Pews News Weekly
It has been exciting to watch the pile of treasures grow for the great All Saints Rummage Sale, the front quarter of the parish hall is getting quite full! Please keep bringing in your goodies, and remember to sign up to help if you are able. There are still open volunteer slots for Tuesday through Saturday. Fliers to hand out to friends and post around town are now also available.
Update on Irma
I received an email from Lisa in the Anglican Province of America's head office letting us know that the entire cathedral staff weathered the storm just fine. When she wrote there were still three parishes that they had not heard from: St. James of Jerusalem, Sarasota, St. Luke’s, Port Orange, or St. Paul’s, Melbourne. It is still early and staff may be without communications or traveling back from places of refuge, but please continue to pray for everyone affected by Irma, and especially for these three churches.
Some (more) thoughts on Church Growth
Perhaps you have picked up on the fact that I have been thinking a lot about church growth recently. Ultimately, the growth of our church is in the Lord's hands, but we are called to trust and obey, to step out in faith. The challenges can often be a scary thing. Additionally, our church won't grow over night; it will over time when we are focused on doing the work that God calls us to.
This past week I listened to an interview with an Anglican church planter in Washington, DC who has seen his church grow from 12 people meeting in his living room to a full size, viable church over the last 15 years or so. One of the things that struck me was this priest's faith. He mentioned a feeling that I am sure we have all felt, the fear of stepping out. He noted that every time he is called to act in faith, it seems so much bigger than the previous time. Simultaneously, when he looks back, he always finds himself wondering why it seemed so big at the time time. Isn't this the way it always is?
The same day I read a short book by Thom Rainer, a church consultant who has valuable insight into church health and growth. In this book, Rainer observes that almost always that churches that become ill and fade away follow the same patterns. I think he gets lost in some of the details, but over the next few weeks, as time allows, I hope to share some of his thoughts that I found particularly helpful. I have found All Saints to be a healthy and vibrant church, but we can always learn, grow, and challenge ourselves to be more faithful "partners in the gospel."
Finally, as I write about Church growth and we think about it as a body, I'll have a small challenge for us to join in. This week let us unify in prayer. I hope that we will pray for our church, the work that we are doing, and specifically that we would have a clear and united vision of what it means to be Anglican Christians in the Quad City region.
As always, I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Fr. Ian Emile Dunn
All Saints Anglican Church