About Saint John's
Who We Are
At Saint John’s Episcopal Church, worship forms the heart of our community, from which all our core values flow. We are affiliated through the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, or “The Episcopal Church in Connecticut”, to the worldwide Anglican Communion. As Episcopalians, our worship life is guided by the Book of Common Prayer. As part of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, we celebrate our Catholic and Reformed faith in the rich traditions of Anglican worship. Our central act of worship is the Holy Eucharist, or mass, as some may refer to it.
Our mission, that is, God’s mission, might best be described as “Joyful discipleship gathering people to Christ”. We witness that mission in the beauty of the ancient traditions of Christian worship, by our commitment to caring community outreach; through Christian education programs for all ages and through a collaborative approach to all the ministries of the church.
St. John’s parishioners, together make up a diverse, multi-cultural congregation centered around our common life of prayer and worship in the Holy Eucharist. We are young adults, active seniors, grandparents and parents with children, teens, college students, and families of all “shapes and sizes.” We’re single, married, gay, straight, divorced, rich and poor. Some are life-long Episcopalians and many were raised in other Christian denominations who have found a religious and spiritual home here at St. John’s.
All that we are and all that we do is empowered by the Grace of God which is given to us through the Holy Sacraments of the Church instituted by Christ, particularly the Holy Eucharist and Holy Baptism.
St. John’s was founded as a mission chapel for summer residents back in 1872 by Father McCook. The earliest Sunday services were held in the parlor of the McCook’s summer home, welcoming Anglicans/Episcopalians from the surrounding communities. Later, the original church building was erected on what is now St. John’s Green across from the Children’s Museum on Main St., fondly remembered as the “Little Green Church”. Our present building, housing our Church sanctuary, parish offices, library, nursery, choir room, classrooms and the Bond Parish Hall were completed in the late 1960’s. The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut granted St. John’s “parish” status in 1965. The first service was held in the new nave on ________________________.
Since becoming a Parish, and after many years of faithful service by a long list of visiting and supply priests, Father Richardson Libby was called to be St. John’s first Rector. MORE HISTORY here.
Historical notes: Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
The Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) is the oldest Episcopal Diocese in The Episcopal Church (TEC). The Diocese began formally with the Service of Consecration and Ordination of The Rev’d Samuel Seabury as Bishop of Connecticut in1784 by bishops of the Anglican Church in Scotland. Prior to Bishop Seabury’s election at the historic Glebe House in Woodbury, Anglican priests from the Church of England were quite active in Connecticut, at the time a Colonial Territory of the British Empire. The earliest record of Anglican Worship services conducted in Connecticut were held in New London in 1702 by two missionary priests of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG). The first parish established in Colonial Connecticut, Christ Church, Stratford, was gathered in 1692, and the first church sanctuary erected in 1704. The growth of the Anglican Church in heavily Congregationalist colony was spurred on in 1722 when Dr. Timothy Cutler, president of Yale College, Samuel Johnson, Daniel Brown and James Wetmore announced their conversion to Anglicanism and the Church of England. By the time the American War of Independence ended there were 44 Anglican parishes in Connecticut. What came to be known as The Episcopal Church, USA was organized after the conclusion of the American Revolution when it be came separate from the Church of England whose clergy, at their ordination must swear allegiance to the British monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. From the very beginning The Episcopal Church has described itself as “catholic and reformed”, tracing its bishops back to the apostles via Holy Orders in an unbroken line of “Apostolic Succession”