that they were unnecessary. The position taken up by the mainline Anglicanism reformers was different from either of these. It was that bishops were not essential to the being of the church, but useful for guaranteeing good order – they were of the bene esse of the church. Most Anglicans (even Laud himself!) didn’t argue that the three-fold order of bishops, priests and deacons was the only possible pattern for church leadership – they simply argued for it on the basis of long custom in the church and that it provided a good workable system of government.

What they refused to do was to unchurch non-episcopalian Christians. Whereas the Roman church effectively decreed that in the absence of bishops there was no real church at all, most Anglicans held back from this, seeing episcopacy as a matter of pragmatism, not dogma, a matter of external government, not necessary for salvation. Continuity of the identity of a church depends not on the presence of an office or person, but on the presence of Jesus Christ through the Spirit and the good news of his grace, expressed in word and sacrament. If that is lost, then there is no church, no matter how many bishops it has!

The result is a church which acknowledges the right of other churches to exist. Perhaps the fruit of this came in 1689 with the Act of Toleration, at the time of the ‘Glorious Revolution’. This act, which allowed dissenting congregations to meet, and took away the right of clergy to compel attendance at Anglican churches, was on the one hand the surrender of the Church of England’s claim to be the only legitimate form of Christianity in England, but on the other, a right and proper act of humility and modesty, true to its reformed and catholic identity.

Here, Anglicans ate a good slice of humble pie, and rightly so. The particular decisions taken about episcopacy in the sixteenth century are an illustration and indication of the principle of Christian modesty which lies at the heart of Anglicanism. Since then we have hopefully learnt from, rather than disparaged Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists. Maybe today we can learn much from Vineyard churches, Korean Pentecostals and home churches. In particular, western Anglican churches must adopt the same modesty, humility and willingness to learn towards their younger and more vigorous sister churches in Southeast Asia and Africa, rather than feeling superior to them, insisting they fall into line with western (and often failing) ways of doing things.

4. Accountability

Having said all this, the Reformation in England did insist on keeping hold of bishops. Apart from the brief and chaotic period of the Commonwealth in the mid C17th, the Anglican church which emerged from the Reformation retained the medieval threefold order of ministry, of bishops, priests and deacons, rather than move over to a Presbyterian system as many Elizabethan Puritans would have preferred.

One of the ongoing tendencies, particularly true perhaps of evangelical Anglicans, has been a tendency to go it alone. Richard Berridge in the C19th, for example argued that he was quite entitled to cross parish boundaries without permission, on the grounds that his neighbouring clergy were not preaching the gospel: “if they would preach the gospel themselves, there would be no need of my preaching it to their people; but as they do not, I cannot desist.” Charles Simeon on the other hand held the more mainstream evangelical Anglican view that it was right and proper to keep to one’s own patch: “a Preacher has enough to do in his own parish”. Sometimes evangelical impatience with the rest of the Church of England has led to a spirit of independence, autonomy and, dare we say it, spiritual pride, claiming that God speaks to us alone, and no-one can argue with that.

The Anglican commitment to episcopacy in this context is not a claim that only episcopal churches are real churches. Instead it is a commitment to right and proper accountability within the church. It derives from a healthy theology and spirituality that knows that left to myself, we are quite capable of getting it wrong, reading the signs badly, and mistaking God’s will. We need other Christians, older, wiser and more experienced than us to check our bold ideas, discern whether they are of the Lord, and to ensure our vision and passion does not trample on the ideals and godly plans of others. And so, while Anglicans can dream up new ways of being church, new styles of worship, new approaches to ministry, we try to do this with right and proper consultation, and submitting ourselves duly to authority – the authority of those God has placed over us, just as the Scripture says (1 Cor 16.15-16).

