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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 Ontario

Message from Nancy M., Diocese of Ontario and Ottawa

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Excerpt from a homily for Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2009

Today, in the Anglican Church of Canada, we also celebrate ‘Vision 2019′ Sunday, and we recall that the reason our Church can and does look forward is based in our faith in this Trinity.

Today we are reminded that this Church of ours EXISTS for mission, and so we recommit ourselves to living out the five marks of mission – proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom; teaching, baptising and nurturing new believers; responding to human need by loving service; seeking to transform unjust structures, and striving to safeguard the integrity of creation and renew the life of the earth. And today we also are invited to join in sharing our vision for the future of our church, to look forward to 2019. There will be future opportunities for you to do just that, but it would not be fair, realistic or helpful to ask for hasty response. It is only fair that as I invite you to share your vision, I share mine with you. As Isaiah’s prophetic ministry was shaped by his vision as told in our first lesson, I strive to shape by ministry according to my vision as well.

This is my vision for this Anglican Church of Canada, for this diocese, this parish, this congregation and each person here.

My vision is of a people who take seriously our baptismal commitment to worship, to pray, to study scripture, to grow in faith and to keep repenting each and every time we mess up.

My vision is of a church where buildings and furniture are cared for so that they are useful, adapted as needed, and never becomes shrines in themselves.

My vision is of a church where ecumenical involvement is taken seriously by ALL of us, because it is ONLY together that we can truly witness to and serve our communities.

My vision is of a church that does not see stewardship as just another campaign to squeeze more money out of reluctant members, but as a joyful, generous response of thanksgiving and faith that makes us WANT to give more and serve more for the purposes of the Kingdom of God.

My vision is of a church were each congregation takes seriously its relationship to the wider church and particularly the Anglican communion, recognizing a person in another congregation in our parish, in Kingston, in B.C., in Iqaluit or in Nigeria as part of OUR church.

My vision is of a church that remembers that its roots are not in some strict doctrinal confession – that we have a long tradition of NOT trying to define too closely our theology and practice, a tradition of avoiding excluding those with whom we are not in complete agreement, of willingness to do the hard work of listening to voices that differ, of exploring the edges of faith and being willing to live with uncertainty and incompleteness because, after all, we are human and fallible.

My vision is of a church that values the different and indispensable ministries of bishops, priests, deacons and ALL the laity; and seeks to teach, support and empower all to do THEIR ministry.

My vision is of a church that remembers the centrality of worship in forming and nourishing us, and seeks to always balance the unity and diversity of our worship experience, the importance of tradition and the need for full accessibility and participation; and which gives liturgy the attention and resources it deserves.

My vision is of a church that always remembers that we EXIST for mission and seeks to genuinely DO that – locally and globally.

My vision is of a church that is committed, not just to the care of God’s people, but to care for all creation.

My vision is of a church where anyone – an African with poor English language skills; Aboriginal brothers and sisters; a scruffy street person; a noticeably, disturbingly, mentally ill individual; a gay or lesbian couple; your cousin you haven’t spoken to in years; your most annoying neighbours – be they young or old, rich or poor, educated or illiterate; will be recognized for the unique Image of God that is THEM; where they are offered true hospitality – feeling fully welcomed, included and served by the sacraments and ministries of the church – whether they can come through our doors or we have to reach out to them.

SHOULD this be where the Anglican Church of Canada is in 10 years? This is just MY vision, and the future of the church needs much more than that. It needs all of us bringing our visions, shaped by our unique backgrounds and perspectives and sharing with each other in ways that allow the Spirit to shape the result.

But the certainty is that without dream or vision, without sharing with and hearing from each other, without openness to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will be lost.

Dream, Baby Dream!

Message from Diane and Doug M., Kingston ON

Monday, September 21st, 2009


I hope my parish church in 2019 looks like this:

1. A congregation focused clearly on active mission locally, nationally and internationally.

2. A church where all are really welcomed not only on the first day they show up but continue to be encouraged to participate in the life of the parish rather than welcomed the first day and then left to find their own way into ministry.

3. A church where people don‚t Œown‚ a ministry and refuse to give it up or step aside to allow someone else the opportunity to enjoy it also.

4. A church where we can agree to disagree on some issues and not let that interfere with our friendship and love for those with whom we disagree.

5. A church where we don‚t always have to do everything the same way but can experiment with liturgy, music and other activities.

6. A church that recognizes the vast cultural differences which exist throughout the Anglican Communion and can accept them willingly.

7. A church that recognizes that justice in developing countries requires not just our dollars and other forms of charitable giving but also our representations to our own government on their behalf.

