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Newsletter #28

ACA Advent 2018 Newsletter:

1. Letter from the Chair, Dr. David Smith
2. ACA Year in Review
3. Anglican trial-use liturgies--let's talk!
4. $15,000 goal for General Synod
5. Advent Prayer

                                                 Photo used with permission from the Rev. Gene Packwood

1.Message from the Chair
Dear Friends,
As we enter a new year in the Church, I want to share with you some thoughts on our identity as the Anglican Communion Alliance, and how our movement can best serve the Church, and our Lord.

ACA Board meeting at Trinity, Streetsville, Nov. 25-26, 2018

Who is it that we are trying to speak for in the Anglican Communion Alliance?  We are trying to be a voice in the church, but for whom?  Three groups immediately come to mind. 
First, we are speaking for Biblical Christians.  In the day-to-day life of the Anglican Church, so often it seems as if the Bible is an afterthought to what we do.  That attitude is reflected in the way issues are dealt with in the church.  Is Scripture really guiding our hearts and minds as we consider the issues of our time?  It seems strange that we should need a voice speaking for the place of the Bible in our church.  It has always been the main part of the bedrock of authority on which Anglican Christianity has been built.  But we believe that such a voice is needed in our church.  What do you think? 
 Secondly, we are speaking for traditional Anglicans.  If the Bible doesn’t have the place it should in the day to day life of our church, or its decision making, then neither does the Anglican tradition.  The pattern of worship and doctrine of the Book of Common Prayer, which for centuries was the touchstone for things Anglican, is no longer a part of most Anglican churches.  The 39 Articles – the most authoritative statement of Anglican belief – are rarely studied even by candidates for ordination.  Yes, we still have the Anglican pattern of Bishops, Priests and Deacons in our leadership, but are they, and the fact that we have liturgical worship,  enough, without the traditional supporting structure of doctrine, to make us Anglican?  We don’t believe that Anglican Christianity has ever been something that you make up as you go along, even if the making up is done by Synods.  Where is our continuity with the Anglican past?  As I suggested in our last newsletter, the idea that the church is mainly aimed at social change and acts of charity – in other words that our purpose is primarily directed towards this world – is a big departure from traditional Anglicanism. 
Thirdly, we are speaking for Anglicans wanting the renewal of the Holy Spirit in the church.   Biblical scholars describe the gift of the Holy Spirit as an eruption of the world to come into this world.  The Holy Spirit will be sought and hungered after by people who long for “a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16).  Will a church that does not long for that “better country,” but limits itself to trying to improve this one, continue to try to “keep in step with the Spirit”?
So those are three groups of people that we are trying to speak for.  If you would put yourself in one of those groups, why not get in touch with us and tell us how we can do that work more effectively?  We always appreciate hearing from you.  
Advent blessings,
The Rev. Dr. David A. Smith
Chair, Anglican Communion Alliance
2. ACA Year in Review
Here are a few of the initiatives we have undertaken in the past year.  We are thankful for the opportunities we have been given to serve our Church, and are also so thankful for your support and prayer as we move forward. 
  • Deepening ties with the Gracious Restraint Bishops and ongoing strategizing.
  • Encouraging discussions and feedback on the Anglican Church of Canada's trial-use liturgies.
  • General Synod 2019 preparations well underway: compilation of list of delegates, booking a hospitality suite & accommodations, research on legal concerns for dissenting clergy (including bishops) in light of possible canonic change to marriage.
  • Advocating for formal provisions. We need a statement, embedded in the Motion to change the Canon, that declares the traditional position 1) a matter of genuine religious conviction and 2) a legitimate position/stream within the Church.  While we continue to advocate that the Canon not be changed, we also want to see an amendment with formal protections, in the event that this change does take place in July 2019 at General Synod. 
  • Continuing monitoring of consultations on This Holy Estate, e.g., in the Diocese of Ontario.
  • Increased online presence—new website and social media posts.
  • Jake Worley situation—open letter to his consecration’s being blocked; letter addressing this double standard and asking for answers from national leaders; substantial quotations from ACA in The Anglican Journal.
  • Increasing attention to ACA in The Anglican Planet.
  • Calgary ACA/Engage Conference, which strengthened ACA’s ministry and service in the Calgary Diocese and the 4 other dioceses represented!  62 people attended this excellent conference which was made possible by the generous hospitality of St. James Anglican Church in Calgary. 

Some of the 62 Anglicans that attended ACA/Engage. 

3. Trial-use liturgies 
Liturgy, the shape of our common worship and devotions, has been central to Anglican identity.  Historically our identity has been expressed in the Book of Common Prayer 1549, 1552, 1558, 1662 and their descendants.

Liturgical changes have been underway in the Anglican Church of Canada since General Synod 1971.  (General Synod reflects the mood of the church and also shapes it.) These changes have come about for two general reasons: There is wider reflection and research about the nature of worship and the history of the church, including in the patristic period; and, secondly, for pastoral considerations.  Anglican liturgical change has historically been evolutionary, but new liturgical forms tend to be more radical, self-consciously re-imagining devotional expression.
It is important for us to consider the content of specific prayers, but also to ask broader questions about the reasoning behind the liturgical changes and our fidelity to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Since General Synod 2010, there have been modest but renewed efforts to provide liturgical resources and to encourage creative liturgical expression, mostly through the publication of online literature.  These changes intend to encourage sensitivity to local custom and pastoral needs (including Indigenous voices), evangelization through the emphasis on liturgical preparation and catechesis for Easter and its celebration throughout the Easter season, and what seems to be an effort to provide some flexibility for smaller congregations.  

The Anglican Church of Canada has published several trial-use liturgies online and has encouraged engagement and feedback.  To that end, we are encouraging people to participate in this conversation.  You can write to the Church; we are also planning to start a Facebook page dedicated to discussion on these texts.  All of this is with the goal in mind of "deepening Biblical faith in the Anglican Church of Canada."  We want to remain vigilant, but also constructively critical and encouraging to those who are doing this work.  Stay tuned for more information!

***ACA thanks the Rev. Dr. Peter Armstrong (ACA Board member) for the information above, and for his keen interest and dedication in this area.
A Special Appeal

Photo used with permission from the Rev. Gene Packwood
The Anglican Communion Alliance is launching a special appeal with regard to an urgent need. Over the last 2 years, we have seen excellent progress on so many fronts and we are so thankful for the generous donations we have received that have allowed us to keep moving forward. However, this year brings a special challenge. In July 2019 General Synod will be held in Vancouver, BC, and ACA will be there, following our mandate to “deepen Biblical faith in the Anglican Church of Canada.” 

We plan to have a booth that promotes Biblical Christianity as well as a hospitality suite that will serve as a place of welcome, prayer and strategizing for delegates.  We also plan to have several larger gatherings for prayer, teaching and worship. 
We want to be a prayerful and gracious presence at this time of potential division in our Church.
In order to fulfill these goals, we need to raise $15,000 over and above current donations.  We are asking you to help us with a gift of any amount, as you are able. You can donate here or simply send a cheque to:
Mrs. Linda Alkenbrack
Treasurer, A.C.A. 
Box 374
Brighton, ON  K0K 1H0  

(Our Charitable registration number is: BN 83249 6855 RR 0001)

With deep thankfulness for your generosity, 
Sharon Dewey Hetke
National Director, Anglican Communion Alliance

5. Collect for the 4th Sunday of Advent (from the Book of Common Prayer)

RAISE up, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Anglican Communion Alliance, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Mrs. Linda Alkenbrack
Treasurer, Anglican Communion Alliance
P.O. Box 374
Brighton, ON
K0K 1H0   
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