Live from Burlington

Good morning from Burlington. Unlike at General Synod this is not going to be a liveblog. However it might be a not-entirely-dead blog either.

Currently Bp Harvey has given his opening address, and indeed this is going to be a ‘doing’ conference. Cheryl Chang is now giving a chronology of events that have brought us here.

We hear that there will be an important announcement at noon (ET). I will let you know when I can.

Rev Sinclair – study on 2 Tim 1 – to suffer for or to be ashamed of the Gospel? That is our choice.

What sort of church will we be?

We will be missional.
We will evangelise.
We will be biblically faithful
We will declare the whole counsel of God
We will disciple
We will teach gogly leadership
We will discipline
We will be a prayerful community
We will seek to do Gods will His way

Our structures will serve parishes
We will be lean
We will support missionary and compassionate outreach
We will encourage initiative within the bounds of orthodoxy
We will encourage Christ-sentred community
We will plant churches

We will have an Anglican order
We will be part of the Anglican communion
We will be bound together by”original Anglican documents”
We will have a prayer book from the orthodox Anglican tradition
We will encompass the godly spiritual traditions that nutured Anglicans
(two others, including WO, did not have time to record, regarding the latter it was affirming that WO would be part of the church, and that there would be room and place for those who disagree).

Rev Dr JI Packer is now talking about the Anglican Agenda series – here. Details:

Currently published booklets
Taking the Anglican Communion Seriously, by Terry Buckle and Archie Pell
Taking Faith Seriously, by J.I. Packer
Taking Love Seriously, by Dawn McDonald and James Wagner
Taking our Future Seriously, by Rev. Paul Woehrle and Rev. Peter Klenner
Taking Repentance Seriously, by Rev. Dr. J.I. Packer
Taking Evangelism Seriously, by Rev. David Edwards
Taking The Church Year Seriously, by Norah Johnston
Taking The Bible Seriously, by Lloyd Arnett
Taking Church Unity Seriously, by J.I. Packer

Topic is: Who we are and where we stand – a theological perspective
(I shall do my best to summarise, no guarantees of accuracy, this is not a transcript).

We need to know who we are and where we stand. Rev Packer thought when coming from the UK that he was leaving behind the theological battles…heh…. There is no pleasure in walking apart from the ACoC. Anglican Communion is one part of the Church.

What is the Church? The entire community of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus’s prayer from John 17 regarding unity – points the way that the unity already there is to be expressed. Church that is one in Christ must express this unity. Our ideal is to build churches that function as a beacon of light.

Schism means unjustifiable and unwarranted dividing of organised Church body. Schism is sin. Those who provoke the division are the schismatic – those who create the problem of concience.

It is not we who are the schismatic, it is those who are unfaithful to the scriptures and the Anglican heritage that have made it necessary for us to walk apart from the ACoC. Those who accuse us of schism should be told that they do not understand what schism is.

We are maintaining communion (with the wider Anglican? church) by seperating from the ACoC.

Why are we maintaining Anglican heritage? Anglican heritage is the most rich, wise and fruitful heritage that I know. I value it highly.

1. Anglicanism is biblical.
2. Anglicanism is creedal.
3. Anglicanism is liturgical in the best sense.
4. Anglicanism is pastoral, centred on the making of disciples (Bishops are ordained for pastoral leadership, and their juristiction are to facilitate pastoral goals).
5. Anglicanism is missional – in the sense of being transformational through the gospel.
6. Anglicanism is not heirarchical, and not maintenance orientated in the first instance (though often has been both). Anglicanism should be service-orientated at every level.

The present project is not to abandon Anglicanism and its values, but to maintain it in its fulness and authenticity. This is the calling from God to us today.

How has this all come about? It is the bitter fruit of liberal theology. Liberal theology knows nothing of a God who use written language to tell us things, and nothing about sin in the human system, not in the heart or the head. In liberal theology the Church must always play catchup to the culture, or the Church will lose all relevance to modern life. Since the Bible, to liberal theologans, is a word from fallible man, there is no great loss to leave it behind.

