History of Anglican Renewal Ministries
Anglican Renewal Ministries
Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada (ARM) is a non-profit organization incorporated and subject to the legislation and regulations of both the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario. It is also registered by the Federal Department of Revenue (Taxation) as a charitable organization. The Board of Directors of ARM generally consists of 8 persons (although the Constitution allows for up to 12) - clergy and laity - from across Canada.
ARM is organizationally independent of the Anglican Church of Canada and receives no financial support from it. Nevertheless ARM’s practice is to work with and within the Church.
In the process of incorporation the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs asked the Anglican Church of Canada to approve the use the word "Anglican" in the proposed corporate name "Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada". The National Executive Council of the Anglican Church of Canada did so in April 1989.
Background and Beginnings
In the 60's and 70's many Canadian Anglicans experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which was occurring throughout the world to individuals and small groups in non-traditional church activities. The simultaneous appearance in many countries and traditions demonstrated that the phenomenon, which came to be called Charismatic Renewal, was a sovereign act of God.
The International Anglican Conference on Spiritual Renewal held in 1978, in Canterbury, England sparked two attempts to establish a national network for renewal in Canada. However the timing wasn't right. In June 1983, 66 Canadian Anglicans attended an Episcopal Renewal Ministries Clergy Conference in Texas where, through prayer, they heard words of encouragement and prophesy, and a sense of the Lord's clearly spoken word for a "oneness" of the ministries of renewal in Canada. Despite the typically Canadian obstacles to a national "oneness" on any subject, eight clergy from across the country were elected to address the question of how to proceed.
The Launching of ARM
The committee met in Oshawa in the fall of 1983 and chose the name "Anglican Renewal Ministries". The priests were decided to hold a national conference on renewal in Ottawa, in July 1985. With no money, and not knowing whether anyone in Ottawa would be willing to take on the organizational task, they trusted from past experience in renewal that the Lord would provide all that was necessary to do His will.
Carleton University was selected as the Conference site. Almost penniless, the organizers committed to the expenditure of thousands of dollars on publicity and planning for a family conference that would be fun and spiritually enriching.
The outcome? As planning proceeded God moved people to send unsolicited donations in time to pay the bills; when the conference took place the facilities were filled and nobody was turned away. One thousand adults and over 100 eager children and youth attended and grew in Christ (in fact, they didn't want it to end!).
The Lord's leading and faithfulness was evident again at two evening services where the main speaker was the Canon Michael Harper. He told the Board that he had had a word from the Lord to appeal for funds to finance the work that God wanted ARM to do and that $20,000 would be donated. He appealed. On that evening and the next the offerings were $8,400 and $7,200, and a further $596 was recovered from collection boxes. $3,000 was mailed in immediately after the Conference. Further donations shortly after brought the total to $20,000.
People reported that the Conference had encouraged them in their ministries, fostered personal growth and healing and given them a strong sense of being sent out from the Conference to minister in their churches and the world. It was clear that the Lord affirmed the creation of ARM.
One of the confirmed prophecies at the Conference concerned the future of ARM:
"Many needs have been expressed. I will meet those needs. I will not meet them immediately, I will meet them step by step. Build a framework that is flexible, not a structure that will stifle you. Stick to the simple things, the basics that I teach you. Do not copy others, but do as I lead you. Do not rush into things but rather let the tree grow slowly and thus let it grow strong."
That prophecy is being fulfilled.
ARM's Stance in Regard to Renewal
ARM sees itself not as part of a human renewal movement but as a witness to and participant in a world-wide movement of God leading the church back to the Third Person of the Trinity after centuries of forgetfulness and neglect. This movement of God is critical to the renewal of the church.
ARM believes that God is awakening the Church to the realities of the historic Pentecost through the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit as revealed in the New Testament and as experienced today in the world-wide movement of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit's empowering of the contemporary church is a calling us to joyous worship, biblical preaching, the ministry of all believers, and the equipping of the saints to demonstrate everywhere the fullness of the Gospel in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
ARM also believes that honoring the authority of the Scriptures and the uniqueness of Jesus as Saviour are essential to renewal in the church. Evangelism, ministry and service must be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be effective. Jesus told His disciples to wait for the promise of the Father "when you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" and "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses..."
Relations with the Church
ARM's purpose is to be of service to the Church. Even though there has been a tendency in some renewal circles to stand apart from the institutional church, we believe this is not short-sighted. The renewal community can best affect the decision-making of the church if its members participate directly in the process. Therefore we encourage supporters of ARM to become involved in all aspects of church life at the parish, diocesan and national levels.
Anglican Renewal Ministries Canada continues to affirm the marriage canon of our Church, which states that marriage is to be between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others.
Anglicans for Renewal is published four times a year by Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada (ARM Canada) to build up the body of Christ by encouraging, helping and challenging individuals and parishes who seek to grow in their relationship with the Father and the Son, and in openness to the Holy Spirit.
Group (4 copies to same address), $30.00/year
Conferences and Schools of Renewal Ministry
The 1985 ARM Conference described above, was followed in 1987 by five smaller Conferences - in Fredericton, Montreal, Toronto, Brandon, and Calgary. In 1988 a regional conference took place in Halifax. In the 1990s Conferences were held in Vancouver, Waterloo, Gander, Edmonton, Regina, Montreal and Saint John's. Bishop and Mary Pytches have led numerous ARM-sponsored Holy Spirit training seminars.
ARM has also sponsored numerous Schools of Renewal Ministry for both clergy and laity.
Questions or comments can be sent to ARM National Office