Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Bishop raises $22,000 cycling across Saskatchewan

Posted on: September 27th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on September, 27 2016

Bishop Rob Hardwick (left) and his son, Robert (right), with members of St. Mary’s parish in Whitewood, Sask., one of 18 churches he visited during his “pedalling pilgrimage of prayer.” Photo: Lorraine Hardwick


Sometime before he was about to embark on his cross-province bicycle ride this June, Bishop Rob Hardwick, of the diocese of Qu’Appelle, was approached by someone wanting to know what the point of it was.Hardwick responded that the nine-day, 723-km ride was to be a pilgrimage for prayer and worship with parishioners, with the goal of raising $10,000 to support mission and the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. The man, Hardwick says, then handed over a cheque for $10,500 on behalf of his family.

“We don’t want you to worry about, or concentrate your efforts on, fundraising,” the man said. “Go enjoy the ride and dedicate your time instead [to] what is more important, your Lord and your people.”

The event represented the answering of just one of Hardwick’s prayers for the ride, the bishop says in a reflection, which appeared in the Saskatchewan Anglican. Soon after the ride, more than $22,000 had already been raised, without even any overt fundraising on the bishop’s part, he said.

Moreover, the nine days, the bishop says, were also “a time of intense prayer and fellowship,” as he stopped to lead worship in 19 places along the route. All told, 377 people gathered in 19 churches along the way, for morning prayer services, Eucharists, mid-day prayer, evening prayer and gospel jamborees—not to mention, he says, potluck feasts. Fifteen other cyclists joined him along various sections of his pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage, Hardwick says, had him cycling at an average speed of 25 km/h, over 146 hills, while coping with summer heat and shifting wind. It was a physical challenge he’d spent two years training for, by riding a total of 4,300 km—and losing 92 pounds (42 kg) in the process.

The experience, he says, followed two other similarly gruelling—yet spiritually rewarding—events of the summer: an intensive study week for new bishops in Richmond, Va., and July’s General Synod in Richmond Hill, Ont.

In fact, Hardwick says all three experiences taught him similar lessons: the importance of good preparation and discipline, perseverance and healthy leadership, for example.

“Leadership demands much of us and, if I have learned anything over the last few weeks, it is the importance of good preparation; staying prayerfully attentive; to be willing to make the uncomfortable decision; to not let emotion lead, but rather God’s still small voice, even when his voice suggests a different way.

“Without a doubt, all three events were challenging, uncomfortable, demanding, enlightening, and yet all were bathed in the presence of Christ,” he continues. “In all the discomfort…I can certainly testify to the presence of the Comforter and to the prayers, hospitality and encouragement of the faithful, which have sustained me.”

The Bishop’s Discretionary Fund is used to pay for a variety of expenses in the diocese, such as hotel rooms for people needing a place to stay because of family medical problems, or sending spiritual leaders for education training.

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, September 27, 2016

Atheists can be spiritual beings, book argues

Posted on: September 18th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
Books, Reviews

By Michael McAteer on September, 16 2016


Theology for Atheists
By Gerald Robinson
168 pages
Nisbet House, 2016
ISBN 978-0-9950218-0-8
Available at U of T Bookstore, 214 College St., Toronto, ON M5T 3A1
Or order online: [email protected]

 

Award-winning Toronto architect Gerald Robinson is an adjunct professor of theology, in the divinity faculty at the University of Toronto’s Trinity College.

He’s a member of the Anglican congregation that worships in Trinity College Chapel and regularly attends services in the chapel. He calls it his parish church, his “go-to” place to worship. So what is he doing socializing with atheists in Scallywags, a Toronto pub?

Robinson is also an atheist who describes himself as an Anglican/Atheist/Christian—a description that must raise many eyebrows. Some will dismiss it as contradictory, incomprehensible.

No conflict or contradiction here, Robinson says. He explains why in Theology for Atheists, described by a reviewer as “the most fun serious work” she has ever read. He calls it an “outrageous book,” and it’s liable to outrage some people.

In his 168-page book, Robinson addresses such subjects as heavenly warfare, faith or reason, and miracles. He raises such questions as: Can atheists have a theology? Do atheists have souls? Can an atheist be a Christian if he or she denies the divinity of Jesus?

He answers with an emphatic “yes.”

Robinson says Jesus never claimed to be God, that nowhere in the gospels does he make that claim. Free Jesus from the doctrinal cluttering, and he is still the “greatest teacher the world has ever known,” whose message of peace, love and tolerance is sorely  needed by a troubled world.

