A Message from the Presiding Bishop

 

It is probably due to my adherence to the Protestant side of Anglicanism that I find Passiontide and Easter the most moving times of the Christian Year.  The Gospel on Passion Sunday, with its climax in the words,

"Before Abraham was, I am."

 

marks a dramatic turning point in Our Lord's life and ministry.  His conflicts with the Jewish hierarchy have sharped to the point where accusations of demon possession and blasphemy are being hurled at Him, and one can see the human forces at work which inevitably deal to His betrayal, arrest, trial, condemnation and crucifixion.  The great drama of Holy Week shows forth to men, each year the cause of man's salvation.  The incarnate Son of God, the one perfect human in history, is offered up for the salvation of all people.  The sinless one dies for us sinners, and the Sin, death, and the devil face their final defeat.

 

Words like "sin" are not popular in some circles today, but the word brings with it a certain freedom - the freedom of acknowledging what humanity is.  We are not a product of the evolutionary process, but made in the image of God.  However, God's image in us is marred by sin, and we lay under condemnation from the God of all righteousness.  If the story ended there then we would be hopeless indeed, but "Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth" so the Father who loves us sent His Son to save us.

Our salvation is the gift of God.  We do nothing to earn it, but it is given to us out of God's love shown to us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We are saved not because of what we do, but because we have faith in God, and faith in His promises.  We receive a righteousness that is not our own because we have faith in Jesus Christ, and in what He did for the salvation of mankind.  When one has that perspective on salvation Holy Week becomes not just another week in the liturgical year, but a compelling drama in which with fullness of God's glory and man's salvation is revealed to us in the saving work of Jesus Christ.  It is to preach this good news, this Gospel, that the Church exists.  The job of the Church is to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

 

In the UECNA we have a twofold aim.  The first is to preach the Good News of Jesus; and the second is to maintain the traditions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as they have been handed down to us from the Apostles, through the Church of England and the old Protestant Episcopal Church to the present day.  We stand for a dignified, Bible-based expression of Christianity, and if that idea appeals to you, then please contact us.


If you would like to know more about the UECNA please browse through these pages, and if there are matters which are not addressed here on which you would like to know our teaching, please contact your closest UECNA minister, email the National Office at unitedepiscopalchurch@gmail.com, or write to us at the snail mail address given in the sidebar.


Lastly, I would like to add that we firmly believe that the best way for the Church to advance the Christian Faith is to abstain from ecclesiastical politics, and to devote all our energy to preaching the Gospel of Christ, and celebrating the sacraments of our Redemption. Our mission as the Church is to point always beyond ourselves and towards our Saviour preaching the Gospel of God's Love in Christ for humanity.

 

In Christ,

+Peter D Robinson,

Presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church of North America,