Monday, June 22, 2009

Our 30th Parish Anniversary

For our 30th Parish Anniversary, which was celebrated with grandeur and glory yesterday...

Sunday 21st June will be a truly remarkable milestone in the life, witness and history of Saint Barnabas Anglican Church – on that blessed day we shall officially commemorate thirty years of our life together as the parish family of Saint Barnabas.

Personally, I feel that it is the most serendipitous and providential act of the Divine Love that I should have been called to become Rector of our parish just in time to celebrate thirty years of Saint Barnabas Church with you. In the mystery of God’s holy plan, He has brought us together in this moment to enable us to reflect together on the wonderful accomplishment that is our thirty-year anniversary and on our future destiny in Christ.

Our first 30 years should evoke a prayerful consideration of who we are and what is our supreme vocation: called to proclaim the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are the Royal Priestly Prophetic People of God, destined in Him for the hope of glory. We are a kingdom of priests unto our God and Father in Christ our Head through the Eternal Spirit. Our goal is to reveal to our own generation, through our personal holiness, charity, service, obedience, worship, example and faith, that which had been hidden in ages past but has been manifested now in these last days, the mystery of the Word made Flesh today given to men in Word and Sacrament. In us, His Church, the Word is again made flesh and dwells amongst men.

Our future is bright and clear and we know our purpose – we are on a mission from God!

Our mission? To bring those around us into that saving communion with God through which we shall all arrive in the Kingdom. We want others to join us as we are sanctified and brought to salvation. We are one family and one body on pilgrimage to the heavenly country, our true and only lasting home. Here we are but strangers and pilgrims for our citizenship is from above – we have here no continuing city, but we look for one whose maker and builder is God. As we recall the past and consider what is yet to be, we should be conscious of our ultimate Love Who lies before and behind everything we are and do – Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.

Consider these words regarding our Anglican and Catholic Faith as we prepare to celebrate our past and set our hearts and minds on the future:

'This is none other but the House of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven!' Ours is a traditional Anglican parish of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We profess the orthodox Christian Faith as revealed to the Apostles, recorded in Holy Scripture, enshrined in the three great Creeds and the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the ancient undivided Church, and received through the Church of England. Traditional Anglicanism is the Orthodox Church of the West - we faithfully maintain the Catholic and Apostolic Faith as expressed in the Anglican Tradition and the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer. We believe in the fulness of the Christian Gospel and we celebrate the Seven Holy Sacraments of the historic Church.

Our worship is centred on the Holy Eucharist. We believe in the Real Objective Presence of Our Lord’s most precious Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament. We are Evangelical Catholics, seeking to proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ to every creature by the preaching of the Word of God. In all things, we desire to glorify the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Saint Barnabas is a growing, dynamic, healthy, and vibrant, missional, family-centred Anglican parish, the largest traditional Anglican parish in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Our lives are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ, by grace through faith in Him.

The Holy Eucharist for the Institution of the Fourth Rector of Saint Barnabas Church and in celebration of our Thirtieth Anniversary will be offered at 10am on Sunday 21st June. On that day, we shall commemorate the Feast of Saint Barnabas, our beloved patron saint. Remembering the past, and all of its struggles, setbacks, victories and successes, we now look to the future and to our mission to make Jesus Christ known, loved and adored by all. Like the Apostle Saint Barnabas, we have been made by God’s grace the ‘children of encouragement,’ privileged to draw all men to their Redeemer and Saviour by that apostolic commission which is our mandate, our task and our inexpressible joy for years to come. We are indeed the Apostles of the twenty-first century, empowered boldly to announce the saving truth of the King of Glory. Let us render most hearty thanks unto God for His inestimable blessings and let us renew our determination to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. Let us renew our vocation for the next thirty years… and begin anew. Please come and join us.

God bless you!

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