Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Cathrine Fungai Ngangira reflects on her year at St Anselm’s

Posted on: July 12th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

Cathrine Fungai Ngangira reflects on her year at St Anselm's

Posted By Cathrine Fungai Ngangira

11 July 2017

When I left home to be a residential member of the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace, saying goodbye was hard not because I was going far away from home, but, I didn’t know how to explain what I was getting myself into. Committing to prayer, study and service to poor communities was not a problem especially coming from a Christian family, but, being a monk (though part time) with vows of poverty, chastity and obedience was not a cool thing to do.

When I signed up to join the community, I had preconceived ideas of what spending a year in God’s time might look like: spending hours fasting and praying, reading and studying the bible. Looking back now, we’ve done all that and have got even more than what I signed up for.

I began the year with a desire to know God’s will for my life.  I expected it to be easy going, but it turned out to be exciting, tough and transforming.

The first step was to trust God fully, which he taught me to do through sharing about myself expecting no reply or comment in return and listening to the stories of others and not commenting (maybe at a later date if necessary). This vulnerability with each other built trust that created friendships. It was a point of realising how God sometimes deals with us: listen as we speak, and comment where necessary and how we ought to listen – seeking not to reply but to understand.

Reconciliation became the order of the day renewed each morning with a choice to love and expressed through honest conversations, confessions, writing, accompanied with tears, hugs and smiles after experiencing forgiveness and mercy. The pain of reconciling with the past is nothing compared to the peace and joy of the healing made.

This year’s experience is better compared to the refining process that gold goes through under fire, the impurities are removed and best quality gold remains. We’ve been under fire, we’ve been refined and made ready for God’s purpose, with great value to God’s kingdom and his creation.

Cathrine Fungai Ngangira

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Anglican Communion News Service,  Daily update from the ACNS on Tuesday 11th July, 2017

Hunger in Horn of Africa spurs churches to issue call to action

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

By André Forget on July 06, 2017


Will Postma, executive director of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, and Anna-Maria Sandström, the Church of Sweden’s liaison officer for the Horn of Africa, listen to a presentation on the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa at a special meeting of the All Africa Conferences of Churches
. Photo: All Africa Conference of Churches


A special meeting of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) held June 28-29 in Nairobi, Kenya, has issued a call to action asking churches, governments and relief organizations to respond to the crisis of hunger in the Horn of Africa.

Specifically, the call to action asks for help in addressing the underlying issues driving the crisis by focusing on conflict resolution, climate change, and promoting good governance.

“It is our prophetic witness to overcome hunger, to sustain peace, justice and the care for creation, in the Horn of Africa and in all places,” the call says. “We pray that God grants us the faith, hope and love to follow through with this Call to Action!”

Countries in and near the Horn of Africa, including Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen and parts of Kenya have been dealing with a severe lack of food for months, and are considered by the United Nations to be at risk of sliding into famine due to drought conditions that have been exacerbated by civil unrest.

More than 20 million people in Yemen, South Sudan, Kenya and Nigeria are at risk of starvation, according to numbers released by the United Nations earlier this year. A majority of these are children, according to Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the the United Nations High Commission on Refugees.

The special meeting of the AACC, an ecumenical organization dedicated to nurturing Christianity in Africa and responding to humanitarian challenges, was called by the World Council of Churches and the ACT Alliance earlier this year, at a time when matters in South Sudan had deteriorated to the point where parts of the country were experiencing famine conditions.

Among those present at the meeting was Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund’s (PWRDF) executive director Will Postma.

In a July 5 interview, Postma told the Journal that as of June 30 the PWRDF had raised $280,000 through its famine appeal, money which is earmarked both for immediate humanitarian work and longer term projects focused on peace building.

The fund has been active in famine relief in South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya over the past year, but Postma said new initiatives are being considered as well, including involvement in relief efforts in Yemen, where a drought and a civil war have left nine million without secure access to food, according to the UN.

The fund is also considering a partnership with the Quakers and the South Sudan Council of Churches to work on a peace-building initiative in South Sudan, where hunger is exacerbated by an ongoing conflict between government forces and rebels.

