Calling Anglicans into Action for Life

Both events coincide, respectively, with the March for Life in Washington D.C. and Walk for Life in San Francisco. Join fellow Anglicans in the manifestation of Christ’s love for the unborn and his Gospel of Life.

Read more from Anglicans for Life President Georgette Forney below and find resources for each event at the bottom of the page.

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It is hard to believe we are in the last month of 2017! It has been quite a year with almost daily occurrences of violence and division featured in the news.  As our culture increasingly celebrates and embraces death, it feels, more than ever, like we are being besieged on every side.  I do not know about you, but I need more than encouraging sentiment.  I want to do something about all this, to see the Church fulfill its purpose as the voice of the voiceless, the unborn, the elderly, and the vulnerable.

The deepest desire of my heart is to see God’s people equipped and prepared for life ministry.  And Anglicans for Life will be holding not one but two events to help you and your church do just that!  We are excited to share that AFL will be hosting the 3rd annual Summit: Mobilizing the Church for Life on January 18th, 2018 in Falls Church, VA.  Additionally, with the Lord’s provision and support from the dioceses, we are also hosting our first West Coast event, Life Symposium: Equipping the Church for Life on January 26th, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. 

The vision of both events is the same.  As we have seen in Scripture, God instructs us to protect and value Life.  And I want to see Anglicans taking action in their churches and communities to fulfill this command!  To help with this, Summit 2018 and the Life Symposium will seek to motivate life-ministry and will feature keynote speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities to provide both inspiration and practical action ideas.  After both events, there will be an Anglican prayer service the following morning, after which we will join with hundreds of thousands of life-affirming people at the March for Life in DC or the Walk for Life in San Francisco. In addition to yourself, I would encourage you to invite a friend and to share this invitation with others, especially if God has put it on your heart to start a life-affirming ministry. As with any calling, God intends us to act in and rely on community for support and prayer. Seeking partnership within your congregation can create a unique and necessary dynamic for ministry!

As well as serving a God who loves Life, we are grateful to work with priests, pastors, lay people, and churches in the ACNA, whose very statutes affirm the sacredness of Life.  According to Title II, Canon 8, “God, and not man, is the creator of human life…. therefore, from conception to natural death all members and Clergy are called to protect and respect the sanctity of every human life.”

I am personally inviting you to come to our events, not because abortion and assisted suicide are important “hot-topic” issues and not to bemoan the state of our culture, but because my hope is that the words of this canon will be more than just a theological position.  I want people who come to these events to be filled with a passion for Life and have a sense of how God is calling them to act.  This year has been a year of violence and division but I pray 2018 will bring unity and partnership for the sake of the Gospel of Life. May these events prepare churches and individuals to protect, honor, and celebrate the gift of life given to us by our Creator and to mobilize the Anglican Church to action!

To learn more about our events and to register, please visit our website.  Additional information about each event is listed below.

In Christ,

Deacon Georgette Forney


Resources


Summit 2018

January 18-19, 2018: Held in Falls Church, VA, followed by the March for Life in Washington, D.C. Please visit our website for details about our speakers and registration information www.anglicansforlife.org/summit-2018.

Learn about one of the Summit’s featured speakers, Stephanie Gray, here.


Life Symposium
January 26-27, 2018: In conjunction with the Walk for Life in San Francisco, California. Additional information can be found on our website: www.anglicansforlife.org/symposium-2018.

Then Your Light Will Rise in the Darkness

Those who recently attended the second annual Matthew 25 Gathering caught hopeful glimpses of the irrepressible mission of God in the scores of ministries represented by North American Anglicans.

Christ is bringing about Shalom on the earth. Bryan, a participant in Matthew 25, baptizes his homeless friends in the City Hall fountain of his town. David, another Matthew 25 participant from Canada, whose homeless ministry is now homeless, has offered belonging and housing for the vulnerable Inuit of his large city. Vicky’s small parish fights for sanctity of life in a country that allows late term abortions. Jeff walks alongside at-risk youth through basketball, life-skills training, and gospel discipleship. Eva-Elizabeth shares life with special needs adults celebrating the small moments that make life beautiful. All these ministries are Anglican works of justice and mercy in North America.

