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"Vision 2019 is an opportunity to say 'here's what I think our church needs to be about.'"
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Message from Bill P., Pitt Meadows, BC

I am so pleased that the national church has started the visioning process for Vision 2019.

The Diocese of New Westminster, of which I am a member, has, this summer past, ratified Plan 2018 at Synod and is beginning to implement some of the preliminary elements of the Plan.

Engaging in this exercise on a national level is necessary, courageous and long overdue.

I believe that many Anglicans in Canada are waiting for the church to deliver to them a prophetic call to action.  Some of us have waited for so long for this call that we have begun to think that the absence of such a call is the norm.

I applaud the decision to put to the church as a whole the questions, ‘where are we now and where do we want to be in 2019.’

At St. George, in Maple Ridge, we are doing the Lord’s work within our church community through worship, pastoral care, mutual support and education.  In our broader community we reach out to those in need locally, and, through the Diocese and the National Church, to those in need country and worldwide.  By and large what we do makes us feel pretty good.

I am not sure that it should.

In the work that we do I do not discern the Church speaking clearly and with urgency to our parish.  Nor do I see our parish speaking clearly and with urgency to our community.  What I see is people of goodwill and Christian inclination supporting, financially and morally, those who have been moved by the Spirit to act in our midst.

I am sure that we are all aware of this happening where ever we may gather in Christian community; a small group acts and the majority encourages.

If we want to spread the good news of Christ and to grow our denomination we must all lend our strengths to the tasks.

I’ll offer a small aphorism that I think captures our Anglican problem:

“others will not care
how much we know (even if what we know is the key to eternal life)
until they know
how much we care”

If the church enhances in all of us the courage, the compassion and the skills to reach out to our neighbours, whether those neighbours be sitting alongside us or or sleeping rough, the Word will spread and the faith will grow.

That is what I would like to see Vision 2019 come to.  A call to direct action that rises up from this process, that is taken up by the ordained and then is passed back to the laity, not as a request but as a demand that we follow Christ as truly as we believe in Him.

Lead us.

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