AFC Executive Director invites Assembly 2023 delegates to take “big picture journey”
On the evening of Wednesday, June 28, Dr. Scott Brubacher, Executive Director of the Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) addressed delegates at Assembly 2023. Acknowledging the vital role delegates will play in making decisions with long-term impacts, Brubacher invited those gathered to join him in a big-picture journey, inspired by AFC’s renewed vision and strategic plan.
“As the national foundation for the Anglican Church of Canada, AFC has spent the last 65 years—and over $40 million dollars in disbursements—seeing and supporting the big picture of our church. The art of big picture thinking is what we do; it’s who we are as a national foundation.”
Brubacher emphasized AFC’s role in intentionally shifting the balance of funding to support community-building work across Canada. “In the wake of the pandemic AFC has indeed become more passionate, more ardent than ever, about increasing the scope and impact of our grants program… 2021 and 2022 were consecutive years where AFC disbursed over a million dollars, our highest granting years ever. Community Ministries now comprise more than one third of our funding since 2010.”
Showcasing AFC grants in communities across Canada, Brubacher spoke about the increasing numbers of ministries led by Canadian Anglicans who are living into their call to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. “Often born in the basement of one of our Anglican churches to meet a pressing need, these ministries get nurtured by a small group of clergy and laity, until they are ready to flourish in the world as a beacon of hope and hospitality. This list grows longer every year… our call to enable and support them grows more pressing and urgent every year as well.”
Central to AFC’s renewed vision as a collaborative partner with the Anglican Church in Canada is innovation, which Brubacher described as “characterized by a purposeful effort to create opportunities, and an unrelentingly hopeful view of the future of our church. Our attention will remain focused on the places where the church is growing—if not always in numbers, then in its capacity to embrace change and to imagine more.”
Delegates were reminded as well about the importance of a well-managed foundation as a critical part of the financial and philanthropic ecosystem of every denomination. “The legacy that we have inherited, this sacred trust, is meant to benefit the church in the present, but it is also intended to stand the test of time to support future generations of Canadian Anglicans.”
Brubacher highlighted the ACW Council of the North Retired Clergy Fund, championed by the Anglican Church Women in the Diocese of New Westminster, as one of the best recent examples of visionary Canadian Anglicans partnering with AFC to multiply their generosity. “These women generously seeded this new fund in 2022 with a $100,000 gift and have actively encouraged ACWs across the country to contribute to it, inspiring other leadership gifts as a result.” Delegates learned that the fund has grown to $270,000 and is ready to make its initial disbursements this fall to support the housing and living expenses of retired non-stipendiary clergy in Council of the North dioceses. This news was met with hearty applause by all delegates.
Brubacher closed his address by inviting everyone to be part of the AFC journey. “The church is not without its challenges, but as I look up and out, I can say quite honestly that it’s a very exciting time to be co-workers with you in shaping a prosperous future for our beloved church.”
For more information about AFC’s renewed vision and strategic plan, read AFC’s new Case for Support.