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  1. alongtheway

    alongtheway Grace that is greater than all our sin

    15
    +21
    Australia
    Anglican
    Single
    With so many different Christian traditions and expressions, I thought I would ask the question, Why did you choose the Anglican tradition?

    also,

    What are the things you LOVE and what are the things you ''love less'' ?


     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
  2. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    +4,221
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    What I love (an Episcopalian view):
    • Liturgical, sacramental, & reverential worship
    • The only church in my area offering traditional and historical worship with a Communion table open to all baptized Christians. (with apologies to my Catholic, Orthodox, and LCMS friends)
    • Confirmation without requiring re-baptism (with apologies to my Orthodox friends).
    • All may, none must, some should.
    • The 3-legged stool: Scripture, Tradition, & Reason
    • Inclusivity that welcomes all.
    What I don't love (an Episcopalian view):
    • The division and lack of charity among Anglican branches.
    • The movement toward gender neutral language.
    • The notion that The Episcopal Church (U.S.A.) is about the "gay agenda." We are not; we are about the Jesus agenda.
     
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  3. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

    +3,827
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    I grew up in a Baptist church and an Evangelical K-12 school. During my high school, college, and grad school years, I began to question many of the beliefs I'd been brought up with (most notably, biblical inerrancy and young-earth creationism). I was also studying theology and church history, and coming to appreciate how Christian beliefs had developed over time in a fairly sensible fashion, that there was a solid philosophical and historical foundation to most of what Christians believe. As a result, I looked for a denomination that allowed me to ask all my troublesome questions, and at the same time was deeply rooted in Christian history.

    I had also come to love liturgical worship. The style of worship where one sits passively and listens to other people pray and preach works for some people, but it doesn't work for me. I need to be DOING something, participating in the worship. Liturgy fits that need well; plus, it's full of imagery and physical movement and sounds and smells that touch me in more ways than mere words.

    I didn't actually know if there existed a church that combined liturgy and history with openness to theological questions and exploration. The Episcopal Church felt like a gift from heaven when I found it.

    What I love:

    - The Easter Vigil.
    - The other Holy Week services.
    - Incense.
    - Congregational hymn singing. I don't know how it is in other countries, but American Episcopalians like to sing.
    - Saying words in worship that other Christians have been saying for centuries, like the whole communion of saints is praying together.
    - The seasons of the church year.
    - Weekly communion
    - The 1979 Book of Common Prayer. It really is a remarkable book.

    What I don't love:

    - As a denomination, we're weak on Bible study. The Baptists and Evangelicals of my youth knew the Bible so well. There were Sunday School classes and Bible studies for toddlers through elderly adults. Everyone could recite the books of the Bible, and had their favorite Bible verses. The Episcopal churches I've attended don't have that. Sunday School ends at age 12 or so, just as people's minds are mature enough to understand real theology. We need to do better.

    Extra credit:

    - I wasn't looking for a gender-inclusive denomination when I first came to the Episcopal Church; I wasn't yet settled in my own mind whether women could be fully included in the life of the church. Now, 40 years later, I am so deeply grateful that the Episcopal Church is inclusive of people of all genders at all levels of ministry.
     
  4. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

    +4,221
    United States
    Anglican
    Married
    Oh, yeah! :clap:
     
  5. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +17,290
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    I chose Anglicanism because, when I started looking for a church (I wasn't raised church-going), the Catholicism my parents had lapsed from - which was my natural starting point - was a poor fit, but Anglicanism basically agreed with me on all the points where I disagreed with Catholicism.

    In particular, the absence of any claim to infallibility, and the absence of devotion to Mary and the saints, were big things for me, while still retaining a solid, sound, grounded and liturgical form of Christianity (what I would later learn about as the three-legged stool of Scripture, tradition and reason). I simply couldn't come at the sheer arrogance of saying "We can never be wrong," but appreciated Anglicanism's openness to growth and change. And although I tried things like the rosary, for me the invocation of saints is something my conscience just can't cope with.

    I love that we are a global communion. I love that my church encompasses people of a huge variety of cultures and languages and unites us in worship and mission. I love that we are a relational church; our synodical form of governance, our episcopal polity, and so forth commit us to ways of being and doing which are about relationships.

    I love less that we still have so far to go on basically treating women as fully human. I love less that we have so much internal division and people willing to disrupt our relationships in an attempt to get their own way. I love less that in many ways we still have a long way to go to truly enculturate our worship and community life to local and contemporary contexts.

    How's that for a start? :)
     
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  6. Padres1969

    Padres1969 Episcopalian

    403
    +180
    Anglican
    Married
    US-Others
    Why Anglicanism (Episcopalian in particular)?

