The Church was established in England shortly following our Lord's Ascension into heaven. The Council of Arles (317 A.D.) records the presence of three English Bishops and their entourage. When Pope Gregory I sent St. Augustine in 597 A.D. to evangelize the British Isles, he reported back that the Church was already functioning there in its fulness. At the time of the Great Schism in AD 1054, the Church in the British Isles remained Orthodox, which led to the papal sanctioned Norman invasion in 1066 to bring the "erring" (read Orthodox) English Church under Roman authority. All but one of the English bishops were imprisioned and replaced by the Norman usurpers and the Church had an uneasy and often stormy relationship with Rome lasting nearly five centuries. The English Reformation which began in AD 1534 was led by bishops to restore the Faith and Order of the Undivided Church. It is evident that the Church must "continue stedfastly in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) Therefore we stand today in the glorious Tradition of the English (Anglican) Church, believing what the Church has always believed at all times and in every place (Catholic). You will find nothing new here!
The Church is in the Season of Lent, which name is from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning "to lengthen." It comes in the Spring of the year when the days are gradually lengthening in light following the Winter Solstice. The Season begins on Ash Wednesday and is forty days in length, not counting Sundays. The number forty recalls our Lord's fast and temptation in the wilderness.
There are three great Lenten duties which mark its observance: Prayer, Almsgiving, and Fasting. These are meant to discipline and improve us in relation to God (prayer), others (almsgiving), and ourselves (fasting). While the three duties are co-ordinated, they are not the same. Each requires something different. In relation to God we need more and better prayers, and in particular more adoration. Prayer is the root of our spiritual life, without which everything else that matters will wither. In relation to others we need more generosity and service. If we do not have money to give, we can give our time or talents. If God has so confined us that we have neither money nor direct contact to give, then we can at least give others our support with intercessory prayer for them. In relation to ourselves we need self-discipline and self-control. If we cannot control our physical appetites in a small way, then we will never have much hope of controlling our tempers, our pride, our envy, and the other spiritual failings that so often beset us. God calls us to fast (St. Matthew 9:15), and to pray (I Thessalonians 5:17), and to almsgiving (St. Luke 11:41). He calls us to keep a good and holy Lent.
All the days of Lent are kept by fasting which limits the amount of food one takes; the Wednesdays and Fridays, in addition to fasting, are kept as days of abstinence when no meat products are taken.
Traditionally, Lenten devotions in parish churches have drawn attention to the suffering and death of Jesus. The most popular one is known as the Stations of the Cross. It was popular for Christians to journey to the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Jesus to Calvery. After it was captured by the Moslems, pilgrimages were too dangerous. A substitute pilgrimage, the Stations of the cross, became a popular outdoor devotion throughout Europe during the middle Ages. They represented critical events from Scripture or tradition of Jesus' journey to Calvary. In the mid-18th century, Stations were allowed inside churches.
Pray with the Church
Who is the Church of the Incarnation?
The Church of the Incarnation is a faith community dedicated to lifting up Jesus Christ and to being Christ to our world. "Incarnation" means "in the flesh" and comes from the opening Chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, "And the Word (the Second Person of the Holy Trinity) became flesh and dwelt among us." We lift up Jesus by being His hands and feet, heart and voice to our neighbors. In this way, we are Jesus "in the flesh" to our world. We are a neighborhood church and if you live close to us, we are praying for you and your family. Our bells ring daily at noon as the reminder that Jesus is God who has come to us in the flesh. His Name is Emmuel - God with us.
Perhaps you have no church to call your home. Or you have given up on church because you have been burnt by church people. Do you have a vision or dream of how God can use a little neighborhood church? We invite you to dream with us and join us in walking with and following Jesus.
We are a family size congregation who come from a wide variety of backgrounds -- Moravians, Baptists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Episcopalians. Our Pastor is The Most Rev'd Thomas J. Kleppinger and our Associate is Father Peter Geromel.
The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, affectionately remembered as the Black Book, acknowledged in its Preface that it drew from The Book of Common Prayer, 1549. The affinity is both denominations used the term "Common" in the description of their respective liturgical practice which has many similarities reflecting their common source.
We are part of the glorious Anglican Tradition within the Christian Church, a Church deeply rooted in the lands now known as the United Kingdom and of Ireland and other remote islands. Emerging from the British or Celtic Church, known best for St. Patrick of Ireland, the Anglican Tradition became well-organized by missionaries from Rome. At the time of the Vikings, the land of the Anglo-Saxons (known as Angle-land or England) then became the staging ground for key missionaries to Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Ours is a tradition that is well-known to you, even if you have never heard of it. It is the tradition that raised William Shakespeare and Jane Austen and produced the King James Bible. Its pastors and preachers wrote hymns like “Amazing Grace” and “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Statesmen like George Washington and 31 signers of the Declaration of Independence knew God as their Sovereign due to its teachings. Theologians like John Wesley, C.S. Lewis and J.I. Packer have become household names in Bible-believing homes and are great Christians associated with the Anglican tradition. Its heart for outreach and compassion has recently been dramatized in “Call the Midwife”. We are glad to know Jesus our Savior and would be glad to know you too!
We invite you to our Divine Services!
The Traditional English Liturgy
Sundays: Divine Liturgy 10:30 a.m.
Prayers for Healing and Anointing are available upon request.
Bible Study in The Book of Revleation follows the Fellowship
Thursdays: Liturgy at Noon.
Holy Days as Announced
Service at Belle Haven Healthcare and Rehabilitation
Mondays: 3:00 P.M. with Father Peter