These cards meet a need for tracts to succinctly explain Anglicanism to visitors and seekers. About Anglicans tells it concisely, and quotes Billy Graham. Anglican Worship explains that we are a people of two books: the Bible and the BCP, and quotes C.S. Lewis. Our Pew Cards are designed with these earmarks in mind:
- Allure “Pick me up and read me”
- Generous type size
- Nice quality
© Anglican House Media Ministry, Inc. 2022
Anglicans are the world’s third largest Christian group (behind Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox) and we are growing every day, especially in countries south of the Equator. The Anglican Church in North America, founded in 2009 to preserve and perpetuate the Apostolic Faith here, has already grown to more than 100,000 members in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. We are in full communion with other Anglican churches representing 80 million Anglican believers worldwide.
We know ourselves to be a part of God’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church that the Apostles and their followers built at Jesus’ command. We like to say that Anglicanism is where you would arrive should you travel all the way back to the Early Church, and if you yourself were to believe what the Church has always believed, at all times, and in all places, down through the millennia. People nowadays yearn for a sense of connection with the Early Church—a footbridge that Anglicans richly provide. It is why Billy Graham saw “spiritual beauty in Anglican order,” and told his final biographer that if he were starting all over again, “I would be an evangelical Anglican.”(1)
Anglicanism is Biblical, generous, and beautiful. Not that Anglicans can believe anything they want to believe, because God seeks people to worship him in spirit and in truth. For Anglicans, that truth is the Bible as the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life. It has been well said that our Book of Common Prayer, and its liturgy, is simply the Bible arranged for worship. Anglicanism generously embraces three historic worship traditions. The Evangelical movement, consistent from the time of the Great Reformation of the 16th century, stresses the primacy of the Bible to be read, marked, learned and inwardly digested. The Anglo- Catholic movement of the 17th and 19th centuries renewed the Church’s commitment to the sacramental life of worship. The Charismatic renewal of the 20th century centered on life in the Holy Spirit as a present day experience. Common to all is worship that exalts the supremacy of Scripture.
To consider Anglican order one need look no further than to begin with Christendom’s liturgical seasons of the year. Everyone knows Christmas and Easter. The others are Advent, Lent, Epiphany, Eastertide, Pentecost, and Trinity, each centering on a particular chapter in the story of God and his people. By our own retelling of the story of Jesus and his love, arranged in this way, we ourselves become not hearers only but participants with Jesus. Because the Book of Common Prayer is in worldwide use, when we worship and pray we’re engaging in real time with millions of other Anglican believers whose collective praise never ceases in a global family on which the sun never sets.
Please do ask about our services in this congregation.
© Anglican House Media Ministry, Inc. 2022
We are “a people of two books.” The Bible is the central source of our knowledge of God and what God expects of us. And our highly participatory Prayer Book is quite simply “the Bible arranged for public and private worship.” More than 90 percent of the text in the Book of Common Prayer 2019 is directly quoted from Scripture, and the rest of it includes prayers and songs (canticles) that have been used by Christians for fifteen hundred years.
The beloved Christian teacher C.S. Lewis put it this way: “[Anglicans] don’t go to church to be entertained. They go to use the service, or, if you prefer, to enact it. Every service is a structure of acts and words through which we receive a sacrament, or repent, or supplicate, or adore. And it enables us to do these things best—if you like, it ‘works’ best—when, through long familiarity, we don’t have to think about it.
As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance… The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God… But every novelty prevents this. It fixes our attention on the service itself’, and thinking about worship is a different thing from worshipping.” (2)
Our Book of Common Prayer 2019 takes what is good from the modern liturgical renewal movement and also recovers what had been lost from tradition. Its form of prayers and praises is thoroughly Biblical, catholic in the manner of the early centuries, highly participatory in delivery, peculiarly Anglican and English in its roots, culturally adaptive and missional in a most remarkable way, utterly accessible to the people, and whose repetitions are intended to form the faithful catechetically and to give them doxological voice. ~ Preface, Book of Common Prayer 2019
Don’t worry—you’re not expected to read the BCP cover to cover! But it is a resource for you to use, not only in Sunday worship services but to help with your prayer life at home. Many keep their copy bedside or on the meal table to use on a daily basis, including for family prayer. The main thing is that the Prayer Book is a guide for our transformation in Christ. Everything in it is about communication with God, because we know that God longs to speak to us and dwell in us. Our job is to be open to whatever means God uses to engage with us.
Please do ask about the services in this congregation.
(1) Grant Wacker, America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation, Harvard University Press, 2014, p. 184.
(2) C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer, pp 2-3 Harper Collins Publishers, 195 Broadway N, NY 10007