Note: This page has been archived for historical interest, and is no longer being updated—information may be out-of-date. If you have any questions on this content, please contact the Anglican Church of Canada webteam.

"Vision 2019 is an opportunity to say 'here's what I think our church needs to be about.'"
  • Recent Posts

  • View responses by diocese


Review responses from other Canadian Anglicans below (most recent responses are at the top). You can also view responses by diocese, and add your own story.

Message from Janice K., Riverport, NS

Sent to us on October 3rd, 2009

I have been an Anglican for fifty years. I love the church and am interested in the Dream the Church 2019 initiative.

I would love to see The Anglican Church of Canada with an organization similar to the UK based Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals. Like them, our Canadian Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (CASWA) should raise awareness of animal welfare issues within the Anglican Church and the wider Christian community and come up with appropriate responses to those issues.

Many people shun the idea of a Christian animal welfare organization because they fear controversy or they think the church has no business helping non-humans. These views have not always been the case among Christians. British Anglican priest, Revd Arthur Broome, founded the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals and well known Christians such as C S Lewis, John Wesley and William Wilberforce all spoke out against animal cruelty.

Today we know that animals are sentient beings. They feel fear and pain. They suffer. Intensive farming, the food chain, experimentation, diseases associated with animals, the ill treatment of domestic pets and the killing of animals for pleasure raise ethical questions that the church should have answers for.

Animals as part of creation are involved in issues that should be on the church’s agenda. In addition, as Anglicans, we should be able to include prayers for animals and for creation in our liturgies. If we had an organization like the British Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals, it could lead and guide us as one body on those issues.

I know many of my animal loving friends, as well as the media, see the church as being anti-animal. (I even got a nasty letter from David Suzuki to that effect when I wrote to him about a creation/animal workshop during the time I was public relations director from the Canadian Christian Festival in Halifax in 1989/90!) They think Christians believe God has told us to exploit animals and care only for humans. We can change this perception and help our fellow members of creation by including an organization such as CASWA in our Vision 2019.

Janice K.

Bookmark and Share

Message from The Reverends Joan S. and Daniel F, Ucluelet, Tofino, and Ladysmth, BC

Sent to us on October 3rd, 2009

Where is my church now and where would I like it to be in 2019

My (our) church now is mired in struggle for existence and relevance. My (our) church is in part gripped in fear trying to understand where she is being called to . . . be….Thus this very process of visioning for 2019. I love this church of ours. She has helped to form me and challenge me to grow into a deeper life in Christ: Christ who gathered, welcomed, taught, feed, and sent out to be all that they received.

A vision for 2019? That we as a church, be a place where people want to stay, want to remain in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers, because they know in every fibre of their being that they belong.  That we are a church, a place where people are nurtured and formed, supported by fine learning, excellent liturgy, resulting in an ownership of one’s faith.  A place where the words “All are Welcome” are not simple sentiment, but truly lived out.

The Reverends Joan S. and Daniel F,  Ucluelet, Tofino, and Ladysmth, BC

Bookmark and Share

Message from St. James’, Orillia ON

Sent to us on October 1st, 2009

A small group of people from St. James’, Orillia met one day in July for the workshop/bible study based on the publication; this was followed by a second day in September to consider where we are today and visioning the future in 2019.

Where we are today:

  • National/International
  • Financial and prayer support for two third world clergy
  • Financial support toward HIV Aids
  • 12 student scholarships in Honduras
  • Financial support of PWRDF
  • Local Outreach
    • Hosting Christmas dinners
    • Support of Jubilee house, Lighthouse
    • James Place
    • Pennywise
    • Looney Lunch
    • Community volunteers
    • Youth ministry
    • Noon music through summer and Advent seasons
    • Summer musicians on Sundays
    • Support of local food bank
  • Worship
    • Excellence in music
    • Dynamic services; variety of styles and times
  • Active involvement re: local action; education; communication and advocacy


St. James will continue to meet people where they are

In a world that knows nothing anymore about Jesus – that they can come to St. James and hear about him – and truly see Jesus embodied in us

Respond to disaster through prayer and financial support

Expanding our liturgical services and music so that the holy aspect of our worship is impacting not only our congregation but increasingly is obvious to our community that we are deeply spiritual Christians

Meet people where they are e.g. Go into the streets and byways and talk to them

Actively listen to people to share their real needs e.g. build the Christian community in and through baptism, at services supporting families with newborn infants.

