What does "Anglican" mean?
"ANGLICAN" MEANS THAT WE TRACE OUR christian HERITAGE BACK TO THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
Missionaries brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to England in the time of the Apostles. Alongside the rest of the undivided Church (because there were no "denominations" for the first thousand years of her history [click here for a lecture course on early church history taught by Fr. Ben]), the Anglican Church grew up, practicing the ancient pathways of daily prayer and the regular celebration of Holy Communion with a liturgy that was given shape by the Apostles themselves (Acts 2:42, 1 Cor 11). For century upon century, the Church took root across the Land, each generation handing down the Deposit of the Faith to the next.
Succumbing to some of the corruptions of the 14th century, the Anglican Church was purified when the winds of Reformation blew (1517 - 1559). Unlike the church on the continent of Europe however, the Church in England wished to retain from Holy Tradition whatever was agreeable to Sacred Scripture. So whereas, for instance, in Switzerland they wanted to be done with things like Liturgy and Bishops all together, the Anglican Church kept those things which could be shown to be believed:
IN ALL PLACES, AT ALL TIMES, BY ALL CHRISTIANS.
In this way, the Church of England was a more "moderate" Reformation: Being both catholic AND reformed. Traditional, and renewed.
When the American colonies grew, they brought that Anglican faith with them, and after the Revolutionary War, re-organized themselves politically on American soil; disassociating with England, and establishing what became called "The Episcopal Church". For two centuries, The Episcopal Church faithfully continued this historic way of being a Christian.
Beginning in the 1960s though, little by little The Episcopal Church began to depart from traditional Christian teaching and this led to the breaking away of many faithful congregations, who then in 2008 re-organized as "The Anglican Church in North America" (ACNA), in order to create a home that would continue to foster the Anglican legacy of traditional worship AND radical adherence to the teaching of Sacred Scripture, no matter how unpopular.
Today the ACNA has about 110,000 members within 1000 churches in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. We are a province of the Global Anglican Communion, which consists of 85 million Anglicans (the largest protestant body in the world!), most of whom live in the Global South.
And this is who we are, here in the Auburn-Opelika area: A branch of that one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, seeking to know God, to love him, and to obey him, chiefly through living into our vision of:
CULTIVATING LIFE-GIVING PATTERNS OF PRAYER.
1311 2nd Ave.
Morning & Evening Prayer
8.30am & 4.30pm Tue-Fri
We believe the Bible
"We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading." (Art. 2 of the Jerusalem Declaration)
We believe the Creeds of the Ancient Church
As epitomized in the Nicene Creed:
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, visible and invisible.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
We adhere to the Jerusalem Declaration
A statement of the Christian Faith as the Anglican Church has received it, put forward by GAFCON I (2008) and around which all faithful Anglicans are uniting. It is the standard for Membership at The Good Shepherd Anglican Church:
In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:
We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.
1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.
2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.
3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
4. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.
5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.
6. We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.
7. We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.
8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.
9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.
10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.
11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.
12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.
13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.
14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.
9.00-9.45am - Adult Education
10.00am - Holy Eucharist
A bulletin is provided each Sunday for the Holy Eucharist.
(Here is an example of a recent bulletin)
A staffed Nursery is available for Children up to 4 years old.
Children 4 and older are encouraged to stay in the service, to worship together with their families, so that they can learn the Faith by witnessing it practiced by the church, and so the words and songs of the liturgy can form their hearts. This also means that we aren't afraid of a little noise!
If you have never worshiped with the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist, it might at first seem very foreign. But this way of worshiping God is ancient --it has its roots in the Church in the times of the Apostles, who gathered to pray the prayers (Acts 2:42), which meant the liturgy of the synagogue. This liturgy still provides the structure of the first part of our service, where we hear the Word of God read to us, and a sermon explaining its meaning.
To this was added, by our Lord's command, the celebration of Holy Communion, which developed as a formal liturgy very early on in the Church. Here is St. Justin Martyr, describing the Christian Worship Service he was a part of, written in the year A.D. 153:
"Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to ge’noito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced."
...The same pattern we continue to this day...
It at first may feel 'foreign' or even 'rigid' these days, to worship like this, because this ancient way of praising our Triune God has been cast aside by many churches in the Modern era. But in no time at all, people of all cultures and classes make it their own. C.S. Lewis -- who was Anglican -- describes the Liturgy as the 'dance steps' meaning: It is the means and not the end of our worship. The liturgy gives us the words and rituals to assist our hearts in worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth.
Book of Common Prayer
The exact liturgy we use comes from the Book of Common Prayer.
We are using the Rites that will be published in the forthcoming historic 2019 Book of Common Prayer
which can be found here
We are a community, and we serve a community.
THE CHURCH FAMILY THAT EATS TOGETHER, STAYS TOGETHER.
Christ calls us to be in Community. And the clearest expression of this is the sharing of a meal. That's Holy Chow - gathering at someone's house, enjoying good food and good company. We do it every month, and it's a sweet (pun intended) part of our life together at The Good Shepherd.
community Ministries we support
We also reach out as a community to our larger community of Lee County, through supporting various local outreach ministries:
Located just down the street from us, HIS Place is a group-home environment for men in recovery, where they are taught employment skills through the self-owned thrift-store (Harvest Thrift), and brought to health through vital Christian community.
No Anglican parish is an island. Each local church is connected to the regional church (the diocese) by being under one bishop. Though we only see him once or twice a year, the bishop is our chief pastor. The Vicar is the leader in things spiritual, and he is assisted by a board ("the vestry") who together make decisions that affect the life of the church materially.
Fr. Ben jefferies, vICAR
Fr. Ben grew up in England, but moved to the United States in 1999. He graduated from Wheaton College (IL) in 2004 with a degree in Communication and Theater, and a minor in Theology. After a few years of seeking a vocation, the Lord led him to Chaplaincy, which led to perceive a call to ordained ministry. He attended Nashotah House Theological Seminary (cum laude, 2014), married Carrie in 2013, and was ordained in 2014. He served as a curate in Springfield, MO, before being called down here to Alabama. Carrie and Ben have two daughters: Lucy and Jane.
"I hope to guide, by word and example, the people of The Good Shepherd into a deeper life of repentance and prayer, that they may have a more life-changing, loving communion with their Savior, Jesus Christ."
JOE SALOOM, verger, SENIOR WARDEN
RICK TAYLOR, JUNIOR WARDEN
LINCOLN ANDERSON, LAY CATECHIST, Chair, BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
JUDY DEKICH, Chair, BOARD OF CONGREGATIONAL CARE AND OUTREACH
ELIZABETH LUECK, SECRETARY
BRIAN VANSANT, TREASURER
BECKIE MOSELY, PIANIST
SETH OWEN, CUSTODIAN