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New Canons installed in Jerusalem during Anglican pilgrimage to Holy Land

Posted on: June 28th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

Posted on: June 28, 2017

Photo Credit: ACNS

The Archbishop in Jerusalem and the Middle East, Suheil Dawani, has installed four new Canons at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem during an international Anglican pilgrimage.

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon and the Archbishop of Hong Kong and Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council,  Paul Kwong, became Episcopal Canons; the Bishop of Texas, Andrew Doyle was installed as an Honorary Episcopal Canon and the Provincial Secretary of Hong Kong, Peter Koon became an Honorary Canon.

Jerusalem _Cathedral _ACNS

The new Canons celebrated Evensong at the Cathedral in the company of clergy from not only the diocese, but from around the Communion – including New Zealand, the USA,  Ghana, Liberia,  South Africa,  Canada,  Burundi and the West Indies. His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III and Archbishop Aristarchus of Constantine were also present.

Jerusalem _Cathedral _hands

Archbishop Paul Kwong said: “This is a very tangible expression of Hong Kong’s relations with THE mother church of Jerusalem, the cradle of Christianity.  For as long as I remember, Good Friday service collection from every parish of the Hong Kong Province has been dedicated to support the Anglican mission in Jerusalem.  This installation cements our friendship, co-operation and work together. We have much to give, share, and further in our joint witness to Christ.  I congratulate Archbishop Suheil on becoming the Primate of Jerusalem & the Middle East.  As a fellow primate,  I look very much forward to building on our friendship, to walk together, to work side by side and in doing more for the Communion.”

Jerusalem _Cathedral 3_ACNS

Jerusalem _Cathedral 2_ACNS

The four newly appointed Canons are participating in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land being led by Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon; the group includes five Primates, five members of the Anglican Consultative Council, five Provincial Secretaries, five members of the Compass Rose Society and five Friends of the Anglican Communion.


Anglican Communion News Service,  Daily update from the ACNS on Wednesday 28th June, 2017

CoGS to form working group looking at wages across whole church

Posted on: June 27th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on June 27, 2017

Larry Robertson, of the diocese of Yukon, urges Council of General Synod (CoGS) to look into wages across the national church at a presentation on living wages Saturday, June 24. Photo: Marites N. Sison

Mississauga, Ont.

A working group will be formed to gather information about the pay of employees across the Anglican Church of Canada with the ultimate aim of achieving fairer compensation, Council of General Synod (CoGS) resolved Saturday, June 24.

CoGS voted in support of a proposal put forth by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, to form the group, which would consist of himself, general secretary Archdeacon Michael Thompson and three other members of CoGS. The mandate of the group, Hiltz said, would be to gather the information needed to support a fuller discussion of the issue and guide decision-making around it at the next meeting of CoGS in November. CoGS is the executive body of General Synod, the chief legislative and governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada.

The proposal actually arose out of a presentation by Thompson on an examination of wages of national office employees he had carried out with General Synod Treasurer Hanna Goschy. That examination, in turn, had originated out of a question posed at last November’s session of CoGS on whether General Synod had ever passed a resolution mandating a living wage for its employees.

Thompson said he and Goschy were able to confirm that all the salaried employees of the office of General Synod are receiving more than the living wage. They also found, however, that a small number of contract employees had, while receiving well above the provincial minimum wage, been paid less than a living wage. As a result, the base hourly rate for contract works at the national office has been adjusted upward, he said.

Technically, Thompson said, a living wage is defined as what two full-time adults would need to support themselves and two children, although he and Goschy, he said, used a slightly different metric based on individuals.What we decided is we would not consider the kind of metrics of how many adult employees there were in the family and how many dependents they had, but we would treat the living wage as a base for individuals who are working for the General Synod.”

In response to Thompson’s presentation, John Rye, of the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land, asked about wages across the national church. Thompson responded that, while he acknowledged non-stipendiary ministries in the church to be “an ongoing deep concern,” General Synod has no authority over the employment practices of the dioceses that employ these priests.

Canon David Burrows, of the ecclesiastical province of Canada, then suggested that CoGS direct the House of Bishops to discuss the matter. Larry Robertson, bishop of the diocese of the Arctic and a member from the province of British Columbia and the Yukon, also argued for what he called more leadership from CoGS on the issue.

“I just find, over and over again, that our clergy are subsidizing our mission in the Council of the North” through the financial sacrifices they make, he said. “I’m glad that the employees at General Synod have a living wage, and they should have. But all of our people should have a living wage. And it is this body that should be concerned about it.” (Of the 295 clergy in the Council of the North, 134 are unpaid, according a report delivered at the 2016 General Synod by Michael Hawkins, bishop of Saskatchewan and chair of the council.)

Thompson said that if CoGS wanted to start “a really thoughtful conversation that will result in change,” it should make sure it has ample information from the dioceses about the compensation not only of clergy but of licensed lay workers and other employees. “I plead that we have a conversation that’s loaded with information, so we know what’s really going on,” he said.

