Friday, November 30, 2012

A message from the Primate on World AIDS Day

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Anglican Church of Canada November 30, 2012 -  The John Wesley Centre, a PWRDF project in South Africa, cares for children whose parents have died of HIV/AIDS.World AIDS Day confronts us with the staggering statistic that in the past 30 years more than 30 million people have died of AIDS, and that 34 million still live with HIV today. In combating HIV/AIDS we have such a long way to go. However when we can, we should celebrate progress. This year's International AIDS Conference noted considerable advances in better medication, greater access for many more people to antiretroviral therapy, and major achievements in preventing the spread of HIV at birth.

World AIDS Day is an occasion to pray for all those who live with HIV and AIDS and all who care for them. It's a day to stand in solidarity with all who put so much energy in preventing the spread of this virus through comprehensive education programs.

Through the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) our church continues its commitment to HIV/AIDS-related projects in a number of places. Our work in Keiskamma, South Africa is focussed on prevention of the transmission of HIV from mother to child. In El Salvador we support youth initiatives in preventing the spread of HIV. In Burundi we have helped build clinics for HIV/AIDS in Bujumbura and in Ramunge.

This year's Gift Guide in support of the ministries of The Anglican Church of Canada highlights a wonderful project supported through PWRDF. The John Wesley Centre in Johannesburg cares for children orphaned through the death of one or both parents to AIDS. They receive a hot meal every day. They get help with their homework and they enjoy a safe place to play. Forty dollars provides for a week of such tender loving care.

As we observe World AIDS Day this year, can I suggest that we light candles and offer prayers and that we offer gifts and light up the faces of children.

+Fred Archbishop and Primate

Help Us Support the NDG Food Depot this Saturday

At St. Philip's Church outreach is an important part of our faith. This includes our efforts in support of the NDG Food Depot. Our outreach involves tangible giving, prayer and direct involvement as volunteers. It is one of the ways we show God’s love and share the gospel.

As part of our active outreach partnership with the NDG Food Depot, we provide a dry food storage facility and share in community programs such as the annual food drive. Our church is also the drop off zone and our parishioners participate actively in door to door food collection throughout NDG.

We help raise funds and solicit food donations by hosting a community coffee house that showcases local artists. At our annual sidewalk sale we rent tables to vendors and give the proceeds to the food depot.

Everyone is invited to bring non-perishable food items to the Church this Saturday, December 1.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Relations Between Anglicans in the Old World and the New

Something very significant in the history of the Church of England happened on Saturday [March 24, 2012]. An absolute majority of dioceses in the Church of England, debating diocese by diocese, voted down a pernicious scheme called the Anglican Covenant. This was an effort to increase the power of centralising bureaucracy throughout the worldwide Anglican communion. However much the promoters denied it, the principal aim was to discipline Anglican churches in the United States and Canada, which had the gall to think for themselves and, after much prayer and discussion, to treat gay people just like anybody else.

Diocesan synods voted against the covenant, often in the face of great pressure from the vast majority of English bishops, who frequently made sure that the case for the covenant dominated proceedings. The bishops also exerted a certain amount of emotional blackmail, suggesting that if the scheme didn't pass, it would be very upsetting for the archbishop of Canterbury (cue for synod members to watch a podcast from said archbishop, looking sad even while commending the covenant).

Well, it didn't work, and now those particular bishops need to consider their position, as the saying goes. Principally, they need to consider a killer statistic: as the voting has taken place in the dioceses (and there are still a few to go), the pattern has been consistent. Around 80% of the bishops have voted in favour of the covenant, but the clergy and laity votes have split around 50-50 for and against, with votes against nudging ahead among the clergy. That suggests an episcopate that is seriously out of touch, not just with the nation as a whole (we knew that already), but even with faithful Anglican churchgoers and clergy in England.

