Welcome to San Francisco Anglicans! This website is a ministry of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). More specifically it is a ministry of St. James Anglican Church in San Jose. It has a very simple purpose: help people in San Francisco find us so we can help launch new Anglican Churches in San Francisco. Emmaus Anglican Church is our first. We hope to launch many more in the coming months. We hope this interests you. If you would like more information please email Fr. Ed McNeill or call him at 408-674-2770.
I had a demanding job. My wife ran a start-up business. We had parish and family obligations. Yet somehow, every Thursday at 7pm, sitting on a scratchy second-hand, tan-colored couch, we managed to watch the Simpsons.
One Thursday night in 1993, God struck us with the absurdity of our faithfulness to a television show, and changed our priorities. From then on we would use those 30 minutes for a better purpose.
But what could we do? We had hardly any ministry experience and no special skills. Our parish had no outreach ministry to join. We had limited resources. We thought we had little to offer. All that we had was ourselves and our baby.
Then I remembered. When I was a young boy, once a week for two years, my mother wrestled my four younger siblings and me to an assisted living community. God deposited something that lasted. I learned old ladies in wheelchairs do not run away. And even if they tried, we could outrun them.
A Christian caregiver told my wife and I about a woman named Ruby, and God called us to visit. Institutionalized her whole life, she was a ward of the state. Many people labeled her “slow” because she struggled. To them, mental disability and frailty defined her.
I remember her crying in the white emptiness of an assisted living community hallway, despairing. “I miss my church,” she sobbed. For many years, her lifelong church picked her up each Sunday morning and enabled her to worship. But she became incontinent and soiled the church’s new carpet. The bus stopped coming. For years, nobody came. Never. Still, every Sunday Ruby waited by the door, tears searing her cheeks. God saw Ruby in her distress, and God remembers the brokenhearted.
My wife and I brought our baby each week, and over time Ruby became dear to us. Throughout our friendship, she shared a rare depth of wisdom wrought through eight decades of hardship. Eventually more people from our Dayton, Ohio parish and community heeded God’s call, joined us, and a congregation soon sprouted. Its first member, Ruby, declared joyfully “This is my church,” and before she died she ushered many into heaven. Ruby sparkled in unwavering kindness to everyone, always with a joyful heart and a wry smile. She remembered visitors’ names, prayed aloud for them, and made sure everybody knew about Jesus.
We didn’t know it then, but today we recognize that the need in assisted living communities is both massive and growing. America’s 16,000 assisted living communities contain almost a million people. Shortly, millions more will join them. 4 out of every 5 assisted living community residents did not receive a visitor in the last year. 3 out of 5 will never receive a visitor. Not one.
People in assisted living communities need not remain neglected. In Dayton, Ohio, for example, two parishes in the Diocese of the Central States (REC), Christ the King and Christ our Hope, support St. Lazarus Mission. They inject the energy and enthusiasm of their younger generations into that assisted living community and receive the distilled life lessons and wisdom of the seasoned saints they touch. St. Lazarus Mission’s work is to hold out the hands of Christ to the least, lonely, labeled and lost.
We administer the sacraments. We preach the Word of God. We teach the Scriptures. We comfort the wounded, the sick, and the dying. In this environment, God molds leaders, lay and ordained, and people come to Christ for the first time.
Any parish can adopt an assisted living community. It requires few resources and merely a handful of willing souls. The seeds of a congregation have already been planted in every assisted living community. If the faithful presence of God’s people, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is established now, then we will be prepared to receive many into Christ’s Kingdom in the years to come.
- According to the Pew Research Council, beginning on January 1, 2011, 10,000 Baby Boomers turned 65. Every day until 2030 at least 10,000 more will be added to that number.
- According to the Census Bureau, by 2050, the number of people over 85 is expected to triple, growing from 6.3 to 19 million.
The Rev. Chris Herman, Vicar (St. Lazarus Mission)
Our young Province has taken amazing strides in church planting in the first years of our existence. Not only have we planted almost 500 churches, but an understanding of the importance of planting is now common within our ranks.
Through the shared efforts of the Province in Anglican 1000, faithful bishops and leaders in their individual dioceses, and gritty church planters on the local level, it is difficult to walk in our circles for very long without realizing that church planting is essential to who we are as an Anglican movement in North America. Creating that awareness and buy-in to the vision of planting is no small accomplishment, and one of which we should be quite proud.
With age comes maturity (hopefully) and just as our Province and Dioceses are growing up with regard to our systems, organization, and relationships, so are our efforts in church planting. We have added to our awareness and initial youthful zeal, practical experience and we are now seeing the early sprouts of planting support systems that will allow future planters to be better equipped and cared for in their work. We are progressing in our efforts to not only do the work of planting, but to do it with intentionality, efficiency, and increasing effectiveness.
As we head into this new adolescence of our church planting movement, there are two concepts that must shape our steps together: collaboration and subsidiarity.
Collaboration means that we believe we can do this work better together than we can on our own. Collaboration is marked with generosity where the wisdom and practical tools that are being forged in the workshops at each level of our movement provincial, diocesan, and local- are shared freely with others who need them. Collaboration is defined by a corporate sense of victory where a healthy church planted by a healthy church planter in any corner of our Province is seen as a win for us all. Collaboration is practical, it is relational, and for it to be a reality it must be intentional.
The concept of subsidiarity, simply stated, is letting each sphere of our organizational structure do well what only it can do best. As opposed to a top-down model in which policy and procedure is dictated at high levels and enforced locally, subsidiarity with regard to church planting calls for the Province to be a servant of the diocese, and the diocese a servant of the local planter; each specializing in its particular role.
