Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Council 2014: Archbishop Duncan's State of the Church Address

Archbishop's Address:
On the State of the Church
Given at Provincial Council on Tuesday, 24 June 2014, the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, by the Most Revd Robert Duncan, meeting at St. Vincent Archabbey and College, Latrobe, PA.

Those who sowed with tears, will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves. -Psalm 126: 6,7

We sowed in tears. We reap in joy.

It is five years to the day since I was invested as your Archbishop at Christ Church, Plano, Texas. It was a service of trust and hope in the context of many tears. Many of us had been exiled from—or were walking away from – the Church that had shaped and formed us. Many of us had lost – or were in the process of losing – buildings and friends, resources and relationships that were precious to us. Others just knew that where they were in their Christian journey was not yet where they needed to be and were prepared to risk what they had, trusting God for something better, though not yet realized.

There was both sadness and resolve in June of 2009. The context was weeping, but that did not stop us from planting seeds. It was springtime – planting time – and sorrows must not keep you – and did not keep us – from laboring in the trust that there would be a better day, and that a harvest would follow if we would – wounds and sorrows notwithstanding – faithfully plant. The Inaugural Provincial Assembly (of which that Plano Investiture was a part) – meeting at another St. Vincent’s (Bedford, Diocese of Fort Worth) – planted faithfully.

There were ten things the Lord moved me to call for on June 24, 2009:
a) Embracing our John-the-Baptist identity as Messengers/Forerunners… Anglicans
b) Growing in unity and charity – as the visible Body of Christ
c) Welcoming back the wounded/loving them/healing them/integrating them
d) Calling and equipping a new generation of leaders
e) Planting 1000 new churches in five years
f) Engaging Islam, secularism, and materialism with the Christian gospel
g) Loving the hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, and imprisoned
h) Blessing creative ministry responses
i) Getting Scripture by heart
j) Rejoicing and giving thanks in all circumstances.

We sowed in tears. We reap in joy. the rest


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