A Church of the Great Tradition
One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church
“The Anglican Communion is the third largest body of Christians in the world, and earth’s largest Protestant denomination.
It’s one of the most active, growing, and fruitful fellowships of churches on the planet. In North America, new Anglican
congregations are popping up on a weekly basis. Many thousands of people are joining these churches. In the mid-twentieth
century, the American version of the Anglican Church was a sleepy country club. Today, it’s part of an unexpected and
amazing worldwide movement of God.” - Thomas McKenzie, The Anglican Way: A Guidebook
St. Aidan’s is an example of this unexpected and amazing worldwide movement of God. Most of us come from different expressions of Christian faith and have found a spiritual home together. We are Christians first, then Anglicans, as we reach upward for an unchanging faith in an ever-changing world, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. We love other expressions of the Christian tradition and pray for all churches "who call on the name of the Lord Jesus, their Lord and ours".
We have a particular calling to worship in the Great Tradition, rooted in the Church’s historic liturgy, the holy Scriptures proclaimed, and the Sacraments faithfully administered, so that we may be ever renewed by the truth of the Apostolic Faith (Hebrews 10:25; Jude 1:3). We are sometimes identified as a congregation of three streams: a people of the Scriptures, Sacraments and Spirit. We're committed to spiritual formation through daily liturgical prayer, the breaking of bread and to fellowship. Worship leads us to mission, as we live out our lives in Kansas City’s urban core and the wider world.
"The Anglican Communion," Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher (1945-1961) wrote, "has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ's Church from the beginning." It may licitly teach as necessary for salvation nothing but what is read in the Holy Scriptures as God's Word written or may be proved thereby. It therefore embraces and affirms such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the Scriptures, and thus to be counted apostolic. The Church has no authority to innovate: it is obliged continually, and particularly in times of renewal or reformation, to return to "the faith once delivered to the saints."
To be an Anglican, then, is not to embrace a distinct version of Christianity, but a distinct way of being a "Mere Christian," at the same time evangelical, apostolic, catholic, reformed, and Spirit-filled (from the ACNA Theological Statement).
The Anglican Communion involves over 85 million people on six continents comprising over 165 countries. The largest Anglican Province is Nigeria, containing some twenty million Anglican Christians. The Global South (Africa, parts of Asia and Southern Cone) comprise 70% of the Anglican Communion. So, Anglicanism is vastly two-thirds world folks many of whom suffer under much persecution. And as the third largest body of Christians, under Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans continue to plant churches, starting new congregations all over the world.
Among notable Anglicans, Florence Nightengale, shaper of modern nursing; Abolitionists William Wilberforce and John Newton, Anglican priest and author of the hymn, Amazing Grace; English theoretical physicist, theologian, writer and Anglican priest, Sir John Polkinghorne; Literary giants C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, John Donne, and John Keats; theologians N.T. Wright, J.I. Packer, Oliver O'Donovan, Richard Bauckham, John Milbank, Os Guinness, John Stott, Alister McGrath, Lancelot Andrewes (oversaw the translation of the King James Bible); Martyrs Hugh Latimer, Thomas Cranmer, Nicolas Ridley and many others; Revivalists George Whitefield, John & Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism, passed this present life as Anglicans. Evelyn Underhill, Fr. Andrew White, Vicar of Baghdad; contemporary worship song writers Matt Redman and Tim Hughes; Nicky Gumbel, Rector of Holy Trinity, Brompton (a thriving Anglican church in London) and framer of the Alpha Course.
To understand how the Anglican Communion is structured and how St. Aidan's is related, click on the next link.