A Mission Statement of Faith

For Mission Saints. Sergius & Bacchus and The Order Franciscans of Mercy

Our beliefs are those of The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church as defined by the seven ecumenical councils OF THE UNDIVIDED CHURCH which are defined here for clarification and your understanding.

We believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is before all time; the Son of God is begotten of the Father before all ages; and the Holy Spirit proceeds from God the Father from all eternity. The Trinity is one and indivisible.

We believe in One God, worshiped in the Trinity, eternal, almighty and all-knowing; that of His own will, He created all that exist out of nothing: first, the realm of the angels, invisible to us, and then our visible and material world. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” (Genesis 1:1-5)

God also created people; breathed into us eternal souls, imprinted in our hearts his benevolent law, and gave us free will. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

We believe that God created each and every person with their sexual orientation and gender Identity and that each person is called upon to use the gift of sex in a responsible, wise and judicious manner and not abuse it just for personal satisfaction without regard to the feelings of others. God created us to be eternally blessed in communion with Him.

We believe that God is eternally and infinitely just and righteous in His mercy and love for all His creation. He governs the entire universe and the life of each one of us, and expects us to care for His universe and not destroy it. “Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (Genesis 1: 28-31)

We acknowledge that without His will nothing can be accomplished with satisfaction or perfection. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God's word, He did not reject them permanently, but through the prophets began to disclose His plan of salvation, promising to send the Messiah, Christ. When the world was ripe for accepting the true faith, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ came down to earth to save us. He taught us how to believe and live righteously. He died on the Cross for our salvation and with His precious blood washed away our sins. On the third day, He rose from the dead and began our own resurrection and eternal blessed life in heaven.

We believe that on the fiftieth day after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father Almighty God bestowed the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, infusing within them the gifts of the Spirit to guide them with power as they went forth to carry on the work of ministering to God’s children as Christ had done. Teaching and empowering others to carry on that mission throughout all time until Christ comes again.

We believe that Christ now is present in the Church in the person of the successors of the Apostles because they handed it down through consecration and ordination to this present day.

We believe that the Holy Spirit, through the Sacraments of Baptism, confession, Eucharist, the laying on of hands and the other Sacraments, purifies and enlightens believers, giving them strength to live a Christian life.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come again a second time upon this earth, at which time there will be the resurrection of the dead and a final judgment, in which every person will be judged according to his deeds. After the judgment, eternal life will begin; for the righteous, eternal bliss in communion with God, for sinners eternal suffering devoid of the presence of God. We believe that for salvation it is not enough to have faith alone, but it is necessary to live in accordance with faith. For this reason, we admit to the necessity of fulfilling and living in accordance with the Ten Commandments given by God to the Prophet Moses, and the Beatitudes proclaimed by the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sermon On The Mount; “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you. (Matt. 5:3-12).as well as the virtues ascribed in the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and the Great Commandment according to Christ to love God and our neighbor and even to love our enemies; “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy: but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. (Matt. 5:43-45). These laws of love place Christian Faith in a moral position above some other beliefs, and from that point of view the Church is the only true path to peace among the nations.

Without a sincere love for our neighbor and without forgiveness, wars and total annihilation are inevitable. The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us all to forgive in a remarkable prayer, the "Our Father," when we pray, "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." In His sermons the Lord teaches faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and justice towards others. Among His sermons one which stands out is the "sermon of the talents" which calls us to develop within ourselves all the gifts given by the Lord, our abilities and talents. True faith must constantly develop inner growth and produce good deeds, because "faith without works is dead" (James 2:6) and “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness”.(James 3:17-18) Christians must not be materialistic, that is, they must behave dispassionately towards material blessings, not use them for selfish purposes, but rather to meet basic necessities and to help others who are less fortunate. Pride, arrogance, selfishness and egoism are loathsome in the sight of God.

We believe that each person was created by God with a free will and is therefore responsible for his own behavior. God loves us and has mercy on us sinners. He helps us with every good thing, especially if we call on Him. He promised us: "Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you" (Matt. 7:7). Earnest prayer enlightens reason, helps overcome temptation, and assist us to live according to God's commandments. Prayer helps us to enliven our spiritual abilities which become the main purpose for our life on earth.

We believe that when a Christian experiences misfortune or illness, they must not blame God, but remember that the Lord permits us to suffer for our spiritual benefit, for cleansing from sins and the strength to do good deeds. In troubled times, we must pray to the Heavenly Father, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." “Father, not my will but thy will be done”(Matt. 26:42)

We believe that we are called to almsgiving which includes caring for one's family, the elderly, orphans, widows, the sick and the poor. It also requires refraining from criticizing anyone, as the Lord Jesus Himself commanded, "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matt. 7:1). The purpose of our life is constant striving towards righteousness: "Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). These are the beliefs and the truths and teachings that Mission Saint Sergius and Bacchus believes in and strives to preach in order to bring ourselves and all we encounter closer to Almighty God and the promise of Eternal Salvation.

Rev. Robert Johnnene OFM
Order Franciscans of Mercy
Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus