12 Beautiful Practices
George, our priest, spends a lot of time thinking and talking about what it means to be a practicing Christian. You can find her thoughts here.
Characteristics of Our Spiritual Practice
What does it mean to be a practicing spiritual Christian? For those who choose to practice being Christian, there are many traditions and ways to practice. The very word "spirituality" has various meanings and can describe very different realities. Spirituality can be defined as that which affects the soul or the unseen/invisible within us. The following sections outline some characteristics commonly associated with spirituality in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition, and these characteristics can help us understand what is important in our community.
To find out more about the Episcopal Church itself, click here.
Communal & Rooted in Relationship
We are made for relationship. At the heart of coming together is creating connection not just to God but to each other. The church (not the structure, but the community itself) is the place where we can ask big questions together and form friendships across generations, with people very different from ourselves.
We worship together to practice finding God in the community of church so that we can find God in the likely and unlikely places of the world.
Symbolic, Creative, & Mystical
Color, song, and beautiful words are all a part of our worship.
We follow an ancient pattern of "liturgy" (that is, worship service) that follows the church "seasons." Each season reflects a different reality of our spiritual lives: celebration, suffering etc.
There is a deep love for questions, awe, and wonder. God is ultimately a mystery. There are many symbols and actions that express a deeper reality: bread and wine; fire and water; silence and singing; bowing, standing, and kneeling. In the church, we use the word "sacrament" to talk about these primary symbols that carry deep meaning.
Finding God in other human beings
God in human life is at the very core of Christian spirituality.
We call our spirituality "incarnate" (that is, "born into" or "made flesh").
The emphasis on God's entry into human life has resulted in an earthy spirituality for us—we affirm life in this world and believe that the body, pleasure, and material reality are fundamentally good.