After CoGS approved the proposal, Sidney Black, Indigenous bishop for Treaty 7 territory in the diocese of Calgary, encouraged CoGS to include on the working group an Indigenous member who has had experience of non-stipendiary work, given the high number of Indigenous non-stipendiary clergy in the church.Hiltz replied that the group would include such a member.

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.


Anglican Journal News, June 27, 2017

Exploring reconciliation during Anglican Holy Land pilgrimage

Posted on: June 26th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

Posted on: June 26, 2017

Photo Credit: ACNS

Anglicans from around the Communion have begun a 12 day pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Five primates as well as the Anglican Communion Secretary General, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, are accompanying the pilgrims. Among the highlights of the tour are Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee.

Pilgrim Alice Wu shares her thoughts on arriving in the Holy Land:

[Alice Wu] As a first-time pilgrim, I have been feeling apprehensive for at least a few months.  I knew I was to expect the unexpected.  I knew no matter how thoroughly I were to study the books on the reading list, or stare at the maps printed inside the Bible, I would still feel disoriented.  Once I was on the flight out from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv, I knew that jitter bugs had at some point turned into expectant waiting.

We are an international gathering of pilgrims taking part in “An Anglican Communion Pilgrimage: A Journey to the Holy Land.”  The fact that the commencement of our pilgrimage at the weekend coincided with the end of the intense month of prayer and religious devotion, Ramadan, for Muslims, and the closing of the Shabbat for Jews has not been lost on us.

None of us came here believing that we would not be transformed.  None of us came here not prepared for an intense spiritual journey.

One of the pilgrimage leaders, Revd Canon John L. Peterson,  made sure that we all understood how we came about being “chosen to be here.”  He explained the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon,  had chosen five Primates, five members of the Anglican Consultative Council, five Provincial Secretaries, five members of the Compass Rose Society and five Friends of the Anglican Communion to walk this journey in the Holy Land together.

…”and this journey is meant to be a very different one”  Revd John said: “I’ve never done this before in my life, as many times as I have done pilgrimages, we’ve never done anything like this.”


Revd John guides pilgrims: Jerusalem -pilgrimage _1

Revd Phillip A Jackson of Trinity Church Wall Street, in New York,  has been given a special role in this pilgrimage, at Archbishop Josiah’s request.  We learned that at the end of each and every site we visit, we are going to stop – and Revd Phillip is going to lead us as we contemplate on what the site has helped us to understand of reconciliation. How does the site help us work together in more creative ways? Or does the site cause differences — and how does it cause differences —  and how do we deal with these differences? How do we arrive at a better understanding because of the different sites that are associated with our Lord’s ministry?

It is time for us to recognise that it is time for us to deal with our differences and talk of reconciliation and explore how we can live together as a Communion.  It is a tall order, to be sure.  But as our orientation meeting ended – with  Muslims gearing up to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the conclusion of Shabbat ushering in the new week for  Jews, this group of post-Pentecost pilgrims was ready to be inspired and transformed.

Pilgrimage _Eucharist _ACNS

Revd John reminded pilgrims not to cross our legs, ever, for the next 11 days.  As it is considered most disrespectful to show others the soles of our feet, we must take special care to plant both feet firmly on the ground.  It is also a reminder for us pilgrims to be grounded in our Lord as we follow His footsteps, journey on exploring paths of reconciliation and learn to come to terms with this conflict-ridden and disorientating world.

Archbishop Paul Kwong, Primate of Hong Kong, praying at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem :

Pilgrimage _Kwong _ACNS

…..and greeting Archbishop Suheil Dawani:

Pilgrimage _Dawani _Kwong _ACNS


Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Monday 26th June 2017

CoGS hears of slavery horrors, passes anti-human trafficking motion

Posted on: June 25th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on June 25, 2017


Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, lights a candle between prayers for people involved in human trafficking at a session of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) Saturday, June 24. Photo: Tali Folkins

Mississauga, Ont.
Siobhan Bennett, a youth member from the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, had tears in her eyes even before she started addressing the other members of the Council of General Synod (CoGS). It wasn’t long before they knew why.Bennett had asked if she might share something from her own life at a session on human trafficking Saturday June, 24. As she  fought to speak against her tears and sobs, she told them of an extremely disturbing encounter she’d had with the world of the human trafficking and child sex trade.

About four months after she had started working at a Niagara Falls hotel, Bennett said, a woman came into the hotel with a girl she said was her daughter. The girl, Bennett thought, couldn’t have been more than 14 years old. During the roughly two weeks that the two stayed at the hotel, the woman would talk to Bennett fairly regularly—it was her job, after all to give the woman dinner recommendations or to set her up with tours. The woman would often talk to Bennett about what she had done that day and reward her with tips, and eventually, Bennett said, she came to see her as a friend of sorts.

Then two undercover police officers, she said, arrived at the hotel saying they suspected someone staying there of human trafficking. Eventually they arrested the woman. Even more shocking, Bennett’s supervisor took her aside to tell her he had noticed the woman seemed especially interested in her, and he suspected she had been considering targeting her.

