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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 Nova Scotia and PEI

Message from St. Philip’s Anglican Church, Halifax NS

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Members of St. Philip’s Anglican Church, Halifax NS, answer the question “Where is your church now, and where do you think the Anglican Church of Canada should be in 2019?”

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Message from an Anglican in Dartmouth, NS

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Sad to say that the Anglican Church is at the point of ignoring the meaning of God’s word, in having the blessing of homosexual or alternative lifestyle. It is time to go back and teach the true word of God, instead of changing the words of the Bible to other beliefs. We should be trying to teach the beliefs of God to others non believers.

By 2019 I would like to see the Anglican Church of Canada to be a good faith to follow. Also to try and put more old time religion in our services. So we can get more younger people involved in the Church. We need more guidance to its members and the world around us.

We are in need of more people, we are not in good shape. The people are aging and we don’t have the young people. We have to figure out what happened to family values. Music is big part of church and we don’t have what youth like.

For 2019 I would like the church to be a family place. Bring back the children, youth. We need a thriving place. Believe in the Lord and make this a better place to live.

The Anglican Church seems to be suffering from becoming increasingly irrelevant, and unattractive to a world, at least in North America, which has other things to be concerned with, and other things of more pressing interest. The Anglican Church in Canada doesn’t seem to function well where duty to be part of church is replaced by a voluntary way. Also the Anglican Church’s message to a “needy world” is confused and not clear as the church responds to conflict from within. Our problems around what is of God and what is not of God has members voting with their feet, while others simply pass us by.

Moving towards 2019  may the words “…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength……You shall love your neighbour as yourself” be both a personal and a corporate mission statement. All other considerations are in this day and age “details” to be worked through.

Perhaps a thought to also keep in mind is the old saying “the devil is in the details” Hmmm…….

The Anglican Church of Canada is now at the point of apostasy. When the church rejects the Word of God as truth or just some collection of fables or attempts to redefine what God has defined then the church is in utter error. The leaders who are trying to redefine the church in this way either need to repent and return to true Christian values and reject the influences of the world around them or they need to be excommunicated from the church.

When 2019 comes I would like the Anglican Church of Canada to be truly representative of the Church of God, even if it means that our numbers will be smaller, for Jesus said in Mt. 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” I would like the Anglican Church of Canada to have eradicated the impure elements (personal and improper doctrines) from the church. I would like the Anglican Church of Canada to be a leader for the Christian community in evangelism, helping the poor and providing clear and proper biblical guidance to its members and the world at large. The reforms need to be exclusive of external influences of the world around and inclusive of the eternal influence of God and His Word. God has a word of warning to the leaders of His Church: From Ezekiel 34.1-10 …..there is prophesy against the shepherds of Israel for many actions of neglect and selfishness that leave the flock scattered, leaderless, hungry, threatened…..”Thus says the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand…”

Message from Janice K., Riverport, NS

Saturday, 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.

Message from Contribution from NS&PEI Young Clergy

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

From the young clergy of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

On Monday, September 28, Bishop Sue Moxley gathered clergy in our diocese under the age of 40 to discuss the questions of the Vision 2019: Where is your church now? Where do you want the Anglican Church of Canada to be in 2019?

Who are we as Church?

We see our Church as a diverse community where God is present. We are also surrounded by the sacred space of transition and, sometimes, death. We reflected on the image of a person dying, strong in their faith in Jesus Christ, who was so looking forward to their resurrection and the end of pain and confusion. This image was, for us, a metaphor of how we see the Anglican Church of Canada right now.

We see in this image a great deal of hope. We see the youth that are present in our congregations right now while others in our congregations are crying for more youth. We are rich in a diverse tradition of story, theology, liturgy and symbol that others are looking to us to reclaim for themselves. We see the resurrection on the horizon and we move toward it in hope and excitement.

