Where is your Treasure?

A note from Bishop Wood…

Some of the clearest statements in Scripture concern giving. The first murder in the Bible was rooted in God’s acceptance of Abel’s offering and His rejection of Cain’s offering. Genesis 4 tells us that Abel brought both the first and the best to the Lord while Cain brought neither. The worshipper and his/her offerings are inseparable; a reflection of their heart and what they hold most dear. We see this again and again throughout the biblical record.

400 years before the Law was given Abraham, by faith, set the pattern of giving when he gave a 10th – a tithe – of all that he had to the priest, Melchizedek.

The Lord, through the prophet Malachi (3.6-12), said to the people of Israel – and to people of faith through the ages, “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.”

That’s an extraordinary statement – and an even more extraordinary promise – the Lord says, “test me in this and see if I am faithful.”

And the pattern is the same in the New Testament. Did you know that Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined?

Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.

11 of 39 parables talk about money.
1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.

In one of his more well-known parables in Luke (16) Jesus says this: “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust thetrue riches?”​

What’s he saying? Well, what is mammon? What are “true riches?”

Quite simply mammon is money, yes, but it’s more. It’s everything – it’s our wealth, it’s our investments, it’s our possessions. It’s what so many strive for, give themselves for, sacrifice their families for. And note this, elsewhere in this same parable Jesus calls all of this that we value so much “little,” insignificant, temporal, passing.

And then Jesus speaks of true riches. What are true riches? True riches are spiritual treasure given to us by the Holy Spirit – spiritual stewardship and responsibility in God’s kingdom.

So, what’s Jesus saying? He’s saying if you – if I’m not faithful with something as temporal and insignificant as earthy treasure and possessions with which I am entrusted to steward for His purposes during my lifetime, why would I ever expect the Holy Spirit to entrust to me real treasure, with spiritual treasure, with eternal treasure?

So if the Bible is so consistent and clear – so encouraging in its teaching on how we handle our money – why are we so hesitant?

Let me tell you what I see in my life and in the lives of folks I’ve spoken with over the years: fear. We’re afraid. We think to ourselves, “It’s unreasonable to live like this. It doesn’t make sense. If I live like this, if I give like this, will I have enough?” And behind these questions lies the deepest question revealing our deepest fear: “Is God faithful? Will God really come through?” And in this sense, mammon, money, possessions are a wonderful diagnostic test. How so? Well, Jesus again. In Matthew 6 (21), He says, “where your treasure is, there will be your what? There will your heart be also . . . Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Friends, where’s your treasure? There’s your heart.

ACNA Book of Common Prayer

ACNA Book of Common Prayer Published
By ACNA Press Release – April 18, 2019
The Anglican Church in North America has officially released the final texts for The Book of Common Prayer 2019.

These texts can be found on the new Book of Common Prayer (BCP) website here. Commemorative editions marking the 10-year anniversary of the Anglican Church in North America will be released at Provincial Assembly in June, and pew editions will be made available for purchase shortly thereafter.

In 2009, at the formation of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Robert Duncan announced three goals for the province: to plant churches, to develop a Catechism, and to formulate a new version of The Book of Common Prayer. Duncan, who is also the Chair of the Liturgy Task Force, commented, “The prayer book has taken the longest. It had to be done right and it will shape our life for years to come, generations to come. Our mission is to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus and, indeed, that’s what this prayer book [helps us do].”

In 1549, The Book of Common Prayer was a revolutionary addition to the life of the Church. During the Reformation, as the movement sought to make Scripture more accessible for the lay person, Archbishop Cranmer also sought to make the prayers and liturgy more accessible. He did so by creating The Book of Common Prayer – a compilation of prayers and liturgy based on Scripture in the language of the English people.  During the Reformation, the prayer book went through various revisions, but The Book of Common Prayer 1662 has become the standard. The result has been described as “the Scriptures arranged for worship.”

“It has been, from the beginning, a basic and reliable way for Christians to pray,” Duncan said. The Book of Common Prayer 2019 seeks to continue this same function but set in the context of today’s Church. “What the 2019 does is take what was good from the modern liturgical renewal and also what was lost from the tradition,” Duncan says.

