Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Now is the Time for Prayer and Action on "Unprecedented Climate Crisis": Anglican Bishops

A group of 17 Anglican Bishops from all six continents have called for urgent prayer and action on the “unprecedented climate crisis”. Their Declaration The World Is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice released today sets a new agenda on climate change for the 85 million-strong Anglican Communion.

The group met in South Africa in February to build on months of conversations carried out via the internet. The group involved bishops both from cultures and nations that are major contributors to climate change, and those producing low levels of CO2 but disproportionately affected.

The Archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of Southern Africa, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, who brought the group together, said:

“We accept the evidence of science: Human activity, especially in fossil-fuel based economies, is the main cause of the climate crisis. We heard of extreme weather and changes to seasons; rising sea levels; acidification of seawater; depleted fishing grounds; and displaced people who are climate refugees.

“The problem is spiritual as well as economic, scientific and political. We have been complicit in a theology of domination. While God committed the care of creation to us, we have been care-less – but not hopeless.

“In the words of St Theresa of Avila, we are God’s hands and feet on earth – now is the time for us, rooted in prayer, to step up and take action on the climate crisis.”

The Declaration commits the bishops to specific first actions including: energy conservation measures in church buildings; more renewable energy; nurturing biodiversity on church land; supporting sustainability in water, food, agriculture and land use reviewing churches’ investment practices including a call for divestment; and closer ecumenical and interfaith co-operation.

The bishops commended the Fast for the Climate initiative, where they join many others in fasting and praying for the climate on the first of every month.

The bishops argue for ambitious and binding climate change agreements at national and international levels, and assistance for climate refugees.

Women, who make up the majority of the world’s poorest are hit harder by climate change. The Rt Revd Ellinah Wamukoya, Bishop of Swaziland and Africa’s first woman Bishop said:

“Women are more often dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, so the contribution of women is essential in decisions around climate change. Our communities must be equal, as in the Eucharist.”

Canon Ken Gray, a Canadian priest who is Secretary of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, said:

“It was a remarkable gathering, representative of the Communion’s diversity. The Declaration is a unique and authoritative document which will pave the way towards greater collaboration amongst lay and clerical leaders as the communion as whole comes to terms with the present climate crisis and our Gospel-driven need to respond compassionately.”


The World Is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice with a gallery of images will be available for download at the ACEN site at

Enquiries should be directed to Canon Ken Gray


A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice
Volmoed Conference and Retreat Centre (A Community of the Cross of Nails Partner), South Africa, 23 to 27 February 2015