Why should this be? Probably because bishops mostly spend their time talking to each other, or to very churchy folk whose consuming interest is internal church politics. By contrast, their clergy and laity are out there in the real world, and they know the price of a pint of milk. People in the parishes can also recognise a dodgy argument when they hear it, and the more that the friends of the covenant presented the arguments, the more dodgy they sounded. For example: to pass the covenant is absolutely vital for the Anglican communion worldwide, which will collapse without it; so you have to vote for it to prevent the end of civilisation as we know it. Oh, and actually the covenant won't change anything all that much, so it's perfectly safe to vote for. Which of those is right? Neither, to judge by the reaction of Anglican diocesan synods.

So now Anglicanism needs to move forward and forget this sorry diversion, into which many perfectly well-meaning people poured a huge amount of energy over a decade when they might have been doing something useful. Woe betide any attempt to revive it, though I notice that the secretary general of the Anglican communion (now there's an office that sounds ripe for culling) is clearly determined to keep it alive. To judge by a press statement he issued after the votes, he simply hasn't understood the scale of the catastrophe the covenant has suffered at the hands of ordinary English Anglicans.

Anglicanism has the chance to rediscover painful lessons from its chequered past. After the 16th century Reformation, Scotland, Ireland and England all had churches with bishops. All three churches wanted to monopolise every form of religious expression throughout the realm. All failed.

In the end, episcopal churches were disestablished in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, but even the established Church of England learned that it could not boss around an entire nation, and had to accept that it ministered within a country of many faiths and none. That is a precious lesson to teach its many sister churches worldwide. Try and lay down the law in that delicate, nuanced thing that is religious belief, and you end up damaging or hurting a great many people.

Anglicanism could be seen as a family: in families, you don't expect everyone to think in exactly the same way. You listen, you shout, cry, talk, compromise. You do not show the door to one member of the family, just because you don't agree with them. Now Anglicans can start listening afresh. The present archbishop of Canterbury has their warm good wishes, as he prepares to use his many talents and graces in a different setting. They should ask the next man or woman in the job to reconnect with the church and the nation.

Source: The Guardian

Justin Welby : The worldly capitalist looking to spread the Word of the Lord

Justin Welby will bring brains and bravery to the almost impossible job of Archbishop of Canterbury. When Justin Welby was asked by a Church of England interview panel why he wanted to become Bishop of Durham, he offered a rather unusual answer: he didn’t. Not really. He was quite happy as the Dean of Liverpool and working in the city. To be a churchman anywhere in Britain is to battle for hearts and minds in a rapidly secularising country – and this, Mr Welby thought, was quite enough. His friends persuaded him to apply for Durham, and he admitted that he was not wild about the idea. Such candour was always going to land him into trouble. Just over a year later, he has ended up as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

When the news broke yesterday, the broadcasters described him as an Old Etonian. But Eton alumni are like Irish pubs. You stop being surprised where they turn up. What matters is what Bishop Welby did after his teenage years: he became a successful oil executive, with a long and well-remunerated career ahead of him – then, aged 31, he swapped pay for pews.

Once installed in Durham (and, ergo, the House of Lords), he was enlisted to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, where his often excoriating interventions conferred rising-star status on the 56-year-old. Until a few days ago, Justin Welby was the most influential bishop that you’d never heard of.
Among the politicians who have come to know him over the past few months, there was celebration yesterday, and from all benches. He was invited to join the banking commission with cross-party support, as he was a capitalist who was tough on the City. “In a dark sea of thick and wholly unworldly bishops, he sparks a little,” says one MP. “Talking to the bishops in Parliament seldom leaves you with the impression that they believe in God. I think this one actually might.” The only concern was that he might be too religious for the job.

No one would question the strength of Rowan Williams’s faith. But when he joined fights, they tended to be secular ones: criticising the Government over its cuts, or giving his blessing to environmentalist campaigns. The logic of this is undeniable: that to keep its relevance in the modern world, the Church needs to insert itself into popular debates. But decline continued, each Sunday brings a new closure and the British Social Attitudes survey found that 64 per cent of people never set foot in any place of worship. Dr Williams has had to keep the Church alive in one of the least religious countries on earth.

