I have received some questions lately about the expression of some of the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit at the 10:45 service on Sunday mornings. Some people may not be aware that many of the original founders of All Saints were part of the charismatic renewal movement in the Episcopal Church, and we have always sought to be open to the promptings of the Spirit. As the parish has grown we have seen the addition of members from many different Christian traditions, some of whom may not be familiar with the charismatic expression of our Christian faith. For this reason we thought it might be helpful to do some teaching on these spiritual gifts and their use in public worship. While Fr. Nathaniel and I plan to do some more extensive teaching in the near future, I would like to start with some basic understanding and instruction now.
To begin, I believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are entirely Biblical. Paul addresses this topic numerous times in his Epistles, most notably in 1 Corinthians and Romans (more on all of this in our later teachings). While some Christians today teach that the gifts were a reality for the Early Church but are no longer needed today, I see no Biblical evidence for such a cessation of the gifts. While certain gifts appear more mundane, like the gifts of helping or administration, others seem to have a more extraordinary quality, such as gifts of prophesy and tongues. It is this second type of gift that I would like to address now.
The Rev. Eric Zolner
Father Eric is a 3rd generation Anglican and the Rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Springfield, MO.