Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

Window of opportunity

Posted on: March 31st, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments


(This article first appeared in the March issue of the Anglican Journal.)

The newspaper’s website,, has launched Eyewitness, Special Coverage of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The web page compiles the newspaper’s extensive and award-winning coverage of the TRC national events, beginning in 2010 in Winnipeg.

The collection of more than 150 stories, photographs and videos offers a comprehensive look at the impact of the Indian residential school system on aboriginal people across Canada. It also documents how the Anglican Church of Canada—which operated 35 of these schools between 1820 and 1969—has responded to the enormous challenge of healing and reconciliation. The stories feature former students and their families, former staff, church and government representatives, foreign observers and interested Canadians who chose to take part in an undertaking unprecedented in Canadian history.

The Journal hopes that Eyewitness will contribute to further understanding about what has been dubbed “Canada’s shame” and encourage more conversations and action.

A key component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the TRC was created to gather the experiences of more than150,000 former students and their families, to educate Canadians about the schools’ history and to inspire reconciliation “among individuals, families, communities, religious entities, government, and the people of Canada.”

At the first national event in Winnipeg in June 2010, TRC chair Justice Murray Sinclair urged those present to simply listen and be open. “You will notice a resilience and strength that is nothing short of remarkable,” he said, referring to former residential school students, many already in their twilight years and sharing their childhood experiences for the very first time. “There is an unmistakable, absolute truth experienced when the person across from you summons up immeasurable courage to tell you something they may never have told anyone.”

In June, the TRC will end its four-year term, with the seventh and final national event to be held in Ottawa. A key question that needs to be answered is whether Canadians have listened and, if so, what are they prepared to do about what they have heard. A statement made by TRC commissioner Marie Wilson at the Winnipeg event lends particular resonance: “What we have kept repeating is if the TRC ends up being a series of very well-intentioned activities that lead only to aboriginal people talking to themselves, our country will have missed the best opportunity that we had in nation building, in possibly our entire history.”

The primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, has attended all TRC events so far. Each time, he has reiterated the church’s 1993 apology to aboriginal people for its role in running the schools, where some students suffered physical and sexual abuse. Hiltz also expressed the church’s commitment to the healing journey for the long haul, acknowledging that healing and reconciliation could take generations. After all, the schools operated for a century and the legacy of trauma and institutional racism continue to this day—aboriginal people suffer a higher incidence of poverty, addictions, family violence, depression, poor health, inadequate housing and incarceration.

In order for this commitment to take root, however, it will need to be fully embraced by Anglicans across Canada. The reality is that the residential school legacy remains either a polarizing issue or a non-issue in some parts of the church. The Primate’s Commission on the Doctrine of Discovery, Reconciliation and Healing will need to address this. Created on the recommendation of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, part of the commission’s mandate is to move forward with reconciliation and address continuing injustices faced by Canada’s indigenous communities. ​There is much work to be done.



Anglican Journal News, March 31, 2015

Prayers for peace in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and beyond

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

A prayer service at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Damascus, Syria.

A prayer service at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Damascus, Syria.


This Lenten season, the World Council of Churches (WCC) invites its member churches to pray on Sunday 29 March for those affected by wars in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt. The season of prayer is meant to revive hope from hopelessness, taking into account the vulnerability of minority communities and the threat of losing the diversity of the social fabric in this region. 

“Many churches and Christians around the world have offered signs of solidarity and sympathy through prayer vigils, humanitarian assistance and advocacy for just peace. Despite these efforts, so many still feel powerless and incapable of making any impact and change,” said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary, in a letter of invitation to prayer addressed to the churches, issued on 24 March.

“Yet we know that we worship a God of hope, in whom there is always cross, always resurrection. As Christians we are called to live in the hope Christ gives us and make this our witness in times of deep pain and strife,” he added.

In the Middle East, the WCC general secretary said, “unbearable atrocities have been committed by state and non-state armed groups” – mainly in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt.

“The religious and ethnic minorities continue to be the most vulnerable communities. Among them are the Christians, our sisters and brothers in the Lord. They face the present danger of extermination or exile from their own region,” Tveit said.

