From: email@example.com (Jack Waller) Date: Wed, 17 Dec The fallout from 1988 has impacted on one of our local charges to the extent that there are 66 identifiable givers in 2 churches, not enough to sustain a full time minister. I have serious concerns for my Christian brother, as we now have not only to deal with congregational burnout, but fallout from this latest fiasco! When will it stop? What are we to do. I hear individuals who are disconcerted, yet the pastoral charges are stifled by their clergy. I personally know those of us who are in the forefront of visioning (the word renewal is a dirty word to some),and we must be more than tenacious. We need a prayer chain, and an umbrella group to forge the links into a chain. It is not time to despair, but a time to face the millennium with its opportunities and challenges. We no longer live in a Christian country, and I saw evidence of that in the secular Christmas concert which was presented in my grandson’s school. It is incumbent upon us to "...train our youth in the way they must go." God will give us strength for the journey, as surely as he provided manna in the desert! Shalom!+ Jack Waller *********************** From: Gail Reid[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: December 16, 1997 9:54 PM Subject: Don't leave; stand (PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO YOUR CONGREGATIONS) Dear Sisters and Brothers in Jesus Christ: The representative of the Billy Graham Association spoke directly to the interdenominational group of ministers in Ottawa: "Your task is to ensure that Jesus Christ becomes the talking point for all the people in Ottawa for the next nine months till the Billy Graham Crusade in June." As chair of the group listening, Dr. Allen Churchill, minister at Dominion-Chalmers United, remembers how they all looked at each other, wondering how they could do it. "But, in just one week, God used a non-believing press and a non-believing moderator to make it all possible," said Allen to me today, talking of the reaction to Bill Phipps’ declaration of faith. In fact, he believes there may never have been a time when Jesus Christ was more talked about in a Canadian city. I think he is right. God is working together for good what could bring us shame and bitterness. Jesus is being talked about in every United Church, on the radio, TV, internet, and I just heard from Tom Bandy that the Washington Post is doing a story on the moderator etc. Nevertheless, there IS a serious, powerful battle going on. As the national church has struggled with damage control and the moderator has tried to use orthodox phrases to declare his faith in a way that would win back the conservatives, we are left with clergy and laity even more confused and leaderless. Now, perhaps more than since ‘88, we must be very clear about what we believe. For those who are in the NACC, we need you more than ever to hold up the Truth about Jesus Christ and to be a light to those who are now really searching for who Jesus is. For those of you who may feel alone in denominations that are liberal in focus, believe me, they know who you are and people are looking to you for a strong clear confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Suddenly, I am no longer getting glazed looks when I speak up. People are listening as never before. There are many congregations and individuals who have had nothing to do with any of the renewal groups who have been shocked by the moderator’s statements and are looking for leadership. Some are inquiring about the Alliance, some are calling the Community of Concern. We have had calls at Fellowship asking for direction and copies of the Basis of Union. On one day we had 29 calls. I believe we must be faithful where we are. Now is not the time to quit or be discouraged, but to draw closer to Jesus and to be the lighthouse for so many in our church who now realize they are leaderless. They realize that they are confused and lacking in the understanding of what they believe about their faith. They realize that their commitment to social action has lost its core. They are asking questions. They are suspicious of the answers. They are sheep without a shepherd. May God give us the courage and the words to love them and point to the only true Shepherd who can save them. I want to thank all of you for being out there, small lights and bigger ones, across the nation and our United Church. It means a great deal to me to know you are there in your small corner. Be assured, there are many believers in other denominations who are praying for us. Have a joyous Christmas as you shine for Jesus. Blessings, Gail Reid Fellowship Magazine ****************************** From: email@example.com[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: December 20, 1997 12:29 PM Subject: Moderator, WWW, and Alpha To the UCCANCHAT group: email@example.com By Tony Copple I'm author of one of the moderator sites (www.igs.net/~tonyc/mod.html) which includes a chronology of the debate, and invites and publishes feedback. Initially the feedback came as a result of the site being mentioned by Bob Harvey, the Ottawa Citizen columnist who broke this story. More recently, I have included material sent in by the e-mail forum of like-minded folk who will be receiving this message. So the first thing to say is: if you have a problem with my publishing your writings on the web, please let me know by reply to this message and I'll respect that. I fully support Brian Wilkie's initiative in encouraging an internet forum for a more Jesus-oriented concept within the UC than is reflected by General Council and Mr Phipps. I believe that Mark Fearnall's site and my site can be used as outreaches from the forum, accessible to everybody. I encourage you to publicize the sites to your friends within and without the UC. I would welcome more pro-Phipps comment right now, just to keep us on our toes. As author, I have the power to put up my own views any time, and since I am fairly frank, you may often disagree, in which case I would greatly appreciate feedback however negative. I am a lay person, and painfully aware of my capacity for confusion. However, Jesus is my Lord and I'll follow Him any way my heart tells me. He brought me to a recent "Alpha" course here in Kanata, Ontario. Had it not been for Alpha I doubt I would have had the conviction to become engaged in this debate. I want to commend the Alpha movement to everyone who reads this message. Visit www.igs.net/~tonyc/alpha.html which will also link you to the Alpha headquarters in UK. There are more than 4000 Alpha courses running in UK alone, and it's spreading worldwide fast. It is interdenominational and endorsed by church leaders from UC (Tom Bandy) to RC (Cardinal Williams, NZ). It certainly is Jesus-oriented and I'll be very interested to compare it with "Reconciling and Making New - Who is Jesus for the World Today" which I'll be taking soon, simultaneously with taking a leadership role in my second Alpha course. After each Wednesday Apha, I couldn't wait for the next one, and I suffered withdrawal symptoms when it ended! Sooner or later someone will invite you to attend an Alpha course. Wherever you are on your faith journey, it will move you several rungs up the ladder. Bishops, pastors, lay members of congregations, and non-Christians curious about Christ all take Alpha together and it is a richer experience for the variety. Make the time to go to the introductory evening, and you'll know then whether you should attend the 10 weeks (one evening a week plus one Saturday). I believe that if you, as leaders, take Alpha, and then bring it to your churches, we can in a relatively short time change the current direction of General Council, and make a huge difference to our Church. Blessings to you all this Christmas time, in Jesus' name Tony Copple **************************** From: Don Anderson[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: December 13, 1997 9:03 PM Subject: response change Anyone notice that Executive of General Council has edited their response (probably an oversight in preparing wed page?) the next day? Added "section 511(a) of The Manual and" to the first line after "Role of the Moderator". ************************* Footnote by Tony Copple Today (Dec 23) I finally received my audiotape copy of the November 7 conference call between Bill Phipps and about ten callers including myself. It makes interesting listening and touches many of the key points of debate. Admittedly all ten were critical, but they were articulately so. If you know anyone who was on the call, try and listen to a copy of the tape. I will be providing a copy to my minister, the chair of the Ottawa Presbytery, Brian Copeland, at his request. Send $5 to cover costs and you can have one too. 61 Highmont Court, Kanata, On., K2T 1B2. It is not to be broadcast.