The Church is holy
The first mission of the Church is the worship of Almighty God. And it is in this context that the holiness of individual members is realized. Our worship is elegant, respectfully formal, essentially timeless in its form and attitude. That does not make it an historic relic or a sterile ritual. Rather it is a structured worship that allows the individual mastery over its elements and the ability to pray the liturgy on a deeply personal basis. Yes, our prayers are largely “written down,” but this is so we may use them as familiar and personal avenues to God. Nothing to our mind is more productive of passivity in worship than to have someone else pray for you in ways and words you are hearing for the first time and which cannot be your own (or with which you may, in fact, disagree!). Our liturgy provides the foundation for personal holiness, for the continuing process of each member to stretch and reach and grow in God’s grace.
The Church is Catholic
St. Vincent of Lerins in the early fifth century defined catholicity as “what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.” It is by this test that we Anglicans consider ourselves to be catholic, together with the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholicism and the Old Catholic Churches. The seal of that is the apostolic succession, the consecration of our bishops at the hands of other bishops tracing their consecrations back to the apostles themselves. Our theology is that of the seven Ecumenical Councils and the common understanding of the great churches of Rome and the East. We stress the underlying unity of faith and order with this early Church and judge contemporary issues in the light of Holy Scriptures and that Holy Tradition. We preach an individual living faith in Jesus Christ, but stress a life lived out in the Church, the community of saints. We exhalts the Lord Christ above all – yet it recognizes the proper honor paid to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. We hold to traditional Christian morals, yet provide ready confession and absolution to the penitent sinner. In short, we holds to the catholic faith, the faith once delivered to the saints.
The Church is sacramental
It is often said that our society is too materialistic. perhaps, in many ways, this is true. But it also exhibits a profound disdain for the material. Think for a moment of all the things we use once and then throw away and you will be convinced that we do not value the material or especially respect it. But the Catholic Church has always respected the material world as the loving creation of God Himself. And it is through this material world that God reaches us with his love and power, for He has no other means. Thus we employ material elements (water, bread, wine, oil, married life) as channels of that love and power which He has ordained. Weekly, if not more often, we meet our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, where He allows us to feed on His Body and Blood, His Real Presence, strengthening our souls and imparting eternal life.
The Church is traditional
By this time, you will have gathered that we are not interested in being “blown by every wind of doctrine”. Trees deeply rooted do not succumb to passing breezes. We are sorry that so many of our Christian brethren have decided to take as their examples of life the passing whims and fancies of the popular culture. We are not trendy. We believe in an historic faith which is a “still point in a changing world”. The Church is a rock, a sure foundation on which we can build our own lives and the lives of our children.