The Church
of the Good Shepherd



809 Lee-Jackson Highway
Staunton, Virginia 24401

"The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!"

Our Beliefs and Mission are rooted in the biblical song, "The Song of Simeon"  (Luke 2: 29-32)

 

(Turn up the volume to listen to The Song of Simeon with music by Herbert Howells, sung by the Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral in London).

"Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word. For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, to be a Light to lighten the Gentiles; and to be the Glory of Thy people Israel."  "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be; world without end.  Amen".        (At the end of Psalms and Canticles these words  -"Gloria Patri"-  are added as the ultimate affirmation of praise to God).

 

Our Mission

 

“The Church of the Good Shepherd is a growing, caring church in the Anglican tradition which strives to know Christ & to make Him known by Worship, Christian Formation, and Service to others”.  

Adopted by the Vestry, January 2010

"They continued in the Apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers."   Acts 2:42

What Is The Anglican Tradition?

 

In simplest terms, the Anglican (or "English") tradition practices "generous orthodoxy": being united in the essentials of the Christian faith and yet allowing liberty of an informed conscience in lesser matters of faith and practice. Having its roots in the Church of England, the Episcopal Church is also an Anglican Church. Like all Anglican churches, the Episcopal Church is distinguished by the following characteristics:

Protestant, Yet Catholic
Anglicanism stands squarely in the Reformed tradition, yet considers itself just as directly descended from the Early Church as the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches. There was a distinct Church in England in the earliest days of Christianity; and it was not until later in the 600s that the English Church became united under the Church of Rome, and therefore the Pope. Anglicanism separated from the Roman Church during the 16th century Reformation and has attempted to return to a simpler faith and order as once existed.  Goverance is through the various councils of the Church rather than through a single bishop.

Worship in one’s first language
Episcopalians believe that Christians should be able to worship God and read the Bible in their first language, which for most Episcopalians, is English, rather than Latin or Greek, the two earlier, “official” languages of Christianity. Yet the Book of Common Prayer has been translated into many languages, so that those Episcopalians who do not speak English can still worship God in their native tongue.

The Book of Common Prayer
Unique to Anglicanism, though, is the Book of Common Prayer, the collection of worship services that all worshipers in an Anglican church follow. It’s called “common prayer” because we all pray it together, around the world. The first Book of Common Prayer was compiled in English by Thomas Cranmer in the 16th century, and since then has undergone many revisions for different times and places. But its original purpose has remained the same: To provide in one place the core of the instructions and rites for Anglican Christians to worship together.

The present prayer book in the Episcopal Church was published in 1979. Many other worship resources and prayers exist to enrich our worship, but the Book of Common Prayer is the authority that governs our worship. It is a collection of very ancient worship patterns as well as more recent contributions. The prayer book explains Christianity, describes the main beliefs of the Church, outlines the requirements for the sacraments, and in general serves as the main guidelines of the Episcopal life.

Scripture, Tradition and Reason
The Anglican approach to reading and interpreting the Bible was first articulated by Richard Hooker, also in the 16th Century. While Christians universally acknowledge the Bible (or the Holy Scriptures) as the Word of God and completely sufficient to our reconciliation to God, what the Bible says must always be understood in our own time and place.

The Church, as a worshiping body of faithful people, has for two thousand years amassed experience of God and of loving Jesus, and what they have said to us through the centuries about the Bible is critical to our understanding it in our own context. The traditions of the Church in interpreting Scripture connect all generations of believers together and give us a starting point for our own understanding.

Episcopalians believe that every Christian must build an understanding and relationship with God’s Word in the Bible, and to do that, God has given us intelligence and our own experience, which we refer to as “Reason.” Based on the text of the Bible itself, and what Christians have taught us about it through the ages, we then must sort out our own understanding of it as it relates to our own lives.                

--From the Episcopal Church Center's Online Visitor Center

What Are the Essentials of Being a Christian?

 

Like early Christians, we shout out "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again". Those words are found in the Prayer Book's Eucharistic Service. They are from the Scripture: "If you will confess with your mouth that 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9). THAT essential affirmation makes you a Christian. With those heartfelt words a relationship with Christ has begun and it now needs growth and refinement on a life-long journey of "maturing" as a Christian.

In 325 AD the Church gathered and refined exactly what the simplest and most essential Christian affirmations should be in relation to the many hostile challenges by worldly and often violent cultures. Beginning with the older Apostle's Creed, the bishops who had gathered at the Council of Nicea proclaimed that the following Creed is the sufficient statement of the Christian faith:

We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
        he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
        he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
        and was made man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
        he suffered death and was buried.
        On the third day he rose again
            in accordance with the Scriptures;
        he ascended into heaven
            and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
        and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the Prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
        and the life of the world to come. Amen.

(Book of Common Prayer, page 358)

How We Affirm The Faith & Live It

 

What we affirm with our lips we have to live by our lives. So, by using rejections, affirmations, and the Creed, we promise to live out what it means to be a Christian through the Baptismal Covenant; our vow to God:

Question      Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces
                      of wickedness that rebel against God?
Answer         I renounce them.

Question      Do you renounce the evil powers of this world
                      which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
Answer         I renounce them.

Question      Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you
                      from the love of God?
Answer         I renounce them.

Question     Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your
                      Savior?
Answer        I do.

Question      Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
Answer         I do.

Question     Do you promise to follow and obey him as your 
                      Lord?
Answer        I do.

Celebrant     Do you believe in God the Father?
People          
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant     Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People           I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant     Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People           I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Celebrant      Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
People           I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant      Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People          I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant     Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
People          I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant      Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People          I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant      Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People          I will, with God’s help.

(Book of Common Prayer, pg. 302)

Seeking to Serve our Neighbor

                                                                                                                                       

Our mission activity seeks to serve others and to "make Him known" through our deeds. Our ministries of Service include our support of:

Our Diocesan Ministries, Boy's Home, Hunters for the Hungry, 3rd Tuesday Lunch Ministry, Verona Food Pantry, Valley Mission, the Salvation Army, The New Directions Center, Coat/Blanket Giveaway, The ARC of Augusta, and Weekday Religious Education at Riverheads Elementary School.

Upcoming Events

Sunday, Oct 15 at 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Sunday, Oct 15 at 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Tuesday, Oct 17 at 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuesday, Oct 17 at 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM

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