Each week in our worship service, we recite the Nicene Creed together. The words “We believe” signify that we come together with specific beliefs that govern who we are and what we do. These specific beliefs come from a long history within the church. As we say the Creed, we are declaring what has always been believed by orthodox Christians.
The words “We believe” also declare that faith is not an isolated or merely personal thing. As a community, we believe together. We have a faith that is common to us as a church, and with other Christians around the world. Though we do personally believe, faith comes from a community, is believed in a community, and it is continually passed down within a community.
The Church of the Great Shepherd holds the Faith as once delivered to the saints, and as transmitted through the Church of England, especially as articulated in her Reformed heritage, and the range of her Anglican divines. The Church of the Great Shepherd affirms Holy Scripture as the infallible and authoritative Word of God. We hold to the three ancient creeds (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Creed of St. Athanasius) and the dogmatic definitions of the first four ecumenical councils of the undivided Church. We also hold the following historical documents to be a part of the received body of our doctrine: The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion in their 1801 Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America form, and The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1886-1888. The creeds, the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, and the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral can be found in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer of the Protestant Episcopal Church, USA.
We believe that The Holy Spirit operates today as He has done throughout history. Therefore we hold to the belief that the gifts (charismata), and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit are still present in the Church. While the Apostle Paul made it clear that we should not forbid speaking in tongues (1 Cor. 14:30), he also made it clear that worship should be done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14: 40). Both his enthusiastic endorsement of the “word” gifts (1 Cor. 14:5,18) and his tight prescriptions on their use in corporate worship (1 Cor. 14:13-33) should be taken seriously. The exercise of pastoral oversight will both glorify God and protect the conscience of Christian brothers and sisters (Romans 14: l-8; 1 Cor. 14:26). Further, obedience to the Word demands that pastoral authorities test the “spirits” using Scripture as the guide to determine whether it is the Holy Spirit Who is acting or a demonic spirit or only a manifestation of a psychological force. (1 John 4:1). So you will see in our worship services an openness to gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit., including healing and laying on of hands.
As Anglicans we believe that we are a part of a family. The following ACNA Anglican Churches in the western suburbs are also a part of our diocese:
Hope Anglican Church in Elburn: www.hopeanglican.org
New Jerusalem House of Prayer in West Chicago: newjerusalem.info