Much of Robinson’s book is devoted to an examination of the gulf between people of faith and non-believers. Atheism is an attitude, a form of mind that “looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as part of nature.” With no supporting evidence, people of faith assert that their faith is the right faith, and their path is the one true path, providing them with a comfort zone in which they bask.

But surely, in a world of numerous religions and gods, it follows that that all others are wrong, resulting in bloody religious wars for supremacy.

Originally, most of the tenets of permanent truth were seen as a reasonable explanation of the cosmos and the human society within it, but with the advancement of science, “the logic of those continuing to adhere to absolute truth became more strained.”

While some people of faith may find it difficult to accept, Robinson says atheists can be spiritual beings. He promotes a common ground where non-believers can join in the celebrations of a religious community, to share their rituals and devotions without having to adopt their beliefs; a common ground where atheists can offer explanations for sacred mysteries, while revering them as myths.

Noting the significant increase in non-believers and the plummeting decrease in church membership, Robinson says it’s imperative for non-believers and faith communities—many of whom are engaged in social action and have concerns about human rights and environmental issues—to join forces. He says it’s time for a partnership in which we can all worship the beauty and wonder the world has to offer while helping to save the planet.

As an Anglican, he suggests that the Anglican/Episcopal Church makes the lowest demands for conformity of belief and could lead the way.

 

Michael McAteer is a retired Toronto Star religion editor and one-time interim editor of the Anglican Journal.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, September 16, 2016

No Greater Love: Commemorative Edition

Posted on: September 15th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
Books, Reviews





NO GREATER LOVE
Commemorative Edition
by Mother Teresa
Foreword by Thomas Moore

New World Library, Aug. 15th, 2016
Commemorative Edition $22.00 US
ISBN #978-1-60868-446-5.

Original Edition 2002 (still available)
Hardcover. 224 pages. $16.50 CAD.


 

 

Publisher’s Promo:

“No Greater Love” is the essential wisdom
of Mother Teresa – the most accessible,
intimate, and inspiring book of her
teachings.

Thematically arranged to present her
revolutionary vision of Christianity in its
graceful simplicity, the book features her
thoughts on love, generosity, forgiveness,
prayer, service, and what it means to be
a Christian. A passionate testament to
deep hope and abiding faith in God, “No
Greater Love” celebrates the life and work
of one of the world’s most revered spiritual
teachers.

 

Preface by Thomas Moore:

Mother Teresa has caught the imagination of
the world not because she is a great writer
or theologian, but because she is a person of
immense compassion and openness…

(In) her undefended state, she feels the
suffering of the world, of the old and the
very young and those between. She knows
firsthand the meaning of empathy and
more so the profundity of pathos.

In the intimate reflections published in this
book, we learn some of the secrets of this
person… her particular kind of Christianity,
with its spiritual vision, methods of prayer,
and inspiring figure of Jesus (she tells us)
keeps her personal spirits and unlimited
compassion high.

To a sophisticated modern reader, some of her
ideas and language, especially her piety, may
seem naïve and unnecessarily self-denying…
but modern psychology has yet to discover
what the religions have taught for millennia –
that loss of self leads to the discovery of soul.
As I read her words, I try to hear them, not
as naïve, but as sophisticated in a way that
is largely foreign to modern taste.

Rather than avoiding suffering, she becomes
intimate with it. Rather than heroically trying
to overcome death, in the style of modern
Western medical philosophy, she focuses on
a person’s emotional state and sense of meaning
in the last moments. She is acutely attentive, too,
to the feelings of children, a strong sign, in my
estimation, of a person profoundly initiated in
the ways of the soul…

Beneath Mother Teresa’s straightforward faith
and personal honesty lies a subtle knowledge
of human motivation.

(She avoids a focus on the mental aspects of
faith because) when religion is largely mental,
spiritual attitudes may never get translated
into compassionate attention and action in
the world community.

What is absent in these passionate words
of Mother Teresa is any attempt to convert
us to her beliefs. She simply describes her
strong faith and tells us about her work
among the poor and the sick… Her words
simply demonstrate how human beings,
when given the most basic kinds of love and
attention, find significant transformation and
discover their humanity, dignity and at least
momentary happiness…

(With her recent canonization we can formally
declare Mother Teresa a saint)… but the
reflections in this book could show us, as she
says, that we can all be saints.

– from the Foreword



Wikipedia Bio:
http://tinyurl.com/hlztqj9


 

Review by Dr. Wayne Holst

 

My Comments:

The overarching theme of Mother Teresa’s
book is missiological. By that, I mean that
the newly declared saint, like all saints who
preceded her, had a mission in the world.

