The Oratory is a Bartlett family lay-ministry for the Rose Garden & Santa Clara Valley areas (CA), promoting the Anglican Prayer and Bible Study Group (see right-margin download). During the week we study and pray the Christian faith using the 1901 ASV Bible, 1928 Prayer Book, and a modified Rule.
At home we use the 1789 Catechism and forms for Family Prayer found inside the American BCP. Thus, the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Ten Commandments, and Two Sacraments stand as first principles for the instruction of close friends and immediate family, “long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation”. In terms of practice, we keep our Rule. The Rule is similar to an exposition on the moral law but pastorally tailored for our House.
Our rationale as Free Protestants is to acquire a distance from the “churchly” (or “sponsoring”) World yet preserve primitive Fellowship: hence, our preference for Home Oratories casually connected to a reduced Episcopate.
- The Person and Substance of Jesus Christ as known by the Creeds;
- Scripture as the final authority for Doctrine;
- Justification by Grace through Faith not Works.
- Two Gospel Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper;
As well as those opinions profitable for Holiness:
- Free Will may resist Grace;
- Baptismal Regeneration: its ordinary administration by Elders;
- Plain/Modest Worship: Head Coverings;
- Semi-Separatism; or
The Family is an ecclesia well-suited for living Primitive faith. Mrs. Mary Sumner, the founder of British Mothers’ Unions, reminds us the importance of Godly Households when she said:
“Our task is to restore family life– for it is God’s own institution, and therefore a divine thing–and to convince all our members that there are two Divine Institutions in the world– the Church and the Home. The Home is God’s institution as truly as is the Church: let that be the truth that we proclaim!”.
The Home may prove a last leg of American Protestantism. Hence, we pray our part as a simple “methodistic” family connected to the Anglican church. Our fellowship recently gained the status of a United Episcopal congregation.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”– Heb. 12:14