COME AND PRAY. OR IF YOU CAN'T COME, THEN PRAY.
PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETINGS, JUNE 21-22, 2016
The Anglican Church in North America gathers annually in a rhythm of Provincial Assemblies and Provincial Councils. The Assemblies, approximately every third year, are large celebrations for laity, clergy, and visitors from throughout the Province and around the world. They are major events of worship, vision, teaching, training, and fellowship with a significant focus: the consecration of Archbishop Bob Duncan (2009), the election of Archbishop Foley Beach (2014), etc. The next Provincial Assembly will be held in Chicago, the last week of June 2017.
Embedded within each Assembly is a two-day Provincial Council – a business meeting. The Bishop Ordinary, one clergy, and two lay delegates from each Diocese, together with the other governing bodies of the Province, gather for reporting, voting, etc. Visitors are welcome, but there is not an “everybody come” push for the Council, and only the official delegates vote on decisions.
In years when there is no Assembly (like 2016), official delegates still gather in Provincial Council as a stand-alone event for work and decision-making. Since they are not connected to an Assembly, these Council meeting are generally smallish gatherings – around 200 people.
This year, the Diocese of Christ our Hope will be represented officially at Provincial Council by Bishop Steve Breedlove, Rev Alan Hawkins, and lay leaders Teresa Kincaid and Ben Bowman.
But there is a BIG difference in this 2016 Provincial Council that calls the whole Diocese to prayer, and perhaps many of you to consider joining as visitors, observers, and celebrants. This is the year when our application to become a stand-alone Diocese in the ACNA will be received, discussed, and voted on; and even more wonderfully, this is the time when Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje will “gift” PEARUSA’s three networks to the ACNA.
We exist as an Anglican jurisdiction because of the faithfulness, courage, and generosity of the spiritual leaders of this tiny nation of Rwanda. You know our story – it has shaped who we are. We have learned through Rwanda how to thrive within godly spiritual authority and passionate Gospel mission. We have learned the blessings of trust and risk for the Gospel. We have learned the central importance – even the blessed messiness – of relationships, people over tasks. We have been shaped by a global connection, not just because it’s a “cool, celebrity-and-media-driven ethic” but by the grace of friendship and ministry with people in Rwanda.
Now we are approaching a moment when Rwanda will again exhibit radical generosity and faith. Abp Rwaje will representatively take the stage and give the ACNA what the Rwandans consider to be their spiritual children. The Global South will shape the Christian West. The seeds of lifelong global friendship and ministry partnership will be planted into the entire ACNA. Tiny, insignificant Rwanda will show big, rich America aspects of being Christian that we would otherwise miss in our culture of achievement, drivenness, accumulation, and exhaustion.
How can you be a part of this? You are free to register and come to Mt Pleasant, SC, as a visitor / observer (http://www.anglicanchurch.net/index.php/main/Charleston_2016/) . Plan a holiday in the Charleston area and join us for this joyous time. If you can’t make it there, you can pray. Pray that the Lord will birth something in the spiritual realm through this that will change the ACNA deeply. Pray for the infusion of humility, gratitude, courage, faithfulness, kindness, and risk for Christ’s sake.
Come and pray. Or if you can’t come, then pray.