Like the Catechism, pieces of The Book of Common Prayer 2019 have already been translated and more translations are coming. Duncan admits he has already had calls from other provinces looking to the Liturgy Task Force for direction in developing their own revised prayer book.

As for the impact on the Anglican Church in North America, he believes the BCP 2019 will help to shape generations. After cultural revolution swept England in the 16th and 17th centuries, “the 1662 book was settling and stabilizing.”  Duncan continued, “That very well may be the role that this prayer book has, and we have a hunch it’s going to be very useful and appropriate for the 21st century.”

In addition to facilitating corporate worship and encouraging the prayer life of individuals, The Book of Common Prayer also provides parents with the tools to help revitalize the spiritual life of the home. The Family Prayer liturgies “give families very simple ways of beginning to shape their children in a way of daily praying, of engaging Scripture, and of beginning to grow as Anglicans.”

All of these resources are available for download on the BCP website. The Liturgy Task Force wants “to make the texts – in Word and PDFs – very accessible. We want to do everything we can to help these texts go deep into the life of the Church.”

To download the final texts of The Book of Common Prayer 2019, click here.
To view the prototype and estimated price of the hardcopy BCP, click here.

SOURCE Anglican Church in North America
TAGS Anglican Church in North America

Bishop David Bryan 2019 Synod Address

It is so good to be together as a diocese… to worship together, to be encouraged by one another, to grow together in our common vocation of proclaiming the riches of God’s grace in Christ Jesus to every man, women and child in the communities God has placed us.

It continues to be a privilege for me to serve alongside Bishop Steve, as well as Bishops’ Thad and Terrell, and all of our rectors, clergy and congregations in the Carolinas.  One of the distinct privileges of traveling the diocese is seeing all the ways God is at work in our parishes…seeing the dedication, the creativity and the passion for the Gospel in the local churches that make up our diocese.  Our shared conviction is that local church is the frontline of mission and ministry and that the diocese exists to multiply (plant churches) and to serve and enrich the life of our congregations (not the other way around).

I want to take a minute or two and highlight some of the things that have happened this past year and are happening in our diocese:

In the Fall we had a Flourishing Outposts Conference with Kevin Martin for Pastoral Sized Churches, graciously hosted by All Saints, Pawleys Island (thank you Rob Grafe and co.).  We had 30 rectors/lay leaders come together to learn together how we can be better equipped to flourish in the life, mission and ministry of this particular size dynamic.  Folks went away pleased…and we want to do more things like this…

On another front, we have just begun a new Simeon Cohort at Apostles in Columbia which Chip Edgar and I lead and facilitate.  This, along with the Fellows program at Holy Trinity, Raleigh and the Ridley Institute, the Asbury/Wilmore Anglican connection and other initiatives around our diocese highlight the importance of next generation leadership development.

Related, our new Credentialing path/process in the diocese is now in full swing.  In addition to the 6 priests and 3 deacons ordained this past year, we have 6 aspiring permanent deacons, 9 aspiring transitional deacons and 6 aspiring priesthood folks somewhere in our process.  This is a community effort and we are very thankful for the those who serve on parish and regional discernment teams as well as our Examining Chaplains: Randy Forrester, John Hall, John Yates III and Chip Edgar.  Also thankful for Maddy Donaldson and Nancy Bryan who help administer this process

One critical aspect of our diocese is helping our congregations in transition and the calling of new rectors.  This past year we did this at King of Kings in Charlotte and we are currently doing this with Holy Trinity, North Augusta and Christ Church, Murrells Inlet.  Eric Speece did a fabulous job as Interim Rector at King of Kings prior to Joel Pinson’s arrival as their new rector and Thad Barnum is interim at Christ Church and is ‘rocking the house’ in a great way in Murrells Inlet.   Please pray for these processes, these are critical moments in the life of these congregations!