Introduce parents and children in action what the Gospel is i.e. start with what this audience has need of e.g. through music or story or play

Let them engage in these familiar expressions to enable the best way to emulate the Christian mysteries and relevance to them

Advocate for those who have no voice

A spiritually alive community in the midst of the world

Ongoing growth of Christian community

Sustain and expand formal liturgy

Maintain and sustain the physical building

St. James will organize and commission a group of 10 hospital and home visitors

Welcome all comers

The church needs to resolve outstanding issues and differences and come to some kind of unity (agreement): infighting turns people away from the church

Youth more involved

More exciting programs for children and youth

Ensure continued excellence of music

Facilitate and enable youth to speak from within

St. James would reach out to the community through a Drop-in Centre

Develop programs to involve and support all members of the congregation

Develop a formal program of support for underdeveloped countries

That we be recognized by government for our work in the community

That we act out the Gospels – not tell

Help people to consent to God’s presence within

Reach out to young parents

We witness to the Gospel through cross-cultural dialogue

Continue to build up the church community with teaching, prayer and social activities

Continue the structure of the liturgy and music

To help every member of the parish to see him/herself as a volunteer/Minister: who is needed, wanted for his/her particular gifts of ministry; who will be given/allowed to do ministries that particularly suit his/her God-given gifts; who will be supported, nurtured and appreciated in those ministries; and who will be given opportunity to share and reflect with others

Make “outsiders” aware that God (in Jesus) is still with them – and that they can hear his word in their own language

That a large church group from St. James will make a faith journey to a third world country

We provide pastoral care to newcomers and young children including newly-baptized

That youth ministry will focus on reaching out to the youth where they are

Rethink financial and prayer support for overseas missions

Our thoughts were written on various coloured maple leaf shapes and placed on a large tree drawn on newsprint and placed on the wall. It was a vision of a tree in its full coloured splendour of the Fall season.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.

St. James’, Orillia ON

Bookmark and Share

Message from Shane P., Ottawa ON

Sent to us on October 1st, 2009

I was baptized in St Peter’s Anglican Church in Edmonton in 1958.

Sometime between the lilac blossoms of Alberta and the gravel banks of the Muskwa river in Northern British Columbia, my first cogent memories began to form, and the great legacy of the Anglican tradition became an integral part of my being and my consciousness. From St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Fort Nelson to Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa, I have been deeply aware of my connection to the Anglican Church of Canada.

Although I have always had a belief in God, there have been significant times in my life when I honestly could not see that my faith made any difference at all. Invariably, these are times when, for any number of reasons, I am not conscious of the presence of God, and life seems devoid of meaning — as though all is transient and fickle, easily crumbled by the consequences of human choices and the limits of human finitude.

What always draws me back from these moments is the quiet conviction that in the midst of life there is a powerful strength and a constancy which are quite independent of people, situations, places or things. No amount of sophisticated questioning or nasty events have been able to diminish this conviction.

The witness of the Anglican Church has enabled me to have this life-transforming conviction.

My association with the Church has taught me that God is very real and profoundly benevolent, and that the journey to God is principally an inner one, very much of the heart, and it leads to greater engagement with the world.

At the most fundamental level, I want my Church to continue to be a vehicle and a vector of this grace for all people, in 2019 and beyond.

Bookmark and Share

Message from Brian J., Toronto ON

Sent to us on October 1st, 2009

To dream is to yearn for things that are not yet real, or to wonder about rebuilding something that once was. Certainly there’s no need to dream if you’ve already got what you want.

I think it’s exciting that the Primate has asked us to think of a ten year dream in terms of the Five Marks of Mission. Quickly, they are: Evangelizing non-believers, Discipling new Christians, Doing Good Works, Seeking Justice and Caring for Creation.

The weight of the Five Marks of Mission is found in the first two, evangelism and discipleship. A survey of bishops attending Lambeth discovered that they hold these two as more important than the others.

Christian mission can only be done by people who are already followers of Jesus. Only the first two marks are exclusively Christian. There are many secular agencies [like the UN] that focus on those goals or the latter three marks, but no secular agencies focus efforts on either evangelism or making disciples. That is the realm of the church, and quite properly the place to put the vast majority of our time, effort and resources.

