Recently, a Lutheran pastor asked me a simple question. He was thinking of affiliating with either the Anglican Communion or the Roman Catholic Church. He wanted to know how we (Anglicans) understand Apostolic Succession. I am assuming he wanted to be in a church that had an unbroken line of succession to the first Apostles, namely to Peter and finally, […]
There is a rather common saying that the Book of Common Prayer is composed of 85% bible passages. It is true. As J.I. Packer once said, “The Book of Common Prayer” is the Bible arranged for worship. I like that.
In college, I was a medical technology major for about a semester. During the school year, I found a low-paying job at the local hospital to work in the lab as a helper. One morning, I met a pathologist who invited me to come to help with an autopsy. So I did.
That was my […]
It is that time of year when new Vestry members are elected, selected, and then seated as their congregation’s leadership board. Usually, there is an outgoing class of three or four making up one-third of the total Vestry. And of course, after the election or selection process in a parish, there is an incoming class of three or four.
That is […]
Hello, my name is Ethan, and I am a recovering expressive individualist.
You are familiar with “expressive individualism,” even if the term isn’t familiar. I’ll define and describe it below, but phrases like “be authentic” or “follow your heart” capture the idea to a tee.
I became an Anglican to “be authentic” […]
A liturgy makes it easier to pray with others, and to pray with the church—past, present, and future. Liturgical prayers are not the only kind, but there is something special about them. These prayers can be etched on your heart, taught to your children, and remembered at the close of life. For Anglicans, these prayers are found in […]
In 2008 Phyllis Tickle made the important observation that about every 500 years, a significant transformation takes place in the Church. She points to the arrival of Jesus in the first century, the collapse of the Roman empire five-hundred years later in the late 5th century, the Great Schism five-hundred years after that in 1054, and finally the […]
Can Anglican priests get married? What about deacons? Bishops?
As a married Anglican priest myself, I’m happy to report that the answer is “Yes“!
As Article 32 of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion puts it:
Of the Marriage of Priests
Bishops, priests and deacons are not commanded by God’s law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage; therefore […]
As 2020 comes to a close, and a new liturgical year has just begun, I’m convinced that Anglicanism has something to offer Christ’s Church in these difficult days.
Sure, we Anglicans have our problems just like everyone else. We should be humble and self-critical. But our tradition contains rhythms and resources that, I believe, the […]
One of the first things I knew about my husband was that he had been accepted to two different seminaries. The following conversation was all about how he had spent the past year trying to discern what God was calling him to do. At the time, he thought God was calling him to become a counselor; I wouldn’t […]
What does it mean to have a ‘personal relationship’ with Jesus Christ? One thing it does not mean is ‘customized’. In this excerpt from When the Lord is My Shepherd: Finding Hope in a Hard Time, we go deeper into the pastoral connections that we are promised.
Believing that the Lord is a shepherd is a pastoral […]
We just published Simply Anglican by Winfield Bevins. Winfield graciously agreed to answer some questions about the book’s backstory and what he hopes it will accomplish!
What prompted you to write this book? Why do you think it’s important that this book exists?
I remember it as clear as yesterday. Ahmet had left Islam and decided to follow Jesus. In the Middle Eastern country where I served, this was not illegal, but it also wasn’t easy. After a few months of walking with Jesus, Ahmet approached me and said, “Chris, now that I’ve become a Christian, tell me what our religious […]
The “Anglican” movement in the sixteenth century was a return to the pure and simple faith of Christianity as embodied in the Holy Scriptures. —W. H. Griffith Thomas
What we believe shapes our identity, and ultimately, who we are. Singer-songwriter Rich Mullins affirmed this in an older song called “Creed.” In the words of […]
Where did Christ descend to?
If you worshiped in an Anglican Church between 1552 (when the Creed was first printed in full in the Prayer Book) and 1979 you would answer “he descended to hell” because in the Apostles’ Creed as you would have learned it, that is what it says: “[He] was crucified, dead, […]
From its inception in 1549, the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) has always been a text intertwined with the text of the Bible. Many of the prayers utilize phrases that have been extracted from the Bible. Verses of the Bible are quoted directly (for example, Opening Sentences in the Daily Office and Offertory Sentences in the Eucharist service) […]
When most of us think of “youth ministry,” there are usually several classic images that come to mind: goofy games, contemporary worship music with lots of energy, young youth ministers with cool clothes, and big summer church camps. While these things can be good (and I’m sure a lot of us have plenty of nostalgic youth group memories […]
I was a new Anglican, trying to participate by watching everyone else. I heard a voice shout “Please stand” and then “Blessed be God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!” As a cross passed, some people bowed their heads.
Parade of Clergy?
Everyone stood up as we sang a hymn. […]
During a tumultuous year where much of our interpersonal interaction has been relegated to online spaces, many of us have found ourselves at odds with others on Facebook groups, Twitter threads, or any myriad of blog comment sections. Lively discussion about important matters should not be discouraged whenever there is a possibility of mutual growth and flourishing. At the same […]
What does quality pastoral care look like? How many pastors, priests, and deacons receive training that adequately equips them to aid healing rather than add new wounds to the emotional and spiritual lives of people in their care?
As a priest’s wife and an observer by nature, I could offer a little perspective. But as someone who has experienced dire need […]
Since the beginning of the modern era, westerners have typically divided the world into two categories: natural and supernatural. The natural world is thought to contain everything that can be proven by science, can visibly be seen; it’s the world of evidence, facts, and reality. In other words, it’s the “real” world. The supernatural is then considered the realm of […]
Whether you’ve been Anglican your whole life or are just starting to explore your local parish, chances are you’ve encountered the terms “Anglo-Catholic” and “Anglo-Catholicism.” What exactly do these terms mean? (How) is Anglo-Catholicism different from Anglicanism? What do Anglo-Catholics believe, teach, and do?
I want to try to begin answering these questions in a simple way. This article is for […]
There is not unanimous agreement about women’s ordination in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Godly and thoughtful Christians hold opposing convictions about Holy Orders and who is called to ordained ministry. You often see the results of this debate at the Provincial level—a national expression of the Church may or may not ordain women, in accordance with their conviction. But for […]
Almost every vocational deacon I know, when asked why he or she has not become a priest, will respond, “I have never felt called to the priesthood.” Some will add emphatically, “not for a minute!”
I am not one of those deacons.
I don’t share this story often, rarely in its fullness, and never in public non-anonymous writing. Be gentle with my […]