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Report on the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada Synod July 29, 2007

Posted by Ninja Michael in General.
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Earlier this month, the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (of which I am a member), held its national synod in Halifax, NS, at Mount Saint Vincent University.   The host parish was St. Aidan’s Church, whose rector is the Rt. Rev. Craig Botterill, QC (also a suffragan bishop with responsibility for parishes in Atlantic Canada).   This was the first synod the church has held in that part of the country, as most of our churches there have developed comparatively recently.

 The Sunday before the synod, my fellow Ninja and I were able to witness the ordination to the priesthood of the Reverend Charles Warner, SSM.   Fr. Charles is ministering to a fledgling parish on Cape Breton Island.   The ordination was the first, I believe, for Bishop Craig, and the first event of this sort the parish was able to host in their new church building, which is lovely – the parish has put an incredible amount of work into the place, completely refinishing much of the inside.   The sanctuary is lovely.

The day after the ordination, we were able to visit several members of Fr. Charles’ parish who had not been able to attend the ordination, and have dinner with them at their home in Sydney, when we dashed (back) to Cape Breton to tour the Fortress of Louisbourg (well worth the trip).   Then we dashed back (once again) to Halifax, for the synod.

 The synod was truly exceptional, I thought.   There was a good crowd, including a number of children.   There were a number of clergy who I had not had the opportunity to meet before, including one new deacon from Newfoundland.

 Worship, as promised, received pride of place on the agenda.   I enjoyed playing the organ, a Casavant (which was lovely, although in need of a bit of work).  Each day began with Morning Prayer, and a celebration of the Holy Eucharist before breakfast (the morning sermons, delivered by bishops, were mercifully short, including the one delivered by the Primate, who is known for preaching somewhat longer at times – hello Archbishop Hepworth!).   The Wednesday Evensong was followed by Benediction, which never fails to fill me with joy and awe (the first Benediction I had participated in within the diocese).   There were also sermons in the evening, the one for the Evensong and Benediction given by Fr. Doug Hayman, rector of the parish of St. Barnabas, located near my home south of Ottawa.   Other preachers in the evening included Fr. Richard Harris, Regional Dean of Atlantic Canada, and Fr. David Skelton, the Regional Dean for the Prairies.

 The worship concluded Friday morning with a Requiem, the Missa Pro Defunctus beautifully chanted by Bishop Carl Reid of Ottawa (accompanied by a surprising number of worshipers who have it memorized).  Bishop Craig delievered a wonderful sermon on the Christian hope of Eternal Life (at least one priest said something afterward about wanting a copy), and a trio of Bp. Carl, Fr. Kipling Cooper of Ottawa, and myself, sang a Russian Orthodox Kontakion for the Faithful Departed, just before the dismissal.   (Fr. Keith Kirkwood of BC took the organ for this service, much to my delight, as it was nice for me to be out of the organ loft for one of the liturgies.)

 Mass settings other than the requiem included Missa de Angelis, and Willan’s Missa Sancta Maria Magdalena.   The offices included a mixture of Anglican chant and plainsong; and all the services included rousing hymn singing.

Bishop Peter Wilkinson, OSG, opened the synod proper on Wednesday morning by reminding the delegates of their sacred responsibility – pointing out that ideally a synod would be held in a church facing a book of gospels, and that there are no political parties within the church.   Archbishop Hepworth addressed the synod that afternoon, giving an extended presentation on the growth of the Traditional Anglican Communion worldwide, and a heartfelt and stirring talk on the unity of the Church of Christ, particularly in the TAC’s hopes for the reconciliation of all Catholic Christians to communion with each other (as stated in the Affirmation of St. Louis).   I have seldom heard a minister of any denomination speak with such passion about Christian unity, and his remarks brought the crowd leaping to their feet.

 Fr. David Marriott, of Vancouver, BC, also spoke about the development of the TAC throughout the world, giving a presentation about the churches in Zambia and the Congo on Friday morning.  The Vancouver parish of St. Peter and St. Paul has set up a number of projects to help these churches, which are badly in need.

 In addition to the liturgy and the business sessions, a number of social events were held, including a reception on the Tuesday night in the campus pub, and a dinner cruise, where we were able to see tall ships from around the world (something you don’t see every day).   And, informally, people had different opportunities to relax, tour the city, and get to know each other better.   Some of the kids toured around while synod met during the day, and even the Ninjas slipped out for part of it to go downtown to see the sights.   After the cruise the last evening, a number of people invitied me to sing a few songs for them, using a piano in the building we’d been meeting in.

