2020 Rocky Mountain Diocese Gathering Report
From Julia Barger
I was so blessed by the passion for worship and prayer at the conference. My favorite sessions were “The Comfortable Words” by Dr. Ashley Null and “Honor” by Bishop Ken. We have a diverse and loving Diocese that enjoys hospitality, connecting deeply and laughing heartily. They are also committed to orthodox faith and Biblical teaching.
One of the unexpected gifts of the trip was lots of time together as a staff. Traveling, meals, grabbing coffee, relaxing at the house, walking together or meeting at Glen Eyrie Castle (pictured below). I was so blessed to be with Matt, Carson, Lauren and Emerson! We have a wonderful team and I am grateful for our friendship.
The breakout session for Youth and Children’s directors was great! The presenters were likeminded and encouraging while honestly addressing the challenges we face. They acknowledged the need for support so there will be a group email and quarterly video conferences for workers in the Diocese. I look forward to see how the Lord will use this community.
The following portion contains excerpts from Kevin Leach’s report on the time (Kevin is from Advent Anglican in Bellevue)
The business portion of our gathering was conducted on Tuesday morning under the leadership of Bp Ken Ross. We received reports from various groups such as the Office of Church Planting and the Office of Clergy Formation. Updates to our bylaws were unanimously approved. The 2020 budget, having been approved by the Diocesan Council, was also unanimously approved by the Synod.
Church planting is a highly valued mission of our Diocese. …Our Diocese has launched 7 new church plants in the last 3 years. Over half of our annual budget is dedicated to church planting. Although not all church plants, the following four churches were officially welcomed into our Diocese: Trinity Wenatchee, Desert Mission (Phoenix), Emmanuel (Seattle), and St. Peter’s (Cheyenne, WY). A church plant goes through many phases of planning and preparation before the reality of people meeting together in a weekly Eucharistic Service. After that, church plants are usually supported by the Diocese (financially and in other ways) until they can become self-supporting and contribute to the planting of new churches. The work of the Office of Church Planting is extensive.
Diocesan plans for later this year include prayer ministers’ training on May 30, 2020 and another session of “The Healing Journey” (October 2020). The 2021 Gathering is planned for February 1 – 3 in Colorado Springs.
Workshops and Targeted Meetings
Many 1-hour workshops were held on topics ranging from prayer to neo-Gnostic spirituality. This was followed by 1-hour target sessions aimed primarily at various service groups within the church (e.g., deacons, youth workers, musicians, etc.).
Bp Ken preached the sermon for the closing Eucharist on 1 Samuel 15 and John 3, contrasting the wrong (Saul) and the right (John the Baptist) approaches to our desire to be honored. The service ended with designated prayer teams for both intercessory and “soaking” prayer.
We have a healthy diocese. This does not mean that we are immune from the effects of the fall. Rather, our Bishop is both wise and proactive, and our leadership at the diocesan and parish levels are promoting biblically grounded growth among the parishioners and outreach to those not yet in the church. And for that we can all say, “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World with end. Amen.”