“Church leaders in South Sudan said, of the institutions that are left, the church is still the most credible of the institutions,” said Postma. “We do have something to say as the church.”

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, July 07, 2017

“We should make human rights the key component of all migration and refugee policies”

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

Posted on: July 7, 2017

Photo Credit: CEC

“We should make human rights the key component of all migration and refugee policies”

[CEC] This was the central message of the fourth annual Conference of European Churches Summer School on Human Rights, which took place in Italy this week. The gathering brought together 45 human rights experts, scholars, and church representatives from across Europe for a week of intensive learning and dialogue. It was co-organised with the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe and supported by the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy and the Diaconal Centre La Noce.

Those gathered in Palermo were welcomed by local pastor Revd Peter Ciaccio, a former member of the CEC working group on human rights. Participants learned from academics and human rights practitioners about international human rights law and instruments in the area of migration, asylum, and refugee law. This content was also illuminated through daily theological and biblical input from different Christian traditions.

Göran Gunner, moderator of the CEC Thematic Reference Group on Human Rights, remarked, “It is important for CEC Member Churches to discuss both the theological and legal aspects of migrant and refugee rights to make a real impact on decisions at the national and European levels.”

Keynote lectures addressed issues relating to refugee rights, the rights of all migrants, as well as those of stateless and trafficked persons. Other contributions also emphasized the securitisation of migration and resulting fears, as well as the specifics of the Italian situation.

Witness given by migrants proved particularly inspiring for Summer School participants. Their testimony, combined with best practice examples, helped develop ideas about making human rights a reality in national contexts. This sparked conversation about what more churches could do to help migrants and refugees live a life in dignified conditions.

Great concern was expressed about the tendency of European governments to restrict access to rights (including barriers to asylum procedures and cooperation on border controls with countries having a poor human rights record) and make disproportionate use of detention. Participants also noted with great sorrow that many have died on their way to Europe and that more should be done to prevent humanitarian disasters. They voiced support for safe passages to Europe, exemplified in projects like Mediterranean Hope of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy and partners.

“As the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe, we will in cooperation with CEC continue to network the ongoing and future work of churches in Europe on theological and legal aspects. Human rights will guide our daily advocacy work with European institutions,” said Talvikki Ahonen of the CCME Executive Committee.

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Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Friday 7th July, 2017

Onondaga language program building ‘critical mass’ of new speakers

Posted on: July 6th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

Students, instructors, and first-language speakers gather in Ohsweken last February for the Onondaga Language Adult Immersion Program, coordinated by the Six Nations Language Commission and supported by the Anglican Healing Fund. Submitted photo

Onondaga language program building ‘critical mass’ of new speakers

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An estimated 26,000 people are members of the Six Nations of the Grand River, with approximately 14,000 living on reserve. The Onondaga are one of six Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) nations that make up the Ontario community, the largest First Nations reserve in Canada. However, the demographic prominence of the Onondaga in Six Nations is not reflected in the number of native speakers of the Onondaga language.

Karen Sandy, coordinator of the Six Nations Language Commission (SNLC), estimated that there are fewer than 10 people who speak Onondaga as their first language. “That really is a major challenge for us,” she said.

The Anglican Healing Fund recently donated $10,755 to support the SNLC’s Onondaga Language Adult Immersion Program. In addition to furniture, the grant includes funds for audio-visual equipment, computers, and software that serve vital functions such as recording songs or stories from elders.

Now in its tenth year of operation, the SNLC seeks to revitalize all Haudenosaunee languages in the territory and currently offers instruction programs for the Cayuga, Mohawk, and Onondaga languages. Though there are six different languages spoken in Six Nations, the SNLC can only afford revitalization efforts for the aforementioned three.

Compared to Cayuga and Mohawk, the Onondaga language is at somewhat of a disadvantage. In addition to having far fewer native speakers, unlike the other two languages Onondaga is not offered in the public school system.

Furthermore, the small number of native Onondaga speakers has not always translated into effective teaching.

“Just because a person is a fluent speaker, they’re not always a teacher, so that’s the challenge we had there,” Sandy said. “What we focused on in the last few years was building up second-language speakers to become teachers.”

