Anglicanism is rooted in the ancient church and grew out of the Protestant Reformation, bringing together a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ, a commitment to the trustworthiness and authority of Scripture, the beauty of liturgical worship, and an expectation of the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.
The Anglican family consists of tens of millions of Christians who are members of 41 different provinces spread across the globe. Each of these provinces is autonomous, with its own system of governance. The provinces are subdivided into dioceses, and the dioceses into parishes. Saint Patrick's Church's province is the Anglican Church of North America, and our diocese is the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes.
The Anglican Communion is not held together by a formal constitution or international church law, but rather by a common confession, a shared heritage, by ways of worshiping, and by the relationships — the "bonds of affection"— between its members worldwide.
Located on every continent, Anglicans speak many languages and come from different races and cultures. Saint Patrick's Church is active in our global community of churches, sending missionaries from our parish overseas to live and minister among unreached people groups, supporting church planting efforts across the world, and traveling to train ministry and lay leaders in Asia and Africa.
Since 2008, Saint Patrick's has had the privilege of partnering with the Kibungo Diocese in Rwanda.
The word Anglican actually means “of England.” Our roots trace back to the early Church during the time of the Roman Empire when the Christian Church first came into existence in Britain. Early Christian writers mention the existence of a British church in the third century AD. In the 16th century, English Reformers, including Thomas Cranmer and Richard Hooker, joined the Protestant Reformation happening all over Europe, seeking to rediscover the beauty of salvation as a gift from God (justification by faith, not works) and put the Scriptures into the daily lives of God’s people.
As British Christians, compelled by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, took their faith around the world, churches were established on every continent and in many nations. All of these churches were descended from The Church of England. Pastoral leaders encouraged autonomy and collegiality with these daughter churches, and over time, separate “provinces” of the Anglican Church were established around the world.
The riches of the Anglican faith have blessed people all over the world and continue to be passed on in every generation in independent nations. With over 500 years of rich history and spirituality, Anglicans still stand for Christian orthodoxy by affirming the Christian creeds: the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian. And Anglicanism, as a via media (“middle way”) between the Protestant and Catholic worlds, continues in the sacramental beliefs and worship practices of the earliest Christians.
This stream emphasizes the role of the sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist and the traditional orders of ordained ministry in mediating the grace of God. It recognizes that the Holy Spirit has been at work in the church for 2,000 years, including in the seven ecumenical councils, and He has given us a deposit of orthodox faith for our benefit and learning. Some of our fathers in this stream include Augustine of Hippo, Francis of Assisi, Richard Hooker, C.S. Lewis, and J. Budziszewski. This steam stresses the transcendence of God, our Father and Creator.
This stream emphasizes the present work of The Holy Spirit in miraculous power in the life of the believer and the Church. It upholds the role of every believer as a minister who serves with one or more spiritual gifts, including healing, prophecy, and tongues, all for the building up of the church. The Holy Spirit enables us to hear His voice, to walk our talk, and abide in His love. Some of our guides in this stream include John Wesley, Dennis Bennett, John Wimber, Francis MacNutt, Leanne Payne, and Randy Clark. This stream stresses the immanence of The Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier and Empowerer.
This stream emphasizes the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures in faith and life, and the necessity of both personal conversion and biblical discipleship. We share this stream’s belief in the centrality of the Cross, Christ’s atoning death as a substitution for us, and the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. We also share its emphasis on the urgency of evangelism and mission here and abroad. For more on the reformed stream in classic Anglicanism, see the doctrinal statements in the 39 Articles of Religion. Some of our fathers in this stream include Martin Luther, Willliam Wilberforce, Bishop J.C. Ryle, J.I. Packer, and John Stott. This stream stresses the saving work of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord.
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Would you like to learn how to use the Book of Common Prayer for your prayer life? We are hosting a workshop on Thursday, June 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for anyone who is interested. Please let us know if you plan to come by reserving your spot today!