Our church family, Anglian Church in North America, is organized by dioceses, many geographical (e.g., Western Gulf Coast) and some, like ours—called Churches for the Sake of Others--non-geographical. Thus, we in C4SO have 40-some churches across the country, from Boston to LA, and from Oregon to Florida. (If you wondered, our nearest church is in Milwaukee.) Our bishop, Todd Hunter, lives in Southern California.
Having just attended the C4SO clergy conference, I have to say, we are in the perfect diocese for Church of the Savior. (Thank you, Fr. Bill, Mtr. Linda, and the Vestry who helped us move into C4SO!) Here are some reasons why:
1. We have a godly bishop with a huge heart for people. That’s why he named his diocese Churches for the Sake of Others. He gets made fun of for this name, but I love it. It captures our heart at Savior, too, which is why (for just one example) you all gave so generously to help single moms at Jubilee Village.
2. We have a canon theologian, Scot McKnight, who uses his prodigious scholarship to serve the church.
3. We have a welcome and respect for women leaders.
4. We have the freedom and encouragement to try varied and creative ministries, from fledgling church plants to long-established churches with buildings, from missions to Spanish-speaking moms in Kansas City, KS, to coffee-shop ministry reaching “spiritual but not religious” folks in California. Many dioceses ask their churches to contribute 10% of their operating budgets; but Bishop Todd says, “Send me only 5%, and I’ll figure out how to run a diocese on less, so you can invest the other 5% in local mission and church planting."
I could go on, but let me simply say, one of the best things about being an Anglican church is that you are connected to other churches and under authority. And when those churches and authority are filled with the Holy Spirit, it is a great gift to us all.