From the Apostolic Vicar: August 2015

From the Apostolic Vicar

Apostolic VicarAt All Saints Dallas we have been looking at Ephesians this summer, specifically asking the question, “What does it mean to be human?” As many of you know, several passages in Ephesians contain remarks that are sometimes controversial and often misunderstood. For example, what does it mean “to be filled with the Holy Spirit” and to be “giving thanks always and for everything to God the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

What does St. Paul mean when he says we need to keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit? So many of us are unacquainted with the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, or even who or what the Holy Spirit is much less how to be filled by it. So we have particularly focused on aspects of the Holy Spirit and how it transforms our hearts and minds both in relationship to God and other people. In order to be fully human this transformation must constantly be taking place.

In Christ, God reveals us to ourselves. Christ not only shows us what it means to be fully human but also gives us the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts in such a way that we are actually falling in love with God, closer and closer to the divine. One of the results of a heart that is growing in maturity and transformation in the Holy Spirit is that there will be a mutual submission to each other out of the fear of Christ. Out of awe and reverence for him there comes a humility that permeates our attitude, our being, our humanness.

This maturity takes place in people who have the courage to look upward to God, who is always sovereign, always true. And also to look inward, to take care of our own hearts, guarding against the evil that constantly battles us in this world.

Because we live in such an irreverent and individualistic world these words of St. Paul seem so countercultural. To fear and reverence Christ and to look to the needs of others before ourselves is not at all what our culture teaches.

Stay on the journey to wholeness as you hear, reflect, trust and love more.



Fwd: In Prayer

Church Life

Margaret Hesford, member of Anglican Church of the Word in South Florida, is no stranger to hard work. In her life she has been a wife, mother, grandmother, corporate attorney, and adjunct professor. But if you ask her what the hardest work there is, she’ll tell you it is prayer.

Margaret Hesford“I’ll be the first to admit that prayer is hard work, and there are days when I’d rather go dig holes,” said Hesford. “But there is nothing more important than prayer.”

In 2003, Hesford unknowingly signed herself up to lead a Prayer Chain for the Anglican Church of the Word. She had mentioned the need for a prayer chain once before to her rector, and when she brought it up again she found out about his policy: “ask me twice, and you are it.” Since then she has managed various prayer chains for her church and other ministries.

Hesford sends out emails on a daily or weekly basis with prayer requests to those who are interested. Requests include prayers for the Anglican Mission, children, those suffering from illness, and any other requests that come Hesford’s way. Over the years, she has witnessed over and over again how prayer avails much, with infertile couples getting pregnant, Christians who were imprisoned for their faith being released, and staunch unbelievers coming to faith.

“This is God’s mission, not ours, and there is a lot more good news in the world than Satan wants us see,“ explained Hesford. “The more we know, the more we pray and the more we see God’s kingdom come.”

If you interested in joining one of the prayer chains circulated by Hesford or learning more about how to circulate a prayer chain, email her at [email protected]

To join the AMIA prayer team email [email protected].

Old Texts and New Tunes: A Songwriting Retreat with United Adoration

Events and Event Highlights

In the second weekend of June, a casual observer at All Saints Dallas might have noticed different songs coming from nearly every room – new and intriguing songs whose words seemed oddly familiar. This mix of strangeness and familiarity is fairly normal at United Adoration’s songwriters’ retreats, like the one held at All Saints this summer.

Old Texts New TunesUnited Adoration (UA) is an ecumenical collective that brings together songwriters who desire to create and release fresh music for the liturgical church. Each year UA hosts a national conference as well as various regional events around the U.S.

Over the course of two days, worship songs based on various parts of the liturgy took shape as participants collaborated, received feedback, and tweaked their work.

Ryan Flanigan, Minister of Worship Arts at All Saints Dallas and co-organizer, says UA hopes these songs will resource congregations with a fresh musical expression of the spiritual riches found in the church’s liturgical archive.

“There is a generation of young people who want the rich history the church has to offer, who are longing for the ancient prayers,” explained Flanigan. “These texts are spirit filled, and in setting them to new music we are able to share with the church treasures both old and new.”

