Theological Principles

Identity

Gathered by grace, Saint Margaret’s is a Christian community rooted in Scripture, the Great Tradition of Christian thought, and liturgical worship.

Mission

Our mission is to re-evangelize our culture by proclaiming Christ the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Vision

Our vision is that Saint Margaret’s will become a recognized centre for preaching, worship, and learning that develops a new generation of Christian leaders for the world.

The Priority of Worship

Worship is at the centre of our life together at Saint Margaret’s, and as adoration, it is participation in the work of God. As a sign of communion between God and humanity, it is the most profound act of evangelism by which we engage the world. Worship is public; it is meant to call to our neighbourhood and city through its beauty, its rigor, and its welcome and attention to the stranger. Worship, as adoration, demands that we offer our best to God. We do so by attending to the transcendent values of the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

The priority of worship entails a commitment to development and growth within the forms of worship and spiritual formation available to us in the liturgical and catholic Christian tradition as Anglicans. Our task is to lead the congregation into a continuous imaginative reengagement with these forms by which we are shaped as the Body of Christ. To do worship with excellence requires immense time, creativity, and theological integrity in planning, preparation, and implementation.

In order to deepen the cultural impact of our worship, we continue to strengthen our liturgies for feast days and critical transition points in life. We continue our efforts to reclaim for worship the profound musical and dramatic heritage of the Great Tradition. In order to broaden our reach into the community, we will focus on evangelism, hospitality to the stranger, and newcomer integration in all worship services. We will develop further our Sunday evening liturgy as a distinctive opportunity for contemplative worship and devotional preaching

The Cure of Souls

As a church gathered by grace, we are responsible to the souls within our parish bounds, and particularly to those who are members of our body. We call Christians to grow in their baptismal life in Christ and attend to their spiritual needs.

We believe in the importance of setting people free for their Christian vocation. This emphasizes a wider responsibility to support people in their vocations in the world as well as in the Church. We emphasize that freedom exists in our interdependence and our responsibility one to another for the common good and for our redemption in Christ. In our church community, each of the faithful has a precise mission to accomplish with the Church and the world, and no one is dispensable in the whole.
We will intensify our traditional pastoral care ministry to the community with ties to Saint Margaret’s, which has several hundred souls at home and abroad.

We will include both setting people free for ministry within the parish and challenging parishioners to discover their Christian vocation in the workplace and in the world. We will train leaders for Christian witness in our culture, through one-on-one mentorship and the development of vocational study groups.

Social Transformation

As a community rooted in scripture and in the Great Tradition of Christian thought, we believe that the life of the mind begins in the study of God, who is the source of all that is good. Moreover, when St. Paul instructs us not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds, he draws a relationship between the transformation of the mind and the transformation of the social order. Therefore, as Christian thinking begins with the study of God—the truth that sets us free—so it proceeds, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, to reflect upon the Gospel of Christ and the social teaching of the Church. In particular, the doctrines of creation, the Incarnation, and the final end of humanity require us to seek the kingdom of God. We do this by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will for the sake of all.

We will rediscover the “ecclesial university” at the heart of the Church, and then rediscover the contemporary parish as a social, political, and institutional reality within the city. Parish life must offer its parishioners, and especially its youth and students, an intellectually compelling account of the reason of faith and must encourage an integrated parish-based life of communal worship, study, and action.

We understand the Church’s historic role in social transformation. We must understand both the social doctrines of the Great Tradition and the social and political realities of our city and nation. It is fundamental to our parish identity that we combine our strengths in theological analysis with effective action, honoring in particular the Church’s fundamental respect for the poor.

Dynamic Governance and Leadership

The Church has been set free to follow the Holy Spirit into its mission within the boundaries of scripture and tradition. Given this freedom, the Church will resist the tendency to limit itself to a secular understanding of church management, or to one model of leadership found in the New Testament at the exclusion of other New Testament models. According to our mission, institution, community, and movement (New Testament models) will be held in dynamic relation while critically engaging with the best secular management principles.

A sound theology of leadership will be developed further which will meet our institutional needs and inform our governance structures. This will direct our leadership development initiatives within the community life of the parish, and, will shape our staff and ministry leadership team as a movement-oriented Christian lay order.