Clergy and Lay Leaders Gather with Canon Chris for Church Planting and Growth
With Rev. Dcn. Katrina Payne and Fr. Daniel Adkinson
Canon Chris Sorensen has been all over the diocese getting to know our plants and missions. He has discerned a need for church leaders in plants and missions, ordained and lay, to gather to help each other in our work. That’s where the idea for the Horizons Summit was hatched.
In August, clergy and laity from across ADOTS gathered in Memphis, TN for the 2019 Horizons Summit. At various stages of mission and ministry, these church leaders discussed topics such as hospitality, missional networking, assimilation, and the difference between planting churches and worship services. 40 people representing 11 ADOTS churches were in attendance.
“Since coming on as Canon for Church Planting, Chris and I have worked to develop an annual Summit designed as a leadership and planting retreat for Church Planters and Project 72 churches,” says Rev. Deacon Katrina Payne of The Mission Chattanooga. “Church leadership is challenged to think carefully on the way they ‘do church’ in their communities and are given plenty of opportunities to network and connect with each other throughout the Summit.”
St. Thomas Anglican – a recent church plant in Athens, GA – sent a team to the Horizons Summit, including Rector Fr. Daniel Adkinson and Sr. Warden Austin “Tex” Bagley.
“There were clergy discerning a call to pioneer new works, clergy and laity from strong churches dreaming about starting ‘daughter’ churches, clergy and laity from churches committed to revitalization, and clergy and laity from young ‘maturing’ church plants,” says Fr. Daniel. “One of the most unique things was that clergy and lay leaders were trained together and in dialogue together. The most significant element was a new sense of camaraderie and encouragement. There were key times of prayer, fellowship, and idea-sharing.”
“Our team had a great time at the Horizons Summit. Hearing from a multigenerational mix of seasoned and brand new church planters was really helpful,” says Bagley. “Also, the prayer times and fellowship were equally fulfilling. I gained so much simply by listening to what other planters had and were currently experiencing. Encouraged by hearing the stories, challenges, and victories from around the dioceses, I walked away from the Summit with practical tips as well as a renewed joy for what we are doing here in Athens, GA!”
Fr. Daniel adds that the Summit was “a relational event that will continue to bear fruit as participants follow up and keep learning from and cheering for one another.”