Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Ninth Triennial of Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion

Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

Posted on: January 16, 2017

Group Photograph
Photo Credit: CUAC

Eighty delegates representing twenty institutions and ten countries met at historic Madras Christian College over the past week to discuss the common challenges they face in promoting an Anglican vision of education in an increasingly secular world. It was the Ninth Triennial of Colleges & Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC), a global network linking 140 institutions with historic ties to the Church of England and the Episcopal Church USA.

“It was the Indian context that made all the difference,” said the Revd Canon James G. Callaway, CUAC’s General Secretary. “Our themes were identity and diversity, and in a country like India those are not just abstract ideas, but challenges that students and staff at Christian colleges face each day.”

While the delegates included bishops, vice chancellors, theologians, deans, and chaplains, Madras Christian and four other Indian colleges provided fourteen “Student Ambassadors.” They not only helped the visitors find their way through busy Chennai — India’s fourth largest city — but spoke movingly of their own experiences as members of a religious minority in an overwhelmingly Hindu culture.

CUAC_Plenary _Hall

Plenary Hall at Madras Christian College

“One of the treasures of being at Madras Christian,” Callaway said, “is that it offered so many opportunities for the delegates to dive deeply into the riches of South Indian life. We did not know in advance what a powerful experience this would prove to be for our delegates from Africa, Europe, East Asia, and North America.”

The conference included keynote speakers, small  reflection groups, site visits, performances of Indian music and dance, and numerous opportunities for exchanges. “It had been twenty years since CUAC’s Triennial in Delhi,” said MCC Principal and Secretary Dr. Alexander Jesudasan, “so we were very proud to be partners in a CUAC conference in Chennai. Our staff started preparations three years ago, and the effort paid off for what turned out to be a historic event.”

Keynoters spoke on such topics as what makes an educational institution “Anglican” in the 21st century, what strategies could be adopted to sustain this identity, and how in a market driven economy, students can still learn there is such a thing as the common good.

Colleges are not “factories” that produce degrees, said the Revd Dr Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, but must be “places that produce citizens of character and virtue.” Another keynoter, Jamie Coats of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge, Mass., demonstrated how social media could be harnessed by Christian educators to provide a global prayer network and a powerful educational tool for students. Other keynoters included Professor Gavin D’Costa (Bristol University), Professor Cristel Devadawson (University of Delhi), and Brother Monodeep Daniel (St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi).

CUAC_plenary _group

Delegates gathered in Reflection Groups throughout the conference

Delegates also visited St Thomas Mount in Chennai, where Board Chair The Revd Dr Robert Derrenbacker gave a meditation on the portrayal of St Thomas in the Gospels, pointing out that Christianity had been rooted in India long before the arrival Western missionaries in the colonial era.  They also visited Women’s Christian College in downtown Chennai, a Baptist church in a low-income neighborhood, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Mamallapuram, a group of 7th-century Hindu monolithic temples on the Bay of Bengal.

Twelve chaplains from CUAC institutions stayed on for a two-day post-conference at Madras Christian to discuss issues of common concern.

Four new Voting Trustees were elected to the CUAC board: the Revd Dr Emmanuel Mbennah (president, St. John’s University, Tanzania), Dr Linda Lankewicz (professor, University of the South, Tennessee), Dr Wilfred Tiu (president, Trinity University of Asia), and Dr Paul Dhayabaram (principal, Bishop Heber College). The Revd Dr  Robert Derrenbacker (president, Thorneloe University, Sudbury, Ontario) was re-elected chair.

CUAC’s second Distinguished Fellow Award was bestowed upon the Revd Dr Spurgeon Maher, a longtime chaplain at Madras Christian and the South Asia Regional Programs Consultant for the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. “He’s a chaplain’s chaplain,” Callaway said, in reading the citation.

CUAC’s 2020 Triennial will be held July 1-8 at Whitelands College, University of Roehampton, London, UK.

CUAC is a network of the Anglican Communion: www.cuac.org. For more information on its world-wide activities, please contact Charles Calhoun, Program Officer, at [email protected].

[email protected][email protected]

Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Tuesday 17 January 2017

Governor General celebrates New Year’s Day at Anglican cathedral

Posted on: January 7th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Art Babych on January, 04 2017

Bishop John Chapman greets Governor General David Johnston on his arrival at Christ Church Cathedral on New Year’s Day. Photo: Art Babych 


Anglicans at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa rang in the New Year along with Gov. Gen. David Johnston and his wife, Sharon, at a noon Choral Eucharist Jan. 1. It was an unofficial visit for Johnston, an Anglican, who gave the first reading at the service and later visited informally with guests at the annual New Year’s Day Levee in the new cathedral hall.

Cathedral Dean Shane Parker and diocese of Ottawa Bishop John Chapman greeted the couple on their arrival. Johnston then added his signature to a special guest book for dignitaries that was first signed by the Queen Mother and former governor general Vincent Massey during the royal visit to the cathedral in 1954.

