by Cheryl WithamChurch of the Cross pastoral staff recently led adult education classes teaching about the basics of Anglicanism. The classes used the book “The Anglican Way“ by Thomas McKenzie as a starting point. The classes were: October 5 – The Various Streams of Anglican Identity October 12 – The Roots of Anglicanism October 19 – Anglican Spirituality and the Church Year November 2 – Anglican Sacraments
Our conversation on Sunday morning began with a dialogue around the question, “Why Anglican, why now?” We talked about the intentionality of our choices to become Anglican. Some we were attracted by theology, especially the Trinitarian theology that is so prevalent in the richness of our liturgy. Images of communion with the Godhead–Father, Son and Holy Spirit–as a worshipping community are offered in our worship, our prayers and our teaching. Sacramental theology offers recognition of The Presence through the physical realities and images, with the Eucharist at the center. Having liturgical background, some were drawn by the sense of coming home to the ancient and the familiar. Others came for, and found, rest in the rhythm of the worship and the calendar year as they were invited into the balance of repetition and anticipation of change. We considered the contrast of an experience that offers participation and models how to bring ourselves to God and be in community worshipping and seeking His presence. Some were attracted to the beauty and the story as it is presented each week, inviting a place of belonging and becoming.
Our goal in coming is to get to the Table, to encounter the Presence of God that meets our every need. We find our needs for identity, belonging, and significance met in the story of God as The Word comes into our midst through the readings and the preaching. Our need for love and forgiveness is met as we come to the Table of Christ, receiving through His death provision for our life. We have been created to worship and commune with God. It is a gift to be led each Sunday “into His Presence with singing”. We recognize in the faces of those around us and in the wealth of those who have gone before us that we are a part of a great host of people who know themselves as the Beloved of the Father.
Finally we considered the gift of the rhythms of the calendar year as a means of formation that recognizes the reality of life’s coming and going, planting and harvesting, receiving and giving, life and death, sorrow and celebration. Living into the circle of life gives us grace to “go around again”. It provides a space to look and listen again. It affords us and invitation to come as we are in the moment and receive from Christ and His community all that we need for life and godliness.