In the Episcopal Church, we take part in certain regular acts of prayer and worship. These are called Sacraments and are a participation in Christ’s ministries on earth. God's activity and presence are not limited to these rites, but the church recognizes them as markers of the myriad ways in which God uses material things to reach out to us. The Sacraments are intended to sustain our present hope and anticipate its future fulfillment—the Book of Common Prayer understands the sacraments as "outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace".
Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body the Church. We believe the bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble. The New Testament offers scriptural precedent for the practice of Baptism. Just as Jesus was baptized with water by John the Baptist, we include people in the community of faith by baptizing them with water. Following a series of questions, responses, and prayers, the priest pours water on the candidate. The sign of the cross may be made on the candidate’s forehead with blessed oil. The Episcopal Church baptizes individuals of all ages.
Because of the nature of the promises made during Baptism, it is important that baptismal candidates (and/or their families) have a relationship with the St. Francis community and intend to continue to participate in the fullness of Christian life.
For more information and to arrange for preparation for Baptism, please contact the office at (336) 288-4721.
The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament of Christ's body and blood commanded by him for the continual remembrance of his life, death, and resurrection, until his coming again. The Holy Eucharist, also called "the Mass", "Holy Communion", "the Divine Liturgy", "the Great Offering", or the "Lord's Supper", is celebrated each Sunday. By it, we receive forgiveness of sins, strengthening of our union with Christ and one another, and the foretaste of the heavenly banquet which is our nourishment in eternal life.
In addition to Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist, there are other sacraments celebrated by the church. These include Confirmation, Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation of a Penitent, and Unction.
Confirmation is the rite in which an individual expresses a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop. In the Episcopal Church, those confirmed must be baptized, instructed in the faith, and stand ready to affirm their confession of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Ordination is the rite in which God gives authority and the grace of the Holy Spirit to those being made bishops, priests, and deacons, through prayer and the laying on of hands by bishops.
Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, a solemn and public covenant between two persons in the presence of God. St. Francis is happy to celebrate and solemnize the marriages of same-gender couples, using rites authorized by The General Convention of The Episcopal Church. In the Episcopal Church, it is required that at least one of the persons be a baptized Christian, that the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses, and that the marriage conforms to the laws of the State and the canons of the national Church. For more information on the celebration of Holy Matrimony at St. Francis, please contact Linda Allgood-Lotz or call the church office at (336) 288-4721.
Reconciliation of a Penitent
Reconciliation of a Penitent, or Penance, is the rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution. Frs. Milton and Matt are available to receive confession upon request.
Unction is the rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands, by which God's grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind, and body. Unction is administered upon request.