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OF FIRST IMPORTANCE

If a national pole were taken asking people what they thought the greatest event in human history has been what sort of answers would be given? The responses would undoubtedly be quite diverse.

Some people might respond by saying that the greatest event in human history was the invention of the wheel. That most basic technological breakthrough has made it possible for us to travel faster, farther, and with greater ease. But the wheel allowed Hitler to conduct his Blitzkrieg or lightening war. Using the wheel the Nazis quickly swept through Europe spreading devastation and death.

Other people might respond to the pole by saying that the greatest event in history was man landing on the moon. For countless ages human beings had gazed upon that heavenly body speculating about what it would be like to view earth from the lunar surface. The space program has given us many things, such as, Teflon and other conveniences. We must, however, admit that we could live without those things.

It is certain that some people would point to medical advances, such as, the polio vaccine. Untold numbers of children and adults have been spared the agonies of that dreaded disease. But in spite of this and all other medical breakthroughs, the death
rate has not changed; it’s still 100%. If medical science could cure every disease, people would continue to die. Some would die as a result of accidents and the rest would simply die of old age.

The list of possible responses in this pole could go on and on. All of these answers are important, but they hardly qualify as the greatest event in human history.

St. Paul in writing to the church in Corinth gave the world the right answer. The apostle wrote, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures....” (I Cor. 15:3,4) The most important and greatest event of human history was the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Why is this so? Because all of us are going to die. After death all of us will stand before the judgment seat of Almighty God. Before God all of us will fail that judgment, because we are all sinners and guilty.

If that is true, what would be the most important thing that could happen for us? The answer is easy. The greatest thing would be someone rescuing us from death and freeing us from eternal condemnation. Every human accomplishment pales into insignificance in that light.


Certainly the most important event of history was Christ’s victory over death, hell, and the grave. The Bible calls this the gospel, which means “good news”. Through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, we may be freed from the guilt of sin and receive eternal life. That is why we celebrate Easter for it truly is of first importance.

by Rev. Frank M. Levi

Diocese of Mid-America concludes its 93rd Synod

The Diocese of Mid-America met on Feb. 19 & 20, 1999 in the recently completed Sanctuary and Parish Hall of Immanuel Reformed Episcopal Church, Cordova, TN. Cordova is a suburb of Memphis. We rejoice with the congregation of Immanuel on the completion of their long-standing dream of having their own facility. Their building is beautiful! God has blessed them greatly.

The proceedings of the Synod went very smoothly, with every single recommendation being approved unanimously. Truly the body of Christ assembled was of one mind, one heart and one purpose. Of significance to the wider body of the Reformed Episcopal Church was the unanimous election of the Rt. Rev. Daniel Rogan Morse to be Coadjutor of the Diocese. Also, the Diocese unanimously elected the Rev. Canon Ray R. Sutton to be Sufragan Bishop of the Diocese of Mid-America.

The Synod also saw a significant increase in its budget and noted that seven new parishes were added to the Diocese in 1998 and that three or four more will be added before the General Council in 1999.

It was noted that the next Synod will be next February in Houston, TX at Church of the Holy Trinity. The scheduled dates for the 94th Synod are Thursday & Friday, Feb. 24 & 25, 2000.

[The above report was received through the REC Online Fellowship. If you would like to receive weekly news regarding the Reformed Episcopal Church via e-mail, contact Bishop George B. Fincke at Wycliffe@jps.net to be included. You might also wish to take a look at the denominational website at http://www.recus.org/index.htm.]

Parish News
The Lenten Dinners and Services have been well attended. We thank those who have served as host or hostess and those who brought such delicious dishes to the dinners.

On Sunday, Feb. 14, Rev. Levi took part in the ordination of the Rev. Paul Beutell at Church of the Epiphany near Cleveland, Ohio. The Rt. Rev. Daniel Morse did the ordaining. Church of the Epiphany is growing and expanding its outreach. Continue to pray for the parish and Rev. Buetell and his family.

Mr. & Mrs. Grant Chessman, the Rev. Deacon Ken Rick and his wife Pat, along with Rev. & Mrs. Levi attended the annual Diocesan Synod held Feb. 19 & 20, 1999. The Synod was very meaningful and productive.

Annual Parish Meeting
April 18, 1999, following Morning Prayer. The meeting will be preceded by a catered luncheon in the Parish Hall. All members should plan to attend.

In Memory
The Rev. Bartholomew A. James went to be with the Lord on Feb. 26, 1999. The funeral took place in Churchtown, PA. The Rev. James served as rector of Church of the Epiphany near Cleveland, OH. He along with his wife Katherine also served as missionaries in India for many years. Our sympathies are extended to Mrs. James during this time of mourning.

Happy Birthday!
April 5 - Beth Levi
April 21 - Mark Levi

Missionary of The Month

Domestic Missions
Please pray for the Rev. Dr. & Mrs. Donald K. Dale. Christ Memorial Reformed Episcopal Mission in Phoenix, Arizona.

Good Friday Services
April 2, 1999
Community Service 12:00 noon at the Tinley Park Village Hall
Service at St. Andrew’s at 7:30 p.m.

Easter Breakfast
April 4, 1999
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Parish Hall
St. Andrew’s Preschool children singing

Easter Worship Service
The Service of Holy Communion begins at 10:30 a.m. We hope everyone can be with us for worship on Easter as we celebrate our Lord’s RESURRECTION!

The Miracles Of Easter
By Helen Steiner Rice

The sleeping earth awakens,
The robins start to sing,
The flowers open wide their eyes
To tell us it is Spring,
The bleakness of the Winter
Is melted by the sun,
The tree that looked so stark and dead
Becomes a living one...
These Miracles of Easter,
Wrought with divine perfection,
Are the blessed reassurance
Of our Savior’s Resurrection.


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