“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
– Jeremiah 17:7-8
THE EVERGREEN PROJECT
Creating, Collecting, and Curating Resources for a Thriving Church
In the cross, we find new life. We find comfort in its shade and we find fruit to nourish and share. This tree is ever-growing, ever-glowing—evergreen! The cross is at the heart of the Evergreen Project for the ACNA.
I was first approached for this project last summer. Our Archbishop’s desire was clear: to put the biblical concepts of stewardship and generosity into practice across our churches. As I discussed the project with Alan Hawkins, the ACNA Director of Development, my imagination ran to two well-known verses in Scripture. Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17 both paint a picture of a wise and faithful man who trusts in the Lord, a person who meditates on God’s Word and seeks to grow ‘deep roots’ in the Lord’s life. I pictured an evergreen tree, like a fir or spruce, a tree that weathers all seasons, vibrant and enduring.
I pray that our churches might become evergreen – always growing, always generating new life. Always generous and abundant in its leaves and fruit.
Jeremiah writes: “He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Of course, the prophet is speaking about a person of faith. But let us consider for a moment how this image might be applied to the collection of people who gather week by week to worship the Lord. Imagine what it would mean for your church to be like a tree planted near water. Imagine what it would mean for your church to put out deep roots! Imagine how this evergreen life would transform your ministry, your community, the lives of those you serve.
The Anglican Church in North America is committed to equipping churches to engage in transformative generosity. Through quarterly communications, stewardship curriculum, and teaching for clergy and lay leaders, we want you to feel confident in your pastoral role in this vital aspect of ministry.
Let’s explore this image together. Let’s encourage one another to find faithful, contextually meaningful ways to bring about a renewed spirit of generosity in our churches. Let’s pray fervently that God would raise up evergreen churches that are equipped to extend the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth.
About David Roseberry – your Evergreen guide
As the Canon for Mission for the ACNA and Executive Director of LeaderWorks, I would like to guide you over the next few years as you and your church journey toward generosity. On this journey, you are one of the Lord’s laborers in the field; you are one of those for whom Jesus prayed. It is my prayer that I can help you meet the challenges that so many churches face.
I’ve had decades of experience in parish leadership and stewardship teaching. But so have many of you! We are co-laborers in this great work. When I was approached by Alan Hawkins in the Development Office, I jumped at the opportunity. My sole focus in this effort is to help clergy and parish ministries in the ACNA thrive and grow.
More resources are coming your way: webinars, thoughtful articles, great ideas, best practices, relevant teaching and shared resources from around the Province. Coming soon: a parish-based effective stewardship program for you to use and adapt this Fall. But you are receiving this newsletter first because you are on the frontlines of your ministry.”
My hope is to create, collect, and curate the very best thinking and most effective tools for ministry. I look forward to hearing from many of you as we engage in this work together.
The Rev. Canon David H Roseberry
Canon for Mission, ACNA
Executive Director, LeaderWorks