Welcome to St John's!
St John’s Anglican Church was established in Olds in 1894. For over the past 125 years we have been, and continue to be, a vibrant church family working together to share with others God’s love and the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, sharing our time, talents and treasure.
Our MISSION is simple: to Walk with Christ. What does this mean for our daily lives? How we are to live our lives is exemplified by the life of our Lord Jesus and through the commandments given to us: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; to love our neighbours as our ourselves; and to love one another as Jesus has loved us. Notice that the idea in all these commandments is that we are to LOVE!
Love is not just loving our small circle of friends and family - it includes strangers, foreigners, our enemies...in short, everyone! Love is not just a warm, fuzzy feeling - love manifests itself in action, service and self-sacrifice.
What can I expect at St John's?
First of all, you can expect a warm welcome!
Second, you are welcome to participate in worship. Like almost all Anglican churches, St John's uses a traditional Liturgy. The liturgy is built on hundreds of years of prayer and beauty. It structures the order of service and gives shape to our prayers, ensuring participation in worship for all. Using a liturgy or prayer book is not unlike using a hymn book; it guides our worship with a unified voice.
Although our official prayer book remains The Book of Common Prayer (BCP), most churches use the 1985 Book of Alternative Services (BAS) as the primary prayer book. The BAS Eucharist (Holy Communion) service follows a pattern of Gathering the Community, the Proclamation of the Word, and the Celebration of the Eucharist. Our prayer books include other forms of service, including Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Compline, Ordination services, and Pastoral Offices such as Baptism, Celebration of Marriage, Ministry to the Sick, Ministry at Time of Death, and a few forms of Funeral liturgy.
The Eucharist (also known as the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion) is a central part of most Sunday services. We also have other services such as morning and evening prayer, and services of thanksgiving.
Our church year follows the seasons of the church year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. We use the Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year cycle of readings from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the New Testament Epistles, and the Gospels. St John's has beautiful stained glass windows that celebrate these six seasons - photos and details are on the Stained Glass page.
Anglican worship is enhanced by the presence of symbols and liturgical colours. Our little church contains many symbols of faith and remembrance, including many banners made lovingly by hand by the ladies of St John's Guild. Some of the most important symbols are the Altar, the Lord's table; the Cross, the symbol of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection; and candles, which remind us of the light of Christ and the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Do I have to kneel?
Many of the traditional actions of Anglican worship are the result of Roman Catholic tradition, one of which was kneeling, to indicate humbleness before God. Today we encourage people to do what is comfortable, to sit, stand or kneel during prayer, as long as it honours God.
How do I become a Member?
Everybody is welcome to come and check us out, and/or to join our community. One becomes a Member by regularly attending an Anglican church and contributing to its life and ministry. However, baptism is required for the reception of Eucharist (Holy Communion). Baptism is the once-for-all initiation of a person into communion with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It is also a celebration of that initiation into the life-long fellowship with the Christian community, which strives individually and collectively to grow in the depth of its understanding and witness of faith. When we are baptized, we make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. We let go of our old ways of seeing others and ourselves, and learn to see one another and serve one another through Christ. Therefore baptism is the natural response to desiring to be an active member of the body of Christ (the church). Anglicans do not re-baptize anyone who has already been baptized with water in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Anglicans do have a ceremony of Confirmation whereby baptized adults confirm their faith and commitment publicly. Please talk to our priest about Baptism and Confirmation.
Do I have to take Holy Communion (Eucharist)?
Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the sacrament commended by Christ for his continual remembrance and is our central act of worship. All baptised Christians, including children, are welcome to partake of the Lord's Supper, also known as Eucharist or Holy Communion. If you have never received Holy Communion or have questions about it, please speak to our priest for information and instruction.
Meet our Incumbent
I am very pleased to be worshiping with you here in Olds. It is a fabulous vocation to share the Good News in word and sacrament, and you have been very welcoming. One of my priorities here is a standing offer to visit every member of the Parish, in whatever way works for you!
A prayer for our ministry together: Almighty and everlasting God, by whose spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified, receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Why attend church at all?
Coming together for worship and fellowship is crucial in our walk with Christ. Belonging to a church family and being with other Christians to experience support, love, fellowship and worship is as necessary to our well-being as food, shelter, clothing and employment. Think about it - if you only saw your spouse and children once a year, how successful would those relationships be? It is not (and has never been) easy to be a practicing Christian. We need the continual love and support of fellow believers to help us. Jesus did not die on the cross so that His message could be hidden and cherished within one person’s heart - the good news of salvation is to be shared with everyone!
What is an Anglican Church?
St John's Anglican Church is part of the Diocese of Calgary within the Anglican Church of Canada. We are members of the Anglican Communion, which is the worldwide body of Anglicans currently numbering nearly 70 million members in 164 countries. Our Bishop is Archbishop the Most Reverend Greg Kerr-Wilson, who is also the Metropolitan for the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land.
The Anglican Church of Canada has its roots in the Church of England, which asserted its autonomy from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century and was influenced by the Protestant Reformation. Perhaps the best-known outcome of the Anglican reformation is its liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer (1549).
Anglicanism traveled abroad with British colonial expansion. In 1578, near present-day Iqaluit, NU, a chaplain celebrated the Eucharist as a member of Martin Frobisher’s Arctic expedition. This was the first Anglican Eucharist in what is now Canada, but it wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries that Anglicanism truly took hold, as military chaplains, Loyalists, and British immigrants fanned out and settled across the growing colony. Missionaries arrived as well, endeavouring to meet the spiritual needs of settlers and to evangelize Indigenous Peoples.
Gradually the Canadian Anglican church carved out its own identity. In 1787, Charles Inglis of Nova Scotia became the first bishop in British North America. More dioceses formed as the population grew, and in 1893, those dioceses created the national body of General Synod. In 1955, the church changed its name from “the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada” to “the Anglican Church of Canada.”
Today the Anglican Church of Canada is a self-governing church with 44 other churches worldwide in the Anglican Communion. It includes more than 500,000 members in nearly 1,700 parishes, and like Canada, the church has become culturally diverse. On any given Sunday the tradition of common prayer is expressed across Canada in many languages, including Inuktitut, French, Spanish, and Cree.
For a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Anglican Church of Canada, click HERE!
Some content on this page is adapted from and used with the kind permission of the Anglican Church of Canada, www.anglican.ca.