Saturday, June 29, 2013

Together for the Love of the World: Joint Assembly at the Ottawa Convention Centre

The Joint Assembly will be held at the Ottawa Convention Centre, just a short walk from the Parliament buildings. More than 800 Anglicans, Lutherans, and partners will gather at the Ottawa Convention Centre July 3 to 7, 2013, for a historic joint national meeting.

Inspired by the theme "Together for the love of the world," members of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada will gather for worship and decision-making on areas of shared work, including mission and development.

Several key events will highlight the churches' commitment to God's mission in the world. Anglicans and Lutherans will be invited to make statements on two priority social justice issues: affordable housing and responsible resource extraction. On July 6, Anglican and Lutheran youth from Ottawa are to lead people at the assembly to Parliament Hill where they will participate in an act of public witness and worship.

The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada share a unique "full communion" relationship. In the 2001 Waterloo Declaration the churches recognized their shared heritage and future. They share in the Eucharist, use each other's liturgies, and Anglican and Lutheran clergy may serve interchangeably in either church.

In a welcoming letter on the Joint Assembly website, www.jointassembly.ca, the co-chairs of the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission, the Very Rev. Peter Wall and Bishop Michael Pryse, celebrate the Anglican-Lutheran collaboration that has happened in the 12 years since the Waterloo Declaration:
"Our bishops meet together regularly; congregations, conferences, deaneries, dioceses, and synods all live out our Lord's fervent wish ‘that they all may be one.'

"It is therefore with a real sense of excitement that we approach this first-ever joint national gathering."
Select parts of Joint Assembly will be held separately, including elections and discussions about specific church business such as governance. Both churches will use electronic voting technology for on-the-floor elections and polls.

Guests at Joint Assembly include keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. Christopher Duraisingh, Episcopal Divinity School; the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches; the Rev. Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation; the Rev. Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director for Unity, Faith, and Order, Anglican Communion; the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion; Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Friday, June 28, 2013

Celebration of the Communion Between Anglican, Episcopal and Evangelical Lutheran Churches of the US and Canada

Here is a joint declaration from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
_________________________

June 29, 2013 - Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. On this day when we commemorate the two "pillars of the church"—the apostles Peter and Paul—the heads of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada are issuing "A Word to the Churches."

This joint declaration comes just a few days before the four North American church leaders will gather with hundreds of other Anglicans and Lutherans at the first Joint Assembly of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, an example of how our churches are drawing closer together in full communion.

"A Word to the Churches" celebrates the fruits of a dozen years of full communion between Episcopalians and Lutherans in the United States and between Anglicans and Lutherans in Canada. It also points to a number of ways in which our churches could be working still more collaboratively in mission and ministry, both within our respective countries and across the international boundary.

To read the full text of "A Word to the Churches," click here.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An Interview with the Rev. James B. Pratt: Musician, Attorney and Priest

Here is another installment of the “Meet The Community” interview series. Through this series we invite you to get to know the people that comprise our community at St. Philip's Church. As part of this series we will be interviewing different people in the church in a mixed media format which will include text interviews and videos. The series will have no specific schedule, but we intend to do a couple of interviews per month. 

In this interview, St. Philip's own Father Jim (aka the Rev. James Pratt) recounts his early religious life and his education. He also discusses his personal story about how he became an Anglican priest and he reflects on his work as a corporate attorney. 
_________________________________

Richard: Could you give us a brief synopsis of your religious experience?

Father Jim: Growing up I don't remember much about Sunday School except that I preferred being upstairs in the church rather than downstairs in Sunday School because I liked the music. In high school my family had drifted away from the church though I was taking piano lessens from the church organist and I joined the hand bell choir. So the only time that I was went to church was when the hand bell choir was playing maybe once a month. But during that time I went to a Roman Catholic high school so I had religion as part of the curriculum there. It was during my senior year in high school, the second semester of my senior year I was exposed to spiritual direction with one of the nuns. That really was the beginning of an intimate personal relationship with God. From there I went on to university and looking to develop my relationship [with God] I became involved with the Episcopal church. I became active in the Church went on Encounter which is the youth version of a retreat. I also became involved in leadership which gave me a chance to explore my faith with others who were like minded.

