During our meeting, we received updates from a variety of initiatives that have been undertaken within the Church, and we worked to approve new resources for worship (liturgy) and teaching (catechesis). As usual in these conversations we experienced both the gifts and tensions inherent in a three streams church: Evangelical, Anglo-Catholic, and Charismatic. We give thanks for the breadth of Anglicanism, and the unity that we in the Anglican Church in North America have in Christ.
Assembly 2017: Mission on Our Doorstep
Ministry: Matthew 25 Initiative
We give thanks for the confidence in the Anglican Church in North America held by an anonymous donor who has pledged more than $1 million in matching funds to double the money that we raise to impact people's lives. The Matthew 25 Initiative focuses on the teaching of Jesus, "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me" (Matthew 25:35-36), reflecting the heart and priorities of the Lord.
The texts presented were:
The Rites of Healing:
Reconciliation of Penitents
Ministry to the Sick
Communion of the Sick
Great Litany and Supplication
Occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings
Consecration and Dedication of a Place of Worship
Great Vigil of Easter
Five psalms exemplifying a Renewed Coverdale Psalter, inspired by the work C.S. Lewis and T.S. Eliot, were also shared, as were a number of historical texts and calendar tables proposed for inclusion in the Prayer Book.
- a plan to refresh the Texts for Common Prayer webpage (for ease of use) on the Provincial website;
- an easy-to-use online resource (www.legereme.com) for reading the Daily Office and for determining appropriate Eucharistic collects, lessons and prefaces; and
- a timetable for incorporating feedback toward finalizing the BCP 2019.
Order: Holy Orders Task Force
The task force's report does not represent the position of the college, as our formal discussions on this topic are just now beginning, but it is our hope that this document will begin to give us a common language for conversation in the College, and aid dialogue in the larger Church.
We are well aware that this is a passionate topic. We would remind our members of the clergy and laity that in all our conversations, whether they be in person, or on social media, our conduct must always honor Christ, and model his sacrificial love.
The College adopted a revision to Parts 1 and 2 of the Catechism, with the goal of producing a final version of the Catechism in the coming year. The Bishops approved changes that were presented, and endorsed the plan to place pastoral prayers formerly in the introduction in the relevant sections of the text, and to add prayers for pastoral application to other sections.
The Committee continues to focus its work on three audiences and three challenges:
- Outsiders becoming insiders - learning from the ancient church how to do catechetical evangelism through patterned practices in an environment of warm, evangelical hospitality.
- Forgetters becoming rememberers - renewing our commitment to lifelong catechesis-laying the foundation for all other ventures in discipleship; completing the revision of To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism.
- Beloved children becoming belief-ful adults - rediscovering the crucial role of family for discipling our children for Christian life and mission.
Youth Ministry: Young Anglicans Project
- The "Engage" initiative to help small churches and church plants reach and disciple teenagers through one on one Bible reading. At this point seven dioceses are involved at some level with the program.
- Youth ministry training webinars, all available on the web through the Young Anglicans Project website.
- An Anglican Gap Year program (aGAPe Year). Designed as a year-long discipleship program for high school graduates wanting to spend a year in mission and ministry before college. Directors have been hired and are raising support with our first class expected in September of 2017.
- A conference for training diocesan youth directors in Dallas, October 24-26, 2017.
- National Anglican Youth Ministers conference in conjunction with the Rooted conference will be next October 25-26, 2017, in Dallas.
- Two youth leader networking video conferences every month for youth leaders
- Quarterly newsletter goes out to the 2,500 Anglicans interested in youth ministry on our mailing list, and via social media.
- Making and maintaining connections with other ministries in the Anglican Church in North America, including Anglican Global Mission Partners (AGMP), Caminemos Juntos, the Catechesis committee, and Always Forward.
Outreach: The Telos Collective
Church Planting: Always Forward
In 2017, primary initiatives will focus on developing a Strategic Leaders Initiative for the identifying, equipping, and supporting of diocesan church planting leaders, and an online training program for planters. The annual church planting conference will be held in conjunction with Provincial Assembly in June, and in the fall, Always Forward will host a church planting simulcast to encourage local planters to get together for training and collaboration while engaging in group-based learning. There are also plans for collaboration with other Gafcon provinces to work towards a global, collaborative church planting network.
Bishop Coadjutor for the Central States and Suffragan for Mid-America
As Bishop Ray Sutton now takes on the role of Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church sub-jurisdiction, we gave our consent to the Diocese of Mid-America for the election of a suffragan bishop to assist him in his duties. We also gave our consent to the Diocese of the Central States to elect a bishop coadjutor.