by Mike Blanchat, AMiA Rector General
Who? What? How?
Answers to those three one-word questions capture the essence of a person, a community, a group. As I’ve applied them to my own life, I have found it’s helpful to revisit both the questions and the answers periodically to reaffirm things that are foundational to me and to acknowledge shifts that naturally happen over time.
It’s a good practice for mission societies, too. In fact, this past September the AMiA did just that. Our bishops, rectors, presbyters, deacons and laity gathered in Dallas for our once-every-six-years General Assembly. As required by our constitution, we took time to “reexamine the aims, characteristics and means of the Society with a view to affirm, renew or redirect its energies.”
It became clear that it was time to develop a concise restatement of who we are, what we do and how we do life together. Thus, the AMiA bishops and leadership team agreed to develop what we are calling a “Theological Vision” to capture and express the heart of the Anglican Mission in America to the wider world.
I have been a part of the AMiA—and its precursors—as a layperson for over 20 years. Through all the twists and turns in the Anglican world during that time, I have always answered the question “What is the AMiA?” the same way: a three-stream Anglican church-planting society. Over the years I had the benefit of listening to our founders, +Chuck Murphy, +John Rodgers and ++Emmanuel Kolini, explain what we meant by that. However, not all involved with the AMiA today have had such a privilege. The newly penned Theological Vision restates and refines that early vision for practical application today.
We’ve just posted it on our website (click here). If you attend a church that is a part of the AMiA, I hope you’ll take the time to read it (it’s pretty short, believe it or not). Or, if you or your church is looking into affiliation with AMiA, the Theological Vision is a great place to start your inquiry. You’ll get a brief, clear overview of those three essentials: who we are, what we do and how we do it.
The Theological Vision speaks to our practical, focused ideas and the well-defined structure that have always been foundational for the AMiA. But even more so, the words describe our deep calling as a missionary society, for and to America, that motivated our founding in 2000, animates our purpose for 2019 and envisions our future. It speaks plainly to each of us, our churches and our culture about being spirit-filled Anglicans who are “on mission” to bring the gospel to a new generation of Americans.
In addition to being posted on the web in its entirety, you will also find that all aspects of the Theological Vision have been woven into our website and communications. Be sure to also take a look at the new FAQ page and use it as a handy resource to point to when you hear the question “What is the AMiA?”
God bless all of you as we head into the winter season, with Lent and Easter fast approaching. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
On Mission, Mike
Mike Blanchat was raised in Temple, Texas and received a degree in economics from Stanford University in 1984 and an MBA from SMU in 1991. He spent 30 years as an executive in international business with several companies. Mike and his wife Kirsten (Kissy) were part of the founding group of St. Andrew’s Little Rock in 1998 and have been involved with the AMiA since it’s beginning in 2000. They have three adult children—Jack, Ellie and Ben—and serve together at All Saints Dallas. In addition to his ministry as Rector General for AMiA, Mike is the executive administrator for All Saints Dallas.