Scripture Tradition & Reason
At the heart of our Spirituality is creating a Christian practice that is gentle, compassionate, open, and engaging. The Episcopal Church (also called Anglican) is a worldwide movement that has certain ethos. A practice that focuses on what is lovingly known as the three legged stool of our faith: Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
Anglicanism has a culture, an ethos. What follows is a taste of that Anglican ethos.
John Westerhoff, in A People Called Episcopalians, describes Anglican spirituality as having these characteristics:
Liturgical/Biblical. "Rooted in communal daily prayer … intended to shape our relationship to God."
Communal. "Communal prayer always comes before personal prayer, which is to be shaped by communal prayer ... before decisions are made … the community gathers in the context of communal prayer and meditation on the Scriptures so that the Holy Spirit might inform and influence our decisions."
Sacramental. "Outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace … inform our conviction that just as Christ was the sacrament of God, the church is called to be the sacrament of Christ in the world … implies that our spirituality is political, combining both the contemplative and the active."
Pastoral. "Our relationship to God is measured by our relationship to out true self, all people, and the natural world."
Incarnational. "Emphasis on God's entry into human life … has resulted in an earthy spirituality … affirm life in this world and believe that the body, pleasure, and material reality are fundamentally good."
Mystical. "Emphasizes a long slow journey into union with God."
Comprehensive: Anglicans believe the truth is to be found in the tension between counter- opposites. We affirm both sacred and secular, both the material and the non-material, both the mind and the heart, both the transcendence and the intimate closeness of God.
Ambiguous: Anglicans are not “black and white” thinkers, but instead affirm the ambiguity of experience and the value of learning to tolerate and embrace complexity and ambiguity in many aspects of human life and in the spiritual journey.
Open-minded: Anglicans are people of a questioning faith. We search for wisdom in many places and encourage people to listen to each other and to bring their honest questions to their spiritual life.
Intuitive: Anglicans are at home in the world of image, symbol, myth, ritual, and the arts. Very few Anglicans write systematic theologies. Instead we are writers, poets, pastors, and musicians.
Aesthetic: Anglicans believe that beauty is the doorway to truth and goodness and that beauty is a doorway to God.
Moderate: Anglicans avoid extremes, believing that a godly life is one that is disciplined, balanced and temperate.
Naturalistic: Anglicans have a reverence for nature and its rhythms. Anglicans believe in working to protect the natural world and its creatures.
Historical: Anglicans value their historical roots and learn from a careful reflection on the past.
Political: Anglicans believe that Christian life has political implications and that civic life is both a legitimate and important place for Christian’s apostolate to be expressed.