Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Welby’s and West’s recipes for justice

Posted on: January 29th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

 

By Leigh Anne Williams

 

Christians are called to speak out against wrongs and injustice on all sides, always being concerned “with the least of these,” as Jesus said in Matthew 25, says Cornel West, author of The Rich and the Rest of Us. Photo: Leah Reddy

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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and author Cornel West opened the Trinity Institute’s “Creating Common Good: A Practical Conference on Economic Inequality” that took place in Manhattan from Jan. 22 to 25 in two very different styles of address. But in their messages about what Christians are called to do in the face of inequality and injustice, there was a remarkable convergence.

Welby held up the example of the way a Roman Catholic archbishop and an Anglican bishop in Liverpool worked together in the 1980s to help rebuild the city that had been torn apart by sectarianism, poverty and political dysfunction. “We are called to action. Seek the welfare of the city,” Welby said, in a homily at the opening worship service.

“We are to get involved. We are to get our hands dirty, to speak of policy and of   implementation, not merely to deal with the macro but also with the micro,” he later told the crowd of about 300 gathered for the annual conference at Trinity Church, Wall Street. “The common good truly interpreted in the light of scripture, its horizons opened up by the radicality of the gospel, demands from us our own radicality that can only come from the overflowing of the spirit of God within us.”

Jesus’s words in Luke’s gospel, Welby added, promise the gift of that spirit, which will “make possible the impossible revolution, the impossible revolution that is to be achieved without violence, to be achieved without hatred, to be achieved through blessing and loving and serving, and transforming the society in which we live.”

And in a keynote address that seemed to be part whirlwind and part jazz symphony, Cornel West, author of The Rich and the Rest of Us, held up Martin Luther King, Jr., John Coltrane, B.B. King, Malcolm X and dozens of writers from Socrates to Toni Morrison to W.H. Auden to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel for wisdom when facing injustice.

He began quoting from Reinhold Niebuhr’s Moral Man and Immoral Society: “Any justice that is only justice soon degenerates into something less than justice. Justice must be rescued by something deeper than justice, and yes, it is love.”

Later in his address, West said the fundamental question is, “Will your righteous indignation be channelled through the venues of love and justice or hatred and revenge?” He added: “That’s the question right now in Paris, isn’t it? The question in Nigeria, the question in Sri Lanka.”

West spoke about black children in America growing up with fears of walking down the street and being harassed, stopped, frisked or shot. “I know the president said the union is strong. I said, ‘My dear brother president, you need to get off the symbolic crack pipe.’ ” He mentioned that he went to Ferguson, not “to give a speech. I went there to go to jail. And that’s where I ended up with a smile on my face in the name of Jesus.”

West said his faith sometimes pushes him in the direction of “revolutionary Christianity,” or what some call the far left. “I don’t mind talking about Wall Street crimes, when they commit crimes…The same is true with drones dropping bombs on innocent children in Yemen and Somalia.” Following the cross, he said, is “a quest for unarmed truth and unconditional love, which means keeping track of the suffering.”

He questioned why one per cent of the population in America owns 43 per cent of the wealth, when over 22 per cent of the country’s children of colour live in poverty.

Christians are called to speak out against wrongs and injustice on all sides, always being concerned “with the least of these,” as Jesus said in Matthew 25, he said. “Any time we talk about creating common good, we are not talking about abstractions. We are talking about existential choices, concrete commitments that must be embodied and enacted in our fallen, finite, fallible lives.”

And though Christians cannot be indifferent to suffering and are called to speak and act against it, he also noted that the results are in God’s hands. “Any time we talk about creating common good, we’re not talking about predetermining where we end up,” he said. “It’s more like a jazz orchestra under Duke Ellington or Count Basie or Mary Lou Williams or the inimitable John Coltrane with his Love Supreme—we don’t know exactly where we end up. Be free enough to allow your soul and mind and heart and body to participate in the process.”

