We are Anglican Christians, members of the worldwide Anglican Communion whose worship customs were shaped by the Church of England. That heritage was formed to provide a church in England roomy enough for Roman Catholics and Protestant Evangelicals to worship together.
When you visit Saint Francis, here’s what you can expect:
- A community where worship is the heart of everything we do, using traditional liturgies.
- Preaching and teaching that is Christ-centered and grounded in the scriptures.
- A church that celebrates the sacraments and rightly administers them.
- A generous welcome.
- A vibrant Christian Education ministry that nurtures learning in youth and adults.
Worship is the heart of everything we do. Two out of three people who attend an Episcopal church have no previous experience with the Book of Common Prayer. Some of us here were not raised in the Christian faith. Some of us cut our liturgical teeth in the Roman Catholic Church, in another Protestant denomination, or in a Protestant evangelical denomination whether Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist or something else.
Anglican liturgy is choreographed. Every person in the congregation — not just the clergy — has lines to speak. If you’re new to it, you may feel as if you’re at a formal dance where everybody knows the steps but you. We recognize that, but we also respect you enough not to dumb down the liturgy. We remember Jesus’ teaching that the most important thing about prayer is to keep at it. So, be patient. Chances are, people near you in the pew remember being new to the liturgy and are glad to discreetly assist you as you learn the steps. A useful introduction to Anglican worship can be found here.
Here’s a resource that may be helpful: What to Expect at an Anglican Church.
Preaching that inclines our heart to Jesus Christ. The Gospel is good news that tells God’s story and ours. We’re here to tell you: It is a story to live with.
Our clergy preach and teach the Faith revealed in Holy Scripture and outlined in the Nicene Creed. The sermon will help you put the Word into context, and guide you as you apply it to your life today.
A church that celebrates the sacraments and rightly administers them. At the heart of the church there is a bath and a meal. Jesus commanded his followers to do two things:
1 – to make disciples of all nations, baptizing people in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
2 – to celebrate the Holy Eucharist by eating consecrated bread which He called His body and drink consecrated wine which He called His blood of the new covenant. Jesus tells us to “do this” in remembrance of Him.
These sacraments, Baptism and the Holy Eucharist have been held together in the Church’s teaching from the very beginning. One must be baptized in order to receive Holy Communion: that is the ancient rule and still the expectation of the Book of Common Prayer. St. Francis upholds this teaching by offering communion only to those Baptized.
Keep in mind that our clergy are very happy to bless all who come through our doors. So if you haven’t been baptized yet, don’t be shy! Come on up to the altar at communion time and cross your arms across your chest. This will let the priest know that you desire a blessing rather than communion. Children who have not yet celebrated their first communion may also cross their arms for a blessing. If you’d like to be baptized, make an appointment with The Reverend Mark A. Michael. He will be delighted to prepare you for baptism.
We practice a generous welcome. Following Jesus is hard. We understand that ‘doing church’ poses its challenges as any thing worth doing in life does. So at Saint Francis we work at being a church both “loose around the edges” and “solid at the core,” a church deeply Christian and at the same time permeable to the novice. We put that into practice in these ways:
- A Real Church Family. There is genuine and obvious affection for each other in our parish. We also keep an open door and an outstretched hand to people new to our family.
- Diversity of worship styles. Typically we observe three services of divine worship on a Sunday morning. The 8:00 o’clock service is The Holy Eucharist with homily and without music. The 9:15 is The Holy Eucharist with sermon, choral music, and hymns. At 11:30, we celebrate Morning Prayer. The Wednesday morning 10:00 o’clock is a relatively informal Holy Eucharist in the chapel.
- Fellowship. St. Francis parishioners have fun together! We often gather for meals and service projects, and even for purely fun events like Square Dancing and OktoberFest.
A vibrant Christian Education Ministry. For your convenience, Sunday School for children and Adult Forums are offered concurrently, after the 9:15am service. Children are engaged in active Christian learning, while teens have Bible study and a support group, and adults can choose from several forums on topics ranging from prophets to parenting to Christian formation.
We also offer weekly bible study, prayer series, youth group, and other engaging educational forums. Our Youth Ministry doesn’t condescend to young people, but respects them, enjoys them, disciples them, and sees them bring glory to Christ’s name.