Friday, May 25, 2012


Our mission at Holy Cross Anglican Church is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teach classical Anglican faith and practice. You won’t find anything new here, just “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3 ). 
The Gospel was brought to the British Isles by St. Joseph of Arimathea, the disciple who buried Christ after the crucifixion. Gildas the Wise (AD 425-512), an early British historian wrote, “Christ, the True Sun, afforded His light, the knowledge of his precepts to our island in the last year, as we know, of Tiberius Caesar.” The last year of Tiberius Caesar was AD 37, just a few years after the resurrection and ascension of Christ! The Church has existed in Britain from that time until today without a break in its continuity, and has since spread all around the world.
In the 16th century the bishops of the Anglican Church launched a Reformation to cleanse the Church from medieval doctrinal and moral corruptions and to restore the faith and practice of the early Church. In 1562, Anglican Bishop John Jewel wrote, “We have returned to the Apostles and the old Catholic Fathers. We have planted no new religion, but only preserved the old that was undoubtedly founded and used by the Apostles of Christ and other holy Fathers of the Primitive Church.” And Archbishop John Bramhall (1594-1663) of Armagh in Ireland wrote, “I make not the least doubt in the world, but that the Church of England before the Reformation and the Church of England after the Reformation are as much the same Church as a garden before it is weeded and after it is weeded is the same garden; or a vine before it is pruned and after it is pruned and freed from luxuriant branches is one and the same vine.”
The canon of Convocation which imposed subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion upon the clergy in the reign of Elizabeth I, directed preachers “to be careful that they never teach ought in a sermon, to be religiously taught and held by the people, except what is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testaments, and what the Catholic fathers and ancient bishops have collected out of the same doctrine.” Dr. E. B. Pusey, the great 19th century Anglican theologian wrote, “The Church of England has, from the Reformation held implicitly, in purpose of heart, all which the ancient Church ever held” (The Rule of Faith, p. 42).
Classical Anglicanism combines Evangelical Truth and Catholic Order.  Anglicanism, when it is true to itself, is Evangelical Catholicism. As Evangelicals we are Biblical Christians who proclaim the centrality of the cross, emphasize the necessity of personal conversion, and are committed to evangelism and activism. As Catholics we are Churchmen, committed to the historic visible Church which is the Body of which Christ is the Head, possess the Catholic ministry of male bishops, presbyters  (priests) and deacons in Apostolic Succession, emphasize the three Creeds as faithful summaries of orthodox Christian doctrine, believe in the sacraments as objective means of grace with the Holy Eucharist as the center and summit of our spirituality, and proclaim the universal call to holiness.
Orthodox Anglicanism is both thoroughly Evangelical and fully Catholic. Holy Cross parish is committed to the classical Anglican formularies: the historic Book of Common Prayer and its Ordinal and Catechism, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, and the two Books of Homilies, interpreted according to the Canon of St. Vincent of Lerins; and to embracing the fullness of our Anglican inheritance: the Church Fathers, Doctors, Reformers, Caroline Divines, and Tractarians. 
After the cultural and social revolution of the 1960s and 1970s the Universal Church is in need of a New Reformation, a restoration of  Apostolic faith and practice, and a revival of Evangelical witness and mission in an increasingly secular world. Holy Cross parish is committed to proclaiming the Gospel, teaching classical Anglicanism, and to advancing the New Reformation and realignment in the Anglican Communion. 
Because the Anglican Church is both thoroughly Evangelical and fully Catholic, Anglicanism has a special vocation to serve as a healing balm in a divided Christendom and as  a bridge Church to bring Christians back together again in one Body. This is authentic ecumenism, not a false ecumenism based on doctrinal indifference and political compromise. 
The bishops of the world-wide Anglican Communion, gathered in 1867 at the Lambeth Conference said, “We do here solemnly record our conviction that unity will be be most effectively promoted by maintaining the faith in its purity and integrity, as taught by Holy Scripture, held by the primitive Church, summed up in the Creeds, and affirmed by the undisputed General Councils.” It would be hard to find a more succinct definition of the orthodox Christian faith. It is this faith that we hold, confess and teach.
I hope that you will accept my personal invitation to worship with us at Holy Cross Anglican Church. We have members throughout Eastern Nebraska, in Western Iowa, and even South Dakota. Why are people willing to drive so far to go to church? Because they have found a church worth the drive. We celebrate the Holy Communion every Sunday at 10:00 AM, with fellowship and refreshments after worship and a potluck luncheon on the last Sunday of the month. We are a faithful and friendly church, and we have a place for you!