Caring Evangelism: How to Live and Share Christ’s Love

CaringEvangelismLogoCaring Evangelism is a course to help you become more effective in sharing your faith in Christ with others.

  • Process-oriented rather than results-oriented.
  • Teaches a ‘Caring Evangelization’ cycle which offers a positive model of conversion for Christians and non-Christians.
  • Intensive teaching of four evangelizing skills: building relationships, listening, witnessing, and praying.
  • Participants could proceed into further training as Licensed Evangelists in the Diocese of Edmonton, if they so desire, but this is not required; the course is open to all.

The sixteen-module course will be taught intensively over two weekends:

  • Friday November 29th (evening) and Saturday November 30th (morning and afternoon), at St. Mary’s, Edmonton.
  • Friday January 17th evening, Saturday 18th morning and afternoon, Sunday 19th afternoon, at Holy Trinity Riverbend, Edmonton.

We will ask for billets for out-of-town participants in order to keep costs to a minimum. There will be a registration fee of $50. Please contact Margaret Marschall at the Synod Office to register: 780-439-7344 or churched@edmonton.anglican.ca.

For more information about Caring Evangelism, see the Stephen Ministries website:

You can also contact me at stmrector@gmail.com or 780-437-7231; I will be the trainer for this course.

CaringEvangelismLeadersPackage

Advertisements

October 24th 1990

404231_10150660066745400_2065258587_nOn October 24th 1990 I was ordained a deacon in the Church of the Resurrection, Holman (Ulukhaktok), Northwest Territories, by Bishop Jack Sperry, Bishop of the Arctic. He translated the BAS ordination service into Inuinaktun specially for the occasion, and we did the service bilingually, alternating between English and Inuinaktun.

23 years later I am very grateful to the late Bishop Jack Sperry for taking a risk on a Church Army guy who didn’t have a proper seminary education. Along with my Dad, Jack was my other great mentor in parish ministry. I’m sure they are praising God together with all the saints now!

The meaning of infant baptism

I’m actually rather disappointed in this video by Archbishop Justin Welby in which he attempts to explain what baptism, and particularly the baptism of Prince George, is all about.

I like Justin Welby and I think as a bishop he is incredibly focussed on the Good News of Jesus Christ, on prayer, on Christian witness, and on reconciliation.

So I find it a little disappointing that our Lord Jesus Christ barely gets a mention in this video about the meaning of baptism!

In the New Testament, by contrast, baptism is inextricably linked, not just to God, but to Jesus the Son of God. Jesus clearly identifies the meaning of baptism in Matthew 28:18-20:

‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

Baptism in this passage clearly means becoming a disciple or follower of Jesus. The call of baptism, for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as parents bringing a child to the sacrament, is for them to be sure that they are following Jesus as their Lord, and committing themselves to raising their son George in ‘the School of Jesus’, so to speak.

But it is impossible for George to grow and learn in the School of Jesus without supernatural help. John’s Gospel therefore talks about ‘being born of water and the Spirit’, the miracle that God does by his grace, granting us the free gift of the Holy Spirit to enable us to do the things he calls us to do. This is one of the things that baptism signifies.

Baptism is not just about ‘belonging to God’. Surely every child born on earth belongs to God, in the sense that God is their Creator and God loves them! No, baptism is about being born again into the family of Jesus, and it is the beginning of a life of following Jesus in the context of his people, the Christian church.

In this respect, it is disappointing that Prince George will be baptized in ‘a private ceremony’. Most of us Anglican Christians have long since given up baptizing people in private ceremonies. We believe that if a person is being baptized into the people of Jesus, then the people of Jesus should be there to support them, to welcome them, and to witness the promises being made. I am sure the Archbishop believes this. Surely, in this day and age, it’s time for the Church of England to make it clear that, whether a baby is born to be King or not, he gets to be baptized in the same way as anyone else – at  public service, so that the people of Jesus can be present to welcome him into the School of Jesus.

I wish the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge well, and I hope that when their son is baptized tomorrow they will be sincere in the promises they make and in their desire to help him grow up as a follower of Jesus. But I wish that Archbishop Welby had taken the opportunity in this video to be clearer about what the Gospel of Jesus really is, and how baptism is connected to it, and I do wish that by his actions he would make it clearer that, whatever privilege a person may or may not have been born into, they receive the sacrament of baptism in the same way, and under the same circumstances (i.e. the corporate worship of a Christian congregation), as anyone else, and it confers on them a dignity greater than any royal dignity on earth – that of being a follower of Jesus Christ, born again of water and the Spirit.

‘Imagine’ Revisited

Following on from this post, I thought I’d have a go at a little spoof:

‘Imagine’ Revisited

Imagine there’s no heaven – it’s easy if you try
Love always ends in graveyards – you have to wonder why
So many suffering people, but that’s all there is to say

Imagine there’s no countries – it isn’t hard to do
The world is ruled by Google – Big Brother’s watching you
Imagine all the websites eating up our days

You may say “It’s a nightmare!” Well you’re not the only one
I think it’s best if you don’t join us, or your world will come undone

Imagine no possessions – I wonder if you can
No one to buy our music – we’’ll need a brand new plan
Imagine all the rock stars begging in the streets

You may say “It’s a nightmare!” Well you’re not the only one
I think it’s best if you don’t join us, or your world will come undone

© 2013 Tim Chesterton