Archive for October, 2013

Convention The Missionary Diocese of the South & Ozarks –

Meeting 27 September 2013 at St Francis Church in Ava, Missouri


After Morning Prayer – Communion Service and following a lovely luncheon prepared by the

Ladies of St. Francis, the business meeting was opened with a prayer by Fr. Tom Bradshaw.


Bishop Hartley then determined that a quorum was present, there being 5 out of 6 churches

represented: St. Barnabas, Christ’s Chapel, St. Francis, St. Joseph, and St. Matthews.


It was moved that a 12 member Council of Advice be established. Each church to be

represented by its priest and a designated lay person. This was moved by Fr. Jim McTaggart

and seconded by Deacon Tom Hiter. Motion passed.


It was also moved and seconded that our next year’s convention location be in Branson,

Missouri, at St. Joseph’s Branson. Motion passed.


There was discussion regarding the date of the 2014 National Convention to be held in Prescott,

Arizona. Dates suggested for the Nationals Convention were not available at this time.


There was a motion that the day’s offering ($104.50) be used for the Bishop’s Travel

Fund. Moved by Fr. McTaggart; Seconded by Jack Sotallaro. Motion passed.


Bishop Hartley gave a brief report on the status of the diocese. Briefly summarized:

1 newly ordained priest, Rodney Jackson in Boaz, Alabama; 1 ordained deacon, Tom Hiter;

lost 2 priests: Fr. Caley and Fr. Dunklee; lost 1 parish, Fr. Dunklee’s; 1 new church building–St. Joseph’s in Branson; 2 new postulants; and a new mission in Bristol, Tennessee.


The Anglican Bible and Book Society was mentioned.


Discussion followed on “how to plan for the future of the Church”. Bishop Hartley stating that

a critical inflection point may be reached making us unable to plan for a decade ahead.

Technology has progressed so rapidly leading us to a point of “creative destruction”.


The bishop mentioned three specific things that has led us to this point: a runaway technology,

globalization and increases in living standards, and environmental concerns.

In this brand new world faith, scripture, and sacraments remain the same, but we are unable

to look back, only forward to the future.


Fr. Jerry Ellington led us in Evening Prayer.


Convention was adjourned at 2 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, Barbara Leever



Note: Christ Chapel Council of Advice Members are: Deacon Tom Hiter and Lay person:

Judy James.


Discussion period


The 2013 annual convention of the Missionary Diocese of the South and Ozarks was held September 27 at St. Francis Anglican Church, Ava, Missouri.

Following Morning Prayer and Holy Communion clergy and delegates met for informal discussion on topics having impact on church life.  The first topic was the ageing out of church members, when many leave the church.  One likely age is 16 years when young people get their driving license and their first taste of independence.  Another is 21 years, the legally adult age when the demands of career and family take top priority.  Age 65 is another time when members leave church.  Retirement often leads to a move to a new community.  The present average age in many mainline churches is around 57 years.

Another topic was the general secularization of society.  We now have three generations with little or no church experience.  Many young people are afraid of church services and church buildings.  Each generation has more freedom and independence.  Non-traditional locations can bring people in, like cowboy churches.  One problem is that traditional churches must compete with modernized shallow churches.  Another challenge is how to reach out to the community.

With the general disbelief of society, good times do not require the church.  Among the young, traditional cycles of life are not important.  Such cycles showing life’s progression like baptism, confirmation, marriage, etc. have given way to getting a driver’s license and legally becoming an adult.

Young people communicate through social networks, so it is helpful to use facebook and twitter.  Publicity is important, being visible to the public is a must.  Working with other liturgical traditions keeps us in view of the community.  A possible means of being visible is to play up the English connection; Americans are anglophiles and at present there is much interest in England.  We should target special interests.

Another challenge we face is finances, especially as it relates to the need for full-time priests and paying for them.  People today just don’t contribute to church like they used to.  One solution in fund raising is to have set goals rather than just asking for money.

Most people, it seems, find churches on the Internet.  For the young facebook is very attractive.  On our websites, we need to remember to change them often, keep them current, and not be too churchy.