Monthly Archives: May 2012

Letters to Steve and Sally

As Steve and Sally get ready to conclude their ministry at All Saints, we’d like to create a collection of letters for them–thanking them for their service among us, for their personal care for us and our families, for memories we have shared with them, or for whatever other ways they have blessed us and our families. Please place letters in the basket on the table in the narthex or email them to Daniele Jackson (daniele@allsaints-chd.org) no later than Sunday, June 10.

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The Celebration Assembly–Why Should Lay Leaders Attend?

Why should you, a lay leader from an Anglican church, be in Raleigh, June 11-13, 2012?

Following the lead and example of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, PEARUSA is committed to serving Christ in a highly collegial fashion – bishops, clergy, and laity working together, seeking the Lord together, praying, serving, and leading together.

That begins at the Celebration Assembly, Church of the Apostles, Raleigh, NC, June 11-13, 2012.

How? Workshops, Regional Network Gatherings, and Prayer

Workshops exploring, and involving lay leaders in:

  • Finances for Mission: We need input and involvement in financing mission!
  • Participating in ACNA Benefits Programs: We need input and involvement in

    developing benefits programs!

  • Charter for Ministry and Protocols for ACNA Subjurisdiction: We need leaders

    who want to explore our Charter and Protocols, to help us actualize our dreams.

  • Transitioning Your Church: How do churches transition to PEARUSA?
  • Rwandan Partnerships On the Ground: People actualize our partnerships with

    Rwanda. It is people who take the lead, do the work, go, and pray.

  • And more!

    Regional Network Gatherings: All clergy and laity from nascent regional networks will gather to begin a formation process. The work will include:

  • Meeting and greeting
  • Assessing potential additional churches and clergy, with (eventual) assignments

    for communication to “missing players”

  • Explaining the tasks of Regional Networks: nomination of candidates for bishop,

    development of regional Charters of Ministry, mission strategy, finances, etc.

  • Selection of a Regional Leader pro tem
  • Selection of key additional leaders pro tem to led through the formation of the

    network over the summer

  • Much prayer for your region!

    Prayer: Throughout the Assembly, as we hear reports, learn about the commitments and convictions that fuel our mission and ministry, hear about what God has done in the past, and see what God will do in the future, we will be called to prayer, again and again and again. We need the people of PEARUSA laboring alongside us in prayer, and the churches will pray when their leaders pray.

    All of this, plus worship, friendship, and celebration, will set the foundations of the future for the ministry and mission of PEARUSA.

    Please join us as we begin a new day of grace and hope!

    Registration Information and Event Details: www.pearusa.org

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Pentecost Sunday!

Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:2-4

Today we feel the wind beneath our wings
Today  the hidden fountain flows and plays
Today the church draws breath at last and sings
As every flame becomes a Tongue of praise.
This is the feast of fire,air, and water
Poured out and breathed and kindled into earth.
The earth herself awakens to her maker
And is translated out of death to birth.
The right words come today in their right order
And every word spells freedom and release
Today the gospel crosses every border
All tongues are loosened by the Prince of Peace
Today the lost are found in His translation.
Whose mother-tongue is Love, in  every nation.

A Sonnet by Malcolm Guite

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him,
“‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

(Acts 2:1-41 ESV)

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A letter from Steve Breedlove regarding the Joyous Assembly June 11-13

To all God’s Faithful in North America: Greetings in the name of Christ!

Six months ago, in a powerful pastoral moment at Church of the Apostles, Raleigh, NC, the Most Reverend Onesphore Rwaje called for the formation of a Steering Team to provide pastoral oversight for the clergy in North America that desire to remain resident within the Anglican Province of Rwanda (PEAR). In April, Archbishop Rwaje formalized the existence of a Missionary District for North America, and PEARUSA was born. Work on protocols governing PEARUSA as a sub-jurisdiction of the Anglican Church of North America began immediately. In a remarkable unifying sign of God’s spirit, PEARUSA will not only be a continual manifestation of work launched by Rwanda over a decade ago, but will also be a fully participating sub-jurisdiction of ACNA.

Now we invite you to return to Church of the Apostles in Raleigh on June 11-13, 2012 to help us bring PEARUSA to the place where its constituent churches, clergy, and laity can together begin to even more effectively serve people throughout North America with the Gospel.

