Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
Those words from Matthew's Gospel (28:19-20) have long been resonating in the corridors of my mind but perhaps never more than during the previous week or so. Could it be that, just as Delta Airlines has a hub in Atlanta and American Airlines has a hub in Charlotte, The Church of the Cross is becoming a hub of sorts for Great Commission activities? Given recent international activities one could easily draw that conclusion.
Prior to my flying to Saint John, Canada, last Thursday, The Rev. Ali Calvin, Rector of the Killeshandra Group in Ireland, arrived for a fortnight of rest and Spiritual direction and to assist our efforts to discern God's direction as we plan for the launching of what promises to be a powerful locus for prayer and counseling. Striving to build transformational leadership teams in her various congregations has brought Ali and her key lay leaders into our parish on numerous occasions and we've reciprocated with teams of youth and adults headed her way - in every instance the blessings have been mutual.
My three days in Canada were spent with The Rev. Greg McMullin and the growing numbers of faithful folks who call St. Mary & St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church home. The whirlwind agenda for mission included a gathering for men, an ecumenical leadership session for the community, preaching for three worship services, a dinner meeting with the Vestry, and private time with Greg and another pastor from the area. As with Ali, we've been in a partnership with Greg's parish for four years, exchanging leadership teams and mutually encouraging the Spirit's work.
After various weather delays on the return flight, I arrived home late Monday evening. Ali and I spent several hours together the next morning prior to Becky's taking her to the airport in Savannah that afternoon. A few hours later The Rev. David Pickersgill and his wife Erin arrived for dinner at the Rectory. I met David three years ago during the annual New Wine event in Ireland; he was in seminary at the time and, after attending the leadership sessions I conducted, asked to spend time with me to probe more deeply into some of the concepts. David is now a curate at Saint Laurence in Reading, England. He and Erin were in this country on a vacation specifically to visit all of Erin's family to show off their first child; their itinerary included a stop in Bluffton to plant the seeds for a possible relationship in the outskirts of London.
These ministry partnerships are intersecting with those we're nurturing in Africa and South America - that's a lot of coming and going from one point . . . could it be that The Church of the Cross is indeed becoming a hub for the Great Commission? I think so; and for that we can surely say, "Thanks be to God!"
In His power and for His glory,