Dear People of God,
I write to share with you my excitement over a forthcoming landmark event in the life of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
In just over six weeks' time, representatives from all 28 dioceses, including experts in strategic planning, will hold two meetings, back-to-back, in which the Province will seize a Kairos moment to review our Vision and Mission as a church, to strategise around ways to implement our priorities, and then to make practical decisions on how to implement them in a manner that is productive, holistic and transformative.
Five years ago, the Province adopted a Vision and Mission Statement. In it we declared that the Anglican community in Southern Africa seeks to be:
- Anchored – in the love of Christ
- Committed – to God’s mission
- Transformed – by the Holy Spirit
We added that across the diverse countries and cultures of our region, we seek:
- To honour God in worship that feeds and empowers us for faithful witness and service
- To embody and proclaim the message of God’s redemptive hope and healing for people and creation
- To grow communities of faith that form, inform, and transform those who follow Christ.
Within the context provided by that statement, we declared our Provincial priorities in the succeeding decade to be: Renewal for transformative worship; Theological education and formation; Leadership development; Health (HIV and AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis); The environment; Women and gender; Protection and nurture of children and young people; and public advocacy.
In the week beginning September 14th, we will first hold a Provincial Planning Meeting which will be in the nature of a mid-term review of our Vision and Mission: we will assess how much progress we have made, we will look at whether there are areas we need to tweak and we will plan how to add value to the life of the Church. We will then take proposals from the Planning Meeting to the regular meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee which follows. There we will decide as a collective on the proposals and on how to finance and put into effect the proposals we adopt.
One of the reasons for my excitement is that at the meetings we will combine the wisdom of representatives of the Dioceses with the expertise of an impressive line-up of experts in strategic thinking who will join us for the Planning Meeting.
Please join me in praying for the participants in these meetings and for their success, using the following prayer regularly in the weeks leading up to and including the meetings:
Almighty God of love, truth and wisdom,
by whose grace we discern your call to our generation,
celebrating when you are glad,
lamenting when you weep:
give your church love and power to act with you,
joining in your mission to the world,
and revealing your justice and peace throughout all creation,
to the glory of your name;
through Jesus Christ our crucified, risen and ascended Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever.
To those who will be taking part, I wish you safe travel and look forward to your enthusiastic participation.
God bless you,