Christ Episcopal Church Welcomes All People.
We welcome you to participate fully in worship, fellowship, and service opportunities – regardless of your race, age, sex, national origin, marital or family status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, level of education, religious background, or political viewpoint. Regardless of your background or identity, we believe that you are made in the image of God, and we are excited to welcome you to Christ Episcopal Church.
LOCATION & PARKING
We are located in Downtown Springfield, Missouri, at the corner of Kimbrough Avenue and Walnut Street. Free parking is available during worship services in the lot across Walnut to the south, and immediately adjacent to church property to the east.
SERVICE TIMES & STYLES
- 8:00 am Rite I (spoken) Holy Eucharist
- 10:00 am Rite II Holy Eucharist, accompanied by the adult or junior choir
- 9:00 am Adult Christian Education classes take place upstairs in room 202 upstairs
- 10:00 am Children's Sunday School and Youth Sunday School
- 5:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist, with healing service the last Thursday of the month
CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Children's Sunday School and Worship
Children's Sunday School meets on Sundays at 10 am during the school year. In Sunday School, children hear a parable or a liturgical story, then reinforce the lesson through hands-on exercises such as arts and crafts, cooking, journaling, creating a puppet show, or acting out the story. Often children will participate in the Church service processional for special holidays and feasts. The teachers follow a three-year curriculum.
The Christ Church Youth Group meets on Wednesday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Youth Group is similar to Sunday School but is aimed at pre-teens and teenagers. We have a wide variety of games, programs, and lessons that our youth participate in. Youth Group also participates in their own Sunday School at 10 a.m.
HOW WE WORSHIP
Worship Style: If you are familiar with liturgical practices such as Roman Catholic or Lutheran services, you will find Episcopal services remarkably similar. The central rite is the Service of Holy Eucharist (a Greek word that means "thanksgiving"; also known as "Communion," or "The Lord's Supper"). This is analogous to the Roman Catholic Mass (and referred to as "Mass" by some Episcopalians).
Who is Welcome: Everyone is welcome and invited to participate in worship. All baptized Christians, regardless of denomination, are invited to receive the Eucharist. You may also request a blessing at the altar during communion if you are not baptized, and may indicate this by crossing your arms over your chest at the altar rail.
What to Wear: Be yourself! Wear whatever helps you to worship comfortably, without causing distraction to yourself or others. Some wear jeans and T-shirts, and others wear dresses, or suits and ties, and no one thinks much about it. We're just happy to be together, and to have you join us!
ABOUT CHRIST CHURCH
OUR MISSION & VISION
Our Mission is "To Know Christ, and to Make Christ Known." Our Vision is to grow as a thriving community in the heart of Springfield recognized for ministry to our congregation, and world.
Christ Episcopal is the oldest church still in operation in Springfield, Missouri, meeting in the oldest church building still in use. Christ Church was established in 1859, and is included in the National Historic Register.
HISTORY & ARCHITECTURE
The parish of Christ Church was organized in 1859 on the eve of the Civil War, when the town of Springfield numbered some 2000 citizens. Although a Gothic-style chapel was erected in 1866, within three years the congregation found it unsuitable for their needs, a result, in part, of lightning damage in 1868. They purchased a large, "very eligible” corner lot in 1869 for a hefty sum of $1,000; but funds were not immediately available for improving it. Read More
The Rev. Mark W. Ohlemeier is the Assistant Rector at Christ Episcopal Church.
He is a native Kansan and cradle Episcopalian who grew up in Topeka. While earning his Bachelor's degree in Communication from Emporia State University, he began a career as a radio news broadcaster which he continued for five years upon graduation.
He then became the Public Information Officer for the Kansas Attorney General, and later the Communication Director for a child advocacy organization, followed by a nearly nine-year stint as Web Applications Developer for the Kansas Insurance Department.
In 2013, Mark discerned a call to Holy Orders and enrolled the following year in the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He graduated in May 2017 with a Master’s of Divinity, was ordained to the diaconate in 2017, and was ordained to the priesthood in Christ Episcopal Church in 2018.
Mark and his wife, Kristie, live in Springfield with their high school-aged daughter, Hannah.
We love photos and are fortunate enough to have several volunteers who are amazing photographers. We post photos to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but we also have a Google Photos page and a Flickr page too. If you have a great photo you would like to share, please email it to email@example.com.
FACILITIES & EVENT RENTAL
The parish hall is available to rent, and the church is available for weddings and funerals, subject to the approval of the rector. Christ Church has excellent facilities for worship, spiritual development, education, and fellowship. Directly attached to the church building are an integrated suite of classrooms, offices, meeting spaces, the nursery, and parish hall. A small chapel is located upstairs. There are six classrooms dedicated to children and youth, and three classrooms/meeting rooms for adults. We have a separate children's worship space, and there is a large youth room located in the basement. The nursery is well equipped and staffed on Sundays and for special events. The Parish Hall has a maximum capacity of 250 people and it has a large modern and very popular kitchen. In nearby Linden, MO (a half-hour drive from Christ Church) we have Camp Shawio, a private lodge with a large grassy area used for picnics, Vacation Bible School, camping, and community activities.
