Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Missionaries Indeed!!!

The St John youth, with their youth leaders Jeremiah and Kathryn Aberlich, sacrificed a portion of their Christmas holiday break to assist those less fortunate. They donated their time and energies to help sort food and supplies at the Gleaners Food Bank. Gleaners was founded in April of 1977, and it is one of the oldest food banks in the U.S. Its mission is “to turn surplus food, which otherwise would go to waste, into millions of nutritious meals for hungry people in southeastern Michigan..” It distributes more than 30 million pounds of food annually, the equivalent of 476,000 meals per month. We at St John are blessed to have young people not only aware of the struggle many are going through but who are willing to roll up their sleeves, and do the work needed to meet the need. Missionaries indeed!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

MSJ Rule Of Life Published

As a Society goes about its life and work, a Rule develops and takes shape. The delegates to the General Assembly of Missionaries of St John, meeting in Hurst, Texas in October, approved the Rule of Life for the Society. A culmination of two years of work, the Rule now reflects the ordering our ministry and life together.

The Rule remains a work in progress as several articles require additional editing and review. . The lengthy document can be viewed at the main website, by going here: MSJ website

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Feast Of St Nicholas

While not all traditions mark the day, among Anglican Catholics, the Feast of St Nicholas is usually marked by celebrating his life, his fidelity to orthodoxy and remembering his acts of great charity.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Advent-New Church Year

Fr Tom Anderson and Bp Fick celebrate the Eucharist

The Prayers Of The People

The Doubblestein Family Light The Candle Of Advent One

The season of preparation, the season of Advent has come again. The ancient texts call us to repentance, preparation and expectation. We light candles to dispel the darkness. We sing "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free".

During the liturgical renew of the 1970's, Advent began to be seen somewhat as less a "mini-Lent" with its color purple and more a season of quiet anticipation with Marian blue.

Oh Come, Oh Come Immanuel.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

African Teaching Mission Continues

29 Nov 2009, 1st Sunday of Advent

The MSJ mission through the Office of Foreign Missionsof OFM provides ministry education in places where such education is hard to get. Classes have started in Geita, an African town around 100 kilometers south and west of Mwanza. Geita contains the only working gold mine in Tanzania. The gold mine is a big operation.

There are two Anglican churches in Geita itself, a larger one in the center of the city, a smaller one on the outskirts, and many other Anglican churches in the surrounding area. I teach at the larger church in Geita, Christ the King, whose pastor is named Mathias. He is the biggest supporter of the classes. I currently stay with a local family.

The classes are held in the church itself. High temperatures often drive us outside to under a large shade tree. Rain occasionally drives us back into the church. There are 20 students, none of who speak any English, all who come from different Anglican churches in the area. All students are evangelists, each pastoring a church under the infrequent and distant supervision of a priest-pastor. From the data sheets I collected, the highest education level attained was 7th grade by the way we measure. Only by grace, by some knowledge of Scripture, and by personal hard work do they succeed as pastors.

One day, I asked some questions of my students. All 20 of them are lay people, evangelists and church teachers. Priests rarely come to their churches. All the students normally lead Sunday services, doing a service of the Word. In reality, they are the pastors. I asked each to describe the ministry at their church, how many members they had, and what was their average Sunday attendance. These 18 people pastor over 2,500 people and collectively serve an average of 2,000 people on Sunday.

An important moment occurred on Tuesday. I had perceived some feelings of inferiority among my students and I was asked, “Why is it that some parishes are pastored by priests and some parishes are pastored by evangelists?” I thought – Oh this is an important question. Lord, help me to give them your answer.

The reply, “The churches of most countries do not have evangelists in the same way as you do. In those countries, almost every parish has a priest who is supposed to be the evangelist. Here in Africa, you do not have enough priests for all parish churches because the education system cannot support the development of all those who might be called by God to be a priest. Yet, God wants to provide ministry and leadership for his people. In Lake Victoria, a boat without a rudder wanders aimlessly about, subject to every wind and wave, and cannot complete the journey. A church without leadership and ministry is like a boat without a rudder on Lake Victoria. So, God gives a gift to each parish without a priest; He gives them an evangelist to lead the church.” They beamed.

