For First Time Visitors
For first time visitors to our site, and to our Church, we welcome you! This page contains some basic information about our parish and Orthodox worship for those who haven’t experienced it yet.
We are precisely the same Church across the globe, and across time, preaching the Gospel, teaching the Lord’s commandments, and worshipping God in spirit and in Truth just as we have these many centuries.
In fact, our newest service is 1,300 years old.
To start with, we want you to know:
- You are welcome here. We are always honored to have visitors join us for prayer and worship.
- You won’t be asked to do anything which would make you uncomfortable.
- We don’t expect visitors to contribute anything to the financial support of our parish or our programs.
- Our children worship with us. If you have young children, they are welcome here, too. If you need to step to the back of the Church with your child for any reason, you are not disturbing us. We expect Christian children to be raised in the Church and to do that, they have to be in the Church.
- All of our facilities are handicap accessible. If you need any assistance at all, please let us know. We are here to be of service to you.
- If you are an Orthodox Christian, and you have prepared yourself to receive Holy Communion according to your Spiritual Father’s direction, be sure to introduce yourself to Fr. Christopher or Dn. Joseph before the service. You are welcome to approach the chalice.
We are part of the worldwide Orthodox Church – the oldest Christian Church in the world. This is not a theological statement, it is an historical one. And in every part of the world, there are Orthodox Christians, Churches and missions: in traditionally Orthodox countries like Russia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, the Middle East, and India but also in Japan, China, the Philippines, throughout Europe including Germany, France, Poland, Finland, across the British Isles, throughout the African continent including Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, across Central and South America and even on the continent of Antarctica.
“Come and See!”
What do Orthodox Christians believe?
God the Father is the foundation of the Holy Trinity. The Scriptures reveal that the one God is Three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – eternally sharing one Divine nature.
Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, eternally begotten of the Father. He became man, and thus He is at once fully God and fully man.
The Holy Spirit is one of the Persons of the Holy Trinity and is one in essence with the Father and the Son.
Salvation is the Divine gift through which men and women are delivered from sin and death, united to Christ, and brought into His eternal kingdom. Salvation in Christ is embraced with three basic steps: 1) repentance, 2) baptism, and 3) the gift of the Holy Spirit. To repent means to change our mind about how we have been, to turn away from our sin and to commit ourselves to Christ. To be baptized means to be born again by water and the Spirit and thereby united with Christ. And to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit means to receive the Spirit who empowers us to enter a new life in Christ, to be nurtured in the Church, and to be conformed to God’s image. Salvation demands faith in Jesus Christ. People cannot save themselves by their own good works. Salvation is “faith working through love.” It is an ongoing, lifelong process of following, loving, serving and worshipping the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God (II Timothy 3:16) and is a crucial part of God’s self revelation to the human race. The Old Testament tells the history of that revelation from Creation through the Age of the Prophets. The New Testament records the birth and life of Jesus, as well as the writings of His Apostles. The Holy Bible also includes a history of the ancient Church and its practices. Therefore, the Scriptures are at the very heart of Orthodox Christian worship, teachings and way of life.
Worship is the rendering of praise, thanksgiving and glory to God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All humanity is called to worship God. Most prominent in Orthodox worship is the corporate praise, thanksgiving and glory given to God by the body of the Church. This worship is consummated in intimate communion with God at His Holy Table through the Eucharist. In Church worship we touch and experience His eternal kingdom and the age to come, and we join in adoration with the heavenly hosts. We experience the glory of fulfillment of all things in Christ, as truly all in all. Worship services at Saint Anna are primarily in English and are open to all.
Eucharist literally means “thanksgiving” and early on became a synonym for Holy Communion. The Eucharist is the very center of worship in the Orthodox Church. Because Jesus said of the bread and wine at the Last Supper, “This is my body,” “This is my blood” and “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19/20), in Holy Communion the faithful believe, and do nothing less. In the Eucharist, Orthodox Christians believe that we partake mystically of Christ’s Body and Blood, which imparts His life and strength to us.
Mary is called Theotokos, meaning “God-bearer” or “the Mother of God,” because she bore the Son of God in her womb and from her He took His humanity. We do NOT worship Mary, but we honor her highly as a model of holiness, the first of the redeemed, and the mother who bore and raised God the Son in His human flesh.