For generations, the United States sent missionaries to the far reaches of the globe. Ironically, the United States is now home to the largest population of un-churched and spiritually disconnected English speaking people in the world (130 million). The American church has seen a steady stream of people leaving, often citing spiritual restlessness, apathy, or a sense that there must be “more.” There is still a deep hunger for meaning, significance and deeper questioning, but the church is no longer the place our culture turns to explore those questions.
However, the global Christian story is very different from the American story. Christianity is experiencing a dynamic renewal and expansion in many other parts of the world, including Africa and Asia. America is now considered by many to be a mission field. In 2000, Through the courageous witness and leadership of Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda and Moses Tay of Southeast Asia, a church-planting movement was born to reach people in North America.
Over the 16 years the Gospel was proclaimed, scores of new Anglican churches were planted, dozens of distressed churches were given a place of effective service, new bishops were consecrated to serve the expanding movement, and many new clergy were raised up for Christ’s church. The Anglican Church of Rwanda served throughout that time as a source of spiritual encouragement, guidance and inspiration for this growing movement. We have been shaped by their holistic missionary heart and through the remarkable work of reconciliation after the 1994 genocide.
Recognizing the work of God in the forming of the Anglican Church in North America, the Anglican Church of Rwanda released the American Churches into the Anglican Church of North America in June of 2016. This was a move to strengthen the work of the church in North America as well as to keep strong connection with Rwanda. In 2016 the diocese of the Rocky Mountains was formed as part of the Anglican Church in North America.