Greetings from Newport Beach and Burbank!
I am currently in the Orange County and Los Angeles area attending our Bishop's summit on church growth and church planting, kindly hosted by St. James Anglican Church (Newport Beach). Clergy and key lay people from all around the Diocese of Western Anglicans and the Southern California area have turned out to hear church planting experts like Tom Herrick, William Beasey, and David Roseberry as they share their insights on church planting.
All the discussion of "planting" brings to mind the biblical imagery of God planting Israel his people as a vine or as a tree in the promised land, established and tended by him. The words of Psalm 1 keep resonating in my ears: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and on his Law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree, planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does will prosper." My hope is that this conference will be an instructive time for us all in how to devote ourselves to the Lord, to his ways of being the church and planting churches, and to his promises to establish, prosper, and reign over his church!
This is also a great opportunity for me to meet with people from around my diocese and remind them that the Lord is calling me to be a missionary and is calling them to support me (as the first long-term missionary from the diocese) in some way, shape, or form. Please keep me in your prayers as I seek to communicate God's vision not just for "mission" (in some abstract way to be open to outsiders), but for "missions" (in a concrete, global sense).