EPISCOPAL CHURCH - Its Message for Men of Today BY GEORGE PARKIN
ATWATER RECTOR OF THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR AKRON, Copyright, 1917
By George Parkin Atwater TO THE FAITHFUL PEOPLE OF THE CHURCH OF
OUR SAVIOUR AKRON, OHIO WITH WHOM HE HAS SERVED THE TWENTY YEARS OF
HIS MINISTRY THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED BY THEIR RECTOR
No complex or very important truth was ever transferred in full
development from one mind to another truth of that character is not
a piece of furniture to be shifted it is a seed which must be sown,
and pass through the several stages of growth. No doctrine of
importance can be transferred in a matured shape into any mans
understanding from without it must arise by an act of genesis
within the understanding itself. De Quincey. Contents Page I. THE
CHURCH AND PUBLIC WORSHIP 1 II. THE ACTIVE WORSHIP OF THE PEOPLE 18
III. THE PRAYER BOOK AND PUBLIC WOR SHIP 32 IV. BAPTISM AND CHURCH
MEMBERSHIP 48 V. THE APOSTLES CREED 63 VI. THE HOLY COMMUNION 82
VII THE HISTORIC MINISTRY 97 VIII. THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH 110
IX. THE BACKGROUND OF WORSHIP 124 X. THE CHRISTIAN YEAR 138 XL THE
CHURCH AND MEN OF TODAY 153 XII. THE APPEAL OF RELIGION TO MEN 169
PREFACE These apparent obstacles are, I am convinced, the result of
misunderstanding and of the lack of definite information. When the
Church is seen as a whole when its purpose in its services is fully
made known when its reasons for its methods are made clear, the
obstacles vanish. It is quite certain, as experience has taught
many a minister of the Church, that there are many people who are
adrift from religious affiliation because they believe they cannot
con form to the practices, or fulfill the expectations, of
churchmembership. To such the Episcopal Church has a message of
deepest import. The Church presents a teaching and practice, which,
when understood, have claimed the enthusiastic allegiance of many
who have felt an uncomfortable isolation from religious
associations. The faith of the Episcopal Church is sane, reason
able, and of right proportions. Its practices are stimulating and
satisfying and strengthening. Its methods are calm and healing. It
has an atmosphere of joy and peace. Its purpose is to educate the
people in the life of the Kingdom of God, and to do this with care,
patience and with sympathy. The Church is not exclusive, but
inclusive of every soul having a good intention. It is not the
judge and the accuser of its people but their advocate and friend.
This book is intended for those who would understand the Episcopal
Church both its PREFACE spirit and practices. It considers chiefly
the initial difficulties of those coming for the first time within
the influence of the Church. It is not a manual of Christian
doctrine, or a complete exposition of the Church. There are many
such manuals, which should be read by any who wish a full statement
To those who desire to gain a better knowledge of the Episcopal
Church, I venture to offer a suggestion. Attend, for a time, the
services of the Church with an effort to understand them. No great
spiritual forces in actual operation can be understood and
appreciated by study alone, without the corrective and broadening
influences of experience in contact with those forces. A great book
must be read to be appreciated. The critics can never give an
adequate presentation of its charm and power. Appreciation of the
Church is likewise a matter ofexperience. It is certainly worth
time and effort to gain some knowledge of the Mother Church of the
English speaking people. The services are not so involved as many
imagine. An hours careful examination of the Prayer Book will make
them plain. The Prayer Book itself should be in every home. Next to
the Bible it has been the book of greatest influence in moulding
the religious life of our race. The Church always welcomes the
inquirer, and its ministers are ready to give him instruction...
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