Vision 2019: RSVP

Published February 1, 2009

LAST FALL, MANY of us participated in the Amazing Grace Project. In over 500 places across Canada and beyond, Anglicans gathered to sing Amazing Grace and to put a toonie on the plate to support ministries in the Council of the North dioceses. Renditions ranged from traditional to “rap” and more than $57,000 has been raised. A marvellous DVD entitled “Amazing Together” captures this memorable moment in our history.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF). Fifty images will tell their story. Fifty refugee families will be sponsored for settlement in Canada. Fifty leaders will be raised up – young people who will be given opportunity to see first hand the work of PWRDF throughout the world.

In the same spirit we have opportunity to participate in the work of the Vision 2019 task group. Mandated by General Synod to help the church set priorities in mission for the next decade, the group is orienting much of its work around the Five Marks of Mission for the Anglican Communion.

  • to proclaim the good news of the kingdom
  • to teach, baptize and nurture new believers
  • to respond to human need by loving service
  • to seek to transform unjust structures of society
  • to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

A mission study based on the five marks has been prepared for use in parishes throughout Lent and Easter. The study can be done over five weeks, or in a weekend event. Parishes are also encouraged to tell their local mission story. What are the challenges and opportunities? What resources are needed? How are we inspiring people, as Henri Nouwen says, “to put their resources at the disposal of the kingdom?”

I appeal to all to embrace these initiatives with enthusiasm and to encourage response and reaction. Your input will enrich the work of the Vision 2019 Task Group in making recommendations to General Synod in 2010 when it meets in Halifax.

The invitation to participate comes from a genuine desire to hear from you. So, as they say en francais, “Respondez s’il vous plait!”

Archbishop Fred Hiltz is primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.


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