Initially, class was very hard for them. Translation makes progress slow. Lack of ministry education makes most material new. Prior bad teaching and bad assumptions means that they have to unlearn some things they thought they knew. There were many misconceptions about Trinity, Virgin Birth, Dual nature of Christ, and others. Changing such misconceptions is a big challenge, but they work at it.

The Holy Spirit moved mid-week. The students began to understand better. They became more participative. They thought and answered questions and discussed issues. One lady evangelist witnessed to me how she thought that God had touched her life in the class and I was able to affirm that it was God.

Thursday, I met Rev Donat and nine other priests who were visiting from the Diocese of Gahini in Rwanda, and here in Geita for an evangelization crusade. They must have talked to someone here because they asked if I would come to Rwanda and teach. I gave them my card and asked them to contact me after I returned to America.

The ministry is working. One week has been successfully completed. The students have learned much new material about what the beliefs of the church are and what is ordained ministry. Two more weeks of instruction will follow.

Thank you God. Thank you people of God. Your prayers and financial support are bearing fruit here in East Africa. The teachers of God’s people are being taught. Without you, all this does not happen. This ministry, the students in Africa, the rural church in Africa all rely on you and all thank you. Asante sana!

Fr Francis Wardega MSJ
Mission Station Geita, Republic of Tanzania

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Collect For The Missonary Society

Almighty God, who anointed thy well-beloved Son with the Holy Spirit, that he might preach the Gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim deliverance to the captive, and recovery of sight to the blind; to set at liberty those held in the bondage of oppression and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord’s favour: pour out, we beseech thee, this same Holy Spirit on the Missionaries of St. John the Evangelist, that, following their Lord’s example, they also may proclaim, by words of power and deeds of mercy, the everlasting Gospel of repentance, reconciliation and restoration, and draw those who hear this Gospel from the power of darkness into the Kingdom of thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest, one God in glory everlasting. Amen.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Expansion Continues At Christ Community

Christ Community Church is still expanding. With two phases of the three phases in place, the Community gathers for worship each week even while the work continues. With over 65 worshippers in attendance, the southern Kentucky parish hosted Bishop Fick for an episcopal visit this past Sunday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Photos From General Assembly

Celebration of the Holy Eucharist

Bob Lemmon and Jeff Johnston study.

Fr. James Guill, FiFNA, addresses the delegates.

Friday, October 30, 2009

General Assembly 2009 Photos

Lunch With Great Mexican Food Is Served!

Delegates In Session

New Professions Made

Father James Guill Preaches At Eucharist

Bishop Fick Shares A Moment With Delegates

The MSJ Rule Of Faith Is Approved

Monday, October 26, 2009

MSJ Delegates Gather In Hurst, Texas

Arriving from around the country, delegates and guests of the MSJ have gathered in Hurst, Texas, at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, for General Assembly. The delegates have gathered to renew old friendships and to meet new friends of the Missionary Society of St John. A complete revision of the Rule of Life is the important work before the assembly, while worship, prayer and fellowship fill the schedule. Also before the assembled delegates is consideration of the important invitations extended to Anglicans by the both the Vatican and Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America.

Fr James Guill of Forward in Faith, North America will be giving the homily at this evening mass.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Forward In Faith- UK- Responds To Vatican News


FiF reacts to Statement from Rome
Oct 20, 2009

It has been the frequently expressed hope and fervent desire of Anglican Catholics to be enabled by some means to enter into full communion with the See of Peter whilst retaining in its integrity every aspect of their Anglican inheritance which is not at variance with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

We rejoice that the Holy Father intends now to set up structures within the Church which respond to this heartfelt longing. Forward in Faith has always been committed to seeking unity in truth and so warmly welcomes these initiatives as a decisive moment in the history of the Catholic Movement in the Church of England. Ut unum sint!

+John Fulham
Geoffrey Kirk

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

House Bound

Bishop Frederick Fick MSJ will be representing the Society at Nashotah House this week. See the story immediately below. May the Lord bless the participants as all seek to do His will.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In the Footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton

"In the Footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton" — Nashotah House to Host Anglican-Orthodox Ecumenical Conference with St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary
Partnership between two schools marks new step in ecumenical relations

Nashotah, WI, September 1, 2009 – An ecumenical conference between scholars of the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox traditions will be held at Nashotah House Theological Seminary on October 8-10, 2009. Entitled “In the Footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton - Anglican and Orthodox Identity, Ministry and Mission in the 21th Century,” the Anglican-Orthodox Conference will feature discussions and addresses by representatives of Nashotah House and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, NY, together with several worship services representing the spiritual riches of both traditions. The conference will conclude with the signing of a “Covenant Partnership,” pledging continued prayer, fellowship and ecumenical cooperation between the two schools.