Moving toward this resurrection requires us to let go of things that we are spending too much energy to resuscitate. As human beings, we are seeking homeostasis, a state of continuity with our surroundings. Our buildings, our bureaucracy and our institution are working hard to justify their existence in a time and an age where their effectiveness has long been diminished. We see hope in efforts by congregations and our national church to work with other churches and organizations. Our diocese has a rich tradition of union churches, and our national church is in conversations with our partners in the ELCIC to unite our national efforts. We have long seen church buildings as the fortress of peace and solitude in our communities, and this is the legacy we leave. We talked about our churches being “mission posts”, a place from which we serve and share God’s love.

Who are the young clergy of the Church?

As those who will be taking the reins in the years leading up to and following 2019, we spent some time reflecting on who we are and what leadership will look like in 2019.

A dozen of us gathered. Four men and eight women. Nine of us in parish ministry, one a hospital chaplain, one a conflict resolution consultant and one seeking a parish. Seven were parents. Four of us are serving in an urban centre, eight of us are serving in small towns and rural areas. We also represent a wide range of liturgical and theological training.

We reflected on the image of a midwife, and see ourselves as the midwives of 2019. We are the ones who will encourage the Church to “push hard” with the alert, “this is going to hurt”.We are journeying with the rest of the church towards a new birth.

We are also struggling. We are burdened with debt from our theological studies and the need to purchase reliable vehicles and acquire a home while supporting families on an income that even the National Student Loan Centre recognizes as too low to even start paying back our student loans.

We are living with the expectations of anxious parishes who have grown accustomed to either single clergy or with a clergy spouse who became a ministry partner.

We recognize the importance of our own wellness in order to live out our vocations not only as priests and deacons, but also as Christians, wives, husbands, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, friends, fathers and mothers.

We see ourselves in a large, ecumenical, inter-faith picture working with other churches and other organizations to serve the world as God’s people. We focus on the growth and what is “going right”. We carry with us a few expectations of how things “should be” or how “it has always been”, and seek a vision of hope and justice. We seek co-operation, authenticity, integrity and relationship with God and the world in which we live.

Where do we want to be in 2019?

In our vocations we are blessed daily with encounters of grace. We want to be a church that asks, “How do we celebrate the Spirit of God in and amongst us?”

We will be a different church. And we are comfortable with this. The question is, “How will we change?”

The theme for General Synod 2010, which we look forward to hosting in our diocese, is “Feeling the winds of God—charting a new course.” We want to be a pro-active church that charts it’s own course, blown by the winds of the Holy Spirit, not waiting for the pressures around us to dictate who we are and what will become of us.

We see the Church as a movement, not an institution, who knows and loves God and itself and shares that love with others, recognizing the grace of God in the holy moments of our encounters with one another and the world around us.

In faith,

The Reverends:

Dawn Leger, Antigonish
Ian Wissler, Mahone Bay
Arran Thorpe, Halifax
Elliott Siteman, New Glasgow
Stacey Lemoine, New Waterford
Katherine Bourbonierre, Dartmouth
Cathy Lee Cunningham, Dartmouth
Sandra Hounsel-Drover, Sackville
Brieanna Andrews, Springhill
Kyle Wagner, Seaforth
Anna Hoeg, Indian Harbour
Kiersten Wells, Halifax

Message from David F., Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

I don’t really want to seem critical of a well-intended initiative, but I have viewed (most of) the videos; they are partronizing, ill-defined, non-specific.  Unfortunately our church comes across the same way (in other words, Tim Smart may have gotten it right).

At 2010 General Synod, let’s bite the bullet, put the sexuality debate on the table and make a decision.  I would like to see the church diverse and inclusive, and would argue strenuously for such a choice (I was very impressed with the actions of General Convention in the Episcopal Church this summer).  Nevertheless, I would have to either live with a contrary decision or leave, but at least I’d be out of limbo and would know what the church stands for.  Right now I don’t, and I have seen nothing in the Vision 2019 materials that makes me think we will be out of the ennui that has paralyzed us.