He invited the churches to use a common prayer for peace in Syria and beyond through liturgical resources made available on the WCC website. These prayers may be adapted according to the different calendars, liturgical styles and church traditions.

Read full text of the letter from the WCC general secretary

Liturgical materials: Prayer for peace in Syria and beyond

WCC programme “Churches in the Middle East”


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, March 27, 2015

Imagine what you could do with $10,000…

Posted on: March 5th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Beginning in 2014, the Anglican Foundation of Canada will set aside $50,000 each year to encourage and fund innovative ministry-related projects through a Request-For-Proposals process.  Responding to one of the Marks of Mission, this year’s focus is new community service or outreach projects that involve interfaith collaboration.

  • 5 one-time grants of up to $10,000 are available
  • Projects will be new initiatives undertaken in 2016
  • Projects will be designed to meet human need by loving service
  • Projects will involve collaboration between Anglicans and individuals or groups from at least one religion other than Christianity
  • Projects require the endorsement of a diocesan bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada
  • Proposals submitted in response to this request do not count as one of the three submissions each diocese is allowed per year
  • Submission deadline is September 1, 2015
  • The AFC Board of Directors will review proposals in November 2015 and announce those receiving grants in early December

RFP 2015 Criteria & Submission Form 


Anglican Church of Canada, Info! News from General Synod, March 02, 2015

Project editor shares insights into making of Anglican directory

Posted on: February 25th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Janet with directory

Project editor Janet Thomas holds up a copy of the 2015 Anglican Church Directory.

Matt Gardner

For most church members, the release of the 2015 Anglican Church Directory means having an up-to-date source of information on dioceses, parishes and clergy across the country.

For those who produce the directory, however, its release marks the culmination of a long period of work—one characterized by a meticulous attention to detail.

The leading force in the production of the directory for more than a decade has been project editor Janet Thomas, who, among other work tasks, is responsible for collecting all the necessary information for every organization and entity listed in the book.

“It’s a big job, as you can imagine,” Thomas said.

“I’ve got it down to a fine art, though,” she added.

The production process begins each year in September, when Thomas begins approaching all the dioceses and organizations listed in the directory, working thereafter according to a series of specific deadlines.

“If I start asking people, say, around Labour Day, my goal is usually to have it to the printer before Christmas,” she said.

To collect the relevant data, Thomas relies on the help of diocesan contacts—primarily bishops’ executive assistants, who pass on the information for their dioceses, diocesan organizations and parishes—as well as in-house staff at General Synod. She also contacts church-sponsored organizations such as colleges and social agencies.

Meanwhile, Beverley Murphy, senior manager for communications and information resources at General Synod, is responsible for compiling the clergy index. A typesetter then handles the book’s formatting before handing the product to a printer.

The finished directory is usually available around mid-January, though the 2015 edition saw a minor delay due to the reorganization of the church following the creation of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh.

“The dioceses that were affected, they had a lot more work to do…figuring out who’s who and what’s what,” Thomas said.

Save for a transition to colour advertisements, the directory itself has seen few radical changes in recent years.

The same cannot be said for the method of producing it.

“Because of technology, it’s much, much easier,” Thomas said. “The proofreading is easier, [as is] being able to send out electronic files [and] emails. Before, some of it was mailed out to people to update, and I used to receive information via fax, which was a nightmare because the ink didn’t show clearly.”

Though the technology may have changed, the Anglican Church Directory remains the most comprehensive resource on the Anglican Church of Canada, providing a wealth of valuable material for church members and non-members alike.

Like its predecessors, the latest edition of the directory includes information, personnel, websites, email addresses and telephone numbers for every Anglican diocese and parish in Canada, as well as partner organizations such as the Anglican Foundation and the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.

Besides the clergy index, other features include a diocesan map, information and statistics, a calendar of key dates, notes on how to address the clergy and a complete list of communities and municipalities served by the church along with their respective dioceses.

Order your copy of the 2015 Anglican Church Directory from Augsburg Fortress.


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, February 25, 2015

An online journey into Lent (Resources)

Posted on: February 19th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

By Anglican Journal staff

The Lenten season, which starts on Ash Wednesday, is traditionally observed as a period of fasting, prayer and reflection on the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Photo: Bakhur Nick

The Anglican Church of Canada has created a web page with a wide range of resources to help Canadian Anglicans observe Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter.