Before the service began, Chapman delivered a pastoral address to the congregation in which he said the global community “is in crisis,” with world leaders not behaving as they ought to. He called attention to “tens of thousands of Christians murdered, climate change, terrorism, war,” and said, “We must not be spectators, commentators or passive critics of a time we wish was otherwise.”

The clarion call voiced by the prophets, Jesus and the prophetic voices in contemporary society resound today even louder, he said. “It is the call of God to deep prayers, compassionate outreach amongst the marginalized and disenfranchised.” The call is also to “seek peace, faithful adherence to the Truth and Reconciliation [Commission of Canada’s] directives, and sensible, thoughtful and articulate teaching that reflects not just our longing and work toward a civil society, but more important, the mission of God,” Chapman said.

David Selzer, executive archdeacon of the diocese of Ottawa, gave the sermon, asking, “If we claim the Prince of Peace as our saviour, what are we going to do about peacemaking in our world that so absolutely, desperately needs it?”

He also wondered where Anglicans stand when it comes to truth and reconciliation “not only with our Aboriginal sisters and brothers, but with those we despise or ridicule or see as less than who we are?

“Where are we in terms of justice, dignity for all people so that no one goes hungry, and lacks shelter and medical care?” he asked.

God is not just for a select group of people, but for all humanity, said Selzer, as he urged the faithful not just to see God on Sunday mornings “when we’re feeling pious.”

Following the service, members of the cathedral choirs presented the governor general with the gift of a CD showcasing their musical talents.

Guests at the levee said they were surprised but pleased that the governor general and his wife broke from their schedule to visit with them in the cathedral hall for almost an hour, chatting, shaking hands and posing for photos with children and adults alike. Other guests included Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, the Pope’s representative as Apostolic Nuncio in Canada.

Accompanying the couple throughout the Johnstons’ visit was an RCMP security team.

Traditionally, the Canadian primate preaches at the cathedral of Canada’s capital on January 1. But this year the primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, and his spouse, Lynne Samways Hiltz, travelled to Corner Brook, Nfld., for a family wedding.

In a note December 21 advising of his plans, Hiltz said he and his wife have enjoyed the nine New Year’s Day celebrations at the Ottawa cathedral. “Please receive our very best wishes for a year that for our Church is marked by numerous anniversaries and for our country the 150th of Confederation,” he wrote. “May you enjoy good health and happiness this year and God willing we will see you on New Year’s Day in 2018.”

A copy of the note was sent to the levee hosts, Bishop John and Catherine Chapman, and Cathedral Dean Shane Parker and his wife, Katherine Shadbolt Parker.

About the Author

Art Babych

Art is the former editor of Crosstalk, the newspaper of the Anglican diocese of Ottawa.
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Anglican Journal News, January 04, 2017

From souq to shopping mall

Posted on: January 7th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Wayne Holst on January, 06 2017

Omani boy at a traditional cattle souq in Nizwa, Oman. Photo: clicksahead/Shutterstock


 

We have spent the last three weeks visiting family in Oman, a busy, modern sultanate located on a peninsula, with Saudi Arabia to the west and the Gulf of Oman and Iran to the north. During this time, I have reflected on images that might help me describe my experience here.

I have observed how Oman, with a rich Islamic heritage and an embracing society, is learning how to combine its proud heritage and identity with a highly educated and globally inclusive workforce.

Helping Oman achieve some remarkable social and economic goals over the past 50 years is its beloved, Western-educated sultan, Qaboos bin Said, who seems to be the best kind of benevolent dictator.

Oman offers a unique opportunity to engage the Arab world, without the distortion of opulence in neighbouring countries like Dubai. The nation’s ability to integrate traditional Bedouin desert values with some of the best of global culture is remarkable. This can be discovered through visits to local souqs—traditional Arabic marketplaces similar to bazaars—where goats, fish, produce, spices and souvenirs are featured. At the same time, Muscat’s Avenues Mall, the largest mall in Oman, is a shopping complex not inferior to any found in Canada.

The first thing I noticed about Oman was the warmth and authenticity of its people. Decorum between persons, especially between the sexes, is respected, but that does not prevent high-level, authentic, interpersonal exchange that seems so sadly lacking in the West, and our Trump-infected times.

Omanis go out of their way to take you to a required destination, as happened when we asked—at a gas station near Nizwa—for directions to some local camel races. Ordinary people provide an interesting study in human behaviour. When a casual group of five young women, a few with children, piled into one car after an outing, they were a picture of maturity in the way they treated one other.

All religions are allowed to practise in Oman. Adherents must refrain from proselytizing, however. We happened to live near a Christian cemetery and admired the way it was respectfully maintained. Christian groups from many parts of the world worship freely here, though they must avoid attempting to make converts.

