BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
CENTERVILLE — For 50 years, members of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection have been a part of south Davis community events such as the Handcart Days parade and support for the Bountiful Community Food Pantry.
That participation now includes a partnership with three or four local wards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to jointly put on a monthly community dinner held at Resurrection Church, 1131 S. Main, in Centerville.
The free dinner is held every third Wednesday beginning at 6 p.m., and everybody is welcome, according to the organizers.
That collaboration has led to choir exchanges between the LDS wards and the Resurrection Church congregation on some Sundays.
Church members often welcome those kinds of interactions.
“I would say we’ve been warmly embraced by the wards, said the Rev. Lyn Briggs, rector of the church.
The church began in 1963, when the Rev. James T. Brown wrote to members of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral.
“Eighty south Davisites joined in holy communion offering their thanks to almighty God for the new opportunity to serve him in this part of his kingdom,” he wrote.
The congregation will celebrate its 50th anniversary on May 18 and 19 on the 10th anniversary of the dedication of their current building.
“We’ve taken the occasion of our 50th anniversary to honor the efforts of those who have gone before us in sustaining a permanent Episcopal presence in south Davis County,” Briggs said. “We hope to build on their values of faith and resilience as we move into the future.”
The Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, will attend a celebration dinner and program Saturday evening and will bless the church’s garden, columbarium and May Garden during Sunday’s worship service at 10 a.m.
The church was established as a mission of St. Mark’s Cathedral on March 2, 1963, and the first Holy Eucharist was celebrated in the old St. Olaf Church, 55 E. 100 North, with Brown officiating.
Since that day, there have been many changes to the congregation.
In 1966, it became part of a unique ecumenical union with Bountiful Community Church.
During that time, the two congregations met at Bountiful Community Church. They held separate services on three Sundays monthly and a joint service on the fourth Sunday.
At the time, the Rev. Don Proctor, pastor of Bountiful Community Church and a United Church of Christ minister, was the only non-Episcopalian approved by the bishop of Utah to serve the Eucharist, a history of Resurrection Church said.
The ecumenical union ended in 1993, in part because Episcopalian families were moving into south Davis County and wanted, “a true liturgical service every Sunday with communion,” the Rev. Dovie Hutchinson, an Episcopal priest who had served Resurrection Church prior to her retirement, was quoted in an Oct. 30, 1993 Salt Lake Tribune article as saying.
Resurrection Church moved into an empty bank building on Pages Lane in Centerville, not far from the congregation’s current building.
Groundbreaking on the current building was on April 7, 2001. Funding came from the Episcopal Diocese of Utah’s Project Jubilee.
The first service in the new building was on Easter, 2002. The Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish, bishop of the diocese at the time, dedicated the building on May 18, 2002.
Since moving into their current building, members have reached out to the community, not only with the dinners, but with quarterly community forums that address today’s issues.
“Our beautiful building is very much a part of our mission,” Briggs said. “As we partner with others to do God’s work, we want to use our building to invite and welcome partnerships of service to the community.”
In October, the church will seal a time capsule and store it for 50 years, wrapping up the anniversary celebration.