Speakers will include the His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, Orthodox Metropolitan of All America and Canada, who is President of the St. Vladimir’s Board of Trustees, and the Very Rev. Chad Hatfield, an alumnus of Nashotah House who is now Chancellor of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. The Conference is free and open to the public but advance registration is required. For more information, telephone Fr. Steve Schlossberg, Director of Communications, at (262) 646-6506.

“St. Vladimir's Seminary is committed to working out a new relationship with Nashotah House that honors our common legacy and heritage,” says Fr. Hatfield. “Together we can take the work and witness or our forefathers and reclaim the voice of Christian orthodoxy that this world is starving to hear once again. Not to do so would be to fail to build upon the foundations of both seminaries and the two traditions that they represent. Now is the time to act boldly, and together we will in common witness to the truth of the Gospel of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. May it be blessed.”

The Very Rev. Dr. Robert S. Munday, Dean and President of Nashotah House expressed his conviction that this new relationship between the two seminaries “is an important step in furthering a renewal of Anglican—Orthodox ecumenical dialogue, which is the oldest ecumenical dialogue between Christian traditions." Dean Munday added, "It is particularly appropriate that Nashotah House should resume the ecumenical efforts begun over 100 years ago by Bishop Charles Grafton (2nd Bishop of Fond du Lac and Chairman of the Nashotah House Board of Trustees) and Saint Tikhon of Moscow (who was archbishop of the Orthodox Church in America, and who was made an honorary Doctor of Divinity by Nashotah House in 1905, later becoming Patriarch of Moscow and head of the Russian Orthodox Church)."

Bishop Frederick Fick, MSJ will be attending this conference on behalf of the Society.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bishop Keith Ackerman, FiFNA, Visits With Texas MSJ Chapter

+ Keith Ackerman spent a bit over three hours with the Texas Chapter at Holy Trinity Church in Hurst on Saturday, 19 September. During that time, Bishop Ackerman spoke frankly and personally to our questions, questions which are shared by many people. He acknowledged that there are flaws in the ACNA, but that this is the group that God has given us to work His will through, and that the ACNA is of an open mind, especially to the Anglo-Catholic mind.

He spoke of his great joy in visiting with evangelical Anglicans around the world and demonstrating to them that their views were actually the historic Anglo-Catholic views, while dismantling the caricatures built up regarding Anglo-Catholics as more interested in Mary than in mission and the spread of the Gospel in Christ Jesus. He said that his one of greatest moments of joy in dialogue were when J.I Packer said, after one of Bishop Ackerman’s presentations, “Well, if anyone had told me twenty years ago that I would be agreeing with the Anglo-Catholic position on anything, I would have laughed in his face. Today, I find that I agree to the point of calling myself an Evangelical Catholic.”

Bishop Ackerman also spoke of the great strides made in ecumenical progress with the Orthodox, especially the Orthodox Church of America, and of his hopes for the Nashotah House conference. “We are close, very close, to having an understanding which will lead to a deeper relationship.” He also spoke of the extraordinary flexibility regarding the new FiF-NA Diocese of All Saints, in accepting groups who are Anglo-papalist, Anglo-Orthodox, classic English High Church, Oxford Movement High Church, as well as making provision for various societies and religious orders under its umbrella.

Finally, he spoke of practicalities, of the sharing of ministries and talents among Anglo-Catholics and with others in the ACNA. He spoke of his own desire to celebrate and preach at Holy Trinity, and was overjoyed when Fr. Bob assured him that Bishop Fick has already given his blessing to do so. He is scheduled to speak to our cluster again on a Saturday late in November on the topic of pastoral counseling and then he will indeed preach and preside at Holy Trinity’s altar the next day.

