Faithfulness is fruitful

April 3rd, 2017 by

Here are a number of incredible servants of grace I met island hopping the past couple weeks.  Their faithfulness and the light of our Lord shone brightly.

 

– This week my Island hopping was James Island and Pawley’s Island –

“The story of the birth of The Anglican Mission”

 

Founders of THE ANGLICAN MISSION IN AMERICA

One story Bishop Alex Dickson told on our ride from James Island to Pawley’s Island was that in 1998 he and Bishop Fitz Allison, having retired from their dioceses in the Episcopal Church, felt something had to be done because of the direction the Episcopal Church was taking.  They flew to Singapore and met with Archbishop Moses Tao.  He asked how old they were and when they said 72, he said 65 was the retirement age for ministry in his province, so ‘bring back some younger men.’  And so they did in 2000.  They brought back John Rodgers, founder of Trinity School for Ministry and former professor Virginia Seminary, and Chuck Murphy, rector of All Saints Pawley’s Island, who were consecrated bishops in Singapore and sent to the US as missionary bishops, and that was the birth of

The Anglican Mission in America.

 

The reason I was there: I had been asked by Archbishop Kolini to deliver thanks in person, from him and from the College of Consultors to these people who were so instrumental in establishing The Anglican Mission – Bishops FitzSimmons Allison, Alex Dickson, John Rodgers, Chuck Murphy.  On Monday morning I picked up Bishop Alex in James Island and we drove to Bishop Fitz’s home about an hour and half north.  I gave them a letter of thanks signed by the consultors, we put in a call to Bishop Rodgers, and we talked with Bishop Chuck Murphy, the first Apostolic Vicar of the Mission, and he had just walked in from a radiation treatment but was quite gregarious.  What a blessing!

 

Both +Fitz and +Alex are still going strong 20 years later.  I can’t tell you the blessing I received in being able to interrupt a day in their lives!

 

I share that to say faithfulness is fruitful!  For example: Alex is involved with at least 2 small group Bible studies he told me about, and Fitz is leading the upcoming retreat for the bishops designates, Dan Scott and Matt Kessler.  Both are still sharper than tacks and very involved in ministry.  On the ride to and from Alex shared many stories, leaving me in tears most of the way;  one was how he led a well known known surgeon to the Lord when he came to him saying he had cancer and was afraid of dying.  And how he stayed with him to the end.  Faithfulness is fruitful!

 

– Last week the island was the Island of Hispaniola –

 

Below: Canon Donlon, Fr. Pierre, Pastor Julian, me, and Fr. Burnett.  We were exploring the possibility of Anglican Mission Haiti.  It was a chock full 2 days of sharing, dreaming and planning, and it looks very promising!

                                    
                                                           

 

“I don’t pray for success, I ask for faithfulness”  Mother Tersea

 

I am praying that we all continue to pursue faithfulness in our Worship/Word/and Prayer disciplines,

Carl

WALKING, WALKING …AND THEN HE WAS NO MORE

March 24th, 2017 by

I stared out of my hotel window, some random raindrops hitting the glass.  I was looking down on the seriously overcrowded streets of Port-au-Prince I had just left.  From one perspective I could see some stately mountains and the Caribbean Sea, but my eyes kept returning to the flood of people walking.  I was pretty sure they weren’t wearing fitbits or counting their steps, this is the way they live their days, walking.

And so the existential shock I anticipated began to hit me.  I was in a different world again.  Bringing 75 young girl dresses for a medical missionary to distribute in hospitals and orphanages had been a fair warning that my heart would be vulnerable.

 

 The lion’s share of my time in Haiti would be spent with three amazing Haitian clergy who would fast become heroes for Canon Kevin Donlon and me.  The light and joy that radiated from them, as they spoke about their ministry and the possibility of walking together with Anglican Mission, was stunning!  God bless these godly servants of grace!

The first blow to my heart happened that morning at the boarding gate at Orlando International Airport.  Glancing through my texts, I saw the note about Dell’s passing. I was still in disbelief when Kevin’s voice rang out, “Well, how is Bishop Buffington this morning?”  I looked up, tried for a smile, and stammered, “Shocked, stunned.  He was 100 years old but strangely he wasn’t supposed to die.”

Here’s a clip from an August 10, 2004 letter Dell wrote to me:

“Dear, dear Carl,

You have been besieged with such oppressively serious stuff, recently, I would like to throw at you something on the lighter side-maybe even a chuckle or two. Please give serious consideration to my death and memorial service.

First of all I have no plans of dying soon nor, as far as I know, does God. In recent times, considering the way things have been going, I have from time to time thought I might avoid dying but I figure so many more things apparently must happen before Jesus returns, the odds are I won’t last that long… now, when I do kickoff, regulation burial is not in the cards for me…”

God love you,

Dell

 Dell was one of the founders of New Covenant and has written a history for us.  In addition, he was a walker.  I heard he began serious walking after he retired and tromped the Appalachian Trail more than once.  When our family first arrived on the scene, he invited Peter, AJ, and me for a walk on the Florida Trail.

He was one who clearly walked with his Lord.  He had a refreshingly joyful and quiet confidence about him.  For a season, Thom Shaw and I would meet him for a breakfast at a diner on Fairbanks Avenue and we would leave filled, uplifted, and refreshed.  I’m thankful for the few precious steps I got to share with Dell on this earth.

I still haven’t heard the details of his last step here and first step into the fullness of the Kingdom, but somehow suspect it was not unlike Enoch’s:

“Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Gn 5.24

 

In Thanksgiving for the life of Dell Loyless,

Questions Worth Asking

October 3rd, 2014 by

The AnglicaDialogue Questionsn Mission just published an interview with Father Carl that you will enjoy. You can follow the link here, to find out his answers to some great questions. “What person has most impacted your life, and why?” “What is one accomplishment in the past that you are proud of?” “Where have you seen the Lord working recently?”

We want you to join us in our Church-wide study, “What Jesus Wants to Know.” Each week, we will explore one question that Jesus asked folks he encountered. Jesus’ skillful questions are well-suited to help us reveal both our hearts and His. Our teacher for the series is Amy Orr-Ewing, a teacher and missionary who serves with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and has also planted 2 Anglican churches with her husband in London.

Our sessions are taken from a plenary address she gave at this year’s Winter Conference, and we hope that her presentation of Jesus’ genuine interest in how we describe what is going on inside us will challenge us all to speak up and answer these questions for ourselves. Groups will be begin over the next two weeks, and we will publish times and locations.

Please continue to pray for June Brockett, who got the call that a suitable kidney has been found for transplant. What a wonderful answer to so many prayers, and an invitation to offer even more for her care and healing.

See you Sunday!

Christopher+