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ABOUT OUR CHURCH
Christ Church of the Sierra is a Christian community which has been formed in the long western catholic tradition in the British Isles. Catholic Christianity came to Britain perhaps as early as the mid 1st century a.d. There it developed as a catholic faith being influenced in the 6th century by the Rule of St. Benedict. Anglo Saxon piety found stability in the praying and ordering church life around a common rule of life or a regular rule of prayer. This has been mostly true even trough the tribulation of the reformation. Consequently, English Spirituality, a termed coined by the late priest Martin Thornton, is a way of life shaped with a Benedictine Rule as the bedrock of its spiritual life.
We are discovering that praying a regular pattern of prayer provides us with the stability to grow and open ourselves to the transforming graces of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Because we believe this to be true, we don’t offer the current latest fads or trends. We aim to be a community which can provide concrete ways, which are based on two millennia of consistent results, for disciples of Jesus to grow and be transformed. This life is not easy, however. It requires perseverance. Yet it is rewarding to know and in time see the changes our Lord is affecting in the lives of those who faithfully engage in regular practice of the Benedictine way of prayer.
As a Christian community we understand that Christ Church is more than just a place to fulfill ‘one’s Sunday obligation’. It is also more than a place to simply go to Church. It is a community that understands struggling together for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Often people hear that if they will believe in Jesus that Jesus will make everything better in their lives. While some things will be better, the challenge we all face at Christ Church is that we have to participate in the undoing of some of the binds in which we have placed ourselves in life. It is challenging, yet we know that Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith is near us and with us as we persevere.
We look forward to new people participating in the life of our community who are willing to accept that ‘there are no quick fixes’ and that true growth in one’s faith life requires perseverance, stability of place and commitment. Opportunities for specialized participation in the life of are community are possible as one becomes discipled. As are new ministries that we may currently not be doing. Our door is open, our community is gregarious and working toward holiness. We welcome you to the challenge of a Christian life grounded in the most ancient of tradition.
Please check our Calendar for a list of activities planned by our community. As a Christian Community, we understand that we cannot achieve the fullness of Christ’s plan for our lives without the support of other Christians. If you are seeking answers on the purpose of life or are just looking for a more complete Christian experience we invite you to participate in one of our upcoming services and/or activities.
To proclaim the Good News of God’s Kingdom and therefore make disciples of Jesus Christ.
What do we mean?
Our mission statement sounds rather simple. However, we believe that before His ascension to the right hand of God Jesus the Messiah gave us our marching orders in Matthew 28. Because He did we are obligated to follow through. But what does that mean? We understand that many people equate disciple making with converts and new church members. We don’t. We equate disciple making with equipping people who have come to faith in Jesus the Messiah to actually become his disciples. What does that mean? It means that people who are disciples learn about the mind of Christ. They realize that this is a lifetime endeavor. Learning, growth and ultimately transformation do not stop at initiation. If you actually want to be a disciple of Jesus then we can help you. And if then you decide to become a disciple of Jesus then we have a way for you to become part of our community of Christians.
In One God the Father Almighty
We believe along with Christians of every age that God has revealed Himself to humanity. He has used humans to communicate the reality that God exists. Evidence of God’s existence can be found in the yearning of man throughout the ages for God. We believe that God is a unity of being in three Persons without confusion. God’s self revelation is most clearly articulated in the Holy Scriptures both Old and New Testaments. Because God’s revelation is contained in the Bible we hold it to be our primary source of our understanding of God and His desires for us.
In Jesus Christ His Only Son
We believe that God has most perfectly been revealed to the world in Jesus Christ. What we say is that God the Son became Incarnate and took on human flesh to live the human life. In His life Jesus fulfilled all that God intended for Israel and thus became for us the new Israel and source of the salvation of humanity. Salvation was accomplished through Jesus’ perfect life, death, resurrection and ascension in glory. In Jesus we can see what God is like in His character, we can know what God’s ways are like through Jesus’ teaching, we can see God’s power at work in Jesus’ healing ministry, in the expelling of demons, in his conquering of satan’s temptations, in Jesus’ miracles, and in His choosing to take on the Cross. Likewise, in Jesus, we can see God’s compassion in all of the above.
In the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son and therefore is God forming the Holy Trinity. The reality and presence of the Holy Spirit has been revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments. The Father has sent the Holy Spirit through the Son that He might empower us as Christians to fulfill our promises made in our baptisms.
In the Holy Catholic Church
We believe that Jesus is the originator of the Church (rather than ‘man’). Jesus left behind the origins of the Church in His Apostles. They through their empowerment of the Holy Spirit continued the ministry of Jesus on earth. This is the faith that Jesus intends to be inherited by each generation. The “Catholic” nature of the church means whole. It is intended by Christ that we believe that which has been believed throughout the ages and passed on.
In the Communion of the Saints
We believe that the Catholic Church extends no only to those who profess the faith of Christ crucified and resurrected in this world but to the next. We believe that our communion is not only with the living but those whose lives are now lived nearer to God. While we don’t believe in talking to the dead we nevertheless believe that when we worship we worship alongside Christians from ages past.
In the Resurrection of the Body
We believe that because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we believe that upon Christ’s return and the time of the general resurrection we will be given a glorified body to be united with our soul.
In Life Everlasting
We believe that life extends beyond the visible world. The life everlasting to which we aspire is that which is lived in the near presence of God where we can behold God in all His glory and live a life which is beyond pain and suffering.
Liturgy, which is also a combination of ritual and ceremony, is something that has predated Jesus and Christianity. Jewish worship was liturgical. Liturgical meaning that it followed a familiar and often repetitive formula. Is purpose wasn’t to be innovative, trendy or edgy. It was meant for reverence, consistency of faith and obedience. The first Christians inherited the pattern they didn’t invent it. They simply transformed it to meet their own needs in light of Jesus. You may not read about it in the New Testament but that is most likely because it was simply assumed. Today it receives a bad rap. It’s seen as formal and/or rote. However, it is anything but that.
Some scholars have come to the conclusion that we actually come to know things through ritual (read liturgy). In our case we come to know God through the consistent and stable use of the ancient rituals and ceremonies that have been passed on to us. The liturgies which we use for our worship, while not identical, still follow the ancient patterns and communicate the same truth of Christ and the story of salvation that the first Christians knew. Participating in a liturgy does not come easy. However, through teaching, a heart open to the work of God and a reverent spirit one can come to a deep love of liturgy and find that their life is being transformed through regular participation.