Greetings from the Windy City

Greetings from the Windy City

an article for the February 2008 Deep Cove Crier

I recently flew into the Windy City in the middle of a snowstorm, and wondered what I was doing there.  Because of mechanical failure, my earlier flight was cancelled and I had to fly to San Francisco instead. Thanks to a sleep mask and ear plugs, I slept wonderfully at 30,000 feet, ending up in Chicago at 6:30am the next morning.  My Chicago meetings started immediately at 8:30am that same day!


So why was I in Chicago anyways?  I had been invited to take part in a two-day strategy session designed to help Christians and especially Anglicans learn to love each other more.  We had Anglican leaders from Canada, various parts of the USA, and England gathering together, praying together, eating together, listening together.  Some of us knew each other before. About half of us were total strangers. 


We listened carefully to an exciting story about how Anglicans overcame their differences and gathered together on Sept 23rd in the first ever Anglican Awakening.  More than 2,000 individuals met at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois to affirm their unity of faith and belief in Christ, and to hear a sermon from The Most Rev. Dr. Peter Akinola, Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.


      “Two thousand years ago Jesus prayed that ‘they all would be one, as we are one,’” Archbishop Akinola began. “Where is that unity? Has God not answered the prayer of His Son?”


 Archbishop Akinola commented that Christians today don’t have the unity they desire because they have not been transformed by the power of the Gospel. “You cannot give what you do not have,” Archbishop Akinola affirmed an African saying. “We can’t have unity with one another unless we have unity with God.”


  The Midwest Anglican Awakening included 20 participating congregations from a variety of ethnic and denominational backgrounds.  The organizing committee was chaired by the Rev. William Beasley, the Midwest AMiA Network leader.Rev William Beasley


            “I was delighted by the spirit of unity displayed in the service today, and I believe we are all more united in purpose than ever, to accomplish the mission God has for us both in sharing the Gospel of Christ and in serving physical needs around the world today,” the Rev. Beasley said.


Before the benediction, Archbishop Akinola strayed from the program to lead an extended time of prayer for healing, teaching the congregation an African prayer song imploring “Let the Spirit of the Lord come down on us.”


“I believe we felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in a powerful way today, and we all were encouraged and empowered to unite together in mission and purpose to reach and serve the global Body of Christ,” William Beasley said.


Bishop Bill MurdochOn March 2nd, we will be having a Pacific Coast Anglican Awakening: first steps to which you are all invited.  It will be held at Fraserview MB Church at 11295 Mellis Drive in Richmond.  Bishop Bill Murdoch of the Anglican Province of Kenya and Anglican Communion Network Dean for New England will be preaching. The Rev William Beasley, AMiA Midwest Network Leader, will also be taking part.  Please join us in celebrating the gift of unity in Jesus Christ.


The Reverend Ed Hird

Rector, St. Simon’s Church North Vancouver, BC

Anglican Coalition in Canada

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