Presbotanglicanism?

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Isodore, Jul 13, 2019 at 9:04 PM.

  1. Isodore

    Isodore New Member

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    I have moved to a new city in NC. I tried attending an ACNA church plant here. My background was AMiA/Pear/ACNA church in another city & before that TEC.

    The church plant pastor is from another church in another city I am familiar with, having an AMiA/Pear/ACNA history. I am using terms like pastor instead of rector, because that is the language used by the church, i.e. leadership team rather than vestry. My son went to the parent church & he said there is no formal confirmation process. He attended an RUF fellowship in college & said most of the people who go their got their faith formation in some kind of college ministry, BSF, or Young Life. The liturgy is changed sometimes to "change it up."

    There are no vestments, no BCP (liturgy printed in bulletin), K-Love music, etc. Other than the Eucharist, it feels like any community/evangelical church. Only one member I met came from a TEC/Anglican and I asked him why no BCP? He said the answer given to him is it's too much trouble to collect the BCP because they are a plant. Beyond what some people may say are esthetic differences, the sermons could be given at any evangelical or community church. Indeed it seems other than those coming from para-church formation, most seems to come from charismatic or evangelical church background. I am using evangelical in an esthetic & not in a theological sense, as I assume all orthodox Christians ascribe to evangelical thinking regarding 'coming to Jesus'.

    I find myself thinking, why not attend an evangelical church. Certainly, I would miss what 'brown bagged' liturgy there is, shown from a projector & MAC PC. I broke down this Ash Wednesday & went to an old school TEC parish because I wanted the smoke and mirrors. There is always a church tradition for any church. There are always symbols of faith, unless you go to a house church or Friends meeting. It's how the traditions & symbols affect one. Attending RC mass with my cousins as a young person, I found it moving, expressing something beyond what mere language does, & never felt myself in danger of confusing the temporal and spacial with the transcendent. However, when I have attended an evangelic or community church I have found it an impoverished expericence in some way. Like only reading about Hinduism, and then having the experience of visiting an ancient Hindu temple in Chennai. The evangelical or community church feels very much an intellectual or purely spiritual (in a negative sense) experience relative to a mass. As C. S. Lewis said, what we do with our bodies affects our spirits. Or as church fathers taught, the sacrament is a joining of the temporal & spiritual. If you don't get on your knees, you never get the sensation of submission to God.

    If the watering down of Anglican norms is to accommodate those coming from non-Anglican formation, then I understand proceeding in the spirit of being all things to all men, as St. Paul says, in order to bring people to Christ. However, when I hear of people on the leadership team saying 'why do we need all this BCP stuff', I am wondering if people are trying to make ACNA non-Anglican in practice. Then why not ask, why baptize infants, why scheduled confirmation class, etc.? Then indeed it seems to be just another community church plant, with a cool logo and a name like Fresh Wind Church, pastor's with tattoos & skinny jeans giving a sermon "people can relate to."

    Anyway, I find it depressing that people get excited about Jedi knights wearing vestments but find it too high church if their rector wears one.
     
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  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Please report them to your bishop, for that is clear liturgical abuse

    These people seem to think that our ethereal liturgy is a stumbling block or an impediment, rather tthan the pearl of great price, something to apologize for rather than something to cherish as a draw and a great Instrument of evangelism

    if they think so negatively of this our Pearl of great Price, then, it is a free country, let them go, depart and be dissolved into the general teeming mass of vanilla evangelicalism, which is one step short of agnosticism anyway... But why pollute our Church? They seem to have no interest in Anglican patrimony, and I don't know why they even choose to drag us down with having us associate with them
     
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  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I beg to differ. The Church of England has made it exceeding easy.

    https://www.churchofengland.org/pra...-common-prayer/lords-supper-or-holy-communion

    Indeed it is entirely possible to work with this document and produce your own liturgy booklet on the solid foundation of BCP.

    The big question I alway have to ask, once we have abandoned a clear liturgical form (BCP 1928 CW 1973 1995 or whatever format) a very early casualty often becomes the lectionary. Then we can miss bits of the Bible we don't want to deal with, skip oin the hard bits, and easily we can start to loose liturgy.

    Now liturgy comes from a compound of two greek words, laos (people) and ergon (work). The liturgy is people people's work. All of us together come to offer God praise and thanksgiving, to lift up our hearts, to encounter Jesus. If you replace the sanctuary with a stage, the work of singing together with highly energised music performances, preaching the Good News of Salvation can seem more like a motivational talk, ...

    and then one day we hear of Elijah confronting the sound of sheer silence


    What you have described is not what I would have expected to find. Have a look at the ACNA website and see what you think

    http://anglicanchurch.net/
     
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  4. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Your experience is typical of ACNA churches in SE Va, and the notorious diocese of C4SO is not operating here! One priest dresses in attire that you would expect of someone working at the DMV or selling cars and throws a stole on over top of that. A different parish has no formal liturgy: they follow the format of 25-30 minutes of praise music, followed by Scripture reading and a sermon, and some cobbled together communion service of the rector's own invention. I don't think some of the clergy ever wear a cassock unless they go to a diocesan event. My jurisdiction incardinated a deacon from ACNA who realized his congregation was not significantly different than the Church of the Nazarene that he had departed. We went to an event together and I loaned him a stole because he didn't have one; he had been a deacon for 2-3 years at that point.

    Botolph is right: there is no excuse for not printing out little bulletins or booklets with a proper order of service from an authorized text. The whole lot of them can be quickly packed up in a crate at the conclusion of the service. They can print the fixed parts of the liturgy in one booklet that can be used weekly for an extended period of time and make a separate sheet with the music and changing parts of the service. I've seen missions (in ACNA) that were doing this while they were in the phase of meeting in a library or clubhouse or some such place.

    If you want to be pointed in a more traditional direction PM me. I can probably help you find something that looks and sounds Anglican.
     
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  5. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Member Anglican

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    I know a lot of Anglicans, clergy included, who tend in this direction. They are, largely, the ones who lived in TEC and therefore received their orthodoxy (and spirituality) from popular charismatic evangelicalism. That's something I've noticed in my neck of the woods - Episcopalians are either formed by mostly-evangelical programs or mostly-Roman-Catholic programs, and usually both with a dose of the charismatic renewal of the 70's. That's why things like vestments, the Prayer Book, the liturgy, and the Articles of Religion fall by the wayside not just among the liberal progressive wing but also among many conservatives - they've taken their cues from other traditions in order to remain orthodox believers.

    Appeal to the expense of the BCP, etc., is just the casual excuse. Ultimately they don't want to be locked in, pigeon-holed, or otherwise limited by 'Anglicanism'. As pop-evangelicals they want to be 'Mere Christians' and leave it at that. I don't know how widespread this phenomenon is, but in my diocese it has at least been somewhat curtailed by our former bishop's insistence that we used the ACNA liturgy. That still leaves the rock concert music and the barely-existent vestments unchecked, but it's something.

    It's very frustrating for those who want to learn, explore, especially be classical Anglicans in those settings. You have my sympathies!
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yikes.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head here. We love the Jedi in their vestments; nobody wants to see a Jedi in a t-shirt. Even in shows like Game of Thrones, the best part of the storyline is a world where people address everyone as 'my Lord' and 'Your Grace'. The modern generation is dying to get more hierarchy, dignity, and mystery. That will be quite a challenge for Baptists whose history has been a crusade against hierarchy and mystery, but it's an absolute freebie for the Anglican tradition, where all the best things we've ever had were wrapped in hierarchy, dignity, and mystery.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019 at 8:35 AM
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