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
We, a group of Anglican Bishops from dioceses across our global Communion greet our sisters and brothers in Christ throughout the Anglican Communion on this most Holy Day, Good Friday. On this day, when our Saviour poured out his very life for the world, we share the following statement in a spirit of sacrificial and reconciling love.
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own, Father, forgive.
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth, Father, forgive.
At this time of unprecedented climate crisis, we call all our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion to join us in prayer and in pastoral, priestly and prophetic action. We call with humility, but with urgent determination enlivened by our faith in God who is Creator and Redeemer and by the pain of our people’s experience in our dioceses and provinces, and their need for seeds of hope.
In different ways each of our own dioceses are deeply impacted by climate injustice and environmental degradation. We accept the evidence of science concerning the contribution of human activity to the climate crisis and the disproportionate role played by fossil-fuel based economies. Although climate scientists have for many years warned of the consequences of inaction there is an alarming lack of global agreement about the way forward. We believe that the problem is spiritual as well as economic, scientific and political, because the roadblock to effective action relates to basic existential issues of how human life is framed and valued: including the competing moral claims of present and future generations, human versus non-human interests, and how the lifestyle of wealthy countries is to be balanced against the basic needs of the developing world. For this reason the Church must urgently find its collective moral voice.
Over the past year, facilitated by the steering group of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) we were invited through email, personal study, and virtual conferencing, to begin considering how we might live out, with urgency and in hope, the Fifth Mark of Mission “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”
Our reflections entered a new depth when, in February 2015, ACEN chair Archbishop Thabo Makgoba graciously hosted a face to face meeting in South Africa. This gave us further opportunity to share the experience of our dioceses and, within a context of daily Eucharist and prayer, to hear again God’s calling in Scripture and in Creation (Psalms 104, 148, 24) and to discern ways forward. We held fast to our hope in the promises of God, the one who will restore all creation (Romans 8:18-25) and who will make all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5).
We listened to stories from dioceses affected by increasingly strong and more frequent extreme weather events; changes in seasonal weather patterns; rising levels of seawater; acidification of seawater and depleted fishing grounds; the devastating impacts of pollution; deforestation, and destructive mining and energy extraction and transportation practices. We lamented the displacement of people because of the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, and the consequent loss of culture, identity and belonging. We know that God committed the care of creation to us, God’s children (Genesis 1:28-29, 2:15) but we have been care-less (Jeremiah 2:7). Therefore climate justice for us as Christians demands a faith response.
Together we struggled with the practical and spiritual dimensions of climate justice in light of the insights and imperatives of our Christian faith. We recognized that some of us serve in cultures and nations that are major contributors to global warming, while others live in places which contribute little to the problem but are disproportionately affected by it. We also acknowledge in humility the cultural, political, historical and theological differences between us that we struggle to set aside in framing a united response to this crisis.
The language we use to confront this issue and the interests and powers we must confront vary significantly from place to place. The crisis is however shared, and its resolution can only lie in increasing unity of thought and practice in order to demolish hurdles to inequality and injustice in our common life.
We shared the understanding that creation is holy, and that we are called to serve (ebed) and protect  (shamar) the earth now and for future generations (Genesis 2:15). We recognized that we have been complicit in a theology of dominion (Genesis 1:26), and realized that human dominion over the earth can only be exercised in the light of Jesus’ command that the greatest is the one who serves (Luke 22.26). We acknowledged that there are large economic and political issues at play in this complex conversation around unexploited fossil fuel reserves and the development of sustainable and renewable forms of energy: including the subsidization of fossil fuel industries and the powerful influence of big business on government policy throughout the world.
We believe that the voices of Indigenous peoples, whose relationship with creation remains integral to their spirituality and relationship with God, is of central importance to ongoing ministry on climate justice. We were profoundly moved as we participated in an Indigenous Eucharistic rite which connected Creation, Morality, and Redemption in a biblical, integral and comprehensive way.
We were painfully aware that women frequently bear a disproportionate burden of climate change largely because they make up the majority of the world's poor and are often more dependent for their livelihood on natural resources threatened by climate change. The voices and contributions of women are therefore essential in responding to climate change.
There is a compelling need to listen to the voices of our youth who will inherit the challenges and catastrophes we fail to address and pre-empt. We believe we must be reconciled to Creation and to one another and that there is an urgency to this call. We believe the issue of climate change is a moral issue at its heart.
We acknowledged that salvation in Christ calls us to responsibilities beyond ourselves. Especially in the developed world our view of salvation has often focused on our individual souls and journey to heaven. Our responsibility to care for God’s Creation has been overlooked or ignored. We have acted as if Christ only died to save the human race. The truth of the redemption of all things in Christ, which is the message of the life-giving cross, must be reclaimed (Colossians 1:20; John 3:16).
Listening to one another we learned that attending to the current and future life and health of our planet will require sacrifices now, both personal and collective, a deeper appreciation of the interdependence of all creation, and a genuine commitment to repentance, reconciliation and redemption. This calls for a profound change of heart and mind. In keeping with 1 Corinthians 12:26, our study and discussions served to underline the connection between lifestyle and use of resources in one part of the world affecting the whole. We discerned a call to revitalize our human vocation that refuses to leave some poor and others rich, and to rediscover our joy and awe in the wonders of God’s creation (Psalm 96: 11-12). We were challenged to go beyond advocacy for action by governments and big business interests, and undertake to practice the way of repentance and restraint, practicing justice between north and south, male and female, human and the more-than-human creation within our own common life as a Church.
The churches of the Anglican Communion are local and global. Rooted in our theology of creation and in solidarity with one another we can take responsibility for action across the Communion, using all our God-given resources of intellect, spirit and determination.
To live in the way of our Saviour, who unites all to himself, we therefore commit ourselves to the following initial actions and to developing a strategic plan of action in the months ahead. The initiatives listed below are important first-steps as we call upon Anglicans everywhere to join us in these endeavours:
As bishops in our provinces, dioceses, congregations and communities:
·       We commit ourselves as brothers and sisters in Christ in humility, and acknowledging our differences of circumstance and polity, to support one another in conversation and in prayer, to continue to discern God’s leading, to develop ecotheological resources and form strategic proposals for global and local action.
·       We undertake to fast for climate justice on the first day of every month in solidarity with the earth and in acknowledgement that our own common life as a Church has contributed to the current climate crisis. Our fast will continue for as long as we prayerfully discern that we stand in need of repentance as a Church.
·       We will work to strengthen our ecumenical and inter-faith partnerships globally and in our own jurisdictions standing in solidarity with all people of goodwill in response to the climate crisis.
·       We will develop and distribute educational resources for everyone (adults, youth and children) on climate change, climate justice, and the ethical and practical principles of sustainable living in global and local contexts.
·       We will develop and distribute liturgical materials on Care for Creation for use in parishes and other places of worship.
·       We call for a review of our churches’ investment practices with a view to supporting environmental sustainability and justice by divesting from industries involved primarily in the extraction or distribution of fossil fuels.
·       We call for the strengthening of ethical investment guidelines to include consideration of justice for the non-human creation as well as the interests of future generations of humanity..
·       We call for programmes of theological formation for ordinands, and in-service formation for ordained clergy, to include in-depth components of eco-justice and ecotheology.
·       We call for Anglican educational institutions to integrate issues of environmental sustainability and ethics into their curricula and community life and by teaching a theological approach to climate justice.
We encourage Anglicans everywhere to:
·       Join in prayer and fasting for climate justice on the first day of each month as an integral part of life and worship.
·       Implement energy conservation measures in church buildings and moving to renewable energy sources as quickly as possible.
·       Take measures to conserve, recycle and collect water around church buildings and properties.
·       Nurture biodiversity on church land by creating safe habitat for indigenous species.
·       Support local communities by sharing water, energy and arable land resources for local food production.
·       Support sustainable land use initiatives, including a halt to the clearing of native forests.
·       Advocate for sustainable water, food, and agricultural practices in our communities. It is imperative to take into account the interwoven relationship of food, water and energy systems.
We call upon political, economic, social and religious leaders in our various constituencies to address the climate change crisis as the most urgent moral issue of our day. We urge them to:
·       Work with all possible commitment and speed toward fair, ambitious, accountable and binding climate change agreements at national and international levels.
·       Develop policies that genuinely assist environmental and climate refugees and promote mechanisms of intergovernmental co-operation that ensure their human rights, safety and resettlement
In conclusion
We affirm our belief with the words of the Creed “We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.” And we affirm that this statement is foundational for the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our declaration is offered in prayer, with thanksgiving to God, creator, sustainer and redeemer of all to whom be glory and praise, now and forever.
Almighty God, You created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. And you created humankind in your own image and it was very good; Grant us the courage to recognize our failure to maintain your creation. And by your grace help us to halt the degradation of our environment. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who came that we might have life in all its fullness. Amen.
The Initiative was attended by the following Bishops

The Archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba
The Bishop of Edmonton, Anglican Church of Canada, the Rt Revd Jane Alexander
The Bishop of Western Kowloon, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the Rt Revd Andrew Chan
The Bishop of Davao, Episcopal Church of the Philippines, the Rt Revd Jonathan Casimina 
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Bishop of St Andrews Dunkeld & Dunblane, the Most Revd David Chillingworth
The Bishop of New York, The Episcopal Church, the Rt Revd Andrew Dietsche
The Bishop of Northern Argentina, Anglican Church of South America, the Rt Revd Nicholas Drayson
The Bishop of Harare, Church of the Province of Central Africa, the Rt Revd Dr Chad Gandiya 
The Bishop of Salisbury, Church of England, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam
The National Indigenous Bishop, Anglican Church of Canada, the Rt Revd Mark MacDonald
The Bishop of Eastern Zambia, Church of the Province of Central Africa, the Rt Revd William Mchombo
The Bishop of Johannesburg, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Rt Revd Stephen Moreo
The Bishop of Namibia, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Rt Revd Nathaniel Nakwatumbah
The Bishop of Madhya Kerala and Deputy Moderator of the Church of South India, the Rt Revd Thomas Oommen
The Bishop of Vanua Levu and Taveuni, Fiji, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia, the Rt Revd Apimeleki Qiliho    
The Bishop of Swaziland, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Rt Revd Ellinah Wamukoya
The Assistant Bishop to the Goldfields Country Region, Diocese of Perth, Anglican Church of Australia, the Rt Revd Tom Wilmot

Bishops' Announcements

The Bishops' Announcements for Sunday, March 29th have been posted.
Click here to view.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tenebrae - All Saints', London

On Wednesday, April 1st at 7:30pm, the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir will sing The Office of Tenebrae
at All Saints Church, Hamilton Rd (Hamilton & Adelaide).

The Office will feature the Tenebrae Responsories of Healey Willan with Gregorian Chant psalms and antiphons.

You are invited to join the parishioners of All Saints' and the Cathedral Choir for this dramatic service of Holy Week. 

Episcopal Preaching Foundation Preaching Workshop

Episcopal Preaching Foundation Preaching Workshop for the Diocese of Huron
Workshop Leader:  The Rev’d Dr. William (Bill) Brosend
April 26 - 28 at Mount Carmel, Niagara Falls

Thursday, March 26, 2015

3 Cantors Concert - Thursday, May 14 - St. George's, London

3 Concert Thursday May 14, 2015 
7:30 p.m.

St. Georges Anglican Church
227 Wharncliffe Rd.
London, ON

Tickets $ 25.00 available by contacting the Church Office at 519-438-2995 or at the door.
Reception to follow in the Church Hall.
In benefit of the PWRDF/HHF and St. Georges Accessibility Project.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bishops' Announcements

The Bishops' Announcements for Sunday, March 22nd have been posted.
Click here to view.

