Anglican Samizdat

March 30, 2010

What is the Anglican Church of Canada all about?

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 3:05 pm

The April edition of the Anglican Journal provides the clue. Here is a selection of headlines:

Falling in love with Mother Earth
The green wave is sweeping across many Anglican parishes in Canada.

Eco-spirit strong in New Westminster
Respond to one of the most urgent issues of our time: care for the earth. (What the hell is an “eco-spirit”?)

Begin with a simple cup of joe
If congregations want to take action on environmental and climate change issues, they can begin with a simple cup of joe.

You can go green at home, too!
Even if you can’t go off the power grid, you can buy your electricity from Bullfrog Power, which sources electricity from wind and hydro-electric facilities.

Small steps
Look to Greening Sacred Spaces

There you have it: The Anglican Church is getting into the eco-spirit of things by loving Mother Earth while drinking fair-trade coffee heated with Bullfrog Power all in a lush verdant sanctuary. I think I’m turning green; pass the sick-bag.


March 28, 2010

Nuns are not what they used to be

Filed under: Nothing in Particular — David Jenkins @ 11:14 pm

I have a friend who used to be an Anglican Nun; she is a bit of a stickler for correct doctrine.

In contrast, here is a creed written by a current Anglican Church of Canada Nun:

A Creed for the Twenty-First Century
I believe in God, I guess
well no. I am pretty sure.
I do believe in God.
I don’t know
who God is
what God is
how God is
I believe in God.
I guess.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I guess.
well, I believe in Jesus,
God-born man,
my brother, friend and guide.
Yes, I believe in Jesus.
But as for Christ
anointed one
I do, I guess, believe in Christ,
But wonder
How? and why? and what?
So I believe in Jesus Christ.
I guess.
Do I believe in Holy Spirit?
well I guess.
For something
part of me yet not,
inborn yet not of me
Something makes me yearn
and search and open
something quite
against my will,
and that, perhaps, is Holy Spirit.
So I believe in Holy Spirit.
I guess.

Sr. Sue Elwyn, SSJD

I wonder how quickly the early church would have spread if this had been its creed. Not very. I guess.

March 23, 2010

Rev. Alan T Perry should wear a burka

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 5:05 pm

Perhaps it would shut him up. From the Montreal Gazette:

Yolande James, Quebec’s immigration minister and the Liberal MNA for the West Island’s Nelligan riding, got a rude awakening yesterday.

Rev. Alan T. Perry, the Anglican pastor of St. Barnabas Church in Pierrefonds, took James to task for her decision last week to bar a woman wearing a niqab from French classes for immigrants.

In a letter to The Gazette, Perry chastised James for reneging on her baptismal and confirmation obligations as an Anglican “to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect for the dignity of every human being.”

“I was surprised to see that,” James told The Gazette. “Notably because, first of all, I’m Catholic.

Perry later apologised to James for misidentifying – stigmatising – her as Anglican. Nevertheless, his insistence on striving for peace and justice is only in evidence when convenient. Here, for example, Perry is determined to illegitimately strip the clerical title from Anglican clergy because they refused to acquiesce to the heretical drift of the church that employs him.

March 22, 2010

Arctic winds responsible for much of the loss of sea ice

Filed under: Global Warming — David Jenkins @ 10:29 pm
Tags: ,

In December 2009, the Anglican Church of Canada implored its membership – whose size is diminishing far more rapidly than Arctic ice – to petition parliament to combat melting sea ice in the Arctic:

What was, only a few years ago, seen as one possibility among several has now become an undisputed fact: Climate change is real and is having increasingly serious impacts on the environment and people. More worrisome, its impact is stronger and faster than was predicted even a short time ago. Artic [sic] ice is melting much faster than expected, so are the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. In Canada, we see impacts of changing climate in the melting of permafrost in the North and weather- related events such as floods and droughts in the South. The changes are taking place at an increasing speed and the predictions are repeatedly turning out too optimistic.

Oops. It appears that strong winds are causing much of the loss of Arctic sea-ice:

Strong winds and not global warming are to blame for much of the record-breaking loss of ice in the Arctic Ocean in recent years, new research reveals.

Ice blown out of the Arctic area by winds can explain the one-third drop of sea ice since 1979, scientists believe.

The study helps to explain the huge loss of ice in the region during the summers of 2007 and 2008, after which some commentators suggested the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free during the summertime within a decade.

Still, there is probably enough wind generated by the ACoC to blow all the ice back again.

And the winner of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Highest Award is……

Yes! You’ve guessed it! Not the person who has won the most souls for Christ, but the Diocese of New – we have a heretical bishop – Westminster’s Business Administrator.

