Welcome to the The Church of the Messiah, the Church with the Heart of a Family. We are a group of men and women from diverse backgrounds seeking to forge a deeper relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ. Since we are a parish in the Charismatic Episcopal Church (CEC) and believe in Convergence worship, our worship is historic and contemporary, holy and joyful, biblical and Spirit-filled. Most of all, we are the Church with the Heart of a Family, so make yourself at home and stop by for Sunday dinner!

Latest News and Updates

Lenten Bible Study Begins This Wednesday Night

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

During the announcements of the Ash Wednesday Service, Fr. Looker revealed the topic of the Wednesday night Bible study throughout the season of Lent.  Because of the Patriarch’s Conference on Church Growth last week, the first night of this Bible Study will be this Wednesday night, March 15th.  During the Lenten services we will be discussing the Jewish root of the Eucharist using the book Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre. Fr. Looker has mentioned how excited he is to be able to address this topic saying,

“I’ve always wanted to preach on Maundy Thursday about the connection between the Passover and the Eucharist, but I never felt that there was sufficient time in one sermon to cover it fully.  With this study, I believe we will be really able to dig into the topic and look at the Last Supper and the Eucharist like the Apostles might have in the first century.”

This is sure to be a fascinating study that will change the way we look at the Last Supper and our own worship services.

As part of our regular Wednesday night worship services, we will begin each evening with our regular Soup Supper from 6:00 to 6:45.  The service itself begins at 7 o’clock and is a Eucharistic worship service.  Church of the Messiah’s Youth Group meets during the Bible Study for their own teaching and fellowship.  Childcare is provided during the service and we are mindful to end by 8:30 so that those with work and school the next day are able to get home and prepare for the next day.

Please join us this Wednesday night, beginning at 6 o’clock for our soup supper and 7 o’clock for our service and Bible Study.  It will be an amazing time of opening up the Scriptures and seeing the Last Supper in a new way, just in time for Holy Week!


An Appeal to Support Our Missionary Priest in Cuba

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
On Tuesday, we received this appeal from Bishop David Simpson who is not only the Bishop of Florida but also oversees the Charismatic Episcopal Churches in the Caribbean Sea as well.  Please read Bp. Simpson’s letter and consider supporting this incredible man of God in his missionary work.
Dear Beloved in the Kingdom:
 Grace to you peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.  The purpose of this letter is to solicit your support for our priest, Fr. Ignatio*, and his congregation in the nation of Cuba. While circumstances are challenging for all Christian communions under the current communist regime, it is especially difficult for unregistered communions such as ours; denominations not in existence prior to the communist revolution.
One major challenge we face as an unregistered church, is our inability to purchase or rent
public facilities for worship purposes. Thus the only legal place for our congregation to worship is in a personal home. In this case, the home of Fr. Ignatio and his family; wife, daughter, and soon to be born son. Unfortunately, however, it is a rental, and the landlord has given notice that the family and congregation must vacate the premises within the next few months. Although Fr. Ignatio has diligently searched for a new residence, to date, he has been unable to find another rental within the price range we can afford. I say “we,” because Fr. Ignatio, as a pastor, is unable to obtain a work permit; another way the government makes life difficult for the Church. Thus the Diocese of Florida supports him with a monthly stipend. The long term solution, of course, is for him to purchase his own home thus securing both a permanent place to live and worship. The cost of such a modest home is $10,000 – $15,000 US currency.
We are appealing to the clergy and congregations of the Southeast Archdiocese to consider
contributing to this effort. Fr. Ignatio, his family, and his congregation are people of great faith and faithfulness. Under difficult circumstances faithfully reaching out in mission and ministry to their community touching hearts and changing lives in the name of Jesus; healing the sick, delivering the captives, and saving the lost. By supporting them, we are sharing in the great work they are doing for the Kingdom of God.
 We are grateful for your prayerful consideration of this appeal and also solicit your prayers
for Fr. Ignatio, his family and the growing church in Cuba.
In His Service,
The Most Reverend David R. Simpson
*Note that Fr. Ignatio is not our priest’s real name.  His name has been changed and his family’s names and the name of his parish has been removed from on-line correspondence for “Fr. Ignatio’s” safety and for the safety of his family.  If you would like to contribute to support our missionary activities in Cuba, you may click HERE and after following the instructions select “Cuban Missionary” in the drop-down menu.  Thank you for your prayerful support.