The meeting ended with the clergy anointing and praying for his steady improvement in health and ministry, and his episcopal blessing upon us. The entire visit was truly a blessing and each man returned to his home parish refreshed and encouraged.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dates Set For Society Annual Gathering

The Missionary Society of St John (FiF-NA) will hold its annual gathering in Hurst, (Dallas-Ft.Worth) Texas, October 25 thru October 27. Worship and most other activities will be held at Holy Trinity Anglican Church. You may visit the parish's website here:

Clergy and Lay delegates are urged to secure housing arrangements in advance. Full details will be provided. Contact Fr. Bob Tomlinson by using Holy Trinity's website contact information. As our host, Fr. Bob will be able to provide direct, pertinent and timely information.

All Anglicans and all interested people are most welcome to share in the inspiring time of prayer, worship, work and fellowship with the hospitality of the M.S.J.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our Roots, Our Calling, Our Place in the Church

Recently, Frederick G. Fick, bishop of the MSJ was interviewed about the unique mission of the Society.  That interview has been edited and can be read, in its entirety here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dedication Of Hope Anglican, Oscoda

Family and friends are invited as Hope Anglican Church, Oscoda, Michigan will be re-consecrated on August 9 at the 10:30 a.m. mass.  Fr. Thomas Anderson announces that the century old Swedish Lutheran Church building, the home of Hope Anglican, will be officially be put back into sacred service following a year of remodeling.  The Rt Rev Frederick Fick will officiate and the Rev Canon Francis Wardega will be preaching.

Fr Tom said, "This will be less about blessing a building than about re-consecrating a people to the work of the Gospel."

Call Hope Anglican for further details.    989-739-5751

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Finished Product

OK, with the chancel furniture and altar restored to its place, the final photo of the new chancel at St John the Apostle Anglican Church, Clinton Township, Michigan.  Sure, everyone is very proud of the clean new look.  If some old "before" photos can be located, maybe we can do a "before" and "after".

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Paul And The Underground Church

Meanwhile, as we said, it was a very busy week at St John the Apostle.  It was time for Vacation Bible School.  One 12 year old in attendance declared, "This was the best VBS ever!"  With extraordinary costumes, sets in various rooms, dozens of kids in attendance, and a huge staff of adults served as teaching characters.  It was amazing.  So realistic, most of the kids lost themselves each evening in the experience of being a Christian in the first century.  Memories shared and deep, heart-felt lessons learned that will last a life time.

Take a look, it is worth the browse.   

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Tile Sanctuary At St John The Apostle Parish

After almost 5 years of celebrating the Eucharist on rather worn, old blue carpet, the people of St John the Apostle, Clinton Township, MI decided it was time to finally make the sanctuary what everyone has known it could be for a long, long time.  Thanks to the efforts of a dozen volunteers, and approximately 400 man hours later, we show you a quick glimpse of the progress.  It has been a very busy week at St John.  

Click On Any Photo To Enlarge

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Metropolitan Jonah At ACNA

Orthodox Church Leader Rekindles Relationship with Anglicans

The leader of the Orthodox Church in North America has re-kindled the oldest ecumenical relationship in Christian history. Addressing delegates and attendees of the inaugural assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, said, “I am seeking an ecumenical restoration by being here today. This is God’s call to us.” This significant gesture represents the possibility of full communion being exchanged between the churches.

Metropolitan Jonah represents the North American branch of the Orthodox Church, a Christian denomination that has a long history of strong relationships with the Anglican Church. “We have to actualize that radical experience of union in Christ with one another,” Jonah said. Speaking for 45 minutes, the Metropolitan addressed the importance of looking past our differences in order to work together for mission. “Our unity transcends our particularity,” he said.

His Beatitude’s message was focused on unity but did not fail to address areas of contrasting beliefs between the two churches. Despite this, the Metropolitan told the audience that “our arms are open wide.”

Following the speech, a representative of an Orthodox seminary, St. Vladimir’s, announced a cooperative effort with Nashotah House, an orthodox Anglican seminary, that would help further these ecumenical relationships and what Jonah described as a “new dialogue between the Orthodox Church in North America and the new Anglican province in North America.

The Texas chapter of the Missionaries of St John, together with their bishop, gathered in Bedford, Texas, heartily rejoice and offer God thanksgiving for this timely address by Metropolitan Jonah and his "open arms" of invitation. Our hearts resonate with his call to the truth of the apostolic faith, and we humbly and joyfully embrace his call to unity in the "faith once given".  Lord, hear our prayer.

Contact Information

11195 S. Grayling Rd.
Roscommon, MI 48653

Telephone: 586-264-6044
msjanglican "at"