The episode, Bennett said, hit her very hard, for a number of reasons.

“I didn’t go back to work for like three days because I felt so dirty, I felt terrible,” she said. “This girl that was with her wasn’t her daughter—it was a victim. And I don’t know what happened to her…We were told that after they checked out, when the police went into the room, and when the maid service went in, that there were needles all over the floor… there were drugs, there were all kinds of nasty, horrible things in the room.

“I can’t even begin to imagine what this young woman went through, and she didn’t say anything. The number of times that she was at the front desk with an iPhone or whatever that was in her hand and she wasn’t saying anything—she didn’t look at me for help, she didn’t ask for anything, and I just wish that I could have known.”

Bennett’s story was just one of a number of human trafficking-related presentations CoGS heard at the session, which also included prayer and the lighting of candles by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; the screening of a short film on human trafficking by Anglican Video; and several minutes of silent reflection.

The session concluded with a motion that CoGS endorse Resolution 15.10, an anti-human trafficking resolution approved by the Anglican Consultative Council in 2012.

The resolution urges provinces of the Anglican Communion to take a number of anti-human trafficking steps, including raising awareness of the involvement of their own country in trafficking; identify resources for fighting trafficking; develop strategies in response to it; and to promote liturgical materials dealing with trafficking as resources for local churches. The motion was passed by CoGS unanimously.

Such shocking crimes may seem remote from Canadians’ daily lives, but in fact they’re not far from any of us, CoGS heard.

“Human trafficking is…not something that Canadians are always thinking about, but somewhere near here, right now, someone is being trafficked and exploited,” said Ryan Weston, lead animator of public witness for social and ecological justice at the Anglican Church of Canada. “Somewhere near the communities that you have all come from, someone is being trafficked and exploited, or recruited into trafficking.”

In Canada, people—mostly women and girls—are often trafficked for the sex trade. The most common age for recruitment into the sex trade in Canada is 13.5 years, according to the Anglican Video documentary. Canada is a source, destination and transit country for the trafficking of humans, but 93 per cent of Canada’s sex trafficking victims are from Canada itself, CoGS heard. Most children being trafficked in Canada are Indigenous.

Since the Anglican Consultative Council’s resolution in 2012, a number of steps have been taken to fight human trafficking throughout the Anglican Communion and within the Canadian church, said Andrea Mann, director of global relations at the Anglican Church of Canada. Last February, for example, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, together with Bartholemew, the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, pledged to fight the crime at a joint conference. The Anglican Alliance, a network of Anglican humanitarian organizations, has been working to transform these statements into action in various ways, Mann said.

Among measures taken by the Anglican Church of Canada is a new section of its website dedicated to human trafficking, said Mann.

Anglicans in Canada are already working to fight human trafficking, though the national staff isn’t always aware of all their efforts, Weston said.

“Anglicans are working on this issue and sometimes we don’t know that we’re doing that…Even as we do this work, we discover new things that are happening all the time,” he said. He encouraged members of CoGS to let the national office know of anti-human trafficking work going on in their areas.

CoGS also heard from the Rev. John VanStone, assistant priest at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Kingston, Ont., who is leading an anti-human trafficking initiative at his church this summer. VanStone encouraged CoGs members to get involved by raising awareness of the issue, lobbying governments for policy change, taking front line action involving both victims and perpetrators, praying, and supporting others doing these things. One of VanStone’s initiatives, the Ragdoll Prayer Project, involves participants making faceless rag dolls as a way of teaching children about human trafficking.

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.


Anglican Journal News, June 25, 2017

David Bornstein: Unleash the change-making power

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
Books, Reviews

Priest and founder of Magdalene and Thistle Farms

Institutional leaders today all face the same challenge, says author and journalist David Bornstein: How do I unleash the creative capacity of every person in our institution?

To paraphrase Bob Dylan, every institution is either busy dying or busy being born, said David Bornstein, a frequent writer on social innovation. There is no such thing as sustainability — only continuous renewal.

Given the inevitability of change, leaders need to behave like social entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs, turning everyone in their organizations into creative thinkers bold enough to remake their institutions every day, he said.

Bornstein, whose books have been translated into 20 languages, is the author, with Susan Davis, of “Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know.” (link is external) He also wrote “How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas.” His first book, “The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank,” chronicled the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Grameen Bank and the global emergence of microfinance as an anti-poverty strategy. He received the 2008 Leadership in Social Entrepreneurship Award from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Bornstein spoke with Faith & Leadership about social entrepreneurship and lessons for institutional leaders. The following is an edited transcript.

Q: In your most recent book, “Social Entrepreneurship,” you talk about building institutions. What is the value of institutions?

There’s this expression: “There’s nothing more powerful in the world than an idea whose time has come.” But that’s not true. There are lots of ideas whose time has come — and some whose time has come and gone — because of a lack of institutions to embed them in reality, or the wrong institutions.

