Reformation 500

  • By proadAccountId-400629
  • 03 Oct, 2017

The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am so thankful for all of the blessings of this past Kanuga weekend. The teaching and ministry of Rob Rienow combined with the beauty of the mountains were a great gift as we grew together as the family of God.

As we move forward into the fall, I am excited to commemorate and celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church, and the reform of the Christian church began. This movement was a return to biblical authority and to a true understanding of the Gospel. It solidified for us that salvation is in Christ alone, by faith alone, through grace alone, for the glory of God alone, known through Scripture alone. The Reformation is our biblical heritage and birthplace as Anglicans.

To commemorate the Reformation, we will be preaching, teaching, and worshipping according to these great truths as we always do. We began a preaching series at the end of September entitled “The Patriarchs and the Gospel.” We will be preaching through the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob leading up to Reformation Sunday. Understanding the Old Testament in light of the New Covenant promises fulfilled through Jesus Christ is a Reformation gift. Preaching through the Scriptures exegetically is a Reformation practice that has blessed Anglicanism immensely.

During the Rector’s Forum for the next two weeks, we will be studying together “The Comfortable Words: Our Anglican Gospel.” These Comfortable Words are one of the distinctives of our Common Prayer liturgy that Cranmer shaped to proclaim the truths of salvation in our worship. The Comfortable Words are simply verses from the Bible organized into a sequence that expounds the Gospel and invites the listener into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Join us for this informative study.

Finally, on October 29, we will celebrate Reformation Sunday with a special worship service that includes important hymns and music from the period. We will have a guest preacher — The Rev. Rob Sturdy — whose PhD work is centered in the theology of the Reformation. You might remember Rob as our guest preacher at Old Sheldon.

As biblical Anglicans who treasure our history, it is important to celebrate the Reformation and to understand its call to constantly reclaim the central mission of the church to proclaim salvation in Christ alone. At the heart of the Reformation, we find Knowing the Savior, Aligning with the Lord, and Seeing the Kingdom Come. I’m excited for this fall as we live into the Vision God has given us.

With joy,

The Patriarchs and the Gospel: Series Topics
  • Genesis 12 - Call of Abram - Sept. 17
  • Genesis 15 - Covenant with Abram - Oct. 1
  • Genesis 17 - Covenant and Birth of Isaac - Oct. 8
  • Genesis 22 - Sacrifice of Isaac - Oct. 15
  • Genesis 25 - Esau and Jacob - Oct. 22
  • Genesis 27 - Isaac Blesses Jacob - Oct. 29
  • Genesis 28 - Jacob’s Ladder - Nov. 12
  • Genesis 32 - Jacob Wrestles with God - Nov. 19

A Word from Shay

By proadAccountId-400629 13 Nov, 2017

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This past week I had the first opportunity since we officially joined ACNA to participate in a training with our new partners in ministry. The conference I attended is known as RSVP – Rectors Summit for Vision and Planning — and was held in Concord, Massachusetts, with leaders from as far away as Idaho and Colorado.
Although the name describes vision and planning, the retreat is more comprehensive than that. Each day we spent a full section and a small group time on the Pastor’s Heart. I can honestly say that God really used this time to open my eyes to some unhelpful patterns and to remind me to slow down. We also had a section focused on generosity and how to lead the congregation into a greater understanding of giving in the life of a Christian. I have much to share.
In the midst of all of this learning, what stood out most is how blessed we are to be a part of ACNA. The leaders with which I was honored to attend are dedicated pioneers with many great strengths and gifts. They are men of prayer and deep worship. They are devoted to wrestling with theology and how to engage the secular culture. They are creative and passionate. I also realized that we are the new kids on the block. We have a lot to learn about the ethos and direction of ACNA, but I am encouraged by our partnership.
Finally, these brothers and sisters are concerned about our situation in the courts and are praying for us. As you know our mediation was scheduled for Monday-Wednesday. They prayed and asked me to keep them informed. You may have heard that after a day and a half the judge recessed the mediation to reconvene December 4-5. Since the proceedings are completely confidential, there is no new news. Our calling is still to pray. Even as I left the conference, I was encouraged by these new friends that we should use the resources they possessed after so many of them walked the same path we are on. It was a great reminder of why a province is so important.
As we move forward, I am so thankful for the partnership we have in the Anglican Church in North America to “reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.” Please keep all of our leaders in your prayers, especially our Bishop and the legal team. We trust in God’s perfect plan.

With hope,
Shay +

By proadAccountId-400629 03 Nov, 2017
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. — 1 Timothy 2:5
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am so thankful for you and for this special week at St. Helena’s Reformation celebration, Evensong, Bazaar, Kingdom Kids, and All Saints’ Sunday. We have so many reasons to be grateful to God in this season.
On Monday the Diocese of South Carolina and the parishes including St. Helena’s will be involved in a non-binding mediation process set up by the Federal judge in our case. The breadth and depth of our dispute with the Episcopal Church is a good reason for caution about the potential positive results of mediation. However, I want to call for the constant, focused prayers of the faithful around this process. I believe that there is hope for mediation because of the One Mediator  Jesus Christ.
Let me tell you why:

  1. Gabriel exclaims to Mary in Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” It seems impossible that parties that have been at odds for so long could find a place of agreement through mediation. Our hope is not in the skill of our lawyers or the strength of our arguments; our hope is in Christ alone  the one Mediator.
  2. In James 5:16 we are told, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Our prayers have great power because they are mediated through the person and work of Jesus Christ. He sits at the right hand of the Father and pleads our case. When we pray in the name of Jesus, we pray with great power.
  3. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” The premise of this teaching is that the Father loves to give good gifts to His children. How do we know this? What causes us to ask boldly? We know this because of the “good gift” of His Son Jesus  our Mediator and Advocate. So, we ask boldly and with confidence.  

Will you please join me in prayer for this mediation process especially on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday? Will you pray for our team  Bishop Mark Lawrence, Henrietta Goulding, and Alan Runyan? Will you pray for Judge Anderson, the mediator, and the team from the Episcopal Church?
I do not place much hope in mediation, but I have great hope in the One Mediator  Christ Jesus our Lord.
With hope,
Shay +

By proadAccountId-400629 13 Oct, 2017
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Tara and I will be facilitating a Visionary Parenting group on Wednesday evenings at WASH beginning this Wednesday (Oct. 18) at 6:15 p.m. We will meet in the Cranmer Room and take time to get to know one another and to hear great teaching from our Kanuga speaker, Rob Rienow. No pre-registration is required.

In 2007, a Visionary Parenting class had a profound impact on me and Tara. The biblical teaching from this class convicted me to grow as a husband and a father. We learned the importance of family worship and a new heart for discipline.

Join us for great discussion and teaching and plenty of laughter (required to survive parenting).

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