Dear friends,

Last week we asked you to pray for the Anglican Communion. This week Anglicanism has been in the news. What follows is a brief primer.

First of all, the Anglican Way tries to take very seriously the way the Bible describes the church. In the New Testament, when “the church” is referred to, it’s both a local congregation and all of the local congregations in a city or a province. So, in Anglicanism, there are local congregations linked in a geographic diocese and a national (or multi-national) church body. However, in the New Testament, the church is also described as the body of Christ. In this sense, the church is invisible because it is not perfectly aligned with any human institutional church. Most importantly, the church as the body of Christ is planet-wide and extends back-in-time. This is why we should not say St Paul is a former church member. You, me and St Paul are all equally in the body of Christ. The Anglican Way marks the reality of the church including those who “sleep in Jesus” by having part of our common worship originating from earlier times. The Anglican Way marks the planet-wide nature of the church by developing an Anglican Communion – a web of institutional and missional relationships beyond our national border.

I know that most people who call Messiah their church home are here because they found a good church – not because they are Anglicans or are becoming Anglicans. This is fine and good. However, we are a church of the Anglican Way and that means things like dioceses and the Anglican Communion matter. This is why we asked you to pray for the Communion.

This leads me to my second point. The Anglican Communion is breaking and it is not clear what it will look like after the breaking. Churches in Canada and the United States and increasingly in Scotland, Wales, New Zealand and Brazil are setting aside the Bible to accommodate the secular culture. These Anglican churches are institutionalizing this change by re-writing doctrine and liturgy and ordination requirements. The “canary in the coal mine” for this change centres around the affirmation of the LGBT+ movement.

In 2008, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) was held in Jerusalem to respond to the breaking of the Anglican Communion. Out of this conference, the GAFCON movement emerged. The GAFCON movement is a world-wide, Gospel-centred, Bible-centred evangelistic and missionary movement which is becoming the new instrument for an Anglican Communion. Church of the Messiah is not part of the Anglican Church of Canada, but we are part of GAFCON.

Please pray that God will pour out His Holy Spirit upon us to build us into a prayerful, Bible-teaching, evangelical church with a heart for the city and a heart for the world.

George