  • We will reflect on the blessings of God together and understand the rich legacy of our spiritual roots.
  • We will hear the vision for the distinctive commitments and mission of PEARUSA and discuss how to stand at the intersection as a Missionary District of Rwanda and a sub-jurisdiction of the ACNA.
  • We will lay the groundwork for Regional Networks that will carry out Christ’s mission and prayerfully begin to consider future episcopal leadership to shepherd, guide, and care for our people.

Throughout all we do PEARUSA has a genuine desire to model the collegial rule and work that is the hallmark of the Anglican Province of Rwanda. In light of this desire, we need clergy and laity from all churches that desire to be canonically resident in Rwanda (or are considering it) to join us in Raleigh and begin to do fruitful work together. Will you help?

There will also be several moments of thanksgiving at the Celebration Assembly. Archbishop Rwaje tasked Bishop Terrell Glenn and the rest of the Steering Team with two jobs—pastoral oversight and initial planning. Both of these tasks have been completed and the Steering Team will be reformed into a Mission Council pro tem. In addition, Bishop Terrell Glenn will be passing the baton as the primary episcopal overseer for PEARUSA and Archbishop Rwaje will be naming a Presider pro tem to guide the Missionary District from June through the inaugural General Assembly in October.

Friends, I certainly hope you will join us for this Celebration Assembly. This is an exciting moment in our lives, and the future is exceedingly bright through the grace of God. But we cannot establish this Missionary District without genuine, participatory input from a broad group of clergy and laity, so please prayerfully consider joining us in Raleigh. Bring your fellow-laborers and leaders and help us do the work of God!

More details and registration information: http://www.pearusa.org

Your Servant in Christ,

Rev Dr Steven Breedlove

Canon to Missionary Bishop Terrell Glenn

sbreedlove@pearusa.org

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PEARUSA Joyous Assembly June 11-13th

Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje of the Anglican Church of Rwanda Invites You to a Joyous Celebration Assembly June 11-13, 2012 at Church of the Apostles – Raleigh, NC

4 p.m. and 7 p.m. services on Monday are open to the public – no registration required! Please make every effort to attend! 

January 16-18, 2012: In a powerful pastoral moment, PEARUSA was conceived at Church of the Apostles, in Raleigh, NC, when Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje of the Anglican Church of Rwanda (PEAR) came in humility, love, and much prayer to discover together with us the will of the Lord for clergy and churches serving in North America under his spiritual oversight.

Amid much prayer and seeking of God, a Steering Team was formed to guide us.

People, churches, and clergy were shepherded into the safety of a Gospel-based community of reconciliation and collaboration.

Leaders have sought to serve together in humility, transparency, and unity, continually crying out to God for help, guidance, strength, protection, and the presence of his Spirit in our churches.

A Missionary District of PEAR in North America was declared in April.

A Charter for Ministry has been drafted.

Protocols for PEARUSA’s place as a sub-jurisdiction and partner of the Anglican Church of North America have been formed.

NOW is the time to fully launch PEARUSA, and on behalf of Archbishop Rwaje, all affiliated and interested clergy and laity are welcome back to that place where PEARUSA began.

We will give thanks and celebrate what the Lord has done!

We will hear the vision God has given his people, especially those he has raised to lead PEARUSA to this place – Archbishop Rwaje, Bishops Terrell Glenn, Thad Barnum, Nathan Gasatura and more.

We will meet and hear the vision that he is giving to the first of the next generation leaders who will serve the work of PEARUSA.

We will bathe the future in prayer!

We will talk, share, laugh, pray, and learn to love more.

We will seek answers and understanding through the Charter for Ministry and the Protocols for our Sub-Jurisdiction with ACNA.

We will form the early shape of regional networks and begin the prayer and process of raising up leadership for mission.

We will ask, and answer, many questions.

YOU will be given opportunity to participate actively in the beginnings of a movement that has placed the highest value on the Gospel of grace, collaboration, and collegial process.

YOU will be able to gain all the information needed to know whether PEARUSA is your canonical and missional home.

YOU will be able to become a part of what God is doing:

Important Details:

Location: Church of the Apostles, 333 Church at North Hills Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609

Beginning Assembly: 4:00 p.m., June 11; Concluding Eucharist ends at 1:00 pm., June 13

Cost: $95 / single, $150 per couple: $10 discount for registering on or before May 31

Includes one light lunch and two light dinners

Special Conference Rates Available at local hotels, the Hyatt Place (919.877.9997) and the Residence Inn (919 878-6100): Call directly and ask for the PEARUSA rate.