Islam is the dominant faith in Oman. Mosques and minarets (call-to-prayer towers) are to be found wherever people live and gather. The attitude toward non-Muslims is exemplary. That might be summed up in a statement from Naima Ali, whom we met at the state-of-the-art Grand Mosque of Muscat, built less than 20 years ago by Sultan Qaboos:

“I am so glad to receive your mail. I remember the beautiful time spent with your lovely family. Hope they are all well. God bless them. In future, it is my utmost pleasure to be able to receive your emails and answer your questions. Please feel free anytime to contact me. Give my love to your family and keep in touch.”

About the Author

Wayne Holst

 Wayne A. Holst was a Lutheran pastor (ELCIC) for 25 years. He taught religion and culture at the University of Calgary for a quarter century and co-ordinates adult spiritual development at St. David’s United Church, Calgary.

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Anglican Journal News, January 06, 2017

In Vancouver, 850 attend event for newly renovated cathedral

Posted on: December 20th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

 

By Tali Folkins on December 16, 2016  

Nearly three times as many people as expected attended an event marking the end of 18 months of renovation work at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver—including the addition of a new stained-glass bell spire. Photo: Randy Murray


It was standing-room-only for some at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, as a celebration of the end of major building work November 17 drew nearly three times the number of people organizers expected.

“It went very, very, well—beyond our expectations, in terms of the number of people who came, the excitement,” said Dean Peter Elliott. “We’re thrilled.”

Organizers had planned for 300 people to attend the event, marking the end of the latest phase of a 20-year repair and renovation project, Elliott said, but 850 showed up.

The event was to begin at 4:30 p.m., but the church’s nave, which can hold 500-550 people, was already almost full by 4 p.m., reported Topic, the newspaper of the diocese of New Westminster. By the time the ceremony began, many were standing wherever they could find space.


Peter Elliott , dean and rector of Christ Church Cathedral, gives an opening address. Photo: Randy Murray


Audrey Siegl, a young woman from the Musqueam First Nation, began the event by formally welcoming participants to traditional Musqueam territory. Siegl, Elliott said, told the gathering that it felt like Christmas morning in the church because of the sense of excitement and anticipation.

With a cost of $9 million, the latest 18-month phase is one of the most important elements of the decades-long project, which has a total budget of $20 million.

One of the main goals of the project, a “seismic upgrade” meant to make the building more resistant to earthquake damage, is now complete. But there were many other important elements of the work on the cathedral, a Vancouver landmark since 1894. The old shingle roof has now been replaced with a zinc one, and the kitchen was more than doubled in size, to allow the church to better serve about 100 homeless people it feeds every day, Elliott said.

The most recent phase also saw the construction of a new bell spire of stained glass, containing four bronze bells custom-cast in France—to the knowledge of church officials, the only stained-glass bell spire in the world, Elliott said.

Asked by a CBC reporter about what the bells would be used for, Elliott said, they will ring each day at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. before church services. But, he said, the cathedral will seek out its “interfaith neighbours” about the possibility of ringing them out at the beginning of Ramadan, Diwali, Rosh Hashanah and other religious celebrations “to show we’re a peaceful city and we respect each other.”


Audrey Siegl, of the Musqueam First Nation, on whose traditional territory Vancouver sits, performs a song of the Coast Salish people. Photo: Randy Murray


The event began with a one-hour service featuring reflections by, among others, former cathedral dean Canon Herbert O’Driscoll and former B.C. minister of finance Carol Taylor, who reminded guests that the cathedral narrowly escaped being demolished and replaced by a new church and office tower in the 1970s. Taylor reminded people that “the perseverance of many Vancouverites outside of the membership of Christ Church Cathedral” helped to ensure that “[the church] is here for the community.”

There was choral music and Bible readings, followed by a blessing and dedication by Melissa Skelton, bishop of the diocese of New Westminster.

Attendees then stepped outside to view the new bell spire, lit from within by 200 lights, Elliott said. They cheered as each new bell was rung in turn, then returned inside for a champagne reception.

 

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.

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Anglican Journal News, December 16, 2016

Deep roots

Posted on: December 9th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

Deep roots

Posted By Stephanie Taylor

29 November 2016

Stephanie Taylor, the information and knowledge manager at the Anglican Communion Office, reflects on the recent biennial meeting of Anglican diocesan archivists in Canada.


I have recently returned from Canada where I had the privilege of joining the Anglican diocesan archivists for their biennial meeting. It was an opportunity as fellow practitioners to come together and share knowledge and experience. It was also so much more than that. For me it was an inspirational gathering affirming the life-changing value of records and archives and ultimately of the need to learn from the past, inform the present and build a better future. That’s what archives are about and in many ways that is what faith and discipleship is about.

