Maundy Thursday 7:00 PM Holy Communion
Good Friday 7:00 PM Tenebrae
AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US
With these solemn words, St John the Evangelist announces the most momentous event in human history. God Who created everything out of nothing through His Word decided, “in the fullness of time to send His Son, born of a woman.”
Once that great event occurred in the Bethlehem stable, nothing in this world could be the same! Now the hopes and dreams of every person in every age for life and love, for joy and peace would no longer come from afar, no longer be unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Now they would be ours because they would be offered to us by God, our loving Father, by His only Son Who is one of us, one with us in all things but sin.
Small wonder the angels sing, GLORIA. Small wonder that the shepherds respond and rush to discover joy, hope and peace in the face of this Child lying in a manger. This Christmas, once again, we rejoice that God so loved the world that He sent His Son to be our savior. He will be no stranger to our lives, to our hopes, our needs, our worries, and yes, even our failures. He will know the human heart because His heart beats as do ours.
This Christmas, we are invited to gaze on Him once again, to see hope rekindled from a manger, life renewed in this child, forgiveness and reconciliation made real, and love, undying love bringing to us and all the world peace, the peace that bears a name, Jesus Christ.
I invite you to open your hearts to one another, in your families and in your neighborhoods, in your parish and in our Diocese. May we who have been forgiven by the Son of God made man forgive one another. May we who have been reconciled by this Child born of Mary be reconcilers ourselves.
Rejoice! Again I say, Rejoice! The Word was made flesh. He dwells among us. He is Emanuel, God with us. He is Jesus, the Christ, the Savior of the world!
Robin and I wish you all a Joyous Christmas,
Advent, The Forgotten Season
Advent is fast becoming the forgotten season in just about all Protestant Calendars. It’s the same old story, Halloween is over, and in an instant the stores are transformed with festive Christmas decorations. We hear the sound of jingle bells and Muzac versions of carols; even the scent of spices and pine fill the air of every mall and shop. We are inundated with commercials and print ads about the gigantic sales that await us on “Black Friday.” It’s like Thanksgiving has become the holiday where we carb up the night before for the marathon shopping safari that awaits us in the retail jungle. The twelve days of Christmas have become the last chance to get the gift shopping done rather than the days from Christmas to Epiphany.
Let’s face it; none of this has anything to do with preparing our hearts, looking forward to Bethlehem or our Savior’s return. Advent calls us to consider who we are as Christians and to prepare ourselves to celebrate our savior’s birth and to prepare our hearts and minds for His coming again.
Our Prayer Book lectionary provides us in Advent with a huge selection of scriptures from the prophet par excellence, Isaiah. Beginning with Advent 1 and daily through Advent 4, I encourage you to read and contemplate these scriptures as part of your Advent keeping.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that we must be in right relationship with God, particularly in times of distress.
“Lord, you are our Father; we the clay, you the power, we are all the work of your hands” (Isaiah 64:7)
Isaiah was speaking at a time when the people were not following the ways of the Covenant. His words are also relevant to today: the coming of the Messiah will be a time, not simply for salvation, but also for judgment. What do we have to show as a church, and is there need for repentance? Can we stand before our risen Lord when He comes in glory and say that we have been good and faithful servants
For Christians it is Christ who, “brings good news to the poor, to bind up hearts that are broken, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to those in prison.” (Isaiah 61:1-2.)
This Advent, remember the kingdom as we prepare our hearts to hear and proclaim this good news constantly. It is part of our Christian experience to read and mark this liturgical season so that our own hearts can continue to be strengthened and healed. We need truly to hear the voice of truth and to proclaim it always. As Christ heals us, so He also sends us out to complete the mission He gave to His disciples. The child born in Bethlehem enters a world still very much in need of its savior.
Be in preparation
Wednesday’s 6:30 PM; Advent Evening Prayer, Soup and Bread Supper. Join Us…
The Protestant Episcopal Church has changed its name to The Reformed Anglican Church (RAC). We hope that the new name will more accurately reflect who we are.
We are Evangelical, Biblical, Reformed, and Anglican.
We are not trying to be all things to all people. That simple statement reflects hard lessons learned through a tumultuous generation for Anglicans.
Many are seeking to fashion new, broad Anglican denominations. Broadly formulated denominations offer the prospect of large churches and perhaps the conceit of establishing a denomination that encompasses the church universal. We believe that these broad formulations are formulas for continuing tumult.
Our little fellowship is intended to be free of squabbles, a place for people who agree with one another to work together – our clergy are to be a band of brothers. We hope that our witness will edify the body of Christ as a whole and help fulfill the Great Commission.
Evangelical: We believe that the Gospel should be clearly and compelling presented as the means of fulfilling the Great Commission. We remember that the commission includes making disciples, baptizing, and teaching.
Biblical: We champion expository preaching, and the teaching of God’s Word in many settings. Not every Christian is called to be a teacher, but every Christian should be a student of God’s Word.
Reformed: The timeless doctrines of grace were clearly understood and articulated at the time of the Reformation of the Church. Today, as much as in any day, they are the truths by which we are made alive and live in the freedom for which Christ has made us free.
