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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 Bishop Mark MacDonald

My dreams for the Anglican Church of Canada

1) A new relationship with the culture

There has been a major shift in the relationship of the Church to the surrounding culture.  This shift is profounc, potentially  a complete redefinition of the Church’s role in society.  The meaning of this has not be explored with anything near the attention required.  We must re-imagine what faithfulness to God means, regarding war, wealth, and worship.  To be a living Church, we must attend imaginatively to our surrounding culture.

2) A Community of Disciples in a Spiritual Movement

Hand in hand with item 1) is a reframing of our faith in terms of discipleship in a spiritual movement.  The focus on institutional and administrative requirements as the essence of church membership, however appropriate in ages past, now obscures the simple meaning and practice of our Gospel.  To be a living Church, we must attend imaginatively to Jesus.

3) A Church of open and local communities

The catholicity of the Church means that the fullness of the whole is present in the local, and vice versa, through the presence of Christ in our midst.  The joining together of a diverse family of local communities in a unity of faith and love is even today seen in embryo.  The Church of the future will join together a greater diversity of peoples, lifestyles, and church styles.  The parish, though always with us, will be joined by a wide variety of communities, representing in their organizational style and way of life some of the insights gained from the explorations mentioned in the 2 items above.  The growing Spiritual Movement among Indigenous Peoples will challenge us all to reconciliation and renewal.  The Land we live in, its ecology and life, will be understood to be a living part of our community of faith.  To be a living Church, we must attend imaginatively to each other.

4) A Church of Spiritual Discernment

Whether we like it or not, change will come quickly, beyond our capacity to predict or plan.  To live into the realities above, respond creatively to inevitable change, and, at the same time, live in faithfulness to our Gospel, we will need to develop a greater communal capacity for Spiritual Discernment at every level and in every area of our Church.  The capacity to discern will allow us to live and grow in a way of courage, integrity, and compassion – the moral way of Jesus. All four of our Items, seen from this item 4), describe critical elements of a renewed and active circle.  The items should never be thought of in isolation from each other.  To be a living Church we must attend to the Living Word of God in is, among us, and around us.

Thanks and blessings,

Mark MacDonald

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