Diocesan Business Administrator and St. Christopher, West Vancouver parishioner Rob Dickson will be one of five recipients of this year’s Anglican Award of Merit. The award is the Anglican Church of Canada’s highest award available to laity and is presented to those who have contributed with distinction and dedication to the work and life of the church at the national and international level.

I’m sure Rob is a lovely bloke and has done a fine job administering the…. er… business.

March 16, 2010

Being green makes you mean

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 10:30 pm
Tags: ,

Says the Guardian

According to a study, when people feel they have been morally virtuous by saving the planet through their purchases of organic baby food, for example, it leads to the “licensing [of] selfish and morally questionable behaviour”, otherwise known as “moral balancing” or “compensatory ethics”.

This goes go a long way to explain the behaviour of the Anglican Church of Canada, which is very keen on green.

The Anglican Church of Canada and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada shacking up together

The ACoC and ELCIC have been unified in their determination to continue a Gadarene plunge into the oblivion of diverse, inclusive neo-pagan Gaia worship and left wing political agitation. So it is only fitting that, as each becomes increasingly financially embarrassed, their leaders share an office.

In other business, CoGS voted to authorize Archbishop Fred Hiltz, in consultation with Susan Johnson, the national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and the co-chairs of the Canadian Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission to explore the pros and cons of sharing a national office in Ottawa.

Archbishop Hiltz, who is primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, added that a greater presence in the nation’s capital could “position us in new and different ways in terms of our work with government leaders and our capacity to have influence and shape public policy.”

I’m all for Fred and Susan positioning themselves in new and different ways; it should prove most entertaining.

March 12, 2010

Canadian Anglicans Widening the Circle

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 12:04 pm
Tags: ,

The Diocese of Niagara is advertising the Widening Circle Conference 2010, apparently, because orthodox Anglicanism is inclusive and diverse.

In case anyone has any doubt about what that really means:

We are joining together:
1. to take a stand against making the doctrine and discipline of our national church subservient to the Primates of the Anglican Communion through a proposed Anglican Covenant; and
2. to resist a narrow and exclusive version of Anglicanism, expressed in our own country as resistance to the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life of the church.

I bet that was a surprise.

As is this:

We welcome the resolutions of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada affirming the full equality of gays and lesbians, and the “integrity and sanctity” of their intimate relationships. We believe that this affirmation must be translated into concrete acts of contrition for past wrongs, and full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life of the church.  In the absence of such acts, the church is existing in a state of unholy hypocrisy.

And this:

We call on the House of Bishops to lift the moratorium on the blessing of same-sex unions.

Just how wide is this Circle. Not that wide, it seems:

Other provinces, mind your own business:

We uphold the autonomy of the provinces of the Anglican Communion to adjudicate, elaborate, and specify questions of doctrine as they emerge in their unique cultural contexts from time-to-time.  We expect these doctrinal decisions to be reached by synods or other established councils of the church, in the form of canon law and authorised liturgies.

Rowan Williams, mind your own business:

We appreciate the historic place of the Archbishop of Canterbury as a symbol of unity, while affirming that his juridical authority is restricted to that primatial See.

Primates, mind your own business:

We recognise the role of the Lambeth Conference and the international Primates’ meetings as occasions for our episcopal and primatial leaders to engage in mutual reflection; but we reject any notion that such voluntary gatherings should exercise juridical authority.

We don’t care what any of you think, we make up are own rules, so there:

We affirm that every Christian has the right, through baptism, to judge questions of faith, and to contribute to ongoing dialogue within communities of faith and in the councils of the church. The free exercise of this responsibility is necessary in order to maintain the integrity, constancy, and truth of the faith.

March 11, 2010

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

Filed under: Global Warming — David Jenkins @ 10:28 pm
Tags: ,

In case anyone has any doubts about where the heart of the Anglican Church of Canada’s is, these three articles published today in quick succession by the Anglican Journal will give you a clue: it’s in eco-babble:

Waste not, want not

‘Planet Matters’ an environmental advocacy engine

Many faith traditions active in environmental advocacy

I found it particularly interesting to note that the second article recommends watching An Inconvenient Truth; the ACoC must surely be one of the few organisations left that is gullible enough not to have recognised the Al Gore money machine for what it is.

The Anglican Church of Canada immersed in treacly conversation

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 12:55 pm

From here:

For a little over a year, five Canadian and six African dioceses have engaged in diocese-to-diocese theological dialogue on matters relating to human sexuality and to mission.