Look at the institutions in the Islamic world that promote Wahhabism; look at what happens when you have institutions promoting that brand of Islam that are very powerful and very well-financed. What would the world look like today if the institutions promoting religious pluralism had the same amount of power and reach to challenge those ideas? Institutions make ideas real, whether they’re religious ideas or whether they’re practical, social change ideas.

Q: How do established institutions encourage, support and integrate entrepreneurship?

There are two questions. One is, how do you create institutions that don’t already exist and breathe life into them? The next one is, how do you revitalize institutions that have been around for decades or hundreds of years? Really, the question of how to renew institutions gets to the question of entrepreneurship every bit as much as how to build them at the outset.

There is no such thing as sustainability. There is really only continuous renewal. Bob Dylan said, “If you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying.” To some degree, every institution is either busy dying or busy being born.

The question that every institution today faces is how do you unleash the change-making power of every single person in the institution? How do you turn everyone into a creative thinker who feels confident to try to advance an idea, someone who believes that it is his job or her job to improve upon things that they see and not just accept the status quo? How does the leadership of the institution communicate, reward people, excite people to see that their job is not merely to fulfill some function but to be a creative actor in the remaking of that institution every single day?

That’s an enormously difficult leadership challenge, one that requires extraordinary communication abilities. You now have essentially said, “Everybody in this institution is a creative actor. Now we have to work together, and what are we going to create together?” We have to be able to build teams.

We need empathy so that we can talk to each other even if we have different opinions about important questions. This is the challenge today in the field of social entrepreneurship, as people are building institutions across society. They’re all facing the same challenge, which is, how do I unleash the creative capacity of every single person in our institution and not just rely on 5 or 10 percent of the people to be the leaders?

Q: Do you have any examples of established institutions that have been successful in this kind of continuous renewal?

If you look at Ashoka (link is external), for example, an organization that supports social entrepreneurship around the world, they expect every one of their employees to be an “intrapreneur,” which is an entrepreneur who works inside an institution.

If you look at the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, they expect their bank workers to be not just people who administer loans; their job is to help villagers solve their problems.

At companies like Google, a certain percentage of everyone’s time can be devoted to projects of their own choosing. Most of their innovations come from that 20 percent of their time when people can work on whatever they feel like, as long as it is something good for the company. If you look at organizations like City Year or Teach For America or the Acumen Fund, you’ll find the same pattern. They have to be unleashing the creative capacity of everyone in their organization, or they wouldn’t have come so far.

Q: In your new book you describe the process of entrepreneurship as one of leadership more than of creating the best ideas. How is that kind of leadership unleashed and developed?

You have to break these things up into small boxes. From the point of recruitment, right from the outset when they come into an organization, you want to send them signals. You want to choose people who want to be creative actors.

We’re living in a world where people may be coming to a job with conditioning that makes them think, “I don’t want to be a creative actor. I want to know what’s expected of me, and I want to be able to deliver that and go home. It is too much pressure to have to be thinking all the time and to come up with new ideas and be expected to be bold and use my voice.” There’s a lot of old conditioning, which told people they should fit into a certain slot in society and deliver what’s expected of them.

Our test-taking culture — which tells children that you should memorize this information or understand this and then give it back to the teacher on the test — reflects that kind of conditioning. You want to make sure that you’re recruiting people, or at least enough people, who want to behave entrepreneurially and would like to be able to express their full range of talents in their work.

The second thing is the way you communicate. It’s very important to let people know through the storytelling culture — through the speeches, through the newsletters, through whatever the organization rewards or highlights — that we want people to be trying new things and we don’t penalize people for their experiments that didn’t work. We celebrate them for their effort. The one thing that we do penalize or we don’t pay much attention to is business as usual or people who respond to problems by hoping that things will just get better without some new action taken.

Then thirdly, it’s very important to bring in people in the organization who are very, very well versed and skillful at managing teams. The team is very different from the assembly line.

Q: In your previous book, “How to Change the World,” you discussed the importance of investing in young people. Which of these social entrepreneur organizations does a good job of bringing up another generation of young leaders?

One of the goals is to encourage people to grow up so that they have a sense of agency, which means if they see something is wrong they think, “I can fix it.” They don’t feel that something terrible is going to happen if they take the initiative. They can imagine the world better than it has been. How do you bring up children to have moral imagination and a sense of agency? We’ve been seeing organizations that come into children’s lives at a young age and teach them the skill of empathy.

There’s an organization in Canada called “Roots of Empathy.” They bring an infant into a classroom environment with the mother to show what empathy looks like. They ask young children to imagine the experiences of the baby at many different stages in the baby’s development. This process has been demonstrated through independent research to dramatically improve the children’s empathetic ethics. It’s a powerful change. It makes people more loving and kinder and more understanding.

How do you encourage that throughout childhood? One of the best ways to encourage that kind of behavior is by helping children to play in a more beneficial way. Many school districts in the United States have cut down or eliminated recess from the elementary school day because of disciplinary problems, and also because of pressures to cram in as much math and English practice as possible for the state assessment tests.

