Renewal News Spring 2018

In This Issue:

Renewal News Spring 2018

Letter to our Supporters

September 2017

Dear Renewal Friend,

Thank you! Your support – both prayerful and financial – is vital to the Renewal Fellowship and is deeply appreciated.

Allow me to turn back the clock 35 years. It was the middle of the week. The sanctuary was full. (Imagine that!) Some had driven over two hours to attend. Others had used public transportation. The place was Willowdale Presbyterian Church. Fitting the importance of the occasion, the meeting began with worship. The theological perspective of most of those present could be described as “conservative” or “evangelical”. They held the perception that some official parts of our denomination were not only drifting from their historic and biblical roots, but were also becoming more hostile to those who embraced those perspectives. In stereotypical Presbyterian fashion, a committee was struck to form The Renewal Fellowship Within The Presbyterian Church in Canada.

Since then, the passion for a vibrant and faithful denomination evident in the gathering at Willowdale in 1982 has been the hallmark of the Fellowship’s focus and ministry. Over the years, this passion has been expressed in a variety of ways. One consistent aspect of the Fellowship’s ministry has been the leadership of an Executive Director. They have blessed our denomination and our Fellowship by their gifts.

We are excited that God has provided Rev. Andy Cornell as new Executive Director. We believe that in Andy, God has provided someone who can help continue the work of renewal within The Presbyterian Church in Canada, helping God’s faithful people bring His truth and grace into fuller expression within our society. On the evening of Thursday, November 2, you are invited to join us, or to extend greetings, to celebrate our 35th Anniversary and install Andy in his new position, with dinner and installation service at Kortright Presbyterian Church in Guelph, Ontario. The cost is $20 and the deadline for registration is October 22. Contact: email the Fellowship at <renewalfellowshippcc@gmail.com> or call 416-233-6581.

As a supporter, we ask you not only to continue your prayerful and financial contributions to this ministry, but to consider an increase in your giving. Although we are still solvent, current donations do not meet current expenses. Please encourage others to become supporters. We value your prayers for insight and courage as we seek to fulfill our mission to be a positive influence in our church.

Enthusiastically,

Rev. Nan St. Louis, Chairperson

Letter to our Elders

September 2017

Fellow PCC Elders:

Greetings in the name of our Lord! I hope and pray that you and your congregation(s) are entering a busy new season after a restful summer.

Autumn 2017 is going to be busy. As you are aware, General Assembly is asking its courts and colleges to study eight significant documents and to report back by the end of January. Four documents alone are focused on sexuality. This is a lot of work! Even multi-staffed congregations with gifted lay leaders will find it a challenge to get through.

We at Renewal Fellowship are confident that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, it can be done. The purpose of this letter is let you know that we are praying for every session, congregation, presbytery, synod, and college. Specifically, we are praying:

  1. for the Holy Spirit to enable church leaders, members and adherents to find time to read each paper and meet to discuss them;
  2. for the church to see this not as a burden but as an opportunity to bring every believer closer to the Lord; and,
  3. for those holding contrasting opinions to be able to discuss these issues with mutual respect.

We are here for you. As Executive Director, I am available to provide words of encouragement to any congregation or group in The Presbyterian Church in Canada. If you are not a member or supporter of the Renewal Fellowship, click on the “About” menu item above.

May the peace of Christ and the power of his Spirit be with you!

Rev. Andy Cornell

Executive Director
<renewalfellowshippcc@gmail.com>
416-233-6581

Resources for the Human Sexuality Discussions in the Presbyterian Church in Canada

There has been a request for resources that come from an evangelical/conservative point of view. Here are a few that have been forwarded to us by members and board members of the Renewal Fellowship. We welcome your comments and suggestions on these resources and any others you would suggest. Please email Linda Shaw, Board chairperson, at <ianandlindashaw@gmail.com>.

A Letter from the Committee on Church Doctrine: This commentary is in response to the Body, Mind and Soul Study Guide. Responses may be sent directly to the Convener of the Committee on Church Doctrine, The Rev. Ian Shaw, at <rianshaw48@gmail.com>, or forwarded to the Committee through the General Assembly Office.

Speaking Truth in Love: A Forum on Human Sexuality: The Presbytery of Hamilton hosted this day-long forum on Saturday, January 30th, 2016, at Chedoke Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, Ontario. Besides the videos, there are transcripts of presentations by Clyde Ervine, Kevin Livingston, Hugh Donnelly, Wes Denyer, and Karla Wubbenhorst.

Channels Articles: 13 articles on human sexuality have appeared on this site in the past. Read More

Print Resources:

Links following the titles are where e-books or hard copies may be purchased.

What does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? – Kevin DeYoung [ Google ] [ Amazon ]

Turning Controversy Into Church Ministry: A Christlike Response to Homosexuality – W.P. Campbell [ Google ] [ Amazon ]

The Uncomfortable Church: Can Gays Be Reconciled to the Body of Christ? – Dr. Lawrence Brice [ Amazon ]

Washed And Waiting: Relections On Christian Faithfulness And Homosexuality – Wesley Hill [ Google ] [ Amazon ]

Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage – Christopher Roberts [ Google ] [ Amazon ]

The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Text and Hermeneutics – Robert Gagnon [ Abingdon Press ] [ Free materials on the author's website ] [ Amazon ]

Straight and Narrow? Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexual Debate – Thomas E Schmidt [ Google ] [ Amazon ]