Ours was an experience of holy listening as we engaged together in prayerful attentiveness to God and to each other in Christ. There is much that we celebrate from this experience of dialogue-in-community. In spite of differences, we strongly affirm our commitment to each other as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ and as members in the Anglican Communion.  As we continue to learn about each other’s mission contexts, cultures, values and languages, each of us grows in deeper mutual understanding of theological and ethical positions — both our own and those of our partners.

We affirm together that dialogue cannot be about trying to make someone change their position, but is about working together better to understand the fullness of our stories, affirmations and commitments. To do so requires that we meet, that we converse, that we commit to this holy listening and honest, respectful speech with openness and prayerful thanksgiving for the gift that is the other. This is the gift of communion we share in Christ: that we are one, in his body. We are empowered by our mutual listening and learning to carry on, to deepen our existing bonds of affection, and to serve God’s mission with renewed hope.

It is the desire of this group to continue to meet again, and to plan other ways in which our dioceses might deepen relationship one with another. It is our hope that the process and the fruits of our theological discernment may link with the Continuing Indaba process of the Anglican Communion.

The New Anglican: I’m OK, you’re OK; what’s right for you may not be right for me; let me affirm you; holy listening; respectful speech; openness; context; telling stories; deeper mutual understanding.

What a load of old bollocks.

The Anglican Church of Canada has been insulted!

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 9:48 am
Tags: ,

From the Journal

Bishop James Cowan of the diocese of British Columbia told his synod at the Mar.6-7 meeting that Conservative Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was “insulting” in the way he refused to allow eleven priests from the Anglican Church of the province of Myanmar to visit last fall when the diocese was celebrating its 150th anniversary.

“When Victoria MP Denise Savoie tried to speak on our behalf with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, she was rudely received and patronized by him. His correspondence with her is insulting to all concerned,” Bishop Cowan told synod.

A New Democratic Party press release last fall accused the Immigration Minister of being “unwilling to take the word of Canadian church officials about a group of priests with unbreakable ties to their home parishes.

Jason Kenney represents one of the few remaining sins that is still acknowledged by the Anglican Church of Canada: he’s politically conservative. And now he has insulted the ACoC apparatchiks by refusing to take their word that the Myanmar Anglican priests would return to their own country.

Although the visit of the Myanmar priests was probably innocent enough,  Kenney’s mistrust of the ACoC is not entirely unfounded: in 2009 the Anglican Diocese of Montreal sponsored Djamel Ameziane, an Algerian terrorist who conspired with Al Qaeda.

March 7, 2010

The Disintegration of the Diocese of BC

Filed under: Diocese of BC — David Jenkins @ 7:12 pm
Tags: ,

From the Bishop James Cowan’s charge to synod.

Woodpeckers are eating the cathedral:

For a variety of reasons, the initial design of the East End was modified. As a result, leakage has been a major problem in the East End ever since its completion. As well, some of the materials used for construction of the exterior east wall and transept towers have a lifespan of no more than twenty-five years. While that time is almost up, in fact the lifespan of that material has been considerably lessened, because woodpeckers seem to like it, and the repair of bird holes in the east nave wall and the transept towers has been an almost annual and costly event.

Even though many parishes will be closed, the cathedral will be fixed because it is – well, more important:

It may seem odd that in the midst of budgetary concerns, diocesan staff downsizing, and proposals about the disestablishment of parishes and the regrouping of parishes, there should be thought given to further development of the Cathedral.

Diocesan staff will be laid off:

There will have to be a major downsizing and re-alignment of the Diocesan Staff, and to that end I have consulted with the Officers of Synod, seeking their advice about what that downsizing and realignment might look like. The downsizing of Staff will take place regardless of the decisions which will be made during our consideration of the notices of motion which are before us from the Diocesan Transformation Team.

Parishes will be closed; parishioners will be angry:

I am aware of the anger that confronts us as these recommendations come before us for decision. For many years the buildings in which we worship and through which we minister have been a focus of that ministry and worship.

And the most interesting part: whole dioceses are candidates for closure:

Over the past thirty years, it has been suggested that there are too many Dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada. We have talked about the extensive territory which exists in Canada and the reality of the great distances which separate the communities in which Anglican mission exists. Vast territories and a commitment to ministry in places where there are small numbers have been cited as reasons to let the status quo remain unchanged. The difficulty in bringing about change to the civil legislation which established most if not all of our Dioceses is also cited as reason to do nothing. And, as we continue to maintain our present structures the programmatic support which might be used to extend the proclamation of the Gospel is reduced, and reduced, and reduced.

Somewhere, somehow, this has to end.

