Give thanks for the last ten years of gospel ministry in Vancouver

Ten years ago this month, Michael Ingham, Bishop of the Canadian diocese of New Westminster, declared David Short (Rector of St. John’s Shaughnessy), his colleagues Dan Gifford and Dr. J I Packer, as well as eight others, to have abandoned the ministry.

A Diocese of New Westminster e-mail, dated May 16, 2008, put it this way –

“As you may have heard, with a group resignation from the Anglican Church of Canada, we now have some clerical vacancies in four of our parishes: St. John, Shaughnessy, St. Matthew, Abbotsford, St. Matthias and St. Luke, and Good Shepherd.

THOSE WHO ABANDONED MINISTRY:  Here is the list of the Clergy for whom Bishop Michael issued “Notice of Abandonment of the Exercise of the Ministry” (under Canon XIX): …”

Though regarded by that diocese as having ‘abandoned the ministry’, give thanks that they continue to serve the Lord Jesus, as ministers of the gospel, as before.

Today, the church which used to meet at St. John’s Shaughnessy is St. John’s Vancouver.

Remembering that history, please be encouraged to pray for the congregation of St. John’s, and others who stood, and still stand, for the authority of God in his Word.

Pray for the clear and faithful proclamation of the gospel in Vancouver, and across Canada.

Related:

Bishop Ingham sends ‘notice of presumption of abandonment’ to St. John’s Shaughnessy – February 23 2008.

Largest Anglican Church congregation in Canada leaves historic church home – September 9 2011.

“In what may be the greatest rupture in Christianity since the Reformation, disagreement over basic Christian beliefs has separated Anglican congregations around the world into two camps, usually labeled orthodox and liberal, with those holding to historic, Bible-based values and beliefs in the vast majority. The St. John’s Vancouver Anglican congregation has aligned itself with the mainstream global Anglican Church, rather than continue as part of the local, more liberal Diocese of New Westminster. The decision by this congregation and sister parishes resulted in frozen bank accounts and a court action to determine which party was conducting the ministry for which the buildings were intended.”

New Westminster considers plans for three ‘returned’ parishes – April 16 2012.

“Having won the court battle for the buildings of St. John’s Shaughnessy, St. Matthias and St. Luke, and St. Matthew’s Abbotsford, the Diocese of New Westminster must decide what to do with them…”

St. John’s Shaughnessy, ImpostersAnglican Samizdat, May 1 2018.

One of the current uses for the old building.

Read other posts from our archives concerning St. John’s Shaughnessy here.

Photo: Dan Gifford, David Short and J I Packer chat before the first Sunday service of St. John’s Vancouver in their new location, 25 September 2011.

Sydney Synod sends message to four Vancouver churches

The Synod of the Diocese of Sydney today passed this motion –

Synod requests that the following message be sent to the following four churches in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada: St. John’s Vancouver (comprising the congregations formerly known as St John’s Shaughnessy); Good Shepherd, Vancouver; St. Matthias & St. Luke’s Vancouver; and St. Matthews, Abbotsford –

“The Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney wish to extend our prayers and support to you in this time of transition and change. We praise God for your commitment to upholding Scripture and your willingness to contend and suffer for the faith. You have been a great example in grace, wisdom and humility to Bible-believing Christians, both here in Australia, and around the world. We pray the Lord’s richest blessings on your fellowship as you continue to proclaim, rejoice and grow in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that the grace of God will ring out from you in the great city of Vancouver, to the glory of God.”

Photos from St. John’s Vancouver

St. John’s Vancouver has posted on their website a photo gallery – showing their last service at St. John’s Shaughnessy on September 18, and the first Sunday service at their new location, on September 25.

St. John’s Vancouver leaves the building, praying for God’s blessing on New Westminster

The latest from from St. John’s Vancouver is a reminder to keep our friends in Vancouver in your prayers –

“countercultural and counterintuitive”

1.) Media Release, and further below, David Short’s message for the Parish Life News for September 18 2011.

VANCOUVER, BC – September 22, 2011 – St. John’s Vancouver Anglican Church, the largest Anglican congregation in Canada, will begin Sunday services at a new location after moving from its historic location on Granville Street and Nanton Avenue. The congregation, through a lengthy legal action, chose to leave their buildings rather than compromise their beliefs.

St. John’s Vancouver, which had been meeting at the Granville Street location for almost 100 years, will begin Sunday services on September 25 at Oakridge Adventist Church, at West 37th Avenue and Baillie Street in Vancouver.  Read more

St. John’s Vancouver transition FAQ

For your prayers for the members of St. John’s Vancouver as they plan to move to another location — there’s now a Transition FAQ here.