At any rate, in asking Canadian Anglicans to dream, the Primate thinks something is broken with the church, and he’s wondering what to do? Have we not yet reached our hopes, or laid  hold of that new vision of what we might become? Or have we lost something desirable that needs to be reclaimed and rebuilt, to attain the former glory that previously we displayed?

The Primate knows the answer. Our dreams must not be in moving to new territory or in redefining ourselves, but in reestablishing our foundations, and regaining a clear vision of our leader, Jesus Christ.

Let’s look at two areas where we can begin to rebuild the ancient ruins. First, we’ll look at the role of the Bible, and secondly we’ll look at the storytelling we need to do.

= = = = =
The Anglican Church of Canada is weak on appealing to Scripture, and weak on applying Scripture.  It is weak on telling the story of Jesus, the main character and actor in the Bible. It is weak on understanding Scripture and on referring to Scripture. The evidence is that there is little evidence.

Where can we find the Bible? We could visit the national church website and look for articles that serve the spiritual needs of viewers. Is there a daily devotional or a weekly message of Bible-based encouragement? Are there talks or blog entries by the Primate that are designed to build the faith of the people over whom he is shepherd? We could look for Scripture references or examples of obvious Christian behaviour like praying or evangelizing or doing Bible studies. Maybe we could look at submissions to government officials that request changes to legislation to see if we’ve included a biblical foundation for our request. When we read the Anglican Journal we get a little Bible teaching each month. Sermons by the current Primate seem to offer a couple of verses at the beginning and end, but don’t offer much exposition. We can look for the Bible in the Anglican Church, but do we don’t find much of it. The Bible is little seen, and seldom referred to.

The dream here is to return to the basics of church life, where Scripture is attended to. We pray: “Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life.”

The dream would be to have the Anglican Church pay more attention to Scripture as the main motivator when we ask others to do things, when we start new programs, when we advocate for justice. We need to be seen attending to the truths of Scripture. Endue all departments with Biblical mandates and motivating verses. Annual efforts in evangelism could be driven by biblical examples, such as Andrew, Timothy, or Philemon. [As an counter example, the recent Toronto effort to invite people to come to church had no biblical reference point.] The Anglican Journal team could recruit Bible publishers to buy adverts by cultivating a hunger among readers for explicitly Scriptural content.

Here’s more ideas. Offer carefully selected biblical promises for every diocese. The Primate can launch an annual “Word of Life, for Life” Program that gives a certificate to people who memorize 10, 25, 50 or more verses in a year. His passion for Scripture would be clearly seen or heard when we read or listen to his sermons because Scripture texts would be at the core of his talk. He could promote annual workshops for all clergy that would review best practices for biblical exegesis in sermons. He could offer his own Scripture comment/teaching on his communications page, like a weekly blog and a short devotional. Here’s an expensive program to consider: Like the Lutherans, a custom-created study bible could be created for Anglicans to purchase and use.

The Primate could insist that a “Bible verse of the day” link be available on the church website by next weekend; he wouldn’t have to wait ten years, he wouldn’t even need to wait for the consultant’s report. Promotion of this kind of coding could be offered to all church congregation websites too.

Or a daily devotional and various Scripture verses

Or a concordance search program

So, back to Scripture. Let’s lift up the Word of God, read it regularly, carry it with us. Let’s read it, learn it, use it. For it is only within Scripture that we find the good news about Jesus Christ, that he died for us while we were yet sinners. The successful future of the Anglican Church rests on reacquainting ourselves with the Scriptures.  Consider how many of the other stories in this Vision 2019 program call for this? Why are we so little committed to taking hold of the very Word of God?

Do you think that in ten years we could be more Biblically literate than we are now? Do you think we could be more vested in the truths and authority of Scripture? That’s a dream worth pursuing that we need to chase. Let’s make it so. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV)

Among the Marks of Mission, cultivating a love for the Scriptures admirably supports the second mark: To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.

= = = = =
The second dream is that we would tell the gospel by including personal stories of conversion. There are many references in the Journal or even on this Dream 2019 website that suggest that we are all children of God. Sure, everyone is made in the image of God, but not all are inheritors of his Kingdom. There is confusion among Anglicans around the subject of conversion. It seems that the whole subject of sin and salvation and faith in Jesus Christ is inconsequential. How did you become a Christian? What is your testimony? Why should God let you into heaven?

