The Bible and the Book of Common Prayer
“And further, that the people (by daily hearyng of holy scripture read in the Churche) should continuallye profite more and more in the knowledge of God, and bee the more inflamed with the love of his true religion.” -from the First English Book of Common Prayer 1549
The church’s job is to produce disciples of Jesus the Christ. This begins in the soul in the inspiration and work of the Holy Spirit, but the work is continued in the faith tradition of a local church, formation in the home and classes and worship of the community, and in personal study and devotion alone and with groups and with guidance.
When the Holy Spirit begins to work in someone’s life, it is often secret, quiet, and mysterious, but soon the work begins to need the nurture of community.
Joining a local church is essential to having a healthy spiritual life that is rooted in knowledge, love, and service. At Christ Church of the Ascension, we know that you may be coming from another church or no church, and we welcome you as you are. We invite you to enter into life in Christ with us, whether you are coming as a child in a large family or a single pilgrim looking for rest. [insert link to join us]
“When I first came for a funeral, I was struck by the lightness of the place. It was a place to know God. But, the people were so friendly that I came to find a home here.” - a new member letter
Our Episcopal tradition is built on the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. We often talk about the three legged stool of Anglicanism*: Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. This image comes from the work of Richard Hooker who made the point that Scripture is always preeminent. The scripture of the church is the Bible, and we read and hear it at every service of the church. The tradition is encapsulated in the Book of Common Prayer. Any of our clergy would be happy to introduce you to either one or both in class or contacting us HERE.
Formation and Family Ministries
Knowing Christ begins in the family for children baptized and raised in the church. Our family ministries equip families for that work through nursery and children’s education, youth group, and parent and family education.
We have experience-based knowledge long before we have intellectual knowledge. Our families and community are the first place where we begin to have experiences of love, companionship, and safety. As we begin to fold in a theological language and Bible stories and practices of faith, they are all rooted in those primary experiences.
- Nursery Care is available for the Education and Worship Hours on Sunday Mornings and at major service.
- Children’s Education is based on the Bible and the Episcopal tradition and is available at 9 a.m. on Sundays, followed by Children’s Worship for the first part of the 10:15 a.m. worship hour.
- Wednesday Nights are also a time for children, youth, and adult formation seasonally.
- Youth Group meets on Sunday Mornings at 9 a.m. and Wednesday nights at 6 p.m.
SafeGuarding God’s Children
We work hard to provide love, warmth, and safety for our children. We have a commitment to treating each child as a child of God, vet our children’s workers, and train everyone who has regular contact with children and youth in Safeguarding God’s Children, our denominational course in abuse prevention.
Equipping Families and Children
Our Family Ministries and Christ Church School bring the offerings of our tradition to families and children both in the church community and in our larger parish. Their work dovetails with Ministries to form children in a profound relationship with Christ and the School providing the formation of the whole child as beloved of God and well rounded as a spiritual, intellectual, physical human being in the world.
As adults, we know differently and need to be formed continually to not only receive love, community, and safety, but how to provide it as well. Our adult formation classes focus on catechism in the faith and way of Jesus in community settings, where we learn to live as Christ followers in our world.
The journey begins in Catechism, offered annually as part of Lenten preparation for baptism, confirmation, and reception at Easter and Pentecost. Classes, community offices, and various liturgies are offered regularly as part of our ongoing formation at Christ Church.
- Adult Formation is at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays
- Women’s Bible Study meets at 10 a.m. on Thursday mornings
Knowing Christ is also an integral part of our experience of worship, though worship is focussed on Loving Christ. You can find recent sermons HERE.
Though serving Christ is a separate area of our mission, it is essential to knowing Christ as well. When we put our beliefs and ideas into practice by reaching out to others and serving others, we discover a knowledge of Christ that moves from the formal to the intimate.
For those looking to deepen their spiritual life, there are many resources available in classes and workshops, both here and at other local churches. There is no substitute for small group worship and study in the life of faith. And a current schedule is available HERE. [insert link to calendar/news]
Spiritual Direction is not normally done by the local parish priest, but our clergy are happy to help you find spiritual counsel and direction as needed. If confession is needed, or pastoral care of which direction is part, you may reach our staff HERE.
*The Episcopal Church was the Anglican (English) Church in the United States, until after the Revolutionary War when we changed our name. Anglican is used to denote the spiritual faith tradition within the various streams of the Christian church. Episcopal is used to designate our official and local tradition of which we are a local branch under the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the Diocese of Arizona.