Anglicans encouraged to envision their future this Sunday

Published June 4, 2009

This Sunday, June 7, is one of two Sundays this year suggested by the Anglican Church of Canada’s Vision 2019 committee as days for Anglicans across the country to ask themselves, “Where is your church now, and where do you think the Anglican Church of Canada should be in 2019?”The ambitious project, launched earlier this year, aims to get input from all Canadian Anglicans to help shape a new, long-term strategic plan for the church that will be presented to General Synod when it meets in Halifax in June 2010. Parishes, groups and individuals can send their answers to the General Synod offices in Toronto in the format that best suits them – written letters, e-mails, voicemail or videos. Those responses will be gathered and analyzed by the committee, which is comprised of volunteers and a professional analyst. With the permission of the person or group submitting, the response will be posted on the Anglican Church of Canada’s Web site.Responses can come in any time before Oct. 1, said Lisa Barry, senior producer at Anglican Video, who is head of a staff group in charge of the project, but she says June 7 and the fall date, Sept. 13, are dates chosen to help focus congregations’ attention and energies on the question and, judging by a surge of requests for materials such as videos, postcards and posters, she said there is a lot of interest. Rev. Dan Graves of Holy Trinity in Thornhill, Ont. told the committee that his parish has plans to participate in a simple and low tech way. During the prayers of the people this Sunday, everyone will take a moment to write one prayer for the church and then drop it in the offering plate. “I wish I’d thought of that idea and promoted it,” said Ms. Barry.  “It’s a great idea because one of the stumbling blocks we’re hearing about it is (people say) ‘That’s such a big question; I need time,’ and when you take time you know you don’t do it.” But she said it doesn’t have to be a daunting assignment. It can be a simple prayer or a thought that allows people to weigh in. “It’s just for the church to listen to and say this is a direction.” Sunday school material tailored to the topic is also available on the Anglican Church of Canada’s Web site, The Vision 2019 committee members are Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; Michael Pollesel, general secretary of General Synod; Dean Peter Elliott (diocese of New Westminster), chair; Wayne Barnes  (diocese of Niagara); Bishop John Chapman (diocese of Ottawa); Paul Goulet (diocese of Toronto); Archdeacon Janet Griffith-Johnson (diocese of Montreal); and Rev. Susan Titterington (diocese of Yukon).


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