All in all, I left very impressed with Halifax, and Atlantic Canada in general, and thrilled with the synod.   Especially heading out to Manitoba next month, the one province where we don’t have a parish, it was nice to see everybody before going away for a while.   At the same time, I’m very much looking forward to the next synod, and to what God has in store for the ACCC in the future.

The diocesan website (www.anglicancatholic.ca) should have the August Diocesan Circular online within the next few days, and that will feature photos and other news about the synod.  The website also links to photos from St. Aidan’s, showing their new church.   The Sydney parish website, linked from the diocesan website as well, includes a couple of pictures from the ordination on Sunday.   All for now.  God bless.

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Getting hyped for Harry Potter July 20, 2007

Posted by Ninja Michael in General.
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In preparation for the new Harry Potter book, allow me to present my favourite “Spoiler of Doom”, courtesy of the website linked below.

My Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom is:
Severus Snape is killed by Lucius Malfoy after doing battle with an evil dragon in a pink tutu
Get your Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom

A full report on the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada synod, and the Ninjas’ roadtrip is forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Getting hyped for Synod June 26, 2007

Posted by Ninja Michael in General.
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Next month in Halifax clergy and laity from the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada will gather for their national synod, a triennial event, and the first synod the diocese has held in Atlantic Canada.   The hosting of the synod, coupled with the Halifax parish moving into their wonderfully refinished new-to-them church, makes for an exciting time in the life of that congregation, and their rector, the recently minted Suffragan Bishop Craig Botterill.   The parish will also host an ordination the Sunday before synod starts – a new priest for Cape Breton Island.

It’s also an exciting time for the Ninjas, who will be taking the opportunity to do a little road trip through the East the week before the synod, and for me personally, who was chosen by lot (or by one of the bishops, perhaps) to be the organist.   An exciting challenge.   Also, the chance to meet new people, hear great sermons, and observe lively debate and discussion.

Ahh… that last one, the awful cry of church politics.   After spending the last several days following (and praying for) the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod in Winnipeg, I am especially grateful for the atmosphere that our diocesan synods are known for.   We won’t be debating whether issues of human sexuality are “core doctrine” of the church or not, or whether to change the definition of marriage (or whether to have “blessing” services for couples we would not marry ourselves… whatever side of that debate our readers may be on, you must find that proposal to be far too clever), or whether we support a complete ban on tobacco, for that matter (yes, that was among the motions put forward).

For those in the ACC, please do not take this as triumphalism on my part.   We are not without our politics, of course, but what we are anticipating most of all is gathering for worship and fellowship, united in communion with God and each other through the Eucharist.   We will be gathering to celebrate the life of our diocese (even party a little bit, perhaps), which admittedly is far from perfect – we do have many things to discuss; I’m just grateful that the essentials of the Christian faith are not among the things we will be discussing.   I’m also grateful for our leaders – we have amazing bishops – and look forward to their leadership as they walk with our clergy and laity through these proceedings.

We do have many ways we need to grow and develop and deepen our Christian faith, and this synod may give us the opportunity to reflect on some of those things – and more importantly, to “fall to prayer”.   Personally, I have been spending time in prayer beforehand – praying that I play well, of course, but more importantly, praying for a genuine outpouring of the grace of God on our gathering, that the Holy Spirit would fill our hearts with His Love, and that we would be prepared to reach out to our communities, nation, and world with the Gospel of Christ.   Knowing the little I do about my church, I believe we have a great deal to look forward to.

There are a million things to do before we leave.   Finalize travel arrangements, pack, last minute prep for music… Less than a week until we’re on the road.   I’m really getting hyped.

Representin’ June 6, 2007

Posted by Ninja Clement in General.
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Needed: Rosary Repair Kit April 30, 2007

Posted by Ninja Clement in General.
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As Ninja Clement was adjusting the comforter on his bed the other day, he accidentally swept his Rosary onto the ground. Upon retrieving it he discovered that Jesus was…  not on the cross 😕 . Our Lord had become, er, uhm, “detached”. Ninja Clement thumped his chest three times (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) and tried to re-assemble the crucifix. He is not content to merely gluestick the pieces together, though. This kind of operation calls for a Rosary Repair Kit, which typically includes an emergency use Rosary, a set of Penitentiary Prayer Cards and a bottle of Holy Epoxy (extremely potent stuff). Unfortunately, the Anglo-Catholic Ninja dojo, the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virign Mary, does not keep such a kit in stock at present. If anyone reading this does have this item handy and is willing to loan it, please contact Ninja Clement right away. Much appreciated (ArchNinja John Hepworth, who has fully recovered from his vestment mishap, will be sure to bless you 🙂 ).

