AMiA Winter Conference – Bishop Murphy’s Address

This is a transcription of the first half of Bishop Murphy’s address today. It is not word for word, but is rather a summary of what Bishop Murphy said.

Chuck Murphy Address 1-12-2012

This has been a difficult season, an awkward season.  We knew that bringing the conference east of the Mississippi would affect attendance.  We are glad to have 700 plus people signed up for the conference, with more in attendance.  This is a smaller group, and we want to listen carefully.  We want to hear God speak to us, to see how he wants to direct us.  

This Winter Conference will be different by design, because our task is different.  We have a huge responsibility to discern: “Lord, what should we do?”  We should listen to each other, have a conversation, because God speaks through his people.

We want to hear how people are feeling in this painful time, and listen together.  We will go through this process of listening this afternoon.  We have established a “Communiqué Team” made up of Bishops Todd Hunter and TJ Johnson, Archdeacon H Miller, and Rev. Ellis Brust. Together, we are going to listen, gather, collect, hear, and then present a communiqué by Saturday: “This is what the Holy Spirit is saying.”

A lot of different people are interested in the Anglican Mission right now.  They are concerned, they want information, and we are going to respond to that information with a communiqué.

I was invited to Nairobi by the Archbishop of Kenya and the chair of GAFCON.  I attended with John Miller, and sat down with Abp. Rawje, Mbanda, and 5 observers.  We walked through what was taking place, to work on reconciliation.  We made genuine headway, as reflected in the statement that came out of Nairobi.

We are going through a difficult chapter.  We have WILDLY different leadership in Rwanda than before, and the current leaders don’t get what’s going on in the Anglican Mission right now.  We are going through the “norming, storming, forming, and performing” cycle, trying to find a way forward.

The leadership in Nairobi enormously affirmed what God is doing through the Anglican Mission.  Their arms were not crossed; they gave no suspicious looks.  Their agenda was to find a way forward.

In Nairobi, we told them our story, that story that began 12 years ago when we had a vision, when we said, “Lord, you thought this up, not me.”  And we watched a remarkable thing

SLIDE: “Anglican Mission: A Remarkable 12 Years.”

In the last 12 years, we have sent $46 Million out of the Mission Center.  $19 Million have come from congregations.  $20 million has come from a handful of generous donors.  $6 Million has come from other donors.

We have found, and always believed, that money follows vision.  Church planting is expensive!  But these donors have believed in our vision.

In addition, we have seen 268 churches raised up.

We just say to the Lord: “Lord, you have been faithful!” Nairobi knows, heard about, and was excited about this.  If there’s tension, they wanted to help us.

We are presently in a painful time. But we’ve come here to Winter Conference not just with a concern, but with expectation: Expectation that God will show up, help us move forward, and speak to us in a concrete way.  The communique will reflect this.

On a personal note, I’ve been chopped up pretty good from the attacks on the Internet, from the blogs.  It’s been a painful experience for me, a “WOW” moment.  I’ve been left a bit stunned and staggered at these attacks.  So has my family.  My kids were reading these attacks, and said, “Gosh Dad, this makes you sound like a real monster!”

When we were consecrated in Singapore earlier, it didn’t go well either.

There have been attacks on my character, integrity, honesty, and leadership.  And the blogs have a mask, so you don’t know who is making the attacks.  It’s hard to know whose behind it.

My response has been: I have been called to practice what I’ve preached all these years: I must WALK IN THE SPIRIT.  Don’t get in the fray and strike back.  I’ve asked God to give me the grace to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit: love, the joy, the patience, the kindness and long-suffering and joy.

Because I know that will please the Lord.  I’ve made a decision to simply trust that I know the Lord will work this out.  Quietness and trust will be our strength.

This experience has brought me to my knees in prayer.  The Lord gets me up at 4 AM every morning.  We spent time together.  It is nurturing and powerful.

I’ve learned that all of the promises of Scripture are true, even in painful times.  I have intercessors throughout the country who are praying for me.  They have spoken powerful prophetic words to me.

I’m constantly learning by what God is speaking to me in this difficult time.  his voice has been written into my heart.  And it’s been so good to have a counsel of bishops (all of them named, one by one); we work together to lead the mission.

The founding Archbishops consecrated all the Anglican Mission bishops.  They are here every year for the NEW movement we call the Anglican Mission in the Americas.

This is a time to really be engaged.  I want to model godly leadership; refusing to strike back – it’s not helpful.  I want to look to the Lord- when he was in hot water, he didn’t say anything, he didn’t revile in return.  I Peter 2:23 (on the slide) – this is a model for all of us.

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