These are questions that only Christians care about. The lost don’t know they are lost. No one seeks for God. We must be ambassadors and witnesses to them about sin and repentance. The overwhelming topic of the Scriptures is the person of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us about him, about his love, about his willing sacrifice, and it tells us about the meaning of the cross and activities of the early followers of Jesus. The good news is about Jesus.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Life is all about Jesus. Everything we do, every breath we take. Jesus. This dream is about creating a church that wants to tell the story of Jesus, and of a relationship that we can have with him. Oh, that we would know it well, tell it clearly and share it often. When the Amazing Grace song project ran in fall 2008, the Anglican Church barely told the story of what Christ’s suffering and death was about. We wrote about singing the song, but not the meaning of the song. We thought that Wikipedia would be adequate, and we didn’t even think that was necessary at first. We created an opportunity for evangelism, and failed to follow through with the content that would enable someone to step out from the domain of darkness into a place with Christ to stand holy and blameless before him.  [And so the Project page remains- it truly begs for a footnote that explains how to become a Christian.]

I encourage myself every now and again with a peek at the end of the story – that there are people from all nations who gather around the throne of God. They proclaim the good news: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” In their worship, they proclaim, “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” [Revelation 7:12] The Kingdom of God is about salvation: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” [Colossians 1:13,14]

This is the gospel story we must tell. It begins with our sin and our unworthiness. God’s holiness is unapproachable on our own. We need help. Jesus offers that help and gives it to us if we take it. We can be saved from our sin. We do not need to be lost. We can be born again when we trust in Christ’s substitutionary death upon the cross. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” [Romans 5:8] “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” [Acts 16:31]

I was converted at a Christian camp when I was 11 years old. The director gave a short devotion at breakfast each day. One time he gave directions for praying to God for the first time, like you can hear from a radio evangelist. I chose to ask God into my heart, saying I was sorry for my sins, and that I trusted Jesus to deal with it all. My sins were “lifted up” and I was saved. I became a Christian. There wasn’t much of sin in my life, but it’s our nature that needs redemption. I was a slow learner too. It wasn’t until my later teen years that I realized that my confirmation at 13 was a public declaration of what had happened to me at camp, which was a fulfillment of my parent’s hope for me at my baptism in my first year.

The Primate can tell the personal story of his own conversion. He can invite testimonies from parishoners as he has invited us to share our dreams for the church. I’d like to see a section titled “• Jesus Christ” on the left hand navigation column of the national church website. It could explain who Jesus is, why we follow him, and how to get saved. The Anglican Church has many people who have been soundly saved. Those personal stories of coming to Christ can be combined with biblical material about the meaning of Christ’s death upon the cross. That’s powerful content for evangelism. Out of this passion for our Lord, the Primate could create low cost [or free!] workshops where people can learn to share their faith. He could ask every clergy to deliver them in every parish every year.

That’s a dream I have. Here’s more. By 2019, every clergy and ministry leader will have publicly shared his or her personal testimony of salvation with members of their congregation. Thus: “Here at a property committee meeting, whose turn is it to share their testimony? How did you get saved Audrey?” Or, at the end of a service: “Before the blessing, our senior warden will share with us how he got saved.” It’s easy to practice in a safe place. On the street or at work the actual evangelism is harder. But we need to start.

Clergy need to invite conversion. They need to invite parishoners to break with their past and trust Jesus to save them. Clergy need to speak about sin, and how it holds us back from a relationship with God. Clergy need to teach about the atoning blood of Jesus, and his saving work upon the cross. Clergy need to to revel in proclaiming God’s majesty in displaying his grace toward us – that his costly love in Christ is available for all, but that it must be claimed. People can believe and trust in Jesus. Many have not done so.

If the Primate were feeling bold, he would want to begin to collect a statistical record of conversions along with attendance.

Clergy, lay readers, and other worship leaders need to be careful about their language, because not everyone who attends an Anglican church has been saved. Being Anglican doesn’t necessarily also mean being Christian. We must emphasize being Christian over being Anglican.

I’ve heard frequent references to us all as being children of God, or that we are all included in the church. That’s not always helpful because it encourages people who are not saved to think that they are. Evangelism among regular church attenders can be difficult because these lost people have no sense of conviction of sin, since they think they are justified. So frequent references to our sinful nature are required, as are references to the two kingdoms. This is the business of church, to get serious about sin, and to get into tough talk, to make distinctions about who belongs and who doesn’t. People may end up feeling guilty or offended. Tough. That is the reality of all our lives when our conscience is pricked. We are all unworthy of God’s love; His wrath toward us is reasonable. There is no good work we can do to win his approval. But there is a solution to that sense of guilt and inadequacy – to know and experience Christ’s grace and to make him known.

