Recently members from across the Anglican Church in North America who serve the poor and marginalized came together to strengthen their ministries by supporting and learning from each other.
Hosted February 17-19, 2016, by Christ Church in Austin, Texas, The Matthew 25 Gathering brought together 60 practitioners and leaders engaged in ministries of justice and mercy.
Grounded in the scriptures, specifically Matthew 25 and Isaiah 58, these men and women came together in order to build community, to encourage and offer spiritual refreshment for those on the front lines, and to discern the next steps for establishing and furthering the work within the Anglican Church in North America among “the least of these.”
There was substantial representation from ministries to the homeless, refugees, people caught in human trafficking, at risk youth, immigrants, special needs youth and adults, those struggling with substance abuse, as well as ministries of racial reconciliation, community development, hunger/urban farming, and parishes consisting of under-resourced populations.
One of the blessings of the gathering was a service of lament, where people were given time and space to grieve the injustices they see amongst those to whom they minister. One participant said of the service “the intense grief gave way to such marvelous hope and expectation in the Lord! It was unparalleled.” The gathering concluded with a homily and Eucharist by Archbishop Foley Beach.
Christine Warner, a coordinator of the Matthew 25 Gathering said, “God’s presence was with us in an extraordinary way. People were connecting with fellow Anglicans with the same heart and vision, receiving prayer, offering reports from the field, and thinking through what it means to stand in our rich heritage and dream about the future.”
For more information on the Matthew 25 Initiative or to make a donation please visit The Matthew 25 Initiative website.