I am sitting in Sydney airport waiting to complete the last leg of my trip home from Canada. It was great to attend the synod of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). I made new friends and was encouraged by what I saw God doing through faithful followers of Christ. The airport has these tree-like supports for the roof and from them are hanging golden lights like willow leaves. They sparkle and provide light in what is really a functional and stark place.
Canada is a very secular country much like New Zealand although they are slightly ahead of us. They already have a euthanasia law that allows people to end their lives. They also went through a split in the Anglican Church over same-sex blessings about 10 years ago. From the perspective of where we are in New Zealand at the moment, it was encouraging catch a glimpse of what the future may be like for us in an extra-provincial diocese. God is growing his church in Canada even as it faces challenges.
They face many of the challenges that we also face. Such as an ageing congregation, evangelism in a secular culture with little knowledge of God or desire for him, training and discipline all Christians. What stood out like the lights in the airport was the faithful people, leaders and congregations spread across Canada reaching out to those around them with the love of God in the Gospel. God promises to bring His light into the world. That is what we want to be doing with God’s help in South East Christchurch. And that is why we have stepped away from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” (John. 3:16–21)