Anglicans from 11 Nations met at the “Walking Together” Conference in Santiago, to encourage mission and the planting of new churches throughout the Americas.
One hunderd and fifty participants: bishops, clergy, and lay leaders from churches of 11 Latin-American countries including the United States, met at the Walking Together Americas (Caminemos Juntos Américas) 2016, a 3-day Anglican conference hosted in Santiago, Chile with the purpose of consult together to advancing of mission and church planting in the Americas.
This conference was held for the first time in Latin-America, and was organised by the Anglican movement of unification and church planting “Walking Together”, which belongs to Instituto Misionero San Pablo, also known as GreenHouse, in association with ACNA, the Diocese of Recife, Brasil and the Anglican Church of Chile.
This year, the Conference was named MOVER (TO MOVE), a word which guided an extensive program comprising plenaries, group collaborative work and testimonies on what God is doing in the Continent. The main guest was the Archbishop of Los, Nigeria, Benjamin Kwashi, who shared on the revival experienced by the church in his country.
One of the organisers, the Revd. Jonathan Kindberg, said the word MOVER was coined at the planning, when studying in Acts 2 the great revival experienced by the early Church. MOVER comprises the five themes of the Conference: Multiplicación (multiplication),Oración (prayer), Verdad (truth), Espíritu (Spirit) and Renovación (renewal), which have been part of every reform and revival in Church history. We all wish to accomplish an Anglican Church that is united and mobilised in Mission and Church Planting, from Canada to the South of Chile.
Bishop Benjamin Kwashi (pictured) said that in Nigeria there are 118 million people, of which 20 million are Anglican Christians. “Our wish is to see this expansive growth to also take place in the American Church, as both Continents have the same missionary and evangelistic focus.”
In this regard, the Bishop of Chile and Primate of the Anglican Province of South America, Héctor Zavala, remarked: “In this Conference God spoke to us on going back to our foundations, to those elements which gave birth to the Universal Church and allowed the great revivals. We were very encouraged by what united us to advance in Mission, in the midst of our diversity.”
Bishop William Méndez from the Episcopal Reformed Church of Cuba witnessed that “the Anglican Church is growing at an extraordinary pace as we now have more than 28 missions in the island. While other Christian denominations are losing members, we are only growing, for the glory of Christ, but also more candidates are being trained to serve in full time ministry.”
The short term goal for today up to 2017 is to invite to the next conference the rest of the 24 countries of America which were absent in this occasion. This will take place in Recife, Brasil. In the words of the Recife’s Anglican Diocese Bishop, Miguel Ochoa: “It will be quite an interesting meeting because of the vast diversity of cultures and languages that will gather in only one place.”
Regarding future challenges, the objective of the Walking Together movement is to keep making progress in building a support network focused on praying, resources and practice for each and every representative of the countries participating on this movement, thus continuing to promote the unity in mission and biblical foundation, which hopefully may result in the planting of thousands of congregations around the Americas.