The offerings include a Lenten Bible study prepared by the suffragan bishop of the diocese of Huron, Terry Dance, and Lenten reflections “that encourage thought and action on issues of food security,” prepared by the Rev. Elizabeth Steeves (diocese of Niagara) for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF).

Anglicans wishing to relate Lent with contemporary life can do so with “Spend Lent with Mark,” prepared by the diocese of Niagara. Here, about 30 contributors share “daily commentaries and probing questions” using the Gospel of Mark as a springboard for exploring the teachings of Jesus.

The web page also includes liturgical texts for trial use, including propers for Ash Wednesday to Palm/Passion Sunday. The texts have been released for trial use and feedback by the liturgy task force of General Synod’s faith, worship and ministry committee.

To access the resources, click here.


Anglican Journal News, February 18, 2015

Anglican Directory boasts rich history

Posted on: February 17th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Laurel Parson copy

The newest edition of the Anglican Church Directory was released on Feb. 10, reinforcing the book’s status as the definitive reference for Anglicans in Canada.

In its current form, the directory provides a complete list of contact information for all dioceses, parishes and clergy in the Anglican Church of Canada as well as General Synod staff members and departments.

Yet, as noted by Laurel Parson, assistant archivist for General Synod, it hasn’t always been that way.

Presiding over an archival collection of church directories dating back to 1886, Parson described a rich history for the directory from its early beginnings as a church yearbook and purview list.

Initially, she said, outsiders with a vested interest in selling church calendars and clergy lists to Anglicans in Canada compiled the information in the yearbook, which she compared to Crockford’s Clerical Directory, the authoritative resource for the Church of England that contains in-depth biographies of all clergy members.

Parson described early editions of the Canadian church yearbook as “almost like a mini-Crockford, because if you look at them, they tell you their training, where they worked before…but just their clerical career, not family or anything like that.”

Other features of the yearbook included photographs and biographies of new bishops, a church calendar with feasts and readings, a glossary and a complete clergy list.

The early 1930s saw the creation of a formal yearbook committee for the Church of England in Canada. At the time, General Synod had three major committees—the Missionary Society for the Church of England in Canada, the Council for Social Service and the General Board of Religious Education—and published annual reports on the work of each in the yearbook.

In 1937, the yearbook saw a major reorganization as all diocesan information, including parishes and clergy, was pulled together into one section each. Through the 1930s and ’40s, the yearbook continued to include a historical synopsis of how the church was organized.

During the late ’60s—a period that Parson called “a time of major, major transition for the church”—the entire national office was restructured and its three standing committees changed.

“They basically formed General Synod with departments as we know it now, rather than just committee structures…That’s when the yearbook committee disappeared, and that’s when a lot of the informational stuff [in the yearbook] also disappeared,” Parson said. “It just became a directory, basically.”

From a yearbook, the Anglican directory evolved into its current incarnation, officially taking the name of Anglican Church Directory during the 1990s. Today, the directory remains an indispensable resource for Anglicans and others wishing to contact clergy, dioceses and parishes.

Check the Anglican Church of Canada website next week for a follow-up story detailing the work that went into producing the 2015 Anglican Church Directory.

Order your copy of the latest edition from Augsburg Fortress.


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, February 17, 2015

Council of the North Winter 2015 newsletter CONTACT

Posted on: February 16th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

 Council of the North

Dear Friends,

We in the Council of the North look forward to sharing our stories with you—stories of heroic and sacrificial ministry being carried out throughout the North. Our newsletter is one way for us to share with you what a difference an Anglican presence makes in the North, and to say “thank-you” for your partnership with us in the Gospel.

You can download a pdf copy of our winter newsletter at the link below. I encourage you to either print a copy and share it with your congregation, or circulate it by email through your parish email list.

Bishop Michael Hawkins

Chair, Council of the North

Download our winter 2015 issue of CONTACT


Council of the North Communications e-newsletter, February 12, 2015

Task Force on Physician Assisted Suicide seeks input from Anglicans

Posted on: February 15th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

In the wake of a historic ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada on doctor-assisted suicide, an Anglican task force is looking to hear the views of interested church members on this controversial issue.

