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About us

St. John’s Anglican is a beautiful old white church in the centre of the former village of Nelson, health now at the north edge of Burlington, Ontario. It is the second oldest parish in Burlington founded in 1835. Among the founding families of the parish were the Irelands, whose pioneer home is today the site of the Ireland House Museum. The present church was built in 1839 and is surrounded by an award winning, restored pioneer cemetery.

The parish hall, built in 1989, is home to the 31st Burlington Scouts.

St. John’s supports the outreach ministries of: Bethany House, Partner West Food Bank, and the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper Program.

Our family friendly service starts at 10:00 a.m. every Sunday, with coffee and fellowship in the upper hall after each service.

St John’s is part of the world-wide Anglican communion. We strive to live up to our motto of “Open Doors; Open Hearts; Open Minds” as a loving, joyful, and Christ-centred community, serving God by serving others. We worship in a sacramental way, meaning that Holy Communion (Eucharist) is the fundamental part of our Sunday gatherings. Communion is essentially the same word as Community. We gather together around the Communion Table to share a symbolic meal together that affirms for us that we are all part of the Body of Christ, in remembrance of Jesus’ command at the Last Supper, “Do this in remembrance of me”.

All those who seek a closer relationship with God are invited to participate in this sacrament. Each of us is called not only to follow the teachings of Jesus, but to be the face of Christ to those we encounter in this time – the 21st century – and this place – Burlington. Our worship also involves praise to God, by singing hymns. It involves prayer. It involves listening to the Holy Scriptures, with a sermon that seeks to make the Scriptures that we have heard relevant to our lives today.

The Anglican style of worship has been likened to a three-legged stool, whose legs are Tradition, Scripture, and Reason, all three of which are important. Tradition doesn’t mean just doing things the way we’ve always done them. It means our adherence to the worship style of the Early Church, especially by gathering each week for Holy Communion. We do not preach the idea of “sola scriptura” – meaning Scripture only i.e., taking Scripture literally – because our heritage also demands the use of Reason, to try to understand how we should interpret the Scriptures and what it means to be a Christian in the context of the issues that face us today, as 21st century Canadians.

Our church is governed by a group called the “Corporation” consisting of the Rector and two lay persons called Wardens, one of whom is appointed by the Rector and the other elected by the people of the parish. This group is assisted by a group of volunteers called the Parish Council, which meets once a month.

St John

St John the Evangelist is the patron saint of our church. Together with his brother James, John was one of the first disciples of Jesus. James and John left their careers as fishermen to follow Jesus – a story told in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. St John is commemorated by the Church each year on May 6th. Traditionally, this same John was the writer of the fourth of the Gospels.

Getting Involved

As a member of St John’s, you are not pressured to do anything beyond what you want to do. If coming to worship with us is sufficient for you, that is just fine. If, on the other hand, you would like to participate more extensively there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Some parishioners take special roles in the worship services as Readers, Greeters, Chalice Bearers, or Servers. Others join activities to do with organization of parish events, such as our Parish Council (governance of the parish), social committee, stewardship committee, and property committee. Our principal concern is that you feel welcome and can identify St John’s as your spiritual home.

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