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Community marks Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with ecumenical hymn singing

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments


Churches in Peace River, Alta., are using the power of music to draw believers together as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU).

Running from Jan. 18 to 25, the WPCU serves as an occasion for Christians of all denominations to offer prayers for the healing of divisions within the church and realization of the unity to which Christ called his followers.

For the 2015 Week of Prayer, St. James’ Cathedral will host the third annual ecumenical hymn singing in Peace River, where participating churches are invited to have their musicians perform and lead the congregation in spiritual songs. Local United and Catholic churches previously hosted the event.

Iain Luke, dean of the Diocese of Athabasca and rector of St. James’ Cathedral, noted the electrifying effect that the ecumenical hymn singing had on the congregation.

“For one thing, it…boosted attendance,” he said with a chuckle. “But also everybody could relate, although all the styles were quite different. It was all music, and everyone could get something out of that.

“I think the biggest thing for me was that it was a little window into what worship was like in the other churches. We don’t usually have the chance to go to each other’s services that much, but by bringing the music from the services…people were able to show off a little bit of what worship was like in their home church.”

st james anglican church

St. James’ Cathedral in Peace River, Alta.

Performers over the years have reflected the diversity of the participating churches, from a Filipina Catholic choir to the folk stylings of the United Church. Meanwhile, St. James’ has provided both a traditional choir and a contemporary band.

Many of the performers learn new material for the ecumenical hymn singing, which Luke said further enriches the message of the WPCU.

“It’s certainly something I would recommend to people…. To have a band from another church and different instruments and different voices and different styles of music and to realize that you’re all doing that for one purpose, which is to worship God, and to have the chance to do that together—that’s powerful.”

Bruce Myers, co-ordinator of ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Anglican Church of Canada, noted the longstanding importance of music to the ecumenical movement.

“So much of our ecumenism is expressed musically, whether or not we’re conscious of it,” said Myers, who pointed to overlapping selections in the Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, and United Church hymnals.

Canadian Centre for Ecumenism associate director Norman Lévesque described the exchange of hymns as an example of the progress that has been made toward greater Christian unity over the last 50 years.

“Today you can’t even say that this hymn is solely for this denomination…. The hymns are just swapping from one denomination to the other,” Lévesque said. “So there are more and more gifts that are [being] exchanged between denominations.”

Ecumenical hymn singing caps the Week of Prayer for St. James’ Cathedral, which has services planned throughout the week that are based on material from the 2015 WPCU resource kit, provided by the Canadian Council of Churches.

Available free online, the resource kit includes Bible readings, posters, and other items to mark the 2015 WPCU. The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer is “Give me a drink,” based on biblical images of water, hospitality, and reaching out to strangers.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, December 15, 2014

Algoma parade float embodies Marks of Mission

Posted on: December 10th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments


Greatest Gift back



Sharing the Good News in spectacular fashion with a Christmas parade float depicting the birth of Jesus, the Deanery of Algoma is the latest beneficiary of the Marks of Mission Champions initiative, organized by the Anglican Church of Canada.

An effort to promote the five Marks of Mission, the initiative provides $1,000 grants to each of the 30 church dioceses across Canada for the support or development of projects related to the Marks of Mission.

Algoma’s eye-catching contribution centres around the first Mark of Mission, urging believers “to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.” The float features a pile of presents with a sign that says, “The Greatest Gift.” As the float passes by, the traditional Holy Family at the Nativity is revealed at the back, flanked by costumed walkers dressed as magi, shepherds and angels.

The concept for the float predates Marks of Mission Champions, with Dean James McShane of St. Luke’s Cathedral in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., first hatching the idea more than a decade ago in reaction to the perceived secularization and commercialization of Christmas.

“I’d heard lots of people use the line, ‘Let’s put Christ back in Christmas,’” McShane recalled. “I think of course that’s a wonderful intention, but one of the difficulties is for many people, Christ has never been part of their celebration of Christmas.

“You can’t put something back where it hasn’t [been] before, yet I think people quite understand the notion of gift-giving at Christmas. So I thought it was a positive way of introducing Christ into Christmas for those who haven’t known [that] or perhaps have forgotten about it.”

While the concept for the float had been around for some time, it was only through Marks of Mission Champions that the opportunity arose to turn the idea into a reality.

Having taken the proposal to the deanery council and received a positive response, members of the deanery submitted an application to the church, and soon received the grant that paid for most of their materials.

Greatest Gift frontA team of volunteers, including clergy and laypeople, worked feverishly to prepare the float for Christmas parades throughout Algoma and district. The float made its debut in the community of Blind River, Ont. before taking part in parades in Sault Ste. Marie and Echo Bay.

McShane, who drove the truck towing the float, described reactions at the parades as “delightful,” with beaming young faces, applause, and a sense of warmth and good cheer.

He encouraged other dioceses across the country to take advantage of the Marks of Mission Champions grants.

“I think it’s a wonderful partnership between the national church and local congregations and dioceses,” McShane said.