If this were not discouraging enough, the new Archbishop will have an international flock of 80 million souls, who have very different views on gay rights and women bishops. The threat of schism hangs over the Anglican Communion. Earlier this year, an alliance of 17 archbishops and bishops from four continents – the “Global South” group – wrote to the selection panel to warn, in effect, that they didn’t want another woolly, Left-leaning academic as leader. Being sent to Lambeth Palace can be counted as one of the toughest jobs on God’s earth. Little wonder that clergy such as Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, ruled themselves out.

Had Bishop Welby spent his adult life plotting ecclesiastical preferment, he might have done the same. But his career path has zigzagged – and in the course of doing so, he has come to tick the boxes required of a modern Archbishop of Canterbury. He needs no introduction to the rising trend of persecution of Christians, having run the International Centre for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral. This sent him into harm’s way in Africa, where he was almost shot. He has been a curate in Nuneaton, wrote a book about church management and has proved a dab hand at ecclesiastical finances. But what marks him out is his lack of interest – until very recently – in Church hierarchy, and his approach to religion in general.

There are two ways of looking at the decline of Christianity in England. One is to bemoan the relentless secularisation and the supposed decay of society in general. The other is to accept that being Christian in Britain now means being part of a minority, and that the Church’s mission is to explain the Word of God to people who have grown up having never heard it. Those who know Bishop Welby place him firmly in the latter camp, and say that his mission is evangelical, and that his approach to the task was summed up by his predecessor-but-six Archbishop William Temple: “The Church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members.”

This explains the relevance of Bishop Welby’s involvement in the Alpha course, one of the most successful innovations of modern British Christianity. It is a 10-week introduction to the faith, and an evangelical movement that has attracted two million Britons so far. It started at Holy Trinity Brompton, an influential church in west London, and now goes out to prisons and council estates, bucking the general trend of religious decline. Bishop Welby is an admirer and a friend of the movement. At Liverpool, he gave his blessing to a Halloween service called “Night of the Living Dead”, in which a man jumped out of a coffin to convey the message of Resurrection.

This is the sort of stunt that can make mainstream churchgoers shudder, but the Bishop is not the type who believes that the Word of God needs to be accompanied by an electric guitar. Simply that the Church needs to think of new ways to recruit, and recognise that Christianity in Britain is now in such a state that Kenyan religious orders are sending missionaries to Salford. The Roman Catholic Church has found a demand among the young for Latin services that had been abolished following the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s. Parents who remember the “modernising” Vatican reforms of that era are amazed to see their children seek out the old Tridentine Mass.

But religious revivals always look strange, at first. As GK Chesterton observed in The Everlasting Man, any kind of Christian comeback seemed “a puzzle as well as a surprise, because it seems to most people like a river turning backwards from the sea and trying to climb back into the mountains”. Once, it was the Oxford Movement that baffled; now, it is the Alpha movement. And one of the Christians who came through Alpha is being asked by the Queen to look after the global Anglican Communion. It is a seminal moment in the Church’s history.

It is impossible to dismiss Mr Welby as a naive happy-clapper. He embodies the old saying that being a Christian does not mean leaving your brain at the church door. In Parliament he has proved a shrewd and effective interrogator of bankers, easily able to master detail.

When he attacks the excesses of the banks – as he did with brio at a conference in Switzerland last month – he does so with far more credibility because he understands global finance. He is unlikely to take sides in the global warming debate (when asked about his views on the subject, he laughs) and is political enough to know how to steer clear of politics.

Rowan Williams said his successor would need “the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros”. The eventual winner has the intellect of a financier, the acumen of a politician, the faith of an evangelical and the courage of an African peace negotiator. The challenge facing the established Church is huge. But in the quiet, self-effacing Justin Welby, it has found just the man.

