Church of the Resurrection Celebrates New Home: Dedication and Consecration Service of New Church

Originally a plastics factory, the former Alcoa Corporation facility has been transformed into a beautiful worship space after two years of planning and construction.  The two-story building totals 97,000 square feet and sits on six acres of land in downtown Wheaton.  It not only meets current space needs for the thriving congregation but also provides significant room for growth.

Church of the Resurrection set aside the week before the dedication service as a time for members to pray, consistent with the Advent focus on preparation.
In a message to the parish Fr. Stewart Ruch, rector wrote, “Advent begins with John the Baptist’s call in the desert; ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ (Mark 1:3) This year at Resurrection, in God’s providence, Advent also marks the beginning of a new season in our ministry as we transition into our new building for Sunday morning worship. As we prepare the way for the Lord in our hearts, we are led by Joshua’s words to the people of Israel, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5)

“At the beginning of the service to consecrate a new church, the Bishop proclaims, ‘Let the doors be opened! These ancient liturgical words capture for us what God is doing spiritually in our midst. As we consecrate ourselves as a people, we will open the doors wide and celebrate the Lord’s presence among us.”

Anglican Church in North America leaders Bishop Frank Lyons, Canon Jack Lumanog and Fr. Jack Gabig participated in the joyful service.

“This is a story of obedience, patience and faithfulness over many, many years,” notes Bishop Frank Lyons.

imageIn his sermon during the dedication service, Fr. Ruch called Resurrection to be a “house of prayer” and a “temple of God’s presence.”  He focused particularly on three components of prayer consistent with Resurrection’s ethos: dwelling in the Lord’s presence; demonstrating compassion for the least and the last—those who are “scattered and like sheep without a shepherd” and “linking arms with the nations;” as well as seeking to be a house of healing, “with men and women of faith and faithfulness who are full of the Holy Spirit.”

In closing, Fr. Ruch reminded the congregation, “A church filled with God’s people is a sacrament of glory.” 

“As we are awash in joy, we are also to preach and proclaim that God’s fullness and glory is still to come,” he said. “We await a new Jerusalem.”

Images by Kim Johnson Photography, copyright 2012 Church of the Resurrection.

Archbishop Duncan Preaches at Ugandan Enthronement

The Most Rev. Robert W. Duncan, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, was the preacher during the service of investiture and enthronement of the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali as Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Uganda.  The service was held on Sunday, December 16, 2012, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe, Kampala, Uganda.  Archbishop Duncan’s sermon focused on Philippians 2:5-8 and John 21:18 to address the vocations (callings) for the Church of Uganda and the new Archbishop.

Archbishop Duncan reminded the Church of Uganda of St. Paul’s invitation to “have the mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5). “God has especially called you to the humility – the servanthood – of the East African Revival.  You know, better than most Christians that you are sinners saved by grace.  You live into this identity.  You rejoice in this identity…”

The Archbishop also noted that part of Uganda’s “vocation in 21st century Anglicanism” is to serve others as a model of servanthood “at home, in England, in North America and to the ends of the earth.”

“Please do not neglect any part of this call.  Manifestly, and at every level, God has given you great grace for this servanthood in Him.”

Referencing John 21:18, Archbishop Duncan spoke directly to the new primate and his wife and the vocation of this new stage of ministry.

“Becoming Archbishop means going where you do not plan to go.  You are to have the mind of Christ in a very new way.  The Lord Jesus is speaking to you as He spoke to Peter.  You Stanley, and Mama, are to die and to live.  Many days you will be carried where you do not want to go.  You will be Christ’s servant more than ever now, as you seek to serve Him by being the servant of the servants of God.” 

The sermon also reflected the deep friendship between the two men which began some eight years ago when Archbishop Ntagali visited Pittsburgh before his consecration.

“I stand before you today because Stanley Ntagali and I have become brothers in the Lord, and what would have been an impossibility in the flesh, is reality by the waters of baptism.  Both of us are proof of what God can do, and of what He can do with the least, the last and the lost, with outsiders whom He desires to make insiders.”

imageIn addition to his personal relationship with Archbishop Duncan, Archbishop Ntagali has enjoyed long-term friendships with a number of leaders in the Anglican Church in North America. Uganda’s ties with the Anglican Church in North America are strong and longstanding, which Archbishop Duncan noted in his sermon, acknowledging leaders in attendance for the enthronement, including Bishops John Guernsey, Bill Thompson and Neil Lebhar who were once priests of Uganda. 

Archbishop Ntagali is committed to continuing and deepening the connection between the two provinces.

“We need to strengthen our relationship with the new Province in North America. I am fully committed to the vision of GAFCON and supporting the Anglican Church in North America,” he said. He describes Archbishop Duncan as a “humble man of God.”

Over 3,000 individuals attended the enthronement service.  Among those in the congregation were Anglican ecclesiastical leaders from around the world including the Most Rev. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, representing His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council and of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Primates Council and Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya; the Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa and Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Burundi; the Most Rev. Daniel Deng, Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan; the Most Rev. Ian Ernest, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean;  the Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda the Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Congo; and various bishops and other clergy.  Ugandan government dignitaries Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, along with the Vice-President, Speaker of the Parliament and the Prime Minister also attended.

Archbishop Ntagali succeeds the Most Rev. Henry Orombi.

Click here to view the text of Archbishop Duncan’s sermon. [PDF]

PHOTO 1 CAPTION: The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali.
PHOTO 2 CAPTION: Abp. Robert Duncan, Abp. John Sentamu, and Abp-elect Stanley Ntagali processing into the Cathedral.

A Call to Prayer

“Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”