Why bother coming to St. Andrew and All Souls ?
Come to grow in love and union with God and be transformed.
The Spirit of God is present everywhere in the world and when we intentionally gather in the name of Jesus. Our way of being Christian is a way of life sustained within intentional community. Our gatherings are not for the purpose of separating us from the world around us, but to provide time to gather for group spiritual formation in the way of Jesus and be nourished in the Eucharist for sustainable service to others in our daily lives and in the world around us.
Within the context of postmodern western culture, Christian communitas (intentional, purposeful and adventurous life together for the sake of others and for the life of the world) runs counter to the norm of rabid individualism. Christian communitas is not sustained in isolation, in gatherings of only blood family or only in comfortable circle of close personal friends. Jesus has an assembled body composed of diverse people drawn by the Spirit to engage life together in unity with God for the sake of others and for the life of God’s world. This life of formative Christian communitas around God’s Story and Table, like fresh baked bread, can’t be stored or preserved for future use. It happens afresh each time we gather weekly in Jesus’ name.
Why the abbey Church St. Andrew and All Souls?
We are a coming together of St. Andrew’s Episcopal (founded in 1895) and All Souls (an emerging Episcopal mission, founded in 2012). We are engaging a new expression of ‘parish’ ministry which is informed by monastic practice in the Benedictine tradition. Benedictine spirituality is around Ora Et Labora / Prayer and Work, or as we phrase it ‘Liturgy and Service.’
Are you Catholic, Liberal or Evangelical Christians?
We are Anglican, an ancient expression of Christian faith for today’s world. Anglicans are Catholic (maintaining ancient church order and geography (unity with our diocese and bishop and serving a specific ‘parish’ area), offering the seven sacraments, and drawing from the wisdom of ancient church fathers and mothers). Anglicans are Evangelical (affirming salvation through Jesus Christ by grace through faith as a gift) and our Anglican Province (The Episcopal Church) is progressive, open, generous and welcoming of all souls (from every race, culture, sexual orientation, and gender identity). ‘We Believe OutLoud.‘
What is a Fresh Expression of Church?
A Fresh Expression of church is a new form of church for changing culture. Fresh Expressions can resonate with those who are not yet part of church, those seeking to participate in church in new and creative ways. The term ’emerging church’ is often used to describe a similar approach.
What do you do when you gather?
We gather for ‘leitourgia’ the liturgical celebration of Mass /Holy Eucharist, the most ancient pattern of Christian gathering.
On Wednesdays, 6:30 pm we gather for Vespers/Evening Prayer. We gather for ‘diakonia’ (doing good and serving others in Jesus’ name). We gather for ‘didache‘ (times of teaching and learning). We gather for cultural discussions and artistic expression with food and drink (called ‘sessions’) and we gather for ‘koinonia’ (to just be together and enjoy community). Seasonally, we gather at 5:00 pm for ‘Beer n Hymns,’ an alternative, family friendly music based liturgy with all types of beer (root, ginger and craft) and food
What can I expect if I show up and what style of worship do you use?
You can expect to be warmly welcomed and to have an authentic encounter with God. Christ is the host of all who gather (newcomers and regulars alike) and everyone who experiences Christ’s welcome is invited to extend God’s welcome to others. Our worship is ancient, sacramental, contemplative, culturally resonate and creative. Our main concern is not style, but curating worship to facilitate authentic personal and communal encounters with God. The ‘traditional vs contemporary’ worship controversies within the modern church make no sense for us. We are part of a faith tradition over two thousand years old, so we are traditional. We are also living in the 21st century, so we engage current culture, using arts, music and media from today. Our gatherings uses The 1979 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and The Hymnal 1982, official worship resources of The Episcopal Church, along with other ancient and modern sources, texts we compose ourselves and a variety of musical forms and instrumentation. Our Daily Office (prayer gatherings) are monastic and contemplative, being simple and mostly spoken with extended periods of silence.
How do I become a member?
Everyone is welcome to participate in the life and ministry of St. Andrew and All Souls at whatever level of commitment you are comfortable with. At the same time, full participation in community life involves giving of your time to be present regularly (enough to know others and to become known), contributing your talents and creativity, and pledging a percentage of your income to support and sustain God’s mission through our church community. We prepare and welcome new Christians via Ad Fontes gatherings (catechumenate) followed by the rite of Baptism. We offer the rite of Confirmation (by prayer and laying on of hands from our Bishop) to those desiring to make a public (re)affirmation of the Christian faith.
What’s with the contemplative and the monastic stuff?
Contemplation is the means by which we listen to and connect with God at the soul level. Our neo-monastic ethos provides us with an intentional way of being Christian that places seeking unity with God, sharing the Gospel and service to others at the core of Christian life. Also, See the ‘Spirituality‘ Page of this website.
What is your statement of belief?
Anglican communities are credal, meaning we hold as primary the ancient faith that most Christians profess, and which is summarized in the ecumenical Nicene Creed. Mostly, we sing, pray, and practice our faith and life with God, rather than centering around written statements ‘about God.’ For a summary of Anglican teaching and commentary on the Creed see the Catechism of the Book of Common Prayer (1979)
How are you led and by whom?
Our leader is the Holy Spirit, who is present each time gather in Jesus’ name. The Bible is our book of faith. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer is our ‘typikon’ (our guide and standard for common life and prayer). The Spirit is active and present among us as we worship, pray, reflect on scripture and serve in the way of Jesus. The fruits of Spirit’s leading are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. (Galatians 5:22-23).
The Rt. Rev Michael J. Hanley is the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon. Our Bishop’s Advisory Committee (BAC) is our governing board serving on behalf our Bishop, who is the Rector (head pastor) of all missions churches in our diocese.