To learn more about United Adoration, and how artists in your congregation can get involved, visit:

Praying At All Times

Spiritual Growth

In February of 1987, Father Ed Hird, new Rector of St. Simons in North Vancouver, was met with some uncomfortable news. The Vestry told him the budget was down from the previous year, and if things didn’t shape up, they wouldn’t be able to pay him by June.

Ed Hird“I told them not to worry,” said Fr Hird. “God always pays for what He orders. They left the meeting feeling better. I left feeling worse.”

Over the next few months, Fr. Hird learned something about dependence upon God, and his church learned the importance of praying together. That November, St. Simon’s hosted its first 24-hour prayer vigil and moved deeper into a life of common prayer.

Twenty-eight years later, it is not unusual for St. Simons to host four to five vigils a year: before Lent, before Pentecost, in the summer, before their “Back-to-Church” event in September, and during their annual stewardship campaigns.

“We have found that the most effective thing we can to get our church’s needs met is to pray,” said Fr. Hird. “It is how we get funding in the dry summer months, how we recruit Sunday School teachers, and how we engage in meaningful outreach.”

Each Prayer Vigil focuses on a passage of scripture, and every person who signs up for a one-hour block receives prayer points to guide their time. During St. Simon’s recent Summer Strengthening prayer vigil, parishioners and Sister Churches prayed through Ephesians.

“The book of Ephesians is filled with remarkable prayers,” said Fr. Hird.

Filled with remarkable prayers: not a bad description of St. Simon’s.

To join St. Simon’s in prayer, email Ed.

From the Apostolic Vicar: July 2015

From the Apostolic Vicar

Look Up. Look In. Look Around. Look Forward.

Apostolic VicarRecently the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage as a civil right in all 50 of the United States. Many states, including here in Texas, have defended the institution of marriage as that between one man and one woman, but as early as Friday evening, same-sex couples were lining up at Dallas City Hall, applying for their marriage licenses. I am sure that you saw many outward signs celebrating the ruling. The White House endorsed the ruling publicly, calling it a step forward. The change we have seen was rapid and will likely continue. As your pastor, this is deeply disturbing to me and I am concerned about this judicial redefinition of marriage and subsequently, the family.

To be frank, the ruling did not shock me, but I have to admit having a sense of “funk” since learning of it. At All Saints Dallas our summer sermon series is based upon St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. How providential that the passage we looked at last Sunday was Ephesians 3:1-13? Reading St. Paul in Ephesians 3 gave me renewed confidence and hope. He refers to himself as “a prisoner for Jesus Christ…” Think about this statement.

In Chapter 1, we see the revelation of Christ as the victor over the cosmic forces of this world. In Chapter 2, we are seated with Christ in the heavenly realm. In Chapter 3 we realize a great paradox. St. Paul writes the truths of Chapters 1 and 2 in jail. He is writing as a prisoner. He should be defeated, according to the world. It seems as though the gods of Rome have won. Though, despite his chains, St. Paul continues to write and preach about the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ… “through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purposes that are realized in Christ Jesus our Lord…” (Eph. 3:10-11) There is comfort and strength for us in this fact. Those in positions of power and influence will not know the saving grace of Christ except through us, God’s church.

We all need to remember that God works, more often, through the weakness and the brokenness of the church and the world, in circumstances that seem precarious. St. Paul was a prisoner. He couldn’t speak to large public crowds nor did he have any political influence. According to the rulers of this world, he was insignificant and marginalized.

Likewise, I believe this Supreme Court ruling has clearly demonstrated to us that our culture is not fed by Christian values. The church and her godly values are more and more marginalized and seemingly insignificant to those who live outside her saving grace. Yet, as St. Paul shows us in his letter to the Ephesians, it is precisely in these situations where God shows what miracles of renewal He can perform through the church! As difficult as it has been for me to realize this, we have more in common with the persecuted early church than ever before in America’s relatively short history. However, we will not despair or stay discouraged. It is precisely in these situations where we must call ourselves to a deeper trust and discipleship in Christ.

Two Supreme Court decisions in the last 45 years, Roe v. Wade and this most recent decision, have served to undermine some of the deepest securities we have as free people. The sanctity of life and the institution of marriage and family are anchors of our Judeo-Christian values. We cannot accept either one of these court decisions as purporting to grant a fundamental right for choice as in Roe v. Wade or in same-sex marriage.

The gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is summarized in John 3:16, and because of his love, we love and care for all those who experience the tragedy of abortion or same-sex attraction. Here at All Saints Dallas, radical inclusivity and profound transformation are at the heart of our vision; this is how we live in God’s presence, live out His love. Our church has been given many opportunities to witness God’s love and healing in restored relationships and renewed identities. These have blessed and connected us as a community.

As Christians, we have made mistakes in the past in how we addressed some of these issues. Consequently we need to respond like St. Paul, with humble courage and deep dependence on God. We will continue to exercise our religious freedom, and to call the world and ourselves to repentance and faith. We will still only perform marriages for those who come for holy matrimony as defined by the church. That will not change. Working with our legal counsel, we are looking at possible steps to help secure our churches’ freedom to express and teach the Christian values of marriage and family.

It may seem, like it did with St. Paul in prison, that there are so many forces against us. Suffering may come. In this context, what do we treasure? Even in prison, St. Paul’s faith was unwavering. And what’s more, even more churches were planted. Hope in Christ flourished. If our treasure is in Jesus Christ, we possess an inheritance that can never be taken away. Here at All Saints Dallas we will never stop offering this hope to those who do not know Christ.

So I encourage you all with the words I ended my last sermon. Look up. God is still on his throne. He is not surprised by all this. He is still sovereign. Jesus is with us. Look in. Where do we need to repent? Where have we failed to live up to the high calling of our faith? Look around. Where can we show God’s radical and transformative love to a hurting world? Look forward. Christ is still coming back. And until then the Holy Spirit is being poured out generously on each of you as we go out each week on mission, so you can expect great things to happen as God glorifies Himself by building his Church.



Leadership Training Initiative Succeeds in Kibondo and Gisenyi

Events and Event Highlights

Training is complete at Apolo2, a two-week leadership training and development initiative in the Dioceses of Boga and Kibondo. A team of 13 Anglican Mission clergy and parishioners traveled to Gisenyi and Kibondo in late June to empower their partner dioceses in the areas of discipleship, prayer, healing, servant leadership and visioning.

Photos Conference 1

Canon Kevin Donlon reported that Apolo2, named after 19th century Ugandan missionary Apolo who helped evangelize East Africa, went well in both locations. In Gisenyi, the training began June 24 and ended July 1 with a celebration of Holy Communion. The leadership training was based on the Book of Acts and the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy) and focused on prayer, Bible study, baptism, confession of faith (creed), biblical leadership and church growth.

Among the 35 participants were delegates from several dioceses, including 20 from Bukavu, 10 from Boga and five from Kindu, along with the Bishops of each diocese.

“We were welcomed by the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Kivu (Gisenyi) who wished us a pleasant stay in the area,” says Canon Kevin.

Highlights of the training included the method of Scripture as Storytelling from Fr. Ivan Sikha of Mission India. In another memorable moment, Amy Elliot issued a call to prayer as Servant Leaders during her presentation, resulting in the three dioceses spending time in soaking prayer together—a rare experience for them.

In Kibondo, after the traditional enthusiastic welcoming celebrations with singing and dancing, food, and formal introductions and greetings, the teachings began. The team trained 25 catechists who are students at the local Diocesan Bible School. The students received the training with thoughtful questions and helpful input, reflecting their commitment to apply the principles and practices they are learning in their cultural context. They were subsequently commissioned at the Cathedral with The Anglican Mission team fully involved. Twenty-five rectors and key regional lay leaders also attended the Leadership Training.

Saturday saw the catechist training going on the road to a small church in the Kibondo area to do a VBS with the theme “Moses and the Plagues.” It started in the morning with about 250 kids, and after lunch, attendance totaled 400. Over the course of three days, the scenario replayed at three different venues, as The Anglican Mission team ministered to a total of 1,200 children.

“The team members were resourceful, engaging, powerful and effective in their teaching and presentation,” Canon Kevin says. “What a blessing to see so many children actively engaged in one of the most dramatic storylines in the Bible.”

The team had expected only 800 children for the three days, but thanks to God’s provision, they were even able to bag up the leftover supplies for each of the 32 churches represented in the diocese.

On Sunday, the team headed for the cathedral for a 7:30 early service that involved 600 people and lots of singing and dancing.  Bishop Gerry Schnackenberg preached, and the team members were all introduced. After this liturgy, Bishop Sospeter Ndenza sent three team members to area churches to preach, concluding the amazing trip.