Among the Marks of Mission, learning how to tell your testimony of salvation admirably supports the first mark: To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.

Brian J.

Bookmark and Share

Message from Doug, London ON

Sent to us on October 1st, 2009

My 2019 vision for our Church

From: Doug, London Ontario


First let me thank you for this wonderful opportunity to share my hope for our Church in this Vision 2019 survey.  This is a wonderful idea.  Your use of technology in reaching out and soliciting feedback is something that’s very welcome.  Primate Hiltz’s presentation using You Tube was excellent and I would encourage many more such endeavours for ongoing communications to the faithful.

My story:

I am the spouse of a clergy person, who inspires me everyday with her resolute commitment and faithful devotion to God’s purposes in her life, and in God’s church.  It is the ministry of gifted people like this, plus the empowerment of all God’s faithful who are called to make a difference in our world today.

In some small way this is my very little contribution of hope for God’s Church.  Thank you again for the opportunity to share it with you.

Yours in Christ


Our God

  • Alpha and Omega: Where all Anglicans believe in hope, seek greater understanding, and are continually transformed by faith in our Lord Jesus, stirred by the Spirit, and all for the Glory of God the Father.

Our leadership

  • Parish pastoral leadership: Where priests and deacons are people of deep faith, who lead their flock with inspiration.  Where leadership is challenged to pursue a life of holiness, and in turn challenge their flock in the same way.
  • Motivate and challenge:  Where priests and deacons are able to facilitate the mobilization and care of their flock, through word and example.
  • Episcopal leadership: Where our church leadership seeks to nurture and inspire our priests and deacons.  Labouring in the fields, our pastors require care, support, encouragement and love, and recognition from those in Episcopal leadership.  .
  • Where talented prospective candidates are encouraged to consider and pursue their calling:  Where people of faith, with leadership skills and gifts for effective communication and devotion are identified.  People need to be encouraged to consider the possibility of a life in ministry, starting with the ministry of the laity.
  • Where the church leadership honestly guides prospective candidates in their calling:  Where people with leadership aspirations, but who are better suited to the vitally important ranks of the laity, are challenged to realistically assess God’s calling in their life.

Our parish homes

  • A gathering of the faithful believers, living out their baptismal covenant: A place where believers are actively living out their Baptismal Covenant, seeking to answer our Lord’s question, “Who do you say that I am?
  • A community prepared to repent and earnestly turn to God:  A community with people of faith who are always ready to admit their failings, and turning to God for the grace to mend their ways.  A place of prayer, where people kneel and ask God for his presence.
  • Care motivated by love:  A place of worship that creates an environment which enables its parishioners to care for and love fellow parishioners.
  • A welcoming community: A community that creates an inviting and welcoming atmosphere for the surrounding community, and those who visit.  Where members seek to share about their life stories with their sisters and brothers.
  • People who both speak but as importantly … listen:  Where we stop arguing.  Where parishioners speak the truth in love, but do this while equally listening in love.
  • Where people don’t have to have their own way … “or else”:  Where we see the bigger picture that united we grow, that divided we fall.
  • Cares for the sick and shut-ins:  Where the sick and shut-ins are not forgotten, but are regularly visited and prayed for.  We should know that over the years to come more and more parishioners will disappear from our midst.  However, this doesn’t mean they’ll be gone.  Instead, they are still with us but may become shut-ins, needing support and recognition.
  • Both large and small:  Where smaller congregations can join forces, able to pool their resources to support necessary programs, while at the same time creating an environment for encounters of smaller groups for more local fellowship.
  • With the times:  Where members and leadership would be in step with and appreciate our current society, just as our Lord completely understood the world in which he lived.
  • A sense of Holy reverence:  Where an environment supports a sense of “Be still and know that I am the Lord your God.”  God’s presence needs to be appreciated.
  • For young and old:  For a Church that is a place that excites the young, and comforts the elderly, and supports and inspires all.

