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YOU BELONG HERE

Whoever you are or for whatever reason that you are looking at this website, we want you to know that in the Episcopal Church and particularly from the people of St. Christopher’s you will receive the Welcome of Christ.

What exactly does that mean?

It means that this is a church where you have a place to worship God first and foremost. You do not have to be an Episcopalian to come here. All are welcome. Many in our congregation have found their way to the Episcopal Church for a variety of reasons; this is a place of belonging.

We are centered in the Word of God and the preaching here is strong and central to our worship. It strengthens us to take the Word into the world and strive to live lives that reflect God’s love and justice. Like other churches in The Episcopal Church, we celebrate Holy Eucharist every Sunday. We live out the promises of Baptism by being faithful to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Everyone, from the smallest child to elders in the Christian way of life, is welcomed to the table of the Lord. And if you are not baptized and are wanting to know more about what Christians believe, our doors are especially open for you. If you are seeking a place to belong, look no farther. You have found it.

The doors of St. Christopher’s are open to you and the people of this parish are inviting you to come. You will also see us out in the community serving at the Lighthouse Youth Center, working with SILO and Family Promise and our Rector even teaches at Lincoln University. If you have left another church for whatever reason but are longing to worship God, come here. If you think you might be excluded for any reason, you won’t. If you want to worship God and be strengthened to live your life in a way that is faithful to the gospel, come here.

Enough words . . . we want you to walk through the doors of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church. Be nourished by God’s Word and the Bread of Life. Find a community of believers with whom to pray, and work, and serve, as members of Christ’s body. We want to receive who you are and allow you to change our lives as well. Come this Sunday for worship and abide with us so that together we may know Jesus and change the world.

The Rev. Dr. Mary Ann Mertz, Rector
(Most call me Pastor Mary Ann)

Because we want everyone to be included, St. Christopher’s is so happy to be able to provide a hearing loop to those who wear hearing aids. Just switch your hearing aid to ‘T’ to access the loop. If you do not wear a hearing aid and wish to have the benefit of the loop, you may ask the ushers and they will give you a headset to use.

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What We Believe

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church is a parish in the Diocese of Pennsylvania of the Episcopal Church and part of the Anglican Communion. The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutierrez is the 16th bishop of the oldest diocese in the country. “We Are Revolutionary” is a statement defining our diocese. As the first diocese and place of the founding of the Episcopal Church and home of the first Presiding Bishop, Bishop White, this diocese has long been known for its leadership and witness. At St. Christopher’s, we continue to take seriously the mission to make disciples by spreading the good news of Christ’s love.  #Know Jesus. #Change the World.

What We Believe

Christ-Focused

“In him you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 368).

As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, and both our worship and our mission are in Christ’s name. In Jesus, we find that the nature of God is love, and through baptism, we share in his victory over sin and death.

The Bible

“Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 236).

It is our foundation, understood through tradition and reason, containing all things necessary for salvation. Our worship is filled with Scripture from beginning to end.

The Book of Common Prayer

“It is a most invaluable part of that blessed ‘liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,’ that in his worship different forms and usages may without offence be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 9).

The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer.

Holy Baptism

“Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the Church” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 298).

In the waters of baptism we are reminded that we belong to God and nothing can separate us from the love of God. We also find ourselves part of an extended family, one with Christians throughout the ages and across the world, what we call the “one, holy, catholic [meaning ‘universal’], and apostolic Church.”

The Rite of Holy Baptism can be found on pp. 297-308 of the Book of Common Prayer.

Baptismal Covenant

“Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil and renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 292).

A mini catechism used at baptisms and on Easter and other special occasions, the Baptismal Covenant opens with a question-and-answer version of the statement of faith that is the Apostles’ Creed and adds five questions regarding how we, as Christians, are called to live out our faith.

The Baptismal Covenant

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.

Holy Communion

“We thank you … for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 366).

It goes by several names: Holy Communion, the Eucharist (which literally means “thanksgiving”), the Mass. But whatever it’s called, this is the family meal for Christians and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. As such, at St. Christopher’s, all of the baptized are welcome to receive the bread and wine and be in communion with God and each other.

The Catechism

“It is a commentary on the creeds, but is not meant to be a complete statement of belief and practices; rather, it is a point of departure for the teacher” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 844).

Offered in a question-and-answer format, the Catechism found in the back of the Book of Common Prayer (pp. 845-862) helps teach the foundational truths of the Christian faith.

Music

Music in the Episcopal Church can be as diverse as its worship services. Although final authority over the music used in an Episcopal service is “the duty of every Member of the Clergy” (Title II: Canon 5), our hymnal draws all Episcopalians together musically in the same way that the Book of Common Prayer draws us together in prayer and liturgy.