Of course, this sometimes feels uncomfortable. We may often feel that bishops get it wrong (and being human they sometimes will). However this is, at least so Anglican tend to think, far better than the alternative, sometimes glimpsed in the more radical wing of the Reformation (and in some forms of popular American Christianity) where everyone who wants to plant a church does so, regardless of the needs of the wider church, ending up with a different kind of church on every street corner, and the Christian witness broken into a thousand tiny fragments.

Accountability is a sign of health and not inertia. It connects us to others, and prevents a damaging spiritual independence that ignores the whole body of Christ in favour of the particular part of the body which may be my responsibility. And that is what episcopacy preserves. It connects the local church with the regional, national and global church. It maintains the Christian virtue of humility and correctibility. It is in other words a manifestation of the biblical doctrine of sin – my tendency to see and do things my way. Yes there are limits – bishops themselves need to be held accountable to the will of God revealed in Scripture, and due processes in place to ensure that happens. Yet that does not take away this precious and vital Anglican value – the discipline of accountability.

5. Politics

The churches of the Reformation related to their respective state powers in a bewildering variety of ways. Calvin’s Geneva was a city state, independent of wider regional powers, and established a delicate balance between the roles of minister and magistrate in the order of a Christian society. Zwingli saw state and church in Zürich as two sides of the same coin, so that as a pastor, he could play both a political and a pastoral role at the same time. Lutheran churches often saw religion imposed and protected by state authorities. Calvinist churches in France operated under suspicion and distrust from the state, having to function largely as underground movements.

In England, the Church that emerged from the Reformation was tied closely to the realm, with the monarch as supreme governor of both church and state – a unique arrangement among Reformation churches. Clergy were both pastors of the church, yet also servants of the monarch, taking a strict oath of allegiance to him or her, a position which has not been without its tensions then and ever since. Naturally not all Anglican churches remain established in this same way, but this historical fact still has important implications for Anglicans today.

As a result of this history, the Anglican church has always been a political church. Not in the narrow sense of being allied to any particular political party, but in being concerned for the polis, the city, the public life of the wider society and community. We have never been keen on the gathered church model of a pure group, separate from public life, but instead have wanted to be involved in and committed to society, even if that sometimes is a difficult place to be. This has imposed upon Anglican churches a prophetic role. We may prefer to avoid this – our leaders will get criticised for poking their noses into ‘political’ matters, but to be true to our identity, we must not run away from this responsibility. Whether at a national or local level, our history of intimate relationships with government means that we must take an interest in issues which affect all the people in our parishes, not just the Christians, and articulate with boldness the principles and vision which should shape public life. It is part of our care for whole people, not just disembodied souls. This is in a sense a central part of a distinctive Anglican missiology. How do Anglican churches relate to the wider society? Yes by evangelism, but also by taking a keen interest in the whole of life, not just the religious aspects of it.

Since the Enlightenment, the temptation for all religion in the west has been to buy into what Leslie Newbigin calls the split between private values and public facts. Thus Christianity (and Anglicanism) can be tolerated as a spiritualizing force, speaking only about the inner life, a retreat into the private sphere of beliefs, not the public world of facts. There is a real temptation to build separatist church communities which glory in their vertical privileges, but shun their horizontal responsibilities. Our identity-forming history denies us that option. By sticking close to our heritage we can avoid the temptation to pietistic withdrawal and public irrelevance.

6. Community

Among many other things, the English Reformation was a reassertion of the importance of the laity in church life. When worshipping, the reformers insisted it must be done in the vernacular – an end to Latin, the private language of priests and theologians. Clergy were to be like other Christians, married, bringing up children, no longer the only ones allowed access to the cup in the Christian family meal. Holy Communion was just that – communion both with the Lord at his Supper, and with each other. The distinction between clergy and laity was primarily to be one of function not status. Children were seen as included within the covenant, belonging to the family, still baptised and welcomed. Luther’s belief that the rite which confers the right and responsibility to engage in Christian ministry was baptism, not ordination, also finds an echo in our Anglican formularies. Printing made Bibles available to all, so that Cranmer’s preface to the Great Bible of 1540 could urge lay people to take responsibility for their own reading of the Scriptures: “for the Holy Ghost hath so ordered and attempered the Scriptures, that in them, as well publicans, fishers and shepherds may find their edification, as great doctors their erudition.” Not put off by the possibility that they might not understand it, he urges them to read it for themselves, due to the great benefit they will derive from it.

