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  • Writer's pictureBrad Mathias

IAF Spring 2023 Newsletter

The IAF Announces a New Board Member The Board of Directors of the International Anglican Fellowship voted to appoint the Rt. Reverend Patrick Fodor, Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Missouri Valley as a permanent member of the Board of the IAF at our on-line meeting in January. We wish Bishop Patrick well in his new role with the IAF.

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Dear Friends in Christ, During our recent Board Meeting of the International Anglican Fellowship, I announced that I plan to step down as Board President at the end of this year. Over ten years ago, during an unsettled time in both the Anglican Church in America and the Traditional Anglican Communion, I was elected President of the IAF Board of Directors. When I assumed office, funds were at an all time low, largely because lay and clerical members of the ACA were reluctant to give money to an organization that might enter the Roman Catholic Ordinariate, but also because of the perceived irregularities in the use of IAF funds. Because of my long service, Father Ihde has asked that I write a column for this issue of The Mission, reflecting upon the story of the IAF during the past decade. For many, I suspect this history will be interesting indeed. At the time of my election, the IAF was in crisis mode. Annual contributions had dropped to just over $2,000. Not only had it become impossible for the IAF to fulfill its mission, the question of its very survival hung in the balance. Fortunately, we overcame these challenges largely because of the appointment of a new Executive Director, but also because we worked hard to restore faith in the IAF. Shortly before Erv Lischke became Executive Director in 2013, the Board revamped its By-Laws. In order to maintain the highest level of integrity, we established the rule that Board membership would be restricted to those clergy and lay representatives of the TAC whose churches did not receive direct stipends or grants from the IAF. We also stipulated that no IAF funds be used to cover travel expenses. This had become a serious issue in previous years, when church leadership would routinely bill the IAF for international travel costs. Erv Lischke, who served as Executive Director for nine years, introduced several programs that helped restore confidence in the IAF.

The Sustaining Member program, for example, continues to provide a steady, reliable resource for our international missions. Because of our Sustaining Member contributions, we can more easily plan for mission support several months in advance. Two years ago, Erv chose to retire as Executive Director. He had achieved a great deal during his time in office. As an experienced leader, he knew that providing for an effective transition to the next Executive Director would be essential. He and I share this view: it is not enough for us to succeed in building a thriving organization, it is also necessary for us to prepare for the future. Good leaders recruit and train their successors. God has indeed been good to us. Father Ed Ihde volunteered to assume the responsibility of serving as Executive Director. Father Ihde has brought many gifts to this office. His commitment to mission is evidenced by the many projects he had undertaken in third world countries. Under his editorial expertise, “The Mission” has become an outstanding publication, one that displays the considerable work the IAF does throughout the world. He and Erv Lischke effected a smooth and virtually seamless transition between directors. It is the kind of transition that can occur when two devout Christians work faithfully to do the work of the church in a humble, prayerful and cooperative manner. During the next several months, The Board and I will begin the process of electing the next President of the IAF Board. I am certain that God will send us an able, godly and committed individual who will help guide this wonderful organization into the future. In closing, I would simply offer that it has been an honor to serve this fine organization over the past decade. The Board has offered the sincere commitment to mission that has fostered stability, integrity and growth. It is now time for me to embrace the fullness of my role as a Sustaining Member of The International Anglican Fellowship.

Faithfully in Christ, +Brian

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