A statement from St. John’s, Vancouver (used to be St. John’s Shaughnessy):
- In what may be the greatest upheaval in Christianity since the Reformation, foundational Christian beliefs are currently under attack within the church itself. Just as with the Reformation, the foundational issue is the blurring and compromise of the good news of Jesus Christ and the elevation of the authority of church leadership over the authority of the Bible. As a consequence, the Anglican Church worldwide is essentially dividing.
- The spark for this division occurred over ten years ago here in Vancouver, when the Diocese of New Westminster unilaterally voted to bless same-sex marriages. This action brought clarity to the foundational differences in belief between ourselves and the local Anglican Diocese, of which we were part. This was just a visible symptom of the gulf which divides us. The underlying, central issues are: the authority of God’s Word in the Bible, the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, and our need to be saved from sin.
- As an orthodox Bible-believing church we could not ‘walk apart’ from the worldwide Anglican church with the Diocese of New Westminster and the Anglican Church of Canada as they continue to redefine the Bible’s teaching, attempting to subordinate God’s Word to the culture of the moment. We choose to submit to the authority of God through His written Word, the Bible, turn from sin, embrace the message of the Gospel, and stay true to the Anglican traditions of faith.
- The process has been long and decisions have been made carefully in consultation with the larger Anglican Church around the world. After 6 years of working through various internal Anglican church processes to resolve the issue, the Diocese took action to remove our democratically elected trustees and the legal process was initiated.
- We remain in communion with the greater part of the worldwide Anglican Communion through the auspices of the Anglican Network in Canada. Having aligned ourselves with orthodox Bible-believing Anglicans in the rest of the world, rather than our local Diocese, it became necessary for us to determine who is upholding the ministry for which the church property was intended.
- The congregation, clergy and staff are moving from the historic church building on Nanton Avenue since the Diocese of New Westminster was determined, through the legal process, to be the ministry for which the building was intended. The Diocese will be installing other clergy to conduct services beginning in October 2011.
- We are now St. John’s Vancouver (Anglican) Church, as distinct from St. John’s (Shaughnessy) Anglican Church which remains within the Diocese of New Westminster.
- We as a congregation will, with God’s help, continue to show the surpassing worth of Jesus Christ, continuing with all our ministries, preaching and teaching the Gospel and witnessing to others. Our temporary church home will be located in the Oakridge Adventist Church facility at West 37th Avenue and Baillie Street, with Sunday services starting on 25 September.