In recent years, the SNLC has taken on new instructors for its language programs. Students are primarily young adults, who are often part-time or supply teachers themselves outside the language courses. Classes run for seven hours each day from Monday to Friday, taking place in the heart of downtown Oshweken.

Sandy described the goal of the Onondaga Language Adult Immersion Program as the creation of a “critical mass” of speakers who will then use the language in their daily lives, leading to more people in the community speaking Onondaga.

“Basically, it’s our identity—I mean, that’s the key there,” Sandy said. “If we don’t have a language, we might as well just be a municipality … There’s not only just the language, but there’s so much more that has evolved with it, like the transfer of Indigenous knowledge … We have to be able to carry the language on, tell our children who they are.”

“Our vision is that in the future, all our Haudenosaunee languages will be living languages, and chosen as the ordinary mean of communication for everyday use,” she added.

There are currently several students participating in the Onondaga immersion program. One challenge for many of the students is being able to take time off work for language study while still covering their living expenses. “It’s almost like they have to take a vow of poverty just to preserve our languages,” Sandy said.

As a result, any additional funding is welcome. While the grant from the Anglican Healing Fund has gone primarily to technology to help facilitate language instruction, a potential future goal for the SNLC is a small stipend that might help cover the expenses of language students.

“We really appreciate the support that the Anglican Church is able to provide,” Sandy said. “As our aging population of first-language speakers is declining, we’ve got to really put a lot of effort into creating this critical mass of second-language speakers.”

Support language revitalization efforts, such as the Onondaga Language Adult Immersion Program, through the Anglican Healing Fund.

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Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, July 06, 2017

Finding God in suffering

Posted on: July 4th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
Books, Reviews

By Laurel Parson on July 04, 2017


Endearing Pain: Life Lessons from MS Afflictions

By Colleen Peters

Wipf & Stock, 2016

130 pages

ISBN: 978-1498237895

 

Why God? Suffering Through Cancer into Faith

By Margaret Carlisle Cupit and Edward Henderson

Wipf & Stock, 2015

172 pages

ISBN: 978-1625644787

 

Suffering and faith have been the subject of literature since the Book of Job in the Bible. Such literature seeks to explore the questions that arise in times of suffering. Does God cause suffering? How does it affect our faith? Can anything good come out of suffering?

Two books were published recently dealing with these topics: Endearing Pain by Colleen Peters and Why God? by Margaret Carlisle Cupit and Edward Henderson. In 2006, Colleen Peters was diagnosed with progressive, relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) and began a journey of pain and decline. In 2010, Maggie Cupit was diagnosed with cancer in her leg and began a journey of chemotherapy and surgery. The experiences of both women were very painful—physically, emotionally and spiritually. Both had the love and support of family, medical professionals and friends, but they also endured feelings of isolation because of not being able to participate fully in the life they had before diagnosis. In an attempt to keep friends and family informed, they both journaled or blogged updates on treatment and progress. They also shared their struggles with God about this course of events: Why is this happening to me? How can this be fixed? And, where is God in all of this?

Colleen Peters’ book is the publication of her letters and updates. When Colleen was diagnosed, she was already a faithful Christian. She had a family and worked as a teacher. Her life changed when surgery revealed that she had MS. She says, “I faced great fear and found Jesus waiting to walk through it with me” (p. 26). She also shares the encouragement she gleaned from other spiritual writers. Pain often brings out the best in people along with the worst, but in the midst of the pain, Colleen learned to pay attention to the little joys in life surrounding her every day. Colleen says, “God is healing me…the healing isn’t physical, but is targeting more important matters of the mind and heart” (p. 82).

Maggie’s book is a compilation of her journal entries and reflections, emails and comments by her grandfather, Edward Henderson, who is a philosophy of religion teacher. Maggie was a first-year college student when she was diagnosed. Her treatment was a yearlong journey of terrible suffering, but also joy and faith.

Maggie was born into a Christian family, but struggled with her faith. When she was diagnosed, it set her on a real quest for answers, which Henderson’s comments address. Maggie reflects that she could have given up on God, but with the help of many people, she came through the cancer having gained courage, hope and a faith that gives “the experience of the-good-no-matter-what and of joy even in the middle of life’s pains and anguish” (p. 130).

