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A Taste of Heaven on Earth

August 04, 2014

This past weekend, our church family had the wonderful gift of hosting Caminemos Juntos, a global gathering of Latino ACNA leaders. About 200 people attended the conference, traveling from all over the United States as well as Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Chile. Church of the Resurrection folks really stepped up. In all, 19 host families provided hospitality for over 30 people. A special thanks to Diana Soerens for her tireless efforts to match host families with conference attendees. (She even found a host family in Mexico City for a Chilean band member who got hung up by Mexican immigration officials.) On Sunday, we had the privilege of hearing from our dear brother in Christ, Archbishop Tito Zavala.

Why was this so significant for our church family? Of course it’s always good to provide hospitality to brothers and sisters in Christ as they pass through town. The Bible has plenty to say about that. But I’m even more moved by the vision of heaven that we find scattered throughout the Bible. It’s a joyful vision of a global, multiethnic, multilingual community of people singing praise to God the Father for our redemption in Christ. The first book of the Bible begins with a promise to Abraham that he will be blessed so that he can be a blessing to all the nations of the earth (Genesis 12:1-3). And the last book of the Bible gives us this glimpse of how that promise to Abraham will be fulfilled:

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

This past weekend it was good to get a sample, a sneak preview, of that glorious biblical vision. It’s exciting to part of a surging Anglican movement that is truly global in scope. May our hearts long for it more and more! And may we get a taste of it in our day.

Caminemos Juntos

June 30, 2014

At the end of July, Church of the Resurrection has the privilege of hosting an annual national conference called Caminemos Juntos. Here are the five most important things you need to know about this conference:

#1 – Caminemos Juntos means “Let’s walk together.”

¡Caminemos Juntos! as a conference seeks to spark a church planting movement among Hispanics and to unify current Anglican Hispanic churches throughout North America. We have a yearly national conference and a leadership training institute, Instituto San Pablo. Six of these congregations are part of our diocesan family here in the Upper Midwest. But it isn’t just for Hispanic leaders. It’s also for normal Church of the Resurrection folks who want to start ‘walking together’ with the Latino brothers and sisters in our own diocese.

#2 – Walking with our immigrant brethren is a priority for the Anglican church.

People might ask why they should care about this conference. Not only is it an amazing opportunity to begin to truly walk together with our Latino brothers and sisters here in the Upper Midwest and from all over the world, in addition, this past year, Archbishop Bob Duncan sent out a special communiqué challenging the ACNA to a new season of walking together with our immigrant brothers and sisters from all over the world and launched a new initiative called the “Anglican Immigrant Initiative." The purpose of this initiative is to equip congregations at the local level to serve and reach under-resourced immigrants using the unique and timely tool of immigration legal ministry. There are currently 11 million undocumented immigrants who have to navigate a confusing legal system and who are often taken advantage of. In meeting immigrants' practical legal needs, we also hope to meet their spiritual needs through evangelism and the starting of 30 new immigrant congregations. Here in the Upper Midwest we are leading the way by starting the first center in Oak Park.

#3 – Caminemos Juntos is at Church of the Resurrection.

The 2014 conference will be held July 31- August 2 at Church of the Resurrection. With the conference so close, there is no reason not to stop in or get involved!

#4 – You don’t need to know Spanish to attend.

But what better chance to brush up on those 2 years of high-school Spanish? Regardless of your linguistic abilities, all workshops will be bilingual. The conference will also offer workshops on multi-cultural ministry and outreach, church planting, and evangelism. Special guests will include Archbishop Tito Zavala from Chile and the worship band Kyrios Band also from Chile.

#5 – There are many ways to get involved.