Conference Details: Check www.pearusa.org or:

Rev Donnie McDaniel: rev.donniemcdaniel@gmail.com
Rev Art Going: art.going@gmail.com
Rev Brad Acton: bacton@pearusa.com

You are welcome to bring as many clergy and laity from your church as you desire

Online registration begins on or before May 9 at www.pearusa.org

Birthed in Rwanda, Planted in America, Bearing Fruit in our Communities

 

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PEARUSA

By a majority vote and with a quorum present, All Saints Church approved the Vestry’s recommended bylaws changes yesterday at our congregational meeting. Our affiliation has changed from the AMiA to PEARUSA. We are now a full member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as a member of PEARUSA, which is a sub-juristiction with the ACNA.

Learn more about PEARUSA by browsing the website. Click here.

http://www.pearusa.org

I. Vision: Who We Are

PEARUSA is a Missionary District (MD) and church planting movement of theAnglican Church of Rwanda (Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda – PEAR) and a sub-jurisdiction of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). It is a movement of clergy and churches who are birthed in Rwanda, planted in North America, bearing fruit in our communities.

Birthed in Rwanda

PEARUSA’s relationship with Rwanda does not exist as a matter of utility. Rather, it is our Rwandan brothers’ and sisters’ pursuit of reconciliation, that church’s legacy of conciliar decision-making and governance, their commitment to prayer, transparency, and Gospel-driven mission that God first gave as hallmarks of the East African Revival, and their submission to Biblical truth that binds their church to our own. PEARUSA is, in fact, being shaped by Rwanda in an ongoing relationship of friendship, collaboration, and discipleship as we move through life together with Christ Himself and as brothers and sisters in the Gospel. Through Rwanda, PEARUSA is also shaped by the Global South and through a growing coalition of confessional Anglicans gathering under through Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). GAFCON’s common faith is clarified in the Jerusalem Declaration.

Planted in America

The people and churches who make up PEARUSA share a zeal for communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ by word and deed. We are united in our strategy of growth through planting churches. We are actively committed and involved on multiple levels with the growth of united, biblical, mission-driven Anglicanism in North America as a sub-jurisdiction of ACNA.

Bearing Fruit in our Communities

PEARUSA seeks to create and sustain life through

• proper episcopal and clerical order that proclaims the Gospel, serves sacrificially, builds teams, and equips and empowers others for ministry,
• a pervasive culture of healthy relationships, collaborative work, and Christian vitality,
• being transformed by the Gospel and by communicating that same Gospel through word and deed,
• training life-long missional leaders and church planters,
• planting churches for the work of Christ and the glory of God.

II. Our Role Within ACNA

PEARUSA stands committed to the vision articulated by the ACNA for united, Biblical, mission driven Anglicanism throughout our continent. PEARUSA enjoys full communion with ACNA as its sub-jurisdiction. This is best demonstrated by our financial commitments to ACNA, our representation at the ACNA Provincial Assembly, our representation in the Provincial Council and ACNA House of Bishops, and the freedom of both clergy and congregations to move between the Missionary District and ACNA. Above all else, PEARUSA seeks to offer its gifts, such as they are, to ACNA.

III. FAQ

Q. How do I participate as a clergyperson in PEARUSA?
A. If you are canonically resident in Rwanda, (at this point in time) simply declare your intent for affiliation by contacting Brad Acton (bacton@pearusa.org) with a clear statement to that end. Call your local Regional Leader or PEARUSA office for any further questions or information. If you are currently canonically resident in another jurisdiction, you can simply follow normal proves for seeking transfer into PEARUSA.

Q. How does our church affiliate with PEARUSA?
A. If your church has been chartered as an AMiA congregation, depending on the requirements for change stipulated by your bylaws, you should go through a healthy discernment process and methodical plan for addressing the bylaws to reflect your decision. Help to discern this process is available from regional leaders, the PEARUSA office, or the Rev David Bryan, dbryan2000@aol.com Once the decision has been firmly made, please notify Brad Acton at bacton@pearusa.org for listing in our database and full inclusion of all the privileges and responsibilities of participation.

Q. What comprises the membership of PEARUSA?
A. Please see http://www.pearusa.org for up-to-date listings of all parishes currently affiliated.

