Narragansett & Providence, Rhode Island
Cherie Binns: (After the St. Matthew's Medical community in Bellaire, Texas disbanded in 1977)
We moved home to David’s
home state of Rhode Island and to the now struggling Community at St. Peter’s
in Narragansett where Ladd and June Fields, Kimbrough Besheer,
Leila Schear, Jane Trigg and others had been sent to help establish and
nurture community there in 1973.
The eldership had disbanded by early 1978, and so our new family “from
Redeemer” stepped into the worship structure that was still present and
helped to provide a place to love and live in the Body of Christ as the
Church body struggled to leave the Charismatic form and return to its
Episcopal roots. Subsequently, David and I opened our home for the next
four years for Friday evening Prayer and Praise for as many as 30 persons.
(Cherie stays active in music leadership at St. Peters & throughout
the Northeast in "Faith at Work" weekends, Marriage Encounter, Cursillo
and Happening movements. She joined her family in the Roman Catholic
church in 1989. Her daughter Becky Gettel is now ordained in Cambridge,
Culture Shock & King Ranch Chicken!
Some in the traveling team from Redeemer to the UK first spent
six weeks here to minister to a charismatic Roman Catholic
community. The personal narrative is written by Jon Wilkes, about
the anticipation of culture shock in UK!
Before I moved to
England I had heard the term culture shock. Sylvia and I were invited to
move there with the Reverend Graham Pulkingham and the rest of the
FisherFolk team. The departure was scheduled for February, 1973. Then I
was warned by a friend that I would suffer culture shock. For the first
several weeks everything would be wonderful, romantic. After that, the
romance would evaporate and would be replaced by revulsion for all
things English. It happened to everybody.
"Not me," I thought.
There were many reasons for my confidence. First, I wasn't going to
Tanganyika or to Ceylon or, worse yet, France. No, everybody would speak
English, and would be proud of it. Our American political institutions
were based on English common law so my relationship to the police ought
not be a problem. I had read the covers off of books by C. S. Lewis and
J. R. R. Tolkien and several other English writers. Finally, I would be
living with a large number of other Americans in an experimental
Christian community based on an extension of the communal lifestyle we
had developed at Church of the Redeemer, Houston, Texas. To a great
extent we would be importing our own culture. So everything would be all
My failure to appreciate the problem stemmed, I now know, from not
understanding what culture shock is, how it works, and why it happens.
Since you undoubtedly will someday experience this phenomenon, I intend
to give you more specific information than did my well-meaning friend. I
suggest you take notes...
Anticipating the Problem
Our first problem occurred not after three weeks, but rather while we
were still on the familiar side of the Atlantic. The team was scheduled
to spend six weeks ministering in Rhode Island immediately before our
flight over the water.
Some of us stayed in Providence with a Roman Catholic Charismatic
community which, like our own Church of the Redeemer, was based around
the life of a parish church. This was at that time a unique phenomenon
in the Roman Catholic Church. Jodi Page and my family (Sylvia, Michael,
and myself) stayed at Narragansett with the Reverend Keith and Mary
Perrin Scott and their children. Keith was the rector of
Peter's-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in
I don't think we realized how much we were anticipating the loss of the
most important element of our American culture. We must have rhapsodized
and overtly grieved - extensively - because Mary Perrin
volunteered to assemble the ingredients for our favorite Tex-Mex dish:
King Ranch Chicken Casserole. We would eat this delicacy our last night
before shipping out to those uncivilized and uncouth wilds which, in
their benighted state, had never savored it. Sylvia would combine the
ingredients and cook it. Here is the recipe. It serves eight
King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe
One 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup
Two cups chicken broth
One 10-ounce can Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles
12 Tortillas, cut in pieces
One 3 to 4 pound chicken, cooked and cut into bite- sized pieces
One large onion, chopped
Two cups grated American cheese
Combine soups, chicken broth and tomatoes and set aside. Oil a
three-quart casserole. Layer half of tortilla pieces, half of chicken,
half of onion and half of cheese, then pour remaining chicken broth over
top of remaining cheese. Bake at 350? for 45-60 minutes. This may be
frozen and reheated and will still taste great.