Name: Sandy Richter
Church: Church of the Savior, Wheaton, IL
Diocese: Churches for the Sake of Others
At the conference, I was challenged to… think more creatively about what it means to take the best of Anglicanism out into the world, and how to encourage our congregations to do likewise. Oftentimes our mission conversations can tend to leave out our distinctives in an effort to find ways to be more accessible to our cultural context(s). But what was great about this conference is that we were aiming to stay rooted while reaching out–a difficult, but imperative task.
Attending a conference with 100 missional Anglican leaders from all over the province was … very inspiring. To hear and see the myriad creative ways God is at work throughout the province was awe-inspiring. I was humbled and encouraged to hear both the passion and struggles of leaders in their efforts to discern where God is leading and how to meaningfully engage people towards and in mission. And I wonder how many opportunities leaders have to stop and have these sorts of honest conversations. That to me seems invaluable for our joint work.
My interactions with other attendees at the conference were … meaningful. I loved having the opportunity to meet, talk and pray with some of the other women leaders at the conference. The last night we took time to pray for one another as we shared briefly what came up for us at the conference. I am always surprised by the power and privilege of coming together in this way, and the bolster it gives to me as we go forward in mission.
Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve been thinking about the missional theme of … becoming bold. Our church is at a really great point where we are asking and discerning what it means to move out in more intentional ways. Our staff has spent a good amount of time already talking through some of the themes from Telos and how they complement, add to and stretch what has already begun in our midst. Specifically, we are talking about access points with community that make sense for our distinct voice therein, accountability and affinity groups, and how to help empower our congregation to become more comfortable and bold in everyday mission.
My take on “the conversation,” or the interplay of many different missional perspectives and approaches, is … I really appreciate hearing the different missional approaches. I think having so many different perspectives helps to both challenge and inspire us. Lots of good ideas were dreamed up and shared at this first meeting and I am eager to see where some of those lead. I am eager, at our next meeting, to push more into the subject of “Culture,” and what it means to be Anglican in this moment of mission. I hope for more conversations in the meantime, with other leaders in my area and those whom I met this year—conversations that will encourage us along the way and that will continue to spark more creativity and inspiration in our mission work.
The person I met at the conference that I’d like to take out to coffee is … Kris McDaniel, and I told him so. Kris’ “Lessons From His Experience” [plenary session] resonated deeply with me and with our church context. I would love to hear more of Trinity Anglican Mission’s story and how this might inform or shed light on what God is doing in our church right now. I am also always interested in talking to anyone who shares their Enneagram number from the stage!
Sandra Richter is Assistant for Children’s Ministry at Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois. Contact Sandra.