“As We Go, We Make Disciples” Synod Address from Archbishop Foley Beach & Delegates Meeting
November 4, 2017
Archbishop Foley Beach stressed again at this year’s Synod that the Anglican Diocese of the South must stand guard against becoming institutionalized Christianity.
“Our most important assets in our congregations are not the buildings and the financial statements, but the people who attend your church,” said Archbishop Foley. “Empower them.”
He affirmed that the diocese is strong and fiscally sound, with well over 6,000 people in average attendance and over 5,000 members. The Archbishop implored that churches invite all these people to join in ministry as ambassadors of Christ.
“Brothers and sisters, lead them outside the walls of your church and into your community,” he said. “It’s not just going to happen. We the leaders have got to model it and invite them to join us.”
Archbishop Foley referenced the passage of the Great Commission, to go and make disciples.
“Actually, if you study the passage, the Greek meaning is ‘as you go,’” he said. “You see, you and I are going all the time. As we go, we make disciples.”
The Archbishop issued a continuing challenge for clergy and lay leaders to focus on the mile circumference around their churches.
“Who lives there? Who works there? And what are their needs? Love on them, pray for them, and reach out to them in the name of Jesus,” he said. “Why has God set you there and put you in that place? He wants you to touch those people.”
Items of note from the Delegates Meeting:
- Delegates voted to approve and seat two new congregations into the diocese: St. Michael’s in Gallatin, TN, and Holy Cross Fellowship in Sevierville, TN. Archbishop Foley also welcomed new clergy to the diocese, including ten new deacons, three priests, and five clergy who have transferred in since last Synod.
- Delegates affirmed 12 nominees for various diocesan committees and elected Fr. Laird Bryson of Apostles Anglican in Knoxville, TN to the Constitution and Canons committee.
- Bill Midgett implored churches to prayerfully consider who in their parishes could serve as committee members for the diocese – with vestries, lay leaders, and over 5,000 members in the diocese, he stressed that there is no reason for burnout of those currently serving in committee roles.
- The Archbishop and the diocese send blessings to Grace Anglican in Fleming Island, Florida, which will be transferring to the Gulf Atlantic Diocese.
- Archbishop Foley reported that the diocese is financially sound, and with churches remembering their year-end giving, the diocese will finish the year in the black.
- The Mid-South Convocation is working through the process of becoming a diocese-in-formation; please pray for them as they make this transition, which could take place in the next several years. This new diocese would cover western Tennessee, northern Alabama, northern Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri.
- Archbishop Foley encourages churches to start or continue using the ADOTS cycle of prayer for Prayers of the People during Sunday worship, as well as the ACNA lectionary and Sunday collects. Year B begins in December and is available on the ADOTS website.
- Archbishop Foley reminds churches to be moving toward the 10-10-10 model, wherein parishioners give ten percent to the church, the church gives ten percent to the diocese, and the diocese gives ten percent to the ACNA. The Archbishop asks churches to determine what level they are currently at, and create a plan to transition to ten percent giving.
- The Archbishop asks that churches determine in January who its delegates will be for the following Synod, so they can receive email communication during the year leading up to Synod.
- Archbishop Foley implores churches to immediately review the financial manual ADOTS approved last year. The financial manual policies apply to 2017 since the manual was approved at the 2016 Synod.
- GAFCON meets in Jerusalem in June 2018 for its 10th anniversary.
- ADOTS Conference & Synod 2018 will be November 2-3, 2018
- The next ACNA Provincial Assembly is scheduled for June 2019.