Recess games are very complex and meaningful. A game is an agreement. A bunch of kids come together and agree to abide by the same rules. In order to have the experience of playing, they have to subvert their own needs for the needs of the group, which is essentially what citizenship is all about. It’s a voluntary agreement to participate in this collective, even when it’s not in your own personal interest.

Organizations like Playworks go into public schools and help bring back this culture of play, not by telling children to play but by helping them become leaders in organizing successful games. This also allows them to demonstrate their teamwork and their leadership and their empathy — all of the skills that any institution needs to be great.

Q: What would you identify as the critical or defining traits of social entrepreneurs, and how can those be taught?

The most important quality is the sense of agency, the sense that you can and you want to take action to change the status quo in any area. So the first thing is this belief that it’s a good thing to take initiative. That you’re not going to be yelled at for stepping out of line or challenging authority. That people will want to listen to you. That’s the first quality.

The second [encompasses] skills like empathy and leadership and teamwork, because as soon as you have an idea, the next thing you have to do is reach out to a bunch of people and say, “I have this idea. Would you like to work on it with me?” That’s about how well you communicate with people and how much they want to work with you and whether you can figure out how to co-create an idea and give everyone a sense of ownership.

Then the third thing is probably what meaning you give to failure, because once you’ve tried something, once you’ve gotten a group together, the next thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to do something, and most likely the first thing you try is not going to work that well. It may work all right, but usually not as you intended. Or, more likely, parts of it will work and parts of it won’t. Or you may believe that you have a great idea and you need to raise some money and it takes you a year before one person says “yes” after 50 “noes.” What does that process mean to you? Do you see it as a failure, or do you just see it as part of the process, not to be taken personally? One of the things that I’ve seen from successful social entrepreneurs is that they don’t take “no” as an answer. They take it as information — that something that they’re doing is not working, which means that they’re going to have to change their approach. It doesn’t mean that “no” is the answer. It just means that “no” is a signal that something is not quite right. What many other people see as failure, they see as guideposts.

Q: Sometimes, for example in science, you can learn more from failure than from success.

If you set up the experiment the right way. And you can do this with children, by the way. You can play a game of 20 questions with children. You can say — John Holt wrote about this in one of his books years ago — “I’m thinking of a number between one and 10,000.” And as the first kid says, “Is it between one and 5,000?” and you say, “No,” you’ll see that the kids in the class will go, “Aw.” They’ll groan. They hear the “no” as a failure, when in fact “Is it between one and 5,000?” is the best question that the first child could ask, because it cuts the possible numbers in half. It’s exactly what you’re supposed to do in that game. Why do the kids hear the “no” as failure rather than as useful information?

Q: That’s interesting.

Every social entrepreneur I’ve interviewed or written about has heard the response “no,” like Thomas Edison, thousands of times. Thomas Edison said, “I didn’t fail. I just found 10,000 ways it won’t work.”

Anybody who is going to try to bring change within an institution, especially if it’s an old one with established practices, is going to immediately have people say, “But that’s not the way things are done here” or “That’s the way it has always been” or “Who do you think you are?” And those are all “noes.” I would encourage people to hear those phrases and think, “This is good information. I have to understand exactly who I’m dealing with and the sources of resistance I’m going to be facing in order to navigate this change. If I don’t understand that, I won’t be successful.” So to hear those words and not be disheartened, but to look upon them as helpful information — that will let you know what your next question should be, and it will also help you keep up the courage to persist.


Alban Weekly, Faith & Leadership, May 08, 2017

Task force runs into complexities of responsible investing

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on June 24, 2017

Robert Boeckner (right), a member of the Responsible Investing Task Force, gives CoGS members an update of his group’s work. Photo: Marites Sison

Mississauga, Ont.

A task force charged with coming up with proposals for guiding the responsible investing of more than a billion dollars’ worth of Anglican Church of Canada investment funds by this past spring is going to need more time, Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard Friday, June 23.

“We are not presenting proposed policy changes tonight, because as we got into this issue we found that it’s a very complex one,” Robert Boeckner, a member of the Responsible Investing Task Force, told members of CoGS in an update on its work. “We don’t have proposed policy changes yet, but we will.”

The task force, created by CoGS last fall in response to the passing of a resolution  at General Synod the previous summer, was mandated to present an interim report with proposed responsible investing policy changes by May 2017. However, Boeckner said, “as we got into this issue we found that it’s a very complex one, and it’s not going to result in simplistic solutions.”

For example, he said, simply to divest from fossil fuel companies is “too simplistic” because it reduces the means the church might have to engage with these companies to effect change. A group of Exxon Mobil shareholders, including the Church of England, recently successfully put forth a resolution  at the company’s annual general meeting requiring the company to issue annual reports on the impact to its business of climate change. If the Church of England had not been a shareholder, it would not have been able to attend the meeting, Boeckner said.

Using broad categories as a basis to accept or reject investments, he suggested, could be problematic, because companies that are undesirable in some ways might be desirable in others. For example, he said, the Anglican Church of Canada’s pension fund includes holdings in Total, a French oil and gas giant, which also happens to be Europe’s second largest investor in renewable energy. The big companies at work in the Canadian oil sands, he said, are the largest private-sector employers of Indigenous people in Canada.

