Making Christ Jesus Known
“Fifty Flourishing” in Five Years: Announcing the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan
On Sabbath Rest and Re-Creation
Looking Ahead: Reflections on GAFCON IV and our Strategic Planning Process
The Lord is Risen!
Bishop’s Epiphany Letter: A Season of Revelation
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
Dear Gulf Atlantic Diocese,
I write you with much on my heart.
First, the people displaced by Hurricane Ian. Some in the Diocese have left home and belongings to live in temporary quarters awaiting insurance and FEMA relief. While the churches of our Diocese were largely unaffected by Ian’s wind and rain, Southwestern and Central Florida is a different story. These are areas of the state we believe God is calling us to plant churches, but right now we have an opportunity for prayer and practical ministry to those areas. I am working to find an anchor church in that area that will partner with us as a staging area for relief teams and funding. Stay tuned. Special thanks to Mr. Jim Barnidge, our diocesan Anglican Relief and Development Fund contact. Jim is working to support those affected by this and other natural disasters that may arise in the future. We will keep you posted as things progress.
Second, I write to you with a heart full from the New Wineskins Mission Conference at Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Jody and I, along with a large group from ten of our parishes gathered with 1,600 mission-minded Anglicans from around the world to network, learn, worship, and be challenged by this year’s theme: Be the One, See the One, Share the One. As Jesus says in John 20, we are these ones sent; whether it is to our place of business, our neighborhood, across the state, or an unreached people group halfway around the world. We must have eyes open to see the one God has placed in our path, and we must take the time and courage to share about the One who can give true life, Jesus Christ! Since my seminary days, Jody and I have committed to being at each New Wineskins Conference. It is circled on our calendar every three years. This conference did not disappoint with speakers, international Anglican partners, and missionaries from everywhere to everywhere. In a very moving point, the Archbishop of Uganda, Stephen Kaziimba, shared that he and his bishops had chosen to come to New Wineskins rather than attend this year’s Lambeth Conference. He also expressed how welcomed they had felt. A picture below shows the fellowship of bishops from all over the communion that gathered at New Wineskins. We praise God for the unity we share with so many faithful sisters and brothers around the Communion.
Third, building on the momentum of New Wineskins, I am pleased to announce that I have asked The Rev. Canon Keith Allen, Rector of Christ Church Vero Beach, to be our Diocesan Canon for Global Mission. Canon Keith has served faithfully as Dean of our Southern Deanery, but has stepped back to (among other reasons) serve as our champion for Global Mission. By appointment from Archbishop Foley Beach, he is already Canon to the Province of Myanmar. Canon Keith will be reaching out to each parish to learn what mission initiatives you have already begun or are dreaming to see made reality. Please feel free to reach out to him proactively to share a mission contact in your parish/church plant or your desire to become involved in future initiatives. Pray for the Diocese as we strengthen our relationships to Global partners to the Glory of God!
Brothers and Sisters, the need is great but greater still the One who has called us to Himself, and sent us forth in the power of His Holy Spirit. I pray that you will seek ways to be the one, see the one, and share the one. See you in November for our Diocesan Synod.