Endearing Pain is an inspiring spiritual journal that offers hope in the midst of daily struggles. Why God? gets bogged down by the philosophical, case-study style of Henderson’s comments, but the book is redeemed by Maggie’s voice. Both bear witness to the presence of a loving God in the midst of suffering.

About the Author

Laurel Parson

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Anglican Journal News, July 04, 2017

Giving with Grace: $275,000 raised for Healing Fund so far this year

Posted on: July 3rd, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on June, 30 2017


Esther Wesley, co-ordinator of the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation, presents an update on donations to the fund through the church’s “Giving with Grace” campaign to Council of General Synod (CoGS) Sunday, June 25.
Photo: Tali Folkins


Mississauga, Ont.

More than a quarter of a million dollars has been raised so far this year for the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation through the Giving with Grace campaign, Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard Sunday, June 25.

Healing Fund co-ordinator Esther Wesley told CoGS that, as of June 22, Giving with Grace, the Anglican Church of Canada’s annual fundraising campaign, had raised $26,000 in money directly designated for the fund, which supports Indigenous healing projects.

Funds donated without any specified designation totalled $249,000, Wesley said. Following an electronic vote by CoGS last December, such undesignated campaign proceeds this year are to go toward replenishing the Healing Fund. Thus, a total of $275,000 has been raised for the fund by Giving with Grace to date in 2017.

June 22 was a day after the conclusion of General Synod’s 22 Days campaign, an initiative urging support, through prayer, awareness-raising and donations, of the Healing Fund.

In 2015, Giving with Grace raised $515,000. In January, however, Archdeacon Michael Thompson, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, said he hoped that with the Healing Fund now the campaign’s focus, Anglicans would be motivated to give $1 million, enough to allow the fund to continue its work for five more years.

Since the Healing Fund began in 1992, Wesley said, it has funded 705 projects totalling just over $8 million.

“I have to say, Anglicans are doing very well in this work—amazing work,” she said.

Much of the money in the fund in recent years originated from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, according to which a lump sum of $4 million was deposited into the fund. But this money is now almost entirely depleted, Wesley said.

A key focus of the fund remains keeping Indigenous languages alive as many of them reach a critical point in their existence.

“Many of them are on the verge of dying, because of the elderly people dying—they’re the ones that hold the language,” Wesley said.

Depending on how they are classified, there are between 60 and 65 Indigenous languages in Canada, she said—and many of these are further broken down into distinct dialects. This vast number of languages, she added, points in turn to the diversity of Indigenous culture and Indigenous concerns.

“When people come up to me and say, ‘Okay, what do Indigenous people want?’ or ‘What are the Indigenous issues?’ Well, there isn’t one issue, there isn’t one thing,” she said.

Reconciliation was the theme of a number of sessions at last weekend’s meeting of CoGS. On Saturday, June 24, Melanie Delva, named the church’s reconciliation animator last April, gave a presentation introducing her role. Much of it, she said, would consist in “forming, equipping and resourcing a national team to encourage and sustain local engagement in the work of reconciliation.” Quoting Chris Hiller, the church’s former Indigenous justice co-ordinator, Delva described the reversal of a system of oppression as “an ethical practice in which we listen repeatedly and with humility in a desire not to master but to be undone by the other.” She then asked members of CoGS in table groups to reflect on what needed to be “undone” in this context in themselves and their communities.


Melanie Delva, reconciliation animator for the Anglican Church of Canada, describes her new role to Council of General Synod (CoGS) Saturday, June 24. Photo: Marites N. Sison


One table representative said that since reconciliation needed relationships, what most needed to be undone was the tendency of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to live in “separate worlds.”

“There are people coming from Indigenous communities into non-Indigenous communities all the time. Perhaps we could be intentional about inviting them to come and to speak in our churches…to share what life is like, to share what’s on their mind, their heart, to answer questions or just say what they have to say,” the representative said.

Another table representative, who identified herself as a survivor of an Indian residential school, said one thing she thought should be undone was the tendency of Indigenous children in her community to learn the history of their people as told by non-Indigenous people, not by Indigenous people themselves.

