Dear friends,

This week The Anglican Church of Canada has been in the news. At a meeting of their National (General) Synod they narrowly voted to change their canons to allow same-sex marriage. “Canons” are Anglican-speak for the official, legal, national by-laws of the church. The vote “narrowly” passed in the sense that to change a canon the change has to be approved by two-thirds of voters. This two-thirds majority squeaked by, by one vote. In that sense, it was a narrow win. A better way to understand the vote is that over two-thirds of the delegates voted to change the canons so that same sex marriage ceremonies are part of the official practice and doctrine of the Anglican Church of Canada. In other words, it was an over-whelming vote.

An acquaintance sent me an email asking how I was doing, saying that it must have been a tumultuous week for me, given that Anglicans had divided. That email sparked this blog.

It has not been a tumultuous week for me or for Messiah for the simple reason that, while Messiah is an Anglican church and I am an Anglican presbyter / elder / priest, Messiah is not a part of The Anglican Church of Canada. We are part of a completely different church, The Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), which, in turn, is a branch of a US / Canada body called The Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). ANiC is part of the Global Anglican Futures movement / Fellowship which goes by the moniker “GAFCON”. As such, we are in full communion with the majority of practicing Anglicans world-wide. The Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) has been out of communion with the majority of practicing Anglicans world-wide for several years now. The ACoC’s recent decision will further deepen and extend their separation from the majority of world-wide Anglicans.

It comes as a shock to Canadians to know that this Sunday there will be more people worshiping in Anglican churches in Kenya than in all of Canada, the US, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Europe, Australia and New Zealand COMBINED! What is true of Kenya is also true of Nigeria and Uganda. Messiah’s Canadian Anglican body is small in Canada, but we are the Anglicans in full communion with Anglicans in most of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America. In order words, we are world-Anglicans.

Please pray for faithful Anglicans still in the Anglican Church of Canada as they discern a way forward. Pray that God will grant them wisdom and courage. Pray especially for Anglicans in aboriginal communities and the Arctic, poor in money, rich in faith.

George +