Q. What are the details of PEARUSA’s structure and operation?
A. Please see DRAFT of our Charter.

Q. What are Regional Networks and their relationship to Bishops?
A. PEARUSA is being organized into Regional Networks who will collegially carry out the strategies for mission and spiritual oversight, including conciliar participation in the selection of bishops. Please see DRAFT of Charter, particularly Article 3.

Q. What is the process of ordination and will women receive Holy Orders?
A. See DRAFT of our Charter, particularly Article 5.

Q. How will money be received and allocated in PEARUSA?
A. The Missionary District will humbly seek gifts from the generous normal giving programs at local parishes. Parishes will give 10% of their general offerings to the MD, and the MD will divide 10% of its funds between Rwanda and ACNA by direction of the two Archbishops, starting at a 70/30% split in year one (in favor of PEAR). All budgets and expense reports, both actual and proposed, are available at www.pearusa.org.

Q. How do I financially support PEARUSA?
A. Contributions may be sent to: Christ Church / PO Box 1065 / Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

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Proposed Bylaw Changes for All Saints Church

This Sunday, May 20, the congregation will vote to approve proposed bylaws changes as put forth by the Vestry. These amendments will change our affiliation from Anglican Mission in the Americas to PEARUSA and thereby make us a fully active part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

To read the proposed bylaws changes, click here. The congregational meeting will be held between the services, starting promptly at 9:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, but only current church members will be able to participate in the vote.

To learn more about PEARUSA click here.

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A letter to the members of All Saints Church: May 11, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Turmoil and change have become too routine over the past six months as a result of decisions made by the leadership within the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA). The resignation of the majority of the AMiA’s bishops, excluding Bishops Terrell Glenn and Thad Barnum, from the Rwandan House of Bishops in December of 2011 was a major disruption and distraction as well as a significant disappointment. We have seen much change, plenty of difficult circumstances, and had many hard and honest conversations since, but God has not left us as orphans; the Holy Spirit has been at work granting us the peace of Christ and leading us in wisdom, discernment, and truth. Praise be to God that he does not abandon us in the messes we make! God is working despite confusion and changes within the AMiA as well as within Anglicanism in North America, and he is actively purifying, pruning, and shaping his church.

At All Saints, we have been prayerfully wrestling with how we ought to be connected to the worldwide Anglican Communion in light of these recent events. The Vestry is now unanimous in the belief that the best way forward is for us to join PEARUSA, and thereby to be a fully active part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). In the coming days, the Vestry will propose a formal amendment to the church bylaws reflecting this decision. At a congregational meeting on Sunday, May 20 at 9:30 a.m., church members will be asked to vote to approve or not approve these bylaw changes. In preparation for this meeting, the clergy and staff want to share as much information as we can about what PEARUSA is and what its relationship with the ACNA and the worldwide Anglican Communion will be.

To that end, following you will find 1) a glossary of terms and acronyms, 2) an explanation of PEARUSA, 3) a brief explanation of relationships within and structure of PEARUSA and the ACNA, and 4) links to the charter and protocols of PEARUSA.

Please take some time to read over this important information and let us know if you have any questions in the coming days. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting on May 20, but only church members may vote. If you are unclear about your membership status, please contact the church office or consult the membership binder in the narthex. Please be in prayer for our church as we desire to walk in the Spirit in the midst of this decision. And finally, although this is an important decision and one that will have implications for our church, please do not allow yourself to be distracted from All Saints’s mission to become and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you,

All Saints Church Clergy, Vestry, and Staff 

Glossary of Terms

PEAR: The Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda

PEARUSA: The North American Missionary District of the Anglican Church of Rwanda

ACNA: The Anglican Church of North America

GAFCON: The proper name for the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans when it gathers in conference. The acronym is Global Anglican Futures Conference.

Missionary District: This is what the Rwandan House of Bishops chose to establish in North America. Further, they have determined that this is the only body that will be canonically present in Rwanda within the North American context. PEARUSA is the continuation of PEAR’s original work in North America.

Sub-jurisdiction: This is the proper term to describe PEARUSA’s relationship with the ACNA. It will be a full part of the ACNA but will also be linked to Rwanda. Like many of the other sub-jurisdictions of the ACNA, the churches of PEARUSA will bring to the ACNA a certain set of theological distinctives.

What is PEARUSA?

