In September 2018, the American Anglican Council hosted the first annual Bishops Leadership Summit in Glen Eyrie, CO, 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 was 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, including retired Archbishops Robert Duncan (ACNA) and Onesphore Rwaje (Rwanda). 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. 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 for the years to come. This movement continued into the next year, with our 2019 Summit taking place in Glen Eyrie, CO, and creating new partnerships.
One of the distinctive features of the AAC Bishops Leadership Summit is that it is a learning community. The participating bishops select the topics they wished to address, which cut across differences in context. These topics may include: 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 give short presentations to fuel additional discussion. Over the last two summits and through a deep sharing of needs and hopes, the shape of mission partnerships emerged to include the mutual sending and receiving of mission teams (including clergy and laity) from diocese to diocese, and bishops participating in each other’s synods, ordinations, and other collegial meetings in much needed support, friendship, and encouragement.
In keeping with the American Anglican Council's global vision, we pray that these Bishops Leadership Summits will multiply the number of Biblically-faithful bishops and dioceses partnering in mission across the Anglican Communion. We seek to help 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).