Being Anglican

We are Anglicans not because of the psalms or the poetry of George Herbert or the cathedral, but because we can obey God here...it is a way to be a loyal Christian — to see through the Church to Christ as a man sees through the telescope to the stars.
— Austin Farrar
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Ancient & Present 

Anglican Christianity has roots as far back as the 3rd century, when missionaries came through the Roman Empire to Britain. Through the centuries, this Christian tradition has grown, matured, and spread across the globe, becoming one of the oldest and largest bodies of Christians in the entire world.  

Through all of that, however, there has been one thing that has remained true for Anglicans: we believe in the local. We believe that the cosmic message of Jesus Christ and the riches of the universal Church are meant to meet us in this place, at this time, and in our language. This means that as we tell the life-giving story of Jesus, we can be traditional in ways that make sense to people like us in Chapin and Dutch Fork. As Anglicans, we can hold on to the past as we live in the present and look to eternity.  

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An Evangelical Church

At their core, Anglicans are evangelical. We believe whole-heartedly in the good news of the kingdom of God as Jesus and his Apostles preached it. We believe that the Holy Scriptures are our final authority, and we teach nothing contrary to them. We also believe that the Holy Spirit is alive and active, breathing new life into broken people and turning them into a new creation as he joins them to his Church. 

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A Catholic Church

The word "catholic" means "universal." By God's amazing grace, the Church that Jesus Christ started is filling the entire world with a unified message of God's love and salvation for humanity. When we say that we are a catholic church, we mean that we believe what all Christians have always believed in all places. More specifically, we mean that we believe the truths summarized in the The Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed along with the councils of the universal, undivided church. 

Our Anglican Room

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C. S. Lewis, an Anglican in his own right, once compared the church to a great hall which had many rooms. The hall represented what was merely Christian. The rooms, however, represented the various Christian traditions. He said, "If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals."

Following Jesus is meant to be done in community with faithful others who are dedicated not to what they like or prefer, but to what they believe to be true and holy. Here in the "Anglican Room," we have dedicated ourselves to just these things. Along the way, certain features have become a distinctive part of our room and conversation.

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The Liturgy & Sacraments

We believe that Jesus gave us two sacraments of the gospel: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. These are not only outward signs, but actual instruments of God's grace where he joins us to himself through ordinary things like water, bread and wine.

We practice these along with a number of other sacramental rites according to the historic liturgy as it has come to us through the English tradition in the Book of Common Prayer. 

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The Episcopacy

The Anglican Church is governed by the historic episcopal system which goes back to the beginning of the Church. As the Apostles handed down the teaching of Jesus to others and set them apart as overseers with he laying on of hands, so they would eventually do the same. This succession of teaching and official authority has been handed down through the centuries to our bishops as well. Their job is to guard the apostolic teaching  so that we might not waver from the truth. 

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The Thirty-Nine Articles

In 1563, after years of violent unrest in Britain, it became necessary for the Church of England to affirm answers to certain theological arguments. The 39 Articles of Religion are the Anglican answer to those questions. While it is not required that an individual Anglican affirm them all, The Anglican Church in North America officially receives these articles as expressing the principles of authentic Anglican belief.

 

A Global Communion