In the life of any parish, there will be times when very difficult decisions must be made. Our parish is no different. On 5 April 2009, the membership of Anglican Church of the Resurrection voted overwhelmingly to join the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC).
The REC is an Anglican jurisdiction that broke away from the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States in 1873. The REC currently has about 150 parishes in 7 Dioceses in the United States and Canada. The Free Church of England is the British expression of the REC with 24 parishes in two dioceses. The REC in Germany has 3 parishes with additional missions. There is also additional mission work in Russia, Africa, India, and most recently Nepal.
Historically, the REC was known as a low church jurisdiction., though the REC has become very broad church in the past couple of decades with parishes now representing all forms of churchmanship, including those of us with a more high church expression. The Reformed Episcopal Church can best be identified as being “classical Anglican” with its emphasis on the 39 Articles of Religion, the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church. The theology and praxis of the Reformed Catholicism of the historic Church of England, and orthodox and traditional Anglicanism throughout the world, is that which the REC strives to teach and live.
The REC has 4 seminaries in the United States. Reformed Episcopal Seminary, in Philadelphia, PA, is the oldest of the seminaries. There is also Cramner House in Houston, TX, Cummins Theological Seminary in Sevierville, TN, and Andrewes Hall in Phoenix, AZ.
The REC has a intercommunion agreement with the Anglican Province of America, under Archbishop Walter Grundorf. The REC is also one of the founding jurisdiction of the new Anglican Church in North America, which is the new Anglican Province the orthodox Primates and Bishops of the Anglican Communion are helping North American Anglicans to form in order to re-establish a traditional and orthodox Anglican Province that is fully connected to the Worldwide Anglican Communion. This new province we are now part of has approximately 800 parishes across North America and over 100,000 members. The new Province provides additional resources to parishes for missions and evangelism, collaboration and networking with other local parishes, additional seminaries, scholarships, grants, seminarians, insurance and pension programmes, youth ministries, and a host of other resources.
Deacon Mark I met with Bishops Grote and Sutton in Houston recently and were very blessed by their hospitality. Their genuine love for Jesus, and their desire to share Jesus with everyone who will listen, was apparent. They have asked me to send their welcome, greetings, and blessings to our parish. Deacon Mark and I also met with our new Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Central States, Bishop Daniel Morse. This meeting took place in Nashville. Bishop Morse has his doctorate in Old Testament theology, has taught in several seminaries, and planted and pastored a number of parishes. He also asked me to pass along his welcome and greetings. He plans to make an Episcopal visitation later this year with us.
If you have any questions about the REC, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to have the opportunity to answer any questions you may have. May we continue to be about proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Be blessed in our Lord Jesus!