At least this was the theory. The practice was a bit different. The laity were in fact only partly ‘released’ by the reformation, as clericalism soon raised its head again, and catholic priests were often replaced by protestant preachers, every bit as authoritarian as their forebears! One only needs to read the novels of Jane Austen or Anthony Trollope to get a sense for the way in which Anglican churches soon developed a clerical monopoly that effectively distanced lay people from true Christian liberty and responsibility.

At least the idea was there. And that ideal remains, of a church as a community of people ministering to one another, of every believer as a priest, standing in the place of Christ to offer counsel, encouragement, even absolution to Christian brothers and sisters. This was a distinct move away from the medieval notion of church as a place where the laity were largely passive recipients of grace dispensed by the clergy in the form of sacraments.

This was a vision of church as community rather than institution. Lay people were intended to be active ministers, not passive observers, taking responsibility for their own & each other’s growth in faith, understanding and holiness, even for the church itself. If we had remained a little more true to the vision of church laid out in the time of the reformation, perhaps we might have avoided clerical domination, another besetting Anglican sin.

The past often contains the secrets of the future. As we search for a way forward for the Anglican churches into the twenty-first century, these commitments made in the sixteenth and seventeenth may help point a way ahead. If we can rediscover a church shaped by Scripture, quick to respond to cultural change, humbly willing to learn from others, properly accountable, committed to the public life of society and with a strong sense of mutual life and community, then perhaps God may be able to use us as he has done in the past.

Bebbington, David W. Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s. London: Unwin Hyman, 1989.
Bray, Gerald, ed. Documents of the English Reformation. Cambridge: James Clarke, 1994.
McGrath, Alister E. In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible. New York: Doubleday, 2001.
McNeill, J.T, (ed.) and Battles, F.L. (trans). Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion. Vol. 2 vols. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960.
Newbigin, Lesslie. Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture. London: SPCK, 1986.
O’Donovan, Oliver. On the Thirty-Nine Articles: A Conversation with Tudor Christianity. Exeter: Paternoster, 1986.
Potter, Phil. The Challenge of Cell Church: Getting to Grips with Cell Church Values. Oxford: Bible Reading Fellowship, 2001.
Smyth, Charles H.E. Simeon & Church Order: A Study of the Origins of the Evangelical Revival in Cambridge in the Eighteenth Century, Birkbeck Lectures ; 1937-8. Cambridge: CUP, 1940.
Spencer, Nick. Parochial Vision: The Future of the English Parish. Carlisle: Paternoster, 2004.
Ward, Pete. Youth Culture and the Gospel. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.
Zahl, Paul. The Protestant Face of Anglicanism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.
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Bishop to make statement

Good morning Clergy, Threshold Evangelists and Parish Office Administrators,

With the conclusion of General Synod and as members from this diocese travel back home today, Bishop Edwards wishes to let you know that he will release an official statement in the coming days to be read at all services this Sunday.

He would also ask that you let people know that he is available to meet with anyone who wishes to speak to him about Synod. Please put this invitiation into the bulletin and communicate as you normally would. Note that the bishop is available starting tomorrow.

Please contact the office at 459-1801 ext. 4 to make an appointment. If anyone is not able to be in either of these locations, they can speak to him by phonel. Please call to make a phone appointment for this as well.

He will be in Fredericton on Thursday, July 14 and Monday, July 18.
He will be in Saint John on Friday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 19.

