From the Bishop's Desk:
February 4, 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Some exciting things are happening in the mission and ministry of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes!
As you know, we had an Area Dean’s Retreat in September, where Bp. Bill Murdoch facilitated a powerful time of fellowship, prayer, and seeking the Holy Spirit’s direction for the diocese. We walked away united in the decision that learning how to do missional discipleship and establish mission shaped communities will be our major focus as we move forward as a diocese. We have continued to meet, listening to God, as we ask, “How are we going to approach missional discipleship and community development in the ADGL?”
This past week, while the Mid-West was freezing, the Deans and some other key leaders spent the week consulting with my friend, the Rev. James Stevenson from Bristol, England. Many of you may remember the emotion-filled conversation James & I held on stage during the Synod, just prior to my consecration. God has transformed James’ parish through missional discipleship and they have grown from 6 to 14 “little churches,” that are hearing God’s voice, and sharing God’s love outside the walls of the church in Bristol. James was invaluable as we sought God’s heart for the diocese, and settled on a common goal: Learning to hear God’s voice in community, and acting on it in such a way that helps people outside the church to connect to the life of Christ.
As I’m sure you are aware, when we listen for God’s voice, sometimes, our plans need to change! Everyone present felt that our Diocesan Synod this year needed to focus on Missional Discipleship and hearing God’s voice in community. We also felt that an important shift needed to happen in order to make it easier for bi-vocational clergy, and laity to join us in this hearing and mission: The ADGL Synod will now meet at Heartland Parish on Friday and Saturday, April 5th and 6th. It will begin Friday at noon and end Saturday at 3PM.
It has been a joy to look back over the years and see how God has woven the thread of missional discipleship into the ADGL from the very beginning. As the Deans have been meeting over these last few months, sharing what God has been doing in their own congregations, and discovering what He has been doing in many places throughout our diocese, this thread only becomes more visible. Synod will be a time of sharing these stories, and hearing God together, as we grow to be more missional.
So mark your calendars for Friday, April 5th, and Saturday, April 6th. Bring your laity - your key leaders. Come expectantly as we move forward together in our Diocesan call to “make disciples who can make disciples, and grow churches that can plant churches.” I can’t wait to see you at Synod.
Yours in Christ’s mission,