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

Easter Is Too Good For Just One Day!

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is just too amazing to only celebrate one day.  That’s why we celebrate Easter for fifty days and we want you to join us!

At Church of Messiah, throughout the Season of Easter, from Easter Sunday through June 4th, we will keep on celebrating Our Lord’s victory over death and the grave.  Every Sunday morning we will celebrate His triumph over the last enemy and His ministry here on Earth after He rose from the dead.  We will have special sermons and worship dedicated to this incredible time in the life of Christ.  This season reaches its climax on June 4th when we celebrate Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit and birth of the Church!  Even our children will be a part of these celebrations as they will have special teachings and ministry that goes along with our sermons and worship.

The celebration is not limited to Sunday mornings alone.  Every Wednesday night from April 26th through May 31st, we will be living out Our Lord’s command to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) by focusing on Discipleship Training.  Our Wednesday night teaching series will be dedicated to improving those aspects of our lives that allow us to be better disciples: prayer, fasting, worship, meditation on Holy Scripture, and much more.  We know how hectic weeknight worship can be and we want to make everyone’s life easier, so prior to the service we have a free soup supper from 6 o’clock to 6:45.  The service begins at seven o’clock and lasts until 8:30 so everyone can have time to get home in time to get ready for school and work the next day.  Church of the Messiah’s Youth Group also meets on Wednesday nights and childcare is provided for ages 2 through fifth grade.

It’s not about bunnies and candy, it’s about Our Savior’s victory over all enemies, even death and the grave.  Because He lives, we can have life everlasting.  This is just too much Good News to only celebrate for one day.  We would love for you to join us as we celebrate Jesus’ ultimate victory every Sunday and Wednesday until June 4th.

Alleluia!  Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Lenten Bible Study Now Available On-Line

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Fr. Looker’s Lenten Bible study on Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre is now available on-line.  If you missed any of the sessions of this eye-opening Bible study, you may listen to the audio recordings and download the PowerPoint slides by clicking below.

Part 1-Jesus & the New Exodus [Download PowerPoint]

Part 2-The Manna & the Showbread [Download PowerPoint]

Part 3-Jesus, the Passover, & the Last Supper [Download PowerPoint]

Relive the Life of Christ with Us!

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Church of the Messiah invites you to join with us for the entire week leading up to Easter as we relive and celebrate those world-changing days in Jerusalem leading up to Jesus’ betrayal, Passion, death, and Resurrection.

Beginning April 9th we invite you to join us as we commemorate Our Lord’s Triumphal Entry in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  The service begins in the courtyard of the church at 10 o’clock with the Blessing of the Palms and the procession into the church waiving the palms while shouting “Hosanna in the highest!”  The service continues with a special reading of the Passion Gospel and helps prepare everyone for the incredible days to come.

On Holy Thursday night, April 13th, we remember how Our Lord gathered together his Apostles and celebrated the Passover with them at the Last Supper.  Following Christ’s example, the clergy of Church of the Messiah will remember that “the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve,” and will wash the feet of the congregation.  We will celebrate the Holy Eucharist in remembrance of what Our Lord began that night, and then, symbolizing His betrayal by Judas Iscariot, we strip the Altar and prepare for Good Friday.  This is always a moving service.  The evening begins with a free soup supper from 6:00-6:45 and the service itself begins at 7 o’clock.

On Friday, April 14th, from noon until 3 o’clock, we will meditate on the sufferings Our Lord endured for our sake during His Passion.  The Good Friday service consists of a reading of the Passion of Jesus according to St. John, seven different meditations, prayers, and intercession, as well as the veneration of the Cross.  It is a powerful way to commemorate the day that the world was forever changed.  This service is specially designed so that those who cannot stay for the entire service may still attend a portion.  Feel free to join us on your lunch break and to come and go as you are able.

Sunday morning, April 16th, we invite you to join us at 10 o’clock as we celebrate the joy and blessing of the Resurrection of Our Lord on Easter Sunday!  Having been buried with Him, we shall also rise with Him, and we revel in all that He has done for us in this special service.  We will have a special Easter Egg hunt for the children immediately following the service.

All of the services are at Church of the Messiah at 3754 University Club Blvd (click HERE for a map) and childcare is provided during all services.  We cannot wait to commemorate all that Our Lord did for us leading up to His glorious and triumphant Resurrection on Easter, so please join us on Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and, of course, Easter Sunday.  For more information contact the parish office at 904-721-4199.

Lenten Bible Study Concludes Wednesday Night

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

This Wednesday night, April 5th, Fr. Looker will conclude the Lenten teaching series on Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre.  Throughout Lent we have talked about Jewish expectations and understanding of the coming Messiah, as well as the significance of the Manna in the Wilderness and Showbread as it relates to Jesus.  This Wednesday, Fr. Looker will explain the meaning behind the four cups of the Jewish Passover meal and how they relate to the Last Supper.  This will will change the way you look at these events as well as the way you look at the Eucharist.  We have definitely saved the best for last!

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!

Special Time of Intercessory Prayer this Saturday

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Saturday morning, April 1st, there will be a special time of intercessory prayer at Church of the Messiah from 10 am to 2 pm.  This will be a time to pray for our parish and our members as well as for our upcoming services for Holy Week and Easter.  We will also have a special time of soaking prayer for those who have special needs.  This meeting is open to the entire parish and is not limited to Church of the Messiah’s intercessors.  All are welcome to join us in prayer.  We would love for you to join us and see how awesome God can be when we gather together and seek His face.  For more information, contact Cathie Shimp.

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