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Ascension Essentials 3: The Sacraments

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Dear Ascensionites, 

I hope when you find this (if you find it on Memorial Day or later in the week) you are encouraged by the daily commitment God has to you in light of our looking at the sacraments this past Sunday. The sacraments truly are a remarkable gift from God.

A couple ways you can continue your exploration of the sacraments on your own, with friends, in your ANC’s, etc… are below.

First, an early description of the move of God in North America where people have become more drawn to a liturgical, sacramental walk with God is found in Robert Webber’s Evangelicals along the Canterbury Trail:

Webber’s book has been read and referenced by dozens of friends of ours as a early guide and encouragement into Anglicanism, and into a deeper appreciation of God’s love expressed to us through baptism and Communion.

Second, you can’t get into a discussion about Anglicanism for too long without talking about Thomas Cranmer. Cranmer was the Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Henry the VIII, and compiled, edited, and wrote the first Book of Common Prayer, published in 1549. His thoughts on baptism and Communion are what guide our prayers and practice of those sacraments as a church. Cranmer, like us all, is a complex person but one who was utterly dedicated to all the people of England being in intimate, prayerful relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Here are two great articles on his life. Ultimately he also was martyred for holding fast to the good news of Jesus that motivated the Church of England; many of us have probably seen the martyrs statue set up in tribute to Cranmer, Hugh Latimer and Stephen Ridley in Oxford, England. The statue marks where they were burned at the stake.
See the following articles:

Third, here are a couple other links to articles I mentioned:

And lastly, here are some questions to consider this week in relation to the sermon.

  • Who is someone who has demonstrated love to you in the past 7 days, and how?
  • How would you describe the value of the sacraments to a friend who asked about them?
  • If you grew up in the church what was that church’s understanding and practice of the sacraments like? How does ours mirror theirs, or how is it different?
  • Where in particular this week do you need the ‘everyday made holy’?

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