The Diocese of Quebec is close to collapse; the Dioceses of Montreal and Toronto are in financial difficulty. So is the Diocese of Niagara, whose bishop has opined that the ideal size for a diocese is 35 parishes – Niagara currently has over 100 parishes.

Cowan seems to recognise that doing more of the same is not going to work:

A variety of sources have defined insanity as just that, doing the same thing while expecting different results. It did not work, it will not work, and the history of our denomination and of the Christian Church both here and in the rest of Canada over the past forty years, shows that working harder at doing the same things does not work.

And yet, although many of the ACoC bishops are feverishly rearranging Anglican trappings in things like Fresh Expressions, doctrinally they are continuing  to plod resolutely down the same road of theological liberalism, and that is – insane.

March 6, 2010

What holds us together as Anglicans?

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 12:54 pm
Tags: , ,

The Diocese of BC is holding its 93rd synod and Fred Hiltz in his Primatial address answered the question. I’m not sure why he chose this question, since his main area of expertise is Experientially Discerning™ that which divides Anglicans. Nevertheless, here it is:

“What holds us together as Anglicans?” He then listed the usual marks of unity that are commonly cited as maintaining unity within the Anglican Communion – our common faith and tradition, the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates’ Meetings, the Anglican Consultative Counsel. He suggested that beyond these we are also united in the Eucharist, in our use of the Worldwide Cycle of Prayer and in our Companion Diocese Program.

At least he’s clear that it’s not the Bible or Jesus that unites Anglicans.

March 5, 2010

Diocese of Toronto: going down slow

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 4:48 pm
Tags: ,

In April 2009, the ACoC House of Bishops declared a fiat that no member of ANiC would be allowed to lead a Cursillo group.

The bishops also stated, “with regret,” that clergy and laity who are members of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) “should not be given permission to exercise a leadership role in the Cursillo movement of the Anglican Church of Canada.”

In September 2009, ANiC formed its own Cursillo group under the name of Anglican 4thDay.

Coincidentally, the Diocese of Toronto’s Cursillo has ceased to be; there couldn’t be a connection, could there?

Dec. 31, 2009, saw the end of the Diocese of Toronto’s renewal movement called Cursillo. It had been established in 1976 by the late Rev. Canon Graham Tucker with the support of the late Archbishop Lewis Garnsworthy. Its mandate was to empower and train lay leaders.

In the same issue of the Toronto diocesan paper, Fresh Expressions is exhorting ACoC Anglicans to indulge in the seemingly worthy, but ultimately futile fantasy of hastening the eschaton by trying to build the kingdom of God on earth:

RACHEL Jordan has some advice for Anglicans who believe that someone else is going to build the kingdom of God here on Earth. “There isn’t a Plan B – you’re it,” she says. “You are the people God has chosen to be his agents right here, right now.”

Giving their buildings away – as long as it’s not to ANiC:

Ms. Jordan says tiny, dwindling congregations that are struggling to maintain large and costly churches can play a vital role in creating fresh expressions of church. “It may be time for them to say, ‘If there are only 25 of us, then we don’t need the big building with the leaky roof. We could give it away.”

And “heading into the unknown” – a theological landscape currently occupied by bishops:

He says Christians don’t need to be afraid to leave their churches and head into the unknown.

It sounds as if the Diocese of Toronto is in trouble and is about to start making the same Visionary Changes™ that the Diocese of BC is making: closing parishes.

March 2, 2010

Diocese of Toronto: a Good Friday exclusive

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 7:05 pm

The Diocese of Toronto is sponsoring a walk for the excluded:

Good Friday Justice Walk focuses on exclusion.

A creative Good Friday “Walk for Justice” on April 2 through downtown Toronto will connect a core event of Christian faith — Good Friday — with a key issue of modern life: exclusion.

The Walk for Justice starts at 2 p.m. at Holy Trinity, beside the Eaton Centre. Walkers will attend three stations on nearby streets, then return to Holy Trinity at 4:30 p.m. for the closing station and fellowship. Music, mime and prayer will explore the theme of “Ubuntu:  Who is Excluded?” An African term, Ubuntu is all about knowing our identities through our relationships.

For some people, the horror of exclusion goes back to childhood: for example teams are selected by picking individuals out of a group and you find yourself part of an ever dwindling remnant that nobody wants. The good news is, those of us in that boat usually get over it and now take our revenge by ridiculing team sports at every opportunity.

The irony in Anglicanism’s devotion to its new substitute god, inclusivity, is that the only thing those who are not excluded have in common is that they are with a bunch of other people who are also not excluded. An ego boost for those left out of childhood sports teams, perhaps, but a pathetically vacuous association for everyone else.

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