Richard: What is it that attracted you to law and where did you study?

Father Jim:  My interest in the law started back in high school, one high school teacher in particular steered me in that direction...[I thought] it would be a way to use my abilities...I grew up in a family where education was valued.  This view coalesced as I completed my undergraduate degree in economics.  I studied at the University of Chicago and I really enjoyed the law school experience, particularly the very rigorous academics. Part of the philosophy of the Law School at [the University of] Chicago was the interaction of the law with other disciplines. I was particularly interested in looking at how the law interacts and involves other aspects of society.

Richard: Could you tell us a bit about your experience practicing law?

Father Jim: After I graduated from law school I went back to my home town of Boston and joined a mid-sized firm in downtown Boston practicing in the corporate and real-estate department dealing with everything from residential deals to multi-million dollar corporate real-estate deals. While I enjoyed practicing law and did fairly well at it, I was also active in my local parish, as a member ot the choir, lay reader, clerk of the Vestry, warden, scout master and volunteer worker. The Parish was where my heart was.

Richard: How did you go from being active in the church to committing your life to being a priest?

Father Jim: It certainly was not a Damascus Road experience. In my senior year of college going into the ministry first entered my mind, but I was already well into the law school application process. So I just shoved it into the back of my mind, graduated from law school and quickly joined the choir. I don't remember how it came about but the priest asked me if I would be the officiate at evensong. Afterwards one of the church elders asked me if I was studying to be a minister. From there one of the parents of the boy scouts on a camping trip with us asked if I was in the ministry (they did not know that I was a lawyer). Other members of the parish also said that I should be a priest. So I had to start listening to their voices because God was telling me something. Then the priest sat down with me and said I think you really need to consider this. So that started really a process of several years thinking about it praying about it and talking to other people about it asking why do you think I should be a priest. Listening to God and tgrying to hear what God was saying to me.

Richard: That is fascinating, perhaps you could tell us a little bit more about that. You describe your relationship to God as being heard in the voices of other people. I think a lot of our readers would be interested in knowing more about that.

Father Jim: People often talk to God and ask God for things. I think it is important to realize that prayer should be a conversation, part of which involves listening to God. It is not only in that time of quiet with God, hearing voices. God does not always speak to us that way. Being aware of how God speaks to us through other people and through the events of our lives. Most of us don't see the burning bush like Moses and have the burning bush talk to us. Most of us are not like the disciples on the shores of Galilee where Jesus comes us and says "come follow me." God talks to us in a much more subtle ways. Even in the Bible, God did not talk directly to David so much but talked through Nathan and through others. So I think we need to listen around us for the messages that God is giving us.

Richard: How has your legal background helped you as a priest?

Father Jim: All the legal education and the years in legal practice were not a waste of time for me. I think it comes back to part of the legal training and the problem solving and understanding people's problems. I found that very early when I was a student intern in ministry visiting an elderly couple who were very distressed because they were filing for bankruptcy. Being able, from a legal perspective, to know what that was all about, to know both the stigma that they felt and to able to talk to them about it as a fresh start. I explained to them that one of the purposes of the bankruptcy court is to wipe the slate clean and get people out from under their burdens. I am able to combine my experience in the law with theological reflection. Being able to make that connection [between law and theology] enables me to offer hope and comfort.

Richard: You have been talking about the ways in which your law experience has helped you as a priest. Has being a priest impacted your perception of the law and the legal profession?

Father Jim: Yes. I think sometimes the legal profession can be all about money and winning. That was one of the things that I did not like about it; clients who wanted to win at all costs. Very often I would look at problem as how do we not necessarily win a total victory but how do we accomplish the goals to make it a win-win situation so that everybody gets out of it something that they want.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Archbishop Fred Hiltz on the Flood in Southern Alberta

The following is a June 22, 2013 letter to the Diocese of Calgary from the Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, on the floods affecting Southern Alberta. (If you wish to help click here).
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Dear Friends:

With countless other Canadians I have been following the news of the record-breaking floods in communities across Southern Alberta. It is frightening to see waters rising at such rapid rates and to see rivers overflowing their banks at such a pace. Many people are traumatized by these events. As others have said it is unbelievable to see the downtown core of a city like Calgary silenced by a lack of power, and the need for people to evacuate.