The evening before the meeting began the archivists gathered alongside the Canadian Church Historical Society and it was my privilege to address the gathering along with Mark Duffy, canonical crchivist of the US-based Episcopal Church. I shared with the gathering my experience of working to restore the Anglican Communion Office archive. I drew on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon at ACC-16 in Lusaka, Zambia earlier this year when he said:

“The higher a tree grows, the more likely it is to need deep roots. When the storms come, only the roots make a difference. The older a society or nation becomes, the more it needs to tell its story; so that in each generation we renew the sense of who we are and why we are here now.”

I told the gathering that as archivists we are so often the stewards of stories, of memory, and that is both a vital and challenging task. The archivists in the Anglican Church of Canada knew that only too well for they had played a crucial role as part of the Church’s participation in and response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The TRC, which released its final report late last year along with a series of Calls to Action, was mandated with informing all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools and documenting the truth of survivors and anyone personally affected. The TRC was a powerful example of the importance, and the pain of individuals having the opportunity to “tell their own story”, and the Calls to Action and the Church’s response are the beginnings of the hope of building for a better future.

The role of the archives and archivists within this was significant. Archivists attended numerous TRC sessions and met with survivors and relatives. As stewards of archives they had been able to provide survivors with “evidence” of their attendance at a residential school. In her homily, at a Eucharist presided over by Bishop-elect, the Revd Riscylla Walsh Shaw, General Synod archivist Nancy Hurn, shared powerfully of an occasion when she had been able to help a woman find out what had happened to her brother who had died whilst a pupil of a residential school. I personally have never come across a more powerful illustration of the value of records to give an account of, and help learn from the past.

In Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll wrote: “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” In other words memories and accounts are important for many reasons, not least in their ability to help us learn from the past to actively shape the future together and build a better world for all God’s children.

I also had the great honour of meeting Bishop Mark MacDonald, who since 2007 has served as the Anglican Church of Canada’s first National Indigenous Anglican Bishop. Bishop Mark joined the meeting fresh from the Standing Rock protest in North Dakota and spent an hour with the archivists before joining another Standing Rock action in Toronto that afternoon. That Bishop Mark took time out of his schedule amidst the events of that week spoke volumes to me. Bishop Mark told me: “During the TRC, we began to see how important archivists are to our past, present, and future. They were foundational to the search for justice.”

We are called to be salt and light in a dark and confusing world. I left Toronto with a powerful sense of how so many in Canada are doing just that.

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Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Tuesday 29 November 2016

A Celtic pilgrimage

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

By Canon Lorne Mitchell on December, 05 2016

The author at Iona Abbey. Photo: Contributed


At the beginning of May, I took a deep breath, stepped out the door and began a Celtic pilgrimage. Ringing in my ears were the words of Bilbo Baggins: “It’s a dangerous business going out of your door. You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to…”

Well, I had done quite a bit of reading, thinking and planning before I started this pilgrimage. But I can tell you that nothing prepared me for the mental, emotional and spiritual places I was swept off to… The currents and eddies of the flow conspired to touch me in ways that were personal, prophetic and pastoral.

Personal, in that I’ve reconnected with my Gaelic ancestors; prophetic, in that I feel the need to keep a sharper eye out for when something is not life-giving; pastoral, in that my prayer relationship with God is now in and through creation—not reaching somewhere above and beyond creation.

When I was planning this pilgrimage, I knew that there were certain places I wanted to see, and certain things I wanted to do. But I also knew that it was important not to have a full and rigid itinerary. It was important to allow mental and temporal space for chance encounters—space to follow the unexpected opportunities that presented themselves.

For example, I knew that I needed to stay overnight in Edinburgh, but I had no idea that the bed and breakfast I was staying in would be owned by a Muslim family from Morocco. It was wonderful to hear how they came to Scotland a generation ago, and now their older son is heading off to university.

Another example. I knew that I wanted to go to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, but I had no idea that I would have a chance to visit with one of the authors from the Northumbrian Community. He writes Celtic prayers and his wife does wonderful Celtic artwork.

Also, at my Lindisfarne bed and breakfast, the first morning there I discovered that the person in the room next to me was the suffragan bishop of Los Angeles, Diane Jardine Bruce. It just so happened she was on sabbatical, too. Being a fan of St. Cuthbert, she had just done the long walk from Melrose Abbey to Lindisfarne. The next day we went for a walk and talked about why the Celtic tradition is now so important for the church. She and Terry Dance and Linda Nicholls all went to Bishop’s School together in the U.S., and she was delighted to hear that Linda was our new bishop!

Here is another example of a chance encounter. In order to get to the Isle of Iona, first you take a train from Glasgow to Oban, then a ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull, then take a bus along a narrow, twisty road to the other end of the island, and then finally you take a little ferry across to the Isle of Iona. Well, on the train from Glasgow to Oban a woman named Clare came and sat in front of me and we started talking about the logistics of all these connections. It was her first time to Iona as well. It turned out that she worked for the British organization Christian Aid and was leading a workshop on current strategies for social justice—“Being Change Makers.” She was interested in what I was reading, and we have been emailing and sharing ideas with each other ever since I got back.