But Mother Teresa’s purpose as a Christian
is not to try to convert the world to her faith.

Her purpose is to demonstrate what her faith
means to her in the way she serves God and
her fellow human beings.

Any “conversions” to her faith (and there
are many) are not her responsibility. She
leaves that to God’s Holy Spirit. Her task
is to witness to what God enables her to do.

The model for mission, personified by
Mother Teresa, emerged out of the reality
of a multi-faith, impoverished Indian culture.

That same model speaks to a secular world,
especially in the West, that tends to denigrate
all religion as self-serving and violent.

Far from viewing Mother Teresa as a vestige
of traditional Catholic piety, her witness,
to my mind, puts her in a teaching role for
many of us who try to be faithful Christians
in a rapidly changing world.

What is our mission?

Teresa demonstrates a mission to compassion
and caring. Some of us have a special vocation
for justice-seeking, and Teresa only indirectly
appeals to that dimension of Christian mission.

She has been criticized for ignoring justice
and focusing primarily on band aid work.
I believe she knows injustice only too well,
but her primary task is mercy.

I found this re-encounter with the major
treatise of the newly minted saint to be a
healthy counter to one-sided missiological
thinking. 

My life must reflect a dual mission – to act justly
and to be merciful.



Buy New Edition from New World Library:
http://tinyurl.com/zc6479j

Buy Original Edition from Amazon.ca:
http://tinyurl.com/gm24xla

 

 

Dr. Wayne Holst teaches religion and culture at the University of Calgary and  helps  to co-ordinates Adult Spiritual Development  at St. David’s United Church in that city. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Colleagues List, Vol. XII, No. 06,  September 11, 2016

Stop putting new wine into old wineskins, says missioner

Posted on: September 12th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By André Forget on September, 12 2016

Stewardship gathering participants discuss the impact of new expressions of Christianity on the church’s fundraising efforts. Photo: André Forget


Mississauga, Ont.
For decades, many parishes and dioceses of the Anglican Church of Canada have watched the money raised through tithes and offerings drop. At the same time, they have seen the growth of new kinds of spiritual practice based around tight-knit, less denominationally rigid communities of worship.What if the first development has in part been caused by the second?

In a presentation at the recent annual Resources for Mission (RfM) stewardship gathering, Mark Dunwoody, diocesan missioner for the Anglican diocese of Montreal, argued that the way the church raises money has not kept up with the seismic changes that have taken place in the church in recent years.

Dunwoody said that many newer expressions of Christianity, which he calls “new contextual churches,” do not have as strong a sense of denominational affiliation as more traditional elements might. This means they are less willing to give for the purposes of supporting institutional Anglicanism.

“[New contextual church] folks want to see life change,” he said. “They want the brokenness that they perceive addressed. They don’t want to hear you talk about it—they want to see it.”

Ever since the Enlightenment, Dunwoody argued, Protestant churches have been structured on corporate, programmatic models that emphasize the efficient pursuit of what they believe to be the will of God on Earth. This model assumes that the church exists in a largely Christian society into which it can speak with an authoritative voice—it assumes that the context is “Christendom.”

But, in the past three decades, there has been a shift toward a model based not on “politics or power, but on participation and presence,” he said.

Churches in the new mould, such as the emerging church movement, Fresh Expressions, church plants and neo-monastic movements, are skeptical of hierarchical authority and value a less rigid, more experiential sense of faith.

While Dunwoody believes there is much to celebrate about these new expressions of Christianity, he thinks the institutional church has been too slow in adapting to the different ways new contextual churches operate.

For example, he said, Gen Xers and Millennials have less money than their parents and grandparents. They will support something they care about, but they want to know it isn’t simply “to keep a sinking ship floating.”

They are also less likely to be in church every Sunday morning, which Dunwoody says has a direct impact on church fundraising.

“There are going to be fewer Sundays where a household is going to be in attendance,” he said. “What that means is there are going to be less times in a year when people’s bums are in the seat so they can get the money in the plate.”

In fact, among new contextual churches, even the definition of “church” is changing.

For some, “going to church” doesn’t necessarily means showing up for a proscribed period of time once a week. Dunwoody explained that in his own diocese, activities like Messy Church sometimes draw larger numbers than weekend services.

While alternative methods of tithing, such as monthly automated electronic giving, can offset some of these changes, churches also need to be willing to ask some existential questions, Dunwoody said.

For parishes to understand what their purpose is, they not only need to have a strong sense of the general mission they share with all Christians, but also to know the roots of their particular churches.