It is good to read that many who have been forced to leave their homes are able to stay with family and friends. It is also good to know that in true Albertan spirit, those who have nowhere to go are being housed in temporary shelters and that entire communities are coming forward to help with food, bedding, medical care and friendship.

In this difficult time I assure you of the prayers of our Church across Canada. With you, I thank God for emergency personnel engaged in search and rescue, the Red Cross and the Canadian Forces who are assisting them and I pray for their safety. I have no doubt that some people are living in fear for those seen to be carried away by the floods and who remain missing. Already we know that a few families will be grieving the loss of loved ones. As we hold them in prayer, let us also remember those who seek to provide support and counsel. I think as well of clergy who will be drawing communities together, praying for the waters to recede and for the success of recovery operations and the labours of city officials, public servants and town managers to restore the flooded areas.

Please know my heart pours out to one and all. May God give you strength to meet the days ahead and hope to see beyond them.

I am,

Sincerely yours,

+Fred

Fred J. Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate

Friday, June 21, 2013

Video - Indigenous Young People at Sacred Circle 2012


By Jesse Hair, General Synod Web Writer
Young people attending last summer's Sacred Circle in Pinawa, Man., did something unusual: with the help of adult leaders and General Synod staff, they made a video reflecting on seven traditional Indigenous teachings and on how those teachings connect to their own Christian faith.

Young people from across Canada took on many different roles to make this project a reality-from supplying artwork and doing editing work, to appearing in the video itself. They then polished the video for several months so that it could be shared with church at large.

The result is a video that gives a sense of the real people involved in making it, as well a lesson in the connections between Indigenous wisdom and Christian faith.

"I hope it draws more youth into being a part of what we have within these Sacred Circles and to . . . get back into the roots of how it was before," said Dixie Bird of Montreal Lake, Sask., facilitator for the youth video. "I hope that the youth know it's not just a video, that it's actually us and how we live in today's day and age, that they feel proud of it and proud of our accomplishments."

The video features young people (and their youth ministry leaders) from across Canada, each presenting one of the seven traditional teachings-Love, Peace, Trust, Faith, Kindness, Forgiveness, and Respect-and talking about how these connect to their own lives and identities as Indigenous Canadians.

The Rev. Canon Ginny Doctor, Indigenous Ministries coordinator for General Synod, got the ball rolling. "We were going to Sacred Circle, and we had a LOT of young people registered. I thought it would be good to give them a challenge . . . and so the challenge was that they use their creativity to produce their thoughts and their answers to the questions we were asking at Sacred Circle.

DVD copies of Walking the Dream are available from the Indigenous Ministries office for a suggested donation of $10. Contact Teresa Mandricks by email (mailto:tmandricks@national.anglican.ca), or by phone at 416 924 9199, ext. 247.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz on National Aboriginal Day: Walking with Indigenous Peoples is a High priority for our Church.

Fred Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate

As National Aboriginal Day, June 21st is marked across the country there will be many gatherings and feasts. People will assemble in community centres, city squares, and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Sacred fires will be kindled and the seven sacred teachings – love, respect, humility, truth, honesty, courage and wisdom -- will be celebrated. Stories will be told, and prayers will be offered in the four directions.

Walking with Indigenous Peoples is a high priority for our church. This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the apology offered by then-Primate Archbishop Michael Peers in which he expressed how sorry we are for our part in the sad legacy of the Indian Residential Schools in Canada, from our complicity with a federal government policy of assimilation of the First Nations Peoples of this land, to the abuse of children in the schools. At that time Michael said “I know that words without actions are empty.” He set our church on the course of a long journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and to that journey we remain deeply committed.

Through the Anglican Healing Fund our Church has supported almost 500 community based projects across Canada, with grants totalling almost $5 million. I say this not to boast but to give an example of our commitment to action. As Esther Wesley, Co-ordinator of the Healing Fund says, “Healing is happening in many places”.