(Missed the last part of the talk, sorry)

Bp Harvey talking – ABp Ian Earnest, Bp Jensen sending geetings to the ANiC conference.

Rev Short talking – Abp Kenya (Nzimbi), West Africa, Central Africa (Malango), Uganda (Orombi) commending ANiC and Southern Cone, supporting actions. (missed another greeting). Bp Duncan also sending greetings.

Rev Chris Sugden (Anglican Mainstream) talking – greetings and support from Bp Wallace Benn, Dr Giddings (and another 10 I missed) – representing approx 2000 churches in UK. Second letter of support from Bp Rochester. Bp Recife letter of support. (Missed the rest, sorry).

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0 Responses to Live from Burlington

  1. Pauline says:

    We just watched Charlie being interviewed on 100 Huntley St. and it was an excellent interview. It was good to see everyone there as the weather is absolutely horrendous – freezing rain.

  2. Liz says:

    Good Morning, Pete!
    Our prayers are with you, Bishop Harvey and all the delegates in Burlington. I know you will keep us posted.

  3. pilgrim kate says:

    Thank you for allowing those of us not attending to keep up with the events. My prayers will continually be raised for wisdom, courage, and faithfulness for orthodox Canadian Anglicans, especially for those providing leadership.

  4. Pingback: Anglican Mainstream » Blog Archive » Live from Essentials Conference

  5. Chris says:

    Thank you for the blog Peter, very helpful for all of us praying for a conference that will glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. George’s vision for the church is a glorious one.
    Interestingly, George’s bible study choice seems more relevant for Federation who will be the ones left standing on the battlefield after the Network ‘life-boat’ has departed.

  6. Don says:

    Peter: Thank you for your blog of this very important moment in the life of the Canadian Church. The issue of WO is seen by many as simply one of many innovations which have been embraced by the ACC and have brought us to this time and place. For many, including me, acceptance of WO raises questions concerning the true orthodoxy of our emerging church as we appear to be picking and choosing between innovations we will accept and those we will not.

  7. ML says:

    Some of the innovations of the past, although not communion breaking individually, have certainly led up to where we are today. Can they be undone?
    Want to pass on a quote from The Rt. Rev. J.C. Ryle:
    “…he [Bp Ryle] often specified the two great dangers which he saw ahead. These were, first, the wish to go back on the Reformation – ‘to unprotestantize the Church of England’; and, second, the wish to allow universal toleration in matters of theology – ‘to declare the Church a kind of Noah’s ark, within which every kind of opinion and creed shall dwell safe and undisturbed, and the only terms of communion will be willingness to come inside and let your neighbour alone.'” This is printed in the introduction to “No Uncertain Sound” and quotes Bp Ryle from his book, “Principles for Churchmen” printed in 1884. Link that up with the innovations in liturgy we today and the “big tent church” of Mr. Adams.

  8. Gerry O'Brien, Mt. Pearl, Nfld. says:

    Am I to assume in your response #6 above that WO means Women being Ordained? Please clarify for me (I feel like I have blonde hair)

  9. Scott says:


    Thank you for the summary of J.I. Packer’s talk. This is dynamite.

    It is not we who are the schismatic, it is those who are unfaithful to the scriptures and the Anglican heritage that have made it necessary for us to walk apart from the ACoC. Those who accuse us of schism should be told that they do not understand what schism is.

    Amen to that!

  10. Bishop Don
    you have discerned the voice of God and listened to that still small voice.Iam praying and fasting at this particular time bhecause many of the great awakenings of the past was brought forth through corporate prayer and fasting.May you be blessed today and always as you obey the masters calling .

