I’ve been told by Liz and David that shameless self-promotion of our small groups is perfectly acceptable, so here goes:
Why? Because we’re going to be talking about what it means to be Anglican. After all, it’s a third of our name. The “Restoration” part comes from the big project God is up to in the world, and the “Church” part is pretty self-evident. But that whole “Anglican” bit? Not so much.
“Anglican” is part of our name. And it’s the name of our denomination. But it’s more than that. I describe Anglicanism as a particular way of being a Christian. It’s certainly not the only way of being a Christian. But it’s a really good one. And at Restoration, it shapes our worship, grounds our theology, provides a pattern to our spiritual lives, and connects us to an entire community of Christians throughout the world.
So why would you want to learn more about what it means to be Anglican?
- You, like me, are kind of a church nerd, and just think this stuff is interesting. [Crickets…]
- You really like Restoration, but you don’t really know why we do a lot of the stuff we do (like reciting scripted prayers, or baptizing babies, or making the sign of the cross, or having Communion every week). You’d like to learn more about the church, what we believe, where all this stuff came from, and why it’s relevant today.
- You’ve decided Restoration is where you belong, and you’d like to take the next step in your faith commitment — by being confirmed.
What’s it mean to be confirmed? I’ve written about it more extensively here and here (ignore the date-specific details — the posts are a couple of years old), but the brief explanation is that confirmation is an opportunity to make a public declaration of your Christian faith, to express your desire to live out that faith in an Anglican context, and to have a bishop lay hands on you and pray for you to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit for the work God has called you to do. It’s a powerful experience.
Greg, a Restoration member who was confirmed last year, described why he was choosing to be confirmed:
My time at Restoration has truly cemented much of the transformation that was begun in 2005. Restoration truly has been a source of healing from wounds that I am still identifying. Communing with fellow members weekly, hearing the word from David, singing as a community with Matt, and our fellowship with Erin, has given me a taste of the redemptive beauty of the body that Christ suffered and died to create. The intimacy that Elaine and I shared with Ray and BJ during pre-marital counseling offered a glimpse of the type of fellowship described of the Churches in Acts. And, perhaps most important of all, I am astonished by the beauty that is the Anglican liturgy and the manifestations of our faith at Restoration. My confirmation in the Anglican Church of North America is the next step of God’s redemption of my life.
If you’ve experienced something like Greg has during your time at Restoration, then confirmation might be a great next step for you.
Bishop John Guernsey will be visiting Restoration on March 30, 2014, and he will celebrate confirmations then. If you would like to be confirmed, you must be part of this small group. But the small group is open to everyone, whether or not you’re interested in confirmation. We’ll meet Monday evenings beginning on January 27 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm in the Library at Little Falls.