Anglo-Catholic Ninjas in Action April 3, 2007

Posted by Ninja Clement in General.
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… on a video segment produced by Salt & Light TV.

No AC Ninja hurt anyone, so this video is safe-viewing for minors. 

Anglo-Catholic Ninja Weapons and Gear: Part 2 March 21, 2007

Posted by Ninja Clement in General.
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From Wikipedia – the Ninja weapon par exellence

“The Kusari gama is a traditional Japanese weapon that consists of kama (the Japanese equivalent of a sickle) on a metal chain with a heavy iron weight at the end… Attacking with the weapon usually entailed swinging the weighted chain in a large circle over one’s head, and then whipping it forward to entangle an opponent’s spear, sword, or other weapon, or immobilizing his arms or legs. This allows the kusari-gama user to easily rush forward and strike with the sickle…” 

silver-thurible.jpgThe Anglo-Catholic Ninja weapon par exellence:

“A thurible is a metal censer suspended from chains, in which incense is burned during worship services. It is used in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Old Catholic, and some Lutheran and other churches… The workings of a thurible are quite simple. Heated charcoal is inside the actual metal censer. Incense, sometimes of many different varieties is placed upon the charcoal. This may be done several times during the service as the incense burns quite quickly. Once the incense has been placed on the charcoal the thurible is then closed and used for censing… 

If you ask me, while both weapons are pretty deadly, the thurible has an added advantage over the kusari gama – if you can’t swing the thurible properly, its guaranteed that the heavenly incense smoke will take out your opponent instead. Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus! Smell the Real Ultimate Anglo-Catholic Power! 

Know your Church Councils March 11, 2007

Posted by Ninja Clement in General.
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The first seven eight! 

  1. First Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325 A.D.) – Formulated the first part of the Nicene Creed, defining the divinity of the Son of God
  2. First Council of Constantinople (A.D. 381 A.D.) – Formulated the second part of the Creed, defining the divinity of the Holy Spirit
  3. Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431 A.D.) – Defined Christ as the Incarnate Word of God and Mary as Theotokos
  4. Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451 A.D.) – Defined Christ as Perfect God and Perfect Man in One Person
  5. Second Council of Constantinople (A.D. 553 A.D.) – Re-confirmed the Doctines of the Trinity and Christ
  6. Third Council of Constantinople (A.D. 68o-681 A.D.) – Affirmed the True Humanity of Jesus by insisting upon the reality of His human will and action
  7. Second Council of Nicaea (A.D. 787 A.D.) – Affirmed the propriety of icons as genuine expression of the Christian Faith.
  8. Synod of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (A.D. July 2007 A.D.) – Anglo-Catholic Ninjas party it up in style. 8)

Anglo-Catholic Ninja Weapons and Gear: Part 1 March 7, 2007

Posted by Ninja Clement in General.
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The Real Ultimate Anglo-Catholic, our Thurible Master Ninja, has listed a few Anglo-Catholic weapons and gear:

It’s definitely a RUAC (Real Ultimate Anglo-Catholic) selection. The thing is, these weapons are rather difficult to wield and, frankly, some of them are not even that deadly. If an AC ninja came accross a Calvinist, would he whip out his gin martini? The Calvinist would probably call him a wussy boy and smack him around town with a fine bottle of single-malt whiskey (just look at crazy Reformed lad RC Sproul Jr. checking out his collection). So, with due respect to the Master, AC ninjas have to be better armed, especially when on patrol in low-church zones. To develop dexterity and flexibilty at an early stage , we suggest that acolytes begin training with the…

Double-bladed crosier

Do not try this at home boys and girls. Seek the guidance of an Anglo-Catholic ninja master please.

In case of emergency, pray Rosary March 6, 2007

Posted by Ninja Clement in General.
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Last Friday, I officially left my position as a policy analyst for an energy industry association. While I was cleaning out the drawers in my former desk, I pinned a give-away Rosary to the outer cubicle wall, along with prayer instructions and a history of the prayer. Beside it, I put up a sign saying, in bold red letters:

ATTENTION:

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY,

PRAY ROSARY

(and use nearest fire exit, not nearest elevator)