Vancouver church says farewell to old site

“The crowd of about 500 walked silently through the streets of an Abbotsford neighbourhood Sunday afternoon, following religious leaders in flowing robes. A cross and the Holy Bible were carried at the front of the line.

Most of the neighbours glanced at the solemn crowd and then returned to their lawn-mowing and garden-tending, likely not realizing the significance of the procession…”

BC Local News reports on St. Matthew’s Abbotsford – one of ‘the Vancouver four’.

Anglican TV on the Vancouver appeal decision

Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV spoke with Cheryl Chang, Special Counsel to the Anglican Network in Canada, on the background to the latest ruling (which went against the ANiC parishes in Vancouver), and on the decision to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

See it here. Helpful background. (Runs for 18 minutes.)

Vancouver churches to appeal to Supreme Court of Canada

This news release is just in from the Anglican Network in Canada:

“This is not the path any of us would have preferred; however, we initiated court proceedings when threats to replace trustees began to be carried out and when the Diocese caused banks to freeze two parishes’ bank accounts.”

Parishes initiate appeal to Supreme Court of Canada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  12 December 2010

Vancouver, BC – After several weeks of consultation within the parishes, the Trustees of four Vancouver-area churches have instructed their legal counsel to file an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada of a BC Court of Appeal decision (November 15, 2010) which removed their right to use their church buildings.  Read more

Vancouver churches ordered to pay court costs

St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Abbotsford and three Vancouver parishes have been ordered to pay about $120,000 in court costs to the Diocese of New Westminster.

Justice Stephen Kelleher issued the ruling in the Supreme Court of B.C., as part of an ongoing case involving a battle over same-sex blessings. … In addition to ruling that the churches pay costs to the diocese, Kelleher directed St. Matthew’s Church to permit one service a week by a priest chosen by diocese Bishop Michael Ingham. …

Also included in the legal battle are St. John’s Shaugnessy, the Church of the Good Shepherd, and St. Matthias and St. Luke’s – all based in Vancouver.”

– Story from the Abbotsford News via Anglican Essentials Canada.

Closing churches on Vancouver Island in ‘transformation’

From the Report (PDF) of the Diocesan Transformation Team of the Diocese of British Columbia

“Our Bishop’s creation of the Diocesan Ministry Resources Team (DMRT) in 2004 was his response to the fact that the Anglican Church is failing to reach the majority of people on these islands in life-changing ways; that we are failing to fulfill Christ’s ‘Great Commission’ to all his disciples. The reasons for this failure are many and complex.”

The Anglican Essentials Canada blog has news reports on the Diocese’s plans for Vancouver Island.

See also this News Release (PDF) from the Diocese.

ACL message of support for Vancouver churches

“The Anglican Church League commends the leadership of the Anglican Network in Canada on its godly response to the  decision of the B.C. Supreme Court.

We remain committed to supporting the  faithful men and women of the four congregations (St John’s Shaughnessy, St Matthew’s Abbotsford, St Matthias & St Luke West 49th Vancouver, and Good Shepherd Church East 19th Vancouver) who have suffered over the past months and now face a measure of uncertainty about the future.

Throughout this ordeal it has been apparent to those who have been watching around the world that these four congregations are facing persecution for their steadfast resolve to remain true to the word of God. In this they have shown themselves to be faithful disciples of Christ and true heirs of the Anglican heritage of Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley and others. We have been encouraged by their graciousness amidst extraordinary provocation and by their refusal to surrender biblical principles for the sake of an illusory peace. With or without their buildings they are the blessed people of God who by their example are blessing others.

The ACL Council encourages all its members to continue in prayer for these four congregations, and in particular those who serve them in leadership, at this difficult time.

Mark D Thompson
ACL President.”

Related: Nov 25, 2009 letter from St. John’s Shaughnessy Leadership.

Death or life in Vancouver

Vancouver multifaith workshopThe Ecumenical and Multifaith Unit (EMU) of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster, Canada is co-hosting a workshop “Challenges for the church in a post-religious culture”. Bishop Michael Ingham will be one of the panelists.

From the EMU website: “Currently the [EMU] committee is advocating the use of Prayers for Peace from other faith traditions (see Multifaith Prayers for Peace), both in regular services and in personal meditations, as an affirmation of our common spiritual goal for peace on earth.”

By contrast, hear this sermon by Canon (of St. Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney) David Short at St. John’s Shaughnessy in Vancouver, preached back in June –

“The point of the resurrection is that God has made Jesus LORD over everything.”

from the St. John’s website.

Please continue in prayer for all who labour in the teaching of God’s word, that they always may be faithful.

(Logo: Ecumenical and Multifaith Unit of the Diocese of New Westminster.)

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