As you can probably tell, I have no interest in 2019 until we’ve dealt with the present tense (and tension).

Message from Parish of New Germany, NS

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Hello ….. After hearing the thoughts and discussion of our parishioners who responded to the questions, we pass along these thoughts…as we continue to pray for the church

(Rev) Catherine Robar for the Parish of New Germany

“Where is your church now, and where do you want the Anglican Church of Canada to be in 2019?”

We are encouraged by the friendship and welcoming community in our local parish; the joy we share in worshipping together and caring for each other; the opportunities we have to journey together in Christ.

We are concerned about our dwindling numbers, and that so much of our time and effort must be spent on fundraising to maintain our buildings and full-time ministry.

We are encouraged and uplifted to hear of the work being done through the networking of the Anglican Church worldwide; to hear of the work of the Primate’s Fund; and to know that in a small way we participate in this.

As we go forward…

We want our ‘beloved’ Anglican church to continue.

We want to develop, among our people of all ages, increased commitment to Christ – in our welcoming, our worship, our learning, our giving and our serving …

We want our churches to be inclusive communities which are, and are seen to be, places where Jesus’ love is received and offered, taught and lived.

We want our churches to be places where each member may be equipped for ministry and sent out to serve in our communities as Christ’s love calls us.

Message from Deborah L., East Dalhousie NS

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

As I have pondered with the idea of what our church will look like in 2019, I hope and pray that we will be a community committed to living  out our call to be God’s visible presence in our world.  I hope we will be an inclusive Christian community, open to all with no reservations.  I hope we will be focused on helping all our members deepen their personal spirituality and prayer lives so we can empower each other to reach out to those in need in the world.  I hope we will seek and proclaim justice for all peoples…. that we will boldly lead, not meekly or tentatively follow justice seekers in the secular world.  I hope we will have overcome the pettiness of squabbles over sexuality and who can be a full member of the church.  I hope that by 2010, we will not have found a new group of people about whom to debate and be suspicious as we have done in the past…. with people of colour, aboriginal people, the divorced, women, and now homosexuals.

There are so many people hurting in the world, in our own country and in our very communities. I hope we will be a church which is on the front line of helping those who are hurting, those who are marginalized, those in pain.  I hope we will be brave in putting people before buildings and using our limited financial resources for ministry rather than to maintain buildings from another era.  I hope that when small rural communities cannot afford to support a building, that when their “church is closed and deconsecrated”, new ways of ministering to the remnant of people in such communities, who are the church,  will be found and supported financially by the wider church.

I hope that we will not be so focused on the letter of liturgical law, theology and tradition that we miss new ways of being church.  I hope that we will find ways of making opportunities for prayer and retreats available to people in their daily lives…. people who want to deepen their faith, their lives of prayer but who cannot go off to expensive retreat houses in distant places due to family and employment responsibilities.  I hope we will be ministering to people in the ordinary circumstances of their lives in ways that are meaningful and available.  I hope that we will be focused on drawing forth the God-given gifts of ministry in all people.

I believe we as a church have so much potential, but so little focus right now.  We are using so much energy on pettiness and inward gazing rather than focusing on how God is calling us in the world.   While we debate the issue of this day,  I believe we are failing to notice those in need around us or at the very least we are unable to adequately respond because our energy has been spent.  I hope by 2010, we will have grown into the church we have the potential to be with God and in God.

With Respect,  I am,

Deborah L.
member of St. Cyprian’s Church
East Dalhousie, Parish of New Ross
Diocese of NS PEI

Message from Church of Saint Andrew, Cole Harbour, NS

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

We wrote responses on post it notes and here are the responses to the two questions you asked.  We have also submitted prayers earlier in the summer which were based on these post it notes. (more…)

Message from An Anglican from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Message from Dawn L., Nova Scotia

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Rev. Dawn Leger answers the question “Where is your church now, and where do you think the Anglican Church of Canada should be in 2019?”