“In every locality where we have a church, there was an original purpose,” he said, noting that buildings that often seem timeless expressions of piety were created to meet the needs of a very specific historical moment.

These needs were not, he added, always purely or even mostly spiritual: in his native Ireland, Dunwoody said, many Protestant churches were set up not to spread the gospel, but to demographically edge out the colonized Catholic population.

Every church must evaluate whether it is still meeting the need for which it was created, or if there are other needs it is positioned to serve, said Dunwoody.

 

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, September 12, 2016

Anglican Communion Task Group holds first meeting to ‘maintain conversation’

Posted on: September 12th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By ACNS/Adrian Butcher on September, 09 2016

Members of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s task group gather at the Anglican Communion Office in London for their first meeting. Photo: ACNS


The Task Group set up after the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting in January to “maintain conversation” has met for the first time and stressed its determination to work together. But it acknowledged the process would take time and could not be rushed.

The Primates asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint the group to restore relationships, rebuild mutual trust, heal the legacy of hurt and explore deep differences. Archbishop Welby presented the group’s mandate to ACC16 in Lusaka in April where it was received and affirmed. This week seven members of the group have been meeting in London. An eighth joined in via video conferencing.

“What we are trying to do here is mirror what we desire for the whole Communion,” said the Coadjutor Bishop of Huron in Canada, the Rt Revd Linda Nicholls. “We are trying to practise in our engagement with each other here what we long for in the wider Communion.”

Archbishop Ian Ernest, from the Province of the Indian Ocean, said exchanges within the group had been frank and open.

“What has come out very clearly is the level of transparency that we have in the group. We have been able to be open and speak openly about our differences,” he said. “We also recognise the richness of the Communion. And we all love our Communion – that is what binds us together.”

The Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh, Bishop Sarker, echoed the same theme. “Our cultures and backgrounds are very different, and we express our spirituality differently but we are moving forwards together,” he said.

Reflecting on the diversity, Canon Rosemary Mbogo, the Provincial Secretary of the Anglican Church of Kenya, said there was no grouping within the Communion whose views would not be listened to.

“That is really needed if we are talking about healing and walking and working together in a unified Communion,” she said. Canon Rosemary added that she had been pleased at the progress made.

“It’s gone well. We have covered a lot of ground on understanding each other and the people we represent. We have been coming to know each other by spending time together. There is definitely hope – I am convinced of that.”

Archbishop Ian agreed: “It has gone beyond my expectations,” he said.

Anglican Communion secretary general, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said he was grateful to the participants for the sacrifices they had made to attend the meeting. He welcomed the progress made in the talks.

“I am really encouraged by the depth of trust that is beginning to be seen and also the hope expressed by the participants,” he said.

The Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, acknowledged that finding solutions would take time.

“Quick fixes aren’t long-term solutions,” he said. “Long-term solutions require long-term work. We are talking about relationships. You don’t build or renew or heal relationships overnight. So, we are going to take whatever time it takes – but we are going to do it.

“I was coming to London anticipating and hoping we would find ways to genuinely go deeper in our relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe the closer we draw to God in Christ, the closer we are going to draw to each other.”

Asked if he felt there had been progress, Bishop Curry said, “Well, we are here and we are doing it!”

He recalled a slave spiritual song from the US. “We’ll just keep inching along, like an inchworm. The wisdom [of the song] is that the worm keeps moving forwards, slowly and steadily. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. . . We are committed to the Anglican Church. We believe in the importance of the Communion for the sake of the gospel and the world.”

The group stressed the importance of prayer in the work they were doing.

“We have committed to pray for each other,” said Archbishop Philip Freier from Australia. “There may be a sense that this is just a ‘talk-fest’. But this [prayer] is a profound action consistent with the theme.”

Canon Rosemary Mbogo agreed prayer was the foundation of the group’s work and it was vital to know the will of God for its direction.

Bishop Curry added, “Our time here has been immersed in prayer. That is always going to be a formula for a better outcome.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury formally welcomed the group and prayed for them before talks began on Tuesday. He also attended the first session during which he stressed there was no pre-set agenda and that the group was to appoint its own chair.

Dr Idowu-Fearon, hosted the group and acted as secretary. The group agreed the post of chair would rotate around the membership. The ninth member of the group, Archbishop Ng Moon Hing from the Province of South East Asia was unable to attend. The Moderator of the Church of South India, Bishop Govada Dyvasirvadam, will not be taking part because of allegations he is facing in India.

