PLANO, TX: Anglican-1000. Where to from here...?
By David W. Virtue in Plano
February 23, 2010
When the Rev. David Roseberry first heard about ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan's call to plant 1000 churches in five years, it blew him away. "I called and asked Bob, are you serious? The answer was yes.
Now after two days of intensive testimony, strategizing and listening to stories of how it can be done, the next question is, where to from here as an Anglican 1000 movement?
"Seeing this 2-day summit in the context of the last dozen or so years, I think this event signaled the end of the beginning. The next chapter is about moving forward in mission," said Roseberry.
"We heard a certain trumpet that resonated in the hearts of many people," said Roseberry, rector of Christ Church, Plano, at one time the largest parish in the Episcopal Church. It is now linked with the Rwanda-based Anglican Mission in the Americas.
What it meant as leaders to pull it altogether so that the ACNA and other jurisdictional groupings might achieve their goal can be found along the lines of Nehemiah's calling, says the 54-year old pastor whose son Jed is one of the young church planters. There's pride in his voice as he listens to his son tell of his own church planting experience.
"The Episcopal Church has left us, we have dusted ourselves off and moved on; they are in our rear view mirror. We have the energy and the resources. We are about rebuilding the walls. The Book of Nehemiah is analogously true of our life today," he argues. Heads nod.
Roseberry admitted to initial skepticism. "I couldn't see how the jurisdictions and groupings could fit together. Things like this happen in war time but what about peace? We are charting a new course and we ask how do Anglo-Catholics, evangelicals and charismatics fit together, how do ancient traditions and young people fit? How do Forward in Faith, the AMIA, Bolivia groups and Uganda fit together?
Roseberry said that after readingthe Book of Nehemiah, it all fell into place. "When Nehemiah started to rebuild the walls, he started with the gates, and the walls later would connect the gates."
"We are not here as Anglican-1000 to replace anybody, but as a movement. We want to bring resources, fellowship, and power to bear with the resources of the ACNA. We are not here to tell the REC how or where to plant churches, but to give them the best and brightest thinking of North American Anglicans. We are not going to tell, for example Restoration Anglican Church (in Addison, planted by Roseberry's son Jed in the Fall of 2009) how to do it. That is between them and their bishop. Anglican-1000 is a way of looking at this.
"We are not an organization, but a movement. It is a movement responding to the needs and challenges. Like the early Christian church, this movement is like the movement of God in the Acts of the Apostles. It grew at the edges. It did not grow from centralized government. Leaders were empowered to go to the outer edges of the towns and the movement sprang up and God prospered it.
"We want the ACNA to be known by its missionary endeavor and its planters and not necessarily its bishops. We also need to celebrate what these planter-heroes do.
Roseberry observed that The Anglican Church in Canada is fully behind in this effort, too. "They brought about 40 of their church leaders. That is an incredible commitment to the goal of 1000 new churches "We were blown away by the registrations that kept coming in day by day in the weeks before the summit meeting. We had been preparing for about 150 in attendance...but we crossed that line 6 weeks out.
"I knew there was a larger reason why we were able to purchase and retain our property. Our church is committed to making Christ Church a servant-parish for the needs of our own affiliation (The AM) and the larger body of the ACNA.)" Roseberry reiterated that the movement has classic Anglican tenants. "Our charism is Spirit led, Scripture driven and Sacramental. Also, it is both Word and Sacrament."
In his summation of the two days, Bishop Duncan said that the mission God has given us is to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
"The method that we use has three simple principles: converted individuals, multiplying congregations fueled by the Holy Spirit. It is those congregations. It is all to exalt Jesus as our Lord and Savior."
Reflecting on how all this will be achieved, Duncan said his own life was an example. "When I was first elected Bishop of Pittsburgh, someone said how could they elect an Anglo-Catholic in an evangelical diocese? It was clear then that we needed each other and that these traditions are no good without each other. Jesus is not only exalted he is doubly exalted when we love one another. We have got to do this together."
A new website (www.Anglican1000.org) is dedicated to helping plant and nurture new churches and to raise up congregations.
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