by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
Being on the board of Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada was a wonderful and sometimes very painful experience. As Board Chair, God gave me the opportunity to move ARM Canada in the direction of reconciliation with other Anglican movements, resulting in the birthing of the Essentials movement in 1994. The Essentials movement did not accomplish all that we dreamed, but it was a key stepping stone to our realigning with the faithful Global South Anglicans. Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, as a founding partner of the Anglican Essentials movement, helped birth the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials which we affirm in the Anglican Coalition in Canada.
While on the ARM Canada board, I worked with high-quality faithful Anglicans from across Canada. My Vice-Chair was Emmie Marsh, the wife of Bishop Eddie Marsh of Central Newfoundland. They invited me to do a ten-day mission to their diocese in 1996 in which I did a retreat at Grand Banks with 60 ACW presidents on the beatitudes, followed by a Renewal Mission at Gambo. Rev John Torley was the Rector of St Luke’s Calgary, before planting Holy Trinity Church in a shopping mall. He led one of our early Renewal Missions and had a tremendous sense of humour. My first exposure to John Torley+ was when he led a Renewal Mission at St Matthew’s Abbotsford where I served in the mid- 1980s.
Our ARM Board met several times a year in what we called the Golden Triangle, either in Ottawa, Montreal or Toronto. We often met in Retreat Centres, and would always celebrate the Eucharist together. It was wonderful to worship with such Spirit-filled, Jesus-honouring brothers and sisters. We had no idea that the storm clouds were coming in. I remember when I celebrated the Eucharist using the Book of Common Prayer, something that was almost unthinkable in those days for charismatic Anglicans. Why not, I asked, have a Spirit-filled BCP Eucharist?
My entrance into the Anglican Renewal Ministries Board came through my involvement as the Publicity Co-ordinator for the 1990 ARM Canada Renewal Conference at UBC with Bishop Moses and Cynthia Tay ( & Rev. Gerald Khoo). They spoke in eighteen cities across Canada reaching many thousands of people. We had 450 registered for the UBC Conference, with 800 people to the final Renewal Eucharist.
In 1991, our Anglican Renewal Ministries leaders from Canada went to the ARM/SOMA Conference in Canterbury and Brighton, England. My wife Janice was sitting next to Susan Rivers of St Andrew’s Delta at the 1991 Renewal Conference. Susan was the person who recruited me to the national Anglican Renewal Ministries Board.
As part of our international involvement in Anglican Renewal, many of us from Canada went to the 1998 Pre-Lambeth Leadership Conference at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Our family was blessed while in London to be hosted for a week by our good friend the Rev Dr. Jim Dainty, a fellow Anglican priest with a heart for spiritual renewal. We only knew Jim+ by email before we visited England. He has since come to visit our congregation in North Vancouver, and we skype together.
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