Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Anglican Fever" Among Youth

Father Keith Acker of Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity, the first of nine Anglican churches to leave the Episcopal Church's San Diego Diocese six years ago, sent me a news page today, and one of the articles was simply wonderful, so I have to share it.

The conservative Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) did a story dated December 16 on "Anglican Fever," a movement among the youth, mostly college students, who are involved in many start-up church plants within the Bible-centered Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), of which Alpine Anglican, as a Reformed Episcopal Church, is a member.

The accompanying video which contains more information than the print article, was fascinating:

And here's the link for the article, "Anglican Fever: Youth Flock to New Denomination"

I know that for myself, I am drawn to the Anglican Church because of its focus on Scripture, including the new Book of Common Prayer 2011 which uses the evangelical English Standard Version (ESV) Bible as its source for all Scripture passages. To pray through all 150 Psalms each month, to use the Lectionary as a Bible reading plan for morning and evening, to pray the ancient prayers, creeds, and hymns, some dating back to the first century of the Christian Church--all of these Scripture-centered modes of worship have deepened my faith and caused me to fall more in love with my Savior than ever.

So I am not surprised to learn of youth from Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College being on the forefront of "Anglican Fever." The emphasis on weekly Communion, on reverence and congregational participation in worship, and on the extensive reading aloud of God's Word all draw me into the Anglican tradition. I also appreciate the more global emphasis on prayer and the concerns over world-wide poverty. The Anglican Church is extremely strong in Africa and South America, to the point that their churches are sending missionaries here to the US. That's rather humbling, isn't it?

And thus I became involved with Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity over seven years ago, first as Christ the King Anglican, and after leaving the San Diego Diocese of the Episcopal Church, in its present form, both pastored by Father Acker. I found a depth and breadth to God's Word, a depth in prayer and practice, and the value of worshiping God with body, mind, and spirit, rather than merely the mind. I am more aware of God's Presence with me throughout my days and nights, and I find myself turning to prayer more than ever. I feel as if I have truly discovered "the heart of worship" in a tiny church meeting in an elementary school auditorium on Sundays and in the pastor's dining room and garage-chapel on weekdays and Holy Days...all thanks be to God.

So in this Fourth Week of Advent, I pray along with the millions of Anglicans worldwide the Collect (collective prayer) for this week:

O LORD, raise up your power, we pray, and with great might come among us; And, as our sins and wicked ways greatly hinder us in running the race that is set before us, let your abundant grace and mercy come quickly to help and deliver us; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit, belongs all honor and glory, now and always. Amen.

Wishing you a holy and blessed Advent as we await the Coming of Our Lord,

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