Originally published at anglicandoma.org under the Diocesan Messenger, January 4, 2022. Our thanks to Heidi Reichert for her kind work!
“The call to mission is right at our doorstep,” shares Justin Clemente in the most recent newsletter of New Creation Church, Hagerstown, MD, as he calls each of us to pray for guidance as families near New Creation take a bold step of faith to planting churches. Two families share (below) how God “planted” the idea and how He is paving the way.
Sipes Family, Chambersburg, PA
by Garrett Sipes
The idea of church planting in Chambersburg, PA began for us with a simple “what if” – what if God was responsible for our desire to be rooted in Chambersburg and our love of the Anglican tradition? We had felt discouraged by the lack of Anglican churches in our area but what if God meant for us to be Anglican in Chambersburg? Through friends in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, we got in touch with Fr. Tom Herrick (retired Canon for Church Planting, DOMA) and then Fr. Justin Clemente in Hagerstown. With support from Canon Tuck Bartholomew and Fr. Justin, we began hosting a monthly “Potluck & Prayer” – a potluck dinner followed by a short evening prayer – in October 2021.
At the outset, we were cautious because we weren’t sure whether our hope for an Anglican church in Chambersburg was our own selfishness or a desire placed in our hearts by God. However, over the last few months it has become clear to us that God is present with us in this work, providing for us in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Without any idea of who might be interested in our initial gatherings, we were encouraged by some friends’ quick enthusiasm and the clear need for more biblical Christian community in Chambersburg.
We’re so thankful for the support and encouragement we’ve received from Bishop John, Canon Tuck and Fr. Justin and, more generally, through the rich church planting heritage in DOMA. Please pray that God continues to make clear His purposes in Chambersburg.
Dave & Sally Breisch in Frederick, MD
This month (January 2022), Dave and Sally Breisch will begin leading an exploratory Evening Prayer and book study in Frederick, MD. Below is a summary of their first prayer meeting and plans forward:
by Dave Breisch
Last Thursday, our first meeting of the Frederick Anglican Fellowship was AMAZING! Just a small gathering of six, but AMAZING nonetheless! Many who wanted to attend were sick. The Rev. Patrick Cunningham (Resurrection, Baltimore, MD) was in attendance and, after supper, provided a meditation on Genesis 15:1-6. Father Patrick explained that he saw three main points in this passage: 1) God has plans, 2) God’s plans will be completed in His time (not ours), and 3) God’s plan is always bigger than our own. These points and the passage provided a springboard to some marvelous discussion. Thank you, Father Patrick, for attending!
Sally and I also shared that three or four years ago, as we were passing a vacant lot, Sally heard the words: “If you build it, they will come.” She believes that God was telling us to help Him plant a church in that lot. Since the time she shared this vision with me we have been praying about the words she heard, trying to discern what God meant. What we have yet to find out is whether the “it” was referring to a physical structure/building or bringing together a group of people who are on fire to spread the transforming love of Christ. There was much discussion around this topic.
By the end of the meeting, we all agreed that we should get together more often for fellowship and prayer and we are all hungering for more and deeper relationships with the Lord and with each other. We all agreed that from that point forward we would like to meet on a weekly basis.
Praise the Lord!
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