What We Believe

Shrine of Christ the King
Shrine of Christ the King
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The Church of the Advent of Christ the King is an Anglo-Catholic parish of the Episcopal Diocese of California which is part of the Anglican Communion of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

Anglo-Catholicism

Anglo-Catholicism is a school of thought within the Anglican Communion. Anglo-Catholic theology pays special regard to the teachings of the undivided church of the first seven councils and to the Caroline Divines of the Anglican Church of the 16th and 17th century. At the same time, believing that all truth is of God, we are open to truth wherever it is found. We place special emphasis on the importance of worship, the Eucharist and other sacraments, the life of prayer and growth in personal holiness. Anglo-Catholic worship is rooted in the rich tradition of western catholicism. It uses the beauty of ceremony, vestments, color, incense, music, and architecture to engage the whole person and all five senses in the worship of God and to convey something of the transcendant holiness and glory of God. Although catholic worship and ritual was supressed in the English Church during the Reformation, it began its revival during the Oxford Movement of the 19th century.

The Oxford Movement

Begun about 1833 by John Keble, an Anglican priest and Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, the Oxford Movement represented a return to what Keble and his associates believed were the fundamental spirit and customs of the historical Christian Church. As such, the Oxford movement encompassed two closely related Christian ideas: a renaissance in liturgy and ritual, and a return to parish care for the impoverished. In a published series of "Tracts for the Times," the Oxford group reasserted the doctrines of Apostolic Succession, the ministerial power of absolution, baptismal regeneration, and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The tracts were greeted by many in Britain with high enthusiasm. At the same time, most parishes that embraced Oxford principles founded missions designed to minister to the less fortunate among them, especially the working poor. There were few Oxford-influenced Anglican parishes in England that did not mount such missions, or "Workingman's Institutes," as they were called. In general, as the historian Lytton Strachey has written of the movement's reception, especially among the young, "the notion of taking Christianity literally was delightful to earnest minds."

Church of the Advent remains faithful to the ideas of the Oxford Movement not only in our worship and theology, but in our commitment to the poor of our community. Our parish enjoys a special relationship with the Episcopal Sanctuary, a diocesan homeless shelter in San Francisco. Our Sanctuary Ministry is dedicated to assisting both the material and spiritual needs of the homeless. The Lunch Bunch is a group of shelter residents and parish volunteers that meet every Tuesday for a hot meal, mutual support, and prayer. Sunday Worship and Bible Study is conducted at the Sanctuary on a weekly basis by a volunteer clerical and lay group. The Holiday Ministry decorates the shelter on major holidays, provides treats and gifts to shelter residents, and collects and distributes sweaters and socks at the Sanctuary Christmas party. Several of our parishioners also minister to inmates at the county jail, praying and visiting with them several times per month.