Most recently revised in 1982, The Hymnal 1982 of the Episcopal Church offers 720 hymns in addition to liturgical music. While some of the hymns date back to monastic chants, the hymnal offers more modern music as well. Additional hymnals including Wonder, Love and Praise,  which continues the hymnal’s expansive use of music from a variety of sources including more contemporary liturgical music, and Lift Every Voice and Sing II (LEVAS II) which contains music especially from the African American musical tradition.

The Hymnal 1982 retains the best of the past and sets forth many riches of our own time. [The Standing Commission on Church Music] looked for theological orthodoxy, poetic beauty, and integrity of meaning. At the same time, the Commission was especially concerned that the hymnody affirm ‘the participation of all in the Body of Christ the Church, while recognizing our diverse natures of children of God.’ … Texts and music which reflect the pluralistic nature of the Church have been included, affording the use of Native American, Afro-American, Hispanic, and Asian material –Preface, The Hymnal 1982, Church Pension Fund, 1985.

Donna Topping was the Organist for St. Christopher’s for decades. The last time that she played a liturgy here was Christmas, 2012. Early in 2013, she suffered an injury and has not been able to return to the organ bench. We still miss her and hearing her beautiful music and are happy to be able to share the last time that she shared her gifts of music on Christmas.

Listen to Donna Topping Play the Organ – Christmas 2012

The Sacraments

“Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 857).

Besides baptism and the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the church recognizes other spiritual markers in our journey of faith. These include:

  • Confirmation (the mature affirmation of our baptismal vows)
  • Reconciliation of a Penitent (private confession) If you want to celebrate this sacrament, just contact Pastor Mary Ann+ to arrange it. Remember this saying as a guide concerning reconciliation (Penance): “All may. None must. Some should.”
  • Matrimony (Christian marriage)
  • Orders (ordination to deacon, priest, or bishop)
  • Anointing of the Sick – “Unction” (anointing with oil those who are sick or dying)

These help us to be a sacramental people, seeing God always at work around us.

Source for some of this material: The Episcopal Church

Upcoming Events

The Friends Folk Club

A Celtic Christmas in Oxford with Charlie Zahm

The Friends Folk Club along with St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church is proud to announce the return visit of one of our most popular performers, Celtic Balladeer Charlie Zahm on Friday, December 13th at 7:30pm.

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church is located at 116 Lancaster Pike
Oxford, PA 19363 . Doors open at 7:00pm and starts at 7:30pm. Proceeds from this concert will benefit St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church.

“Charlie Zahm is one of the most popular soloists at Celtic music festivals, Maritime and Early American music events anywhere east of the Mississippi. With a baritone voice some have described as “coming along once in a generation,” Charlie has become one of the most successful performers on the Celtic festival circuit, weaving magical moments of Scottish and Irish history for the listener and viewer, with passion for the performance and a chosen repertoire pleasing to all members of the family. A master of the guitar as well, Charlie brings an authentic love and respect for the music he sings—and with dashes of humor and a light in his eyes, he will draw you into the stories of his songs!”

A big thanks to Mary Louise Bove and The Friends Folk Club for sharing such talent with the community. What a great way to share an evening – good friends, great music!

ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP EVERY FIRST SATURDAY – 10 AM

A group has been started here at St. Christopher’s with leaders trained by the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group is now meeting the FIRST Saturday of EVERY month. It is intended be a group that will support anyone who is caring for a person who has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any other memory issue. This is a group where you will receive materials to help you learn more about the disease and how to care your loved ones. Please spread the word if you know someone who might need a group like this. It is open to caregivers throughout the area. Come and receive a little care for yourself and leave feeling encouraged and supported.

Giving

Click the button below to make a one-time (or recurring) donation to St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church:

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Contact Us

Join us on Sunday Morning for our Holy Communion services:

8:30 a.m. is a quieter and more reflective celebration of Holy Communion. At the 10:30 a.m.  liturgy, we worship in prayer and song. Congregational singing is an important part of our worship and we sing hymns and songs using both traditional and contemporary resources. The choir and musicians add beauty and spirit and liturgical ministers of all ages serve in various capacities throughout the liturgy. The full and active participation of all who gather is important, including our children and youth. All are welcome in this place.

At 9:30 each week, we offer Christian Formation and Education, for all ages, between the services.

Join us for Fellowship Time after the services

St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church

116 Lancaster Pike

Oxford, PA 19363

email: stchris@stchrisoxford.org

Telephone: 610-932-8134

Rector: Rev. Dr. Mary Ann Mertz

Email: rector@stchrisoxford.org

Phone: 502-489-1337

Parish Administrator: Mary Clark Admin@stchrisoxford.org