“Doing this project was a new and different thing and that had its challenges,” he added. “We had to figure out how to build a float and make it stand up to multiple uses and to run down the highway … We also had to figure out how to break out of our parish moulds and our regular patterns of doing things to work together in fresh new ways.

“That’s not always easy, but I think it’s a really good thing to do and [it] invites us to find new ways to be doing the mission of the church.”

To find out more about Marks of Mission Champions, visit


Anglican Church of Canada, General Synod Communications, December 10, 2014

Celebrating the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh

Posted on: December 5th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments


On June 1, 2014 the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh came into being. The creation of this new diocese marks a major milestone in the journey of establishing of a self-determining, self-sustaining Indigenous church within the Anglican Church of Canada. The new encompasses over twenty-five First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario and Northern Manitoba.

The church is invited to continue in this celebration and support the ministries and people of Mishamikoweesh. News items, beautiful and insightful videos, and photographs from the Kingfisher Lake, Ontario celebrations are all housed on the Anglican Church of Canada’s website.

For those who use Facebook, the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh is happy to connect with their friends on a fan page. Connect with the diocese there for up-to-date stories, photos, and events.


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, 10/06/2014

New worship resources for Advent

Posted on: November 28th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments


By André Forget



At Advent, Christians find themselves looking in two directions. Even as they remember Christ’s nativity, they also anticipate his coming again. Like the season of Lent, Advent is an opportunity for Christians to examine where they are now in light of where they have come from and where they are going. For those seeking ways to engage Advent thoughtfully and intentionally this year, the Anglican Church of Canada and some of its partners will provide a number of resources to spark personal reflection.

Last year, the Anglican Church of Canada released a six-episode podcast produced by saint benedict’s table, an Anglican liturgical ministry in the diocese of Rupert’s Land. That tradition will continue this year with a seven-episode podcast starting in the week before the first Sunday of Advent (Nov. 30) and going through to Christmas. The podcast features a delegation from the Episcopal diocese of Cuba who participated in the justice camp hosted by the diocese of Edmonton in August.

All seven members of the delegation provided reflections that were recorded in Spanish, and both Spanish- and English-language versions will be available. The podcast will be broadcast weekly, with the last two episodes being released on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Leadership in the Anglican and Episcopal churches have also teamed up with leaders from the Evangelical Lutheran Church partners, with whom they are in full communion, to create a series of advent reflections. Both podcasts and reflections can be found at

The Society of Saint John the Evangelist is once again offering their modern take on the Advent calendar using Pinterest, a social media platform. Each day during Advent a new window will become available to open on their Pinterest page ( to reveal an Advent word, meditation or image to spark personal devotions.

The ecumenical justice organization KAIROS Canada has also produced a resource (available for free download from their website at on the theme of reconciliation called “Building Reconciled Relationships.” The resource, which includes prayers, sermon notes and information on KAIROS’s work, encourages Christians to reflect on the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to imagine what living reconciliation might look like.


Anglican Journal News, November 28, 2014

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) Annual Resources 2014-2015

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments

PWRDF Annual Resources 2014-2015

PWRDF’s three year food security campaign Fred Says, continues to be the theme for the 2014 annual resources. As we enter the second year of the campaign, the focus is on the connection between good health and a better future for individuals and families due to a secure, nutritious source of food – every day.

Placemats, bookmarks, donation envelopes, coin boxes, a third edition of Super Friends-Super Friends3! – Fred Says reflect the theme along with educational resources for use at gatherings, events – wherever food security is a priority.

Sharing Bread – designed to offer opportunities to come together to learn about food security issues through sharing and reflection; Just Food – a fun way for youth groups and others to explore food security issues both in Canada and internationally; Hunger Isn’t A Game – a great resource to draw youth to issues of food and justice; While We Wait – an Advent service of prayer. Learn about PWRDF’s guidelines for Maternal Newborn and Child Health through the 2014 edition of the MNCH brochure and carry these with you on an MNCH bookmark.

These and other resources are available in print and downloadable formats. Please visit The Primate’s World Relief and Development website:


The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund Email Update–November 2014

World AIDS Day – 1 December 2014

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments


What is World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December each year, is an important opportunity when governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations, and individuals around the world bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic and emphasize the critical need for a committed, meaningful and sustained response.

The global theme for World AIDS Day from 2011-2015, as selected by the World AIDS Campaign, is “Getting to Zero.” Backed by the United Nations, the “Getting to Zero” campaign focuses on the goals of zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths.

