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"Vision 2019 is an opportunity to say 'here's what I think our church needs to be about.'"
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Messages from the Diocese of New Westminster

Message from Jacquie H., Walnut Grove BC

Monday, September 14th, 2009

My dream would be that we would have Sunday Schools full of children like there use to be when I was growing up.

My Son married a Roman Catholic girl and my Grand Daughter recently took her first Communion. There were 49 children taking their first Communion, it was a wonderful sight to see. I should add that we don’t live in a large community. I was so impressed with the Teachers and the way the Catachism classes were held.

Maybe there is something to be learned!

Wouldn’t it be lovely if all the parents of children Baptised into our Anglican faith were as diligent as those Roman Catholic parents are by making sure that their children learn everything about thier faith, in a positive way.

The future of our Church is with our children and until we get more young families coming to Church things don’t look so good for the future.

I would also like to add that until we are united in our total acceptance of Gays and Lesbians as full particapants of our Church and give them the same rights as everyone else,the future of our Church is in trouble.

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.

Message from Gail N, Hope BC

Monday, September 14th, 2009

In our baptismal vows we promise to respect the dignity of every person.  This is important both in our engagement with each other and with those of other faiths and countries.

Today we might also add respecting the rest of God’s creation as a blessed work of God’s hand, not simply something for our use and pleasure.

In our visioning I think it is important to keep these two ideas in mind and model ways of working together towards a fuller realization of God’s kingdom on earth for both human and non-human creation.  I appreciate the open and inclusive style of vision gathering as a model of respecting each Canadian Anglican enough to solicit their input is most appropriate for this process.

Thanks for your work,

The Rev. Gail Newell
Christ Church, Hope

Message from St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church, Aldergrove BC

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Members of St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church, Aldergrove BC, answer the question “Where is your church now, and where do you think the Anglican Church of Canada should be in 2019?” Participate in the Vision 2019 project at ‪

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Message from Bill P., Pitt Meadows, BC

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

I am so pleased that the national church has started the visioning process for Vision 2019.

The Diocese of New Westminster, of which I am a member, has, this summer past, ratified Plan 2018 at Synod and is beginning to implement some of the preliminary elements of the Plan.

Engaging in this exercise on a national level is necessary, courageous and long overdue.

I believe that many Anglicans in Canada are waiting for the church to deliver to them a prophetic call to action.  Some of us have waited for so long for this call that we have begun to think that the absence of such a call is the norm.

I applaud the decision to put to the church as a whole the questions, ‘where are we now and where do we want to be in 2019.’

At St. George, in Maple Ridge, we are doing the Lord’s work within our church community through worship, pastoral care, mutual support and education.  In our broader community we reach out to those in need locally, and, through the Diocese and the National Church, to those in need country and worldwide.  By and large what we do makes us feel pretty good.

I am not sure that it should.

In the work that we do I do not discern the Church speaking clearly and with urgency to our parish.  Nor do I see our parish speaking clearly and with urgency to our community.  What I see is people of goodwill and Christian inclination supporting, financially and morally, those who have been moved by the Spirit to act in our midst.

I am sure that we are all aware of this happening where ever we may gather in Christian community; a small group acts and the majority encourages.

If we want to spread the good news of Christ and to grow our denomination we must all lend our strengths to the tasks.

I’ll offer a small aphorism that I think captures our Anglican problem:

“others will not care
how much we know (even if what we know is the key to eternal life)
until they know
how much we care”

If the church enhances in all of us the courage, the compassion and the skills to reach out to our neighbours, whether those neighbours be sitting alongside us or or sleeping rough, the Word will spread and the faith will grow.

That is what I would like to see Vision 2019 come to.  A call to direct action that rises up from this process, that is taken up by the ordained and then is passed back to the laity, not as a request but as a demand that we follow Christ as truly as we believe in Him.

Lead us.

Message from +Douglas Hambidge

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Since the Primate’s letter arrived I have been very reluctant to respond. I have been retired since 1993, and I did not want to sound like someone still longing for the “good old days”.  It is so easy in retirement to spend far too much time looking back.   I have been reminded more than once to “remember Lot’s wife”!

Let me begin by saying that the Church looks very different from the pew where I spend much of my time, from the view I had from an Episcopal chair.  From that chair I used to imagine that congregations hung on every word that came from the Synod Office and the Bishop.  I now discover that many congregations have very little awareness of belonging to a diocese, much less a national church.  The Anglican Communion meant and still means a great deal to me.  It is very far removed from the consciousness of many of the Anglicans I meet today.

