Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Prayers for Niagara Diocese, please

I’m in Niagara Diocese, Anglican Church of Canada. Confusingly, that’s also called ACC, at least here. In November, members of our Diocesan Synod voted overwhelmingly to ask the Bishop to allow clergy to perform blessings of legal civil marriages of same-gendered couples, where their conscience allows it, and once there’s a rite to do so. The Bishop gave his assent to the vote this time – the assent to hold the services still hasn’t been given. Our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. D. Ralph Spence, retired on February 29th, and the new one, the Rt. Rev. Michael Bird was installed in early March.


Late in February, three parishes of the Diocese voted to secede from the Diocese and the Anglican Church of Canada, and receive Episcopal oversight from the Province of the Southern Cone. They intend to take the real property of the parishes with them. Ownership of the property has gone to court, and the court granted temporary, sole occupancy of the premises to the parishes, which belong to something called the Anglican Network of Canada. The issue is scheduled to go back to court tomorrow, Maundy Thursday. We don’t know what time. The Diocese holds the position that the Diocese owns all parish property, and that the people who gave money for their purchase in the first place intended for the parishes to be part of the ACC.

Please, hold us in your prayers tomorrow: the Diocese of Niagara, Bishop Michael Bird, Executive Archdeacon Michael Patterson, and Secretary of Synod, the Rev. Canon Dr. Rick Jones. I’m a secretary in an Anglican parish, and doing a pre-internship M. Div. student placement in the same parish. I’ll be putting in at least an 11-hour day tomorrow. Also, I’ve got the flu, and may not have energy to make a blog entry. Please, keep the diocese in your prayers, and you can check for updates at this link:


http://www.niagara.anglican.ca/NewBulletins/

26 comments:

Saintly Ramblings said...

Prayer will be offered at our Maundy Thursday Morning office - 9.00 a.m. GMT.

"All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well"
Julian of Norwich

Kate Morningstar said...

Thank you, Rev. Thornburgh.

johnieb said...

I will include you all in my prayers.

DaYouthGuy said...

I work in the Diocese of Western New York and got to know Bp Spence a little through annual meetings of the diocesan staffs of several Canadian and US dioceses. I also met your new bishop this past year. I enjoy the time that I spend with folks from Niagara.

You're definitely in my prayers.

Peace
JP

Being Peace said...

Kate...you and the Niagara Dio. will be in my prayers.

Kate Morningstar said...

Thank you, JohnieB.

JP, I think we probably know other people in common, too. Thank you.

Being Peace, thank you too. My spiritual guide asked, "What does an acorn want to be when it grows up?" And the answer is, "A 2,000-pound acorn." We never know where we're going, but God does, so hang on and enjoy the ride.

Ellie Finlay said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry this is happening, Kate. You are all very much in my prayers.

Kate Morningstar said...

Thank you, Ellie. You've been one of the mainstays of my own attempts at peace and tranquility recently.

Bruno said...

Kate.
Thank you for your comment on Bruno's new vision.
Please feel free to have prints made as you would like for your personal use.
May God's peace be with you always
Bruno

Paul said...

Kate, I have seen your name, presumably in comments threads and learned of your request first at Mimi's and then at MP's. I have added it to the "heart thread" (prayer requests) at my blog as well and am holding you and the diocese before God even now.

May the Spirit bring healing balm to all involved and, as Lord and Giver of Life, bring new life into this unfortunate situation. Swift restoration of health to you too.

Allie said...

Prayers ascending for all of you in this unfortunate and already far to busy time.

Anonymous said...

Testing, 1, 2, 3 ...

Kate

ginny s. said...

Kate, greetings from another ACC member who's just 1 parish away from Niagara. You are all in our prayers. I'm still stunned by the court's decision 2 weeks ago. We'll be waiting for a better decision tomorrow.

Kate Morningstar said...

Thanks, Allie. And thanks, Ginnie, too -- we were all surprised as well. Whatever tomorrow brings, it won't be the end of it, not by a long shot.

Alcibiades said...

Prayers for you and all with you from this side of the world.

Incidentally, I used to know Rev David Short quite well when he was one of Sydney's brightest young stars - who could have guessed such a warm and friendly young man could have turned into something so judgemental and vicious. Shows what inexperience (contrary to his web CV he only actually served in ordained ministry in one Sydney parish), a whiff of power and a desire to win the respect of tired and angry-but-famous old men can do.

God bless you, and give you strength as you fight for what is true, just and of Christ.

Erika Baker said...

Prayers from me too, although I don't know any of you and we don't have any acquaintances in common.

Kate Morningstar said...

I've seen you around though, Erika -- funny how this works, isn't it? There's only one or two here who I haven't crossed paths with in the comments on someone else's site. After all, Jesus asked, "Who is my neighbour?"

Thank you for your prayer and your presence.

Doorman-Priest said...

I'd already picked this up today, so, yes, prayers offered.

Kate Morningstar said...

Thank you, D-P. Blessings of the day to you.

Andrew said...

Good to be reading your blog, Kate.

Prayers went up for the Church. May He be glorified despite, and through, the court case.

Sad that there seemingly has to be involvement by courts of law. But, relax, Kate. God is in charge. He is bigger than any court case. To Him be all the glory.

(A combination of MDiv and nose jewel?! How fun!)

Kate Morningstar said...

Andrew, wait'll I graduate -- I'm getting a motorcycle.

Catherine + said...

Prayers are ascending....

Catherine+

Aghaveagh said...

Oh, boy do I recognize this, being from the Diocese of San Joaquin where those who voted to leave for the Southern Cone took the buildings with them--what gave them the right to take the buildings which belonged to generations of faithful Episcopalians with them?

I pray for you and all the faithful in Niagara Diocese.

In the words of Brother Causticus, Resurrection Looms!

gartenfische said...

Sorry I'm late to this. Prayers, Kate.

Kate Morningstar said...

Thank you, Catherine, and all of you.

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