The Anglican Way
We are thankful to be one with all churches as the body of Christ. We are Christians first. As with any part of Christ's church, we have distinct features. Although not exhaustive, here are few things that make the Anglican way unique.
The Anglican Church is:
A Historical Church - Anglican Christianity traces its roots back to the ancient faith and practice of the first century church, began to grow in the third century when Christianity came to Britain, was developed in the 16th century English Reformation, and eventually spread throughout the world. In recent years a renewal movement has begun in the USA through the formation of the Anglican Church in North America.
A Christ-centered Church - Anglicans believe that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the gospel that sets people free, renews our broken world, and thus is central to every aspect of life and ministry. Our relationship with Jesus Christ grows as we encounter Christ in Scripture, Sacraments, Spirit, and Service:
- Scripture - Anglicans believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are trustworthy and our ultimate authority for faith and practice. All of Scripture is the Word of the Lord and reveals Christ to us.
- Sacraments - Anglicans embrace the two sacraments ordained by Christ himself, baptism and holy communion, and consider them to be essential for Christian discipleship. In baptism we are initiated into the body of Christ and in holy communion we are nourished by Christ as we receive the bread and wine in faith each week.
- Spirit - Anglicans depend on the Holy Spirit to empower, gift, and lead the church in all aspects of its life. In worship, the Spirit brings Christ to us in Word and Sacrament and moves through our prayers. We enjoy the form of the Book of Common Prayer liturgy (commonly called 'worship service') and the freedom of the Holy Spirit's activity to enflame our worship of Jesus as Lord.
- Service - Anglicans engage in serving others with the good news of Jesus Christ through proclamation and demonstration of His kingdom. We follow Jesus into the world as His servants who are empowered and gifted by His Spirit.
A Liturgical Church - Perhaps one of the most unique features of Anglican spirituality is found in the Book of Common Prayer. While other Reformation era churches developed confessional statements of faith, the Anglican Church developed a prayer book as well. It not only contains prayers from throughout Christian history, but it also provides guidance for our worship services ("liturgy") that draws on Christian worship from the earliest centuries to contemporary practice. Guidance for various aspects of the church's ministry are also included in the Book of Common Prayer. The enduring legacy of the Book of Common Prayer is that it reflects Biblical teaching and is centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A Global Church - The Anglican Communion is a world-wide family of churches with approximately 85 million members in 160 countries. Anglicans speak many different languages and come from different races and cultures. This means that Anglican churches come in all shapes and sizes and can be very diverse; ranging from high church (traditional) to low church (contemporary), but all are united in the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. We participate in initiatives with other Christian churches and with other Anglicans throughout the world as a member of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.