The Council of Genral Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada is meeting at Mississauga, Ont. The meeting was opened with an address from Archbishop Fred Hiltz.
From the Anglican Journal
In an opening address before the spring session of Council of General Synod (CoGS) Friday, June 23, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, reflected on the church’s role in society and encouraged council members to look beyond the church’s quarrels and divisions to its wider calling of bringing justice to the world in areas such as Indigenous rights, poverty and human trafficking.
Hiltz began by quoting some thoughts on Pentecost by Karen Gorham, bishop of Sherborne, U.K. As the disciples saw after Pentecost “an in-between time of witness” before the coming of the Kingdom of God, so should Anglicans, he said, see Pentecost as ushering in a time when “the ordinary can be made extraordinary” for Christians as they work the world-transforming work of Christ.
“Pentecost reveals the power we present-day disciples need to continue to fulfill our calling to continue to make Christ and his gospel known,” Hiltz said. “The Ascension as described by Luke ends with the question to the disciples, ‘Why do you stand looking up toward heaven? There is work for us to do.’ ”
Hiltz reflected on the phrase from the Book of Isaiah, “You are my witnesses,” which served as the theme for last July’s General Synod and for the current triennium, which lasts until 2019. In the Anglican tradition, he said, being a witness to God—evangelism—is done both through the performance of liturgy and service to the community, not through preaching what he called a “pocket-sized” gospel.
“The gospel that we proclaim cannot be shoved into our pocket because it is a gospel not just about me—it is a gospel for the world,” he said.
“Jesus looks at us and he says, ‘You are my witnesses, and if you are going to be my witnesses, you must be engaged in the community, you must be engaged in the world.’ ”
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image: Tali Folkins