My present Christian journey takes me into many different congregations across Canada; to some in the United States, and to some Lutheran congregations. When I am not travelling elsewhere I worship with a small, elderly congregation in the Diocese of New Westminster.

Two impressions stand out.

I meet congregations that are vital and healthy. They have a strong sense of mission, and look for ways to serve the wider community and the world.  Their worship is alive, and there is an openness to change. There is a conscious determination to be inclusive and welcoming.  They spend more time engaging in mission and less time talking about it.

Then there are congregations threatened with extinction; fearful of change, and focused on survival.  Clergy are dispirited – even defeated, and the surrounding community is seen more as a threat than a field of opportunity.  Archbishop Somerville once described this kind of attitude as “the drawbridge mentality”, which closes its eyes, its mind and its purses to the world around it.

Much of my current interest lies in teaching and preaching in the area of stewardship. Two responses are significant. The healthy faith communities ask, “What do we need to engage in mission more fully?”  The other group asks, “How can we survive another year?”  The first are looking outward; the second are turned inward – on their property, their building.  The first know what has been entrusted to them by God; the second lurch from fund-raise to fund-raise; from raffle to raffle; from bazaar to bazaar.

My dream for the Church is a faith community not motivated by its budget; not giving to prop up the building and not turned inwards on itself, and not merely in a survival mode.  But rather a Church aware of what has been entrusted to it; alive to the community and world around it; consciously seeking the mind of Christ as it engages in Christ’s mission.

I look for leadership at the national level – General Synod; House of Bishops; CoGS, and at the diocesan level – in helping us become what we could be as a church.  The answer is not fund-raiding campaigns, but a new and fresh approach to what stewardship really is. We all need to be reminded that everything we have and everything we are, are not possession we own, but things we hold in trust for the “benefit” of God. If the Parable of the Talents has any meaning at all, it means at least that. It also insists that what we have does not permit a constant reference to scarcity, since none of it belongs to us, and is only entrusted, and we are accountable for it.  So we would celebrate the incredible “wealth” that has been put into our hands.

Over the decades I have watched, and been part of, a Church that has shied away from stewardship. I have been as involved as any in allowing stewardship to degenerate into a way to meet a budget. When finances failed we invariably launched a campaign for more funds, and in so doing set back our understanding of stewardship.

I believe the time has come to discover again who we really are: A listening Church; a serving Church; a mission Church.

If this is all too negative, I apologise – put it down to my advancing years.

+Douglas Hambidge
Archbishop of New Westminster retired

Message from Anne M., New Westminster BC

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Praying about this question, God answered in 3 parts -

1) FIRST PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. We need to ask God His plan – below July 7, 2009 devotion*. His ways are higher than our ways and the closing prayer in our eucharist reminds us that Ephesians 3:20 says He can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine;

2) Could asking those of us who have left the Anglican church, why we did, help clarify a vision? I grew up in a loving, Christian family; was baptized and confirmed; gave my life to Jesus at 12; and, for most of my life attended Anglican church more often than weekly, as I was very involved in worship, youth ministry, and my parents have always lived exemplary role models for me. I loved working for Archbishop O’Driscoll as the Secretary-Treasurer in the Diocese of Huron for 6 years, except for the unbelievably painful journey through the residential school lawsuit.

My husband and I and the 3 kids in our blending family left the Anglican Church when God called us to stretch and learn in the Pentecostal Church. We followed God’s call across the country to Vancouver, and now we are learning at Willingdon Church, a Mennonite Brethren church in Burnaby, BC. I still consider myself an Anglican. I need change to grow in my faith and my relationship with God. Rick Warren says in his Purpose-Driven Life, God is interested in our character, not our comfort. Living in Vancouver teaches me that open doors and bridges are critical to thrive in a faith-based life. Is the Anglican Church opening doors to God and bridging ministries across the country and around the world?

3) Examine what difference the people of the Anglican Church are living today. Is the Anglican Church being salt and light? Are we feeding the hungry and fighting to rescue the oppressed as Isaiah 58 calls us to? What difference does the Anglican Church make in this hurting and confused world? Are we even relevant to a society distracted with the idols of materialism, sex, tolerance, health and fitness, and “eternal youth”? What would bring people who don’t know Jesus through the front doors to the Anglican Church?

