We enjoyed our most recent Anglican Mission in England conference from 17-18th September 2019. Around 60 of us met in Leeds; some AMiE folk were joined by their wives, and we had a number with us who are considering being part of or partnering with AMiE.
Jesus says in John 8:31 that those who are truly his disciples will abide in his word. Our longing as AMiE is to see individuals and churches who persevere to the end as followers of Jesus, and so our theme this time was ‘Endure’. We were wonderfully encouraged to do this as we sung together, prayed together, heard the Bible taught and applied to our own lives by Lee McMunn (‘Adoration that Lasts’) and Richard Leadbeater (‘Wisdom that Lasts’), and were nourished through Lord’s Supper.
We were thrilled to have Archbishop Ben Kwashi with us for the first day of our conference. In an interview, he humbly and humorously shared with us how he and his family have endured for Jesus in the face of much opposition and suffering. We are very thankful to be part of the wider GAFCON family, and very thankful him, for his example and his leadership.
We were also privileged to welcome Chris Green, vicar of St James, Muswell Hill. Chris led our sessions on ‘Churches that Endure’ and ‘Leaders who Endure,’ reminding us that the word and prayer must be at the centre of all we do. We also benefited from the much practical and pastoral wisdom he shared.
In addition, a number of the AMiE leadership updated us on recent developments and plans for the future (‘Building AMiE to Last’): by God’s grace AMiE is growing! There were some new AMiE ordinands on the conference, and it was a great joy to pray especially for a few folk who are planning to plant with AMiE in the very near future. A particularly moving moment came when Bishop Andy Lines spoke to us about the challenges of the past year, and how he and his family have entrusted themselves to the Lord who has so lovingly sustained them. There was a wonderful sense of love and affirmation for him from all in the room, and he sat down to a standing ovation! It was a brilliant demonstration of how much we need – and rejoice in – one another’s encouragement in the gospel.
Finally, Pete Jackson, Pastor of Christ Church Walkley, finished our time by teaching us about ‘Disciples that Last’. Pete reminded us of the importance of our Sunday gatherings; as Anglicans we have a great liturgical heritage, and our liturgy speaks the gospel so powerfully into our own lives and into our broken world.
Yet another joy of the AMiE Conference is simply the chance we get to relax, eat and drink, pray and plan informally with one another.
Please continue to pray for us. The growth of AMiE is exciting – but we are still very small and there is much gospel work to be done. We are so conscious of our need for the Lord to keep us abiding in his word. Join with us in praying that we and all those whom we serve would indeed be disciples who endure for the sake of Christ.
Written by Chris Young, Conference delegate