(eating good food is definitely an implicit value!)
The “good news” of Christianity begins by describing the way things are. There is much beauty and joy in our lives, but there is also pain, loss, dissatisfaction, and trauma. We wish we didn’t war with each other, but we do. No one wants to become an addict, but we do. No one wants their marriage to end in divorce, but it happens. We are not as free as we think. We are unable to fix ourselves, our family, or our world. Are we left alone? “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5). The Gospel—literally the “good news”—is that God has descended into the depths of our failure, even into hell itself to rescue us. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). In Jesus, God himself took the consequences of our ignorance, our selfishness, our cowardice, and ultimately our rejection of him. Jesus alone reveals that God is not an angry judge but a loving father gathering his hurting children to himself to heal, to forgive, to redeem. We are reconciled to God by faith through grace alone. As a result, we believe that gospel is the same for all people, Christian and non alike. Only God’s grace unleashes freedom—the kind of freedom to accept, to forgive, to walk in love, to live boldly. “It is for freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). God’s forgiveness means that we are motivated by love instead of fear. The fruit of that freedom of the Gospel is a spontaneous, creative, and compassionate life. We believe that the very thing that makes a Christian—namely, the Gospel—is the same thing that grows a Christian. We have a high view of the Holy Spirit who integrates the reality of forgiveness in every area of our lives. We believe this is through the cycle of being brought back to our need for God where we end and faith begins.
The disenchanted Roman governor, Pilate, said to Jesus at the trial of his crucifixion, “What is truth?” Our culture today is just as disenchanted with the idea of truth; this is not new. We distrust truth claims, grand-overarching stories. We question everything. We claim only that there is no absolute truth. But then again, that in itself is a claim to truth… It is in this context that Christianity claims truth is not a set of beliefs but a person. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said. He is literally God’s Word to us come in human form, uniting symbol, language, and meaning in flesh. We hold the Christian Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God—literally what God says to us about himself, about his love for us, about the cost he paid to break into our lives. It tells the truth about us and about God. It tells the story of when Truth came amongst us. As it says in one of the eye-witness accounts of Jesus’ life, “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30). We do not believe the Bible is a manual for living – though it has a number of things to say about holy living. Rather, the Scriptures exist first and foremost to point to Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the world, the “author of light and life”. It is only through Him that we know truth. “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
What does "Anglican" mean? It means we are not alone. We have historic roots. We are part of a group that stretches across the globe. Though we are grateful for our heritage we also know we are a part of the family of faith that is greater than any one denomination. In that sense we are “catholic;” we are joined to all who believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We confess the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasius creeds as the backbone of the Christian faith. This expression of Christianity started in the English Reformation. Anglicans most of all know that church structure will never be perfect this side of heaven! We started due to 16th Century English King Henry VIII’s desire to divorce. But yet even this was redeemed to become a safeguard of the Gospel of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The founders died to preserve this faith; a faith now conveyed through the Book of Common Prayer that unites Anglicans worldwide as a guide to worship. We hold to the 39 Articles of Religion that explain the main tenets of Christianity.