Our church is fully engaged in supporting the mandate of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission -- to hear, record and preserve the story of the residential schools. Good numbers of Anglicans continue to attend the community, regional, and national events. With other churches we are assisting with travel costs for survivors to attend these gatherings, and the birthday celebration -- now a highlight at each national event. Together we are making gestures of reconciliation and hope for new relations between aboriginal peoples and all others who call this land home.

At General Synod in 2010 our church repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery and endorsed the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We are endeavouring to honour the desires of Indigenous Peoples for self-determination with respect to leaderships in ministry and structures for the church that are in keeping with aboriginal ways. We now have a Canon for National Indigenous Ministries, enshrining into the fabric of our church the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) and the triennial gathering of the Sacred Circle.

We give continued thanks for the ministry of the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop, Mark MacDonald. We rejoice with dioceses that have taken steps in creating area missions, electing indigenous bishops, and the birthing of a new diocese in Northern Ontario.

The year 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Covenant -- A Journey of Spiritual Renewal. There will be much to celebrate and much to look forward to in our commitment to journey together in re-shaping our church in ways that reflect mutual respect, support, and encouragement in the service of the Gospel.
National Aboriginal Day is a call to repentance and renewal, healing and hope, the new love and the new life to which Christ calls us.

To mark this day I encourage use of the Propers for National Aboriginal Day adopted by General Synod in 2010. I ask your prayers for Bishop Mark MacDonald; for the Rev. Ginny Doctor, the Co-ordinator for Indigenous Ministries, Archdeacon Sidney Black and the Rev. Norman Casey, co-chairs of ACIP, and for all bishops, priests, deacons, lay readers and catechists serving among Indigenous Peoples in northern communities and in the downtown core of many of Canada’s largest cities. Pray for steadfastness in our commitments to “journey together in partnership.”

Collect of the Day

Creator God,
from you every family in heaven and earth takes its name.
You have rooted and grounded us
in your covenant love,
and empowered us by your Spirit
to speak the truth in love,
and to walk in your way towards justice and wholeness.
Mercifully grant that your people,
journeying together in partnership,
may be strengthened and guided
to help one another to grow into the full stature of Christ,
who is our light and our life.

Amen

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wisdom from Celtic Christianity

By Richard Matthews

On Saturday June 15th Father Jim and I had the pleasure of attending a discussion on Celtic Spirituality at All Saints Sandy Hill Anglican Church in Ottawa.

As we descended the stairs and entered the church basement we were immediately greeted by the melodic variation of Celtic music being played by a group of five musicians.

The talk was presented by Rev. Ray Simpson, who lives on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in the U.K. where he founded the Community of Aidan and Hilda. He is the author of dozens of books including ‘Liturgies from Lindisfarne’ and the ‘Cowshed Revolution.

The presentation was divided into three parts: Celtic Saints, Creation Care and Community.

Celtic Saints

We started the day with a Prayer and then Ray began his talk with a discussion about Celtic Saints who "date from a time before St. Augustine introduced guilt into Christian culture." He reviewed some of the salient aspects of the lives of Celtic Saints including St. Patrick, St. Brendan and St. Bridget.

Ray emphasized the work of St. Bridget (451–525) in particular. As Ray explained, she was a powerful women, particularly in light of the patriarchal culture that dominated Europe at that time. Ray characterized St. Bridget as a spiritual midwife who helped to birth the metaphorical Christ in Ireland.

Ray also reviewed four keys to becoming a saint:

1. Meet God in this place (let your feet follow your heart to the place of resurrection)
2. Meet God in a stranger (see christ in the face of a stranger)
3. Meet God in the elements (natural occurances)
4. Meet God in the next wave (pilgrimage)

Creation Care

Ray discussed "Creation Care" which involves a spiritual approach to environmental stewardship. During this part of his presentation Ray emphasized the connection between spiritual development and the environment. He claimed that creation draws us into the incarnation. He points out the new heaven and the new earth will relate to the old heaven and the old earth. He also said that resurrection can only occur in the measure to which we are faithful to this earth.