She added that she herself had to undergo a kind of reconciliation with her own non-Indigenous husband because of unpleasant associations she had acquired of non-Indigenous people from her school days.

“I had to reconcile because I looked at him the way I looked at the principals and the teachers that taught me,” she said. “Every day I reconcile with God, I reconcile with the people I hurt, I recognize with myself if I hurt myself or if I think less of me than God may think of me…And I feel reconciliation is to be proud of who we are, and not of what someone else tells us we are.”

CoGS members also observed a milestone—the 10th anniversary of the installation of Mark MacDonald as National Indigenous Anglican Bishop. MacDonald was installed as bishop at General Synod on June 22, 2007, after being appointed in January of that year.

“As we all know, that was a very historic moment in the life of our church—it was a very holy moment in the journey that we’ve all been on, particularly since 1994 and the covenant,” said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. (In 1994, Canadian Indigenous Anglican leaders made a covenant to work toward a self-determining Indigenous church.)

In addition to this role, Hiltz said, MacDonald also serves as area bishop of northern Manitoba—and is also known as “the rock ’n’ roll bishop.” MacDonald “loves a guitar, he loves a gospel jam, and he loves to lead us in singing,” Hiltz said.

Hiltz praised MacDonald as a scholar and as a well-travelled “apostle” for the church, before he and Sidney Black, Indigenous bishop for Treaty 7 territory in the diocese of Calgary, presented him with a certificate and a gift—an iPad tablet.

“Now I have to get rid of my Flintstone computer!” MacDonald quipped.

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, June 30, 2017

CoGs ponders finances, structure of Indigenous church

Posted on: July 3rd, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on June, 29 2017

National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald updates members of Council of General Synod (CoGS) on plans for a self-determining Indigenous Anglican organization Saturday, June 24. Photo: Marites N. Sison


A series of reports on the planned self-determining Canadian Indigenous Anglican church presented to Council of General Synod (CoGS) Saturday, June 24, met with a mixture of approval and concern.

While some CoGS members said they were happy to see concrete steps being taken toward a self-determining Indigenous Anglican body, others expressed curiosity about how it would relate with the Anglican Church of Canada and concern about how much it would cost.

Canon Ginny Doctor, the Anglican Church of Canada’s Indigenous ministries co-ordinator, had presented two reports to CoGS, including a 2018 budget   that asks for $1.2 million in funding for Indigenous ministry out of the national office, plus another $2.9 million to fund four regional offices it envisages. Among the budget’s largest items are $450,000 for Sacred Circle and $1.2 million in salaries for staff at the four regional offices.

“It looks like a lot of money, and I suppose it is, but we wanted to be realistic,” she said. “There isn’t a lot of fluff here—what you see is what you get.”

Indigenous ministry needs money to address a number of critical issues, she said, such as suicide prevention. There’s also a strong need for more Indigenous catechist training, which combines traditional Indigenous and Christian teachings, and for more youth ministry.

Some CoGS members, however, expressed concern about how the Indigenous church would be financed.

“The budget costs projected are somewhat high in terms of travel costs and funding, and…it’s significantly higher in proportion to other things that General Synod pays for, so who’s going to fund it, I think, is our big concern,” said one representative of a table group. (CoGS members had been asked to discuss in table groups their likes, concerns and hopes about the two presentations.)

However, there were also others who did not consider it to be an issue. “We weren’t fearful about financial sustainability—we believe that God’s work, done God’s way, will get God’s supplies,” its representative said.

Others said they still had questions about the exact nature of the relationship between the Indigenous church and the Anglican Church of Canada.

“Will Indigenous Anglicans want to remain in the Anglican Church of Canada or be completely outside?” asked one representative. “That’s a hard question that needs to be asked. What does self-determination lead to?”

Presenting an update on recent work done by a focus group charged with working out the shape of the Indigenous church, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark Macdonald had explained that the group envisions Indigenous Anglicans, or at least some Indigenous Anglicans, as being members of both the new Indigenous “confederacy” and the Anglican Church of Canada.