What is required is “global vision, local practice, subtle analysis,” he said, “but without love at the centre, it is sounding brass and tinkling symbol.”

 

Webcasts of the conference are available at https://www.trinitywallstreet.org/trinity-institute/2015/viewing-schedule.

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Anglican Journal News, January 26, 2015

After 22 years, priest returns to Newfoundland parish

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews


The Rev. Betty Harbin and diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador bishop Geoff Peddle.
Photo: André Forget


[For more photos, click here.]

The parish of Torbay/Pouch Cove in the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador celebrated the installation of a new priest yesterday in the person of the Rev. Betty Harbin, but it turns out that the new priest isn’t that new, after all.

This is a homecoming of sorts for Harbin, who has just moved back to the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador from the diocese of Central Newfoundland, where she served in the parish of Gambo. Harbin did a parish placement at St. Nicholas while studying at Queen’s 22 years ago.

A lot has changed since then. “Torbay has grown by leaps and bounds,” she said. “There are more young families…It’s the second-fastest growing community in Newfoundland…and the challenge here is to connect with those young families.”

The small wooden church, perched on a steep hillside overlooking Torbay Bight, serves a community of 7,397. While the place has been home to a small settlement since the 17th century, it has recently seen rapid population growth—17.8 per cent between 2006 and 2011—as it has become a popular bedroom community to nearby St. John’s.

When asked if she had a plan for how best to reach out to this new demographic, Harbin said that building a team would have to come first. “It’s not something I do on my own,” she said. “I need to give some leadership so they will take ownership, so they will do the inviting and be a welcoming church.”

It is a challenge faced by several parishes in the diocese. Many Newfoundlanders have for generations been baptized, married and buried in the same church, and in a place where religious identity is so often deeply rooted in a particular parish, those who have been uprooted or who have uprooted themselves can be difficult to reach.

The bishop of the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, Geoff Peddle, acknowledged these difficulties in his sermon at the celebration service, and encouraged Harbin to respond by being gracious and open. “Where there is human need, the spirit of the law is always more important than the letter,” he said. “If we are to err, let us err on the side of compassion for those in need.”

In addition to St. Nicholas in Torbay, the parish of Torbay/Pouch Cove includes All Saints Church in Pouch Cove. Harbin will work with Queen’s College provost the Rev. Alex Faseruk, who is being brought in as assistant priest, to ensure that both churches have a service every Sunday.

“We were in Queen’s together 25 years ago, so we’re kind of on the same page,” Harbin said, smiling.

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Anglican Journal News, January 21, 2015

Newfoundland church welcomes Hiltz for 200th anniversary

Posted on: January 19th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews


Archbishop Fred Hiltz greets parishioners at the end of the service celebrating the 200th anniversary of St. Peter’s Church in Upper Cove, Nfld. Photo:  André Forget


[For more photos of the celebration, click here.]

January 18, 2015 may have been a day for important anniversaries in the small town of Upper Island Cove in the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, but it was a day that focused just as much on the future as on the past.

The town’s Anglican church, St. Peter’s, was celebrating 200 years of ministry. It was also celebrating the 125th anniversary of its current building, and was joined for the occasion by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, who was celebrating the 20th anniversary of his consecration as bishop, and by Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador’s diocesan bishop, Geoff Peddle, who had celebrated the first anniversary of his own consecration the day before.

“Our goal this year is to have more people worshipping in the pews at the end of the year than there were at the beginning,” said parish rector, the Rev. William Strong, by way of introduction to the over 200 people who came out to an anniversary ceremony held in the afternoon. It was a message he reaffirmed at a banquet held following the service.

“This service will only be considered a success if you folks come back, if people who were at the service come back,” he said, addressing those gathered at St. Andrew’s hall. “We’re at a stage in the life of the church where the church needs you to step forward and participate.”

Bishop Peddle affirmed the same sentiment in his own address. “We sometimes focus on buildings at times of celebration like this, but I really believe that the most important thing for you to celebrate tonight is actually not a building—it’s a community,” he said, “and you have clearly formed an absolutely incredible community here.”