In other words, the Province can’t plant churches and neither can a diocese; local churches and church planters plant churches. The role of the diocese is to help create an environment that facilitates the health and effectiveness of the planter in their work through relational and organizational support. The role of the Province, then, is to help facilitate the collaboration of our local planters and various dioceses throughout North America to provide a platform for these creative leaders to share their work with others in order that it might benefit the whole.
The Province can also help catalyze new initiatives and resources that a single diocese may not have the means or muscle to bring to fruition, but through the collective work of the whole can be accomplished in a way that serves planters on a large scale. The whole truly is greater than the sum of it’s parts.
More and more we are seeing the reality of this collaboration and cooperation through subsidiarity happen throughout our Province. In December, through the initiative of the Province, 30 planting leaders from multiple dioceses and networks gathered in Atlanta for an Anglican Church Planting Roundtable to build relationships and begin to dream about how we can work more closely together. Regional initiatives are beginning to crop up in which representatives from multiple jurisdictions in the same geographical area are working together to see more churches planted. For example, Rev. Shawn McCain with C4SO and Canon Scott Seely with CANA are both church planters in Texas and have begun to gather a coalition with members from multiple dioceses to plant 35 churches along I-35 from Austin to San Antonio. In Mobile, AL churches from PEAR-USA and the Gulf Atlantic Diocese are collaborating on a new church plant. These are just a few examples of great work spanning across jurisdictional lines.
At the provincial level we are seeking new creative ways to facilitate this collaboration and enhance the work of the dioceses in support of the local church planter. We are exploring the feasibility of a planter residency/internship to assist dioceses in their leadership pipeline and planter training. We are working in conjunction with Asbury Seminary to develop a planter assessment process that will be made accessible to our dioceses. We are creating a website for Anglican church planting resources to facilitate dissemination of ideas and tools. Solutions for core systems such as assessment, training, coaching and support are in the works. And much, much more.
It truly is an exciting time to be a part of church planting in the Anglican tradition. Relationships are being strengthened. Churches are being planted. What’s even more exciting is that we are doing it together as Christians, as missionaries and as fellow Anglicans. May the Lord continue to bless our endeavors!
By the Rev. Canon Dan Alger
As Christians we believe He literally, physically, rose from the dead to authenticate His Messianic claims, and to affirm that His death on the cross was indeed the sacrificial death He claimed it would be – “my blood poured out for the forgiveness of sins.”
In one of the Apostle John’s accounts of His resurrection appearances, there is an important message Jesus gives His disciples, and I believe to the Church today as followers of Jesus. In John 20, we are told that Jesus appears to the disciples on the Sunday evening after His crucifixion as they were huddled away fearing for their lives behind a locked door. Leon Morris, the Australian Scholar, notes: What was the point of John mentioning that the door was locked? The point he adds is that Jesus miraculously stood in their midst showing them His hands and side where He had received wounds on the cross. Luke tells us in his account in Lk. 24:37 that they were startled and frightened thinking they had seen a ghost.
When the disciples realize it is Jesus, they are overjoyed. Jesus gives them the normal Hebrew greeting: shalom Aleichem – peace be with you. No blame. No rebuke. No condemnation. After their greetings, Jesus gives them four things in this encounter.
Firstly, He gives them His Peace. (v. 21). His peace is the peace that passes all understanding. Jesus said: These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble (tribulation), but take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Shalom is more that just a greeting. On this occasion, it had more of a literal meaning. Shalom is a tangible PEACE when the Lord is present. It affects all of who we are. For the follower of Jesus, when He is present, there is His Peace.
Secondly, He gives them an Assignment. (v. 21) I am sending you. They are given a mission: to go. They are not to hide in fear; not to hide their light under the table; not to live in worry and tension. No, they are to go. They are given a mission to go into the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father , the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching all that Jesus taught (Mt.28:19).
Thirdly, He gives them an example of how to do their assignment (v. 21) As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. How did the Father send Jesus? He left His place in Heaven. He entered into our world as a baby. He grew up like we did – as messy and awkward as that is. He taught. He served. He healed. He helped people. And He laid down His life. John Stott, Bible scholar and priest said, “It was total identification, though without any loss of identity, for in becoming one of us, He did not cease to be himself.” This is how the Father sent him, and that is the example He left for the disciples. They were to go and do the same thing. They were to leave the comfort of their own worlds and go. They were to teach, serve, heal, bless, and to lay down their lives for their fellow human beings. F.F. Bruce put it this way, “The Son’s mission in the world is entrusted to them.”
Fourthly, Jesus gives them the power to be able to do the mission in the manner Jesus asks (v. 22). Receive the Holy Spirit. This mission cannot be done on their own or in their own strength. Actually, it is impossible to do the mission without the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to follow Jesus without the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who equips followers of Jesus and empowers them to do evangelism and ministry in His Name.
Jesus told His disciples on another occasion to wait for the gift His Father was going to give them – this is what we celebrate on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit baptized and fi lled them with His Presence and they exhibited various gifts of the Spirit to proclaim the message of salvation. Here Jesus breathes on them and gives them a taste of the Spirit which was actualized on Pentecost.
What has changed for the modern day follower of Jesus? I would argue nothing except the date and the individuals. Jesus still wants us to live in His peace. He has given us a mission: to go and reach North America (and anyone in the world) with the transforming love of Jesus. And He has given us the Holy Spirit to indwell the believer and the Church to fulfill the mission of Jesus. So let’s walk in His peace. So let’s go following His example. And as we go, let us be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America