From October 25-27th, clergy and laity of the Diocese of Western Anglicans gathered at the Presbyterian Church of the Master in Mission Viejo. Thursday through Friday afternoon was a time for the clergy to gather and be encouraged. On Friday evening, members of the whole diocese joined together in a service of worship, during which Archbishop Foley Beach preached. On Saturday, various workshops were offered to equip the saints, and the event ended with a business meeting on Saturday afternoon. It was whirlwind of a time, but one filled with joy. Our joy was first and foremost based on the remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection for the sake of the world. Additionally, we received joy in hearing how this wonderful message of God’s love is advancing in church as far away as Butte, MT and Tuscon, AZ. God is surely at work and we are blessed to cooperate with Him in His great mission!
Members of Holy Spirit Anglican Church were visible and active during this time. Our clergy all participated in the clergy gathering. Several members of our congregation all joined in the worship on Friday evening as well as the workshops on Saturday. We provided leadership for three workshops. All in all, we were well represented.
Reflecting on this event, a few things stand out:
- God is bigger than one church – most of our church life is spent in and with a local congregation. However, this gathering allowed us to see that God is bigger than any one church. Our worship on Friday evening was powerful as members of many of our churches joined together in prayer, song, and praise to our God.
- Enthusiasm abounds – throughout the many conversations that took place during these three days there was a palpable enthusiasm and excitement. God is truly at work! Despite the chaotic nature of our era and the fragmented social life we live, people are encountering the Gospel and the Spirit is changing hearts. Members of our diocese are enthusiastic for Christ and eager to share Him.
- Love is central – it has been said that where two people gather, there you have politics. Church business meetings can sometimes be contentious. However, it was evident that grace and love were at the center of our life together in our business meeting. One proposal was debated and voted down and yet people could laugh and hug one another at the end of it. What a joy to see healthy conversation and disagreement! And this could only be done because we were all united in our common love of Christ. Praise be to God.
Our diocese plans to hold these gatherings every year at the end of October, so long as we can obtain the facilities. I highly encourage you to consider attending next year. The content, conversation, and atmosphere were all uplifting and I am sure it will be again.