Source: The Telegraph 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Archbishop of Canterbury: Justin Welby, the oil executive who heard God calling

An Eton-educated former oil company executive, the Rt Rev Justin Welby has been tipped for some time as a future head of the Church of England and spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion.

The 56-year-old cleric is known for his courage and deeply-held faith, and his experience in business is viewed as bringing the Church of England greater credibility in public debate about ethics in the worlds of finance and the City.

Bishop Welby, who read law and history at Trinity College, Cambridge, began his career in the oil industry based in Paris and London, where he worked on West African - mainly Nigerian - and North Sea projects.
He became a group treasurer in a company called Enterprise Oil, before resigning in 1987 after 11 years in the industry to train for the Anglican priesthood.

''I was unable to get away from a sense of God calling,'' he said in an interview.

He was made a deacon in 1992 after training for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham where he took a degree in theology, serving later as a curate in Nuneaton in the Coventry Diocese.

At Coventry Cathedral he became involved in conflict resolution and peace building in war-torn areas around the world, continuing this work after he was made Dean of Liverpool in 2007.
Bishop Welby marks the first anniversary of his enthronement as Bishop of Durham, the fourth most important post in the Church of England, later this month.

On the evangelical wing of the Church of England, he is known for his sense of humour and self-deprecating manner.

Asked in a Guardian interview in July for his comment after he was tipped as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Welby said that he did not want the job: ''Let's be clear, I'm one of the thicker bishops in the Church of England,'' he said.

His modest, unassuming manner and decision to opt for clerical black rather than bishop's purple belie a colourful family background.

His father was a businessman who traded in whisky during the prohibition years in America and then became an executive for a company that survived the alcohol ban by selling communion wine. He was later to move in the same circles as the Kennedy family.

Bishop Welby's mother was Winston Churchill's private secretary. He is also related to Rab Butler, the former Conservative deputy prime minister - Sir Montagu Butler was Rab Butler's father and also the father of Bishop Welby's grandmother.

Bishop Welby and his wife Caroline have had six children, one of whom - their seven-month-old daughter and first-born, Johanna - died in a car crash in France in 1983.

''It was a very dark time for my wife Caroline and myself, but in a strange way it actually brought us closer to God,'' he said in an interview.

Bishop Welby served for two years as chairman of an NHS hospital trust and was appointed in July to the parliamentary commission on banking standards investigating the Libor scandal.

He has maintained his interest in conflict resolution work and has made frequent and often dangerous trips to Nigeria as part of this work. His extensive knowledge of the Anglican Communion, including Nigeria, is expected to stand him in good stead as Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion.

During a General Synod debate about the plight of persecuted Christians in Nigeria, it was revealed that Bishop Welby had a narrow escape on a recent visit to the country.

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said: ''My heart is in my mouth every time he goes to Nigeria.''
Bishop Welby has listed ''most things French'' and sailing as his hobbies.

Source: The Telegraph 

Friday, November 23, 2012

The New Anglican Archbishop Says Church of England will have Women Bishops

The next archbishop of Canterbury is confident he will consecrate a female bishop, he said on Thursday, two days after the Church ofEngland voted against allowing women to become bishops.

Bishops and clergy on Tuesday in the General Synod, the Church legislature, comfortably backed the change but lay members were four votes short of a two-thirds majority.

"Its clear that woman are going to be bishops in the Church of England," said Justin Welby, who will take over from Rowan Williams as the spiritual leader of the Anglican wing of world Christianity at the end of the year.

"It was a pretty grim day for the whole church. There is a lot to be done but I am absolutely confident that at some point I will consecrate a woman bishop," Welby said during a visit to promote religious reconciliation in Nigeria, which has the world's biggest mixed Christian-Muslim population.

Women already serve as Anglican bishops in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, but Anglican churches in many developing countries oppose any female clergy and are working together to shield themselves against such reforms.

