OUR ANGLICAN TRADITION
Global | Historic
The Anglican Church is a global communion of churches historically connected with the Church of England that consists of thirty- nine provinces and approximately 80 million members worldwide, making it the third largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. The word Anglican actually means “of England.” Compelled by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, British Anglicans took their faith around the world, establishing churches on every continent and in many nations. British pastoral leaders encouraged autonomy and collegiality among these daughter churches, and over time, 39 separate “provinces” of the Anglican Church were established around the world. Today these provinces function in a voluntary communion based around common beliefs and practices. The leaders of each province, called archbishops, gather periodically to discuss the work of the church and to resolve issues that may arise.
“The Anglican Church is a biblically based church with ancient roots and a treasure of rich resources that help us grow as followers of Jesus Christ to love God and serve our communities as Christians.”
Old & New
At their best, Anglican churches seek to worship God faithfully with living forms of worship. More often than not, this means Anglican worship represents a beautiful blend of the Great Christian traditions—- involving both old and new forms of worship. Even in the preface to the original Book of Common Prayer in 1549, Thomas Cranmer was hoping for a “mean betwixt extremes.” In a book entitled Worship: Old & New, Robert Webber identifies several characteristics of those who have found themselves in a church that represents a convergence of the traditional Catholic, Evangelical, and Charismatic streams of the Christian Tradition in the west. For those of us at Church of the Resurrection— we would affirm the following (no particular order):
- A restored commitment to the sacraments, especially the Lord’s Table.
- An increased motivation to know more about the early church.
- A love for the whole church and a desire to see the church as one.
- An interest in integrating structure with spontaneity in worship.
- A greater involvement of sign and symbol in worship.
- A continuing commitment to personal salvation, Biblical teaching and the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
- An increased commitment to social justice and to “loving the least.”
Affiliation | Bishops
Anglican churches are grouped together in a diocese under the oversight of a bishop. Church of the Resurrection is a member of the International Diocese and under the oversight of Bishop Bill Atwood. Dioceses are grouped together in a province under the leadership of an archbishop. The International Diocese is a part of the recently-formed province called the Anglican Church in North America, which is led by Archbishop Foley Beach.
Bishops are called to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the church, and they represent for us today the early apostolic witness, each bishop having been ordained by a succession of bishops dating back to the first-century church.
For additional information on the Anglican Tradition, we recommended a few resources we’ve found helpful:
- Our Anglican Heritage by John Howe
- Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail by Robert Webber
- Beyond Smells and Bells by Mark Galli
- The Anglican Way by Thomas McKenzie
- Celebrate Anglicanism by Bud Davis
- What Episcopalians Believe by Sam Wells
- Accidental Anglican by Todd Hunter
- Never Silent by Thaddeus Barnum