Archbishop Beach Issues a Call to Prayer for Immigrants, Refugees, and Government Leaders

Dear friends, Our Archbishop has issued the following call to prayer to all of us in the Anglican Church in North America around issues of immigration. As he points out, our church spans all of North America, which includes three nations, and our identity as Anglicans links us to a world-wide communion. More locally, should you feel the Lord stirring your heart to love our immigrant neighbours please let me know — we have a few opportunities right in our own family of faith.  Blessings and peace, Fr Tim Archbishop Beach issues a call to prayer for our neighbors and our nations. Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As a province that spans Canada, the United States, and Mexico we face unique challenges on issues affecting refugees and immigration. I am thankful for our congregations that are a part of the Anglican Immigrant Initiative. They have taken the lead in caring for those in our communities who are refugees and immigrants, showing the love of Christ to the most vulnerable. This week, I encourage you to follow their example, and make a special effort to reach out to refugees and immigrants in your local community.  In these divisive times, we have the opportunity to demonstrate a compassion that builds bridges, and overcomes fear. In our province we also have lawmakers who face a different, but related set of challenging moral issues.  As public servants, they are called to carefully discern how best to respond to the global humanitarian need while also maintaining the appropriate role of government in protecting its citizens. There are no easy answers to how our nations should balance these...

Spiritual Direction

By Jennifer Drummond Reflecting on my faith journey has been a wonderful process. As I look back on the twists and turns in my life, it often becomes clear(er) how God has woven certain people, experiences and themes together. Many times these have been in preparation for the next step along the path, although… not always. Regardless, there has been one particular practice that has helped me notice what God might be doing in my life: Spiritual Direction. As a member of the founding Vestry of Christ the Redeemer, I was first introduced to the notion of Spiritual Direction by Susan Currie, a friend and fellow Vestry member. She invited our group to silence (not a natural state for meetings!), and led us in many deep listening exercises. That whole year was marked by attentiveness – to the Holy Spirit, to one another and to the quiet reaches of our inner selves. That attentive work set the stage for Christ the Redeemer to be born.  It was one of the most remarkable groups I have ever been a part of, and that year was of unbelievable grace. The following few years were full of transition (I’ll be sharing a bit about that at the upcoming Women’s Brunch). But the hunger for close encounters with the Holy Spirit had been awakened! I knew I wanted to continue; I just didn’t quite have the language, or know exactly what to do to foster that closeness with Jesus. That introduction to Spiritual Direction gave me a place to start. I decided to find my own spiritual director. I began to notice common...

Keep Calm & Love Your Neighbor

  The entire “Keep Calm and Love Your Neighbor” series can now be found here. ______________________________________________________  I See Satan Fall Like Lightning The final weeks of our Keep Calm series were spent looking at a very unusual but insightful book: I See Satan Fall Like Lightning. Author Rene Girard (1923-2015) was a French Catholic literary critic and anthropological philosopher, who shocked the Paris intelligentsia at the turn of the new millennium when his theological work became a best-selling book there. The title is taken from Jesus’ words to his disciples in Luke 10:18 upon their return from the mission on which he sent them. But why did he say this? And what did he see? In exploring these questions, Girard offers an explanation for much of what is good in Western culture, and where much has gone to extremes. More specifically, he offers a root idea for what has made Western culture unique, and what is the defining energy behind it. But in spite of having this extremely wide angle of view, the book also speaks to realities that come home to us everyday, to issues that are being played out before us in (seemingly) ever-increasing intensity. Though only two of the four week discussions are available for listen, we hope you are intrigued by what you hear and encourage you to explore Girard’s paradigm-shifting work for yourselves.   April 30: Fr. Tim and Ravi Ravichandran discuss I See Satan Fall Like Lightning: Part 1 May 7: Fr. Tim and Ravi Ravichandran discuss I See Satan Fall Like Lightning: Part 2      ______________________________________________________ 23 April: Loving our Neighbors who are Children in especially Vulnerable Circumstances (due to...

Healing Grace

By Stephanie Convey Many of us had the privilege of attending the Becoming Whole Conference in October. It was a time of teaching and of receiving ministry related to the barriers that can keep us from receiving all of God’s love for us, and through us. These barriers can be from pains and wounds from infancy (and before), our childhood, patterns in our family of origin, lack of father or mother love, wounds from abuse of any kind, or from our own poor decisions. Based on the conference evaluations, one of the topics that really resonated with our community, was working toward an understanding of dysfunction in our families of origin, and how God can break patterns and lies that took hold and still bring us pain or cause us to sin (knowingly or unknowingly) today. For example, you may have deep disappointments related to your family relationships; you may have been rejected or excluded when you didn’t meet up to expectations (spoken or unspoken); you may realize in retrospect that you were expected to maintain an unhealthy communication dynamic in your family. The upcoming three monthly healing services on Saturdays will be focused on this topic. There will be a short time of teaching, followed by the opportunity to receive prayer from prayer team members. Facing these dysfunctions can be painful. But here’s a spoiler alert: all families are dysfunctional! Thank God we serve a Redeemer. Not only does God heal and save us from ourselves and from darkness, He also redeems it all, even the seemingly unforgivable things I’ve done or that someone has done to me....

“Padre, is God really like Jesus?”

by Dcn Adam Salter Gosnell Epiphany comes to us from “to reveal.” In the narrower context of the Jesus-story, the Epiphany is about the magi/wise men coming to see the Baby Jesus. Jesus has been revealed to the Gentiles (more on this during the Epiphany service, January 6th). But in the broader context, Epiphany is about Jesus being revealed in general. And as I was thinking about Jesus and revelation, I was reminded of one of my very favorite theologians. F. Torrance (1913-2007) had an experience early on in life, in the military, that shaped his entire theological career. He was serving as a chaplain and came across a 20-year-old soldier, dying after a battle. Torrance knelt over him and the soldier said, “Padre, is God really like Jesus?” Torrance assured him, Yes. Yes, he is. And then the soldier died. This brief conversation left a mark on Torrance so profound that he hardly wrote about anything else. He started saying it over and over: “There is no God behind the back of Jesus Christ.” “God is not one thing in himself and another thing in Jesus Christ—what God is toward us in Jesus he is inherently and eternally in himself.” “This is the fiducial [concerning faith] significance of the central clause in the Nicene Creed, that there is a oneness in Being and agency between Jesus Christ the incarnate Son and God the Father. What God is in eternity, Jesus Christ is in space and time, and what Jesus Christ is in space and time, God is in his eternity.” Torrance said it a hundred times in a hundred ways....