In the book of Nehemiah, chapter 3 recounts not only the families who helped, but which gate they built by name. (e.g., The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate – Chapter 3:3). What a great picture of everyone chipping in to help. I grew up learning this very endearing quote from the English playwright, musician, and composer John Heywood (1497 – 1580), “Many hands make light work.” In fact, I think it is safe to say that anything created or built of lasting and significant effect comes as a result of many people working together.
2009 was the founding year of the Anglican Church in North America. It really has been extraordinary to watch how this Province has grown and grown and grown these first five years. We have grown from 6 dioceses in 2009 to more than 30 now with plans to plant new dioceses down the road. We have grown by planting churches and we have grown by the faithfulness of local congregational clergy and lay leadership. It will take us more than 52 days (like Nehemiah), but by God’s grace, we continue to become a United, Biblical, and Missionary church.
I am often asked why the Province raises funds for its work. The answer in two parts is very simple. First, just like a church plant, we began as a call (from our brothers and sisters in GAFCON) and a dream. We had so much enthusiasm but so little capital. In many respects, I think the Lord wanted us to learn from Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Horses and Chariots represent power and might to the Psalmist. But the call is not to trust in the “things” of this world but the Lord. We had to learn to depend on God to provide. And He did! Over and over again, so graciously. Some times we anxiously wondered, yet he proved himself faithful. As many of us have heard, “God is never late and rarely early.”
The second reason is collaboration. The money we raise is primarily used for projects that end up influencing and assisting congregations at the local level. We believe the most exciting frontlines of ministry is the local church. Our Provincial strategies are geared towards seeing resources, projects, and leadership bless the church and lay leadership of this province. You could say our focus is “catalytic”. We want to provide the ‘sparks’ that start something that eventually becomes part of the life of this Province. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35) so the gifts that come to this province go to the province.
To that end, we are closing in our Fiscal year end. Would you consider a gift to help us bless others? Would you consider supporting the work of this province to support the work of the Kingdom of God? Would you prayerfully consider the words of Jesus who said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.
The Rev. Canon Alan J. Hawkins
Canon for Development
724.266.9400 ext. 301