It is a community, however, that is deeply rooted in the place, something Peddle acknowledged, to the gathering’s delight and applause, by explaining to them that the pectoral cross he had chosen to wear that evening was the very pectoral cross worn by Bishop Llewellyn Jones when he consecrated St. Peter’s new church building in 1890.

“In the tradition of this diocese,” said Peddle, “when a bishop dies [the cross and the ring] revert back to the diocese. We can go to our cathedral vaults and I can go back 150 years now and find the pectoral crosses and rings of former bishops. I wanted to wear his tonight as a connection with your past, and with our past as a church.”

Hiltz also spoke glowingly of St. Peter’s Church. “I had a real sense, from what I heard tonight in terms of remarks and conversations and so on, that yes, the church is here, we have a building—it stands on the hill, it stands as a witness, and it is the place where the church gathers.” But he, too, stressed that the real life of the community was its people, and that the building exists to serve them.

“So long as we can maintain our buildings as facilities for mission,” he said, “we are moving in the right direction.”

St. Peter’s, the only church in the community, has long been a hub of the town’s social life and has close ties to St. Peter’s school, which stands just across the road. As such, the celebration featured a large number of community groups, such as the Orange Lodge, Junior Anglicans, Cadets and the Church Lads Brigade, and included a performance by the church choir, one of the largest in the diocese. Perhaps most strikingly, the service also featured a performance by the brass band of the Anglican Church Assistance Association (ACAA), an Anglican community club once active across Canada but now much reduced in membership.

In addition to St. Peter’s, the parish of Upper Island Cove also includes St. Andrew’s church in nearby Bryant’s Cove and St. John the Evangelist in Bishop’s Cove, both of which were well-represented at the celebration along with the Hon. Glen Littlejohn, Member of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Hon. Scott Andrews, Member of Parliament for Avalon, and the mayor, George Adams.

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Anglican Journal News, January 19, 2015

Trailblazing: On-Line Theological Formation for Youth Ministry

Posted on: January 7th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

 

Trailblazing: On-Line Theological Formation for Youth Ministry is helping to train youth leaders – staff and volunteers – in congregations across the country. Trailblazing launched one year ago and since then over 150 Anglican and Lutheran youth leaders have found it a valuable and accessible tool to equip them with solid theological “chops” for youth ministry, reflection skills and program development and leadership. A one-year subscription gives users access to all courses and content and forums provide opportunity for conversation with others in youth ministry in Canada in the ACC and ELCIC.

NEW CONTENT: A new module was recently added on the topic of MISSION.

Visit:  http://trailblazing.anglican.ca/

Trailblazing is a partnered project between General Synod’s Youth Initiatives Team and the Ask & Imagine Youth Theology program at Huron University College.

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Anglican Church of Canada, Info! News from General Synod, January 05, 2015

“Singing a Song of Hope”

Posted on: January 7th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

 

A sermon by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, delivered on New Year’s Day 2015 at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa.

Today, dear friends, we celebrate the naming of the Lord. Second only to the joy of the birth of a child is the delight of parents in naming their new born and announcing that name to the world. “A name,” writes Curtis Almquist “is what uniquely distinguishes us from others and also unites us to others”—in a family, in a circle of friends, among classmates and with colleagues in the places where we work or play. A name endears us to others. It gives them access to our intellect, our feelings, our love, our generosity. By a name we are baptized and confirmed, married, ordained or commissioned for ministry, remembered in prayer, and at the end of our days, commended into the gracious keeping of God.

Like our name, Jesus’ name distinguishes him from all others. He is the very Son of God and our Saviour.

“His is the name,” writes St. Paul, “which is above every name, so that at his name every knee should bend, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess him Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11). Great is the music of the church that extols the glory of Jesus’ name, none so beautiful as that penned for Christmas itself. One need only think of Handel’s Messiah and the musical rendering of those magnificent words from Isaiah—“and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

In as much as all these names for the Christ child honour his glory, they also draw us to him in his mission of love, reconciliation, and peace in the world.

In this mission stands one whose life and labours I want to single out today. His name is Jean Vanier. Fifty years ago in 1964 he invited two men, Raphael and Philippe who were developmentally challenged to live with him in an old house in the tiny village of Trosly—Breuil in France. From that little household has grown a movement the world knows as L’Arche, a community shaped by the love, compassion, and peace of Jesus. 130 of these communities can be found in 30 countries on six continents.

In their houses life with all its physical, developmental and emotional challenges is celebrated. “To love someone,” says Vanier, “is to show them their beauty, their worth, and their importance.” Accordingly, birthdays are big celebrations! Times for work and play are balanced. And hallowed each evening is the time for prayer for each other and for the world. The quality of life lived there has much to teach us about life in our own homes and life in the household of faith.

In extraordinary ways L’Arche models such a straight forward living of the vows of our baptism:

  • Celebrating and sharing God’s love in Jesus.
  • Saying we’re sorry when we’ve hurt each other.
  • Helping our brothers and sisters in need.
  • Building a world that is kind and just for all.
  • Taking delight in the wonders of God’s creation.

Pictures of life in L’Arche represent such a sharp contrast to so many horrific others from the year 2014.

Here are but a few:

  • Nigerian school girls kidnapped under the cover of darkness.,
  • Innocent victims killed through the use of chemical weapons in Syria and thousands of Syrian refuges now facing starvation.
  • Children of Gaza killed while playing at the beach.
  • Men and women and children beheaded for refusing to denounce the name of Jesus.
  • A soldier bleeding to death at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at our National War Memorial.
  • Young men and women recruited and radicalized for the terrorist activities of ISIS.
  • Thousands of young people mostly women being trafficked for the sex trade where they are used, abused and trashed.
  • Hostages pressed against the windows of a café in Sydney, Australia.
  • 132 children slaughtered by the Taliban in their classrooms in Peshawar Pakistan.

All these images, and so many more, reveal such a total disregard for the sanctity of human life. By contrast, a beautiful contrast, L’Arche represents a hallowing of the wonder and dignity of human life.

One need only read some of Jean Vanier’s writings to know that at the very core of his labours of love for humanity is his intense love of Jesus. His life’s work is shaped by the Jesus of John’s Gospel. “There’s a music behind the words and stories and flow of this gospel,” he writes, “I have listened to that song which has warmed and stirred my heart and opened up my intelligence, and given hope, meaning and orientation to my life with all that is beautiful and broken in me and meaning to this world of pain in which we live.” He goes on to say, “I want to sing this song even if my voice is weak and sometimes wavers, so that others may sing it and that together we may be in the world singing a song of hope, to bring joy where there is sadness and despair.”

In this deep personal desire of Jean Vanier, I see the very vocation of the Church, to be in and for the world—Singing a song of hope in the name of Christ.

We are called to sing this song with heart and soul and voice in the sanctuary, in the streets, and amidst the masses of humanity who suffer so much at the hands of others.

On this New Year’s Day as we enjoy this choral Eucharist in this lovely cathedral church, I am mindful of all who work behind the scenes in the preparation of liturgy. Knowing that worship is our first work as the People of God, let us be grateful for all whose life’s work is to gather the church in song and sacrament, in preaching the Word, and in living that Word. Accordingly, I invite your prayers for all our bishops, priests, and deacons; all our lay readers and catechists; all our lectors and all who lead us in our prayers for the Church and the world; all our musicians and choristers; all acolytes and all who serve on our altar guilds: yes, those who polish brass, wash linens and arrange the flowers in their respective ways. All these people contribute to worship that is complete in the beauty of holiness. Each in their own way enables the Church to sing its song of hope in the grace of God revealed in the face of Jesus.

