The 53rd General Council of The Reformed Episcopal Church
held at the Church of the Holy Communion, Dallas, Texas, June 8-10, 2011.
[The following is an excerpt from the report of our Presiding Bishop,
The Most Rev. Leonard W. Riches].
The formation of the Anglican Church in North America is now nearly two years in the past, and the intervening time has seen heartening progress and development in our life and growth together. New dioceses continue to be formed, and the addition of new parishes has brought the current total to approximately 1,000. Archbishop Robert W. Duncan’s stated goal of establishing one thousand churches over the first five years of the life of the province has become the predominant driving force in the life and mission of the ACNA. Annual gatherings, held under the banner ‘Anglican 1,000’, spearhead and energize that continuing effort.
Reformed Episcopalians continue to play a vital role in the developing life of the province, serving on numerous crucial task forces and commissions. Among those who actively serve are the Rt. Royal U. Grote, Jr., who sits as a member of the Executive Committee and of the Governance Task Force; the Rt. Rev. Ray R. Sutton, who serves as chair of the Ecumenical Relations Task Force; the Ven. Dr. Jon W. Abboud, who serves on the Theological Education Task Force, as well as on commissions that deal with matters of finance and benefit provisions; the Rev. Dr. Jonathan S. Riches who also serves as a member of the Theological Education Task Force; and Mrs. Diana Lopez, who sits as a lay member of the Executive Committee. It continues to be my privilege to serve as a member of the Archbishop’s Cabinet, the council of advice which now functions in the place formerly held by the Lead Bishops Executive Committee of the Common Cause Partnership.
As the life of the new province has continued to unfold, I have participated in the following aspects of its activity and program: August 21, 2009, in Pittsburgh, PA – sessions of the ACNA Executive Committee; November 11-13, 2009, in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada – the 2nd Annual Synod of the Anglican Network in Canada; June 7 through 11, 2010 in Amesbury, NA – meetings of the ACNA Executive Committee, Provincial Council, and College of Bishops; and February 8-10, 2011, in Phoenix, AZ – sessions of the Archbishop’s Cabinet and of the Executive Committee, which are now distinct entities, each with its own define sphere of activity and responsibility.
It is to be acknowledged that the new province faces significant challenges as together we seek to move forward in the fulfillment of our calling and mission. In that regard I restate the observation offered in my letter to the church following the inauguration of the province:
“In this new provincial relationship the Reformed Episcopal Church retains its identity
as a sub-jurisdiction. Our Constitution and Canons remain in place, and our liturgical uses
and practices are unchanged. We recognize that as partners in a larger Anglican body,
whose members represent differing backgrounds and customs within a common tradition,
we have important matters of understanding and practice to discuss and resolve throughout
the months and years which lie ahead. Certainly those who acknowledge a common authority,
profess a common faith, adhere to a common tradition, and share a common mission and goal,
can prayerfully expect, in faith, that the Lord of the church will bring about such resolution in
His appointed time. The basis for such confidence is founded in His own expressed prayer and
desire that His people ‘…be brought to complete unity, that the world may know….’ of Him
and of His salvation. (St. John 17:23)”
There can be little doubt that in the world of our day stand-alone jurisdictions, in particular those that lay claim to being Anglican, stand increasingly diminished prospect of both credibility and viability. A future in which we labor to good effect, both for the fulfillment both of our Lord’s commission to make disciples of all people, and of His heart’s desire for the unity of His people, will find achievement only in our striving together to do His will, as expressed by the
Apostle Paul, namely by “…contending as one man for the faith of the Gospel…being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” (Philippians 1:27; 2:2)
The Reformed Episcopal Church, much of whose life was for so long insular and independent of substantive contact with other jurisdictions, has now fully entered into the life of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America and, through that association, into fruitful and growing connection with the global fellowship of faithful Anglicans worldwide. We have entered into a new and deepened realization and experience of the church as corporate and of the church as catholic. The defining characteristic of the Anglican Church in North America, and one which we gladly claim in partnership with them, is this: “Reaching North America with the Transforming Love of Jesus Christ.” And indeed, in our growing global associations, we can affirm our solemn goal and purpose to be partners in extending the reach of Christ’s transforming love “to the uttermost parts of the earth. ”
The ladies of the Woman’s Guild held their annual Rummage Sale on Friday and Saturday, June 3 & 4, 2011. Thank you to those who donated items and helped at the sale and baked goods for the bake sale.
The 105th Synod of the Diocese of Mid-America took place on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at the Church of the Holy Communion in Dallas, Texas. It was immediately followed by the 53rd General Council. Rev. Frank and Patty Levi represented St. Andrew’s at the meetings.
There was a very strong emphasis on world missions at the General Council. Representatives were present from as far away as Croatia and Nepal. The Rev. Canon William Jerdan was appointed to the position of Executive Secretary for the Reformed Episcopal Board of Foreign Missions effective January 1, 2011. Bill and his wife, Diane, will be moving to Warrenville, IL in July. Their membership will be here at St. Andrew’s. Do be in prayer for the Jerdans as they will be traveling extensively organizing and training missionaries throughout the world.
Our second Work Day of the summer took place on Saturday, June 25, 2011. A big “Thank you” to all who came out to help.
MISSIONARIES OF THE MONTH
Rev. Canon Bill and Diane Jerdan
5 - Susan Levi
7 - Gladys Muir
11 - Fran Chessman
11 - Vicky Cullen
11 - Jennifer Domato
21 - Sue Horosinski
25 - Veronica Harrison
28 - Sara Levi
WHAT GOD HATH PROMISED
God hath not promised
Skies always blue,
All our lives through;
God hath not promised
Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.
But God hath promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the labor,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
-- Annie Johnson Flint
GOD’S WONDERFUL GRACE
by Helen Kitchell Evans
A little bird was building her nest
On the limb of an old oak tree.
She struggled mightily against the wind,
Determined, as she could be.
Carefully she placed her twigs
Then gusts of wind tore at her nest.
Nothing could deter this bird;
She kept right on just doing her best.
Perhaps the wind held a hidden blessing.
Because of it she built it strong.
Perhaps the heavenly Father knew
What help was right, all along.
So, too, are stormy winds of life;
The trails that each of us must face;
All sent to help us build our strength;
All a part of God’s wonderful grace.