The Church of England finds itself somewhere in the middle, struggling to reconcile the views of reformers and traditionalists. The measure cannot now be approved for at least five years.

Welby, an experienced conflict negotiator, drew the loudest applause on Tuesday when he urged members to compromise and vote for the measure, citing bloody conflicts in the Middle East and Africa as examples of what intractable differences can lead to.

He was in Nigeria to launch a program to strengthen ties between Christians and Muslims, being run by former British prime minister Tony Blair's foundation. Blair was also present.

Welby said he had visited Nigeria 75 times. Welby worked in the oil industry in the 1980s, but has also visited Nigeria as a cleric.

Islamist sect Boko Haram has killed hundreds this year in northern Nigeria in its fight to impose Islamic or Sharia law on the West African country, whose population of 160 million people is split evenly between Christians and Muslims.

Welby has experience of negotiating with militants in the southern oil-producing Niger Delta swamps and with Islamists in the north during his 34 years visiting Nigeria.

But he said the skills he learned in Nigeria that will be most useful in his new role were humor and patience.

"Nigerians bring humor into everything they do," Welby said, before telling a famous joke among Nigerians about the defunct state-power company to raucous laughter from the audience of local media, religious figures and diplomats.

"Their combination of determination and energy and patience, but with this terrific good humor, is something we need to take with us for the issues we're facing."

Source: Reuters

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Church of England Rejects Women Bishops

The General Synod of the Church of England has voted to reject the draft legislation to allow women to become bishops.

Under the requirements of the Synod the legislation required a two-thirds majority in each of the three voting houses for final draft approval. Whilst more than two thirds voted for the legislation in both the House of Bishops (44-03) and the House of Clergy (148-45), the vote in favour of the legislation in the House of Laity was less than two-thirds (132-74). The vote in the House of Laity fell short of approval by six votes.
In total 324 members of the General Synod voted to approve the legislation and 122 voted to reject it.
The consequence of the "no" vote of terminating any further consideration of the draft legislation means that it will not be possible to introduce draft legislation in the same terms until a new General Synod comes into being in 2015, unless the 'Group of Six' (the Archbishops, the Prolocutors and the Chair and Vice Chair of the House of Laity) give permission and report to the Synod why they have done so.
Speaking after the vote the Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, said: "A clear majority of the General Synod today voted in favour of the legislation to consecrate women as Bishops. But the bar of approval is set very high in this Synod. Two-thirds of each house has to approve the legislation for it to pass. This ensures the majority is overwhelming. The majority in the house of laity was not quite enough. This leaves us with a problem. 42 out of 44 dioceses approved the legislation and more than three quarters of members of diocesan synods voted in favour. There will be many who wonder why the General Synod expressed its mind so differently.
"The House of Bishops recognises that the Church of England has expressed its mind that women should be consecrated as bishops. There is now an urgent task to find a fresh way forward to which so many of those who were opposed have pledged themselves."
The House of Bishops of the Church of England will meet at 8.30am on Wednesday morning in emergency session to consider the consequences of the vote.
Exact voting figures will be found here

Source: Anglican Journal

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mile End Mission: White Gift Sunday

One of the ways in which St Philip's makes a difference in Montreal is by working with the Mile End Community Mission. The Mission began 21 years ago as a continuation of the community outreach ministry of the Church of the Ascension, which was closing.

The Mission serves the Mile End neighbourhood with a food bank, clothing boutique, legal clinic, community meals, art therapy, public access computers and other services.

Every year St Philip's assists with the Mission's community Christmas party, helping to make sure they have enough gifts for everyone. Last year we delivered about 10 bags of toys.

White Gift Sunday is Sunday, December 2. Please bring an unwrapped child's toy or "stocking stuffers" for women.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Another Success for St. Philip's Church Annual Bazaar

St. Philip's Church held its annual bazaar on Saturday, November 10th in Montreal West. The bazaar is a long-standing tradition and by all accounts the 2012 event was a resounding success.