Anglican: We believe that in particular the Anglican patterns of devotion (the Prayer Book), and godly order express our Gospel centered, biblical, and Reformed faith. We can be people of Word and Sacrament; we can be a people of doctrine and devotion.
We are few, a handful of clergy and churches. Our goal is to do our work for the building of God’s kingdom to his glory. We require a denominational setting where we can work in good conscience and free from conflict. We will prayerfully add to our number those who agree. As the expression goes, “we are looking for a few good men.”
Our method is to establish and build local churches. This does not mean that existing churches or men called to other ministries are not welcome; it does mean that church “planting” is our priority.
The Protestant Episcopal Church, USA has a new name. The Reformed Anglican Church. The decision to change the National Church Identity came as a result of several years of having to explain that we aren’t part of THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH. Frankly the term “Episcopal” was a “Red Flag” to many Orthodox Christians looking to renew their faith and worship in an Anglican Liturgical Setting. Said the Presiding Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Del Murray. Our new name clearly indicates that we are no wise connected to TEC.
The Rt. Rev. Ian Anderson, Bishop if the Missionary Diocese of the Resurrection commissioned the new Diocesan shield for immediate use as our new banner for this diocese.
In mid-March, 2007 a handful of concerned Episcopalians gathered for a meeting to prayerfully discern and discuss the viability of planting an Anglican church in the Palencia – World Golf Village area. It was their fervent desire to restore and reclaim the orthodox Biblical beliefs and teachings they regarded as diminished in the mainline denomination. A month later the first service was held in a converted storefront, and Resurrection Anglican Church was planted. Its first Rector, the Rev. Frank Castillo, cited its sole purpose, “To advance the word of God in its pure, unadulterated form while adhering to the authentic Anglican expression of our faith.” He continued, “Resurrection exists to reflect and espouse the true spirit of the Gospel; not to embrace the desires of a misguided age.”
Through the years, the dedicated people of Resurrection Anglican Church have lived out their commitment to God and neighbor. Their congregation, comprised of faithful Episcopalians from St. John’s and Duval Counties, are committed to traditional, liturgical worship guided by authoritative Biblical teaching. With moderate growth and sustained resources, the church has expanded and was able to purchase and renovate a new facility to continue its growth and presence in the community.
Now, under the direction of its second Rector, The Rt. Rev. Ian D. Anderson, the congregation of Resurrection Anglican Church lifted praise and thanksgiving to God at a service of dedication held Sunday, October 13th, in their beautiful new church home in Palencia. The Rt. Rev. Ian Anderson, Rector of Resurrection Anglican Church, presided at the dedication of the new building and memorial altar.
With Jim Sloan Bagpiping Amazing Grace and a luncheon featuring a wonderful layer cake with the church shield.
Resurrection Anglican Church is located at 272 Paseo Reyes Drive, St. Augustine, right behind the Starbucks.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, amen.
The Reformed Anglican Church declares itself to be part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We declare ourselves to be Anglican inasmuch as we maintain within the universal Church the witness of the English Reformation.
Article One. Of Our Faith:
We believe that the Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, do not merely contain the Word of God but are the Word of God by divine, verbal, and plenary inspiration. We receive the Word of God as our rule of faith and practice. We believe as Article VI of the Thirty-nine Articles says that the Holy Scriptures “containeth all things necessary to salvation.” We believe that the Scriptures as God’s word in human language require interpretation, but neither the limits of human language, nor the perspectives of the age in which they were inspired preclude God communicating or our understanding his intended meaning. We believe the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed to be faithful summaries of essential, Biblical truth. We receive the judgments of the first four Ecumenical Councils. We receive the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion as expressions of our Reformed Faith.
Article Two. Of Our Practice:
We believe that our lives as Christians should be ordered according to the proclamation of the Gospel, preaching of the Word, faithful administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and liturgical worship using the Book of Common Prayer, recognizing that its use should neither preclude free prayer nor accommodation to local use, and that the church has the right to amend it as long as the faith is kept entire. We receive for use in the church the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer and it’s Antecedents retaining full right to revise as long as the faith is kept entire.
Article Three. Of Church Order:
We believe that the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church has one head, the Lord Jesus Christ. All charged with authority in their generation must follow his example of humility and instruction that the first be last and the servant of all.
We receive as consistent with the Biblical record that there are two orders of Christian ministry, deacons and presbyters. We recognize that the presbyter is charged with spiritual authority in the local church setting. We believe that from ancient times certain roles fulfilled by presbyters and the apostles themselves devolved to presbyters given a wider charge and office as bishops. In this sense, we believe in an historic episcopacy. Those branches of Christ’s church are successors of the Apostles that maintain the Apostles’ doctrine and thereby apostolic fellowship.
We believe that church councils and synods are a necessary means of determining the divine will for the church and that their consensus should not be ignored, suppressed, or manipulated by those in church orders and offices.
We believe that the church has learned that church property should reside with the local parish lest coercion replace conscience in the order of the church.
We believe the final calling of a pastor should reside with the local parish in cooperation with the godly counsel of the Bishop Ordinary.
