About Us / Mission Statement
Some information about St. Barnabas
St. Barnabas is a parish of The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, Diocese of Miami and The Southeast. This is the American jurisdiction of the same Church of Antioch mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 11:26). In 1995, we entered the Orthodox Church in this Archdiocese because it was and still is very open to the reception of converts. The Antiochian Archdiocese, under the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, sees itself on a mission to bring America to the ancient Orthodox Christian Faith. Because of this attitude, the Archdiocese has experienced tremendous growth in the last twenty years.
“The mission of St. Barnabas Orthodox Church is to glorify God and to be a beacon of Christ’s love to mankind.”
To fulfill this mission, we are committed to a program that can be expressed in an acrostic of the word BEACON. At St. Barnabas Church, we are [dedicated to]
Be imitators of Christ
Affirm the True Faith
Committed to Christ and His Church
Observing Orthodox Tradition
Networking for Social Good
At St. Barnabas, many of our members are converts from various Protestant backgrounds. We also have in our community several people who are “cradle” Orthodox. We are all united in “one heart and mind” in the Holy Orthodox Christian Faith.
We are a small parish with a vision for growth. While we work for the growth of this parish, we are reminded of the scripture that says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1). We pray that Christ our God will build his church in this place by sending us people to whom and with whom we can minister and work to spread his kingdom.
The best way to tell you about St. Barnabas Church is to tell you more about The Orthodox Christian Church. Even though there are two hundred and twenty-five million Orthodox Christians in the world and over five million in The United States and Canada, many people know very little about the life and faith of The Orthodox Church.
The Holy Orthodox Christian Church is the Church of the New Testament in which all other Christian bodies have their roots. For the first one thousand years of The Church’s life there was no division between the major centers of The one Church. All of the bishops in the Church at Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople and Rome held each other to be of equal authority. The Bishop of Rome was regarded as first among equals in token of honor for the position held by Rome as the social, political, and economic center of the known world. It was this One, Un-divided, Holy, Orthodox Church which compiled the New Testament and established the canon of The Holy Bible.
During the eleventh and twelfth centuries there came to be a division between The Orthodox Church and The Roman Catholic Church. This division was caused by the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) claiming supreme authority over the whole Church in all matters of belief and faith. The Orthodox Bishops understood that these changes were not apostolic and therefore not of Christ. This resulted in The Roman Catholic Church being separated from The Holy Orthodox Church.
The Orthodox Church is unchanging in doctrine, belief and morality. The root “ortho” in the word orthodox means “straight.” What we believe and practice is what we have received straight from Christ and His Apostles without addition and without deletion. The Orthodox test for any belief or matter of faith is, “Have we received this from The Apostles?” The belief and faith of The Orthodox Church today is exactly what it was in the first century.
The Orthodox Church is the oldest and second largest Christian group in the world.We are called by God our creator to worship and follow Him, and to proclaim to the world His message of love, peace, and salvation. God loves all mankind and desires that all human beings should believe in Him, know Him, abide in Him, and receive eternal life from Him. To accomplish this, God Himself came into the world as a man, Jesus Christ, becoming man that we might become like God. For a fuller statement of the fundamental beliefs of the Orthodox Church, read our statement of faith: The Nicene Creed.
The belief that God became man and dwells among us in Jesus Christ is at the very heart of Orthodox Christian life and worship. Orthodox worship, therefore, involves the whole person in heart, mind, body, and soul. In the Divine Liturgy (service of worship) Orthodox Christians worship and pray by singing the hymns, seeing the beauty of God’s house, hearing the scripture lessons, smelling the incense, tasting the holy bread, and touching the cross. The interior of an Orthodox Church is surrounded by a multitude of icons of the Saints in recognition that true worship is a union of heaven and earth. The Orthodox Christian believes that Jesus Christ is ascended into heaven and seated at the right hand of The Father. We therefore believe that in our worship we join with Christ, our God before His throne in heaven. The liturgy is not experienced as something of this world only.
The Orthodox Church is open to all people. You will find men and women of all races and every ethnic and national background. All members participate fully in the life of the Church. From the moment of baptism infant children partake of the communion chalice.
Consider this your invitation to join with us as we offer our worship to God The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. On Sunday, The Divine Liturgy is at 10:00 AM with Coffee Hour and Fellowship following.
For more information, please email us!