On this New Year’s Day, let us also give thanks to God for all whose life’s work is to call the church assembled into loving service among the poor. “Jesus,” says Vanier, “is the starving, the parched, the prisoner, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the dying. To live with Jesus is to live with the poor. To live with the poor is to live with Jesus.”

Here is a theology rooted in God’s special regard for the poor and in the Psalmist’s prayer that the hope of the poor not be forgotten (Psalm 9:18).

In partnering with places like The Well and Centre 454 here in Ottawa, the church is singing a song of hope in the midst of much sadness and despair. When we Christians provide a nutritious breakfast for kids before they go to school; when we open the doors of our churches and welcome people in from out of the cold; when we set up for the Saturday night community supper; when we turn our parish halls into overnight shelters for the homeless, we are singing songs of whispering hope for the dawning of a better and brighter day and the peace of a quieter and safer night. Here’s a form of evangelism as one of our retired bishops, Michael Ingham, has written that “shows forth the Lord Jesus in acts of love and compassion rather than winning souls we deem to be lost… It is designed for service not conquest.”

Accordingly, let us pray that the church always be graced and challenged by those who call us out into the streets and neighbourhoods of our communities—those who remind us of our vocation in the world as the body of Christ—his eyes to see, his ears to hear, his hands to feed his heart to love.

On this New Year’s Day, I am mindful that at the turn of the millennium, world leaders declared a number of Millennium Development Goals and set 2015 as an achievable time line. While there has been some significant measure of success in eradicating extreme poverty, it has been very uneven across regions and indeed within countries. There is much more to be done “Until all are fed,” as the World Council of Churches Assembly sang in Busan, Korea in 2013:

          “How long will we sing?
How long will we pray?
How long will we write and send?
How long will we stay?
How long will we make amends?
Until all are fed
Until all on earth have bread
Like the one who loves us each and everyone
we serve until all are fed.”

From an assembly of churches that numbers some 345, this is a song of hope for the millions of people who live in poverty.

On the long road to improving maternal health and reducing child mortality, two other MDGs, I am delighted to say our own Church, through the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), has been singing a song of hope for twenty-five years. Within the last few, that song has swelled to a chorus of great joy through substantial government funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Development (DFATD), enabling expanded work in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Burundi.

On the long road to ending gender-based violence in our world, the Anglican Communion has called on all its member churches to not remain silent, but to speak out against such violence, to make sure our churches are promoting and modeling safe, equal and respectful relationships between women and men, boys and girls. Here in Canada, there are more than a few Highways of Tears, back alleys, and wooded paths where women are abused and dumped. Of particular concern is the trend of ever-escalating statistics regarding beaten and battered, missing, and murdered aboriginal women. The church’s support of shelters for those who suffer domestic violence, and for second stage housing for those gaining the courage and counsel they need in leaving behind the vicious cycles of abuse in which they have been trapped, is a song of hope for many.

As this year marks the conclusion of the work of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, our church has already affirmed its continuing commitment to walk with Indigenous Peoples along paths of healing from their experiences in the residential schools. Deeply aware that this journey is a long and difficult one, “We are,” as former primate Michael Peers said, “committed for the long haul.” Thankfully, along the way we can cite together some very sacred moments of apology, reconciliation, community healing and self-determination. Each in its own way is a song of hope that has lifted the hearts of all and moved us forward in good ways.

In the world today, there are more than 50 million refugees. Our Church has a long standing commitment in accompanying those who live in camps for many years—indeed, for some, a lifetime. Our church has a strong record in settling refugees through diocesan sponsorship agreements. Our church speaks out in pressing our government for more open policies in welcoming new refugees to Canada. All these actions are songs of hope.

In the great festival of Christmas, the scriptures turn our thoughts to the land of the Holy One: the land of his birth, death, and resurrection. A land sadly caught in age-old conflict. As we strive to understand its complexities, and as we pray for a just and lasting peace for Palestine and Israel, we sing however “weak or wavering” a song of hope.

