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Welcome, to all who seek the love and Lordship of Jesus Christ

The Light of Christ Anglican Church (formerly St. Stephen's Anglican Church) is committed to the mission of the Christian Church: To know Jesus Christ and to make him known to others. We seek an on-going, growing and deepening relationship with Jesus Christ, as God our Father and Creator intended. Our source of knowledge about God is the Bible, the divinely-inspired Word of God... true, consistent, complete... and the only trustworthy source of knowledge about God and His will.'

The Bible tells us that God made every human being in His image, so that we could glorify Him and be with Him forever. However, all have sinned and fall short of this glorious destiny. Sin is that force in us that pollutes us, imprisons us, and alienates us from one another and from God. We are powerless to save ourselves from this tragic condition. But God has done what we cannot do ourselves. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to take our sins upon Him and die on our behalf, and to rise again from the dead. God has provided the way – the only way – to rescue and free us from the inevitable destruction our sins guarantee.

This is a message for all people, no matter who they are and no matter what their circumstances. Everyone who turns to Jesus as Savior for the forgiveness of their sins is given a new life of peace with God, a life with all the possibility of joy, hope and meaning that only God can give us, now and forever.' We welcome all who are seeking a church home and the truth of Christ faithfully proclaimed. We invite you to join us and become part of a community seeking to follow and serve the One who said, "I have come that my joy may be in you and your joy may be full."

About our worship

Sunday Worship Service 10:00 AM

Worship is the most important thing we do at Light of Christ. Worship is Christ centered. We celebrate Holy Communion commemorating Christ's Last Supper and our worship follows the Book of Common Prayer.

Every worship service a celebration - an opportunity to praise God, be blessed by his Word in Holy Scripture, and receive the sacramental blessing of Holy Communion. Music is an integral part of worship, and we value good music highly. We sing during of the service, and our hymns are both ancient and modern, and come from several Christian traditions, including African-American. We also have youth on our regular roster of ministers who serve during Sunday worship.

Adult Education

As a church our commission is to make disciples. Disciples are always growing in their of God and His Word, Jesus, the Gospel and our salvation. Responsibility for the teaching ministry is shared by many people at Light of Christ. We have an abundance of gifted teachers. Our current Bible study opportunities are as follows:

Bible Studies:

Home Groups:

Sands on the Potomac, organized by Tad de Bordenave, Wednesdays at 2:30, attended by 10 people, including several who are not members of our church. Currently studying Exodus. Leadership rotates

Kilmarnock-WhiteStone, Wednesdays 7:00-9:00, attended by 12 people who meet at a different home every week. Four of the members are from other churches. Having recently completed a five-year study of the entire Bible using Dick Woodward's tapes, the group is now studying David Jeremiah's series on Ephesians 6: 10–18, putting on the full armor of God. An evening consists of dessert, conversation, Bible study and prayer.

Merry Point, organized by Mary Swann, meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, attended by 13 women, four of whom are from other churches. Currently studying women of the Bible. Led by Mary Swann and Donna Soule. This group enjoys an active social life and engages in group ministry, such as supporting a child in the Dominican Republic, and preparing food for a special event.

If you think you might like to join one of the existing home groups, please call the organizer. If you would like to start your own home group, please call the Rector, who will be thrilled, and will help you get started.

Other educational events during the year:

Lenten Series (five Thursday night soup suppers and program in Lent): This year's series was "A Christian Perspective on Aging," five different speakers teaching about the biblical context, care options and opportunities, a presentation on Alzheimer's, legal preparations, and a panel of perspectives by "seasoned" adults from the congregation.

Parish Weekend, which includes a four-session teaching series. This year's topic explored the evidence being discovered in the fields of cosmology and DNA research that points to our Creator.

Table Talk, 3-session dinner and program series oriented toward drawing in the public. This year's series was on Russia. Attendance is always between 100 and 110. You are welcome to join any of the Bible Studies.

Young Christians at Light of Christ

Children and youth are a delight and a priority to us at Light of Christ. We cherish their presence in our worship. Sunday school is offered for children ages 5 years to 14 each week beginning around 11:00 a.m. See the description below.

For those children who cannot handle being in worship, we have an excellent nursery, staffed by loving caregivers. Our nursery is spacious, and is equipped for infants through small children. We have numerous age-appropriate toys, books and puzzles, a telephone and changing table.

Every child, teenager, graduate and young adult has a prayer partner, who has made a commitment to pray for him or her every day. We are praying for an infusion of younger children. We have many gifted teachers who are eager to attend to the Christian Education of children. It is our goal that our children know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and that they know the Bible well, understanding its overall character, shape and message. We offer the following educational opportunities for children and youth:

We Reach Out to God's World

The people of our congregation are very much involved in our community. Their ministries include such things as hospice care, helping children learn to read, taking meals to shut-ins, ministering to people in prison, working at the local “Gleamers and Blenders” food bank and working with the Interfaith Service Council, which helps those in financial need. We have our own food tub, to which members contribute whenever they are at the church. We also reach out to the community, the nation and the world with our financial contributions. We have a regular line item in our budget for outreach. Last year, we supported an international missionary organization, a children's hospital in Richmond and the Northumberland Ministerial Association's program of giving Bibles to high school graduates. We gave to sixteen local organizations such as volunteer rescue services, scouting, the Free Health Clinic, Hospice Support Services, the Haven for battered women, the community college and Habitat for Humanity.

