Planting Congregations
Editor's Note
Last month’s Communique reminded us that our diocesan vision of planting churches, strengthening parishes, and raising up leaders must be seen through a missional lens. This month’s Communique continues the conversation by considering how well we know our ‘audience,’ from those in our pews, to those in the surrounding community, to those under our roof. 

As we head into Lent, consider how God might be stretching you to give up/take on something that helps you pour into the neglected relationships in your circle, for the sole purpose of sharing God’s love with others.

O God, our heavenly Father, you manifested your love by sending your only-begotten Son into the world, that all might live through him: Pour out your Spirit on your Church, that we may fulfill his command to preach the Gospel to all people. Send forth laborers into your harvest; defend them in all dangers and temptations; and hasten the time when the fullness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and faithful Israel shall be saved; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen .
Planting Congregations
A few weeks ago, the Diocese hosted our first ever Church Planter Retreat! It was a powerful time of fellowship, prayer, and training in the mission. In attendance were our current Church Planting Curates, spouses, and those planting congregations through the Greenhouse Movement . In addition to entering rhythms of regular liturgical and intercessory prayer, we had training sessions on topics like vision casting, gathering a core team, prayer leadership, and evangelism. Bishop Neil spent most of the second day with us and taught from the Scriptures on the sources of conflict in ministry. Moving forward, we plan for a monthly conference call with both the CP Curates and the Greenhouse teams, and we hope to gather for a second retreat in the fall.
Strengthening Churches
One principle of good communication is to know your audience. I remember once teaching in a youth group setting and using 9/11 as an example of a moment where time seemed to stand still. I then asked the students if they remembered where they were on 9/11. I got nods from the adults in the room, but blank stares from the teenagers. Then I realized that many of the students were still in diapers when 9/11 occurred. Had I been teaching their parents or my peers, the illustration would have worked, but I hadn’t properly discerned my audience.

In a similar sense, one principle of good missional engagement as the church is to know your neighborhood. This is not just asking us to be ‘seeker sensitive,’ but to realize that the culture and cultures in our surrounding communities all have an effect on how people interact with our church.

Raising Leaders
Now Watch

When the car door closes, anxiety rises. The experience of being sent home from the hospital after the birth of a baby is practically universal, at least in the West where most babies are born in hospitals. And to new parents, it all seems perilously close to criminal negligence. The time comes for the new family to take their baby home, and the staff is so concerned to keep the baby safe that they don't even let the young mom walk to the exit. She and the little one are conveyed to the door by wheelchair. But once the car seat is buckled up, the concern for the baby's safety and survival simply shuts down. The nurse or aide does not get in the car! They do not offer to follow in their own car so they can wheel mom into her house and get her settled! They don't look worried. They don't make house calls. They seem not to realize that she has no idea how to help her baby survive day one safely, let alone a lifetime.

Weeks later, when everyone has had a little sleep and spirits have begun to rise, the new parents now have hope that they can keep this mysterious being alive. But as Nelson Mandela observed with resignation, "after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." For Christian parents watching a unique individual emerge into relationships and responsiveness, a new and fearsome awareness settles in. The prophet Malachi puts God's goal for parents succinctly: "And what does [the Lord] want? Godly children from your union." (Mal 2:15, NLT)
This is a little terrifying.
It is now the primary responsibility of the parents' lives to help bring their child into genuine relationship with God, and most are rightly overwhelmed. 

Looking Ahead
Feb 28-29, 2020
Join other youth leaders at the Flagler College Youth Ministry Forum featuring speakers and worship leaders from multiple denominations, seminaries, and youth ministry communities to share the best they’ve got!
Feb 29, 2020
This conference is for those wanting a deeper awareness of how lust affects our culture and the church; those who strive to help the church and those struggling with lust (including themselves); those seeking to protect others; people looking for resources on this topic; and anyone needing information about workshops, therapy, and 12 step programs. Scholarships are available for youth ministers (and spouses) in our diocese (please email Tim Smith for information on scholarships).
June 14-19, 2020
Students (7th-12th grade) live on the campus of Grace Anglican in Fleming Island, FL, and are sent out on local mission to a variety of approved locations (with leaders) to complete service projects, build relationships, and share their faith. In the evenings, students hear amazing talks, join together in worship, and bond with small groups. This ‘camp’ is built around worship, transformational ministry, service to community, and making disciples.
Camp Araminta
July 20-25, 2020
Registration is now open for Camp Araminta, a week-long diocesan discipleship camp for rising 4 th  graders through high school. Youth walk through multiple years of a discipleship track covering creation, the gospel, community, holiness, and mission. Once they have completed the high school track, they begin their trek into leadership and service. Camp Araminta models intergenerational ministry alongside active leadership training.
April 17-28, 2021
Women of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese: join us as we trace the life of Jesus from his home in Galilee to Jerusalem, giving particular attention to the First Century Jewish context in which Jesus lived. Our goal is a better understanding of Jesus' ministry and a better application of his teachings for us today. For more information, contact Rev. Dorie Head or click the button below to learn more.
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Rev. Dr. Jessica H. Jones Editor-in-Chief, Communique
Canon for Next Generation Discipleship
Gulf Atlantic Diocese of the ACNA
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