David Roseberry has attended Restoration for the past two years. He previously served as Rector at Christ Church for over 30 years. We are thankful that he shares his story on how Restoration was planted.
Over the years of his adult life, Jed has made three clear definitive ‘not-going-to-change-my mind’ statements to Fran and me. First, he told us that he was going to be a priest. There was no argument from us at all! Then, in an act of total brilliance, he told us that he was going to marry Stacy Baggerly. Again, no argument! And then, ten years ago, he told us that we was going to leave his comfy, cushy job at Christ Church (where I was Rector) and start a new church. No argument at all either.
We knew we could not stop him or stand in the way of any of these three life-changing decisions anyway. And we would never have wanted to either! (Especially about the second decision!) Today, looking back on these three life-changing decisions I am struck by how clear it was to him that these three things were going to happen. God was guiding him. Both Fran and I were proud parents!
But as the Rector of the church he was leaving, my feelings were mixed. Church planting was a clear priority for the Anglican Church in North America. The Archbishop had just called for the ‘start’ of over 1000 churches (Did you know that Restoration was Church #1 of the Anglican 1000 movement?) But as the Rector of the church he was leaving, and from whom he would be drawing some great members, I was not as sanguine about it.
Why? Because even though planting churches was part of the mission of Christ Church and it was the ‘mandate’ from the Archbishop, it is far easier to say “Plant” than it is to actually do it. In fact, church ‘planting’ is probably the wrong word for the effort. It is too passive a phrase. Real church planting is not a ‘wait and see’ exercise like putting a seed in the ground. It is far more involved. The actual work of starting a church congregation might be better described as a combination of building and birthing. Both are labor intensive; both are taxing; and both are risky. And both can be painful (so I am told!). And, as the case with all great work of God, the work and effort will never be finished.
Restoration Anglican Church is still being built and birthed by the power of the Holy Spirit. And Jed and Stacy are still as committed to this effort as they were when they started. And now, ten years later, the congregation shows love and compassion for God’s people and a sincere call to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those in the wider community.
Congratulations to Restoration Anglican Church! Well done Jed and Stacy! And may the Lord continue to go from the strength of a great first decade to the strength for a new decade of ministry and mission.