Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This past week I had the first opportunity since we officially joined ACNA to participate in a training with our new partners in ministry. The conference I attended is known as RSVP – Rectors Summit for Vision and Planning — and was held in Concord, Massachusetts, with leaders from as far away as Idaho and Colorado.
Although the name describes vision and planning, the retreat is more comprehensive than that. Each day we spent a full section and a small group time on the Pastor’s Heart. I can honestly say that God really used this time to open my eyes to some unhelpful patterns and to remind me to slow down. We also had a section focused on generosity and how to lead the congregation into a greater understanding of giving in the life of a Christian. I have much to share.
In the midst of all of this learning, what stood out most is how blessed we are to be a part of ACNA. The leaders with which I was honored to attend are dedicated pioneers with many great strengths and gifts. They are men of prayer and deep worship. They are devoted to wrestling with theology and how to engage the secular culture. They are creative and passionate. I also realized that we are the new kids on the block. We have a lot to learn about the ethos and direction of ACNA, but I am encouraged by our partnership.
Finally, these brothers and sisters are concerned about our situation in the courts and are praying for us. As you know our mediation was scheduled for Monday-Wednesday. They prayed and asked me to keep them informed. You may have heard that after a day and a half the judge recessed the mediation to reconvene December 4-5. Since the proceedings are completely confidential, there is no new news. Our calling is still to pray. Even as I left the conference, I was encouraged by these new friends that we should use the resources they possessed after so many of them walked the same path we are on. It was a great reminder of why a province is so important.
As we move forward, I am so thankful for the partnership we have in the Anglican Church in North America to “reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.” Please keep all of our leaders in your prayers, especially our Bishop and the legal team. We trust in God’s perfect plan.