A Church for our times

  • A safe community:  A place where the young and vulnerable can come for care, all without fear of abuse or being taken advantage of.
  • A place for all expressions of worship:  Where the young can rock, and the contemplative can pray in silence.
  • Past and present:  Where the past is respected, appreciated, and understood.  But where the future is embraced and seen as hopeful.
  • Free from the battles of race and gender:  Where we live and worship in a space where “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Where women and men equally share in God’s blessing, and together work in true partnership.
  • Free from the battles of pelvis politics:  Where we accept all our brothers and sisters.  Where we, blessed with companionship, live a life of faithful commitment, devoted to our partners in love, just as Christ loves his Church.

Finally, on the practical side

  • Name tags:  Where names tags are used regularly, for those of us who continually forget our brothers and sisters name.
  • A place for all to hear:  Where our parish sound systems, properly configured to deliver clear sound quality for all to hear.
  • Bring back the Church sponsored bible studies:  For those of us who remember the 80’s, there was the church sponsored bible study programs in the Diocese of Toronto.  I was a member of a team leading such studies in our parish of Grace Church on the Hill.  Unfortunately, true to my state of mind, I forget the official name of the program.  However, I can’t forget the wonderful times of fellowship, learning, and sharing in life’s experiences and God’s call.
Bookmark and Share

Message from Roslyn M., Montreal QC

Sent to us on October 1st, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters,  – Please add this to our Diocese of Montreal messages. I don’t see it on the diocese of Montreal page – though I might have missed it.

The Dream baby dream poster is charming and beautiful. I won’t post it in our church, though, unless it is to jump-start yet another discussion on the Church and racism. It’s a beautiful poster. I watched the video, which most won’t be able to do in our church, not having computer access. So, the image presented to most of us is a white baby, cute as the dickens, with a bishop’s mitre. The multicultural aspect improves on the video, although the child who is most obviously a child ‘of colour’ simply bounces and slides in and out a few times.

The idea for the poster is marvellous. I would like to think that in our church of 2019, we would automatically create a poster that reflected beyond the ‘white’ nature of our church to its multicultural reality – babies (if we are using the images of babies who will grow into our church of the future) of Aboriginal, Black, Asian, western European descent… three or four babies, in other words…

A marvellous image and idea and yet it saddens me. In fact, I did use it in a sermon – and asked what the poster said to our congregation about the church’s vision of 2019. The first to respond to what might be ‘wrong’ with the image was a nine-year-old boy whose parents are of Caribbean (Black) descent and Cambodian. He said, “the baby’s white.” We talked about the issues of what we want the church to be in 2019. About inclusion. About awareness. About difference.

In 2019, we hope to see our leadership reflecting all aspects of our church. We hope to see a church in which we automatically reach out to, and respect, everyone.

We hope for a church In which the voices of poor and marginalized are heard. In which we work together to bring about justice for all. The Church will recognize that the voices of the marginalized will only be heard if those with power reach out to help the voiceless gain confidence and know the value of their      say in our church.

We would also like to see a church that continues to ask questions and to minister from within the questions, that is willing to live in uncertainty and to trust that God is bigger than any of our images, words, fears. That God is love, and that more and more we will reflect that love to the world.

I’m not sure that the last issue would be of concern to every member of our parish, but I would like to see more inclusive language liturgy – as we find in our new hymn bookas well as more creative liturgy.

Roslyn Macgregor, Priest in the Diocese of Montreal (of a multicultural parish St. Cuthbert, St. Hilda and St. Luke) and of the multicultural, multilingual Mile End Community Mission)

Bookmark and Share

Message from Suzanne L., Cobourg ON

Sent to us on October 1st, 2009

Contribution to Vision 2019 from Suzanne Lawson, Council of General Synod Member

While the national church since 1995 has focused its mission and ministry on doing what dioceses cannot…international partnerships and development, ecumenical relations, theological reflections/advice, holding national-wide meetings/consultations etc., it is time for a change, for a revisioning of the role of the national church.  Dioceses and parishes need more help than they are getting in areas such as conflict transformation, congregational development, fundraising, parishioner engagement, congregational merger/collaboration, clergy selection, training for practical and effective ministry, human resource management, skilled interim ministry etc. As diocesan coffers shrink, and as problems get more and more complex, bishops and the reduced diocesan professional and support staff become more swamped, burned out, and feel inadequate.  And parishes and dioceses in trouble get little help in time to do something to change their situation before it is too late.

