This last weekÂ we continuedÂ our three-part BLOGFORCE challenge. Â The first challengeÂ was, “Why the Church?” Â This week was, “Why Anglicanism?” Â Why the particular branchÂ of the catholic church that the Episcopal Church is part of?Â Â In a week, we will ask, “Why the Episcopal Church?” Â Thanks to all those who participated! Â Below are the abstracts and the links to the original Blog Posts.
Note that the BLOGFORCE Ready 5 on the TREC “Word to the Episcopal Church” is still ongoing until this Friday.
In a world that spins madly on between tyranny and secession, I find unity in the legacy and diversity of The Anglican Communion.
Anglicanism is complex and it is messy, but so is the work of the Church. Â Anglicanism does not leave much room for easy answers or empty theology and can often leaves us with even more questions than when we started. Â Anglicanism is Incarnate, we experience expressions of Christ in one another now, in those who came before and those who are yet to come and it is in that diversity of creation we discern the Mission of God.
Why Anglicanism? Because its history, theology, structure, and future are as grace-centered and gospel-focused as any religious or philosophical institution on earth. Isnâ€™t that the only measure that matters?
My response to â€œWhy Anglicanismâ€ is not a pronouncement of Anglicanism above all other iterations of Christianity. My response is simply that I have chosen it for myself, despite that I inherited it from my parents and I went through a time in my life when I tried to replace it with something else. But I have chosen it primarily because of the way Elizabeth I established its identity as theÂ via media.
Why Anglicanism? Because the genius of Anglicanism is that it is by definition a temporary state of affairs.Â In short, unbecoming who we are for the sake of Christ is who we are.
An important part of Anglicanism’s value is its strong practical Christianity. From its ancient monastic practices to the Elizabethan settlement and down to the present day, Anglicanism has focused on concrete ways to help its people love God and one another.
Maybe this makes us a little squishy…hard to tell who’s in or out, who’s the right kind of Christian and who’s not in a church like that. But it means that even though in the alphabet soup of GAFCON and the ACC, I suppose the Diocese of West Malaysia is on the “other side” from me, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur is my church, too. And when I was there this Easter Sunday days after my mother had died there, it was a more ordinary act of love, including the name of my mother, a woman unknown to that church, among the familiar prayers, that reminded me that at its best the distinction of Anglicanism is common worship, paired not with agreement, but with love.
The Rev. David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander
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