Attendance was excellent. There was a large crowd that had gathered even before the doors opened at 10. Throughout the event the hall was filled with bargain hunters and other good people.

The tables displayed an abundance of lovely items including toys and books. The bake table was especially popular this year, selling out their considerable inventory well before the event came to an end. Almost all of the items for sale were donated by church members.

The Men's Lunch went very well and we managed to sit 120 people over the course of two hours. Special mention goes out to Andrew who put together a delicious and hearty soup that got rave reviews from those who had the pleasure of sampling it.

All of the proceeds from the bazaar went back to the church.

We were blessed with good weather but most of all we had a chance to enjoy excellent fellowship.

The event was made possible thanks to the time energy and effort of many volunteers. Many thanks to the volunteers and to everyone who attended.

See you next year!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Primate Reflects on Remembrance Day

The following is a Remebrance Day reflection delivered by Archbishop Fred Hiltz at the Cenotaph, Charlottetown P.E.I.

In this solemn hour of remembrance, we honour all those who have endured the horrors of war and given their lives in the cause of regaining and securing peace in the world.

In their memory we are gathered. Colours are dipped, a sacred silence is observed, and wreaths are laid.

We also honour all those who have returned from war — our many veterans. We honour their sacrifice as well and we thank them for their resolve in helping us to be grateful Canadians, never forgetting the great sacrifice that is the cost of the freedom we enjoy.

We recognize all our men and women in uniform today — in the Regular and the Reserve Forces. We give thanks for their calling, commitment, and courage in the wide range of operations for which they are deployed in the interests of national defence and international security. We remember their families and the sacrifices they make when their loved ones are far from home.

We pray for world leaders, that they and all others take counsel for the sake of peace within and among the nations. Pray with me that in all their deliberations they may be guided by God's will for good will and peace among all peoples.

Today we pause to remember. May all who died in war rest in peace. May all our veterans receive the respect and care we owe them. May all in uniform who serve our country and the freedom of the whole world know of our pride in them and of our prayers for them.

Fred Hiltz

Friday, November 9, 2012

Justin Welby the New Archbishop of Canterbury

Nov. 9, 2012--The Queen has nominated the Right Reverend Justin Welby, MA, Hon FCT, the Lord Bishop of Durham, for election by the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury in the place of the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Rowan Douglas Williams, MA DPhil DD FBA, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan.

Justin Welby (aged 56) was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. After a career in the oil industry in Paris and London, he trained for the ministry at Cranmer Hall and St John's College Durham. He served his title at Chilvers Coton with Astley, Coventry diocese from 1992 to 1995. From 1995 to 2002 he was Rector of Southam and also Vicar of Ufton, Coventry diocese from 1998 to 2002. From 2002 to 2007 he was Canon Residentiary at Coventry Cathedral; and was Co-Director for International Ministry from 2002 to 2005. From 2005 to 2007 he was Sub-Dean at Coventry Cathedral and also Canon for Reconciliation Ministry and in 2007 was also Priest-in-Charge at Coventry Holy Trinity. From 2007 to 2011 he was Dean of Liverpool. Since 2011 he has been the Bishop of Durham.

From 2000 to 2002 he was Chairman of an NHS Hospital Trust, and he currently also serves on the Committee of Reference for the ethical funds of a large investment company in the City of London. He is also a member of the Banking Standards Commission.

Source: Anglican Communion News Service

Archbishop of Canterbury: "My successor needs a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other"

Nov. 7, 2012--Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said today that his successor was going to have to map the Biblical vision of humanity and community onto the worst situations in society.

Speaking at the final media conference after the end of the Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealand, Archbishop Williams said the issues discussed at the meeting--including environmental change and ending domestic violence--were "actually questions about what kind of humanity we're seeking to promote and serve, which is a deeply Christian question."

