The primary ministry of all members of St. John’s is the worship of the Father as revealed by the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit, as this worship is defined for us in the Book of Common Prayer (1928). We expect all members not reasonably prevented to present themselves before the Lord with his people on all Sundays and major holy days of the Church’s year. In addition, throughout the week we provide additional assemblies for common prayer. Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, Unction, and Burial of the dead are available, as needed, by announcement, or upon request.
Since there is no worship of God in the spirit without knowledge of God in the understanding, we expect all members not reasonably prevented to be educated in all that a Christian ought to know and believe to his soul’s health. To that end, we provide Christian education for all ages at 9:30 a. m. on Sundays, and in smaller groups for instruction, study, and discussion during the week.
Our worship of God is not only “with our lips but in our lives”, an offering and a sacrifice of “our selves, our souls and bodies”, and that means the faithful stewardship of all the goods which God has entrusted to our use, both material and spiritual, for the promotion of God’s glory and the benefit of the Church and people of God. We invite the offering of time, talent, and treasure in his service. We encourage all members to give money generously, sacrificially, and in proportion to their means (Deuteronomy 16:17). “Estimate of Giving” cards are distributed and received in late fall; offering envelopes are available upon request. We also ask that Christians remember the Church in their will and in other forms of long-range financial planning.
Our worship of God finds expression also in varied ministries of service. Primarily these are found in the family, friendship, and labor. They are also found in specialized and varied ministries of service in and from the Church.
AN INVITATION AND SOME RESTRICTIONS
Admission to the Church is by Baptism
The doors of St. John’s are open to all who wish to take part in the Church’s praises and prayers, and to hear the Word preached. By Christ’s command, and in accord with the Church’s tradition, Baptism and Faith are required for Salvation (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16; John 3:5), and for admission to membership in the Church.
Baptism of Children
In accord with Christ’s institution, baptism is administered not only to those who profess the Christian Faith, but also to their children, with the condition that the children are taught “all things which a Christian ought to know and believe to his soul’s health” (Prayer Book, p. 277) – that is, in the Catechism (pp. 577-583), and in the teaching of the Bible and the Prayer Book.
Planning for a Child’s Baptism
Parents of newborn children should speak with the priest to plan for their baptism at the earliest convenient opportunity. Baptisms are usually administered in the Church or Chapel: (1) on Sunday mornings at the 10:30 service, in conjunction with Morning Prayer; (2) Sundays after the 10:30 service; (3) on Saturdays late in the morning or early in the afternoon.
If there is any serious risk to the child’s life, Baptism should be administered promptly. If a priest is not available, any person who intends what the Church intends by baptism, may perform an emergency baptism, using water, and saying “I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. Other prayers may be said at this time (the Lord’s Prayer), but the priest should be notified of the baptism, and the child should then be formally received into the congregation by the priest.
Those who have been baptized and confirmed by a bishop in historic succession, or are ready and desirous to be confirmed, are admitted to Communion on condition of repentance, faith and charity. We also welcome those who have been baptized and admitted to communion in other churches. If such persons choose to join St. John’s, we ask that they be confirmed as soon as conveniently possible. All persons are welcome to seek a blessing at the altar rail and they do so by folding their arms across their breast.
To TRANSFER Your Membership to St. John’s:
If you are already a baptized member of Christ’s Church and wish to become formally affiliated with St. John’s as a communicant in good standing, please contact Fr. Dunbar in the Church Office (912)232-1251.