The group is scheduled to meet annually with additional meetings electronically. The date of the next meeting is yet to be confirmed.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, September 09, 2016

Primate: Fundraising and evangelism go together

Posted on: September 12th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By André Forget on September, 08 2016

Fundraising “isn’t about asking [for money]—it is about inviting people to participate in your visions and plans for the future,” says Martha Asselin of M&M International, a fundraising consulting firm that specializes in services for faith-based groups and churches. Photo: André Forget


Mississauga, Ont.Barnabas is best known as a New Testament missionary, apostle and companion of St. Paul, but Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, believes he can also teach the 21st-century church how to approach stewardship and fundraising.

“Barnabas is our mentor—he knew how to inspire people with the message of the gospel; he knew how to ask people to support the church’s ministry, and he knew how to thank them,” said Hiltz, in an introductory keynote to the Resources for Mission’s (RfM) third annual stewardship gathering.

Organized with a theme of Inspire! Ask! Thank!, the event brought together around 80 clergy and lay people from 27 of the Anglican Church of Canada’s 30 dioceses and territories, as well as Lutheran and United Church partners, to sharpen their fundraising skills.

Hiltz stressed that one cannot talk about fundraising without also discussing evangelism and the purpose of the church.

Asking people to give money is not a matter of minor embarrassment made necessary by financial need, but a way for committed believers to take part in building something beautiful and important, he said.

In a talk based on the work of Episcopalian Canon C.K. Robertson, who has written extensively on the subject of stewardship, Hiltz explained that the Barnabas model treats fundraising as another side of discipleship.

When Barnabas first appears in the Acts of the Apostles, he has sold a field to provide money to be shared among the other members of the early church. When he is seen again, it is because he is championing the newly converted St. Paul. Hiltz argued that Christians need to fund mission by sharing wealth, and participate in it by actively recruiting newcomers.

It was to be a message that was repeated in the following plenary session, led by Martha Asselin and Murray McCarthy, senior partners of M&M International, a fundraising consulting firm that specializes in services for churches and faith-based groups.

Primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz says Christians need to fund mission by sharing wealth, and participate in it by actively recruiting newcomers. Photo: André Forget


Asselin and McCarthy began their presentation by sharing some grim statistics about the demographic and financial health of mainline Protestant churches—falling revenues, aging membership—before moving on to examples of churches that have managed to “buck the trend” of financial and demographic decline.

Drawing attention to a study done on growing churches in the United Kingdom, Asselin noted that many of the key elements in building a healthy church—strong leadership, clear sense of purpose, adaptability and willingness to spend time nurturing individuals—are also essential in fundraising.

Indeed, if done properly, fundraising is a form of evangelism, and evangelism contributes to fundraising, she said.

In order for this to work, Asselin said, parishes must have a strong sense of the concrete good they are doing for their members and for their community.

She suggested that crafting a “missional plan” that has broad support in the congregation and offers a clear sense of purpose can give people the sense of working toward tangible goals and being part of something larger than themselves.

“It isn’t about asking [for money]—it is about inviting people to participate in your visions and plans for the future,” said Asselin, adding that people are more likely to give to a cause if they can see concrete benefits coming from their investment.

Asselin noted that many of the most successful M&M programs in Anglican parishes have worked because parishioners became “ambassadors” who reached out to other members of the church and community and encouraged them to get involved.

For example, the Anglican Parish of Maberly-Lanark in the diocese of Ottawa, a four-point rural parish between Ottawa and Kingston, had been investing most of its financial resources in maintaining its buildings.

But one of the most serious issues in the community was youth suicide, and after a long period of debate about where the church should invest its resources, the parish decided to start supporting YAK Youth Services in nearby Perth, an organization dedicated to providing young people with support, encouragement and training.

The result was not only an increase in giving, but a renewed sense of connection to the community beyond the church walls.

Asselin stressed that Canadians are very willing to give to causes—the problem is, the church has often done a poor job of articulating why it is a cause people should support.

“If people know people, they will support a cause,” Asselin said, stressing the importance of individual parishioners going out and supporting the work of their church. “If people know what it is about, they will support it even more.”

According to organizer Susan Graham Walker, who works in congregational giving and stewardship for the United Church and is on secondment one day a week to work with RfM, attendance at this year’s gathering doubled from last year.

Graham Walker said the schedule was designed to meet the practical needs of those who work in church fundraising.

“We’ve responded to the evaluation from the previous years to develop the agenda—this is in response to what people have identified as things that we need to be paying attention to,” she said in an interview before the gathering.

