“There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord.” Abraham Joshua Heschel The Sabbath
Have you heard God call you? Who are you Called to Be?
Called to Be…
As Christians within the Central Valley of California, we recognize that we are Called to Be. In doing this, we are seeking intimate relationship with God.
We believe in a God who has created us and Called us into Being.
We believe in a God who took on flesh as a Human Being and lived among us. Jesus of Nazareth, who taught and healed and performed miracles, was also willing to embrace the rejection of humanity; a rejection that led to death.
We believe that the Spirit of God continues to Call us to Be. The Spirit continues to be present in our daily lives and ministries.
As a people Called to Be, we recognize that we are making God’s presence known in the world. Our daily lives and work are serving to witness to God’s love for the world. This is a response we make in the promises and covenant at Baptism.
Within the Episcopal Church and its sister churches of the Anglican Communion, the Five Marks of Mission provide indicators of areas where the work is done. Some are within the Church and some in the World.
We invite you to join us at Church for the Worship of God. We invite you to be part of a community that is offering service in the church and in the world. We invite to you to explore all the ways in which you are Called to Be.
What to Expect When You Visit an Episcopal Church
The Diocese of San Joaquin is culturally and geographically diverse. This is reflected not only in the membership of our Episcopal churches, but in the richly diverse ways in which those members worship each Sunday and on special occasions throughout the year.
At the heart of all Episcopal worship is the Book of Common Prayer, and within it the principal weekly service is the Holy Eucharist—also known as Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper or Mass.
For each Christian season, the Book of Common Prayer lays out the form that the service should take, and provides the text for most of the prayers. A calendar of readings from the Scriptures, called the “Lectionary,” lays out which biblical passages should be read each day. Typical services will mix readings, prayers, hymns and a sermon. In every case, while a priest leads the service, the congregation participates extensively—singing hymns and speaking or singing prayers, the creed, responses and psalms.
Exactly what one does and when—should you be kneeling, sitting or standing? Should you sing or speak the responses? When do you say Amen? —can be a bit of a puzzle to a newcomer, but it should not be intimidating. In any event, because the essential form of the service remains the same from one Sunday to the next, you soon get used to it—and after that you will begin to experience what Episcopalians find so satisfying: the mental space that the familiar rhythm opens up to commune more profoundly with God.
The Book of Common Prayer provides a fixed framework, but not a rigid one. The details vary from church to church and are a matter of tradition and taste. One church may begin with a more or less elaborate procession of priest(s), acolytes and choir, and in another with the priest standing on the steps in front of the altar. Episcopalians infuse their services with their own traditions from around the world and give each of them a unique character. They lift up their voices to the Lord in various languages and rhythms.