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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Anglican Fever! Catch it!

This article caught me by suprise and if its accurate, then perhaps we will be witnessing a growing phenomenon within the Christian church...

"For decades young people have flocked to seeker-friendly churches that feature culturally relevant services and a casual environment.

Now, a new denomination that emphasizes tradition and centuries-old sacraments and practices is drawing them in.

The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) officially began in 2009 with hundreds of congregations that severed ties with the Episcopal Church...

While the congregants are casually dressed, the service has a more formal, liturgical feel and the students that CBN News spoke with say that's exactly what they like.

"I love the emphasis on Scripture. I love that we read four long passages every Sunday so you really ingest a lot of scripture each Sunday," said Andie Roeder, who studies at Moody Bible Institute.

"And I love the way it's interactive so there's a call and a response and you get to pray back and forth," she said...

Archbishop Robert Duncan dubbed the movement "Anglican fever" in an address to the Lausanne Congress last year.

CBN News spoke with Anglican leaders who are witnessing college communities springing up, from Florida to Massachusetts and beyond.

A possible reason for the growth is the authenticity. Many congregations in the new denomination gave up buildings and property in order to break from the Episcopal Church and its increasingly liberal theology.

One of the worst cases happened in Binghamton, N.Y., where the Episcopal Church evicted the Good Shepherd congregation and then sold its property to a mosque.

Rector Matt Kennedy found out about the new owner while he was driving by the old property and saw a crane taking down the steeple.

"It was very sad," he said. "Because it is a place where generation after generation the gospel had been preached."

"People have come to know Jesus Christ, people have been brought from darkness into light and now it has been sold to a group that promotes the darkness," Kennedy added."

I have often thought that such qualities as a definative direction, a rich tradition and strong sense of liturgy are what young people are craving in their spiritual lives. It's easy to offer up a type of folksy worship in which there is great emphasis on accessibility of the pastor and a down to earth image is contrived. However, I am of the opinion that people, and especially young people desire structure in their worship and they like knowing that there is a sense of permanency in their style of worship that goes back with a wonderful tradition stretching back for centuries in their praise of God and fellowship with other Christians.

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