BY THE REV'D CANON ALAN HAWKINS
Dear friends in Christ,
A few years ago I heard a message where the speaker remarked that he could tell what you are “really about” by looking at two instruments: your personal checkbook/financial statements and your calendar. He said a small inspection of these two things would reveal your heart.
What you do with your time and your resources, no matter how small or great, is the leading indicator of what you truly value.
Jesus says, “Where your treasure is your heart is also”. The Apostle Paul remarks that, “We are to make the most of our time because the days are evil”. In other words, either we “rule” our time of we are “ruled” by it. As a new diocese, our stated mission is to plant, build, and equip disciple-making Anglican churches, their people, and those who serve them.
To that end, we believe the best way to bring our shared values and ministries into reality is to focus on three more localized regions There are three: The Blue Ridge Region, The Piedmont-Coastal Region, and The Northeast Region. Each region comprises a group of churches proximate geographically.
The three Regional Leaders are Rev. Patrick Dominguez (Church of the Apostles - Raleigh NC), The Rt. Rev. Quigg Lawrence (Church of the Holy Spirit - Roanoke VA), and The Rev. Mark Booker (Church of the Cross - Boston MA). These brothers have been tasked with convening their respective region and helping to foster an environment of teamwork for mission and ministry.
We’re doing this in two ways:
First, The Diocese of Christ our Hope Spring Regional Gatherings. This event every year will incorporate not only our clergy and diocesan staff team but also the laity of our churches for encouragement and equipping. Please mark your calendars for the following 2017 dates:
The Piedmont-Coastal Region: February 9, 10, and 11 at Church of the Apostles (Raleigh North Carolina)
The Blue Ridge Region: March 9, 10, 11 at Church of the Holy Spirit (Roanoke Virginia)
The Northeast Network Region: April 27, 28, 29 (Place TBA)
Second, our Fifty-Percent (50%) Mission Partnership Funding Strategy. A stated financial policy of our diocese is that 50% of what our churches give to the diocese will be sent back to the regions. This year that means our regions will have approximately $430,000 for mission. Each region develops its strategic plan which must be approved by our Diocesan Council and at Synod. We believe we are going to see some very encouraging work take shape in our diocese over the next few years.
Currently, we have 8 new church plants with several others on the horizon. Church Planting is simply the most effective activity ‘under the sun’ for reaching new people and make disciples of them along the way. Our diocese exists because almost all of our churches have been started in the last 10 years. We intend to keep that edge of mission by recruiting, equipping, funding and assisting courageous leaders and laity to see new ministries rooted in gospel mission all over our footprint.
In summary, your Diocesan Staff and Diocesan Council are deeply committed to serve the leaders of our churches as well as their people. The most exciting aspect of the Gospel ministry is where it happens - the local frontline level. We are here to serve, bless, and equip in everyday possible to the Glory of God. We thank God for you and pray for you. We cannot wait to walk together in the gospel.