The theme for Synod 2019 was Always North, inspired by Deuteronomy 2:3: “[The Lord said] You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north.” Through all the wilderness wanderings of faithful Anglicans throughout the years, the Lord has been by their side to gather them together in New England. Now, after years of struggle, the Church is ready to move north into the next phase of her life in Christ.
Synod began with a service of Holy Eucharist. Clergy and lay delegates from congregations around the diocese came together to celebrate the Lord’s goodness. The praise band was led by Michael Pritzl from Christ the Redeemer, Danvers, and the music incorporated choirs from St. Peter’s and St. Luke’s Ugandan Churches. Bishop Andrew celebrated and preached the sermon, reflecting on all he has witnessed during his first year as bishop and on this current season of transition in the life of our diocese.
Listen to Bishop Andrew’s Synod Sermon below:
After lunch, Synod delegates began the afternoon with worship led by a praise band composed of youth from around the diocese. Bishop Andrew then opened the business portion of the day with a State of the Diocese address, where he outlined where we are as a diocese and shared his vision of where we are going as we move forward.
Bishop Andrew then welcomed new clergy, including three newly appointed Canons: the Rev. Canon Brian Bethke as Canon for Leadership Development and Church Mobilization; the Rev. Canon Craig Vickerman as Canon for Youth and Families and the Rev. Canon Dr. Nathan Baxter as Canon of Theological Formation. The Synod recognized two new mission fellowships: Emmaus Anglican Mission from Falmouth, MA and Incarnation Anglican Mission from Manchester, NH. It also voted to receive two new congregations: St. John Anglican Church and St. Luke’s Anglican Church. It voted on an amendment to the diocesan canons regarding financial audits of congregations. The Synod also elected new delegates for Ecclesiastical Court and Provincial Council, along with this year’s new members of the Standing Committee: Mrs. Leah Mwangi of St. John and Mrs Sarah Barber of Imago Dei.
During the course of the business meeting, Bishop Andrew interviewed several ministers from around the diocese to hear updates on their ministry, explain their vision, and introduce them to the church. The Rev. Canon Craig Vickerman spoke about our first ADNE Youth Retreat, Engage, which took place in October of this year. He also presented a video with photos showcasing some of their activities and took the opportunity to highlight his vision for youth and families in our diocese.
Watch the Engage Youth Retreat Video below:
Bishop Andrew interviewed the Rev. Eliud Mwangi of St. John, Sutton and the Rev. Amos Kimera of St. Peter’s, Belmont to talk about the global impact that the diocese of New England has had over the years and will continue to have in the future. Both of these African pastors explained how the diocese has helped them and those in their churches adjust to life in New England and what they hope to see in their Kenyan and Ugandan communities as they grow in their faith.
Bishop Andrew also sat with the Rev. Canon Brian Bethke, who talked about his own passion to grow missional and dynamic church leaders. The Revs. Dan Sylvia and Piper Runnion-Bareford both joined Bp. Andrew on the couch to talk about how their leadership has grown and how they hope to continue joining their gifts to the mission of the diocese. Rev. Dan presented a video that showed a tour of the new facility purchased by his congregation, Redeemer, Franklin, to be a ministry center in the heart of Franklin, Massachusetts. Rev. Piper introduced the Synod to her new mission fellowship, Incarnation, and explained some of the challenges and hopes of ministering to a community from inside her home.
A tour of the new Redeemer, Franklin ministry center:
The Rev. Amy Howard of Imago Dei Anglican Church spoke with Bp Andrew about the Encounter God Weekends and the growing need for a larger impact that Encounter can provide for the healing of emotional and spiritual brokenness. The Rev. Len Cowan, our Diocesan Intercessor, and Elena Williams also sat down with Bp Andrew to talk about prayer. Together they helped plan the ADNE 24/7 Prayer Vigil for the week before Synod, during which 168 hours of prayer were signed up for by individuals across New England who committed to praying for the re-evangelization of New England.
Watch a clip from that interview here:
This year’s Synod was impactful in many ways, and as Bishop Andrew’s first Synod as bishop of the ADNE, it provided a milestone as the diocese begins a journey in a more secure direction. It was a celebration of the unity we share in Word, Spirit, the Sacraments, and the mission that Jesus Christ entrusted to us. Synod highlighted our growing global voice and the great sacrificial work of many clergy and lay leaders here to bring together believers from around the world into a unified Anglican body for the re-evangelization of New England. As Bishop Andrew shared in his sermon, God has set a very great hope in us. It is up to us to respond to the call of God to move north and head for where he is leading us out of the wilderness and into new lands.
Watch highlights from Synod 2019 below:
The Synod 2019 Photo Gallery: