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Circling the Square

Dustin Messer & The Kingdom of God

Posted by Bill Lovell on

Dustin Messer is dear to all of us at Christ Church Carrollton. He served among us as Pastoral Assistant for four years, and he and his wife Whitney made many close friends. The Messers left Christ Church last September for Dustin to pursue ministry opportunities in the Anglican Church, and on Sunday, April 7, he was ordained a Deacon at All Saints Church in Dallas. 

With a number of friends from Christ Church in attendance, it was my great honor to present Dustin to his new bishop, Phil Jones. I actually attended seminary with Phil, and we've been partners in ministry for over thirty years. What a blessing it was to worship with Dustin and Phil, and to know that the same God who is Lord over Christ Church PCA is also Lord over All Saints Anglican!

I am a grateful and committed member of the PCA, but after 25 years as an Episcopal priest, I know and love all the churches of the Anglican Communion. To this day, I jokingly tell people I am an Anglo-Presbyterian. I'd say both denominations have strengths and weaknesses. Where an individual lands in terms of membership is a personal decision, based on circumstances, life history, and the work of the Holy Spirit. 

What's essential in a church is that Jesus Christ must be at the center--which pleases the Trinity--and God's word must be acknowledged as authoritative. We can debate emphases and styles; we can correct and reprove one another; and we can intensely disagree about specific practices. But as long as you worship Jesus, as he's encountered in the Bible, seek to submit yourself to him, and endeavor to proclaim his Kingdom, then you are family.

Sunday was a huge reminder to me that the ministry entrusted to us is not about one parish or one denomination. It's about Jesus and God's great love through him and in him. So my prayer is that God will be glorified in Dustin's life and work; that many people will come to know the gospel through Phil Jones and All Saints Church; and that Jesus' Kingdom will grow and grow wherever Jesus' name is proclaimed.