Ben and I made it safely to Atlanta Wednesday night, and we returned without event early Saturday morning. The Anglican Province of America held our provincial synod on Thursday. We spent the vast majority of the time on the business of the church. Most of this focused on the accomplishments of the past year.
Perhaps the most exciting updates were about the foreign mission work. The Anglican Province of America has been committed to serving the most marginalized of society overseas. We have four locations we have been focusing on: Ecuador, Haiti, India, and the Philipines. I will try to get more information about these mission to you later on, but, to me, the most exciting of these is the work in Ecuador.
The churches we have been working in Ecuador are comprised of indigenous people who were enslaved until the 1960s. After the 1960s the government freed them and gave them land in the high Andes, the elevation is double that of where we live in Prescott and not the best for agriculture. There are 33 churches in this region and three priests and three deacons serving them. The province has set some lofty goals and I would encourage you to keep The Indigenous Pastorale of the Anglican Province of America in Ecuador, as they are known, in your prayers. If you wish to find out more about this good work, you can check it out here.
We have been praying that the Anglican Catholic Church, Anglican Church in America, Anglican Province of America and the Diocese of the Holy Cross would sign an intercommunion agreement. The houses of clergy and laity of the APA affirmed the agreement on Thursday and the four senior bishops signed it Friday. This document has been a long time coming and countless hours of work has gone into it from clergy in all four groups. The hope is this will allow for greater cooperation in the propagation of the Gospel in our country and internationally.
Rummage Sale Thanks
It has been a hectic time the past week. I wanted to extend huge thanks to everyone who made the rummage sale possible. I was impressed and pleased to see how well everyone worked together, putting in countless hours of work to make it happen. Let us continue to strive to work together in this way to the glory of God.
The Idol of the Past; a brief thought on church growth
The keynote speaker at the synod was a gentleman who participated in the founding of the continuing Anglican movement. His knowledge of the past events was impressive and helpful to give us a perspective as to how far we've come.
As I've thought about his speech, I thought about how we can become fixated on the past, making it into an idol. Often we can think of the good ole days as something that was perfect and better than today. Certainly, today has its struggles, but so did the past and as will the future.
To be a missional church we need to focus intently on the future, to have a vision and an idea of what it means to be a gospel-centered Anglican church in a post-modern and an arguably secular society. If we fixate on the past, we run the risk of becoming like Lot's wife and turning back and turning to stone. Instead, let our hearts burn for the gospel of Christ and be truly living testimonies of his grace.
Prayers for the week
1 - This week, please pray that we would be intently focused on doing the work of the gospel and being the light of Christ in our community.
2 - Please pray for The Indigenous Pastorale of the Anglican Province of America in Ecuador.
3 - Let us also remember Fr. Vince Varnas and his new mission Holy Angles Anglican Mission in La Center, WA.
4 - Finally, remember out Vicar General Fr. Robert Hawkins who was preparing to attend the synod when he fell and broke his wrist.
As always, I am eager to see you on all on Sunday.
Fr. Ian Emile Dunn
All Saints Anglican Church