One of the features of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer is its inclusion of the Declaration on Kneeling, or Black Rubric, which explains that Anglicans kneeling to receive Communion are not doing so …
I’m currently reading one of the classics of Episcopal Church history, “Men and Movements in the American Episcopal Church”, and am struck by the power, simplicity, piety, and orthodoxy of the first generations of Episcopal clergy and bishops. This history features people like Alex Viets Griswold, Benjamin Moore, Philander Chase, Charles Pettit McIlvaine, John Henry Hobart, all so singularly committed to spreading the Gospel, making disciples, and building up the Episcopal Church according to the Scriptures and the Creeds.
What’s most encouraging to me about what I’m reading is that these people of such passionate and committed Christian faith in the Episcopal Church were coming of age and into ministry at a time when the Episcopal Church seemed on the verge of extinction.Based on where the Episcopal Church was in 1790, the idea that it would still exist in 1840 seemed something of a pipe dream. But personal commitment by faithful individuals to being faithful Anglicans in America was able to reverse the trajectory and bring about steady growth in our communion that lasted a century and a half.
So, I’m encouraged and inspired. I’m also challenged. When reading the story of the early Diocese of Virginia, it seemed like that Church was dead. Few communicants, fewer clergy, and a culture where the church seemed to exist for rich skeptics debating whether God existed or Christianity was ultimately a force for good (sound familiar?).
But the church was kept alive through the personal faithfulness of the laity and a commitment to personal and family devotions centered around the study of Scripture and the Prayer Book. It took over a decade of patient and faithful devotion but it eventually succeeded.
If we as Episcopalians commit ourselves and our families to strong spiritual and devotional lives centered on “the teaching of the Apostles and…the prayers”, we have a great chance to see our history return in the near future.
A quote from John Henry Hobart on the question of Total depravity:
(The Churchman) asserts, in common with his Protestant Brethren, the corruption of human nature, and man’s ability, “by his natural strength, without faith and calling on God” to perform works acceptable to God. And herein he opposes the Romanist. …..but he rejects as unfounded in Scripture, and utterly repugnant to reason and conscience, the tenets of mans responsibility for the sin of another; of his coming to the world doomed to everlasting death for Adam’s sin; and of that utter depravity of man which would make him a fiend……………….Yet while he rejects these revolting views of human guilt and depravity, he cherishes a lively and deep sense of the propensity towards evil which affects his nature, through the dominion which his appetites exercise over his reason, his will, and his affections: of his utter inability to except through faith and grace to do works which however good in themselves will be acceptable to God”.
Jan 6 – The Feast of the Epiphany – http://wp.me/p3Onev-kQ
The Broken Bread. – http://wp.me/p2rqui-7bu
So I’m a pretty bad blogger because I’m not a very good journal writer. Some people are great about posting content, but I often fall behind, especially on this blog, lol. I’d like to do more though, which leads me to this post.
This new year is the third year that I’ve been an Episcopalian, second officially through confirmation, and the 2nd anniversary of my Relationship with my Husband-to-be Corban. It’s also the 200th Anniversary of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio and the 500th of the Protestant Reformation and Luther’s 95 Theses.
In honor of all this, I’d like to change the focus of this blog to one about Early Episcopalianism and Classical Anglicanism in the Episcopal Church today with emphasis on the Protestant and Reformed nature of these churches. I’ll try to post about 3 times a week with quotes from Anglican Churchmen, reflections on books I’m reading, and my journey as a black,gay,Classical Episcopalian within today’s Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion.
I’ll try to post about my own personal issues and politics as well, just to add a little variety.
I’m writing this as a marker to myself of the moment in my life when God worked yet another miracle in my life and A reminder to honor and trust him come what may.
Thank you God for always coming through for me. Help me always to honor you despite my feelings one day or another.