DON'T KNOW HOW GLADDENED the hearts of we antipodean hicks are when we
actually see someone attempt to understand that here in Advent it
has been 40 degrees Celsius (104 of the Fahrenheit type). That Christmas
is a summer festival; and a little further ahead that for us, the
mystery of Easter will not have spring flowers budding, and new life
bursting but autumn leaves falling (or Fall leaves autumning!)and
all that that entails.
us remember that we ARE actually a part of the world into which Jesus
is born, so often forgotten by you Northerners. It is not us who
are parochial...but you.
for the lovely comparison.
St John's & All Hallows
Blackwood, Adelaide, South Australia
22 December 2003
AND LOVE TO YOU this blessed season. I am a 5 mo. missionary in Kenya
affliated with EWM Global Missions. I returned home right before
Thanksgiving with a heart that God had given peace to about what
my own church would be doing at this time. I think we are going to
be part of your community at some point and I am so relieved. I received
your newsletter right before Christmas and want to send a small donation
but must have thrown it out with the rest of the paper. Please send
me another. God bless and thank you, Reenie
Church of the Ascension
1400 Kenesaw Ave. 31B, Knoxville, Tennessee 37919
27 December 2003
can make an online donation on this
web page, or you can contact
email (email@example.com) for instructions about sending
a cheque by post. We have your email address, and we'll send you
those instructions tomorrow.
YOU READ ON - anyone wishing to help us out can send a donation to
Christ Church Anglican, 38 Everett St., Belleville, Ontario - sign
it, a friend of Christ Church. Please ensure you specicially designate
any donation to our building fund. With the money in this fund, the
Diocese can not immediately take 25% of funds raised, donations or
offerings. Pleasse, read on!
Church Anglican in Belleville, Ontario is at a crossroads which could
see this beautiful, historical parish close in late 2004. It is no
longer cost effective for the Diocese of Ontario and Canada. Unless
present financial obligations are met the church, built in 1865,will
be closed and it, and the land it sits on, will be sold to the highest
of this parish have overcome financial hurdles in the past. The
bulk of the parishoner base have been members of this parish for forty
or fifty years. They give selflessly of their time, regardless of
the obstacles. Unfortunately, something always seems to hinder their attempts
to move forward. Successes are met with disinterest on the part
of the Bishop and the Diocese. Even surrounded by all this discouragement
the parish has survived. Time, however, is not on their side.
historical parishes, Christ Church Belleville was built on the sweat
and hard labour of the community and its parishioners. They have remained
open because of dedication and commitment of the parishioners. It
seems preposterous to me that a representative of an Anglican Diocese (the
Bishop), can ultimately step in and decide to close a parish - he will take
this property and have it listed and put on the market.
should we blindly trust the decisions of the church's hierarchy.
Decisions that drastically effect members of congregations are
often made by those removed from the immediate problem or situation. More
times than not, these decision makers are members of the clergy, unfamiliar
with the pastoral as well as religious needs of the community that a
specific church ministers to.
of every denomination across this country are closing at incredible
rates partly because of diminishing members, which leads to decreases
in weekly offerings and an inability to meet basic operating costs.
however, is not the major factor involved with the financial hardships
facing historic Christ Church. The problem lies within the apportionment
that is demanded by the Diocese.
Diocese will tell you, we are part of the Anglican Church of Canada
and the rate that is established for each parish (25%) is utilized
to operate the Diocese and its offshoots. In the case of the Anglican
Diocese of Ontario, that rate is twenty-five per cent. In
the past, no one has questioned the operations of the Diocese, how they
have managed the business of the parish, or even how we have come to
be. No one had asked for audited financial statements. Why would they?
It is about faith.
Church Anglican in Belleville it has become a question of survival.
If the Diocese were to grant the parish a two year window in which
they would not be required to submit apportionments and would not be
expected to repay them at a later date, with interest, the objective to
return this parish to its previous active and respected place within the
Christian community could be realized. We
have been told that these monies are necessary to ensure that our clergy
and their pensions are secure. Parishes continue to ask its members
to contribute more - in the name of the work being done. Why are
they being asked to fund those who, in their blindness and love affair
with the past, work so assiduously against them? Apparently,
it is the financially responsible thing to do.
Christ Church in Belleville, held their Annual Bazaar and Silent
Auction. Shortly before the event, the local press, The Intelligencer,
published a thorough article about the unfortunate fate of
this parish and church. The support of the community for the bazaar was
staggering and enabled the parish to quadruple the amount of monies normally
made at these events. Both the public and the corporate community
rallied around the effort to save this beautiful church and the faithful
followers that are it's members.
advertisement for the Ottawa 67's listed the Anglican Diocese as
a sponsor. While I recognize that the money needs to be invested,
at what cost. Close a church; sponsor a sport's team - it doesn't
make sense. It
is the clergy that holds the power to close the church. It is the clergy
that holds the power to keep it open. But the die has been cast and
it is no longer about fellowship and worship; it is about employment and
real estate. Salaries and pensions will be made secure and safe by what
seems to be, on the surface, a wise financial decision.
Christ Church Anglican
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
27 December 2003