St. Alban's Anglican Church
Thursday, February 23, 2017
A Family of Believers ... A Refuge for All
About St. Alban's Church
Why does St. Alban's Church exist?
In the mid-1970's clergy and laity became increasingly concerned about the theological direction of the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA). A radical restructuring of the Episcopal Church was completed at the 1976 Episcopal Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At this meeting sweeping changes were adopted to accommodate new beliefs and practices.
These changes culminated in the approval of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. The new Prayer Book's theology changed the historic teachings of the Faith and departed from the centuries old ideals of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, adopting new optional rites. In the words of one eminent commentator, the book of 1979 signaled a rejection of the Common Prayer tradition itself.
In 1977 concerned Episcopal clergy and laity who objected to these radical changes gathered in St. Louis, Missouri. They set forth a statement of faith called the "Affirmation of Saint Louis," which expressed their commitment as Episcopalians to orthodox Christianity.
Thus the "Continuing Faith" movement began. Not to become an antiquarian society, but to maintain the orthodox Faith as given to us by Jesus Christ and His apostles.
Who was St. Alban?
St. Alban lived (at some time during the 3rd century) in Verulamium, a town in Roman Britain. Although he was then a worshiper of Roman gods including the emperor, he gave shelter to a Christian priest fleeing from persecution. Influenced by the priest's prayer and teaching he became a Christian.
When the authorities discovered the priest's hiding place Alban exchanged clothes with him. The priest escaped and Alban was bound and taken before the judge. The judge was furious at the deception, and ordered that Alban should receive the punishment due to the priest, if he had indeed become a Christian.
Alban declared his Christian faith, saying in words still used here as a prayer "I worship and adore the true and living God, who created all things." Despite flogging he refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods and was sentenced to death.
He was brought out of the town, across the river and up a hill to the site of execution where his head was cut off. He was the first Christian martyr in Britain.
Legend tells us that on the hill-top a spring of water miraculously appeared to give the martyr a drink; also that moved by his witness the original executioner refused to carry out the deed, and that after his replacement had killed Alban the executioners' eyes dropped out.