July 12, 2020
In this space last week, I quoted from Tod Bolsinger’s Canoeing the Mountains. Get used to it! I keep finding significant wisdom in this book, and I’m going to share it with you. For example, Bolsinger brings to our attention an important part of our creed (Apostolic or Nicene, take your pick) with fresh insight: “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.”
[M]ost of us think that apostolic is a description of our founding and not our purpose. For the church to be apostolic is not just to claim a name or credibility, but a vocation. … To live up to their name, local churches must be continually moving out, extending themselves into the world, being the missional, witnessing community we were called into being to be: the manifestation of God’s going into the world, crossing boundaries, proclaiming, teaching, healing, loving, serving and extending the reign of God.
The reality of this apostolic adventure shapes our vision and influences our decisions. I found it already at work in the heart of the Move Team when we met together last Friday. Yes, we remain committed to building on the Hoadly Road property, with the clear understanding that we are establishing a mission outpost for extending the Kingdom of God in Prince William County. To that end, the next step is for me to meet with the architect, engineer, and general contractor. The goal is to prepare me to understand the building and the loan process prior to meeting with the bank, and to assure them that we are ready to build as soon as we agree on the terms of the mortgage.
A similar mindset is at work among the group of us researching and planning for regathering for
in-person worship. Our long-range plan, of course, will include the physical structure on Hoadly Road. (One of my kids misheard me and said, “Holy Road? What a great name for the street of our church!”) Our mid-range plan will require a reliable location for Sunday services—we currently are exploring a range of options, in addition to reaching out again to Beville Middle School. Our short-range plan involves the creation of multiple outdoor, small eucharistic gatherings held in neighborhoods throughout our various communities—potential for one more way of living out our vision, “God with us for the sake of others.”
All of these require time, careful preparation, and prayer. And all of them will be expressions of this apostolic adventure given to us by our Father, “being the missional, witnessing [and worshiping!] community” Immanuel Anglican Church has been called into being to be.
Your Pastor in Christ,