Wednesday 15 May 7:30 p.m.

In our final session last night, Bishop Skelton returned to the issue of identity.

We often neglect identity or settle for something generic. Identity is a huge attractor.

We need to help tease out and contribute to the identity of our community. Particularity is to be celebrated.

Describe the personality of your congregation. We need to have a distinct personality and celebrate that distinctiveness. Who are you really? Tell the truth about who you are.

Ways to describe congregational personality:

friendly, funky, eclectic, reverent, earnest, fun-loving, adventurous, questioning, paradoxical, formal, informal, flexible, creative, compassionate, passionate, effervescent, introspective, agile, collaborative, contemplative, diverse, spontaneous, careful, thoughtful, disciplined, structured, outward-looking, irreverent, energetic, on-the-move, growing, intimate, edgy, deep, traditional, hopeful, rooted, complex, mystical, tolerant, joyful, participative, open, honest, multi-cultural, talented, humble, inspiring, supportive, challenging, kind, diverse, courageous, full of wonder, breathtaking, astonishing, centered, questioning, authentic, open-ended, definitive, crazy and mixed up, values-centered, altruistic, self-giving, sacrificial, intense, nimble, lively, experimental, smart, gregarious, polite, freewheeling, harmonious, playful, peaceful, experimental, outdoorsy, environmentally sensitive, maverick, pious, exuberant, organized, outrageous, young, adolescent, mature, standing on tiptoe, expectant, optimistic, settled, in-the-moment, humble, practical, artistic, persistent, skillful, warm, expansive, free-wheeling, beautiful, winsome, whimsical, tender-hearted, kind-hearted, approachable, gracious, contented, animated, active, alert, casual, earthy, genuine

Anglican Identity
(based on John Westerhoff)

Anglican Spirituality

Liturgical/Biblical: Anglican spirituality is rooted in communal daily prayer (Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayers, Evening Prayer, Compline) as laid out in The Book of Common Prayer. Thus, our way of praying tends to have more formality and structure and is shaped by the Scriptures, the divine reading of Scripture and the prayerful meditation on the psalms. Our prayer books are the Bible recast in litrugical form.

Communal: For Anglicans, communal prayer comes before and shapes personal prayer. Prayer is seen as an activity that connects us to God, to each other, to include the living to the dead. Communal prayer is a part of daily, weekly and yearly rhythms and both surrounds and informs community gatherings and meetings in which decisions are made.

Sacramental: Anglicans see the world, itself, as sacramental, that is, capable of mediating the grace of God. Anglicans also emphasize the two primary sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist as well as offer the other sacramental rites of confirmation, holy matrimony, reconciliation, unction, and ordination. The world mediates the holy to us.

Incarnational: Anglicans emphasize the incarnation, God’s entry into human life and history. Accordingly, Anglicans have an earthy spirituality that affirms the goodness of life and the created world and believes that the extraordinary is to be found in the ordinary.

Mystical: Anglicans experience union with God as happening over time, bit by bit through a journey aided by spiritual discipline and prayer. Such a belief is consistent with the description of spiritual progress found in the mystics.

Anglican Temperament

Comprehensive: Anglicans believe the truth is to be found in the tension between counter-opposites. We affirm both the 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. We are into shades of grey which makes some people uneasy.

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.

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.

What are the components of Anglican Spirituality or Temperament that are the most attractive to you?

What are the components of Anglican Spirituality or Temperament that are expressed the most powerfully in your congregation?