One of the areas the task force discussed was solar energy. Though solar energy itself is environmentally friendly, most of the solar panels now used, he said, are made in China, sometimes in factories employing people at very low wages in poor working conditions, and their manufacture releases pollutants into the environment.

A summary of Anglican Church of Canada investment funds put together by the task force, and released in a summary report at CoGS, found just under $1.2 billion invested in church pension funds, diocese investments, General Synod’s consolidated trust fund, the Anglican Foundation and the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. The task force, Boeckner said, is eager to hear from the owners of these funds whether they currently use responsible investment practices and whether they would be interested in a responsible investing tool developed by General Synod and on other questions. The task force plans to send out a questionnaire.

Some CoGS members, asked to comment on the questionnaire, similarly expressed concern about the complexity of responsible investing. Bishop John Chapman, of the diocese of Ottawa, said the diocese already has in place a “screen” or policy preventing it from investing in oil and gas, weapons, pornography and other industries. But at a recent investment committee meeting, someone proposed divesting from American technology behemoth Apple as well, on the grounds that it had questionable employment practices. The fund manager, Chapman said, resisted the idea, saying that further screening out of companies would jeopardize the fund’s rate of return.

Such problems, he said, point to the need to know the “line” beyond which responsible investing policies shouldn’t be pushed, given the responsibility fund owners have to the people the fund is meant to benefit.

“How do we handle the moral dilemma of the line?,” asked Chapman. He noted that “in most of the cases in our diocese we’re not managing so much diocesan money—we’re managing the consolidated trust, which is mostly parish money. There’s a responsibility to parishes to gain as large a return as possible.”

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.


Anglican Journal News, June 24, 2017

No Indigenous translations of marriage canon report, CoGS hears

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on June 24, 2017

Archdeacon Lynne McNaughton says  the working group is not abandoning the idea of communicating the marriage canon report with Indigenous members and the rest of the church. Photo: Marites Sison

A working group tasked with, among other things, looking into translating “This Holy Estate” and other materials related to the marriage canon into Indigenous languages has decided that such an undertaking would not be worthwhile, Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard Saturday, June 24.

After “considerable conversation” within the task group and consultations with people outside of it, “it was decided at this point in time that translation of the documents into [Indigenous languages is] not going to be helpful, it’s not what’s going to be needed,” working group member Archdeacon Lynne McNaughton said in a presentation to CoGs.

“This Holy Estate”  is the report of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Commission on the Marriage Canon, released in September 2015.

The working group on the marriage canon was formed last fall  and mandated with facilitating the discussions within dioceses on the motion to change the marriage canon to allow same-sex marriages. Included in the working group’s mandate was the translation of materials related to the proposed change to the marriage canon into Indigenous languages, a desire expressed by some members of last summer’s General Synod.

The motion passed its first reading at that General Synod, but needs to be approved at a second reading in 2019 before it is passed. In the meantime, it is expected that dioceses discuss the motion.

Asked to provide more details on the decision not to translate the report, Sidney Black, Indigenous bishop for Treaty 7 territory in the diocese of Calgary and a member of the working group, said it was based on discussions within the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples as well as conversations he had had with National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and Indigenous Ministries Co-ordinator Canon Ginny Doctor. In the end, it was decided the time and resources needed, the difficulty of deciding which of the many Indigenous Canadian languages to translate the report into and the comprehensiveness of the document would all make the task very difficult, he said.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, asked whether the group had considered translating only the executive summary of the document.

“Im a little anxious that the position that’s been taken may be received with some dismay on the part of some members of General Synod, including Indigenous members, who really were asking for some translation work to be done…I think we just need to be mindful of that. I don’t want us to be going into General Synod without having done our work,” Hiltz said.

MacDonald replied that translating the executive summary would involve the same difficulties as translating the entire report. Many Indigenous Anglicans he had spoken to about the issue, he added, have not been anxious to see a translation.

“When we’ve discussed this…there hasn’t been interest, in part because the people who are discussing this most directly and most completely are also reading it in English,” he said. “We could reconsider that—the summary—and I’m willing to do that if that’s the request of this body, but at this point there’s no interest in it.”

Archdeacon Michael Thompson, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, added that other forms of engagement about the issue with Indigenous Anglicans, such as face-to-face talks with elders, would likely be more valuable.

McNaughton said she wanted to assure CoGS that the working group, in deciding not to translate This Holy Estate, was not abandoning the idea of communicating the marriage canon report with Indigenous members and the rest of the church.

“We will work on that—be assured it’s not dropped. It’s just, ‘How do we look at the complexity of that?’” she said.

The working group was also tasked with preparing resources to facilitate discussions within provinces and dioceses, McNaughton said. The group wants to hear more from them about both what resources they are already using and what they might need, she said. It is also working on building a list of skilled facilitators for these conversations.