Blessings to all as we continue to pray for each other in our shared work of ministry,
Cathy


WHEN YOU … listen with all your heart • honour your elders • encourage young people to take over the church often and loudly • choose good over evil • welcome the stranger • write the government about the issues that matter • invite a co-worker to church • help your dad do housework • get messy with your Sunday school kids • say “Thank you Lord” and mean it • Tweet your blessings one by one • introduce your grandchildren to nature • read and share God’s word •
…THEN YOU ARE LIVING THE MARKS OF MISSION www.anglican.ca/marks

Cathy Laskey (The Venerable)
Executive Archdeacon to the Bishop of Fredericton
Anglican Diocese of Fredericton
115 Church Street, Fredericton, NB E3B 4C8

Tel: (506) 459-1801 Fax: (506) 460-0520
e-mail: cathy.laskey@anglican.nb.ca
e-mail is checked Monday through Friday.
diocesan webpage: http://anglican.nb.ca

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Report from Jack Ferguson

Hello everyone.

Wow time marches on. I had hoped to get this out in time for church, but was to worn out last evening and to busy early this morning.

This truly is an amazing place in the world, rich with life, rich in spirit and extremely poor in finances. The inflation makes life so difficult for the people as their currency continues to slide in value. In the short time we have been here their currency has lost 4 basis points. As Don mentioned in their news letter a bag of rice cost three times what it did two years ago. Yet Mozambique is incredibly rich in faith.
Some will struggle with my next statements, but that is okay, because it is truth and reality in this place. This morning Heidi invited all the visitors to the front to receive an impartation of faith from the Mozambiquans, because they are rich in faith. She asked three of the local pastors to lead in prayer as many others moved through the crowd and laid hands on us and prayed for us. She had Pastor Pedro lead out first in prayer, because he had raised five (yes five) people from the dead. Last Sunday Pastor Surpressa’s wife, Triphina preached and shared testimony of two people being raised from the dead.
Heidi shared on faith for healing and shared of receiving a prophecy that she would see the deaf hear and the blind see. Her success rate since that time is 100% of the deaf that she prays for receive their hearing and most of the blind as well.
As you know this is the end of Ramadan and supposedly a difficult to witness, because of the increase in prayer in the Islamic world. On the outreach last Thursday and Friday they went into a village, which was mostly Moslem. There was a lady who came to church, because when she was in bed sleeping, a man dressed in white robes came to her in a dream. She had been struggling with an issue of blood for five years. The man in white told her to get up and go to church and she would be healed. She got up and told her husband, but he refused to go as they would be kicked out of the family. They argued back and forth for a while and she finally said I am going to church. You do as you please. He decided he needed to accompany her. When they got to church (a five kilometre walk) he explained to the pastor he felt guilty for being there, but his wife insisted they go. The wife told the pastor about the dream and the pastor explained the man dressed in white robes was Jesus. They prayed for her and she was instantly healed and accepted Jesus.
In that outreach five deaf people received their hearing and two blind people received their sight. Many came to Christ, because of the miracles including 3 Moslem priests.
Jesus truly is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6), which was Heidi’s theme passage this morning.
I am very much looking forward to outreach this week. We will be going for two nights and three days…..HOORAY!

Yesterday was a fun kickback afternoon as we went to Noviani for 1:00 to visit with the kids there and give the girls dresses and the boys shorts. We visited for about an hour then headed for the beach where we had a great afternoon of fun swimming, splashing and playing on the beach.

I so wish I could transport many of you here to experience what we are experiencing.

Please pray for Shirley as she has a two abscesses on her lip and in her nose, which are very painful.

It so strengthens ones faith and resolve to carry on NO MATTER WHAT COMES!

Love to all

Jack & ShirleyNoviani group 1 (1024x768)

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Sunday July 3

St. James the Less Church in the Parish of Renforth
July 3, 2016
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (L 14, Pr. 9)

Collect: Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ has taught us that what we do for the least of your children we do also for him. Give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, who gave up his life and died for us, but lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

FIRST READING: Isaiah 66:10-14

10If you love Jerusalem, celebrate and shout!
If you were in sorrow because of the city,
you can now be glad. 11She will nurse and comfort you, just like your own mother, until you are satisfied.
You will fully enjoy her wonderful glory. 12The LORD has promised: “I will flood Jerusalem with the wealth of nations and make the city prosper.

