VISION AND PRINCIPLES
VISION AND PRINCIPLES
To be a Scripturally rooted, historically grounded Christian Church in order that we may faithfully and thoughtfully follow the risen Lord into the future.
Planted in God’s Word,
guided by the past,
growing towards the risen Lord.
St. Thomas exists to joyfully worship and glorify God, and to offer to him every aspect of our lives in service to his Kingdom.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES AND INTENTIONS
1. The Church exists first and last to worship God the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, in our being, knowing, and doing. This is both an individual and collective activity.
2. Holy Scripture (‘God’s Word written’), as interpreted in continuity with the Church of Christ down through the ages, is ultimately authoritative in all matters theological and moral.
3. We aim to be a place of substantial formation rooted in the Christian, cultural, and intellectual heritage of the West – a formation which undergirds and awakens genuine thoughtful devotion and service which is oriented towards growth in holiness. Related to this, we aim to evangelize, address doubt and confusion head on, and build up faith which is intellectually defensible and resilient.
4. Integrated familial worship – from youngest to oldest, strongest to weakest, we worship, learn, and follow Christ together.
5. Joyful holy leisure, humour, authentic lament, and the bearing of one another’s burdens.
6. The Church (local and global) must engage in a critical and robust dialogue with its context to avoid drift into accommodation and conciliation.
St. Thomas Summerland is an Anglican church in the south Okanagan (our catchment area is West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, and Oliver). We are members of the Anglican Church in North America, The “Global South” coalition of Anglicans, and GAFCON. Our Province and our coalitions are all generally conservative theologically and constitute a significant majority of global Anglicans.
We aim to embody coherent, substantial, historic worship, fellowship, and rich teaching and preaching within the Anglican way of following Jesus. Our common prayer is ordered according to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (IVP International Edition). The 1662 BCP was loved and utilized by Christians such as George Herbert, John Donne, Jane Austen, T.S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, Dorothy Sayers, Robert Crouse, and J.I. Packer. We are not praying according to the 1662 BCP for its own sake, but rather because it grounds and guides our study of Scripture (J.I. Packer refers to the BCP as "the Bible arranged for worship"). Flowing from this, it serves as a means to be connected to the prayer and thought of ancient, medieval and reformed Catholic Christianity. It is not the only path by which one may be formed and challenged in this way, but it is certainly one of the most beautiful and substantial books of prayer and discipleship gifted to worldwide Christianity.
We ask and expect the Lord to work in us and through us not just on Sundays but throughout the week, wherever we may be. Saint John Chrysostom refers to the Book of Acts as a "demonstration of the resurrection". We hope that our individual and community life will be a demonstration of the resurrection as well, as we come to the Lord in humility and continually seek his mercy and grace.