Join Us for Ash Wednesday

Monday, February 27th, 2017

This Wednesday, March 1st, Church of the Messiah invites everyone to join with us as we observe the annual celebration of Ash Wednesday.  This unique event is the start of the Holy Season of Lent which commemorates Our Lord’s forty days and nights in the wilderness following His baptism and is an occasion for Christians all over the world to pray and fast for forty days to prepare themselves for the celebration of Our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.  On Ash Wednesday we begin the time of prayer and fasting with special prayers and repentance and with the imposition of ashes on foreheads.  This is a powerful and moving event in the life of the Church and one that is not to be missed.

As part of our Wednesday night services, we will still have diner beforehand, but we will not be having soup.  In stead we will be having pancakes, a Shrove Tuesday tradition one day late, along with other “breakfast for dinner” fixings.  Dinner begins at six o’clock and lasts til 6:45.  The Ash Wednesday Service itself begins at seven o’clock and will end by 8:30 so that everyone can have time to make it home in time for work and school the next day.  Childcare is provided for those younger than fifth grade.  Whether you have made Ash Wednesday and Lent a part of your spiritual life for many years or you have only heard of Ash Wednesday, we pray that you will join us this Wednesday, March 1st, for this powerful evening.


Series on the Mission of the Church Continues This Wednesday Night

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Church of the Messiah’s mid-week series on the Mission of the Church continues this Wednesday, February 1st.   Having already celebrated the Confession of St. Peter and the Conversion of St. Paul, this Wednesday we will observe the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple.  This is the occasion when the Church remembers how the Holy Family brought the 40 day old Jesus into the Temple to present Him to the Lord according the Law and how the prophets Simeon and Anna foretold His destiny at that time.  This is an incredible event in the life of Christ and it has a great deal to say to the Church in the world we find ourselves today.  Join us this Wednesday as we hear how the Presentation speaks to the Mission of the Church and how each of us as Christians can participate individually in the call to reach the world.

Every Wednesday night begins with a soup supper from six o’clock to 6:45.  The service itself begins at seven o’clock.  Childcare is provided during the service for those younger than 6th grade and Church of the Messiah’s Youth Group (6th-12th grades) will be meeting during the service as well.  The evening will conclude by 8:30 so that everyone can have plenty of time to return home and prepare for work and school the next morning with plenty of time.

Wednesday nights are always amazing at Church of the Messiah.  Bring a friend.  Have dinner and fellowship, then hear about the mission of the Church and our call to live in the world today!  It’s going to be an incredible few weeks.


The Patriarch’s Letter on the Feast of Our Lord and the Giver of Life

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Dear brothers and sisters,

The murder of pre-born children is the moral issue of our generation, though it is not the only moral issue of our times. There remains issues of poverty, hunger, lack of medical care for the poor, the refugee crisis, sex trade industry, sexual slavery, the use of children as soldiers in war, consumerism, and the care of the elderly. These are all life issues. However, the murder of 5,000 children every day in America, and over 150,000 children worldwide, far outweighs these other issues. The victims of abortion are the most innocent of all these human atrocities.

Abortion is the tip of the spear of the culture of death. The church cannot declare an end to the “cultural wars” until abortion is illegal and we have a generation that cannot imagine how we committed such a genocide and holocaust.

CEC for Life is part of the Patriarch’s Office and is funded by Churches around the world to lead us in our pro-life efforts and to raise up a pro-life generation in our Churches. The ministry is also committed to promoting unity among all pro-life Christians and organizations, not just those of our own denomination. Fr. Terry Gensemer, along with Sarah Howell and others, persevere towards these goals every day. And they have done a phenomenal job! Fr. Terry is perhaps one of the most respected leaders in the pro-life community. He is a man who is loved around the world. Everywhere I travel young men and women ask me, “How is Fr. Terry?” Or, they ask me to tell Fr. Terry that they love him.

It brings my heart joy when I see young people praying at abortion clinics in the countries of Europe, or marching and praying with “All Life is Sacred” t-shirts on the streets of the Philippines. When I go to Brazil, it is the young men and women who will ask me to please bring Fr. Terry with me. He is reaching — we are reaching — that pro-life generation.

