From Mr. Mark Einselen [Anglican Church of the Ascension - Indianapolis, Indiana].
The 2019 ACNA Provincial Assembly began with a grand procession featuring clergy, Bishops, Archbishops, and Primates from around the globe. It was accompanied by an impressive ensemble of pipes, brass, and strings. Over 1,100 worshipers joyfully sang out. While from outward appearances it might look like an attempt to prove something, Archbishop Foley Beach's sermon set a different tone for the rest of the week. "Disciple 2019" was the theme and christian formation was the goal of each subsequent session. This theme was reinforced to me by two critically important releases.
The first was the publication of the 2019 Book of Common Prayer. Each conference attendee received a copy of the prayer book and the ACNA book store sold every copy available. Again, while the figures are impressive, the largest impact will be the inward transformation of those who faithfully use it. I can attest to the impact a prayer book can have in one's personal devotional life. I look forward to implementing the 2019 prayer book into my daily routine and syncing up with Anglicans across the continent.
The newly revised catechism was the second vital tool that was presented at Assembly. This instrument for christian formation will be widely available later this summer for free as a PDF. Members of the revision committee were charged with equipping local churches in making orthodox christian beliefs accessible to people in an unchurched society. The revisions were made to bring clarity to complex concepts. The goal is to ensure that converts become devoted disciples who are sure of their faith and able to defend it.
Additionally, the unprogrammed personal connections made in the hallways, between sessions, and around dining tables was where the real value of Assembly was manifested. After it was all over, I left feeling refreshed with a renewed motivation for personal discipleship. Assembly provided two treasured tools to assist in this endeavor. Archbishop Beach was right when he said in his opening address, "[Discipleship] is a lifestyle which is modeled and shared in living life together." I look forward to living this life with you, my brothers and sisters in the Diocese of the Living Word.