ABOUT THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
WELCOME TO THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ, in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 17 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The mission of the church, as stated in the Book of Common Prayer’s catechism (p. 855), is "to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ."
The 2012 General Convention established the Anglican Communion Five Marks of Mission as a mission priority framework for the 2013-2015 triennium:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
WHAT IS AN EPISCOPALIAN?
We are Christians, followers of Jesus, who we believe to be the Son of God.
We are inclusive, accepting, open-minded, curious and questioning. We are respectful of other faiths and accept that not all people are called to follow the path we have chosen.
We love ritual and tradition, and we also love our books; the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. While the Bible is a sacred text, we also believe that it was written by human beings. We understand that the Bible contains inconsistencies and contradictions. While we accept that not everything in the Bible might be literally true, we also believe that the Bible does encompass and represent 'the Truth'. Want to know more? See the Frequently Asked Questions below.
- What is the Episcopal Church?
- How did the Episcopal Church Start?
- What does "Episcopal" mean?
- Is the Episcopal Church Protestant or Catholic?
- How is Christ Church governed?
- What is "The Book of Common Prayer"?
- How do Episcopalians worship?
- What should I wear to Church?
- What is the Church year and the significance of all the colors?
- Do you have a nursery?
- Are Episcopalians allowed to drink alcohol?
- May I take communion?
- What are the sacraments of the Episcopal Church?
- I'm divorced. Can I re-marry at Christ Church?
- Do we both have to be Episcopalian to get married at Christ Church?
- What sort of wedding service can we have?
- Do you baptize infants at Christ Church?
- At what age may a child take communion?
- Does the Episcopal Church ordain women to the clergy?
- Where do Episcopalians stand on the important issues?
- Will I be threatened with eternal damnation in Hell?
- How do I join the Episcopal Church?
- I have already been baptized in another church. If I become an Episcopalian, do I need to be re-baptized?
- What does the Episcopal shield and flag signify?
What is the Episcopal Church?
Officially we are part of The Episcopal Church of the U.S.A (ECUSA) which is the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion - a relative of the Church of England.
How did the Episcopal Church Start?
There have been Anglicans in North America since the establishment of the first English colony at Jamestown, Virginia. Following the American Revolution, some reorganization and realignment was necessary for those Anglicans who chose to remain in the new country, because the Church of England is a state church that recognizes the monarch as her secular head. The Monarchy was not a popular idea following the Revolution. And so the "Protestant" Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. was created. The word "Protestant," originally used to distinguish the Episcopal Church from the Roman Catholic Church, has since been dropped. The church had a rough start, when bishops of the established Church of England were reluctant to consecrate new bishops who would not recognize England's monarch as the head of the church. Time is a great healer, and today the Episcopal Church is now "in communion" with the Church of England, and with other Anglican churches throughout the world.
What does "Episcopal" mean?
"Episcopos" is the Greek word for "bishop." Thus "Episcopal" means "governed by bishops." The Episcopal Church maintains the three-fold order of ministry as handed down by the Apostles - deacons, priests and bishops - in direct descent, via the laying on of hands, from the original Apostles.
Is the Episcopal Church Protestant or Catholic?
Both. Neither. Either. Anglicanism is often referred to as a "bridge tradition." When the Church of England separated itself from Rome, it did not consider itself to be a "Protestant" tradition. Rather, it saw itself returning to the original organization of the church. As the church evolved in England, some aspects of the Reformation (such as worship in the vernacular, an emphasis on Scriptural authority, and a broader view of what happens during the consecration of the Eucharist) became a part of its tradition. In attempting to reconcile the views of the Reformers with the tradition of the Catholic Church, the Anglican tradition became a home for both.
How is the church governed?
Christ Church's day-to-day business matters are handled by a panel of elected lay people called a "vestry" and is chaired by the rector. The rector and assistant rector handle spiritual, educational and worship-related matters, and one or both usually serves in an advisory capacity on church committees. Christ Church is part of a larger geographical area called a "diocese." The Diocese of West Missouri which is lead by a bishop, The Rt. Rev. Martin Field. In all there are 100 dioceses in the United States proper, plus 10 dioceses in other countries and outlying U.S. territories plus the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, which is similar to a diocese. The Episcopal Church has a "Presiding Bishop," who is elected to serve a nine-year term.
What is "The Book of Common Prayer"?
The first Book of Common Prayer was produced by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1549, and revised by Cranmer in 1552. It was further revised in 1559 and 1662. The book was intended to facilitate worship in English rather than Latin, and to bring the rites of the church together into one book for use by both clergy and the general population. Each national church in the Anglican Communion has its own adaptation of the Prayer Book. The version we use was last revised in 1979. Read More
How do Episcopalians worship?
