Sunday, February 04, 2007

400 Years of Anglicanism in America

Brian McKee, well known in these parts as Ohio Anglican, sent the following as a comment to another post. Because it is an issue in itself, I felt that I ought to post it separately. As Dr Toon so often says, consider it a discussion starter:

April 29, 2007, is the 400th anniversary of Anglicanism in America -- the celebration of the first Eucharist at Jamestown, Virginia.

I have learned that a group of Pentecostals/Charismatics are planning some sort of service on the beach to mark as they call it the 400th anniversary of "Christianity" in America.

What a shame that no Anglican celebration is planned. It would be so wonderful to have a Eucharist in the Jamestown Church to celebrate that anniversary. The ACC Diocese of Mid-Atlantic States had one there last year as part of their Synod.

I wish that through this blog we could get a group of continuing Anglicans together to celebrate this anniversary. As continuing Anglicans, we are the only ones that can represent true, traditional Anglicanism as it was 400 years ago at Jamestown.

I shudder to think that such an important milestone will be marked by Pentecostals/Charismatics hopping up and down, dancing around in circles and talking in tongues. The original settlers and priest from Jamestown would be humiliated that such an important religious milestone in Anglicanism will be a disgraceful event similar to a circus sideshow on the beach. We owe them a dignified commermorative Eucharist in the Jamestown Church.

Wouldn't it be lovely to get several continuing jurisdictions to work together on this?


ACC Member said...

One of the traits of America is religious freedom, so if the Pentecostals want to hold a celebration on the beach, it is acceptable. But the truth is this is the 400th Anniversary of Anglicanism in America. I believe that deserves commemoration. It would also be a good chance to let the world know that Continuing Anglicans exist! I would organize it myself if I didn't live hundreds of miles away from Jamestown. Even living where I do, I'd be willing to assist by E-Mail and phone/FAX if I could. There needs to be a leader in that area. Perhaps and ACC/APCK parish, or better yet, Continuing Anglicans working together on the project.

Albion Land said...


Just to start with the most basic of questions: to whom does the "Jamestown Church" belong, is it a functioning parish and might they not already be planning something?

ACC Member said...

The Jamestown Church belongs to the National Park Service/Historical Society. It is not a functioning Parish. But they do allow Anglican services to be held there, as I mentioned, the ACC Diocese of Mid-Atlantic States held a Eucharist there last year as part of their Synod. I have brought this up on (over a month ago)on the ACC members Discussion Board. Many of we laity have agreed that this should be done. But so far, no church officials have announced anything will be done. If, perhaps, the ACC isn't interested, it is my hope that some other jurisdiction, or better yet, jurisdictions working together, will do something!

Albion Land said...

An ACC members discussion board? How come I've never heard of this before? Please let me know how to sign on.

ACC Member said...

It is my hopes that a parish in that area, or a diocese could take on this project. I would be willing to assist as best I can. I'm an ACC member, but would assist what continuing group willing to do this as best I could. So often on these blogs we talk about a need for the continuing churches to get good P.R. and get out name out there so we can grow. This year of 2007 would be a prime time to do that. Its obvious TEC (who really aren't Anglicans anymore anyway) isn't interested. I hope to entice someone to take this on.

Joshua said...

Hello All -
I had originally thought about not leaving a comment, because these things are very touchy subjects, and because it is a bit off topic, regarding the actual effort of the post to get some kind of service going, but I took a decent amount of objection to this particular line in the post:

"I shudder to think that such an important milestone will be marked by Pentecostals/Charismatics hopping up and down, dancing around in circles and talking in tongues. The original settlers and priest from Jamestown would be humiliated that such an important religious milestone in Anglicanism will be a disgraceful event similar to a circus sideshow on the beach."

I also recognize that the Ohio Anglican (who, if I gather rightly, originally made the comment) mildly modified his statement by noting our right to religious freedom in the country.

I have just recently been confirmed in the Episcopal Church (though I belong to an orthodox parish), but my background is Pentecostalism. I, as many of my blog posts will indicate, have done my fair share of railing against the cultural excesses of the Charismatics, but I still have a great appreciation for much of their theology, which is very compatible to what is found in Anglicanism.

One of the things I love about the Anglicanism that I have encountered is a general level of education, which manifests itself rightly in a thorough understanding of orthodoxy, and also a willingness to coexist with those who are a bit different than oneself. This is different than simply 'co-existing' with the heterodoxy of the majority of ECUSA, which is unacceptable. But, it does mean allowing us to hold different viewpoints where there is a variance of beliefs. Even if we argue along the lines that orthodox Christianity disallows speaking in tongues, we are ignoring the Christian Mystic tradition within all branches of The Catholic church.

All of this to say, I think that the comments that were originally stated, and here repeated, betray a bit of naivety, because they presume to know everything there is to know about all of Pentecostalism, as well as a claim that the Christian expression found therein is entirely invalid. All these comments accomplish is fueling the anti-Catholic and Traditionalist tendencies latent in the Charismatic communities, which is not ecumenical in the least (a trademark of orthodox Anglicanism, taking from both the RC's and the EO's).

Again – I think people hopping around and speaking in tongues is a bit silly (at least the hopping around bit), but it might do to be a bit more guarded with ones prejudices, unless one is willing to completely invalidate that entire branch of Christianity (they make up 1/3 of us now).