“In addition to planting churches and reaching the lost in North America, we in The Anglican Mission through our partnerships are also engaged in far-flung places around the globe,” Canon Kevin said. “What an incredible privilege it was to serve in this way. May God continue to bless The Mission and its work both at home and abroad.”

To see more photos, visit @ResurrectionTam on Twitter.

Toronto Church Completes First Building Phase on Senior Condo Complex

Church Life

Phase 1 BuildingToronto Emmanuel Church in Toronto, Ontario, has completed the first phase of construction on a $150 million senior housing project that will establish a holistic mission field in the city. A decade in the making, the Vintage Garden campus will include a new church building and a community center designed to encourage the spiritual and physical wellness of the Chinese community.

Located on commercial land at the junction of Victoria Park and McNicoll Avenues, the long-awaited Vintage Garden campus in Toronto will house Toronto Emmanuel Church, a senior housing complex, and a community center dedicated to the spiritual and physical wellbeing of the Chinese community.

“It is so exciting to see our community church and senior homes project really happen,” says Bishop Silas Ng, Rector of Richmond Emmanuel Church, who helped spearhead the project. “The Lord has led us to have a breakthrough on many obstacles and now this God-sized project comes into reality.”

In 2004, Toronto Emmanuel partnered with one of its leaders, Dr. Sai Kui Lee, to create Vintage Garden. Dr. Lee initially purchased the 5.8 acres and donated it to the church to use for a new church building. They added comprehensive plans for a senior housing complex with 14 stories, spacious floor plans and extensive amenities. It went on the market in Spring 2011, and the first stage of 200 condos is already sold out.

The building project intends to meet the growing needs of Canada’s rapidly aging population. According to Statistics Canada, by the year 2050, at least 25% of the population will be over the age of 65. Each senior residence is sold as a life lease interest, which includes the right to exclusive occupation of a unit in the building for the individual’s lifetime, plus the right to pass the life lease interest to the individual’s estate after death.

Dr. Lee dreamed of creating a comfortable, Christian living environment for he and his wife and other mature adults, and since breaking ground on Vintage Garden, his vision is succeeding. The complex highlights divine provision, gospel partnerships and the faithfulness of God’s promises.

“It’s a 10-year effort to make Dr. Lee’s dream and God’s Kingdom plan come true,” Bishop Silas says.

Learn more at or

All Saints Dallas Hosts Mark Meynell and Jack DeGrenier

Events and Event Highlights

On May 12 the staff of All Saints Dallas had the pleasure of hosting Mark Meynell of All Souls Langham Place and Jack DeGrenier of Langham Partnership.

Mark InterviewOver lunch Mark discussed his recently released book, A Wilderness of Mirrors: Trusting Again in a Cynical World. We had a great time talking about the ways in which suspicion and distrust have become many people’s default approaches to the world, so that cynicism toward any authority, whether in the church or politics, is almost automatic. Mark’s book traces the historical and philosophical origins of this suspicion and offers a Christian response and hope in light of it.

As a student of the Cold War and as a great fan of spy novels, Mark’s book is filled with images and tropes from spy fiction as a way of understanding our own paranoia and suspicion of authority. It’s a very helpful book on an important topic, and it was great getting to know Mark and hear about his ministry.

The staff also discussed Jack’s work with Langham Partnership, a ministry John Stott founded to train indigenous preachers and pastors in the majority world. Mark works with Langham and travels all over the world to help train preachers.  With Langham Partnership John Stott’s commitment to gospel preaching lives on, and for us as a Missionary Society it’s encouraging to hear about their fruitful work.

Buy Mark’s book here.
Watch a trailer for his book here.
Watch Mark being interviewed about his new book here.

From the Apostolic Vicar: June 2015

From the Apostolic Vicar

Apostolic VicarVacation is an important part of family rhythm. Family rhythms play an important part of the spiritual formation of our families. We, as churches, are not primarily responsible for the spiritual development of children. But, we are responsible for building into the lives of the parents and children and teenagers to bring about healthy environments at home, centered on life in Christ. We know, for example, how much our own family environments have affected us, positively and negatively.

