Anglicans express themselves in many ways throughout the world. Epiphany Community Church comes from the Evangelical tradition of the Anglican Church. This is defined in the following six distinctives:
- The supreme authority of Scripture for knowledge of God and as guide to Christian living.
- The majesty of Jesus Christ as incarnate God and Lord, and the savior of sinful humanity.
- The lordship of the Holy Spirit.
- The need for personal conversion.
- The priority of evangelism for both individual Christians and for the Church as a whole.
- The importance of Christian community for spiritual nourishment, fellowship and growth.
(See Alister E. McGrath, Evangelicalism and the Future of Christianity, Leicester: IVP, 1995, p. 51.).
When you come to Epiphany Community Church you will find our worship style to be informal, contemporary, respectful of tradition, liturgical and focused on Biblical teaching.
We are intentionally informal because we want our services of worship to be accessible to someone who has had no experience of coming to Church. When it comes to music our services seek to draw from the best of the old and the new hymns and songs that have been sung by Christians down through Christian history.
Our services are also liturgical, that is they have a purpose driven structure and content to them. So at each service we join together in a time of ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication)
It is our destiny and highest joy, to find Someone to worship, to kneel before. Adoration is at the very heart of the spiritual life. It is the scene in the Book of Revelation 4: 24 as elders prostrate themselves before the throne of God, cast the honor of their golden crowns before him, and sing, “Holy, holy, holy. You are worthy, O Lord.” No one else is truly holy; no one else is worthy, worth it, worth all our heart, soul, mind, and strength
We gather to confess. Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. (Ecclesiastes7:20). Contrition is the awareness and expression of being merely a creature, and a weak and flawed creature at that, in the presence of the Holy One. We make mistakes; we fail; we fall. To realize that and to pray is comforting and relaxing, for it just confesses who and what we are and the way things are. No need to pretend. God loved us before we existed and knows all our faults. God is merciful. God forgives no matter how many times we fail. So we also rejoice in the scriptural promise of promise of pardon that “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)
We give thanks to God for all that He has given us. We give thanks for his presence among us, for his blessings, for his forgiveness, and his saving grace.
“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6)
We come to God in prayer for a variety of reasons—to worship Him, to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, to thank Him for His blessings, to ask for things for ourselves, and/or to pray for the needs of others. We ask God to be with us, to take care of those around us, and to bless us.
Other important parts of our worship, we gather to hear the word, we stand and confidently proclaim the fundamentals of our faith in the ancient Creeds. We gather at the Table for communion: here we remember the body and blood of Jesus Christ, we feast on His forgiveness of us and His faithfulness to us, and we renew our commitment to Christ and to each other as members of the One Body. At the end, we follow the great commission to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)
There are pros and cons of liturgical services. Liturgy brings structure, content and direction to a service. But it can also lead to familiarity and the danger of “simply going through the hoops”. It’s therefore essential when we come to worship to resist passivity and actively engage with our spirits, minds and bodies.