From Monday September 24 through Friday September 28 the American Anglican Council hosted the first annual Bishops Leadership Summit to partner Bishops from dioceses in the Anglican Church in North America with bishops from dioceses in the Global South and GAFCON. The purpose of this AAC Bishops Leadership Summit is to build global mission partnerships for Gospel and Kingdom impact between Biblically faithful bishops and their dioceses across the Anglican Communion.
We hosted 19 bishops for this Summit. We were blessed to have retired Archbishops Robert Duncan (ACNA) and Onesphore Rwaje (Rwanda) with us. From their years of experience they provided teaching, reflections on the bishops’ presentations and one-to-one spiritual direction with bishops who sought them out. We were also blessed to have Archbishop Paul Yugusuk to observe on behalf of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and as the preacher at our closing Eucharist and commissioning service. But most of all we were grateful for the seven ACNA bishops and 9 bishops from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Burundi, Brazil and Canada who came to partner with each other for the purpose of encouraging and strengthening gospel mission in each other’s dioceses in the years to come.
One of the distinctive features of the AAC Bishops Leadership Summit is that it is a learning community. The participating bishops selected the topics they wished to address which cut across differences in context. These topics included “The bishop as a pastor to the pastors,” “The bishop as chief missionary and disciple-maker,” “Apostolic power in apostolic ministry,” “Spiritual authority in episcopal ministry,” “Balancing God, family and ministry,” and more. The bishops themselves gave short presentations, followed by discussion and further questions by the whole group. After a break, Archbishops Duncan and Rwaje offered their reflections and the bishops gathered in small groups for further discussion and prayer.
Through discussions and deep sharing of needs and hopes, the shape of the mission partnerships coming out of this Bishops Leadership Summit will include mutual sending and receiving of mission teams (including clergy and laity) from diocese to diocese. It will also include the bishops participating in each other’s synods, ordinations and other collegial meetings.
In keeping with the global vision of the American Anglican Council, we pray these Bishops Leadership Summits will multiply the number of Biblically faithful bishops and dioceses partnering in mission across the Anglican Communion, and launch a growing network of bishops and dioceses undeterred by false teaching and released to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations! (Matthew 28:16-20).
Our next AAC Bishops Leadership Summit will be October 15-18, 2019 here at the Glen Eyrie Conference Center in Colorado Springs. Please pray for us as we gather the bishops and the resources to build these global mission partnerships with Kingdom impact!