This next week Claudia and I will have the wonderful opportunity for a week’s vacation with all seven of our children and nine grandchildren. This was our Christmas present to our children. Instead of them coming to our home with all the busyness of the Christmas season, we opted to have Christmas in June at the beach. Less stress. Outdoors. A chance to spend time with our children and their own children. Hopefully, during the week will have some formative opportunities to visit with our children about what God is doing in their life.

Some of the questions we might address are:

  • What are you living for?
  • What in your life right now excites you?
  • What do you fear?
  • What do you love (hate)?
  • What do you hope for?
  • Where do you find your comfort, security or pleasure?

Who knows? We may not get to any of these questions. But spiritual formation takes place in lots of ways. Being together, sharing memories, looking toward the future, what’s working, what’s not working. We hope to have a rhythm of daily prayer. Believe me, we know how chaotic this can be with lots of children. Nevertheless, it helps to structure a rhythm to come to God even in the chaos.

We know that most of Christianity is caught not taught. We know there is no exact formula. We pray that we would create spaces of grace, honesty, reconciliation, teaching, exhortation, correction when needed, etc. As we move into the summer, be encouraged to participate wholeheartedly in the family life of your church and of your own nuclear family. Provide those spaces where spiritual formation can take place. Ask those questions. Establish a daily rhythm that works for you. May God bless your family rhythms as you rest and rejuvenate this summer.



A Family on Mission at The Anglican Mission Canada’s 2015 National Conference

Events and Event Highlights

worshipCanadian and American members of The Anglican Mission family celebrated their common mission and purpose at The Anglican Mission Canada’s National Conference, “Fan Into Flame: Discipling and Disciplers,” held May 14-16. Richmond Emmanuel Church in Richmond, British Columbia, hosted the conference, providing attendees a chance to be refueled for the work Jesus has called The Anglican Mission to in Canada.

Two of The Anglican Mission’s priests from All Saints Dallas, the Rev. Gavin Pate and the Rev. David Larlee, were guest speakers at the conference. They participated in The Anglican Mission’s kingdom family as they prayed for the sick, encouraged the weary and shared in The Anglican Mission’s diversity.  Attendees ranged in age from 2 to 92, spanning the east coast to the west coast, and from the south to the north. As Richmond Emmanuel Church’s Pastor the Rev. Ignatius Ng puts it, “This is the Anglican Mission’s DNA, to share in God’s mission together as a diverse family of different cultures and all generations.”

The Rev. Dave Larlee spoke to the assembled group of Canadian clergy and laity as a fellow Canadian, as he originally hails from New Brunswick.

“Dave Larlee gently and confidently created spaces for the Spirit to work that we would not only know but experience the riches of Christ’s love and be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God as it talks about in Ephesians 3:19,” says the Rev. Dave De Jong, Associate Pastor at Jericho Road Church and Administrator for The Mission Canada.

The conference was an opportunity for all attendees to re-connect with new and old friends from across the country, and encourage one another to fulfill the mission in ways that match their unique gifts and contexts. Attendees also enjoyed hearing from the Rev. Gavin Pate, who offered a glimpse into the life and structures of The Anglican Mission’s new headquarters in Dallas.

“The passion of The Anglican Mission’s mission center is to equip three-stream church planters, but also to cut the distance between us,” Gavin says. “While God may call us to serve in various parts of the world, we share a Kingdom DNA. That was on full display in Canada, where each Anglican Mission church is devoted to God’s mission of saving the lost and building His church.”

One conference highlight was a time of communal prayer on Friday evening. The group lifted up church planters, pastors and communities of seniors and students all across Canada, committing to see God’s kingdom work in all communities, whether urban or suburban, young or old.

“I loved meeting with such different people to share stories and learn from each other,” Ignatius says. “It made me think, ‘Wow, there’s no reason such a random group of people would gather together if not for God’s mission. I’m so glad to be here!’”

Richmond Emmanuel’s worship band led attendees in morning and evening worship during the conference. Attendees could also attend a soaking prayer service and workshops to equip them for various areas of ministry. On Saturday, after a final communion service, the freshly unified kingdom family concluded a wonderful time of community, food, worship and being filled with the fullness of God’s spirit.

“There was an ease of Spirit-filled ministry that flowed from relationship at this year’s conference that was exciting to experience,” Dave says.

Learn more at