I would be thrilled to see the Anglican Church flourish and grow exponentially to share the gospel with those all around us who need the hope and joy of knowing God loves us unconditionally. We would stretch into being more Christ-like as we open ourselves to compassion and loving others with the heart of God.

To God be the glory,

Anne Marie

*July 7, 2009 devotion in Our Daily Bread as follows:

2 Corinthians 3:5 “Our sufficiency is from God.”
When I was a pastor I used to have a recurring nightmare.  I would rise to preach on Sunday morning, look out at my congregation – and see no one in the pews!  It doesn’t take a Daniel (Daniel 2:1,19) or a dream therapist to interpret the vision.  It grew out of my belief that everything depended on me.  I mistakenly believed that if I did not preach with power and persuasion, the congregation would fade away and the church would fold.  I thought I was responsible for the results of God’s work.

In the Gospels, we read that some people asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:28).  What audacity!  Only God can do the works of God!

Jesus’ answer instructs us all: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (v. 29).  Whatever we have to do, then, whether teaching a Sunday school class, leading a small group, telling the gospel story to our neighbor, or preaching to thousands, it must be done by faith.  There is no other way to “work the works of God”.

Our responsibility is to serve God faithfully, wherever He has placed us.  Then we’re to leave the results to Him.  As Jesus reminded His disciples in John 15:5, “Without Me you can do nothing.”  – David Roper
Reading John 6:25-33

Message from Denise H., New Westminster BC

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Ms. Denise Hambidge, from New Westminster British Columbia, Vice-president of the Board of Directors of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund responds to the question: Where is your church now, and where do you want the Anglican Church of Canada to be in 2019?

Message from Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver BC

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Members of Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver answer the question “Where is your church now, and where do you think the Anglican Church of Canada should be in 2019?” Participate in the Vision 2019 project at

Message from Dianne D., Vancouver BC

Monday, June 8th, 2009


Vision 2019

“And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, & to walk humbly with your God?  (Micah 6:8)”


My name is Dianne Des Rosiers. In 2001, I became attracted to worship at Christ Church Cathedral when Reverend Canon Douglas Williams and Dr Hannah Kasiss were invited to St Margaret’s of Scotland Anglican in North Burnaby as guest speakers, on an Introduction to the Old Testament series and the relationship of Islam and Christianity reflected in Holy Scripture.  Both gentlemen’s informed scholarship and gentle and gracious teaching style attracted me.

Post 9 / 11 I read in the Contact, in Remarks by Bishop Michael Ingham concerning The Service for the City, National Day of Mourning, September 14th, 2001  – “This tragedy calls us to strengthen our spiritual resolve, to put an end to religiously-motivated violence and build societies of justice, tolerance and mutual respect.”

After 2 years of inquiry I was received into the Anglican Communion, in a Sacrament of Commitment by the Reverend Michael Ingham, Sunday April 27th, 2003 at St Catherine’s, North Vancouver.  I completed a Disciple bible study program led by Reverend Rose Hannah Gaskin sponsored at St Andrew’s Wesley,United a few years ago .

I enjoy Tuesday Night Soul Space and practice Contemplation based on the practice of Father Thomas Keating.  I enjoy the stimulating fellowship and the rich liturgical programming at CCC and the Thomas Merton Lecture series at the Vancouver Public Library.

In the Anglicanism at CCC I have found the integration of Catholic and Protestant Spirituality that are the roots and foundation of my family heritage balanced with a respect for reason and scholarship and humanitarian values.  I continue to be attracted to the progressive social teachings, the inclusive social witness at CCC and the creative blend of traditional and innovative Christian music and liturgy.

I am recovering from a knee replacement operation on my left knee April 27, 2009. (more…)

Message from Nicholas F., Diocese of New Westminster

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

I dream a dream for the Canadian Church:

1) Our Church is progressive but holds fast that which is good.

2) Our Church is really and truly inclusive (therefor not divisive).

3) Our Church is on higher moral ground than the secular society.

4) Our Church goes back to the root of Christianity to understand and know what Christianity is all about.

5) Our Church is not just a charitable society but also a place for religious (not just spiritual) and moral teachings

6) Our Church encourages honours and celebrates (only heterosexual union) family life—the very basis for the survival of the church.

This I believe is God’s Mission for us.