The national church needs to get seriously into the field of provision of support to bishops, ecclesiastical provinces, dioceses and parishes (the latter at the request of dioceses).  While I understand that there is not money to do this nationally either, I do think there is a fundraising capacity available for launching supportive mechanisms to local and regional church leaders and bodies.

So, my wish for the national church is that it build and maintain a Diocesan Services hub that has a stable of experts to match with needs expressed.  And that there be national church funding for the promotion and matching functions of this.  Some of the experts in the Diocesan Services area will need to be people that are paid staff (such as currently in the Philanthropy Department);  but perhaps the better hope given our short supply of money is that these services are provided by skilled volunteers functioning like CESO volunteers in Africa, or Doctors Without Borders or like a modified Volunteers in Mission with shorter term tasks…travel, accommodation, meals provided but no fee, or telephone access to bishops when they need advice.  Some may need to be paid experts such as the Potentials organization, or various professional church consultants already on the roster in the Philanthropy Department.  There are many models that could be developed to take advantage for instance of retired folk, or underemployed/unemployed professionals who might give telephone support and advice by phone in the evenings. Retired leaders either in the church or outside could provide ongoing support to archbishops, bishops, archdeacons etc.

God has given us the gifts to manage our problems/challenges.  What is missing is our capacity to recruit these helpers, properly train them for assisting in church situations in various geographic centres across Canada, and a top-notch “matching” service centrally that can seek out the resources needed and monitor the match. There are, I’m sure, people working with the House of bishops, and with staff such as Jill Cruse and Geoff Jackson who have been doing related work,  who could set this “brokerage” role up at low cost and then ensure that the management and training needed actually happen.

Bookmark and Share

Message from Sheila G., Nepean ON

Sent to us on October 1st, 2009

By the year 2019 if the Anglican Church hasn’t changed from its present course, it may be dead.   With that in mind, I would like to see some of the following:

* parishioners and clergy working together – no clergy hopefully in the future will be saying “I’m the rector and I have the final say.”    Arrogance has no place in any Christian church – no matter the denomination.

*parishioners and clergy worshipping God together with each taking their own specific role – no clergy should be taking on the role of the “people” because it makes him energized or comfortable or whatever.   We need to recognize a distinct role for each.

*openness and cooperating with each other.  Dioceses need to get rid of “the old boys’ club” mentality.   Most of all, clergy must be willing to help each other when illness strikes.

*the Anglican theological schools coming into the 21st century.  Conflict resolution needs to be taught.   Many forms of management needs to be taught.  The nineteenth century idea of the priest being “Father xxx” needs to be addressed.  What is a woman priest called then – “Mother xxx?”  Please, let’s use our Christian names in our churches.

*Clergy going out into the “highways and byways” and talking to the fringes, the disconnected, the ill, to everyone.  Christ never sat in the synanogue waiting for people to come to him.  Nor should the clergy sit in their churches and bemoan that people are not attending.

*remembering that we may all grow old, that we may all lose our drivers’ licenses, that we may all be stuck in a nursing home, but being assured that our church will not forget us, that our church will be a living, visible presence to us no matter our age or circumstances until death.

**We all need to live our beliefs.  The best way to teach about our beliefs is to live them fully – to become “man fully alive.”

Bookmark and Share

Message from Jim W., Cobourg, ON

Sent to us on October 1st, 2009

Vision 2019

My vision is a visual one. To change the appearance of the average Anglican church membership and congregation.  Instead of a relatively sparse collection of fairly elderly women to see it transformed into many males and females of all ages.

This is obviously much easier said than done!  However, here are just two things that might help sew the seeds.

  1. Get a copy of the book: “Why Men Hate to go to Church” into every parish.   It will help them understand some of the challenges revealed in a good, analytical discourse on how a church started by Jesus and twelve male disciples came to look the way it does today.
  2. Focus on getting far more parishes (and especially their clergy) to realize what they are missing by not using current communications techniques in distributing information to the community they serve.  Church publications and web sites (if they exist) are often pathetic!  This is also a way of challenging missing young people in our parishes to use their superior computer skills.

I won’t be around, because of my age, in 2019.  On the other hand lifelong membership as an Anglican, as a warden in three churches, membership of Toronto Diocese Executive and General Synod has, I believe, given me some useful insights — even though I may have been part of the problem!

Best wishes for success of what really is a very admirable project.

Jim W., Cobourg, Ontario

Bookmark and Share