Primates’ gathering

October 31, 2015

The Archbishops and Primates of the Anglican Communion will gather in January 2016.

From Rev. Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council:

It is good to hope for a positive outcome from the Primates gathering in January. But it is even better to pray. Hope is good. Prayer is essential.

This is a time to pray for extraordinary courage on the part of all the Archbishops and Primates of the Anglican Communion who will be at Canterbury in January – to pray that they will do the right thing together. To pray that they will honor both truth and love by doing what Jesus would do, and saying what he would say. To pray that they will have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5-11) in the mind of the Church, and that they may finally take order of the Church.

But above all it is a time for us to set our hope in the right place, as the Psalmist reminds us:

“Find rest. O my soul, in God alone: my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people: pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:5-8)

Amen.


Praying for the election of a new ACNA Archbishop

June 15, 2014

I’m very thankful to the AAC for posting an article with suggestions about how to be praying for the election of a new ACNA Archbishop. Here are some excerpts:

***

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: we thank you for miraculously raising up a new Anglican Movement and giving us a courageous Archbishop, Robert Duncan, to lead our Anglican Church in North America these past five years. Look graciously now on your Church, and send your Holy Spirit to guide the hearts and minds of the College of Bishops who will choose an Archbishop for our Province, that we may receive a faithful Apostle who will lead us in mission and evangelism with our brothers and sisters around the world, and who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries in North America, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, friends of the Anglican realignment,

The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) will gather to elect a new Archbishop beginning Thursday evening, June 19 and, if necessary, adjourning Sunday evening June 22. I am grateful for the Collect (above) that we have been able to pray during these recent weeks leading up to the election of a leader to succeed Archbishop Bob Duncan. I am also grateful for our Lord’s hand upon the ACNA, its growth under the inspired leadership of Archbishop Duncan, and our opportunity to celebrate both during Provincial meetings June 23-28 at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, PA.

[…]  Pray for the bishops who will be gathering in conclave to elect.  Pray for their discernment. Pray that they will be guided and governed by faith rather than fear.  Pray that they will confirm by their ballots the man whom God has already chosen. Pray for the bishops’ unity behind their choice of the man whom God has already chosen from the moment they and we move forward from this election.

[…]

let me humbly offer a list of what you and I should pray for in the man whom the College of Bishops will choose as the next Archbishop of the ACNA:

 

A leader who PRAYS:  We need an Archbishop who has the gift of leadership. That’s a given. But not all leaders have a deep life of prayer and listening. This job requires a leader who will listen to the voice of God above the voices of others—even the best counselors. We have been blessed to have an Archbishop who had such a deep commitment to prayer and listening to the Lord that he took time apart to be with the Lord, to rest and pray and listen to the Lord. The qualities and competencies required of our next Archbishop must come out of this deep, inner life with Christ.

 

A leader with the gift of FAITH:  Every bishop I can think of in the College is faithful. We are blessed with a College of Bishops who stand in the tradition of the Apostles and the faith once delivered. But what our next Archbishop needs is the spiritual gift of faith (I Corinthians 12:9), the supernatural ability to trust God for the future even when it doesn’t look so good in the moment. Every ministry has those days, and the ACNA is no exception. But what we need is a leader who can lower the anxiety level in the system with a calm, non-anxious leadership that flows out of that supernatural ability to trust God for the future. We have been blessed to have such faith in Archbishop Duncan—every day, both when things are looking good and when they’re not looking so good.

 

A leader with the gift of DISCERNMENT:  This too is a spiritual gift (I Corinthians 12:10).  Yes, there’s a certain quality of discernment that one can cultivate, a wisdom born of experience.  It’s what we teach in our Clergy Leadership Training Institutes about “The Leadership Triangle”: how to accurately diagnose a challenge (technical, strategic or cultural) and so to apply the leadership skills appropriate to that challenge. Misdiagnosis or failure to discern accurately may lead to solutions that make the challenges worse.[2]  But there is also a need for supernatural ability to distinguish which spirits are at work in a particular challenge. We need an Archbishop who can cut through the cloud of confusion and acrimony that often surrounds such challenges and conflict with a supernatural ability to see God’s way forward.

 

A leader who calls on the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:  In a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity, we need a leader who can call us to a new Pentecost. We need a leader who calls on the power of the Holy Spirit and invites Him into every situation.  Whether we are dealing with evangelism, church planting, reaching people who do not yet know Jesus with his transforming love—or the powers and principalities at work in the Anglican Communion hostile to the Gospel—we are dealing with spiritual blindness (2 Corinthians 4:4).  Only the Holy Spirit can lift that veil and level the playing field so that our mission can go forward from strength to strength. We need a leader who understands that, who calls upon such Holy Spirit power daily, and who calls us to do the same.

 

A leader who walks in PEACE:  We have a saying in our Clergy Leadership gatherings:  ministry doesn’t just include conflict—ministry IS conflict. Archbishop Duncan has faced conflicts of every size and shape, domestically and internationally, every day. But he has also modeled for us what it means to be a leader who walks in peace. A leader who moves toward persons in conflict, not away from them and the conflict. We need a leader who has the same commitment to walk toward others and their conflicts—even and especially with those with whom he may disagree. We need a leader who can be a bridge builder, a reconciler, and a peacemaker, even and especially when doing so makes the leader a target.

