Wednesday, May 13, 2009



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!

Fr. Greg



April 2009

Matthew - Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.

Mark - Died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

Luke - was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

John - Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

Peter was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

James, Just - The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

James the Great, son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a life time of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew also known as Nathaniel - Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

Andrew - Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: 'I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.' He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

Thomas - Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

Jude - Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.Matthias - The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot was stoned and then beheaded.

Barnabas - One of the group of seventy disciples, wrote the Epistle of Barnabas. He preached throughout Italy and Cyprus . Barnabas was stoned to death at Salonica.

Paul - Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed through out the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles/disciples during their times for the sake of their Faith.

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: But he that endureth to the end shall be saved." Matthew 10:22