On Monday, March 7-9, 2022, roughly 50 people gathered at Christ the King Cathedral, in Sharpsburg, Georgia, for a Church Growth and Development Conference. We used to have these conferences every year, but the pandemic put that to a stop. Every time we attempted to schedule another conference, there was a new variant of COVID or some new restriction or mandate from the government. But finally, and with great joy, we traveled to Georgia and sat together in the same place. We even did so without masks. And, to my great joy, we were able to receive the body of Christ and to actually DRINK from the cup of His blood. All of it proclaimed that we have more than survived; we have begun to strive, thrive, and revive.
The highlight of our time together was the fellowship. It was a time to make new relationships. It was a time to renew friendships with those we had only spoken to via the internet or zoom. We worshipped the Lord together, prayed together, had meals together, and we were able to be around the Table of the Lord where Jesus Himself was really present with us. It is at that altar of the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving that we were encouraged in our souls. Our thirst was quenched, and our hunger disappeared.
The conference itself centered around the anointed teaching of Dr. Don Davis, from the Urban Ministry Institute, which is associated with World Impact. He was joined by Robert “Bob” Engel, who was also a tremendous blessing. The teaching and encouragement from these two men I know inspired the hearts of all who attended. Dr. Davis was able to present the vision and mission of the ICCEC in such a way it was like the first time we had heard of it. At the end of the conference, it was clear that indeed the three streams that form a mighty river will be the point of the spear for revival in the Western Church. (“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.” Psalm 46.4)
I believe a recording of the talks by Dr. Davis will be made available to us. Listening to the recordings will be an encouragement. The weakness of the recordings is that you miss the environment in which the teaching took place. You miss the praise, the questions, the encouragement, and the other great sermons that were preached by clergy in the CEC. But we will try to make available what we can and tell you where you can find the messages.
On Thursday, the Bishops in North America gathered for their spring meeting of the Primate’s Council. During this meeting, the primary agenda items were to review the role of the Primate, the role of the Primate’s Council, Consensus Government, and the report of the Strategy Working Group.
The Working Group did a fantastic job over the past months. They presented us with a working document for further discussion and implementation. Because of time restraints, we were only able to review the report and ask questions about the recommended direction. The Bishops will continue the discussion at the October meeting of the Primate’s Council in Selma, Alabama. They will hear the Lord Holy Spirit about developing a single vision with common goals and objectives for moving forward.
I encourage each of you to be in contact with your Diocesan Bishop for further explanation. I know you will hear a report from your Bishop, and you will be called to several clergy gatherings (in person and zoom) before the next Primate’s Council.
The CEC is called to live in the mighty river of God. The three streams for a mighty river of life. We are called to be the light of Christ and His Kingdom in the midst of a very dark time in the history of Western Civilization. There has always been darkness. The opposite of evil is not good, it is God. We are called to be the presence of God. We are called to tell the story of God’s redemptive work on the cross and resurrection. We have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to have the gifts to accomplish the work of the Kingdom. We are His presence in the Sacramental life of the Church.
I want to thank everyone who made the week a great success. I am thankful for the Lord Jesus. I am thankful to Bishop Epps and his crew. The CTK music team did a wonderful job leading us into the presence of the Lord during the Primate’s Council. Dn. Caleb Northwood did the same for the entire Growth Conference. Thanks to all who did tech work and sound work. Thanks especially to the ladies who fed us delicious meals and wonderful desserts. Thanks to the strategy group for months of hard work.
The problem with thank you is that you tend to forget names. But know the work you did was appreciated.
It is time to move forward. God is leading us, and we are, by His grace, listening to His voice. It is all well.