Stability and Clarity: A Word from the Archdeacon of Brandon – June 2023

By on June 14, 2023

Turmoil and tumult. Upheaval from normal operations. Time and experience can train us to expect chaos in the world, but we tend to find consistency and stability in the Church. We’re Anglican – 95% of the prayers we pray are the same week-after-week! When we find ourselves on unfamiliar soil in the Church, it can be rather off-putting. This is usually a rock in our lives, and it just doesn’t seem to be what it “should” be.

We are in a storm of unknown intensity and duration. It is a strange thing, to know that our beloved bishop will be serving another diocese before long; it is a strange thing, to know that his time with us would be limited; and then in the midst of adjusting our thinking to these realities it is a strange thing to discover that even for the time we thought we had, he will be unavailable to minister among us. We are in a strange storm, and the default reaction to this time might be to despair of the future – there are so many unknowns. But don’t do it.

We are Easter people, people who know in our souls that new life springs forth from death. We know so, because here we are. Every one of our lives have seen storms, and God has brought us through them; challenges that might have engulfed us, that we might have succumbed to, but He has brought us through.

As a friend of mine used to sing, God is “the salty old captain with the wheel in His grip, and a stubborn commitment to go down with this ship.” And I find, in the assurances of God’s love and faithfulness presented in Scripture (represented in my friend’s words), the comfort of knowing that whatever storm we face, our Lord is with us.

So here are some anchors, or safe-harbours, that remain unchanged and unwavering for us. The Church doesn’t have a mission in the world, but the God of mission has His Church in the world. We are His, and the mission that we engage in is His. That mission does not change. Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 28: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me: therefore, go and make disciples of all nations – baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded. And behold, I am with you to the end of the age.”

We may have specifics of how we carry out that mission, and those specifics may be different from one parish to another, and from one time to another. Yet whatever those different manifestations may look like, they are all in service of that one mission – God’s mission. This hasn’t changed and whatever tossing and turning the sea may do, we have a fixed point on the horizon: God’s mission for His Church.

In our diocese we have discerned and worked for three imperatives of that mission: we share the Good News of God in Jesus Christ (the Gospel), which is to say that we engage in evangelism. Second, we support the spiritual development to Christian maturity among the people of God, which is to say that we encourage and equip the saints to carry out God’s mission for His Church.

Finally, we seek out those opportunities that God puts before us where the gifts and skills for ministry which He has enabled in our lives intersect with the needs of the world around us, which is to say that we empower the saints in the actual carrying out of God’s mission for His Church.  Sharing, Supporting, and Seeking: these are our actions in service of God’s mission; Evangelism, Encouragement, and Empowerment: these are the intentions behind the things that we do.  This does not change, and it remains an anchor-point for us.

Think of the storm that Jesus’ disciples faced at His crucifixion, and the new life that God brought about in them through His resurrected presence with them, and the grace of their eyes being opened to see Him, again.

Pray.  Pray as Easter people, who believe that whatever death our current circumstances represent will give way to new life for this diocese.  Pray because it is our vocation: we, together, are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit; God’s temple is to be a house of prayer for all nations.  Pray for the Holy Spirit of God to enliven us with His fire for the carrying out of God’s mission through the Church – even through our local churches.



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