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WHAT DO ANGLICANS BELIEVE?

Our Anglican Identity

    Like other Christian traditions, our Anglican identity is based on our faith that Jesus Christ is Lord. That affirmation is central to the unity of the Church. All the major branches or "communions" of the Christian faith – Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Reformed – are historically rooted in Jesus’s life and teachings as presented in the Gospels, and are united in our belief in the redemptive act of his death and resurrection. 

    The Anglican tradition is that of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church in England. In the Reformation (16th century), this community became a distinct political entity. The Anglican Communion is composed of those churches around the world which have their origin in The Church of England, acknowledge the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and who worship together using an authorized version of The Book of Common Prayer. We in Taiwan are part of the Episcopal Church of the USA, which is one branch of the Anglican Communion. 

    Anglican beliefs incorporate the orthodox (i.e. catholic) expressions of faith and understanding of the sacraments. These are formalized in the two creeds (The Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed), The Thirty-Nine Articles, and the Catechism. While these are critical to understanding the specific nature of our beliefs and tradition, Christianity is a living religion of a person, Jesus Christ, and not the worship of texts. Jesus’ transcendent presence in the Holy Spirit continually calls us to worship and action both as a community and as individuals. Therefore our Christian life is realized in our worship together in a common liturgy. Our styles of worship may be different from congregation to congregation, but the substance and content are united by doctrinal teachings and forms of worship in our Book of Common Prayer

    Whatever your tradition or background, we invite you to worship with us each Sunday and experience God’s shalom – or welcoming peace – in our community of faith and worship.
 

What is the Episcopal Church?

    The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the Anglican Communion. 

    The Episcopal Church came into existence as an independent denomination after the American Revolution. Today it has between two and three million members in the United States, Mexico, and Central America and Taiwan, all of which are under jurisdiction of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Frank Griswold.

    Bishops in the American Episcopal Church are elected by individual dioceses and are consecrated into the Apostolic Succession, considered to witness to an unbroken line of Church leadership beginning with the Apostles themselves. For more than two decades the American Episcopal Church has ordained women to the priesthood. In 1988 the Diocese of Massachusetts elected the first Anglican woman bishop, Barbara Harris. The Church of the Good Shepherd has as its rector, The Reverend Elizabeth Wei, the first woman priest in the Anglican/ Episcopal Church of Taiwan.  

    Although it subscribes to the historic Creeds (the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed), considers the Bible to be divinely inspired, and holds the Eucharist or Lord's Supper to be the central act of Christian worship, the Episcopal Church grants great latitude in interpretation of doctrine. It tends to stress less the confession of particular beliefs than the use of the Book of Common Prayer in public worship. This book, first published in the sixteenth century, even in its revisions, stands today as a major source of unity for Anglicans around the world. 

    The Church of England has always valued the life of the mind and dialogue with fields of secular study. Isaac Newton was an Anglican clergyman and theologian as were several of the founders of the Royal Society, the earliest institution organised for the promotion of science. The Episcopal Church maintains this tradition, routinely requiring its clergy to hold university as well as seminary degrees and supporting many university chaplains.
 

Texts of Faith and Historical Documents

    The ecumenical creeds, both Nicene and Apostles', are used by the Episcopal Church in its worship day by day and week by week. They are ancient and universal statements of Christian faith. In addition, the Episcopal Church follows ancient tradition and includes the Athanasian Creed among its statements of faith.     Another very important ancient statement of faith is the Chalcedonian formula, which defined the limits of Christological orthodoxy.     The Thirty-Nine Articles were important at the Reformation, but are less-so today.     The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral describes the general ecumenical principles of Anglicans.     The Episcopal Church also has a Catechism, which summarises the faith in question-and-answer format.
The Rev’d Elizabeth Wei
The Rev’d Peter T P Chen
Tel [ 886 2 ] 2882 2462
Fax [ 886 2 ] 2882 0513
E-mail goodshep@ms22.hinet.net
English Chaplain - The Rev’d Graham Witcher, Ph.D.

Tel/Fax [ 886 2 ] 2873 8104
E-mail birders@ms59.hinet.net

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