On Being Anglican

 

"What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you “ guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (2 Tim. 1:13-14, NIV)

As Anglicans, we are part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) through the Anglican Diocese of the South. The ACNA currently has more than 900+ congregations and 100,000+ members with a mission goal of planting another 1,000 congregations by the end of 2014. As members of the Anglican Diocese of the South we together share the ACNA mission goal of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ by strengthening existing churches and planting new congregations in our region encompassing portions of five states (GA, AL, TN, SC, NC). The province of the ACNA began in June 2009. It has received the endorsement and support of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (Anglican churches of Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone, etc.,) whose provinces are part of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, and collectively make-up the majority (45M+) of worshiping Anglicans. The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian denomination in the world, with over 80 million worshipers in 160 countries around the globe.

As you may have noticed the word "Anglican, shows up in our identity and connection to the church. Like other Christian traditions and denominations, we are deeply rooted and united in the Christian faith of the One Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As part of the church in North America, we believe we are living in the midst of significant reform and renewal of our Christian faith as revealed in the Bible. There is much that Anglicanism has to offer, and the questions we probably hear most often include:

What is Anglicanism, or what does it mean to be Anglican?

If you do an internet search for "Anglicanism, you will find a Wikipedia article providing this definition: "Anglicanism: A tradition within Christianity with historic connections to the Church of England, with similar beliefs, worship, and church structures.... The word Anglican comes from the Latin phrase ˜ecclesia anglicana,' or English Church." That's not bad for a dictionary type definition, but, there is so much more to know about our rich, historic tradition in being Anglican.

A Biblical Faith. Anglicanism is centered on the Bible as God's revealed word. It shows us how God has acted to save His people from the grip of sin and evil in order to offer new life in His ways. We believe the word of God is true; not just that the Scriptures contain the word of God, but that they are the word of God spoken to us. We believe the Scriptures hold authority over us, and we strive to be biblical Christians.

Belief in the Uniqueness of Jesus Christ. Authentic Anglicanism is centered on Jesus, the unique Word of God made flesh and blood, who suffered and died to make God's salvation available to all who call upon His name. Jesus Himself said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John. 14:6, NIV).

Sacramental Focus. We value the sacraments, particularly Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. The sacraments are a focal point in our worship. We believe in the real presence of Christ in our midst during Holy Communion. We are not just going through the motions with bread, wine and water. We believe that Christ is spiritually present in and through these elements, and we view them as a holy part of our life together.

Evangelical Witness. We proclaim the good news of Christ to all people. We desire to share Christ in us so all may know the great love of Jesus and His power to change and give their life purpose. We bear his message, to "go and make disciples... (or, 'followers' of Jesus, Matt. 28:19, NIV).

God's Power at Work Among Us. We believe that the community of the church is to be a healing community, and praying community. We believe in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are taught in the Holy Scriptures. We want them all to be manifest.

Liturgical, Ancient and Common Worship. Anglicanism offers a rich and beautiful liturgy, using the words of our Lord Jesus Himself, accompanied by sacred music and uplifting words from a common prayer book. The way we worship God is rooted in the traditions of the early Church. The first Anglican Christians came to England in the first century and laid down the roots for how we worship God in a particular Anglican way. Our services are structured and built on those early forms of worship which were later developed into the English language during the Protestant Reformation. These forms have adapted to various cultures over time, but our worship is rooted in history.

Creedal Belief. Anglican Christianity embraces the ancient creeds of the church Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasius, which concisely summarize the essentials of the Christian faith.

Worldwide Unity. Anglicans are part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. We are made ˜one,' united by faith in and through the risen Lord Jesus Christ. We are set aside [made holy] by God as God's people and we strive to live holy lives in obedience to Jesus Christ and his word. By ˜catholic' we mean ˜universal' in all time and places. By ˜apostolic' we mean in connection to the teachings and fellowship of the first apostles. We recognize our connection to the worldwide Christian body of believers and our shared witness to the faith.

In addition to the above, other key documents, past and present that will let you know more about us and what we believe include: "The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion"; "The Chicago-Lambeth Quadralateral and "Jerusalem Declaration" and its companion commentary, "Being Faithful: The Shape of Historical Anglicanism Today" (A Commentary on the Jerusalem Declaration)"

If you are curious about Anglicanism or are interested in knowing more about our worship and tradition, we invite you to bring us your questions and to visit us on Sunday mornings. Christ the King Anglican Church welcomes all persons, as together, we seek to be transformed by the power and love of Jesus Christ.