Bishop Stephen Leung gave his charge at the assembly. He began by noting that God is a missional God who has entrusted us with proclaiming the Good News of salvation – of new creation – through Christ Jesus. The resulting faith community is to be a fellowship of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation through which the world can see the living Christ. “The attraction of the Church… is Christ himself reigning over the transformed community in his love.”
Noting that, by 2017, it is projected that around 20 per cent of Canada’s population will be visible minorities, and that Canada is a magnet for international students, he said “we have a huge Gospel mission field among us” which, if we are faithful to the God’s mission, could resoundingly impact the growth of the Church worldwide. To this end AMMiC is: planting Asian and multicultural churches in Canada – five in the past year; charting a path for second generation leadership in these immigrant church communities; and seeking to serve the Church outside Canada by sending short-term mission teams.
He went on to discuss churches forming in Calgary, including: a Hindi-Urdu speaking church for South Asians; a South Sudanese Dinka community; and others – potentially four or more new churches in Alberta. Toronto is also a huge multicultural mission field and AMMiC is partnering with the Anglican Greenhouse Movement in Chicago to train young lay catechists in campus ministry. Bishop Stephen said “We would like to see more church plants to different ethnic groups [in Toronto], including South Asians, Filipinos, Mandarin-speaking Chinese, Korean and Hispanic people.” In the Vancouver area, AMMiC has six church plants and parishes and a renovation of the Good Shepherd church building will include an Asian and Multicultural Ministry training centre. His vision is for more church plants on university campuses and in the suburbs to “…reach out to international students, Mandarin-speaking Chinese, South Asian, Korean and Arab ethnic groups.”
He concluded by challenging us to grow spiritually as well as numerically through conversion growth. “God calls you and me to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to ethnic visible minority groups… Indeed, this mission is a great challenge that demands far beyond mere human effort… God will reveal his way and call out leaders in his time….”
(summarised by Marilyn Jacobson)