Huron Church News - April 2015

The April 2015 edition of the Huron Church News is now available online:


Monday, March 23, 2015

SAVE THE DATE - SOUP & SANDWICH DINNER - May 11, 2015 - The London Club

Soup & Sandwich LogoCOME TO THE TABLE!Save the Date for St. Paul’s Social Services seventh annual Soup and Sandwich fundraising dinner and silent auction.  Hosted for its seventh year by The London Club, this event brings many supporters of our programs together to
“break bread”, have fun and learn something new in the process!
Staff and volunteers at St. Paul’s Social Services have been very busy over the past eighteen months, developing and implementing our strategic plan. While still maintaining support to those in need through our food bank, hot lunch program and Christmas Share, we have made changes to enrich the nutritional quality of food offered and enhance opportunities to build community. We have also implemented some entirely new programming such as Food Skills and a Community Garden. Our programs at St. Paul’s Social Services are an integral and important part of a network of basic needs programs in the London and area community.  
Our Guest Speaker at this year’s Soup & Sandwich event is Jennifer Kirkham, a woman extraordinaire!  Jennifer works with the London Poverty Research at King’s University College Centre.  This relatively new Centre collects local data and other information to enable our community to reach a deeper understanding of poverty in London.  Also, as President and CEO of  her own company: Mischevious Cat Productions Inc., Jennifer has provided strategy and management consulting to non-profit, private and government sectors since 2009.  Prior to owning her own company, Jennifer worked for the City of London for 16 years, managing a broad portfolio of programs including Ontario Works, child care services, homelessness and social policy research.  Jennifer will share her extensive knowledge, passion and insights about poverty in London and how our work at St. Paul’s Social Services can continue to grow and respond to these needs in the best possible ways.
Please join us for a warm, fun and informative evening.  And you may just take home a unique and interesting gift from our always changing and intriguing silent auction.  
New this year! We are thrilled to feature one special LIVE AUCTION item: an oil-on-canvas painting generously donated by the acclaimed London artist, Kevin Bice. For details and a colour image of this painting, visit

Work in ProgressTitle: “Work in Progress”
Sizes: unframed - 18" x 36" framed - 24" x 43"
Value: $1500
Kevin Bice writes: The work was painted from a sketch I did in 2011 while on a painting trip to Newfoundland. The setting of the work is Change Islands, near Twillingate in the northeast part of Newfoundland. The boat is called a "bully boat" and, according to its owner, is one of only two still existing. Pete Porter has had it hauled up on the rocks and has been restoring it slowly over the years. Pete is a local fisherman and also runs a small local museum of artifacts he has collected over the course of his life.

Soup & Sandwich Dinner

In support of
St. Paul's Social Services
Daily Bread Food Bank & Fellowship Centre
- London ON

Monday, May 11, 2015
at 6:30 pm
The London Club, 177 Queens Avenue
London ON

Guest Speaker: Jennifer Kirkham
London Poverty Research Centre Community Coach, Social Justice Advocate CEO, Mischevious Cat Productions
Tickets: $75 (includes a $50 tax receipt), Table of Ten $750
Click here to order online, or call 519.521.2000. 

If unable to attend the Dinner, consider donating the cost of your ticket, or some other amount, in support of this important work.

Daily Bread Food Bank & Fellowship Centre - London ON
Food for the Table ~ Hope for the Hungry ~ Dignity for All

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rest in Peace - The Rt. Rev'd C. Robert Townshend

On Saturday, March 14, after a life well lived, The Right Reverend Charles Robert (Bob) Townshend died at home surrounded by people who love him. Bob was a retired Suffragan Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Huron.  He is survived by a deeply loved family, his wife of 52 years Pat (Laba), his daughter Mary, son Todd and his wife Stacey and their children Tyne, Seth, and Samuel, his daughter Andra and her husband Patrick O'Neill and their children Grace and Lily. Also survived by sisters Betty, Mary, Barbara, Peggy, Nancy and sister-in-law Betty, brother-in-law Peter. He was also loved greatly by 25 nieces and nephews.

Click here to view the entire obituary:

The Funeral Liturgy with Holy Eucharist for Bishop Bob Townshend will be held at the Cathedral Church of St.Paul on Wednesday, March 18th at 11am.  Clergy are invited to vest, the colour being white.

Visitation will be held at the Logan Funeral Home, 371 Dundas St, London on Tuesday, March 17th from 2-4pm and 7-9pm.   Your continuing prayers for the Townshend family are deeply appreciated.

Bishops' Announcements

The Bishops' Announcements for Sunday, March 15th have been posted.
Click here to view.

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The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Huron
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London, Ontario, Canada
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