Here is an odd trend: when an Anglican Church of Canada diocese evicts an ANiC congregation from its building it starts a Facebook page. It happened at St. Alban’s, Ottawa and now at St. Matthew’s Abbotsford where we can learn what the new parish is all about:
Who out there thinks Abbotsford needs a congregation that pays more than lip service to the Great Tradition; interacts energetically with the best in biblical and theological scholarship; grounds its worship in the Eucharist; is open to learning from everyone, including other religious and secular philosophies; is inclusive of all (period); where gifts and talents aren’t used to serve a leader’s vision but radically shape the very nature of the community; fosters an aesthetic that makes room for beauty in music, poetry and the visual arts; teaches children not merely information but the rhythm’s of worship; and where the priest is someone who takes the time not only to help people in crisis or grief but who participates in a mutual “confession of life” through spiritual friendship?
If you like the sound of that or, you like it but notice missing pieces in the description, you may want to check out St. Matthew, Abbotsford, a place in formation; a place and a community where thoughtful, classic, Christian Spirituality is what we’re after though we’ve certainly not arrived at our destination! The congregation is in its beginning phase; if you or someone you know might be interested in helping shape this “path” please pass this note on.
As the new incumbent notes, the parish “is inclusive of all (period)”. I assume “(period)” is intended to signify that the inclusivity is so vast in its encompassing that a normal full stop insufficiently emphasises the impossibility of adding to what is already embraced by this “place in formation”.
It’s hard not to notice, though, that while Allen Doerksen is eager to learn from “other religious and secular philosophies” he isn’t so keen on mentioning – or even including – Jesus, his death on the cross, his resurrection or our need for his atoning sacrifice because of sin.
That must be the trend: throw out a believing parish, throw out Christianity along with it then, having no congregation, no financial support and no integrity, attempt to drum up business by starting a Facebook page that sputters about “thoughtful, classic, Christian Spirituality”.