In 2005 the Anglican Communion Network gathered for its "Hope and a Future" Assembly. Sarcastically I said to myself: "Gee, I hope there's a future" for the faithful, disenfranchised orthodoxed who wish to find another faithful covering to live under and grow with. From that moment we have seen the tapestry of the church take shape, make changes, have repairs and still there seems to be enough fabric for the picture that God is weaving to unfold.
I am extremely hopeful, exuberantly optimistic and substantially blessed by my experience this past week at provincial assembly. As a delegate to provincial council and assembly, I arrived with a sense of joy as the church assembled looked to the future with a desire to see us to become a transformational movement as opposed to an immovable institution. We have become a new wineskin and God is pouring out new wine upon his church. I left with a sense that while we have differing perspectives on how we do our many ministries; we are unified in mission, compelled by faith in Jesus and accelerated by the power of the Holy Spirit moving in our midst and propelling us forward.
This was not business as usual. Fractional groups within us were reconciled, business was dispatched quickly, the Word was central to every portion of our gathering and the call to mission was clear at every turn. Two events were very poignant to me. First, was the transfer of ministry and recognition of the ACNA as the archbishop of Rwanda recognized that we are "of one house in adjoining rooms." The second was the challenge put forward by Ed Stetzer who remarked, “You have stood for the Gospel; I love that about you. I am one of your biggest cheerleaders outside of the movement…but never have I seen a group of people so passionate about rescuing the Gospel, but so timid about proclaiming it.”This challenge is a generalization and is not true in all areas of the church but, it points out that our mission and ministry is most about transformed lives before established traditions.
I am blessed to say that, " I am hopeful, and certain that is a rich future ahead of us! I have never been more proud to be an Anglican and a representative for DOMA.The Rev'd Dan Morgan, a delegate to the ACNA Provincial Council, is Rector of All Saints' Church, Woodbridge VA.