Light of Christ is an Anglican church in the Great Tradition, belonging to the Anglican Church in North America.
What do we mean by “Anglican”?
Anglicanism comes originally from the Church of England. It is a sacramental church, maintaining the creeds and forms of the historic Christian faith and practice. It is also an evangelical Church of the Reformation–with a strong emphasis on Scripture, the once-for-all salvation that Christ provided to all on the cross, the need for grace, and a personal reception of that salvation once given.
Anglicanism, with evangelical fervor, brought the gospel and the Scriptures first to its own English-speaking people, and then to many other nations and peoples in their own languages and cultures. As a result, it has become the most populous Protestant denomination in the Global South.
At its best, the Anglican communion has been an historic church faithfully teaching its members how to receive and incorporate their faith into every aspect of their life, their culture and their times. Part of that work includes an emphasis on beauty and simplicity, which is especially embodied in the simple but poetic prayers of its well-known Book of Common Prayer.
The Anglican Communion is a branch of the Church that emphasizes order as well as spontaneity, tradition as well as faithful new prophetic expressions, regular Eucharist and daily Scripture reading, and community worship as well as private devotion. At Light of Christ, people experience Anglicanism through its commitment to evangelical and scriptural teaching, its liturgical and sacramental practices as a recipient of the ancient and universal practices of the Church, and its use of the Book of Common Prayer.
The rootedness in the ancient, combined with the freshness of new hymns and songs of praise, of poetic liturgical prayers along with spontaneous prayers, create a stable but vital worship and community experience. An occasional visit from our Bishop for confirmations and ordinations also “brings home” our connection to the wider Anglican communion and its historic tradition.
What is the “Anglican Church in North America?”
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is an emerging province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, made up of over 1000 churches in the U.S. and Canada. ACNA churches embrace the 39 articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the authority of the Bible as basis of Anglican worship and theology. We are a parish in the ACNA and are part of the Anglican Church in the Upper Midwest. For more on Anglicanism, visit the Anglican Church in North America.
What is “the Great Tradition?”
The Great Tradition is the beliefs and practices that are rooted in the early Church, from its days as recorded in the New Testament, through the first 5-10 centuries which followed. It was that period in history when the Church was united, before East and West divided into Eastern Orthodox practice and Roman Catholic/Protestant expressions of the faith.
The expression is used by us and many others to indicate our commitment to live and pass on the Christian faith once-given (Jude 3). It’s important to us that we aren’t “making this stuff up as we go along.” Rather, we are beneficiaries of a great gift of faith, a way of worship and life, and we are stewards of the same for those who come after us.
Typically included in the “Great Tradition” are
- Holy Scripture (the authority for all doctrine, preaching and teaching)
- the Creeds and Councils of the early Church (i.e. The Nicene Creed, The Apostles Creed, and the First Seven Ecumenical Councils)
- the worship practices, church organization (bishops, priests and deacons) and liturgies of the early Church
- the teachings of the Church Fathers who held and shaped the beliefs, practices and teachings of the undivided Church amidst much testing and persecution.