Saturday, March 19, 2011

What Do They Believe- Episcopal Church

Beginnings: Founded in 1534 by King Henry's Act of Supremacy, as the Anglican Church.
 Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer contributed a great deal to the reforms away from Catholicism with two versions of the Book of Common Prayer and the 42 Articles of 1553.
King Henry VIII of England (r. 1509-1547) had sought to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536). Because the Pope would not annul the marriage, Henry sought to make himself Head of the Church in England. This Parliamentary Act from 1534 gave legal sanction to Henry's assumption of those clerical powers. 

The Act of Supremacy: (one long sentence)

Albeit the king's Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England, and so is recognized by the clergy of this realm in their convocations, yet nevertheless, for corroboration and confirmation thereof, and for increase of virtue in Christ's religion within this realm of England, and to repress and extirpate all errors, heresies, and other enormities and abuses heretofore used in the same, be it enacted, by authority of this present Parliament, that the king, our sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall be taken, accepted, and reputed the only supreme head in earth of the Church of England, called Anglicans Ecclesia; and shall have and enjoy, annexed and united to the imperial crown of this realm, as well the title and style thereof, as all honors, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities to the said dignity of the supreme head of the same Church belonging and appertaining; and that our said sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts and enormities, whatsoever they be, which by any manner of spiritual authority or jurisdiction ought or may lawfully be reformed, repressed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, most to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ's religion, and for the conservation of the peace, unity, and tranquility of this realm; any usage, foreign land, foreign authority, prescription, or any other thing or things to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.
In 1789, representative clergy from nine dioceses met in Philadelphia to ratify the Church's initial constitution. The Episcopal Church was formally separated from the Church of England in 1789 so that clergy would not be required to accept the supremacy of the British monarch.
Early in the Church's history, Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America was used. In the middle of the 19th century, some began trying to drop the word Protestant from the church's name, on the grounds that the original break of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church had nothing directly to do with the Protestant Reformation. Also, it had often come to mean anti-Catholic rather than non-papal.
View on Scripture:  Scripture contains the truth that is necessary for salvation and is the primary norm for faith, but must be interpreted in light of tradition and reason. (Col. 2: 8.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.)

The Apocrypha is respected but not viewed as Scripture.

View on God:  The one Creator and Lord of all, existing eternally as the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)

View on Jesus:  The eternal Son incarnate, fully God and fully man, conceived and born of the virgin Mary, died on the Cross for our sins, rose bodily from the grave, ascended into heaven, and will come again in glory to judge us all.

View on Salvation:  Salvation is obtained by baptism (infant and converts/ trinity formula), believing in Christ, and keeping his commandments.
Q. What is required of us at Baptism?
A. It is required that we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Q. Why then are infants baptized?
A. Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God.
Q. How are the promises for infants made and carried out?
A. Promises are made for them by their parents and sponsors, who guarantee that the infants will be brought up within the Church, to know Christ and be able to follow him.

View on Death:  The souls of the faithful are purified as needed ( read: purgatory) to enjoy full communion with God, and at Christ’s return they are raised to the fullness of eternal life in heaven.  Those who reject God face eternal death.

The Church: The church is the body of Christ whose unity is based on the “apostolic succession” of bishops going back to the apostles, of whom the bishop of Rome is one of many.  The Anglican communion is a part of the church, whose unity worldwide is represented by the archbishop of Canterbury.  The church in the USA is known as the Episcopal Church.

Sacraments:  Baptism as above, communion, confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent (confession to a priest/and forgiveness by the priest), and unction ( anointing of the sick with oil). Christ’s body and blood are really present in Communion

Other Beliefs: Today the Church calls for the full civil equality of gay men and lesbians. Most dioceses ordain openly gay men and women; in some, same-sex unions are celebrated with services of blessing. In 2009, the Church's General Convention passed resolutions that allowed for gay and lesbian marriages in states where it is legal. Katharine Jefferts Schori (born March 26, 1954, in Pensacola, Florida) the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States, voted to consent to the election of Gene Robinson, an openly gay and partnered man, as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

Please read through the power point presentations found in the links to the left.

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