We Are a “Three Streams, One River” Church
Evangelical, Charismatic, Sacramental
Church of the Holy Spirit (Anglican) is a “Three Streams, One River” church. Each stream focuses on one person of the Trinity. (For a discussion of Anglican distinctives, click here.) We own, recognize the value of, and practice three great streams of Christianity, which flow together into a mighty river of faith:
1. The Evangelical (or reformed) stream:
This stream emphasizes the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures in faith and life, and the necessity of both personal conversion and biblical discipleship. We share this stream’s belief in the centrality of the Cross, Christ’s atoning death as a substitution for us, and the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. We also share its emphasis on the urgency of evangelism and mission here and abroad. For more on the reformed stream in classic Anglicanism, see the doctrinal statements in the 39 Articles of Religion. Some of our fathers in this stream include Martin Luther, Willliam Wilberforce, Bishop J.C. Ryle, J.I. Packer, and John Stott. This stream stresses the saving work of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Lord.
2. The Charismatic (or pentecostal) stream:
This stream emphasizes the present work of The Holy Spirit in miraculous power in the life of the believer and the Church. It upholds the role of every believer as a minister who serves with one or more spiritual gifts, including prophecy, words of knowledge, healing and tongues (see 1 Cor. 14), all for the building up of the church. The Holy Spirit enables us to hear His voice, to walk our talk, and abide in His love. Some of our guides in this stream include John Wesley, Dennis Bennett, John Wimber, Francis MacNutt, Leanne Payne, and Randy Clark. This stream stresses the immanence of The Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier and Empowerer.
3. The Sacramental (or catholic) stream:
This stream emphasizes the role of the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist, and the traditional orders of ordained ministry, in mediating the grace of God. It recognizes that the Holy Spirit has been at work in the church for 2000 years, including in the seven ecumenical councils, and He has given us a deposit of orthodox faith for our benefit and learning. Some of our fathers in this stream include Augustine of Hippo, Francis of Assisi, Richard Hooker, C.S. Lewis, and J. Budziszewski. This steam stresses the transcendence of God, our Father and Creator.
Our Sunday worship services display all three streams, but we have other meetings and practices at which one or two streams are more highlighted than the others.
For example, our monthly Saturday Healing Service draws mostly on the Charismatic Stream.
Our individual devotions vary, and draw from all three traditions. We are encouraged to draw close to God not only in the streams that are familiar to us, but also in the other streams, so that we may worship God in the fullness of the Trinity.