Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Mass for the Oratory of St. Raphael

On the Feast of St. Raphael, I am happy to announce the first public Mass for the Oratory of St. Raphael, which I have discussed over the last few months with some of you Fayetteville folks. For the present, we're planning one public Mass a month and seeing where things go from there.

The first Mass will be at 7:00 p.m., Sunday November 11 at St. Martin's Chapel, 814 W. Maple St. in Fayetteville.  Google Maps will show you the way.

You'll find more info on the new St. Rafe's Facebook page that I've created 
I have also hit the publish button on the new St. Rafe's website.

Here's a little more information to tell you about what we're trying to do:

Saint Rafe’s:  The Oratory of St. Raphael

Sacramental – Intentional - Receiving Strength for Service

St. Rafe’s is a new worshipping community in Fayetteville.  “Oratory” is a Latin word meaning a place to pray and, above all else, we seek to be a place of prayer in a beautiful but hectic world.

We emphasize the sacraments and prayer as the places where we meet the Risen Lord and grow in his likeness.

We believe in the truth of historic Christianity and the spiritual riches to be found there.

We commit ourselves to growing together through the Mass, prayer, sacred reading, and the other devotional practices of the Western Church.

We welcome everyone. The Good Shepherd loves and seeks us all. Period.

We contend that Christian discipleship transcends political and cultural divisions when we walk in love as Christ has loved us.

We acknowledge our individual brokenness, but believe we can be made whole by the One who came that we might have life more abundantly.

What to Expect
Our worship is traditional, not from nostalgia or fear of change, but from what one scholar has called “modern people making a consciously post-modern choice.”  The Mass is our principle act of worship, offered with reverence in traditional English as a sacrifice of prayer whose texts offer us infinite opportunities to encounter the living God.  Our primary participation in worship is in our shared offering of prayer and praise and the joy and we we show for the real presence of Jesus Christ in the sacrament.  The service lasts about one hour with a time for fellowship afterwards. All baptized Christians are welcome to receive Holy Communion. 

You are welcome to participate to the level at which you feel comfortable.  No one will be holding up score cards at the end of the service to rate your participation, what you are wearing, or who you came with.

What We Believe
The Oratory of St. Raphael ministers to all who seek God or a deeper knowledge of God, welcoming all people into the full sacramental life of the Church.

Our beliefs may be characterized in the words of one of our sister bodies as “creedally orthodox, joyfully sacramental, radically inclusive, and deeply prayerful.”  While professing the historic creeds as the definitive statements of the Christian faith, we believe “in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity” and seek to work with all people of good will.

Following the tradition of the Independent Sacramental Movement, we maintain the seven sacraments of the church and the historic orders of ministry and believe that all Christians are called to active ministry with an intentionality that is consistent with the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers.

We are one small part of Christ’s Church, working with other communities in the hope that we may all be one.  The gifts we have to share are freely given in service to Christ and his church.  We have no institutional ties to any individual or group beyond Our Savior’s commandment to love one another and St. Paul’s admonition to all Christians to bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.