The group is also hoping to practice a “listening process” with CoGS members at its meeting next November, for practicing “respectful and generous conversation,” in which each side is able to express the opinion of the other. The working group hopes that provincial and diocesan synods will be able to incorporate useful elements of this process into their own conversations, she said.

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.


Anglican Journal News, June 24, 2017

Delegates reflect on PWRDF’s work in Masasi

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By André Forget on June, 23 2017

The PWRDF delegation and hosts at Mtwara Airport. Back row, L-R: Jordan Leibel, Bishop David Irving, Chris Pharo, Zaida Bastos, the Rev. Linus Buriani, Leah Marshall, Jennifer Brown. Front row: Geoff Strong, Maureen Lawrence, Suzanne Rumsey, Joyce Liundi, Asha Kerr-Wilson, Elin Goulden. Photo: André Forget

Mtwara, Tanzania

It’s early in the morning, but the lounge at Mtwara airport is already filling up when the 10 members of the PWRDF’s delegation to the diocese of Masasi file through security.

While waiting for the plane that will take them to Dar es Salaam before they begin the long journey back to Canada, they reflect on what they have seen and learned during the week they have just spent learning about the PWRDF’s work in southern Tanzania.

Chris Pharo, PWRDF diocesan representative for the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, said he was struck by how significant an effect a relatively small investment can make.

Recalling a small rural clinic in the village of Mwenge outfitted with solar panels for $1,000, Pharo noted how much of an impact it had on the lives of the villagers.

“Women can now go to the clinic during the night hours, which has been a huge, huge benefit to the village community at large.”

Elin Goulden, social justice and advocacy consultant for the diocese of Toronto, introduces herself St. Mary and St. Bartholomew Cathedral in Masasi,  while Bishop James Almasi translates. Photo: André Forget

Elin Goulden, social justice and advocacy consultant for the diocese of Toronto, said she was impressed with the degree to which the project is implemented by local people.

“Really, the local people run the project,” she said. “It’s more about empowering them to take ownership of their own development. And that is really positive.”

For Asha Kerr-Wilson, a member of the PWRDF youth council and PWRDF board member, one of the important insights gained over the course of the week was the degree of similarity between the challenges faced by youth in Tanzania and youth in Canada, specifically regarding difficulties experienced in finding employment.

Board member and youth delegate Asha Kerr-Wilson introduces herself at St. Mary and St. Bartholomew Cathedral in Masasi, while Bishop James Almasi translates. Photo: André Forget

“It really put in perspective how there is a lot of similarities between Tanzania and Canada,” she said. “We sort of think of it as an us and them, but there is a lot of commonality.”

The boarding call comes, and the delegates carry their bags, now swollen with gifts of fabric and local cashew nuts from the diocesan office, out onto the tarmac. When the plane takes off, southern Tanzania becomes nothing more than a smudge of green, low on the horizon.

But the for the delegates, who have been tasked with carrying the stories they have seen and heard back to their home dioceses, it is much more than that.

About the Author

André Forget

André Forget

André Forget joined the Anglican Journal in 2014 as staff writer and social media lead. He also serves as managing editor of Whether Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Winnipeg Review, and the Town Crier.


Anglican Journal News, June 23, 2017

‘The gospel that we proclaim cannot be shoved into our pocket’

Posted on: June 24th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on June 23, 2017

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, gives his opening address to Council of General Synod (CoGS) in Mississauga, Ont. June 23.
Photo: Tali Folkins

In an opening address before the spring session of Council of General Synod (CoGS) Friday, June 23, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, reflected on the church’s role in society and encouraged council members to look beyond the church’s quarrels and divisions to its wider calling of bringing justice to the world in areas such as Indigenous rights, poverty and human trafficking.

Hiltz began by quoting some thoughts on Pentecost by Karen Gorham, bishop of Sherborne, U.K. As the disciples saw after Pentecost “an in-between time of witness” before the coming of the Kingdom of God, so should Anglicans, he said, see Pentecost as ushering in a time when “the ordinary can be made extraordinary” for Christians as they work the world-transforming work of Christ.

“Pentecost reveals the power we present-day disciples need to continue to fulfill our calling to continue to make Christ and his gospel known,” Hiltz said. “The Ascension as described by Luke ends with the question to the disciples, ‘Why do you stand looking up toward heaven? There is work for us to do.’ ”

Hiltz reflected on the phrase from the Book of Isaiah, “You are my witnesses,” which served as the theme for last July’s General Synod and for the current triennium, which lasts until 2019. In the Anglican tradition, he said, being a witness to God—evangelism—is done both through the performance of liturgy and service to the community, not through preaching what he called a “pocket-sized” gospel.

“The gospel that we proclaim cannot be shoved into our pocket because it is a gospel not just about me—it is a gospel for the world,” he said.