For three days, one hundred other participants like these spent time swapping stories, praying together, listening to God’s call and heart, and tackling difficult issues that affect their gritty, challenging contexts. Our purpose was to connect with other practitioners on the ground, to grow as a learning community, and to be refreshed through retreat, silence, feasting, and prayer.

The following words tell the story of our time together: “Anglican Justice and Mercy Contending for Shalom.” We know that shalom is the way things are supposed to be, but instead we live in a sin-shattered world of pain and sorrow. We therefore proclaim and embody the good news of the kingdom among “the least of these,” where the mercies and justice of God shall reign. This is hard work. Because hardship and trials are abundant while progress and resources can be scarce, we must contend for it. Shalom costs something: the cross of Christ and our own, as we take it up and follow Him with defiant hope. Finally, we do so as Anglicans. We have an Anglican community of practitioners, who are heirs of a rich tradition of contemplative-activism, and sacramental spirituality.

Theologians, historians, canons, priests, and others led us to deeper reflection on these themes. Archbishop Beach offered vision for the ACNA’s core value for God’s heart for “the least of these” and blessed practitioners in freedom to continue their work knowing they have a place in our Anglican tribe.

We are contemplative activists, reflective practitioners, a people of the Book, who love sacramental living. We have given ourselves to the broken places of North America and face not only personal sin and heartache but also systems and institutions that oppress and damage. Our only hope is in Jesus, the one we encounter in the hungry, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned, the stranger. It is a good and beautiful thing to do so in the company of our Anglican family.

Andrea, a participant of Matthew 25, supports chaplains in prisons where the incarcerated can know true freedom in Christ and flourish despite circumstances. Through legal advocacy, Jason, also a participant in the Matthew 25 Gathering, serves hard-working immigrants finding a new home in a land of safety, plenty, and freedom. Alan’s parish is plowing fields in their suburban city for refugees to farm. On the stories go….may we keep telling, re-telling, and telling anew how Christ is bringing about Shalom on the earth.

by Christine Warner

Growing Together in Communion: A Visit to Rwanda

The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop and Primate of Rwanda, welcomed 500 priests and bishops from around his province for their annual clergy conference December 4-8, 2017.  The conference was hosted in the Dioceses of Shyogwe by The Rt. Rev. Jered Kalimba, who has been the bishop of the diocese for over 20 years.  Bishop Kalimba’s entrepreneurial leadership has brought about a variety of projects and initiatives, from youth ministries to water projects, which have built up the communities in his diocese.

The Rt. Rev. Alfred Olwa, the new bishop of the diocese of Lango in Uganda was invited as a special guest to give the plenary addresses on the conference theme, “Growing Together in Communion.” Archbishop Beach led the times of Bible teaching and preached at the opening Communion Service.

Taking I Corinthians 12:21-31 as his text, Archbishop Beach encouraged the gathering to honor each of its members, and for each to work in their unique gifting.  “As followers of Jesus we have all been baptized into the same body, Christ’s body.  As Paul tells us, ‘We are all individual members of him. We belong to Christ and to one another.’”

Bishop Olwa spoke powerfully of the central importance of the lordship of Jesus Christ for growth. Using the example of the tangerine tree he said, “If you grow in communion in Jesus Christ you will first grow tall.  As you mature and bearing fruit your branches will become heavy, bend down low, and be relevant for your people.”

The Anglican Church of Rwanda, which has eleven dioceses and an estimated 800,000 members, is somewhat unique in its reliance on lay catechists to spread the Gospel.  In many dioceses the parish priest overseas both a centrally located congregation, and a cohort of up to 50 lay catechists who lead outlying congregations.

The Anglican Church of Rwanda has played a special role in the founding of the Anglican Church in North America, providing spiritual leadership for some of our members before its founding, and then joining the rest of Gafcon in calling for the formation of the province.  Archbishop Beach expressed his appreciation for our brothers and sisters in Rwanda, “You stood by us in our time of need, we will always be grateful for you, and it is a joy to partner with you in ministry.” Archbishop Rwaje presented Archbishop Beach a hand-made wooden Ciborium symbolic of our provinces being in full communion with one another.

See pictures from the visit here on Facebook or below on Flickr.

Rwanda 2017