Ed: This is a really encouraging story. If readers would like to share stories of bible based, confessing Anglican Church planting and growth from around the world, please send to email@example.com
The Latin “adventus,” from which the word “Advent” derives, translates as “a coming or arrival.” For Christians, the season of Advent is time of eager expectation and deep preparation for the coming and arrival of Christ. It is not an easy season, requiring perseverance, patience and humility that reminds us each year to practice the discipline of waiting on God’s unfolding plan. It is in the spirit of this season and its sense of expectation in action that The Church of the Advent in Washington, D.C. is being planted. Remembering the start of its journey, rector Tommy Hinson remarks that “from the very beginning, the church very clearly got started by a move of God. This was happening with or without me. In the early stages, it was simply about listening and discerning what God was doing.”
Tommy’s involvement in this move of God began when he was a student at Furman University. An agnostic and critic of Christianity, Tommy did not anticipate that his heart would be captured by God, nor did he foresee that his journey would take him to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and on to ordination and church planting. It was God’s call that brought him into pastoral ministry and into a focus on urban church planting. He spent time post-seminary as a mental health counselor to underserved populations in Boston until God pulled him toward the D.C. area through a series of relationships. When Tommy told his then-fiancée (now wife), Laura, that he felt burdened for D.C., he discovered that God had already been pulling Laura’s heart in the same direction. There was a sense of expectation, a sense that God was about to do something profound.