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, September 09, 2016

CLAY offers Christian youth a ‘safe space’

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By André Forget on August, 31 2016


For some Christian youth, events like CLAY are a rare opportunity to spend time with other young people who share their beliefs and convictions. Photo: ELCIC


The Canadian Lutheran and Anglican Youth (CLAY) conference, which took place from August 17-21, in Charlottetown, offered nearly 1,000 youth the opportunity to do many things: learn about their faith, dig into the nitty-gritty of discipleship with service projects, explore a different part of the country and swim in the ocean.

But at a time when devout religious practice in Canada is on the wane, it also gave them something more basic: the feeling of not being alone.

For 17-year-old Krista Hum, an Anglican from the diocese of Ottawa who attended CLAY for the first time this year, this was no small thing.

Hum, who attends St. Alban’s Anglican Church, near the University of Ottawa, is the only other youth at her church. She and a friend from St. Alban’s joined the youth group at St. James, Manotick, to attend CLAY. Being able to spend time not only with other Anglicans, but other Anglicans in her age bracket, was something of a novelty.

“Sometimes it seems like you are the only one in your age group, and no one else seems to be super interested in what you’re interested in, or super interested in expressing what you believe in,” she said, adding that at CLAY she felt less alone.

“All these youth from all over Canada who also have the same faith are all gathered—that creates this kind of community that you don’t get many other places,” she said. “You are in…a safe space that has been created [for you] to express yourself as you truly want to.”

CLAY, which takes place in a different Canadian city every two years, began as a gathering for Lutheran youth. It expanded to include Anglicans in 2010 as a practical outgrowth of the full communion partnership the two denominations entered into in 2001.

Since then, Anglican participation has risen steadily from 85 in the first year to 195 in 2016.

The theme of the conference was “Not for Sale,” and the activities emphasized values that many in both denominations hold dear, such as service, social justice, worship and environmentalism. Youth like Hum were given a chance to, among other things, visit and work on an organic farm, chant alongside Buddhist nuns, practise slam poetry and go on a street walk to learn about homelessness.


Youth take to the main stage during CLAY 2016. Photo: ELCIC


Donna Rourke, a CLAY veteran who organized the youth group from Manotick, noted that for many of the young people attending CLAY, the gathering is a unique opportunity to see a different side of the church.

“They learn that there are lots of people from all walks of life and all over the country who are interested in the same kind of social justice issues that they are interested in,” she said.

Both Hum and Rourke observed, the energy also spills into life outside of CLAY.

Rourke said she noticed her own youth being “empowered…and challenged to go out there and make some changes—to be the change,” and explained that there are plans to bring the group of 44 Anglican youth from Ottawa together throughout the year.

“We will intentionally get together to worship, we will intentionally get together to socialize, we will intentionally get together to do outreach,” she said.

With CLAY now a happy memory, this is one of the things Hum is most excited about taking with her.

“I know there are a lot of diocesan events for youth, so I’ll definitely be going to those,” she said. “I will definitely have to try and get in contact with [the other youth] again.”

The next CLAY conference will take place in Thunder Bay, Ont., in 2018.

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, September 02, 2016

New Westminster Sacred Earth Camp highlights Indigenous land justice

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

With the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, participants at the first Sacred Earth Camp paddle a traditional canoe on the Salish Sea opposite an oil tanker. Submitted photo by Laurel Dykstra

With the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, participants at the first Sacred Earth Camp paddle a traditional canoe on the Salish Sea opposite an oil tanker. Submitted photo by Laurel Dykstra

New Westminster Sacred Earth Camp highlights Indigenous land justice

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0

A group of budding young environmental leaders immersed themselves in the eco-justice issues of the lower Fraser Watershed from July 31 to August 13, publicly expressing their opposition to the proposed Kinder Morgan Pipeline expansion project as the first Sacred Earth Camp unfolded in the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster.

Taking place at A Rocha’s Brooksdale farm in South Surrey, B.C. with trips around Coast Salish territory and the lower mainland, the camp aimed to teach youth and young adults about the local bio-region and to help them learn the spiritual and practical skills necessary to become long-term leaders for environmental justice.

Sacred Earth Camp is a project of Salal + Cedar, a new diocesan church plant rooted in the tradition of watershed discipleship. Partial funding came from the national Ministry Investment Fund and the social justice branch of the Primate’s office.

The Rev. Laurel Dykstra, director of the Sacred Earth Camp and priest in charge of Salal + Cedar, noted that the camp was catalyzed by the diocese’s Marks of Mission Champions initiative, in which “youth expressed significant concern about environmental justice, a strong desire to be effective agents of change—and little practical knowledge about how to do that”.