A leader who walks in HUMILITY:  Humility is the virtue of John the Baptist—being able to decrease in order that Jesus may increase (John 3:30). In order for any leader to remain focused on vision, values and mission, the leader must be one who does not personalize challenge, resistance or conflict. We need an Archbishop who has that quality of humility to keep us focused on the main thing—Jesus and his mission. This virtue has an added blessing: it attracts God’s glory and power, as Andrew Murray observes in Humility:

“Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless.  He that humbles himself—that must be our one care—will be exalted; that is God’s care.”[3]

God grant us a leader who, by abasing and emptying himself, will open the door for the Church to be filled with God’s glory and power.

A leader with VISION:  I’ve left this for last not because it is the least important. On the contrary. Any leader must have vision in order for the ministry to experience ever renewed and renewing seasons of growth. But I’m convinced that our next Archbishop will have the vision the Church needs to move forward as a byproduct and fruit of prayer, faith, discernment, calling on the Holy Spirit, and walking in peace and humility. I’m convinced of this because I have seen it in the leadership of ++Robert Duncan. First it was the vision of coming together as the Anglican Communion Network and Common Cause Partners. When that summit was reached, then it was responding to the call at GAFCON 2008 to build the Anglican Church in North America. When that summit was reached, it was the extraordinary call to plant 1000 new churches in 5 years.  We haven’t reached that summit yet—but we are well on the way because of a leader who took the time to make those qualities I’ve listed the priorities of his leadership. God-given vision flowed out of it.

 

The full article is here.


WOW

January 12, 2014

In the Anglican Church of Ireland, the Diocese of Down and Dromore is orchestrating a year-long prayer effort. You can follow the 24–7 prayer journey via Twitter at hashtag #DDYOP and on the diocesan website http://www.downanddromore.org.


The Faces of GAFCON – part 2

October 26, 2013

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The photographers recording the GAFCON II conference this past week deserve a huge SHOUT OUT and a sustained wave of applause for capturing so many just absolutely STUNNING images.

These pictures bring to life just what it means to be One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – a people bought by Christ to be His own from every tribe, tongue, people and nation.

Here are 30 or so of my favorite pictures from the week.

I publish these as an offering of praise to our great God who is by the Holy Spirit transforming us from glory into glory into the image of His Son.  How GOOD and PLEASANT it is when brothers dwell together in unity!

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A Maasai woman

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Laurel Moffatt from Australia with the Nigerian Mothers Union delegates

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Note: this photo is of Archbishop Kattey of Nigeria who was recently kidnapped. Praise God for his safety!

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Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina Bishop with Bishops from Sudan and Kenya

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Roll Call of Nations:  the Nigerian Delegation (470+ delegates!)

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An ACNA priest (right) with the Myanmar delegation – one of the smallest, a land of severe persecution!

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The faces of GAFCON

Gafcon 2 bishops pointing2331 Anglican Bishops Signaling that Jesus is the One Way to God!

Photo credits:

GAFCON 

ACNA

Anglican Mainstream

George Conger

DMHanke (via Twitter)

Karin Sowada (via Twitter)

Laurel Moffatt

Diocese of South Carolina


Praise for all God did at GAFCON II this past week, and all He will yet do

October 26, 2013

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It’s been exciting for me to follow GAFCON II from afar this week, and I’ve enjoyed this brief blogging spurt.

Having read the Final Nairobi Communique and Commitment today, I’m thankful for how God has answered our prayers. This is a clear, bold statement.

I particularly appreciated these parts: (emphasis mine)

There is much we can learn from the East African Revival about having a change of heart. Beginning in the last century, the Revival has touched millions of lives across many countries as the Holy Spirit has moved lay men and women, as well as clergy, to share the gospel with others. Two significant features of great relevance to our situation are —

    • Real repentance for sin demonstrated both in confession of guilt and a desire to make amends
    • A confidence that the gospel has the power both to save the lost in all the world and to transform the church, rather than seeing the church conformed to the world.

We urge those who have promoted the false gospel to repent of their unfaithfulness and have a renewed confidence in the gospel. We repent of indifference, prayerlessness and inactivity in the face of false teaching. We remind them – as we remind ourselves – that the sins from which we must repent are not simply those which the world also believes are wrong; they are those that God himself abhors and which are made clear in his Word.

[…]

The gospel alone has the power to transform lives. As the gospel is heard, the Holy Spirit challenges and convicts of sin, and points to the love of God expressed in his Son, Jesus Christ. The sheer grace of God in setting us free from sin through the cross of Christ leads us into the enjoyment of our forgiveness and the desire to lead a holy life. This enables the relationship with God that Jesus makes possible to flourish. Moreover, just as individual lives can be transformed, so can the life of churches. We therefore commit ourselves and call on our brothers and sisters throughout the Communion to join in rediscovering the power of the gospel and seeking boldness from the Holy Spirit to proclaim it with renewed vigour.