Formed last year by the co-ordinating committee for Faith, Worship and Ministry, the Task Force on Physician Assisted Suicide is calling on individuals and groups within the Anglican Church of Canada to let the task force know their thoughts and concerns regarding doctor-assisted suicide, following a Feb. 6 ruling by the Supreme Court that struck down the previous ban on the practice.

The Rev. Canon Eric Beresford, who recently retired as president of the Atlantic School of Theology and now serves as chair of the task force, said the group hoped to hear from across the wide spectrum of opinion held by Anglicans.

Referencing the recent statement by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Beresford noted, “There’ll be some Anglicans who—as the Primate said—strongly welcome this, and there’ll be others who think this is terrible, and others who are more ambivalent.”

He invited church members to articulate their concerns, potentially with reference to their own experiences, in order to help the task force determine its actions going forward.

Submissions to the task force should be sent to the Rev. Dr. Eileen Scully, director of Faith, Worship and Ministry, at

For the moment, the main resource for Anglicans on the debate remains Care in Dying: A Consideration of the Practices of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide, as commended by the General Synod for study in the Anglican Church of Canada. General Synod commended the document in 1998 and it was published the following year.

Beresford, who served as editor of Care in Dying, said the document addressed what he called “the fundamental issue for the church in addressing this issue”—the question of what constitutes care, which according to its authors encompasses both care for the suffering individual and care for the wider community.

“It neither fell into a simple communitarian model, but neither did it go for pure individualism,” Beresford said of Care in Dying. “It’s not just my relationship with the patient here; it’s bigger than that, and both of these [considerations] need to be taken into account.”

The Task Force on Physician Assisted Suicide is currently reviewing Care in Dying in light of the recent Supreme Court decision, though the next step for the church remains an open question.

“There may be [a new or revised text], or there may be a decision instead to take the principles that were set out in Care in Dying and talk about them in the new context,” Beresford said.

“Remember, one of the other things about Care in Dying that’s important is it sought to not just legislate what we as the church should do about something. Instead, it sought to provide a pastoral response, and that’s important to be clear about.”

View or download the Care in Dying report and its accompanying study guide.


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, February 13, 2015

Lent Madness 2015 – Which saint will win the Golden Halo?

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

For the sixth year running, people worldwide are gearing up for Lent Madness, the “saintly smackdown” in which thirty-two saints do battle to win the coveted Golden Halo. Calling itself the world’s most popular online Lenten devotion, Lent Madness brings together cut-throat competition, the lives of the saints, humor, and the chance to see how God works in the lives of women and men across all walks of life.


The creator of Lent Madness, the Rev. Tim Schenck, says, “People might think Lent is all about eating dirt and giving up chocolate, but it’s really about getting closer to Jesus.” Schenck, who is rector of St. John’s Church in Hingham, Massachusetts, adds, “The saints aren’t just remote images in stained glass windows or pious-looking statues. They were real people God just happened to use in marvelous ways.”

Lent Madness began on Schenck’s blog in 2010 as he sought a way to combine his love of sports with his passion for the lives of saints. Starting in 2012, he partnered with Forward Movement (the same folks that publish Forward Day by Day), to bring Lent Madness to the masses.

The Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, Schenck’s Lent Madness co-conspirator, says, “Throughout Lent, as we’re having fun with the competition, we are also inspired by how God used ordinary people to do extraordinary things.” Gunn, who is executive director of Forward Movement in Cincinnati, Ohio, adds, “That’s the whole point of the Christian life: to allow God to work in us to share God’s love and proclaim Good News.”

Schenck and Gunn form the self-appointed Supreme Executive Committee, a more-or-less benevolent dictatorship that runs the entire operation. The formula has worked as this online devotional has been featured in media outlets all over the country including NBC, The Washington Post, FOXNews, NPR, USAToday, and even Sports Illustrated (no, really).

Here’s how it works: on the weekdays of Lent, information is posted at about two different saints. Each pairing remains open for 24 hours as participants read about and then vote to determine which saint moves on to the next round. Sixteen saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the Golden Halo.