Speaking of Thad, I just want to take a moment to hold up the amazing work God is doing through him in the area of Soul Care.  Thad has just started his 4th year of doing this ministry and averages about 60-70 face to face or Skype-type appointments a month.  Thad works with pastors, leaders, seminarians and those in the ordination process.  His focus is not what we do, but who we are in Jesus.  The conviction is that if we are not healthy in the Lord– body, heart, mind, soul, it impacts every area of our life and ministry.  So, Thad provides a safe place for us to go and the Holy Spirit is at work in amazing ways.  There is no reason for our leaders to walk alone.  Appointments can be scheduled at call2disciple.com…most are video conferencing and there is no cost, because this ministry is funded by All Saints, Pawleys, our diocese and private donors and churches.  Can we take a moment and thank Thad for this ministry?

Church planting is a core conviction and value for the Diocese of the Carolinas.  As we will hear later nearly half of our diocesan budget go back into mission, in the province, but mainly in church planting.  This is only possible if our churches are growing in their giving to the diocese.  Our church planting arm is Kardia with Winfield Bevins as Canon for Church Planting, John Hall, Seth Cain, Gary Ball and me.  We are working together with our church plants, providing coaching and developing new church planting curacies around the diocese.  Again leadership development with a very missional edge.  We are going to hear more from Winfield later, but let stay in step with the Spirit in this important work of church planting in our diocese!

Lastly, I have a piece of business I’d like to offer.  We have a simple change which has been proposed to our diocesan canons to bring them into conformity with the provincial canons of ACNA.  You should have the proposed changes in your packets to Canon 5 Section 1 and Canon 8, section 4.  Very simply it adds the language of an accounting “review” where the canons before only prescribed an audit.  Audits are very costly and so we want to provide the option for churches to have reviews.  Now the Canon 8, Section 4 already requires the diocese to provide instructions to our churches for the regularity of these audits and reviews.  So after we pass this change, our finance committee with propose to the Standing Committee, recommendations for the regularity of audits and reviews based on the size of church budgets.  For instance we may say if your budget is over 300,000 we want you to have an audit every 5 years and in the other years to simply have a review, etc.  So expect to see that in the next few months.  Meanwhile, we also want to clean up the spelling of the word “worshippers” in Title 1, Canon 6, Section 3h…we are Anglicans, not Anglophiles, so we want to spell this the American way!  Having said all that, I’d like to make a motion we make the canonical changes as presented as a group.

So, that’s it from me.  Thank you Bishop Steve, thank you diocese, it’s great to be your Suffragan bishop!

Back to Newsletter

Building Projects across Diocese of Carolinas

“Healthy things grow. Growing things change. Change challenges us. Challenge forces us to trust God. Trust leads to obedience. Obedience makes us healthy. Healthy things grow…”

St. Andrew’s forging ahead on their new ministry center.
Giving thanks for the last seven months and the construction moving along at St. Andrew’s, Mt. Pleasant, SC  #beautyfromasches

Cathedral Church of the Apostles completed their Ministry Center Expansion this fall. Giving thanks for growth in the Diocese. Healthy things grow!

All Saint’s Pawleys Island Women’s Study Draws Hundreds

Women in the Word, led by Dina Clarke and Beth Sprinkle, is a community Bible Study in Pawleys Island that attracts 250 women weekly, with 60% from outside All Saints Church.  The bible study focuses on helping women grow as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and is in its 13th year. Each week women gather to worship the Lord, hear from His word, pray, and meet in small groups to apply what the Lord revealed to our own lives and circumstances. Lives are transformed by His grace as they seek to learn who they are in Christ and how to live it out in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The All Saints women’s teaching ministry has its roots with discipleship teacher The Rev’d Erilynne Barnum. Erilynne began teaching at All Saints in 1997 and her ministry grew from there to a national ministry (call2disciple.com). Erilynne also discipled the current teacher Beth Sprinkle and eventually Dina Clarke joined the team.

The two are a dynamic duo with two different teaching styles. The Lord is at work and now the desire for discipleship is so great that mini sessions led by Van Weston have been added to the calendar. Women in the Word seeks to help others know Jesus, to love God’s Word, and to daily live out His truth in their lives.
This ministries’ Scriptural foundation is from the letter to the Colossians 1:28:  “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” To listen to their current teaching series on Exodus go to http://www.allsaintspawleys.org/Exodus or to their facebook page here.
Teachers Dina Clarke and Beth Sprinkle