Guiding future Anglican leaders toward their full potential
during a four-week retreat in Charleston, South Carolina
In his 2014 Convention Address, Bishop Mark Lawrence called for the creation of a leadership training initiative that would bring future leaders in the Anglican Communion to South Carolina for periods of study, teaching, reflection, and nurture.
The Anglican Leadership Institute (ALI) is a response to Bishop Lawrence's call.
We offer men and women with a proven track of ministry a chance to spend a month in community under the guidance of expert leaders who have exercised faithful and effective ministry in their own contexts.
Global Anglican leaders will nominate those with distinctive leadership potential for submission to the Session.
Once chosen, these candidates will receive coverage from ALI for travel, visa, training and residential expenses, as well as any other out-of-pocket costs during the retreat.
A Month to Remember
Our Third Anglican Leadership Institute is now history. Sixteen marvelous Anglican leaders have now rejoined their families and resumed their ministries.
And what a great group they were. They spanned the full Anglican spectrum:
** from the Rector of a comfortable downtown parish in a mid-sized Australian city to the General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Burundi where tribal strife looms on the horizon;
** from a Rector in Brunei where Sharia Law prevents him from even having a Christmas tree outside the Church to a leader of young adults in a large Brazilian church who rides the waves and surfs in his spare time;
** from a bishop in northern Nigeria where the custom is that unless a man "steals" another man's wife his own wife might accuse him of "not really being a man" to the assistant Rector of a booming Northern Ireland church where evangelism brings reconciliation between Protestants and Catholics;
** from a former "Lost Boy" of South Sudan who runs a diocese that cannot afford him any salary and whose family must live in exile to an Australian who is Administrative Assistant to the former President of GAFCON...
And on it goes. 16 marvelous people -- all Anglicans from 12 enormously different socio-economic situations living in cultures vastly different from each other. Yet they were united in Jesus Christ and experiencing the joy of becoming a family. Our closing dinner was a time of deep prayer followed by hugs all around. Those Africans love to hug.
We spent nearly four weeks learning, laughing and listening to one another's experiences. Afternoon trips to Goodwill where bags of clothing would be purchased for just a few dollars, to meeting with the Mayor of Charleston, and hearing a Medal of Honor winner share his view of leadership. Each day involved study, prayer, discussion and eating. And, yes, eating Western food (including oysters that took some coaxing) that they devoured thanks in large part to our gifted hostess/cook.
We visited several local churches and most participants either spoke or preached in them. We had a fascinating open lecture for the Charleston community where our British theologian reflected on the meaning of BREXIT and the US Presidential election and the challenges they bring to our Christian discipleship. His talk was well-received, though it received some push back.
Our week-long teachers came from Vancouver, Philadelphia and London and Charleston. Each shared their expertise on Post-Modernism, Biblical counseling, historical leaders who brought renewal to the church through the ages, and the spirituality and family life of a leader. Their lectures will soon be on our website. Visits from accomplished business C.E.O’s. and input from bishops including our own Mark Lawrence all rounded out a month that was rich in content but left time for great fun together.
We held a morning on biblical counseling for diocesan clergy that was very well attended and sparked some great Q & A from the floor.
Each weekday morning a local priest arrived to become our "chaplain-of-the-day". He or she led in worship and shared thoughts from the daily lectionary. They were then interviewed about the distinctives of their ministries. Visitors learned a lot about us as we shared what God was doing in this diocese.
Our trustees and local friends put on a Low Country "Boil", an Oyster Roast, a Saturday tour of downtown Charleston followed by an 18th. Century luncheon, and a Sunday afternoon English Tea. Sandra provided participants with warm coats, sweaters and scarves to insulate them against our January breezes.
There was so much more. Three churches provided full funding for one participant, and other churches contributed what they could. Many individuals made donations also enabling us to offer our sixteen visitors a first-class experience led by the Holy Spirit. Our next A.L.I. will be September, 2017 and then again next January -- 2018.
Epiphany is a season when we reflect on the global mission of the Church. What a great way to spend it – in the company of men and women from all over the globe who love our Lord Jesus Christ, and are spreading his word in places some of us have just heard of. To God be the glory.
Peter C. Moore, D.D.