Zion will nurse you at her breast, carry you in her arms, and hold you in her lap. 13I will comfort you there like a mother comforting her child.”

14When you see this happen, you will celebrate;
your strength will return faster than grass can sprout.
Then everyone will know that the LORD is present with his servants, but he is angry with his enemies.

PSALMODY: Psalm 66:1-9

1Tell everyone on this earth to shout praises to God!
2Sing about his glorious name. Honor him with praises.

3Say to God, “Everything you do is fearsome,
and your mighty power makes your enemies come crawling.
4You are worshiped by everyone!
We all sing praises to you.”

5Come and see the fearsome things our God has done!
6When God made the sea dry up,our people walked across,and because of him, we celebrated there.
7His mighty power rules forever,
and nothing the nations do can be hidden from him.
So don’t turn against God.

8All of you people, come praise our God!
Let his praises be heard.

9God protects us from death and keeps us steady.

God of power and might, you bring your people out of darkness and slavery into light and freedom through the waters of salvation. Receive our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and keep us always in your steadfast love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

SECOND READING: Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-10

[My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don’t be tempted yourself. 2You obey the law of Christ when you offer each other a helping hand. 3If you think you are better than others, when you really aren’t, you are wrong. 4Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others. 5We each must carry our own load. 6Share every good thing you have with anyone who teaches you what God has said.]
7You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. 8If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life. 9Don’t get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right, if you don’t give up. 10We should help people whenever we can, especially if they are followers of the Lord. 11You can see what big letters I make when I write with my own hand. 12Those people who are telling you to get circumcised are only trying to show how important they are. And they don’t want to get into trouble for preaching about the cross of Christ. 13They are circumcised, but they don’t obey the Law of Moses. All they want is to brag about having you circumcised. 14But I will never brag about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his cross, the world is dead as far as I am concerned, and I am dead as far as the world is concerned. 15It doesn’t matter if you are circumcised or not. All that matters is that you are a new person. 16If you follow this rule, you will belong to God’s true people. God will treat you with undeserved kindness and will bless you with peace.

GOSPEL: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Later the Lord chose seventy-two other followers and sent them out two by two to every town and village where he was about to go. 2He said to them: A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in. 3Now go, but remember, I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. 4Don’t take along a moneybag or a traveling bag or sandals. And don’t waste time greeting people on the road. 5As soon as you enter a home, say, “God bless this home with peace.” 6If the people living there are peace-loving, your prayer for peace will bless them. But if they are not peace-loving, your prayer will return to you. 7Stay with the same family, eating and drinking whatever they give you, because workers are worth what they earn. Don’t move around from house to house. 8If the people of a town welcome you, eat whatever they offer. 9Heal their sick and say, “God’s kingdom will soon be here!” 10But if the people of a town refuse to welcome you, go out into the street and say, 11″We are shaking the dust from our feet as a warning to you. And you can be sure that God’s kingdom will soon be here 16My followers, whoever listens to you is listening to me. Anyone who says “No” to you is saying “No” to me. And anyone who says “No” to me is really saying “No” to the one who sent me. 17When the seventy-two followers returned, they were excited and said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed when we spoke in your name!” 18Jesus told them: I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you. 20But don’t be happy because evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven!

Sentence: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Colossians 3:15-16

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Sunday Readings June 19

St. James the Less Church in the Parish of Renforth

June 19, 2016
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (collect on back of sheet)

FIRST READING: Isaiah 65:1-9

I, the LORD, was ready to answer even those
who were not asking
and to be found by those
who were not searching.
To a nation that refused to worship me,
I said, “Here I am!”

