Are we at the beginning of the end? The end of the beginning? What is the new normal? Or, as Mark Cuban mentioned a few weeks ago, what is the ‘new abnormal’? It is time for churches to come back together for worship? How? When? What is at stake?
The primary conversation right now for church leaders is about the challenge of regathering for church services. When and how should we regather for in-person worship? Simultaneously, as churches answer these questions, there is another related question. What forms of digital ministry are worth continuing as we regather and into the future?
We are hosting a conversation with Ed Stetzer on when and how to reopen for public worship. The Evergreen Project Team of the Rev. Canon David Roseberry and the Rev. Daniel Adkinson will talk with Ed about the things we should be considering and what regathering might look like. Ed is Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center and Billy Graham Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism. Alongside the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College, he has helped put together the website Coronavirus and the Church. He has been a good friend and coach to many ACNA church leaders and congregations over the last several decades.
Click here to register for the webinar. After registering, you will receive a link to join us on May 6! This will be our most highly attended webinar to date! Don’t miss it. (There will be a replay of the webinar available the following day.)
- Navigating Disagreement – There will be disagreement amongst your staff, leaders, parishioners, and community wherever you come down on the when and how of regathering. How will you deal with this disagreement and lead your church forward in unity? Costi Hinn has written a helpful article on Navigating Differing COVID-19 Recovery Convictions. Don’t miss this!
- Understanding CDC Guidelines – The Gospel Coalition has put out a helpful guide analyzing the recommendations around this from the CDC.
- From Our Bishops – Our Bishops in the ACNA are putting out guidelines for their churches. Some of the guidelines fall under requirements, while others are recommendations. For example, here is a document from Archbishop Beach to congregations in the Anglican Diocese of the South. Similarly, here are related guidelines to the Gulf Atlantic Diocese from Bishop Neil Lebhar. The American Anglican Council is hosting a special webinar conversation with Archbishop Beach on these issues Thursday, May 7th – 4 pm (EST).
(If your bishop has written a summary statement, advice, or guidelines for ‘regathering’, please send me a copy to post here. My address is at the bottom of this blog post.)
- Masks, Singing, and the Virus – One factor to think about is congregational singing. Here is an article from an expert in vocal science who serves as a church music director. She has also served in ACNA congregations in the past.
Is Digital Reach Really Growth?
In the last few months, almost all of our Anglican Churches pivoted from in-person worship to various, creative forms of digital ministry. One key question church leaders need to be asking is what forms are worth continuing? Beyond the basic technical problems of recording and/or live-streaming, how do we steward the time and resources of our team this summer? It is very likely that some churches will want to stop using digital ministry. But there are probably many things that should actually continue online. Last week, we posted an article and video interview about Discerning Digital Fruitfulness. Similarly, here on Anglican Compass, we have some things to consider regarding live-streaming.
- Discipleship Courses – The Ridley Institute has an incredible set of lay Christian Education streaming courses for free right now. There is a mixture of discipleship basics and special topics from world-renowned scholars and local pastors like Peter Walker, Erika Moore, Chris Hancock, Sam Ferguson, John Yates III, Bishop Steve Wood, and more. Visit their website to see the course offerings and use promo code ‘Psalm 103‘ to register.
- Soul Care – There are also some key resources emerging to care for clergy and other leaders. The Spiritual First Aid Summit has on-demand resources as an effort of Resilient Church Leadership. The Telos Collective is hosting Soul Care experiences on Zoom led by Bishop Todd Hunter.
- The Rector and the Vestry – There are many decisions that need to be made over the next few weeks and months. Anglican Compass has just published “The Rector and the Vestry“. This helpful book by my colleague and former Rector, David Roseberry, is a fascinating read for those who serve on or with a Vestry. There are lots of insights and wisdom to share. Very helpful. (One bishop ordered 55 copies for each of the Rectors in the diocese!) Order it here.
- The UK Blessing – What a gift to us all. Watch it.
This is the sixth “COVID-19 Resource Roundup” from the Evergreen Project Team (click here to view them all). Each is intended as a stand-alone collection of resources to encourage the Body of Christ and equip Anglican leaders. The Evergreen Project is an ACNA effort led by the Rev. Canon David Roseberry of LeaderWorks. Archbishop Foley Beach and Canon Alan Hawkins have tasked the team along with Canon Phil Ashey and the American Anglican Council to collect, create, and curate resources to help all of our congregations in the ACNA through this unique time. We want to help by pointing busy pastors and ministry leaders to things we are finding helpful amidst the vast amount of information being produced and published right now.
Do you have a resource or story to share? Our point of contact for each week’s Resource Roundup is the Rev. Daniel Adkinson – danieladkinson [AT] me.com.
The Rev. Daniel Adkinson serves as the founding rector of St. Thomas Anglican Church in Athens, GA. Prior to moving to Athens to plant St. Thomas, he served for almost a decade at Christ Church in Plano, TX. He is married to Holly and they have two children. Daniel and Holly met while in college at the University of Georgia. So, they love being back in the Classic City!