How to get your Faith Community Involved in Worlds AIDS Day

    • A 2014 World AIDS Day Liturgy, developed by the EAA, will soon be available in English. The liturgy will contain scripture readings and prayers that may be adapted to your local context.
    • Some EAA members and partners develop their own resources for World AIDS Day that may inspire your World AIDS Day events this year. They include:
      • The Christian AIDS Bureau of Southern Africa (CABSA) and the CARIS programme in South Africa highlight resources focusing on the Christian response to HIV at their website. These include Bible messages, prayers, poems, stories and liturgies.
      • The Balm Gilead has developed a number of resources around the National Week of Prayer for Healing of AIDS, observed in the United States in March each year. These resources include a guide on how to develop a sermon around HIV and AIDS and an online worship book containing liturgy, prayers, and hymns that may be used in World AIDS day services, Both resources may be downloaded here
  • Congregations and faith communities may also consider inviting a person living openly with HIV to be a guest speaker at a World AIDS Day service or event.

Reflect and pray with the ‘Live the Promise’ Advent Calendar

Continue your World AIDS Day reflections into Advent with an online devotional calendar in English, Spanish and French. Written by EAA members from around the globe, short devotions on current HIV issues will lead leaders in daily Biblical reflection and prayer from 1 December until 6 January.

You can visit the site daily at


The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund Email Update–November 2014

Anglican and Lutheran leaders offer Advent resource

Posted on: November 24th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments


Seeds, song, patience, justice—these are some of the images invoked in a series of Advent reflections offered by the leaders of the four Anglican and Lutheran churches in full communion in Canada and the United States: Archbishop Fred Hiltz (Anglican Church of Canada), National Bishop Susan Johnson (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada), Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (Episcopal Church), and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).

These Advent reflections represent a modest but visible sign of what our churches can do together rather than separately. Through them our prayers will be united across international and denominational boundaries. They are offered in the same spirit as a series of Epiphany devotions produced for 2013 by members of the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission in Canada and the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee in the United States.

Congregations are invited to download and reproduce these reflections for use as bulletin inserts during each of the four Sundays of Advent, or to otherwise make them available to their members.

You can also learn more about our full communion agreement here.

For more information, contact:

Archdeacon Bruce Myers
Coordinator for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, November 04, 2014

Anglicans, Lutherans called to lift up National Housing Day: November 22

Posted on: November 12th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments


On November 22, Lutherans and Anglicans are called to lift up National Housing Day 2014, learn more about the issues contributing to poverty, homelessness and substandard housing, and advocate for changes.

Inadequate housing and homelessness impacts a growing number of Canadians. An estimated 400,000 people are without access to a healthy place to live. These numbers continue to increase despite economic growth and prosperity here in our country.

“Our churches have a faithful record of working with and for people who are homeless or who struggle to find affordable housing,” says ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson. “But still home ownership and even affordable rental options are out of reach for many. We are called to support the agencies and programs that address these issues, as well as explore and advocate for new approaches to address poverty and homelessness.”

At the 2013 Joint Assembly, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Church in Canada unanimously endorsed a shared commitment to learning, action, advocacy and prayer concerning homelessness and affordable housing.

“Every day and night thousands of children, women and men are fed and housed by the churches in partnership with social agencies.  This is holy work,” says Anglican Archbishop Fred Hiltz.  “We press on with the call for a comprehensive national housing strategy reflecting the 2012 commitment of all members of Parliament ‘to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to adequate housing’ for all people living in Canada.”

Several resources have been prepared by the ELCIC and ACC to assist churches and their members in lifting up National Housing Day on November 22. They include:

If you are in the Toronto area, consider participating in the Come & See Pilgrimage where you can visit local churches committed to working alongside those who experience inadequate housing.

Download, print, and share information sheets in colour and black and white.


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, November 6, 2014

Ginny’s Journey

Posted on: October 20th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments


“I am doing this because it might help others going through what I am going through.” This is what the Rev. Canon Ginny Doctor replied when asked why she agreed to be filmed weekly as she recovers from a life-threatening illness. Hospitalized since mid-July, Ginny expects to recover fully, but it is a long slow road. Her weekly reflections can be see online as “Ginny’s Journey” . In them she reveals what she has learned from this period of crisis and reflects that her faith has been strengthened by the support and prayers of Anglicans all over the world.

Ginny has been the Indigenous Ministries Coordinator for the Anglican Church of Canada since 2011. She has been involved in Indigenous Ministry for over twenty-five years, in both Canada and the US.

“God is not finished with me yet”, said Ginny recently. “he is preparing me for what will come next”. Ginny’s Journey will continue with weekly “chapters” of spiritual and personal reflection in the months to come. Ginny hopes to start an online conversation with others who are experiencing similar journeys and she asks all of us to pray for all those who are struggling on a road to healing.

Watch online:


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, October 20, 2014

Twenty-Five Decembers

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC)

Saturday, December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the murder of 14 women in Montreal on that day in 1989. WICC will commemorate these twenty-five Decembers with a special sunrise prayer service, symbolic of hope for a new day, free of violence against women.

We hope to have as many services across the country as possible. Planning for the service will be minimal so our hearts and minds can be turned fully to the words we pray and the women for whom we pray. Please gather your community and pray with us. The service will be available for download from our website on Monday, November 3.


______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Newsletter of the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada, October 16, 2014