  11. Don says:

    Gerry #8: Sorry for using the short form for Women’s Ordination (WO). My observation in #6, reflects the fact that WO is not accepted as being theologically sound in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and even in some Anglican dioceses here in North America (ie the Diocese of Fort Worth of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.). My observation is that we may be building a divisive issue for many and a relatively recent innovation into our church right from the get go.

  12. Gerry O'Brien, St. John The Evangelist, Topsail, Nfld. says:

    Thank You. I have a feeling that WO will be worked out by our new Primate and those new Dioceses joining the Southern Cone. As for now, I find this to be a wonderfully exciting time and am feeling very good about the announcement of our new 2nd Bishop and the letters from all of the other churches especially those from the U.K.
    Blessings to all….

  13. Michael says:

    One of the major difficulties concerning the ordination of women is that dioceses such as Ft. Worth had specifically committed to seek membership in a province that does not ordain women to the priesthood. As far as I could tell from online sources (although there aren’t many on the Southern Cone province), the Province of the Southern Cone does not currently ordain women as priests, although they do ordain women as deacons. Also, Abp. Venables has become a primatial patron for a fellowship of churches in the United States, the Federation of Anglican Churches in the Americas, none of which ordain women as priests. Coming up with a solution that will allow all of these groups to work with Southern Cone may prove very difficult, although I am praying for the leaders as this is discussed.

    For me personally, I am extremely excited to here about these new developments. I wish the Network, its bishops and primate all the best. When I saw the announcement about a second bishop coming on board, I really got pumped up. I am very glad to hear that this group will seek to give a place to those who do not accept the ordination of women. However, I think everyone should be clear about what they’re getting in to.

    The theological problem for those who do not recognize the ordination of women is precisely that they do not recognize it – not that they disagree with it or oppose it. Those in Forward in Faith or continuing Anglican churches do not have some personal objection to a female priest, or believe that the church should not ordain female priests – some of them might even, personally, wish that women could become priests! It’s just that they believe that the nature of the priesthood itself has to do with spiritual fatherhood, and that the church is bound both to scripture, and to Christian tradition.

    In the same way, I have (Christian) gay and lesbian friends. I may respect them highly, and I may wish them every blessing in their lives. But I do not believe that their unions are the same as marriage, and I do not believe that their participation in a sexual relationship is right. Even though I may wish very much that I could. It’s not my decision.

    What this means is that, unlike a huge number of issues where people might disagree with a member of the clergy, but still recognize them as a priest, it is impossible opponents of women’s ordination to recognize that some clergy in their church are actually ordained. They might respect their personal call to ministry, and the fact that the church has commissioned them for service. They might actively support the ministry of women in other ways. But they could not recognize them as priests. They could not celebrate the Eucharist with them, take communion in a Eucharist where a woman had celebrated or concelebrated, participate in the ordination of a woman to the priesthood (at least in the laying on of hands), and – at least for many – participate in the renewal of ordination vows, if there were clergy present whose ordination they did not recognize as vald. Even more than this, the ordination of women may call into question the validity of other ordinations performed by the same bishop, because doubts arise as to whether the ordaining bishop had the proper intention – whether the bishop intended to ordain a priest as the church as traditionally understood the priesthood, or a minister of some new order of ministry.

    This probably isn’t an issue for most people in the Network, but it will be for many in several of the American dioceses that are looking to Southern Cone for pastoral care. It is also a serious issue for many others that the ANiC and other Common Cause partners would like to reach out to.

    I would urge all the bishops and clergy of the Network to consider these issues prayerfully in the days ahead, asking God to work miraculously in granting a way forward that allows the deepest possible unity between the various partners involved, without violating their respective theological consciences. I know that this is a hard thing for everyone to consider, but it needs to be addressed. One solution that has been proposed by Forward in Faith in the past is to have bishops who will specifically provide pastoral care for clergy and people opposed to the ordination of women. Perhaps such a plan should be considered at the beginning stages, rather than later. It could make a significant difference.

  14. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Packer on leaving the Anglican Church of Canada

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