In February of 2016,
participants from the Anglican Church in North America gathered to consider our unique contributions to the kingdom of God in our North American context. We dreamed together, prayed together, learned together, and discerned together how the Lord might be leading our denomination to contend for shalom amidst the brokenness’ of our communities.
Archbishop Foley Beach and the Canon for Mission, David Roseberry, have launched an effort to support and encourage ministry among the vulnerable, marginalized, and under-resourced. The Matthew 25 Gathering was a next step from the grass-roots towards strengthening our Anglican ministries among those so close to the heart of Jesus and who reveal the kingdom of God.
A Snapshot of the Event
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
We did not know what the Lord had in store for us, but we were about to be met by the power of Holy Spirit, through the love of the Father, and in union with Christ’s heart for the vulnerable, marginalized, and under-resourced.
Welcome to Christ Church & Prayer Dinner
We believe in food and music and the joy of getting to know each other and discovering our tribe. Texas BBQ, homemade peach cobbler, and an iconic Austin musician kick us off in joy.
Gathering : Christine Warner
We set the stage for our time together as ones who have been compelled by the fragrance of Christ among “the least of these” only to discover more deeply that we ourselves are, at our core, also the broken, the weak, the powerless. We gather as those who have known life in the trenches of ministries of justice and mercy and find ourselves both shattered and healed in that place. It is good to be together.
Special Needs Ministry : Daniel Lizarraga
Anglican : Bill Haley
Our Anglican heritage is rich with many who have pushed back the darkness and ushered in the kingdom of Christ through lives and ministries of justice and mercy. We are the messy bride of Christ, but we have so much to celebrate in our own history, and stand in a strong stream contending for more Isaiah 58.
Report From The Field : Heather Gormley
Compline : David Roseberry
Canon Roseberry shares the desire of ACNA for God’s heart for the vulnerable, marginalized, and under-resourced to be a part of the DNA of our growing denomination, that issues of justice and mercy be valued at the core of our churches, our leaders, our parishioners as we embody and authenticate the gospel in our world.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Morning Prayer with The Venerable Canon Dr. Jon (Jack) I. Lumanog
A blessing from the office of the Archbishop Foley Beach
Justice & Mercy : David Hanke
A biblical theology of justice offers us robust grounding from which to respond to the Holy Spirit’s invitation to join Him in the work of restoring all of creation with particular emphasis on the weakest, the most invisible, and the most oppressed of our world. Christ came and is coming, literally and figuratively, to “bring good news to the poor. to bind of the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1).
Table Discussion & Reports
Throughout the gathering various practitioners shared about their particular arenas of ministry, the ways in which they see God at work as well as places where they lean into hope fighting discouragement. It was a great privilege to listen to each other’s hearts and to learn from each other.
Lament : Corporate & Individual Response
We cannot give our lives to this kind of work without needing regularly to enter into biblical lament. God calls us to himself, to unburden our hearts, to cry out, to yell, to weep, to name and give full expression to what troubles and disturbs us. We do not have to lament alone. We are invited to lament in community and experience the healing that comes when truth is named and spoken. We wrestle with God together and, in that struggle, know His presence and intimacy. We are like small children who fight and rail against a strong loving parent, because we know our pain can and will be held. It was a great honor to lament in such company as this gathering offered, with others who “get” it.
Silence and prayer is the appropriate response to lament.
Lunch At Los Huaraches
Deep in Christ Church’s East Austin neighborhood we were hosted by the lovely Dona Aurelia and her family who served us in their historic restaurant a simple meal of beans and rice and vegetables. Surrounded by the sounds of mariachi music and Spanish conversation, we swapped stories of lament but also of our lives and ministries.
Shalom : Sami DiPasquale
We don’t remain in lament indefinitely, because hope is real. Shalom is our origin and our destiny, and we get to see and taste and know it here and now as the kingdom of Christ breaks into this dark and silent planet. We get to participate in that break-in through ordinary and extraordinary means.
Racial Injustice : Carletta Wright & Jay Baylor
All 60 of us scattered to six different table panels led by veterans in each field to discuss the state of current issues that pertain not only to our parishes and communities but also, more broadly, to our nation.
1. Immigration / Refugees: Damon Schroeder
2. Racial Justice: Carletta Wright & Jay Baylor
3. Community Development / At Risk Youth: Sami DiPasquale & Dawnielle Miller
4. Peacemaking In A Culture Of Violence: Todd Deatherage
5. Homelessness: Steven Hebbard & Adam Rocap
6. Human Trafficking: John Richmond & John Nehme
Church Of The Poor : Michael Wurschmidt
Feast In The Parish Hall
As our tears and our simple lunch reflected our grieving of every place that is “not-Shalom,” our extravagant and lavish feast reflected the invitation to taste and see that the Lord is good and is in our midst. That parish hall was busting with joy.
Friday, February 19, 2016
Morning Prayer with Rev. Daniel Lizarraga
A Future Not Our Own
It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of
saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession
brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives include everything.
This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one
day will grow. We water the seeds already planted
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects
far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of
liberation in realizing this.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s
grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the
difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not
messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.
Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw
Archbishop Foley Beach
Archbishop Beach shares his own story of being “one of the least of these” and receiving care and healing by a beautiful ministry of mercy. His desire is for the Anglican Church of North America to reflect God’s heart in all the ways expressed in this gathering.
Contending : Cliff Warner
We are called to contend for shalom, and we believe we are able to do so in unique ways as Anglicans. We have particular gifts to contribute to the work of justice and mercy because of our historic and contemporary stream.
Gathering Part 2 : Christine Warner
These are small beginnings but exciting times. We will pray and discern and wait on how the Lord leads us.
Moderated Open Mic
We are listening to each other and discerning together the direction the Holy Spirit might have for us as a community of practitioners.
Collect For Guidance
Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our
being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by
your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our
life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are
ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.