Ray pointed to the fact that churches are increasingly becoming more ecological. This is about more than just how we can reduce our environmental impact, it is about a spiritual ecology. According to Ray, we need to touch the earth and contemplate it. We need to get creation into our systems and see the spirituality of God in creation.

To develop spiritual ecology we need to follow natural rhythms. Ray indicated that the rhythm in us is like the rhythm of creation. He recommends that we pray in the morning, at noon and at nightfall so that we are in consort with the rhythms of the sun.

He went on to say that protest and lament are important. One example of a lament that he offered involved expressing grief for the ways we have spoiled creation. He also said that gratitude should follow our laments as thankgiving is the root of all service.

He points to events in the natural world as evidence of Gods hand in creation. He specifically points to Thunder which he referred to as "god talking to us."

Reflecting on creation is not something we should do on special occasions like Earth Day it is something we should be doing everyday.

Community

After lunch we went outside where we sang and prayed, then Ray shared his thoughts on the death of the old hierarchical Christian church and the grassroots renewal taking hold within the Christian church. According to Ray the Parish system is dying and we need to recognize that what binds together church communities is the "rule of life" and living by a "way of life." Specifically he reaffirmed the importance of connecting our spirituality to natural rhythms.

This entails life long learning, Bible studies, creation care and ultimately concern for people and life. We are all on a spiritual journey and a soul friend, mentor or life coach can help us on our way. We should also consider going on retreat and pilgramage.

Some of the qualities that help us with our journey are the cultivation of balance and the development of community. We need to cultivate a heart for God, others and earth. Above all we need to be holistic and open to the rhythms of the earth.

To begin developing a sustainable faith community we should start by asking what is the one rhythm I can put in place today.

Five Metaphors

Throughout Ray used a number of powerful metaphors to help shed light on his discussion. Here are three examples:

1. Thread metaphor: Threads need to be woven together to form a rope.
2. Water metaphor: Water is not deterred by obstacles it always finds a way.
3. Tree metaphor: A ruid or tree evokes the cross or the tree of death on which Jesus was crucified. Central to this metaphor is the transformation of the tree of death into the tree of life through Christ's resurrection.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pope Francis' Address to Justin Welby the Archbishop of Cantebury

On Friday June 14, in Rome, Pope Francis met with Archbishop Welby for the first time. The Pope was inaugurated on 19 March – two days before the Archbishop was enthroned. The two men have a lot in common as professional academics and practical leaders. They also share a commitment to social justice, particularly the issue of poverty. However, there have been tensions in recent years largely due to the Anglican communion's ordination of women. 

ADDRESS OF HOLY FATHER FRANCIS TO HIS GRACE JUSTIN WELBY ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AND PRIMATE OF THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION  (Friday, 14 June 2013)

On the happy occasion of our first meeting, I make my own the words of Pope Paul VI, when he addressed Archbishop Michael Ramsey during his historic visit in 1966: "Your steps have not brought you to a foreign dwelling ... we are pleased to open the doors to you, and with the doors, our heart, pleased and honoured as  we are ... to welcome you ‘not as a guest or a stranger, but as a fellow citizen of the Saints and the Family of God’" (cf. Eph 2:19-20).

I know that during Your Grace’s installation in Canterbury Cathedral you remembered in prayer the new Bishop of Rome. I am deeply grateful to you – and since we began our respective ministries within days of each other, I think we will always have a particular reason to support one another in prayer.
The history of relations between the Church of England and the Catholic Church is long and complex, and not without pain. Recent decades, however, have been marked by a journey of rapprochement and fraternity, and for this we give heartfelt thanks to God. This journey has been brought about both via theological dialogue, through the work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, and via the growth of cordial relations at every level through shared daily lives in a spirit of profound mutual respect and sincere cooperation. In this regard, I am very pleased to welcome alongside you Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster. These firm bonds of friendship have enabled us to remain on course even when difficulties have arisen in our theological dialogue that were greater than we could have foreseen at the start of our journey.