These are all examples of why it is important on a pilgrimage to leave space for chance encounters—and let the currents of the river of life touch you in unexpected ways.

Now, once I reached the Isle of Iona, there was one thing that truly caught me by surprise. Yes, the abbey was lovely and historic—and the community inspiring. But as I walked up and down this three-mile island, I had a strange feeling, as though everything on the island was speaking to me—the rocks, the plants, the animals, the sky and sea. Because of this, I spent a great deal of time walking the island and being open to what it was saying to me. It was truly an amazing experience.

Towards the end of my sabbatical, I starting writing down some things that I felt were important. Here are a few of the characteristics I focus on as a Celtic Christian.

                                                                            Being a Celtic Christian

  • All created things in the universe are sacred; there is something of God in all things.
  • Therefore, all created things deserve to be shown respect:  rock, earth, sky, stars, sun, moon, clouds, plants, animals, people.
  • All created things are in a personal relationship with each other and their Creator.
  • If you slow down, stop and be still, your relationship with creatures and all created things becomes more clear.
  • When you slow down, look and show respect for the created things around you (rather than charging around and showing no respect), then created things, in turn, take more notice of you, and can speak to you,
  • A pilgrimage is very different from a trip or vacation; a pilgrimage is not about checking off the list the beaches, gardens, castles and cathedrals seen. It’s about leaving on a walk and letting yourself be deeply touched by the people you meet; by the places in which you dwell; and by the created world all around that can speak to you.
  • I am created by God, in the image of God, and therefore when God looks and sees the deepest part of my being, behold, God sees that “it is very good.”
  • At the same time, I must take very seriously the reality of sin and evil that can over time grow within and without of me, like weeds and thorny bushes. I must be vigilant first about this reality in myself, and then about this reality in the world around me.
  • There is no duality of matter and spirit. One is not bad and the other good. The worlds of matter and spirit are deeply intertwined. The challenge of sin and evil is a challenge both for matter and spirit.
  • The realms of heaven and earth are not as far apart as many think. There are many places and moments where they touch and interact with each other. Not just in prayer, but in moments of everyday life. We simply need to practise paying attention.
  • Christ has come to reveal the essential love relationship between the Creator and created and to end all feelings of being alone, alienated and unloved.

When I arrived home in Canada, I started reflecting on my journey and started to write things down. For some reason, the words that came seemed to take the form of poems. And so I would like to finish this reflection by offering you one of those poems.

 

Iona

As you walk, tread gently,

Breathe deeply, and quiet the body like a sunset

Let the cares of the mind flow out like a river

Let the birds of the air speak to you

Let the ancient rock of the island speak to you

Let the sheep of the field speak to you

Let the clouds and rain speak to you

Let the distant mountains speak to you

Let the sea and sky speak to you

Let the wind and waves speak to you

 

Let each pilgrim you meet on the way speak to you

 

For the Kingdom of God is near

Let the God of all life speak to you

 

About the Author

Canon Lorne Mitchell

Canon Lorne Mitchell is a priest in the diocese of Huron.

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Anglican Journal News, December 06, 2016

40 years after the first ordination of women, achievements and challenges

Posted on: December 5th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on December, 02 2016

Forty females priests gather at St. James Anglican Church in Stratford, Ont.,  for the 40th anniversary of the ordination of women in the Anglican Church of Canada. Photo: Jesse Dymond/The General Synod


Stratford, Ont.
Four decades after the first women were ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada, much progress remains to be made, say female priests who profess to have struggled with everything from unequal pay to inappropriate touching by some parishioners.

From November 28-December 1, 40 female priests from the Anglican Church of Canada gathered at St. James Anglican Church for “Unmasking the Feminine,” a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the ordination of women in the church. For participants, the event seemed an occasion both for celebrating the achievements made in advancing the rights of women and being mindful of the challenges many say yet remain.

“The progress we’ve made over those years has made life significantly better than it was for our mothers and grandmothers, but oh my, it has been a very hard row to hoe,” said Canon Judy Rois, executive director of the Anglican Foundation, in a keynote address opening the event. “All of us know the strain of a white collar around our neck, and all of us know the sting and the pain of opposition. But thank God, thank God, we also know the indomitable spirit of hope.”

 Diocese of Huron Bishop Linda Nicholls celebrates the anniversary Eucharist. Assisting her is Huron’s Archdeacon, Tanya Phibbs. Photo: Jesse Dymond/The General Synod


“We have much to be grateful for in Canada,” Linda Nicholls, installed as Bishop of Huron the previous Saturday, said in her introduction to a conference workshop. “It doesn’t mean we’re finished, but it means we’re on the way.”

Asked what they felt were the continuing challenges of women in the church, some noted that female priests are still being paid less than their male counterparts.

