The Venerable Dr. Jon (Jack) Lumanog, the new Canon for Provincial and Global Mission (ACNA), was the featured speaker at the annual Synod of The Missionary Society of St John the Evangelist (MSJ), held 11-13 August at St John the Apostle Anglican Church, Clinton Township, Michigan.
Canon Jack offered a realistic but inspiring review of his experiences in church planting and ministry. He shared with the clergy and lay delegates the keys that he personally had found valuable in navigating the challenges of starting with a church of just nine members and growing it to become a well-established parish in their own worship space and supporting a variety of strong lay-led ministries. Many of the strategies began as his personal involvement with the community beyond the “parish borders,” including ministry on the campus of the University of Michigan in Lansing, and working with other, much larger, churches to supply food for the hungry. Among the achievements he holds dearest is his fellowship with Sudanese refugees and the result that they have established their own growing Christian fellowship. He encouraged MSJ members to maintain a balance between ministry and family, noting that sacrificing family time for the work of the ministry often destroys both, but that keeping the proper borders and boundaries can give new life and energy to both as well, especially as one comes to know, trust and rely on the laypeople who take on the Work of the Kingdom within and without the “normal parish” paradigm. His simple re-telling of the basic principles of church-evangelism and then the imaginative ways he put them into practice, often by what appeared to be “God’s back door,” offered members of the Society refreshment for their souls and inspiration for the work of the coming year.
Although not yet relocated from Lansing to Pittsburgh, speaking to the delegates of the MSJ Synod was Canon Jack’s first function in his new role, and those in attendance felt his sincerity and passion for the missionary vision which is at the Society’s heart and the heart of his new post at the Archbishop’s side. The members present remain deeply grateful to Abp. Robert Duncan for encouraging Canon Jack to spend this time with us, that the bonds of affection between the Society and the Primate may be further developed by our common vision for the salvation of the lost and our commitment to the up-building of the faithful. The Society offers Canon Jack its heartiest congratulations and prayers for God’s rich blessing on his new service within the larger Church.