I am grateful, too, for the sincere efforts the Church of England has made to understand the reasons that led my Predecessor, Benedict XVI, to provide a canonical structure able to respond to the wishes of those groups of Anglicans who have asked to be received collectively into the Catholic Church: I am sure this will enable the spiritual, liturgical and pastoral traditions that form the Anglican patrimony to be better known and appreciated in the Catholic world.

Today’s meeting, my dear brother, is an opportunity to remind ourselves that the search for unity among Christians is prompted not by practical considerations, but by the will of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who made us his brothers and sisters, children of the One Father. Hence the prayer that we make today is of fundamental importance.

This prayer gives a fresh impulse to our daily efforts to grow towards unity, which are concretely expressed in our cooperation in various areas of daily life. Particularly important among these is our witness to the reference to God and the promotion of Christian values in a world that seems at times to call into question some of the foundations of society, such as respect for the sacredness of human life or the importance of the institution of the family built on marriage, a value that you yourself have had occasion to recall recently.
Then there is the effort to achieve greater social justice, to build an economic system that is at the service of man and promotes the common good. Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor, so that they are not abandoned to the laws of an economy that seems at times to treat people as mere consumers.

I know that Your Grace is especially sensitive to all these questions, in which we share many ideas, and I am also aware of your commitment to foster reconciliation and resolution of conflicts between nations. In this regard, together with Archbishop Nichols, you have urged the authorities to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict such as would guarantee the security of the entire population, including the minorities, not least among whom are the ancient local Christian communities. As you yourself have observed, we Christians bring peace and grace as a treasure to be offered to the world, but these gifts can bear fruit only when Christians live and work together in harmony. This makes it easier to contribute to building relations of respect and peaceful coexistence with those who belong to other religious traditions, and with non-believers.


The unity we so earnestly long for is a gift that comes from above and it is rooted in our communion of love with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As Christ himself promised, "where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mt 18:20). My dear brother, let us travel the path towards unity, fraternally united in charity, and with Jesus Christ, our elder Brother, as our constant point of reference. In our worship of Jesus Christ we will find the foundation and raison d’ĂȘtre of our journey. May the merciful Father hear and grant the prayers that we make to him together. Let us place all our hope in him who "is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think" (Eph 3:20).

Source: Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Glimpse into the Work of Canadian Primate Fred Hiltz

This article addresses some of the activities of Archbishop Fred Hiltz and how he sees his role as Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. The article originally appeared in the Ministry Report, on May 16, 2013, in an Anglican Journal supplement under the title, "A servant ministry: the Primate’s work across Canada".
________________________

It's children's story time at St. John's West Toronto and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada sits with the kids.

Soft morning light mottles the little crowd and a preschooler, Jake, begins to wax eloquent. Nodding a head of brown curls, he ventures that the wedding at Cana was attended by "mommies and daddies and grandmas."

Jake goes on. And on. And on. Archbishop Fred Hiltz listens intently, smiling and keeping his eyes on the boy.

For the Primate, these moments are just one, happy part of his job—one of the most misunderstood in the Anglican Church of Canada. Though people often recognize his face, he's often asked, "So what exactly do you do?"

It's not a quick answer. A seven-page canon, or section of church law, explains the Primate's work. He's called a presiding bishop, senior metropolitan and a primus inter pares (first among equals).

In truth, he's an episcopal oddity. Unlike other bishops, or many primates elsewhere in the Communion, Archbishop Hiltz is not based at a cathedral. He must be invited by a diocesan bishop before he presides at a parish eucharist.

In 2010, a primatial task force reviewed this unusual role. Some parts were clarified, but in short, the group found that Canadian Anglicans wanted a spiritual leader—a Primate who is both prophetic and caring.

One indigenous community in Manitoba called Archbishop Hiltz "Canada's great praying boss."

"The relationship piece for me is very important," says Archbishop Hiltz. "People always say to me, ‘You're our connection to the national church,' so I try to be it."

He's both a spokesman and a servant. Elected in 2007, Archbishop Hiltz, former bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, has stepped up to lead a wide range of meetings.

