Sean Frankling

ARTICLES

Conference explores discipleship and church vitality

During You Are Leaven, conference attendees discussed definitions of spiritual formation, talked about how to promote it and participated in hands-on workshops teaching skills designed for them to take home and share in their home parishes. There were workshops on spiritual journaling; applying Examen, a method of prayerful reflection and gratitude, to meditate on the outcomes of church meetings and policy planning; and on improvisational theatre, among other topics.

Primate to write Ottawa about MAID expansion plan

Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, says she intends to write Ottawa on medical assistance in dying (MAID)—one of a slate of MAID-related actions Council of General Synod (CoGS) approved at a special online session March 9.

‘A space for people to be cared about’

Many people suffered like Mary during the especially isolating early period of the pandemic. And, according to some mental-health professionals, many could also benefit from the community, support, and sometimes even counselling resources churches can provide. With the public system struggling to affordably meet the nation’s needs for mental health care services, they say, faith organizations may be able to help ease the burden.

Primate to retire Sept. 15

Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, plans to retire effective Sept. 15, she announced April 9. In a letter to the church, she wrote that she had earlier offered her resignation to Archbishop Anne Germond, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario, who will become acting primate on her retirement.

Germond seen as possible acting primate

All the church’s other metropolitans “concur in their desire” to see Archbishop Anne Germond, bishop of the diocese of Algoma and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario, serve as acting primate if current primate Archbishop Linda Nicholls retires by September, reads a statement from Canon (lay) Ian Alexander, prolocutor of General Synod and Archdeacon Tanya Phibbs, deputy prolocutor, released April 2.

Bishop George Bruce, former military intelligence director, remembered as ‘healer of the breach’

Born in England, Bruce emigrated to Canada in 1958 at age 16 where he lived in Montreal before attending the Royal Military College of Canada. He then began a military career that would eventually see him serve as director of defence intelligence at Department of National Defence headquarters in Ottawa, according to an online obituary. After retiring from the military, Bruce began theological studies and was ordained a deacon in 1987; he would serve in the Anglican Church of Canada until just a few months before his death. His church career included postings as a priest in several parishes in the dioceses of Ottawa and Ontario, and he was dean of St. George’s Cathedral, diocese of Ontario, before being elected bishop in 2002.  

No clear down trend in conversions: study

The most surprising thing about his recent study on faith formation among Canadians is that conversions don’t seem to be significantly on the decline, says Jeremy McClung, transitional director of the Institute of Evangelism at Wycliffe College.

The study, “Finding Faith in Canada Today,” found that among converts who had come to the faith as adults over the past 50 years, “there’s a little dip in the last 10 years, but not enough to see a trend at this point,” McClung says. “That was a shock to us. We thought we would see just a downhill slope.”

Fatigue and hope define outlook for Ukrainian charity

As the war between Russia and Ukraine approaches the end of its second year, Fight for Right, a charity supported by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), has changed its focus from evacuating people in urgent need to advocacy for a more accessible Ukraine, says Tanya Herasymova, the charity’s director.  

Kirk B. R. Woller in costume as Gaius speaks to director Dallas Jenkins on the set of The Chosen. Photo: The Chosen Press Centre

“God doesn’t choose the qualified, he qualifies the chosen.”

“Can I just get rid of the subterfuge and say that it’s Gaius?” said Ryan Swanson, appearing with fellow writer of the TV series The Chosen, Tyler Thompson, revealing some minor spoilers about the show’s Roman soldier character at a Jan. 31 Q&A at a cineplex in Oakville, Ont. 

“Don’t worry, we’ve read the book,” someone called back amid the chorus of agreement from the audience.  

That unnamed theatre-goer was right. Many people in the full-house audience were intimately familiar with the show’s source material (the gospels, as hardcore fans know them) and have been attending a weekly lecture (or sermon, as some call it) unpacking its key themes and applicability for much of their lives. It’s a level of fandom even some of pop culture’s biggest franchises—Marvel, Game of Thrones, Star Wars—can’t count on from their average fans. 

Roman Catholic document on blessings could bring new perspectives to Anglican same-sex marriage debate, leaders say

A document released by the Roman Catholic Church reconsidering its policy on blessings—including those to people in same-sex relationships—offers Anglicans a new way to think about divisions within their own communion, says the Rev. Iain Luke, principal of the Saskatoon-based College of Emmanuel and St. Chad and a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue.

Mission into Eco: M.Div student explores ministry in a virtual world

As many Anglican leaders look for alternative ways of being church in the 21st century, one M.Div student at Halifax’s Atlantic School of Theology is investigating ways of branching out into digital gathering spaces. In a research project he’s developing as part of his degree, Blane Finnie, a postulant to priesthood, has built several church buildings and run daily services in Eco, an online multiplayer video game that simulates a world in which players must cooperate or compete to survive, typically harnessing natural resources, taking specialized roles and trading with one another in an in-game economy.

CoGS ponders financial future as revenues drop

A drop in diocesan contributions to the national budget along with lingering financial uncertainty spurred a conversation about the long-term stability of the Anglican Church

Final form of MAID essay collection in works

Leaders ponder what’s next in church’s ‘deep, deep wrestling’ with issue as eligibility expected to widen A collection of 25 writings by clergy, caregivers, academics

Primate yet to fix final day

Will retire sometime before next October, Nicholls says in wide-ranging talk to CoGS that also touches on Gaza war, division within Anglican Communion Archbishop Linda

Rachael Parker elected bishop of Brandon

Archdeacon Rachael Parker, a self-described “cradle Anglican” with experience priesting in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta, was elected bishop of the diocese of Brandon Nov.

Gentle outreach, deep questions

Church leaders reflect on what it takes to rebuild public trust SPLINTERED TRUST: Rebuilding the church’s public image Second of a two-part series About 150

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