Who are We?
We are a Christ-centred community shaped by worship, word, sacrament, and mission. Our mission, as a parish, is “to glorify Jesus Christ by joyfully proclaiming ancient faith for today’s world.” This faith is not just a set of beliefs; it is a way of life anchored in the gospel and rooted in the experience of God’s people down through the millennia. It is an ancient and living way embodied in the Anglican Tradition.
Our parish has been a fixture in Abbotsford since 1900 and it has been our privilege over the years to minister alongside diverse churches throughout the Fraser Valley and to grow together with our wider community.
In 2008 Saint Matthew’s joined the Anglican Network in Canada, which is a diocese within the larger Anglican Church in North America. This move was born of a growing disharmony within the Anglican Communion regarding the nature of the Gospel and the authority of Scripture. Our stand eventually cost us our building, and in 2010 we entrusted ourselves to God and moved to our present location at Grace Church. It is our continued prayer that God will renew his Church and that the glory and grace of God revealed in Jesus will be known by all.
Worshiping the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit through liturgy under the anointing and leading of the Holy Spirit.
Making prayer the heartbeat and centre of all we are and do, giving life to the body and ensuring vibrant health and fruitfulness.
Living in fidelity to the Faith contained in the Holy Scriptures and handed down to us by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Joining God in his great mission of redemption by proclaiming the good news of the kingdom in word, deed and sacrament, and calling all people to discipleship in Jesus’ name.
Pursuing emotional, spiritual and physical healing through the redeeming, sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.
Being a growing, committed, welcoming and happy family where people are loved, cared for, supported, encouraged and strengthened in their faith.
Helping every baptized person become more like Christ and discover a meaningful place of service.
Counting ourselves in the lineage of the Anglican way and united to the universal Church through the worldwide Anglican Communion.
What We Believe
THE BASIS OF OUR FAITH
The Revelation of God in Christ
First and foremost our faith is in God, who has made himself known to us in Christ. That is to say, our faith springs from God’s revelation of himself in history in a particular person, our Lord Jesus Christ. Our faith is not based on merely sentimental religious feelings or moral convictions, but on God’s specific historical intervention into human affairs through the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ.
Holy Scripture witnesses to this revelation, and based on Scripture’s testimony we affirm that Jesus Christ is the Lord of creation and the Saviour of the Church.
We do not read Scripture in isolation from the life of the Church. We must look to Scripture, but also to the Church’s traditional understanding of Scripture as faithfully received by the universal Church. The authority of the Church’s “doctrinal formulations ought always to be interpreted as resting, at least in part, upon the acceptance of these by the whole body of the faith” (Doctrine in the Church of England: The Report of the Commission on Christian Doctrine Appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 1922, p. 35).
The creeds of the Church (of which the Apostle’s, Nicene, and Athanasian are the most important and most widely received) are a part of great tradition to which we adhere.
A CREEDAL FAITH
Unlike other churches that emerged from the Reformation of the sixteenth century, Anglicanism looks to no single theologian, such as Calvin for the Reformed churches or Luther for Lutheran churches. Nor does Anglicanism unite around a particular doctrinal emphasis such as Baptism for Anabapstist churches, or spiritual gifts for Pentecostal churches.
Instead, Saint Matthew’s sits in the creedal tradition of the universal church, looking to the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasiun Creed as signposts pointing to the central tenets of faith that unite all Christians everywhere.
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
RECTOR – The Ven. Mike Stewart
Mike is the Rector (Lead Pastor) of Saint Matthew’s. He trained at Saint John’s Theological College in Nottingham U.K, and was Ordained in the Church of England as Deacon 1989 and Priest in 1990. Mike served as Curate at St. Paul’s Ealing in West London for four years, and for nine years he was the Vicar of St. Cuthbert’s North Wembley, London. Mike came to Saint Matthew’s as Associate Priest in 2002 and was made Rector in 2009. He is Archdeacon for the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Area. Mike is married to Marianne and they have five children and three Grandchildren. He is a Parish Priest who delights in proclaiming ancient faith for today’s world, all for the glory of Jesus.