PEARUSA is a Missionary District and church planting movement of the Anglican Church of Rwanda. The acronym PEAR stands for Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda (Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda): PEARUSA is a sub-jurisdiction of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). It is a movement of clergy and churches that was birthed in Rwanda, was planted in North America, and is bearing fruit in our communities. Please see the Charter and Protocols (links below) to understand how a sub-jurisdiction functions within the ACNA.

Birthed in Rwanda

PEARUSA’s relationship with Rwanda does not exist as a matter of utility. Rather, it is our Rwandan brothers’ and sisters’ pursuit of reconciliation; that church’s legacy of conciliar decision-making and governance; their commitment to prayer, transparency, and Gospel-driven mission that God first gave as hallmarks of the East African Revival; and their submission to Biblical truth that binds their church to our own. PEARUSA is, in fact, being shaped by Rwanda in an ongoing relationship of friendship, collaboration, and discipleship as we move through life together with Christ Himself and as brothers and sisters in the Gospel. Through Rwanda, PEARUSA is also shaped by the Global South and through a growing coalition of confessional Anglicans gathering under the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). GAFCON’s common faith is clarified in the Jerusalem Declaration.

Planted in America

The people and churches who make up PEARUSA share a zeal for communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ by word and deed. It is united in its strategy of growth through planting churches. It is actively committed and involved on multiple levels with the growth of united, biblical, mission-driven Anglicanism in North America as a sub-jurisdiction of the ACNA.

Bearing Fruit in our Communities

PEARUSA seeks to create and sustain life through

• proper episcopal and clerical order that proclaims the Gospel, serves   sacrificially, builds teams, and equips and empowers others for ministry,
• a pervasive culture of healthy relationships, collaborative work, and Christian vitality,
• being transformed by the Gospel and by communicating that same Gospel through word and deed,
• training life-long missional leaders and church planters, and
• planting churches for the work of Christ and the glory of God.

How is PEARUSA related to the ACNA?

PEARUSA stands committed to the vision articulated by the ACNA for united, Biblical, mission-driven Anglicanism throughout our continent. PEARUSA enjoys full communion with the ACNA as its sub-jurisdiction. This is best demonstrated by its financial commitments to the ACNA, its representation at the ACNA Provincial Assembly, its representation in the Provincial Council and the ACNA House of Bishops, and the freedom of both clergy and congregations to move between the Missionary District and the ACNA. Above all else, PEARUSA seeks to offer its gifts, such as they are, to the ACNA.

Explanation of  Relationships

The three major entities involved in this partnership enjoy full communion. PEAR, the ACNA, and PEARUSA are all members of the Confessing Anglican Movement, and thus enjoy full communion through their fellow participation in GAFCON. PEARUSA will be the only body that is directly aligned with PEAR functioning in North America. However, PEAR recognizes that ACNA is the orthodox Anglican province in North America, and thus wishes for its Missionary District PEARUSA to be a sub-jurisdiction within the ACNA.

This relationship means that PEARUSA will enjoy full membership in the ACNA. The clergy and employees of PEARUSA and its churches will be eligible for the ACNA package of benefits, and the Bishops of PEARUSA that will be selected in the next few months will be seated in the ACNA House of Bishops. Likewise, clergy and churches of both the ACNA and PEARUSA are free to move between the two parties without a formal request of jurisdictional change. (Please see the links to the PEARUSA Charter and Protocols to see the specific ways PEARUSA will function as a sub-jurisdiction within the ACNA.)

Brief Outline of the structure of PEARUSA

At the upcoming Celebration Assembly in Raleigh, the clergy and lay leaders of those churches that are interested in PEARUSA will lay out the initial structure of a series of regional networks. Each of these networks will be made up of at least 12 churches and will be led by a Bishop. After this meeting, the new networks-in-formation will select two candidates for Bishop and these names will be sent to Rwanda for review and selection. Once the new Bishops have been selected and consecrated, they will appear before the ACNA Bishops so that they may be received into the College of Bishops of the ACNA. PEARUSA is and will be marked by its commitment to collegial leadership between clergy and laity, as well as the spirit of reconciliation that is the heartbeat of Rwanda. To this end, PEARUSA seeks to plant biblical, missional, and reformational Anglican churches. (Please see the links to the PEARUSA Charter and Protocols to see the specific ways PEARUSA will function as a sub-jurisdiction within the ACNA.)

