The REC General Council met on Wednesday and Thursday, June 9-10, after being postponed from the regularly scheduled triennium meetings last year. The meetings were on Zoom, and around 200 members of Council were online at various times. Extensive reports were prepared for reading beforehand so that more business could be conducted in the face-to-face (online) sessions.
Presiding Bishop Ray Sutton presented a well-received Exhortation, which summarized some of the accomplishments of the Reformed Episcopal Church in the last four years, along with the challenges he sees us facing. He calls us to “Regather and Renew our Mission”, to strengthen our catechetical and educational programs, and to respond to encroaching cultural and social worldviews with a Gospel- and Biblical-perspective. He presented solid Biblical responses to issues of sexual identity and racial prejudice. Many delegates asked that his address be published for quotation, so you can read or download it for yourselves HERE.
Two areas of update regarding the Constitution & Canons were: 1- Updating the language that defined the process for selecting and electing new Bishops, based on procedures we have seen work well in the ACNA, and 2- Revising the Canons regarding Marriage to defend against issues of same-sex marriage and potential pressures from the government due to the deterioration of their respect for traditional marriage. These proposals, which were adopted by over two-thirds majority, can be found beginning on page 67 in the Council Reports, which you can read or download for yourselves HERE.
Reports of progress were also received from the REC100 church-planting initiative, the Board of Foreign Missions regarding ongoing works in Germany, Croatia, and Cuba, and from the Committee on Women’s Ministry which has transitioned to a regional approach to meetings. Sadly, their meetings in spring and fall of both last year and this were not able to be held due to complications with the ongoing pandemic.
In the next week, June 14-18, the Anglican Church of North America, our Provincial Anglican organization, will be holding their Council in North Carolina. Pray for Bishop Gillin and Canon Riches as they attend these meetings in person. You can follow their posts on Facebook HERE.
UPDATE: You can read Archbishop Foley Beach’s Address to Council online HERE…
Presiding Bishop Sutton reminded us that we need to begin planning now for our 150th anniversary General Council in 2023, which will take place in Charleston SC June 7-9. Details will follow as plans are developed, but mark those dates in your calendars and remind your vestries to set aside some money to send your clergy and lay delegates.