Beach church to move into theater building
St. Raphael’s by the Sea Anglican Church on Fort Myers Beach has found a new home for Sunday worship services.
The newly formed parish in the Anglican church of North America will hold services on Sunday -beginning on St. Raphael’s Feast Day (Oct. 24), at10 a.m.- at the recently vacated Beach Theater building at 6425 Estero Blvd. after receiving a generous grant from Christ Church Anglicanof Phoenix, Arizona.
St. Raphael’s by the Sea Anglican has been holding worship services on Saturday evenings at 5 p.m. at the Beach United Methodist Church on Fort Myers Beach, located at 155 Bay Road. This Saturday’s service (Oct. 16) will be the last at Beach United.
“The goal is Christ,” said Pastor Alice Marcrum, rector of St. Raphael’s by the Sea Anglican. “It literally is breath-taking to me what God is doing. God is preparing us. Our motto for our new church is ‘to know Christ and to make Christ known.’ We couldn’t have done this without the compassion and hospitality of the Methodists and the Roman Catholics. I am so grateful. That to me is what the body of Christ is all about.
“This was not Alice Marcrum saying I’m going to start a new church. This is not what I had intended. This is all God’s doing.”
Pastor Marcrum said the Christ Church Anglican grant, which is usually given only toparishes within the Phoenix church’slocal diocese, was made available as an exception to St. Raphael’s by the Sea after officials read about the local parishioners’ reasons for leaving St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church, which called their former Reverend’s leaving as an “abrupt resignation.” Before her appointment, she said she told the search committees about her orthodox faith prior to her arrival to the church.
“I find the word abruptness to be amusing, because there has been a group at St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church who found out how orthodox I am, and they have been meeting with strategy sessions to get rid of me,” said Pastor Marcrum. “I laid it out on the line. I told them I believe Jesus Christ was the way, the truth and the life during the interview process. I’ve not hidden it away. Anyone can read what I preach online.
“I left because the Lord released me. I was willing to stay and continue to be the orthodox voice until Jesus Christ returned. The people that followed me were led by God. I’m humbled, too.”
Marcrum met and welcomed Rev. Don Nicholson, the new vicar at St. Raphael’s Episcopal, at the Beach Ministerial Association meeting last week.
“We shook hands,” she said. “There is no enemy-enemy thing going on. We are all here to work together on the Beach to do things for the Lord in different ways. I did not leave the Beach because there needs to be a voice here for Orthodox Anglicans, Orthodox Christians and people who come over here from the Church of England. I think it’s important they get to hear both voices.”
According to a report in the St. Raphael’s by the Sea newsletter, Christ Church Grant Committee Chairman Frank Woods had this to say about the grant approval. “We can well relate to your issues and problems because we have been down the same path. We admire and have high regard for your ministry and are impressed with your drive, determination, courage and your faith in God. We are all pulling for you to succeed. We would like to help you with that.”
Pastor Marcrum informed the parishioners of the grant regarded as a ‘generous gift’ at a recent Saturday evening’sworshipservice at Beach Methodist. She credits Roxie Smith, Betty Goodacre and A.J. Bassett for all of their support and help.
“They were all as excited as I am,” she said. “There was a very positive reaction. People were delightedly amazed. I think it reconfirmed their convictions. This is a team effort.”
Pastor Marcrum provided history of both Episcopal and Anglican churches.
“The Episcopal church, because she moved away from orthodoxy, has at least 70 percent that are no longer in full communion. They call themselves as being ‘impaired’ communion with the Episcopal church,” she said. “And, yet, 80 percent are in full communion with this new Anglican province which is just now being birthed into Anglican community.”
About the Anglican church
The leaders of eighty percent of the World’s Anglicans from 20 Anglican provinces have supported a call to make the next decade a “Decade of Mission” and have welcomed the Anglican Church in North America as “partners in the Gospel” during the Fourth Anglican Global South to South Encounter held at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore, April 19-23.
In April 2010, Archbishop Duncan presided at the Eucharist with primates and representatives from 20 Anglican provinces at the fourth Anglican Global South to South Encounter in Singapore. The Global South Encounter called for all Anglican provinces to be in “full communion” with the Anglican Church in North America. As of April 16, 2010: New Anglican congregations are springing up all over North America. Since the church’s founding in June of 2009 with 703 congregations, an additional 106 new churches have either joined or have been planted by the Anglican
Church, bringing the church’s total number of congregations to 809. And, The Anglican Church in North America unites more than 100,000 Anglican Christians in 28 dioceses.
The Gulf Atlantic Diocese of the ACNA is now twenty-four member congregations in North Florida and South Georgia ranging in size from over 1000 congregants to fewer than twenty-five congregants. There are over fifty clergy members, both active and retired, and a combined average Sunday attendance of over three thousand.
About the first service at new location
The Calendar of Saints Feast Days, Oct. 24,is alsothe Archangel St. Raphael’s Feast Day. This is regarded as a fittingday for the parishioners of St. Raphael’s by the Sea Anglican Church to celebrate having their own place of worship. St. Raphael’s by the Sea Rosary services will continue to be held at the San Damiano Monastery of Saint Clare on Fort Myers Beach on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. All are welcome to joinwith the parishioners of St. Raphaels by the Seain their spiritual journey to know Christ and to make Christ known.
For further information, please contact the Rev. Marcrum at 464-9823.
Anglican church to host Blessing
Dennis Henderson, the owner of the Shrimp Fleet on San Carlos Island, has made contact with St. Raphael by the Sea parishioner Betty Goodacre and has invited Anglican church to host the Shrimp Fleet Blessing for 2011.
The Blessing of the Fleet ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 20, at 2:30 p.m. on the Main Street shrimp docks. The Rt. Reverend Neil Lebhar, Bishop of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese in the Anglican Church of North America, has kindly accepted the shrimpers’ invitation to bless the Shrimp Fleet.