PEARUSA Proposed Charter 

To read the proposed PEARUSA charter click here or go to the following address:

http://www.pearusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/PEARUSA-Proposed-Charter.pdf

PEARUSA / ACNA Protocols 

To read the proposed PEARUSA and ACNA protocols click here or go to the following address:

http://www.pearusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/ACNA-PEARUSA_Protocols_FINAL-Draft.pdf

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Admitting we don’t know

by Kara Martin   May 10th, 2012

The God I Don’t Understand, Christopher JH Wright.

Christopher Wright is a great Old Testament scholar. His work on Old Testament ethics for the people of God has been foundational in my understanding of the character of God through the laws he laid down.

So to have him admit that there are difficult parts of Scripture, for which pat answers will not suffice, is… spirit warming. Some evangelical writers are so adamant in their writing that they leave no room for doubt, no room for mystery, no room for limits in human understanding!

The sub-title for this book is: Reflections on tough questions of faith. Wright looks at four areas of great contention, not just for atheists, but also within Christianity:

  • What about evil and suffering?
  • What about the Canaanites?
  • What about the Cross?
  • What about the end of the world?

He begins by pointing out that even if we struggle to understand parts of Scripture, this does not stop us from knowing and trusting God. In fact, it would be more surprising if everything were plain for us, for God himself declares in Isaiah 55:9: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

With honesty and humility he admits there are things he doesn’t understand, but also opens up different forms of not understanding:

  • Some things just don’t make sense, cannot be explained theologically or philosophically, and we can only respond with anger or grief, such as when confronted by the wrenching reality of suffering and pain.
  • Some things are morally disturbing, including some of the violent acts described in the Old Testament.
  • Some things are hard to understand but not in a bad way, for example, exactly how has the Cross dealt with our deepest needs? The response might be gratitude and hope, but it is difficult to explain.
  • Some things are simply puzzling or confusing, such as the narratives of the end of the world.

Wright points out that many in the Bible also wrestled with God: Abraham questioned God about Sodom and Gomorrah, Sarah mocked God’s ability to reverse her barrenness, Moses questioned God several times, Elijah could not understand why God would save life only to destroy it (1 Kings 17:20-21), Job’s whole book is a question of God, Jeremiah could not understand the words he was being asked to speak, while the Psalms are full of anguished questions.

The key for Wright is to ask questions, while acknowledging God’s good character, and continuing to worship in faith (following the pattern of Psalm 73).

While space will not allow me to deal with each of the issues in detail, here are some pointers from Wright on each concern:

  • The problem of evil. We need to keep three truths in tension: the utter evilness of evil, the utter goodness of God and the utter sovereignty of God; and note that all three meet at the Cross of Christ. Jesus defeated evil at the Cross, and in the new creation there will be no more death, pain, sin, impurity, darkness, international strife or curse. In the meantime, in the face of suffering, the Bible gives us models and words for grieving, weeping, lamenting, protesting, and screaming in pain and anger and frustration.
  • The problem of violence in the Old Testament. Wright makes a series of comments: it was set in violent times, the conquest of Canaan was a unique and limited event, God is sovereign and just and the Canaanite culture and religion was wicked, the same justice was applied to Israel, and ultimately God has a vision of peace for all nations.
  • The Cross = why, what and how? Wright speaks about balancing God’s anger and God’s love, and understanding the different dimensions of what was achieved by the Cross: coming home, receiving mercy, being redeemed, receiving forgiveness, reconciliation with God and one another, being justified, being cleansed, and opportunity for new life.
  • The last things. Wright opens up the ‘cranks and controversies’ around seven areas: death, the intermediate state, the return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the day of judgment, heaven, and hell. He goes through the biblical material, and concludes on the high note of the hope we have in Jesus.

In his conclusion to the book, Wright speaks about two consequences of his musings in these areas:

  1. All of our behaviour now must be governed by the standards of the new creation. We must act against evil and violence, to bring peace and ease suffering.
  2. All that we do and work at now contributes to the content of new creation. All we have accomplished will be purged and redeemed, but not obliterated and forgotten. What we do every day matters, because of the Cross, and the promise of the new heaven and earth.

This book review can be found here

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Mugs for Ministry!

Mugs for Ministry: Another way to drink coffee and do good, and just in time for Mother’s Day and graduation gifts (did you forget that’s today?

Purchase an 11 oz. reusable ceramic travel coffee mug in the narthex this Sunday and for the next few weeks! $10 each or two for $18; proceeds benefit the mission and ministries of All Saints Church.

Mugs are also available at the church office during the week.

 

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