"The Historic Christian Tradition"
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is
light." (St. Matthew 11:28-30)
Saint Matthew's Churches draws from the wealth and beauty of the entire history
of the Church. We especially identify with the Anglican spiritual tradition. We
relate to Anglicanism as developing from the very beginning of the Christian
faith in the British Isles enduring to the present age. Therefore, in our
usage, Anglicanism is inclusive of its Celtic origins, Patristic roots, the
Medieval Church, the Protestant Reformation, the Wesleyan Evangelical Revival,
the Oxford Movement and the modern Charismatic movement. We measure Anglican
history not only from Thomas Cranmer forward, but also from the Reformation
backward. Anglicanism in this usage is shaped by its connection and
relationship to history.
The elements of Anglicanism are:
The priority and authority of Holy Scripture as the source of our knowledge of
The doctrinal guidance of the Catholic Creeds; Apostle's, Nicene, and
The truth that salvation is, in the final analysis, the gift of God by grace
The use of the liturgy, which is faithful to Scripture and embodies the
experience of the church in worship over the centuries.
The historic episcopate, or order of bishops, as a sign of the unity of the one
Church of God. The English (Anglican) reformers insisted on the retention of
the historic order of Bishops.
The threefold ministry of bishop, presbyter (priest) and deacon as that
ministry which has lead the Church to adopt since primitive times.
The two Gospel sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion ordained by Christ
for regular use in the Church.
The unity of the ministry of the Word and Sacrament in the service of Holy
The need for regular teaching and preaching from the Holy Scriptures.
The recognition that the visible unity of the Church on earth is God's will.
The need for regularly reviewed Canon Law, to respond to the unfolding needs of
the people and the Church.
The priesthood of the whole Church as a worshipping and praying society.
The recognition of the continuing ministry of the Holy Spirit and the
impartation of gifts and ministries in our time. A commitment to fulfill the
Great Commission to winning the world to Jesus Christ into the Third
Saint Matthew's Churches approach to liturgy is not to be based on legislative
but normative practice as defined by the Scripture, the Book of Common Prayer
and the historic practice of the Church.
We anticipate liturgical practice to be expressed in three broad categories:
low or Evangelical Church, broad Church and high or Anglo-Catholic Church. The
practice of a local congregation is recognized and determined by its
relationship to its bishop.