Now he chairs meetings of separately incorporated entities—the Anglican Foundation, the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund—in addition to the usual, required meetings such as Leadership Circle and the House of Bishops.

The latter, a twice-yearly gathering of Canadian Anglican bishops is one of the livelier meetings the Primate chairs. The house has seen hot conflict over theological issues, especially same-sex blessings and scriptural interpretation.

Hiltz has worked to cool the mood. As chair and liturgical leader, he's given the bishops more time for quiet and theological reflection. He's said his goal is to ensure that bishops do not leave these meetings more tired than when they came.

Yet some view this new civility as a kind of "silencing," says Hiltz. Heading into a new triennium, he wonders how the bishops should balance personal reflection with the need to discuss hard topics and make clear, public statements to the church.

In the meantime, spiritual care is central. Hiltz is pastor to all bishops, regardless of theological differences. At meetings of the house, he frequently seeks "one-on-ones" when he perceives a need for personal, human contact.

He also visits. When Bishop Barry Clarke's wife was dying at home in Montreal, the Primate went to be with her. He has driven hundreds of kilometres with Archbishop John Privett of Kootenay, bonding during a parish tour road trip.

In fact, more than half the Primate's time is spent travelling. He is often invited to diocesan synods, provincial synods and church anniversaries (usually the biggies that end in five or zero).

In most cases, the Primate's office pays travel expenses and the parishes host—though the Primate makes sure that cost is never a barrier to his visits.

Each visit is different. Archbishop Hiltz could stay in a home or hotel. He'll be sent to square dances or to test-drive a new handbell set. He'll also eat whatever is put in front of him—from Arctic char to boiled beaver.

In return, the Primate offers his heart and mind. He writes a fresh sermon for every visit, researching every church and linking its story with weekly readings. He believes people can smell a sermon re-heat from miles away.

Staff in Toronto help him prepare. Jo Mutch, administrative associate, puts together an engagement folder and calms down nervous hosts. Her stock phrases include "Don't worry; he loves family pets."

Out on his travels, Archbishop Hiltz keeps in close contact with his wife Lynne back home in Scarborough, an eastern suburb of Toronto. The man who values face-to-face connection is slowly learning how to use his BlackBerry.

The principal secretary sometimes joins him as travel companion. Born 50 weeks before Archbishop Hiltz, Archdeacon Paul Feheley is officially the Primate's chaplain and unofficially friend, advisor, and troubleshooter.

Part of the principal secretary's job is to juggle the many requests lobbed daily to the Primate. Archbishop Hiltz is often asked to speak on behalf of the church, but must check first to see what's on record as a national statement.

Then comes the writing. The Primate writes sermons and statements in longhand, sometimes using scissors and tape in the editing process.

At St. John's, West Toronto, the longhand sermon is about one of his favourite topics: the Marks of Mission. The Primate speaks slowly and sincerely, then deftly navigates the rest of the service with a Lutheran prayer book.

Afterwards, people crowd in to chat with "Fred," as he insists on being called. It seems everyone has an East Coast connection: a cousin in Halifax, a sister in Saint John—so Fred's accent loosens up a bit. He fetches his rolling suitcase and lingers in the sanctuary before walking back to the subway.

Rarely does the Primate visit a parish twice. The next week he's off to Vancouver, where he will visit churches—including St. John's Shaughnessy—returned to the diocese after an epic legal battle.

Archbishop Hiltz has an exhausting job. He pays the price in grey hair and health—including nasty colds from frequent air travel.

Though primates can stay until the age of 70, Hiltz, now 59, says he likely won't. He can imagine a return to his beloved local ministry for a couple of years.

Until then, parish visits are the best fuel to drive his important work.

"It's a gift given to me, and without it I would be absolutely lost," says Archbishop Hiltz.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Explanation and Background for the 2010 General Synod Vote on Climate Change (Carried)

Since 1988 there has been a broad and growing consensus among the world’s top scientists that climate change is an urgent issue demanding action. The most recent reports show that global warming has proceeded faster than anticipated, and that runaway climate change is an imminent prospect. Some scientists hold that 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the maximum allowable to avoid a global temperature change above 2 Celsius degrees. We are already at 387.5 ppm. If we fail to act now, whole continents could become uninhabitable. Hunger is already the lot of many who live on marginal agricultural land. The acidification of the oceans, as a result of carbon emissions, is another emerging crisis. These new concerns join the better known, but still inadequately addressed, issues of declining biodiversity, growing water scarcity, deforestation, soil depletion, overfishing and dead zones in the oceans.

