REACH is, first and foremost, Gospel-Centered. Central to the witness and testimony of the church is the message of the Gospel, the good news of salvation for the forgiveness of sins and a renewed relationship with God.
Through Christ’s substitutionary atonement on our behalf, God liberates sinners from the power of sin and empowers them to love God and neighbor. (John 8:36, Romans 8:1-3, Ephesians 1:7-17)
Thus, the Gospel is at the center of everything we understand and believe.
REACH is Reformed. Traditional reformed Protestantism is grounded in the Five Solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Solus Christus (Christ Alone), Soli Deo Gloria (To the Glory of God Alone). These, together with the belief of the Universal Priesthood of all Believers, form the foundation of Protestant belief and are enshrined in our confession of faith.
As opposed to hierarchal forms of church authority with priests as mediators between God and people, laity have the right and duty to engage in study of God’s Word, participate in the governance of the church and affairs of the congregation, and engage in effective evangelism and mission.
REACH traces its heritage to the 16th century English Reformation championed by such Anglican Divines as Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, and Nicholas Ridley.
During this pivotal time, the Church of England broke from Rome as a Protestant Church and developed its confession of faith codified in the 39 Articles of Religion (1571).
REACH is Reformed in that it affirms God’s Word written as the testimony of God’s redemptive work in this world. Therefore, REACH churches are biblical churches both in faith and practice.
God’s Word written contains all things necessary for salvation and has a central place in the life and worship of our congregations. The Holy Scriptures are to be preached, studied, read, marked, and inwardly digested.
Article 6 states:
“Holy Scripture sets forth everything that is necessary for our salvation. Consequently, nobody should be required to believe as an article of the Christian faith, or to regard as necessary for salvation, anything that is not found in Scripture or that cannot be proved from Scripture.”
REACH is Evangelical. Foundational to Gospel-centrality is God’s Word written, the testimony of God’s redemptive work in this world.
Bishop J. C. Ryle summarized important principles of the Evangelical faith:
“the absolute supremacy we assign to Holy Scripture, the depth and prominence we assign to the doctrine of human sinfulness and corruption, the paramount importance we attach to the work and office of our Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation He has wrought for mankind, the high place which we assign to the inward work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man and the importance we place on the outward and visible work of the Holy Spirit manifested in the life, conduct and behavior of the believer in overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil’.
REACH is Anglican. Inherent to our Anglican heritage are forms of worship drawn from the theological and liturgical principles of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (grounded in Thomas Cranmer’s second Prayer Book of 1552).
In practice, this means services are focused on the gathering of the People of God around the Word of God in Worship of the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Therefore, our worship includes:
1. The confession of sin;
2. Praise and Thanksgiving;
3. Corporate prayer;
4. Reading and Exposition of Holy Scripture;
5. Administration of two sacraments: Baptism and The Supper of the Lord.
REACH’s polity is Episcopal in that we value Bishops as an ancient and well-tried form of ministry, not contrary to scripture (though not required by scripture).
On the nature of the Episcopacy, Australian theologian David Brought Knox commented: “The ancient church Fathers together with the classic Church of England formularies [The 39 Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer 1662 and the Ordinal] affirmed that the office of bishop arises out of the order of Presbyter and belong together as one order of ministry. Together deacons, presbyters, and bishops are distinct ministries. Thus Bishops serve as guardians of the faith charged with preaching, teaching, and overseeing all those committed to their care. Further, they are to ‘drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine that is contrary to God’s Word.’”
“The preface to the Anglican Ordinal in the Book of Common Prayer says that: “It is evident unto all men diligently reading holy Scripture and ancient Authors, that from the Apostles’ time there have been these Orders of Ministers in Christ’s church: Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Which offices were evermore had in such reverend estimation, that no man might presume to execute any of them, except he were first called, tried, examined, and known to have such qualities as are requisite for the same; and also by publick Prayer, with imposition of Hands, were approved and admitted thereunto by lawful authority.”
REACH is a fellowship of churches. Essential to the unity of local churches is the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. We are not one church but many churches under the headship of Christ, forming one spiritual body, the Church (Matt. 16:18, Eph. 2:6, Heb. 10:18-24). Therefore, we are united together by our common commitment to the propagation of Christ’s gospel in North America.