8. A church in which all members consider seriously their financial commitment and give in a regular and efficient way such as by credit card or automatic bank withdrawal.

Message from Al R., Wellington ON

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Dear brothers and sisters and friends,

God willing, in 2019 I will be 91 and able to look back on 67 years as a priest.

Assuming that God reverses the current decline in membership, then ten years from now I will expect to see a branch of his Church showing the following marks:

  1. Seminaries that emphasize training in personal prayer and the importance of personal Bible study.
  2. As much emphasis on the person and work of the Holy Spirit as on the Father and the Son.
  3. A general recognition that only bishops have the responsibility for settling doctrinal issues.
  4. Priests who declare that Jesus is the incarnation of the only true God.
  5. Many Alpha courses and much emphasis on mentoring and discipling new Christians.
  6. Many local in-depth Bible study and prayer groups.
  7. General availability of the sacrament of reconciliation (ministry of private confession).
  8. A return to orthodox teaching on the sacrament of marriage.
  9. General acceptance of tithing as the normal method of support for both missionaries and parish clergy.
  10. Increased understanding of and cooperation with Christians in other churches.
  11. A general understanding that Christians are involved in spiritual warfare against demonic forces and therefore we should expect misunderstanding and persecution.

I was present at the 1963 Anglican congress in Toronto  where someone said, “The church that lives to itself dies by itself” and I heard a Canadian bishop say, “It may be that the Anglican Church should die so that the (whole) Church should live.”

So far, although we teach that death and resurrection are built-in principles of God’s creation, I see little evidence that Christians of any branch are willing to let their denomination die so that the greater Church may flourish. But as one who was ordained during a period of church building, I see the current increase in church closings and wonder if the 1963 statements are prophecies coming true.

Anglican scholarship and practice have much to offer to the other branches of Christ’s Church, and some denominations are already incorporating aspects of Anglicanism into their theology and liturgy; but we cannot offer anything if we are dead, and I believe it is as we emphasize the points above that new life will come back into this dying branch.

Yours respectfully,

(Rev.) Al Reimers, B.A., L.Th., M.Ed.

Message from St. James Anglican Church, Kemptville ON

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Thank You for inviting our Sunday School to provide feedback for the Vision 2019. We presented this to our Sunday School last Sunday, June 14th. We began with a review of the 5 Marks of Mission, then reflected upon ourselves. On a large sheet of paper, We took our age, added 10 and talked about what we would be able to do when we are 10 years older. Then we went a step further and discussed why we would still want to be a part of the church family in 10 years time and what would make it fun to attend presently.

The following is the list the children came up with:

1. A modern church

a )eco-friendly – recycling facilities, not so cold
b)involve technology – Skype for those who are unable to make it to church d/t illlness such as the flu and visual words projected so that the hearing impared can read what the minister is saying
c) usable buildings- so we can share with community groups and have our own functions, also the church and sunday school connected so we don’t have to bundle up and go out, especially in winter

    2. Play more-have fun
    3. Rock music
    4. Have church on a school day- so we can go to church instead of school
    5. Free food
    6. Church field trips
    7. Celebrate ourselves and our accomplishments-a monthly birthday cake for all the kids /parishoners celebrating each month
    8. Have a party to celebrate God and our Faith

      As a part of our regular service, the minister invites the children to the front of the church to share what they learned that day in Sunday School. The eldest of the children took the lead and reviewed the lesson. The suggestions we applauded by the congregation, with many of the parishioners requesting that the list be circulated through out the congregation and posted in the church.

      Agian, I thank you for asking our church to participate in this survey. I expect many of the children throughout the diocese will put forth many similar suggestions. Please note that the suggestions above cam from the children with little input from myself.

      “Out of the mouths of Babes”

      Message from Parish of Loughborough, Sydenham ON

      Thursday, June 11th, 2009
      Parish of Loughborough, Sydenham ON

      Parish of Loughborough, Sydenham ON

      Message from Anton L, Ottawa

      Thursday, February 19th, 2009

      Dear friends:

      Many Canadian citizens and immigrants were Anglicans before coming to this country, but most no longer worship in our parishes.

      How can we enable our parishes to be more liturgically, musically, culturally and racially inclusive?

      I suggest that we organize urban diocesan worship events as specific outreach to diasporic Anglicans from different cultural groupings in Canada, inviting them to transform our parishes with renewed vitality.

      Such an outreach presumes that our existing parishes are open and able to welcome believers from other cultures and races.

      It needs also be said that the worship and liturgies of our aboriginal brothers and sisters in Christ also need to be integrated into our mainstream parishes, but the growth potential is in our immigrant populations, especially from the African continent.

      I hope this input is useful.


      Anton L