News & Prayer Concerns: Easter 2017 (PDF)
Visits to REC Partners Overseas
Presiding Bishop Ray Sutton participated in the annual Synod of the REC in Germany April 6-9, preaching and teaching on Catechesis. May 4-10, he’ll attend Synod and visit parishes in Croatia and Serbia. June 2-11, he will be in England to visit the Free Church of England and to participate in two historic meetings:
Nearer to our shores, Bishop Charles Dorrington and his wife Claudia are organizing the annual mission visit to the Reformed Episcopal Churches in Cuba May 25-June 5. Several members of the Anglican Network in Canada (a jurisdiction of the ACNA) will participate along with Fr Ben Bernier, rector of Providence REC in Corpus Christi, TX. This is the first time a US rector will join the team. Bishop Dorrington reports 32 parishes and mission posts in Cuba.
New Leadership for the REC Board of Foreign Missions
It was with real heartbreak that your Board of Foreign Mission (BFM) and overseas partners learned that God had called Bishop Royal Grote to his eternal home in November. In addition to being Presiding Bishop and Ordinary of REC Mid-America, he was the BFM president. An overseas leader said, “I felt that I lost my father.” Bishop Roy was a constant encourager to REC church planting abroad as well as in North America.
With the guidance of Bp Ray Sutton, the BFM met in February, electing Bp Charles Gillin president and Bp Peter Manto vice-president to lead through new elections at the June General Council. The Board also added several new members and renewed Canon Bill Jerdan as Executive Secretary, with the charge to develop a team of diocesan mission agents to move mission projects forward.
Overseas Mission Can Be Hard!
Mission requires leaving our comfort zone. Fr Matt and Sora Colvin did that with their four children. They served three very active years in the Philippines, with Matt teaching Biblical languages to national pastors in addition to Bible and academic subjects to younger students. Sora trained missionary midwives who are now serving in needy places around the world, and she served as a midwife herself, sometimes under adverse conditions, including super-typhoons.
They and we had great hopes for service with the developing Anglican Church in Indonesia. However, respiratory problems, especially for Sora, and the difficulty of finding adequate schooling for four maturing children led the Colvins along with the REC and SAMS-USA to cancel this project. We also note that the planned seminary in which Matt was to teach had already been suspended indefinitely, just before they arrived in Indonesia. The Colvins are settling in Victoria B.C., where Sora has family and they have close fellowship with Bp & Mrs. Dorrington and Reformed Episcopalians there. Sora’s health is improving, but she is not fully healed yet. Pray for them as they seek employment. Support gifts for them are appreciated as we provide a transition salary. See their Easter update.
A Truly International General Council in 2017
The coming REC General Council (June 14-16 in Dallas, TX) will have more international representatives than seen in decades. It is really special that most of them will be national Bishops coming from countries in which the REC has been planted and is growing. These partners include Bp Gerhard and Mrs. Grace (Brodish) Meyer (Germany) along with church planter Fr David Ayres (Berlin), Bp Jasmin Milić (Croatia/Serbia), Bp Willians Mendez (Cuba), along with Bps John Fenwick and Paul Hunt from the Free Church (England) and Bp Josep Rossello from the Free Church of England Mission in Brazil.
Be sure to ask these partners about their ministries if you attend General Council, and try to visit an overseas REC parish if your travel takes you to one of their countries.
The Lenten Offering and Other Opportunities
“I have seen with joy thy people offer willingly
We join King David in this prayer of thanksgiving for all those responding to our Presiding Bishop’s call to complete the Croatia Project.
We are well on our way to reaching our goal of $10,000, with $8,800 reported as of Easter Day. In addition to the initial $10,000 matching gift, a single REC parish has given another $10,000 to be used as needed for this or any mission project! Thank you to the donor of the matching gift for helping inspire so much sharing, and to all those who contribute regular support for the Meyers, the Colvins (through September 2017), and parish partnerships in Croatia and Cuba. 100% of these gifts will go to REC mission projects.
Here are other current mission needs that you might consider:
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