ASSOCIATE PRIEST – The Rev. David McElrea
ASSISTING CLERGY – The Rev. Dr. Hans Boersma
I am an ordained priest within the Anglican Church in North America and serve in the Saint Benedict Servants of Christ Chair in Ascetical Theology at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin—a community of formation marked by the fullness of Anglican faith and practice, Benedictine spirituality, and classical Christian thought and teaching.
I taught for fourteen years at Regent College in Vancouver, BC and for six years at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC. I grew up in the Netherlands and have been in Canada since 1983.
DEACON – The Rev. Don Gardner
DEACON – The Rev. Al Kraus
Al’s commitment in this ministry is living in faith to the orthodoxy of the Ancient Holy Scriptures and proclaiming the good news of the Gospel.
PARISH ADMINISTRATOR – Mary Oswald
YOUTH DIRECTOR – Adrian Wallace
Adrian is passionate about Youth and Men’s ministry and uses his skillset in change, strategic and training management to effectively drive his passion. He sees himself as an Ambassador of God’s grace and truth to equip youth to engage in an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus, participate in the life of the church and in God’s redemptive work in the wider community and meet the challenges of the culture, to the end that they will joyfully proclaim and live out ancient faith for today’s world.
Adrian is married to the love of his life, Felecia, and together have an amazing daughter, Adia.
BOOKKEEPER – James Kamau
CUSTODIAN – Gordon MacKinnon
The Parish Council works with the Rector and other Clergy to give spiritual and administrative guidance to the parish.
The Rector’s Warden is appointed and the People’s Warden and eight Councillors are elected by the Vestry, which is an Annual Meeting of the Members of Saint Matthew’s.
Anglican Church In North America (ACNA)
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, Archbishop
Archbishop Beach’s passion is to share the Word of God in such a way as to help others discover the incredible living Jesus. Beach served as the Rector and Pastor of Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville, GA, from its founding in February 2004, until December, 2013. On October 9, 2010, he was consecrated in Atlanta, Georgia as
the first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the South in the Anglican Church in North America. Beach is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the School of Theology at the University of the South, and Georgia State University.
Diocese of the Anglican Network In Canada (ANiC)
The Rt. Rev. Charles Masters, Diocesan Bishop
Charlie was consecrated a Bishop in the Church of God on November 13, 2009 in St. Catharines, Ontario and became Area Bishop for Ontario and Eastern Canada. In November 2012, he was elected Coadjutor Bishop and succeeded Bishop Donald Harvey as Diocesan Bishop on June 29, 2014. He also serves the Anglican Church in North America as a member of the Archbishop’s cabinet. Until June 1, 2008 when he became ANiC’s National Director, Charlie was Rector of St. George’s Lowville in the Diocese of Niagara – a parish he served for most of his ministry. Evangelism is Charlie’s passion and the thrust of a booklet he authored, “The Gospel Still Works.”
The Rt. Rev. Dan Gifford, Co-Adjutor Bishop and Area Bishop for the West
Dan is the Co-Adjutor Bishop of our diocese, consecrated as bishop on February 6, 2022. He was previously the vicar of St John’s Vancouver, serving with David Short who is rector of that parish.
Dan graduated from Wycliffe College Toronto in 1990 (MDiv), and was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. After a two-year curacy on the Sunshine Coast of BC (a name he often found to be somewhat misleading), he was appointed the first rector of St. Andrew’s Pender Harbour, BC where he ministered for a very happy six years. In 1998 he left St. Andrew’s to join the staff of St. John’s where he feels very blessed to have served for 24 years. Catechism, evangelism, cross-cultural mission, and preaching are some of the areas of his ministry that are particular blessings to Dan. He was also archdeacon for Vancouver and surrounding area, a member of the ANiC finance committee, and served on the ANiC diocesan council.
The Rt. Rev. Stephen Leung, Suffrangen Bishop (Asian Ministries)
Stephen was consecrated a Bishop in the Church of God on November 18, 2009 at the ANiC synod in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is also Rector of ANiC’s Good Shepherd parish in Vancouver and is responsible for multicultural ministries within ANiC, including the Asian Mission in Canada.