How is this funded? By God, of course! God, however, calls us to be generous in our giving. In fact, God calls us to be sacrificial in our giving. On the Feast of Our Lord the Giver of Life, every Church in the ICCEC is to take up a special offering for CEC for Life. We are also asked to have our churches join CEC for Life and for us to encourage others to become members. The funding of pro-life work by an entire denomination is unique and practically unheard of in denominations across the globe. But it is what God has called us to do.

What do you get for your offering? I could be very practical. I could talk about the pro-life leadership training of young men and women, or the closing of abortion clinics in places like Birmingham or Selma, or the prayer efforts at abortion mills, along with seminars and conferences, around the world, or the representation that CEC For Life gives us in the pro-life community. However, the real reward is that through our efforts babies are being saved and rescued.

How much would you give to save even one life of a precious baby who would otherwise be brutally murdered? Ten dollars, twenty dollars, thirty dollars, or how much?

Please give and give generously. We are at a critical time in the movement. We put our trust in God, but there is opportunity to defeat Planned Parenthood, to appoint over 1,000 pro-life judges, to appoint at least one pro-life Supreme Court justice, and to get laws that restrict abortion, particularly late-term abortion. Abortion most likely will not end in the next four years, but we will make major advances in winning the hearts of people for Christ.

Under His mercy,

The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates


Wednesday Night Series Focuses on Mission of the Church

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Beginning this Wednesday, January 18th, and continuing through Wednesday, February 22nd, Church of the Messiah’s mid-week services will focus on the mission of the Church.  As the Church observes a variety of special events in the liturgical year, we will delve into how the Church is called to live in the modern era and how each of us as Christians can participate individually in the call to reach the world.

Each evening will begin with a soup supper from six o’clock to 6:45.  The service itself begins at seven o’clock.  Childcare is provided during the service for those younger than 6th grade and Church of the Messiah’s Youth Group (6th-12th grades) will be meeting during the service as well.  The evening will conclude by 8:30 so that everyone can have plenty of time to return home and prepare for work and school the next morning with plenty of time.

Wednesday nights are always amazing at Church of the Messiah.  Bring a friend.  Have dinner and fellowship, then hear about the mission of the Church and our call to live in the world today!  It’s going to be an incredible few weeks.


Wednesday Night Services Resume This Week!

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

After a month-long Christmas vacation, Church of the Messiah will restart its Wednesday night services by observing the Feast of the Epiphany this Wednesday night, January 4th.  The evening begins with a soup supper starting at 6 o’clock.  We will have a variety of soups as well as a kid-friendly option for the younger diners.  The soup supper lasts from 6:00 to 6:45.   Beginning at 7 o’clock we will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, the occasion where the Magi from the East came and worshiped Our Lord by giving Him gifts of gold, Frankincense, and myrrh.  As part of the service this year, we are taking up a special offering for Emergency Pregnancy Services of Jacksonville, our local Pro-Life crisis pregnancy center.  To help support EPS, we are collecting size 4 and 5 diapers and any kind of formula.  There will also be a special offertory presentation at this service.  Our annual Epiphany service is always one of the highlights of the year.

As always, childcare is provided throughout the service for children younger than sixth grade.  This is a family-friendly service and we recognize that school starts back up the very next day so we commit to be finished by 8:30 so that everyone can head home and get ready for school and work at an appropriate hour.  Please join us this Wednesday night, beginning at 6 o’clock and be blessed as we worship the Lord.


Church of the Messiah’s Schedule throughout Epiphany

Monday, December 26th, 2016

At Church of the Messiah we were incredibly blessed to celebrate Christmas together with the wonderful groups of people that gathered together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We are blessed to be part of a faith tradition that recognizes that the Season of Christmas begins–not ends–on Christmas Day and we look forward to celebrating Christmas for several more day until the Feast of the Epiphany on the Twelfth Day of Christmas.  With that in mind, we want to remind you of our Christmas Schedule throughout the Holiday Season.

The week of December 26-30 the parish office will be closed.  We will not be having a service on Wednesday night, January 28th.

