Our Mission and Vision
The Mission of Saint Mary's Anglican Church is to love God and each other, to be faithful disciples of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to share His Gospel with those we encounter each day. And Our Vision is to build up the kingdom of God, to make new disciples of Christ, to grow as a family of believers, to serve the needs of others, and to joyfully celebrate our Christian life together in the tradition of the Anglican Church.
We are a Catholic Church
Saint Mary's is a parish in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin ("DSJ") of the Anglican Church in North America ("ACNA"). Our church is committed to biblical teaching and preaching, to the truths expressed in the Apostle's, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, to traditional and orthodox worship as contained in the Book of Common Prayer, and to upholding the historic threefold ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons ordained in Apostolic Succession. We are a part of Christ's Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, born some 2,000 years ago. More specifically, we are a part of the Anglican family of churches which had its origins in the British Isles in the first century and were carried around the world wherever English speaking people were found. Through faithful witness, carried out in our corporate life and the lives of our individual members, we strive to proclaim the Christian faith in all its fullness: That Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior Who suffered, died, and rose to bring us God's gift of salvation - ETERNAL LIFE !
We are a Sacramental Church
From the beginning, Christianity has been a sacramental religion. Jesus Christ ordained two preeminent sacraments for all His people; Holy Baptism, by which we are made living members of Him and are grafted into His new eternal life, and Holy Communion through which our souls are sustained by His divine life as we strive to be Christ's faithful soldiers and servants in this world. These two sacraments are commonly called Sacraments of the Gospel, or Major Sacraments. There are also five other sacraments of the Church; Reconciliation/Confession, Confirmation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Holy Unction/Anointing of the Sick.
We are a Believing Church and We are a Teaching Church
We believe that the Bible is the written Word of God, and that the Holy Scriptures are our rule of life. We believe that the three historic Creeds (Apostle's, Nicene, and Athanasian) summarize all the articles of the Christian faith. The Anglican Church has always believed and taught as essential doctrine only what can be proved from Scripture and what was believed and taught by the Church in its original undivided state. Anglicanism has no novel or original doctrine of its own; it holds fast to that which it has received. As the Right Rev. Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1945-1961, said about half a century ago, "We have no doctrine of our own we only possess the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Creeds of the Church, and those Creeds we hold without addition or diminution."
The mother church of Anglicanism, the Church of England, was a pioneer in translating the Bible into the language of the people and putting it into their hands, their homes, and their lives. The Anglican family of churches throughout the world is truly a teaching Church, encouraging and promoting among its people the study, not only of Holy Scripture, but of truth wherever it is revealed; in history, philosophy and science.
We are a Worshipping Church
In the corporate worship of the Anglican Church, the congregation is made up of participants, not spectators. When the Book of Common Prayer is properly used, all worshippers are brought completely into the services. The liturgies contained in the Book of Common Prayer help direct our souls to the worship of Almighty God and strengthens us in our daily life of prayer. This ancient and beautiful worship is an offering of our best to God. The building, altar, vestments, music, and liturgy express our hearts desire to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
We are a Church of Spirit and Service
As a Church of Spirit, the Anglican Church emphasizes primarily the nurture of the individual soul in the new life in Christ. But the Church recognizes that love for God is unreal unless it is manifested in love for neighbor. Therefore, it is a Church of service to others, keeping its members ever mindful that we are the hands and feet of our Lord upon the earth. It is a Church of fellowship, for we must live our love for God in the world through people.