As we greet this new year, let us pray that Jean Vanier’s deep desire to sing a song of hope in the world be the deep passion of our church. In the sanctuary, in the streets, and throughout the world may our ministries in the name of Jesus make known “the glories of his righteousness and the wonders of his love” (Hymn 154).

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Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, January 01, 2015

Hiltz and Welby discuss marriage canon, reconciliation

Posted on: December 26th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

 

By André Forget

 

At his annual meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace, Archbishop Fred Hiltz spoke about the Commission on the Marriage Canon and about reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Anglicans. Photo: Tony Hisgett/Wikimedia.


 

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, recently met with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and discussed the progress of developments in the Canadian church such as the Commission on the Marriage Canon and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

“The archbishop was interested in where we are with the marriage canon matter, and in the interests of transparency I took a copy of the resolution from General Synod, the resolution from Council of General Synod giving the commission a mandate,” said Hiltz, who met with Welby on Dec. 17. “I gave him an update in terms of where the commission was at this particular moment, and that was as much as I could do. I think he appreciated that.” The commission is looking at a proposed change to Canon XXI to allow for same-sex marriage.

Reconciliation has been a major theme in Welby’s tenure at Lambeth, and Hiltz brought with him a copy of the timeline of residential schools put together by the Anglican Church of Canada.  “I brought him up to date with where we are with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I spoke with him about the Primate’s Commission [on Discovery] and the work that it is mandated to do,” he said in an interview. Hiltz also stressed that the church is “well poised for continuing work in healing and reconciliation” beyond the TRC, which ends its term in June 2015. A major component of the 2007 revised Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, part of the TRC’s mandate is to gather the statements of former residential school students and others affected by the schools and to educate Canadians about the impact its impact.

Hiltz also met with officers at the Anglican Communion Office and at Lambeth Palace, and noted that the question of the marriage canon came up more than once. “There’s a bit of anxiety in the Communion about what might happen here and the fallout that might come from that.”

Hiltz also met with Nigel Stock, the bishop at Lambeth, about when and what the next primates’ meeting would look like. Hiltz said that although Welby had invited all primates to indicate support for a meeting, it was unlikely that there would be one before the end of 2015. The primates last met in 2011.

Hiltz also expressed hope that the next primates’ meeting would not be dominated by a single issue. “If we’re going to have a primates’ meeting, we need not ignore the same-sex marriage stuff, but we ought not to allow it to dominate,” he said. “The Archbishop himself said he wants to focus on prayer, evangelism and reconciliation.”

Another significant point of conversation was around the possibility of an Anglican Congress. “I think an Anglican Congress would be a great thing,” said Hiltz. “A Congress that was focussed around the church in and for the world could make for some very interesting conversations.” Although such a Congress would take some time to plan, Hiltz was optimistic about the effects it could have. He noted that the Anglican Consultative Council would have to be the driving force behind it. “It would take a lot of careful planning,” he said, “but I think it is time.” The last Anglican Congress was held in Toronto in 1963.

The primate has been making an annual trip to Lambeth for seven years now, with the exception of last year, when Welby visited Canada. The purpose for these visits, according to Hiltz, was to make sure that the Archbishop of Canterbury was, to use the primate’s own words, “hearing from the Anglican Church of Canada and not just about it.

Editor’s note: A correction has been made to the last paragraph where the word “from” became “form.” 

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Anglican Journal News, December 22, 2014

Hiltz reminds Anglicans not to take peace for granted

Posted on: December 23rd, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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By André Forget

 

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. Photo: General Synod Communications

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In a Christmas message released on Dec. 17, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, reminded Anglicans not to take for granted their ability to openly celebrate their faith this Christmas.

“Many others celebrate this faith in the face of oppression and at the risk of persecution,” he said, going on to speak of the past year’s tragedies, of “churches torched, school girls kidnapped, people beheaded.” Amidst celebrations of Christmas, Christians should not forget those who have “swelled the ranks of the martyr throng because they confessed the name of Jesus.”

