A Vision of Flourishing: The December 2023 Communiqué

December 8, 2023
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The big deal in this month’s newsletter is the Strategic Plan. Please read Bishop Alex’s announcement carefully. We encourage discussion among the leaders of our congregations. If you have questions after reading the plan, you can contact the Diocesan Office.

“Fifty Flourishing” in Five Years: Announcing the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan

Bishop Alex Farmer
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This article was adapted from Bishop Alex’s address at our Annual Synod. I want to share with you about the future of our Diocese and the new Strategic Plan. But before I do that I want to tell you that, having visited most of our 42 churches over the last twelve months, I have personally seen: God raising up new leaders among us, God addressing our desire to reach the next generation of the Church, and God drawing others from outside our tribe tooling us up for a new season of growth.

Paul tells the Corinthians to “strive to excel in … [building] up the Church.” I as your bishop should wake up every day to build up the churches of our Diocese, that they may flourish as God intends for them—to the glory of His name. Our staff, canons, and deans should be focused on helping every church in our Diocese define what is needed most to help them move towards flourishing and then help them get there. We exist to be a growing Anglican network of Flourishing Churches.

“Flourishing” may look different in different contexts. To make this core purpose measurable, I have set the goal for us to be fifty flourishing churches within 5 years (by the end of 2028).  Fifty in five years! Can we do it? That is why we need a Strategic Plan and, of course, God's help.

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2024 Staffing Changes

Archdeacon Jessica Jones
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As we celebrate the new start to the Church year, the diocesan staff is celebrating some new additions to our team beginning January 1. Please cover these individuals and their ministries in prayer, that their work would benefit the Church and glorify God!

The Rev. Christopher Jones, the Rev. Craig Brown, and the Rev. John Commins are all taking on new roles for the new year.

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2023 Synod Recap & Election Results

Comms Dir Samuel Horowitz
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The time delegates and guests shared in Tallahassee, Florida, last month was truly a time of encouraging and building up one another, just as the Apostle Paul commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5. The Holy Spirit was at work through our Clergy Conference and Annual Synod, and if you missed the recap we sent out afterward, we encourage you to read this overview of what took place.
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Equipping the Saints: Spring 2024 Center for Ministry Training Event

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Equipping the Saints Weekend is designed to train parishes across our diocese in areas of ministry that were identified at the diocesan strategic planning meeting in May 2023. Each participant will get to choose ONE workshop and will receive 5 training sessions over the course of two days.  It will be a time of worship, connection and education; and we look forward to gathering together! The Center for Ministry, a Strategic Initiative in the 2023-2028 Diocesan Strategic Plan, is hosting this event in partnership with the Cathedral’s Charles Simeon Institute.

Workshop Offerings:

  • Establishing a Healing Prayer Ministry in Your Parish
  • Building Your Small Group Ministry
  • To Evangelize, to Disciple, and to Form: Using the Catechism Confidently to Strengthen Your Church and Your Ministry
  • Introduction to the Book of Common Prayer (2019)
  • Saturday Youth Track

Nursery (Infant-Preschool) and Children’s Catechumenate Weekend (K-5th grade) is available. You MUST RSVP at time of registration for childcare, as spots are limited. We CANNOT accomodate walk-ins.

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Strategic Plan Overview

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Bishop Alex and his staff unveiled the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan at Synod. This plan is the result of the work of many dozens of people representing the entire Diocese, laboring for over 10 months. The plan calls for elevating our work of Reaching the Next Generation to the same strategic importance as Planting Churches, Strengthening Congregations, and Raising Leaders have held. Over the next five years we will bring three new strategic initiatives online: a new Center for Ministry, a Diocesan Networks program, and the Grow Fund. The plan does not describe all the work the Diocese will carry on over five years—it specifically focuses on key new pieces that will supplement the four ongoing missions strategies. And, thankfully, many good ideas brought up during the Strategic Planning process have either been brought to fruition in 2023 or have been incorporated into existing programs!

Read the Strategic Plan

December 2023 Announcements


Dynamos 34: March 1–3

Anglican Frontier Missions Launches New 4-Week Curriculum

AFM has just published Fulfilling the Great Commission Anglicanly, a 4-week introductory study on global missions. The teachings are fully online, and the materials include student handouts and leaders' guides. The weekly sessions include readings, group discussion time, and more. (A children's version is coming soon.)

From Anglicans for Life

Anglicans For Life has invited all members of our diocese to attend their 9th annual Life SUMMIT conference which coincides with the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. The events kick-off Thursday 1/18, and run through Saturday 1/20. Over the course of three days, students and adults will celebrate life, encounter the culture of death that is prevalent in our society, worship God, our Creator, and be equipped to mobilize their local church for Life-Affirming ministry!

This year’s Life SUMMIT theme is Life Beyond Dobbs. The theme addresses the harsh reality that while many people had hoped the fight to protect the unborn had been won when Roe v. Wade was overturned in June of 2022, sadly, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision didn’t end abortion. Abortion is still widespread in the United States and statistically has fallen less than 25% overall. Now, as each state in America grapples with abortion and euthanasia related legislation, we as God’s people must pivot from 50-year-old tactics, and adopt new Life-Affirming strategies, resources, ministry, and biblical advocacy tactics that reflect our ever-changing cultural landscape.

AFL’s Life SUMMIT will answer the question, “What does Life Beyond Dobbs look like?” with the goal of empowering attendees to effectively use many of the new tools and resources Anglicans For Life offers the Church for ministry to those that are lost, lonely, and dying. For a full list of speakers, the event schedule, and more detailed info, visit AFLlifeSUMMIT.org.