We will have a special service Sunday morning, January 1st, at 10 o’clock.  This will be the Eighth Day of Christmas, the day on which Mary and Joseph gave their child His Divine name.  This is a special day in the Church, the Feast of the Holy Name.  On the first day of the week and the first day of the new year, we will hear about what that name means and what God calls us as well.

On Wednesday night, January 4th, we resume our Wednesday Nigh Soup Supper Services by observing the Feast of the Epiphany.  We will begin our soup supper at six o’clock with a variety of soups for the adults and food appropriate for younger children as well.  The service begins at seven o’clock and we will celebrate the Epiphany when the Magi brought their gifts to honor the Christ-Child.  This year we are taking up an offering for Emergency Pregnancy Services of Jacksonville, our local pro-life crisis pregnancy center.  They need size 4-5 diapers and formula of any kind.

Finally, on Friday, January 6th, we will have our Epiphany Fellowship Dinner at Blackfinn Ameripub in the St. John’s Town Center.  The cost is $22 per person as we gather and have our Christmas Fellowship at a time when we can all relax and enjoy each other’s company with the stress of the season almost behind us.  You may purchase your tickets by putting a check in the offering basket or by selecting “Epiphany Fellowship Dinner” when giving on-line.  This dinner will be an adults only event.

We wish you the merriest of Christmases and invite you to join us at all of these events as we celebrate the season together!


Church of the Messiah’s Christmas Schedule–Updated!

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

Christmas is almost upon us and we are so excited to once again celebrate the birth of our Messiah and Lord throughout the season.  Please join us on any or all of our Christmas services and events that we have scheduled throughout the season.

Christmas Eve, December 24th, at 7 pm We will have our family service with additional special activities and worship from our children and youth, a special children’s sermon as well as Christmas carols by candlelight.  This is a wonderful Church of the Messiah tradition.  Everyone is welcome and it is sure to be a fantastic time for all.  We have created a Facebook event for this service so that you can easily invite friends and loved one.  To find the event, simply click the bold, underlined letters above.

Christmas Day, December 25th, at 10 am We will absolutely gather Sunday morning and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior on the Lord’s Day. Christmas Day services are also a tradition at Church of the Messiah and have been for many years.  The service is a slightly abbreviated service as we are all aware and mindful of family obligations on this day.  As with Christmas Eve, there is also a Facebook Event for this service.  To invite people to this event, click on the bold, underlined letters above.

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, January 1st, at 10 am In Jewish tradition, children were named eight days after they were born so the “Eighth Day of Christmas” is a special holiday which we get to observe this year because it too falls on a Sunday.  Join us on the first day of the week and the first day of the year as we hear what God calls us and how we are called to live in 2017.

The Epiphany, January 4th, at 6 pm Our Wednesday night services resume with the observance of the Epiphany on Wednesday, January 4th.  The soup supper will begins at six o’clock and lasts until 6:45 and our Epiphany service begins at seven o’clock.  All throughout Advent we are collecting diapers (size 4 and 5) and formula (any type) for Emergency Pregnancy Services of Jacksonville so that, just like the Wise Men, blessed the Baby Jesus, we can bless our local pro-life crisis pregnancy center.  This will be an amazing night to be sure.

Christmas & Epiphany Fellowship Dinner, January 6th, at 6 pm We will be celebrating the close of the holiday season with a fellowship dinner at Blackfinn Ameripub in the St. John’s Town Center.  The cost will be $22 per guest to be paid to Church of the Messiah in advance, either by by giving a check on Sunday or by paying on-line.  Dinner will be served from menu of dinner options beginning at 6 o’clock.  This will be an adults only event.

 


Funeral Arrangements for Allen Elmer

Friday, December 16th, 2016

A memorial service for Theodore Allen Elmer will be held Saturday, December 17th, beginning at eleven o’clock in the morning at Church of the Messiah.  Allen went to be with The Lord on December 8th, and a full obituary may be found on-line by clicking HERE.  Following the service a reception will be held at the home of Earl & Cathie Shimp (for a map and directions, click HERE).  Please join with Allen’s family and friends as we worship the Lord together and honor God for all of the blessings he gave to Allen throughout his life.

 

Rest eternal grant to Allen, O Lord:
And let light perpetual shine upon him.

May his soul, and the souls of the the faithful departed,
Through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.