Hi everyone. This Thursday evening is an open meeting for our deanery at St Pauls Hampton, following through on the theme of BELLS, which we examined through Lent this year. Jonathan has been invited to be the speaker and to share some of his insights. It really is an opportunity through worship, teaching and hopefully ministry for the Lord to move across the anglican churches in our area. Jonathan is inviting you to attend to be a help in setting the tone in worship, or to keep the evening in prayer, asking the Lord for breakthrough. The meeting begins at 7pm.


My thoughts on the coming change in Canon law regarding the definition of marriage

Here is are my thoughts as I processed what we talked about at our table during the clergy day.

I believe that I have had some progressive revelation about this matter and have shared some of it with you and some directly with Fred. One more recent though that I just had this morning is around “Scripture, Reason, and Tradition” Why is it not “Scripture, Spirit and Reason” Herein we may find our problem. If we are excluding the work of the spirit in discerning the way forward, it is no wonder that we are stuck. I believe any thinking anglican understands that we are at an impasse that can’t be overcome by human wisdom. I submit the following that I believe might be a pathway to receiving some revelation and wisdom from the Lord.

That we recognize the grace of what happened in the last general synod; in that both sides experienced both a win and a loss. How often has a motion with such emotional magnitude been overturned by a recount. While most commentators have termed this a devastating turn of events, I not so sure. My opinion is that this is nothing other than the grace of God. Because of this experience, both the Yea’s and Nay’s have experienced exultant victory and devastating defeat. In other words everyone knows how everyone else might feel. The consensus is however that is twas an error and we simply move on from it. My assertion is that thought this may well have been human error it was used by the God to make a point. The point is “Do not use legislative means to address doctrine or matters of major change in the church” We have all read the story in acts by which the 11 remaining apostles made the choice for the new 12th apostle. The set some parameters and then they prayed, then they drew lots! There are of course instances where it was the “teaching” of the apostles or elders that decided matters. I really do not believe that voting on matters of this divisive weight has any business in our body.

We should press in to the heart of god and ask what does this mean. If any of you lack wisdom he should ask God! We all know this verse, but I fail to see that this has been done. We seem to be relying on human wisdom and social engineering to get this issue sorted. There must be a better way. I call on the church to confess failure and ask for the mercy of God to help us maintain unity with Christ. Surely there is work we can do in this area that will take our minds off these works of the flesh.

Could it mean that we should step back from from legislation as a means to move forward My suggestion that I have made to you and the primate remains. Remove the Cannon on Marriage completely. Many other things are decided in the church by Bishops directives and by proper discernment. We need more help from the Spirit and we are blocking that by using voting to make decisions. What would be the effect of removing the canon (how many n’s in canon?) on marriage. Is there a way that we can “walk this thing back” It is a bit like cornering a Grizzly bear…. You are not going to be able to talk your way through this one!

Shift our focus to the highest best things to be doing in the kingdom. Ie. love the lord your god with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. If we spent our time doing the do’s then we would not have the attention span to give to these areas that bring so much conflict.

Rector of Renforth


Easter Letter and Brunch

Below is the text of my Easter Letter to you all.   Also remember that we have a special time in-between the services this week to have brunch together.   9:30-10:30

Greetings in this joyous season of the Resurrection.   When Jesus rises from death and then subsequently ascends to heaven and also sends back the person of the Holy Spirit, the main movements of the christian faith all come a wonderful completeness.   


The story began with the creation of the world through god’s speaking, followed by the distortion of the fall and the struggle of humans to discover truth and meaning.   Through the writings and the prophets, revelation began to lay down a rich background and understanding of the heart of the creator. When Jesus comes on the scene he does so in such a way that anyone can access him.    It is his humility and his love that make him so attractive to us.


We have been reminded in this season of Lent however of the frailty and brokenness of the creation.      This all comes to a dramatic moment in the death of Jesus upon the cross. It is not a long time, but it is a very dark time; the three days in the tomb,  that are the very hinge point of human history. What emerges then, is a revelation that, whether you personally believe it or not, has changed the nature of all of creation.    With the resurrection of Jesus the perspective and relationship that is available to us is completely changed. And there is more! The holy spirit is being poured out to anyone who desires it.    


This is the age that we now live in.    An age where relationship with the three persons of the trinity is not only possible, but normal.   We gain a depth of understanding the heart and activity of God Himself and are forever linked to divine nature.    All the riches of His creation are available to us now.


Jesus came so that we could be saved, healed and delivered, filled, equipped and sent out.  


Eric Phinney


Rector of Renforth – The Day of Resurrection 2018


Retirement Statement March 18, 2018

Mark Twain is understood to have said:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

This may be the worst kept secret, but today Val and I would like to announce that we will retire from Parish of Renforth at the end of August this year.

Our last Sunday will be July 29th followed by our Vacation time.

August will be spent packing up and putting things in storage.

Val and I have thought and talked about doing a sailing adventure for awhile so early September we will set out on an extended Cruise on our boat “TEVAH” sailing down the eastern seaboard to Florida and then across the gulf stream to the Bahamas, where we will spend the winter.

Looking back over the past 20 years, our time here at St. James the less, has been rich with relationship, faith, the word of God and mission. We will always cherish the growth that we have seen in so many of you and ourselves over the years. We have celebrated together , we have grieved together, we have explored the Kingdom of God together and now it is time for something new.

Click here for Eric and Val’s Travel Blog


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