This past weekend a few of us headed down to Oak Park, Illinois to attend a conference on college campus ministry. Anglican 1000 and the Greenhouse Movement sponsored the event, Greenhouse hosting at their new “home base,” the Greenhouse Mission Center, a beautiful stone building, once home to a Methodist church. “Open the Doors to College Campuses” was the theme of the conference. We heard several plenary talks from church leaders, and broke off into smaller discussion groups to hear teaching from young people involved first-hand with college campus ministry and church planting. Other tracks offered concerned catechesis, cross-cultural ministry, and becoming a “host church” for a campus missionary. Times of Spirit-filled worship were interlaced throughout the weekend, and we finished up Saturday afternoon with Holy Eucharist, celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Roger Ames who preached on the role of passion, story, and identity in missional ministry. The weekend was steeped in prayer and we heard testimonies of healing and restoration.
One insight that I walked away with is that the Anglican Church does provide an avenue for those who desire to be connected to the ancient Church through liturgy, sacraments, and apostolic oversight, while being able to exercise the charisms of Spirit-empowered mission rooted in the Gospel. I think this is one reason many young people are finding themselves walking the “Canterbury Trail.” An awakening to the importance of the historic Church tied to a deep, God-given desire for the spread of the Gospel makes Anglicanism a good place for old and young alike. Persons of all ages attended Anglican 1000 and learned from one another. Not only does the Anglican Church provide a place for generational gaps to be overcome, but also for a collective mission-oriented mindset. The Church is growing, the Gospel is being brought to peoples of all nations, and these movements are doing a fine job of sending persons of all ages and ethnicities into the world for the sake of the Kingdom.