Participants ranged in age from 12 to 23, encompassing settler, Indigenous, and migrant youth. Seven participated in the full two-week program and three took part only in certain activities, while at least 70 other people, from infants to elders, participated in events, community activities, or camp life at some point.

Over the course of the camp, leadership moved from staff members to participants. The first week had a pre-planned schedule centred around the question “What are the issues?” while the second week saw a more flexible format based around the question, “What are the solutions?”

Opposition to Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion

Delving into issues from endangered salmon to climate change, participants chose to focus on Indigenous land justice in the form of opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. The proposed expansion would create a twinned pipeline through Burnaby Mountain on Coast Salish territory, nearly tripling the flow of oil from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels.

Sacred Earth Camp participants hold signs outside the Kinder Morgan hearings after speaking out against the Trans Mountain expansion project. Submitted photo by Devin Gillan
Sacred Earth Camp participants hold signs outside the Kinder Morgan hearings after speaking out against the Trans Mountain expansion project. Submitted photo by Devin Gillan

 

 

Attending public hearings on the pipeline expansion, Sacred Earth Camp participants drew upon lessons from a media literacy skills workshop and wrote and issued a press release outlining their position. They cited concerns about bitumen spills harming local marine life, the need to protect ecosystems sacred to Indigenous people, and the urgency of creating more sustainable energy solutions.

Prior to the hearings on August 11, campers held a prayer vigil in a park near the Kinder Morgan terminal. Dykstra noted that as part of the vigil, the youth made votive candles expressing “their prayers for land and water, their hopes for the future, and their desire to overcome fossil fuel addiction. These burned outside the hearings while the young people gave their testimony.”

While attending the hearings, participants dressed in and wrote signs using the colours of the medicine wheel to represent Indigenous justice and the diversity of voices opposing the project. Some prepared speeches, and all of the campers delivered a spoken-word performance together.

“The youth were extremely well received at the hearings and got some media attention—CBC, BurnabyNOW, Save the Coast,” Dykstra said.

“But they were very disappointed to see their focus on Indigenous land justice changed to a story about church-youth environmentalism,” she added, citing one media outlet that interviewed four youth but “failed to air the words of the one Indigenous youth living in the impacted community.”

Promoting environmental leadership

Throughout the rest of the camp, participants engaged in numerous activities based around environmental stewardship. Each morning, they took part in one of three work areas—farm and garden, conservation and habitat restoration, or meal preparation—while evening offered time for reflection.

Activities during the day included the KAIROS blanket exercise, harvesting and making medicine and food from native plants, hiking on Burnaby Mountain with activists involved in the 2014 anti-pipeline encampment, learning Haida cedar bark weaving, building wilderness survival kits, shoreline clean up, and workshops on writing, poetry, spoken-word performance, and environmental activism.

Venturing outside the farm, participants visited Steveston Cannery Museum, toured Chinatown to learn about the historic relationship of Chinese migrant labour to local industries, viewed the area drinking water reservoir, and floated down Burrard Inlet in the Salish Sea piloting a replica cedar Coast Salish canoe.

Reflecting on the inaugural Sacred Earth Camp, Dykstra indicated a positive reaction among those in attendance.

“The camp was a great success, and there will be more like it in the future.”

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, August 23, 2016

Fredericton bishop takes pilgrimage through his diocese

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By André Forget on August, 22 2016


Bishop David Edwards (centre, leaning on stick) stops for a rest with Anglicans from Campbellton, N.B.  Photo:  Trevor Fotheringham


For the second year in a row, Bishop David Edwards of the diocese of Fredericton spent the first two weeks of June walking the streets and highways to visit parishes, pray with Anglicans and witness to the communities he visited along the way.

From May 29 to June 12, Edwards visited six parishes of the geographically large but sparsely populated archdeaconry of Chatham, along New Brunswick’s rugged north shore. It was the second in a planned series of seven pilgrimages Edwards hopes to take through each of the diocese’s seven archdeaconries.

“It went extremely well. People were enthused…I think because it happened last year, that has enabled us to build up a little bit of momentum this year,” he said.

Over the course of 15 days, Edwards and his walking partner Trevor Fotheringham put a total of 170 kms behind them. Of those 170, Edwards estimates that they only spent six walking unaccompanied, with groups of parishioners joining them for most the journey.

“We had lots of people walking with us all through,” he said. “Maybe just one or two at times, but I think we had…30 or 40 people walking with us at one point.”

Edwards said walking the archdeaconries gives him a much more “holistic” sense of what the parishes in his diocese are really like.