Our thrift shop is a community treasure and gathering place, run by the Women of Light of Christ. The money we make through the thrift shop sales enables us to expand our outreach ministry.

Our History: Where We Came From

Light of Christ Anglican Church began as St. Stephen's Anglican Church and came out of an Episcopal congregation that was established in Heathsville, Virginia in 1874. Through many up and down years, the congregation remained a worshiping community serving the Lord Jesus Christ. In some years, they shared clergy with one or more other Episcopal congregations. In 2003, they became a stand-alone congregation with their own Rector (Pastor.)

For the last several decades, the Episcopal Church (TEC) has been in doctrinal turmoil. Bishops and other leaders, rather than guarding the faith, have made bold statements denying core beliefs of Christianity, and have not been censured by the Church. More and more, the teaching of the Episcopal Church called into question the authority of the Bible. At the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in August 2003, a step was taken which has led to the departure of many congregations and even whole dioceses. The Convention overwhelmingly approved the election as bishop of a man in an unrepentant partnered homosexual relationship. There is no way this action can be reconciled with the teaching of the Bible. Light of Christ was one of many congregations which began voicing opposition to these actions of the Episcopal Church. Joining with others in Virginia and other parts of the country, we watched the leadership of the Episcopal Church closely to discern whether they would turn back from this false teaching, or would move further away from the authority of scripture.

There was hope that the departure from orthodoxy would be reversed, because leaders in the worldwide Anglican Communion were urging TEC to do so. However, at the 2006 General Convention, there were further Biblically unorthodox actions and statements by the leadership.

Beginning in August 2006, Light of Christ (as St. Stephen's), along with a number of other congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, undertook a 40-day period of discernment. This intense period of weekly congregational meetings, focused preaching, small group discussions, and daily prayer, resulted in a decision by the vestry to recommend that Light of Christ separate from TEC. Light of Christ and ten other congregations in the Diocese of Virginia held congregational meetings on December 10 and 17, 2006 to vote on whether to separate from TEC.

Using a protocol which had been agreed to with the Bishop of Virginia, we held two votes: one on whether to separate, and one on whether to keep the congregation's property. If both votes exceeded 70% in favor, the congregation would be entitled to negotiate a settlement over the property with the Diocese of Virginia. It was the position of the Diocese and TEC that the properties belonged not to the congregations but to the Diocese.

Shortly before the vote, the Bishop of Virginia asserted that the protocol had not been approved by the leadership of the Diocese and would not be honored.

On December 17, 2006, 75% of the members of Light of Christ voted to separate from TEC, and 72% voted to keep the property. The congregation split on that day, as 26 of our members, wishing to remain Episcopalian, left and started up down the street in a rented house as St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. Following the vote, the vestry of Light of Christ initiated a procedure in the Circuit Court set up by statute for congregations that split. Shortly thereafter, the Diocese sued us and ten other separating congregations. The cases were consolidated into one case, along with the court actions under the Division Statute. The litigation lasted five years, during which an initial ruling in our favor under the Division Statute was subsequently overturned by the Virginia Supreme Court. In January 2012, the Circuit Court ruled against us on the remainder of the case and ordered us to turn over all real and personal property, including bank holdings, that had been in our possession as of January 31, 2007.

Working cooperatively with St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and its Diocese, we moved out of the property in Heathsville on March 30, 2012. All remaining issues were resolved by mutual agreement. We agreed not to appeal the court decision, and TEC and the Diocese agreed that there would be no further lawsuits

While all this was going on, a new Anglican province was taking shape in North America. Supported by the leaders of the majority of Anglicans in the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) came together in 2009. As of 2012, ACNA has over 100,000 members and a thousand congregations. It is an evangelistic, mission-oriented fellowship which represents a fresh start in Anglicanism in the USA and Canada and the rest of North America. The congregation is acknowledged as the agency for the work of the Church, and the individual Christian is seen as the agent for evangelism and mission. Our purpose is to train disciples to bring people into the Kingdom of God, multiply congregations and transform communities for Christ.

Here at Light of Christ, we are a healthy, growing congregation. We have a wide array of outreach ministries, and a heart for reaching the lost with the Good News of Jesus Christ. When we left the property in Heathsville, we were taken in lovingly by the people of First Baptist Church of Heathsville. We worship at the same time as they do on Sunday, using their fellowship hall while they are in the sanctuary. Downstairs, we have all the space we need for our offices, choir room, classrooms and storage. As of 2014 we have begun building our own facility. Until the new church is completed, we are continuing to find ways for our two congregations to partner in ministry that will bless our community and draw people to Christ.

Our commitment to the authentic Gospel is what led us to take the stand we did in 2006. That stand resulted in severe consequences, and we offer that sacrifice gladly to the Lord. That commitment remains our identity today. We proclaim an uncompromised Gospel in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit will use our proclamation to draw people into God's Kingdom. As we evaluate our ministries, and as we equip our members to be faithful disciples, we aim always to be a people who joyfully show and share the love and truth of Jesus.