About Episcopal Church of the Nativity
Our sanctuary during the annual
Our music director, Martha Lopez
Our joyous delegates to the
2023 Diocesan Convention.
Eastertime at Nativity
Fourth of July indoor picnic.
Bishop Doug Scharf and Deacon Ros Hall
Suzette Lee and her handmade
Independence Day banner.
Who We Are …
At Episcopal Church of the Nativity we are on a journey — a continuing journey to find meaning in life. To accomplish this, we rely on the only true source: Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Our journey with Christ adds meaning, fulfillment, and richness to our lives.
We have only just begun to plumb the depths of God’s inexhaustible purpose, truth, and love. We invite you to join us on the trek, knowing that God has much for us to learn and experience together.
Our Mission …
At Church of the Nativity, our mission is Jesus’ very own, to invite all the world along on the journey, summed up by our motto: An Episcopal Family Serving Jesus Christ, Caring for One Another.
Our Worship …
In our worship, we use The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. We print the entire liturgy in the Sunday bulletin to make the riches of our worship friendly and accessible to visitors – and ourselves.
Early morning 8:00 AM service is a quiet and more reflective liturgy celebrated according to Rite II with no music. We celebrate our 10:15 AM service on Sundays using Rite II and includes music led by our organist and choir. We sing songs from the Episcopal Hymnal, as well as contemporary worship songs. Prayers of the People reflect the needs of the church family and the world.
Our services are relaxed and joyful. Some congregants lift their hands to the Lord, some genuflect, some stand, some sit, some make signs of the cross. All worship in the style with which they are comfortable. Newcomers often tell us we are a most friendly church.
Our Parishioners …
We are a parish of cultural and ethnic diversity. In many ways, we reflect the diversity of the Anglican Communion. It is not uncommon for our flock to include those from Great Britain, Canada, and the Islands. Like many Florida congregations, we experience a sizable shift in the winter months, which further adds to our diverse makeup. As is typical in Florida, we are a mainly older congregation.
Many of us are college-educated. Some of us are employed and some of us are retired. Half of us have resided here more than 20 years and live within 10 minutes from the campus.
Our Vision …
Our vision comes directly from our mission and from the earliest Christian traditions. We envision ourselves as a community brought together by the love of God, sustained by his Word, and empowered by his Holy Spirit. All this we do together, striving to reach our full potential for the benefit of his kingdom, our neighbors, and ourselves.
If this sounds appealing to you, we cordially invite you to join us. You will find us to be warm and friendly in terms of personality, atmosphere, and worship. We strive to blend the best of time-honored traditions with meaningful, contemporary methods.
Our Episcopal Roots …
Church of the Nativity is a parish of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Southwest Florida. Nativity was established in 1984 to fill a void in the area of North Sarasota and South Manatee counties for a house of worship and a place to continue the Christian journey. Services began in our current home on Easter, 1987. As our attendance grew and more people accepted our invitation to join our Christian family odyssey, we broke ground for a new church building in early 2001.
Our plans were to renovate the existing building and at the same time erect a new church sanctuary. But, man’s plans are not always God’s plans. In August of 2001, a fire destroyed our church sanctuary, taking with it the entire sacristy and all items within it. For half a year we were “homeless.” We had no sanctuary of our own to worship in while the old building was rebuilt and work continued on the new sanctuary. Thanks to the good people at Northminster Presbyterian (catty-corner across the street), we worshipped in their church in the interim.
We consecrated our current church building in February of 2002. Our new Parish hall stands on the foundation of the original sanctuary. God has blessed us indeed!