St. Andrew's-Cheney Memorial Church
August 2002
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[The following article appeared in a recent issue of “DEUS” which is the official periodical of the Anglican Province of America.]
by The Rev. Paul F. Blankinship and Mr. Frank Warren

The Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) and the Anglican Province of America (APA) have produced a major document on Christian Faith and Practice as part of their plan for church unity. “Anglican belief and Practice: A Joint Affirmation of The Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America” spells out common understandings of the Church, Christian Doctrine, teaching and moral authority, sacraments, ministry and worship as held by both jurisdictions. The joint affirmation is part of the REC and APA’s Plan for Unity, which was adopted by national governing bodies of each church in 2000.

The Plan for Unity includes steps both churches are taking as they merge into one. First was the signing of an intercommunion agreement in 1998, recognizing the ministries of each church and allowing members of each to worship at the other’s churches. Subsequent steps include a shared pension plan for clergy, sharing communications resources such as church magazines and adopting one set of canons, or rules governing the life of the church.

Theological committees chosen from each jurisdiction met jointly on October 4, 2001, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to compose the document on Christian Faith and Practice. At that meeting members of both committees, which had previously divided up the work, came together to create a single draft. Committee members from both jurisdictions offered enthusiastic response to the meeting, calling their work “positive” and “encouraging.”

After the Myrtle Beach session the document was sent back to each jurisdiction for approval. The APA House of Bishops and the Provincial Council approved it during the winter of 2002. The REC Council of Bishops did likewise in the spring. The REC Ecumenical Relations Committee will present it, as part of their Report to the General Council, slated for June, 2002, in Houston.

The two churches on the path toward unity have different beginnings. The REC was founded in 1873 in an effort to maintain Anglicanism’s Reformation heritage during a period of Catholic ritual development within Anglicanism. The APA’s beginnings go back to 1968, when a jurisdiction then known as the American Episcopal Church was formed in an effort to maintain orthodoxy amidst an atmosphere of liturgical and theological tension within the Protestant Episcopal Church.

For many years now ties between the APA and REC have been increasing. Clergy and congregations from each jurisdiction have reached out to each other. And the Anglican Province of America regularly sends ministerial students to Reformed Episcopal seminaries. Since 1998 APA Presiding Bishop Walter Grundorf has served on the Board of Trustees of Cranmer House, the REC seminary in Texas.

General Council

The 50th General Council of the Reformed Episcopal Church was held June 19-21, 2002 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Houston, Texas. Even though there was much business to be conducted, a very spiritual atmosphere prevailed throughout the conference.

The keynote speaker at the opening Communion Service was Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Duncan, a strong evangelical, delivered a stirring message of reconciliation going so far as to ask the REC for forgiveness for the events that led to our separation in 1873. It was encouraging to see that avenues of cooperation are being formed between ourselves and conservatives within the mainline Episcopal Church.

The theme of the council was “For such a Time as This.” That theme was emphasized by the Rt. Rev. Walter Grundorf the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Province of America who preached on the second day of the council. Talks with the APA regarding merger are ahead of schedule. See the opening article for further information.

It was also encouraging to see the number of missionaries attending the council. Significant growth has taken place in Brazil with several Anglican parishes joining the REC. Miss Judy King who has been our missionary in Brazil for 30 years was quite influential in bringing this about. We need to continue to pray for our works in India and Liberia that God will protect and meet the needs of His people.

A new set of Canons and further revisions to the Prayer book were discussed and approved for first reading. We wish to thank Mr. & Mrs. Carl Spencer for representing St. Andrew’s along with The Rev. & Mrs. Levi. We were truly encouraged at what our Lord is doing in the REC.

Parish News

The Amazing Amazon Jungle Adventure

The second annual Vacation Bible School was held June 24-28, 2002. Forty-two sweet children attended this year. They gave enough money themselves to purchase 240 colorful Bibles at $1.25 each for the Amazon children. The VBS children brought a total of $301.00. Praise the Lord!

Thanks go to everyone who helped behind the scenes in any way: Saving and contributing items for crafts; setting up tables and for carrying chairs; setting up jungle sites and for painting and coloring backgrounds; purchasing items; etc. Also special thanks go to our courageous guides, puppeteers, helpers: A.J. Adekoya, Sarah Buesher, Jenny Domato, Anne, John and Parham Horn, Janet Novak, and Melissa Drobnak - closing program plus beforehand and after. Triple thanks to our courageous teachers, Shirley Drobnak, Edwina Greco, Elizabeth Horn, Frank and Patty Levi.

Most of all we thank our Lord and Savior for all His help and guidance. May many come to know Jesus through VBS, children and parents alike, as “God gives the increase for His one church and kingdom.”

Missionary of The Month

Pray for Bishop Oommen Samuel (Mary) their children, Susan and Brian. Reformed Episcopal Mission. Lalitpur, INDIA.

Domestic Missions

Pray for The Rev. Canon Dennis L. Cagle, Vicar. Church of The Redeemer, Phoenix, AZ.

Happy Birthday!

Aug. 1 - Anne Robertson
Aug. 7 - Rev. Frank Levi
Aug. 7 - Florence Auman
Aug. 18 - Adam Sellers
Aug. 22 - Robby Robertson
Aug. 24 - Joan Reagan
Aug. 29 - Bob Fulk

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