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.
Shay+ 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