For example, said the Rev. Trish McCarthy, of All Saints Anglican Church in Regina, many locally-ordained priests are women. Such priests, she said, are normally compensated for their mileage, and they’re entitled to other benefits, but otherwise their positions are unpaid.

“In the west, that’s pretty dominant,” she said. “There’s a major pay equity problem.”

One participant said that female priests are more likely to be working part-time, in small parishes, and another said that women priests tend to lose out because they’re less inclined to negotiate salary than men.

In a brief interview with the Anglican Journal, Nicholls voiced some similar concerns.

“I think some of the women do find that in places, there’s been the experience that women serve in smaller churches, and more women are in non-stipendiary roles,” she said.  “That’s also true for Indigenous communities and others, so we’ve got a lot of work to do to have equality in terms of those kinds of things.”

For participants, the event was an occasion to celebrate the achievements made in advancing the rights of women and be mindful of the challenges that remain. Photo: Jesse Dymond/The General Synod


Many parishes in Canada, some participants said, still will not accept women priests. The Rev. Karen Laldin, of St. Andrew’s on the Red Anglican Church, Man., said she came close to leaving the Anglican church after what she calls a “terrible experience” priesting for an especially resistant parish in the 1990s.“They made no bones about it—they wanted a man,” she said. After serving the parish for five years, she decided to quit. The announcement of her imminent departure, she said, was greeted with jubilation by some in the congregation.

“There was a certain amount of applause and the comment was, ‘Now we’ll get a man,’ ” Laldin said.

As it turned out, Laldin was succeeded not by a man, but by several female priests in turn, before a male priest finally arrived.

“God, in her infinite wisdom, has a fabulous sense of humour,” said Laldin.


At the celebratory banquet. Photo: Jesse Dymond/The General Synod


Nicholls, who, like Rois, was ordained in 1985, told conference participants she was spared some of the “absolutely atrocious” behaviour of some people toward the first female priests, such as heckling and walking out during sermons. But she’s still had to endure sexism, she said.“Things like clergy jokes about what you were wearing,” Nicholls said. “Sexist comments. Inappropriate hugs,” she said with a wince, to murmurs of agreement from numerous participants.

Nicholls cautioned participants, however, against focusing on gender equality to the exclusion of God. As priests, she said, they ought to try to work out conflicts “in a way that does not make gender the battleground, but makes the gospel the place that we’re heading for.

“I think that’s ultimately what we want—we want a church where that is at the core, not where women have won,” she said.


 Bishop Barbara Andrews, of the  Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (Territory of the People),  preaches at the anniversary Eucharist. Photo: Jesse Dymond/The General Synod


In an interview, Rois said she believed it would be a long time before the church reaches full gender equality.“I think lots of people still don’t feel that a woman can stand in the place of Christ—that Christ had 12 disciples, and they were men,” she said. “I think a lot of people still feel just a little more comfortable if a man is in charge…Women can do this and be just as capable, but a lot of people don’t want to take that chance.”

Rois is also the co-author of a 2013 study, Why is the Stained Glass Window a Stained Glass Ceiling? Organizational Perspectives on Female Bishops in the Anglican Communion. The study explores how gender bias has worked against female priests becoming bishops.

According to Anglican Church of Canada statistics, 406 out of 1,139 active clergy—35.5 per cent—are women; of retired clergy, females number 369 out of 1,750, or 21.1 per cent.

Participants  join the  Blanket Exercise, an interactive way of learning about the history of colonialism in Canada. Photo: Jesse Dymond/The General Synod


The first ordination of women in the Anglican Church of Canada took place in 1976, following the approval by General Synod of a resolution authorizing the ordination of women in 1975. Six women were ordained in four dioceses: Cariboo, Huron, Niagara and New Westminster. As of 1991, every diocese in Canada has permitted the ordination of woman.

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.

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Anglican Journal News, December 02, 2016

Mission to Seafarers confronts human cost of shipping

Posted on: November 30th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on November 28, 2016


Representatives from Missions to Seafarers stations across Canada gather at their annual conference in Toronto November 15-17.
Photo: Tali Folkins


Serving with Mission to Seafarers, says the Rev. Eric Phinney, can be an eye-opening experience in many respects—down to the way you see items on a store shelf.

“When you become a chaplain, you suddenly get exposed to this whole new world,” he says. “You begin to see and understand how stuff moves around the planet, and at what cost.”

Often, he says, people don’t realize that there’s a hidden cost behind the low prices of many imports—the toll taken on those who work in the shipping industry. But it’s something he says he sees frequently in his work as chaplain at the Missions to Seafarers station in Saint John, N.B.

“Why could you buy that pair of pants…for $12.95 or whatever? Well, there’s a cost to that…We’re relying in some cases on slave-like conditions.”

Phinney, along with a dozen of his counterparts from Missions to Seafarers stations across Canada, was in Toronto November 15-17 for the organization’s annual conference. Many spoke of the challenges faced by the seafarers they minister to—and of the difficulty they themselves experience in trying to help so many people on limited time and finances.

