Alleluia, Christ is Risen: The Easter 2024 Communiqué

April 3, 2024
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Our Labor is not in Vain: Equipping the Saints

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“But thanks be to God who has given us the victory through Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

Dear brothers and sisters of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese, 

As we journey together in this Easter season I am so thankful for your continued work to be a Growing Anglican Network of Flourishing Churches.  As the Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 15, our work is not "in vain," for Christ has already won the victory over sin and death.  

I am excited to share with you a wonderful opportunity being offered this month to equip lay leaders and clergy in your congregation, that the work God calls us to might flourish. As a key part of our Strategic Plan, we are launching the Center for Ministry in partnership with the Charles Simeon Institute of Saint Peter's Cathedral. From April 19–20, leaders from across the Diocese will gather for workshops on a host of topics, and it is my hope that you will prayerfully consider participation. This conference is appropriately titled, Equipping the Saints

Workshops for our first weekend will include:  Healing Prayer Ministry in the Parish (Mtr. Travis Boline and Frankie Allen), Growing a Small Group Discipleship Ministry (Glen and Robin Davis), Using the Book of Common Prayer (Abp. Bob Duncan), Teaching the Anglican Catechism (Fr. Michael Petty), and a Youth Track on Identity, Purpose, Belonging, and Witness led by Dana Standridge, Canon Christopher Jones, and Archdeacon Jessica Jones. I could not ask for a better group of leaders to teach us on these vital areas in the life of our Church!

I encourage you to attend the Equipping the Saints conference. Who might you invite to come with you? Consider where our Diocese will be in five years, as we discern our work in the Lord. Jody and I look forward to seeing you there. 

 Learn More Register Now 

Electing our Next Archbishop: A Call to Prayer & Fasting

As you may know, Archbishop Foley Beach will retire as Archbishop this June. The ACNA's College of Bishops will gather in Conclave prior to the summer's Provincial Assembly, for a time of prayer and discernment over who God is calling to be our next Archbishop. It is our responsibility to pray for who God will raise up in this season. It is an important moment; there are lots of challenges facing us. Who is God calling to serve? Archbishop Foley has asked that we enter into a time of prayer and fasting about that decision. Will you join me in setting aside a time each week, as the Lord leads, from now until June 20, to fast and pray that I and my brother bishops would have wisdom and discern God's will, and know who He is calling?

Here is the Archbishop's appeal in his own words:

Welcome Dcn. Lenny Konschewitz to the Staff

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The four strategies of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese include strengthening congregations, raising leaders, planting churches, and reaching the next generation. These last few years our church planting efforts have been led by Taylor Bodoh and Michelle Herbst. Taylor and his family recently moved, and though we are indebted to his work, we are excited about this next season as we welcome the Rev. Lenny Konschewitz to diocesan leadership to work alongside Michelle. They will continue the good work we have been doing to expand God’s kingdom throughout our geographic borders. Please read an introduction written by Lenny below and be in prayer for Lenny, Michelle, and all of our church planters.
  –Jessica Jones, Archdeacon

My name is Lenny Konschewitz, and I’m originally from Nuremberg, Germany. Four years ago, my wife, Caly, and I moved to Florida to plant The Table Church in St. Augustine, FL, out of Grace Anglican Church in Fleming Island. We have three children: Elias (7), Micah (3), and Cora (7 months).

From the beginning of our time in Florida, we’ve been greatly impressed by the level of support, encouragement, and friendship we’ve experienced in our diocese. In the meantime, our growing diocesan cohort of planters has become like an “apostolic band of brothers (and sisters!)” that is marked by humility, faith, and fun! Seriously, we couldn’t ask to be part of a better team. It was a great honor when I was asked if I’d consider serving as an Associate for Church Planting in the Diocese. I’m very excited to help shape the future of church planting in our deaneries, and about the many new opportunities to plant churches that are fully alive in the Spirit, firmly rooted in Scripture, and rich in our beautiful sacramental way of worship.

Studies show that young people feel increasingly drawn to historic denominations; that they’re hungry to be part of something “bigger,” something “timeless.” The Anglican Church is uniquely positioned to reach these people. Please continue to pray for us! Pray for Jesus to keep on sending laborers and sponsors of these laborers, and to keep our hearts centered on him as we venture on planting churches in our diocese.

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A Pathway to Flourishing

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I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. –Philippians 1:3-8

As Paul’s beautiful introduction to the Philippians indicates, there is something very different about the transforming power of Gospel-centered partnership. His words call us, as both leaders and as churches, to a place of greater surrender. Such a place allows us, in both the good and challenging times, to jointly participate in the fullness of God’s amazing grace as co-laborers. Yet, unlike the partnerships that we find in the business world, our work together in God’s Church is something far more intimate … far more sacrificial … and far more dependent.

