Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings to you. What a season! Some of us have thrived through this time while others of us have barely come out crawling. The past year has tested and tried us. We have seen beauty and tragedy; sacrifice and selfishness; and, of course, grace and hatred. But we are emerging. This month, we celebrate our 12th year of ministry as the Anglican Church in North America, and I find myself hopeful. What has impressed me the most is the sheer amount of perseverance we have all watched by our churches and their people.
A few years ago, I read the book GRIT by Angela Lee Duckworthy. Duckworthy gave up a lucrative job to teach 7th grade Math in New York City. Regarding successful students she says, “One characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success and it wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit. Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future day in day out. Not just for the week not just for the month. But for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it is a marathon not a sprint.”
Of course, the Apostle Paul reframes it this way, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)
It has been through your prayers and your support that the Anglican Church in North America is moving forward and pressing on. Your faithfulness and generosity have made so much possible. We have planted new churches, ministered in the margins, trained and equipped men and women for ministry, discipled children and students, and supported the wider church around the world. Thank you for all the ways you walk in Hope in these days.
Bishop-elect Alan J. Hawkins
Chief Operating Officer