The Anglican Mission: Officially Going it Alone?
There’s no mention of Rwanda, no mention of Congo, no mention of any bona fide Anglican Communion oversight:
June 4, 2012
The Anglican Mission Society for Mission and Apostolic Works Commits to a Vision for the Future
The Anglican Mission passed a milestone today and is now only one step away from finalizing the Society for Mission and Apostolic Works. Clergy and lay leaders gathered for a Convocation held in Chicago and committed to four “Rs” designed to expand mission and ministry in North America. The group embraced a modified purpose statement geared toward recognizing, recruiting, resourcing, and releasing leaders for planting and serving churches in the Anglican tradition for the next generation of Kingdom leadership in the Americas. The day was marked by a strong sense of vision designed to reach, ever more effectively, those outside the faith in an often hostile, post-Christian culture.
Research indicates that adaptive change is necessary for evangelism in today’s world, and while evangelism through church planting is highly effective, the need for adaptive shift in model and method is essential for success. Twelve years ago, the Anglican Mission embarked on a pioneering and risk-taking journey with a vision for a new way of “being Anglican” in North America. Over the last decade, that vision has been embraced by a number of entities on both sides of the ocean, which has affirmed theAM’s original call. It has been said that “today’s challenges are based on yesterday’s successes.” With the formation of a Society for Mission and Apostolic Works, the Anglican Mission is adopting a model rooted in history that also represents an adaptive shift geared toward expanding Kingdom ministry for current and successive generations. Our adaptive challenge now is to continue to reflect theologically, strategize and work collaboratively within our Mission Society to effectively evangelize in local contexts through church planting.
The primary and most significant shift is systemic as the Anglican Mission adopts a vocational model of mission reflecting the Celtic approach of St. Patrick. History has demonstrated, and the experience of many mainline denominations has confirmed, that a system encumbered, rather than served by, institutional “machinery” undermines missional endeavors. As a Mission Society, theAM can focus all of its energy and resources on preparing leaders and planting churches for Kingdom mission and ministry.
Operating as a Mission Society ensures consistency balanced and enriched by new components (the Constitution reflects that approximately 75% of what we have been and done remains unchanged while 25% will be adapted or added). The Mission will retain and continue to celebrate a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit, a passionate and unapologetic embrace of the three streams, creativity and collaboration - missionally, theologically and strategically. Changes include oversight by a College of Consultors, rethinking networks and their role, developing specific episcopal portfolios for bishops and a vision for “hub churches” that will drive our commitment to equipping leaders and planting churches. TheAM will be streamlined for efficiency and effectiveness, and we are committed to improving the nature of our coaching and support for new church plants as well as existing congregations who may be experiencing a plateau.
Adoption of a provisional Constitution today allows for the Anglican Mission to operate until leaders meet for an Inaugural Assembly in Atlanta later this summer. The Assembly will begin with opening worship on the evening of July 31 and continue the next day with its business. At this time, we will formally adopt the Constitution and Statutes for the Anglican Mission as a Society of Mission and Apostolic Works. This will complete a long process that began in May 2011 and included a eight collaborative and evaluative meetings of leaders to discuss, assess and plan specifics of the Mission Society, with an end result that reflects the best thinking of our lay and ordained members.
No mention of Anglican Communion oversight in this draft of its new Constitution and Canons, either.
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