To minimize their costs, freight ship companies typically hire crew members from the poorest countries, Phinney says—people who will work in extremely poor conditions out of economic necessity. Their jobs typically require them to be away from home from seven to 12 months of the year at a time, working long hours in sometimes dangerous conditions. Food may be scarce on the ships, and their employers may be behind in paying them. Or their employers may bar them from returning home for family funerals or other important events.

Since 2006, seafarers have been guaranteed certain rights—to decent work conditions, accommodations, food and medical care, for example—under a set of international regulations, the Maritime Labour Convention. In practice, however, crew members are often afraid to exercise these rights for fear they’ll be fired or blacklisted, Phinney says.

“I remember going on one ship and asking, ‘How are things going?’ and they said, ‘Well, all the paperwork says it’s going well, but nothing really happens that way,'” Phinney says. “They were trying to say things are really bad on the ship.”

Typical Missions to Seafarers ministry consists of chaplains visiting ships in port and speaking with crew members to offer them prayer, material support and advocacy when needed. It’s also a goal of the organization, Phinney says, to offer seafarers a place of real welcome at their stations when they come ashore.

“They want somebody who’s going to make them a cup of tea,” he says. “We’re trying to give them a home away from home, and a bit of a respite.”

Sometimes the company that owns a ship may go bankrupt and suddenly leave the crew stranded in a foreign country—without food and other necessities, or pay.

Earlier this fall, the Rev. Maggie Whittingham-Lamont, chaplain at the Halifax station, visited one such vessel in Cape Breton, to find unpaid and hungry crewmembers huddling around tiny space heaters. She and colleagues supplied them with food for the night and warm clothes.

“We sort of panic when we’re faced with something like that, because it’s not really budgeted for,” she says. It usually means she has to scramble for funds from donors. In 2012, she and her colleagues were able to amass enough airline travel points to send eight crew members from an abandoned tugboat home to Honduras and Guatemala.

Probably the biggest challenge faced by seafarers, Whittingham-Lamont says, is their isolation. Serving on a ship thousands of kilometres from home for a good part of the year can be difficult enough, but sometimes, on top of this, crew members face linguistic problems as well. A single ship’s crew today may consist of people from several different nationalities; sometimes, there may be no one else on the ship who speaks the crew member’s language.

Much of her work, she says, consists in a ministry of presence, trying to be there for seafarers and support them emotionally.

But the heavy demands of having to minister to so many people, she says, can lead to the chaplains themselves feeling overstretched.

“We never have enough time to visit all the ships we want to visit and help everybody we want to help,” she says. “It’s a pretty hectic job.”

Sometimes the chaplains’ work has them witnessing not only the hardships but the joys of sailors’ lives also. The Rev. Judith Alltree, executive director and chaplain for Oshawa and Toronto mission stations, says one of the most unforgettable experiences she’s had as a chaplain occurred this summer when the Hamilton station allowed one young seafarer from the Philippines to see the birth of his first child. The station had granted him its Wi-Fi password, and when his wife went into labour, he sat outside the closed building all night helping coach her, using an online video messaging service.

“He could Skype into the delivery room with her and witness his daughter’s birth 12,000 km from where he was, 12 time zones away,” Alltree says. “And after the baby was born, he went back to the ship and announced the news. The captain shut all the work down, and they had a party.

“So you have those phenomenal stories as well as the difficult stories.”

Missions to Seafarers, now in its 160th year, is a network of Anglican mission stations in 200 ports around the world, organized in eight regions. Its Canadian region, which has stations in St. John’s, Halifax, Saint John, Lasalle, Toronto, Oshawa, Hamilton, Windsor, Sarnia, Thunder Bay and Vancouver, is currently in the process of establishing itself as an organization. At its first annual conference last year, it adopted a constitution and bylaws. A critical next step will be incorporation, says acting regional manager Ed Swayze.

The November meeting was presided by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, who will also attend an annual Christmas service this year at the international headquarters of Missions to Seafarers in London, U.K.

 

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.

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Anglican Journal News, November 29, 2016

Mothers’ Union march on Downing Street for victims of domestic violence

Posted on: November 30th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Gavin Drake/ACNS on November, 29 2016


Members of the Mothers’ Union deliver their petition to 10 Downing Street.
Photo: Rachael Arding/Mothers’ Union


Members of the Mothers’ Union (MU) in Great Britain have delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street – the official residence of the UK Prime Minister – calling for changes to child maintenance rules for victims of domestic violence. Current regulations say that unless child maintenance payments are made direct to the parent with responsibility for bringing up the child, a four per cent levy is imposed under what is known as the “collect and pay” system. This “could force survivors of domestic abuse to engage with a former partner, the very perpetrator who carried out the abuse against them,” the Mothers’ Union said.

