What do you believe?
We believe as Christians have all throughout history in God who became man in the Person of Jesus Christ. We believe God is One in unity yet three in Persons, the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God and we form our life and worship of God using the Scriptures as our foundation. We believe therefore in the authority of the Word of God as it has been received generationally from the Apostles teachings and writings of the early centuries.
Why do you have a liturgy?
The order of our worship service is very similar to the way the ancient church worshipped as they centered themselves in praising God and learning from the Scriptures and sharing in Holy Communion. We believe in the real Presence of God in the Sacraments of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. The liturgy is really founded upon the way Christians understood what Jesus commanded us to do…in remembrance of Him and His teachings. We worship as a community of believers in Word and song and prayer and sacrament.
What do I need to do to receive Holy Communion?
All baptized Christians that believe as we do that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior who welcomes us to His table are invited to receive Holy Communion. You don’t need to have made any previous arrangements with us. You just need to believe in Jesus! You may receive both of the bread, sacramentally the Body of Christ, and the wine, the Blood of Christ; or, you may receive just in one kind as there is equal grace from God in both. Just place your hands out in a receiving fashion and the priest will lay the wafer in your hands. You may sip of the chalice or the minister can dip it for you if you like. Receive with thanksgiving for the Lord and in reverence of Him.
What is the basis of your prayers and where do they come from?
Our prayers generally come from the Book of Common Prayer (1928, 1979, or sometimes Canadian or older English prayer books). The prayer book for the Anglican Church of North America is presently being renewed and written to preserve the faith. We have expectation that the new prayer book will be available within 2014. The prayers are both ancient and modern. They are prayed commonly as we all come before the Lord as His family. Generally, included and often with the same language, Holy Scripture is quite common in the prayers.
Are we catholic or protestant?
Many people find that we are both. That is we worship in the universal tradition of the Church from its founding in the early centuries, that which makes us catholic. We are not Roman Catholic though as the Church of England long ago in the Protestant Reformation began its journey of faith as Christians independent of them. We are protestant in that we protested those abuses that had crept into the faith long ago and even today as we protest against the devaluing of Holy Scripture by denominations that insist on cultural relativism or revisionism of the Scriptures. We adhere to the majority of Christians of the Anglican Communion worldwide in keeping the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).
Are you an independent church?
No; not as a ‘non-denominational’ church. We belong to a larger body of believers known as a diocese that has a bishop (overseer) of many other churches in his geographical area. Our diocese in SoCal is called Western Anglicans (westernanglicans.org). The bishop has authority over the clergy of the parishes and is invited to come to the congregation annually for services of confirmation and visitation. But the individual congregation is free to form their own corporation and manage their own resources and buildings. The best understanding of the diocese is that it’s the larger family. We are nationally members of the Anglican Church of North America (www.acna.org).
Does your church have a policy in place to keep the people safe?
Yes, we do. Everyone that works with children or visits anyone at the homes of parishioners or in hospitals must have gone through training to prevent any abuse. We are careful to screen for highly appropriate people who have a deep relationship with the Lord Jesus to be in any kind of ministry within the parish. We are compelled by Christ to make His Church safe.
What is your policy on membership?
Being a member of Grace Anglican Church is simply being a member to our Lord Jesus Christ. In such ways, each member is expected to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind, body and strength to engage in the life of Christ, and the local church. We pray people will take up their call to love and serve the Lord in assisting in the ministries of the church. These are best learned in the small groups we have formed for engaging members. We encourage worship regularly, and promote giving in time, talent, and treasure to the building up of Christ’s Body, His Church. A member of the church needs to be in regular association with us to vote at the annual meeting in January or be nominated to be on our vestry (board of directors).
Where can I learn more about your church?
Once a quarter we have a new members gathering to welcome those who want to make Grace their church home. It’s not mandatory but everyone has loved being part of this joyful fellowship of long-time members and newcomers. You can also look to a class once a year for confirmation, reception, and re-affirmation of your faith. Anyone wishing to be baptized, having never been baptized before, may call the office and the rector will provide personal guidance and spiritual direction before being baptized. Baptisms are normally on a Sunday morning at the services. Other services such as weddings and funerals are performed by our clergy.
What if I have any immediate questions?
Please feel free to call the office at 760-730-9900 or email Fr. Joe Rees, our rector, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll respond to you within the day.
“Come journey with us who journey daily with Jesus and invite Him to make His home within us. His Peace be with you.”—Fr. Joe Rees+