The Copenhagen meetings in December 2009 failed to reach an international treaty for binding reductions and adequate assistance to developing countries for their adaptation and mitigation. The Government of Canada has yet to commit Canada to reductions close to those called for by the best available science. To our national shame, the federal government has played a negative role in negotiations, both at Copenhagen and in its preparatory meetings. Most Canadians want stronger commitments to reductions. However, there is still inadequate public understanding of the issues involved. Dioceses and parishes, as places where people meet, could with expert partners help improve the level of knowledge and understanding.

Throughout its history, the Christian churches have affirmed the Biblical belief that ‘The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world (oikumene) and all who dwell therein’ (Psalm 24.6). Even so, we have participated in the exploitation and pollution of the planet. We have identified too uncritically with the values of Western culture, failed to communicate the Gospel in its fullness, and shared in the conquest and domination of Creation.

In a sermon preached at an ecumenical service during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, Archbishop Rowan Williams urged listeners to consider “how the policies you follow and the lifestyle that you take for granted look in the light of the command to love the world you inhabit.” Williams, adds, “ask what would be a healthy and sustainable relationship with this world, a relationship that would in some way manifest both joy in and respect for the earth. Start with the positive question – how do we show that we love God’s creation?”

As Anglicans, our fifth Mark of Mission calls us to “strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” This resolution empowers General Synod to live more fully into this Mark of Mission in the next triennium. By advocating for more significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, offering worship resources for our communities, and examining our own ways of being through the lens of caring for creation, we are being responsive to God’s call to care for creation.

We, as Christians, cannot rely on government alone to sound the warning bell and challenge us to examine our current lifestyles. The gospel calls us to radical discipleship and an ethic of care of all creation. Subject: Climate Change Motion

Moved by: The Rt. Rev. Michael Bird, Diocese of Niagara
Seconded by: The Rt. Rev. James Cowan, Diocese of British Columbia


Be it resolved that this General Synod:
  1. Join with other faith communities and secular groups to press the Government of Canada to adopt a comprehensive climate action plan with firm targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 25-40% by 2020 based on 1990 levels (as per Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III report, Box 13.7, page 776), as a central concern of social and ecological justice;
  2. Encourage dioceses and parishes to incorporate concerns about the care of creation more fully into regular liturgies and request the Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee and the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee to provide resources to support this;
  3. Encourage dioceses and parishes to join with other faith communities and secular groups in researching and providing information on the climate crisis to members of their own communities;
  4. Encourage dioceses to work with the “Greening Anglican Spaces” project group of the Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee to estimate and place their data in a national database, to consider professional audits, and to participate in a measurable and authoritative monitoring process.
  5. Encourage the Council of General Synod to model how to estimate the annual rate of greenhouse gas emissions, (and other behaviours such as travel and operations) by gathering existing data from utility bills from Anglican buildings in at least 3 urban centres or regions in order to share this data, with subsequent professional interpretation, and make specific predictions for energy use reduction.
  6. Request the Council of General Synod to consider having an estimate made of the annual greenhouse gas emissions for which the office of General Synod is responsible, commit to a stated reduction in these, and report regularly on progress made.
Submitted by: Ms. Henriette Thompson, Director, Partnerships
Source: Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee


Does this motion contain within it any financial implications? Yes x No __

Item 4 – Currently there is a project budget for “Greening Anglican Spaces” funded by a designated bequest and a grant from the Anglican Foundation.

Item 6 – requests General Synod to consider having an estimate made of greenhouse gas emissions for which the office of General Synod is responsible. This would require a professional energy audit of Church House, estimated at between $400 and $800.

If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications? Yes __ No __

General Synod 2010 » A180-R1: Climate Change (carried)