What We Believe as Anglicans*
If you are a relative newcomer to the Anglican Church or have been away for awhile, you may be wondering what Anglicans believe. One of the best summaries of what Anglicans believe can be found through “Anglicans Online”: http://anglicansonline.org
This website answers many questions about Anglicanism. An excellent source for information is the Anglican Church of Canada website: www.anglican.ca One of the central elements of Anglicanism is the term “via media,” a Latin phrase meaning the “Middle Way.”
There is room in Anglicanism for Christians of a wide variety of views and perspectives… those with traditional beliefs, to those interested in pursuing ‘emerging Christianity’ (see links below), or more liberal thinking . Properly understood, Via Media does not mean that Anglicans are wishy-washy… not at all… we take our faith and the joy we find in our faith very seriously.
Rather, Via Media expresses one of our core values – tolerance. Anglicans are tolerant because we know that no one has all the answers this side of heaven. Historically, the depth and richness of the Anglican faith includes an understanding that we are enriched by diversity and open to learning from one another’s experience of the Holy.
Another key concept within Anglicanism is the concept embodied in another Latin phrase, “lex orandi, lex credendi,” which means “We worship as we believe.” This concept, fundamental to ‘Anglican self understanding’, is that the words and rituals of our worship reflect our theological doctrines and belief.
Simply put, if you want to know what Anglicans believe, listen to the words of the prayers in our worship services: in the prayers found in the Book of Common Prayer and the Book of Alternative Services. Finally, Anglicans believe that a mature and growing faith must always respond to the love and abundance of God through personal action.
Jesus calls us to two great commandments – “to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves”. Faithful Anglicans believe that we show our love of God by loving our neighbour. This understanding ultimately plays itself out in care for all of creation, respect for the dignity of every human being and love of self.
At The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan we know we do not have all the answers… in fact we don’t even know all the questions! But we do offer an invitation to come seek with us as we struggle with issues of faith. What we can promise is that we will share our faith – the peace, comfort and hope that we find in Christ, our Lord.
Come grow in Spirit with us as we grow together in our commitment of faith in Jesus Christ. If you would like to explore what Anglicanism may have to offer you, please contact the Parish office at 250-746-6262.
*Adapted from a document from Grace Anglican Church, Brantford, Ontario, used by permission.
Spiritual Paths Institute: www.spiritualpaths.net
Charter for Compassion? A call to bring the world together: www.charterforcompassion.org
Spiritual Practices Newsletter Archive: St. Lawrence Anglican Church. Read the archived newsletters and sign up to our mailing list.
Diana Butler Bass (scholar, speaker, writer) www.dianabutlerbass.com
The Alban Institute (publisher/resources for mainline Christianity) www.alban.org
The Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity a Canadian network for the promotion of Progressive Christianity www.progressivechristianity.ca
The Center for Progressive Christianity US based group “embracing the search, not certainty” www.tcpc.org
The Church and Postmodern Culture (dialogue/resources exploring the postmodern church) www.churchandpomo.typepad.com/conversation
The Contemplative Society An inclusive non-profit association that encourages a deepening of contemplative prayer based in the Christian tradition while also welcoming and supportive of other meditation traditions. www.contemplative.org
Cross Walk America:? Promoting the Eric Elnes documentary “The Asphalt Gospel” www.crosswalkamerica.org
Emergent Village (emergent Church dialogue) www.emergentvillage.com
Every Voice: Home of “Via Media” a resource for “cutting edge” curriculum developed for the Episcopal Church www.everyvoice.net
New Monasticism www.newmonasticism.org
Sojourners (progressive religious communicators) www.sojo.net
Practicing our FaithSite sponsored by the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith www.practicingourfaith.org
Way to Live: Christian Practices for teens from the “practicing our faith” folks? www.waytolive.org
The Worship Well: The online community for sharing and creating fresh, innovative worship resources in the Episcopal Churchwww.theworshipwell.org