Below is a synopsis of what we are, what we are not, and what you can expect when you visit us.
- accepting. We accept all people, regardless of their race, gender expression and identity, sexual identity, social status or history. We accept that all people are at a different point in their spiritual walk and that no one is perfect. Yet, “God demonstrates his love for us in that, while we were yet sinners, at the proper time, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8-9a)
- open. We practice an open communion. This means that we do not prohibit anyone from receiving communion at our liturgies. “Now while they were eating the meal, Jesus took bread, and he blessed and broke and gave it to his disciples, and he said: “Take and eat. This is my body.” And taking the chalice, he gave thanks. And he gave it to them, saying: “Drink from this, all of you. For this is my blood of the new covenant, which shall be shed for many as a remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28) Christ welcomes all people to come to communion and to receive His body and blood.
- affirming. We believe that all people are created in the image of God. God does not create junk! Therefore, you are created just the way God wanted you to be. This is why we do not condemn anyone for their race, sexual identity, gender expression or identity or any other status. Gay/Straight, Rich/Poor, Male/Female are all equal in God’s eyes. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither servant nor free, there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
We are not:
- Roman Catholic. We respect the Bishop of Rome and believe that he is a first among equals within his rite (the Roman Catholic Church). However, we are not Roman Catholic and do not fall under his authority or rule. As such, we do not feel the need to compare or judge ourselves based on their standards. We are a separate and unique church that traces its linage back to 1122 and the Concordat of Worms. As such, we also do not believe there is a need to be a “little Rome”. We are who we are and we need not imitate another church in order to be valid.
- Tridentine. We believe the Latin Mass in all its beauty has its place, however, we do not use the Traditional Latin Mass in our parish. At times we have used the English version of the Old Catholic Liturgy (Matthew/Gul Mass) which is very similar to the Traditional Latin Mass, however, we do not use it now. Currently we use the Liturgy for our Times at our Masses. This liturgy is a balance between the Roman Catholic Mass and the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.
- judgmental. We do not judge people based on the way they dress, the car they drive, who they are married to, or how many zeros are in their paychecks. We believe that when we come before God, we are all the same.
What to expect:
- You should expect an open and welcoming environment. We do not believe in shunning anyone or refusing admittance to anyone. We accept all people. You will see married couples that are Gay or Straight. There will be people of different races and genders. You will also see people who are poor and who are rich. All of us are God’s children and as such have the right to come before him in prayer and fellowship.
- You should expect to see clergy that are of all races, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation/identity, and social standing. We ordained clergy based on their calling and preparation, not their race, gender identity/expression, and/or sexual orientation/identity.
- At Saint Francis, we do not take up a collection during Mass. It is our belief that doing so distracts from the spirit of the Liturgy. We are not going to shame people into donating. As such, we do not provide envelopes or send out reminders or begging letters. God has been gracious to us and has met the needs that arise as they arise. If you do wish to support our parish, you can do so here on the web under Support us or by placing a donation in the basket at the front door of the church.
- There will be times when the liturgy will have music and/or incense and times it will not. We strive to have music as often as possible, however, it is not always possible. Since we do not have a musician at this time, we utilize modern technology to provide music for our Masses. We are always looking for new ways to make this process easier, so if you have any ideas or suggestions, please let us know! As for incense, we usually only use it at Christmas and Easter. If we have Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament or Holy Hour, we will also use it then. If you are allergic to incense, please let us know.