“Jesus looks at us and he says, ‘You are my witnesses, and if you are going to be my witnesses, you must be engaged in the community, you must be engaged in the world.’ ”

Bearing witness, Hiltz said, also means living in true communion with one another, in “one mystical body, one holy fellowship.” He then spoke of the eighth round of the Canadian-African BishopsDialogue, which ended last week with meetings in Nairobi, Kenya. Despite the presence of “very diverse political, social, culture and theological contexts,” Hiltz said, the bishops were able to say, in effect, that “a new understanding of the Anglican Communion has led to renewed commitment to its flourishing. Myths and stereotypes, misunderstandings and propaganda have been broken down. It’s clear we have so much more in common than the issues that divide us or threaten our unity.”

The Anglican Church of Canada’s work in the world, Hiltz said, has been recently recognized by at least two notable Canadians. At the April meeting of the House of Bishops, he said, University of Waterloo Professor David Pfrimmer said he saw in the Anglican Church of Canada the marks of a “public ethic of belonging” because of traits such as its “extreme hospitality,” “radical gratitude” and “focus on major life-enhancing things.” He praised the Anglican and other Canadian churches’ history of “public ecumenism,” or willingness to engage the world, and “was pleading with the house” that the church continue this tradition, Hiltz said.

Then, at a symposium hosted by the diocese of Ottawa last week, Hiltz said, former senator Hugh Segal spoke of the Anglican Communion’s “compelling presence and engagement on the front lines of global and domestic challenges,” the Anglican church’s widespread presence on the ground in Canadian communities and the perspective it has to offer on poverty in Canada. Quoting Segal, Hiltz said, “My plea is that you do not underestimate the importance and salience of your voice.”

Hiltz then spoke of the various measures the church had been taking in recent years in realizing the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, many of which he also mentioned in an Aboriginal Day statement June 21, and of a consultation session, slated for this September, on the future shape of the Indigenous Anglican church in Canada.

Hiltz’s strongest words were for human trafficking, which is to be the subject of a CoGS presentation Saturday, June, 24. In Canada, he said, the most vulnerable to human trafficking—much of which is for the sex trade—are women and girls, sometimes as young as 13, the poor and Indigenous people. He recalled a recent report claiming that some sex slaves can be raped as many as 40 times a day.

“This is the ugly crime of seduction, lying, luring about a better life,” he said. “This is the ugly crime of inflicting damage on people’s bodies and minds and souls. It is the lust of the consumer being satisfied and it is the greed of the owner of the sex slave that is being satisfied.”

Other forms of trafficking, he said, feed factories where people are forced to work in inhumane conditions.

“This crime, this ugly, filthy crime stalks the Earth—no country is beyond its reach,” including Canada, he said.

Though it would involve a difficult conversation, Hiltz said, he prayed the church would mobilize its women and men in effective ways to rid the world of the “living hell” caused by modern human trafficking and slavery.

Hiltz then quoted former Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple: “the church…that lives to itself will die to itself,” and concluded with a prayer for unity and action.

“Pray with me…that we not ever be so preoccupied…with all our joys and all our trials, all our celebrations, and all our squabbles that we lose our sight, nor our hearing, of the cries of those who look to us in the hope, the great hope of Christ’s mercy and compassion and that release and freedom of which his gospel speaks.”

He then referred once more to Gorham, referring to Isaiah’s call that Christians be “transformers of a needy world.”

“After all, my brothers and sisters, is that not the essence of our vocation, of our worship and our work from one week to the next?” he said.

CoGS’s spring session this year is meeting in Mississauga, Ont. June 22-June 25.

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.


Anglican Journal News, June 23, 2017


Bishop describes African-Canadian dialogue as a model for whole Communion

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

Posted on: June 22, 2017

Photo Credit: ACNS

The eighth annual meeting of Bishops from Canada and Africa has just taken place in Kenya, with the Bishop of Niagara,  Michael Bird, suggesting the yearly encounter could act as a model for reconciliation across the Anglican Communion.

The meetings were initiated after the 2008 Lambeth Conference, amid divisions over issues of same sex unions and larger questions of Scriptural interpretation.  Interested African dioceses started theological correspondence with Canadian counterparts, first on human sexuality and then mission.

A fluid group of Bishops from Canada, the US and various African countries have now met in Cape Town, Accra, Dar Es Salaam, Toronto, Coventry and Virginia in the United States. Together they seek to build common understanding and respect among parts of the Communion that have been in conflict.

Bishop Michael: “We focus on reconciliation and mission and what we agreed this time around, was to produce a testimony for Lambeth 2020. We feel what we have been doing for eight years shows a way forward for the Communion and we hope the next Lambeth conference will help to generate more of these face to face conversations.”

Bishop Michael described the first meeting as somewhat guarded but within a day or so all the participants felt they were doing the right thing – guided by the Holy Spirit. Strong bonds have also been formed,  he said: “I have developed a wonderful friendship with the Bishop in Ghana: he came to Canada and my wife and I went to visit his diocese. The wider Anglican Communion could learn a lot from the way, as a group, we have come together. There is so much misinformation on the internet, there really is no substitute for encountering someone face to face with an openness to the other, that allows us to listen and to come to understand the context in which others are ministering.”


Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Friday 23rd June, 2017