St. Hilary’s Episcopal Church is one of 77 parishes in the Diocese of Southwest Florida.
We a constituent member of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church in the United States.
The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith is the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, serving as our spiritual leader.
We are 77 parishes and missions total some 31,000 baptized persons who share an exciting pilgrimage
of ministry. On any given Sunday, about 13,000 people worship in Episcopal churches in Southwest Florida.
We extend along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, with our northernmost congregation in Brooksville and our most southern on Marco Island. We include the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Fort Myers. Our easternmost congregations are in Plant City, Arcadia and LaBelle.
As a diocesan community of faith we seek to live out Jesus' Great Commission which insists that we should be in the world to make disciples of all people ministering God's redemptive gifts of love and grace.
"Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded." Matthew 28:19-20a.
The Episcopal Church in the United States.
We are highly influenced by the American Revolution, as our spiritual forefathers and mothers were English colonists migrating to the New World between the 1670’s and 1770’s.
These days we are home to native born Americans, persons of Caribbean descent, persons from other faith communities, and those who have embraced our faith.
This configuration of members makes the Episcopal Church diverse.
The congregations and congregants
Can be evangelistic, charismatic, conservative, Anglo-Catholic, and liberal. St. Hilary’s Congregation is a broad mixture of all the above.
First and foremost, Episcopalians are Christians.
We believe God has created us, we proclaim and follow Jesus Christ as Lord, we believe that God is active in our day to day lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
We embrace the church as the body of which Jesus Christ is the head and all baptized people are the members.
As part of the Anglican Communion, we are a spiritual fellowship which consists of an estimated 85 million Christians who are members of 45 different independent national churches.
All of the national churches are autonomous and all are in communion with the Church of England.
All Anglican churches are drawn together by a common loyalty to:
• Holy Scripture as the revealed Word of God;
• The historical Creeds of the Church as sufficient statements of Christian belief;
• The celebration of the seven sacraments of the Church with special emphasis on Baptism and Eucharist;
• The apostolic ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons in the life of teaching and service in the Church;
• The use of Holy Scripture, Church tradition, and Reason in matters of belief and practice.
In worship, Episcopalians sit, kneel, stand, sing, pray aloud and pray silently.
Some bow and make the sign of the cross; others don't.
During our formal and communal worship we use the Book of Common Prayer, The Hymnal and (in many places) a service bulletin with the liturgy included.
These tools are designed to help us worship and pray together, something very important to Anglican Christians.
Episcopal worship calls for the full participation of all the people.
The Prayer Book (and the service bulletin) will guide you in what to do, what to say or sing.
Our people are friendly and helpful.
We have an open communion; those who are Baptized Christians may take Holy Communion.
If you need help during the service, please contact Father Charles Cannon, priest and rector for guidance.