Hiltz also emphasized that despite the unrelenting stream of bad news coming from all corners of the world in 2014, the story of the incarnation is one of profound hope. He began his message by noting that the first announcement of the incarnation came to shepherds, people who were “often looked upon by those in high places as poor and dirty.”

Focusing on Luke 2:9, “the glory of the Lord shone round about them,” Hiltz suggested that this glory is best shown in the incarnation, which springs from God’s desire to “love the world into redemption, to love the nations into reconciliation and lasting peace, and to love us all into lives that are good and holy.”

In dark times, said Hiltz, the glory of the Lord is needed more than ever – both in the hearts of the faithful and in their neighbourhoods and nations.

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Anglican Journal News, December 19. 2014

The gift of traditional healing

Posted on: December 23rd, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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By Sara Tatelman

 

Jessica Sault, co-ordinator of Healing Hearts, a group that will lead an Anglican-funded healing workshop this weekend for children of residential school survivors. Photo: Contributed


The last weekend before Christmas is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year, when the frenzy of planning family gatherings and shopping for gifts can reach fever pitch.

But for a group in Victoria, B.C., this coming Dec. 20 and 21 will involve a different type of activity. Ten children of Indian residential school survivors who are struggling with homelessness or poverty will participate in a traditional healing methods workshop.  Among other activities, the workshop will teach smudging and drumming, and participants will also attend six monthly follow-up sessions.

Entitled “Healing Hearts—From Homelessness to Helpfulness,” the workshop is offered intentionally during the Christmas season, when suicide, violence and drug overdoses are reported to be most prevalent.

Healing Hearts received a $15,000 grant from the Anglican Church of Canada’s Fund for Healing and Reconciliation, which supports approximately 30 projects each year “that address community healing from the legacy of the residential school system,” said Esther Wesley, the fund’s co-ordinator. Wesley lauded “the humanity of [Healing Hearts]. Reaching out to somebody on the street, showing that somebody cares” is an important part of the project, she said.

The project was conceived when Jessica Sault, a Nuu-chah-nulth and the co-ordinator of Healing Hearts, noticed that more than one-third of Victoria’s homeless population is indigenous. “What I wanted to do was offer them something that’s traditional and that belongs to them in their time of need,” she said.

Sault is aware of the inter-generational effects of residential schools. Her own mother was sexually and emotionally abused at the Port Alberni residential school, and as a result, “she could not give us the love that she was supposed to give us because it was so riddled with anger and fear and shame,” Sault said. “We walk around thinking that we’re not good enough…There’s lots of hindrance [to] success.” Approximately 400 indigenous people live on the streets of Victoria.

Children of residential school survivors are often disconnected from indigenous culture, she said. “You don’t feel like you belong anywhere. So when you reach for your traditional healing tools, it’ll connect you to something greater.” When participants share these tools with others, they can feel like they’re contributing to society, she added. “That’s how our teachings are—you pass them from one to another to another.”

Sault herself grew up learning traditional songs, dances and stories from elders on her reserve. “Through her pain, [my mom] knew that she should bring the elders to our home,” she said, adding that many indigenous people aren’t familiar with traditional culture, and that some of her neighbours on the reserve laughed at her family for dancing.

During the workshop, participants will receive a healing bag containing a smudge bowl, smudge, a drum, an eagle feather, a sweatshirt and a first aid kit. Smudging, the practice of burning sage and other herbs, “cleanses you on the inside,” Sault said. Praying with and holding an eagle feather “gives you courage and connects you to the Creator.” The drumbeat is like the heartbeat a baby hears in its mother’s womb, and when you’re drumming, “you go back to that safe place and…[it] soothes your soul.” Sweatshirts and first aid kits provide more physical healing, and the Healing Hearts logo on the clothes and bags serve to remind participants of what they learned in the workshop.

In addition to the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, Healing Hearts has partnered with Our Place Society and The Dandelion Society, two organizations that support the homeless and other vulnerable populations in Victoria. They will provide space for the workshop and follow-up sessions, toiletries to distribute and assistance with evaluating the project.

