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PLANO RECTOR REFLECTS ON NEW NETWORK

PLANO RECTOR REFLECTS ON NEW NETWORK

By David Roseberry

Dear Christ Church Leaders,

Many of you will know that Christ Church hosted two very important national events this week. I am thankful to the staff and volunteers who, once again, provided incredible support and encouragement to so many around the country at this important time in the life of our church. Many of our members followed the conference on the news. I want to take a few minutes of your time to tell you what the results of the conference are.

The Network is Launched The first meeting was the convening session of the new Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes (NACDP). The network charter, theological statement, and purposes can be found on the AAC website: www.americananglican.org. The Network will provide oversight and support for congregations all over the U.S. in dioceses where invited by parishes. It will exist as a fellowship to be in communion with brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion all around the world. The Network will uphold the historic faith of the bible, particularly as it relates to the issues facing our church and society.

The newly elected moderator of the Network, Bishop Bob Duncan, said, "The Network is committed to moving forward with the mission and ministry of the Church. It will operate within the constitution of the Episcopal Church and in full fellowship with the vast majority of the Anglican Communion."

Leading the Church in Difficult Times The second conference at Christ Church this week was planned and hosted by Vital Church Ministries under the leadership of Kevin Martin. If the first meeting was for the construction of an orthodox platform, the second meeting began to assemble the program and ministry through which parishes and dioceses will do the business of the Network: the Great Commission. Over 100 church leaders from larger parishes in the Episcopal Church came to our campus to be encouraged, educated, motivated and inspired to carry on the work of the Great Commission in their own congregations.

This conference is part of the overall strategy of the Vital Church Ministries outreach of Christ Church: To encourage and equip Episcopal leaders to fulfill the Great Commission. It was an extraordinary time of fellowship and training for key church leaders around the country.

What does this mean? These were important events for a great number of churches and leaders around the country. From the beginning of this turmoil in the Episcopal Church, I have been honest and clear about my thoughts, beliefs, and understanding. I will continue to do so. Let me enumerate my thinking as follows:

1. The Network will give churches the support and oversight from orthodox bishops and other church leaders they are requesting.

2. The Network gives the rest of the Anglican Communion a way to recognize the orthodox Anglicans in the U.S.

3. The Network provides us with a clear voice to speak to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion through our new moderator, Bishop Bob Duncan.

The Network is a good step forward, but it is only a first step. It must clearly define its mission to be the realignment of Anglicanism in the United States with the worldwide Anglican Communion. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church committed a grievous assault on the historic faith and witness of our church. They left the historic, biblical faith. However, the Network is a positive step to stand together. Now, we must move forward to work, pray, and give for the spread of the Gospel in our Anglican tradition. We will labor with the Network to that end and, as always, I covet your prayers.

I do not forget that behind all of these "issues" are real people. There are many members of our church who have relatives, loved ones, friends, colleagues, or who themselves have homosexual attractions or lifestyles. Christ Church welcomes all people. And our church will continue to offer the transforming love of God in Christ that changes us all. That is the Good News of God: Jesus can help, heal, and save us . all of us! The church can bless only what is God's best for people.

I am proud of our church for the work we have done together. We have given thousands of brothers and sisters great hope for the future of gospel in the United States. Brothers and sisters, may I also remind you that we have a solemn obligation before us: to stand where we can be the most faithful to Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word. I believe that that place is right here at Christ Church and right now at this hour. Together, let us be strong, vibrant, gracious and clear. Let us move into the New Year with boldness and a high expectation that God will use us when we are faithful and obedient to Him.

In Christ,

The Rev. David Roseberry is rector, Christ Church, Plano

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