2All day long I have reached out to stubborn and sinful people going their own way. 3They keep making me angry by sneering at me, while offering sacrifices to idols in gardens and burning incense to them on bricks. 4They spend their nights hiding in burial caves; they eat the meat of pigs,
cooked in sauces made of stuff unfit to eat. 5And then they say to others,
“Don’t come near us! We’re dedicated to God.”
Such people are like smoke, irritating my nose all day. 6I have written this down; I won’t keep silent. I’ll pay them back just as their sins deserve. 7I, the LORD, will make them pay for their sins and for those of their ancestors they have disgraced me by burning incense on mountains.

8Here is what the LORD says: A cluster of grapes that produces wine is worth keeping! So, because of my servants, I won’t destroy everyone. 9I have chosen the people of Israel and Judah, and I will bless them with many descendants. They will settle here in this land of mountains, and it will be theirs.

PSALMODY: Psalm 22:19-28
19Don’t stay far away, LORD!
My strength comes from you, so hurry and help.

20Rescue me from enemy swords
and save me from those dogs.
21Don’t let lions eat me.

You rescued me from the horns of wild bulls,
22and when your people meet,
I will praise you, LORD.

23All who worship the LORD, now praise him!
You belong to Jacob’s family and to the people of Israel, so fear and honor the LORD!

24The LORD doesn’t hate or despise the helpless
in all of their troubles.
When I cried out, he listened and did not turn away.

25When your people meet, you will fill my heart
with your praises, LORD,
and everyone will see me keep my promises to you.

26The poor will eat and be full,
and all who worship you will be thankful
and live in hope.

27Everyone on this earth will remember you, LORD.
People all over the world will turn and worship you, 28because you are in control, the ruler of all nations.
Father, your tortured Son felt abandoned, and cried out in anguish from the cross, yet you delivered him, He overcame the bonds of death and rose in triumph from the grave. Do not hide your face from those who cry out to you; feed the hungry, strengthen the weak, and break the chains of the oppressed, that your people may rejoice in your saving deeds. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

SECOND READING: Galatians 3:23-29

23The Law controlled us and kept us under its power until the time came when we would have faith. 24In fact, the Law was our teacher. It was supposed to teach us until we had faith and were acceptable to God. 25But once a person has learned to have faith, there is no more need to have the Law as a teacher. 26All of you are God’s children because of your faith in Christ Jesus. 27And when you were baptized, it was as though you had put on Christ in the same way you put on new clothes. 28Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman. 29So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham’s family, and you will be given what God has promised.

GOSPEL: Luke 8:26-39
26Jesus and his disciples sailed across Lake Galilee and came to shore near the town of Gerasa. 27As Jesus was getting out of the boat, he was met by a man from that town. The man had demons in him. He had gone naked for a long time and no longer lived in a house, but in the graveyard.28The man saw Jesus and screamed. He knelt down in front of him and shouted, “Jesus, Son of God in heaven, what do you want with me? I beg you not to torture me!” 29He said this because Jesus had already told the evil spirit to go out of him.The man had often been attacked by the demon. And even though he had been bound with chains and leg irons and kept under guard, he smashed whatever bound him. Then the demon would force him out into lonely places.30Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?”He answered, “My name is Lots.” He said this because there were ‘lots’ of demons in him. 31They begged Jesus not to send them to the deep pit, where they would be punished.32A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. So the demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and Jesus let them go. 33Then the demons left the man and went into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.34When the men taking care of the pigs saw this, they ran to spread the news in the town and on the farms. 35The people went out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they also found the man. The demons had gone out of him, and he was sitting there at the feet of Jesus. He had clothes on and was in his right mind. But the people were terrified.36Then all who had seen the man healed told about it. 37Everyone from around Gerasa begged Jesus to leave, because they were so frightened.When Jesus got into the boat to start back, 38the man who had been healed begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him off and said, 39″Go back home and tell everyone how much God has done for you.” The man then went all over town, telling everything that Jesus had done for him.

