One priest’s plan for Vision 2019 Sunday

The Rev. Dan Graves has a simple plan to get his church involved in Vision 2019 Sunday on June 7. During the Prayers of the People, the young and old of Holy Trinity, Thornhill, Ont. will take a quiet moment to write one prayer for the Anglican Church of Canada. Then they’ll drop it off in the offering plate.

High-tech, low-tech, or no-tech, Vision 2019 Sunday is a time for Canadian Anglicans to weigh in on the future of the church. All are encouraged to answer the question, “Where is your church now, and where do you want the Anglican Church of Canada to be by 2019?”

People technically have until Oct. 1 to weigh in, but Vision 2019 Sunday is a good time to focus before summer vacation time.

Mr. Graves has had a good response so far at Holy Trinity, where he is assistant curate. He put up the Vision 2019 posters and he preached on the subject last Sunday. The rector of Holy Trinity, the Rev. Canon Greg Physick, will preach on Vision 2019 again this Sunday.

“People are curious,” he noted. “I think people have a longing to participate in the life of the broader church.”

There are lots of ways to share these hopes—and also concerns—as part of the Vision 2019 project. Responses can be sent in by email, by leaving a voice message (at the toll-free phone number), by uploading a video, or sending a letter. Read other responses here.

Vision 2019 Sunday may be a time to plan a corporate response, or simply to encourage people to do their own. A list of ideas and several resources are available:

Of course, churches can keep it simple like Holy Trinity. After June 7, Mr. Graves will mail in the collected pieces of paper to General Synod, and the Vision 2019 team will analyze these along with other submissions. Results from Vision 2019 will be shared at General Synod 2010.

Holy Trinity’s Prayers of the People approach might work in other churches. “The focus I’ve been working on is not so much, ‘what do you want?’ but ‘what is your prayer?'” explained Mr. Graves. “Any of us can have any particular desire for something, but what is the will of God that we’re discerning for the life of the church?”

“Hopefully we hear this voice when all the individual voices start coming together,” he went on to say. “Discernment is something that’s done in community.”

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