He said he thought that when people were probing the church on certain issues, they were actually asking how the church could help them "be really human".

"We believe as a church we have unparalleled resources for enriching humanity that way."

In response to a question about what qualities the next Archbishop of Canterbury needs to have, he quoted Karl Barth who he described as "the greatest theologian of the 20th century."

"I think it was put very well by a theologian of the last century who said, 'You have to preach with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other'.

"You have to be cross-referencing all the time and saying 'How does the vision of humanity and community that's put before us in the Bible map onto these issues of poverty, privation, violence and conflict?' And you have to use what you read in the newspaper to prompt and direct the questions that you put to the Bible: 'Where is this going to help me?'

"So [regarding the qualities of his successor] I think somebody who likes reading the Bible and likes reading newspapers would be a good start!"

In this last ever press conference as the President of the ACC, The Archbishop of Canterbury also told the gathered media that the members of the ACC had had "a really quite remarkably constructive couple of weeks together."

In answer to questions from the media about the progress that ACC made over their time at Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral, Abp Williams mentioned, among other topics, the resolution regarding the protocols for Christian witness in a plural world. The resolution had been endorsed by the ACC that morning.

"We don't manipulate, we don't bully, we don't undermine; we try to engage in dialogue, and it would have been good to have bit more time to anchor that in specific situations...but everybody knows the difficulties in certain situations, in Nigeria, in Sri Lanka where the church is up against very violent opposition sometimes. But even so we wanted affirm those principles."

He said that the pattern of the ACC meeting, held between 27 October and today (7 November) had been about drawing up a "policy picture for the Communion as well as some quite intensive work on where it's going to be practical in regions and nations."

Source: Anglican Communion News Service

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Greening of Anglican Churches in Canada

The Anglican Church of Canada is taking steps towards a green revolution it hopes will sweep across 1,700 parishes nationwide. The Partners in Mission and Eco-justice (PMEJ) of General Synod will launch a national database this year to provide information on eco-friendly and energy-efficient Canadian Anglican parishes, including how they became green. It is hoped that sharing their stories will help other parishes to do the same.

“We want to celebrate and reward parishes [which] have accomplished reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ken Gray, former member of General Synod's eco-justice committee and the Canadian church representative to the Anglican Communion Environment Network. “We want to acknowledge those parishes [which] have done energy audits. We’d also like to…track their progress over time and encourage [them] to take the next step. By publishing the data, we’d also like to encourage other parishes to take initial steps.” Gray estimates there are about 100 Anglican parishes that have taken steps to become better stewards of the environment.

The database is part of the Greening Anglican Spaces project initiated by PMEJ in response to a 2010 General Synod resolution on climate justice. That resolution included a call for all Anglican parishes to make their buildings more energy-efficient and to help members “lessen their ecological footprint and pursue more sustainable ways of  life.”

To help parishes go green, PMEJ has enlisted the help of Faith & the Common Good, a national organization that encourages inter-faith action on social and environmental concerns. FCG pioneered the Greening Sacred Spaces program in Canada, which provides faith communities with tools and resources to help them plan the greening of their facilities.

Ted Reeve, executive director of FCG, said there are about 500 houses of worship that have participated in the Greening Sacred Spaces program. The FCG’s goal is to increase this number to 3,000 by 2013. That is equivalent to 10 per cent of religious buildings in Canada, which Reeve hopes “will have a multiplier effect on other religious communities to step up and be symbols of change in their community.”

Reeve said parishes should not be deterred by the initial cost of having an energy audit, and later, a retrofit. “We have enough case studies to demonstrate the kind of savings that between three to ten years, depending on the size of the retrofit, you would have paid it off and then you’re good for another 30 to 40 years of savings,” he said. (The cost of an energy audit provided by the FCG is $500 for buildings under 600m2/6,500ft2. Additional charges apply for larger or multiple buildings.)

There are parishes that have devised innovative ways of raising money, including the issuance of bonds, he said. There are also banks that provide financing to faith communities for environment-related projects.