“Figures show that one in three applicants to the Child Maintenance Service has experienced domestic abuse,” the MU’s social policy manager, Rachel Aston, said. “Under this system survivors of abuse will pay an automatic four per cent levy, equivalent to an average of £130, which may not sound a lot to some but may be a tipping point for a mum who then struggles to pay for her child’s school uniform and PE kit for the year.

“The new system puts pressure on women to use the family-based arrangement, or direct pay, which may result in continuing contact with an abusive ex-partner.”

The campaigners left the Mothers’ Union’s Westminster headquarters, Mary Sumner House, this lunchtime (Friday) and marched past the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall before arriving in Downing Street.

Earlier , Mothers’ Union members from around the world lit candles and took part in a “Global Moment” to stand alongside and support and pray for the millions of women who suffer domestic violence in its many forms, which has reached endemic proportions in many parts of the world.

“Mary Sumner, who founded the Mothers’ Union 140 years ago, refused to accept injustice for women,” the MU’s CEO, Bev Jullien, said. “Similarly, in this generation, women, families and communities are suffering because of practices that fuel prejudice and result in hardship for thousands of vulnerable women.”

Today’s activities form part of a major Mothers’ Union campaign, to shine the light on gender based violence [GBV] with the clear message that “It’s Not OK.” The campaign will highlight the many forms that GBV takes from controlling behaviour by a partner to rape as a weapon of war.

Globally, the campaign will call on governments and leaders to ensure that national, local and customary laws prohibit all forms of violence against women. The campaign will also call for survivors to have access to justice and support services, and that perpetrators are prosecuted.

“I have been in that position, and it can be hard to manage on a limited income,” one mother told the MU. “My ex told social services that he gave the children pocket money and this amount was promptly taken from my support. I lost out and he thought it funny.”

Another mother said: “I know how long it takes in many cases of relationship breakdown for any chance at respectful communication to take place and it is certainly not right at the beginning when maintenance arrangements are needed.”

The march and presentation to 10 Downing Street took place on the first of this year’s 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence.

 

About the Author

Gavin Drake/ACNS (Anglican Communion News Service)

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Anglican Journal News, November 29, 2016

Churches should do more to end racism, says Lutheran partner

Posted on: November 25th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By André Forget on November 25, 2016

Pat Lovell (right),  of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, says the Lutheran and Anglican churches should engage in grassroots activism to fight racism.  Beside Lovell is Shannon Cottrell, executive secretary for governance. Photo: André Forget


Anti-racist activism could be an excellent opportunity for Lutheran and Anglican congregations to engage in grass-roots ecumenical action, says Pat Lovell, representative to Council of General Synod (CoGS) from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).

“We have this close relationship, we have power together, and I’d like to see us do more work together at the grassroots,” Lovell told CoGs in a November 19 partner’s reflection, noting that while both churches are involved in initiatives around responsible resource development, homelessness and poverty, there has been less co-operation on anti-racism.

Lovell said the recent defacement of a synagogue, a church and a mosque in Ottawa, is a reminder that racism and anti-Semitism remain problems in Canada.

Lovell began her reflection by joking that in the ELCIC National Church Council she is known as a “Luthercan” due to her long-term ecumenical involvement with Anglicans.

And while she praised the close relationship that exists between the two churches, which have been in a full communion relationship since 2001, she noted this partnership doesn’t always filter down to the parishes and congregations.

“While we work together at the national levels, at the staff levels, there are so many more things that we could do at a congregational level,” she said. “I think it’s time for us not just to focus on how we deal within our houses, but how we show and express ourselves to the world.”

Lovell’s report was followed by a reflection from Cynthia Haines-Turner, prolocutor for the Anglican Church of Canada and the CoGS representative to the ELCIC’s National Church Council (NCC).

Haines-Turner said that is “a lot that delights me with the Lutherans, and a fair bit that amazes,” noting that for such a small church—according to its website, the ELCIC counts approximately 114,592 baptized members—the ELCIC is quite active in global ministries as well as domestic social justice efforts such as sponsoring refugees.

“The work they produce is incredible,” said Haines-Turner. “It speaks of their commitment to their church, to their faith and to their mission.”

In particular, Haines-Turner spoke highly of the work the ELCIC has done in advance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

The ELCIC has issued a “Reformation challenge,” which involves sponsoring refugees, raising money for scholarships for schools, planting trees, and contributing to the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) endowment fund.

Haines-Turner said that the plan as brought to the NCC was to sponsor 50 refugees, provide 50 scholarships, plant 50,000 trees, and raise $50,000 for the LWF fund, but the NCC decided to multiply each figure by 10.

It has already met and surpassed the new target for refugees, having sponsored more than 500 since the challenge began.

“I think, for a small church, that actually sums up who the Lutherans are,” said Haines-Turner. “It is better to aim high and fall short than to undersell ourselves.”

 

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.

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Anglican Journal News, November 25, 2016