The Anglican Way

The Anglican Communion is the third largest body of Christians in the world, speaking many languages and coming from many different races and cultures.

The Anglican Church is:

  • Biblical - Anglicans believe that the Bible is the Word of God and affirm the Old and New Testaments. 
  • Global - Anglicanism is a worldwide family of churches with more than 70 million followers in 161 countries. 
  • Reformed - Anglican Christianity is strongly influenced by the English Reformation. 
  • Diverse - Anglican churches come in all shapes and sizes and are very diverse, ranging from "high church" (traditional ) to "low" (contemporary) and are united in the essential beliefs of the Christian faith.

The Anglican Church in North America (“ACNA”) is a province in the global Anglican Communion and unites some 100,000 Anglicans in nearly 1,000 congregations across the United States, Canada and Mexico into a single Church. 


Although not exhaustive, here is a list of a few things that characterize the Anglican way...  

An Ancient Faith 

 Anglicans trace their Christian roots back to the early Church during the time of the Roman Empire when a Christian church first came into existence in Britain. Early Christian writers mention the existence of a British church in the third century AD. With over 500 years of rich history and spirituality Anglicans still stand for the historic roots of the Christian faith by affirming the ecumenical Christian Creeds: the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creed. 

In his book, "Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail", Robert Webber highlights 6 Gifts of Anglicanism. These are part of what make Anglicanism as a worship tradition so rich and are much of the reason many in our congregation have come into this worship tradition in recent years. The 6 Gifts are:

  1. Mystery and awe - keeping rationalism in check
  2. Christ-centeredness - worshipping with the Eucharist (communion) as our primary act
  3. Historical Identity - being tethered to thousands of years of worship, dating back to the 1st century
  4. Sacramental Reality - believing in the presence of Christ with us in baptism and the Eucharist.
  5. Participation in catholic (universal) traditions - worshipping in concert with the majority of other believers worldwide.
  6. Holistic spirituality - a strong, Trinitarian embrace of the Spirit's work through mind, body and spirit.

Anglican Core Beliefs

There are five core beliefs that unite Anglicans around the world.  They are:

  1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as “containing all things necessary to salvation,” and as being the rule and ultimate standard of our common faith.
  2. The Apostles‘ and Nicene Creeds, as the sufficient statements of the Christian faith.
  3. The Articles of Religion of the Church of England are authoritative, setting forth a precise confession of faith on many of the great points of Christian doctrine.
  4. The two sacraments ordained by Christ himself - Baptism and Holy Communion.
  5. The ministry of the historic episcopate, locally adapted and refers to the role of a bishop. All Anglican churches are under the spiritual leadership of a bishop.

Common Prayer

Perhaps one of the most unique features of Anglican spirituality is found in the Book of Common Prayer which is an ancient prayer book that that was complied by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer during the Reformation in England. While other Reformation era churches developed confessional statements of faith, the Anglican church developed a Prayer Book. The Prayer Book is fundamentally pastoral and holistic rather than abstract and theoretical. Cranmer, by shaping the prayers around the Word of God and the theology of the Reformers, helped to shape future generations of Anglicans by grounding them in the rhythms, language, and cadence of our ancient faith.  

The enduring legacy of the Book of Common Prayer is that it is scripturally based, doctrinally sound, and throughly gospel-centered.

Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York reminds us:
“The Prayer Book places the Bible at the heart of the Church's worship and on the lips of the people. It teaches the grace and mercy of God, and it preaches Jesus as a living Saviour, not a dead master of a by gone age.”

Ordained Ministry

Anglicans embrace the threefold order of ordained ministry that emerged in the first century of the Church and continues today. 

Bishop
The ministry of a bishop is to serve as the chief priest/pastor of a diocese; to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church; to proclaim the Word of God; and to ordain others to continue Christ's ministry.

Priest/Presbyter
The ministry of a priest is to serve as a pastor to the people; to share with the bishop in the overseeing of the Church; to proclaim the Gospel; to administer the sacraments.

Deacon
The ministry of a deacon is a servant of those in need; and to assist bishops and priests in the proclamation of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments.

The Church Calendar

Anglican spirituality places an important role on remembering the different seasons of the Christian life.  The Christian life has different seasons to it just as the seasons of nature.  Spring, summer, fall, and winter can be powerful reminders of the seasons and rhythms of the spiritual life. The early church began to remember the various themes of the gospel by celebrating different seasons of the Christian year. 

Here is the general church calendar:

Advent
The forty days before Christmas, intended for focus on the incarnation of Christ.

Epiphany
The season following Christmas, in which the church proclaims Jesus to the world as Lord and King.

Lent
The forty days beginning on Ash Wednesday, and concluding the day before Easter, intended for preparation and anticipation of the Resurrection.

Easter
The fifty days from Resurrection Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. Easter season recognizes God's ongoing work of establishing new creation through the Forerunner, Christ. 

Pentecost
The season used to celebrate the reality that God, through His Spirit, is at work through and among His people. Literally meaning “50 days after,” the day of Pentecost falls 50 days after Easter.

Ordinary Time
This season’s name comes, not from ordinary, but the word ordinal, which means counted time. The time, beginning on the first Sunday after Pentecost, is used to focus on specific themes of interest or importance to a local congregation.
 

 

Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 11.03.01 AM.png

Diocese of the Carolinas

Village Church is part of the Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas which is a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America. We are comprised of Anglican parishes and missions in North and South Carolina. The Anglican Diocese of the Carolinas exists to equip clergy and congregations to fulfill the Great Commandments (Mk.12:29-31) and the Great Commission (Mt.28:19-20) by leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ through evangelism, personal discipleship, and the nurturing and planting of congregations. 

Our Bishop is the Rt. Rev’d Stephen D. Wood who was elected as the first Bishop of the Diocese of the Carolinas. He was consecrated Bishop at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC by Archbishop Robert Duncan on August 25, 2013. Co-Consecrators Archbishop-elect Stanley Ntagali of Uganda, and Bishops Roger Ames, Alphonza Gadsen and John Guernsey.

Church Planting
Our strategy for growth and mission is through planting new churches across the Carolinas. Kardia Church Planting Initiative is a ministry of the Diocese of the Carolinas that exists to plant, revitalize, and resource healthy gospel-centered churches in the Anglican tradition and to partner with others who are like minded to encourage church planting across denominational boundaries.