Article Four. Our Witness to the Means of Righteousness:
We dedicate ourselves to fulfilling the Great Commission through the proclamation of the Gospel, the establishment of churches, the support of missions, Christian schooling, ministries devoted to raising children in the faith, and the fostering of continual spiritual growth of lay and ordained adults.
Article Five. Our Witness for Righteousness:
We dedicate ourselves to speaking publicly for the liberty and dignity of each person as created in the image of God. Additionally, we dedicate ourselves to speaking for the protection of the unborn, infirm, and unwanted, and for biblical morality and marriage.
Article Six. Our Relation to the Anglican Communion:
We are not a part of the Anglican Communion of Churches. We seek no institutional reform of, recognition by, or union with the Anglican Communion. We believe that churches of the Anglican Communion have not only tolerated, but also embraced doctrines, practices, and morality contrary to the teaching of the Bible.
Article Seven. Of Doctrines and Practices We find contrary to Biblical doctrine and the historic practice of the faith:
In endeavoring to preserve an evangelical and Reformed witness,
1) We believe that the following doctrines are contrary to Scripture: a) that the Church of Christ exists only in one order or form of ecclesiastical polity, b) that the Lord’s table is an altar on which the body and blood of Jesus is offered anew and, that the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper is a real presence in the elements of bread and wine, c) that regeneration is inseparably connected with Christian baptism d) that Christian presbyters are “priests” in another sense than that in which each believer is a priest in “a royal priesthood.” When the term “priest” is used of ministers in this church, it should be understood to mean simply “presbyter.”
2) We believe that the Holy Spirit does not speak to the Church today in ways contrary to or that would amend the Word of God. The canonical books of the Old and New Testament constitute God’s complete, special, verbal revelation to mankind. We reject theories of biblical interpretation that justify placing personal and private meanings upon the text. We understand that faithful interpretation of the Word of God seeks the original, intended meaning of God.
3) We believe that it is contrary to the Word of God both to ordain a woman deacon or presbyter, and to consecrate a woman as bishop. We affirm and encourage the lay ministry of women as vital to the proper function and mission of the body of Christ.
4) We believe that men in sexual relationships other than as God’s Word allows, as “the husband of one wife,” are disqualified from church orders.
5) We believe that baptism by the Holy Spirit brings regeneration. We reject the teaching of baptism by the Holy Spirit as a “second blessing.” We believe that the Holy Spirit produces spiritual fruit in every Christian. We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given severally and as God the Holy Spirit wills. We reject that any gift of the Spirit is for every believer. We reject that the gift of Apostleship continued beyond the first generation of the Church. We pray that God the Holy Spirit will continually fill our Church, bringing us spiritual renewal.
Article Eight. Of the Charge to the Presbyters met in Synod:
The presbyters met in synod shall work together to provide for the material and spiritual life and mission of the church.
We the undersigned unanimously consent to this constitution, on the third day of February, in the year of our Lord, Two-Thousand and Ten.
In witness whereof, we set our hands upon this document at the meeting of a Synod at St. Augustine, Florida.
May God in his grace have mercy upon the Protestant Episcopal Church, amen.
Just as the Feast of the Passover was a holy day for the Jews long before Christians began commemorating the resurrection of their Paschal Lamb, Jesus Christ, so the Feast of Pentecost was a Jewish festival before it was kept by Christians. The “Feast of Weeks”, as it was officially called, fell on the fiftieth day after Passover, hence the name “Pentecost”, from the Greek word for fifty. On this day Jews presented the first-fruits of the harvest (Deut. 16.9), and commemorated the giving of the Law by Moses.
On the first Christian Pentecost, the disciples waited, according to their Master’s instructions, for him to complete his Father’s scheme of Redemption, to perfect the work appointed him. Having died for the sins of the whole world, and risen again for their justification, and ascended into heaven as their intercessor, he sent down the Spirit of Sanctification, to be with his Church. “A new commandment I give unto you,” Jesus had said, “that you love one another” (John 13.34). Now was given Love itself, to be the Law written on their hearts, the first-fruits of Jesus’ Ascension, for “God is Love, and he that abides in love abides in God and God in him” (I John 4.16).
“Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it rested upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2.2-4) Jesus’ promise had been fulfilled; every fear was dispelled, every doubt removed, Jesus was declared the divine Son of God: “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made this same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ”. (Acts 2.36)
The circumstances surrounding this miraculous outpouring of the Spirit had a certain likeness to those which in former days accompanied the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai (Exod. 19.18). When the Law was given, the gift was accompanied with thunder, lightning, and the sound of a trumpet. The gift of the Holy Ghost was accompanied by light, a rushing noise, and the utterance of every language. But this time the light and the noise were not terrifying, but comforting, “with healing in its wing”.
Whitsunday is sometimes called the “birthday of the Church”, for it was from that upper room where the disciples were assembled that the Good News went forth into all the world. They had been equipped with wisdom beyond their natural ability to fulfil our Lord’s last instruction to “go into all the world and make disciples”. This gift of wisdom is one that we should also earnestly desire “for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8.14).
The love we have for God and man, the wisdom to make it known, these are the gifts of Pentecost. May they be ours today and always,