If you are familiar with Roman Catholic or Lutheran services, you will find Episcopal services remarkably similar. The central rite is the Service of Holy Eucharist (also known as "Communion," or "The Lord's Supper"), analogous to the Roman Catholic Mass (and referred to as "Mass" by some Episcopalians). Eucharist is a Greek word that means "thanksgiving." Read More
What should I wear to Church?
We're not fashion conscious. Just about anything respectful and smart casual will be fine. If your mother would approve, it's probably not going to cause a stir.
What is the Church year and the significance of all the colors?
The Church Year has several seasons, starting with Advent in November or December. We've dedicated this page just to explaining all about it.
Do you have a nursery?
Yes, on Sunday. And we offer separate children's worship. The children join us part way through the service prior to The Holy Communion.
Are Episcopalians allowed to drink alcohol?
Our Lord drank wine, and we see no reason why our members shouldn't enjoy, in moderation, the bounties of the earth.
May I take communion?
All baptized Christians, regardless of denomination, may take communion at Christ Church. Your own denomination may have some restrictions on where you may or may not communicate. So, it would be wise to check with a clergy person in your own church first.
What are the sacraments of the Episcopal Church?
Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation ("Confession"), Ordination and Unction of the Sick. Of these, Baptism and the Eucharist are considered "necessary" sacraments...the others are "conditional" sacraments and are not necessary for everyone.. "Sacraments" are defined as "Outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace."
I'm divorced. Can I re-marry at Christ Church?
Yes, subject to certain conditions. Contact us for details. You can also see the diocese's policy documents online.
Do we both have to be Episcopalian to be married at Christ Church?
No, but one of you should be a member in good standing of Christ Episcopal Church. Please contact the rector for further details.
What sort of wedding service can we have?
Wedding ceremonies follow one of the marriage liturgies in The Book of Common Prayer. Musical selections must be either sacred or classical. They are subject to review and approval by the rector and the Director of Music.
Do you Baptize infants at Christ Church?
Yes. We believe that the grace conferred by the Sacrament of Baptism is not and should not be reserved only for "informed believers."
At what age may a child take communion?
A child may take communion at any age. We do not believe that a certain "understanding" of the proceedings is necessary for the sacrament to be valid. The decision of when to take communion is left up to the child and his/her parents.
Does the Episcopal Church ordain women to the clergy?
Yes. The Episcopal Church has ordained women to all orders of ministry since 1976.
Where do Episcopalians stand on the important issues?
We have no set of particular teachings that sets out exactly what we should believe. Because of this, the Episcopal Church can have multiple view on every issue and even on what the important issues are. We orient our identity around worship, rather than strict adherence to any particular theology. The Episcopal Church encourages people to come to their reasoned opinions and decisions.
We are accountable to each other in community, but the criteria of that accountability centers upon forgiveness, mercy, kindness, and patience. We don't always meet those standards, but at least we try.
Will Episcopalians threaten me with eternal damnation in Hell?
We like to think that God makes those decisions and that we aren't privy to them. We share hope in God's incredibly extensive grace to forgive all repentant people.
How do I join the Episcopal Church? Do I need to be confirmed?
If you are coming from a church in the Apostolic Succession (i.e., Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox), and have already been confirmed, you would be "received" by the Bishop of The Diocese of West Missouri, in a service that normally takes place during the Bishop's visit to your church. If you are coming from a different tradition, confirmation would be appropriate. Christ Church holds an "Episcopal 101" class for people interested in reception or confirmation prior to the bishop's visitation. Confirmation or reception is not required before you can take communion, or participate in the life of the church. To become a member of Christ Church, you just need to see that your date, place and church in which you were baptized are recorded in our rolls.
I have already been baptized in another church. If I become an Episcopalian, do I need to be re-baptized?
No. "We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins." Once you have been baptized with water, in the name of the Trinity, you have been received by adoption into the family of Christ.
What is the significance of the Episcopal shield and flag?
The Episcopal Shield, which you will see at virtually every Episcopal Church and website, is the official "logo" of ECUSA, and depicts our history. It is red, white and blue, the colors of both the United States and England. The red Cross of St. George on a white field is symbolic of the Church of England. The blue field in the upper left corner is the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. It features a Cross of St. Andrew, in recognition of the fact that the first American bishop was consecrated in Scotland. The Cross of St. Andrew is made up of nine small crosses, which represent the nine dioceses that originally formed the Protestant Episcopal Church of the U.S.A.
THE DIOCESE OF WEST MISSOURI
From its founding in 1889, The Diocese of West Missouri has been a diverse mix of urban, town and rural Episcopal churches. Today, our churches are composed of members spanning the western half of the state, in communities as distinct as Kansas City, Joplin and Warrensburg. What they have in common is a commitment to the gospel message and engagement with their local communities. We invite you to explore our website and learn more about us.