by Canon Phil Ashey
Over the last two weeks I've had the privilege of meeting with fellow Anglicans in Philadelphia, Houston and Arkansas around the challenges of church revitalization and growth, coaching leaders, and developing canons and structures that will enable the Anglican Church in North America to better reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. Sometimes the news we share here at the American Anglican Council is more about what isn't right in the Church, and what isn't working. So today I'd like to share some encouraging words and stories from the field.
In Philadelphia I spent a weekend working with 9 congregations, their clergy and lay leaders on how to revitalize their local churches, enable them to cast new vision, enter into a new period of growth in mission, and even to consider planting new churches. First, let me say how wonderful it is to hear clergy and lay leaders speak with affection and gratitude for their Bishop as a servant leader- in this case, the Right Rev. David Hicks of the Reformed Episcopal Church Diocese of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. I believe this diocese may be the oldest in the REC, and like so many churches in the "rust belt," it's churches have experienced seasons of "recline" (plateau) and even decline in urban neighborhoods in transition...Read more.