[…]

Our Priorities

Our Lord’s command is ‘to go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19–20). We believe therefore that our first priority must be to make disciples. This means that our movement must be committed to –

  • Evangelising areas of our world where clear gospel witness has become obscured or lost and bringing the gospel to unreached peoples. Much of our energy must be devoted to bringing the gospel to children and young people and developing the leaders of the future. We also recognise the need to pray for, love and witness to Muslims with the gospel of Jesus. We call upon churches to train their members in such outreach.

[…]

Conclusion

We are conscious of many pressures on faithful gospel witness within the church, but equally conscious of the great need the world has to hear the gospel. The need for the GFCA is greater now than when we first met in Jerusalem in 2008. We believe the Holy Spirit is challenging us and the rest of the Anglican Communion to remain faithful to our biblical heritage; to support those who suffer as a result of obedience to Christ; to deepen the spiritual life of our churches; and to respond to anti-Christian pressures with a renewed determination to spread the gospel. The seriousness with which we take our mission and our fellowship will be reflected in the way individual churches make the GAFCON vision their own, and in how we resource the work the GFCA seeks to initiate. We invite all faithful Anglicans to join the GFCA.*

*Note: GFCA = Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans – the body which sponsors the GAFCON conferences.

(I’m SO glad the call to LOVE Muslims is there.  So many evangelicals fear them… and in fear push them away.)

It’s those final two lines of the conclusion I want to focus on for prayer going forward:

  • I long and pray that GAFCON II will turn out to have been more than just a wonderful conference, but a turning point and rallying cry for orthodox Anglicans around the world.
  • I pray that the leaders of the GAFCON / GFCA movement going forward will have wisdom in how to translate the words and the commitments of the Nairobi Communique into sustained ACTION, i.e. that they would be able to develop practical resources, and create effective structures for ongoing networking, teaching and encouragement.
  • I pray that it will become clear how individuals and churches can truly JOIN the GFCA, and that it will mean something concrete in terms of providing support and strength through the example of faithful brothers and sisters around the world who are taking a bold stand for Christ.  May the GFCA become a dynamic movement that spurs on the completion of the Great Commission in our generation!

These are big prayer requests, but we have a BIG and FAITHFUL God.  GAFCON II has given me fresh joy and vision about what it means to be truly a GLOBAL church.  May God continue to reveal His wisdom and glory through His Church as we submit ourselves to Him in repentance and obedience.

[God’s plan is] …that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

(Ephesians 3:10-12, ESV)

AMEN & AMEN!


Praying for GAFCON Friday October 25th

October 25, 2013

I haven’t had much time to blog in the past 36 hours or so. I’ll keep this post short.

GAFCON II is winding down… this afternoon the delegates are working in groups to give feedback and recommendations about the Draft Communique.

I’ve learned from Twitter that The Rev. John Guernsey (ACNA Bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic) is chair of the Communique drafting team. Please pray for him by name, and pray that the Communique that is released by GAFCON II will become a helpful rallying point and action plan for orthodox Anglican believers around the world.

As GAFCON II has so clearly addressed (particularly in the talk by Bishop Nazir-Ali, but also by others), the challenge for us is no longer just about the crisis in the Anglican Communion or how to reshape Anglican structures. No, it’s bigger: how do we in the Church deal with agressive secularism both in the West and elsewhere. How do we respond to Islam. How do we recognize and avoid syncretism (compromise with the culture), be it in the West, or in Africa. It’s not just Anglicans facing these problems, it’s the whole Body of Christ.

I pray that in His mercy, God would use GAFCON II and the Communique that comes out of it to help sound a clear call forward as to how the Church should face these challenges in our generation: with unity, love and great joy and boldness in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.


Update on Abp. Duncan’s health – he’s still in hospital and had a second surgery

October 23, 2013

From the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh (via George Conger at Anglican Ink)

Dear Friends of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh,

Please continue to pray for our Archbishop Robert Duncan. We received word from Nara this morning that he is to have a surgical procedure performed today at 6:00 p.m. Nairobi time – which is 11:00 a.m. here in Pittsburgh (EST). It is hoped that this will enable him to be well enough to return home on Saturday. His Grace will remain recuperating in the hospital until then.

As mentioned yesterday, please continue to pray for all of our friends in the Anglican community who are attending GAFCON, especially those from the Pittsburgh area. Our Diocesan delegates include: Archbishop Duncan, Bishop Frank Lyons, the Rev. Karen Stevenson, Heather Strong Moore and Shawn Reed. Other Pittsburghers attending are Nara Dewar Duncan, Shawnee Lyons, Canon Jack Lumanog, Brad Root, the Rev. Andrew Gross, Canon Nancy Norton, the Rev. Alan Hawkins, the Rev. Justyn Terry, the Rev. John Macdonald and the Rev. Stephen Noll.

We will keep everyone posted and will be on watch for official updates from Andrew Gross, ACNA’s Director of Communications. Again, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Heather Cronin, Director of Communications a

– See more at: http://www.anglicanink.com/article/archbishop-duncan-health-bulletin#sthash.u5awkb8J.dpuf


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