“What we’re working with now is the idea that some folks would have a kind of ‘dual citizenship,’ ” he said. “A church, for instance could have a type of dual citizenship in their own diocese, but also [exist] as a part of Sacred Circle. There might be some jurisdictions, such as [the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of] Mishamikoweesh, that would be completely aligned” with the new Indigenous organization. There are also likely to be many congregations with mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous membership, with the Indigenous members belonging to both.

Something of a precedent for this type of arrangement already exists, he said, in the Anglican Military Ordinariate of Canada. The ordinariate, which is part of the Anglican Church of Canada, has its own bishop and chapels, but its members often belong to parishes within regular dioceses of the church.

Establishing the new organization, MacDonald said, would not require much change, since the key structures—the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop; Sacred Circle, the national gathering and decision-making body; and the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), the executive body—already exist. One major requirement would be for General Synod to pass legislation to set up Sacred Circle as a self-determining entity empowered to develop its own rules and method of operating, he said.

This and other legal measures that Indigenous leaders might want to take to establish the confederacy, MacDonald said, are outlined in a memo  sent to him earlier this year by Canon (lay) David Jones, chancellor of General Synod.

Some CoGS members said they were greatly encouraged to see the idea of the Indigenous church about to become a reality—“that the aspirations and dreams were actually surviving, waking up and having coffee over breakfast and were going to become fixed realities,” as one table representative put it.

One challenge facing those planning the new church organization, Doctor said, was the need to hear more from Indigenous churchgoers themselves.

“We’re not sure who is coming with us at this point, so we really have to talk to folks at the grassroots level,” she said. “What do the people in the pews say?…We really don’t know. So somehow we have to figure out how we move this information out and into the hands and minds of people that it’s going to affect.”

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, June 29, 2017

Print edition, editorial independence of Anglican Journal up for review

Posted on: July 3rd, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By Tali Folkins on June 28, 2017

The Rev. Karen Egan, co-chair of the joint working group from the Anglican Journal and Communications and Information Resources  co-ordinating committees, presents a report to Council of General Synod (CoGS) Saturday, June 24. Photo: Marites Sison


Mississauga, Ont.
A request by the diocese of Rupert’s Land to no longer have a print version of the Anglican Journal distributed in the diocese has led to the raising of questions about whether the newspaper should be produced in print form at all and whether it should continue to be free to determine its own content, Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard Saturday, June 24.

In February 2015, the diocese of Rupert’s Land sent a letter to the Anglican Journal stating that the diocese was no longer going to produce a print version of its own newspaper, Rupert’s Land News. The letter also included a “signal” that the diocese would prefer not to distribute the Anglican Journal, the Rev. Karen Egan, a member of the working group later formed to deal with some consequences of this decision, told CoGS.

The diocese’s decision, Egan said, was based partly on its desire to focus its resources on online communications and partly on its environmental concerns.

Traditionally, the Anglican Journal has been distributed together with diocesan newspapers; parishioners in dioceses that produce print versions of their diocesan newspaper receive it together with a copy of the newspaper.

In fall 2016, Rupert’s Land Bishop Donald Phillips let national office staff know that the diocese had decided it no longer wanted the print version of the Anglican Journal distributed in the diocese.

The diocese’s decision raised many questions, Egan said, because of the complex interrelationship between the finances of print distribution and the structure and strategy of the Anglican Journal within the national office’s communications department.

For example, she said, it raises the question of whether the Journal ought to continue to be published in print form at all.
“If you know anything about print media, this is not exactly a huge surprise,” said Egan. “The print media is undergoing revision and change all the time, it has been for quite awhile. There’s a shift in the world. We in the church are thinking about this…and it’s time to respond.”

On the one hand, focusing resources on delivering news online could increase the “back-and-forth” engagement between the Journal and its readers, and the cost savings of going online-only might seem obvious at first, said Egan.

However, she added, it’s possible that an online news source might not deliver the same experience as a print version of the paper, and ceasing to print the Anglican Journal might not even bring any financial benefits.

“Even if you reduce the cost of printing and distribution, you may actually come out even because you’ve lost some revenue sources,” she said.

According to a report,  produced by the joint working group from the Anglican Journal and Communications and Information Resources  co-ordinating committees,  it cost just under $2 million to produce the Journal in 2016. Of this, $976,735 were expenses related to printing and distributing it by mail (including $803,830 for postage).