Collect: O God our defender, storms rage about us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us all from unbelief; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Sentence: My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them and they follow me. John 10:27

Notice: In less than a month Renforth Wharf Days will take place. We will be in need of volunteers to staff our booth and also to help with general welcoming. Please sign the sheet in the office window if you are available that day to help.

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Well Done!

We have made it through the first six months of the year and successfully contributed what the diocese has asked of us and were able to also give 10% of everything that came in toward local missional situations.

We know that this has been an answer to prayer and the steps of real faith that the vestry and leaders have taken.

It is a principle of the Kingdom of heaven that as we bless others, we too are blessed.

We are however coming into one of the most challenging times of the year. Last Sundays attendance was very low indeed. I totally understand the number of distractions that todays world brings, especially as we come into our all too short summer.

To continue making our budget will require sacrifice and discipline. One way to make things easier is to take advantage of the Automated Giving options that are available. You can click on the Donation button at the right of this page or better still sign up for the automatic deduction scheme that is offered by the diocese. We pay the monthly fee so 100% of what you give comes back to us. Forms are available at the Church. or you can click below and down load it.

http://renforth.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/PAT-application.pdf

The diocesan records prove that churches that use this system do a much better job in the financial stewardship area. Consider it today.

Eric Phinney
Rector

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Camp Medley

A letter from our LIT Director
M
Maren McLean Persaud
to
16 minutes agoDetails
Hi Everyone,

Please read this letter written to you by our Leader in Training Director, Allyson Caldwell.

To the Parishes and Leaders of the Diocese,

My name is Allyson Caldwell, and I am the LIT Director for the Camp Medley 2016 camping season. This will be my fourth summer on staff, and I am beyond excited to share with you, and your local youth, some of the big changes we have happening at Medley this summer!

For this summer we have redesigned our Leaders In Training program. Our intent for this summer is to welcome youth ages 16+ into a three-week program that is designed to help them build basic leadership skills. The objective for the LIT program this summer, is to work toward the mission of Camp Medley, by investing in the spirituality and ability of our rising leaders.

Perhaps the most exciting addition to our LIT program this summer is Camp On The Road! We have added an additional third week to the LIT program, in which the LIT’s will be granted the opportunity to apply their newly developed skills as we travel to local churches to host a week of camp fun to the youth of the surrounding communities in the form of a day camp.

LIT’s have long been an important aspect of the Medley community, but in turn, the Medley community has been vital to the lives of many youth who have experienced the program through the years. While the LIT program has always been designed to be a fun and interactive method to teach older campers about the community here, it has developed into so much more. The LIT program is a distinct opportunity for young leaders to come and gain confidence in their own ability, and to experience the joy that is found in serving others.

Through their own determination, these up and coming leaders are able to identify the skills they have and learn how to apply them toward their own personal involvements, whether it be in a church, school, sports team, community or anything they may be involved with. LIT’s are not only taking a step toward knowing what it means to be a future staff member of Medley, but they are also preparing themselves to becoming the future leaders of our communities.

This summer we are looking to fill our spots with young leaders from your communities, who you feel could truly benefit from an opportunity like this. Please reach out to anyone you know who may be interested in finding out more about this program, as we would love to see them here.

Applications for the LIT program are available at campmedley.ca, and will be accepted at an extended date, until the end of June. We are encouraging applicants to speak with members of their church communities to aid them with the cost of the program, so to help make it affordable and accessible to everyone interested.

If you have any questions or concerns about the 2016 LIT program, please contact me, as I would love to provide further details or comments on this exciting addition to the Medley summer. I can be reached at the Camp Medley office (506) 488-2875 or by e-mail at allysoncaldwell@hotmail.com

Blessings on your Parishes and work, as you continue your ministries over the summer.

Allyson Caldwell

LIT Director, Camp Medley


Maren McLean Persaud
Director, Camp Medley
1-506-488-2069

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Bringing Life to the community