    -Liturgical - I grew up Catholic and while I have many issues with the RCC, liturgical worship was never one of them. And Anglicanism (particularly High Church and Anglo-Catholicism were very familiar.
    -Episcopal - Similar to the above, while not strictly hierarchical like the Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Churches, I appreciate the established Episcopate and its ties back to the Apostles as conferring some level of connection to those early churchmen and women.
    -Lack of claims to being infallible - This aspect of Catholicism always bugged me as presumptuous and derived from men.
    -Lack of claims to being "the one true faith" - similar to the above, I believe all Christian faiths have some aspect of the truth in them, but they're all also generational hand me downs, much of it oral early on. And anyone who has played a game of telephone knows that the truth of any statement get skewed in the retelling.
    -Big tent approach - I love that Anglicanism, at least as it has traditionally worked, takes a big tent approach to many aspects of the faith including worship and interpretation of scripture.
    -Willingness to admit fault - The Episcopal Church was much more willing to admit something was wrong even in it's much more limited issues with some of the same scandals that plagued Catholicism and other denominations
    -Female Clergy - There are several examples in the bible of why this should be
    -Married Clergy - Same thing, it was allowed in the early Church and see no reason it shouldn't be now.
    -Lack of Marian focus - The sometimes overwhelming focus on Mary in Catholicism always rubbed me the wrong way. Because it often came at the exclusion of focus on Christ in my experience.
    -Lack of Saintly Focus - similar to the above. Intercession never made much sense to me. If I have a personal relationship with Christ, why do I need someone else to intercede on my behalf?
    -Being part of the Worldwide communion - Love that I can go to many countries and find an Anglican parish worshiping similarly to my own despite the national nature of the various churches.

    Like Less:

    -The schisms - the recent schisms in the Anglican Communion are probably the one thing I dislike more than anything about Anglicanism.
    -The big tent approach - I know I said I like it above, and I do, but I dislike that it can lead to disagreements sometimes as the price for it that lead to things like schism.
     
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  7. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Stand by Ukraine Supporter

    +12,530
    United States
    Lutheran
    Married
    US-Constitution
    This thread coincidentally brings to mind our local ACNA Rector’s sermon where he entered seminary as a Baptist and graduated as an Anglican.
     
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  8. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

    +885
    United States
    Anglican
    Widowed
    There's a joke about Cranmer House (one of the REC seminarys) that they graduate a lot of Orthodox priests. By that is meant that a lot of their students bail on the REC or whatever Continuing church told them to take classes at Cranmer House and become Eastern Orthodox.
     
  9. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Stand by Ukraine Supporter

    +12,530
    United States
    Lutheran
    Married
    US-Constitution
    I can believe that. Our local Antiocian parish has been growing fairly rapidly the last decade while most mainline churches keep losing members. They were actually able to build a second church building and will maintain both locations.
     
  10. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +17,290
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    I was thinking about this thread this week. I have five people in my parish being received as Anglicans on Sunday; one Orthodox, two Catholics, one from the Churches of Christ and one who's had a varied history but has most recently been affiliated with the Salvation Army.

    Reflecting on that diversity, and on their stories, it struck me that for many people, Anglicanism represents a sensible middle. It's a tradition where people from very different backgrounds can find themselves at home, and find enough that's familiar and with which they can connect for that transition to be workable. This perhaps illustrates the truth of something I once heard from Andrew McGowan; that what is most authentically Anglican is not what is most distinctively Anglican (that is, the strength of our identity lies in what we have in common with other Christians, rather than in our idiosyncrasies).

    But the other thing I think Anglicanism represents is that it is not overly prescriptive, particularly for laity. People can carry with them the formation of other traditions (of both doctrine and practice) and still be Anglicans in good standing, and valued contributors to our parish communities. There's room for breadth that provides real hospitality.

    I think there's a lot of good in those traits.
     
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  11. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

    965
    +138
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Why Anglican: (from a Continuing Anglican, former Episcopalian perspective)

    After being raised Jehovah's Witness and spending time as an agnostic/atheist, the Episcopal Church was my first true church home (baptized and confirmed there). All I knew at that time is that I wanted to attend a liturgical service with the Eucharist at the center of worship. I appreciated most how I was given room to breathe and to sort of work things out at my own pace. Although I could no longer remain in the Episcopal Church in good conscience, I love my old Episcopal parish and I am very thankful for my experience and the deep spirituality they imparted on me. I also enjoyed being a part of something much larger than just TEC as being a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion was really special. I feel that Anglicans, traditionally, get so many things right and I truly believe it is the closest to the ancient and historic catholic faith.

    What I love most about my current Continuing Anglican parish is that it is everything my old parish use to be, traditional Anglican worship and theology.

    What I dislike:

    Speaking of my TEC experience, I would say the wholesale embracing of modern political progressivism over our traditional Anglican heritage, worship, and theology. I know that is a strength for many, but it is incredibly sad and heartbreaking for me.

    Doctrinal chaos is also a big issue within Anglicanism and probably always will be. I don't like it, but it is what it is. I don't mind a big tent approach per se (catholic, evangelical, middle of the road); however, if the tent is so big that you stand for nothing, what's the point?

    Speaking of my Continuing Anglican experience, I just wish we were bigger as the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite is very very small, but we have a big heart!
     