“As a bishop you go out and visit churches, but it’s kind of you’re there and then you’re gone,” he said, noting that while walking the Chatham archdeaconry he often spent two or three days in a single multi-point parish.

“It enables people to have better access to me than sort of hit and run on a Sunday morning, and [it allows] me able to get a much better handle on what they are like as a community,” he said. “The feedback I get is that they really do feel more connected with me as their bishop.”

But Edwards noted that walking is also important for other reasons. Before setting out for Chatham, he stressed the importance of the walk as a way of moving church outside of the building.

“In a sense, this is a symbolic gesture on my part: to say to folks that we can’t sit in our buildings, the gospel is something to be proclaimed in the streets and on the hillsides,” he said.

As it turned out, Edwards ended up also proclaiming the gospel on fishing wharves and in fire halls.

At several points in his journey local people invited Edwards to join them in some of the activities characteristic of life in that part of the province, such as lobster fishing and a visit to the local volunteer fire department in Salmon Beach, and bass fishing at Wilson’s Point.

At other times, the people he met were simply other travellers on the road; as, for example, when a group of people honked and waved as they passed the bishop and his companions on a particularly rainy day, only to return on the way back from town with hot chocolate for the whole party.

“We met all kinds of different people en route,” Edwards chuckled.

In 2015, Edward’s first pilgrimage took him through the much smaller archdeaconry of St. Andrews, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. This year, due to the size of the archdeaconry, Edwards and Fotheringham were driven between parishes at some points to save them having to spend days walking through large unpopulated areas.

The idea to walk around the diocese during summer came from Edwards’ mother, who told him stories when he was a child of how the bishop of her home diocese of Lichfield, England, would spend summers walking around the diocese. Following his election as bishop in 2014, Edwards thought it might be a good idea to try this approach in his own diocese.

“There is a degree of visibility [in walking]…and the opportunity to draw people in and to pray for people who may need prayer as we go along the road,” he said.

“Also, Jesus did a lot of walking, as far as I can see.”

You can read Edwards’ live blog of the experience here.

(Editor’s Note:  A change to the photo credit has been made. ) 

 

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, August 22, 2016

Brazil’s Anglicans protest destruction of Indigenous land

Posted on: August 19th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Gavin Drake/ACNS


The Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil) is part of an ecumenical coalition supporting Indigenous rights in Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul state. Photo: USPG


[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] Hundreds of indigenous Guarani-Kaiowá and Terena people have been violently evicted from their homes in the central western state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The vacated land is being used for agricultural businesses, including soya plantations and cattle raising. Now, the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (IEAB – Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil) is joining with other churches to in a co-ordinated ecumenical campaign to fight for the rights of indigenous peoples.

Brazil’s Indigenous Council reports that 390 Guarani-Kaiowá and Terena people have been brutally murdered and more than 500 committed suicide in the past 12 years as part of the campaign to remove indigenous families from their homelands to make way for agri-businesses.

“On 14 June this year, near the village of the Guarani-Kaiowá in the municipality of Caarapo, indigenous community health worker Achilles Clodiodi Rodrigues de Souza, 23, was shot dead and another five Guarani were treated for severe gunshot wounds,” the IEAB said in a statement. “Residents in the area reported seeing men in trucks, tractors and motorcycles shooting from all sides.

“After the incident, a large group of indigenous people dispersed and occupied land in order to protect themselves. This generated conflict with the owners of those lands.

“Clodiodi was buried at the site of the attack and his grave has become a symbol of the struggle of the Guarani-Kaiowá and Terena people to regain their land.”

Last month, members of the IEAB joined Christians from other churches in a public demonstration outside the Mato Grosso do Sul state parliament to express their “total support for the indigenous cause” and to demand “an immediate end to the killing and resolution of the conflict.”

As a result of the protest, the state’s attorney general met with church leaders and representatives of the indigenous communities. “The indigenous leaders took the opportunity to bring their grievances, and the ecumenical mission committed itself to following up the process,” the IEAB said.

“As a church, we commit to advocate for the indigenous people in Brazil and abroad. We hear the plea of people who are Brazilian – a plea which bounds us to the struggles of all humanity to preserve our style of life, our lands, and our beliefs.”

The IEAG is being supported in its campaign for the indigenous people of Brazil by the Anglican mission agency USPG. “We are standing shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in Brazil,” USPG said. “Please join us praying for an injustice in Brazil that viewers of the Olympic Games are not seeing.”

USPG is providing funds to train community activists who have been advocating successfully for land rights in the country.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anglican Journal News, August 19, 2016