ACC Member said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This sounds like a wonderful project but it might be more correct to style it as 400 years of Anglicanism in Virginia. As I understand it the first Anglican services in North America took place in the reaches of what is now Canada during Henry Hudson's expedition there closely followed by a service on what is now the Oregon coast by members of Francis Drake's explorations.

Whilst devoid of religious connections, jumping around and speaking in tongues (as well as frothing at the mouth) are intimately linked to the Jamestown colony. Apparently the hungry settlers boiled an enormous pot of a local herb and ate it, subsequently experiencing a form of poisoning with the above symptoms. The weed was duly christened "Jimson (Jamestown) Weed" one of the nightshade family.

Given the discussion above averring that the "APCK doesn't do 'Low Church'", it might be best to determine just what sort of service a group from the Continuum might produce. A Tridentine High Mass with bells, whistles, ombrellinos, lacey albs and smoke (other than Virginia leaf tobacco) would be just as out of place given the context as an electric band with power point and praise music. Unless the 1559 book is going to be the standard usage (available in an excellent format from the Folger Shakespeare Collection as edited by Booty) it would lose much of its appropriateness in that age only too cognizant of the Elizabethan settlement.

ACC Member said...

As an American, I do have the right to speak my mind. In my opinion, pentecostalism is not a part of the tradition of Anglicanism. I shall preface this by saying the 39 Articles are not the highest authority in Anglicanism, but Article 24 says, "It is a thing repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the Primitive Church, to have public Prayer in the church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understanded of the people." As I said I don't consider the 39 Articles the highest authority. But this article is clearly backed up by holy scripture, tradition of the undivided catholic church, and reason. Nowhere did any of the Seven great Ecumenical Councils of the church endorse speaking in tounges.It was not until 1901, that Agnes Ozman claimed to have recieved a "gift of tongues" in a church in Topeka, Kansas. Charles Fox Parham,the pastor, a former Methodist minister, formulated a new doctrine that "speaking in toungues" was evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He began traveling the country to spread this new doctrine. I will simply say that just because 33% of people calling themselves Christians practice this doctrine, that does not validate the doctrine or the practice. I will allow that anyone may believe this doctrine from 1901 if they wish. But it is not an established doctrine of Anglicanism. The point being, the first settlers at Jamestown celebrated Holy Communion from the 1559 Book of Common Prayer, and that service does not include "talking in tongues".

ACC Member said...

Nathan: Thanks for the phone numbers. As I said, I'm glad to do what I can from the phone/FAX/E-Mail. I shall see what I can do. Brian McKee

ACC Member said...

D. Bunker: I agree. It should be from the 1559 BCP. It should be simple and elegant, in the churchmanship of colonial Virginia. A pump organ could be used for music. It could be a great event that would let people know we exist. Continuing Anglicans are sadly "a well kept secret." I'm a person who follows the news, is well read, etc. The ACC (and continuing groups) never came on the "radar screen" for me until a couple from Alexandria, Virginia, moved to our town and started a mission and I recieved a brochure from them. WE can't bring people to Christ and our churches if we remain a well-kept secret.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

"Nowhere did any of the Seven great Ecumenical Councils of the church endorse speaking in tounges."

What an astonishing statement. Do the Councils pretend to deal with every issue or endorse every permissible act of worship? They do not. Did some Fathers refer to this gift in positive ways? Yes.

More importantly, given that speaking in tongues is "endorsed" for private prayer AND for the Church where the gift of interpretation is available in 1 Corinthians, there was no reason for Conciliar decrees on the subject.

I too found the contemptuous references to Pentecostals offensive.

ACC Member said...

My point is simply that a 1559 BCP Eucharist/Morning Prayer/Evening Prayer would certainly be more appropriate for a public celebration of so important a public occasion. Most Pentecostals that I know, and the doctrine as taught by Charles Fox Parham, was that "talking in toungues" was necessary, and if the person doesn't talk in tongues, they can't be a true Christian. (This is the doctrine as taught by Pentecostals in our area. Granted it probably varies from place to place.) My point was that a "talking in toungues" celebration would not be in keeping with the historical facts-----the Jamestown settlers and their priest conducted an Anglican Communion to celebrate their safe arrival in Virginia. People may believe and do as they wish. I don't have a problem with that. I may have worded it indelicately, but I support religious freedom for all.

Albion Land said...

Let's move on.

Brian, have you had a chance to contact Bishop McClean or Dr Warren?

ACC Member said...

Thanks, Albion. Yes, I have made contact via E-Mail. I hope to hear from one or the other. I hate to bother someone with a phone call. The E-Mail gives them time to think it over before they respond. It doesn't put them on the spot quite so much. Hopefully, something will happen. It would be good P.R. for the Continuum.

ACC Member said...

GOOD NEWS!!! I have just heard that St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Newport News, Virginia, will hold a 400th Anniversary Eucahrist. It will bein their church building, however, as with the 400th Anniversary, there are Royal visits, presidential visits, etc., planned for the old Jamestown Church. Thanks for including this on the CONTINUUM.

Daniel Stoddart said...

Count me in. Could somebody here please send me an email about any event on the Anniversary? I'm an Anglican Catholic and a transitional deacon in the Continuum. Thanks in advance!