Assembly 2012 Is Upon Us!

Click HERE for the draft schedule and HERE to register for Assembly 2012! Bishops, officials and delegates will receive their registration access codes via email.

For the first time since the inaugural Provincial Assembly in Bedford/Plano, Texas in June of 2009, the Anglican Church in North America is excited to announce the next gathering of the whole church. Assembly 2012 will take place Thursday, June 7 through Saturday, June 9 in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Preparations are already underway. You and all the faithful from the Anglican Church in North America are invited to attend!

“My hope is that Assembly 2012 would be a celebration of God’s favor. Many things have happened in these years that show God has blessed and prospered what we’ve done in ways we never imagined. We’ve been doing what we see the Father doing and we want to celebrate that,” said Archbishop Duncan, referencing John 5:19. 

Assembly 2012 will be held at Ridgecrest Conference Center nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, just outside of Asheville, N.C. Offering more than just meeting space, Ridgecrest will also provide both lodging and meals to attendees, ensuring one convenient location for meeting participants. 

“Provincial Assembly is very much about building up the mission of the church and encouraging the next generation of leaders in our midst,” proclaimed Archbishop Duncan.
A quarter of the participants this year will be young leaders and delegates of our dioceses, between the ages of 16 and 25.

“We are in the transformation business and this Assembly is about equipping captivated disciples to transform communities. Central to that, planting new congregations is principally important if we’re going to reach North America,” Archbishop Duncan continued.

Assembly 2012 will begin following meetings of the Archbishop’s Cabinet, Executive Committee, the College of Bishops, Provincial Council, and the Anglican Relief and Development Fund earlier in the week. 

Attendees can expect powerful worship that embraces the fullness of Anglican worship and identity and the beauty of our liturgy. In addition to dedicated times for fellowship, the event will feature the following speakers as well as other special guests for Bible teachings, plenary sessions and workshops. 

Dr. Ed Stetzer, President of LifeWay Research and sought after authority on missional church planting
The Baroness Caroline Cox, Honorary Chair of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, member of the British House of Lords, and tireless campaigner for human rights around the world
The Rt. Rev. Rennis Ponniah, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Singapore, one of the most well-known Bible teachers in the Anglican world
The Rev. Dr. Michael Youssef, Founder and Rector of Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia with more than 3,000 members and President of Leading the Way, a worldwide radio and TV evangelistic and teaching ministry
The Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America

The host dioceses are the Anglican Diocese of the South and the Diocese of the Carolinas (in formation). In addition to the talent and hospitality they will provide to all North American Anglicans, we look forward to welcoming at least a half-dozen Anglican Primates, and many other clergy and lay leaders from around the world.

As the planning and design team, led by The Rev. Steve Wood, vicar general of the Diocese of the Carolinas (in formation) and rector of St. Andrew’s Church in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., prepares for the event, our prayer is that Assembly 2012 will equip each of us to Captivate Disciples, Multiply Congregations and Transform Communities

Please pray about joining the Assembly 2012 in Ridgecrest. We pray that all attendees will be wonderfully blessed by this gathering of God’s people experiencing awesome worship, amazing speakers, extraordinary fellowship and take-away learning.

Cookies for the Kingdom

The Anglican Diocese of the South is proving that flour, sugar, aprons and serving the Lord can go hand in hand. Members of Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville, Ga., recently baked 7,879 homemade cookies for Soldier’s Connection Christmas care packages and Kairos Prison Ministry. Baking a dozen cookies can seem daunting for some; imagine multiplying that by nearly 657.

Troops Get a Taste of Home
As part of their work for the kingdom, volunteers at Holy Cross support Soldier’s Connection, a Georgia non-profit organization that is presently shipping 60 care packages every three weeks to our soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

The packages are sent primarily to chaplains and commanding officers to distribute to soldiers who do not receive packages from home. Soldier’s Connection also sends packages on a rotating basis to every soldier for whom they have received an address.

The Holy Cross cookies were included in 300 boxes of love, prayers, sweets and treats being shipped in time for Christmas. This ministry is a blessing to so many of the men and women serving abroad who won’t be at home with their families for the Christmas season.

Cookies Help Prison Ministry
In addition to Soldier’s Connection, Holy Cross also baked for Kairos Prison Ministry, a ministry of volunteers who have a four-day retreat twice a year at a local prison. 

The goal of the ministry is to bring prisoners to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. During the retreat, home-baked cookies were offered to prisoners and used as “transforming cookies,” to help teach prisoners about the love of Christ. Everyone who baked was also asked to pray for the prisoners, that they will give their lives to Christ.

Baking cookies in conjunction with Kairos Prison Ministry is just one way the Anglican Diocese of the South and Holy Cross are living out Matthew 25:36-40, “...I was in prison and you came to me…Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

Please join us in praying that each of the 7,879 cookies baked by Holy Cross would serve a holy purpose and become a vehicle of Christ’s love. 

Story/photo credit: Anglican Diocese of the South

A Brief and Incomplete History of the Praise Screen

Calling this a history is inaccurate and false.  Actually I’m just trying to make a few points about historic worship in the church and perhaps tweak some of my more conservative friends.  So here we go.

The first praise screen was probably a prehistoric cave wall illuminated by torches or shafts of light.  Cave painting.  Yep.  Before the printing press people had limited ways of participating in corporate worship.

Memorization was a big part of worship throughout history.  It still is important as anyone who goes into an Alzheimer’s ward and begins reciting the Lord’s Prayer knows well.  But before the printing press and post cave painting there was a long time of corporate Christian worship that relied on the first worship praise screens.  You know, the screens the printing press put out of business.  Anyone who has worshiped with words written on a flip chart knows how this works.  That likely dates me as projectors are so cheap and flip charts increasingly expensive that most organizations try to go digital as soon as possible.

Before the printing press life was more organic in churches.  Choirs did not sit in neat little pews, let alone in choir stalls.  The choir would gather around a large hand written book seated upon a stand. As seen in the illustration to the left and above, each page would have 3 to 5  lines of plainsong.  The choir would sing guided by a choir master.

Then of course came the disruptive technology of the printing press.  Choirs suddenly had access to far more books to sing from, and they could sing from their own copy.  Public worship was forever changed.  Was it changed for the better?  This is a hard question to answer.

My simple point is that the Praise Screen is in fact an older concept than the hymnal.  Of course now it is digital and often used in ways that distract from worship by dipping into a Hollywood-esqe style of presentation.  But every technology can be used well or poorly.  The technology is not the problem so much as the implementation.

For the past 2.5 years of so St. James has used a praise screen as a portable church.  It worked really well.  It was cheaper then printing the worship service in bulletins and easier than carting in books every Sunday.  It worked great and people enjoyed having their hands free during worship.  Parents of young children especially appreciated this new freedom.  Now we are in a building with no obvious way of using screens.  It looks like we are going to go with books or service bulletins.  This is not a problem.  We will flex into it unless we find another solution that works.

One thought I had was to put stands like the ones in these illustrations among the pews with monitors on them!  This is not a serious consideration.  This is not a trial balloon either.  It is just a thought that brings the medieval praise screen to the present.