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Last Wednesday evening, a group of 50 parishioners and newcomers attended Anglican Essentials, an introduction to Anglican worship held in the Christ Church Chapel. Associate rector of Adult Discipleship Fr. Bryan Biba explained the historical context and ancient meaning behind the core traditions that characterize our weekend worship services.
Fr. Bryan opened with an important recognition: Anglican worship can be disorienting for newcomers, especially when we all come from a myriad of church backgrounds. When Fr. Bryan asked attendees about their denominational origins, every major background—from Roman Catholic to non-denominational—found a representative in the room.
Learning the what and why of worship, therefore, is the foundation of our unity at Christ Church. As Fr. Bryan walked attendees through the elements of Holy Communion and described the beautiful symbolism behind the altar and vestments, Anglican Essentials brought our parish together under one comprehensive and Scriptural expression of worship.
“I can’t say that I’m surprised there are so many Christian backgrounds here, but certainly it helped me understand why taking time to understand Anglican worship is so important,” one newcomer said. “It’s also very gracious of church leadership to explain what to expect. Worship shouldn’t be confusing.”
“I see now that Anglicans don’t do things randomly or for the sake of formality,” said another visitor. “Whether it’s the colors the priests wear or the order of the service, it’s all designed to draw people into real worship.”
Beginning on September 19, Fr. Bryan will continue teaching on the beliefs and practices most central to our faith in the Foundations Course. During this eight-week course, Christ Church clergy will dive deep into the Anglican tradition with special attention given to the Creeds, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments.
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