Sault hopes that Healing Hearts will run more workshops in the future. “I don’t know why this hasn’t been thought of before. These were exactly the tools that were taken away from us. Why not bring these to the homeless and low-income people who don’t have the opportunity to learn this?”

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Anglican Journal News, December 19, 2014

Bishop of Cuba thankful for ‘bridges of hope’

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

 

By André Forget

 

Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio, Episcopal Church of Cuba. Photo: General Synod Communications _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Following U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision Dec. 17 to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba after 54 years, the leadership of the Episcopal Church of Cuba released a statement thanking God for the repatriation of prisoners to both countries and thanking the churches in the United States for the “bridges of hope” they affirmed during the decades of separation.

The statement, signed by standing committee president the Rev. Alfredo Nuño, Suffragan Bishop Ulises Aguero and diocesan Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio, expressed gratitude to The Episcopal Church, noting that “through different strategies, such as travel, exchanges, and the presentation of official resolutions,” it has “accompanied our church and therefore our people.”

Joy was also expressed over the return of Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero and Ramon Labanino, the three remaining members of the “Cuban Five” who were held in U.S. prisons since 1998, and U.S. aid worker Alan Gross, who had been imprisoned in Cuba since 2009. The release of prisoners, the statement says, “show[s] that dialogue and a stance of mutual understanding and respect in the midst of differences are basic elements in the relationships among governments and peoples.”

The statement also acknowledged the uncertainty of the present moment, asking God to “guide the governments of both countries in wise decisions,” to “illuminate these new times and challenges that have come to the Cuban people,” and to “weave concord among the two peoples and affirm our commitment to the truth.”

The statement ended with an acknowledgement of the significance of such a momentous decision so close to Christmas. “Jesus was born so that reconciliation and peace could enter and fill the lives of women and men, of families and communities, of peoples and nations,” the statement reads. “May the light of Christmas be a fountain of blessings for both our peoples.”

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Anglican Journal News, December 19, 2014

Statement of the Episcopal Church of Cuba concerning recent major events

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

 

The following is a statement form the Episcopal Church of Cuba released December 17, 2014, concerning the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States of America.

Translated into English. Original Spanish attached as a PDF.

La Habana, 17 diciembre, 2014.

STATEMENT OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF CUBA CONCERNING TODAY’S MAJOR EVENTS

For the Cuban people, this day constitutes a day of great significance for their future. The steps that today have been taken between the governments of Cuba and the United States, in announcing the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, and as part of that proceeding to release the three Cuban compatriots and the American citizen Alan Gross, among others, show that dialogue and a stance of mutual understanding and respect in the midst of differences are basic elements in the relationships among governments and peoples.

We thank God for their return, all of them, to the bosom of their families and their countries and for the events that end the breaking of relationship and create great opportunities for understanding and respect in that relationship. We thank God for the bridges of hope that churches in the United States and in Cuba have affirmed for decades, even in moments of political difficulty. Especially we thank God for The Episcopal Church (TEC) that, through different strategies, such as travel, exchanges, and the presentation of official resolutions, has accompanied our church and therefore our people.

We ask God that his Holy Spirit guide the governments of both countries in wise decisions. May he illuminate these new times and challenges that have come to the Cuban people. May this same Spirit help us, even in our differences, to weave concord among the two peoples and affirm our commitment to the truth, justice, and peace that come from the immeasurable love of the triune God.

Christmas, which we are preparing to celebrate, is the project of love incarnate that becomes real in the context of the present. Jesus was born so that reconciliation and peace could enter and fill the lives of women and men, of families and communities, of peoples and nations. May the light of Christmas be a fountain of blessing for both our peoples.

Rev. Alfredo Nuño President, Standing Committee

+Ulises Agüero Suffragan Bishop

+Griselda Delgado
Diocesan Bishop

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Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, December 19, 2014