Who We Are
The Anglican Church
The word "Anglican" simply means "English" and refers to the land of our church's origin, namely, the ancient British Isles. Our history traces directly back to the first centuries of Christianity and has continued to the present day. Beginning as a collection of Celtic monasteries, the church was eventually organized through the missionary efforts of St Augustine of Canterbury (6th century) under the direction of Pope Gregory the Great, bishop of Rome. The English Church has produced some of Christianity's greatest martyrs, saints, and scholars, from the likes of St Alban (4th century) to St Bede (7th century) to St Anselm (11th century) and many others. However, as abuses and corruption in the Medieval Church increased and the Roman Church's claims to authority became overstated, many Christians in Europe began calling for a Reformation. This movement eventually reached English lands and, after a nearly 130 year upheaval, the Anglican Church and the Church of Rome were separated from one another, with the former being receptive to the Reformation and the latter being largely dismissive of it. This unfortunate historical circumstance has not, however, prevented the universal Church from fulfilling her Lord's call to "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). Today, the Anglican Church is the third largest Christian Communion in the world and spans all cultures, races, and languages across the globe.
Though a member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and of the wider Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON communion), we are also members of a self-governing sub-jurisdiction of ACNA called the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC), which was founded in the United States in 1873, and continues under the godly oversight of our Presiding Bishop, Ray R. Sutton. The Church holds to the faith once delivered to the saints as it has been transmitted through the Church of England, as articulated in the range of her Anglican Divines and Reformation heritage.
What We Believe
- The Gospel
At the center of our Faith is the Gospel of God in Jesus Christ, which is common to all faithful Christians, as expressed in the actual Incarnation, Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and Coming Again of our Savior. As St John has written, "But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name" (John 20:31).
- The Scriptures
"Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man . . . In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church" (Article VI).
- The Creeds
We believe, teach, and receive the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed as accurately interpreting the Scriptures and clearly marking the doctrinal boundaries of the entire catholic Church.
- The Councils
We affirm and receive the first four, general councils of the catholic Church (Nicaea I, Constantinople I, Ephesus I, and Chalcedon), along with the Christological clarifications of the remaining three (Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicaea II).
- The Sacraments
We continue to distribute and celebrate the two Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, instituted directly by Christ as generally necessary for the salvation of humanity.
Likewise, we recognize and practice the five minor sacraments of Confirmation, Penance, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Holy Unction for the health, sanctification, and proper ordering of Christ's Church, which is the instrument and channel of God's unmerited Grace.
- The Apostolic Succession
As catholic Christians and as living members of the mystical Body of Christ, Anglicans continue the episcopal office and the line of succession that traces directly back to the Apostles, specifically to Sts Peter and Paul. We confess the Church to be "Apostolic" in the Nicene Creed, which carries a threefold meaning: (1) the historic line of bishops has been outwardly maintained through the unbroken succession and laying on of hands; (2) the historic faith of the apostles has been maintained, without compromise, and (3) that this Faith has continued to be spread abroad among the nations. To be Apostolic is to be historical, orthodox, and missional all at once. Just as, in the Scriptures, there exists no Presbyterate or Diaconate without the overseeing and ordaining power of the Apostolate, so we Anglicans believe that the historic Episcopate (i.e. The office of the Bishop), is essential not only for the well-being (bene esse) of the Church but also for the full expression (plene esse) of her Life and Voice.