The Bishop has boldly called us toward a grand vision of 50 flourishing churches in the next five years. Candidly, it is a goal that many would suggest is simply unattainable. Yet, through a renewed and vibrant partnership between the Gulf Atlantic Diocese and each of its highly determined parishes, we have already begun to see amazing evidence of the Lord’s flourishing work amongst us. The Diocese is brimming with the potential for new church plants, exciting collaborations within our MLA groups, and practical workshops and conferences to both initiate and strengthen ministry work at the parish level.

At the Bishop’s direction, we have launched a new take on our strategy of strengthening congregations in order to more fully pursue a vision of flourishing. This concept will more intimately engage with each church to help define and pursue flourishing ministry within its respective context. Our hope is to consider and engage with six distinct, but interrelated, flourishing components found within a Gospel-centered church.

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Threshold Ministry: On the Gift of the Diaconate

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Ven. Dr. Jessica Jones

One of the great honors in my role with the Diocese is that I am able to walk alongside leaders in our various churches as they embrace their ministry calling. For some, this may include attending conferences (like our Equipping the Saints conference in April), or volunteering in youth ministry, or serving at a local food bank with your small group, or attending an Alpha course at your church. For others, it means stepping into a more formal role of ministry leadership. I wonder how many of you reading this have felt that tug?

Our Diocese has been challenged to identify 200 more deacons. Where might we find them?

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Sacred Mental Health: A Response to a National Crisis

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Rev. Craig Brown, Associate for Congregational Health

The mental health crisis in our nation is breaking in like a flood, but our diocese has a response: Sacred Mental Health. This ministry is being developed as a way to bring the unique gift of God’s transforming grace through Jesus Christ into the dark places of mental and emotional suffering. If this is intriguing to you, please consider signing up for the Sacred Mental Health Level One Retreat, May 19-21 at Christchurch in Montgomery, AL. This retreat is an opportunity for you and members of your congregation to:

  • Learn how God works within our brains, minds, and spirits to lead us into deeper communion with Him.
  • Learn practices that can turn darkness and suffering into sacred places where we meet God and are transformed by Him.
  • Do personal “soul work” to grow in your relationship with God, through a series of exercises and activities.
  • Enjoy a time of rest, refreshment, and contemplation.

Find Out More

By the Grace of God and with the consent of the People THE RIGHT REVEREND CHARLES ALEXANDER FARMER will ordain KATIE LEBHAR BLACK-BOWLING to the Sacred Order of Deacons in Christ's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church May 26, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. Church of the Redeemer 8669 Baypine Road Jacksonville, Florida Your prayers and presence are requested

Upcoming Events

Click/tap for details & registration

The Equipping the Saints Weekend for clergy and laity 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 choose workshop track 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. Event information and registration can be found here.

Anglican Fourth Day (A4D)

The Anglican Fourth Day (A4D) weekend is based on a program of spiritual renewal initiated by the Roman Catholic Church in Spain in the 1940’s. The Roman Catholics use the term Cursillo, which means “short course” or “little study.” A4D works to form groups of men and women committed to living the Christian life in union with the Living Lord and to share Christ with those they know and love. The four-day weekend provides a living experience, meeting Christ and meeting fellow Christians in a friendly, and non-threatening atmosphere. It is a joyous time, and can be a life enriching experience. The next retreat will be May 30-June 2, 2024 at Luther Springs in Hawthorn, FL, and will include men and women. For more information, contact Debi Johnson from Christ the King Anglican Church in Ocala.

Camp Araminta

The Camp Araminta 2024 registration for campers and application for leaders are now live!

Quick facts:

  • Araminta 2024 will be held July 22-27 at Lake Swan Camp in Melrose
  • Camper age is rising 4th -12th grades
  • Cost per camper: $525
  • Students may apply for leadership beginning in 10th grade with Flight Crew. Cost for LITs (Leaders-in-Training under 18): $396
  • Counselors and other adult volunteers needed!
  • For questions about registration email Camp staff

Hope to see you this summer!

Soul in the City

Soul in the City registration is also live! SitC is empowering teenagers to live a life of service to God and neighbor through the love of Christ. It's a week-long overnight summer camp where rising 7th - 12th grade students physically and relationally invest in the local community with their time and talents by being the hands and feet of Jesus. During this action-packed week, students live on the Grace Anglican Church campus in a mission-styled setting. Students serve during the day at various mission sites, have fun with friends, and gather at the Barn in the evening for worship, teaching, and small group discussion.


Editor’s Note: Are you following us on Social Media? We’d love it if you would give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram. We highlight parishes the Bishop is visiting (with photos afterward) so we can get to know one another a little bit, link to useful resources, and provide glimpses behind the scenes into clergy events and the work of diocesan staff.

Thank you for reading this edition of the Communiqué, compiled each month in order to inform, inspire, and equip the people of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese. To submit something for consideration in the next newsletter edition, the normal deadline is the 15th of the month. You can encourage others to read previous editions or sign up to receive the newsletter by sharing this link.


Rev. Dr. Samuel Horowitz
Communications Director