The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move into the area of saintly kitsch.
This year Lent Madness features an intriguing slate of saints ancient and modern, Biblical and ecclesiastical. 2015 heavyweights include Teresa of Avila, Frederick Douglass, Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Balthazar, and the Venerable Bede. The full bracket is online at the Lent Madness website.

From the “you can’t know the saints without a scorecard” department, the Saintly Scorecard — The Definitive Guide to Lent Madness 2015 is available through Forward Movement. It contains biographies of all 32 saints to assist those who like to fill out their brackets in advance, in addition to a full-color pull-out bracket.

This all kicks off on “Ash Thursday,” February 19. To participate, visit the Lent Madness website, where you can also print out a bracket for free to see how you fare or “compete” against friends and family members. Like that other March tournament, there will be drama and intrigue, upsets and thrashings, last-minute victories and Cinderellas.

Ten “celebrity bloggers” from across the country have been tapped to write for the project including the Rev. Amber Belldene of San Francisco, CA; the Rev. Laurie Brock of Lexington, KY; Dr. David Creech of Morehead, MN; the Rev. Megan Castellan of Kansas City, MO; the Rev. Laura Darling of Oakland, CA; Neva Rae Fox of Somerville, NJ; the Rev. Nancy Frausto of Los Angeles, CA; the Rev. David Hendrickson of Denver, CO; the Rev. Maria Kane of Houston, TX; and the Rev. David Sibley of Manhasset, NY. Information about each of the celebrity bloggers and the rest of the team is available on the Lent Madness website.

If you’re looking for a Lenten discipline that is fun, educational, occasionally goofy, and always joyful, consider this your invitation to join in the Lent Madness journey.


Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), February 04, 2015

Lenten resource draws upon northern ministry

Posted on: February 7th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

cn-fb2Reflecting Lenten themes through stories of northern ministry, a new weekly resource seeks to bring churches together across North and South with a reminder of their common mission.

The Council of the North, for the second consecutive year, has produced the resource in the form of a bulletin insert that may be used for quiet reflection during worship, as an opening devotional for a vestry meeting or as part of a Bible study.

For each week of Lent, the resource includes one true-life northern vignette followed by a prayer, connecting ongoing ministry work with the spirit of the Lenten season.

The Rt. Rev. Michael Hawkins, chair of the Council of the North, noted that the resources “explore Lenten themes like baptism, justice, discipleship, healing and servanthood through the lens of northern ministry.”

“In this way,” he added, “we hope to draw closer to you, over the many miles, inviting you to pray with us and for us.”

Reprising her work from last year, Sharon Dewey Hetke, associate with Council of the North Communications, wrote this year’s Lenten resource.

Through the stories from the North, Hetke hoped in part to pay tribute to the many non-stipendiary ministers whose work she called “truly sacrificial”—and not merely because they often go unpaid.

“Ministry is never nine to five…but these people really exemplify that, how they live their calling every minute,” Hetke said.

“They’re just part of the community and they’re constantly doing ministry.”

Yet the experiences of northern lay residents are an equally crucial component.

In the resource for the first week of Lent, “The Kingdom draws near,” Hetke paints a scene from Schumacher, Ont., describing clientele of the Livingroom—a new ministry of the Anglican Diocese of Moosonee that serves as a safe and welcoming space for members of the community in need.

Established following the closure years ago of the local Anglican church, the Livingroom offers refreshments, games and crafts, and a child-friendly environment free of drugs and alcohol.

Referencing Christ’s temptation in the wilderness, Hetke said that the Livingroom exemplifies the spirit of that week’s Lenten prayer, which encourages the faithful to “see the ways you are building your kingdom among us here and now.”

“The kingdom is still being built in this community, just in a different way,” she said, adding, “The way we approached it was this is Christ’s kingdom among us here now, in this little drop-in centre in the back of an office building.”

By sharing stories of northern ministers and residents with churches in southern Canada, Hetke hopes that the Lenten resource will help build a sense of community across the two regions.

“There are many miles between them,” she said. “But we want to show how we have one common ministry and purpose, and just remind the churches in the South how much their support means to the Council of the North.”

Resources for the first three weeks of Lent are now available for download, with the remainder set for release on Feb. 17.

Other ways to access the Lenten resource include subscribing to weekly emails by writing to or through the Council of the North Facebook page.


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, February 05, 2015