There used to be a federal rebate program for energy conservation projects, but that was scrapped when the Conservative government came to power. “That’s something we should be pushing our government to do, step up” its support for environment-friendly initiatives, said Reeve.

Gray and Reeve, who recently briefed General Synod staff about the database initiative, said they are also hoping to use a resource from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which allows houses of worship to track their energy use and its associated greenhouse gas emissions, and provides suggestions for improvements. This tool also allows them to receive an energy performance rating, with the most energy efficient receiving the Energy Star rating.

There are about 370,000 worship facilities in the U.S. and they spend more than $3 billion annually on energy costs. “Improving the energy efficiency of America's houses of worship by just 10 percent would save nearly 2 billion kilowatt-hours each year, preventing more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and representing a cost savings of about $315 million annually,” said an EPA press statement. (There is not data on the total energy consumption of houses of worship in Canada.)

Gray acknowledged that the greening of churches would not, on its own, solve global warming. “We all would like government to set measurable goals and realistic, binding targets. There’s a refusal at the federal level to do so and in most provincial jurisdictions,” he said. “Greening Anglican Spaces shares the desire of many [for the church] to speak with a clear and prophetic voice to policy makers here in Canada but we know we have to strengthen our position.” He said that one reason for gathering “tangible data that is accessible and transparent to all is to strengthen our case with government, in saying, we got our house in order, at least partially, therefore can you take us a bit more seriously?”

The secularization of Canada has also meant that “the place of the church in economic and political discourse is probably quite different that what it was in the 1970s,”said Gray. “We need to be innovative in our justice advocacy…”

He added that Canadians, Anglicans included, “are going to have to accept a new kind of economy that is less-based on fossil fuels…” But, he said, “It’s hard to get people to pay attention let alone change their way of living.”

World economies, including Canada, have to acknowledge that “its business as usual economic practice is causing environmental destruction and is continuing to allow us to live lifestyles which are ecologically and economically unsustainable,” he said.

Source: Anglican Journal

Saturday, November 3, 2012

St. Philip's Church Annual Christmas Bazaar

St. Philip’s Church is pleased to announce its annual Christmas Bazaar which will be taking place on Saturday, November 10th from 10 am to 2 pm.

There will be a host of delicious homemade items including baked goods, scrumptious candy & fudge, and sweet jellies & jams. There will also be knitted sweaters & scarves, linens, one-of-a-kind antiques, books, jewelery, videos, CD’s, puzzles, and many other household items suitable for a variety of tastes and budgets.

A delicious meal will also be served. The hearty soup and sandwich lunch will be prepared and served by the men of the parish.

Come early for best selection and stay late to sample all of the treasures and fellowship brought to you by the people of St. Philip’s.

Parishioners will be welcoming the community into the Memorial Hall which is located at 7505 Sherbrooke St. West. We look forward to seeing you there!

- Mark Reimer

Friday, November 2, 2012

Operation Christmas Child

Once again this year, St Philip's is participating in Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse. Participating members fill a shoe box with school supplies, toys and hygiene items, and label the box for the age and sex for whom the gift is appropriate. The shoeboxes are brought to the church, and a pile grows in front of the altar. We then take them to the local collection centre, from there they head off to a developing country somewhere in the world.

Working with local missionaries and churches, Samaritan's Purse distributes the boxes to children in inner-city slums, impoverished villages and refugee camps.

For the last several years, St Philip's has annually collected between 80 and 100 shoeboxes. Members of all ages get involved. Shirley Aubin knits little stuffed animals, just the right size to fit in the shoeboxes, and sells them to other parishioners for $1, the proceeds going to the church. Some members fill one shoebox; others prepare 3 or more.

This year's collection Sunday is November 18. Shoeboxes can be picked up at the church, or you can be creative and wrap a shoebox that you have sitting around the house.

- Rev. J.B. Pratt