The Bishop’s Message
The best way to understand our faith and practice is to take a Bible, a copy of the historic Book of Common Prayer, and come and worship with us. The center of our worship is the Holy Eucharist, also called Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord’s Supper, and the Divine Liturgy. It is the only service recorded in the New Testament as having been given us by Christ himself.
You will find that our liturgical worship involves the whole person – body, mind, and spirit, allowing us to be active participants rather than mere listeners. When worshipping in one of our parishes for the first time, you will find that many Anglicans use various outward forms of devotion, such as kneeling or making the sign of the Cross, to express our inward devotion. Such outward gestures are individual choices, used where they assist devotion and not used where they don’t. Each worshipper should use those with which he or she is comfortable. Worship goes from us to God, rather than from a preacher or choir to us. While not precluding extemporaneous prayers when appropriate, our liturgical style of worship ensures that our corporate services are a consistent and complete worship of our God and Savior. I am confident you will find that our orthodox theology, moving liturgy, and traditional sacred choral hymnody make our worship a moving, reverent, and uplifting experience.
The duty of our parishes and missions is to understand, interpret and share with all people the message of redemption through faith in Jesus Christ.
We do this by continuing to proclaim “that faith once delivered to the saints” – the living faith handed to us by the apostles and the apostolic fathers. We reject no part of this faith but only additions and changes to it. Therefore, you will find that we have not changed the essentials of our Faith and Practice to conform to modern, secularizing trends. Indeed I believe you will find the parishes and missions of the DMV to be an authentic Anglican presence in their various communities witnessing God’s love through worship, prayer, fellowship as they proclaim Jesus Christ the same, today, yesterday, and forever; all the while striving to preserve the atmosphere of a neighborhood church family.
If you are one of the many who have become estranged from the Church as a result of uncomfortable past experiences or the path some of today’s denominations are taking I would encourage you to seek out the parish nearest you. If you are searching for a relationship with Jesus Christ, I believe all of our parishes or missions can help you find a path which will meet your needs. Our means are modest, but our efforts are from the heart and results fruitful.
We are in the midst of an exciting episode in the life of the Church! There is a good feeling that comes from having made a beginning based on a conscious contact with God and in the knowledge that the purpose set before us comes from Him, and not we ourselves. We invite everyone to join us in this pilgrimage.
If you don’t find a parish or mission near you and/or you have interest in starting a mission in one of the states mentioned above or in North Dakota, Louisiana, or Oklahoma, please contact the diocesan office at (217) 223-1766.
In the Service of God,
II Bishop of the Missouri Valley
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