Who We Are …
The Nativity family, as we refer to ourselves, is a group of people on a journey — a journey to find both meaning in life and to add richness to that life. Toward the accomplishment of this twofold goal, we believe that we have re-discovered the only true source: Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is in and through Jesus that our journey has continued to be successful, yielding a growing sense of meaning, fulfillment, and richness to our lives.
This journey is by no means over; we have only just begun to plumb the depths of God’s inexhaustible purpose, truth and love. Therefore, we can with excitement invite everyone else to join us on the trek, knowing that God has much more for us to learn and to experience together.
Our Mission …
Our mission is Jesus’ very own, to invite all the world along on the journey. It is summed up for us by our motto: An Episcopal Family Serving Jesus Christ, Caring for One Another.
Our Vision …
Our vision comes directly from our mission and from the earliest Christian traditions. In the first century the church grew because it came together to study Jesus’ life as it was shared with them and as they themselves had experienced it. Further, they came together for common worship, fellowship, and prayer so that they might find inner strength and purpose for their journey. Finally, they directed their attention outward to invite others to join them and to minister in their newfound love and power.
We, the family Nativity, envision ourselves as a growing community brought together by the love of God, sustained by his Word, and empowered by his Holy Spirit. All of this we do together in an effort 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 — endeavoring to blend the best of time-honored traditions with meaningful, contemporary methods.
Our Roots …
Church of the Nativity is a parish of the Episcopal Church in the area known as 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 existing church sanctuary, taking with it the entire sacristy and all items within it. The sanctuary was unusable and would have to be gutted and rebuilt. For half a year we were “homeless,” with 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 from us), we were able to worship in their church in the interim. Our new church building was consecrated in February of 2002 and our new Parish hall stands on the foundation of the original sanctuary. God has blessed us indeed!