What We Believe
I am glad that you are interested in more information about our church! I hope that this will give you a helpful overview of what we are about, and please do not hesitate to contact me or any of our staff at any time with any questions or comments you might have. Having spent time in many different Episcopal and Anglican (CofE) churches during my life, I can point to three distinctive qualities that we have that give me great joy in being able to commend St. Francis to you.
We are a “Gospel-centric” parish: We never tire of hearing about the good news of what God has done for the world in Jesus. In the middle of all of our services here there is a section called “The Comfortable Words” that will give you a snapshot of the entire reason that we are here. In these four sentences from scripture, we hear about the burdens of the world, the love of God in Jesus, and the promise of mercy and forgiveness. These four sentences, introduced into the liturgy of the Anglican church over 450 years ago, remain as relevant to life and the lifeblood of our church today as they were back when they were originally penned.
We are an educational parish: At the end of every service we are sent out with a blessing that prays that the “peace of God” will “keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and Love of God.” We take that promise very seriously here and endeavor to challenge both the heart and the mind with the good news of God in Christ. We are committed not only to the highest level of scholarship in our own teaching and preaching, but also in the quality of our many guest speakers. This engagement of the heart and mind lies at the core of our identity here at St. Francis, and our programs and teaching from the children to the senior’s ministry reflects this at every level.
We are rooted in the Anglican tradition: At St. Francis in the Fields, we are committed to the “faith once delivered to all the saints,” (Jude 4) as expressed through the historic Anglican formularies. In 1886, with the expansive growth of the Anglican Church around the world, a group of bishops gathered together to outline what would become the bedrock pillars of churches that wished to be a part of the worldwide communion. These four pillars became known as the “Chicago/Lambeth Quadrilateral,” and to these four St. Francis wholeheartedly subscribes:
1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God.
2. The Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian Faith.
3. The two Sacraments – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him.
4. The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.
There is much more that can be said about St. Francis, and I hope you will take the time to read a bit about the different ministries that we have to offer. However, we are well aware that of all of the different reasons people give for coming to church, it is almost always the case that they actually end up staying for one reason: they meet Jesus Christ. We are a parish that loves to hear about Jesus and the forgiveness, peace, joy, and life that he brings. We hope to see you Sunday!
The Rev. Dr. John D. Koch, Jr.