However, a Heritage Canada grant of $409,866 is tied to the Journal’s print distribution, and the amount of funds raised through the Anglican Journal Appeal (roughly half a million dollars annually) also seems to depend to some extent on parishioners’ receiving a print version of the Journal, Egan said. (The Journal’s total revenue of $1.277 million also includes advertising and diocesan contributions for shared print distribution costs. It also receives an annual grant of about $500,000 from General Synod.)

These and other questions, she said, “point us to the need for a coherent communications strategy.” This strategy, “involves more than the Anglican Journal but all the ways that the national church can effectively communicate…with all its audiences…And ultimately, where does the Anglican Journal fit into this strategy that we’re developing?”

The working group’s report also wants to look into the traditional arrangement whereby the Anglican Journal is editorially independent—determining its own content without external direction—and has its own dedicated staff even though it is a part of the national office’s communications and information resources department.

“Strong arguments can and have been made over the years for the continued editorial and structural independence of the Journal,” the working group’s report states. “Questions have also been asked about whether this independence is perceived, effective, and valued by readers, and where it sits in the current priorities of General Synod.”

Part of the working group’s mandate, Egan said, is to undertake a process of research and consultation with Anglican Church of Canada members on how they would like the Journal distributed, including a research survey.

The working group will then use the results of this process to come up with a plan for how the Journal should fit into the church’s future communications strategy, Egan said.

In a question-and-answer session after Egan’s presentation, the issue of the Journal’s editorial independence prompted, instead of a question, a strong statement from one CoGS member. Jason Antonio, from the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land, who also introduced himself as managing editor of the diocesan newspaper The Saskatchewan Anglican, condemned what he termed the report’s “attack” on the Anglican Journal’s editorial independence.

“It’s a leap in logic for me to think that because Rupert’s Land News shut down we have to question the editorial independence of the newspaper,” he said. “The Anglican Church of Canada does not need another mouthpiece…To attack the Anglican Journal, then, and take it over is an authoritarian move. We might as well just rename it Pravda,” said Antonio, alluding to the former news organ of the Soviet Union’s communist party. The journalistic quality of the Journal would suffer from one-sidedness if it lost its editorial independence, he said.

In response, Egan objected to Antonio’s description of the report’s raising of the question as an “attack” on the Journal’s editorial independence.

“We actually are intending to genuinely try to write a report that’s as open at this point as possible,” she said. “We’re not stepping up and saying, ‘It’s about time the Anglican Journal stopped [being] editorially independent…To call it an attack on editorial independence is…actually wrong.”

Egan said that a move to an online-only Anglican Journal might lead readers to confuse it with the Anglican Church of Canada’s other online news source, anglican.ca/news, which is not editorially independent.

“If, for example, the print distribution model…changes and we go online…what happens is, then it becomes muddy online about who is apparently editorially independent and who isn’t,” she said.

In his remarks, Antonio also underscored the importance of print media and the Journal, noting that it gives the public “an idea that we are a collective church across the country…we’re not congregationalist.”

Lucy Young, of the province of Rupert’s Land, said she felt that stopping the distribution of the Journal in her parish, in the diocese of the Arctic, would be a good way to save money. Many people she knows are content to receive the diocesan newsletter, she said.

Egan said her response hinted at the diverse news needs of Anglican Church of Canada members.

“This a wide and diverse church, and this is exactly the kind of detail that we’re going to try to gather.”

The working group, Egan said, wants to continue to keep the church informed on its progress, and will “definitely” be providing more updates in upcoming meetings of CoGS.

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, June 29, 2017

New Canons installed in Jerusalem during Anglican pilgrimage to Holy Land

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

Posted on: June 28, 2017

Photo Credit: ACNS

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

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

Jerusalem _Cathedral _ACNS

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

Jerusalem _Cathedral _hands

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

Jerusalem _Cathedral 3_ACNS

Jerusalem _Cathedral 2_ACNS

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

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

CoGS to form working group looking at wages across whole church

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

By Tali Folkins on June 27, 2017


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


Mississauga, Ont.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

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

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Anglican Journal News, June 27, 2017