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Encouragement in 2021 from the ADOTS Standing Committee

Fr. Daniel Adkinson

Fr. Daniel Adkinson is Rector of St. Thomas Anglican in Athens, GA, and Chair of the Standing Committee for the Diocese of the South. He brings us an update from the Committee and encouragement as we begin 2021.

What would the Standing Committee like to communicate to the Diocese this year?

We are grateful for the parishes, clergy, and laypersons in our Diocese. 2020 was a year of significant disruption. Well done to our congregations that responded with such creativity and lead so well! We are continuing to work closely with Archbishop Foley, Bishop Frank, and the Diocesan staff. We are encouraged by some recent changes that will help us move forward in mission and ministry together. Also, we want to commend the faithful, ongoing generosity of the parishioners and congregations in ADOTS.

Almost every church in ADOTS is doing more online than they were this time last year. It has been essential for ongoing options for worship, formation in community, and pastoral connection. Most congregations have also done a great job thinking through what can be done digitally and what cannot.

For example, the congregation I serve has needed to be online only for the last few months. We have streamed our service online. But, in addition we have done two key things:

  1. While we stream the service, there is a concurrent Zoom meeting. Our folks can hop on the Zoom meeting and visit, share prayer requests, and participate in community.
  2. We are offering monthly pastoral appointments where we visit our parishioners. We bring consecrated communion elements and go through the Communion of the Sick service. These are two ways we have tried to make sure that the corporate nature of our worship is in some way maintained and there is sacramental care during this digital season.

What would you say to encourage ADOTS parishes as we continue in a pandemic?

Continue monitoring the public heath situation in your local area. Talk with our Bishops and consult with your vestry. We would encourage our congregations to make prayerful, collaborative decisions. Also, we are hopeful that the public health situation will improve in 2021.

Fr. Daniel highlights some key resources and examines crucial questions for church leaders in his latest article for Anglican Compass – asking “Will Things Ever Be Normal Again?” and exploring how to improve connection with one another. Check it out here – he will continue to examine and write about these issues for Anglican leaders in 2021.
Wondering what the Standing Committee is? Read our article “What is a Standing Committee and What Do They Do?” for some answers!