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  12. VincentIII

    VincentIII New Member

    78
    +47
    United States
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    Along with the excellent points above, one of the things drawing me to Anglicanism is that the Church seems to respect that the laity is naturally in dialogue with the Church and with Christianity. That isn't to say the laity is negotiating, but that reason is valued. In the Church where I came up, the Roman Catholic Church, it felt more like a monologue. In the Roman Catholic Church, I too often feel like a subject. In the Anglican Church, the laity seem more like citizens.
     
  13. VincentIII

    VincentIII New Member

    78
    +47
    United States
    Catholic
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    Agreed.
    That overly prescriptive quality is why there are so many cafeteria Catholics. Although I appreciate that some priests seem to look the other way about certain things that might be insisted upon more heavily in the Catechism, I feel uneasy about being in that space where "the official line is this, but we usually don't sweat it." I'd rather be in an atmosphere where I don't have to dance around those things.
     
  14. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian Supporter

    +3,506
    United States
    Generic Orthodox Christian
    Celibate
    The reason why I joined the Episcopal Church was deep admiration for my friend and colleague Fr. Stephen, who retired; I wanted to be there for his last two years of service. After he left, I moved, on, but while I was there, I fell in love with the BCP and Anglican liturgy and was thus persuaded by another Anglican friend to join the public domain liturgical compilation-producing group I am a member of, where much of my work has been on their planned alternative to the 2019 BCP and a related project started by a Methodist elder in 2014 to make an updated version of John Wesley’s recension 1786 of the BCP, the Sunday Service Book for Methodists in North America (in which he scrupulously obtained and digitized and downloaded where available copies of an extremely vast library of Anglican and Methodist liturgical texts not limited, in the case of Anglicanism, to official BCP editions, and organized all of this, which has made the work extremely easy; because we have the texts, including a rare edition of the 1549 BCP in modern spelling and punctuation, compiling is just copy+paste, so we have spent most of our time debating what to include, or rather, what not to include, and also on typographics and also typography design (which has been my area of work, using Adobe In Design, since I am an admirer of elegant books).

    Ans to this end the most beautiful liturgical books ever published were the 1892 and 1928 Standard Book editions sold to 500 subscribers and sponsored by JP Morgan, if I remember correctly, of the Episcopalian BCP; the reference copies each diosese received were printed on vellum and are priceless, and I have never seen a copy of a Standard Edition, particularly the Art Nouveau decorated version of the 1892 Standard Edition, in person or for sale, although there are scans of a few of the pages online, and scans of the simpler version sold to most of the 500 subscribers, and the 1928 version. I have looked on ebay for these and not seen them; I imagine since only a thousand of either exist, these books are the sort of thing that would be auctioned at Christie’s or Sotheby’s. The Arrion Books prospectus for a Standard Book version of the 1979 BCP was exquisite, and it is a shame the Episcopal Church didn’t buy it, and I was equally disappointed the ACNA didn’t hire Arrion, which is still in business, or another boutique printer, to do a Standard Edition of the 2019 BCP; I would have subscribed. Of course, we cannot hope to match that; if our typography is remotely as good as the main print runs of the 1928 or 1979 Episcopal books, I will be euphoric. I am not John Updike, or even a professional graphics designer, merely a dilettante.

    The other two favorite liturgical books of mine, typographically speaking, are Series Two and Series Three of the Trial Eucharist Services printed in late 60s and early 70s by the Church of England. Series Three has a cover design which now looks kind of “disco” as they say, but as an example of 70s graphics design it is excellent, however, the typography of the interiors of both books, and the cover design from series 2, I view as timeless. Series 2 in particular had the liturgical text in a Serif font and “Bluebrics” as I call them in Univers Medium, the exquiste sans serif font, or something close to it.

    You can download these, and also fascimiles and scans of the 1892 Standard Book, the 1928 Standard Book, both by Updike, and the Prospectus for the planned 1979 Standard Book by Arrion Press, from this wonderful website.

    So i guess what I love most about Anglicanism is the commitment to liturgical beauty, even among low church Anglicans who simply have a different interpretation of it from Anglo Catholics, and also most especially, the symbols of Anglicanism and that commitment to pious worship, like the Book of Common Prayer and the Church Flag used by Anglicans and Episcopalians in the United States, which I think is one of the three most gorgeous Ecclesiastical flags in existence (the others being the Christian Flag, inspired by the American flag and the flag of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, which is a black Doppeladler, or two headed Eagle, on a yellow background, based on the historic insignia of the Byzantine Empire).

    With all due respect to my Roman Catholic friends, I have to confess I find the flag of the Holy See a little boring in comparison (although the flag of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta, which is still a thing, a charity under the control of the RCC which issues its own passports and has its own diplomatic corps, and used to be the government of Malta, is exquisite however). But of all these flags, I think the Church Flag used by Eposcopalian and American Anglican churches is the best.

    I should also add that my love for Anglicanism is such that I think there is a great probability I will be a member of an Anglican denomination at some point in the future; indeed I would be a member now were it not for the work I am doing.
     
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