We are glad you are here!
Two thousand years ago, when Christ trained the twelve apostles and breathed his Holy Spirit on the congregation at Antioch he gave birth to one church, one way to live. So why are there over 22,000 Christian denominations today? Yes, there are over 22,000 reinterpretations of the same teaching. We, members of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (ALCC), believe that this was not the intention of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as Christians are one in spirit, we at the ALCC believe we should be one in body. The ALCC is an ecumenical, traditional, liturgical, episcopal denomination that bases its beliefs in Holy Scripture and the teaching of Christ and the apostles.
What does it mean to be ecumenical?
We believe in the unity of all Christian believers. God’s kingdom on earth is one kingdom, ruled by Jesus Christ. “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined,” Luke 11:17. Currently, the kingdom is fractured and splintered into many small groups. The challenge of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church is to reunite the splinters, yet to reunite them according to the traditional interpretations of the word of God. Over the course of the millennia, differences have arisen due to language barriers and definitions. Through open discourse, churches of varied liturgical and historical backgrounds can learn to bend, to respect and to embrace one another’s methods of worship.
The ALCC is unique among churches in that it accepts as confessional documents all of the following: the unaltered “Augsburg Confession”, the “Apology of the Augsburg Confession” insofar as they do not conflict with Catholic faith and tradition the thirty-nine “Articles of Religion” from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (as interpreted by Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman in “Tracts for the Times” and “Tract 99″ insofar as they do not conflict with Catholic faith and tradition); the Roman Catholic-Lutheran “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” (Augsburg, Germany, 1999); The Catechism of the Catholic Church; the documents and decrees of all Ecumenical Councils recognized by the Roman Catholic Church; and the Ordinary and Sacred Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
What does it mean to be traditional?
We believe in the sanctity and purity of Holy Scripture. We believe that it is the inspired word of God. We do not believe in modern reinterpretations of Scripture. We do not follow those who say that Scripture was written for a “primitive people who lived long ago.” We believe that Scripture was written for all people throughout all time and it stands on its own merit. We furthermore believe that the Holy Spirit works today as it did two thousand years ago.
What does it mean to be liturgical?
Two thousand years ago the apostles, and the early church fathers following them, agreed upon a set way to worship, revere and commemorate all that Christ did for them and us. They created the Divine Liturgy of the Catholic Church. That Liturgy includes a reading from the Old Testament, a reading from the New Testament and a reading from the Gospel, plus a creed or statement of our faith, and the Rite of Holy Eucharist, or Mass, celebrating the gifts of the bread and the wine. In 1875 a document was unearthed by archeologists in Istanbul called the Didache, or “The Teaching of the 12″. It was a 2,000 year old testimony to the worship methods of the apostles. It was a statement to our current church fathers that for 2,000 years liturgical believers have been celebrating and commemorating Christ the way the apostles prescribed.
What does it mean to be episcopal?
The word episcopal derives from the Latin word “episcopus” meaning “of bishops”. In Paul’s first letter to Timothy there are descriptions of the hierarchy of the church including the elders, or overseers, who head the church, which in Latin would be the “episcopi”. In addition Christ handed the keys of his kingdom to the apostle Peter in effect making him the head of all the “episcopi” or bishops.
There are two types of bishops, those in apostolic succession and those who are not. The Anglo-Lutheran Catholic church only recognizes those bishops in apostolic succession. What does this mean? Christ appointed the original apostles. Following Christ, the apostles developed a ceremony by laying hands on a devoted member eligible to be a bishop. This ceremony has been handed down from bishop to bishop for 2,000 years. That is the apostolic succession.
So this is who we are. We hope that our devotion to Christ and scripture, our respect for ancient tradition and our service please the Lord God. We hope that you find this website of interest. If you wish to explore further please select one of the following links. If you wish make contact with a church near you, select Parishes on the menu above.