We are a mission parish in the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes. Our founders first met on the Feast of the Ascension, in 2017, thus, our name. From the original three founding families we have grown into a generationally diverse congregation made up of families with young children, adult singles, older couples, and university students. Some of us have strong Anglican roots and some are new to the Anglican Church.
We are located near two major Christian universities: Indiana Wesleyan two blocks south, and Taylor University in Upland, IN about 20 minutes southeast.
Following the ancient Church calendar, our life together revolves around the ancient liturgy of the Church. The Word of God and the Sacraments form the basis of the liturgy. Each Sunday we celebrate the Eucharist together, spiritually feeding on God’s Word, both hearing it and receiving it in Bread and Wine. We adorn that celebration with the beauty of art and music. Seeking to live lives of prayer, we make use of small group fellowship, plenty of hospitality, and practical discipleship to the end of embodying the overflowing love of Christ.
Our worship is based in ancient liturgies of the Church. There are two primary components: proclaiming and hearing God’s word and celebrating the Eucharist, and Baptism when appropriate. The liturgies of Word and Sacrament are performed in the presence of God as an act of thanksgiving for what he has done through the giving of his Son, Jesus. Worship as celebration of our access to the trinitarian life of God through the grace extended to God’s covenant people traces its origins back to the worship customs found in the Old and New Testaments.
Worship using a liturgy, a "work of the people," emphasizes congregational participation, as opposed to being passive observers. While we affirm and enjoy freedom in the Holy Spirit—so nothing is made a requirement, we engage in worship through a combination of bodily postures and expressions. We lift our voices in song and in response to the reading of God’s word and the prayers offered. We kneel, bow, or stand to express our reverence. We trace the sign of the cross with our hand from forehead to chest to each shoulder as a way of consecrating ourselves for worship and service. At times, even our sense of smell may be engaged through the use of incense, an ancient symbolic gesture of offering our prayers to God as a fragrant aroma. We are visually engaged by sacred art in our sanctuary such as “Christ’s Mystical Supper” behind the altar. At the completion of Sunday worship we heartily voice our affirmation that we have been fully prepared through worship to embody the love of Christ in the places where we live, study, play, and work during the week.
Throughout the course of a year, our worship is shaped by the earthly ministry of Christ, in seasons beginning with Advent and moving through Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit. The colors of the vestments worn by the celebrant and attendants, and linens on the altar reflect these seasons as do the specialized liturgies for these occasions. The colors, the vestments and the linens all indicate the dynamic of liturgical worship which is symbolism. For example, the celebrant puts on a white alb or robe, symbolizing our “putting on” of Christ, whereby having had His righteousness imputed to us through faith in Him, His life is given to us to "put on," to actively live out in our particular life circumstances.
All of this sacred symbolism comes into play as in the eucharist we pray—together, "And here we offer and present to you, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice.” This is the sacrifice that is needful today, ourselves to God. We rejoice in the Sacrifice of Jesus, once for all, for the forgiveness of sins. What we seek to do in embracing liturgical worship is to respond to that unspeakable Gift in the only appropriate way, by giving ourselves to Him, and doing that together. We put on the Life He gives us by intentional obedience and practical discipleship, symbolized in the vestments used at and around the table, or altar of the Lord. We use either term, as it is where we eat together of His Sacrifice, and sacrifice ourselves to Him in thanks and praise.
If you have any questions about our Lord Jesus Christ, traditional Anglican worship, or any others pertaining to our faith community, please email FRJOE.